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America First Legal has disclosed that their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General resulted in the categorization of “misinformation” and “disinformation” investigations as a “law enforcement matter.”
This information stems from an inquiry into the Attorney General’s response to a letter written by twelve Democrat state attorneys general to the heads of Twitter (now X) and Facebook.
The letter urged these tech giants to censor certain viewpoints of US citizens, notably those of the “Disinformation Dozen.” This initiative was backed by the UK’s pro-censorship body, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).
In a reply on September 6, 2023, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office opted to withhold records in relation to AFL’s inquiry. The reason? Disclosures could inadvertently shed light on “multistate law enforcement matters.” The nature of the letter itself, a call for censorship, was intriguingly described as a “multistate” “law enforcement matter.”
This treatment of misinformation and disinformation as potential legal transgressions has heightened concerns surrounding the sanctity of free speech.
In response to this, AFL is diving deeper, submitting a subsequent request to the Attorney General’s office. They seek clarity and comprehensive records that shed light on how many such “law enforcement investigations” linked to misinformation or disinformation have been undertaken.
Gene Hamilton, Vice President and General Counsel of America First Legal, voiced his alarm: “If so-called misinformation and disinformation are legitimate law enforcement matters for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, then the First Amendment is under much more severe threat than anyone realizes. They are either trying to hide the existence of damaging emails and documents that reveal the extent of their desire to censor American speech, or they have completely lost their minds regarding what the First Amendment protects.”