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MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Printable Version

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MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 12-15-2017 12:45 AM

The real story of online deception isn’t about the Russians. Sure, the Russians certainly have their own programs to disrupt and steer online discourse. But how quickly the public has forgotten about the U.S. government’s own internet troll program.

Edward Snowden leaked documents used by the “Five Eyes” alliance of governments. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia–basically Oceania from 1984–get together to spy on each other’s citizens. That’s how they cleverly get around laws against spying on their own citizens.

The leaked documents included a presentation about how government agents should disrupt online discourse. https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/ -> (worked out version of this link in the comment below)

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There is a lot of overlap between these tactics, and often more than one are used simultaneously. For example, there has been a big push by the media to convince you that the end of net neutrality is a bad thing. They are masking the true nature of net neutrality–it really gives the government power to regulate aspects of the internet. And then they repackage net neutrality as necessary for freedom and open access to the internet.

When deploying government sponsored trolls online, the agents will mimic real commenters in order to sound more believable. They gain credibility since people are more likely to trust those they perceive as similar to them.

Sometimes government agents invent a crazy story and attribute it to a movement. This discredits the movement. Think Flat Earth Theory. Those primed to believe conspiracy theories get sucked in. Then all the true conspiracies are grouped in with the bogus one.

If a true conspiracy theory comes out, they invent 100 others to obscure the real one. In order for the truth to be lost among the falsities, they invent various levels of “conspiracy theories” from the slightly believable, to the absurd.

Hillary Clinton really is a corrupt psychopath. But she is not a shape-shifting reptilian alien.

From the evidence, it seems the United States government was in some way involved in the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. But did they use holograms of the planes, and fire a laser into the towers? Probably not.

The conspiracies become too unbelievable to some, and they throw the truth out with the government manufactured lies. For those that do believe the false details of a true conspiracy, they walk away with an inflated sense of how powerful and all knowing the government really is.

This also works to the government’s benefit. The over-the-top conspiracy theories become the decoy. They can then exploit those beliefs to create cognitive stress, which is another tactic of control.

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Trump is the ultimate manifestation of their tactics to control attention. Trump is a big move which does a lot of masking the small moves. The media pays attention to his tweets, not his actions. When he does push for legislation, like a repeal of Obamacare, and it fails, attention drops because that seems to be the end of that.

And every time this happens, vigilance wanes. Another tweet, another legislative failure, another snub? We get it. But do we really get it?

Repetition. By now we are so used to misconduct by government officials, we just don’t pay attention anymore. Yet when the story about Pizzagate came to light, it was grouped in with conspiracy theories. No need to investigate. We were primed to put that story into the false category. But the new cue is sexual assault, and we are primed to believe any accusation, regardless of the evidence. http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/sex-power-and-consent-how-to-interpret-the-media-frenzy-around-sexual-assault/

In efforts to demonize Bitcoin, many of these tactics are used. I’m not saying Bitcoin is beyond criticism. But I’ve seen commenters claim it was created by the CIA. That is just silly.

More likely, the government exploits the distrust libertarians tend to have in government in order to cast doubt on the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies. That means fewer people will adopt technology that has the potential to bring down the worldwide banking cartel and free people from the shackles of government monetary policy.

White Nationalists and AntiFa are right out of this playbook. Each exploits the beliefs of the “other side.” The left is primed to assume anyone who disagrees with them is secretly a racist white supremacist. And the right is primed to believe the left is full of violent fanatics who want to implement a communist coup.

To be sure, some of these people exist in the real world. So government agents seize on this and magnify it with their own agents. By doing this, they cause unsuspecting citizens to join the fray. Behavior is influenced by our peers. So the perception that something is widespread or normal makes people more likely to follow the crowd.

Notice how they mention Cialdini in there? Robert B. Cialdini wrote the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. I recommend reading it, not so that you can manipulate others, but so that you can prevent yourself from being manipulated.

He describes how to trigger shortcuts people use in their mental processes. For instance, a higher price usually means higher quality, so often people assume a higher priced item will be better made. But this works in many areas. People might assume a southern accent makes someone a racist, or USDA approval means healthy.

Cialdini also goes into how people are influenced by social proof, gift giving, making commitments, and a sense of inclusion. It is no surprise that the government would use these advertising and sales tactics to push their agenda online.

An Obama policy adviser, Cass Sunstein, wrote a paper in 2008 which suggests using these tactics. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084585

Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law. The first challenge is to understand the mechanisms by which conspiracy theories prosper; the second challenge is to understand how such theories might be undermined… Because those who hold conspiracy theories typically suffer from a crippled epistemology, in accordance with which it is rational to hold such theories, the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups.

Sunstein later went on to serve on the NSA review panel.

But finally, here’s the real head spinner.

The documents mention a Haversack Ruse. This ruse involves planting false information by making the enemy think you accidentally lost it. The target thinks they got their hands on your actual plans. But in reality, they acquired fake plans.

For instance, was Edward Snowden really a leaker, or was he told to drop all this “evidence” in order to distract from what is really happening?

In such a case, the intelligence officers would be laughing their asses off. They had the balls to put the Haversack reference into a fake document that was intentionally leaked as a ruse. This fits with the elite’s serial-killer-like tendency to leave hints of their true agenda in plain sight.

That means one of two things.

Either these documents are not part of a ruse and everything in them is true.

Or, these documents are part of a Haversack Ruse. But why would the government leak these damning documents which prove their lies and untrustworthiness?

Only if the truth is so much worse.

Source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-13/how-government-agents-troll-online-divide-and-confuse?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 12-15-2017 12:55 AM

HOW COVERT AGENTS INFILTRATE THE INTERNET TO MANIPULATE, DECEIVE, AND DESTROY REPUTATIONS

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

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.

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. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

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Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

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Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:

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GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”

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Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

[Image: deception_hacktivism.png]

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell,” devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:

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Post continues below

Source: https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 12-15-2017 12:56 AM

2
Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack,” while dissecting how human beings can be manipulated using “leaders,” “trust,” “obedience” and “compliance”:

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The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:

[Image: deception_p24.png]

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We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?

As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”

These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.

Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.

Documents referenced in this article: https://theintercept.com/document/2014/02/24/art-deception-training-new-generation-online-covert-operations/

Source: https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - jho - 12-15-2017 04:11 AM

[Image: nudge-summary.png]


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - THE_DEAN - 12-15-2017 04:43 AM

They are all over YouTube. I think I just engaged with one.

It'll be interesting to see how it goes.


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - EVILYOSHIDA - 12-15-2017 10:11 PM

they do this but prob not as much as people think

once they have people roped into the left right paradigm people pick a side and start fighting each other

the US educational system teaches people to make an argument for ONE SIDE to the exclusion of everything else.

asinine sports like football and baseball reinforce the team sport mentality. people flame each other naturally

people started losing faith bigly in the 2 party system following 8 years of the effete obama.. but got roped back in with Donald Trump

"this time it's different"

NOT


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Redneck - 12-15-2017 10:19 PM

Interesting. Where do I apply?


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 10-05-2020 11:13 PM

tttt

Still relevant for people to know today


MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 10-07-2020 04:46 AM

Happening right now with a lot of COVID related subjects in talkshows and news items. It could take the span over several months to apply this technique effectively

Be aware

What Is the Delphi Method?
The Delphi method is a forecasting process framework based on the results of multiple rounds of questionnaires sent to a panel of experts. Several rounds of questionnaires are sent out to the group of experts, and the anonymous responses are aggregated and shared with the group after each round. The experts are allowed to adjust their answers in subsequent rounds, based on how they interpret the "group response" that has been provided to them. Since multiple rounds of questions are asked and the panel is told what the group thinks as a whole, the Delphi method seeks to reach the correct response through consensus.


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RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - jho - 01-15-2021 12:18 PM

ttt


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - Glimmer - 01-15-2021 09:07 PM

I am noticing lots and loooootttsss of shills on fora and commentsections on what used to be criticalthinker fora and not so mainstream weblogs. All these outlets have dialed down their criticism and turned positive on the covid narrative incl. the justification of actions and our politicians. We have been sold out big time

Everyone should have read this thread atleast once to understand how online influence of the public opinion works


RE: MUST READ: How Government Agents Troll Online to Divide and Confuse - EVILYOSHIDA - 01-15-2021 09:46 PM

the shills are out in full effect these days

they are all over reddit

surprisingly godlikeproductions, although filled with bs, fills a lot less shilly these days. I think ownership maybe changed