Rep. Jim Jordan released further evidence of government and private institutions collaborating to censor protected speech, including new files showing the Election Integrity Partnership was created “at the request” of the Department of Homeland Security.
The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) consists of four organizations including Stanford and the Atlantic Council. Previous footage showed the Atlantic Council discussing EIP’s government “partners,” especially DHS.
But emails obtained by Jordan now reveal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a DHS sub-agency, was involved in the EIP’s very formation.
An Atlantic Council member wrote they “just set up” the EIP “at the request of DHS/CISA” and were in weekly talks about “disinfo.” EIP head Alex Stamos said they were developing “monitoring ideas with CISA.”
A censorship watchdog argues the timeline shows CISA spawned EIP to censor what government couldn’t. Jordan provided examples of EIP targeting speech including jokes, opinions and a Trump tweet linking a news story.
EIP developed a “switchboard” where DHS could flag stories for suppression, illustrating government and private collaboration on censorship.
This evidence could impact a key Supreme Court case on online speech, as it reveals DHS involvement in a major 2020 election censorship partnership.
Supporters argue such partnerships dangerously empower unelected bureaucrats and corporations to suppress protected speech, including factual reporting.
But advocates contend narrowly targeting clear disinformation during elections protects democratic integrity. They say this justified private-public collaboration.
Critics counter even satire and mainstream news got falsely labeled disinformation for censorship. They warn granting such censoring authority invites partisan abuse.
The controversy illustrates free speech tensions as online gatekeepers expand. Vague definitions of “misinformation” make censorship prone to overreach, critics argue.