From Cybersecurity to Censorship: Weaponization Committee Exposes CISA

Jim Jordan
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A new report from the Judiciary Committee’s select committee on the weaponization of the federal government has released an interim report about the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which became one of the most important deep state outposts pushing the censorship of Americans.

The report, which is linked in full at the House Judiciary Committee’s webpage, details how CISA, set up in 2018 to combat cybersecurity threats against critical infrastructure in the U.S., quickly reinterpreted its mission to include protecting the apparently fragile minds of Americans from “misinformation and disinformation.”

As Breitbart News previously reported, CISA collaborated with the disgraced Election Integrity Partnership, a consortium that interfered in the election by targeting top Republican influencers on social media for censorship.

Via Breitbart News:

News outlets targeted by the EIP included Breitbart News, Fox News, the New York Post, and the Epoch Times, as well as the social media accounts of prominent conservatives Charlie Kirk, Tom Fitton, Jack Posobiec, Mark Levin, James O’Keefe, and Sean Hannity, amongst others.

President Donald Trump was also frequently flagged by the consortium, as well as his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

After Joe Biden’s inauguration, CISA continued its efforts, forming a “Misinformation and Disinformation subcommittee,” whose members included government officials and private sector actors, including Twitter’s former top censor Vijaya Gadde, Dr. Kate Starbird of the EIP, and former CIA legal advisor Suzanne Spaulding.

Twitter Exec Vijaya Gadde

Former Twitter censorship queen Vijaya Gadde (Fortune Brainstorm TECH/Flickr)

US President Joe Biden speaks during a union labor rally in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US, on Saturday, June 17, 2023.  Photographer: Hannah Beier/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Jen Easterly, the current director of CISA, explained in one email obtained by the Committee that the agency’s focus on misinformation was an effort to protect America’s “cognitive infrastructure” and therefore fell within its remit.

“One could argue we’re in the business of critical infrastructure, and the most critical infrastructure is our cognitive infrastructure, so building that resilience to misinformation and disinformation, I think, is incredibly important,” wrote Easterly.

CISA’s outside advisors, including Kate Starbird, encouraged the agency to go even further and target “malinformation” — a buzzword used to describe information that is factually true but has the potential to “mislead.”

“Unfortunately current public discourse (in part a result of information operations) seems to accept malinformation as ‘speech’ and within democratic norms,” lamented Starbird in one email, but added that it was a “critical dimension of information operations.”

In a number of cases detailed in the report, local officials sought to use CISA and its influence with social media companies to censor their political opponents.

From the report:

CIS had previously claimed that “Election Infrastructure Misinformation and Disinformation does NOT include: “content that is polarizing, biased, partisan or contains viewpoints expressed about elections or politics”; “inaccurate statements about an elected or appointed official, candidate, or political party”; or “broad, non-specific statements about the integrity of elections or civic processes that do not reference a specific current election administration activity.”

But, in practice, state and local election officials used the CISA-funded EI-ISAC in an effort to silence criticism and political dissent of the nature allegedly “NOT include[d]” in CIS’s definition of “Election Infrastructure Misinformation and Disinformation.” For example, in August 2022, a Loudoun County, Virginia, government official reported a Tweet featuring an unedited video of a county official “because it was posted as part of a larger campaign to discredit the word of” that official. The Loudon County official’s remark that the account she flagged “is connected to Parents Against Critical Race Theory” reveals that her “misinformation report” was nothing more than a politically motivated censorship attempt.

The EI-ISAC then forwarded the report from the Loudoun County government to Twitter.

The CISA-funded EI-ISAC also facilitated a Democratic state government official’s attempt to censor core political speech by a sitting Republican U.S. Senator. As demonstrated below, a state government official working for Pennsylvania’s Secretary of State reported to the EI-ISAC posts on Twitter and Facebook from Senator Ted Cruz’s accounts, in which Senator Cruz asked: “Why is it only Democrat blue cities that take ‘days’ to count their votes? The rest of the country manages to get it done on election night.”

If there is a silver lining to report, it is that the government’s championing of censorship was so aggressive that it alienated opinion in Silicon Valley. Following the announcement of the controversial “Disinformation Governance Board” of the Department of Homeland Security, a member of CISA reached out to employees at LinkedIn encouraging them to “reach out” if they “have any questions.”

In response, a LinkedIn employee forwarded the email to their colleagues, who promptly began to mock the government official.

“Hey LinkedIn friends, if you ever want to know what the Regime considers to be true or false, just drop a line. We have connections…”

CISA Executive Director Brandon Wales provides the following statement to Breitbart News:

CISA does not and has never censored speech or facilitated censorship; any such claims are patently false. Every day, the men and women of CISA execute the agency’s mission of reducing risk to U.S. critical infrastructure in a way that protects Americans’ freedom of speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy. In response to concerns from election officials of all parties regarding foreign influence operations and disinformation that may impact the security of election infrastructure, CISA mitigates the risk of disinformation by sharing information on election literacy and election security with the public and by amplifying the trusted voices of election officials across the nation.

Update — Added a statement from CISA reponding to the story.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.


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