While BBG Watch supports placing all Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) international broadcasts and other programs in the public domain for anyone to use free of charge, some of us are concerned that the proposed Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 is so broadly written that it gives BBG and other US government officials unrestricted power to target American citizens with government information marketing. We would support the modification of the Smith-Mundt Act if it included clear and strict rules and a prohibition on active direct marketing of BBG programs to US citizens and US broadcasters. There is a real fear that BBG officials would take advantage of the new law, if it passes, to move resources from international to domestic information activities.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

BuzzFeed reported that the version of the defense appropriations bill that passed through markup in the Senate Armed Services Committee does not include an amendment to “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda. Buzz Feed quoted Glen Caplin, Communications Director for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D – NY), who is a member of the committee. “Senator Gillibrand is hopeful this troubling language will remain out of the Senate bill and stripped out in conference committee when the House and Senate bills are reconciled,” Caplin said. BuzzFeed – Senate Bill Drops “Propaganda” Amendment

If you agree that the proposed law is flawed, Demand Progress has an online petition to prevent the passage of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 in the U.S. Senate. Demand Progress describes itself as working “to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing, lobbying, and elections in the United States. The organization focuses on issues of civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform.

CLick on the link in the title below to sign the petition.

Sign Demand Progress Petition to the U.S Senate

Senate: Don’t Legalize Propaganda