STATESIDE STORIES: The Biden Administration to Monitor the Internet

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Press Secretary Jen Psaki, left, says during a press conference that President Biden supports the Disinformation Governance Board whereas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, right,
claims it is unconstitutional and will introduce a bill to defund it

by Mary Foran

The Biden Administration has created a new bureau to fight the spread of disinformation online.

The Biden Administration is accused by the critics of creating something like the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Disinformation Governance Board has conservative politicians and commentators criticizing the Biden Administration for creating something akin to the Ministry of Truth, a fictional monitoring department in George Orwell’s forbidding futuristic novel 1984.

Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, testified during a budget hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security that a Disinformation Governance Board had recently been created to fight the spread of disinformation on the internet.

The Disinformation Governance Board will monitor misinformation on elections and such

During a press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the Board’s existence and noted that the US President supported it. Psaki said she couldn’t provide many details other than saying that the bureau would monitor misinformation on topics such as Covid-19 and elections.

Critics say the bureau is another example of the government trying to police free speech on the internet.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas was among the many lawmakers who condemned the bureau on Twitter while likening it to Orwell’s fictional department.

The Ministry of Truth is modeled on the Ministry of Information at the Senate House, London (see photo)

“The Federal Government has no business creating a Ministry of Truth,” Cotton wrote. “The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Board is unconstitutional and un-American and I’ll be introducing a bill to defund it.”

For those of you who have never read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Guidepost did a cover story on the novel when that date came around in 1984.


> Featured image: Jen Psaki/White House Official Photo by Cameron Smith, cropped, PD via Wikimedia Commons. Sen. Tom Cotton/Michael Vadon, cropped, CC BY-SA4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
> Nineteen Eighty-Four cover of original edition/Michael Kennar–Brown University, published by Secker and Warburg, London,  1949, PD via Wikipedia
> Ballot box/Elemental 5 Digital on Unsplash
> Senate House/An Siarach from English Wikipedia, PD