FBI Censored Americans Using Russia-Ukraine Intelligence

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Just the News reports the FBI pressured social media companies to crack down on the spread of so-called “Russian disinformation” on behalf of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), according to a report from the House weaponization panel, but evidence suggests that the Russians had infiltrated the group and used the censorship pipeline to suppress anti-Putin and pro-Ukrainian materials.

A House Judiciary report reveals the FBI collaborated with a compromised Ukrainian intelligence agency to censor American Speech.

In violation of the First Amendment, the FBI routinely accepted requests from Ukrainian intelligence to censor American accounts. They sent the names of flagged accounts to social media companies.

The SBU, Ukrainian intelligence, was compromised by Russia at the time.

Washington, DC, USA – June 21, 2022: Words of Daniel Webster are seen on the facade of the Robert F. Kennedy Building, the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, DC. The inscription reads: Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on Earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. Wherever her temple stands, and so long as it is duly honored, there is a foundation for social security, general happiness and the improvement and progress of our race.

“The Committee’s analysis of these “disinformation” registries revealed that the FBI, at the request of the SBU, flagged for social media companies the authentic accounts of Americans, including a verified U.S. State Department account and those belonging to American journalists, says the House Judiciary.

According to the House Judiciary Committee: Based on a subset of subpoenaed documents, the report details how the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) colluded with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)—an agency widely known to be infiltrated by Russian-aligned forces—by routinely sending social media platforms spreadsheets and other documents containing thousands of accounts to take down.

In so doing, the FBI and SBU flagged authentic American accounts for removal, including a verified U.S. State Department account and those belonging to American journalists. The report also exposes how the FBI offered Facebook and Instagram legal cover to remove the SBU’s flagged accounts. The new information highlights the FBI’s unconstitutional role in enabling the SBU’s censorship regime and raises grave concerns about the FBI’s credibility, reliability, and competence as the nation’s premier law enforcement organization.

Russians allegedly infiltrated, but the report indicates it was anti-Putin:

“The FBI and SBU repeatedly requested the removal or suspension of authentic accounts expressing unambiguously pro-Ukrainian views, as well as those voicing opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. At times, the FBI would even follow up with the relevant platform to ensure that “these accounts were taken down.” Regardless of its intended purpose in endorsing the SBU’s requests, the FBI had no legal justification for facilitating the censorship of Americans’ protected speech on social media,” the report reads.

In July 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of the SBU on account of Russian infiltration of the SBU. Given that the SBU was compromised by a network of Russian collaborators, sympathizers, and double agents at the time of its interactions with the FBI, the FBI’s uncritical cooperation with the SBU’s requests is deeply concerning.

The inclusion of American accounts on the SBU’s lists indicates that the FBI either did not properly vet the SBU’s requests or was aware of their domestic nature, and nonetheless carried them out. These findings highlight the need for additional oversight and legislative reform to protect Americans’ free speech rights.

If Russia did infiltrate, the FBI didn’t care, didn’t know, didn’t bother, just decided to take what they wanted and did it anyway:

“…no one at the FBI appeared to raise any concerns about potential Russian influence over the SBU’s censorship requests. Instead, the FBI seems to have endorsed the SBU’s censorship requests by routinely referring them to social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. The FBI even followed up with the platforms when it deemed a platform’s response to be inadequate.”

CISA also monitored without any legal basis:

“CISA, shortly after it was created, began monitoring social media platforms under the guise of curtailing “foreign disinformation.”  Despite lacking the legal authority to do so, CISA quickly and easily expanded its focus on “mis-, dis-, and malinformation” to broadly include the surveillance and suppression of domestic political speech on social media.

They’ve done it before:

“Almost a half-century ago, the Church Committee revealed a similar bait and switch by the National Security Agency (NSA). Like the GEC, CISA, and the NSA, the FBI took a part of its mission that was supposed to be foreign-focused and unconstitutionally turned the power of the federal government inward, against the American people.”

The report on p.12 gave examples of people they censored, stating it was an indication of how expansive the censorship was. They included everyone:
  • A photographer working with a studio in New York;
  • A manager of a moving company in South Carolina;
  • A musician and vocalist based in Minnesota;
  • A professor at a university in California; and
  • A children’s book author living in Washington state.68

We knew from the Twitter Files that this censorship was expansive and illegal.

Read the report yourself: FBI-SBU-judiciary-report-7.10.23-sm.

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