The Twitter Files: Part 9 – CIA, State Department, other Agencies Coordinated
Twitter Files part 9: Vast web of coordination between tech giant and CIA, State Department, other agencies
Latest batch of documents claim that the FBI was simply the ‘doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship’ across multiple agencies
Twitter Files Supplemental • Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi)
Substack writer Matt Taibbi released the latest installment of the “Twitter Files” on Christmas Eve, detailing that coordination between the tech giant and government agencies went way beyond the FBI. In a massive series of tweets, Taibbi insisted that the FBI was simply the “doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA.”
The journalist explained that Twitter had so many interactions with OGAs (or “other government agencies” as they are called in the tweets), the company couldn’t keep them all straight: He explained, “Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track. Is today the DOD, and tomorrow the FBI? Is it the weekly call, or the monthly meeting? It was dizzying.”
He explained how some of the coordination developed, specifically growing out of FBI connections: “On June 29th, 2020, San Francisco FBI agent Elvis Chan wrote to [a] pair of Twitter execs asking if he could invite an “OGA” to an upcoming conference:”
Taibbi noted that it was an “open secret at Twitter that one of its executives was ex-CIA, which is why Chan referred to that executive’s ‘former employer.’” He added that “one of the most common forums was a regular meeting of the multi-agency Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF), attended by spates of executives, FBI personnel, and – nearly always – one or two attendees marked ‘OGA.’”
What was discussed in these meetings? Usually “foreign matters.”
But Taibbi added, “Despite its official remit being ‘Foreign Influence,’ the FITF and the SF FBI office became conduit for mountains of domestic moderation requests, from state governments, even local police:”
Just as Twitter was having so many meetings with governmental agencies that it couldn’t keep them straight, the company was also inundated with FBI requests on “problem accounts.”
Less than six weeks before the 2020 election, FBI agent Chan contacted Twitter exec Stacia Cardille about having identified more “Twitter handles which appear to provide misleading information” in them.
Noting how unusual it all seemed, Taibbi remarked of what the latest batch of Twitter files uncovered: “It seemed to strike no one as strange that a ‘Foreign Influence’ task force was forwarding thousands of mostly domestic reports, along with the DHS, about the fringiest material.”
Taibbi revealed an October 1, 2020, e-mail, just over a month before the presidential election, an unnamed Twitter exec described being left “waiting for more evidence” when it came to Russian influence claims from the State Department. This person admitted, “Our window on that is closing, given that government partners are becoming more aggressive on attribution.
Taibbi offered his own paraphrase of what this could mean: “Translation: ‘more aggressive’ ‘government partners’ had closed Twitter’s ‘window’ of independence.”
The journalist concluded the latest edition of the Twitter Files by noting, “The CIA has yet to comment on the nature of its relationship to tech companies like Twitter. Twitter had no input into anything I did or wrote. The searches were carried out by third parties, so what I saw could be limited.”
Part eight of the Twitter Files showed how the platform “directly assisted the U.S. military’s influence operations. Part seven showcased the FBI’s attempts to discredit information about Hunter Biden and his foreign business dealings.
FBI blasted for dismissing Twitter Files as misinformation: ‘Chilling’
‘If the FBI was smart they wouldn’t have said anything about the Twitter Files,’ one user wrote
The FBI’s claim that the Twitter Files were the work of “conspiracy theorists” set off a firestorm online this week.
The FBI issued its controversial response after an installment of the Twitter Files found the agency regularly contacted employees at Twitter to flag accounts that were deemed as spreading “misinformation.”
It wasn’t long before the agency labeled the Twitter Files themselves as “misinformation.”
“It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,” the FBI wrote.
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said the FBI’s response was “chilling.”
“It is not clear what is more chilling: the menacing role played by the FBI in Twitter’s censorship program or its mendacious response to the disclosure of that role. This week saw another FBI ‘nothing-to-see-here’ statement to the Twitter files,” Turley wrote.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald summed up the FBI’s apparent position on the Twitter Files.
“Anyone who questions the FBI — or finds it disturbing that they’re ‘partnering’ with Big Tech on what should and should not be permitted to be said on the internet — is a hateful, crazy, unhinged anti-American conspiracy theorist,” he wrote.
“Un-freaking-real,” one user wrote in a mega-viral post with over 78,000 likes on Twitter.
“If the FBI was smart they wouldn’t have said anything about the Twitter Files,” human trafficking advocate Eliza Bleu wrote.
Another user reacted to the news: “When you thought the world couldn’t get any crazier, the FBI now claims that the words of its own agents in tons of emails revealed by #TwitterFiles are conspiracy theories and misinformation.”
Former Rolling Stone journalist and Substack writer Matt Taibbi shared hidden communications between Twitter and FBI employees in the days surrounding the contentious 2020 presidential election. The viral Twitter thread revealed several posts that the FBI flagged as concerning for Twitter employees.
Taibbi related a tweet from one of the accounts on Nov. 8: “I want to remind republicans to vote tomorrow, Wednesday November 9.”
Another tweet flagged by the FBI was an apparent joke about voting times: “Americans, Vote today. Democrats you vote Wednesday 9th.”
Taibbi argued that a third tweet, referenced in an email by an FBI employee, was satirical: “For every negative comment on this post, I’m adding another vote for the democrats” and “If you’re not wearing a mask, I’m not counting your vote.”
Three of the four accounts were suspended, according to the email chain, and the fourth account was subject to review by another Twitter employee, according to the email chain.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.
FBI notified Twitter about users ‘potentially’ violating terms: Twitter Files
The FBI reportedly flagged accounts to Twitter that could ‘potentially’ violate the company’s terms
YOUR TAX DOLLARS PAID GOVERNMENT TO GO OVER YOUR POST ON TWITTER THEN CONTACT TWITTER FOR POSSIBLE TWITTER VIOLATIONS!
Employees at the Federal Bureau of Investigation regularly contacted workers at Twitter to notify them of accounts that “may” constitute violations of the company’s terms of service, new Twitter Files released Friday reveal.
Substack writer and journalist Matt Taibbi tweeted several internal emails between Twitter workers and FBI employees as part of the sixth installment of the Twitter Files.
“Hello Twitter contacts, FBI San Francisco is notifying you of the below accounts which may potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy,” one email FBI employee wrote in an email on Nov. 10, 2022.
The email would go on to list several Twitter accounts that might violate the social media company’s terms of service.
In response, a Twitter employee said that three of the four accounts were suspended.
“I’ve reviewed this already from the TD perspective and suspended three of the accounts for multi-account abuse and ban evasion violations,” the Twitter employee wrote.
The Twitter employee asked someone else at the company to review the fourth account flagged by the FBI for “possible civic misinformation.”
Taibbi said that one of the accounts tweeted on Nov. 8 “I want to remind republicans to vote tomorrow, Wednesday November 9.”
One tweet flagged by the FBI states “Americans, Vote today. Democrats you vote Wednesday 9th.”
Another tweet flagged by the FBI in the email states that one user “claimed in her posts that she is a ballot counter in her state and, in additional posts, states ‘For every negative comment on this post, I’m adding another vote for the democrats’ and ‘If you’re not wearing a mask, I’m not counting your vote.'”
Taibbi said that the tweet from the user claiming to be a ballot counter was satirical.
Additionally, Stacia Cardille, a former attorney for Twitter, appeared to suggest in a summary of her meeting with government law enforcement agencies to Twitter’s former Deputy General Counsel Jim Baker on Sept. 16, 2021, that the FBI could share classified information with the social media giant.
“I participated in our monthly (soon to be weekly) 90-minute meeting with FBI, DOJ, DHS, ODNI, and industry peers on election threats. A few items to note:,” Cardille wrote. “I explicitly asked if there were any impediments with the ability of the government to share classified information or other relevant information with industry. FBI was adamant that no impediments to information sharing exist.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, a spokesperson for the FBI said “The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities. Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”