UK Government Spied on Lockdown Critics

Big Brother Watch published an investigation on January 29 exposing the United Kingdom’s government for spying on politicians and high-profile journalists who opposed the government’s response to the pandemic. These government units were supposedly intended to counter misinformation and disinformation.

The Army’s 77th Brigade, specifically, was to target foreign powers. However, a whistle-blower who worked for the brigade during the lockdown revealed that they repeatedly strayed beyond their sphere by flagging social media posts from British citizens. The British Army went after its own people.

Key findings:

  • Leading politicians like Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Conservative lockdown critic David Davis had their comments critical of the government recorded and tracked by anti-fake news units.
  • Journalists like Peter Hitchens and Julia Hartley-Brewer also had their commentary tracked and may have had their content shadow-banned so it reached fewer people.
  • The Counter Disinformation Unit had what Big Brother Watch called a “special relationship” with social media companies, which they used to push for material critical of the government to be removed.

I entered this role believing I would be uncovering foreign information warfare. Instead, I found the banner of disinformation was a guise under which the British military was being deployed to monitor and flag our own concerned citizens. There may have actually been social media campaigns from China to promote lockdown policies, but because we were directed to monitor sentiment towards the success of lockdown, we would have completely missed them.
—Whistle-blower from the 77th Brigade

Muzzling free speech: These expensive units are being used to silence online discussion and news reporting that criticize the way the British government handled the covid-19 outbreak. The officials refuse to answer inquiries about their reasons for flagging certain platforms. As such, they aren’t held accountable for what they choose to silence.

The government used this intelligence to inform its policy decisions, such as the stay-at-home order. Posts were removed from social media, not necessarily for being inaccurate or malicious but because they didn’t align with government-approved talking points. This should alarm a society legally promised a right to free speech.

Learn more: The Trumpet has been writing about this same issue in the United States. Read “Dark Truths Exposed.”