‘On Notice’: Paul Renews Warnings to Gov’t Censors Following Bombshell Report

December 11th, 2023 12:21 PM

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) bashed “the establishment’s campaign to crush dissent” through tech-government censorship collusion.

Paul wrote a Dec. 7 op-ed for Fox News about the government-created Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) that engaged in election-interfering censorship in 2020. “A bombshell revelation demonstrates the chilling lengths the government will go to censor the American people,” Paul wrote. “I wish I could say I’m surprised, but federal officials have been pressuring Big Tech to censor constitutionally protected speech for quite some time.” He has introduced legislation, the Free Speech Protection Act, to bar government workers in the future from anti-free speech activities.

The senator slammed the federal government’s plan to “outsource” censorship during the 2020 election season. He specifically critiqued the infamous partnership the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security and the Global Engagement Center created with private entities, including Stanford University, to carry out such activities. CISA had direct access to EIP’s “inner workings” and the government was clearly involved, the senator argued. Republicans, conservatives and libertarians were the targets of this biased campaign, he wrote.

“Under this scheme, government officials and federally funded organizations flagged posts they deemed ‘misinformation’ to EIP analysts, who in turn would flag them for the intended social media platform,” the senator explained. The House Judiciary Committee and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government report found EIP bragging to the government about its successes in getting Americans censored.

Paul noted that former Facebook executive Alex Stamos admitted that the government wasn’t always polite in its censorship requests. “[Y]ou can’t have a casual chat with an FBI agent when you’re an executive at a company. It’s not safe … there’s lots of parts of the government that can punish you for activity that you thought was appropriate,” Stamos said, according to the 104-page House Judiciary report

Paul cited his own experience being censored by YouTube for discussing the ineffectiveness of cloth masks as protection against COVID-19. He also described Stanford’s reluctance to produce documents about its EIP activities. Under his proposed legislation, however, government employees would be penalized for attacking free speech and citizens could sue the government, among other measures.

“Those officials who censor Americans are on notice: if you infringe upon First Amendment rights, under my bill, you will face severe penalties,” Paul concluded.

Earlier this summer, Paul wrote an op-ed for The Federalist touting the Free Speech Protection Act. If passed, the bill would slap federal employees with fines of “no less than $10,000” and would prompt the revocation of security clearances, Paul wrote on July 25.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand government agencies and Big Tech 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.