No, but Judge Doughty implied elsewise in his ruling
From point 28 of the Missouri v. Biden ruling by Judge Doughty:
On November 21, 2021, CISA Director Easterly reported that CISA is “beefing up
its misinformation and disinformation team in wake of a diverse presidential election a
proliferation of misleading information online.” Easterly stated she was going to “grow and
strengthen” CISA’s misinformation and disinformation team. She further stated, “We live in a
world where people talk about alternative facts, post-truth, which I think is really, really dangerous
if people get to pick their own facts.”
Easterly also views the word “infrastructure” very expansively, stating, “[W]e’re in the
business of protecting critical infrastructure, and the most critical is our ‘cognitive
infrastructure.’” Scully agrees with the assessment that CISA has an expansive mandate to
address all kinds of misinformation that may affect control and that could indirectly cause national
On June 22, 2022, CISA’s cybersecurity Advisory Committee issued a Draft Report to the
Director, which broadened “infrastructure” to include “the spread of false and misleading
information because it poses a significant risk to critical function, like elections, public health,
financial services and emergency responses.”
The Advisory Committee report "Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Misinformation and Disinformation" does not broaden the definition of infrastructure, but rather indicates that the spread of misleading information can pose a risk to function in critical infrastructure.
CISA's mission is to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation's critical functions. The spread of false and
misleading information can have a significant impact on CISA’s ability to perform that mission. CISA should take a
similar risk management approach to these risks that it takes to cybersecurity risks
Borrowing from a growing body of research
, we define misinformation as information that is false, but not necessarily
intentionally so; disinformation as false or misleading information that is purposefully seeded and/or spread for a
strategic objective; and malinformation as information that may be based on fact, but used out of context to mislead,
harm, or manipulate. The spread of false and misleading information poses a significant risk to critical functions like
elections, public health, financial services, and emergency response. Foreign adversaries intentionally exploit
information in these domains (e.g., through the production and spread of dis- and malinformation) for both short-term
and long-term geopolitical objectives. Pervasive MDM diminishes trust in information, in government, and in the
democratic process more generally.
There are no references to public infrastructure, but part of the CISA's remit involves the "Critical Infrastructure" in the Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002, and in the "Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022", which indicates that the government should take
measures to prevent the digital manipulation of
elections, electoral data, and critical infrastructure.
I suspect that the confusion is that "Critical Infrastructure" is also defined on the DHS page as the following:
Critical infrastructure includes the vast network of highways, connecting bridges and tunnels, railways, utilities and buildings necessary to maintain normalcy in daily life. Transportation, commerce, clean water and electricity all rely on these vital systems.
Neither the CISA nor the general Biden administration have claimed that they have the right to control "cognitive infrastructure". Director Easterly and the CISA have indicated that they are "beefing up" teams that try to root out misinformation and disinformation including speech talking about the prevention of misinformation about critical infrastructure as protecting the "cognitive infrastructure".
And, from there, apparently Walter Kirn decided that infrastructure is infrastructure, so the prevention of misinformation about elections, "critical infrastructure", is tantamount to claiming the right to control "cognitive infrastructure" in the same way that roads are maintained as "public infrastructure".