DHS recommended State Department contact 2020 election ‘censorship’ group: Emails

DHS recommended State Department contact 2020 election ‘censorship’ group: Emails

  • April 11, 2024

Gabe Kaminsky, Washington Examiner

EXCLUSIVE — The State Department was “recommended” by the Department of Homeland Security to contact a group it later partnered with on pressuring social media platforms to suppress speech from conservatives before the 2020 election, emails show.

On Oct. 14, 2020, hours after the New York Post published a story based on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop that Twitter blocked from being shared online, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center reached out to “misinformation” researchers behind the Election Integrity Partnership, a collaboration between universities, left-wing think tanks, social media companies, and the U.S. government to thwart alleged falsehoods online in the lead-up to the presidential election. That outreach from the GEC, a foreign-focused office Republican lawmakers are investigating for its ties to anti-speech projects in the United States, was apparently thanks to guidance from the DHS and its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, according to internal documents.

The newly unearthed coordination underscores the major role that CISA, an agency under scrutiny from the House GOP for allegedly colluding “with Big Tech and ‘disinformation’ partners to censor Americans” in 2020, played in the Election Integrity Partnership, or EIP. Both CISA and Alex Stamos, who directed the Stanford Internet Observatory, a Stanford University office behind the EIP, have appeared to downplay CISA’s role in the partnership despite some since-released records indicating a closer relationship than previously known, the Washington Examiner reported.

However, the revelation about CISA apparently recommending the GEC to the EIP raises concerns about the “close coordination between agencies involved in domestic matters and those involved in foreign policy” for the 2020 initiative, said director Michael Chamberlain of Protect the Public’s Trust, a watchdog group that obtained the internal records. Individuals connected to the EIP are notably facing a lawsuit from the Trump-tied America First Legal group for facilitating “probably the largest mass-surveillance and mass-censorship program in American history,” according to a complaint.

“As more and more Americans lose trust in their government, the government reveals they are justified in doing so,” Chamberlain said.

Read more