Ex-officials: Biden Admin ‘Perverted’ Trump DHS Branch

Ex-officials: Biden Admin 'Perverted' Trump DHS Branch (Newsmax)

By Solange Reyner | Thursday, 03 November 2022 03:10 PM EDT

Former Trump administration officials say the Biden administration is exploiting the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, formed in 2018 while former President Donald Trump was in office to improve the cybersecurity defenses across other U.S. federal agencies, to instead curb speech it considers dangerous on social media and surveil Americans, reports The Daily Caller.

Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of the DHS, citing a report by the Intercept that found the Department of Homeland Security has pivoted from reducing physical and cybersecurity threats to the country's infrastructure to monitoring social media and using its power to try to shape online discourse, told the Daily Caller the federal government "has no business in monitoring or regulating the protected free speech of Americans."

"It's important to remember, it was Congress that established CISA with overwhelming bipartisan support," Wolf said. "CISA's mission is an important one but it now appears that they have expanded beyond their original mandate from countering foreign threats to looking at mis- and disinformation here in the U.S. That is a slippery slope and an overreach, in my opinion."

The creation of CISA, was "valid," former acting Deputy Chief of Staff for DHS Lora Ries told The Daily Caller, but the body "should not have been allowed" to judge "the content of information."

"CISA was created to secure the .gov domain and to communicate with the private sector regarding critical infrastructure. There are valid needs for those functions. The problems arose, however, when CISA staff left their lanes of authority," Ries said. "What should not have been allowed is CISA entering into the role of judging the content of information, let alone directing others to remove such information based on disfavored content."

The Intercept report said DHS plans to target inaccurate information on "the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the nature of U.S. support to Ukraine."

According to a draft copy of DHS' 2022 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review reviewed by the Intercept, DHS views tackling disinformation and misinformation as a growing portion of its core duties.

While "counterterrorism remains the first and most important mission of the Department," it notes, the agency's "work on these missions is evolving and dynamic" and must now adapt to terror threats "exacerbated by misinformation and disinformation spread online" including by "domestic violent extremists."

To do so, the review calls for DHS to "leverage advanced data analytics technology and hire and train skilled specialists to better understand how threat actors use online platforms to introduce and spread toxic narratives intended to inspire or incite violence, as well as work with NGOs and other parts of civil society to build resilience to the impacts of false information."

Original Article