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How the Deep State is using the ‘Censorship Industrial Complex’ to crush free speech

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Renée DiResta is the research director of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO)

From LifeSiteNews

By Andreas Wailzer

The Censorship Industrial Complex, dominated by organizations often run by ex-CIA agents, is working around the First Amendment to suppress dissent and promote a one-world government

Author and reformed climate activist Michael Shellenberger has coined the term “Censorship Industrial Complex,” an apparent reference to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address in 1961, where the former Army General warned about the influence of the “military-industrial complex.” 

In a recently published article, Dr. Joseph Mercola explored the Censorship Industrial Complex, how it works, and who some of the protagonists are. We will examine the following points regarding this nefarious network to understand how the censorship apparatus works:  

  1. A key figure: Renée DiResta  
  2. The Election Integrity Partnership and Virality Project 
  3. The Council on Foreign Relations and the One World Government 
  4. NewsGuard and the “middleware” approach 

A key figure: Renée DiResta 

Renée DiResta is the research director of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO). Mercola fittingly described the organization’s purpose: “[Founded] in June 2019,” the SIO “promote[s] internet censorship policies and conduct[s] real-time social media narrative monitoring.” 

DiResta quickly climbed the career ladder despite being involved in a major election manipulation scandal. She previously worked for the CIA and is a member of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). 

DiResta is a prominent example of the connections between the intelligence agency and the censorship industry, but she is certainly not the only one. The organizations that are deciding what is deemed “misinformation” or “hate speech” (i.e., the Censorship Industrial Complex) are often run by former CIA agents. According to Shellenberger’s research, seven former CIA executives serve on the board of the Atlantic Council, an organization partnered with the SIO through several projects. 

“The Chief Strategy Officer and the Director of Federal Programs at Graphika, another DiResta partner organization, are former CIA officials,” Shellenberger writes. 

In 2018, DiResta organized a false flag online operation that influenced an Alabama Senate race. Before she worked at the SIO, DiResta was the research director at a small political consultant firm, New Knowledge LLC, which received $100,000 from Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, to help the Democrat candidate win the U.S. Senate race in Alabama. New Knowledge used that money to subscribe thousands of fake Russian bot accounts to Republican candidate Roy Moore’s social media campaign. Mainstream media reports at the time claimed Moore was “backed by Russia,” even though his “Russian backers” were fake accounts created by New Knowledge. Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, went on to win the race by a slim margin. 

After the election, an internal report from New Knowledge, which detailed the Russian bot operation, was obtained by The New York Times. The report admits that: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.” 

This revelation gained national media attention and was so scandalous that even members of the Atlantic Council (an organization that now collaborates with DiResta) publicly criticized this egregious example of election interference by New Knowledge. 

Shellenberger said the reason that DiResta was made “the leader of the Censorship Industrial Complex,” next to her intellect and articulateness, is that “[l]ike other American elites, DiResta believes that it is the role of people like her to control what information the public is allowed to consume, lest they elect a populist ogre like Donald Trump, decide not to get vaccinated, or don’t accept whatever happens to be mainstream liberal opinion on everything from climate change to transgenderism to the business dealings of the president[‘s] family.” 

The Election Integrity Partnership and Virality Project 

The Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) was founded only months before the 2020 U.S. presidential election “to defend our elections against those who seek to undermine them by exploiting weaknesses in the online information environment.” 

Mike Benz, former State Department official in the Trump administration and executive director for the Foundation for Freedom Online, explained in a video that EIP was created as a “government cut-out,” a “private” organization that de facto acts as censorship arm for the things the government cannot censor because it lacks the legal authority to do so.

One of the “partners” of the EIP is DiResta’s SIO. Benz also notes that all of the EIP’s partners are at least partly funded by the government. 

In May 2020, a new organization with mostly the same “partners” as the EIP was created, the Virality Project (VP). The VP focused on censoring COVID-related content online, including factual information that “might promote vaccine hesitancy.” 

READ: New ‘Twitter Files’ show gov’t-backed Stanford initiative told Big Tech to censor ‘true’ info about COVID jabs 

A spokesperson from the SIO (one of the VP’s founding partners) claimed it “did not censor or ask social media platforms to remove any social media content regarding coronavirus vaccine side effects.” Perhaps the SIO did not censor content directly, but the VP that was founded by the SIO certainly did, as the Twitter Files released by Elon Musk have shown. 

According to the Twitter Files published by journalist Matt Taibbi, the VP pressured social media platforms such as Twitter (now X) and TikTok to remove or flag online content. Posts flagged by VP included:

  • True information that could fuel “vaccine hesitancy” 
  • Posts critical of vaccine passports 
  • True testimonies of people experiencing blood clots after receiving COVID shots 
  • People asking questions about possible adverse reactions from the jabs 

The Council on Foreign Relations and the One World government 

As mentioned above, DiResta, in addition to being a former CIA agent, is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a think tank specialized in U.S. foreign policy. The globalist CFR is partly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. 

The CFR was founded in 1921 and has heavily influenced U.S. foreign policy ever since. Most CIA directors and U.S. secretaries of defense have been members of the Council. Mercola argues that the CFR’s ultimate goal “has been to bring about a totalitarian one world government, a New World Order (NWO) with global top-down rule.” 

According to the Centre for Research on GlobalizationJames Warburg, the son of one of the CFR’s founders, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1950: “We shall have world government whether or not you like it – by conquest or consent.” 

Moreover, CFR insider and former U.S. Navy Admiral Chester Ward stated the following in his 1975 book Kissinger on the Couch: 

“[The CFR has as a goal] submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government … This lust to surrender the sovereignty and independence of the United States is pervasive throughout most of its membership … In the entire CFR lexicon, there is no term of revulsion carrying a meaning so deep as ‘America First.’” 

Mercola concludes that the Censorship Industrial Complex is part of the network that seeks to establish a one-world government. 

“Those who oppose America First policies do so because they’re working on behalf of a network that seeks to eliminate nationalism in favor of a one-world government, and DiResta is part of that club,” he writes. 

NewsGuard and the ‘middleware approach’ 

In another condensed video, Benz explains how the Censorship Industrial Complex is now using so-called “middleware” organizations like the news rating site NewsGuard to suppress dissent from the mainstream narratives.  

According to Benz, the Censorship Industrial Complex is anticipating a loss in the Missouri v. Biden Supreme Court case, which “threatens to ban all government coordination of domestic censorship with a few exceptions[.]” 

To circumvent these possible legal restrictions, the government is propping up “intermediary censorship mercenary firms like NewsGuard.”  

READ: Elon Musk slams leftist rating group NewsGuard as ‘scam’ that ‘should be disbanded immediately’ 

By funding these “private” organizations, the deep state government agencies can “effectively circumvent the First Amendment prohibitions on running a comparable thing out of the DHS [Department of Homeland Security].” 

However, the idea that NewsGuard is somehow independent from the government is wholly divorced from reality. In 2021, the Department of Defense awarded NewsGuard $750,000 for its project “Misinformation Fingerprints,” which aims to combat what it calls “a catalogue of known hoaxes, falsehoods and misinformation narratives that are spreading online.” 

Moreover, Benz notes that NewsGuard’s Advisory Board consists of “an all-star apex predator caste of the national security state,” including 

  • retired Four-Star General Michael Hayden, who was formerly the head of the CIA and NSA,  
  • Richard Stengel, former Undersecretary of State, 
  • Tom Ridge, former head of the DHS, 
  • and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former head of NATO. 

By propping up “middleware” companies such as NewsGuard that are not technically part of the government, the Censorship Industrial Complex is able to work around possible First Amendment restrictions, as websites that receive a negative rating from NewsGuard will have reduced visibility on Big tech platforms and search engines. The negative rating by NewsGuard also provides a pretext for private Big Tech platforms to label outlets as spreaders of “misinformation” and censor them outright. 

“There’s no clear solution to this threat, other than to continue pushing back against any and all efforts to legalize, standardize and normalize censorship,” Mercola writes in his conclusion. “To vocally object, to refuse using middleware like NewsGuard, and to boycott any company or organization that uses middleware or engages in censorship of any kind.” 

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Alberta

Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023

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Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.

As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.

At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.

The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.

“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.

“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”

Launa Aspeslet, interim chief executive officer, Edmonton Unlimited

“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”

Terry Rock, president and chief executive officer, Platform Calgary 

Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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Economy

Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.

After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.

Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.

The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.

Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.

“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.

“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”

In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.

Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”

“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.

Conservatives blast increased debt

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.

Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”

CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”

She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”

During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.

“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”

Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”

“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.

A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.

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