(Daily360.com) – The House Judiciary Committee has released a series of emails that show Stanford University set up a “disinformation” group and conspired with government officials to censor political viewpoints online. The joint censorship effort allegedly took place prior to the 2020 election as a means to sway public opinion.
The House panel released a 103-page report detailing the information censorship conspiracy. A group calling itself the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) coordinated with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) sub agency the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to accomplish their goals.
One email highlighted in the report is from the senior director of an EIP founding partner, The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, Graham Brookie. In the email Brookie wrote that EIP would need to coordinate weekly with CISA to “debrief about disinfo.”
The duo would then use university and government pressure to force social media companies to censor and block a variety of content ranging from jokes to opinions to true information. The ‘disinformation’ label was almost exclusively attached to Republicans and conservative voices. There were many examples of true information from conservatives being labeled as ‘misinformation’ and censored. At the same time, provably false information presented by liberal voices was left untouched and available for public consumption.
CISA’s Countering Foreign Influence Task Force, the presiding body within the agency, focused on censoring American citizens who were “engaged in core political speech” ahead of the 2020 election. Emails from the DHS show that agency personnel made it clear that they couldn’t “openly endorse” such a censorship effort and left it up to EIP to spearhead the effort.
The report includes a number of emails from different state officials informing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms that they have “flagged” certain accounts for removal. Many of the targeted accounts were parody and humor accounts taking aim at liberal politicians and causes.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security Secretary, was asked about this during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in July and said the agency no longer participates in this practice. Brandon Wales, the executive director at CISA, denied his agency had ever done it. Whistleblowers have come forward to counter Weiss’s denial. CISA was originally set up in 2018 by President Donald Trump to protect government software from hackers. Trump was among the accounts targeted as ‘misinformation’ by EIP and CISA.
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