DHS Redacted Critical Details About ‘Anti-Disinformation’ Activities: Sens. Grassley, Hawley

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to fully provide certain disclosures requested by U.S. Senators in connection with the Department’s growing role in “anti-disinformation” efforts . The role of the executive and legislative branches of government was denounced by two senators in his December 15 letter to his DHS Director Alejandro Mayorcas.

Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Josh Hawley (R-Mauritius), influential members of the Judiciary Committee, ignore ‘serious concerns’ about DHS’ ‘growing efforts to combat disinformation’ Or accuse DHS of being disrespectful. Previously, as communicated in a letter dated June 7, it made a formal request for “information necessary for Congress to monitor DHS activities.”

The senators have acknowledged DHS’s willingness to play a role in monitoring and mediating MDM, a common acronym for “mis-, dis-, and mal-information” disseminated through social media on topics such as: I am deeply concerned about the planned The origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, race relations in America, America’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, and much more.

DHS’ response to its June 7 letter dated June 29 did not answer any of the 10 questions it raised in its June 7 correspondence, according to the senator.

More seriously, the DHS included in its June 29 letter three “artifacts” that it believed were intended to allay the senators’ concerns, although the first of these documents already It contained documents that were in the public domain, and a third document contained approximately 500 pages of information. Some or all of it has been edited.

“Based on our review of this material, much of the redaction appears to have been applied to predecision and deliberative process material,” the senator wrote. DHS cannot legally be ignored or blown away given the separate and equal nature of the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches that make up the United States federal government.

The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to requests, nor to DHS’s procedures in the protocol to respond to requests, and the kind of content editing DHS does in response to journalists’ requests for information is not appropriate here, senators argue. To do.

In a letter dated June 29, the senator also accused the DHS of congress releasing the document to senators without DHS approval.

Again, Grassley and Hawley argue that DHS misunderstands the nature of its relationships with other departments and that DHS enjoys the right to apply executive department designations such as “Predecisional,” “Deliberative,” and “For Official Use Only.” accusing DHS of erroneously assuming that , thereby limiting the documents and materials senators can obtain through legitimate whistleblower disclosure and oversight requests. In the case referred to in his June 29 letter to DHS, the senator did not unconditionally release all of the material provided, including his own limited redactions where appropriate. said.

“We make such decisions independently based on transparency and an assessment of what is in the best interest of the public interest. We should learn a lesson about accountability and transparency by providing , as opposed to DHS not following its standards and instead providing improperly redacted records,” said Grassley and Hawley. I am writing.

exceed the limit

Senators deliver considerable “warnings” in public reports revealing DHS’s growing role in “anti-disinformation campaigns.”

“These efforts go far beyond DHS’s seriously misguided efforts to establish a Disinformation Governance Board (DGB),” they wrote, referring to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) It points to a document produced by the Cybersecurity Advisory Board and released by The Intercept. said that “CISA has a burgeoning MDM effort,” which includes “directly engaging with social media companies to flag him MDM.”

The same Intercept article also cites a draft copy of DHS’s Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, which states that over the next few years the DHS will continue to publish fake news on various topics, including “the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effectiveness of the COVID-19 pandemic.” It states that it will actively combat what it perceives as information about -19 vaccines, racial justice, US withdrawal from Afghanistan, nature of US aid to Ukraine. ”

The senator concludes by making two formal demands to Mallorcas. Namely, the Senator’s complete and complete answers to all questions posed in her June 7 letter, as well as an unredacted copy of the document provided in DHS’s initial response. She also details how DHS makes decisions about editing materials requested by members of Congress, as well as detailed explanations of her DHS policy for responding to Congressional oversight requests.

The Epoch Times has reached out to DHS for comment.

Michael Washburn is a New York-based reporter covering topics related to the United States and China. He has a background in legal and financial journalism and also writes about art and culture. Additionally, he is the host of the weekly podcast Reading the Globe. His books include “The Uprooted and Other Stories,” “When We’re Grownups,” and “Stranger, Stranger.”

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