Joe Biden’s White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday’s briefing that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new “disinformation governance board” will be nonpartisan and apolitical, despite sharp criticisms that the administration is cracking down on disfavored free speech.
She said the board will continue the work begun by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) created during the Trump administration in 2018. Trump fired the CISA director after the 2020 election when the agency disputed his allegations of voter fraud.
Psaki said the board would complement CISA and would “coordinate internal activities” regarding disinformation that “threatens the homeland.” She said the board will not make determinations of truthfulness or falsity of online or other communications.
She said the board would focus on things that would “incite violent exremism” as well as human trafficking and international criminal operations. The board will also be interested in “malign foreign influence” and anything that would endanger people during “emergencies.”
When asked if the board’s activities would be public facing or “behind closed doors,” Psaki said it will consider issuing public documents to demonstrate their “view on disinformation-related matters.” She went on to say that she did not know what format that would take.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Sunday that he could have “done a better job communicating” the nature of the board when it was first revealed during congressional testimony last week. He said that the board would be interested in disinformation from “Russia, China, Iran, and the cartels.”
Majorkas added that the board would use “best practices” to avoid infringing on free speech or civil rights. He said rather than speech, the board would be interested in “connectivity to violence.”
The claims that the board will not monitor the free speech of citizens is being questioned by many commenters.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said Mayorkas’s claims are as “believable as your claim that the southern border is closed.”
General distrust of the Biden administration’s commitment to free speech and privacy should not be surprising in the current environment of heavy censorship by the left in government and the corporate media.