An amended injunction in the historic Missouri v. Biden case was maintained by a federal appeals court this week, preventing the federal government and the White House from putting pressure on social media firms to restrict American people.
The United States Court of Appeals of the Fifth Circuit sustained the amended injunction, although it excluded two significant branches of the federal government: the expansive State Department along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
In a win for people who don’t like online censorship, the recently issued injunction prevents the FBI, CDC, the White House press secretary, and numerous other Biden administration officials who put pressure on tech giants throughout the coronavirus pandemic from doing so again.
Within the terms of the injunction, the agencies as well as the individuals mentioned “are prohibited from taking any official or informal actions, whether direct or indirect, that would significantly encourage or coerce social media firms to eliminate, delete, suppress, or decrease social media content that contains protected free speech. This includes altering the algorithms they use. That includes but isn’t restricted to, forcing the platforms to do something, such as by implying that they will be punished if they don’t do what is asked, or supervising, leading, or otherwise regulating the social media firms’ decision-making processes in a useful way.”
The ban will have a big effect on people’s lives. In their ruling, the Fifth Circuit justices pointed out that when the FBI flagged material in 2020 and 2022, half of the time the content was taken down by the social media sites. The primary role of the FBI in what some people call the “censorship-industrial complex” has already been well recorded by the plaintiffs in Missouri versus Biden, and additionally by the House Judiciary Committee’s probes and the Twitter Files.
Mike Benz, who used to work for the State Dept. and now runs the Foundation for Freedom Internet, a non-profit that keeps an eye on internet censorship, was unhappy that CISA was not included in the new order.
Even though Benz liked the decision as a whole, he called the decision to spare CISA “complete madness.”
As was already known, CISA worked closely with the notorious “Election Integrity Partnership” (EIP) during the 2020 election. Using the EIP’s database, CISA flagged posts that were then sent to social media companies to be taken down.
The EIP went after Breitbart News, Fox News, the New York Post, and the Epoch Times, as well as the social media accounts of right leaders like Mark Levin, Charlie Kirk, Tom Fitton, Jack Posobiec, James O’Keefe, and Sean Hannity, among others.