A Florida House panel passed legislation aimed at punishing Big Tech companies if they violate the privacy of its citizens and interfere with a candidate's online presence during an election.
The first of a series of bills backed by republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was cleared by the House Appropriations Committee on Monday in a 19-8 vote, mostly along partisan lines, according to the Epoch Times.
Under the proposed bill, technology companies that choose to remove a candidate from their platform during an election will face a whopping daily fine of $100,000 until the candidate’s access is restored.
The legislation would also empower the state’s attorney general to bring legal action against Big Tech companies under Florida’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act if they violate the policies laid out in the bill.
Companies would additionally have to give users notice of a rule change before suspending an account.
The bill came just days after President Trump was suspended from Twitter following the Capitol riot on January 6.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, urged that the bill is necessary in order to protect the Sunshine State’s citizens from the wrath of Big Tech.
“We’ve gotten to the point now that they’ve become so powerful,” Ingoglia said. “When you have a handful of companies that are so powerful that they sort of dictate what can or cannot be seen or heard in order to make informed choices, I think that that is problematic.”
DeSantis has been one of several outspoken governors working to combat Big Tech censorship. He said companies are discriminating against citizens when they change their rules, and he’s had enough.
“Floridians should have the privacy of their data and personal information protected, their ability to access and participate in online platforms protected, and their ability to participate in elections free from interference from Big Tech protected,” DeSantis said in February.
The legislation has to pass through one more House panel hearing before it heads to a floor vote.
Human Events News will continue updating this story as it develops.