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How DHS Seized Power Over Online Speech

WATCH: USG-Supported Censorship Director In Brazil Proposes Bans On “International Movement To Exchange Ideas”

Mike Benz

Founder and Executive Director of Foundation for Freedom Online

As featured in FFO’s report, The Censorship Industry’s Plans For Brazil:

As noted in FFO’s report, both this event and its speaker, Prof. Ruediger, are US taxpayer-supported. The host of the disinfo event is the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (“International IDEA”), which is funded by USAID and the National Democratic Institute (“NDI”), both of which derive their funding from annual government allocations made by the US Congress:

The featured speaker in the video above, Prof. Ruediger, is a founding advisory board member of the Design 4 Democracy Coalition (“D4D”), which is also taxpayer-funded by the NDI and its sister group, the International Republican Institute (“IRI”). The NDI and IRI are notable in that they form the two explicitly partisan branches — representing the Democrat and Republican parties respectively — of the National Endowment for Democracy (“NED”).

The NED has accrued considerable notoriety over the years, since its founding in 1983, as a semi-covert facilitator of US-backed coups of foreign governments. A 1991 Washington Post article about the NED entitled “The New World Of Spyless Coups” described NED as a publicly deniable, privatized branch of the CIA. NED co-founder Allen Weinstein told the Post: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Per the FY2023 proposed budget for the US State Department, the NED is set to receive $310 million in taxpayer funds next year.

Further in that same US taxpayer-funded conference, at timestamp 1:02 in the video below, it’s stated that “It used to be that disinformation was a problem for elections. Now we’ve seen that, in reality, it stretches into any sensitive policy issues. Health, of course, but also migration and climate change.” This means any online narrative challenging any institutional consensus on any sensitive policy issue likely necessitates some sort of digital speech limitations being imposed on the electorate: