After receiving sharp public criticism over recent months, Joe Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally put a quiet end to its Disinformation Governance Board on Monday.
The board was announced in April as a means of coordinating efforts to counter “misinformation” related to homeland security. The primary focus of the board was initially set on illegal immigration and foreign relations issues related to Russia.
A statement issued by DHS on Monday said the agency has been involved in briefings on “relevant disinformation-related activities.” It said that it is not yet ready to provide formal recommendations on how DHS could most effectively approach threats resulting from disinformation.
However, it said that it was continuing to work on “commitments to increase transparency and protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy.” It then went on to say that DHS has concluded there “is no need” for the proposed Disinformation Governance Board.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has been a highly vocal opponent of the proposal of the creation of the board, posted the DHS statement to his Twitter account.
The key figure in the controversy surrounding the board was Nina Jankowicz, who was proposed to act as the board’s executive director. Even though she was to act as the DHS “czar” over regulating disinformation, she herself previously spread the false contents of the infamous Steele dossier concocted by the Hillary Clinton campaign to smear President Donald Trump.
Jankowicz also took a public stance in undermining the reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop by describing it as “Russian disinformation” in the runup to the 2020 presidential election.
Jankowicz resigned from the board in May amid harsh criticism. At that time, DHS announced that it was placing the implementation of the board’s work “on pause.”
Jankowicz said when she resigned that the board was necessary, in contrast to the agency’s statement this week. She said at the time that she was deeply disappointed that “mischaracterizations” had become a distraction from the board’s “vital work.”
The part-time singer whose TikTok performances earned her the nickname of the “Mary Poppins of Disinformation” said when she resigned that she trusted that DHS would maintain its commitment to “building awareness of disinformation’s threats.”