Homeland Security Social Media Working Group
On the 8th of July, the House voted on a bill called, “Social Media Working Group Act of 2014. This Act will authorize the Department of Homeland Security to form a new working group that will provide guidance and best practices for using social media before, during, and after any emergency. The bill was first introduced by Rep. Susan Brooks (Indiana, 5th District which includes the northern and eastern suburbs of Indianapolis. There were 4 co-sponsors to this bill: Rep. Michael McCaul (TX), Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS), Rep. Donald Payne (NJ) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA). It passed by a 2/3 vote, 375-19, with 38 non-voting members. The roll call vote will be included at the bottom.
H. R. 4263
To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to authorize the Department of Homeland Security to establish a social media working group, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
This Act may be cited as the `Social Media Working Group Act of 2014′.
Social Media Working Group
In General- Title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
`SEC. 318. SOCIAL MEDIA WORKING GROUP.
`(a) Establishment- The Secretary shall establish within the Department a social media working group (in this section referred to as the `Group’).
`(b) Purpose- In order to enhance information sharing between the Department and appropriate stakeholders, the Group shall provide guidance and best practices to the emergency preparedness and response community on the use of social media technologies before, during, and after a terrorist attack or other emergency.
`(1) IN GENERAL- The Under Secretary for Science and Technology shall serve as the permanent chairperson of the Group, and shall designate, on a rotating basis, a representative from a State or local government who is a member of the Group to serve as co-chairperson. The Under Secretary shall establish term limits for individuals appointed to the Group pursuant to paragraph (2). Membership of the Group shall be composed of a cross section of subject matter experts from Federal, State, local, tribal, and nongovernmental organization practitioners, including representatives from the following entities:
`(A) The Office of Public Affairs of the Department.
`(B) The Office of the Chief Information Officer of the Department.
`(C) The Privacy Office of the Department.
`(D) The Federal Emergency Management Agency.
`(E) The Office of Disability Integration and Coordination of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
`(F) The American Red Cross.
`(G) The Forest Service.
`(H) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
`(I) The United States Geological Survey.
`(J) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
`(2) ADDITIONAL MEMBERS- The Under Secretary for Science and Technology shall appoint, on a rotating basis, qualified individuals to the Group. The total number of such additional members shall–
`(A) be equal to or greater than the total number of regular members under paragraph (1); and
`(i) not fewer than three representatives from the private sector; and
`(ii) representatives from–
`(I) State, local, and tribal entities, including from–
`(aa) law enforcement;
`(bb) fire services;
`(cc) emergency management services; and
`(dd) public health entities;
`(II) universities and academia; and
`(III) non-profit disaster relief organizations.
`(d) Consultation With Non-members- To the extent practicable, the Group shall work with existing bodies in the public and private sectors to carry out subsection (b).
`(1) INITIAL MEETING- Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Group shall hold its initial meeting. Such initial meeting may be held virtually.
`(2) SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS- After the initial meeting under paragraph (1), the Group shall meet at least twice each year, or at the call of the Chairperson. Such subsequent meetings may be held virtually.
`(f) Nonapplicability of FACA- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Group.
`(g) Reports- Not later than March 30 of each year, the Group shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that includes the following:
`(1) A review of current and emerging social media technologies being used to support preparedness and response activities related to terrorist attacks and other emergencies.
‘(2) A review of best practices and lessons learned on the use of social media during the response to terrorist attacks and other emergencies that occurred during the period covered by the report at issue.
`(3) Recommendations to improve the Department’s use of social media for emergency management purposes.
`(4) Recommendations to improve public awareness of the type of information disseminated through social media, and how to access such information, during a terrorist attack or other emergency.
`(5) Recommendations to improve information sharing among the Department and its components.
`(6) Recommendations to improve information sharing among State and local governments.
`(7) A review of available training for Federal, State, local, and tribal officials on the use of social media in response to a terrorist attack or other emergency.
`(8) A summary of coordination efforts with the private sector to discuss and resolve legal, operational, technical, privacy, and security concerns.’.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 317 the following new item:
`Sec. 318. Social media working group.’.
The Roll Call Vote:
Johnson, E. B.
Lujan Grisham (NM)
Luján, Ben Ray (NM)
Sánchez, Linda T.
—- NAYS 19 —
—- NOT VOTING 38 —