I was always taught that two wrongs don’t make a right. I still believe that. But when governments and law enforcement agencies are allowed to lie, cheat, deceive, ruin reputations, and otherwise violate the rights of private citizens, shouldn’t we all be concerned.
It’s hard enough to find the truth on the Internet today… when you search a reputation for something, someone, you get a range of results from glowingly good to insidiously evil – and this is true whether you google Ford, or Microsoft or Adobe, or tens of thousands of other companies, individuals, Web sites, and more. The internet is full of misinformation and it is hard enough for the average person to find the gems amid the detritus.
It would seem to me that the last thing we need is governments and law enforcement agencies flooding the Internet with misleading, false, harmful, lies in order to ferret out a few criminals from the majority of law-abiding citizens. And what does this have to do with “national security”. If we continue to lose our freedoms at the rate we’re losing them, then we’ll all be living in a country none of us will be very comfortable living in.
Where does it end? When do we stand up and say “enough is enough’. Whether or not the information Snowden leaked makes him a traitor or a hero, each of us has to decide. But we all, I think, can agree that our individual liberties are being encroached upon by governments and law enforcement agencies using cutting edge technology to manipulate the Internet and ultimately those who use it.
I think most of you will find the following article interesting and very disturbing. What do you think? Do two wrongs make a right? Do you think this kind of activity is a bit over-the-top?
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.
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:…