PDA

View Full Version : Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media



Junon
03-25-2011, 03:11 PM
Salaam

Probably already know this but this is finally getttin out into the mainstream

Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda




The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: "The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US."

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom's contract requires for each controller the provision of one "virtual private server" located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for "traffic mixing", blending the persona controllers' internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer "excellent cover and powerful deniability".

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate's armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to "counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard". He said the US military's objective was to be "first with the truth".

This month Petraeus's successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV "supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities".

Centcom confirmed that the $2.76m contract was awarded to Ntrepid, a newly formed corporation registered in Los Angeles. It would not disclose whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.

Nobody was available for comment at Ntrepid.

more here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ocial-networks
Reply

Login/Register to hide ads. Scroll down for more posts
Muezzin
03-26-2011, 09:57 PM
Government-sanctioned Internet trolls?

I'm sure that's against the Geneva Convention.
Reply

Ummu Sufyaan
03-27-2011, 12:20 PM
US spy operation that manipulates social media
do people really allow their operations to be spilled in the public eye? I'm lost. and do terrorists usually operate online?
or is this a desperate attempt on behalf of the Guardian for attention? or maybe its a desperate attempt on behalf of the Americans to make it look like they are doing something. again, im lost.
Reply

M.I.A.
03-27-2011, 12:48 PM
its just like the government says, changing hearts and minds...
Reply

Welcome, Guest!
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up
Muezzin
03-27-2011, 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by M.I.A.
its just like the government says, changing hearts and minds...
And... passwords?
Reply

Ramadhan
03-27-2011, 02:29 PM
Have they not learned anything?

The more they try to manipulate opinions, the more it could backfire on them.
Reply

muslimfirst
03-27-2011, 05:33 PM
Now it become obvious that US is behind turmoil in Islamic countries, like Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc.


Google with following "Another article: US training quietly nurtured young Arab democrats"
Reply

muslimfirst
03-27-2011, 05:37 PM
Not only this, they are involve in creating fake videos, fake photos, fake news.
Reply

GuestFellow
03-28-2011, 09:34 PM
That is pathetic.
Reply

LavaDog
03-29-2011, 01:16 AM
This is nothing new they have been doing this since the 1950s with operation mockingbird.
Reply

Ummu Sufyaan
03-29-2011, 11:12 AM
^and the most disturbing thing is, why would you want to manipulate the media? i mean if the crimes of these criminals are so obvious and apparent why employ the tactic of manipulation. i dont get it....
Reply

Muezzin
03-29-2011, 05:22 PM
Originally Posted by Ummu Sufyaan
^and the most disturbing thing is, why would you want to manipulate the media? i mean if the crimes of these criminals are so obvious and apparent why employ the tactic of manipulation. i dont get it....
Propaganda isn't really a new tactic. This is simply another form.
Reply

Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.

When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Sign Up

IslamicBoard

Experience a richer experience on our mobile app!