(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for records and concerning censorship of social media users (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (No. 1:23-cv-02943)).
Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence failed to respond to a May 2023 FOIA request for:
Records and communications of the National Counterterrorism Center … regarding the Foreign Malign Influence Center, including:
- Organizational chart;
- Position description of full-time employees and contractors;
- Annual budget;
- Communications with Twitter @twitter.com [now known as X], Facebook @facebook.com, Meta @meta.com, TikTok @tiktok.com, Reddit @reddit.com, YouTube @YouTube.com, Instagram @instagram.com, concerning “foreign influence operations,” “misinformation,” “disinformation;” and
- Policies, procedures, standard operating procedures, and strategic plans 6. Working groups established with governmental, nongovernmental organizations, or private entities.
- Working groups established with governmental, nongovernmental organizations, or private entities.
In April 2022, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new Disinformation Governance Board. The new agency quickly became a flashpoint of controversy, characterized by critics as a frontal assault on the First Amendment. In August 2022, it was disbanded.
In September 2022, the Foreign Malign Influence Center was established under the Office of Director National Intelligence with essentially the same mission: “as the primary U.S. Government organization for analyzing and integrating all intelligence and other reporting possessed or acquired pertaining to foreign malign influence, including election security.” The Center has proposed a public-private initiative, calling for “significant monetary and resource investment by the government” for “enhancing information sharing with private sector entities.”
“The Biden administration apparently believes it can resurrect its domestic thought police deep inside the heart of America’s spy agencies, and no one would notice,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Well, Judicial Watch noticed and will pursue the facts in spite of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence agency’s illegal stonewalling.”
Judicial Watch has produced a four-part documentary that details the coordinated effort by the government and Big Tech to censor and suppress information on topics such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID-19, and election debates. The first episode aired Monday, October 16, 2023, on the Judicial Watch website, X/Twitter, Rumble, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. A new episode aired each day this week. The series in its entirety will be available Thursday, October 19, 2023, at 7 p.m. ET.
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.
On October 4, 2023, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on behalf the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) against the U.S. Department of Education for records regarding book bans, the organization Moms for Liberty, and Ron DeSantis (Daily Caller News Foundation v. U.S Department of Education (No. 1:23-cv-02768)).
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 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation (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 (
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.