Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (10/27/2016)

Countering Online Recruitment of Violent Extremists Act of 2016

This bill amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require that the criteria for the designation of colleges or universities as a center for homeland security include demonstrated expertise in countering violent extremism (CVE). "CVE" is defined as proactive and relevant actions to deter efforts by extremists to radicalize, recruit, and mobilize followers to violence by providing positive countervailing alternatives to violent extremist recruitment and radicalization.

(Sec. 4) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is authorized to: (1) establish one or more CVE labs where students will develop and test technology-based CVE solutions, and (2) reprioritize grants to centers for homeland security to fund each lab. A "technology-based CVE solution" is defined as an instrument developed by a participating student that:

  • appeals to young consumers of online and social media;
  • counters online recruitment of violent extremists or builds resilience against online violent extremist recruitment among participating students' peers;
  • operates on a technological platform or is technological in nature, including social media campaigns and mobile software applications; and
  • is supported by empirical evidence and incorporates metrics for future assessment.

(Sec. 5) An institution of higher education at which a CVE lab is established shall ensure that the lab's faculty:

  • creates a curriculum for participating students to develop and test CVE solutions, that shall include a CVE orientation program during which federal officials shall brief students on precautions to protect themselves from becoming a target of terrorists;
  • supervises any deployment of a technology-based CVE solution by a student;
  • develops a framework for participation and support of other programs that encourages peer-to-peer CVE solutions;
  • develops a common inventory of research, in conjunction with other centers that establish CVE labs, on core CVE issues to inform CVE lab curricula; and
  • identifies experts who can apply CVE solutions to target susceptible individuals.

(Sec. 6) The bill requires the Government Accountability Office to report on, and DHS to commission an independent third-party assessment of, the impact of each lab.

(Sec. 8) The bill sunsets seven years after enactment.