An advisory board to the United States Department of Homeland Security reported its findings this week, suggesting a disinformation governance board is not a necessary arm of DHS, prompting disagreement from DHS officials.
The board was tasked earlier this year with making a determination about whether a Disinformation Governance Board was needed within DHS, after the board experienced turmoil and controversy from its inception. The purpose of the board, according to DHS and White House officials, is to inform the US government on how to effectively fight disinformation campaigns waged by entities like foreign governments or trafficking groups.
Republicans in Congress, however, have accused the Biden administration of using the board as a tool for governmental breach of privacy and a threat to freedom of speech.
After the board’s first chair, Nina Jankowicz, resigned after only a few weeks on the job after its purpose was called into question and online attacks became overbearing, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked the advisory board to examine the necessity of a Disinformation Governance Board.
The advisory panel did not include reasoning for its findings, only a one sentence recommendation stating, “There is no room for a separate disinformation governance board,” and promising a full report in early August.
Secretary Mayorkas said in a statement that the board would target “false information that is deliberately spread with the intent to deceive or mislead.” He added that disinformation comes in several forms including false information “spread by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran.”
DHS said previously that the board was being “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized” by some, and that it was never intended to govern free speech or infringe on any rights.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO
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