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                                                      Calendar No. 234
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      114-145
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     



                       SOCIAL MEDIA WORKING GROUP

                              ACT OF 2015
                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                   COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND

                          GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                              to accompany

                                H.R. 623

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

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

             September 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                  ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

49-010                         WASHINGTON : 2015 




















        COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS

                    RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin, Chairman
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona                 THOMAS R. CARPER, Delaware
ROB PORTMAN, Ohio                    CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
RAND PAUL, Kentucky                  JON TESTER, Montana
JAMES LANKFORD, Oklahoma             TAMMY BALDWIN, Wisconsin
MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming             HEIDI HEITKAMP, North Dakota
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire          CORY A. BOOKER, New Jersey
JONI ERNST, Iowa                     GARY C. PETERS, Michigan
BEN SASSE, Nebraska

                    Keith B. Ashdown, Staff Director
                  Christopher R. Hixon, Chief Counsel
             David S. Luckey, Director of Homeland Security
       William H.W. McKenna, Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
                  Colleen E. Berny, Research Assistant
              Gabrielle A. Batkin, Minority Staff Director
           John P. Kilvington, Minority Deputy Staff Director
               Mary Beth Schultz, Minority Chief Counsel
     Stephen R. Vina, Minority Chief Counsel for Homeland Security
         Robert H. Bradley, Minority Professional Staff Member
                     Laura W. Kilbride, Chief Clerk
                     
                     
                     
       
       
       
       
                     
                     
                                                      Calendar No. 234
114th Congress      }                                   {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                   {      114-145

======================================================================



 
                 SOCIAL MEDIA WORKING GROUP ACT OF 2015

                                _______
                                

               September 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Johnson, from the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
                    Affairs, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 623]

    The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs, to which was referred the bill (H.R. 623) 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, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose and Summary..............................................1
 II. Background and Need for the Legislation..........................2
III. Legislative History..............................................3
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................3
  V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
 VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................5
VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported.............5

                         I. Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 623, the DHS Social Media Improvement 
Act of 2015, is to codify and improve an existing Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS or ``the Department'') working group 
established to enhance the dissemination of information through 
social media technologies between the Department and 
stakeholders and provide guidance and best practices on the use 
of social media before, during, and after a natural disaster, 
act of terrorism, or other manmade disaster. This act requires 
the working group to submit an annual report to Congress that 
details best practices and lessons learned during response 
efforts and provides recommendations on how to improve the use 
of social media by the Department. The working group will 
terminate five years after the date of enactment unless the 
chairperson of the working group submits to Congress a 
certification that the continued existence of the group is 
necessary.

              II. Background and the Need for Legislation

    Recent studies have shown that seventy-four percent of 
online adults utilize social media.\1\ Along with this growth 
in adoption, Americans have increasingly turned to social media 
to receive up-to-date information from the emergency management 
community, as well as to share their personal experiences via 
posts, tweets, pictures, and videos.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Pew Research Center, Social Networking Fact Sheet, http://
www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/ (last 
visited Sept. 8, 2015).
    \2\Bruce Lindsay, Cong. Research Serv., R41987, Social Media and 
Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options, and Policy Considerations 9 
(2011).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The public and the government have used social media during 
a number of recent emergencies, disasters, and acts of 
terrorism. When Hurricane Sandy made landfall in 2012, both the 
public and government agencies relied on social media 
technology before, during, and after the storm made 
landfall.\3\ The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 
closely monitored the approximately 20 million Twitter messages 
it received, sent messages to more than 300,000 Facebook users 
and 6 million Twitter users, and in a single day, redirected 
more than 500,000 visitors to the Ready.gov website.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., Lessons Learned: Social Media And 
Hurricane Sandy 6 (2013), available at http://www.firstresponder.gov/
TechnologyDocuments/Lessons%20Learned% 
20Social%20Media%20and%20Hurricane%20Sandy.pdf; see also Sarah Estes 
Cohen, Sandy Marked a Shift for Social Media Use in Disasters, 
Emergency Mgmt., Mar. 7, 2013, http://www.emergencymgmt.com/disaster/
Sandy-Social-Media-Use-in-Disasters.html (describing the shift in 
social media use with Hurricane Sandy).
    \4\Cohen, supra note 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Social media is a multifaceted tool when it comes to 
terrorism; it can be an efficient way for first responders to 
disseminate information quickly to the public during an act of 
terrorism. First responders can use social media to alert the 
public that a terrorist attack has occurred and provide updates 
throughout the event, as happened during the 2013 Boston 
Marathon Bombing when a quarter of Americans received 
information about the attack via social network sites.\5\ Young 
Americans in particular relied on social media during the 
incident, with fifty-six percent stating that they utilized 
social networks to remain up-to-date during the attack.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Pew Research Center, Most Expect ``Occasional Acts of 
Terrorism'' In The Future (2013), http://www.people-press.org/2013/04/
23/most-expect-occasional-acts-of-terrorism-in-the- 
future/.
    \6\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, terrorists are also using social media to 
recruit, radicalize and inspire followers to carry out attacks 
in the United States and abroad.\7\ As a result, a number of 
individuals have been inspired to travel to areas that are 
currently controlled by the Islamic State. At this time, the 
number of foreign fighters who have traveled to Syria and Iraq 
is greater than during the Afghan-Soviet war.\8\ Much of this 
increase is due to recruitment via social media.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\See ISIL in America: Domestic Terror and Radicalization: Hearing 
Before the Subcomm. on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and 
Investigations of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 114th Cong. (2015) 
(statement of Michael Steinbach, Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of 
Investigation); see also Jihad 2.0: Social Media in the Next Evolution 
of Terrorist Recruitment: Hearing Before the S. Comm. on Homeland 
Security and Governmental Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015) [hereinafter 
Jihad 2.0] (statement of Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, Fellow, Foundation 
for Defense of Democracies).
    \8\Jihad 2.0, supra note 7 (statement of Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, 
Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies).
    \9\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Recognizing the potential value for social media in 
emergencies, in 2010, DHS established the Virtual Social Media 
Working Group (VSMWG) to provide guidance to the emergency 
preparedness and response community on the effective use of 
social media.\10\ Since 2010, social media use has markedly 
expanded and evolved. This legislation codifies and improves 
the existing working group within the Department and ensures 
proper accountability by expanding the group's current 
membership, increasing collaboration with the private sector, 
and improving the group's annual reporting requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Sci. & Tech. Directorate, U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., First 
Responders Group--Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) (2013), 
available at http://www.firstresponder.gov/Lists/TechnologyProfiles/
attachments/16/Virtual%20Social%20Media%20Working%20Group% 
20Fact%20Sheet.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        III. Legislative History

    On March 14, 2014, Representative Susan Brooks introduced 
H.R. 4263, the Social Media Working Group Act of 2014. The act 
passed the House by a vote of 375-19 on July 8, 2014. The 
measure was received in the Senate and referred to the 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, but 
the Committee did not take up the act during the 113th 
Congress.
    In the 114th Congress, Representative Brooks introduced 
H.R. 623, the Social Media Working Group Act of 2015, on 
January 30, 2015. The act passed the House on February 2, 2015, 
by a vote of 328-51. The measure was received in the Senate and 
referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs.
    The Committee considered H.R. 623 at a business meeting on 
May 6, 2015. At the business meeting, Chairman Ron Johnson 
introduced a substitute amendment that changed the name of the 
act to the DHS Social Media Improvement Act of 2015, removed an 
exemption to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (FACA), created a five-year sunset and renewal process, 
made changes to the membership and reporting requirements, and 
made additional technical corrections. The Committee favorably 
reported the act, as amended by the Johnson substitute 
amendment, by voice vote en bloc. Senators present for the vote 
were: Johnson, McCain, Portman, Lankford, Ernst, Sasse, Carper, 
McCaskill, Baldwin, Heitkamp, and Peters.

        IV. Section-by-Section Analysis of the Act, as Reported


Sec. 1. Short title

    This section provides the Act's short title, ``DHS Social 
Media Improvement Act of 2015.''

Sec. 2. Social Media Working Group

    This section amends Title III of the Homeland Security Act 
of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) by adding a new section 318. The 
new section requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to 
establish within the Department a social media working group 
(``the Group''). This section also provides requirements for 
the Group's membership, procedure, and termination.
    Subsection (b) of the new section defines the purpose of 
the Group as identifying and providing guidance on best 
practices on the use of social media technologies before, 
during and after a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other 
man-made disaster to improve first responders' efficient use of 
those technologies.
    Subsection (c) of the new section delineates the required 
membership of the Group, which reflects a whole of community 
approach and is composed of a cross section of representatives 
from various DHS components and offices, other federal 
agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Further, 
subsection (c) provides for the creation of a chairperson and 
co-chairperson of the Group, and the addition of other members. 
Term limits of the additional members shall be determined by 
the chairperson.
    Subsection (d) of the new section requires the Group to 
work with other entities in the public and private sector to 
the extent practicable.
    Subsection (e) of the new section establishes requirements 
for the first meeting of the Group and frequency of meetings 
thereafter. The subsection also permits the Group to hold its 
meetings virtually.
    Subsection (f) of the new section requires that the Group 
provide an annual report to the Committee and the House 
Committee on Homeland Security for each year that it meets. The 
report shall include, among other things, a review of current 
and emerging social technologies, best practices, lessons 
learned, available training for officials on the use of such 
technology, and coordination efforts with the private sector; 
and recommendations to improve public awareness of using social 
media during a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other 
man-made disaster.
    Subsection (g) of the new section sunsets the Group after 
five years unless the chairperson certifies to the Committee 
and the House Committee on Homeland Security that the purpose 
established in subsection (b) of the new section remains 
unfulfilled and the Group's continued existence is necessary to 
achieve that purpose. Such renewals would last for an 
additional five years at a time, so long as the chairperson 
continues to certify the need for the Group to Congress. The 
Committee intends for this to be a flexible but rigorous 
standard, and that the Group not continue indefinitely unless 
there is a certified need.

                   V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact

    Pursuant to the requirements of paragraph 11(b) of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee has 
considered the regulatory impact of this act and determined 
that the act will have no regulatory impact within the meaning 
of the rules. The Committee agrees with the Congressional 
Budget Office's statement that the act contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.

             VI. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                                      May 13, 2015.
Hon. Ron Johnson,
Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. 
        Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 623, the DHS 
Social Media Improvement Act of 2015.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 623--DHS Social Media Improvement Act of 2015

    H.R. 623 would direct the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) to establish a working group to provide guidance and best 
practices on the use of social media technologies, specifically 
during a terrorist attack or other emergency. The group would 
prepare guidance for the emergency preparedness and response 
community. The act would define the membership of the working 
group, which would include more than 20 experts from federal, 
state, local, and tribal governments along with nongovernmental 
organizations. The working group would be authorized to hold 
virtual meetings to fulfill the requirement to meet twice a 
year. The working group would be required to submit an annual 
report on emerging trends and best practices for emergency 
response through social media.
    Based on the cost of similar activities carried out under 
the DHS Acquisition and Accountability Efficiency Act and the 
Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement 
Act of 2013, CBO estimates that the new DHS responsibilities 
and the annual report required by H.R. 623 would cost less than 
$500,000 annually, assuming the availability of appropriated 
funds. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    H.R. 623 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

       VII. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Act, as Reported

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
H.R. 623 as reported are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                     HOMELAND SECURITY ACT OF 2002

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) * * *
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
is as follows:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Sec. 301. Under Secretary for Science and Technology
     * * * * * * *
Sec. 318. Social media working group.
     * * * * * * *

TITLE III--SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN SUPPORT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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 the dissemination of 
information through social media technologies between the 
Department and appropriate stakeholders and to improve use of 
social media technologies in support of preparedness, response, 
and recovery, the Group shall identify, and provide guidance 
and best practices to the emergency preparedness and response 
community on, the use of social media technologies before, 
during, and after a natural disaster or an act of terrorism or 
other man-made disaster.
    (c) Membership.--
          (1) In general.--Membership of the Group shall be 
        composed of a cross section of subject matter experts 
        from Federal, State, local, tribal, territorial, 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) Chairperson; co-chairperson.--
                  (A) Chairperson.--The Secretary, or a 
                designee of the Secretary, shall serve as the 
                chairperson of the Group.
                  (B) Co-chairperson.--The chairperson shall 
                designate, on a rotating basis, a 
                representative from a State or local government 
                who is a member of the Group to serve as the 
                co-chairperson of the Group.
          (3) Additional members.--The chairperson 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
                  (B) include--
                          (i) not fewer than 3 representatives 
                        from the private sector; and
                          (ii) representatives from--
                                  (I) State, local, tribal, and 
                                territorial entities, including 
                                from--
                                          (aa) law enforcement;
                                          (bb) fire services;
                                          (cc) emergency 
                                        management; and
                                          (dd) public health 
                                        entities;
                                  (II) universities and 
                                academia; and
                                  (III) nonprofit disaster 
                                relief organizations.
          (4) Term limits.--The chairperson shall establish 
        term limits for individuals appointed to the Group 
        under paragraph (3).
    (d) Consultation With Non-Members.--To the extent 
practicable, the Group shall work with entities in the public 
and private sectors to carry out subsection (b).
    (e) Meetings.--
          (1) Initial meeting.--Not later than 90 days after 
        the date of enactment of this section, the Group shall 
        hold its initial meeting.
          (2)  Subsequent meetings.--After the initial meeting 
        under paragraph (1), the Group shall meet--
                  (A) at the call of the chairperson; and
                  (B) not less frequently than twice each year.
          (3) Virtual meetings.--Each meeting of the Group may 
        be held virtually.
    (f) Reports.--During each year in which the Group meets, 
the Group shall submit to the appropriate congressional 
committees a report that includes the following:
          (1) A review and analysis of current and emerging 
        social media technologies being used to support 
        preparedness and response activities related to natural 
        disasters and acts of terrorism and other man-made 
        disasters.
          (2) A review of best practices and lessons learned on 
        the use of social media technologies during the 
        response to natural disasters and acts of terrorism and 
        other man-made disasters that occurred during the 
        period covered by the report at issue.
          (3) Recommendations to improve the Department's use 
        of social media technologies for emergency management 
        purposes.
          (4) Recommendations to improve public awareness of 
        the type of information disseminated through social 
        media technologies, and how to access such information, 
        during a natural disaster or an act of terrorism or 
        other man-made disaster.
          (5) A review of available training for Federal, 
        State, local, tribal, and territorial officials on the 
        use of social media technologies in response to a 
        natural disaster or an act of terrorism or other man-
        made disaster.
          (6) A review of coordination efforts with the private 
        sector to discuss and resolve legal, operational, 
        technical, privacy, and security concerns.
    (g) Duration of Group.--
          (1) In general.--The Group shall terminate on the 
        date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of 
        this section unless the chairperson renews the Group 
        for a successive 5-year period, prior to the date on 
        which the Group would otherwise terminate, by 
        submitting to the Committee on Homeland Security and 
        Governmental Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Homeland Security of the House of Representatives a 
        certification that the continued existence of the Group 
        is necessary to fulfill the purpose described in 
        subsection (b).
          (2) Continued renewal.--The chairperson may continue 
        to renew the Group for successive 5-year periods by 
        submitting a certification in accordance with paragraph 
        (1) prior to the date on which the Group would 
        otherwise terminate.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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