By Andrew Taylor and Andrew F. BacevichUpdated July 27, 2018 07:03:24A new plan to censor the Internet by the Trump Administration has been dismissed by its critics as an outright fraud.
The plan, which the administration is now promising to implement after it takes office in January, would block access to sites that Russian-controlled actors have “expressed a clear preference for” on the Internet.
According to a White House press release, the plan would require ISPs to block sites that they “exhibit a clear and present intent to influence the public policy of the United States,” or that “promote censorship of the Internet.”
The plan would also “provide the Government with the ability to remove content that is deemed to have caused harm to the national security of the US.”
The plan is designed to “reduce the spread of foreign interference in US elections and public debate,” and the White House says it would also be a “significant and sustained effort” to curb Russian influence on the US election.
The new plan, however, is far from being a total victory for the Trump administration.
It comes as the administration faces a growing number of accusations that it has been using Russia’s Internet to subvert the US political system.
While some experts have said the Trump plan would have an impact on online speech in America, the Trump team has also claimed that the plan is necessary to combat the “propaganda” that Russia has used to influence elections and the general public.
“This proposal will ensure that the internet remains free for American voters to engage in critical political discourse,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday.
Trump has long argued that he will use the internet to counter the “fake news” spread by Russian-backed websites.
The Russian government has also accused the US of being “colluding” with the Kremlin to try to undermine the election.