Technocensorship: When Corporations Serve As a Front for Government Censors

John & Nisha Whitehead

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. We must, therefore, be on our guard against extremists who urge us to adopt police state measures. Such persons advocate breaking down the guarantees of the Bill of Rights in order to get at the communists. They forget that if the Bill of Rights were to be broken down, all groups, even the most conservative, would be in danger from the arbitrary power of government.”
Harry S. Truman, Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States (August 8, 1950)

Nothing good can come from allowing the government to sidestep the Constitution.

Unfortunately, the government has become an expert at disregarding constitutional roadblocks intended to protect the rights of the citizenry.

When these end-runs don’t suffice, the government hides behind the covert, clandestine, classified language of national security; or obfuscates, complicates, stymies, and bamboozles; or creates manufactured diversions to keep the citizenry in the dark; or works through private third parties not traditionally bound by the Constitution.

This last tactic is increasingly how the government gets away with butchering our freedoms, by having its corporate partners serve as a front for its nefarious deeds.

This is how the police state has managed to carry out an illegal secret dragnet surveillance program on the American people over the course of multiple presidential administrations.

Relying on a set of privacy loopholes, the White House (under Presidents Obama, Trump and now Biden) has been sidestepping the Fourth Amendment by paying AT&T to allow federal, state, and local law enforcement to access—without a warrant—the phone records of Americans who are not suspected of a crime.

The government used a similar playbook to get around the First Amendment, packaged as an effort to control the spread of speculative or false information in the name of national security.

As the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government revealed, the Biden administration worked in tandem with social media companies to censor content related to COVID-19, including humorous jokes, credible information and so-called disinformation.

Likening the government’s heavy-handed attempts to pressure social media companies to suppress content critical of COVID vaccines or the election to “an almost dystopian scenario,” Judge Terry Doughty warned that “the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’

Restricting access to social media has become a popular means of internet censorship.

Dare to voice politically incorrect views in anything louder than a whisper on social media and you might find yourself suspended on Twitter, shut out of Facebook, and banned across various social media platforms. This authoritarian intolerance masquerading as tolerance, civility and love is what comedian George Carlin referred to as “fascism pretending to be manners.”

Social media censorship runs the gamut from content blocking, throttling, and filtering to lockouts, shutdowns, shadow banning and de-platforming.

In fact, these tactics are at the heart of several critical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court over who gets to control, regulate or remove what content is shared on the internet: the individual, corporate censors or the government.

Yet what those who typically champion the right of corporations to be free from government meddling get wrong about these cases is that there can be no free speech when corporations such as Facebook, Google or YouTube become a front for—or extensions of—government censors.

This is the very definition of technocensorship.

On paper—under the First Amendment, at least—we are technically free to speak.

In reality, however, we are now only as free to speak as a government official—or corporate entities such as Facebook, Google or YouTube—may allow.

Clothed in tyrannical self-righteousness, technocensorship is powered by technological behemoths (both corporate and governmental) working in tandem to achieve a common goal: to muzzle, silence and altogether eradicate any speech that runs afoul of the government’s own approved narrative.

This is political correctness taken to its most chilling and oppressive extreme.

This authoritarian impulse to censor and silence “dangerous” speech masquerading as tolerance, civility and a concern for safety (what comedian George Carlin referred to as “fascism pretending to be manners”) is the end result of a politically correct culture that has become radicalized, institutionalized and tyrannical.

You see, the government is not protecting us from “dangerous” disinformation campaigns. It is laying the groundwork to insulate us from “dangerous” ideas that might cause us to think for ourselves and, in so doing, challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives.

Thus far, the tech giants have been able to sidestep the First Amendment by virtue of their non-governmental status, but it’s a dubious distinction at best when they are marching in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

As Philip Hamburger and Jenin Younes wrote for The Wall Street Journal:

“The First Amendment prohibits the government from ‘abridging the freedom of speech.’ Supreme Court doctrine makes clear that government can’t constitutionally evade the amendment by working through private companies.”

It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court can see itself clear to recognizing that censorship by social media companies acting at the behest of the government runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Bottom line: either we believe in free speech or we don’t.

The answer to the political, legal and moral challenges of our day should always be more speech, not less.

Any individual or group—prominent or not—who is censored, silenced and made to disappear from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for voicing ideas that are deemed politically incorrect, hateful, dangerous or conspiratorial should be cause for alarm across the entire political spectrum.

To ignore the long-term ramifications of such censorship is dangerously naïve, because whatever powers the government and its corporate operatives are allowed to claim now will eventually be used against the populace at large.

These social shunning tactics borrow heavily from the mind control tactics used by authoritarian cults as a means of controlling its members. As Dr. Steven Hassan writes in Psychology Today:

By ordering members to be cut off, they can no longer participate. Information and sharing of thoughts, feelings, and experiences are stifled. Thought-stopping and use of loaded terms keep a person constrained into a black-and-white, all-or-nothing world. This controls members through fear and guilt.”

This mind control can take many forms, but the end result is an enslaved, compliant populace incapable of challenging tyranny.

As Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, once observed, We’re developing a new citizenry, one that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”

The problem is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need someone else to think and speak for us, and we’ve bought into the idea that we need the government and its corporate partners to shield us from that which is ugly or upsetting or mean. The result is a society in which we’ve stopped debating among ourselves, stopped thinking for ourselves, and stopped believing that we can fix our own problems and resolve our own differences.

In short, we have reduced ourselves to a largely silent, passive, polarized populace incapable of working through our own problems and reliant on the government to protect us from our fears.

As Nat Hentoff, that inveterate champion of the First Amendment, once observed, “The quintessential difference between a free nation, as we profess to be, and a totalitarian state, is that here everyone, including a foe of democracy, has the right to speak his mind.”

What this means is championing the free speech rights of those with whom we might disagree.

That’s why James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely. He understood that freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society.

The government has no tolerance for freedom or free speech of any kind that challenges its chokehold on power.

At some point or another, depending on how the government and its corporate allies define what constitutes “disinformation,” “hate” or “extremism, “we the people” might all be considered guilty of some thought crime or speech transgression or other.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, it’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth.

Eventually, as George Orwell predicted, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act.

Ultimately, the government’s war on free speech—and that’s exactly what it is—is a war that is driven by a government fearful of its people.
As President John F. Kennedy observed:

“[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

Originally published via the Rutherford Institute
Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His book Battlefield America: The War on the American People (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected]. Nisha Whitehead is the Executive Director of The Rutherford Institute. Information about The Rutherford Institute is available at www.rutherford.org.


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Mar 6, 2024 1:05 AM

“People are Strange”


She literally asked me if she could make a baby with my son..???

She says – I just love him and his mum.

wtf am I supposed to say…I said well shouldn’t you ask him first??

So they have now made 3 babies together between the ages of 8 an 1

My Son, and My Wife and I Love Them to Bits.

Some Girls are very good at making Babies, but they never quite Bond

Its not that difficult.All your Baby wants is your Love, Your Breast and Your Milk

My Wife – Nana seems to look after them most of the time..

They just love being here with Nana and Grandad and our New Kitten

It makes us feel Good.

Worth Getting old


Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 5, 2024 7:02 PM

Youtube , we have a problem!

I am proud to declare that just today I had a warning sign sent from youtube
that goes something like ” We have removed some comments that may violate our
Communist Guid…” sorry “Community Guideline”. Then I have this option to click on a link that reads “Got it” in a lame effort to ask me to kneel.

Eff you is my answer. This also happened some half a year ago but after a couple of months I could access it again without any kneeling.

Needless to say my comments concerned the bombastic Zionists.

Mar 6, 2024 12:11 AM

LOL – wtf did you say?

Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 6, 2024 6:54 AM
Reply to  tonyopmoc

What did I say ??? Read again!

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 5, 2024 2:12 PM

“Bottom line: either we believe in free speech or we don’t.”

Not much meat in this article.
It is free speech to tell the truth! Not believe in my free speech to say anything.

In the old days you could sue people who smeared you falsely and gave you a false reputation in the public eyes. Today we have all lies.
Bad reputation Thin Lizzy https://youtu.be/JmLt5ubN3jg

Mar 6, 2024 12:14 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Free Speech? I not only wrote what I thought on Facebook…I even said it down the pub. They already knew I was mad…I had previously mentioned 9/11

Love Thin Lizzy

Mar 5, 2024 2:03 PM

The plight of the Palestinians has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that “The Law” was never anything but a G-String which could be slyly maneuvered to reveal some or another tantalizing bit of flesh, depending entirely upon the audience and the ambiance. What purists call “Freedom” has been neither more nor less than society’s (i.e., the ruling class’s) particular need at any given moment for a particular kind of skill which some of the peons posses, others do not. “We did well and made a nice living” is the entirety of most people’s concept of “Freedom,” “Justice” and other pretty sounding buzz words. “We fought and died for our Freedom!” they will insist as they watch one after another Swat Team go after someone who didn’t do “well” or make “a nice living.” The human race is kept afloat on a raft of fig leaves. Which is slowly… Read more »

Mar 5, 2024 4:39 AM

For many inconvenient facts of oligarchy and slavering totalitarianism, the establishment has no response except censorship or isolation (in prison). Across the “Free World”, some official history from the last and current century remain illegal to question. As an earlier article (maybe here) said, unlike the governments tarred as totalitarian, “democratic” totalitarianism farms out its dirty work -censorship, surveillance or violence – to the private sector for mutual benefit. If confronted, it may even claim that it only sends requests to the platforms.

Joe Van Steenbergen
Joe Van Steenbergen
Mar 5, 2024 4:30 AM

Passage of the Patriot Act was the death knell of our liberties. “They” knew full well what they were doing, and are only now reaping the rewards of their machinations.

Mar 4, 2024 10:30 PM

Once again Whitehead leads with lies from a source to nullify its own words and all to follow. Harry Truman? Talk about censorship! This cold warrior helped consolidate the national security state apparatus leading to present logical conclusions of techno-totalitarian population control. Of course we the people get all the subterfuge about our ever elusive constitutional rights in danger now after centuries of the same old shit. Any rights we’ve had in practice, and not just on some holy parchment the product of ruling class coup, have cost us commoners our sweat and blood achieving. About the only honest words of the founding fathers were spoken by John Jay: “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” Here’s a simple formula for fascism which any genuinely freedom-loving American would recognize. But alas, Amerikkka’s been indoctrinated in rightwing cult conditioning long before the woke came along to leave us with… Read more »

Charlotte Ruse
Charlotte Ruse
Mar 4, 2024 8:39 PM

“Fascism pretending to be manners” describes Rishi Sunak to a tee.

Mar 4, 2024 8:08 PM

We’re never been so totally surveiled and monitored. It won’t stop till every nook and cranny on this earth is covered. Such is the fear of the state. They decide what freedom is for the rest of us by drawing up lines. And not only do we have to accept it ,but we better believe it or else. There is no place left to runaway to. We’re stuck. COVID was a dress rehearsal.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 4, 2024 7:18 PM

“Such persons advocate breaking down the guarantees of the Bill of Rights in order to get at the communists.” So, we now ask ourselves, who and what is “the communists”?: The Communism in Sovjet was a godless, atheistic, socialist collective with central 5-10 years planning, endless rows of dirty high rise concrete buildings and dirty concrete playgrounds for children with empty eyes, with two types of cars, Trabant and some other name I dont remember. Gulag camps, Cheka, and world communism unite! The Communism in China was equally a godless, atheistic, socialist collective with “The long road”, Mao’s the little red book, and Central Planning. Hundreds of millions in deep poverty. But with no especial political need for exporting their power and ideology overseas. They just wanted to be alone. Today both China and Russia have copied the Western model of first China family, and Russia have realised the reason… Read more »

Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 5, 2024 7:11 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

I am quite sure that Trabant was an East German car and the names of the two Russian brands was Lada and Moskovits.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 5, 2024 9:52 PM

Did you find any other comma or punctual errors?

Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 6, 2024 7:08 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Oh , I happened to step on a fragile toe , not my intention.

For some people that info of mine might have some historical context and nostalgic interest or even as some kind of reminder of the poor standards of communism , there are actually a number of ways to interpret my comment.

I am sorry to have hurt your feelings.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 6, 2024 8:44 PM

So it was an “association/remind me of” comment. No problem.
I were looking too much after a comment to the content.

Mar 4, 2024 6:56 PM

Plan to reduce earth population by 81% by the end of the century. Looks like sooner to me. https://www.igor-chudov.com/p/a-giant-leap-plan-to-reduce-birth

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 4, 2024 6:48 PM

“let its people judge the truth and falsehood”.
Only if the people have acquainted themselves with knowledge and have moral bone enough to stand up.

If “its people” is bunch of leftist crybabies and welfare addicts someone have to take over.
Thats why we have politicians.

If “its people” were able to judge the truth and falsehood there was no reason to employ politicians “to let or allow people” to do anything!

Only children and teenagers ask to be allowed to something or to be let.
(Ohh now I discovered the Author is Rutherford Institute, you are Political Scientists I presume 😅 ).

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Mar 4, 2024 5:46 PM

You didn’t mention the other side of the coin, using “Non Disclosure Agreements” and “Commercial Confidentiality” as a tool to prevent legitimate requests for information. The southern border surveillance program, what we could call “the electronic wall”, is one example of a program who’s details are shrouded in secrecy, not because they’re a government secret but because their capabilities and usage are a commercial secret. (…its the sort of system that doesn’t actually need a border to be deployed, this is just its obvious first application)

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Mar 4, 2024 10:40 AM

Dare to voice politically incorrect views in anything louder than a whisper on social media and you might find yourself suspended on Twitter, shut out of Facebook, and banned across various social media platforms. ‘

I sacked Facebook years ago, never employed Twitter in the first place and couldn’t give a damn about being a member of ANY social media platform that thinks that woke PC claptrap is what confers status.

Mar 4, 2024 1:26 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

Right? Sometimes I feel the people complaining or even talking about what these platforms do is part of the problem.
I never talk about them, they are intelligence assets, completely compromised, social sewers. It’s like I never talk about McDonalds, or “energy” drinks.
What are we gonna do, be indignant that companies are peddling harmful crap, hoping they change?
Where attention goes, energy flows.

Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 5, 2024 7:46 PM
Reply to  Paul

This “sometimes” – feeling that you meantion , how does it work in reality ? Is it depending on your mood or what ?

Otherwise you sound like you would be perfectly fit for some PR job at any dubious company.

And don´t you think , with a little comprehension , that Rhys Jaggar could also be considered “intelligence asset , completely compromised , social sewer “?

And my final questions ; Did you read the article about these platforms before commenting ?

Mar 4, 2024 10:02 AM

The authors begin by quoting Truman — the POTU$A who unleashed a nuclear holocaust. Quoting Truman — a lunatic in a business suit — on Freedom of Speech seemed to me a bit rich, because, if I remember correctly, Truman was POTU$A during the Cultural Genocide of communism in the U$A. “The buck stops here”:

From Wikipedia:

“What would become known as the McCarthy era began before McCarthy’s rise to national fame. Following the breakdown of the wartime East-West alliance with the Soviet Union, and with many remembering the First Red Scare, President Harry S. Truman signed an executive order in 1947 to screen federal employees for possible association with organizations deemed “totalitarian, fascist, communist, or subversive”, or advocating “to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.”

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Mar 4, 2024 6:01 PM
Reply to  NickM

The Cold War started well before the defeat of Germany. There were commanders like Patton who were aching to have a go at the Reds but were restrained by a couple of factors. One was political prudence, but the other was that you had to have a period of ‘softening up’ before the rank and file would go with the program. There was just too much first hand knowledge of the years preceding the war, the war itself and experience in Germany for a continuation of the war to be viable. The Cold War was really a continuation of hostilities that started after the Russian Revolution. This resulted in a civil war where we actively supported the Whites (forces loyal to the imperial crown) with the US and UK even contributing troops to ‘defend’ ports etc. After the civil war ended in the early 1920s we then embarked on a… Read more »

Mar 4, 2024 9:51 AM

‘The government has no tolerance for freedom or free speech of any kind that challenges its chokehold on power.‘

Governments and corporations do not have ‘power’, they exert force.
Frequently, heavily and with extreme prejudice.
Police forces, armed forces,
the force of law etc.

Power is not directed at anyone or anything. It simply is.
The sun, waves, wind, water, even the moon have power.
Love is power.
Truth is power.

The people, if only they realised it, have the power to invert the pyramid of FORCE and let justice, cosmic justice, be served.

Mar 4, 2024 3:41 PM
Reply to  Johnny

Police SERVICE – Police FORCE
Immigration SERVICE – Border FORCE
Nuff said.
And, OT but relating to a recent post, Marianna Spring pops up on Panorama tonight (BBC1 8pm) discussing Trump’s “enduring appeal”. Let’s see how many times “right wing” and “conspiracies” are mentioned !!

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 5, 2024 3:41 PM
Reply to  DavidF

Police provide service in emergency situations.
If anyone dont obey orders in emergency situations they can jeopardize other peoples lives, and thus Police has authority to use force to save lives in an emergency.

Mar 5, 2024 5:51 PM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Police, in many NON-emergency situations, use disproportionate force to impose their poor application of the law.

Erik Nielsen
Erik Nielsen
Mar 5, 2024 9:56 PM
Reply to  DavidF

So you know better than educated police how the law should be applicated and how police work should be carried out? I think not.

Kenneth Thorberg
Kenneth Thorberg
Mar 6, 2024 7:12 AM
Reply to  Erik Nielsen

Aha , I thought you just had a problem with a fragile toe , now I know your problems goes deeper than that.