|The NSA is good ... the NSA is good ...|
The technique focused on primarily has been infiltrating mainstream media sources (McTell News) with spies who write articles that favor epigovernment policy (Mocking America).
Some of those spies are human operators, and some are "software robots."
By "software robots" I mean the same thing that is meant by "sock puppets" in Internet parlance:
The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.(Guardian, March 2011, emphasis added). That deception has been known about for some time, however, now new information involving the military NSA operation is available.
A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command [USCENTCOM], which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.
This new robotic software is used to destroy the personalities of various targets who criticize Epigovernment's crimes and other excesses:
One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction ... these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.(Covert Agents Infiltrate Internet, emphasis added). These real threats are being uncovered in many places.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”
Regular readers know that Dredd Blog has fingered several of them during citizen journalist activities, which show a deliberate policy to put down legitimate American dissent:
What can government do about conspiracy theories? Among the things it can do, what should it do? We can readily imagine a series of possible responses. (1) Government might ban conspiracy theorizing. (2) Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories. (3) Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories. (4) Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech. (5) Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. Each instrument has a distinctive set of potential effects, or costs and benefits, and each will have a place under imaginable conditions. However, our main policy idea is that government should engage in cognitive infiltration of the groups that produce conspiracy theories, which involves a mix of (3), (4) and (5).(The Empire Strikes Back). There is a serious war going on to subdue the traditions and constitutional rights of Americans.
And the military NSA is leading the charge against Americans (The Queens of Stalingrad, On The Origin of Security - 2).
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.
"If I was a terrorist ..."