TWITTER FILES:The Disgusting CIA Effort to Control Social Media

News & Politics

The latest installment of The Twitter Files details how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) targeted Americans’ free speech, in violation of its restriction against domestic operations.

The CIA is prohibited from spying on or otherwise secretively targeting Americans domestically, but that did not stop the agency from trying to co-opt Twitter and other Big Tech platforms, pressuring them into specific censorship activities, independent journalist Michael Shellenberger reported.  In a thread on X (formerly Twitter), Shellenberger explained that individuals connected to the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), including the CIA, tried to “take over Twitter’s content management system” and “to de-platform, de-monetize, and excommunicate from the Internet entirely” anyone whom the IC claimed to be a threat.

One senior intelligence analyst told The Twitter Files journalists how this could happen: “There are deep cover people who are known to be CIA and who go to DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency] and then wherever.” There are front groups and intermediaries that hide the true IC activity beneath. 

Former intelligence employees and contractors were part of the effort, Shellenberger said, citing “thousands of pages” of evidence. Originally, operatives had argued that “disinformation,” a term leftists have willingly applied to anything with which they disagree, was a security threat. 

The Mary Poppins of censorship, Nina Jankowicz, who was briefly the head of the now-defunct federal Disinformation Governance Board, was among the operatives. IC-tied anti-“disinformation” organization Alethea Group and its CEO Lisa Kaplan were involved, too.

Twitter hired hacker Peiter “Mudge” Zatko but it was discovered that Zatko was secretly coordinating with government agencies, Shellenberger continuedZatko was a contractor with IC and government agencies, working with the National Security Agency (NSA) as early as 1999 and being funded by the IC “for over a quarter-century.” Zatko had been a long-time government/IC employee or contractor. 

Meanwhile, FBI agent Elvis Chan, who has been featured prominently in past Twitter Files reports, was trying to obtain increased NSA use of Twitter data until then-Twitter Head of Site Integrity, Yoel Roth, objected. But in Jan. 2021, Twitter authorized Zatko to hire Alethea Group, Shellenberger posted. Alethea had multiple individuals with federal ties.

Former Twitter Deputy Counsel Jim Baker, who was implicated in “help[ing] start” the Russiagate hoax, claimed that the release of Alethea’s materials “creates risks.” Shellenberger clarified that the materials revealed “Twitter’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop, the 2020 elections, and the 2021 Capitol riots.” Kaplan, for instance, blamed the events of Jan. 6 on social media, and Alethea pushed Twitter for more COVID-19 censorship. Zatko and Aspen Institute’s Vivian Schiller, “who led the ‘pre-bunking’ of the Hunter Biden laptop story,” were among those pushing for more Big Tech-government censorship work.

Zatko and Schiller had recommendations for the Biden administration, Shellenberger posted, that included “more vigorous content moderation” and “a regulatory body.” Twitter did fire Zatko, but it took on and formed a partnership with Alethea, including Jankowicz. Ironically, Jankowicz told The Twitter Filesjournalists she was against censorship, even though she actively supports censorship actions like content removal to this day.

Neither was Twitter the only target of the manipulation of the intelligence community and its proxies. Amazon, PayPal and GoDaddy were also supposed to censor individuals financially via a Twitter partnership. Shellenberger unpacked the grand scheme: “Alethea is proposing that Twitter lead an effort to organize all other social media companies, e-commerce companies, and Internet Service Providers, to de-platform, de-monetize, and de-person disfavored individuals.”

“Whether or not the CIA or another IC agency controlled the Alethea Group, it behaved as either a front group or an intermediary of the IC,” Shellenberger concluded. He added, “That so many [CIA and federal contractors] apparently did so in order to bring America’s most influential social media company under the authority of the IC is a dark moment in American history.”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using MRC Free Speech America’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.

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