US Lawmakers Move to Criminalize ‘Fake News, Propaganda’ on the Web

The witch hunt for “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has been kicked up a notch, after the House passed a bill quietly tucked inside the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, designed to crack down on free speech and independent media.

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Under “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries,” the bill seeks to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

It lists media manipulation as:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

“It is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called ‘fake news’ websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration,” Global Research reported.

The frightening attack on speech and independent media was opposed by only 30 members of the House, including Tulsi Gabbard, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash — who stated that he fought against it.

“As long as the government engages in intelligence activities that violate our rights secured by our Constitution, any Intel Authorization bill should be opposed,” Justin Amash told Sputnik News.

The bill must now pass through Senate, though a senior Rand Paul aide has told Sputnik News that the Senator is currently holding the intelligence bill for several reasons — and that they are looking at this specific issue very closely.

“Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days before the Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing ‘experts’ who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected,” Zero Hedge noted.

The ‘experts’ the newspaper cited was a group called “PropOrNot,” although it have refused to name the experts behind the operation. The organization has promoted a Ukrainian hacker group on their Twitter feed.

PropOrNot also listed over 200 websites that they accuse of peddling Russian propaganda, including extremely popular news websites on all sides of the political spectrum, including The Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, TruthOut, Sputnik News, and even WikiLeaks.

Former presidential candidate Ron Paul’s website is also mentioned in many of the articles on so-called fake news, an issue that should be concerning to those who believe in free speech, including his son, Senator Rand Paul. The elder Paul has long been a vocal supporter of freedom of speech, as it is enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, and he and his supporters have repeatedly been the target of finger pointing and demonization.

In 2012, a risk-assessment report from a Missouri-based fusion center stated that support for Ron Paul’s presidential bid was a sign of membership in a “domestic terrorist group.”

“For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny,” the so-called experts cited by PropOrNot state.

Many of those listed on censorship hit lists are speaking out against the attempt to stop independent media.

“Information is dangerous and with this new reactionary shift of people making ban lists of so called ‘fake news,’ it shows us how afraid they are of knowledge and differences of opinion that spur people to have an open mind,” Luke Rudkowski, the owner of We Are Change, one of the sites on the blacklist, previously told Sputnik News. “Information is very dangerous for the establishment status quo that tried to keep things the way they are.”

The bill, Zero Hedge notes, will soon proclaim much of the internet to be “criminal Russian propaganda if it is allowed to pass.

I originally published this piece on Sputnik News

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Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been published in a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, TeleSUR, and Bipartisan Report.

Rand Paul Wants Defense Budget to Depend On Release Of Classified 9/11 Report Pages

Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul

In a bold move, Senator Rand Paul has filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to compel the Senate to publicly release the 28 classified pages of the 2002 investigation into the 9-11 attacks — if they want to get their defense budget.

Paul, along with the families of victims, activists, and other lawmakers, has long fought for the release of the classified pages.

“Information revealed over the years does raise questions about [Saudi Arabia’s] support, or whether their support might have been supportive to these al-Qaeda terrorists,” Paul told journalists last year.

“We can not let page after page of blanked-out documents be obscured behind a veil, leading these families to wonder if there is additional information surrounding these horrible acts.”

The Kentucky Senator’s amendment would require that the pages be released within 60 days of the NDAA being signed into law, but “identifying information” would be permitted to be kept secret if the release would create “imminent lawless action or compromise presently ongoing national security operations.”

Paul’s effort comes just after the Senate passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which was promoted as aiming to simplify the process for the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia and other foreign sponsors of terror. However, an amendment was added in the 11th hour by Senator Charles Schumer, granting the attorney general and secretary of state the power to stop any litigation against the Saudi government.

“How do I feel about the Justice Department being given this power? Not good,” 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser told the New York Post. “Their failure to bring their own Saudi indictment reveals how little they care about holding the Saudis accountable for either their funding or operational support of the 9/11 hijackers.?”

Many believe that the 28 classified pages will help prove that the Saudi government was involved in funding al-Qaeda and colluding on the attack.

“Nearly every significant element that led to the attacks of September 11 points to Saudi Arabia,” Terry Strada, National Chair of 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, and widow of Tom Strada, who died in the north tower of the World Trade Center during the 2001 attacks said, adding that “Money is the lifeblood of terrorism. Without money, 9/11 wouldn’t have happened.”

President Barack Obama is expected to make a decision about whether or not they will declassify the 28 pages in June. In the meantime, the White House is currently threatening to veto the bill.

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Cassandra Fairbanks is a DC-based writer and political commentator who has been published in a range of outlets including Sputnik News, Teen Vogue, TeleSUR, and Bipartisan Report.

Rand Paul Campaign Head On Secret Bill Gates Meeting/ Promoting GMO’s

In this video Luke Rudkowski talks to Chip Englander, Campaign Manager for Rand Paul’s 2016 Presidential run. Luke asks the important question of a secret meeting that took place between Rand Paul and Bill Gates, which shifted Rand’s position to support and say GMO’s are safe. (more…)

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

http://www.facebook.com/alec.cope.75

alecope8@gmail.com

https://www.twitter.com/AlecCope

http://www.pinterest.com/aleccope75/

Why You Should Not Vote For Rand Paul In 2016

In this video Luke Rudkowski goes over Rand Paul’s rhetoric and actions in the past that determine his 2016 presidential run. Luke goes over documented facts and his personal interactions that he had with Rand Paul. (more…)

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

http://www.facebook.com/alec.cope.75

alecope8@gmail.com

https://www.twitter.com/AlecCope

http://www.pinterest.com/aleccope75/

Historic Bill Introduced By Three US Senators: End Federal Prohibition Of Medical Cannabis

Medical-Marijuana
By Alec Cope

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill that would end the Federal prohibition on medical cannabis.

Today, there will be a press conference with the purpose of detailing the historic bill. This bill would not only end the Federal prohibition on medical marijuana, but it would also allow states that already have medical marijuana to operate with no fear of prosecution. This means that all medical marijuana users, providers and doctors would not be bothered by federal prosecutors. (more…)

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After years of research and a series of unpleasant experiences concerning the current child protection services system, Alec Cope decided to combat the cancerous corruption through information. Freelance writing articles as a form of protest and distributing them throughout his former high-school and local area, Alec struck special chords with whomever he was in contact with.

Alec has been involved in activism such as sit down protests as well as Idle No More gatherings. Being independent for the majority of his time, Alec became a member of the WeAreChange family to assist one of the organizations that inspired him to become active in the first place. With a larger platform and positive support Alec has committed the majority of his time to research, writing, and maintaining social media with the goal to continue expanding the awakening sweeping throughout all levels of society.

Growing up within a rural area in Northern Michigan as well as being a native American descendant, Alec is seeking to expose environmental abuse in his state as well as globally. A high-school dropout, Alec chases his passion for writing and empowering individuals while showing any isolated person that they too can overcome the odds with a community that will support them. Alec lives in the lower peninsula of Michigan near Kalamazoo.

http://www.facebook.com/alec.cope.75

alecope8@gmail.com

https://www.twitter.com/AlecCope

http://www.pinterest.com/aleccope75/

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