BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJanuary 29, 2023
1 year ago

Army Unit Turned Strategy for Adversaries Against Own Citizens: Report

A British army unit was used to perform surveillance upon politicians and journalists who criticized the nation’s response to COVID.

According to a report in the U.K. Daily Mail, the 77th Brigade, which the Mail said had a mission of using “non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as a means to adapt behaviors of adversaries," was among the groups deployed to monitor the public.

The military unit was joined by the Counter Disinformation Unit, based in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Rapid Response Unit in the Cabinet Office to go beyond surveillance and counter what was called “disinformation”  and “harmful narratives ... from purported experts.”

British politician David Davis, who was among the targets of surveillance, told the Mail it was “outrageous that people questioning the government's policies were subject to covert surveillance.”

The Mail published a statement from a member of the 77th Brigade whose name was not used to explain his role.

He said that in March 2020, he began work with the 77th Brigade "on the basis I would be helping root out foreign state misinformation on social media."

"We would take screenshots of tweets from people expressing dissatisfaction with the U.K. government's action against COVID,” he wrote, saying that these were forwarded to a British Cabinet office.

“To skirt the legal difficulties of a military unit monitoring domestic dissent, the view was that unless a profile explicitly stated their real name and nationality, they could be a foreign agent and were fair game. But it is quite obvious that our activities resulted in the monitoring of the U.K. population,” he wrote.

He said the purpose of the surveillance was never stated when it began.

“I entered this role believing I would be uncovering foreign information warfare. Instead, I found the banner of disinformation was a guise under which the British military was being deployed to monitor and flag our own concerned citizens,” he wrote.

“Frankly, the work I was doing should never have happened. This domestic monitoring of citizens seemed not to be driven by a desire to address the public's concerns, but to identify levers for compliance with controversial government policies,” he wrote.

The surveillance was outlined by the group Big Brother Watch, which said that numerous political leaders, academics and journalists were targeted and that the operation “pressured a Whitehall department to attack newspapers for publishing articles analyzing Covid-19 modeling that it feared would 'affect compliance’ with pandemic restrictions.”

Journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer, listed among those who was spied upon, called the domestic surveillance "outrageous in a democracy."

Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, called the revelation “an alarming case of mission creep, where public money and even military power have been misused to monitor academics, journalists, campaigners and members of parliament who criticized the government, particularly during the pandemic.”

“The fact that this political monitoring happened under the guise of ‘countering misinformation’ highlights how, absent serious safeguards, the concept of ‘wrong information’ is open to abuse and has become a blank cheque the government uses in attempt to control narratives online,” she said.

“Contrary to their stated aims, these government truth units are secretive and harmful to our democracy."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal

NATIONAL NEWS

SEE ALL

Fani Willis Faces Rising Calls For Indictment Over Alleged Perjury

In an unexpected twist in a high-profile case, former President Donald Trump's attorney has brought forward allegations that could potentially upend the ongoing investigation into…
21 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

A-Rod’s New Image Leaves Fans Bewildered

In an unusual turn of events, Alex Rodriguez's markedly darker tan became the talk of the town after a recent basketball game. Alex Rodriguez, co-owner…
21 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Donald Trump’s 2022 Decision To Sell DC Hotel Proves Prescient

In a dramatic turn of events echoing the volatile nature of real estate and politics, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., finds itself at…
21 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Judge Strikes Down CA Billy Club Ban On Second Amendment Grounds

In a landmark decision, a federal judge has declared California's prohibition on billy clubs unconstitutional. A U.S. District Judge ruled against California's billy club ban,…
21 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Mike Johnson Shuts Down Rumors He Is Anti-IVF

In a striking move that blends the boundaries between law and ethics, Alabama's highest court has redefined the status of fertilized embryos. This bold decision…
22 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

DON'T WAIT.

We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:

    LATEST NEWS

    Newsletter

    Get news from American Digest in your inbox.

      By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: American Digest, 3000 S. Hulen Street, Ste 124 #1064, Fort Worth, TX, 76109, US, http://americandigest.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
      Christian News Alerts is a conservative Christian publication. Share our articles to help spread the word.
      © 2024 - CHRISTIAN NEWS ALERTS - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
      magnifier