The State Department not only coordinated with Big Tech to use foreign intelligence tools to censor Americans in 2021, but it also reportedly funded two UK-based “disinformation” groups that work with Big Tech and advertisers to censor users. And yet the State Department claims it’s all right because it supposedly does not directly conduct the censorship — which seems a bureaucratic distinction without a difference.
America First Legal (AFL) obtained documents in January through a lawsuit that showed the Biden administration used — or rather, misused — the State Department’s foreign intelligence tools to censor Americans domestically. I guess the State Department figured it should go big and go home. AFL explained that “these documents show a direct line from foreign intelligence tactics being used at the State Department, to the Census Bureau, and then to the CDC.” The White House was also involved.
During a June 2, 2021, meeting involving the White House National Security Council (NSC), the Census Bureau, and the CDC, officials discussed the Census Bureau’s 2020 anti-“disinformation” work, which relied upon the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC). GEC’s stated mission makes clear that it is basically the propaganda arm (targeted toward foreign nations) of the U.S. government. Its mission is to “direct, lead, synchronize, integrate, and coordinate U.S. Federal Government efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining or influencing the policies, security, or stability of the United States, its allies, and partner nations.”
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Documentation obtained by AFL indicated a heavy influence of GEC’s foreign intelligence tools on the government’s plans for addressing “misinformation.” The Executive Office of the President later coordinated efforts of different agencies, including the State Department, to counter supposed “COVID disinfo.” AFL concluded, “The National Security Council took the tools and processes used by the State Department to push, and counter, propaganda abroad, and co-opted and used them against Americans to shape the domestic political narrative.” So while the State Department did not in fact directly censor Americans, it provided all the tools for other government agencies such as the CDC and NSA to work directly with tech platforms to censor Americans.
But that’s not the only censorship work the State Department is engaged in. The Washington Examiner revealed Feb. 9 that the UK-based Global Disinformation Index (GDI) is one of the secretive groups trying to direct ad revenue away from sites with “disinformation” — which somehow always ends up meaning conservative sites.
GDI’s 2,000-site blacklist is used by companies worried by the increasing global pressure to target “misinformation,” and Microsoft-owned Xandr was one company using the blacklist until the Examiner exposed it. The Media Research Center uncovered the fact that three GDI advisory panel members also have ties to radical leftist billionaire George Soros. GDI’s Disinformation Index’s ten riskiest news sites were all right-leaning sites, while almost all of its least risky sites were left-leaning. Amazing how the same thing happened with biased online ratings firm NewsGuard, which also tries to deprive conservative sites of ad revenue.
So what does all this have to do with the State Department? Well, the State Department funds GDI, according to the Examiner. The State Department also funds UK-based disinformation group Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD).
The Examiner reported Feb. 9 that GDI “has received $330,000 from two State Department-backed entities linked to the highest levels of government.” These entities are the nonprofit National Endowment for Democracy, which the Examiner said got more than $300 million from the State Department in 2021, and Disinfo Cloud. The latter is “an unclassified and defunct platform through the State Department’s Global Engagement Center” — yes, GEC again — the Examiner stated. GEC and Disinfo Cloud announced in September 2021 that GDI and two groups would be splitting “a $250,000 grant award as part of the U.S.-Paris Tech Challenge,” the Examiner explained. Reclaim the Net clarified that one of those other groups was the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, and MRC Free Speech America revealed that ISD is funded by George Soros. ISD partners with at least six Big Tech platforms to censor content, Reclaim the Net said: Facebook, Google, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon, and Microsoft.
So GDI and ISD received money from the very State Department entity that also provided foreign intel tools to censor Americans in 2021. Talk about a tangled web of corruption, with the Biden State Department, other government agencies, Big Tech, and UK-based disinformation groups all colluding to attack Americans’ right to free speech.