Newly Released Emails Show Biden White House Officials Met With and Communicated With Pro-Censorship Group

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Originally published on by Didi Rankovic

The Biden admin's use of CCDH data to push for censorship has previously been subject to scrutiny

America First Legal (AFL) has published emails revealing more ties between the Biden White House and the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) - a controversial group originally based in the UK that's believed to be involved in censorship pressure around the world.

The emails originate in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State and refer to using US assets designed to counter domestic terrorism to work with CCDH, the non-profit has announced.

AFL - which positions itself as a counterpoint to ACLU - has filed several lawsuits concerning various government bodies' involvement in collusion with private tech companies, aimed at promoting censorship.

AFL now notes that the Biden administration from the very beginning of the current president's mandate "embraced" various initiatives leading to curtailing speech, and to censorship, and was not shy to enlist the national security apparatus, either.

The administration at one point said that in order to "maximize" understanding of domestic terrorism, it should back "and making appropriate use of the analysis performed by entities outside the government."

CCDH is one of those entities, AFL says, and the documents now released concerned how the group worked with the White House to suppress speech in the US on topics like vaccine mandates and the questioning of the integrity of the 2020 presidential election - all the while trying to fit that within the concept of domestic terrorism.

DHS and CCDH "got in touch" in late March 2022, when DHS Under Secretary Robert Silvers and CCDH head of policy at the time, Eva Hartshorn-Sanders, started their communication, which is revealed in the emails.

AFL notes that Sanders was involved in various controversial government efforts in different countries, including UK's Online Safety Bill.

Already in June 2022, the Biden Administration set up the Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse. "By September 23, 2022, CCDH was directly meeting with officials from the White House, the NSC, and the Department of State's Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT), updating them with CCDH's latest findings," AFL said.

And when in March of last year the task force received its Initial Blueprint, Sanders said her organization was "able to feed in research and policy recommendations for its development."

Other examples of the Biden administration-CCDH ties came to light earlier, specifically how the UK-based outfit helped the US government pressure Facebook to censor content about Covid vaccines.

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