Subscribe for premier reporting on free speech, privacy, Big Tech, media gatekeepers, and individual liberty online.

Senator Mazie Hirono Claims Saying FEMA “Cannot Be Trusted” Is “Disinformation,” Calls For Controls of Disinfo Spread

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

Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono this week addressed the Senate Judiciary Committee over the purported misuse of AI tech to spread what she called false narratives, especially during crisis events. The Senator, who has previously criticized AI memes for being allowed to be shared online, zeroed in on the noted perversion of tech during the Maui wildfires, highlighting a critical concern about AI’s potential to fuel false information in the aftermath of future tragedies.

Of AI, Senator Hirono stated, “It is a powerful tool that can be used for good, but it can also be used to spread a lot of disinformation and misinformation, and that happened during the disaster on Maui.” She drew attention to the possibility that AI could facilitate the amplification of disinformation, a hazard linked to foreign entities keen to undermine the trust in federal agencies.

Senator Hirono suggested that criticism of FEMA being shared online was due to a disinformation campaign.

“Maui residents were subject to disinformation – some of it coming from foreign governments, i.e., Russia—looking to sow confusion and distrust, including, ‘Don’t sign up for FEMA because they cannot be trusted.’ And I worry that with AI, such information will only become more rampant with future disasters,” Senator Hirono said during testimony.

In her closing query, Senator Hirono sought insight into the concrete steps that can be taken to preemptively strike and stop the flow of such disinformation, specifically from foreign bodies.

While concerns over AI-driven misinformation, particularly from foreign adversaries, are understandable, any hasty clampdown could be a slippery slope that undermines the cherished democratic value of free speech. The Biden administration itself has already had an injunction against it for its consistent breaching of the First Amendment right to free speech over its attempts to curb online “misinformation” – much of which turned out to be true.

The free exchange of ideas, even unpopular or challenging ones, is the lifeblood of a vibrant democracy. The true challenge lies not in censoring or controlling discourse, but in educating and empowering citizens to critically evaluate the flood of information they encounter. Instead of leaning towards restricting voices, efforts should be centered on fortifying the discernment abilities of the populace.

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

Read more

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

Already a member? Login.