Just prior to his appointment as President Obama’s so-called regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein wrote a lengthy academic paper suggesting the government should “infiltrate” social network websites, chat rooms and message boards.Such “cognitive infiltration,” Sunstein argued, should be used to enforce a U.S. government ban on “conspiracy theorizing.”
Among the beliefs Sunstein classified as a “conspiracy theory” is advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.
The find comes after a report of a government document indicating that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news sites such as the Huffington Post and Drudge Report.
Reuters reported that a “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November confirms that since at least June 2010, the department’s national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”
The government document states that such monitoring is meant to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture” to help manage national or international emergency events.
While the DHS may be monitoring websites for security reasons, Sunstein advocated such actions with another goal in mind.
Sunstein’s official title is administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
As WND was first to report, in a 2008 Harvard law paper, “Conspiracy Theories,” Sunstein and co-author Adrian Vermeule, a Harvard law professor, ask, “What can government do about conspiracy theories?”
“We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories.”
In the 30-page paper – obtained and reviewed by WND – Sunstein argues the best government response to “conspiracy theories” is “cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.”