by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The U.S. State Department is violating the U.S. Constitution by funding technology to silence Americans who question government claims, says a lawsuit filed Tuesday by The Federalist, The Daily Wire, and the state of Texas.
The three are suing to stop “one of the most audacious, manipulative, secretive, and gravest abuses of power and infringements of First Amendment rights by the federal government in American history,” says the lawsuit. It exposes federal censorship activities even beyond the dramatic discoveries in a pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Murthy v. Missouri (also known as Missouri v. Biden).
This lawsuit alleges the State Department is illegally using a counterterrorism center intended to fight foreign “disinformation” instead to stop American citizens from speaking and listening to information government officials dislike. Other recent investigations have also found government counterterrorism resources and tactics being used to shape American public opinion and policy.
Through grants and product development assistance to private entities including the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) and NewsGuard, the lawsuit alleges, the State Department “is actively intervening in the news-media market to render disfavored press outlets unprofitable by funding the infrastructure, development, and marketing and promotion of censorship technology and private censorship enterprises to covertly suppress speech of a segment of the American press.”
This is just the latest in a series of major investigations and court cases in the last year to uncover multiple federal censorship efforts laundered through private cutouts. The “Twitter Files,” a series of investigative journalist reports, uncovered that federal agencies pressured virtually all social media monopolies to hide and punish tens of millions of posts and users.
Missouri v. Biden found this federal censorship complex has included government officials changing the content moderation and user policies of social media monopolies through threats to destroy their business models.