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

Surgeon General Murthy Advocates for Digital ID to Combat Online “Misinformation” and Protect Youth

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

These days, as the saying goes – you can’t swing a cat without hitting a “paper of record” giving prominent op-ed space to some current US administration official – and this is happening very close to the presidential election.

This time, the New York Times and US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy got together, with Murthy’s own slant on what opponents might see as another push to muzzle social media ahead of the November vote, under any pretext.

A pretext is, as per Murthy: new legislation that would “shield young people from online harassment, abuse and exploitation,” and there’s disinformation and such, of course.

Coming from Murthy, this is inevitably branded as “health disinformation.” But the way digital rights group EFF sees it – requiring “a surgeon general’s warning label on social media platforms, stating that social media is associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents” – is just unconstitutional.

Whenever minors are mentioned in this context, the obvious question is – how do platforms know somebody’s a minor? And that’s where the privacy and security nightmare known as age verification, or “assurance” comes in.

Critics think this is no more than a thinly veiled campaign to unmask internet users under what the authorities believe is the platitude that cannot be argued against – “thinking of the children.”

Yet in reality, while it can harm children, the overall target is everybody else. Basically – in a just and open internet, every adult who might think using this digital town square, and expressing an opinion, would not have to come with them producing a government-issued photo ID.

And, “nevermind” the fact that the same type of “advisory” is what is currently before the Supreme Court in the Murthy v. Missouri case, deliberating whether what no less than the First Amendment was violated in the alleged – prior – censorship collusion between the government and the Big Tech.

The White House is at this stage cautious to openly endorse the points Murthy made in the NYC think-piece, with a spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, “neither confirming nor denying” anything.

“So I think that’s important that he’ll continue to do that work” – was the “nothing burger” of a reply Jean-Pierre offered when asked about the idea of “Murthy labels.”

But Murthy is – and really, the whole gang around the current administration and legacy media bending their way – now seems to be in the going for broke mode ahead of November.

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.