Defend free speech and individual liberty online. 

Push back against Big Tech and media gatekeepers.

DHS Agency Used Slack and Personal Cellphones For Meetings Aimed at Misinformation Censorship

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

It has emerged that a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agency has been using unconventional and potentially insecure methods for hosting meetings concerning “misinformation.” Twisting the principles of transparency that democratic institutions are ostensibly built upon, these meetings were not conducted in government facilities or through official secure communication channels, but through a Slack channel and even personal cellphones – according to existing records.

It’s a jarring black mark against the Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation & Disinformation Subcommittee, part of CISA’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee, whose primary obligation was to national security, which veered away from standard protocol to hold critical talks about a hot-button issue like “misinformation” censorship.

Further complicating the issue, it has now also come to light that Twitter’s head of legal, Vijaya Gadde, proffered to retire from an advisory subcommittee following a messy altercation with the Disinformation Governance Board. A report from Just the News shows it’s a development that underscores the deep-rooted controversies surrounding the handling of so-called misinformation and how that continues to impact free speech.

Interestingly though, the agency director opposed the Twitter executive’s decision to quit the committee. The details of these incidents were divulged in official meeting notes, casting a spotlight on the internal machinations and disquiet at play during these conservation misconducts.

While using personal devices may be convenient for everyday life, when it comes to government communication, such informality can have serious implications for transparency, accountability, and even national security. It is critical that governmental officials utilize official channels for all communications related to their role for several compelling reasons.

Safeguarding Transparency: Transparency is the cornerstone of a democratic society. Citizens have the right to know what decisions are being made on their behalf and why. When government officials use personal devices or unofficial channels to discuss matters of state, it becomes almost impossible to ensure complete transparency. These communications are not automatically archived or subject to freedom of information requests, meaning that crucial information may be withheld from the public eye.

Maintaining Accountability: Accountability is closely linked to transparency. When official channels are bypassed, it is easier for misconduct, corruption, or conflicts of interest to go unnoticed. Government communications can involve sensitive topics ranging from public spending to foreign policy, and the use of personal devices could make it easier for officials to engage in ethically questionable behavior. When government officials have been caught coordinating with social media platforms, the extent of this censorship would never have been brought to light if there is little record of the coordination.

If you’re tired of censorship and surveillance, join Reclaim The Net.

Read more

Join the pushback against online censorship, cancel culture, and surveillance.

Already a member? Login.