Judicial Watch announced on Thursday it received 63 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that show the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of DHS, communicated during the 2020 election campaign with the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP), which was created to flag online election content for censorship and suppression.
The records show that Twitter participated in discussions with the Cybersecurity Agency and EIP through the software system Jira, contrary to what former Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth claimed in congressional testimony.
The CISA records show government involvement in the EIP pressure on Google, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit and other platforms to censor “disinformation.”
Judicial Watch obtained the records in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after DHS failed to respond to an October 5, 2022, request (Judicial Watch Inc. vs. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:22-cv-03560 )). Judicial Watch asked for:
1. All records of communication between the CISA and the EIP. This includes all “tickets” or notifications to the Partnership regarding election-related disinformation on any social media platform.
3. All records of communication between the CISA and the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public and/or Stanford University’s Internet Observatory regarding any of the following:
- The Election Integrity Partnership
- The 2020 U.S. election
- Online misinformation and disinformation
- Any social media platform
The consortium is comprised of four member organizations: Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika. It set up a concierge-like service in 2020 that allowed federal agencies like Homeland’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State’s Global Engagement Center to file “tickets” requesting that online story links and social media posts be censored or flagged by Big Tech.
Three liberal groups — the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP — were also empowered like the federal agencies to file tickets seeking censorship of content. A Homeland-funded collaboration, the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, also had access.
An October 6, 2020, email is sent via the Jira platform from an Election Integrity Partnership official whose name is redacted, ([email protected]), to a redacted CISA recipient. The bottom of email states: “This is shared with EI-ISAC (Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center) and CIS Misinformation Reporting” and “Powered by Jira Service Desk.”
An October 7, 2020, email from an EIP official whose name is redacted to a redacted CISA recipient signals the EIP’s partnership with the Center for Internet Security (CIS), a nonprofit funded by DHS, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC):
Hello CIS Partners: given that there is a caveat on the top right hand side that says ‘as of 9/17’, and the caveat at the bottom that says some states might allow later registration, and since the deadlines are changing to a later date, the EIP does not view this as misinformation and it would not violate platform policies. Our DNC partners are shared onto this ticket so they are aware of potential confusion.
An October 8, 2020, email from an official whose name is redacted from the Center for Internet Security (CIS), to a redacted recipient under the subject “EIP-334 Case #CIS-MIS000034: Misinformation tweet regarding voting registration deadline in Wisconsin” states: “Twitter received.”
The bottom of email states: “This is shared with EI-ISAC (Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center) Twitter and CIS Misinformation Reporting” and “Powered by Jira Service Desk.”
Twitter also received information from CISA in October 2020. An email sent by the Center for Internet Security Misinformation Reporting with the subject line “EIP-369 Case #CIS-MIS000041: Twitter misinformation regarding ballots dumped on highway in CT” states that person from CISA whose name is redacted “forwarded [the] misinformation report to Twitter.”
In an October 13, 2020, email chain, a redacted official from the Center for Internet Security (CIS) asks an individual who worked simultaneously for both CISA and Stanford University and whose name is redacted: “do you have a preference for which email address I should use?” The Stanford-affiliated individual replies: “Yes – preference for this Stanford one as I am loading off my CISA work as we ramp up EIP!”
An October 13, 2020, email from the Center for Internet Security Misinformation Reporting to a redacted recipient via the Jira platform has the subject line “EIP-360 Case #CIS-MIS000037: Misinformation tweet that Russians are stealing mailboxes.” CIS forwards CISA information about Twitter:
CIS Misinformation Reporting commented:
“FYSA [for your situational awareness], this has been sent to Twitter.”
The election official was also included in the email.
A November 5, 2020, email, sent two days after the elections, shows that Matthew Masterson, then- senior cybersecurity adviser at CISA, and Brian Scully, who is head of the Mis-, Dis-, Malinformation (MDM) branch, were contacted by EIP Partners at Stanford University (Stanford Internet Observatory). A redacted Stanford official writes to Masterson and Scully, “A bat signal we sent up last night finally made its way to [redacted] they took care of it.
An October 8, 2020, email from a redacted EIP official via Jira Service Desk to a recipient whose name is also redacted states: “Thank you very much for your tip to the Election Integrity Partnership. We have just assigned an analyst to this ticket and it is under review.”
An October 6, 2020, email shows that EIP pulled information from Democracy Works to determine what is or isn’t misinformation (Democracy Works “collaborates with election officials, leading tech platforms … to drive voter access and participation.” It is funded by leftists.): “We’ve replaced the voter information in-app with links to the secretary of state websites while we try and understand the gaps in either our underlying source or our process to put the data into the app. (We originally pulled it from Democracy Works.)”
“The documents show that the Deep State was working hand-in-glove with social media companies to censor speech.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That it took a federal lawsuit to uncover this assault on the First Amendment speaks volumes about the Biden administration’s contempt for the rule of law.”
The House Judiciary Committee recently released a report detailing “how the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Global Engagement Center (GEC, within the State Department) coordinated with Stanford University and other entities to create the Election Integrity Partnership to censor Americans’ speech in the lead-up to the 2020 election.” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is listed as a target of this censorship operation.
Judicial Watch has produced a four-part documentary, “Censored and Controlled,” that details the coordinated effort by the FBI and other government agencies and Big Tech to censor and suppress information on topics such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, Covid-19, and election debates.
Judicial Watch has been in the forefront of uncovering government efforts to censor free speech and suppress opposition to its unconstitutional actions, including the U.S. Government’s dissemination of its own disinformation.
In October 2023, Judicial Watch sued the Department of Justice (DOJ) for records of any payments made by the FBI to Twitter (now known as X). The payments were disclosed in internal Twitter documents (the “Twitter Files”) made available by Elon Musk to journalists.
Also in October, Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for records concerning censorship of social media users.
In April 2023, Judicial Watch filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies for communications between the agencies and Facebook and Twitter regarding the government’s involvement in content moderation and censorship on the social media platforms.
In a separate lawsuit file in June 2023, Judicial Watch sued DHS for all records of communications tied to the Election Integrity Partnership. Based on representations from the EIP (see here and here), the federal government, social media companies, the EIP, the Center for Internet Security (a non-profit organization funded partly by DHS and the Defense Department) and numerous other leftist groups communicated privately via the Jira software platform developed by Atlassian.
In February 2023, Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) for records showing cooperation between the Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) and social media platforms to censor and suppress free speech.
Judicial Watch in January 2023 sued the DOJ for records of communications between the FBI and social media sites regarding foreign influence in elections, as well as the Hunter Biden laptop story.
In September 2022, Judicial Watch sued the Secretary of State of the State of California for having YouTube censor a Judicial Watch election integrity video.
In May 2022, YouTube censored a Judicial Watch video about Biden corruption and election integrity issues in the 2020 election. The video, titled “Impeach? Biden Corruption Threatens National Security,” was falsely determined to be “election misinformation” and removed by YouTube, and Judicial Watch’s YouTube account was suspended for a week. The video featured an interview of Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. Judicial Watch continues to post its video content on its Rumble channel (https://rumble.com/vz7aof-fitton-impeach-biden-corruption-threatens-national-security.html).
In July 2021, Judicial Watch uncovered records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that Facebook coordinated closely with the CDC to control the Covid narrative and “misinformation” and that over $3.5 million in free advertising given to the CDC by social media companies.
In May 2021, Judicial Watch revealed documents showing that Iowa state officials pressured social media companies Twitter and Facebook to censor posts about the 2020 election.
In April 2021, Judicial Watch published documents revealing how California state officials pressured social media companies (Twitter, Facebook, Google (YouTube)) to censor posts about the 2020 election.