Summary: Hearing on the Censorship Industrial Complex

WASHINGTON — Today, following the CTIL Files recently published by "Twitter Files" authors Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and a new addition, Alex Gutentag, the Select Subcomittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing regarding the federal government’s involvement in social media censorship, as well as the recent attacks on independent journalism and free expression.

Shellenberger headlined the CTIL Files, a thread that fleshed out findings on a new trove of documents which describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL).

Twitter Files icon Matt Taibbi continued the CTIL Files in another thread entitled "SOCKPUPPETS AND SPIES," which detailed COINTEL-pro style tactics of anonymous users who infiltrate social media communities in order to push disinformation narratives.

Shellenberger and Taibbi collectively describe how the CTIL officially began as the volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Led by Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), members of the committee interviewed various people of interest to testify regarding the Censorship Industrial Complex.

During Matt Taibbi's opening statement, he called out the anonymous government assets and "regular people" leading the anti-disinformation programs: "Who does this work?"

Speaking of censorship through threats, former Pence advisor Olivia Troye says that she has been doxxed and sent fake photos of her dogs’ heads decapitated, says threats to conservatives has caused former Trump staffers to be unwilling to testify before committees: (watch here)

The Free Press wrote "@rupasubramanya testified today at the House Hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. She spoke about the gradual suffocation of free expression she has witnessed in Canada and warns that similar practices could soon arrive in the U.S."

Rep. Harriett Hageman (R-WY), who once compared censorship in the United States to the "eyes of Sauron" from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, had an honest exchange with Shellenberger and Subramanya.
Hageman asked, "You issued a stern warning, which I hope all Americans take to heart. Could you describe the trends you're seeing, or specifically, the tools and mechanisms of control these governments are trying to exert over free speech?"

Subramanya replied, "Debanking is one obvious tool that the Canadian government has pioneered as far as Western-liberal democracies are concerned. China has been doing this for years but it has recently come to the West. They went after peaceful protesters and weaponized the financial system and the government against them to teach them a lesson: "You can't do this ever again."'
Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) said, "Seems to me there’s a realignment happening. I’ve invited more Democrat witnesses to testify in front of this committee than the Democrats have. The focus is on the First Amendment! And I don’t care about whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc., what I care about is the ability to speak, and to speak in a political fashion and not have the government come after you for doing so."

The Weaponization Committee's official X account shared commentary from Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) with the caption: "We will continue to hold accountable those who weaponize the federal government and suppress our rights."


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