Tag Archive for: weaponize the internet

You’ve heard about weaponization of the FBI and CIA; now they’re weaponizing the internet

With the FBI’s political censorship of social media exposed, proponents of weaponized government are using a different tool: Biden’s Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC might sound boring. But from a First Amendment perspective, it’s more dangerous than the FBI.

It is being weaponized against you.

Recovering from the spook revelations in the Twitter Files, the central government is increasingly marginalizing, censoring and silencing the free speech of Americans who express views that unaccountable bureaucrats believe should not be permitted.

We all know the pattern now. Anonymous officials brand unapproved facts, even when true, as disinformation. They dismiss unapproved opinions as conspiracy theories.Last year, a federal court issued a scathing judgment against the administration, showing that some of those supposed “conspiracy theories” were true all along. That ruling, in the Missouri v Biden case, showed that the central machine engaged in “coerced censorship” with social media companies to silence citizens with the wrong views.

“The United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’” from the novel 1984, Judge Terry Doughty said in his ruling.

Team Biden appealed in Murthy v Missouri, a case argued last week before the Supreme Court. The administration admitted it seeks to “coerce” certain forms of censorship. It complained that victims and individual states were using the courts “to audit all of the executive branch’s communications with and about social media platforms.”

Translation: The central government wants to deny American citizens the right to identify precisely who in the administrative state is responsible for censoring them. Remember that.

The case has documented a ghoulish strategy behind this. All in the name of “national security,” healthcare, and, of course, fighting “disinformation.”

At the same time, the harmless-looking FCC is making two power grabs aimed at Internet Service Providers. ISPs, as they are known – the companies that own and run the infrastructure that provides access to the Internet.

We can thank dissident FCC commissioner Brendan Carr for sounding the alarm. The FCC agenda goes far beyond the FBI’s comparatively narrow suppression of individual accounts that the Twitter Files revealed.

Carr warns that the FCC’s power grab will allow the agency to grant privileges to politically compliant ISPs, and to punish the politically noncompliant.

“President Biden gave the FCC its marching orders,” Carr explained last October. “The President called on the FCC to implement a one-page section of the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) by adopting new rules of breathtaking scope, all in the name of ‘digital equity.’”

This digital equity central planning, “for the first time ever,” Carr said, “would give the federal government a roving mandate to micromanage nearly every aspect of how the Internet functions—from how ISPs allocate capital and where they build, to the services that consumers can purchase; from the profits that ISPs can realize and how they market and advertise services, to the discounts and promotions that consumers can receive.”

In the age of DEI, the Biden-FCC initiative can dictate terms to ISPs according to the racial, social and economic profiles of their customers.

As if this is not enough, the FCC is placing net neutrality regulations on ISPs to classify them as public utilities subject to rate regulation. If the government can control what you offer and how much you can charge, it all but owns you. With such a powerful government looming over their every decision, what ISP could not be made to bend to the will of the administrative state?

This massive accumulation of central government power is where the threat of lawless censorship comes in.

With such power, what could political operatives in Washington quietly coerce ISPs to do behind the scenes? What independent or conservative news and opinion platforms might be slowed, shadowbanned or deplatformed if a nameless bureaucrat or some leftist activist group falsely labels them purveyors of disinformation or hate speech?

We have seen the evidence of what the government will do in secret to censor or suppress information with the powers it already has. Just think what it would do if given vastly greater power over private communications platforms.

And since some ISPs own separate news, online media and entertainment platforms, consider what the FCC’s massive, indirect control of their platform could have on information and messaging of those subsidiaries.

The Draconian policy is all wrapped up in nice consumer-friendly language. But as Carr explained, it “was never about improving your online experience – that was just the sheep’s clothing. It was always about control.”

“The plan,” he said, “is motivated by an ideology of government control that is not compatible with the fundamental precepts of free market capitalism.”

More dangerous than the FBI’s abuses. With powers to censor us all.


J. Michael Waller

J. Michael Waller is Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy.

His academic and professional areas of concentration are foreign propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion.

He is the former Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school in Washington, DC.

He has been an instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg. He has guest lectured at the FBI Academy, George C. Marshall Center, Marine Corps University, National Defense University, National Intelligence University, and other military schools and combatant commands.

Dr. Waller holds a Ph.D. in international security affairs from the University Professors Program at Boston University. His award-winning doctoral dissertation, written in 1993 and published as Secret Empire: The KGB In Russia Today (Westview, 1994), foresaw the rise of a KGB officer to seize political control of Russia. He received his military training as an insurgent with the Nicaraguan contras.

He is author or editor of books relating to intelligence, political warfare, public diplomacy, terrorism, subversion, and strategy. See his page on Academia.edu. His latest book is Big Intel: How the CIA and FBI Went from Cold War Heroes to Deep State Villains (Regnery, 2024).

He has written for American Greatness, the American Mind, the Daily Beast, Daily Caller, The Federalist, Forbes, Insight, Investor’s Business Daily, Kyiv Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Real Clear Politics, USA Today, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, and the Wall Street Journal. See his page on Authory.

Dr. Waller is on Twitter/X at @JMichaelWaller.


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EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.