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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Government Considers Social Media Censorship amidst Banking Collapse

'The DHS already treats financial “misinformation” as a national security threat...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USAAfter censoring information about COVID-19, elections and a variety of other issues in recent years, government authorities are now reportedly looking to employ similar tactics to suppress financial news in the aftermath of multiple bank closures.

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky, said Sunday that a Democrat senator suggested financial news censorship during a Zoom meeting he had with officials from the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, FDIC, House and Senate.

“A Democrat senator essentially asked whether there was a program in place to censor information on social media that could lead to a run on the banks,” Massie said.

Massie declined to name the senator on the grounds that the meeting was confidential. According to the congressman, the response from U.S. authorities to the senator’s question was, “We will get back to you on that.”

Massie’s meeting came after the historic failure of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday, and news that New York-based Signature Bank had also failed and was being seized on Sunday. At more than $200 billion and $110 billion in assets, respectively, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank mark the second- and third-largest bank failures in U.S. history.

The congressman’s information indicates that authorities could employ censorship—along with bailouts and money-printing—to avoid a wider financial crisis.

The DHS and a wide network of government-funded organizations have repeatedly pressured social media companies to censor information about COVID-19, elections and a variety of other matters in recent years—as revealed in the Twitter Files. Financial censorship would be nothing novel.

And indeed, the DHS already treats financial “misinformation” as a national security threat. The DHS has recommended that its Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency play more of a role in combatting information that undermines democracy or “other sectors such as the financial system.”

Whether the censorship measures will be necessary remains to be seen. Biden administration official have moved quickly to bail out depositors to stem a wider financial crisis.

Officials said Sunday that depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, including those whose holdings exceed the $250,000 insurance limit, will be able to access their money.

The Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and FDIC said Sunday that all Silicon Valley Bank clients would be protected and able to access their money. They also announced steps that are intended to protect the bank’s customers and prevent additional bank runs.

“This step will ensure that the U.S. banking system continues to perform its vital roles of protecting deposits and providing access to credit to households and businesses in a manner that promotes strong and sustainable economic growth,” the agencies said in a joint statement.

Under the plan, depositors at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, including those whose holdings exceed the $250,000 insurance limit, will be able to access their money on Monday.

In a separate announcement, the Fed late Sunday announced an expansive emergency lending program that’s intended to prevent a wave of bank runs that would threaten the stability of the banking system and the economy as a whole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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