News Release

Code Red: Barr Seizes Internet Domains of Media Outlets


Dave DeCamp at reports in “DOJ Seizes 27 Domains, Claims They are Controlled by Iran,” that: “The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday that it seized 27 online domains, claiming the websites were controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The DOJ seized the domains under the guise of enforcing U.S. sanctions against Iran and the IRGC. …

“One of the news sites taken down was the American Herald Tribune (AHT), a website whose editor-in-chief, Anthony Hall, is based in Canada. It’s not clear how the U.S. government decided that AHT or the other websites are affiliated with Iran.”

Porter is an investigative reporter who wrote the piece “FBI launches open attack on ‘foreign’ alternative media outlets challenging U.S. foreign policy.”

He said today: “This move to actually seize a website that was accused of being a secretly state-sponsored site without the slightest evidence, is another major step toward state control over what political content is allowed on the internet. It is a flashing red light that all supporters of freedom of thought and expression should condemn.”

Porter wrote in June: “The FBI has publicly justified its suppression of dissenting online views about U.S. foreign policy if a media outlet can be somehow linked to one of its adversaries. The Bureau’s justification followed a series of instances in which Silicon Valley social media platforms banned accounts following consultations with the FBI.

“In a particularly notable case in 2018, the FBI encouraged Facebook, Instagram and Google to remove or restrict ads on the American Herald Tribune (AHT), an online journal that published critical opinion articles on U.S. policy toward Iran and the Middle East. The bureau has never offered a clear rationale, however, despite its private discussions with Facebook on the ban.”

Note: While U.S. officials have made numerous claims of Iranian interference in the election that have been echoed by major media outlets, CBS News reported late last month: “3 states targeted in Iranian email scheme report no evidence of breaches.”