(Propaganda, Mass surveillance)
NewsGuard warns that RT is unreliable
|Founder||• Steven Brill|
• Gordon Kravitz
|A tech company which is teaming up with Microsoft as regards "fake news"|
NewsGuard is a company which purports to tackle "disinformation" through its browser extension.
“A new app claiming to serve as a bulwark against "disinformation" by adding "trust rankings" to news websites has links to a PR firm that received nearly $15 million to push pro-Saudi spin in US media, Breitbart reports. NewsGuard and its shady advisory board – consisting of truth-lovers such as Tom Ridge, the first-ever homeland security chief, and former CIA director Michael Hayden – came under scrutiny after Microsoft announced that the app would be built into its mobile browsers. A closer examination of the company's publicly listed investors, however, has revealed new reasons to be suspicious of this self-declared crusader against propaganda. As Breitbart discovered, NewsGuard's third-largest investor, Publicis Groupe, owns a PR firm that has repeatedly airbrushed Saudi Arabia.”
Anonymous (29 January 2019) 
Breitbert notes that "WikiLeaks, which has never had to retract a story due to false or misleading information, is also given a “red” rating in contrast to the "green" which it gives to BuzzFeed, which was recently humiliated for publishing alleged details about the ongoing Mueller investigation that were contradicted by the spe[c]ial prosecutor himself. BuzzFeed did not retract the story, and even led with it on its frontpage … after Mueller contradicted it."
Uncritical usage by Wikipedia
Whitney Webb described in 2019 How a Small Group of Pro-Israel Activists Blacklisted MintPress on Wikipedia. The article describes, among other things, how Wikipedia cited Mint Press News' unfavourable rating from Newsguard, "several months after MintPress authored a viral exposè of Newsguard’s connections to neoconservatives and former government officials, including former CIA director Michael Hayden."
For each site someone with Newsguard installed visit, there will be a connection to "http://api.newsguardtech[.]com/check/[hostname of visited site]". The result will be cached locally for at most 30 minutes. The gathered information include the hostname of the site loaded in the current tab - i.e. more browsing history leakage.
"NewsGuard" will get this information:
- The sites you visit
- When you visited these sites, +- 30 minutes, or with better accuracy if you open the extension's popup panel
- Your public IP address
- Your browser, OS, language (through HTTP headers)
- https://www.rt.com/news/450035-saudi-arabia-newsguard-pr-investor/ RT