Thomas Massie: Following Silicon Valley Bank Collapse, Democrat Senator Calls for Unprecedented Censorship

While revelations have erupted over government censorship of election and medical information, new chilling news bear stories of the censorship regime expanding to deal with “financial misinformation”. Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) and others broke the story.

On Sunday, Representative Massie tweeted “Just got off of a zoom meeting with Fed, Treasury, FDIC, House, and Senate. A Democrat Senator, later revealed to be Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ), essentially asked whether there was a program in place to censor information on social media that could lead to a run on the banks.”

When he was asked whether he recorded the conversation, the Kentucky Republican replied “No, I didn’t record it. I work with 534 other people and some discretion is required.”

One does not need to rely solely on the word of a politician alone, however, that the government is planning to censor financial information. Mike Benz, the executive director of Foundation for Freedom Online, revealed that “DHS efforts are already underway to add censorship of “financial misinformation” to CISA’s portfolio of “critical infrastructure” domains it can classify tweets as a cyber attack on, & thus censor.” He attached a link to a government document to his tweet.

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One relevant portion of the June 2022 document read ” [t]he spread of false and misleading information poses a significant risk to critical functions like elections, public health, financial services, and emergency response.” The document recommended that “CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] should focus on MD that risks undermining critical functions of American society including…MD [mis/disinformation] that undermines…other sectors such as the financial system.”

At this point, Michael Shellenberger, one of the Twitter Files journalists, jumped into the conversation with an epic thread. He recommended that “[t]his entire government agency, CISA, part of DHS, should be abolished. Its leaders & programs have flagrantly & repeatedly violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court rejects gov’t censorship save those rare cases when speech immediately incites *physical* violence.” He added that “The censorship industrial complex defines harm far more broadly than the Supreme Court.”

He further noted that “Last week, @MikeBenzCyber caught @CISAgov secretly changing their website to delete mentions of its domestic censorship effort” and called Benz’s report “truly shocking”. Mr. Shellenberger demurred that “CISA is a deeply dishonest and creepy government agency. It tricked everyone into thinking it was doing “cyber security” when it was actually doing censorship. This is truly deranged stuff.” 

Mr. Shellenberger then pivoted to the Democrat’s denial about government-sponsored censorship and gave a litany of examples of this occurring before stating that “It appears that we are in the “It’s not happening!” phase Should we expect the, “Yes, it’s happening, and it’s a good thing!” phase to begin soon?”

What is clear is that this censorship is systemic and expanding. There will need to be major reforms that dismantle the pervasive state censorship-technology nexus and prevent this nefarious institution from re-emerging again.

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