This is a government at war against its own people.
The Defunct Disinformation Governance Board Sought to Censor Opposing Views on Racial Justice, the Afghan Withdrawal and Other Political Subjects
By: Jonathan Turley, September 24, 2023:
We previously discussed the defunct Disinformation Governance Board and its controversial head Nina Jankowicz. After the outcry over the program, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas finally relented and disbanded the board while insisting that it was never about censoring opposing views. Jankowicz has sued over the portrayal of her views. Now, Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) has exposed just how broad the scope of the censorship efforts were under the board in combatting “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation (MDM). This range of authority in what the agency called the “MDM space,” included targeting views on racial justice and the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
New documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests show that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) argued that the agency could regulate speech related to “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” as well as “irregular immigration.”Those subjects stretch across much of the “space” used for political speech in the last few years.
Notably, within DHS, Jen Easterly, who heads the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, extended her agency’s mandate over critical infrastructure to include “our cognitive infrastructure.” The resulting censorship efforts included combating “malinformation” – described as information “based on fact, but used out of context to mislead, harm, or manipulate.” I testified earlier on this effort.
So DHS asserted the authority to target viewpoints on racial justice, Ukraine, and other political subjects, including views based on fact but viewed as misleading in context.
What is also troubling is the continued effort to conceal these censorship activities. Homeland redacted much of this information on a now defunct board under FOIA Exemption 7(E), which protects “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations.” That claim is itself chilling.
After the demise of the board, National Public Radio ran an interview entitled “How DHS’s disinformation board fell victim to misinformation.”
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