Big Brother is literally watching you.
Did anyone believe the Department of Homeland Security would stop after it disbanded the “Disinformation Governance Board” that would have police disinformation?
Of course, they found a way around it. The Intercept received documents and emails that “illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.”
But The Intercept could not find a concrete definition of disinformation from DHS.
1984: “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
DHS officials have tried to pressure big tech to bend the knee (emphasis mine):
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.
“Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain,” a DHS official texted a representative from Microsoft in February.
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.”
FBI agent Laura Dehmlow was in communications w Facebook that led to the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 over the false allegation that it was “disinfo.” This year, she met w/ Twitter/DHS to stress “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” pic.twitter.com/17LqhEyMN0
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 31, 2022
DHS officials have their own “special Facebook portal” so they can “flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be throttled or suppressed.”
No wonder my meme posts get flagged all the time. I figured Big Brother was always watching but dang. 1984 is truly real life.
Also, the government is a pro of the saying, “Give them an inch, they’ll go a mile.”
President Donald Trump’s DHS formed the wing Countering Foreign Influence Task Force:
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 [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] 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.
But the whole disinformation hype went up in the 2020 election. The DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security report explains the “department’s strategy and priorities in the coming years.”
These items include “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 officials admit that they want to target “marginalized communities” because they think those people “are often the targets of false or misleading information, such as false information on voting procedures targeting people of color.”
The Intercept brought up Hunter Biden’s laptop, which Mark Zuckerberg admitted the FBI and other officials came to him about potential Russian propaganda coming to light. So Facebook and Twitter suppressed the story (emphasis mine):
Documents filed in federal court as part of a lawsuit by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana add a layer of new detail to Zuckerberg’s anecdote, revealing that officials leading the push to expand the government’s reach into disinformation also played a quiet role in shaping the decisions of social media giants around the New York Post story.
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.
But the FBI and DHS also went after obvious dummy and parody accounts, too:
During the 2020 election, the Department of Homeland Security, in an email to an official at Twitter, forwarded information about a potential threat to critical U.S. infrastructure, citing FBI warnings, in this case about an account that could imperil election system integrity.
The Twitter user in question had 56 followers, along with a bio that read “dm us your weed store locations (hoes be mad, but this is a parody account),” under a banner image of Blucifer, the 32-foot-tall demonic horse sculpture featured at the entrance of the Denver International Airport.
“We are not sure if there’s any action that can be taken, but we wanted to flag them for consideration,” wrote a state official on the email thread, forwarding on other examples of accounts that could be confused with official government entities. The Twitter representative responded: “We will escalate. Thank you.”
Each email in the chain carried a disclaimer that the agency “neither has nor seeks the ability to remove or edit what information is made available on social media platforms.”
Of course, all of this has gone off the charts in Biden’s administration (emphasis mine):
Biden also prioritized such efforts. 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.”
“We are working with like-minded governments, civil society, and the technology sector to address terrorist and violent extremist content online, including through innovative research collaborations,” the strategy document continued, adding that the administration was “addressing the crisis of disinformation and misinformation, often channeled through social and other media platforms, that can fuel extreme polarization and lead some individuals to violence.”
Last year, a top FBI counterterrorism official came under fire when she falsely denied to Congress that the FBI monitors Americans’ social media and had therefore missed threats leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. In fact, the FBI has spent millions of dollars on social media tracking software like Babel X and Dataminr. According to the bureau’s official guidelines, authorized activities include “proactively surfing the Internet to find publicly accessible websites and services through which recruitment by terrorist organizations and promotion of terrorist crimes is openly taking place.”
Former ACLU president Nadine Strossen is correct: “If a foreign authoritarian government sent these messages, there is no doubt we would call it censorship.”
I wonder if the ACLU will do or say anything.
The government uses terrorism to justify its actions. Always. It’s always terrorism and hiding true intentions with wars and now viruses:
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.
How about this from 1984: “At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration.”DONATE
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