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CISA Covered-Up Domestic Censorship, Big Tech Collusion According to House Report

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According to an initial assessment issued by the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, a federal agency created to safeguard vital infrastructure and cybersecurity attempted to hide its domestic censoring practices.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) relationship with major technology firms and publicly financed third parties was revealed in a report which was made public on Monday. A little-known division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is CISA.

Unknown, secret papers have come to light that show CISA went beyond its authority in order to monitor discourse on social media and conspired with Big Tech firms like Twitter and government-funded third parties to “censor by proxy.” The report’s messages reveal that CISA later attempted to hide its “plainly unconstitutional activities” from the general public.

The report accuses CISA of attempting to evade First Amendment protections by working with government-funded third parties to conspire with Big Tech firms to censor particular perspectives.

“CISA is not a law enforcement agency and is not authorized to act as an intelligence agency. But, in practice, that is how CISA has behaved, arrogating to itself the authority to conduct surveillance of Americans on social media,” the report states.

“CISA expanded its unconstitutional practice by developing an elaborate social media censorship apparatus spanning multiple organizations in order to facilitate the censorship of Americans’ political speech both directly and by proxy.”

The report brings attention to a number of especially troubling activities, including CISA’s consideration of creating a “rapid response” anti-misinformation team, relocation of censoring operations to a third-party organization in order to prevent unfavorable views, and agency plan to use the non-profit as a spokesperson in order to avoid charges of official propaganda.

What Is the CISA?

CISA sits within the Department of Homeland Security with the statutory mission to lead “cybersecurity and critical infrastructure security programs, operations, and associated policy.”

The agency was created to protect the electrical grid and other “critical infrastructure” sectors from cybersecurity threats. However, after the 2016 elections, former DHS secretary Jeh Johnson designated “election infrastructure” as a “critical infrastructure subsector.”

Furthermore, CISA director Jen Easterly argued in November 2021 that the term critical infrastructure, along with the agency’s remit, also included “cognitive infrastructure.”

“One could argue we’re in the business of critical infrastructure, and the most critical infrastructure is our cognitive infrastructure, so building that resilience to misinformation and disinformation, I think, is incredibly important,” Easterly said.

A committee called MDM was established by CISA to focus on false, misleading, and malicious information. Factual information that needs “context” to prevent it from being twisted into what CISA deemed a “harmful” narrative referred to as malinformation. This includes Twitter’s decision to suppress the New York Post’s report on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

CISA’s cybersecurity advisory board established a “Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation and Disinformation” subcommittee known as the “MDM Subcommittee.”

Misinformation specialists from the government, Big Tech, and academia were brought together in the MDM Subcommittee. This featured Suzanne Spaulding, a former assistant general counsel and legal advisor for the Central Intelligence Agency, Kate Starbird, co-founder of the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, and Vijaya Gadde, former chief legal officer of Twitter.

Rapid Response Misinformation Team

The report highlighted one instance as a “particularly notable departure from [CISA’s] legal authority,” which occurred at an MDM meeting on June 14, 2022.

CISA proposed creating an anti-MDM “rapid response team” that would physically deploy around the United States, according to messages and meeting minutes. Attendees approved of the concept.

Geoff Hale, the director of CISA’s Election Security Initiative, commented that “this is a fascinating idea that takes CISA’s existing operational responsibilities to consider MDM as part of its core mission set.”

Twitter’s former head of legal, Vijaya Gadde, noted “that the idea of a rapid response team must include the ability to engage whether or not a cyber component is present.”

“Dr. Starbird agreed with Ms. Gadde’s point that threats to critical infrastructure are not limited to cyber threats,” meeting notes stated.

CISA has transformed into a domestic intelligence and speech-police agency, far exceeding its statutory authority,” the report states.

After Joe Biden took office, CISA admitted in a 2022 pamphlet titled, “Planning and Incident Response Guide for Election Officials,” that it was also targeting MDM originating from domestic sources.

The report describes CISA’s involvement in policing MDM as “a direct and serious threat to First Amendment principles.”

According to the report, CISA’s MDM team at its height consisted of 15 devoted part- and full-time employees who concentrated on misinformation campaigns aimed at elections and crucial infrastructure.

Censorship by Proxy, Switchboarding

The research reveals instances of CISA outsourcing its operations to outside parties to facilitate so-called “misinformation reports” from all around the nation and send them to social media businesses during the 2020 and 2022 elections, shedding insight on the enormous censorship apparatus.

“CISA has transformed into a domestic intelligence and speech-police agency, far exceeding its statutory authority,” the report states.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit organization, is funded by CISA. The operation of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) will be funded with $27 million for the fiscal year 2024.

Election officials from all throughout the nation allegedly sent erroneous or deceptive internet information regarding the 2020 elections to social media giants by using EI-ISAC as a “single conduit”

Brian Scully, the manager of its MDM team, described CISA’s involvement in the 2020 election season as “switchboarding.” It took a lot of resources for CISA personnel to submit allegations of suspected disinformation to social media sites for blocking.

Scully stated during his deposition that EI-ISAC was hired to handle this procedure for the 2022 midterm elections as part of current litigation in federal court.

An uncut video of a county official was shared on Twitter in August 2022. A Loudoun County, Virginia, government official reported the post because it was “part of a wider attempt to undermine the word of” that person.

“The Loudon County official’s remark that the account she flagged ‘is connected to Parents Against Critical Race Theory’ reveals that her ‘misinformation report’ was nothing more than a politically motivated censorship attempt,” the report states.

Messages show CISA officials implicitly and explicitly acknowledged on multiple occasions that the agency was not authorized to conduct the kind of surveillance and censorship.

Messages, meeting notes, and comments on documents obtained by the committees show Starbird, Twitter’s Gadde, and the CIA’s Spaulding discussing “ the limitation of CISA’s work regarding monitoring” of Americans’ speech.

On March 15, 2022, Starbird “posed how CISA could work with or otherwise support external groups, such as researchers and non-profits, to support MDM response and how this work would be funded in the future.”

Gadde, who was then Twitter’s chief legal officer, “highlighted the many sensitivities, beyond legal ones, in terms of the relationship between social media companies and government concerning media monitoring and the perception this plays globally.” She also noted the need for this government-social media partnership not to result in “any form of surveillance.”

Starbird responded that “this work should come from outside of government due to the sensitivities in this relationship.

“Rather than abandon the consideration of surveilling Americans, Starbird and Gadde attempted to find ways to circumvent the First Amendment’s strictures by outsourcing the ‘monitoring’ activity from the government to private entities,” the report states.

In the same meeting, Spaulding warned that “the government cannot ask an outside party to do something the Intelligence Community cannot do.” But further notes left by Spaulding on MDM’s June recommendation reveal that the MDM members were still considering relying “upon third parties” months later.

Covering Tracks

Before it was dismantled in May 2022, and following harsh criticism of the Disinformation Governance Board under the Biden administration in April 2022, CISA personnel voiced concern about the public’s impression of their work as “government propaganda.”

Meeting notes show that MDM officials Spaulding and Hale proposed outsourcing the censorship work to the EI-ISAC, making it a sort of “clearing house for trusted information.” The so-called switchboard operation concerned CISA’s Kim Wyman on July 26, 2022, “given the current lawsuit filed by Louisiana and Missouri against CISA over perceived suppression of free speech.”

On May 10, 2022, Starbird proposed changing the subcommittee’s name to prevent the public from confusing its activities with that of the DHS Disinformation Governance Board. Gadde concurred and gave the group the go-ahead to forgo any social listening suggestions at the quarterly meeting in June.

The MDM Subcommittee’s other members received an email from Starbird on May 19, 2022, informing them that she had “removed ‘monitoring’ from just about every place where it appeared” in the group’s June recommendations.

On May 20, 2022, Spaulding expressed her concerns about growing public attention in an email to Starbird, writing: “It’s only a matter of time before someone realizes we exist and starts asking about our work … I’m not sure this keeps until our public meeting in June.

“As CISA’s operational scope expanded further into unconstitutional territory, the agency and its advisors tried to cover their tracks and cover up CISA’s censorship of domestic speech and surveillance of American citizens’ social media activity,” the report states.

As public awareness of CISA’s role in government censorship increased, CISA scrubbed its website of references to domestic “misinformation” and “disinformation.” It previously stated under a section titled, “What is MDM?” in which it is written that “foreign and domestic threat actors use MDM campaigns to cause chaos, confusion, and division. These malign actors are seeking to interfere with and undermine our democratic institutions and national cohesiveness.”

“Now, the same URL redirects to a different page titled ‘Foreign Influence Operations and Disinformation,’ which omits any reference to ‘domestic’ MDM,” the report states.

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government and the House Committee on the Judiciary are still looking into the matter. Its study is the result of two hearings on social media censorship held by the weaponization select subcommittee, which also revealed the Federal Trade Commission’s “politically motivated harassment campaign against Elon Musk’s Twitter” in an preliminary report.

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CIA Secret Report Reveals Warning to Russia of Terrorist Attack was Marked “Urgent” but Failed to Identify Target

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US warning regarding a potential terrorist attack at a concert venue in Russia was labeled as “urgent.” However, the warning, according to Hersh’s source, did not specify Crocus City Hall as the target, despite some media reports suggesting otherwise.

The CIA allegedly provided the warning to Russian intelligence before the concert at the Crocus City Hall marking it “urgent,” meaning that the data in it “was credible and near term,” Hersh quoted the official as saying.

“The highly secret report on the attack in Moscow was prepared by the Counterterrorism Center at CIA headquarters and delivered to the terrorism division of the Russian Federal Security Service located in the old KGB building in Moscow. Separate briefings were presented in person by the FBI officer at the embassy. This is an established relationship,” the official said.

The warning, however, did not mention Crocus City Hall near Moscow and only said that an attack was being planned at some “public gathering,” according to the official.

The information provided by the official is contrary to a Washington Post report published on Tuesday claiming that Crocus City Hall was specifically identified in the warning as the target of a terrorist attack.

On March 22, several armed men broke into Crocus City Hall, a major concert venue just outside Moscow, and started shooting at people. They also started a fire in one of the auditoriums, which was full of people ahead of a concert. The attack left 695 casualties, including 144 dead, according to the latest data from the Russian Emergencies Ministry.

The four main suspects in the case — all of them citizens of Tajikistan — tried to flee the scene in a car but were detained and charged with terrorism. Russian authorities believe the perpetrators planned to flee to Ukraine, where a safe haven had been arranged for them. An investigation is underway.

Later in March, The New York Times reported, citing European and US security officials, that the US intelligence agencies did not provide the Russian side with all the information they had about the threat of a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in the Moscow Region out of fear that Russian authorities might learn about their intelligence sources or methods of work.

Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Alexander Bortnikov also said that the information transmitted by the United States on the preparation of a terrorist attack was of a general nature, and the Russian special services responded to it.

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Biden Admin is Using Fraudulent Climate Dataset in Push For Green Agenda, According to Government Watchdog

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A government watchdog group has filed a complaint with the Biden administration over its use of a dataset frequently used to push its climate agenda.

Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) filed the complaint with the Commerce Department over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Billions Project” dataset, which purports to keep track of natural [and climate] disasters that have caused at least $1 billion in damages going back to 1980. The billion-dollar disasters (BDD) data — cited frequently by the Biden administration to insinuate that climate change is intensifying and justify sweeping green policies — is based on opaque data derived from questionable accounting practices, PPT alleges in the complaint.

“American families and businesses continue to struggle with persistently high inflation, which many attribute in large part to the energy policies and government spending of the current administration. The idea that blatant violations of scientific integrity could be underlying the rationale for these policies should concern every American,” Michael Chamberlain, PPT’s director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. The Biden Administration came into office pledging that its decision making would be grounded in the highest-quality science, but all too often has failed to live up to those promises.”

The complaint was filed with the Commerce Department, as NOAA operates under its auspices, Chamberlain told the DCNF.

PPT’s complaint alleges that NOAA does not adequately disclose its sources and methods for compiling the BDD dataset, adds and removes BDD events from the dataset without providing its rationale for doing so and produces cost estimates that are sometimes significantly different than those generated by more conventional accounting procedures.

While NOAA states that it develops its BDD data from more than a dozen sources, the agency does not disclose those sources for specific events or show how it calculates loss estimates from those sources, PPT’s complaint alleges.

The complaint further alleges that NOAA’s accounting methods are opaque and “produce suspect results.”

For example, when Hurricane Id alia took aim at Florida in 2023, NOAA initially projected that the storm would cause about $2.5 billion worth of damages before insured losses ultimately came in at about $310 million, according to PPT’s complaint, which cites the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

 for that figure. Nevertheless, NOAA subsequently marked up its estimate for how much damage the storm caused to $3.5 billion, a discrepancy for which NOAA provided no explanation, PPT alleges in its complaint.

NOAA researchers have disclosed in the past that the agency considers factors such as functions pertaining to livestock feeding costs — in addition to more conventional types of damages — in their cost calculations.

Further, the complaint alleges that BDD events are quietly added and removed from the dataset without explanation, citing Roger Pielke Jr., a former academic who believes climate change to be a real threat but opposes politicized science. In a forthcoming paper analyzing the merits of BDD statistics, Pielke compared the dataset in late 2022 to the dataset in the middle of 2023 and found that ten new BDD events were added to the list and 3 were subtracted without explanation.

Apart from the issues with methodology alleged by PPT in its complaint, the use of BDD events as a proxy for climate change’s intensity is inherently misleading because economic data does not reflect changes in meteorological conditions, as Pielke has previously explained to the DCNF.

For example, increasing concentrations of assets, especially in coastal areas, can confound the usefulness of BDD events as an indicator for the intensity of climate change, as Energy and Environment Legal Institute Senior Policy Fellow Steve Milloy has previously explained to the DCNF. Hypothetically, the same exact hurricane could hit the same exact place, decades apart, with vastly different damage totals; this would be the case because there are simply more assets sitting in the way of the storm, not because the storm was any more violent due to worsening climate change.

NOAA has acknowledged this limitation of the dataset in prior communications with the DCNF.

Additionally, NOAA will add disasters to the list retrospectively because it adjusts for inflation, meaning that a hurricane that caused $800 million in damages in 1980 dollars would be added to the list because the damages exceed $1 billion when adjusted for inflation, for example.

The Biden administration has frequently cited the BDD dataset to substantiate its massive climate agenda.

For example, Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk cited the dataset in written testimony submitted to lawmakers in February explaining the White House’s decision to pause new approvals for liquefied natural gas export terminals.

The BDD statistics are also referenced Fifth National Climate Assessment (NCA5), the Biden administration’s landmark climate report that is intended to provide the most sound scientific basis for lawmakers and officials to craft climate policy.

NOAA asserted that the increasing frequency of BDD events is a sign of intensifying climate change in a January press release and blog post summarizing 2023, and then defended the use of the dataset in subsequent communications with the DCNF.

“Sensational climate claims made without proper scientific basis and spread by government officials threaten the public’s trust in its scientific officials and undermines the government’s mission of stewarding the environment,” PPT’s complaint states. “It also poses the danger of policymakers basing consequential government policy on unscientific claims unsupported by evidence.”

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U.S. Military Has Started Recalling Retirees Due to Recruiting Crisis

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The U.S. Army Publishing Directorate released the ALARACT 017/2024, titled, “Utilization of the Army Retiree Recall Program.”

The document cites Executive Order 13223 from the Bush administration in 2001.

A retiree recall is a “retired Soldier who is ordered to active duty (AD) from the Retired Reserve or the retired list under 10 USC 688/688a, 12301(a), or 12301(d). Per AR 601-10, Recalled retiree Soldiers must be aligned to a valid vacant AC requirement that matches the grade and skill of the retiree before he or she may be recalled to AD,” according to the document. “The retiree population will be utilized as a last resort to fill Active Component vacant requirements.”

The ALARACT 017/2024 comes as the U.S. military is experiencing a recruitment crisis.

The U.S. Army recently announced that it is cutting thousands of positions. Authorized troop levels will now be an estimated 470,000 by fiscal year 2029, down 24,000 from its 494,000 soldiers.

“While making these investments and adding formations, the Army must also reduce force structure to protect readiness in light of decreased end strength. The Army is currently significantly over-structured, meaning there are not enough soldiers to fill out existing units and organizations. Army leaders seek to have at least 470,000 soldiers in the Active Component by FY29, which is nearly 20,000 above the current end strength but a reduction of about 24,000 authorizations compared to currently planned force structure,” the report

 states.

It added that the Army is “undertaking a similarly important transformation of its recruiting enterprise so that it can man units sufficiently, continue to bring the right types and amounts of new talent into the Army, and rebuild its overall end strength.” Noting the ongoing recruitment failure within the U.S. military, the document noted, “The Army must solve its recruiting challenges to successfully transform for the future.”

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