Obama Admin to Concoct Phony ePeople for Propaganda

Sunstein also thinks government should stop sanctioning marriage; federal law should be interpreted by presidents "and those around him" instead of judges; and Americans should not have the right to “keep and bear arms.”

According to an article in Computerworld, the Obama administration has contracted for the development of software that could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues.

This has the fingerprints of Obama’s Information Czar Cass Sunstein all over it.

In a 2008 co-authored paper, “Conspiracy Theories,” published in the Journal of Political Philosophy, Sunstein decries the proliferation on the Internet of false conspiracy theories that he claims may ultimately lead to violence. Sunstein then outlines a plan for the government to stealthily infiltrate ‘”conspiracy theory” groups. He proposes that “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.” [Sources: Wikipedia and “Obama Czar Wants to Limit Free Speech“]

Here’s the Computerworld article that, woefully, is rather poorly written.

H/t beloved fellow Tina.

~Eowyn

Army of Fake Social Media Friends to Promote Propaganda

By Darlene Storm – Computerworld – Feb 23, 2011

It’s recently been revealed that the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn’t like. It could then potentially have their “fake” people run smear campaigns against those “real” people. As disturbing as this is, it’s not really new for U.S. intelligence or private intelligence firms to do the dirty work behind closed doors.

EFF previously warned that Big Brother wants to be your friend for social media surveillance. While the FBI Intelligence Information Report Handbook (PDF) mentioned using “covert accounts” to access protected information, other government agencies endorsed using security exploits to access protected information.

It’s not a big surprise that the U.S. military also wants to use social media to its benefit. Last year, Public Intelligence published the U.S. Air Force social media guide which gave 10 tips for social media such as, “The enemy is engaged in this battlespace and you must engage there as well.” Number three was “DON’T LIE. Credibility is critical, without it, no one cares what you have to say…it’s also punishable by the UCMJ to give a false statement.” The Air Force used the chart below to show how social media influences public opinion.

The 6th Contracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base sought the development of Persona Management Software which could be used for creating and managing fake profiles on social media sites to distort the truth and make it appear as if there was a generally accepted agreement on controversial issues. “Personas 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.” What happened to don’t lie and the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

Everything revealed after Anonymous leaked emails from private security firm HBGary Federal is disturbing on many levels. However, the Daily Kos said with the Persona Management Software it would take very few people to create “an army of sockpuppets” which could distort the truth while appearing to be “an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.”

So again I ask, what happened to number three . . . the rule about not lying that was also “punishable by the UCMJ to give a false statement”?

President and CEO of Plessas Experts Network, Inc, Kirby Plessas pointed out some of the unethical and potentially illegal activities that Aaron Barr’s leaked emails suggested like “Chumming and baiting” which sounded like “entrapment of some sort.” There would be no warrant for the data collected on individuals which could then be stored for how long? “THIS is the entire reason Intelligence Oversight was created – to avoid this sort of thing from ever happening again.”

According to Redacted News, the leaked emails showed how names can be cross-referenced across social media sites to collect information on people and then used to gain access to those social ciricles. The emails also talked of how Facebook could be used to spread government messages:

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.

Lots of people have multiple online aliases, Facebook or Twitter accounts for both business and private life. What most bothers me is the lying and seemingly unethical means to an end. Although the government says it doesn’t approve of censorship, etc, when its secrets come to light, it seems to be Okay with recommending underhanded tactics.

Secretary Clinton delivered a speech called, “Internet Rights and Wrongs: Choices and Challenges In A Networked World.” To help promote and support Internet freedom, the State Department intends to award $25 million in grants. While that is great news, the EFF reported, “For every strong statement about preserving liberty, freedom of expression, and privacy on the global Internet, there exists a countervailing example of the United States attempting to undermine those same values.”

Secretary Clinton later told “This Week” anchor Christiane Amanpou that most Americans “are in favor of human rights, freedom, democracy. We know that ultimately the most progress that can be made on behalf of human beings anywhere is when those individuals are empowered, when they have governments that are responsive.” Clinton added, “At the same time, we recognize that this process can be hijacked. It can be hijacked by both outside and inside elements within any country.”

So while the U.S. government can talk a good talk, what it does and what it says often doesn’t seem to jive. Gasp, I know, it’s not a big shocker but sometimes I find that utterly frustrating. The President wanted an Internet Kill Switch, the FBI keeps pushing for backdoors on all-things-Net. What happened to a code of ethics? Does it disappear behind closed doors, dirty deeds done in the dark and used against the American people who are supposed to be free to express themselves?

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12 responses to “Obama Admin to Concoct Phony ePeople for Propaganda

  1. Candance Moore

    We had some plants at NB before. I remember one particular time this guy showed up and very quickly tried to befriend everyone. Then he would constantly make references to violent rebellion, armed protest, etc. We figured Jim out and got rid of him.

    Conservatives, particularly those who are new to blogging, often make the mistake of assuming that everyone is as honest as they are. We are warned in the Bible to be harmless as a dove but serious as a snake.

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    • here in Edmonton Alberta.. we had one of them.. he came out of the blue.. then disappeared the same way.. he talked about govt protests and violence.. we all knew he was a plant, and then he even insulted me for being in a Muslim store as if they only served Muslims. but it is time for a revolt in the USA. it is time for the people to do the right thing, if the arab countries can then we certainly should be following suit. be harmless as s dove is what the higher ups want. dont fool yourself.

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  2. Left/liberals feel human rights trump everything they don’t like such as individual rights and freedom. It’s the card Islamists are playing with them about Sharia, punishing folk who criticise Jihad, etc. to make them useful idiots and advance the cause, too.

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    • Yes, it does. Especially when “critical thinking” is defined “thinking critically” or “whatever my leftist professor and/or Michael Moore say,” too. All that glitters is gold, if it sounds good it is good. Scary. Hitler loved to get the Germans going that way. “Tell a big lie, tell it often enough and eventually everyone will believe it,” his buddy Goebbels said.

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  3. This is a recipe for disaster. It will foment deeper distrust, not just in public spaces, but more generally against government. People will immediately suspect that any opposing theory is contrived for consumption by Uncle Sam and his fake talkers.

    In a nutshell, people will be even less inclined to accept rational explanations.

    But I do suspect that this is less about spreading truth and calm than it is about infiltrating and identifying individuals via social groups. Those who brave speaking openly could be targeted for anything from disinformation/smear campaigns to arrest.

    The problem is not in various conspiracy theories, but in a government that cannot simply allow people to believe what they choose. In the course of trying to change our minds, they will makes us trust them even less… but they obviously miss this one, singular and apparent truth.

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  4. Gaba. They don’t let you text to much in the good ol USA. The uh uhs are in control.

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  5. Clinton is a true hypocrite. Just last week while giving a speech on freedom of speech in regards to the rebellions in the middleast, Ray McGovern who was in attendance of the speech was wearing a Veterans for Peace T shirt. Just after he stood up, he was assaulted by federal agents, knocked to the floor and beaten. He was then arrested. He has the scars to prove it.
    Is this the way of a free nation?
    It is obvious Obama is anti America. He and his cabinet are NWO advocates and prove it everyday by their support of Agenda 21 and the U.N. Small Arms Treaty. It is an office filled with liars and vipers. They are not to be trusted nor believed. The entire government in Washington needs
    replacing if we are to maintain our freedom and liberty.
    By infiltrating the internet , using propaganda and instilling mistrust and doubt among those of us who are seeking the truth, they will be on their way to control the entire flow of information around the globe. Indeed then, those behind the NWO will show themselves without fear for the people will have been thoroughly subdued.
    We now need more than ever, to be vigilant and intelligent enough to realize when the government is attempting to manipulate the information and forums which are so critical for free thinking people. They already have the main stream media as their propaganda outlet. Let us be on our guard against the looming crisis ahead.
    I won’t go into the possibility of what may be in our future unless we can put a halt to this monster in D.C.

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  6. No Good. People are not that stupid. Stupid, yes, but not that stupid. It simply won’t work, and Sunstein needs to get a coffee enema. Try eliminating citizen debt and using a social credit monetary system. You won’t need to lie all the time.

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    • John is spot on. I’m familiar w/Social Credit and it, along w/ending the rotten Federal Reserve Bunco, is exactly what’s most needed, ASAP!

      But wait! John’s right again: what needs to be done first is to give Sunstein a coffee enema immediately, if not sooner.

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  7. Ha ha! This will save us Hasbarats a lot of work in spreading lies, disinformation and insults whenever anyone tries to tell the truth about us anywhere on the internet.

    Look up “hasbara” if you want to know what’s already happening.

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  8. Aside from the egregious behavior of this upstart King of ours, I would like to say that I would like to take Cass Sunstein, Ezekial Emanual, Eric Holder by their skinny pencil necks and drag them through a briar patch. I AM SO SICK of these mentally, spiritually, intellectually corrupt individuals.

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  9. CASS SUNSTEIN is that new “you-gotta-always-say-nice-things-about-obummer” czar??? Oh dear God. We knew he had to get in the mix somehow, but daaaaang… That’s scary in and of itself! And then these “fake” ppl? I just today, got a “friend” invite from someone who wrote something SOOOOOOOO freaking wacky on another group I belong to, it was insane! Now see him I wouldn’t friend. And they’re prolly refining the technique as these sock puppets make no progress and polish them up until they do! But the idea of co-opting a friend ID from school, that I AM so desperately trying to find, makes me shiver in my boots! W/ your kind permission, Eowyn, I would like to link some friends of mine to this posting. THEY really need to watch out for this kind of stuff especially. The leader is from Canada, but he got in a terrifying scratch w/ (Pakistan?) when he insulted their king. It’s whatever country that treats their king like a god and kills for it, and I don’t mean making fun of Mohamed either. Begins w/ a “P” but I don’t quite think it’s Pakistan, more far eastern than that. THAT was scary! It was through Canada’s “hate speech” laws and he got into it DEEP. Well, I guess I’ll be checking out new friends asking more than I do now! I’m gonna ask them things only the real folks would know, that’ll pause ’em for a little while anyway… Wow. *shaking head* Cheeeezy-pete.

    Like

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