First for something cool
The Brilliant Cube. Location South Korea.
Brilliant Cube on Vimeo : http://vimeo.com/m/77023605
GCHQ and NSA with the other five eyes partners will stop at nothing to ruin your reputation
Besides from the NSA and GCHQ and five eyes other partners manipulating the cryptographic standards of the Internet so they can spy on you more readily…. This is by far the most disturbing development to date. The intelligence agencies will use as many means as they can to discredit you and ruin your reputation as they can without any finding of guilt or even being charged in any court of law.
Machines of loving grace
If you do not think the Snowden revelations impact you or you are immune from them you are vastly misguided or delusional. We are at the mercy of technology as it is right now. We live in many ways smack in the center of 1984. We live in a global police state. The ideas of freedom and democracy are illusions. In a very short period of time computers and machines will be more intelligent and more able than humanity. We are playing God in many ways…. We could be designing the very technology that ends up enslaving us. I posted two days ago on this blog about Google buying up artificial intelligence and machine learning companies left and right. It has been said Google is working on the “Manhattan project of Artificial intelligence “. The man in charge of the project thinks by 2040 we will be inferior to machines in almost every way. We live in scary times. Technology in many respects controls us and we are beholden to it now. We have a bleak outlook if the Govts are actively trying to undermine us at every turn. If Govts feel we are guilty before being charged with any crimes. If Technology will be the alter we all worship at. Where is the outrage at what Snowden has disclosed? We are more interested in Miley Cyrus twerking than the Govt spying on every detail of our lives. We care more about who gets cut off Americas Got Talent then we do about the fact out Constitution is being shredded before our very eyes. We care more about the New version of the IPhone or Samsung Galaxy 5 then we do about the very programs that are spying on you this very second. Sigh….
Wow. My mind is blown by this article. In case you were not aware Glenn Greenwald has started a new website with other like minded journalists called “The Intercept”. He has broken a few major stories in the last few weeks.
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.
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:
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.