WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott introduced the Stopping Online Confusion for Investigative Agencies and Law Enforcement by Maintaining Evidence Determined Interparty Arrangements (SOCIAL MEDIA) Act to combat the sale of fentanyl and other illicit drugs on social media platforms. The SOCIAL MEDIA Act will allow for better law enforcement coordination in criminal cases with social media platforms by requiring 24/7 staffed-in-the-U.S.A. call centers for fielding information requests with clear guidelines for agencies to best expedite the process. Time is critical when catching these criminals. This bill will promote enhanced data collection, transparency in the data collected, and uniformity in data presented to better compare platform to platform on their efforts to combat illegal drug sales.
The SOCIAL MEDIA Act has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Partnership for Safe Medicine and the Major County Sheriffs of America.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Fentanyl and other deadly drugs are making their way to Floridians’ doorsteps, not only through the dark web and drug dealers on the streets, but now through social media apps that our kids have access to. I have heard too many heartbreaking stories from families across my state about how they lost their child to an overdose of a drug bought through social media. Today, we say enough is enough. It is time to stop the drug dealers and social media platforms that are complicit in the death of the hundreds of thousands of lives we have lost to overdose. I am proud to stand with law enforcement and families today and introduce my SOCIAL MEDIA Act to finally hold folks accountable and hopefully prevent the loss of another life. I thank the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Partnership for Safe Medicine, and the Major County Sheriffs of America for their support and hope my colleagues in the Senate stand up against this epidemic and do the same.”
The National Sheriffs’ Association shared a letter of support. Read more HERE.
Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director, Partnership for Safe Medicines said, “Far too often these days, we hear stories of families losing a loved one to counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl. Unfortunately, these fake pills have become rampant across social media platforms, targeting and harming our children most, and its time they do more to help protect their communities and prevent this dangerous trend from continuing. But rather than work with law enforcement and families of those who suffered loss, they continue to evade law enforcement inquiries and delay action. The SOCIAL MEDIA Act aims to right this wrong by ensuring social media companies proactively and transparently work with law enforcement, family victims and the public to stop these drug dealers from operating on their platforms, ultimately helping to save lives of children across the country.”
The Major County Sheriffs of America Executive Director Megan Noland said, “Social media platforms are exploited by fentanyl trafficking networks to spread poison into American communities every day. The Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA) commends Senator Scott for recognizing that law enforcement needs timely access to evidence retained by social media companies so we can investigate drug trafficking crimes. The SOCIAL MEDIA Act would make it easier for law enforcement to initiate the process of obtaining critical evidence, and it would increase transparency around interactions between law enforcement and social media companies.”
Senator Scott has introduced the additional following bills during the 118th Congress to crack down on the deadly fentanyl crisis and protect American families:
- Eradicating Narcotic Drugs and Formulating Effective New Tools to Address National Yearly Losses of Life (END FENTANYL) Act
- Requires the Commissioner of CBP to review and update the Office of Field Operations’ policies and handbooks, as necessary and at least once every three years in order to respond to illegal activity, such as the trafficking of drugs and humans, along the border. Also requires the Commissioner of CBP to submit a report to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives that summarizes the policy and manual changes every three years.
- Uniform Postal Data Acquisition for Transparency and Early Detection within the United States Postal Service (UPDATED USPS) Act
- This bill would curb the flow of fentanyl through the mail. The bill strengthens electronic data requirements on shipments from foreign adversaries, which blocks packages that lack digital tracking data. With these improvements, the U.S. will be able to stop foreign cartels from circumventing border patrol agents.
- Upholding the Law at Our Border Act
- The bill requires the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the vetting and processing of migrants apprehended along the southwest border and to ensure that all laws are being upheld.
- Extending Limits of U.S. Customs Waters Act
- This bill extends the customs waters territory of the United States from 12 to 24 nautical miles from the baselines of the United States, allowing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations (AMO) and the U.S. Coast Guard the jurisdiction necessary to keep American families safe from drug and human traffickers.
- Caribbean Border Counternarcotics Strategy Act
- Requires the Office of National Drug Control Policy to produce an overall strategy focused on preventing the illegal trafficking of drugs from the Caribbean region into the U.S., specifically relating to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Overcoming Prevalent Inadequacies in Overdose Information Data Sets (OPIOIDS) Act
- This bill allows for better data collection from law enforcement agencies, grants to contain suspected narcotics and upgrade essential testing and tracing systems, and increased collaboration between the Office of National Drug Control Policy and other federal and state agencies.
- Continuing High-Quality Evaluations of Concerning and Known Persons of Interest through National Training Updates (CHECKPOINT) Act
- This bill will require regular updates to internal secondary internal border checkpoints’ drug seizure data categories, establish a Southern Border Intelligence Center to develop an understanding of the threat in the environment along the southern border, and ensure that the Checkpoint Management Office at U.S. Border Patrol remains consistently staffed.
- Bipartisan Bicameral Naloxone Awareness Day Resolution
- This resolution recognizes June 6th as Naloxone Awareness Day. The resolution promotes awareness of the life-saving drug, Naloxone, which reverses opioid overdoses and prevents unnecessary deaths. It also aims to educate members of the public about the importance of recognizing the signs of overdose, and equipping themselves with the life-saving antidote.
- National Fentanyl Awareness Week Resolution
- This resolution would name February 26th - March 4th as National Fentanyl Awareness Week.
- Senator Scott is working with Senator Marco Rubio to pass the Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act to make the distribution of fentanyl, resulting in death, punishable by federal felony murder charges.
- Senator Scott and his colleagues sent a letter to President Biden to urge him to pursue a comprehensive strategy to combat this epidemic by designating illicit fentanyl analogs and all precursor chemicals as weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
- Senator Scott is fighting to have the FEND Off Fentanyl Act, a bill he is working with his colleagues on, included in the Senate’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, and looks forward to its passage.
- Senator Scott has cosponsored Senate Resolution 215 supporting National Fentanyl Awareness Day in 2023, which advocates increasing individual and public awareness of the impact of fake or counterfeit fentanyl pills on families and young people.