Posts tagged websites
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
Reddit, Mozilla, rights groups to protest online snooping in memory of Aaron Swartz
On February 11, a broad coalition of internet-involved organizations will go online to protest massive electronic surveillance by various governments. The action hopes to repeat the successful beating of SOPA/PIPA bills in 2012.
The protest was announced on the anniversary of Aaron Swartz’s suicide and is dedicated to his memory. The software engineer and online freedom activist took his life in 2013 amid prosecution over alleged illegal downloading of a large number of academic journal articles, the charges which could have landed him in jail for up to 35 years.
“If Aaron were alive, he’d be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action,” the protest coordination website said.
Similar to the SOPA/PIPA protest in 2012, the new day of action will aim at raising public awareness of government online surveillance and pressuring US lawmakers to act against it. Thousands of participating websites will host banners calling on Americans to bombard members of Congress with email and phone calls. And all concerned Internet users will be asked to participate in other ways.
The protest coalition includes organizations holding high stakes on online freedoms, like the open-source software developer Mozilla Foundation, link aggregator Reddit and the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation.
“Since the first revelations last summer, hundreds of thousands of Internet users have come together online and offline to protest the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance programs,” said Josh Levy of the Free Press, another member of the coalition.
“These programs attack our basic rights to connect and communicate in private, and strike at the foundations of democracy itself.”
The organizers hope to repeat the success of the internet blackout against SOPA/PIPA bills. In January 2012 thousands of websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Flickr and others, went dark in a symbolic gesture to demonstrate, that the bills debated at the time in the US Congress would ruin the internet as we know it.
Critics of the controversial anti-piracy legislation said it would make doing business online nearly impossible. The mass protest led to both bills being shelved by legislators.
Internet hacktivist group Anonymous has declared cyberwar on Israel, posting personal data of five thousand Israeli officials online.
The group used their Anonpaste.me site to address a message to the Israeli government before linking to the page with names, ID numbers and personal emails of 5,000 officials.
The message said: “It has come to our attention that the Israeli government has ignored repeated warnings about the abuse of human rights, shutting down the internet in Israel and mistreating its own citizens and those of its neighboring countries.”
(Screenshot from anonpaste.me)
The group also said “Israeli Gov. this is/will turn into a cyberwar.”
Earlier, the group hacked over 700 hundred Israeli websites, including the Bank of Jerusalem, the Israeli Defence Ministry, the IDF blog, the President’s official website and many others.
Most of the sites remain down.
The country’s finance minister has acknowledged the recent wave of attacks, saying the government is now waging a war on a “second front.”
Over the past four days, Israel has “deflected 44 million cyber-attacks on government websites,” Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told AP.
By Agence France-Presse
Sri Lankan police Friday shut down opposition news websites, accusing them of carrying “false and vulgar reports”, months after imposing censorship on news alerts issued by mobile phone companies.
Seven media organisations, including the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association, condemned the closure of the Lanka Mirror and Lanka X News offices located within the same building in Colombo.
“A group of 25 officers from the police Criminal Investigation Department sealed the offices and nine employees were arrested,” the media organisations said in a joint statement. “We condemn this deadly assault on media freedom.”
The Sri Lankan defence ministry said the news organisations were shut down after officials obtained a court order to carry out searches and seize equipment.
Rights groups and employees said one website was the official news organ of the opposition United National Party (UNP), while the other website was also closely linked to the UNP.
Fight for the Future, one of the major organizers behind the anti-SOPA blackouts that took the Internet by storm in January, is again gearing up to protest legislation it says will compromise the privacy of Internet users everywhere.
Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng told The Daily Caller that her organization’s current campaign, Privacy is Awesome, exists to “make sure that senators hear from constituents that have privacy concerns.”
The group’s current target is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a bill introduced by Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers that passed the House by a comfortable 248-168 vote margin in April. CISPA will be considered by the Senate sometime next week.
The legislation is designed to encourage private companies and the federal government to share information about users that they collect online. Proponents say CISPA will help prevent sophisticated electronic attacks by terrorists and foreign governments.
“We strongly urge the Senate to swiftly take up this issue because the United States cannot afford to wait to improve our nation’s cybersecurity posture,” said TechAmerica chief Shawn Osborne. “Standing pat will only further risk our national security.”
However, Lee Tien, an attorney for a legal non-profit that sued AT&T over the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, said CISPA poses considerable risks to privacy.
“I worry that you can get a version of cybersecurity warrantless wiretapping out of this,” Tien said in April.
Fight for the Future is also working with Democrats.com, The Liberty Coalition and the Entertainment Consumers Association in its campaign against CISPA.
“[I have] major concerns about how much power the government will have to perform surveillance on all the individuals in this country,” Cheng said. “Cases could be built against individuals by the FBI, IRS, or whoever, without due process. CISPA opens the doors for huge amounts of abuse.”
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden expressed similar concerns about the bill in the weeks preceding the Senate vote.
“[CISPA and its Senate equivalent] subordinate all existing privacy rules and constitutional principles to the poorly defined interest of cyber-security,” Wyden said, according to Slate.
CISPA is not the only cybersecurity legislation under consideration by the Senate. The Cybersecurity Act, which includes many provisions from CISPA, was introduced in February with support from Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins and California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Uploaded by GlobalResearchTV on Feb 18, 2012
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation posted a Request for Information last month calling on IT companies to demonstrate their ability to design software for monitoring, mapping and analyzing social media.
Find out more about the history of government spying and propaganda through social media on this week’s edition of Behind the Headlines.