The law is being used to punish businesses that don’t comply with laws like privacy rules and digital rights.
Murphy’s Law, introduced by former US senator Ron Wyden, aims to force businesses to get users’ permission before they share data with advertisers.
Businesses are being told they have to get permission from users before using that data, but privacy experts argue that the law is also used to silence criticism of companies and deter whistleblowers.
Its a sad day when you’re a journalist and you’re covering a story, and you find that you have to go back and get permission before you publish a story because you didn’t get permission first, said Adam Giambrone, a researcher at the Washington, DC-based non-profit digital rights group Free Press.
“We need to be able to be free to do what we do and that includes reporting and making decisions about what information to publish and who we publish it with,” he told the BBC.
The law is still in its infancy, but in the past week it has been used to stifle dissent against companies, including Google, Twitter and Facebook, who have faced backlash over their privacy practices.
Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, resigned after it emerged that he had shared the personal information of more than 400 million users without their permission.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to apologize after the US Government alleged that the social network’s users had been spied on by the NSA.
In Australia, the Government has announced plans to introduce a new law to make it easier to access digital content.
This article originally appeared on TechRadars website.