Special Report by Independent Contributor:  Andrew Kerr


“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.”

On Friday, President Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law.

Hidden on page 547 is the establishment of the “Global Engagement Center.”

Let’s cut to the chase: This law authorizes the government to collect, store, and disseminate the records of anyone that’s considered to be spreading propaganda and disinformation.

That includes you.

There is also no limitation in the law for the government to direct anti-propaganda efforts to it’s own citizens.

That also includes you.

There are subtle yet significant differences between the original version of the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act” and the version that was just signed into law.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said last Tuesday that this legislation does not address Russian propaganda directed at U.S. Citizens.

“This bill is primarily dedicated to countering propaganda and disinformation outside the United States,” he said.

That is a flat-out lie.

The original version of the bill contained a provision that specifically stated that anti-propagation efforts by the Global Engagement Center will only be done with the intent to influence foreign audiences:


(A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

That language was removed from the final version, which was just signed into law.

The final version states that Global Engagement Center is limited to “countering foreign propaganda and misinformation that threatens the United States national security.

(h) LIMITATION.—None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available to carry out this section shall be used for purposes other than countering foreign propaganda and misinformation that threatens United States national security.

What does this mean?

This means that there’s no limitation in the law for the government to direct anti-propaganda efforts to it’s own citizens.

That includes you.

The functions of the “Global Engagement Center”

The original version of the bill focused solely on countering foreign government information warfare efforts.

The final version just signed into law was modified to include “non-state actors.”

(2) PURPOSE.—The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.

What is a “non-state actor”?

Well, US Code doesn’t provide a solid definition for “non-state actor.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “non-state actor” as:

An individual or organization that has significant political influence but is not allied to any particular country or state.

Here’s some examples of “non-state actors:”

  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Multinational corporations
  • The international media
  • Violent non-state actors (ISIS, drug cartels, ect.)
  • Religious Groups
  • Anonymous
  • An individual with a large Twitter/Facebook following

Have a Twitter or Facebook account? You could be considered a “non-state actor” under the provisions of this law.

That’s absurd, one individual doesn’t have significant influence to spread ‘misinformation’.

Individuals wield a significant amount of influence to control information in the internet age.

In 2006, TIME Magazine quite literally awarded the Person of the Year award to ‘You’.


Individuals absolutely have enough influence to be considered a “non-state actor.”

That includes you.

The government can collect your records for “research and data analysis”

The original version of the bill contained 9 functions for the Global Engagement Center.

The version just signed into law contains 10.

Here’s what was added:

(10) Maintain, collect, use, and disseminate records (as such term is defined in section 552a(a)(4) of title 5, United States Code) for research and data analysis of foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts and communications related to public diplomacy efforts intended for foreign audiences.

“Records”, as defined by section 552, means:

(4) the term “record” means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual … not limited to, his education, financial transactions, medical history, ect.

An “individual”, as defined by section 552, means:

(2) the term “individual” means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;

What does this mean?

This means that the government can collect the records of United States Citizens who it determines to be spreading propaganda and disinformation efforts on social media.

That includes you.

Sen. Murphy also claimed last Tuesday that the Global Information Center would “simply be offering to help other countries’ in their efforts to produce more independent journalism to counter Russian propaganda.”

This is also a flat-out lie.

The Global Information Center itself is limited to “proactively promoting fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.”

But they also have the authority to administer an “information access fund.”

What is the “information access fund”?

This fund is a mechanism for the Center to offload the dirty work of spreading propaganda to United States Citizens.

(1) AUTHORITY FOR GRANTS.—The Center is authorized to provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, media content providers, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes:

There is nothing in the law that prevents the Center from giving grants to domestic entities

That means that CNN, Media Matters, and other American “media content providers” are eligible to receive money from the Global Information Center.

Here’s what they can do with this grant money:

(B) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

This means that the government can grant money to American media companies to collect and store examples of what they consider to be “social media disinformation.”

That includes your social media feed.

Here’s what else they can do:

(D) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign entities to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partner nations.

That means that the government can feed it’s own propaganda to American media companies, who then forward the messaging to United States citizens.

That includes you.

The Global Information Center will have the authority to indirectly influence public opinion within the United States on a massive scale.

There is nothing in this law that authorizes the government to “shut down” independent voices.

But the Center has been granted a 2 year budget of $160 million to give out in grants to non-governmental entities to push the government’s narrative to United States Citizens.

The Global Information Center will be doing everything in it’s power to drown out and eliminate narratives that go against the will of the government. .

We are one step away from having a “ministry of truth.”

“Fake news” has been branded as ‘dangerous’.

The language in this law is centered around combating information that is “aimed at undermining the United States national security interests.

Just as there are limitations to our Freedom of Speech, the government could use the “dangers” of “fake news” to limit the Free Press.

We are one step away from the government determining that a news narrative is “dangerous” to the United States of America.

At that point, say goodbye to our right to a Free Press.

As heard on The Hagmann Report