Washington DC–U.S. Senators from Idaho Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with a group of their Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee expressing their opposition to the United States’ Disinformation Governance Council. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and urging that any funding for such advice be prohibited in the fiscal year 2023 appropriations.
“…While DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified that the advice will not be used for political purposes and did his best to explain the serious concerns raised, little remains of what the advice will actually do, how it will determine what is disinformation, and the scope to which to monitor disinformation of U.S. citizens.However, the council’s executive director, Nina Jankowicz, is known to be a hyperpartisan actress whose views on the freedom of speech and those she disagrees with are well documented.It is also known that the Board of Directors currently does not have a guiding policy, mission statement or charter. absence of these necessary safeguards to prevent mission creep, there is substantial risk of government abuse and First Amendment violations. “nt that council operations have been ‘suspended’, Ms. Jankowicz has resigned and her dissolution is being considered by DHS, her future remains as unclear as her mission,” wrote the senators.
“Although DHS has promised that the council will ‘protect privacy, civil rights and civil liberties,’ we do not console ourselves with words alone. There is a fine line between the fight against disinformation and government censorship. The exact position of the Disinformation Governance Council on this line remains unclear and the potential for abuse is so egregious that we urge that any funding of the Council be prohibited during the Homeland Security appropriations process,” the Senators continued.
Read the full letter here.
Other signatories to the letter led by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) include Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Todd Young (R-Indiana), Mike Lee (R-Utah ), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), James Lankford (R -Oklahoma), John Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).