‘Orwellian!’ New Suit Alleges Mass Surveillance, Censorship Operation

May 5th, 2023 6:05 PM

Pro-free speech law firm America First Legal (AFL) filed a lawsuit to tear the lid off of the groups working hand in glove with the tyrannical federal government and Big Tech companies, alleging a conspiracy to censor Americans.

AFL filed the lawsuit on behalf of Health Freedom Louisiana co-Director Jill Hines, and The Gateway PunditFounder Jim Hoft.  

The lawsuit alleges that the so-called “Election Integrity Partnership” and the “Virality Project” were actually just part of a “mass surveillance and censorship operation” specifically focused on “targeting the political speech of millions of Americans on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter (under its prior ownership).”

AFL President Stephen Miller ripped the censorship actions as “Orwellian”: 

“Under the Orwellian guise of policing ‘mis’ and ‘disinformation,’ the organizations and entities we are suing today are responsible for radically eroding the rights and liberties upon which the survival of free society depends. We will fight to hold them liable in a court of law and seek full and complete justice for their victims. America First Legal will continue to lead the charge to rescue America from tyranny.”

Defendants in the federal class action lawsuit included Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) Director Alex Stamos and SIO Research Manager Renée DiResta. University of Washington Associate Professor Dr. Kate Starbird, Software-as-a-Service (SAAS) and managed services company Graphika, and the Atlantic Research Council’s Digital Forensic Lab were also named as defendants.

Twitter Files journalist Matt Taibbi revealed in March that Virality Project (VP), a coalition of research entities, partnered with the government “to launch a pan-industry monitoring plan for Covid-related content.” VP worked with multiple government agencies, including the Office of the Surgeon General and the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, (GEC) which was also involved in targeting individuals, according to Taibbi. The now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) was also formed by the Homeland Security Department (DHS) just after VP pushed for a misinformation entity under DHS control.

The plaintiffs say they have proof that conservatives were censored over views that conflicted with the narrative on the 2020 elections and COVID-19.

“The scope of the surveillance and censorship cannot be overstated,” a press release announcing the lawsuit noted. “The Defendants admitted that during 2020, they surveilled a staggering 859 million posts on Twitter alone and that they tracked for possible censorship almost 22 million Tweets. Again, during seven months in 2021, they tracked posts about COVID-19 with about 200 million engagements for possible censorship.”

AFL’s press release said the lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Americans who faced the real-world harm of one-sided censorship:

“Americans who dared to speak out against the woke liberal orthodoxy that has infiltrated every sector of corporate America would face the threat of censorship and de-platforming by Big Tech giants and these elusive surveillance organizations acting together with the federal government.” 

AFL’s lawsuit isn’t the first to hold Big Tech social media platforms accountable for collusion with the federal government.

The lawsuit is similar to a lawsuit filed by Louisiana and Missouri lawsuit that cited original research from Media Research Center and its unique CensorTrack database to support its case.

In 2022, MRC Free Speech America published its findings of 646 cases in CensorTrack of pro-Biden censorship between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that 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 using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.