Ladies and gentlemen, how could we have let this happen in America?
Yes, these leaked documents from the Department of Homeland Security show, per The Intercept's reporting, that Joe Biden's White House is trying to expand its censorship efforts to suppress free speech.
You know, that little thing that's right at the beginning of the Bill of Rights?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
From The Intercept:
The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.
The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new "Disinformation Governance Board": a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.
That should terrify you.
The Department of Homeland Security was created post-9/11 to protect us. Many people warned that it would ultimately be turned as a weapon on Americans themselves.
Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information.
The government actively wants to censor you.
"It's just misinformation!" a few woefully ignorant people say. "Just make sure to tell the truth!"
Ah, you mean just like the media did over the last two years?
Facts are not determined by experts, and the pandemic proved it. In order for a free society to function, each individual person must be allowed to dissent and speak without fear of reprisal.
Joe Biden and the DHS want to stop that.
I've lived in the Middle East where I could be arrested for saying things against a religion or a king. Is that the type of nation America really wants to revert to? We were supposed to be the exception, folks.
Without that freedom, we would never have gotten reports like this from ProPublica that outline the origins of Covid-19:
All signs point to the fact that the Chinese government took action against a viral lab leak in early November 2019 and warned no one until December 31st.
Instead of mobilizing people to discover this earlier, it has taken nearly 3 years to confirm. Millions of people died and our economy is crumbling because of bad decisions made in the aftermath of Chinese communist malfeasance.
Joe Biden's censorship policies would make this problem a hundred times worse.
In a March meeting, Laura Dehmlow, an FBI official, warned that the threat of subversive information on social media could undermine support for the U.S. government. Dehmlow, according to notes of the discussion attended by senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase, stressed that "we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable."
Seriously, ARE YOU TERRIFIED YET?
The federal government wants to crack down on anyone criticizing it because it might "undermine support" for the bureaucracy.
This is literally what totalitarian nations do. They haul people off to the gulags because they say they are destabilizing societies. It's why Hitler rounded up the Jews and other undesirables. It's why Stalin starved the Ukrainians and opened the Siberian camps. It's why Pol Pot murdered millions.
Stopping people from undermining the monarchy or the Empire has been the excused used for genocidal campaigns across history. Prove me wrong!
Facebook, it seems, is the worst offender:
There is also a formalized process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed through a special Facebook portal that requires a government or law enforcement email to use. At the time of writing, the "content request system" at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login is still live. DHS and Meta, the parent company of Facebook, did not respond to a request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.
I'm sure they did. They were probably too busy hauling away a mom of five at gunpoint for praying outside an abortion clinic.
DHS's mission to fight disinformation, stemming from concerns around Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, began taking shape during the 2020 election and over efforts to shape discussions around vaccine policy during the coronavirus pandemic. Documents collected by The Intercept from a variety of sources, including current officials and publicly available reports, reveal the evolution of more active measures by DHS.
According to a draft copy of DHS's Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS's capstone report outlining the department's strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target "inaccurate information" on a wide range of topics, including "the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine."
The Department of Homeland Security reports to the president. Think for a moment how unbiased they are in stopping "disinformation" in presidential elections. It's like the police reporting to the local mob boss.
How disinformation is defined by the government has not been clearly articulated, and the inherently subjective nature of what constitutes disinformation provides a broad opening for DHS officials to make politically motivated determinations about what constitutes dangerous speech.
It will never be clearly articulated. Unlike the Constitution, which gives the federal government very limited power, the bureaucracy paints itself power with broad strokes. The precedent set today will be used to take another freedom in the future.
DHS justifies these goals — which have expanded far beyond its original purview on foreign threats to encompass disinformation originating domestically — by claiming that terrorist threats can be "exacerbated by misinformation and disinformation spread online." But the laudable goal of protecting Americans from danger has often been used to conceal political maneuvering. In 2004, for instance, DHS officials faced pressure from the George W. Bush administration to heighten the national threat level for terrorism, in a bid to influence voters prior to the election, according to former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge. U.S. officials have routinely lied about an array of issues, from the causes of its wars in Vietnam and Iraq to their more recent obfuscation around the role of the National Institutes of Health in funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology's coronavirus research.
To any lefties reading this: Do you really think giving the man in power the ability to silence people he doesn't like is going to help maintain freedom, safety, tolerance, or truth? Have you even read a history book??
And yet there are many people out there stumping for Joe Biden's efforts to completely destroy liberty. It's unreal.
That track record has not prevented the U.S. government from seeking to become arbiters of what constitutes false or dangerous information on inherently political topics.
The Intercept then uses Ron DeSantis' attempts to get racism out of the workplace as an example because of course.
The government is going to espouse a worldview with a certain set of objective principles outlining good and evil. There can be no such thing as justice, after all, unless there is a compass that denotes what is right and wrong in society.
The problem is not that the government often dictates what is acceptable, it's that the government says that criticism of the government or its policies is unacceptable.
The extent to which the DHS initiatives affect Americans' daily social feeds is unclear. During the 2020 election, the government flagged numerous posts as suspicious, many of which were then taken down, documents cited in the Missouri attorney general's lawsuit disclosed. And a 2021 report by the Election Integrity Partnership at Stanford University found that of nearly 4,800 flagged items, technology platforms took action on 35 percent — either removing, labeling, or soft-blocking speech, meaning the users were only able to view content after bypassing a warning screen. The research was done "in consultation with CISA," the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Prior to the 2020 election, tech companies including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Discord, Wikipedia, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Verizon Media met on a monthly basis with the FBI, CISA, and other government representatives. According to NBC News, the meetings were part of an initiative, still ongoing, between the private sector and government to discuss how firms would handle misinformation during the election.
Hmm... a partnership between government and the private sector to monopolize power and censor the freedom and speech of opposing views...
We used to have a word for that...
I mean, heck, we even had a Jason Bourne movie a few years ago where government agent Tommy Lee Jones used a partnership with a tech platform to allow federal authorities to spy on and control people.
From the Wiki entry about Tommy Lee Jones' character, Dewey:
Dewey is scheduled to attend the convention for a public debate on privacy rights with Aaron Kalloor, CEO of social media giant Deep Dream. Kalloor is the public face of corporate social responsibility in the Internet age, but he was secretly funded by Dewey in the startup stage. Dewey intends to use Deep Dream for real-time mass surveillance alongside the latest incarnation of the CIA's targeted assassination "Beta" program, known as "Iron Hand", a much more ruthless and sinister version of Blackbriar in which the assassin can intentionally murder anyone to get to the target.
Spooky, ain't it?
But even the writers of that movie didn't think the three-letter agencies would be mobilized against regular Americans!!
Back to our somehow-more-disturbing real life:
The stepped up counter-disinformation effort began in 2018 following high-profile hacking incidents of U.S. firms, when Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act, forming a new wing of DHS devoted to protecting critical national infrastructure. An August 2022 report by the DHS Office of Inspector General sketches the rapidly accelerating move toward policing disinformation.
Yeah, that's right, folks. I remember people criticizing Trump at the time for this. He made the Swamp even bigger with this one.
From the outset, CISA boasted of an "evolved mission" to monitor social media discussions while "routing disinformation concerns" to private sector platforms.
In 2018, then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen created the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force to respond to election disinformation. The task force, which included members of CISA as well as its Office of Intelligence and Analysis, generated "threat intelligence" about the election and notified social media platforms and law enforcement. At the same time, DHS began notifying social media companies about voting-related disinformation appearing on social platforms.
In 2019, DHS created a separate entity called the Foreign Influence and Interference Branch to generate more detailed intelligence about disinformation, the inspector general report shows. That year, its staff grew to include 15 full- and part-time staff dedicated to disinformation analysis. In 2020, the disinformation focus expanded to include Covid-19, according to a Homeland Threat Assessment issued by Acting Secretary Chad Wolf.
In the 2020 election, this new entity got to stretch its wings, and it's been downhill ever since...
Particularly because this set the stage for a totalitarian's dream.
Check out what's happened under Biden:
Under President Joe Biden, the shifting focus on disinformation has continued. In January 2021, CISA replaced the Countering Foreign Influence Task force with the "Misinformation, Disinformation and Malinformation" team, which was created "to promote more flexibility to focus on general MDM." By now, the scope of the effort had expanded beyond disinformation produced by foreign governments to include domestic versions. The MDM team, according to one CISA official quoted in the IG report, "counters all types of disinformation, to be responsive to current events."
Jen Easterly, Biden's appointed director of CISA, swiftly made it clear that she would continue to shift resources in the agency to combat the spread of dangerous forms of information on social media. "One could argue we're in the business of critical infrastructure, and the most critical infrastructure is our cognitive infrastructure, so building that resilience to misinformation and disinformation, I think, is incredibly important," said Easterly, speaking at a conference in November 2021.
CISA's goal is "to make platforms more responsive to their suggestions."
And its working.
That is, until a certain Elon Musk bought Twitter.
See, one of the first things Elon did was to fire Twitter's legal head, Vijaya Gadde, a woman who was responsible for banning Trump from the platform.
Gadde serves on the CISA Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, the main subcommittee that handles disinformation policy at CISA, because of course.
Now you know why Gadde was casting shade at Elon before he fired her:
In June, the same DHS advisory committee of CISA — which includes Twitter head of legal policy, trust, and safety Vijaya Gadde and University of Washington professor Kate Starbird — drafted a report to the CISA director calling for an expansive role for the agency in shaping the "information ecosystem." The report called on the agency to closely monitor "social media platforms of all sizes, mainstream media, cable news, hyper partisan media, talk radio and other online resources." They argued that the agency needed to take steps to halt the "spread of false and misleading information," with a focus on information that undermines "key democratic institutions, such as the courts, or by other sectors such as the financial system, or public health measures."
To accomplish these broad goals, the report said, CISA should invest in external research to evaluate the "efficacy of interventions," specifically with research looking at how alleged disinformation can be countered and how quickly messages spread. Geoff Hale, the director of the Election Security Initiative at CISA, recommended the use of third-party information-sharing nonprofits as a "clearing house for trust information to avoid the appearance of government propaganda."
Do you see where this is all going?
A vast bureaucracy that controls all thoughtcrime and uses media to tell you that 2+2=5 and we've always been at war with Eastasia?
I remember when Bush was president and all my liberal friends were singing the praises of V for Vendetta, where a repressive government uses a virus to seize freedom from its citizens.
Those liberals were so outspoken against government corruption back then. Where are they now?
DHS eventually scrapped the Disinformation Governance Board in August. While free speech advocates cheered the dissolution of the board, other government efforts to root out disinformation have not only continued but expanded to encompass additional DHS sub-agencies like Customs and Border Protection, which "determines whether information about the component spread through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is accurate." Other agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Science and Technology Directorate (whose responsibilities include "determining whether social media accounts were bots or humans and how the mayhem caused by bots affects behavior"), and the Secret Service have also expanded their purview to include disinformation, according to the inspector general report.
The draft copy of DHS's 2022 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review reviewed by The Intercept also confirms that DHS views the issue of tackling disinformation and misinformation as a growing portion of its core duties.
Again, big V for Vendetta vibes. The government wants to stamp out any bad PR so we are dependent on it.
Last year, the Biden administration released the first National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism. The strategy identified a "broader priority: enhancing faith in government and addressing the extreme polarization, fueled by a crisis of disinformation and misinformation often channeled through social media platforms, which can tear Americans apart and lead some to violence."
I'm gonna go watch The Patriot after I'm done writing this to distract me from the fact that publishing this article makes me a target of my own government...
And as a reminder of what happened the last time government told Americans it needed to oppress them for their own good.
This article also explains why the Hunter Biden laptop coverup was such a big deal:
Much of the public ignored the reporting or assumed it was false, as over 50 former intelligence officials charged that the laptop story was a creation of a "Russian disinformation" campaign. The mainstream media was primed by allegations of election interference in 2016 — and, to be sure, Trump did attempt to use the laptop to disrupt the Biden campaign. Twitter ended up banning links to the New York Post's report on the contents of the laptop during the crucial weeks leading up to the election. Facebook also throttled users' ability to view the story.
In recent months, a clearer picture of the government's influence has emerged.
In an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast in August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook had limited sharing of the New York Post's reporting after a conversation with the FBI. "The background here is that the FBI came to us — some folks on our team — and was like, ‘Hey, just so you know, you should be on high alert that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election,'" Zuckerberg told Rogan. The FBI told them, Zuckerberg said, that "‘We have it on notice that basically there's about to be some kind of dump.'" When the Post's story came out in October 2020, Facebook thought it "fit that pattern" the FBI had told them to look out for.
Zuckerberg said he regretted the decision, as did Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter at the time. Despite claims that the laptop's contents were forged, the Washington Post confirmed that at least some of the emails on the laptop were authentic. The New York Times authenticated emails from the laptop — many of which were cited in the original New York Post reporting from October 2020 — that prosecutors have examined as part of the Justice Department's probe into whether the president's son violated the law on a range of issues, including money laundering, tax-related offenses, and foreign lobbying registration.
The government did a good job of protecting their favored candidate, didn't they?
(And that's exactly how these programs will work every time, folks.)
According to records filed in federal court, two previously unnamed FBI agents — Elvis Chan, an FBI special agent in the San Francisco field office, and Dehmlow, the section chief of the FBI's Foreign Influence Task Force — were involved in high-level communications that allegedly "led to Facebook's suppression" of the Post's reporting.
It's all being weaponized against We The People.
And they want to double down to get even more power.
"If a foreign authoritarian government sent these messages," noted Nadine Strossen, the former president of the American Civil Liberties Union, "there is no doubt we would call it censorship."
It makes you think: If former ACLU presidents are noting that our government looks like an authoritarian regime, are we even living in a free country anymore?
And yet, Joe Biden still took an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.