Shellenburger: U.S., UK Militaries Used 'Sophisticated PsyOps And Disinformation' On Americans During '20 Election

Shellenburger: U.S., UK Militaries Used 'Sophisticated PsyOps And Disinformation' On Americans During '20 Election

Investigative journalist Michael Shellenberger, one of several who helped expose censorship on the X platform, told a congressional committee on Thursday that there is evidence the U.S. and UK militaries were involved as well.

“None months ago, I testified and provided evidence to the subcommittee about the existence of a ‘Censorship Industrial Complex,’ a network of government agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, government contractors, and Big Tech media platforms that conspired to censor ordinary Americans and elected officials alike for holding disfavored views,” he told the House Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government. “I regret to inform the subcommittee today that the scope, power, and lawbreaking of the Censorship Industrial Complex are even worse than we had realized back in March.

“Two days ago, my colleagues and I published the first batch of internal files from the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, which show U.S. and U.K. military contractors working in 2019 and 2020 to both censor and turn sophisticated psychological operations and disinformation tactics developed abroad against the American people,” he continued.

“Many insist that all we discovered in the Twitter Files, the Facebook Files, and the CTI Files were legal activities by social media platforms to take down content that violated the terms of service,” he testified. “Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and other big tech companies are privately owned, people point out, and free to censor content. And government officials are free to point out wrong information, they argue.

“But the First Amendment prohibits the government from abridging freedom of speech, the Supreme Court has ruled the government may not ‘induce, encourage, or promote private persons to accomplish what is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.’ And there is now a large body of evidence proving that the government did precisely that,” he claimed.

What he revealed next was incredibly shocking:

What’s more, the whistleblower who delivered the CTIL Files to us says that its leader, a “former British intelligence analyst” was “in the room at the Obama White House in 2017” when she received the instructions to create a counter-disinformation project to “stop a repeat of 2016.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) has been the center of gravity for much of the censorship with the National Science Foundation financing the development of censorship and disinformation tools and other federal government agencies playing a supportive role.

Emails from CISA’s NGO and social media partners show that CISA created the election integrity partnership (EIP) in 2020, which involved the Stanford Internet Observatory and other U.S. government contractors. EIP and its successor the Virality Project urged Twitter, Facebook, and other platform to censor social media posts by ordinary citizens and elected officials alike.

EIP reported that they had a 75% response rate from the platforms and that 35% of URLs they reported were either removed, labeled, throttled, or soft-blocked.

“In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA violated the First Amendment and interfered in the election. In 2021, CISA and the White House violated the First Amendment and undermined America’s response to the Covid pandemic by demanding that Facebook and Twitter censor content that Facebook itself said was ‘often true,’ including about vaccine side-effects,” he continued.

Later, Shellenberger offered the panel some recommendations to avoid a repeat during next year’s and future elections.

“I encourage Congress to defund and dismantle the government organizations involved in censorship, that includes phasing out all funding for the National Science Foundation’s (Track F) ‘Trust & Authenticity in Communications Systems’ and its ‘Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace’ Track. I would also encourage Congress to abolish CISA in DHS,” the journalist recommended.

“I would encourage Congress to prohibit government officials from asking the platforms to remove content which the Supreme Court may or may not rule unconstitutional next year, when it decides the Missouri V. Biden case. Should the court somehow decide that the government requests for censorship are constitutional, I would urge Congress to require such requests be reported publicly instantaneously so that such censorship demands occur in pain sight,” he added.


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