Collusion? Legal Group Seeks to Expose Gov’t, ‘Digital Brownshirts’

August 18th, 2023 6:22 PM

America First Legal is once again challenging the government for colluding with Big Tech and radical “digital brownshirts” to upend individual free speech rights.

On Wednesday, America First Legal (AFL) announced in a press release that it has launched an investigation into state attorneys general and collusion with the anti-free speech, “foreign organization” the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) to censor Americans. AFL filed numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests inquiring about the specifics of a letter written on March 24, 2021, by twelve Democratic state attorneys general to the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook. 

AFL says the letter shows that Democrat attorneys general and Big Tech giants purposefully censored free speech in collusion with CCDH. CCDH describes itself as a “not-for-profit non-governmental organization” that “works to stop the spread of online hate and disinformation through innovative research, public campaigns and policy advocacy.” 

But MRC Founder and President Brent Bozell had another name for the group after it targeted the Media Research Center and eight other conservative organizations in an attempt to shut them down online: 

“Digital brownshirts are attacking conservative organizations for daring to have an honest debate on climate policy. These anti-free speech bigots want to shut down anyone who dares to disagree with them.”

In the letter, the attorneys general urged the social media platforms to “effectively root[] out fraudulent information about coronavirus vaccines.” AFL said this demand is evidence that the government pressured social media platforms to censor certain views. AFL also says that the letter was drafted in coordination with the CCDH. 

On March 24, 2021, CCDH published an eerily-similar list. The list included what AFLS says CCDH called “twelve anti-vaxxers who play a leading role in spreading digital misinformation about Covid vaccines.” The list was mostly comprised of Americans, notably Democratic Party Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has a history of questioning the efficacy of vaccines.

AFL says the targets of both writings are the same: average Americans who share views outside of the mainstream narrative.

“In 2021, in an extraordinarily anti-American move, twelve state attorneys general did the bidding of an organization with extraordinary foreign ties to pressure social media companies to censor Americans’ speech,” a statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel, read. “We are going to obtain any and all communications between those offices and anyone associated with CCDH so that the American people can see for themselves the extent of this foreign-influence operation at the state level,” said Gene Hamilton.

Read the FOIAs here.

MRC Free Speech America has consistently reported on AFL’s legal challenges to Big Tech and Big Government collusion.

In January,  America First Legal (AFL) obtained documentation in the discovery phase of the Missouri v. Biden lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s administration proving the intentionally censored Americans domestically. At the time, AFL was quoted as saying “these documents show a direct line from foreign intelligence tactics being used at the State Department, to the Census Bureau, and then to the CDC.” The Facebook Files back up AFL’s claim of a concerted government scheme, revealing that the CDC actively pressured Facebook to censor certain speech.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that government agencies be held to account to uphold 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.