The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been secretly dismantling free speech using tactics that bear a frightening resemblance to the Ministry of Truth we read about in George Orwell’s 1984 in an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.
In an investigation by The Intercept, internal DHS memos, emails, and documents obtained via leaks, and an ongoing lawsuit have been uncovered that show how Big Brother Washington has been diligently working to wipe out “disinformation” — which is political doublespeak for eliminating the free speech rights of people critical of government (via TheIntercept.com):
THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY is quietly broadening its efforts to curb speech it considers dangerous, an investigation by The Intercept has found. Years of internal DHS memos, emails, and documents — obtained via leaks and an ongoing lawsuit, as well as public documents — illustrate an expansive effort by the agency to influence tech platforms.
The work, much of which remains unknown to the American public, came into clearer view earlier this year when DHS announced a new “Disinformation Governance Board”: a panel designed to police misinformation (false information spread unintentionally), disinformation (false information spread intentionally), and malinformation (factual information shared, typically out of context, with harmful intent) that allegedly threatens U.S. interests. While the board was widely ridiculed, immediately scaled back, and then shut down within a few months, other initiatives are underway as DHS pivots to monitoring social media now that its original mandate — the war on terror — has been wound down. (Emphasis mine)
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of a Ministry of Truth — he called it a “Misinformation/Disinformation Board” — during an April 27 appearance before Congress. In a response to a question from Rep. James Langevin (D-RI) about how DHS planned to shore up election security and fend off Russian cyber-interference, he explained:
“We have just established a mis- and disinformation governance board in the Department of Homeland Security to more effectively combat this threat not only to election security but to our homeland security.
“We are disseminating information to the secretaries of state. We are counseling them and providing resources to ensure better physical security.”
“We are addressing all aspects of election security given, of course, the midterm elections that are upon us and the fundamental integrity of our democratic processes that is at stake.”
As mentioned by The Intercept, Biden and his DHS secretary took so much heat about the Misinformation/Disinformation Board that they pretended to cancel the idea, but that was a lie because they launched their defacto Ministry of Truth in secret.
Though these revelations have come to light during Biden’s reign, it was Donald Trump and the Republican Party who put things in motion when they passed the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Act in 2018, forming a new wing of DHS. The bill made DHS “responsible for protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats.”
Additionally, Trump signed the Internet of Things Cybersecurity Improvement Act of 2020 into law on Dec. 4, 2020. Trump and Republicans said the new law would only apply to federal government agencies, but legal observers warned how the downstream consequences would likely reach much further, impacting devices procured by the federal government and — eventually — consumer devices.
By the way, America isn’t alone when it comes to destroying free speech; our neighbor to the north is currently working on their own Orwellian Ministry of Truth (via ReclaimTheNet.org):
Canada’s Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11) is one of several recent attempts by Western governments to crush online speech while claiming that they support free expression.
The bill is being pushed by Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez — a politician who believes that unregulated speech “erodes the foundations of democracy.” And it has the full support of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — a world leader who previously said freedom of expression isn’t “freedom to hate.”
The bill gives Canada’s communications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), increased powers to regulate “programs” — a definition that applies to almost all forms of audio-visual content that are uploaded by Canadian citizens.
It will empower the CRTC to set content promotion and demotion rules for Canadian content and require platforms to make financial contributions towards Canadian content. (Emphasis mine)
In Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future as described in 1984, the Ministry of Truth pretended to be dedicated to the pursuit of truth when, in fact, its primary function was to erase the truth of the past and present and replace it with the Party’s truth. This was accomplished through the use of doublespeak and Newspeak, languages used to ensure that everyone thought only what the Party wanted them to while making it impossible to betray the Party by thinking independent thoughts.
Orwell refers to all-powerful government as “the Party” and Americans have elected — literally and figuratively — the modern-day Republican/Democrat version of this entity; surrendering the power of the people to these private organizations while trusting them to protect and defend the Constitution.
This is how the Party rose to dominate the political landscape. This is how the Party created a Ministry of Truth. This is how the Party gets away with using political doublespeak to redefine free speech as misinformation or disinformation and criminalize it.
Big Brother methods of manipulation have allowed the Party to convince the populous that it is the only thing standing in the gap between liberty and safety; they are the guardians of our heritage and the benevolent defenders of our values, worthy of our trust and support. In such an environment, the people will question themselves before they question the Ministry of Truth, and they will suppress suspicion by sealing their lips, lest they be exposed as a spreader of misinformation or disinformation and an enemy of the state.
1984 shows us what Americans caught up in the lies and deception of Republicans and Democrats still struggle with: government doesn’t exist for the good of the people. Even the best intentions among those in government eventually give way to the desire to maintain power and control over the citizenry at all costs.
We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. ~ George Orwell
The Republican/Democrat duopoly has been pushing a liberty-killing agenda that bears a frightening resemblance to the world George Orwell described in his novel. Just like Big Brother, our government has worked to control our thoughts, limit our speech, identify criminals before a crime is committed, and track us in public using facial recognition technology.
DHS’s Ministry of Truth has been secretly dismantling free speech, subjugating the Constitution to the will of the Party and destroying liberty in America.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
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