Official Washington hasn’t given up on its social media control plan — RT World News

Leaked Documents Reveal ‘Paused’ ‘Disinformation Governance Council’ Is Back Online

The US Department of Homeland Security is secretly stepping up its efforts to censor and suppress information it deems dangerous – in other words, it focuses on inconvenient, but true, facts. An organization originally created to defend Americans against terrorism is now threatening free speech everywhere online – with the active help of big tech companies.

This is all revealed in leaked documents obtained by reporters Ken Klippenstein and Lee Fang. Perhaps the most disturbing stories are those that show that the highly controversial and widely condemned DHS (or “Disinformation Governance Board”) – and the grave threat it poses to free speech – has gone nowhere. .

How it started…

The body was announced to much fanfare on April 27. Government officials, pundits and mainstream journalists swooned in praise of the news, and the head of the Council, former Ukrainian government communications adviser Nina Jankowicz.

Just three weeks later, the DGB was suspended indefinitely and Jankowicz resigned. The Washington Post said the rapid turnaround was itself the result of dangerous misinformation that had been spread about the board and its boss, who it said had also been the victim of a concerted campaign of misogynistic abuse.

The truth is that many valid criticisms and concerns have been raised about the DGB and Jankowicz herself, with free speech advocates understandably concerned that the Council will serve as a state censorship unit, dictating what is true and what is not true, what citizens are allowed to think, and what sources of information should be silenced and suppressed.

Many critics equated the body with Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, as depicted in the dystopian nightmarish 1984 novel. DHS officials scoffed at such comparisons, but struggled to define what the council was. and its real purpose, as much as what it was not. In the days leading up to its closure on May 18, they frequently promised that the DGB would have no “operational authority,” that is, the power to make and enforce policy.

The 22 days of scandal surrounding the board were largely forgotten six months later, and DHS Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas officially closing the institution for good in August may have given the impression critics that the danger had been definitively overcome. The newly leaked documents indicate that a “pause” and shutdown was always a ruse, designed to dispel them.

The Council may no longer exist on paper, but all of its functions have been transferred to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, a division of DHS. And obviously among those responsibilities is controlling online content and setting rules that social media platforms, search engines, and websites must follow. Set and execute policy, in other words. So department heads who claimed otherwise were lying all along.

… and how it goes.

A report produced by the Agency’s advisory committee in June this year is among the leaked documents. He states that CISA “is well placed to play a unique and productive role in helping to meet the challenges” of “disinformation.”

Knowing that the Internet and “especially social media platforms” changed the role of “the traditional ‘gatekeepers’ in the dissemination of information” the report advises CISA to approach the “problem” of misinformation with “the entire information ecosystem in sight.” This would include patrols and regulation “Social media platforms of all sizes, mainstream media, cable news, hyper partisan media, talk radio and other online resources”, and effectively control their content.

The CISA committee included Vijaya Gadde, Twitter’s chief legal, trust and safety policy. The report shows that she played an active role in shaping CISA’s counter-disinformation activities, providing “a list of civil society groups” with which Twitter has partnered in the past, if the committee “I would like to contact other people” on its “recommendations” of disinformation.

The BBC made up a story about a

The reason why CISA would like “reach” to people about his censorship work is clear from the leaked minutes of his committee meetings throughout June. Again and again the need for “socialize existence” of the DGB’s successor, and its ‘tasks’, among NGOs, rights groups and journalists is discussed.

It’s an understatement to get the very stuff that plagued the DGB after it launched onboard with the replacement, which has a new name “so as not to confuse” the two identical bodies.

Before “give a hand” to these persons, however, a member of the committee, whose name has been redacted, “provided recommendations” on how best CISA could answer uncomfortable questions about “supervision and control” if they were questioned by their targets or the media. Vijaya Gadde from Twitter “confirmed this course of action”, and in another meeting he “recommended” that the rebranded DGB have “broad reach” in terms of the media it controls, rather than “limiting” its activities to “just social media.”

Vijaya Gadde’s contributions didn’t stop there. During numerous meetings of the CISA committee, she shared privileged information on the Twitter platform, revealing that the social network “evaluates the level of harm caused” in alleged disinformation “incidents”, and “uses a ‘three-hit system’ to de-amp bad actors.” Gadde also “recommended” that the new DGB carefully consider “how many counter-narratives” it can issue in response to individual incidents.

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As per usual

Readers will understandably be shocked that a senior social media executive is openly helping the US government destroy free speech, not just on the platform he works for, but on traditional and social media. But it’s actually normal, and it’s been going on for years.

Elsewhere in the leaked minutes, reference is made to a meeting before the 2020 U.S. presidential election that was attended by DHS attendees. Tech industry representatives included figures from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Microsoft, Verizon Media, Pinterest and Linkedln. On the government side were CISA, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

“Since 2018, the tech industry and U.S. government agencies…meet regularly” in order to “counter-information operations on the Internet”, an accompanying statement reads.

In a statement to Lee Fang and Ken Klippenstein, Twitter said: “We do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently review content in accordance with Twitter’s rules.”

That may be the case now that Vijaya Gadde has lost her job – she was one of many people fired by the social network’s new owner Elon Musk on October 28. But the same cannot be said for other social networks. There is an official portal for government officials to directly report content to Facebook or Instagram and request that it be removed or removed, and a user guide is among the leaked files.

A passage from the leaked CISA report from June states that DHS defines misinformation as “false or misleading information that is deliberately planted and/or disseminated for a strategic purpose.” It is indeed a very sick joke that the biggest fake news this year is about the Disinformation Governance Council. In particular, it would simply be an advisory body, would have no powers and would eventually be closed.

It’s possible that in light of these leaks, DHS will simply be renamed to something else and continue as before.


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