Obama Administration’s Information Czar Wants to Cognitively Infiltrate Dissenter/Conspiracy Groups

In 2008, while at Harvard Law School,  now head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein wrote a paper calling for some very anti-first amendment measures to be taken by the federal government.

According to Sustein the government should employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups, websites and other activist groups, who espouse views deemed to be “false conspiracy theories” about the government.  These efforts on the part of the government would increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists.  The abstract and the full paper downloaded, here.

To accomplish these goals Sustein proposes sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”  He also wants the Government to secretly pay “independent” credible voices to bolster the government’s messaging to those who don’t believe official sources. Anyone advocating false “conspiracy theories,” would be targeted.

Sustein defines false conspiracy theories as being “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role”.

Another one of Sustein’s brilliant ideas is to impose some sort of tax on those who disseminate such theories.

These ideas are nothing to worry about though because Sustein writes that they would only be put into practice under “imaginable conditions”. Whatever those could possibly be.

Luckily the Obama administration would never do things like secretly employ pseudo-”independent” advocates to sway public opinion, would it?


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