Posts tagged free speech
Yes, There Are Paid Government Trolls On Social Media, Blogs, Forums And Websites
Do you want solid proof that paid government shills are targeting websites, blogs, forums and social media accounts? For years, many have suspected that government trolls have been systematically causing havoc all over the Internet, but proving it has been difficult. But now thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden and revealed by Glenn Greenwald, we finally have hard evidence that western governments have been doing this. As you will see below, a UK intelligence outfit known as the Government Communications Headquarters, through a previously secret unit known as the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group, has been systematically attempting “to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse”. This should be deeply disturbing to anyone that values free speech on the Internet.
It isn’t just that the British government is trying to influence what people are thinking. The reality is that this is far bigger than a mere propaganda campaign. As Greenwald recently noted on his new website, the “integrity of the Internet itself” is at stake…
By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.
So what techniques are the British using to control and manipulate discourse on the Internet? According to Greenwald, the documents that Snowden has uncovered show that they are willing to sink to despicable lows in order to get the results that they desire…
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 following is a list of Internet infiltration techniques that were listed on one particular slide that Snowden leaked…
-Set Piece Operation
-False Flag Operation
-False Rescue Operation
You can check out this slide for yourself right here.
There is also evidence that the Canadian government has been involved in this sort of thing as well. The following comes from Natural News…
You’ve probably run into them before — those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the “war on terror” and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet “trolls” or “shills,” who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion.
Several years ago, Canada’s CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply “weighing in and correcting” allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police.
You can see a video news report about this activity up in Canada right here.
Are you disturbed yet?
You should be.
So what kind of people are the governments of the western world targeting online?
Well, when it comes to the U.S. government, all you have to do is to look at their official documents to see who they consider the “problems” to be. For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered ‘Potential Terrorists’ In Official Government Documents“.
Sadly, the reality of the matter is that the days of the free and open Internet are numbered. The governments of the world are increasing their control over the Internet with each passing day, and eventually a time will likely come when we will not be able to communicate openly like this any longer.
Things have gotten so bad in the U.S. already that even Google is spooked…
A recent court decision that endorsed a broad view of the Federal Communications Commission’s authority over the Internet has Google and other Web companies nervous.
In closed-door meetings with regulators and Capitol Hill staff, Google’s lawyers have said they’re worried how the FCC may use its newfound powers, according to multiple people familiar with the meetings.
The extent of the FCC’s authority over Google and other Web services remains unclear, and the current FCC has given no indication that it is interested in pushing aggressive new regulations. But the possibility that the commission could begin telling Google how to organize its search results or handle its users’ data is enough to spook the company’s army of Washington lobbyists.
And this is just the beginning.
If you think that the control freaks that are running things now are bad, just wait until you see the next generation of control freaks.
For example, there is one prominent student writer at Harvard that apparently believes that free speech at her university should be abolished and that any professor that does not advocate for her politically-correct version of “justice” should be fired…
A student writer at Harvard University is raising eyebrows after publishing her belief that free speech on campus should be abolished and professors with opposing views be fired.
Sandra Korn, a senior who writes a column for the Harvard Crimson newspaper, thinks radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy, and the First Amendment only hinders colleges from brainwashing students with her viewpoint.
“Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice,” states the subtitle of her Feb. 18 column, in which she insists Harvard stop guaranteeing students and professors the right to hold controversial views and conduct research putting liberalism in a negative light.
“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?” Korn asks.
This is what control freaks always want.
They always want to shut down those that are presenting opposing views.
They don’t believe in free speech and a “marketplace of ideas”. Rather, they believe in shoving what they believe down the rest of our throats.
And now we have solid proof that the governments of the western world are paying people to manipulate discourse on social media, blogs, forums and websites.
So will there be great outrage over this, or will the apathetic public just roll over and ignore this like they have so many other times the past few years?
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://endoftheamericandream.com
The thought police have arrived: The FCC Plan To Police The Newsrooms (Sadly not a joke.)
This can not be allowed to happen.
Government content commissars in newsrooms? This is anathema to everything this country is about. Everything.
We must fight this. Yet another effort pushed by this administration to limit the free expression of thought in this country.
The Land of the Free is now ranked 46th in press freedom according to Reporters Without Borders. We dropped 13 spots last year.
This is the United States people. We can not allow this to happen on our watch.
As if illegal seizures of Associated Press phone records and the shadowy tailing of the mother of a Fox News reporter weren’t menacing enough, the Obama administration is going out of its way to institute a new intrusive surveillance of the press, as if the press wasn’t supine enough.
Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, warned this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that a plan to dispatch researchers into radio, television and even newspaper newsrooms called the “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” is still going forward, despite the grave danger it presented to the First Amendment.
Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its “researchers” to newsrooms across America to seek their “voluntary” compliance about how news stories are decided, as well as “wade into office politics” looking for angry reporters whose story ideas were rejected as evidence of a shutout of minority views.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
California Student Banned from Handing Out Constitutions on Campus
While this story is a few days old, I didn’t have a chance to watch the video until last night. It is pretty disturbing. First of all, this student merely wanted to hand out copies of the Constitution to fellow students on Constitution Day, on public grounds at a public university in which he is enrolled. The most ridiculous part of the saga emerges when he engages in a conversation with an administrator at the Office of Student Development and Campus Life. Here the lady instructs him that he “needs to represented by a club” to hand things out. Then she informs him of a “free speech area,” which is preposterous to begin with, but it gets worse. This is what the “free speech area” looks like (the orange circle):
Not only that, but apparently you need to fill out an application to be permitted to engage in free speech within the free speech area itself! She informed him of some available dates.
Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com
Diane Feinstein defines free speech, the 1st Amendment, a “privilege.” (Video)
Matt Drudge was right when he said last week that Ms. Feinstein was acting is a fascistic way. The woman is breathtaking in her control freakiness. Just watch this video. She has no qualms trashing the most fundamental right there is, to speak freely.
The great unwashed have been given a voice in the Internet which is troublesome in her view. We must license journalism. If it is licensed, the state can control it.
It appears that she holds ordinary citizens who would speak up against the power structure in deep disdain. She may dislike them as much as she dislikes ordinary citizens with guns. Likely she just assumes the two groups are probably the same folks for the most part anyway and should therefore be systematically curtailed.
Feinstein misses the days when her chief of staff could call up a reporter and threaten his or her job if the reporter said the wrong thing about the Senator. Now, people can say whatever they want, and that is a bad thing in the Senator’s view.
Total free speech on the Internet does not produce a poorer product as many in the the power establishment both in Congress and in the #oldmedia assert. Yes there’s lots of crap on the Internet. There are plenty of BS stories about nonsense. But people quickly ferret out poor reporting or analysis. Bad stories are vetted within minutes of posting. Reputations are on the line, all the time. It’s the market of ideas.
Ms. Feinstein is not known as a friend of the market mechanism.
The Senator’s effort to clamp down on free speech is in no way in the interest of the American people. Her efforts are in her interest, and those of her sponsors who fear an empowered American public.
That’s why we must fight her efforts.
Just an aside–How much fun do you think it would be to work in her office?
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
German Artist Faces Criminal Charges for Projecting Kim Dotcom Image on U.S. Embassy
In case you missed it, last Sunday German artist Oliver Bienkowski projected a giant image of Kim Dotcom on the U.S. embassy in Berlin coupled with the phrase “United Stasi of America.” The entire thing lasted about 30 seconds and was extremely good natured and humorous. However, it seems German “authorities” don’t appreciate being out-Stasied by the USSA, and in an attempt to demonstrate their authoritarianism are looking to criminally charge Mr. Bienkowski. After all, in the Western “civilized” world these days, freedom of speech leads to criminal charges, while the theft of trillions leads to bonuses and promotions. From ArsTechnica:
A German artist may now potentially face criminal charges in Germany after he projected a huge image onto the walls of the United States Embassy in Berlin last Sunday.
The image was of fellow German Kim Dotcom, the embattled founder of Megaupload, along with the phrase “United Stasi of America,” referring to the secret police of former East Germany. Oliver Bienkowski videoed the event and set the video to a song that Dotcom had previously recorded, entitled “Mr. President,” which includes lines like: “What about free speech, Mr. President?”
His possible crime? Violation of Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code (Google Translate), which forbids insulting foreign heads of state, members of foreign governments, or other foreign diplomatic staff in Germany—and is punishable by “up to three years in prison.” If combined with libel charges, that sentence can increase to up to five years.
Watch the video yourself to witness this heinous crime of human expression.
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Gary Franchi interviews James Corbett connecting from Japan on Next News Network on various topics including the future of 3D printing, intellectual property, free speech, upcoming government regulations, local drone surveillance and much more.
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
Being absent from a federal no-fly list might not mean you won’t be hassled the next time you enter an US airport. The Transportation and Security Administration is constructing a new list of known “low risk” passengers.
According to the November 19 Federal Register newsletter put out by the US government, the TSA is trying to put together a new roster of airport patrons who may be a cause for concern but not necessarily dangerous enough to be added to the no-fly list that contains suspected terrorists and other persons of interest.
By Teri Webster
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will face some push-back during the big Thanksgiving travel week, as part of the Alex-Jones-ordered “Opt Out and Film Week.”
From Nov. 19 through Nov. 26, Jones is encouraging travelers to refuse to go through the radiation-laden body scanners. They should also film the invasive body pat-down that will likely ensue if they decide to opt-out.
The movement is designed to expose the practices of the TSA and help preserve basic human rights while traveling.
Some of the abuses of the TSA chronicled recent months include manhandling children, the elderly, severely ill and disabled passengers; stealing from passengers, testing drinks that travelers purchased inside airports and ordering travelers to freeze on command.
Infowars.com gives the following reasons to participate in the opt-out movement:
*Protesting the increased cancer risks and possible DNA damages associated with backscatter body scanners.
*The TSA has no right to take, transmit and file X-ray photographs that reduce travelers to naked pieces of documentation.
*The TSA is more interested in teaching you to submit to authority than teaching you the importance of airport security.
Jones and his crew have provided flyers to be printed out and used for the week-long event.
In a prepared statement, Jones said:
“Infowars is pioneering a new civil rights movement that is not based around race, sex or any other minority issue. The fact that our rights are being violated and characterized as suspicious and terroristic threatens the freedom of every individual, no matter from what what race, gender or creed they originate.
We are being systematically intimidated out of expressing our right to free speech as part of the advancement towards a new dark age of tyranny.”
Jones cautioned participants that even though it is technically legal to film the TSA, participants can expect to face harassment or arrest for standing up to the agency.
In 2010, the TSA shut off the body scanner machines nation-wide after citizens planned an opt-out protest. Jones has said that proves the system is not based on real security concerns, but serves as a mechanism to humiliate and domesticate the American public.
The TSA is already removing some of the body scanners from airports. Part of the reason for the removal of the machines is the naked images they produce, according to USA Today.
Wade Hicks was en route to a US Navy base in Japan to see his wife when armed military guards informed him that they had other plans. Hicks, an American citizen with no criminal record, had just been put added to a federal no-fly list.
After being escorted off his plane during a routine re-fueling stop on the Pacific Island of Oahu, Hicks, 34, was left stranded in Hawaii this week. In an interview, he suggests that his opposition to a newly-created law that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens at military prisons without charge or trial could be to blame for his mistreatment.
“I was very, very vocal about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and I did contact my representative” about it, Hicks tells talk show host Doug Hagmann. “I do believe that this is tied in some way to my free speech and my political view.”
According to Hicks, he has little reason to believe otherwise. He tells Hagmann that he formerly worked as a contractor for the US Department of Defense and has undergone extensive background checks in order to obtain an enhanced license that allows him to carry a concealed firearm. Hicks says he also holds on to a special identification card issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the US Homeland Security Department sub-agency that administers pat-downs and screenings at airports across the country. An investigation carried out by Hagmann has led him to locating no criminal history for the man whatsoever.