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DOD infiltrate left-leaning groups critical of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s policies


Steven Gaal
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'Golly you have to (have to !) investigate posters. IMHO especially those who' make such absurdly stupid posts that one has to wonder if they aren’t really far-right fanatics trying to bring discredit on those who question the PTB.

If one clicks through the links they discover that IF the info is correct a single employee of a security firm hired by the law firm of PR firm hired by the Chamber of Commerce (not DoD) created a single false identity and “she” only seems to have posted on Twitter and LinkedIn. Once again Gaal seems to have copy and pasted something without even bothering to look at the supporting links

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'Golly you have to (have to !) investigate posters. IMHO especially those who' make such absurdly stupid posts that one has to wonder if they arent really far-right fanatics trying to bring discredit on those who question the PTB.

If one clicks through the links they discover that IF the info is correct a single employee of a security firm hired by the law firm of PR firm hired by the Chamber of Commerce (not DoD) created a single false identity and she only seems to have posted on Twitter and LinkedIn. Once again Gaal seems to have copy and pasted something without even bothering to look at the supporting links

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Golly its a whole DOD program. Again Mr. Colby dosent do his research.To quote the blog below,"Government propagandists, their hired private contractors and useful idiots are creating downvote bots or scripts to bury stories which question the government". Good ,Golly, Miss,Molly !!!........reminds me of someone ????. ....... ;) wink

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link http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2011/07/pentagon-seeks-to-manipulate-social.html

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Pentagon Seeks to Manipulate Social Media for Propaganda Purposes?Submitted by George Washington on 07/20/2011 19:12 -0400

On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. Its an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand whats going on in social media in real time particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes) on social media, according to Darpas announcement.

***

SMISC needs to be able to seek out persuasion campaign structures and influence operations developing across the social sphere. SMISC is supposed to quickly flag rumors and emerging themes on social media, figure out whos behind it and what. Moreover, Darpa wants SMISC to be able to actually figure out whether this is a random product of the hivemind or a propaganda operation by an adversary nation or group.

Of course, SMISC wont be content to just to hang back and monitor social media trends in strategic locations. Its about building a better spin machine for Uncle Sam, too. Once SMISCs latches on to an influence operation being launched, its supposed to help out in countermessaging.

***

SMISC is yet another example of how the military is becoming very interested in whats going on in the social media sphere.

Indeed, as I wrote in February:

I noted in 2009, in an article entitled Does The Government Manipulate Social Media?:

The U.S. government long ago announced its intention to fight the net.

As revealed by an official Pentagon report signed by Rumsfeld called Information Operations Roadmap:

The roadmap [contains an] acknowledgement that information put out as part of the militarys psychological operations, or Psyops, is finding its way onto the computer and television screens of ordinary Americans.

Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience, it reads.

Psyops messages will often be replayed by the news media for much larger audiences, including the American public, it goes on.

***

Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will fight the net as it would an enemy weapons system.

Indeed, the Pentagon publicly announced years ago that it was considering using black propaganda in other words, knowing lies.

CENTCOM announced in 2008 that a team of employees would be [engaging] bloggers who are posting inaccurate or untrue information, as well as bloggers who are posting incomplete information.

The Air Force is now also engaging bloggers. Indeed, an Air Force spokesman said:

We obviously have many more concerns regarding cyberspace than a typical Social Media user, Capt. Faggard says. I am concerned with how insurgents or potential enemies can use Social Media to their advantage. Its our role to provide a clear and accurate, completely truthful and transparent picture for any audience.

In other words, the government is targeting social media, including popular user-ranked news sites.

In addition, when you look at what the Israeli lobby has done with Megaphone software to automatically vote stories questioning Israel down and to send pro-Israel letters to politicians and media (see this, this and this), you can start to see how the U.S. military an even larger and better-funded organization could substantially influence voting on social news sites with very little effort.

Moreover,the military has outsourced many projects to private contractors. For example, in Iraq, much of the fighting has been outsourced to Blackwater. And governmental intelligence functions have largely been outsourced to private companies.

It is therefore not impossible that the government is hiring cheap labor to downvote stories on the social media sites which question the government, and to post pro-government comments.

(other governments and large companies astroturf online as well. See this, this and this.)

I pointed out the same month:

Government propagandists, their hired private contractors and useful idiots are creating downvote bots or scripts to bury stories which question the government.

***

One free, simple scripting program to create automatic downvotes of certain topics or news posters is called Greasemonkey, which is commonly used on large social news sites such as Reddit.

For example, there are some 2,480 hits [now past 9,000] for the google search site:reddit.com greasemonkey downvote. This is some 2,480 times that Reddit users are publicly admitting to using greasemonkey (see also this).

Propaganda agents obviously arent going to publicly brag about what they are doing, and you can bet that their use of downvote bots is much greater. Moreover, they probably have more sophisticated software than Greasemonkey.

Today, Raw Story reports that the Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people:

Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my friends even real people?

In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online personas, allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as theyd like.

The revelation was among those contained in the companys emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group Anonymous broke into their systems.

In another document unearthed by Anonymous, one of HBGarys employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas, it said.

Government involvement

Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contract from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, located south of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of persona management software.

While there are certainly legitimate applications for such software, such as managing multiple official social media accounts from a single input, the more nefarious potential is clear.

Unfortunately, the Air Forces contract description doesnt help dispel their suspicions either. As the text explains, the software would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each, for a total of 500. These personas would have to be replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent.

It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomize the operators Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible to detect that its a single person orchestrating all these posts. Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona, making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessing from the same computer each time.

The contract also sought methods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with private hosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow that servers geosite to be integrated with their social media profiles, effectively gaming geolocation services.

The Air Force added that the place of performance for the contract would be at MacDill Air Force Base, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract was offered on June 22, 2010.

It was not clear exactly what the Air Force was doing with this software, or even if it had been procured.

Manufacturing consent

Though many questions remain about how the military would apply such technology, the reasonable fear should be perfectly clear. Persona management software can be used to manipulate public opinion on key information, such as news reports. An unlimited number of virtual people could be marshaled by only a few real individuals, empowering them to create the illusion of consensus.

***

Thats precisely what got DailyKos blogger Happy Rockefeller in a snit: the potential for military-run armies of fake people manipulating and, in some cases, even manufacturing the appearance of public opinion.

I dont know about you, but it matters to me what fellow progressives think, the blogger wrote. I consider all views. And if there appears to be a consensus that some reporter isnt credible, for example, or some candidate for congress in another state cant be trusted, I wont base my entire judgment on it, but it carries some weight.

Thats me. I believe there are many people though who will base their judgment on rumors and mob attacks. And for those people, a fake mob can be really effective.

***

Team Themis [tasked by the Chamber of Commerce to come up with strategies for responding to progressive bloggers and others] also included a proposal to use malware hacks against progressive organizations, and the submission of fake documents in an effort to discredit established groups.

HBGary was also behind a plot by Bank of America to destroy WikiLeaks technology platform, other emails revealed. The company was humiliated by members of Anonymous after CEO Aaron Barr bragged that hed infiltrated the group.

Gaming social media is only one propaganda technique employed by the government:

Famed Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein says the CIA has already bought and paid for many successful journalists

The New York Times discusses in a matter-of-fact way the use of mainstream writers by the CIA to spread messages

A 4-part BBC documentary called the Century of the Self shows that an American Freuds nephew, Edward Bernays created the modern field of manipulation of public perceptions, and the U.S. government has extensively used his techniques

The Independent discusses allegations of American propaganda

And one of the premier writers on journalism says the U.S. has used widespread propaganda

Edited by Steven Gaal
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Golly its a whole DOD program. Again Mr. Colby dosent do his research.

That’s rich coming from someone who doesn’t bother to click the links of the swaths of text he cuts and pastes to this forum even in the OPs (opening posts) of thread. Get back to us when you have evidence that the DoD, or any other USG agency/department etc., has people post, using false identities, on forums and other social media sites aimed at people in developed countries as opposed to ones in which the US is involved in combat operations.

Your evidence should be verified by reliable sources not just depend on the speculation of bloggers or forum posters.

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Golly its a whole DOD program. Again Mr. Colby dosent do his research.

Thats rich coming from someone who doesnt bother to click the links of the swaths of text he cuts and pastes to this forum even in the OPs (opening posts) of thread. Get back to us when you have evidence that the DoD, or any other USG agency/department etc., has people post, using false identities, on forums and other social media sites aimed at people in developed countries as opposed to ones in which the US is involved in combat operations.Your evidence should be verified by reliable sources not just depend on the speculation of bloggers or forum posters.

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Is Colby just working to disinform ?? Why do I ask this ? Its a real and serious question for any GOOGLE work at all (any) would confirm what I have posted.

Wired is considered a very main stream media source not some coinspiracy blogger site. Any GOOGLE search would confirm what I posted. I post some blogger sites because they are briefer and many times a eaiser read. Yes they may be linking in a subpar manner ,however, they progress what the forum main purpose should be . . +THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.....since Colby oddly on this particular issue (++ false gov promoted posting ++) is totally wrong....one can with ease be logically led to ask the question in my first reply sentence. "Is Colby just working to disinform?" +++ THANKS sg

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LINK https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=6ef12558b44258382452fcf02942396a&tab=core&_cview=0

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link http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaganda-ops/

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Pentagon Wants a Social Media Propaganda Machine

By Adam Rawnsley

July 15, 2011 |

2:40 pm |

Categories: DarpaWatch

You dont need to have 5,000 friends of Facebook to know that social media can have a notorious mix of rumor, gossip and just plain disinformation. The Pentagon is looking to build a tool to sniff out social media propaganda campaigns and spit some counter-spin right back at it.

On Thursday, Defense Department extreme technology arm Darpa unveiled its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program. Its an attempt to get better at both detecting and conducting propaganda campaigns on social media. SMISC has two goals. First, the program needs to help the military better understand whats going on in social media in real time particularly in areas where troops are deployed. Second, Darpa wants SMISC to help the military play the social media propaganda game itself.

This is more than just checking the trending topics on Twitter. The Defense Department wants to deeply grok social media dynamics. So SMISC algorithms will be aimed at discovering and tracking the formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes) on social media, according to Darpas announcement.

Not all memes, of course. Darpas not looking to track the latest twists on foul bachelor frog or see if the Taliban is making propaganda versions of courage wolf. Instead, it wants to see what ideas are bubbling up in among social media users in a particular area say, where American troops are deployed.

More specifically, SMISC needs to be able to seek out persuasion campaign structures and influence operations developing across the social sphere. SMISC is supposed to quickly flag rumors and emerging themes on social media, figure out whos behind it and what. Moreover, Darpa wants SMISC to be able to actually figure out whether this is a random product of the hivemind or a propaganda operation by an adversary nation or group.

Of course, SMISC wont be content to just to hang back and monitor social media trends in strategic locations. Its about building a better spin machine for Uncle Sam, too. Once SMISCs latches on to an influence operation being launched, its supposed to help out in countermessaging.

Darpas announcement talks about using SMISC the environment in which [the military] operates and where it conducts operations. That strongly implies its intended for use in sensing and messaging to foreign social media. It better, lest it run afoul of the law. The Smith-Mundt Act makes pointing propaganda campaigns at domestic audiences illegal.

What exactly SMISC will look like it its final form is hard to say. At the moment, Darpa is only in the very beginning stages of researching its social media tool. Theyre focused on researching the brains of the program the algorithms and software thatll identify, locate and make sense of social media trends.

For that, they need some social media data to play around with and test on. Darpa wants bidders to create it in one of two ways. Bidders can round up a few thousand test subjects willing to let their social media data be a guinea pig for SMISCs software. Alternatively, they can rope in some consenting test subjects for a massively multiplayer role playing game in which generating social media data is a key part of gameplay.

SMISC is yet another example of how the military is becoming very interested in whats going on in the social media sphere. Darpa has plans to integrate social media data into its manhunt master controller, Insight. NATO has already been paying keen attention to Twitter, using data from the micro-blogging service as an intel source to aid in bomb targeting decisions.

Darpas presolicitation offers a very vaguely-sourced anecdote spelling out how SMISC could be used. It details how a social media rumor about the location of a particularly reviled individual identity and location undisclosed almost led a lynch mob to storm a house in search of him. Authorities who happened to be paying attention to the Internet rumor were fortunate enough to spot it in time to intervene. In this telling of SMISCs potential applications, the software could be used to as a tripwire to stop potentially dangerous social media campaigns in their tracks.

But were sure you and the Pentagon can think of a lot less anodyne uses for Darpas social media propaganda tool.

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this link provides a deeper context of WIRED article.

link http://red-pill.org/military-web-social-media-consulting/

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Edited by Steven Gaal
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Is Colby just working to disinform ?? Why do I ask this ? Its a real and serious question for any GOOGLE work at all (any) would confirm what I have posted.

Wired is considered a very main stream media source not some coinspiracy blogger site. Any GOOGLE search would confirm what I posted. I post some blogger sites because they are briefer and many times a eaiser read. Yes they may be linking in a subpar manner ,however, they progress what the forum main purpose should be . . +THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.....since Colby oddly on this particular issue (++ false gov promoted posting ++) is totally wrong....one can with ease be logically led to ask the question in my first reply sentence. "Is Colby just working to disinform?" +++ THANKS sg

LOL you have yet to provide evidence I am wrong about this issue.

LINK https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=6ef12558b44258382452fcf02942396a&tab=core&_cview=0

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link http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaganda-ops/

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Pentagon Wants a Social Media Propaganda Machine

By Adam Rawnsley

July 15, 2011 |

2:40 pm |

Categories: DarpaWatch

Please cite the passage of the Wired article indicated “that the DoD, or any other USG agency/department etc., has people post, using false identities, on forums and other social media sites aimed at people in developed countries as opposed to ones in which the US is involved in combat operations.” Did you even bother to read it according to the article to program was:

1) still in the planning stages, the DoD was soliciting bids from private contractors,

2) apparently not “aimed at people in developed countries” ‘Darpa’s announcement talks about using SMISC [in] “the environment in which [the military] operates” and where it “conducts operations.” That strongly implies it’s intended for use in sensing and messaging to foreign social media.'

It seems to be more concerned with tracking than creating memes.

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Is Colby just working to disinform ?? Why do I ask this ? Its a real and serious question for any GOOGLE work at all (any) would confirm what I have posted.

Wired is considered a very main stream media source not some coinspiracy blogger site. Any GOOGLE search would confirm what I posted. I post some blogger sites because they are briefer and many times a eaiser read. Yes they may be linking in a subpar manner ,however, they progress what the forum main purpose should be . . +THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH.....since Colby oddly on this particular issue (++ false gov promoted posting ++) is totally wrong....one can with ease be logically led to ask the question in my first reply sentence. "Is Colby just working to disinform?" +++ THANKS sg

LOL you have yet to provide evidence I am wrong about this issue.

LINK https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=6ef12558b44258382452fcf02942396a&tab=core&_cview=0

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link http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/07/darpa-wants-social-media-sensor-for-propaganda-ops/

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Pentagon Wants a Social Media Propaganda Machine

By Adam Rawnsley

July 15, 2011 |

2:40 pm |

Categories: DarpaWatch

Please cite the passage of the Wired article indicated that the DoD, or any other USG agency/department etc., has people post, using false identities, on forums and other social media sites aimed at people in developed countries as opposed to ones in which the US is involved in combat operations. Did you even bother to read it according to the article to program was:

1) still in the planning stages, the DoD was soliciting bids from private contractors,

2) apparently not aimed at people in developed countries Darpas announcement talks about using SMISC [in] the environment in which [the military] operates and where it conducts operations. That strongly implies its intended for use in sensing and messaging to foreign social media.'

It seems to be more concerned with tracking than creating memes.

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Mr.Colby believes that DARPA will publicly release all their operations on the internet. Really to think that way is to think like a child....really....now you do get hints. However there does seem to be a plan by government for 911 disinformation placed on the internet.

see link below

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Obama advisor Sunstein's "Conspiracy Theory" : Proposals for Silencing Dissent, Misrepresenting the 911 Truth Movement

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" Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action. "

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see link http://americansjourney.blogspot.com/2010/01/obama-advisor-sunsteins-conspiracy.html

Page 14: " We can readily imagine a series of possible responses.

1. Government might ban conspiracy theorizing."

Note: OK so although the geniuses from Harvard know an open society is the best protection against misguided government secrecy they make this proposal banning free speech - which is an inalienable right. A Harvard Law Professor? Send this clown back to school - somewhere else!

Page 14:

"2. Government might impose some kind of tax, financial or otherwise, on those who disseminate such theories."

Note: By "such theories" Sunstein means those that he and others blessed with special DNA can instinctively tell are "false conspiracy theories" - such as the one he imagines is held by the 911 Truth movement. See above videos where Gage distinctly states that he doesn't have a complete theory. Gage uses an analogy describing the 911 Truth movement as that of a detective who after walking into a room, finds a body and several shell casings. The detective doesn't need a complete theory to perform a thorough investigation. The detective, in order to find perpetrator/s must consider ALL hypotheses, not just the hypothesis Harvard Law Pontiffs anoint, and letting the scientific method and good police work lead to the truth.

Page 14:

" 3. Government might itself engage in counterspeech, marshaling arguments to discredit conspiracy theories."

Note: Methinks Sunstein protests too much. Counterspeech as he describes is already impemented. But the government agents will lose this battle because when one argues against the truth one ultimately must rely on logical fallacies which are self-defeating.

Page 14:

" 4. Government might formally hire credible private parties to engage in counterspeech"

Note: They already are but they are running into the same problems stated in paragraph above. Radio and TV personalities are backing away from these tactics because they backfire when the truth comes out - ratings drop - TV and Radio shills lose credibility.

Page 14:

" 5. Government might engage in informal communication with such parties, encouraging them to help. ... 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.

Page 22:

" Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action. "

Note: The Harvard Law Professor's 29 page paper "Conspiracy Theory" defines a conspiracy theory as:

"an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role."

So let me get this straight: Harvard Law Professor is proposing government sanctioned conspiratorial acts directed at the 911 Truth Movement while simultaneously proposing that people who know that their government commits conspiratorial acts are "dangerous" and must be pre-emptively silenced.

Page 16:

"According to an anonymous State Department official in charge of anti-disinformation, "a great deal of harm can result 'when people believe these lies and then act on the basis of their mistaken beliefs.' "

Note: This is great information from Sunstein - and I wish to add that I have information from an anonymous State Department official too! I was told by this anonymous top secret source that there are some Harvard Law Professors with absolutely no respect for the United States Constitution committed to the employment of scare tactics to trample on the Bill of Rights.

Page 29:

" Some conspiracy theories create serious risks. They do not merely undermine democratic debate; in extreme cases, they create or fuel violence. If government can dispel such theories, it should do so."

Note: I wonder how having a debate about a conspiracy or not is a bigger risk to democratic debate than the proposals this goof from Harvard is proposing?

Finally:

Consider this excerpt from John Adams' book "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America against the attack of M. Turgot"

Considering his interpretation of what our Founding Fathers intended for our Republic, and his portrayal of the 911 Truth movement - do you think Sunstein has good judgement? Do you think he will be a champion of your liberties? Do you think he gives good advice? Does it seem like he thinks he is better than you?

Edited by Steven Gaal
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Typical crackpot switcheroo, you started this thread claiming Darpa was doing this and that the sources you cited supported this.

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Guess Colby's emotional response is because the whole thread is toooooo

close to home. ;)

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Israel paying agents to post pro Israel Propaganda on Internet forums & blogs!

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SEE link http://www.eutimes.net/2009/12/israel-paying-agents-to-post-pro-israel-propaganda-on-internet-forums-blogs/

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Posted by EU Times on Dec 29th, 2009

The Foreign Ministry unveiled a new plan this week: Paying talkbackers to post pro-Israel responses on websites worldwide. A total of NIS 600,000 (roughly $150,000) will be earmarked to the establishment of an Internet warfare squad.

The Foreign Ministry intends to hire young people who speak at least one language and who study communication, political science, or law or alternately, Israelis with military experience gained at units dealing with information analysis.

Beyond the fact that these job requirements reveal a basic lack of understanding in respect to the dynamics of the online discourse the projects manager argued that adults dont know how to blog they are not too relevant either. An effective talkbacker does not need a law degree or military experience. He merely needs to care about the subject he writes about.

The sad truth is that had Israeli citizens believed that their State is doing the right thing, they would have made sure to explain it out of their own accord. Without being paid.

Foreign Ministry officials are fighting what they see as a terrible and scary monster: the Palestinian public relations monster. Yet nothing can be done to defeat it, regardless of how many foolish inventions will be introduced and how many bright communication students will be hired.

The reason is that good PR cannot make the reality in the occupied territories prettier. Children are being killed, homes are being bombed, and families are starved. Yet nonetheless, the Foreign Ministry wants to try to change the situation. And they have willing partners. Where do I submit a CV? wrote one respondent. Im fluent in several languages and Im able to spew forth bullxxxx for hours on end.

Continue

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"Im fluent in several languages and Im able to spew ...", QUOTE ABOVE LINKED REPORT.

Ah, yes,tooooooo close to home. THANKS STEVEN GAAL

Edited by Steven Gaal
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LOL more “crackpot switcheroo”, thanks for proving my point and changing the subject once again. Gee an anonymously written article with no citations on an obscure anonymously run website which at best pays it “journalists” 2 – 5 Euros per article but seem mostly to be staffed by volunteers. You really are getting desperate. But even IF true Israelis posting pro-Israeli stuff is something else entirely. Still waiting for you to post evidence the DoD or any other US agency is paying people to post on English language websites

http://www.eutimes.net/careers/

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LOL more “crackpot switcheroo”, thanks for proving my point and changing the subject once again. Gee an anonymously written article with no citations on an obscure anonymously run website which at best pays it “journalists” 2 – 5 Euros per article but seem mostly to be staffed by volunteers. You really are getting desperate. But even IF true Israelis posting pro-Israeli stuff is something else entirely. Still waiting for you to post evidence the DoD or any other US agency is paying people to post on English language websites

http://www.eutimes.net/careers/

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A desperate person lives in BRAZIL ;)

link http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/03/report-recruit/

link http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/03/31/21084/military-report-secretly-recruit-or-hire-bloggers/

Military report: secretly ‘recruit or hire bloggers.’

By Amanda Terkel on Mar 31, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Noah Shachtman at Danger Room finds a 2006 report written for U.S. Special Operations Command that suggests ways the military should deal with the blogosphere. One suggestion is for the military to hire bloggers to “pass the U.S. message“:

Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence…to pass the U.S. message. … On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.

An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog.

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LINK http://fuzzilicious.blogspot.com/2006/01/im-being-recruited-by-army.html

I'm Being Recruited by the Army?!

[Two big points: 1) The only people being paid in this are the employees of the PR firm that is contacting bloggers. Bloggers are being offered no compensation of any kind for participating! 2) I am not a milblog and I have no idea why I was contacted when I usually get under 100 hits as day. Go read Blackfive or Sensing if you want to see "pro-war" blogs contacted by the PR firm who have actual impact and visibility in the blogosphere.]

Blackfive and Donald Sensing have "gone public" with an offer they've received to participate in a public relations/information program of the U.S. Army.

I also received that offer, much to my surprise. In fact, I couldn't imagine why I would be on the radar screen of such a program, so I figured it was a scam. But I checked with a big milblogger who said that he knew several who had received it and it checked out as legit. Here's the email I received:

Hi, Lioness. I’m writing from a PR firm on behalf of the U.S. Army. We’re contacting a few bloggers to test a new outlet for public information. The Army believes that military blogs are a valuable medium for reaching out to soldiers. To that end, the Army plans to offer you and selected bloggers exclusive editorial content on a few issues you’re likely to be interested in. If you do decide you are interested in receiving this material, whether you choose to write about what we send you is, of course, entirely up to you.

Like I said, we’re only contacting a handful of bloggers at this time. If you are interested, please let me know, and we’ll send you further information as it becomes available. Either way, thanks for your time.

________________

Charlie Kondek

Account Executive

Web Producer

Hass MS&L

This morning I replied to Mr. Kondek and asked for more information about the program. I'm still not sure what to think of it, but at this point I'm following Blackfive and Sensing's lead.

As to explaining how I appeared on their list of prospective bloggers for this program, I'm largely at a loss. I'm not on any milblog list, and I certainly have a "modest" size readership. Perhaps they found Valour-IT and traced it back to here? The milblogger I first consulted about this suggested I should consider it quite the compliment. We'll see, I guess...

I'm certainly interested to learn what other bloggers have received this offer...

Update: Instapundit apparently approves. H/T John Donovan.

Update II: This has apparently developed into quite the tempest in a teapot.

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This is a two post response. PLEASE SEE POST JUST BELOW THIS ONE. THANKS Steven GAAL.

-----------------o-----------------o----------------------

mr colby asks if he has to 'spell it out for me'. No mr colby,I can spell,"you are wrong,case closed".

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One again your links provide little if any backing for your thesis. Reread them and see if you can figure it out for yourself, or do I have to spell it out for you?

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***********************************ooo********************************

Did you know that the WAR DEPARTMENT/DOD have/are very PROACTIVE against

propeace and proworkers from 1917 to the present ?? Golly, gee someone claiming

to have a history degree and ACLU work would know this.

Past is prologue making a truth out of an historical trend. Do you see a trend ?? Think like a child ??

:lol::lol::lol:

link http://redactednews.blogspot.com/2011/02/why-is-government-creating-army-of-fake.html

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Is the Government Creating an Army of Fake People on the Internet? We Know.

===============================================================================

U.S. Gov‘t Software Creates ’Fake People’ to Spread Message via Social Networking

Whenever I shop on the internet, I skip right over the positive reviews of products and go straight for the bad ones, figuring the company probably paid some hack to sit and create fictional names and post fake glowing five-star reviews for their products to dupe unsuspecting customers. But what if the federal government could operate this way?

What if the government had the ability to pass its own information through false mediums to unsuspecting citizens?

The U.S. government recently offered private intelligence companies contracts to create special software to it help manage a number of “fake” profiles on social media websites.

The contract opportunity (PDF) — posted last summer atFedBizOpps.gov — actually calls for the development of an “Online Persona Management Service” for the U.S. Air Force, a software that would help a single user manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. According to the contract proposal, the software could be deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but there is no guarantee it would not be used domestically as well.

Why is this only now coming to light?

Recently leaked** email files from the private security firm HBGary reveal internal discussions of how one person could use the software to create an army of fake profiles. In essence, it allows a small group of people to appear to be many.

According to the contract, the software would enable the government to shield its fake identity by employing a number of false signals to make it appear that the profile belongs to a real person. Additionally, software technicians could manipulate unique IP addresses to make it look like the profile originated from anywhere around the globe.

“A single user could manage unique background information and status updates for up to 10 fake people from a single computer,” The Enquirer notes.

Included in the leaked emails was a specific proposal on how to use Facebook to spread government messages.

“Those names can be cross-referenced across Facebook, twitter, MySpace, and other social media services to collect information on each individual. Once enough information is collected this information can be used to gain access to these individuals social circles. …

Even the most restrictive and security conscious of persons can be exploited. Through the targeting and information reconnaissance phase, a person’s hometown and high school will be revealed. An adversary can create a classmates.com account at the same high school and year and find out people you went to high school with that do not have Facebook accounts, then create the account and send a friend request.

Under the mutual friend decision, which is where most people can be exploited, an adversary can look at a targets friend list if it is exposed and find a targets most socially promiscuous friends, the ones that have over 300-500 friends, friend them to develop mutual friends before sending a friend request to the target. To that end friend’s accounts can be compromised and used to post malicious material to a targets wall. When choosing to participate in social media an individual is only as protected as his/her weakest friend.”

The leaked emails also include messages from sister company HBGary Federal’s CEO Aaron Barr saying, “There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas… Using hashtags and gaming some location based check-in services we can make it appear as if a persona was actually at a conference and introduce himself/herself to key individuals as part of the exercise, as one example.”

[Related RedactedNews] (You can go to the main link above to read these 4 stories.)

"911Blogger.com" Accused: Is Leading 9/11 Truth Site Working For The Other Side?

9/11 Censorship with Sunstein Leanings - Lt Col. Shelton Lankford: CIT and the Pentagon “Controversy”

John Writes: Why I left 911Blogger and Kevin Ryan Calls the Creek "Despicable"

Kill Switch Beta: Government Blocks 84,000 Websites From You but Not DoD Child Porn

Additional emails sent back-and-forth among HBGary employees also shed disturbing light on how the software could be manipulated to infiltrate groups, data mine, and even bombard discussion sites with orchestrated government messages — a.k.a. propaganda.

One employee wrote, “and now social networks are closing the gap between attacker and victim, to the point I just found (via linked-in) 112 females, wives of service men, all stationed at Hurlbert Field FL – in case you don’t know this is where the CIA flies all their “private” airlines out of. What a damn joke – the U.S. is no longer the super power in cyber, and probably won’t be in other areas soon.”

Barr also predicted a steady rise in clandestine or secret government operations to stem the flow of sensitive information. “I would say there is going to be a resurgence of black ops in the coming year as decision makers settle with our inadequacies… Critical infrastructure, finance, defense industrial base, and government have rivers of unauthorized communications flowing from them and there are no real efforts to stop it.”

“I don’t know about you, but this concerns me greatly,” Daily Kos blogger Happy Rockefeller writes. “It goes far beyond the mere ability for a government stooge, corporation or PR firm to hire people to post on sites like this one. They are talking about creating the illusion of consensus. And consensus is a powerful persuader.”

Gawker’s Adrian Chen asks: Why is the military creating an army of fake people on the internet?

The request was for 50 licenses, which means the Air Force hoped to create up to 500 fake Internet people. The request was filled in June, which means these fake people could be roaming the ‘net right now.

“WTF Dude?” one HBGary employee emailed to another. “This is posted on open source. Are you f***ing serious?”

Apparently this type of government contract is generally negotiated behind closed doors.

Given the importance of social media nowadays — namely the influence the networking sites have had on organizing protests and spreading information — this kind of technology could potentially become a very powerful social weapon.

—————–

**The emails were reportedly leaked by Anonymous, one of the world’s most notorious underground hacking groups. Recently, the group caught national attention after hacking sites of companies which cut off ties to the online site WikiLeaks. Anonymous also revealed that HBGary colluded with Bank of America in a plot to disrupt WikiLeaks. As a result, a number of security firms have cut ties with HBGary.

“Anonymous used to be all about disrupting the Web sites of companies that helped block WikiLeaks’ funding. Now it’s starting to act like WikiLeaks itself,” Forbes recently noted.

Source: http://theuniversalseduction.com/articles/us-gov-t-software-creates-fake-people-to-spread-message-via-social-networking

Revealed: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people

Raw Story Update (below): HBGary Federal among bidders

These days, with Facebook and Twitter and social media galore, it can be increasingly hard to tell who your "friends" are.

But after this, Internet users would be well advised to ask another question entirely: Are my "friends" even real people?

In the continuing saga of data security firm HBGary, a new caveat has come to light: not only did they plot to help destroy secrets outlet WikiLeaks and discredit progressive bloggers, they also crafted detailed proposals for software that manages online "personas," allowing a single human to assume the identities of as many fake people as they'd like.

The revelation was among those contained in the company's emails, which were dumped onto bittorrent networks after hackers with cyber protest group "Anonymous" broke into their systems.

In another document unearthed by "Anonymous," one of HBGary's employees also mentioned gaming geolocation services to make it appear as though selected fake persons were at actual events.

"There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas," it said.

Government involvement

Eerie as that may be, more perplexing, however, is a federal contract from the 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base, located south of Tampa, Florida, that solicits providers of "persona management software."

While there are certainly legitimate applications for such software, such as managing multiple "official" social media accounts from a single input, the more nefarious potential is clear.

Unfortunately, the Air Force's contract description doesn't help dispel suspicions. As the text explains, the software would require licenses for 50 users with 10 personas each, for a total of 500. These personas would have to be "replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent."

It continues, noting the need for secure virtual private networks that randomize the operator's Internet protocol (IP) address, making it impossible to detect that it's a single person orchestrating all these posts. Another entry calls for static IP address management for each persona, making it appear as though each fake person was consistently accessing from the same computer each time.

The contract also sought methods to anonymously establish virtual private servers with private hosting firms in specific geographic locations. This would allow that server's "geosite" to be integrated with their social media profiles, effectively gaming geolocation services.

The Air Force added that the "place of performance" for the contract would be at MacDill Air Force Base, along with Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad. The contract was offered on June 22, 2010.

It was not clear exactly what the Air Force was doing with this software, or even if it had been procured.

Manufacturing consent

Though many questions remain about how the military would apply such technology, the reasonable fear should be perfectly clear. "Persona management software" can be used to manipulate public opinion on key information, such as news reports. An unlimited number of virtual "people" could be marshaled by only a few real individuals, empowering them to create the illusion of consensus.

You could call it a virtual flash mob, or a digital "Brooks Brothers Riot," so to speak: compelling, but not nearly as spontaneous as it appears.

That's precisely what got DailyKos blogger Happy Rockefeller in a snit: the potential for military-run armies of fake people manipulating and, in some cases, even manufacturing the appearance of public opinion.

"I don't know about you, but it matters to me what fellow progressives think," the blogger wrote. "I consider all views. And if there appears to be a consensus that some reporter isn't credible, for example, or some candidate for congress in another state can't be trusted, I won't base my entire judgment on it, but it carries some weight.

"That's me. I believe there are many people though who will base their judgment on rumors and mob attacks. And for those people, a fake mob can be really effective."

It was Rockefeller who was first to highlight the Air Force's "persona" contract, which was available on a public website.

A call to MacDill Air Force Base, requesting an explanation of the contract and what this software might be used for, was answered by a public affairs officer who promised a call-back. No reply was received at time of this story's publication.

Other e-mails circulated by HBGary's CEO illuminate highly personal data about critics of the US Chamber of Commerce, including detailed information about their spouses and children, as well as their locations and professional links. The firm, it was revealed, was just one part of a group called "Team Themis," tasked by the Chamber to come up with strategies for responding to progressive bloggers and others.

"Team Themis" also included a proposal to use malware hacks against progressive organizations, and the submission of fake documents in an effort to discredit established groups.

HBGary was also behind a plot by Bank of America to destroy WikiLeaks' technology platform, other emails revealed. The company was humiliated by members of "Anonymous" after CEO Aaron Barr bragged that he'd "infiltrated" the group.

A request for comment emailed to HBGary did not receive a reply.

Update: HBGary Federal among bidders

A list of interested vendors responding to the Air Force contract for "persona management software" included HBGary subsideary HBGary Federal, further analysis of a government website has revealed.

Other companies that offered their services included Global Business Solutions and Associates LLC, Uk Plus Logistics, Ltd., NevinTelecom, Bunker Communications and Planmatrix LLC.

Source: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/18/revealed-air-force-ordered-software-to-manage-army-of-fake-virtual-people/

Posted by [Redacted] at 2/20/2011 03:24:00 AM

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Labels: cognitive infiltration, facebook, fedbizopps, hbgary, us cyber command

3 comments:

911NewsCentral.com said...

This story is PUBLISHED at 911NewsCentral.com!

Link: http://pligg.911newscentral.com/story.php?title=why-is-the-government-creating-an-army-of-fake-people-on-the-internet

February 20, 2011 4:36 AM

Anonymous said...

MacDill: NGA/CIA ops @ MacDill # Social Software Training - Several agencies in the Intelligence community, most notably CIA and NGA, have developed training programs to provide time to integrate social software tools into analysts' daily work habits. These classes generally focus on the use of Intellipedia to capture and manage knowledge, but they also incorporate the use of the other social software tools. These include blogs, RSS, and social bookmarking. The courses stress immersion in the tools and instructors encourage participants to work on a specific project in Intellipedia. The courses also expose participants to social media technologies on the Internet.

February 28, 2011 2:09 AM

Anonymous said...

you'd think with a 24 hour, multiple channel news cycle, we'd get some actual damn news once in awhile.

++++++++++++++++ooo

Steven Gaal would say to Anonymous, "I agree 100%.

There are also trolls on the net that mimic 100% the

establishment story repeating the lies,24/7".

++++++++++++++++ooo

Edited by Steven Gaal
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++*** PLEASE SEE THE ABOVE POST FOR MORE OF THE "CASE CLOSED" RESPONSE TO a mr len colby. Sorry,the response had to be in two parts. ++***

=====================oooooooo======================***

LOL more crackpot switcheroo, thanks for proving my point and changing the subject once again. Gee an anonymously written article with no citations on an obscure anonymously run website which at best pays it journalists 2 5 Euros per article but seem mostly to be staffed by volunteers. You really are getting desperate. But even IF true Israelis posting pro-Israeli stuff is something else entirely. Still waiting for you to post evidence the DoD or any other US agency is paying people to post on English language websites

http://www.eutimes.net/careers/

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#####################++######################

=============================================****

Sir, I am not a crackpot. The EDUCATION FORUM has allow you to call me: idiot,moron,stupid,slow,crackpot,malodorous,ect,ect. It is time for you to reflect/pause and stop your name calling.

-------------------------------------*** How do you say it in your world of nonconspiracy,

'case closed'. ?

link http://deadlinelive.info/2011/07/22/israel-hires-internet-soldiers-to-penetrate-american-forums-chatrooms/

Edited by Steven Gaal
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