By FREEMANS PERSPECTIVE · MAR 20TH, 2014
The truth that government agents are influencing people online has been visible for some time to those who were looking. For example, in 2011, we got proof that military contractors and the US Air Force were doing this. (See here and here.) There were other facts as well, including the publicly-stated wishes of Cass Sunstein.
Most people didn’t see those stories, of course, and those who mentioned them were thought to be crazy. “If it was true, we’d have heard about it!”
In early February, however, we got serious proof, courtesy of Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald. Honestly, I expected this to be a big story, like many of the previous Snowden leaks. Instead, the story went almost nowhere. The “news” simply refused to cover it. And while the story did run on a few websites, I don’t know of it running in any major newspaper or on any TV news, except perhaps RT, the Russian 24/7 English-language news channel. (NBC did run a prior and less troubling story.)
But, we have the slides, and we now know what the NSA and its British partner, GCHQ, are doing to us.
The Manipulations You Pay For
Let’s start with this direct quote from the GCHQ on two tactics of their JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group) program:
(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.
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