Disinformation Governance Board Dissolved by Homeland Security

“There is no need for a Disinformation Governance Board,” said the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas terminated the Disinformation Board after an advisory committee declared in July that “there is no need” for the group.
  • In May 2022, Mayorkas requested that a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council “make recommendations for how the Department can most effectively and appropriately address disinformation that poses a threat to the homeland while protecting civil rights and providing greater transparency across this work.”
  • “In accordance with the HSAC’s prior recommendation,” stated the Department of Homeland Security, “Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has terminated the Disinformation Governance Board and rescinded its charter effective today, August 24, 2022.”
  • “The Department will continue to address threat streams that undermine the security of our country consistent with the law, while upholding the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of the American people and promoting transparency in our work.”
THE FINAL REPORT:
  • “The Department of Homeland Security does not have a broad remit to address all inaccurate information or disinformation,” the finalized 29-page report said, “nor does it have the authority to silence or sanction anyone’s speech.”
  • Rather than issuing disinformation reports itself, Homeland Security “can and should also bring such disinformation to the attention of other government agencies for appropriate action and to platforms hosting the falsehoods. It is for the platforms, alone, to determine whether any action is appropriate under their policies.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Upon news of the Disinformation Governance Board’s creation, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed the board was an “un-American abuse of power” and “a scheme conjured up by Washington Democrats to grant themselves the authority to control free speech.”
  • After three weeks, the Disinformation Governance Board’s executive director Nina Jankowicz resigned from her position, forcing Mayorkas to state that the board was “paused” due to fears that the board would infringe upon free speech rights, some comparing it to the “Ministry of Truth” seen in the novel 1984.
  • Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) praised the Disinformation Governance Board’s Termination, saying, “Good riddance once and for all to the DHS ‘disinformation board.’ The federal government has no business threatening the First Amendment by policing your free speech.”