Senate Quietly Passes The "Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act"

Tyler Durden's picture

While we wait to see if and when the Senate will pass (and president will sign) Bill  "H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017", which was passed by the House at the end of November with an overwhelming majority and which seeks to crack down on websites suspected of conducting Russian propaganda and calling for the US government to "counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly,” another, perhaps even more dangerous and limiting to civil rights and freedom of speech bill passed on December 8.

Recall that as we reported in early June, "a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth has been quietly introduced in Congress. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information. Introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu, H.R. 5181 seeks a “whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions” to counter “foreign disinformation and manipulation,” which they believe threaten the world’s “security and stability.”

Also called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 (S. 2692), when introduced in March by Sen. Rob Portman, the legislation represents a dramatic return to Cold War-era government propaganda battles. “These countries spend vast sums of money on advanced broadcast and digital media capabilities, targeted campaigns, funding of foreign political movements, and other efforts to influence key audiences and populations,” Portman explained, adding that while the U.S. spends a relatively small amount on its Voice of America, the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT.

“Surprisingly,” Portman continued, “there is currently no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”  

Long before the "fake news" meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on wuch mainstream fake news portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would rask the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

* * *

Fast forward to this past Thursday, December 8, when the "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" passed in the Senate, quietly inserted inside the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.

Here is the full statement issued by the generously funded Senator Rob Portman (R- Ohio) on the passage of a bill that further chips away at press liberties in the US, and which sets the stage for future which hunts and website shutdowns, purely as a result of an accusation that any one media outlet or site is considered as a source of "disinformation and propaganda" and is shut down by the government.

Senate Passes Major Portman-Murphy Counter-Propaganda Bill as Part of NDAA

Portman/Murphy Bill Promotes Coordinated Strategy to Defend America, Allies Against Propaganda and Disinformation from Russia, China & Others

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced that their Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act – legislation designed to help American allies counter foreign government propaganda from Russia, China, and other nations – has passed the Senate as part of the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report. The bipartisan bill, which was introduced by Senators Portman and Murphy in March, will improve the ability of the United States to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation by establishing an interagency center housed at the State Department to coordinate and synchronize counter-propaganda efforts throughout the U.S. government. To support these efforts, the bill also creates a grant program for NGOs, think tanks, civil society and other experts outside government who are engaged in counter-propaganda related work. This will better leverage existing expertise and empower local communities to defend themselves from foreign manipulation.

“The passage of this bill in the Senate today takes us one critical step closer to effectively confronting the extensive, and destabilizing, foreign propaganda and disinformation operations being waged against us. While the propaganda and disinformation threat has grown, the U.S. government has been asleep at the wheel. Today we are finally signaling that enough is enough; the United States will no longer sit on the sidelines. We are going to confront this threat head-on,” said Senator Portman. “With the help of this bipartisan bill, the disinformation and propaganda used against our allies and our interests will fail.”

“Congress has taken a big step in fighting back against fake news and propaganda from countries like Russia. When the president signs this bill into law, the United States will finally have a dedicated set of tools and resources to confront our adversaries’ widespread efforts to spread false narratives that undermine democratic institutions and compromise America’s foreign policy goals,” said Murphy. “I’m proud of what Senator Portman and I accomplished here because it’s long past time for the U.S. to get off the sidelines and confront these growing threats.”

NOTE: The bipartisan Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is organized around two main priorities to help achieve the goal of combatting the constantly evolving threat of foreign disinformation. They are as follows:

  • The first priority is developing a whole-of-government strategy for countering foreign propaganda and disinformation. The bill would increase the authority, resources, and mandate of the Global Engagement Center to include state actors like Russia and China in addition to violent extremists. The Center will be led by the State Department, but with the active senior level participation of the Department of Defense, USAID, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Intelligence Community, and other relevant agencies. The Center will develop, integrate, and synchronize whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign disinformation operations and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests.
  • Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.

* * *

In other words, the Act will i) greenlight the government to crack down with impunity against any media property it deems "propaganda", and ii) provide substantial amounts of money fund an army of "local journalist" counterpropaganda, to make sure the government's own fake news drowns that of the still free "fringes."

So while packaged politely in a veneer of "countering disinformation and propaganda", the bill, once signed by Obama, will effectively give the government a full mandate to punish, shut down or otherwise prosecute, any website it deems offensive and a source of "foreign government propaganda from Russia, China or other nations." And since there is no formal way of proving whether or not there is indeed a foreign propaganda sponsor, all that will be sufficient to eliminate any "dissenting" website, will be the government's word against that of the website. One can be confident that the US government will almost certainly prevail in every single time.



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beemasters's picture

Yes, they don't have to attack all details to make their points "believable". Just adding some fallacies and irrelevant issues would help.

The Debunking of The New York Times' Debunking of Pizzagate

peddling-fiction's picture

Gotta love efficient yet deplorable fake news outlets.

mvsjcl's picture

Hmmm. They don't allow comment for that Pizzagate article in the NY Times. Pity.

SmittyinLA's picture

Fake news precludes or screens public commentary (truth defeats the purpose of propaganda).

Tarzan's picture

This is WAR in every sense of the word.  They're going too far, this is a mistake, a desperate reaction, it will be hell to pay if they deny Trump on charges of Russian propaganda.

Do they even realize what they're saying, that the People of America and Putin have sided together, against the establishment, proving DC is governing against the will of the People?

What they're saying is their propaganda isn't up to par, that they're losssing the battle for the minds of the People, and they're going to fix it by outlawing decent.

Graet idea, IDIOTS!

bonin006's picture

Jock Ewing told me that a long time ago. I didn't believe it at the time (or maybe just didn't want to hear it), but I eventually figured it out.

juangrande's picture

So what kind of Supreme Court will strike this down? 

land_of_the_few's picture

Bad laws can, and have been, repealed entirely, or amended, in the US.

"...bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible..." - Abraham Lincoln.

Uwantsun's picture

PIZZAGATE is very true and the most fascist politicians are ALL involved.

August's picture

If you don't watch TeeVee, you'll never know which brand new presription drugs are out there, targeted at your own specific symptoms, and with minimal, quite manageable, side-effects.   Just ask you doctor if they're right for you!

Lately, I've been spending about four weeks a year in the USA, and every time I come back I watch me some... television:  it is literally beyond my comprehension that huge numbers of people apparently watch this shit for five or six hours every day.  No wonder the American Republic is dead... 50% of the population is brain-damaged, with a sub-three second attention span. 

HedgeJunkie's picture

Those commercials, as I walk by what my wife is watching, have never made sense to me.

How is some ignorant  rube supposed to know if he has a persanal demand for whatever drug is being pushed?

I, for instance, am afflicted with chronic bone growth in my neck, that now makes my fingers numb, and spastic.  Imagine a coat hanger centered on the top of your sholuders, hooked somewhere in your skull.  About an inch below that last twist, everything is pain, night and day.  Doctor prescribed Vicodin for about a week, then 600 mg of ibuprophen.  800mg seems to be pretty effective if I take them at the right moment.

I was never a pill popper, but here I sit.

HedgeJunkie's picture

I've ignored MSN news since 2009.

If you're still watching, you're still brain washed.

Sorry to be such an asshole.  But that's the facts.

BabaLooey's picture



How many alphabets have Russian, Chinese and subversive PLANTS in their own shitworks?


Fuck this noise.

Congress and the shitlords of sewage have gone full retard.

DingleBarryObummer's picture

I'd rather look at my dog lick his balls than looks at brian wilson

any_mouse's picture

Why the hate for the founder of the Beach Boys?

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

You mean the former closer for the SF Giants?

bonin006's picture

I suspect he is a few letters off.

shovelhead's picture

He's thinking of 'Pet Sounds'.

jmack's picture

They will figure it out when their friends and relatives begin getting snatched off the street for things they viewed and posted online.... 



    It is coming, good and hard, you complacent fucks.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Don't worry, GOP senators backing it, are all "Trump supporters".  So...

"It's All Good".


knukles's picture

Anybody but me note some of the crazy assed manic bat shit nuts stuff like this the Establishment Republicans are tying to jam along and or talking .... Like in the Good old days of R and D BS posing as opposition, being the One Big Party, etc now retying to make Russia the .....  Oh, never mind.
The President might have to corral any number of these old fashioned Neo-Con Est. Repubs to be able to make some sense out there.....

Winston Churchill's picture

The discerning can hear the war drums beating faster.This is just part of the preamble.

spanish inquisition's picture

They are just trying to make America safe for American propaganda. No need for competing information to confuse the people about what opinion they should hold.

Mr Pink's picture

Hey, you can't keep sacrificing children if the truth is all over the interwebs

drendebe10's picture

Wutta bunch of corrupt traitorous fukn buncha turds. Fukemall

DavidC's picture

"Affect", not "effect".


Petrodollar System Beneficiary's picture

Thank you Senators:

Gillibrand, Lee, Markey, Merkley, Paul, Sanders, Wyden


thinkmoretalkless's picture

Exactly. First you remove critical thinking from the public education system so your young drones except unquestionably the crap your state run media churns out.

Bingo Hammer's picture

Dear people resident in the USA, the country in which you now reside is not a safe place to be...insanity rules, psychopaths can be observed everywhere, from your local street corner and all the way to the man who currently lives in the White ready for some possibly shocking events over the next 4-12 weeks as the 2 grand factions of alternate world order blocks face off to see who wins control.... :(     everyone on the planet will be badly effected by what happens but the US most of all...prepare, pray and brace for impact; this is going to be a hard landing


Biffkenson's picture

The MSM is the fake news.  Usually no sources just 'we say so'.

Meanwhile sites that this wants to take down give multiple citations for their stories.

Nothing more than a way to shut down sites that say things politicians don't want to hear.

sessinpo's picture

Well the probable fact is that most people won't even know of the laws existence. There are various groups such as lobbyists, watchdog or groups with other agendas that do pay attention to some legislation, but overall, most people do not. Hard to blame them. So how many laws do we have now? How many regulations? How many executive orders? Blah blah blah.  Wouldn't have to  watch these bastards so much if they were cut them down as they should be, as servants to the public instead of ruling and ruining the public. To much government with to much power.

Anyone want to tell me this type of legislation would be different under Trump? I say I doubt it.

no ice's picture

You're right.  While the sleeple park themselves in front the television dumbing themselves down with football, drinking beer and eating junk, the corrupted government gets away with these crimes.  They did it with the Dark Act-trying to hide toxins and GMOs in our food, thanks to Pompeo.  They've done it with the vaccine agenda.  They're trying to do it with our vitamins and supplements. They've done it with gun laws in various states.  They did it big time with the Patriot Act. They spray fucking chemtrails over our heads and most people don't even notice.  And, now they're trying to do it to the real news sites because their candidate lost due to people knowing the truth and discovering their satanic pedophile ring known as "Pizzagate."

Those of us who are awake will always find ways to leave the matrix, but it is also our responsibility to call out the crooks and their bogus "laws" that only serve to give them more power while suppressing our freedoms. It's also important to be an example to those who are still asleep and living a life drowning in ignorance.  There is power in numbers. 



musimann's picture

Unfortunately many still do not care. As long as they think they are free they follow the fools in Congress. The is really a sneaky way to prevent Trump from making peace with Russia. Another Obama coup.

musimann's picture

And more reveling is the fact that the Republicans are still rolling over for antichrist Obama.

FreshOutaSumfinForNufin's picture

I understand: Step one, make lies and propaganda by MSM legal. Step two, make government the source, standard, and arbiter of all truth (their own god). Step three point and yell WITCH! now whoever they called witch is a witch. Step four steal, oppress, imprison, murder, etc. with everlasting-undefeatable impunity...This is the last flickering of freedom's flame and the rise/implementation of the Beast system

HedgeAccordingly's picture

VERYYYY interesting.

SchlitzTallboy's picture

JWO keeps rolling along

Oberst-Gruppenfuhrer's picture

If anyone needed more proof that the government exists solely to thieve and deceive, I don't know what more you would need than this. 

Troy Ounce's picture


The land of the free.

No, Wait!

Squidbilly's picture
Squidbilly (not verified) Dec 10, 2016 7:21 PM

yep this is what we voted them in for, they are the problem.

rejected's picture


"we voted them in"

They are the problem?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Who voted them in?  The Uninformed and the Misinformed.

IOW, those who didn't follow the MSM and those who did.

musimann's picture

fake democracy, fake elections, fake president, fake news. Welcome to the USAA, the real evil empire. Just don't forget how free we are.

Mass_hysteria's picture
Mass_hysteria (not verified) Dec 10, 2016 7:21 PM

End times are coming, Russia is the new America.


America, is the new soviet union.


you will be sleeping on planks and eat grass in the future.


Yuri bezmenov warned you, silly you take it in the butt.