Report: British Army Spied on Lockdown Critics

    Report: British Army Spied on Lockdown Critics
    Last updated Jan 30, 2023
    Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo [via Daily Mail]


    • The UK Ministry of Defense's (MOD's) 77th Brigade, which works to counter disinformation and other online activity deemed harmful to the UK, was reportedly used during the pandemic to monitor public social media posts criticizing the government's official COVID response.[1]
    • According to a whistleblower who worked for the brigade during the lockdowns, the unit — whose goal is to deploy "non-lethal engagement... to adapt behaviors of adversaries" — went beyond the scope of foreign enemies and spied on British citizens.[2]
    • The MOD allegedly compiled dossiers on public figures including former minister David Davis, who questioned the modeling behind death toll predictions, and journalists Peter Hitchens and Toby Young, before passing the information to Downing Street.[2]
    • The leaked documents, first given to the civil liberties group Big Brother Watch and then to the Daily Mail, also included similar schemes by the Cabinet Office's Rapid Response Unit and the Dept. for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Counter Disinformation Unit.[3]
    • In response, the government said these disinformation units "did not target individuals or take any action that could impact anyone’s ability to discuss and debate issues freely," though the government did flag such posts and issue direct rebuttals from other sources.[1]
    • Downing Street said it has since scaled back the unit's work, though Silkie Carlo of Big Brother Watch has called for it to be "suspended immediately."[2]


    Establishment-critical narrative

    The speech the military targeted wasn't inaccurate, only inconvenient to the government's authoritarian pandemic plans. The MOD took resources typically used for psychological warfare against foreign enemies and turned them against the British people. Academics, journalists, and politicians who simply questioned the ethics of COVID restrictions were treated like enemy combatants. This is full-on 1984.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The claims made in this report are serious, which is why the government will conduct a serious investigation into the matter. That being said, it should be emphasized that the disinformation units discussed here were not in the business of censorship, only providing reliable alternative sources to the claims made on certain public health-related posts.

    Establishment split



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