Advisory Subcommittee Says ‘No Need’ for Homeland Security’s Disinformation Board

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The board has been fraught with controversy since it was announced a few months ago.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board is on life support following an interim report Monday issued by a Homeland Security Advisory Council subcommittee stating there was “no need” for the body.

The Disinformation Governance Board, launched by DHS in late April to counter misinformation, was “paused” by DHS in mid-May after weeks of criticism and cries of government overreach from Republican lawmakers. On the same day, the board’s chief, disinformation and extremism expert Nina Jankowicz, resigned following threats of physical violence against her.

“We have now had briefings on the relevant disinformation-related activities of the Department. We are not ready, as of yet, to provide recommendations on the Department’s most effective approach to disinformation threats, including commitments to increase transparency and protect civil rights, civil liberties and privacy,” the council subcommittee’s interim recommendation states. “However, at this point, we have concluded that there is no need for a Disinformation Governance Board.”

The subcommittee, comprised of three dozen experts in homeland security issues, aims to issue its final recommendation on the matter in August.

In May, a DHS spokesperson told Nextgov the board was “grossly and intentionally mischaracterized,” explaining: “It was never about censorship or policing speech in any manner. It was designed to ensure we fulfill our mission to protect the homeland, while protecting core Constitutional rights.”

Numerous high-profile Republican lawmakers celebrated the subcommittee’s interim recommendation through social media posts.