Possible Threat to Alternative Media: House Passes “Russian Propaganda” Bill
In order to maintain their power, two House Representatives from California has pushed through H.R 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which is in response to the real fake news mainstream media‘s claims that alternative media putting forth “fake news” are nothing more than agents of “Russian propaganda.”
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Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) has sponsored the bill and Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) co-sponsored. The bill authorizes appropriations for fiscal year 2017 for intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government, the Community Management Account, and the Central Intelligence Agency Retirement and Disability System, and for other purposes.
HR 6393 Section 501 (a) (1) reads:
ACTIVE MEASURES BY RUSSIA TO EXERT COVERT INFLUENCE.—The term “active measures by Russia to exert covert influence” means activities intended to influence a person or government that are 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, including the following:
(A) Establishment or funding of a front group.
(B) Covert broadcasting.
(C) Media manipulation.
(D) Disinformation and forgeries.
(E) Funding agents of influence.
(F) Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
(H) Terrorist acts.
One thing I find absolutely hilarious in this is “(D) Disinformation and Forgeries.” Are we supposed to take that serious after eight years of the Obama administration and a fake birth certificate being displayed on the White House website? I’m sorry, I can’t take it serious.
Can we take media manipulation serious after the DNC email disclosures of media hacks in the mainstream media? Again, I think not.
The bill also “places travel restrictions on personnel and consulars of the Russian Federation in the United States.” It additionally “establishes an executive branch interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence over peoples and governments.”
HR 6393 Section 501 (e) says the duties of this special interagency committee shall be as follows:
(1) To counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence, including by exposing falsehoods, agents of influence, corruption, human rights abuses, terrorism, and assassinations carried out by the security services or political elites of the Russian Federation or their proxies.
(2) Such other duties as the President may designate for purposes of this section
Dr. Eowyn comments on number 2 above, “The vagueness and open-endedness of this clause should concern every American who cherishes our civil liberties.”
Indeed, there are always vagueness when these bills are written in order to allow for a lot of wiggle room. However, considering the attacks upon alternative media outlets and attempting to label them as tools of Russian propaganda, I think it wise that we see this for what it is, and one cannot ignore the propaganda in the media against alternative media.
“It’s easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used against [alleged] ‘fake news’ websites,” writes Kurt Nimmo. “At this point it is unknown if the bill will work its way through the Senate and become law and if it will be used to shut down or curtail websites anonymously characterized as useful idiots or willing participants in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda.”
The bill passed the House on November 30, 390-30.
While many are fearful of the Russians, one should step back and in light of the current climate of attacks in the media and those in government against many of us who are simply looking to do the job of the press, should give us pause to consider how this will be used against us.
If you believe the same way, please contact your senators and voice your opinion.