‘Smear and Censor’: DHS Not Giving Up Gambit to Censor Free Speech

May 12th, 2023 4:02 PM

The First Amendment is clearly under attack. The Department of Homeland Security continues to use taxpayer dollars to target Americans’ speech.

“The Department of Homeland Security [DHS] is using hard-earned tax dollars to smear and censor Americans they deem guilty of spreading ‘mis-, dis-, and malformation,’” according to The Federalist’s summarization of the position of House Republicans on the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability.

The Federalist reported May 11 that the now-defunct Disinformation Governance Board (DGB) was hardly the only DHS project aimed at censoring Americans’ free speech. The DGB was just “the tip of the iceberg of [DHS’s] censorship laundering schemes,” committee Chairman Dan Bishop (R-NC) said at the congressional hearing.



The DGB was disbanded after backlash following exclusive reporting from MRC Free Speech America and Business calling out its connections to leftist billionaire George Soros. But DHS censorship efforts continued. The Federalist denoted “underground government-led censorship efforts” from the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in particular. CISA’s website says it helps Americans “understand the risks from foreign influence operations and disinformation.”

Unfortunately, CISA now focuses more on targeting Americans whose speech the government doesn’t happen to like, The Federalist stated. While CISA is banned from direct censorship by the Constitution, it worked with groups like Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) at Stanford University with the excuse of shared interns, as The Federalist noted. EIP works to censor information before, during, and after elections by flagging content for censorship.

Bishop spoke concerning supposed “disinformation” in elections. “By the 2020 elections…CISA [was] pivoting away from foreign sources to focus on domestic ‘misinformation,’” Bishop rebuked. “But the government knew this would raise huge Constitutional concerns, so it helped create non-governmental entities such as the Election Integrity [Partnership] to do what the government could not do on its own.” Bishop said COVID-19 content was also censored by DHS-tied networks.

One witness called CISA the “architect of the broader public-private censorship regime.” Benjamin Weingarten — an investigative journalist and Federalist senior contributor — told Congress: “‘These systematic speech stifling efforts, often targeting core political speech and intensifying during elections, seem tantamount to a conspiracy to violate the First Amendment and running domestic election interference.’” He added: “In short, we’ve unwittingly been paying unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to silence ourselves.”

As Congressman Eli Crane (R-AZ) said: “The most important time to support somebody’s free speech isn’t when you agree with them. It’s when you disagree with them…I fought really hard to make sure that my kids and hopefully someday my grandkids don’t live under Communism.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech and government agencies be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.