House Weaponization Committee Determined that DHS Agency Teamed Up With Big Tech To Conduct Censorship

According to a report by the House Weaponization Committee, a subcommittee of the House Judiciary committee, revealed that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a subdivision of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has been carrying out online censorship and conducting domestic surveillance in tandem with Big Tech companies and other private organizations.

This report was released on June 26, 2023 and is entitled “The Weaponization of CISA: How a ‘Cybersecurity’ Agency Colluded With Big Tech and ‘Disinformation’ Partners to Censor Americans.”

CISA was founded recently in 2018. The CISA’s original mission concentrated on defending critical infrastructure and combating cybersecurity threats.

The report claimed that CISA transformed into “the nerve center of the federal government’s domestic surveillance and censorship operations on social media” by 2020. It blamed CISA for allegedly reporting social media posts that it believed spread “disinformation” on a systematic basis.

Furthermore, the report revealed that by 2021, CISA established a formal “Mis-, Dis-, and Malinformation” (MDM) team. In the following years, the agency had to put up with increasing criticism from both public and private quarters, which led it to secretly shroud its activities by marketing itself as an entity that works only on an informational basis. 

The report particularly highlights a case in which, after lawsuits filed by the Louisiana and Missouri state governments challenging CISA’s censorious behavior, the agency allegedly circumvented the allegations by transferring its censorship efforts to a non-profit organization, the Center for Internet Security (CIS), which it backed through financial aid.

On top of that, the report released an email from a CISA advisory board member and former assistant general counsel for the CIA, Suzanne Spaulding, to her colleague, unveiling preoccupations about the potential public discovery and investigation of their activities.

CISA has received accusations of attempting to shroud its activities as a response to heightened scrutiny, such as deleting information mentioning  its domestic surveillance and censorship missions from its website.

The report contends that the CISA’s concentration on “malinformation” is a particularly frightening development. Per the agency, malinformation is defined as factual information used out of context to mislead or manipulate the public. However, the subcommittee report challenges whose context is being used in this case, and asks hard questions about  the government’s role in determining this context.

Despite the subcommittee’s allegations, CISA rejects the notion that it has been involved in censoring or facilitating censorship online.

The FBI, DHS, and similar government agencies have faced increased criticism in recent months thanks to the Republican takeover of the US House. However, the momentum cannot be ground to a halt. Beyond increased scrutiny over these agencies, there needs to be a concerted effort to defund and ultimately abolish these unconstitutional entities.

In a supposedly free country, these kinds of agencies should not be allowed to exist.  

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