May 25, 2022

Gillibrand Lays Out Multipronged Plan To Fight Domestic Terrorism And Violent Extremism

As acts of domestic terrorism and violent extremism continue to rise across the country, most recently in the racist attack that killed 10 people in Buffalo, today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is outlining her multipronged plan to combat these dangerous threats and racist acts of violence. The actions include passing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, directing the FBI to prioritize domestic extremist and white supremacist threats and establishing a Data Protection Agency to help erect guardrails to prevent online radicalization.

“Over the past several years, there has been an alarming increase in domestic terrorism incidents in which hateful white supremacists carry out deadly attacks and target individuals in marginalized communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “We know technology has played an outsized role in these tragedies, and Congress cannot stand by and allow algorithms to automate division in our country while wealthy CEOs profit without accountability. That’s why I’m voting in favor of the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act on the Senate floor tomorrow and urging the FBI to prioritize the threats posed by domestic extremism and white supremacy in this country. This multipronged plan, including the creation of a Data Protection Agency, would be an appropriate, transparent mechanism in which civil society groups, policymakers, and private industry could come together to disarm and stop the monetization of hate.”

  1. Pass the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act: This bill would enhance the federal government’s efforts to prevent domestic terrorism by requiring federal law enforcement agencies to regularly assess the threat posed by white supremacists and other violent domestic extremists. Specifically, this legislation, introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, would authorize the creation of offices within the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that are responsible for monitoring, analyzing, investigating, and prosecuting domestic terrorism. The legislation would also establish an interagency task force to combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and requires the FBI to assign a special agent or hate crimes liaison to each field office to investigate hate crimes incidents with a nexus to domestic terrorism. For more information, please click here.
  1. Direct the FBI to Prioritize Domestic Extremists and White Supremacist Threats: In a letter sent today, Senator Gillibrand is urging the DOJ and FBI to make the threat posed by white supremacists and adherents to racist ideologies its highest priority. For the full letter, please click here.
  1. Establish a Data Protection Agency (DPA): Gillibrand’s Data Protection Act would establish the Data Protection Agency with a mission dedicated to protecting individual privacy and ensuring accountability for high-risk data practices that private companies use to monetize hate. The U.S. is one of the only democracies and members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) without a federal data protection agency. The DPA would protect American privacy by developing model privacy and data protection standards, guidelines, and policies. The agency would also have the authority to require high-risk data practice risk assessments, conduct investigations, and impose penalties when privacy harms, including those against groups of individuals and to society, have been perpetrated. For more information, read here.