Damning Documents Reveal DHS’s Ongoing Censorship Scheme

September 26th, 2023 1:23 PM

Newly obtained documents uncovered how Biden’s Department of Homeland Security claimed it had full authority to violate the First Amendment online.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claimed before the launch of the Orwellian and now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) that it had the authority to regulate “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation,” which DHS calls MDM. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP/AFPF) obtained the documents regarding DHS censorship efforts pre- and post-DGB through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The DHS has withheld information and been secretive in response to the FOIA requests and a lawsuit, according to a Fox News exclusive report on Sept. 22.

“We at the MRC have also been fighting DHS to force it to comply with the law, but DHS is using every excuse in the book to hide its documents from the public,” MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider said. “We ultimately found damning evidence about DHS’s illegal censorship through other governmental sources, like the ‘Pyramid of Far-Right Radicalization’ utilized by Biden’s grantees. It is not an exaggeration to say that Biden and Mayorkas want to eliminate First Amendment rights for political speech that sheds light on the harms of their policies.” MRC FOIA requests uncovered how the “Targeted Violence & Terrorism Prevention Grant Program” (TVTP) was weaponized against Republicans, conservatives and Christians.

AFP also accused DHS of abusing FOIA exemptions to block the release of potentially damning documents. As reported by Fox, DHS is relying on a law that blocks the release of “techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions.” Specifically, the legal group argued that it is possible that DHS overstated its authority to censor free speech online.

A defiant DHS spokesperson defended the federal agency’s plan, despite clear conflicts with the First Amendment. “We have worked for over a decade to address disinformation that poses a threat to that security,” the individual pontificated, before claiming its actions were allegedly “consistent with the law.” Former Trump deputy secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli, however, told Fox that “DHS does not have censorship authority.”

AFP Director of Investigations Kevin Schmidt chimed in. “The idea that any agency with such vast political power believes it has the authority to determine what ideas count as good or true upsets the delicate balance of power established by our founding fathers,” Schmidt remarked.

AFP obtained documents related to the DGB, which was shut down after backlash. The DGB had targeted “Ukraine” and “irregular migration” content. The DHS also reportedly targeted “racial justice,” U.S. Afghanistan withdrawal, and COVID-19 vaccine content, Fox explained.

Fox noted that the DHS documents come hard on the heels of House Republicans’ attempts to pass legislation to prevent any federal funding from going to any DGB-like entity in the future. A judge halted some anti-free speech efforts of the federal government in July, in response to the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit from the Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry. The Biden administration obtained a temporary halt to the injunction pending a formal appeal to the Supreme Court.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand the State Department be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.