(PresidentialHill.com)- In 2021, the Global Engagement Center, a federal inter-agency that works to counter foreign influence operations, awarded the Global Disinformation Index a grant of $100,000 to combat “misinformation” and “falsehoods.”
Once the National Endowment for Democracy said it would no longer fund the so-called “disinformation” tracker between 2020 and 2021, GDI’s funding source stayed silent on whether or not it would also cut ties with the group.
A venture capital firm called Park Advisors, which the Global Engagement Center is actively working to dissuade from receiving a $100,000 GDI award, received the first grant distribution in the context of the USA vs. France Tech Challenge. Partners included the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, NATO, and the British government to spur the creation of innovative solutions to the problems of disinformation and propaganda.
According to Michael Chamberlain, head of an ethical monitoring organization, there are “serious national security worries” regarding hostile foreign powers spreading disinformation to destabilize the United States, as reported by the Washington Examiner. But, some government agencies have used this justification to focus on the First Amendment rights of ordinary Americans, sometimes for nothing more than holding beliefs that are disputed or counter to the prevailing narrative.
According to an article published in the Washington Examiner on February 20th, the NED will no longer provide money for GDI. A representative for NED, Leslie Aun, said that the organization takes great effort to dispel rumors that it is engaged in any activities locally, either directly or indirectly, by instituting stringent controls and protocols to ensure that NED and the projects we fund remain internationally focused.
The NED had notified two congressional committees, including the House Foreign Affairs Committee, of its sponsorship of GDI only days before the revelation. A parliamentary source familiar with the situation has confirmed that the GEC would brief the House Foreign Affairs Committee about GDI funding on Wednesday.
Reports that taxpayer public funds have ended up in the hands of a foreign group that maintains a database of groups suspected of hosting misinformation websites have concerned the Committee, to say the least.