America First Legal Launches Follow-up Investigation After Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office Withholds Censorship Records

MA AG’s Office Claims Censorship Records Could Reveal “Law Enforcement Matters”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General regarding the existence and number of law enforcement investigations relating to misinformation or disinformation based on information it revealed in response to our investigation.

On August 16, 2023, AFL launched a series of state FOIA requests regarding a letter written by twelve state attorneys general, all Democrats, to the CEOs of Twitter and Facebook, seeking to censor the views of American citizens — including the so-called “Disinformation Dozen” — in collusion with the UK-based pro-censorship organization, the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH).On September 6, 2023, the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts responded to AFL’s letter. It affirmatively stated that it was withholding responsive records about our request because its censorship scheme could reveal “multistate law enforcement matters.”

Even more alarming, it characterized the effort associated with the censorship letter as a “multistate” “law enforcement matter handled jointly by various state attorneys general, including Massachusetts.”

With the new knowledge that the Massachusetts Attorney General treated alleged misinformation and disinformation as “law enforcement matters,” AFL is filing a follow-up request with the Office of the Attorney General seeking “All records sufficient to identify the existence of, and the number of, law enforcement investigations relating to ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation.’

Statement from Gene Hamilton, America First Legal Vice President and General Counsel:

“If so-called misinformation and disinformation are legitimate law enforcement matters for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, then the First Amendment is under much more severe threat than anyone realizes. They are either trying to hide the existence of damaging emails and documents that reveal the extent of their desire to censor American speech, or they have completely lost their minds regarding what the First Amendment protects,“ said Gene Hamilton.

Read the FOIA here.

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