Suit targets Biden State Department censorship
The Daily Wire, The Federalist, and the state of Texas joined on Tuesday in a lawsuit against the U.S. State Department, alleging that the government agency funded censorship technology designed to bankrupt domestic media outlets with disfavored political opinions.
The State Department is tasked with foreign relations and has no authority over domestic affairs, yet it took a government office designed for countering foreign terrorist propaganda, the Global Engagement Center (GEC), and unleashed it against Americans engaged in what it claimed was “disinformation,” according to the lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas on Tuesday night by the New Civil Liberties Alliance.
It was “one of the most audacious, manipulative, secretive, and gravest abuses of power and infringements of First Amendment rights by the federal government in American history,” said the suit, which also names Secretary of State Antony Blinken and five other officials as defendants.
The lawsuit asks a judge to declare the State Department’s attempt to interfere with domestic speech illegal and to permanently bar it from developing, promoting, or encouraging others to use technology to de-amplify, shadow ban, or restrict “the lawful speech of the American press and Americans.”
GEC was founded in 2011 as the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications and tasked with countering the propaganda of foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda. In 2016, it was renamed, but kept the same counterterrorism mission. Congress has made clear that “none of the funds authorized” for the entity “shall be used for purposes other than countering foreign propaganda.”
Nonetheless, GEC turned its focus on Americans, the complaint alleges, using taxpayer funds to finance the development and promotion of censorship organizations such as NewsGuard and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI), which regularly target conservative media outlets such as The Daily Wire and The Federalist with the stated goal of limiting ad revenue.
"Disinformation" is a word the left is using to try to censor speech it disagrees with. The proper response to speech the government disagrees with is more speech and not censorship. The Biden administration has been accused of claiming that truthful speech was "disinformation" and censoring it. This was especially the case with the COVID-19 pandemic.
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