Consortium News (CN) has sued the U.S. government and NewsGuard Technologies Inc. alleging that they conspired to censor and defame the online independent news outlet. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, asserts that NewsGuard, working with the government, violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and committed defamation, libel and slander against CN by using a rating system called “misinformation fingerprints.” Utilizing its self-monitored rating system, NewsGuard put warning labels on CN links, claiming that the links led to web pages containing false or misleading information or that the information was not presented responsibly.1 2 3

The Complaint sets forth:

In direct violation of the First Amendment, the United States of America and NewsGuard Technologies, Inc. (“NewsGuard”) are engaged in a pattern and practice of labelling, stigmatizing and defaming American media organizations that oppose or dissent from American foreign and defense policy, particularly as to Russia and Ukraine.4

CN is an organization of journalists, academics, freelance writers and former intelligent agency professionals. The Virginia-based non-profit organization which provides independent news, commentary and analysis, was founded by Robert Parry, former investigative journalist for the Associated Press and Newsweek. By its own admission, CN frequently disagrees with U.S. foreign policy.5

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