In August, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted on the Joe Rogan podcast that the FBI approached the company warning of "Russian propaganda" shortly before the Hunter Biden laptop story broke at the NY Post.
"Basically, the background here is the FBI, I think, basically came to us- some folks on our team and was like, 'Hey, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert… We thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that, basically, there's about to be some kind of dump of that's similar to that. So just be vigilant," Zuckerberg told Rogan.
Mark Zuckerberg tells Joe Rogan that the FBI reached out to Facebook to put them on notice that the Hunter Biden’s laptop story was similar to the previous Russian Propaganda and to be on high alert #joerogan #MarkZuckerberg #JRE pic.twitter.com/ojZHhK3isa— Giuseppe Mercadante (@itsmercadante) August 25, 2022
Now, leaked documents provided to The Intercept reveal that government collusion with big tech goes much deeper.
The effort began in 2018, after former President Donald Trump signed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act in the wake of several high-profile hacking incidents, forming a new wing of DHS devoted to protecting critical national infrastructure.
The Department of Homeland Security is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.
The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down.
Behind closed doors, and through pressure on private platforms, the U.S. government has used its power to try to shape online discourse. According to meeting minutes and other records appended to a lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican who is also running for Senate, discussions have ranged from the scale and scope of government intervention in online discourse to the mechanics of streamlining takedown requests for false or intentionally misleading information. -The Intercept
"Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov’t. It’s really interesting how hesitant they remain," said Microsoft exec and former DHS official Matt Masterson in a February text to Jen Easterly, a DHS director.
FBI agent Laura Dehmlow was in communications w Facebook that led to the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 over the false allegation that it was “disinfo.” This year, she met w/ Twitter/DHS to stress “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” pic.twitter.com/17LqhEyMN0— Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 31, 2022
Then, in a March 2022 meeting, FBI official Laura Dehmlow warned that the 'threat of subversive information on social media' could undermine support for the US government - stressing "we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable."
🚨 Representatives from JPMorgan Chase attended virtually all DHS meetings about federal government efforts to censor disinformation on social media.— Natalie Winters (@nataliegwinters) October 31, 2022
Are they laying the groundwork for "de-banking" to become an (even more) mainstream strategy?
🚨🚨🚨FBI OFFICIALS are being REASSIGNED from AL QAEDA and ISIS assignments ---> to investigating AMERICANS pic.twitter.com/OF09QXIsek— Crab Man (@crabcrawler1) October 31, 2022
Twitter has denied the report, telling The Intercept: "We do not coordinate with other entities when making content moderation decisions, and we independently evaluate content in line with the Twitter Rules."
The emails and documents show close collaboration b/w DHS & private sector. Twitter's Vijaya Gadde (fired by @elonmusk last week) met monthly with DHS to discuss censorship plans. Microsoft exec texted DHS: "Platforms have got to get comfortable with gov't" pic.twitter.com/Z19yLM3miB— Lee Fang (@lhfang) October 31, 2022
More via The Intercept:
This apparatus had a dry run during the 2020 election, when CISA began working with other members of the U.S. intelligence community. Office of Intelligence and Analysis personnel attended “weekly teleconferences to coordinate Intelligence Community activities to counter election-related disinformation.” According to the IG report, meetings have continued to take place every two weeks since the elections.
Emails between DHS officials, Twitter, and the Center for Internet Security outline the process for such takedown requests during the period leading up to November 2020. Meeting notes show that the tech platforms would be called upon to “process reports and provide timely responses, to include the removal of reported misinformation from the platform where possible.” In practice, this often meant state election officials sent examples of potential forms of disinformation to CISA, which would then forward them on to social media companies for a response.
Under President Joe Biden, the shifting focus on disinformation has continued. In January 2021, CISA replaced the Countering Foreign Influence Task force with the “Misinformation, Disinformation and Malinformation” team, which was created “to promote more flexibility to focus on general MDM.” By now, the scope of the effort had expanded beyond disinformation produced by foreign governments to include domestic versions. The MDM team, according to one CISA official quoted in the IG report, “counters all types of disinformation, to be responsive to current events.”
What's more, the DHS plans to accelerate their efforts.
According to a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, DHS’s capstone report outlining the department’s strategy and priorities in the coming years, the department plans to target “inaccurate information” on a wide range of topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine.”
Why? Racism, apparently.
"The challenge is particularly acute in marginalized communities, which are often the targets of false or misleading information, such as false information on voting procedures targeting people of color," reads the report.
Read more here...
In a letter signed by the 50 most respected and admired intelligence experts, they vow that DHS Leaks is just more Russian propaganda: "This is as fake as Hunter Biden's notebook, and the topic should be scrubbed by Twitter", said an agent who wishes to remain anonymous— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 31, 2022