Logically.AI of Britain and the Expanding Global Reach of Censorship
Brian Murphy, a former FBI agent who once led the intelligence wing of the Department of Homeland Security, reflected last summer on the failures of the Disinformation Governance Board – the panel formed to actively police misinformation. The board, which was proposed in April 2022 after he left DHS, was quickly shelved by the Biden administration in a few short months in the face of criticism that it would be an Orwellian state-sponsored “Ministry of Truth.”
In a July podcast, Murphy said the threat of state-sponsored disinformation meant the executive branch has an “ethical responsibility” to rein in the social media companies. American citizens, he said, must give up “some of your freedoms that you need and deserve so that you get security back.”
The legal problems and public backlash to the Disinformation Governance Board also demonstrated to him that “the government has a major role to play, but they cannot be out in front.”
Murphy, who made headlines late in the Trump administration for improperly building dossiers on journalists, has spent the last few years trying to help the government find ways to suppress and censor speech it doesn’t like without being so “out in front” that it runs afoul of the Constitution. He has proposed that law enforcement and intelligence agencies formalize the process of sharing tips with private sector actors – a “hybrid constellation” including the press, academia, researchers, non-partisan organizations, and social media companies – to dismantle “misinformation” campaigns before they take hold.
More recently, Murphy has worked to make his vision of countering misinformation a reality by joining a United Kingdom-based tech firm, Logically.AI, whose eponymous product identifies and removes content from social media. Since joining the firm, Murphy has met with military and other government officials in the U.S., many of whom have gone on to contract or pilot Logically’s platform.
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