A new 36-page report has just hit Joe Biden’s desk. And now the entire White House is panicking.
Because the Biden administration has been accused of election interference and collusion.
Lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives alleged on Monday that the Biden Administration was working in collusion with Big Tech to restrict free expression through government-funded third parties.
According to an interim staff report released by the House Weaponization Subcommittee, President Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allegedly used the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to monitor and censor American political discourse on social media in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 midterms.
According to the report’s authors, “CISA must be reined in, as must the Biden Administration’s ‘whole-of-government’ approach to social media censorship.”
“Every American has the right to express his or her opinion online, and to receive information from others. Government classifications of opinions as ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ do not nullify the First Amendment’s guarantees.”
The subcommittee report follows on the heels of the Twitter Files and other reports that have similarly accused the US government of pressuring and coordinating with Big Tech to silence certain viewpoints from American citizens, most notably those who questioned information about pandemics or the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
Documents obtained by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and other legislators show how CISA shifted its focus from protecting critical infrastructure and cybersecurity threats to conducting domestic surveillance and operations to censor political speech on social media.
Trump’s signature on the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act of 2018 established the agency.
Since its inception, the subcommittee has found that CISA “routinely” collaborated with Big Tech and state-funded third parties by reporting social media posts that supposedly spread “disinformation” in 2020, lending credence to the claims made by Twitter Files journalists Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and others.
The report claims that the agency used its ties to Big Tech and government-funded NGOs to engage in “censorship by proxy,” effectively evading the First Amendment’s protection against governmental censorship. One method was for the government to set up reporting “portals” via which citizens could report what it labeled “misinformation” on various social media sites.
Associate Professor Kate Starbird, co-founder of the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, was a member of the “mis, dis, and malformation” (MDM) team that CISA established in 2021 but has since disbanded, along with former Chief Legal Officer of Twitter Vijaya Gadd and former Assistant General Counsel and Legal Adviser for the CIA Suzanne Spaulding.
According to the subcommittee’s findings, then-incoming President Biden shifted the agency’s priorities to place a greater emphasis on the newly created team’s efforts to counter domestic sources of influence. Later that year, the subcommittee claimed that CISA was trying to “camouflage its activities, duplicitously claiming it serves a purely ‘informational’ role.”
The report also details several other allegations made against the DHS division, such as the consideration of creating and deploying a physical “anti-misinformation rapid response team” to local election officials’ jurisdictions across the country who were “struggling with specific information threats.”
Election Security Initiative Director at CISA Geoff Hale found the concept “fascinating,” as reported in the study.
However, the committee claimed that CISA’s purported cover-up of unconstitutional acts by erasing evidence of wrongdoing and concealing it from the American public was the most damaging aspect of CISA’s censorship operations.
During April and May of 2022, the Biden administration sought to organize the “Disinformation Governance Board,” which was later disbanded due to widespread public outcry. Immediately following the shutdown, the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana filed a lawsuit against the president’s administration, disclosing White House efforts to censor vaccine-skeptical posts on social media.
It was claimed by legislators that minutes from the MDM Subcommittee’s meetings at the time “demonstrate that its members and CISA were fully aware of these developments and discussed how CISA could outsource its MDM-related activities to third parties to bypass the First Amendment and ‘avoid the appearance of government propaganda.'”
A former CIA legal advisor and current member of the MDM Subcommittee, Suzanne Spaulding, is quoted in the paper as saying, “only a matter of time before someone realizes we exist and starts asking about our work.”
In order to have a “mouthpiece,” CISA contracted with the non-profit organization The Center for Internet Security (CIS). Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center at CIS was funded by the government to the tune of $27 million in FY 2024, according to the report.
To further shield itself from public scrutiny, CISA removed any online mentions of its domestic monitoring and censorship operations.
Stay tuned to the Federalist Wire.