MEETING WITH REPRESENTITIVE KINZINGER’S LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR
THE NEW HOUSE LEADERSHIP
As we all know, in early January the House of Representatives changed leadership, from Republicans to Democrats. All Representative offices are now having to update their proposing Bills to meet the “likes” of the democratic party. In other words, to better appeal to the Democrats now that they are in leadership, in hopes to move their Bill forward to the Senate. This being said, all new proposals (like ours) will be on hold until approximately March/April, when the older proposals are rewritten and able to be introduce.
SO.....WHERE IS OUR ISSUE?
According to Rep. Kinzingers’ Legislative Director, our issue is “at the top of the stack” of new proposals. He stated the concern is very important, and they do understand the severity since Rep. Kinzinger is an identity Theft victim (like Bryan) and someone the Director knows, fell victim to a romance scam.
MOVING THE AMENDMENT FORWARD...WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
Moving the amendment forward takes significant planning. Due to the 230 being such an important Law within the tech community (for their right to self-regulate), there may be a lot of controversy, and roadblocks ahead. In the past, the 230 has been very difficult to amend (lobbyist spending millions of dollars to petition against the changes), however due to all of the breeches, security of safety issues within platforms in the recent years, amending is looking to be more acceptable (there will always be an opposing team). The Legislative Director informed Bryan and I that before they can promise to move our proposal forward and start the amending process, the issues must be presented to the rest of Representative Kinzinger’s team for search of any pitfalls that may occur during the team’s research process. It is also important that the amendment is solid in facts, need, and a matter that Representative Kinzinger can confidently speak to. In other words, Rep. Kinzinger’s team must complete enough research for the amendment to look as though it will pass both Houses (House of Representatives and Senate) with flying colors (only then can the amendment be signed and put in place). We all agreed that it’s apparent there’s significant issues that need changing within the current Law.
The Legislative Director reiterated to be patient with the process, and gave an example of one amendment taking 7 years to push through. He stated that this is not all cases, and many amendments can go through a lot faster with less debatable topics, however this may be a pretty controversial subject, just like when the same law was amended under HUMAN TRAFFICKING ON PLATFORMS.
On another great note, The Legislative Director also mentioned a renew focus on the Privacy Law which may encompass all Identity Theft concerns, including what was presented in our proposal.
In addition, the issue was brought up in regards to groups such as the Yahoo Boys, and how they conduct their business on platforms. We asked if this concern could be somehow absorbed into the amendment, and were told it definitely could. Of course, that would be done by Rep. Kinzinger’s staff and how they could appropriately and legally write the regulatory action on the platforms in regard to the crimes (similar to how Human Trafficking was being conducted on the platform, Backpage).
WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP THIS ALONG?
Bryan and I asked how we can show more crucial need for this amendment. We were told by the Director how important it is for the congressional leaders to see how this problem affects their constituents. A good way to do this is by keeping up with the petition, which can show what states the signers are from (if provided by the supporter). Also, having an array of signers from all over the world, shows the necessity of the change, not just within the United States (this also helps keep the interest of the congressional leaders). The Legislative Director also mentioned how the media is a great way to get the word out, and by the looks and sounds of it, we are doing a great job with that...and making some waves!
At the end of our conversation the Director stated he is looking forward to staying engaged with us and will be keeping a close eye out on what’s “coming down the pikes”, in other words similar issues and possible news that shows an additional need for the amendment. When asked if a follow up meeting could take place in the next two months, the Director was more than receptive and looking forward to our next follow up.
Bryan and I are aware of the government process and the reasons behind their work and research...but of course we wanted everything done yesterday. We hoped the meeting would be positive for the proposal, and it most definitely was! We are incredibly thankful for every one of you who have stuck by this fight, provided your support and encouragement on this long road and want to stress how even though, on the government end, things may look “stagnant”...it will never be on our end. We will always keep you up to date whether the news is positive or not-so-positive, and we will always give 150% in the name of everyone’s safety and security on social media platforms. It is each and every one of you that encourage Bryan and I to keep up the fight, and we are so blessed to be able to “walk beside you” in this battle of courage, faith and trust.