Free internet? the movements of censorship

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly expanding its efforts to restrict any speech it deems dangerous, according to a research from The Intercept.

Years of leaked internal DHS memos, emails and documents demonstrate a widespread effort by the agency to influence technology platforms.

dhs

The project, much of which remains unknown to the American public, emerged more clearly earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Council”: a panel designed to police misinformation. , disinformation (disinformation, false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (true information shared, usually out of context, with harmful intent) allegedly threatening US interests.

When the board was widely ridiculed, they went out of business within months. But there are other initiatives underway as DHS turns to social media monitoring now that its original mandate — the war on terror — appears to have ended.

Behind closed doors and through pressure on private platforms, the US government has used its power to try to shape online discourse.

According to meeting minutes and other records attached to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, it appears that discussions ranged from the scale and scope of government interference in online dialogue as a mechanism for streamlining requests to delete false or intentionally misleading information.

At the moment there is even a formal process for government officials to directly flag content on Facebook or Instagram and request that it be restricted or hidden through a special Facebook portal.

At the time of writing this post, the “content request system” at facebook.com/xtakedowns/login it is still active.

Here are the key takeaways from the Survey:

  • Although DHS has shut down the controversial Disinformation Governance Council, a strategy document reveals another bright idea is in the works.
  • DHS plans to target inaccurate information about "the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support for Ukraine."
  • Facebook has created a dedicated portal for DHS and government partners to report misinformation directly.
  • The project is primarily carried out by CISA, a sub-agency of DHS charged with protecting the nation's critical infrastructure.
  • DHS, the FBI, and several media outlets hold meetings every two weeks.
  • DHS considered combating disinformation related to content that undermines trust in financial systems and the courts.
  • The FBI agent who pushed social media platforms to take down the Hunter Biden laptop story has continued to play a role in the DHS policy debate.

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Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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