Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was created in 2018 by former President Trump. The purpose of the agency was to improve the cybersecurity defenses of other U.S. federal agencies. The Daily Caller reports that former Trump administration officials claim the Biden administration is using the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to restrict speech it deems dangerous on social media and spy on Americans.
Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told the Daily Caller that the federal government “has no business monitoring or regulating the protected free speech of Americans,” citing a report by the Intercept that found the DHS had shifted its focus from reducing physical and cybersecurity threats to the nation’s infrastructure to monitoring social media and attempting to shape online discourse.
It is essential to recall that the CISA was established by Congress with broad bipartisan support, Wolf stated. CISA’s role is crucial, but it now looks like they have gone beyond their basic mandate to investigate domestic mis- and disinformation and international dangers. Wolfe believes that CISA is operating on a slippery slope and has overreached the purpose of its creation.
Former DHS Deputy Chief of Staff Lora Ries told The Daily Caller that the development of CISA was “valid.” Still, the agency “should not have been allowed” to determine “the content of information.”
CISA was established to safeguard the.gov domain and facilitate communication on critical infrastructure between the public and commercial sectors. There are valid requirements for such features. Problems emerged, however, when CISA personnel overstepped their authority boundaries, Ries claimed. CISA should not have been permitted to judge the material’s content, much less command others to remove such information based on disfavored content.
According to a report by The Intercept, the Department of Homeland Security intends to target false information about COVID-19’s origins, the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, racial justice, and the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.
An Intercept report obtained a draft version of the DHS’s 2022 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review, emphasizing the importance of combating disinformation and misinformation.
Even though “counterterrorism remains the Department’s first and most important mission,” Efforts to accomplish these missions are constantly evolving and dynamic. It must now adapt to terror threats exacerbated by misinformation and domestic violent extremists spreading disinformation online.
To accomplish this, the review recommends that DHS leverage advanced data analytics technology and hire and train skilled specialists to achieve this goal. It is important to understand how threat actors are introducing and spreading toxic narratives to inspire and incite violence through online platforms and to work with other members of civil society to build resilience to the negative effects of false information by collaborating with NGOs and other members of the civil society.