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FBI Confirms It’s Restarting Online Censorship Efforts Ahead Of 2024 Election

The FBI has resumed collusive efforts with social media companies to censor posts it claims are “disinformation,” The Federalist has learned.

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On Monday, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters that federal agencies such as the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) restarted discussions with Big Tech platforms. According to NextGov/FCW, this coordination will focus on “removing disinformation on their sites as the November presidential election nears.” Warner claimed these talks resumed in March, around the same time oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri — which centers on the feds’ censorship efforts — were heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.

When pressed on the validity of Warner’s remarks, an FBI representative confirmed to The Federalist that the agency has resumed communications with social media companies ahead of the 2024 election.

“The FBI remains committed to combatting foreign malign influence operations, including in connection with our elections. That effort includes sharing specific foreign threat information with state and local election officials and private sector companies when appropriate and rigorously consistent with the law,” the representative claimed. “In coordination with the Department of Justice, the FBI recently implemented procedures to facilitate sharing information about foreign malign influence with social media companies in a way that reinforces that private companies are free to decide on their own whether and how to take action on that information.”

CISA External Affairs Specialist Tess Hyre declined The Federalist’s request for comment on whether the agency has resumed discussions with social media companies to combat what it claims to be “disinformation,” but she said that CISA Director Jen Easterly will be participating in an “Election Security” hearing in “the coming weeks.”

Neither the FBI nor CISA responded when pressed on when they restarted communications with social media companies on efforts to remove posts containing so-called “disinformation” from their platforms. The FBI and CISA did not identify the specific companies they’re working with on such efforts. Neither agency provided an answer when questioned on how they determine what constitutes “disinformation” or what other federal agencies they are collaborating with in these efforts to have “disinformation” removed from social media platforms.

The issue of government-compelled censorship is front and center in Murthy v. Missouri, a case before SCOTUS focused on allegations from Missouri and Louisiana that the federal government’s pressuring of social media companies to censor free speech online constitutes a violation of the First Amendment. U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction in July 2023 barring federal agencies from colluding with Big Tech to censor posts they don’t like. In his ruling, Doughty wrote, “If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”

[READ: 12 Times The Biden White House Colluded With Big Tech To Throttle Free Speech, According To Missouri v. Biden]

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently upheld Doughty’s injunction in September. While the initial ruling did not pertain to CISA — often referred to by its critics as the “nerve center” of the federal government’s censorship operations — the court later issued a corrected ruling to prevent CISA from colluding with Big Tech to squash free speech online. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, lifted the Fifth Circuit’s injunction in October, effectively allowing the federal government’s censorship operations to resume while it considered the merits of the case.

SCOTUS is expected to issue a final ruling on the merits of Murthy v. Missouri this summer.

[READ: 8 Shocking Takeaways From Landmark Murthy v. Missouri Censorship Case]

Largely ignored by legacy media, the collusion between the federal government and Big Tech to silence online speech the feds do not approve of is extensive and unprecedented. For example, the Biden administration pressured social media companies to censor Covid-related posts they deemed to be “misinformation” shortly after coming into power, even if such posts contained information that is factually true.

Emails unearthed in Murthy v. Missouri indicate health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held regular “misinfo/debunking meeting[s]” with Facebook to discuss the latter’s censorship efforts.

But these efforts are just one facet of the government’s censorship operations. CISA regularly facilitated meetings “between Big Tech companies, and national security and law enforcement agencies to address ‘mis-, dis-, and mal-information’ on social media platforms.”

Leading up to the 2020 election, for instance, the agency upped its censorship efforts by flagging posts for Big Tech companies it claimed were worthy of being censored, some of which called into question the security of voting practices such as mass, unsupervised mail-in voting. This was done despite CISA privately acknowledging the risks associated with such practices.

Neither the FBI nor CISA responded to The Federalist’s request for comment on whether social media posts highlighting the risks of mail-in voting would be flagged as “disinformation.”

An interim report released by House Republicans in November revealed that CISA’s censorship enterprise was more extensive than previously known. According to that analysis, CISA — along with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) — colluded with Stanford University to pressure Big Tech companies into censoring what they claimed to be “disinformation” during the 2020 election.

At the heart of this operation was the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), “a consortium of ‘disinformation’ academics” spearheaded by the Stanford Internet Observatory that coordinated with DHS and GEC “to monitor and censor Americans’ online speech” ahead of the 2020 contest.

Created “at the request” of CISA, EIP allowed federal officials to “launder [their] censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.” As documented in the interim report, this operation attempted to censor “true information, jokes and satire, and political opinions” and submitted flagged posts from prominent conservative figures to Big Tech companies for censorship. Among those targeted were The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and Sean Davis.

The feds also played a significant role in pressuring social media companies to censor the New York Post’s bombshell report on the Biden family business dealings ahead of the 2020 election.


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