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Idaho State News

Crapo and Risch Urge Defunding of Biden’s Disinformation Board, Fear First Amendment Infringements

Washington, D.C.–Idaho’s U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, along with a group of their Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security expressing opposition to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board and urging that any funding for such board be prohibited in Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations.

“…While DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified that the board will not be used for political purposes and did his best to explain away serious concerns raised, little remains known as to what the board will actually do, how it will determine what is disinformation, and the scope in which it will take to monitor disinformation from American citizens. It is known, however, that the board’s executive director, Nina Jankowicz, is a hyper-partisan actor whose opinions of free speech and of those she disagrees with are well documented. It is also known that the board currently lacks any guiding policy, mission statement, or charter. Absent of these necessary guardrails to prevent mission creep, there is substantial risk of government overreach and First Amendment infringements. Although recent reports indicate that the board’s operations have been ‘paused’, Ms. Jankowicz has resigned, and its dissolution is being considered by DHS, its future remains as unclear as its mission,” the Senators wrote.

“While DHS has promised the board will ‘protect privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties,’ we do not take solace in words alone. A fine line exists between tackling disinformation and government censorship. Exactly where the Disinformation Governance Board falls on this line remains unclear and the potential for abuse is so egregious that we urge any and all funding for the board be prohibited during the Homeland Security appropriations process,” the Senators continued.