The UN, and Our Governments Work To Silence Free Speech Because The Truth Is Setting Us Free

The UN, and Our Governments Work To Silence Free Speech Because The Truth Is Setting Us Free

Dylan Eleven •

Those with only lies in their arsenal are very afraid of the truth. That is why they do not debate, only silence and censor. Pathetic.

The governments of the world, and the UN have learned from plandemic#1; that independent media and the voice of the people online kept the truth in full focus for those who choose to see.

As you can see in the 5 articles below, they are desperately trying to restrict the truth. They will not succeed because calling the truth misinformation or hate speech is pathetic. It will only fool the brain dead and the nazi conformist cheerleader covid Karens who's numbers are dwindling as people wake up and the gleefully vaccinated drop dead.

Armed with the truth we are making a stand. Thank you truth warriors. Keep waking people up.

Inside The UN Plan To Control Speech Online

Alex Newman | The Epoch Times

A powerful United Nations agency has unveiled a plan to regulate social media and online communication while cracking down on what it describes as “false information” and “conspiracy theories,” sparking alarm among free-speech advocates and top U.S. lawmakers.

In its 59-page report released this month, the U.N. Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) outlined a series of “concrete measures which must be implemented by all stakeholders: governments, regulatory authorities, civil society, and the platforms themselves.”

This approach includes the imposition of global policies, through institutions such as governments and businesses, designed to stop the spread of various forms of speech while promoting objectives such as “cultural diversity” and “gender equality.”

In particular, the U.N. agency aims to create an “Internet of Trust” by targeting what it calls “misinformation,” “disinformation,” “hate speech,” and “conspiracy theories.”

Examples of expression flagged to be stopped or restricted include concerns about elections, public health measures, and advocacy that could constitute “incitement to discrimination.”

Critics are warning that allegations of “disinformation” and “conspiracy theories” have increasingly been used by powerful forces in government and Big Tech to silence true information and even core political speech.

Just this month, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee released a report blasting the “pseudoscience of disinformation.”

Among other concerns, the committee found this “pseudoscience” has been “weaponized” by what lawmakers refer to as the “Censorship Industrial Complex.”

The goal: silence constitutionally protected political speech, mostly by conservatives.

“The pseudoscience of disinformation is now—and has always been—nothing more than a political ruse most frequently targeted at communities and individuals holding views contrary to the prevailing narratives,” states the congressional report, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats.”

Indeed, many of the policies called for by UNESCO have already been implemented by U.S.-based digital platforms, often at the behest of the Biden administration, the latest congressional report makes clear.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers nevertheless expressed alarm about the new UNESCO plan.

“I have repeatedly and publicly criticized the Biden administration’s misguided decision to rejoin UNESCO, putting U.S. taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times regarding the social-media plan.

Calling UNESCO a “deeply flawed entity,” Mr. McCaul said he is especially concerned that the organization “promotes the interests of authoritarian regimes—including the Chinese Communist Party.”

Indeed, UNESCO, like many other U.N. agencies, includes multiple members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in its leadership ranks, such as Deputy Director-General Xing Qu, The Epoch Times has reported.

The CCP has repeatedly made clear that even while working in international organizations, CCP members are expected to follow communist party orders.

Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Subcommittee dealing with international organizations are currently working to cut or reduce funding to various U.N. agencies that lawmakers say are using U.S. taxpayer money improperly.

Already, the U.S. government has twice exited UNESCO—under the Reagan and the Trump administrations—due to concerns about what the administrations described as extremism, hostility to American values, and other problems.

The Biden administration rejoined earlier this year over the objections of lawmakers, The Epoch Times reported.


While being marketed as a plan to uphold free expression, the new UNESCO regulatory regime calls for international censorship by “independent” regulators who are “shielded from political and economic interests.”

National, regional, and global governance systems should be able to cooperate and share practices … in addressing content that could be permissibly restricted under international human rights law and standards,” the report explains.

Unlike the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting any governmental infringement on the right to free speech or free press, UNESCO points to various international “human rights” instruments that it says should determine what speech to infringe on.

These agreements include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which states that restricting freedom of expression must be provided for by law and must also serve a “legitimate aim.”

In a recent review of the United States, a U.N. human-rights committee called for changes to the U.S. Constitution and demanded that the U.S. government do more to stop and punish “hate speech” in order to comply with the ICCPR.

Another key U.N. instrument is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states explicitly in Article 29 that “rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

In short, the U.N. view of “freedom of expression” is radically different from that enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

The UNESCO report says that once content that should be restricted is found, social-media platforms must take measures, ranging from using algorithm suppression (shadow banning) and warning users about the content, to de-monetizing and even removing it.

Any digital platforms found to not be “dealing with content that could be permissibly restricted under international human rights law” should “be held accountable” with “enforcement measures,” the report states.

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, a former French culture minister with the Socialist Party, cited risks to society to justify the global plan.

Digital technology has enabled immense progress on freedom of speech,” she said in a statement. “But social media platforms have also accelerated and amplified the spread of false information and hate speech, posing major risks to societal cohesion, peace, and stability.

“To protect access to information, we must regulate these platforms without delay, while at the same time protecting freedom of expression and human rights,” said Azoulay, who took over the U.N. agency from longtime Bulgarian Communist Party leader Irina Bokova.

In the forward to the new report, headlined “Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms,” Azoulay says that stopping certain forms of speech and at the same time preserving “freedom of expression” is “not a contradiction.”

Citing a survey commissioned by UNESCO itself, the U.N. agency also said most people around the world support its agenda.

According to UNESCO, the report and the guidelines were developed through a process of consultation including more than 1,500 submissions and over 10,000 comments from “stakeholders” such as governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations.

UNESCO said it will work with governments and companies to implement the regulatory regime around the world.

UNESCO is by not (sic) proposing to regulate digital platforms,” a spokesman for UNESCO, who asked not to be named, told The Epoch Times in a statement.

“We are, however, conscious that dozens of governments around the world are already drafting legislation to do so, some of which is not in line with international human rights standards, and may even jeopardize freedom of expression.

Similarly, the platforms themselves are already making millions of human and automated decisions a day with respect to the moderation and curation of content, based upon their own policies,” the spokesman said.

The European Union, which already places severe limitations on free expression online, has already provided funding for implementation worldwide, UNESCO added.

The Biden administration told The Epoch Times that it wasn’t involved in creating the plan.

“We will reserve comment until we finish carefully studying the plan,” the State Department said in an email.

Free Speech Concern Grows

Concerns over the implications for freedom of speech and free expression online are mounting as awareness of the UNESCO plan spreads.

Sarah McLaughlin, a senior scholar at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), expressed alarm.

“FIRE appreciates that UNESCO’s new action plan for social media recognizes the value of transparency and the need for protecting freedom of expression, but remains deeply concerned about efforts to regulate online ‘disinformation’ and ‘hate speech,’” Ms. McLaughlin told The Epoch Times.


Source ZeroHedge

Original Article:

Irish MP Says ‘We Are Restricting Freedom For The Common Good’ With New Hate Speech Bill | Jamie White

Ireland senator also claims censoring views on gender identity necessary if those views create 'discomfort.'

Ireland’s new online hate speech bill proposal will be “restricting freedom for the common good,” according to Irish Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly.

The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offenses) Bill 2022 was introduced in the wake of widespread protests against a migrant stabbing spree on children in Dublin last week.

“If you think about it, all law, all legislation is about the restriction of freedom,” O’Reilly explained at the Seanad Éireann, the upper house of Ireland’s parliament, on Monday.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing here. We are restricting freedom, but we’re doing it for the common good.”

"We are restricting freedom for the common good": Irish Green Party Senator Pauline O'Reilly says that her government's hate speech bill is about "restricting freedom," and censoring views on gender identity if those views create "discomfort."! Keep Alex Jones in the fight against the NWO! Please pray & contribute at today!— gript (@griptmedia) June 15, 2023

“You will see throughout our constitution, yes you have rights, but they are restricted for the common good. Everything needs to be balanced.”

O’Reilly went on to say that the so-called hate speech bill will also shoehorn a provision to censor or punish those who don’t subscribe to or recognize “gender identity.”

“And if your views on other people’s identities go to make their lives unsafe, insecure and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, then I believe it is our job as legislators to restrict those freedoms for the common good,” she said.

Protests erupted in Dublin last week after an Algerian migrant stabbed several women and children in broad daylight. 

But the mainstream media and Ireland politicians were quicker to blame those protesting against the stabbing, claiming they were inspired by “far-right hooligans” and “misinformation.”

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar vowed to crack down on “hate speech” following riots in protest of the migrant stabbing spree.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says to the far-right protesters who rioted in Dublin last night 'ask everyone you know what they fear most on our streets. They're afraid of you. Afraid of your violence and your hate and how you blame others for your problems'.— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 24, 2023

MMA fighter Conor McGregor is under investigation for “hate speech” after criticizing Ireland’s leaders and their mass migration policies following the migrant stabbing.

Innocent children ruthlessly stabbed by a mentally deranged non-national in Dublin, Ireland today. Our chief of police had this to say on the riots in the aftermath. Drew, not good enough. There is grave danger among us in Ireland that should never be here in the first place, and…— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 23, 2023
Blame anyone but themselves. Typical. Worthless you are Michaél. Worthless and spineless! Ryan Casey called you all out last week grieving the love of his life, stolen by pawn scum, and nothing but waffle from you all since. Zero action! Everything from our lax border with gravy…— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 24, 2023

It appears McGregor may be the first casualty for Ireland’s new hate speech bill to create a chilling effect and set an example for those who speak up against Irish politicians.

Varadkar’s dishonest rhetoric against the protests were so over the top that even Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “Ironically, the Irish PM hates the Irish people.”

Ironically, the Irish PM hates the Irish people— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2023

Attacking the foundations of democracy and free society under the guise of “the greater good” is typical behavior for tyrants.

She is against the very foundation of democracy…What we in the West always ctiticise dictators for…..— John003 (@john003) June 15, 2023

Original Article:

Exposing ‘Censorship Industrial Complex’ That Threatens All Liberties'

The New American | Alex Newman

The “censorship industrial complex” built and operated by the Deep State and its allies threatens not just freedom of speech, the free press, and free expression, but all liberties, explained The New American magazine’s Alex Newman in this episode of Behind The Deep State. Just this month, Congress exposed new elements of this sprawling machine to silence dissent on everything from Covid and public health to elections and fraud. But even some of the supposed efforts to resist this Orwellian machine are falling into the trap of appealing to the United Nations, which is one of the primary players in building the censorship apparatus. Under the guise of stopping “disinformation” and “misinformation,” all free speech is under threat.

Original Article:

Original Article:

French govt takes aim at covid “conspiracy theorists” and complementary, alternative medicine in draft bill

Europe Reloaded

It’s a movie, folks. France is being thoroughly shown up for the tyrannical place it is. The French need to realize this.

It’s mightily curious that such a ridiculous bill is being proposed by someone we’ve never even heard of. The minister specially assigned to get this bill out, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache is a relative unknown and newcomer. Would a more experienced politician touch something like this?

French government takes aim at covid “conspiracy theorists” and complementary and alternative medicine in draft bill to combat sects

Rhoda Wilson | The Exposé

In mid-November, the French Senate reviewed a draft law that aims to crush dissent using hefty fines of up to EUR 15,000 and threat of jail time. Anyone daring to criticise medical treatments could fall foul of this law. Considering the “covid vaccines are safe and effective” false narrative propagated by the government, this law is nothing short of outrageous. (ER: Precisely)

The French Parliament is made up of two chambers, the National Assembly and the Senate.  Bills are examined by both Houses of Parliament. Because both houses may amend the bill, it may take several readings to reach an agreement between the National Assembly and the Senate.

The Secretary of State for Citizenship and the City, Sabrina Agresti-Roubache, presented a bill to the Senate aimed at strengthening the existing legislative arsenal to combat sects. At the top of the draft legislation are the words:


(fast-track procedure)

aimed at strengthening the fight against sectarian excesses [Their emphasis].

Fight against sectarian excesses, Bills tabled for 15 November, Senate

The bill is aimed at strengthening the fight against sectarian excesses specifically in health. On announcing a renewal of their partnership with the national council of physicians, Conseil Ordre Des Médecins (“CNOM”), the Inter-ministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses (“MIVILUDES”) said:

(ER: heavy irony & outrage warning)

Given the public’s enthusiasm for therapeutic practices that are not scientifically validated, the search for well-being and personal development, and due to the rise of training courses awarding diplomas not recognised by the State, patients may find themselves abused or exposed to therapeutic abuses, particularly sectarian ones.

Sectarian excesses in health: MIVILUDES and CNOM renew their partnership, MIVILUDES, 29 September 2023

In the Larousse“sectarian” is defined as “a follower of a religious or philosophical doctrine, and, in particular, a member of a sect, of a dissident faction of a religion.”

For MIVILUDES, “it is a misuse of freedom of thought, opinion or religion that undermines public order, laws or regulations, fundamental rights, security or the integrity of persons.”

These excesses have been on the rise in recent years, since the rise of social media but especially the covid crisis.  The number of reports exploded in 2021 due to “conspiracy theories and alternative medicine.”

French information website noted criteria that characterise the risk of sectarian excesses:

  • mental destabilisation;
  • the exorbitant nature of the financial requirements;
  • breaking with the original environment;
  • the existence of attacks on physical integrity;
  • the recruitment of children;
  • anti-social discourse;
  • disturbances of public order;
  • the importance of legal troubles;
  • the possible diversion of traditional economic circuits; and,
  • attempts to infiltrate the authorities.

It should be noted that a single criterion “is not sufficient to establish the existence of a sectarian excess and all criteria do not have the same value. However, the first criterion (mental destabilisation) is always present in cases of sectarian excesses,” MIVILUDES said. (ER: good grief)

On its website, MIVILUDES has a non-exhaustive list of other characteristics that can serve as “alert signals,” such as:

  • the adoption of a language specific to the group;
  • loss of critical thinking;
  • the obligation to buy or sell certain equipment or services as an unavoidable condition of belonging to the group; and,
  • disruption of the normal functioning of public services.

The new draft bill to combat these “sectarians” provides for two new offences.  An article published by L’Express summarised the five Articles contained in the draft bill and noted (French to English using Google translate):

Article 4 [ ] creates a new crime from provocation to the abandonment or to the abstention of care or to the adoption of [a] practice of which it is manifest that will expose the person targeted to a serious or immediate risk for his health can be punished with one year of imprisonment and 15,000 euros of fine.

This is enough to respond to the many cases where figures of conspiracy and various alternative therapies suggest, for example, to abandon cancer treatments.

Sectarian excesses in health: the government’s new legislative arsenal, L’Express, 15 November 2023

The wording taken from the draft bill states (French to English using Google translate):

Article 4

1. Provocation to abandon or abstain from therapeutic or prophylactic medical treatment shall be punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of EUR 15,000, where such abandonment or abstention is presented as beneficial to the health of the persons concerned, even though it is, in the current state of medical knowledge, manifestly likely to result in a therapeutic or prophylactic medical treatment for them, in view of the pathology from which they are suffering, serious consequences for their physical or mental health.

2. “The same penalties shall apply to incitement to adopt practices presented as having a therapeutic or prophylactic purpose for the persons concerned when, in the current state of medical knowledge, it is clear that such practices expose them to an immediate risk of death or injury likely to result in mutilation or permanent disability.

3. ‘Where the provocation provided for in the first two paragraphs has been acted upon, the penalties shall be increased to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of EUR 45,000.

4. ‘Where such offences are committed by means of the written or broadcast press, the special provisions of the laws governing such matters shall apply as regards the determination of the persons responsible.’

Fight against sectarian excesses, Bills tabled for 15 November, Senate

The key words are according to “current medical knowledge.”  This, basically, can mean anything – it just depends on what the “experts” say it means at the time.

Although the bill was presented to the Senate on 15 November, no timetable has been set for the examination of the law in the National Assembly.

Original Article:

Image Source: Guidelines for the Governance of Digital Platforms

Whistleblower Reveals U.S. and UK Military Contractors Plan For Global Censorship.

“Many people insist that governments aren’t involved in censorship, but they are” according to Michael Shellenberger, who adds “And now, a whistleblower has come forward wit…

16 min. readView original

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

“Many people insist that governments aren’t involved in censorship, but they are” according to Michael Shellenberger, who adds “And now, a whistleblower has come forward with an explosive new trove of documents, rivaling or exceeding the Twitter Files and Facebook Files in scale and importance.” Shellenberger is just one of three investigators from a group called Public, who have documented the rise of the Censorship Industrial Complex, a network of over 100 government agencies and nongovernmental organisations, and have reported on the recently published documents from the whistleblower, which describe the activities of a group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTI.

The activities are “everything from the genesis of modern digital censorship programs to the role of the military and intelligence agencies, partnerships with civil society organizations and commercial media, and the use of sock puppet accounts and other offensive techniques”, according to Public on Substack.

The team of investigators from Public co-authored the article below:

CTIL Files #1: US And UK Military Contractors Created Sweeping Plan For Global Censorship In 2018, New Documents Show,


Whistleblower makes trove of new documents available to Public and Racket, showing the birth of the Censorship Industrial Complex in reaction to Brexit and Trump election in 2016.

A whistleblower has come forward with an explosive new trove of documents, rivaling or exceeding the Twitter Files and Facebook Files in scale and importance. They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, that officially began as the volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The CTI League documents offer the missing link answers to key questions not addressed in the Twitter Files and Facebook Files. Combined, they offer a comprehensive picture of the birth of the “anti-disinformation” sector, or what we have called the Censorship Industrial Complex.

The whistleblower’s documents describe everything from the genesis of modern digital censorship programs to the role of the military and intelligence agencies, partnerships with civil society organizations and commercial media, and the use of sock puppet accounts and other offensive techniques.

“Lock your shit down,” explains one document about creating “your spy disguise.”

Another explains that while such activities overseas are “typically” done by “the CIA and NSA and the Department of Defense,” censorship efforts “against Americans” have to be done using private partners because the government doesn’t have the “legal authority.”

The whistleblower alleges that a leader of CTI League, a “former” British intelligence analyst, was “in the room” at the Obama White House in 2017 when she received the instructions to create a counter-disinformation project to stop a “repeat of 2016.”

Over the last year, PublicRacketcongressional investigators, and others have documented the rise of the Censorship Industrial Complex, a network of over 100 government agencies and nongovernmental organizations that work together to urge censorship by social media platforms and spread propaganda about disfavored individuals, topics, and whole narratives.

The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) has been the center of gravity for much of the censorship, with the National Science Foundation financing the development of censorship and disinformation tools and other federal government agencies playing a supportive role.

Emails from CISA’s NGO and social media partners show that CISA created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) in 2020, which involved the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) and other US government contractors. EIP and its successor, the Virality Project (VP), urged Twitter, Facebook and other platforms to censor social media posts by ordinary citizens and elected officials alike.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of government-sponsored censorship, it had yet to be determined where the idea for such mass censorship came from. In 2018, an SIO official and former CIA fellow, Renee DiResta, generated national headlines before and after testifying to the US Senate about Russian government interference in the 2016 election.

But what happened between 2018 and Spring 2020? The year 2019 has been a black hole in the research of the Censorship Industrial Complex to date. When one of us, Michael, testified to the U.S. House of Representatives about the Censorship Industrial Complex in March of this year, the entire year was missing from his timeline.

An Earlier Start Date for Censorship Industrial Complex

Now, a large trove of new documents, including strategy documents, training videos, presentations, and internal messages, reveal that, in 2019, US and UK military and intelligence contractors led by a former UK defense researcher, Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp, developed the sweeping censorship framework. These contractors co-led CTIL, which partnered with CISA in the spring of 2020.

In truth, the building of the Censorship Industrial Complex began even earlier — in 2018.

Internal CTIL Slack messages show Terp, her colleagues, and officials from DHS and Facebook all working closely together in the censorship process.

The CTIL framework and the public-private model are the seeds of what both the US and UK would put into place in 2020 and 2021, including masking censorship within cybersecurity institutions and counter-disinformation agendas; a heavy focus on stopping disfavored narratives, not just wrong facts; and pressuring social media platforms to take down information or take other actions to prevent content from going viral.

In the spring of 2020, CTIL began tracking and reporting disfavored content on social media, such as  anti-lockdown narratives like “all jobs are essential,” “we won’t stay home,” and “open America now.” CTIL created a law enforcement channel for reporting content as part of these efforts. The organization also did research on individuals posting anti-lockdown hashtags like #freeCA and kept a spreadsheet with details from their Twitter bios. The group also discussed requesting “takedowns” and reporting website domains to registrars.

CTIL’s approach to “disinformation” went far beyond censorship. The documents show that the group engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote “counter-messaging,” co-opt hashtags, dilute disfavored messaging, create sock puppet accounts, and infiltrate private invite-only groups. 

In one suggested list of survey questions, CTIL proposed asking members or potential members, “Have you worked with influence operations (e.g. disinformation, hate speech, other digital harms etc) previously?” The survey then asked whether these influence operations included “active measures” and “psyops.”

These documents came to us via a highly credible whistleblower. We were able to independently verify their legitimacy through extensive cross-checking of information to publicly available sources. The whistleblower said they were recruited to participate in CTIL  through monthly cybersecurity meetings hosted by DHS.

The FBI declined to comment. CISA did not respond to our request for comment. And Terp and the other key CTIL leaders also did not respond to our requests for comment.

But one person involved, Bonnie Smalley, replied over LinkedIn, saying, “all i can comment on is that i joined cti league which is unaffiliated with any govt orgs because i wanted to combat the inject bleach nonsense online during covid…. i can assure you that we had nothing to do with the govt though.”

Yet the documents suggest that government employees were engaged members of CTIL. One individual who worked for DHS, Justin Frappier, was extremely active in CTIL, participating in regular meetings and leading trainings.

CTIL’s ultimate goal, said the whistleblower, ”was to become part of the federal government. In our weekly meetings, they made it clear that they were building these organizations within the federal government, and if you built the first iteration, we could secure a job for you.”

Terp’s plan, which she shared in presentations to information security and cybersecurity groups in 2019, was to create “Misinfosec communities” that would include government.

Both public records and the whistleblower’s documents suggest that she achieved this. In April 2020, Chris Krebs, then-Director of CISA, announced on Twitter and in multiple articles, that CISA was partnering with CTIL. “It’s really an information exchange,” said Krebs.

The documents also show that Terp and her colleagues, through a group called MisinfoSec Working Group, which included DiResta, created a censorship, influence, and anti-disinformation strategy called Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT). They wrote AMITT by adapting a cybersecurity framework developed by MITRE, a major defense and intelligence contractor that has an annual budget of $1 to $2 billion in government funding.

Terp later used AMITT to develop the DISARM framework, which the World Health Organization then employed in “countering anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe.”

A key component of Terp’s work through CTIL, MisinfoSec, and AMITT was to insert the concept of “cognitive security” into the fields of cybersecurity and information security.

The sum total of the documents is a clear picture of a highly coordinated and sophisticated effort by the US and UK governments to build a domestic censorship effort and influence operations similar to the ones they have used in foreign countries. At one point, Terp openly referenced her work “in the background” on social media issues related to the Arab Spring. Another time, the whistleblower said, she expressed her own apparent surprise that she would ever use such tactics, developed for foreign nationals, against American citizens.

According to the whistleblower, roughly 12-20 active people involved in CTIL worked at the FBI or CISA. “For a while, they had their agency seals — FBI, CISA, whatever — next to your name,” on the Slack messaging service, said the whistleblower. Terp “had a CISA badge that went away at some point,” the whistleblower said.

The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the Censorship Industrial Complex went far beyond simply urging Twitter to slap a warning label on Tweets, or to put individuals on blacklists. The AMITT framework calls for discrediting individuals as a necessary prerequisite of demanding censorship against them. It calls for training influencers to spread messages. And it calls for trying to get banks to cut off financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events.

The timeline of CISA’s work with CTIL leading up to its work with EIP and VP strongly suggests that the model for public-private censorship operations may have originated from a framework originally created by military contractors. What’s more, the techniques and materials outlined by CTIL closely resemble materials later created by CISA’s Countering Foreign Intelligence Task Force and Mis-, Dis-, and Maliformation team.

Over the next several days and weeks, we intend to present these documents to Congressional investigators, and will make public all of the documents we can while also protecting the identity of the whistleblower and other individuals who are not senior leaders or public figures. 

But for now, we need to take a closer look at what happened in 2018 and 2019, leading up to the creation of CTIL, as well as this group’s key role in the formation and growth of the Censorship Industrial Complex.

“Volunteer” and “Former” Government Agents

BloombergWashington Post and others published credulous stories in the spring of 2020 claiming that the CTI League was simply a group of volunteer cybersecurity experts. Its founders were: a “former” Israeli intelligence official, Ohad Zaidenberg; a Microsoft “security manager,” Nate Warfield; and the head of sec ops for DEF CON, a hackers convention, Marc Rogers. The articles claimed that those highly skilled cybercrime professionals had decided to help billion-dollar hospitals, on their own time and without pay, for strictly altruistic motives.

In just one month, from mid-March to mid-April, the supposedly all-volunteer CTIL had grown to “1,400 vetted members in 76 countries spanning 45 different sectors,” had “helped to lawfully take down 2,833 cybercriminal assets on the internet, including 17 designed to impersonate government organizations, the United Nations, and the World Health Organization,” and had “identified more than 2,000 vulnerabilities in healthcare institutions in more than 80 countries.”

At every opportunity the men stressed that they were simply volunteers motivated by altruism. “I knew I had to do something to help,” said Zaidenberg. ”There is a really strong appetite for doing good in the community,” Rogers said during an Aspen Institute webinar.

And yet a clear goal of CTIL’s leaders was to build support for censorship among national security and cybersecurity institutions. Toward that end, they sought to promote the idea of “cognitive security” as a rationale for government involvement in censorship activities. “Cognitive security is the thing you want to have,” said Terp on a 2019 podcast. “You want to protect that cognitive layer. It basically, it’s about pollution. Misinformation, disinformation, is a form of pollution across the Internet.”

Terp and Pablo Breuer, another CTIL leader, like Zaidenberg, had backgrounds in the military and were former military contractors. Both have worked for SOFWERX, “a collaborative project of the U.S. Special Forces Command and Doolittle Institute.” The latter transfers Air Force technology, through the Air Force Resource Lab, to the private sector.

According to Terp’s bio on the website of a consulting firm she created with Breuer, “She’s taught data science at Columbia University, was CTO of the UN’s big data team, designed machine learning algorithms and unmanned vehicle systems at the UK Ministry of Defence.

Breuer is a former US Navy commander. According to his bio, he was “military director of US Special Operations Command Donovan Group and senior military advisor and innovation officer to SOFWERX, the National Security Agency, and U.S. Cyber Command as well as being the Director of C4 at U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.” Breuer is listed as having been in the Navy during the creation of CTIL on his LinkedIn page.

In June, 2018, Terp attended a ten-day military exercise organized by the US Special Operations Command, where she says she first met Breuer and discussed modern disinformation campaigns on social media. Wired summed up the conclusions they drew from their meeting: “Misinformation, they realized, could be treated the same way: as a cybersecurity problem.” And so they created CogSec with David Perlman and another colleague, Thaddeus Grugq, at the lead. In 2019, Terp co-chaired the Misinfosec Working Group within CogSec.

Breuer admitted in a podcast that his aim was to bring military tactics to use on social media platforms in the U.S. “I wear two hats,” he explained. “The military director of the Donovan Group, and one of two innovation officers at Sofwerx, which is a completely unclassified 501c3 nonprofit that’s funded by U. S. Special Operations Command.”

Breuer went on to describe how they thought they were getting around the First Amendment. His work with Terp, he explained, was a way to get “nontraditional partners into one room,” including “maybe somebody from one of the social media companies, maybe a few special forces operators, and some folks from Department of Homeland Security… to talk in a non-attribution, open environment in an unclassified way so that we can collaborate better, more freely and really start to change the way that we address some of these issues.”

The Misinfosec report advocated for sweeping government censorship and counter-misinformation. During the first six months of 2019, the authors say, they analyzed “incidents,” developed a reporting system, and shared their censorship vision with “numerous state, treaty and NGOs.”

In every incident mentioned, the victims of misinformation were on the political Left, and they included Barack Obama, John Podesta, Hillary Clinton, and Emmanuel Macron. The report was open about the fact that its motivation for counter-misinformation were the twin political earthquakes of 2016: Brexit and the election of Trump.

“A study of the antecedents to these events lead us to the realization that there’s something off kilter with our information landscape,” wrote Terp and her co-authors. “The usual useful idiots and fifth columnists—now augmented by automated bots, cyborgs and human trolls—are busily engineering public opinion, stoking up outrage, sowing doubt and chipping away at trust in our institutions. And now it’s our brains that are being hacked.”

The Misinfosec report focused on information that “changes beliefs” through “narratives,” and recommended a way to counter misinformation by attacking specific links in a “kill chain” or influence chain from the misinfo “incident” before it becomes a full-blown narrative.

The report laments that governments and corporate media no longer have full  control of information. “For a long time, the ability to reach mass audiences belonged to the nation-state (e.g. in the USA via broadcast licensing through ABC, CBS and NBC). Now, however, control of informational instruments has been allowed to devolve to large technology companies who have been blissfully complacent and complicit in facilitating access to the public for information operators at a fraction of what it would have cost them by other means.”

The authors advocated for police, military, and intelligence involvement in censorship, across Five Eyes nations, and even suggested that Interpol should be involved.

The report proposed a plan for AMITT and for security, intelligence, and law enforcement collaboration and argued for immediate implementation. “We do not need, nor can we afford, to wait 27 years for the AMITT (Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques) framework to go into use.”

The authors called for placing censorship efforts inside of “cybersecurity” even while acknowledging that “misinformation security” is utterly different from cybersecurity. They wrote that the third pillar of “The information environment” after physical and cybersecurity should be “The Cognitive Dimension.”

The report flagged the need for a kind of pre-bunking to “preemptively inoculate a vulnerable population against messaging.” The report also pointed to the opportunity to use the DHS-funded Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) as the homes for orchestrating public-private censorship, and argued that these ISACs should be used to promote confidence in government.

It is here that we see the idea for the EIP and VP: “While social media is not identified as a critical sector, and therefore doesn’t qualify for an ISAC, a misinformation ISAC could and should feed indications and warnings into ISACs.”

 Terp’s view of “disinformation” was overtly political. “Most misinformation is actually true,” noted Terp in the 2019 podcast, “but set in the wrong context.” Terp is an eloquent explainer of the strategy of using “anti-disinformation” efforts to conduct influence operations. “You’re not trying to get people to believe lies most of the time. Most of the time, you’re trying to change their belief sets. And in fact, really, uh, deeper than that, you’re trying to change, to shift their internal narratives… the set of stories that are your baseline for your culture. So that might be the baseline for your culture as an American.”

In the fall, Terp and others sought to promote their report. The podcast Terp did with Breuer in 2019 was one example of this effort. Together Terp and Breuer described the “public-private” model of censorship laundering that DHS, EIP, and VP would go on to embrace.

Breuer spoke freely, openly stating that the information and narrative control he had in mind was comparable to that implemented by the Chinese government, only made more palatable for Americans. “If you talk to the average Chinese citizen, they absolutely believe that the Great Firewall of China is not there for censorship. They believe that it’s there because the Chinese Communist Party wants to protect the citizenry and they absolutely believe that’s a good thing. If the US government tried to sell that narrative, we would absolutely lose our minds and say, ‘No, no, this is a violation of our First Amendment rights.’ So the in-group and out-group messaging have to be often different.”

“Hogwarts School of Misinformation”

“SJ called us the ‘Hogwarts school for misinformation and disinformation,’” said the whistleblower. “They were superheroes in their own story. And to that effect you could still find comic books on the CISA site.”

CTIL, the whistleblower said, “needed programmers to pull apart information from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. For Twitter they created Python code to scrape.”

The CTIL records provided by the whistleblower illustrate exactly how CTIL operated and tracked “incidents,” as well as what it considered to be “disinformation.” About the “we won’t stay home” narrative, CTIL members wrote, “Do we have enough to ask for the groups and/or accounts to be taken down or at a minimum reported and checked?” and “Can we get all troll on their bums if not?”

They tracked posters calling for anti-lockdown protests as disinformation artifacts.

“We should have seen this one coming,” they wrote about the protests. “Bottom line: can we stop the spread, do we have enough evidence to stop superspreaders, and are there other things we can do (are there countermessagers we can ping etc).”

CTIL also worked to brainstorm counter-messaging for things like encouraging people to wear masks and discussed building an amplification network. “Repetition is truth,” said a CTIL member in one training. 

CTIL worked with other figures and groups in the Censorship Industrial Complex. Meeting notes indicate that Graphika’s team looked into adopting AMITT and that CTIL wanted to consult DiResta about getting platforms to remove content more quickly.

When asked whether Terp or other CTIL leaders discussed their potential violation of the First Amendment, the whistleblower said, “They did not… The ethos was that if we get away with it, it’s legal, and there were no First Amendment concerns because we have a ‘public-private partnership’ — that’s the word they used to disguise those concerns. ‘Private people can do things public servants can’t do, and public servants can provide the leadership and coordination.’”

Despite their confidence in the legality of their activities, some CTIL members may have taken extreme measures to keep their identities a secret. The group’s handbook recommends using burner phones, creating pseudonymous identities, and generating fake AI faces using the “This person does not exist” website.

In June 2020, the whistleblower says, the secretive group took actions to conceal their activities even more.

One month later, In July 2020, SIO’s Director, Alex Stamos emailed Kate Starbird from the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, writing, “We are working on some election monitoring ideas with CISA and I would love your informal feedback before we go too far down this road . . . . [T]hings that should have been assembled a year ago are coming together quickly this week.”

That summer CISA also created the Countering Foreign Influence Task Force which has measures that reflect CTIL/AMITT methods and includes a “real fake” graphic novel the whistleblower said was first pitched within CTIL.

The “DISARM” framework, which AMITT inspired, has been formally adopted by the European Union and the United States as part of a “common standard for exchanging structured threat information on Foreign Information Manipulation and Interference.”

Until now, the details of CTIL’s activities have received little attention even though the group received publicity in 2020. In September 2020, Wired published an article about CTIL that reads like a company press release. The article, like the Bloomberg and Washington Post stories that spring, accepts unquestioningly that the CTIL was truly a “volunteer” network of “former” intelligence officials from around the world.

But unlike the Bloomberg and Washington Post stories, Wired also describes CTIL’s “anti-misinformation” work. The Wired reporter does not quote any critic of the CTIL activities, but suggests that some might see something wrong with them. “I ask him [CTIL co-founder Marc Rogers] about the notion of viewing misinformation as a cyber threat. “All of these bad actors are trying to do the same thing, Rogers says.”

In other words, the connection between preventing cyber crimes, and “fighting misinformation,” are basically the same because they both involve fighting what the DHS and CTI League alike call “malicious actors,” which is synonymous with “bad guys.”

“Like Terp, Rogers takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity,” the Wired article explains. “First there’s physical security, like stealing data from a computer onto a USB drive. Then there’s what we typically think of as cybersecurity—securing networks and devices from unwanted intrusions. And finally, you have what Rogers and Terp call cognitive security, which essentially is hacking people, using information, or more often, misinformation.”

CTIL appears to have generated publicity about itself in the Spring and Fall of 2020 for the same reason EIP did: to claim later that its work was all out in the open and that anybody who suggested it was secretive was engaging in a conspiracy theory.

“The Election Integrity Partnership has always operated openly and transparently,” EIP claimed in October 2022. “We published multiple public blog posts in the run-up to the 2020 election, hosted daily webinars immediately before and after the election, and published our results in a 290-page final report and multiple peer-reviewed academic journals. Any insinuation that information about our operations or findings were secret up to this point is disproven by the two years of free, public content we have created.”

But as internal messages have revealed, much of what EIP did was secret, as well as partisan, and demanding of censorship by social media platforms, contrary to its claims.

EIP and VP, ostensibly, ended, but CTIL is apparently still active, based on the LinkedIn pages of its members.


Original Article: