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(LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. government is funding research into new AI-assisted tools with which to suppress dissent on mainstream narratives, such as those regarding COVID-19 “vaccines” and the origins of the virus.

Noting that the onset of COVID led to “normalizing censorship in the name of public health,” Mike Benz of the Foundation for Freedom Online recently explained on “Just The News No Noise,” referring to tech platforms. “What’s happened now is the government says, ‘ … we’re going to supercharge you guys with all sorts of DARPA military grade censorship, weaponry, so that you can now take what you’ve achieved in the censorship space and scale it to the level of a U.S. counterinsurgency operation.'”

Just the News highlighted grant documents showing how the National Science Foundation, an independent agency of the U.S. government, is funding research into ways to “improv[e] capacity to detect, monitor, manage, and mitigate inauthentic behaviors and misinformation campaigns.”

The censorship technology is among the “Convergence Accelerator projects” funded by the grant, under the label “Trust & Authenticity in Communications Systems (Track F).”

According to the grant document, the program will use advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI)/Machine-learning (ML)-based techniques to enable content platform providers to detect and delineate indicators of misinformation and inauthenticity.”

“Deliverables” include “tools to help people interpret the information they receive,” and third-party tools and techniques … to assist consumers in identifying trustworthy information and sources and misinformation.”

Just the News has called the tools being developed via the grants “eerily similar to those developed in 2011 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program.”

“One of the most disturbing aspects of the Convergence Accelerator Track F domestic censorship projects is how similar they are to military-grade social media network censorship and monitoring tools developed by the Pentagon for the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism contexts abroad,” Benz said in a report on the how the technology “is being developed to manipulate the speech of Americans.”

“This is really an embodiment of the whole of society censorship framework that departments like DHS talked about as being their utopian vision for censorship only a few years ago,” Benz told Just the News. “We see it now truly in fruition.”

While the grant document’s own references to the “misinformation” being targeted are vague and don’t give examples, it mentions that particular modern “problems” of “false claims” and “inauthentic behaviors” have been discussed in a “2020 workshop on Addressing Health Misinformation Through Health Literacy Practices conducted by the National Academies of Science [NAS2020].”

In addressing the topic of COVID-19 “misinformation,” a “working taxonomy” in a summary of the workshop’s proceedings makes clear that any messaging even questioning the official narrative is considered “misinformation,” such as “skepticism towards [the] vaccine and its developers,” “concerns over safety” of the COVID jabs, or “questioning social distance guidelines.”

The workshop proceedings point out that “technology platforms around the world are already working with Fact-Checking Organizations (FCOs) to address misinformation on their platforms,” in part by “using fact-checked information to inform algorithms that determine ‘which content gets shared with an Internet user either first, or later, or never.’”

Benz explained on “Just the News No Noise” how the program joins the forces of government, academia, media, and Big Tech to impose an “approved” narrative via censorship.

“You basically have four different categories of institutions here in cahoots for domestic censorship: You have the federal government who’s providing the money; You have the universities who are being onboarded as a sort of mercenary science army to create censorship technology tools,” Benz said.

“Those technology tools for censorship are then being given to politically like-minded journalists and fact-checkers who then take this AI technology … and apply it to censor their political opponents, or opponents on social policy issues, to the tech platforms.”

In an interview with Benz, Host of Real America’s Voice Steve Gruber decried the AI-enabled censorship as “absolutely a violation of the U.S. Constitution.”

Benz agreed, “You’re right, but they think they’re being cute because they’re using a laundering process … rather than having the federal government be the one who’s pushing the button to censor you, they’re using what’s called a whole-of-society model, meaning they get the government, the private sector, civil society, and then news media and fact-checking organizations all working together as a sort of seamless unit, so that the fingerprints of the federal government only really exist on the funding side, and somewhere on the coordination side, but they’re not the ones who are technically deleting your content,” Benz said.

“They’re using essentially Facebook and YouTube and other social media companies as a sort of proxy army of censors who they’re supplying the censorship ‘weaponry’ to,” he continued.

Gruber concluded, “This is beyond Orwellian.”