The National Security State’s War on the First Amendment

Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“An especially ugly development taking place in the United States lies with the intelligence agencies and the FBI using social media platforms and other private organizations to stifle criticism of U.S. foreign policy or the conduct of policymakers. The standard argument has long been that violations of the First Amendment take place only when a governmental entity suppresses the expression of views of its people. Since Facebook, Twitter, Google, et al. are private corporations, the logic goes, the First Amendment’s prohibition of censorship does not apply beyond the government, no matter how annoying the ideological bias evident on their sites might be. Defenders of the status quo fail to address the problem that occurs when a government agency or official colludes with or pressures a private actor to suppress certain information or viewpoints. Yet that is what has been taking place with greater frequency and severity.” (11/15/22)