The House Judiciary Committee released a report Monday detailing information on how major government agencies collaborated with a “disinformation” group at Stanford, working to “censor” Americans prior to the 2020 election.
Within a detailed 103-page staff-interim report, the committee revealed emails and internal communication between the DH’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) colluding with Stanford University’s Election Integrity Partnership (EIP).
“The First Amendment to the Constitution rightly limits the government’s role in monitoring and censoring Americans’ speech, but these disinformation researchers (often funded, at least in part, by taxpayer dollars) were not strictly bound by these constitutional guardrails,” the report stated.
“What the federal government could not do directly, it effectively outsourced to the newly emerging censorship-industrial complex,” it continued.
The EIP was reportedly created during the summer of 2020 “at the request” of the CISA, as a way for the federal government to “launder its censorship activities in hopes of bypassing both the First Amendment and public scrutiny,” according to the report.
“But as American citizens, including candidates in these elections, attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights on these platforms, their constitutionally protected speech was intentionally suppressed as a consequence of the federal government’s direct coordination with third-party organizations, particularly universities, and social media platforms,” the report stated.
According to the report, the EIP was used as a shell for federal agencies and organizations to quietly censor online content, which they deemed as “misinformation.” The process reportedly had the EIP’s “external stakeholders,” including the federal agencies and organizations, submit misinformation reports to the EIP itself.
Then, EIP’s “analysts” would report a post on various social media platforms, finding similar content in the process. Finally, the EIP would submit their report and findings to “Big Tech” with “specific recommendations on how the social media platforms should censor the posts.”
The main targets of the censoring, according to the report, were a slew of public figures and outlets, with notable names such as President Donald Trump, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Fox News host Sean Hannity.
“This pressure was largely directed in a way that benefitted one side of the political aisle: true information posted by Republicans and conservatives was labeled as ‘misinformation’ while false information posted by Democrats and liberals was largely unreported and untouched by the censors,” the report noted.
Jokes, satire, true information, and political opinions were all targeted by the EIP and federal government, according to the report.
The committee announced that the investigation will remain ongoing.
“The government may not dictate the type or terms of the criticism to which it is subject, even when—especially when—the government disagrees with the merits of that criticism,” the report stated. “To inform potential legislation, the Committee and the Select Subcommittee have been investigating the Executive Branch’s collusion with third-party intermediaries, including universities, to censor protected speech on social media.”