The United States government has been exposed as a censorship operation against the United States Constitution. The federal government has been contracting with outside actors to censor the political views of American citizens, particularly conservative Americans, according to a new investigation by The Federalist.
According to the report, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) used a covert corporation run by a former intelligence official to fund and promote conservative media blacklisting and other censorship efforts.
This censorship industrial complex was exposed when Elon Musk granted a group of independent journalists access to Twitter’s internal communications, resulting in the “Twitter Files.” Among the federal actors identified was the State Department’s GEC, which went beyond influencing tech giants to censor unfavorable viewpoints.
The GEC not only provided funding for the development of censorship tools, but also used government employees as sales representatives to pitch these products to Big Tech. Further investigation has revealed that the GEC used one or more for-profit companies to spearhead four separate censorship initiatives, with contractors sometimes performing “inherently governmental functions.”
The following GEC chart provides “a simple summary of the Technology Engagement Team (TET) initiatives,” the report said, “but Disinfo Cloud provides the best entry point to understand GEC’s other activities” .
The Global Engagement Center (GEC), as stated on its website, has a platform called Disinfo Cloud that serves as a repository of cataloging tools and technologies aimed at countering propaganda and disinformation (CPD). Initially limited to “.mil and .gov” users, access to the Disinfo Cloud was later expanded to include the private sector.
Under its “Silicon Valley Engagement” initiative, the GEC actively encouraged social media companies to join Disinfo Cloud, which helps users identify technologies for speech censorship. This raises significant First Amendment concerns, as the details of Disinfo Cloud’s operations and funding remain opaque, but it is clear that US tax dollars were used to develop and maintain the platform.
A State Department spokesman previously said an outside group called Park Advisors was tasked with managing Disinfo Cloud, with roughly $300,000 awarded to the group for that purpose. Christina Nemr, a former State Department employee who played a role in founding the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program, served as director of Park Advisors and administrator of Disinfo Cloud.
The series of technology demonstrations, which was promoted by the government, claimed to show “promising technologies to combat propaganda and disinformation”. However, the fact that Disinfo Cloud, a platform run by the government’s Global Engagement Center, highlighted the series of technology demonstrations raises questions about whether these censorship technology demonstrations were open to non-government groups, including Big Tech, and made an infomercial. like quality
The GEC website indicates that the intended audience for the Tech Demo Series virtual demonstrations consists of US government counterparts and foreign partners, leaving it unclear whether and if the censorship technology was marketed to outside entities. , in wich way. The roles of Disinfo Cloud and the GEC in hosting the tech demo series are also unclear.
Danny Rogers, the initiative’s US partner, noted in the team’s presentation that “more than a dozen ad tech companies,” covering “20 different media markets,” used the technology of GDI, the report adds. This technology succeeded in “reducing the number of ad choices” by more than half, “redirecting millions of dollars away from misinformation vendors and toward quality journalism,” Rogers boasted.
Significantly, after learning that GEC had selected the Global Misinformation Index as one of the winners of the US-Paris challenge, Rogers UK partner Clare Melford explained that the award, in addition to allowing GDI increase its “language coverage capacity”. It would also allow GDI to expand its risk assessments in video news and strengthen the infrastructure “that underpins all of GDI’s activities … so that the ad technology base can give advertisers the opportunity to choose what their ads are.” , the report notes.
“In other words, our government paid for the infrastructure of the GDI rating system that resulted in the blacklisting of the conservative media: a total of $100,000 in US tax dollars, funneled by the GEC to the Global Misinformation Index through Park Advisors,” the report said. .
“While Disinfo Cloud was a GEC initiative, it appears that Park Advisors and Nemr controlled the platform at DisinfoCloud.com, which has since been shut down,” the report noted.
According to the State Department website, as this report adds, the US agencies that used the Disinfo cloud were: the Census Bureau, the US Congress, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. , Office of Global Affairs, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of the Treasury, United States Agency for Global Media, and the US Department of Agriculture.
Foreign governments that used the Disinfo cloud were: the Australian government, the Estonian government, the European Union and the UK government.
As the Federalist report notes, the Disinfo Cloud Twitter account also promoted Disinfo Digest and the Tech Demo Series. The account also amplified the marketing of private censorship tools and companies, such as the unreliable media rating organizations Global Disinformation Index and NewsGuard.
The Federalist raises the question of Newsguard’s dubious track record. Notably, Newsguard has attacked Becker News for its editorial content, which has been repeatedly validated by subsequent reporting. Newsguard’s opinionated and baseless attacks on Becker News have resulted in disruption of the site’s advertising capabilities, including with Google News.
“One of the winners of this challenge was the irresponsible and untrustworthy company NewsGuard,” states The Federalist. “Like GDI, NewsGuard also defends left-wing outlets that peddled the Russian collusion hoax and falsely framed the Hunter Biden laptop as Russian disinformation, while calling the media unreliable conservatives like The Federalist.”
As noted before, Newsguard explicitly partners with the US Department of Defense and the US State Department. It is openly and explicitly acting as an arm of the federal government to unconstitutionally silence dissent, especially against political enemies of the Democratic Party.
This one is pretty blatant. In fact, it has partnerships with the US Department of State and the US Department of Defense. I have no idea how his behavior can be considered constitutional. He should be sued for maliciously depriving Americans of their rights.https://t.co/vSEC5iQuUF pic.twitter.com/6joLd8sxF9
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) May 3, 2022
The federal government has hired at least five private companies or public nonprofits to “brand” Americans’ opinions on everything from Covid-19 to the 2020 election.
In an editorial in Just the News, John Solomon and Greg Piper reported on four such groups, but the report suggests that the radical left’s operation to silence free speech is only the tip of the iceberg. iceberg
“A consortium of four private groups worked with the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State to censor a large number of social media posts they deemed disinformation during the 2020 election, and their members were rewarded with millions of federal dollars from the Biden administration later, according to interviews and documents obtained by Just the News.”
“The Partnership for Election Integrity is back in action for the 2022 midterm elections, raising concerns among civil libertarians that a creepy new form of public-private partnership to circumvent the ban on government censorship of the First Amendment may expand,” the report states.
“The consortium consists of four member organizations: the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and the social media analytics firm Graphika “, the article adds. “In 2020, it established a concierge-like service that allowed federal agencies such as the Homeland Security Agency’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the State’s Global Compliance Center to submit ‘tickets’ alone. bidding Big Tech censor or flag links to online stories and social media posts.”.
“Three liberal groups, the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP, were also empowered as federal agencies to file motions seeking censorship of content,” the article continues. “A collaboration funded by Patria, the Center for Analysis and Exchange of Information on the Electoral Infrastructure, also had access.”
It should be noted that the US Constitution not only guarantees the right of Americans to freedom of speech, but the right to freely consume information in the marketplace of ideas. As the Liberty Center’s Harmeet Dhillon explains in an article on Fox News, this coordination between the state and private entities to regulate political speech is blatantly unconstitutional.
“In 2019, the Supreme Court reasoned that ‘a private entity may qualify as a state actor,’ subject to First Amendment protections, in three circumstances,” Dhillon noted, citing three cases.
“When the private entity performs a traditional and exclusive public function,” see Jackson v. Metropolitan Edison Co. (1974); “When the government forces the private entity to take a particular action”, see Blum v. Yaretsky, (1982); or *“When the government acts together with the private entity”. See Lugar v. Edmondson Oil Co. (1982).
Dhillon also pointed to the case filed by the Liberty Center, O’Handley v. Padilla, who addresses California’s coordination with Big Tech to censor criticism in the 2020 election.
“In both cases, the government is working with and directing the proxies of the social media platforms to remove expression from users who would clearly enjoy First Amendment protection if the government sought to censor it directly. This joint action impinges with established SCOTUS precedent,” Dhillon notes.
The US government is violating the constitutional rights of Americans in states across the country. Organizations that act as arms of this tyrannical regime should be sued for damages; even if this requires a class action.
Congress should also pass legislation that explicitly prohibits the federal government from participating in America’s marketplace of ideas. Ideally, the law would make it illegal for federal employees of any agency to engage in covert intelligence operations designed to influence and manipulate public opinion. This would include censorship of constitutionally protected political opinions.
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OPINION: This article contains comments that reflect the opinion of the author.