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Mike Benz

Mike Benz

Mar 7, 2023
14 tweets

THREAD🧵: DHS's cyber agency CISA scrubbed its website last week to purge all reference to domestic censorship work, per @Foundation For Freedom Online. CISA deleted 2 years worth of confessions to getting platforms to stop "domestic disinfo" by US citizens. Full Report:…

Since May 1, 2021, had an open public declaration that it classified US citizens who espouse “misinformation” on social media as "domestic threat actors” and therefore as a cyber threat to be neutralized by DHS’s cyber division, CISA:
DHS had been using this language of "domestic threat actor" to describe accused US citizen "misinformation" posts since its Oct. 2019 Whole-Of-Society Disinfo report. See, after Mueller Russia probe fizzled July 2019, DHS pulled a foreign-to-domestic switcheroo right after:
For those new here, this is DHS's Foreign To Domestic Disinfo Switcheroo in action:
In its Oct 2019 domestic censorship blueprint document, DHS labeled right-wingers on social media who ostensibly made satirical memes about Colin Kaepernick and Nike as being "disinformation threat actors":…
DHS worked hard to graft the linguistic jargon of the cybersecurity & counter-hacking world onto a new world of cybercensorship & counter-disinfo. "Threat actors" were suddenly part of a "Disinformation Kill Chain" for backing Brexit or opposing war:…
Back then, DHS didn't loudly and proudly claim open power to coordinate the censorship of domestic political speech. That changed in Jan 2021, when CISA's "Countering Foreign Influence Task Force" rebranded with a foreign AND domestic focus: Mis, Dis and Malinformation (MDM).
So from May 1, 2021 until Friday, Feb. 24, 2023 at 4:37 pm, CISA targeted "domestic threat actors" who posted "misinformation" opinions (mostly about elections or Covid). CISA's new focus on both foreign AND domestic censorship to "reflect the changing information environment":
But sometime between Fri, Feb. 24 at 4:37 pm & Sun, Feb. 26 at 5:55 am, CISA’s once public declaration of long-arm jurisdiction over domestic opinions online seems to have been walked back. now redirects to a foreign-only focused disinfo page:
Every reference to CISA's extensive, years-long domestic censorship operations has been scrubbed. The word "domestic" has been purged from the page altogether. It now reads like they've only been after "foreign actors" -- not "domestic threat actors" -- all along:
CISA even purged the references to its domestic "disinformation switchboard", which CISA officials & advisors used to openly brag was sicced on domestic social media account targets using DHS's cyber control center, EI-ISAC. For example, the below, public for 2 years, is gone:
So why is CISA - once the Great Government Hope of the censorship industry - walking it all back now? Did CISA get too cocky, with director Jen Easterly claiming its jurisdiction extended into the "cognitive infrastructure" inside US citizens heads?…
CISA played an instrumental role in the effective killing of free speech online after the 2016 election. Now they appear to be trying to quietly return the murder weapon to the crime scene after holding onto it for 3+ years, right as investigators are looking at them for it.
Is it the Jim Jordan subpoena to the tech platforms on government collusion? Is it upcoming House hearings? Is it the political momentum of the Twitter Files? Given the Enron-sized scandal already at play here, here's an Enron-sized question to CISA: Why?
Mike Benz

Mike Benz

Executive Director, @FFO_Freedom. Former State Dept Cyber DAS. Musings on Internet platform policy. May devolve into chess, music, memes.
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