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The Washington Post on “Spy Bloggers” or Disinfo Agents

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The Washington Post on "Spy Bloggers" or Disinfo Agents

The Washington Post published an interesting article on the U.S. Central Command’s infiltration of social media using fake personas.

Spy bloggers not ‘friending’ U.S. targets, Centcom says

The U.S. Central Command says its new “Persona” social media “infiltration” software is designed to cozy up to extremist bloggers overseas, not law-abiding Americans chatting on Facebook or similar sites.

Earlier this month, the Web buzzed with a report that the software was designed to “manage ‘fake people’ on social media sites and create the illusion of consensus on controversial issues,” implying that the Defense Department was targeting critics of the war in Afghanistan and other conflicts.

Further compounding a sinister view of the software was the discovery of e-mails from the head of a company implicated in “dirty tricks” against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and a pro-labor organization, which discussed how such technology could be used.

“There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas…” wrote Aaron Barr, the chief executive officer of HBGary Federal, a Colorado Springs company whose hacked e-mails revealed plans to attack critics of Bank of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Barr resigned Feb. 28 “to allow the company to move on after an embarrassing data breach,” according to the technology Web site ThreatPost.

Centom’s June 22, 2010, contract, offered through the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, specified that “Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries…while hiding the existence of the operation…and provid(ing) excellent cover and powerful deniability.”

“Individuals can perform static impersonations, which allow them to look like the same person over time,” the contract added. It “also allows organizations that frequent same site/service often to easily switch IP addresses to look like ordinary users as opposed to one organization.”

The fake Internet personas, the contract specified, “must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms.”

Centcom spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks acknowledged in an interview last week that the Air Force had a contract for the Persona Management Software, but denied it would be deployed against domestic online protesters.

“The contract, and the Persona management technology itself, supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language Web sites to enable CENTCOM to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the U.S.,” Speaks told SpyTalk. “The contract would more accurately be described as supporting U.S. Central Command, rather than the Air Force — the Wing here at MacDill provides contracting support for us — efforts.”

Speaks said the software would “absolutely” not be used against law-abiding Americans.

[Update: Speaks adds, “The phrase [law-abiding] suggests that we might use it against Americans who are not law-abiding. The truth is that these activities are not directed towards Americans, without qualification.”]

Former CIA director and retired Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden called the technology cutting-edge but “developmental.”

“Operationally developmental, technologically developmental and legally developmental,” he told Washington Times reporter Shawn Waterman.

But in testimony last June, then-Centcom commander Gen. David Petraeus suggested the use of such technology was well underway.

“Operation Earnest Voice (OEV) is the critical program of record that resources our efforts to synchronize our Information Operations activities, to counter extremist ideology and propaganda, and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard,” Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“OEV provides Centcom with direct communication capabilities to reach regional audiences through traditional media as well as via Web sites and regional public affairs blogging,” Petraeus said.

The FBI has also used fictitious identities for years to infiltrate jihadist Web sites.

Sometimes touted as “America’s first online operative in the War on Terror,”   the FBI’s Shannen L. Rossmiller, a former Montana municipal judge, is said to have “created 30 fictitious male Islamist undercover identities…for purposes of communicating and tracking the enemy [in] Arabic language Internet forums.”

“Since 9/11, Judge Rossmiller has delivered more than 200 cases of actionable intelligence and stings — including two of the largest convictions in the War on Terror,” her Web site claims.

Despite the fact that this article mentions numerous times that those tactics are not used against “Law Abiding Americans”, there are reasons to think that they might be used anyhow – especially against “conspiracy theories” (I hate that term). Cass Sunstein, who is the current administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs published in 2008 an important essay entitled “Conspiracy Theories” (read it here).

The Washington Post on "Spy Bloggers" or Disinfo Agents
Cass Sunstein

 

In this paper Sunstein states: “The existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be.” In his opinion, “the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups”. “Cognitive infiltration” means using paid agents to surf the internet and spread disinformation on influential websites. The paper states: “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.” Sunstein qualifies numerous times  9/11 Truth groups as “extremist groups”.

In this paper, Sunstein also sees benefits in the hiring outside commentators  – who are then held out as “experts” – by the government: “government can supply these independent experts with information and perhaps prod them into action from behind the scenes”. Secretly paying non-government officials “might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts.”

I hope there are no paid agents commenting here…



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Ricky

Jesus is the way the truth and the light! No one comes to the father only threw the son. I'm ready I'm a Christian there is only one god the true living god!

that one dude

this is old news but good news. a website i frequented was shut down. GNN. guerrilla news network. very anti establishment anti fascist anti racist basically anarcho, the news was interpreted and rewritten, recycled i should say, by interested people. ex. the uprising in greece 08. mainstream had almost no mention of it i didnt know bout it til i stumbled upon that site but now all is silent. yahoo comments is monitered.paid agents and ignorant racists spew hate you cant imagine, i'm happy one day then i read the comments on yahoo story and my faith in humanity is daunted. religion is used to control you. sorry had to say now all of the christ cult will be on my behind saying i am a paid satanist agent financed by the illum!:(… question, since they use the darkside of the occult shouldnt we harness the good side????? o yea smash the ruling class.

Kessbot

What's sad about this is now intelligent, concerned, and enlightened cohorts on websites like this one will accuse one another of being agents. More ways to rend us apart.

wiser

I knew it from before. Last year, I noticed that some people were leaving comments such as "I saw the building getting hit by the plane with my own eyes" or "you believe in this ?" under Youtube videos that were talking about 9/11 being the inside job. I am no less than a spy. It looked very fishy. So I ended up checking out their profiles. Strange, but true that all of them had written in their profiles, "I am a musician" and they were of age 21-27. Some of those users' Youtube activities were also listed. Turned out that they were commenting only on 9/11 inside job videos. I pick three subjects from them to investigate in details. The stalking revealed that one was having a bitter argument under a 9/11 video with a person who believed in the inside job. Perhaps, the subject got really furious. In the end, he ended up commenting, "I know everything about the government cuz I work with CIA". So I say keep your eyes wide open everyone. If someone pushes you too hard to believe that the government is the angel he should be taken as a fishy element. But under… Read more »

Riddle

How subtle indeed! Remember how the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was so 'subtle…?' According to the paper – some 'Conspiracy' Theories may be 'allowed' and 'justifiable' or 'beneficial' and others not – in other words, if we read between the lines, those theories that are too close to the truth and do not serve the higher order's (controlling faction's) interests.. I'm surprised they even admitted MKULTRA actually took place.. Hey, that's the way – you've got to to seem 'in the middle' to seem 'normal' like you are admitting 'some' truth but not all… makes you seem like a nice guy (I'm referring to the article and ones behind it). So while you admit some truths.. the current (other) truths go unscathed.. it's not 'Conspiracy' if it's true! Also, I hate that term as well.. it has such implications.. and the other thing is – in the interest of 'Truth' which we all must seek.. Conspiracy theories come up.. I agree that we should all remain objective and use discernment.. and it is not that hard to see who the 'paid Disinfo' agents might be trolling the blogs.. interesting they say 'blogs' not sites.. isn't it..? If you… Read more »

michael oflannery

you people have such terrible grammer and spelling.

LVB

Politicalamity – Extreme

Wars 'n rumors

Of wars, no one knows what for

Toys and soldiers

Deployed, on some foreign shore

Lords and rulers

Destroy, diplomatic rapport

Communists, dictatorships

Democracies, hypocrisies

Ask not what your country can do?

To a one world governmental zoo

POLITICAL, POLITICAL

POLITICALAMITY

IT'S AN-AR-CHY

POLITICAL, POLITICAL

POLITICALAMITY

Rick 'n poor

Salute your country's colors

Less is more

When one oppresses the other

Pride 'n power

Decorated upon collars

Donkeys, bears 'n elephants

All paper-trained on parliament

Ask not what your country can do?

To a one world governmental zoo

Riddle

Good poem!

discomarisco

I believe I've been targeted on twitter by one of these profiles. http://twitter.com/jamesdeanwins they have 14 lists, each called "Rebellious Accounts". I blocked them. Extremely frickin creepy.

Riddle

That is creepy.. I haven't looked through all their 'rebellious lists' but the ones I did look through, the users they have on there don't seem to be tweeting about anything really conspiratorial or anything in particular, I did see something to do with sports comments. Maybe they're just about that. But probably good you blocked them anyway, why keep that on there?

Tenoch

i am one hundred percent positive that people such as 'spy bloggers' are aware of this site; i would not be at all suprised if they are the people instigating and insulting other people on this site and others like this making absurd statements ; my advice would be do not get into a conflict with these people or try negotiation on people with such ignorance; lets be intelligent wise human beings we all are one lets stay true to our purpose and stand one against such dark ideals and agendas ; no more mindless arguments with the blind for they can not see… all in all what i am trying to say is lets not participate in arguments and lets participate in communicating our knowledge and start creating a true solution to such ignorance for example: what should we do as a community to get the word out and aware people of such valuable information maybe through internet or telling your loved ones or friends maybe create a newsletter , or whatever it may be …. love to all brothers and sisters of mine

Riddle

Yes.. TENOCH.. very good words… I agree.. getting into arguments with these people is pointless and a distraction.. which is just what they and and their 'bosses' want… the important thing to do is not get distracted but stay on the path and continue seeking the truth and making those that care aware..

Beth

So, basically our Government is wasting our tax dollars paying for equipment and people to act as 'patriotic trolls'. I think many of us understood that this kind of subversion was going on long before they finally went public. It is also a load of 'BS' for them to say that their only targets are jihadist in nature. How about the attack against our civil liberties and the denied justice from our Government during these times: 1. The operations of COINTELPRO which started in 1956 and was kept secret until 1971. 2. Project MKUltra. Yeah, the one where the CIA drugged a man named Frank Olson with LSD and tried to cover up his death. 3. The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment that targeted poor African Americans between 1932-1972 4. Project Paperclip 5. Iran-Contra 6. Iraq and the missing weapons of mass destruction The above are just a few of the conspiracies that were proven true over time. None of them stopped or were brought to justice until people like us started paying attention to something being wrong and started demanding justice. The thing is looking beyond the superficial story that is being fed to us through the mainstream news isn't enough;… Read more »

Beth

"The thing is looking beyond the superficial story that is being fed to us through the mainstream news isn’t enough; especially, when you become aware of Project Mockingbird discovered in 1975 during the Church Committee."

I meant to say: "The thing is accepting the superficial story that is being fed to us through the mainstream news isn't enough; especially, when you become aware of Project Mockingbird discovered in 1975 during the Church Committee."

I want to add to this, too. Even your alternative news sites (AOL's Huffington Post, cough), can be misleading. I mean, you really have to look into who actually owns the news site. If it is a corporation, you can forget it when it comes to getting news that is unbiased and uncensored. Okay, I'm done 🙂

Riddle

Some good posts Beth.. and yes.. I believe we have to use discernment and intuition about any and all sites nowadays.. (except this one of course! ;^) Well obviously for everything, but this site (VC) is unusually objective and factual.. you can tell it is in the interest of seeking the truth.. there are others out there too.. but anyway, yeah.. I agree with what you are saying..

soulhustle

Jews dont' like your right to free speech, so here u go!!!!

Jews OWN Amerika

they own all media inluding MTV

they are behind Obama

they own Wall street..and hold triggers of global financial system (Rothschilds)

they push for Monsanto's control (Monsanto family originally Jewish too)

they are behind the Rapidscan in airports..no dignity for dem goys

They hate criticism, any criticism of Jews brings the anti-semite label. Most ppl have been successfully brainwashed with that.

Cass Sunstein is just another Jew wanting your free speech gone. Fight it or lose it. Don't give them your money, start the revolution at home. Before it is too late.

Not Blind

I believe you're referring to the Zionists who are hiding behind the word 'Jew'.

soulhustle

Zionists and Jews is the same thing. They run it…and I don't like it because their spiritual course ruins humanity. Look even at the mass culture that VG is writing about, its SICK 🙁 Why do people accept it as normal, I don't know. Maybe the population is dumb afterall, but I don't want to think this way….

InfamousAvantGairde

I knew this comment thread would be a mess.

Pointing,pointing,pointing……I say a lot of contriversal things so I'm sure I'm on the list.

For anyone that thinks I'm one can personally go to hell

as if not there already.Just respond if you want me gone and I promise you I will never comment again.All it takes is one.I won't bother you ever again.

InfamousAvantGairde

I keep getting hints that that was impulsive.I agree.I apologize.This still will be my last post.I definitely over stayed my welcome. I just gotta get some things off my chest or else Ill just keep coming back. All that I'm Rise and everything.Trash that.Philosophy is good but well entertained thought can be very much appreciated.I also strive to be a type of entertainer. Am I in contact with high sources….yes.Positive….yes.Negative….yes(they slide bs in every now and then) A type of anti……yes and no.A antioxident to a free radical yes…The other anti's….no. You know what's so funny.When that time came and the big guy came down he was not so liked as he is now.What he said seemed so frightingly………opposite…to the point where he was brutally killed by those of the rightous. I see the same delimma happening now and the negative is peaking like before. Although misrepresented The Dawn of The Daywalker is here.You can't change that.Its not what you want all the time.Any mother or father that spoils a child will receive a child that produces little rewards. Although I'm a bit premature this is an example of what were becoming.Give a black man knowledge and he will make… Read more »

Marjorie

I know this is off-topic, but has anyone noticed the emoticon at the bottom of this site? It's in black and is somewhat pixelated.

Godozo

Yeah…part of some of the templates on some blogging sites.

And no, I'm not gonna say "nothing here, move along." As even "The Three Little Bops" proves, even where nothing untoward is happening it's possible that something gets slipped in just to keep stuff out there.

Riddle

I just noticed it, right over VC's copyright, right? Like the other guy said, part of the templates of sites sometimes, although VC may have even put it there since he designs his site himself.. looks like a little smiley face, doesn't it..?

AlexJonesUSay
AlexJonesUSay

I found this website from a link that I found through VC a while back. . . . .hmmm. . .. .

http://adventofdeception.com/deception-alex-jones

MP

I've come across several disinfo-agents on youtube – ones that have a significant following.

Asking them certain questions reveal their true intentions, it's very simple.

Marjorie

Do tell us who you believe to be disinfo agents, please. There's one in particular I believe is..

MP

of the mainstream disinfo artists i think the following are notable: alex jones, zeitgeist, david icke, & 9/11 truth.

Its important to say that 90% of each is close to the 'truth'. Im not hating on these ppl b/c there is value in them.

1) alex jones – hes an alarmist, he uses scare tactics b/c the elite want ppl in a panicked state

2) zeitgeist – learn the occult symbols used by the ruling elite and this will become obvious watching the zeitgeist films, the whole 'transitioning' into a new age, the age of aquarius their preparing us for this new world order. Part 1 of Z-1 is disinfo.

3) icke – he has so much value with regards to the subjective nature of existing through ur senses but he makes it like the ruling elite 'dont understand' the multiple planes of existence, entities etc. the ruling elite know ALL about that s--t, its the foundation of everything they do.

4) 9/11 truth – they make u think it was about americas imperialist agenda when in fact it was a twisted satanic mega ritual.

this is what i think, just my perspective.

peace

Not Blind

How do you feel about Credo Mutwa?

MP

oh and for youtube indies…mistrbritt & love police.

Castles made of sand

The more I look at the way the world is going the more it points to one thing and one thing only, and that is: People need to learn how to critically think for themselves and relearn how to handle information and make use of it without necessarily 'believing' or relying on it OR dismissing or rejecting it either. In a way, 'believing' information (or not) is a legacy of an age where only a few have access to information, and the many had to choose whether to believe it or not. This is becoming less and less like the age we are living in now – we are all becoming our own researchers AND media combined. As long as critical thinking and common sense prevail then we can avoid collective 'group think' (ie consensus) while still being able to all contribute to each others' research while observing each other's media, so to speak. Awareness is the key, computers have yet to develop that yet – we hope. In a 'slightly cosmic way' all of this mistrust is probably a good thing in the end anyway, because without it we would just as likely end up following more 'leaders' ..… Read more »

DiZiLLuiZioNed

You make a great point. Critical thinking is not something that is taught in American schools or encouraged in American society for that matter. In school students are taught to be robots, to listen to the teacher and not to question, to accept what is told and not to think, to be good employees and to shut up. And children who are naturally inquisitive are discouraged by their parents at home because alot of parents either don't have the answers to their childs "Why this, Why that questions" or simply don't have the patience. So at home and at school, children are ingrained with the belief that asking questions is bad.

geede

lol i started to read the bible, looking for clues but its freaking long and soo borring ;1

Sarah Connor

Try reading from some people that study the bible and end times – it's exciting, to me at least.

http://www.danielbibleprophecy.org/index.html

http://www.wake-up.org/index.html

http://endrtimes.blogspot.com/

geede

wonderfull article like always VC but i wish you could talk about my country ''lithuania'' there are bunch of biulding like ''babilon'' and the other things that cant remember how they called lol. There are some people here that come to this website and i think its cool. Anyways people you got to understand this that the illiuminati is controling everything they will cover up anything that they dont want. The only thing we can do is to keep track on what is going on and trust me if you try to tell this to someone they will think you are crazy because 1) they fear the truth, 2) they cant change nothing about it, 3) if they start talking about it they might lose thier job, 4) they live to earn money because i can imagine how hard for parents is to take care of us they dont have the time to see these things and try to live thier lifes. Anyway I only see things that we can do guys 1) get fit- do push ups grow a six pack so when 2012 comes ur ready 2) look for information around the web, 3) have your own opinion… Read more »

Tamar

And all along i thought we were safe over here in south africa… Our advertisements have illuminati written all over them (there’s a billboard on the side of the highway with lady gaga on it advertising flavoured water and the company that owns it is coca cola) our musicians going overseas meeting oprah and then coming back and the music videos filled with symbolism our president constantly meeting up with obama no one is safe not even in africa.

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