WASHINGTON, D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundations (GOF) have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The groups are trying to force DHS to release documents about the Disinformation Governance Board. The government set up the Disinformation Governance Board to combat “disinformation.” The Board has drawn a comparison to the ‘Ministry of Truth’ from George Orwell’s classic book, 1984.
DHS has paused the Disinformation Governance Board after massive backlash from the American public, who viewed the Board as a tool of an authoritarian government. Most analysts believe that President Joe Biden’s “Ministry of Truth” is dead.
GOA and GOF filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get documents about the Board. DHS so far has refused to turn over the documents to the two gun groups. The lawsuit asks the court to force the government to turn over the information.
The FOIA Seeks:
(a) records regarding the creation of the Disinformation Governance Board (“Board”), including emails from and/or to anyone involved with the Board;
(b) records identifying those who have been or will be chosen sit on the Board, including records reflecting the selection of Nina Jankowicz as the Board’s Executive Director;
(c) records stating the job descriptions of those positions established to serve on the Board and its staff;
(d) records reflecting the process(es) used to select members of the Board and its staff, and the qualifications of each;
(e) records describing the type of information which will be analyzed by the Board and its staff, and how it will be collected;
(f) records revealing the methods, rules, procedures, or limitations on how the Board will surveil the American people to identify, analyze and classify purported “disinformation” or false information;
(g) records describing how any purported “disinformation” will be corrected, limited, refuted, or removed, and its purveyors sanctioned, intimidated, punished, factchecked, or otherwise policed by the Board;
(h) records explaining how free speech, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties will be protected by the creation or operation of the Board;
(i) any historical, legal, or other records which have been consulted by the Board as to the status of freedom after government officials declare themselves to be arbiters of Truth and seek to suppress alleged “false” or “untrue” (usually politically unpopular) viewpoints;
(j) records reflecting communications between DHS personnel and each of the following about the creation and operation of the Board and its staff:
(i) Democratic National Committee;
(ii) Marc Elias;
(iii) Eric Holder;
(iv) Hillary Rodham;
(v) Barack Obama;
(vii) Facebook, including Mark Zukerberg;
(ix) the National Security Agency; and
(x) CNN, MSNBC including Rachel Maddow, and Fox TV; and
(xi) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
(k) any discussions about or analysis of DHS’s legal authority to create a Ministry of Truth (a “Disinformation Governance Board”), including any formal or informal opinion received from the U.S. Department of Justice about the constitutionality or legality of the Board;
(l) records reflecting whether the Elon Musk’s offer or attempt to purchase Twitter was considered in establishing the Board;
(m) records reflecting how the promise by Secretary Mayorkas that the Board “takes best practices to make sure that, in addressing disinformation that presents a threat to the homeland, our work does not infringe on free speech, does not infringe on civil rights, civil liberties,” will be met, and whether these best practices involve lessons learned from George Orwell’s book 1984, the experience of the East German Stasi, or similar efforts by other authoritarian governments.
It asks the government if its best practices come from 1984 or the East German Stasi. This question is most likely to highlight authoritarian governments that used similar agencies to stomp out political opposition. In 1984, the Ministry of Truth spread government propaganda instead of stopping “misinformation.”
Big tech has immense power to censor. During the last presidential election run-up, Facebook was censoring posts critical of Kamala Harris’s stance on guns. Facebook fact-checkers marked claims that Kamala Harris didn’t believe in an individual right to bear arms as “false” even though she wrote an Amicus brief for the Heller decision arguing just that. When this writer pushed Facebook to respond, they quietly removed the “false” label and banned this writer’s account. The FOIA request asks if Facebook and Twitter were contacted when the Board was created.
The group also wanted to know if Elon Musk’s attempt to acquire Twitter had anything to do with forming the Disinformation Governance Board. Musk vowed to protect free speech on Twitter and promised to unban President Donald Trump. Liberal fear a Musk run Twitter because they will no longer be able to control the digital public square.
DHS refused even to acknowledge the FOIA request and haven’t responded to any of GOA’s request for updates. That nonresponse left GOA no choice but to sue.
GOA and GOF ask the courts to order the DHS to release the requested documents and pay legal fees.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.