The British military has been tracking and monitoring criticism of the lockdown

Critics and skeptics of the UK’s coronavirus lockdown have been placed under government surveillance using the resources of the country’s military, according to a report on Sunday.

The Mail on Sunday reports that military operatives from Britain’s 77th ‘Information Warfare’ Brigade led the operation which targeted high-profile politicians and journalists who raised public doubts about the official response to the pandemic through their social media activities.

The report claims those monitored included public figures such as former Conservative cabinet minister and army veteran David Davis, who questioned the modeling behind the alarming death toll forecasts, as well as journalists such as Peter Hitchens and Toby Young.

They were just three of the public figures who were among the tens of thousands who protested the UK government’s lockdown policies.

Covid-19 skeptics hold placards as they gather for a ‘Unite For Freedom’ rally against Covid-19 vaccinations and government lockdown restrictions, in Parliament Square, central London, on May 29, 2021. (BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

The British military has been tracking and monitoring criticism of the lockdown

Covid-19 skeptics gather for a ‘Unite For Freedom’ rally against coronavirus vaccinations and government lockdown restrictions on May 29, 2021. (BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Their dissenting views, expressed openly online via social media, were later reported to the government and Number 10. To post further alleges:

Documents obtained by civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, and shared exclusively with this newspaper, exposed the work of government cells such as the Counter Disinformation Unit, based in the Department of Digital, Culture, media and sports, and the Rapid Response Unit at the Cabinet Office.

But the most secretive is the MoD’s 77th Brigade, which deploys “non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to tailor adversary behaviors.” According to a whistleblower who worked for the brigade during the shutdowns, the unit strayed far beyond its mandate to target foreign powers.

They said British citizens’ social media accounts were being scrutinized – a sinister activity which the Ministry of Defense has publicly repeatedly denied.

The British Army whistleblower told the newspaper: “It is quite evident that our activities have resulted in surveillance of the British population…surveillance of the social media posts of ordinary, frightened people. These messages did not contain false or coordinated information – it was simply fear.

Former cabinet minister Davis, a member of the Privy Council, told the outlet: ‘It is outrageous that people who question government policies have been subjected to secret surveillance’ – and questioned the waste of public money.

Veteran journalist Hitchens has questioned whether he’s been ‘shadowbanned’ on social media over his criticism, with his opinions effectively censored by being pushed back in online search results.

He says that “the most amazing thing about the great Covid Panic was how many attacks the state managed to make on basic freedoms without anyone really caring, let alone protesting. ”

A Downing Street source responded by saying that units of the 77th Brigade – which use both regular and reserve troops – had reduced their work considerably since the end of the closures.

Read the Sunday Mail report in full here

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