House Committee Passes Rule Prohibiting Pentagon from Funding Pro-Censorship Orgs

The House Armed Services Committee has approved a regulation that prohibited the Pentagon from allocating funds towards organizations that rate or indirectly cause online censorship. This move occurred early in the morning of June 27, 2023 when the committee gave the green light to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act.

 Georgia Congressman Rich McCormick introduced the amendment which specifically calls out the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), Graphika, NewsGuard, and other organizations by name as banned from gaining access to Pentagon funds. These organizations, who have the explicit aim of singling out and scrutinizing online content for “disinformation,” have been receiving large degrees of criticism for how their rating systems are allegedly filled with bias.

McCormick clarified his position when he manifested satisfaction with the passage of his amendment, declaring, “Proud to pass my amendment that prohibits the Department of Defense from contracting with any one of a number of ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ monitors that rate news and information sources. While these media monitors claim to be nonpartisan, the reality is they are not.” 

In practical terms, the amendment bans the Department of Defense from participating with or funding any entity that is actively engaged in calling for the censorship or blacklisting of news outlets on a basis that may be subjective or politically biased. In addition, advertising and marketing agencies, which the Department of Defense depends on for recruitment campaigns, must confirm that they do not provide services to these types of organizations.

Ultimately, this is a good first step in containing the out of control censorship regime that has fully consumed DC. Nevertheless, bolder steps must be taken against government agencies and private organizations that engage in this bad behavior. At some point, nefarious actors have to receive punishment for their horrible behavior.

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