(trendingpoliticsnews) – In a recent report released by the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, it has been revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) collaborated with a compromised Ukrainian intelligence agency to censor American speech on social media platforms. The report is cause for concern about the FBI’s role in potentially violating the First Amendment rights of American citizens and undermining national security.
The report meticulously details how the FBI, on behalf of a compromised Ukrainian intelligence entity, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), requested and directed major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, and YouTube, to censor Americans engaging in constitutionally protected speech online. The FBI’s actions were part of an investigation into the federal government’s role in censoring lawful speech on social media platforms.
The SBU, which had been infiltrated by Russian-aligned actors, sought the FBI’s assistance in identifying and impairing suspected Russian influence operations on social media. The FBI then relayed these requests to the relevant social media platforms, thereby becoming an intermediary in the process.
The report also revealed that the FBI and 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. The FBI and SBU repeatedly requested the removal or suspension of authentic accounts expressing pro-Ukrainian views, as well as those voicing opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This has raised questions about the extent to which the FBI was aware of the implications of its actions.
In July 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired the head of the SBU due to Russian infiltration. The FBI’s uncritical cooperation with the SBU’s requests, despite the SBU’s compromised state, is deeply concerning. The report suggests that the FBI either did not properly vet the SBU’s requests or was aware of their domestic nature, and nonetheless carried them out.
The report further highlights the potential risks that such actions pose to the democratic principles of free speech and the free press.
JUST IN: The FBI censored American citizens at the direction of Ukrainian intelligence by banning social media accounts that Ukraine determined to be a threat to their agenda.— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) July 11, 2023
The FBI continues to be the greatest threat to democracy in America.
According to a new report by the… pic.twitter.com/sV1ryZ187e
The report concludes by highlighting the need for additional oversight and legislative reform to protect Americans’ free speech rights. The Committee and Select Subcommittee will continue to investigate the FBI’s relevant interactions with the SBU and social media platforms to better inform the Committee’s legislative efforts to safeguard Americans’ civil liberties.
The FBI’s actions, as detailed in the report, have raised serious questions about the extent to which intelligence agencies can and should interfere with the free speech rights of citizens, both at home and abroad. The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government have pledged to continue their investigation into this matter. Their goal is to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future and to strengthen the legislative framework that protects the civil liberties of American citizens.