Newly released information unveiled the leading role the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) played in launching an infamous “disinformation” group at Stanford University, which in turn led an anti-free speech assault on social media.
The House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released a 104-page report on Tuesday featuring new emails between the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Stanford’s dystopian Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) group. The report alleges that the group coordinated with DHS to thwart free speech ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Most strikingly, however, is the revelation that the anti-free speech group was reportedly launched “at the request of” DHS.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) reacted to the findings in exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America. “This report uncovers the unconstitutional collaboration between the federal government, American universities, other federally funded entities, and self-proclaimed ‘disinformation experts’ to stifle the free speech of American citizens,” he said. “The Election Integrity Partnership worked with ‘external stakeholders,’ including the federal government, to monitor and target viewpoints they disagreed with, resulting in the censorship of Americans in the weeks and months leading up to the 2020 presidential election.”
According to the report, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, one of EIP’s partners, declared that the DHS requested the launch of the group. “I know the Council has a number of efforts on broad policy around the elections, but we just set up an election integrity partnership at the request of DHS/CISA and are in weekly comms to debrief about disinfo,” said Lab Senior Director Graham Brookie in an email dated July 31, 2020.
The interim report detailed that the EIP “was created in the summer of 2020 to provide a way for the federal government to launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny.”
Shortly after its inception, EIP flagged content for social media companies to censor. But DHS’s CISA enjoyed access to EIP’s work, including the reports that listed the targeted social media accounts. Those targeted included former President Donald Trump, Fox News Host Sean Hannity, The Federalist Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway, and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY). Outlets such as Newsmax and The Babylon Bee, a satirical news company.
Jordan pledged to continue investigating the scope of the infamous group. “The investigations being conducted by the House Judiciary Committee and the Weaponization of the Federal Government Select Subcommittee have revealed that the scope of the censorship-industrial complex is far worse than previously known,” he added. “We remain committed to uncovering the full extent of these actions and developing legislative solutions to end the censorship of Americans.”
The damning finding comes six months after MRC Free Speech America revealed that the DHS weaponized a taxpayer-funded program — the Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program (TVTP) — to funnel funds to groups to target those critical of the Biden administration as being on par with Nazis. The University of Dayton, one of the TVTP grantees, hosted a seminar where a self-proclaimed Antifa member touted the sickening Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization, which recklessly tied conservatives, Christians and Republicans to Nazi groups.
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