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Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:09 AM

The government figured out sockpuppet managment but not "persona management".

Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention Yurbud!


...

As I also mentioned yesterday, in some of the emails, HBGary people are talking about creating "personas", what we would call sockpuppets. This is not new. PR firms have been using fake "people" to promote products and other things for a while now, both online and even in bars and coffee houses.

But for a defense contractor with ties to the federal government, Hunton & Williams, DOD, NSA, and the CIA - whose enemies are labor unions, progressive organizations, journalists, and progressive bloggers, a persona apparently goes far beyond creating a mere sockpuppet.

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HBGary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated "persona management" software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

Persona management entails not just the deconfliction of persona artifacts such as names, email addresses, landing pages, and associated content. It also requires providing the human actors technology that takes the decision process out of the loop when using a specific persona. For this purpose we custom developed either virtual machines or thumb drives for each persona. This allowed the human actor to open a virtual machine or thumb drive with an associated persona and have all the appropriate email accounts, associations, web pages, social media accounts, etc. pre-established and configured with visual cues to remind the actor which persona he/she is using so as not to accidentally cross-contaminate personas during use.

And all of this is for the purposes of infiltration, data mining, and (here's the one that really worries me) ganging up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise "real" people to smear enemies and distort the truth.

This is an excerpt from one of the Word Documents, which was sent as an attachment by Aaron Barr, CEO of HBGary's Federal subsidiary, to several of his colleagues to present to clients:

To build this capability we will create a set of personas on twitter,‭ ‬blogs,‭ ‬forums,‭ ‬buzz,‭ ‬and myspace under created names that fit the profile‭ (‬satellitejockey,‭ ‬hack3rman,‭ ‬etc‭ )‬.‭ ‬These accounts are maintained and updated automatically through RSS feeds,‭ ‬retweets,‭ ‬and linking together social media commenting between platforms.‭ ‬With a pool of these accounts to choose from,‭ ‬once you have a real name persona you create a Facebook and LinkedIn account using the given name,‭ ‬lock those accounts down and link these accounts to a selected‭ ‬#‭ ‬of previously created social media accounts,‭ ‬automatically pre-aging the real accounts.


Yes!!! That's how democracy and the first amendment are supposed to work.


....

... And ... this is just one little company of assholes.

...
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All

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Reply The government figured out sockpuppet managment but not "persona management". (Original post)
Catherina Jul 2013 OP
Laelth Jul 2013 #1
Catherina Jul 2013 #2
Starry Messenger Jul 2013 #3
hootinholler Jul 2013 #4
Catherina Jul 2013 #5
hootinholler Jul 2013 #10
sabrina 1 Jul 2013 #263
hootinholler Jul 2013 #273
backwoodsbob Jul 2013 #18
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Capt. Obvious Jul 2013 #251
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xiamiam Jul 2013 #196
Catherina Jul 2013 #236
PowerToThePeople Jul 2013 #42
Catherina Jul 2013 #59
LuvNewcastle Jul 2013 #96
Catherina Jul 2013 #99
xiamiam Jul 2013 #199
backscatter712 Jul 2013 #192
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Skittles Jul 2013 #213
leveymg Jul 2013 #6
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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:20 AM

1. k&r for exposure. This is very important. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:23 AM

2. Thanks. The credit goes to Yurbud. It is very very important.

for his (or her) post here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3357581

So now, anyone wondering why certain characters seem intelligent one day and downright cartoonish the next, or when they're overwhelmed with s many little fires to put out, now you know why.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:28 AM

3. k&r

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:28 AM

4. Who are the they you refer to? Ah you fixed it!

Persona management is an insidious tool in propagandizing the nation.

Did I recently hear that psy-ops are now allowed to be used by the government on the US public?

There are enough private firms using it and they are hiring top people to implement it.

The money quote:
I have rummaged through the leaked email, some of which contain resumes for employees there. These guys are recruiting people with incredibly advanced skills from many different agencies and top universities like MIT.

HBGary and its subsidiary, HBGary Federal, as well as Berinco and Palantir, employed a lot of extremely qualified people with backgrounds in the NSA and ATT and other major organizations/corporations. These guys are pros.

Aaron Barr may be a mockery to Anonymous for running his mouth off. As he should be. But he's not an idiot and he wasn't the one who gave out the company's keys to a 16 yo girl.

I wanted to make this clear because it is in the interests of government and propagandists, and anyone else who wants this story to go away to try and blow all this off as one little company who wrote a proposal no one even read and who isn't even competent enough to protect its own servers so no one should pay any attention at all to what they were up to.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:38 AM

5. I'm in no position to list names but I know my ignore list here covers some of them

Though I beg to quibble with you about your term "top people". They're too transparent to be "top people". If they're "top people", our fight is easier than we first thought.

You can spot them even more easily on twitter. They all roll out with the exact same stupid tweet and link at the exact same moment, 20-so of them in a row lol. Then when you look at their profiles, they're all following each other and backing each other up lol.

Their whole implementation is so embarrassing that I hope we start charging them for it one day instead of paying for it with our tax dollars.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:57 AM

10. Top People is the author's term

Which I agree with. He refers not to the personas managed, but to the developers of the systems behind them.

Consider that this technology is just coming out of infancy and is already quite sophisticated in that local detail or 'flair' assigned to personas (including colloquialisms, locations etc) are coherent. When the capability to express opinion becomes a deterministic rule set, which is the next obvious step, detection will become difficult at best.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:24 PM

263. I'm not sure about it becoming more difficult to recognize them. Not to disagree totally as you

could be right. But issues are how I judge who is a phony and who is not. There are specific issues that are the reason why many of us are Democrats. For me, I have no interest in the opinions of people who dismiss torture eg, or try to explain or excuse it. Or anyone who tries to appear 'reasonable' while defending Bush policies eg.

And a dead giveaway for me, are those who are disdainful of the 'left' who use words like 'extreme left' about people who are obviously main stream democrats.

I don't know how they can hide their positions on issues for very long. If they do, then what is the point of their 'work'?

But they will never influence true Democrats to abandon their opposition to policies that are clearly wrong and dangerous.

Maybe they should try arguing for their 'cause' instead. But they mostly can't, it's hard to defend the indefensible.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #263)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:52 PM

273. The usual suspects aren't these sorts of personas

I believe they are real people with their own motivations.

I suspect the managed ones would do a lot of drive by posts

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Response to Catherina (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:25 AM

18. want me to name the obvious ones?

 

I don't really post here anymore in large part because of them.

I'll name the top three for you.If I get banned no loss..I quit this bullshit and just happened to see your post looking around

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:26 AM

19. fuck it

 

the obvious ones are Prosense..Flamingdem..and Graham4Anything

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:40 AM

28. G4A is gone.

I suspect they are posting as a zombie now.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #28)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:30 PM

87. G4A is gone?

 

I thought topics were staying more focused lately.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #87)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:43 PM

98. Why yes, he is

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=profile&uid=280518&sub=trans

Something happened in the hosts forum that was the last straw.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #98)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:02 PM

282. Do tell.

 

What happened? Transparency and all...

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Response to East Coast Pirate (Reply #282)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:07 PM

283. No clue, I'm not a host.

Apparently it was over something in the hosts forum.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:34 PM

156. "I have in my hands a LIST of ...."

... "the authoritarian sock puppets."

The irony is just too hilarious to go unmentioned.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #156)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:10 PM

201. LOL! nt

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #156)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:00 AM

233. And SHOCKINGLY, 3-3 verdict to leave it.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #233)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:13 AM

239. I'd vote leave it ... A post that stupid ...

... should stand as a monument for all to admire and reflect on.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:46 PM

189. You shouldn't be picking names at randome.

It impedes their struggle for progress!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #189)


Response to backscatter712 (Reply #189)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:00 PM

197. not gonna happen but deserves a duzy..nt

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #189)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 04:26 PM

257. I was thinkingabout doing the same thing,

 

but I was afraid I would be run out of town on a railsback.

Maybe allineediscoffee, and I'll forget it.

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Response to OnyxCollie (Reply #257)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 04:44 PM

289. !!!!!

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #189)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 11:32 PM

296. Bing.

 

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:09 PM

220. LOL

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:41 AM

246. You forgot.

 

Rondome Joshing and Crying looks like Dithering.

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:10 AM

251. Ding!

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:47 PM

256. I thought you left.

backwoodsbob (5,095 posts)

this will be my last post on DU [View all]

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Kali (a host of the The DU Lounge forum).
I love all you guys who get how much I love my doggies.I've spent the last 15 years doing what I do and I am PROUD of my work with PAWS and the ASPCA for the last 15 years.I'm gonna miss you guys.Between Junior and Bengie and Katie and Charley and all the love I have seen for Big bear and Little Bear and Princess..and King..All The love I have shared with all of you ...and then...the budster..God I miss the Budster..GOD DAMN I miss my Budster.

It's not all about winning...it's about being true to yourself.....and I cant be true to myself if I mindlessly follow the party line.

Iyt's time to fight and I hope someone grabs it by the horns

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1018&pid=436593

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #18)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:58 PM

196. welcome back..du is swinging back

I left for awhile also.. its not perfect but it never was..at least the masks and gloves are off

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:38 AM

236. I can't see any of them lol.

Not unless I have the misfortune of forgetting to log in before reading a thread but then I remember very quickly and log in lol. Or if someone PMs me a link and an ignored post just leaps out. I learned my lesson lol, never ever read this place without the ignore filter.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #5)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:59 AM

42. The issue is, they are blocked on an individual basis

 

So, you do not see or hear them but a new member would. I think the site owners need better mechanisms of rooting out and blocking the fake accounts. Do you report these accounts prior to blocking them?

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Response to PowerToThePeople (Reply #42)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:23 AM

59. Report them? The most prolific ones were protected for years

with increased requests for *civility* as opposed to demolishing their propaganda. I don't blame the site owners at all and I think they did a great thing when they implemented the jury system to redress those imbalances and make DU more reflective of reality (this is where the hysterical shrieks of "DU doesn't reflect the real world" come in).

I don't report them because MIRT has been very good at sniffing out the newer accounts without my help. The older accounts are a different matters. Especially the ones we haven't seen for years but then mysteriously show up slyly blasting DU's intransigence to roll over for the corporate state and get 250+ recs before they go on to something as totally transparent as political boycotts, that work to the advantage of the State Department's latest talking point, where they get about 20 recs lol.

I think the site owners are doing a great job walking that fine line of respecting free speech that doesn't contrast with their mission statement and have enough headaches (based on all the shrieking in "Ask The Administrators", but our definitions of "troll" aren't the same, nor is our tolerance. Theirs is a lot greater.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #59)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:40 PM

96. I also think the jury system was an improvement.

Average DUers are pretty good at sniffing out bullshit and recognizing that a lot of the complaints are silly. I always felt that the mods' hands were tied too much. I've seen a lot of complaints about the jury system, but it's usually people who have an agenda and don't like to see dissent.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #96)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:45 PM

99. I noticed that too. Along with the discontent of the old protected class

that keeps saying their character is being attacked when the truth is it's their lies and slimy behavior that's being attacked.

People who go from site to site, from thread to thread, posting their same old recycled bullshit and snarky insults can't stand to be unmasked. Good lol.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #99)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:04 PM

199. almost every jury i've served on is someone complaining about something ridiculous

I think it probably drove the admins nuts. Silly alerts by grown ups on a discussion forum. Only a few have been worthy of the alert.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #59)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:51 PM

192. You notice how they're the ones who wail the loudest about hurt feelings?

The sockpuppet army shamelessly works the refs here, wailing like banshees every time they're called out about how hurtful people are to them, and how they're in tears because someone chewed their ass for trolling, and how "troll-hunters make DU suck", and how they're the civil ones, and so on.

I've seen some Oscar-winning dramatic performances.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #192)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:51 PM

205. I'm particularly impressed when they

seamlessly go from posting huge diatribes about how liberals critical of the president are really conservatives being paid by right wing think tanks to stir up shit against Obama to screaming and rending their garments because someone accused them of being paid to post.

That or going from posting threads (rightly) deriding conspiracy theories to supporting threads with the most crazy-as-shit conspiracies full of the more insane logic leaps and improbable Rube Goldberg mechanisms than moon landing denial and Space Lizards rolled into one.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #205)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 07:46 PM

213. you have a way with words, JoeyT!!!

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:39 AM

6. Indicators of persona management would be rapid climbs in post counts and clustering by a group

of posters that focuses closely, but not exclusively, on certain issues. It's also an indication of the entry of a team of trolls and there are some long-term "professional posters" who seem to work round-the-clock. We've seen it here - it's unmistakable. You and I know who they are.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:48 AM

9. And they only have circular links to back up their talking points

Example

"This was already debunked" + link to an old post of yours, or a gazillion blue links, that everyone laughed at + 4 more everyone ignored.

or

"I'm a criminal defense attorney" with no clients so I can spend all day on the internet stalking people. LMAO!

Yeah, we all know who they are and thankfully the circle of anyone paying any attention to their sterile talking points is shrinking.

Just something "I noticed" too with great love to Sabrina who's never been afraid to confront people some of us have no patience for. Her latest, quite brilliant example is "Something I Noticed regarding the Difference Between Democrats and Republicans"

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Response to Catherina (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:24 AM

61. there's a reason for managed personas to use managed links...

that allows them to track and measure effectiveness. a "click-thru" is a step above a page view, and if the sock owns the source of the link they can capture who has interest in their talking point and target them for more engagement.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

90. Ah yes, the blind post of links.

 

Give the vaguest of information so you have to go the link.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:49 PM

101. Oh haha lol. I never thought of that but it makes perfect sense.

Of course. How else to prove your effectiveness for a bonus? I see it happen on twitter a lot. About 15 yahoos show up at the same time with the same tweet and same link. It's so obvious that everyone just blocks them.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #61)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:42 PM

202. This is very interesting.

I had thought only of the obvious reason,

(Post 327 here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023288332#post327),

but what you write here makes a lot of sense.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:57 PM

207. They also have maps!

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Response to leveymg (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:10 AM

14. I would say it depends

Those are certainly indicators of hasty attacks by groups, but not direct evidence of persona management systems in action.

I would love to be in a position to quit my day job and study this exclusively. The problem space cuts across a variety of fields: PoliSci, CS, Psyc, and AI. These are not typical bots written by script kiddies.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:32 AM

21. DU is the stuff of a thousand doctoral dissertations.

All the more fascinating for the fact that Google picks much of it up and assigns a high rank-order to DU content shows how important it actually is. I've poked around with Google Analytics and some other readily available data tools. I too wish I had more time to really seriously study this place. It helps that I am fond of many of the people here, and am never tired of watching DU work as a crowd-sourced parsing engine of public opinion and policy choices.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #21)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:42 AM

31. Well I would need to get a degree of some sort

Actually a couple, to be able to work on a PHD

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Response to leveymg (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:47 AM

35. That much was already happening after the 2004 election

I spent time tracking some of them (using the old DU search function, which made it easy), just to reassure myself I wasn't imagining things. They'd show up, post 24/7 for a week -- mostly using one-line posts in minor forums -- to get their post count over 1000, and then start depositing disinfo.

The main objective seemed to be muddying the waters over questions of election fraud. There were entire threads of these puppets just agreeing with one another and using standard DU phrases like "good catch" to shore up their distortions and red herrings.

Perhaps the worst effect was that they drew some sincere posters into agreeing with them. And then self-appointed vigilantes sprang up to accuse people of being infiltrators -- and sometimes they'd accuse the sincere posters as well, and it got very nasty. This is why there are rules against that sort of thing now.

It's still a puzzle where the infiltrators came from -- whether they were paid professionals or just right-wingers working in tag teams like the gang that were found to be targeting digg in 2010. (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/08/06/886069/-Right-Wing-Extremist-Digg-YouTube-Trolls-Outed) However it started out, theough, the HBGary material suggests that the idea has been taken up in a serious way on the professional level.

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Response to starroute (Reply #35)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:01 AM

45. We saw a crew of professional crisis managers here after the Fukushima disaster.

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:30 PM - Edit history (1)

Some of them were actually well-informed with scientific training working in the nuclear industry. It was fascinating to watch their responses and eventual disappearance after many of their primary claims were disproven by a series of events they said were impossible.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:20 PM

119. And they will not be able to answer sophisticated questions.

They will fail the Turing test, so to speak, if you attempt a real conversation.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #119)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:27 PM

122. omg -- that's such a good analogy.

instead of even attempting an answer they might fall back on:

strawmanning
ad hominem
deflection
links! often to material that has no bearing on the issue.
ridicule
cat photos


actually, that last one is just wishful thinking.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #122)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:35 PM

127. An example of the idea:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/101669707

I claim nothing in particular about the poster in question, but the idea should be clear. Ask about what they said. You may get an answer, but it will not address what YOU said; it will throw another red herring out, or some red meat liberal talking points.

And generally they will not make sense either, they cannot parse meaning in vernacular, so have to use canned responses and paste-ups.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #127)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:27 PM

151. That one made no sense.

Glad you are on the job.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #151)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:30 PM

152. Thanks. I used to like to wallow in this stuff.

Another:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=550695

But don't yell, you can never be quite sure.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #152)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:46 PM

160. Dang.

I have known for a long time that this was an organized effort. It's a universal organized effort across the intrawebs.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #160)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:48 PM

161. It is not at all new, actually. Ramped up a bit. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #152)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:09 PM

169. That's a classic

WTF is "natural coalition in our party" if not based on principle? This is where the apologists trip up and have no rope to grab.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #169)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:21 PM

172. Ordinary people talk just like that. So does the media, all the time.

You have to build up some context to be confident.

It's the semantic content that cannot be parsed, particularly idiomatic forms and all the various types of ambiguity and sarcasm that humans handle well. So you have to coherently ask them to be coherent and see if they can. And don't yell, it muddies the water.

If they won't answer your questions responsively and keep spewing out word salad, there is certainly no need to continue.

Give them a jabberwocky.

I'm almost reluctant to mention it, it could cause giant flame wars. But I am fed up with the constant barrage of whining and empty noise.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #172)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:42 PM

186. I'll remember your advice and astute observations

but it's going to be for a slow day. I have little patience for the word salads and horizontal attacks. It's hard enough to keep up with important posts here without wasting time on those so I use the ignore list generously, just to save time.

How often has that jabberwocky trick worked? The idea of doing that is fascinating.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #186)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:50 PM

191. It's not a trick, it's a test. An ersatz Turing test.

I do it when I'm bored or someone gets annoying, or I want to make them go somewhere else. You're just asking them to explain themselves, right?

It will annoy the hell of of some people too. Experienced web people will respond or move on.

Even if you are wrong, you have definitely established that they cannot or will not respond to what you say.

The downside is you have to actually try to understand the babble.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #186)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:08 PM

200. The thing to notice is none of my questions got a responsive answer.

That is the key.

And I notice it all comes in these neat little blocks of text, a list of independent paragraphs, with unrelated points, and the same world salad.

One of the things also is the ambiguity of what they say, so you have nothing specific to refute, that is why the word salad. An unparseable melange of loaded language.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #152)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 11:37 PM

298. Thank you for that.

I now understand the Turning test.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #127)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:33 PM

154. "canned responses and paste-ups" is the first giveaway.

Not making any sense, not addressing the topic, nails it.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #154)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:36 PM

158. Please see the second link I posted (#152). nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #127)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 06:15 PM

211. Wow ...

...that was blatant.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #211)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:22 AM

240. Blatant is what is easy and safe to do. Subtle is what they can't do.

Intelligent is what they can't do. It takes a much higher quality troll to get by in academic circles that on some web message board too. It's very noisy here, that's useful camoflage. Flame wars are easy, dialog is not.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #119)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:33 PM

181. please, tell me more

about this how they will not be able to answer sophisticated questions.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #119)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:40 PM

185. And typos will be a problem, missing spaces, misspellings, webisms, mispelled webisms , slang ..

You would figure out that "Isaid" means "I said". A very smart computer might get that one too, but a dumb scripted implementaion like this would call for, will not, too slow.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #119)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:46 PM

304. That is why certain memes are so valuable to them and are so often employed

By the trolls. "Conspiracy theorist" and what not. That one has come up with regards to the stolen election of 2000, 2004, and many other topics that the 25 cent per post poster is not going to spend time answering a complex question (possibly as they can't think that clearly but also because why would they spend a half hour on some issue they only get that 25 cents for?)

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #304)

Tue Jun 3, 2014, 07:46 AM

305. Yes, ambiguity in all its forms is rejected, it's black-n-white all the way.

And the more negative the emotions aroused the better.

Or as I like to say: "People who try to make you angry or afraid are not your friends."

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Response to leveymg (Reply #6)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:33 PM

265. A prominent poster who was also a mod once admonished me for

pointing out a tag team of right-wingers. All I said was that I was being tag teamed, and the long-time mod sent a PM saying essentially that I was cruising for trouble.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #265)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:56 PM

271. We've all had our encounters with packs of feral cats. ;-)

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:40 AM

7. Yes, my apologies, I post so quickly that sometimes it takes me a while to see something is unclear

Thank you for clarifying and adding that important information.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:11 AM

15. No worries.

Luv ya!

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #15)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:43 AM

33. It's mutual, and based solely on rock steady principles. The stuff of lasting relationships

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:45 AM

72. Who are they?

"...To the extent that the propaganda technique known as "Bandwagon" is an effective form of persuasion, which it definitely is, the ability for a few people to infiltrate a blog or social media site and appear to be many people, all taking one position in a debate, all agreeing, for example, that so and so is not credible, or a crook, is an incredibly powerful weapon.

How many times have you seen a diary get posted that reports some revelatory yet unfavorable tidbit about someone [font size=3]only to see a swarm of commenters arrive who hijack the thread, distract with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense, start throwing unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks to where, before you know it, everyone's pretty much forgotten what the diary said in the first place."[/font]

<excerpt from linked article>


On DU,
they will try to get in the first response to an OP, usually an Ad Hominem attack on the OP,
which is then followed by a tag team of irrelevant one line agreements or additional Ad Hominems.
I've seen many threads where I had to scroll down many replies to find an actual response to the content of an OP.

And it DOES seem to happen in "swarms". They are usually ALL here at the same time and make posting here a nightmare,
or they are ALL "off", and posting is normal.

Naturally, this only happens to posts that OPPOSE Government Authority,
or support Liberal/Progressive "change".







You will know them by their [font size=3]WORKS.[/font]

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #72)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:39 PM

94. "the first response to an OP" lol! I noticed. They always showup in swarms too

It's never 1 person asking an intelligent question, just a bunch of dumb regurgitated shit, circular blue links and ROFL smilies. That sort of thing may pass as " discussion" or "civility" in some circles but not mine. Oh no ma'am.

Yes indeed. You will know them by their WORKS.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #94)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:05 PM

219. Damn, Catherina! I noticed this, too, but I never thought it would be something so sneaky.

And they're the same people, over and over again. The same "swarm."

This really pisses me off.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #94)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:08 AM

247. But how do they always manage to be first?

That's something I've wondered about in the past. It's one thing when someone shows up maybe 20 or 30 minutes along to try to disrupt an active thread by suggesting it's pointless and a waste of time. But how would you manage to regularly get in first, virtually the moment a thread is started?

It seems to suggest either a very high level of monitoring or some kind of automated process for flagging certain keywords. Either way, those first posts are not just random trolls in their mothers' basements looking for lefties to annoy. It's got to be more professionally organized.

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Response to starroute (Reply #247)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:14 AM

299. I have thought about the same questions myself.

As I am sure others have.

A person puts up a topic, and 45 seconds later, the trolling and the disdainful remarks set in.

Maybe certain userid's are noticed by the trolls, and there is a way to implement a quick alert and attack on those userids?.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #94)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:50 PM

280. ROFL smilies are the best!

 



What do you do for a living again? I'm always curious with people who delve DEEP into conspiracy theories

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #72)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:20 PM

120. Sockpuppets "...hijack the thread, distract with a bunch of irrelevant nonsense..."

"...start throwing unsubstantiated accusations and ad hominem attacks to where, before you know it, everyone's pretty much forgotten what the diary said in the first place."

Sigh. So predictable. Great to see it laid out and explained.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #72)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:39 PM

131. Yes! I just came from one such thread. They disrupt the thread so no

meaningful discussion can occur. It is so frustrating.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #131)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:17 PM

146. Well you could do what I do and just put them all on ignore

What way they just have each other to talk with and it's painfully obvious what their agenda is.

I have hundreds, literally hundreds, on ignore and it makes DU an intelligent forum again.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #72)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:48 PM

162. +1

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #72)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:11 PM

215. That is flat out not true. I have seen so many posts favorable to Obama that are then swarmed by

 

People who seem to think any continued positive thoughts about our president must be stamped out immediately. It's pretty gross to see. Quit acting like this is one-sided, because it is not.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #215)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:20 PM

224. You are right PW

Sure sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #215)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:50 PM

229. You are right, there are two sides. The one side refuses to discuss issues but only personalities.

 

They will defend the President even if his double-tap drone strikes kill innocent children. Unabashed adulation is all they got. No substance.

The other side discusses issues like the TPP, XL Pipeline, the Patriot Act, the FISA Law, indefinite detention, the NSA, etc.

Do you think that double tap drone strikes are war crimes?

Who is collecting data on Americans? Who do they provide it to?

Will the TPP end the sovereignty of the USofA in favor of international corporate control?

If Obama care was the first step, who is working on the second step?

Are Wall Street criminals immune from prosecution under Obama?

Why does this Admin target medical marijuana patients?

Should we try to reestablish Glass-Steagall?

There are lots of issues to discuss. I never see the "Group" enter these discussions. But if a whistle-blower speaks out, look out.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #215)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 04:52 PM

258. PLONK.

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Response to sibelian (Reply #258)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 04:53 PM

259. what the plonk is PLONK?

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #259)


Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #259)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:55 PM

270. That's you getting dropped onto the iggy list

You have been shunnnned.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #259)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 06:01 PM

272. That's either you being removed from the echo chamber...

 

...or someone who is badly in need of more fiber!
[hr][font color="blue"][center]You should never stop having childhood dreams.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #272)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 08:46 PM

274. lol...nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

8. Jun 22, 2010 -- the date of the HB Gary email. might be interesting to examine

questionable personas that appeared around that time. i mean, if there's a site that you think could be affected by these sorts of tactics.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:04 AM

12. Haha lol. It would be interesting indeed

and no, I just threw that out there, I have no particular site in mind because that "just one little company of assholes" is such a small part of what's all over the net. The problem for them is that they're only talking to each other, hence all their accelerated entreaties for *civility* so they can spread their poison without being laughed at and put in their place.

Daily Kos has finally started throwing them out and openly, officially, signing on to things like activists sites supporting Ed Snowden to make it clear they get the message. "Battle lines are being drawn"

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Response to Catherina (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:15 AM

17. so glad Kos is finally getting it.

on the OP and my inelegant comment -- this stuff is quantifiable. just looking at the stats of a well traveled forum to find spikes in membership would be interesting -- if you could then weight the participation of those members in terms of clustering activity.

getting my morning geek on.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:00 PM

106. I would love to quit my day job

To do that sort of analysis and work on recognition tech. It's a very interesting problem space.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:55 PM

194. I am an unemployed programmer

with a background in data analysis (mostly mitochondrial DNA analysis of marine species populations). I find this idea fascinating.

So you think there would be clusters of personas joining at the same time? I can see that there might be some of that, not necessarily though. I read the DK story on the HB Gary emails, and some of the backlinks, and it looks like there is some pretty sophisticated spoofing tech that we're up against. There might be clusters of persona joining at the same time, but they could pretty easily have them join at different times.

Also it looked to me like they have actual humans "managing" these persona, while looking at an entirely fake virtual machine that contextualizes the persona for them, so they think they're in Chicago (shows local weather) or wherever, for example, and it shows their "personal info" and posting history to the manager. In this case an actual interaction with that persona manager should be entirely possible, and I don't see how they would appear much different to us than a real poster, maybe except they wouldn't devote a lot of time to a single conversation (though they might, and they would be capable of it). The persona manager has a bunch of puppets going at once, but the virtual environment from the persona's VM helps them stay in character, so they can be many people at once.

Clustering activity seems to me to be an excellent tool for finding them, since their puppets would tend to be posting about certain things, probably supporting each others' posts. Of course there is natural clustering activity among people who hold similar beliefs and are drawn to click on certain types of OPs. You'd have to find some way to tease out the natural affinity from the swarms of sock puppets.

Any other ideas on how to unmask these things? Seems like a worthwhile thing to kick around.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:01 AM

11. K&R. Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism.



And the propaganda machine has become ubiquitous and creepily interactive.

Corporate authoritarians have deep pockets and access to the very best in technology.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:07 AM

13. All of it with our money as we lose our homes and jobs

How long do they think they can keep this up? Their little bag of tricks isn't fooling enough people anymore.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:46 AM

73. If investigative journalists were not being surveilled and threatened with felonies,

we might actually have a chance at learning more about the propaganda machine and how it operates.

In rising authoritarian states, the propaganda machine inevitably takes the place of the journalism that is criminalized and gradually eliminated.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #73)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:36 PM

159. And that is what we are watching happen

at an accelerated pace.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:33 AM

22. Quite right

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:49 AM

36. Excellent insight: "Propaganda *always* accompanies the rise of authoritarianism."

K&R - Excellent OP from Catherina.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:39 AM

70. Deception accompanies the rise of authoritarianism.

And that's the problem with the establishment's propaganda... its increasingly intended to deceive.

Propaganda is simply any corpus of publication/communication in support of some goal: For instance, getting kids to brush their teeth more, eating healthier, becoming devoted to a brand, better self-image through shopping, or invading a non-threatening country. Propaganda can be straightforward & informative, outright lies, 'false-flag' or some mixture of those.

If you have a worthwhile cause then don't be afraid of using propaganda techniques to help spread the truth. And don't shrink if someone accuses you of propaganda, either. The argument over global warming is a propaganda war fought from both sides; but one side's propaganda can be traced to a large and growing body of scientific knowledge.

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Response to cprise (Reply #70)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:54 AM

74. +1 "the establishment's propaganda... its increasingly intended to deceive."

In this country we have always marinated in *corporate* propaganda, but more and more we are fed a brazenly manufactured, Orwellian storyline that has no resemblance whatsoever to actual reality.

2 + 2 = 5

President Obama: "If I’m for it, then they’ve got to be against it."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023358030

Mass spying on Americans and domestic drones? Both parties support it.
Militarized police and assaults on protesters? Both parties support it.
Indefinite detention? Both parties support it.
Drone wars and kill lists? Both parties support it?
Austerity for the masses? Both parties support it.
Cutting social safety nets? Both parties support it.
Corporatists in the cabinet? Both parties support it.
Corporate education policy? Both parties support it.
Bank bailouts? Both parties support it.
Ignoring the trillions stashed overseas? Both parties support it.
Trans-Pacific Job/Wage Killing Secret Agreement? Both parties support it.
Drilling and fracking? Both parties support it.
Wars on medical marijuana instead of corrupt banks?
Deregulation of the food industry? Both parties support it.
GMO's? Both parties support it.
Targeting of journalists and whistleblowers? Both parties support it.
Private prisons replacing public prisons? Both parties support it.
Unions? Both parties view them with contempt.

What Orwellian BULLSHIT.

The record shows aggressive, proactive pursuit of a corporate agenda.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3202395




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Response to woo me with science (Reply #74)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:16 PM

221. There is only ONE party now, WMWS. The corporate party.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:32 PM

180. we used to have words for those who catapaulted the propaganda

It's not a very honorable pastime or vocation to sell out one's brothers and sisters through disinformation and disruption.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #180)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:11 AM

244. +1 It's a sad comment on our species

that every authoritarian government in history has easily found people willing to do this.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:14 AM

16. I've noticed our own little DU gets a veritable little chorus of

 

newbies every time we have a new military adventure that needs to be sold.

Amazingly enough, they just happen to be from the region in question and have a treasure trove of video, blogs and links.

Funny how that works.

Updated to fix the word salad.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:28 AM

20. You noticed that too?

 

We saw it with the NSA saga too.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

23. sometimes it's not newbies...Brandon Darby strategy

the fake activist and FBI/teaparty cohort is doing a workshop in August called:

Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Importance of Relationships (Grassroots Activism Session)
Featuring Brandon Darby & Evan Feinberg (Generation Opportunity)

ignore for a moment the diamond-dense irony of Brandon Darby teaching relationship-building and focus on the stated objective: dig your well before you're thirsty.

when i notice posters being particularly driven on a RW/authoritarian subject it's often the case that their memberships begin a year or two prior to the high-profile activity. yes, it feels like we see this here, but i think you really see it on mass media like NPR, HuffPo and other mega-comment forums.

as a PR counselor, if I were coaching clients on a long-term guerrilla/"street-team" strategy for "brand" management, I'd suggest the very same thing: accrue your assets, build relationships, and let the personas fly under the radar until they're needed. and maybe they've got 10 that focus on the client's core service...let's say it's fossil fuels. they might create a total of 100 personas and task them with different subjects, and different engagement strategies. the goal would be to have enough personas that you'd be able to attack an idea from different levels: reasoned argument through ad hominem trolling. they could lose the most disruptive personas (pawns, if this were chess), and keep their highest value personas (knights, bishops, queens) for long-term.



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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

38. Asshole sleeper cells, in other words. Food for thought. n/t

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #38)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:06 AM

49. +1

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #38)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:54 PM

164. +2

Funny.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:00 AM

44. Darby's pal Lee Stranaham has admitted to something similar

Darby and Stranahan have engaged in several ventures together, including being jointly responsible for the anti-Occupy smear film "Occupy Unmasked." Here's something Stranahan wrote at one of the Breitbart websites, whining about how totalitarian it was that a DU jury had deleted his sock puppet's post defending Darby. Going by the bit I bolded, it seems like he'd had the DU account for several years before using it -- so perhaps Darby had learned from the incident and is now advising trolls to build up their personas before actually putting them to use.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/02/21/democratic-undergrounds-hides-occupy-assaults-smears-brandon-darby

21 Feb 2012

The popular liberal website Democratic Underground had a vicious, factually inaccurate post about Bigs contributor Brandon Darby and our work on the story of assaults at Occupy. I decided to correct these errors and my post was promptly banned by a "jury" at Democratic Underground and hidden from view; another clear example of the constant liberal censorship and how the entire left seems intent on covering up assaults at Occupy.

The original thread started Saturday was entitled Why are FBI agent provocateurs taunting Occupy? was started by a user named FarLeftFist, who wrote: "A little background: Brandon was outed as an FBI agent after posing as an Leftist activist in 2008. He threw a number of people in jail as an agent provocateur and now spends his time working for Andrew Breitbart and still works undercover. He spends his time on Twitter along with Andrew Breitbart taunting Leftists and posting smears ALL DAY LONG. Him and Andy also spend alot of time along with Dana Loesch having twitter-wars with Keith Olbermann and others. I have been involved in these back and forths as a twitter user myself. They get nasty, ugly, and even threatening as Darby and Breitbart unleash their moronic henchmen on anyone they choose" . . .

So, I had a Democratic Underground account I started a couple of years ago but haven't used. I decided it was time to post. I said: ". . . And now you attack a guy -- Brandon -- who STOPPED people from using Molotov Cocktails. That's the 'snitching' he did; stopping admitted, convicted liars who wanted to perpatrate violence. Is violence okay if Republicans are your targets? Stop acting like sheep and believing the radical left's lies."

In less than an hour, I relieved the following, telling me that my post was hidden by a "randomly selected jury." The Kafkaesque anonymous cyber tribunal didn't ask me to testify or ask any questions. Such is left wing "justice."

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Response to starroute (Reply #44)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:15 AM

53. GREAT example!! thank you for posting this!!

deconstructing this post, you see some of the hallmarks of managed personas:

-- appeal to authoritarianism: he supposedly did a good thing to stop the bad people (nevermind that he entrapped them); bestowing noble intent on the authoritarian: his snitching served a greater good

-- use of common RW/TP language: "acting like sheep," and "radical left"

-- spelling errors, bad grammar: this is a strategy that email spammers use to appeal to masses (the assumption is that using proper english is a turn-off for the vast majority)

-- shaming: "you attack (poor) Brandon Darby!" when all he was doing was...(entrapping young activists into committing felonies).

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #53)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:35 AM

67. +1000000 n/t

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #53)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:09 PM

143. Here's the thread he was talking about, just for historical reference

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:44 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002327269

Here's the first hidden post, from someone who had become a member just a few minutes earlier and was tombstoned immediately after this, his second post.

sjr2012 This message was hidden by Jury decision. Hide
3. OK

So it is OK to use the sidewalk as a bathroom, it is ok to have sex in open, it is ok to use drugs in plain view, it is ok to destroy public and private property, it is ok to use violence, it is ok (I could go on and on... ) The occupy protestors are Amateurs... never did it that way.. always got results... Occupy Wallstreet = LOSERS

A Jury voted 6-0 to hide this post on Sat Feb 18, 2012, 10:25 PM. Reason: This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See Community Standards.)


And here's the second one, from Stranahan, with an account that he'd created in August 2008. That account was also tombstoned as a result of this thread.

Stranahan This message was hidden by Jury decision. Hide
17. Pathetic is defending rape

Keith Olbermann denied that there were any rapes or sexual asaults at Occupy.

Then he claimed to have 'debunked' the assaults -- and he didn't. In fact, he defended a 14 year old runaway as having 'consensual sex' with a guy in his 20s. He debunked nothing.

And now you attack a guy -- Brandon -- who STOPPED people from using Molotov Cocktails. That's the 'snitching' he did; stopping admitted, convicted liars who wanted to perpatrate violence. Is violence okay if Republicans are your targets?

Stop acting like sheep and believing the radical left's lies.

A Jury voted 5-1 to hide this post on Mon Feb 20, 2012, 02:04 PM. Reason: This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See Community Standards.)


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Response to starroute (Reply #44)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:19 AM

55. "So, I had a Democratic Underground account I started a couple of years ago"

this is exactly what i'm talking about.

managed personas are more often than not created way before they're needed.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #55)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:36 AM

68. This is an example of a manually managed persona

Now consider an automated one, a program that you write a core statement for as input and it 'decorates' (an IT term of art) the statement with local information that is coherent across the history of the account. The same statement can be propagated through many such account filters and it will appear like people across the nation are interested in and hold the same beliefs.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #68)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:13 PM

78. precisely -- and as of this month, there's no law against Pentagon propagandizing Americans!

in reporting on the Smith-Mundt Amendment, the media has focused on Voice of American and Radio Free Europe...but the act covers social media, and proponents have been specifically interested in upping the Pentagon's game on US soil with social media and internet technology.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sns-wp-wp-frgnp-bc-propaganda15-20130715,0,4048254.story

U.S. repeals propaganda ban, spreads government-made news to Americans


By John Hudson, Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy
11:20 p.m. CDT, July 15, 2013

WASHINGTON — For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But this month, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts. So what just happened?

(snip)...the Smith-Mundt Act, a long-standing piece of legislation that has been amended numerous times over the years, perhaps most consequentially by Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, D. In the 70s, Fulbright was no friend of VOA and Radio Free Europe, and moved to restrict them from domestic distribution, saying they "should be given the opportunity to take their rightful place in the graveyard of Cold War relics." Fulbright's amendment to Smith-Mundt was bolstered in 1985 by Nebraska Senator Edward Zorinsky, D, who argued that such "propaganda" should be kept out of America as to distinguish the U.S. "from the Soviet Union where domestic propaganda is a principal government activity."

(snip)

But if anyone needed a reminder of the dangers of domestic propaganda efforts, the past 12 months provided ample reasons. Last year, two USA Today journalists were ensnared in a propaganda campaign after reporting about millions of dollars in back taxes owed by the Pentagon's top propaganda contractor in Afghanistan. Eventually, one of the co-owners of the firm confessed to creating phony websites and Twitter accounts to smear the journalists anonymously.

(snip)


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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #78)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:37 PM

92. Thanks for that link!

I knew I had seen the story here somewhere, but didn't recall the particulars, especially the bolded bits.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #92)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:48 PM

100. this story has REALLY flown under the radar!

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #78)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:10 PM

170. This is one fucked up country.

And they are doing their best to fuck it up even more, every single day. Idiocracy.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #170)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:23 PM

175. that movie is getting way too real.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #78)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 07:46 PM

212. +1

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Response to starroute (Reply #44)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:17 PM

80. I had a post hidden in less than 10 minutes

And the alerter posted to me to gloat about it.
I have long suspected that the jury system is somehow rigged but reading this thread makes me understand how it can be done...and probably is done.

Thank god for the wonderful intelligent and dedicated people here that I love...they are what keeps me here and gives me hope...I only wish I were as savvy as they are.
K&R and for the OP and those who posted great stuff.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #80)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:04 PM

109. Lol, no worries. It happens

Here's my badge of honor. The little troll was banned 2 months later but his friends are still here disrupting except that now they trying to pretend they never knew him after gloating about it. Haha. Kiss my grits. Badge of honor I tell'ya.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #109)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:22 PM

121. I knew it was not just me

I am small fish, because I don't make many OPs that have an impact like you and some of the others here do...they waste their time with me

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Response to zeemike (Reply #121)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:28 PM

123. Hmm, small fish? I beg to differ

You're no small fish. Your posts have a big impact.

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Response to starroute (Reply #44)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:05 PM

168. "Kafkaesque anonymous cyber tribunal." So unfair to the infiltrating right-winger. 8(

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #23)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:37 PM

128. The chess metaphor is excellent, particularly about building expendable personas.

There's a whole branch of game-theory that applies to these on-line strategies, and I bet the larger corporate PR firms and gov't agencies have synthesized it into instruction manuals for their web posting operatives. In fact, I'm quite sure of that.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

24. I'm glad they post here - gives us a handy resource to examine the larger war propaganda machine.

Know thine enemy.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #24)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:38 AM

26. Who are they though?

 

RWs? The NSA itself?

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #26)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

39. Servants of the 1%

Notice what they support- things that make a lot of money or consolidate power in fewer hands, and usually hurt/kill a lot of people in the process. Either that, or fighting back against proposed changes to the status quo that would disrupt that.

There are many tentacles of the Leviathan, and they all need to be protected or expanded.

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Response to Hydra (Reply #39)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

89. As one of my favorite DUers said

You will know them by their deeds.

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #26)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:09 AM

51. There are a number of US funded and industry advocacy/PR groups that have a web presence.

Some of them show up here.

I'm convinced some of the pro-nuclear industry posters after Fukuyama were professionals. Same with the BP-Halliburton Oil Spill. There have been a couple foreign-appearing enthusiasts for the war in Syria. There are a couple self-admitted Israeli military types who make an appearance every now and then. Most of them provide useful information, even if they spin it in ways that can be deceptive to the average reader.

I've also seen some outright disinformation and ratf-cking operations posted here.

Then, there are the RW trolls. Some are quite long-lived. They are an amusing part of this place that keeps things lively.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #51)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:30 AM

64. it's been most obvious with industry-supporting personas...

because no human is going to cheer for more oil spills, nuclear power plants, and fewer FDA regulations.

good point, too, about recognizing that there's value in knowing the talking points of The Managed Ones.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:40 AM

27. The influx is steady, wars or not. And the numbers will keep increasing

until this board looks like Corporate Defense Underground. A very creepy, unnatural pattern is evident.

I wrote about this a while back:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3189367
We are not talking last-century MSM propaganda on TV and radio. We are talking highly targeted and interactive propaganda across the internet, such that people who believe they are merely having political discussions with others online are immediately and relentlessly countered with corporate talking points and social manipulation/mocking/bullying when they challenge the corporate party line. There is a great deal of theater going on to create the illusion that Americans support what is being done to us and have contempt for those who don't.

DU has a history and an identity that is well-known to those of us who have been here since near its beginning. The flavor of its membership was generally steady during the early years. What is happening to it now is, quite frankly, not natural. It is particularly not natural on a liberal board, given the political climate and the general distrust across the country of our government.

The number of corporatism-celebrating personas, and especially the ratio of them to traditional Democrats on DU, is constantly, gradually, and unnaturally increasing. The number of expected recs for a post blatantly supporting antidemocratic, anti-Constitutional, corporate (often Bush II) policies used to be in the single digits. It is gradually increasing in a way too steady to be accidental, to the point that such posts now routinely garner 50+ recs. The influx of low-count posters coming in spouting the corporate line is constant and unrealistic.

And this marked change in the quality of the participation on the board is not unique to DU. This is happening all over the internet, on all the major political boards. The corporate forces that have taken control of our government have very deep pockets. Also keep in mind that the primary goal of any state turning to authoritarianism is to manage public opinion and public response so as to reduce the likelihood of pushback and revolt. Millions of us are being pushed into poverty, and our Constitutional protections are being stripped. Of course great attention and money will be poured into managing public opinion and creating the illusion that the people support what is being done to them.

One of the great unresearched and untold stories in the media right now, I am convinced, is the growth of the new Propaganda State alongside the Surveillance State. Governments and their corporate appendages use propaganda, and the more authoritarian and corporate governments become, the more they will rely on such "advertising" and stealth manipulation of public opinion. The level of cash and technology available now makes today's propaganda unlike any we have seen in the the past in terms of its relentlessness and interactivity.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:03 AM

46. I didn't see your post before. DU moves so fast with important posts buried under royal baby love

Thanks for mentioning your post here. I was only too happy to kick that entire thread. Your post nails it.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #46)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:34 AM

66. I have tried to kick several old, important threads lately.

Unfortunately, once they are archived, they don't kick anymore. Thanks for trying to kick that great thread, though.

It's got to be one of the great untold stories of this surreal period in American history: the modernization and expansion of this tremendous propaganda machine alongside the new surveillance state.

You have to wonder, how is it organized and by whom? To what extent is it being kept artificially separate from government and in private hands? Where does the money come from?



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Response to woo me with science (Reply #66)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:33 PM

91. The only answer I have for you is that the money comes from us

That's where these total bastards getting the money for this. They just shift around a few honeypots in Congress, buried in their appropriation bills and we're stuck.

"How is it organized and by whom?" I can't trace these constitutional violations further back than Senator (then) Cheney and his "Minority Report". Before then rascals at least pretended to respect the constitution but with after Iran Contra scandal., they just decided to stop pretending. I hate the term *BFEE* but what else do you call this horrible chapter of blatant, brazen capitalist excesses?

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:23 PM

83. That is a great post.

 

I missed it before so thanks for reposting it.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:38 PM

93. +100

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:47 PM

135. That is an extremely insightful and useful post on many levels.

I tend to be a classical liberal in my views about allowing all opinions -- even manufactured ones -- participation on the board, but you make the most persuasive case I've yet seen for a reexamination of that policy, particularly with regard to those posters who are merely disruptive background noise, who unfortunately also exercise rec and DU Jury privileges. The trollish "pawns," as they were referenced by another valued poster on this thread, probably do have to go as they have proliferated to the point where they threaten to spoil the entire DU process.

Thanks for this. It makes me reconsider my attitudes, something I probably should do more of more often.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 02:49 AM

238. "What is happening to it now is, quite frankly, not natural."

HELL NO it is not natural and I spot these freaks online just like I do in real life - DU used to be a sanctuary for me but now my Ignore list is reaching 50

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:17 AM

300. Very astute observations n/t

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:41 AM

30. Then they disappear for ages only to reappear at the same time to assault and counterrecommend

topics that are working against failing propaganda efforts. It's most amusing to watch this in action.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #30)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:25 PM

85. Yep.

 

The, "I've just been lurking for years since my last post but this topic has compelled me to come out of hibernation to post about it" ad nauseum.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #85)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:40 PM

95. Yes! Those are the funniest lol

They're even funnier when you look at the recs and it's about 100 people no one ever heard of.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #30)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:51 PM

103. You know things are going bad when the "poutrage" meme starts popping.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #103)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:41 PM

133. Yep- Poutrage. Ponies. Pearls.

Their brains seem stalled on the letter "P" lol.

Ok.

Piss Piffle.

How's that?

Poutrage, pearls and ponies. LMAO! The only thing missing is some babble about hope.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:13 PM

77. Some of those "newbies" had accounts opened as far back as 2003,

with about a thousand posts back then,
quiet for the next 10 years,
and several THOUSAND posts in the "Last 90 days".
(Probably last two weeks, but the Transparency Page only tabulates the posts in last 90 days.)

I started checking the Profiles when all those Pro-Government Secrecy Newbies started showing up. I was very surprised to see accounts going back to 2003 that had "slept" for 10 years.

Back in 2003, The "new" had worn off of Iraq Invasion and the realities of a never ending Occupation was starting to cause pain,
we were coming up on Bush-the-Lesser's midterms,
and DU had many more readers back then.

Things that make you go "Hmmmm."

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #77)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:27 PM

86. Exactly.

 

The dormant toads of the desert waiting for "the rain" to come back to life.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #77)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 06:09 PM

209. That is *very* interesting.

I saw another post referring to them as "sleeper cells." One thing is for sure, the corporate nightmare we are waking up to around us, in more ways than can be counted, has been meticulously planned for a very long time.

I'll quote you again: "These things do not happen by accident."

THESE THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3348542

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #209)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:23 AM

245. Dang. I missed that one also.

 

Another great link.

I need to start checking the greatest page more often.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:36 AM

25. The law needs to catch up with the tech. False advertising


is generally illegal. Why on Earth would we allow corporations (or government) to create imaginary people, or, say, several people pretending to be one person, to fake public commentary for commercial or political purposes?

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:41 AM

29. CosPlay for the 1% n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:43 AM

32. Before any of us could even imagine such deceptive tactics, we did remark on the similarity of

'discussion style' (and that is being kind) of, back then it was Bush bots. When you see the same 'talking points', the same repeated FALSE information against someone who is well respected, with a record of truth telling, you wonder how so many people could all be saying the same things.

Also they use similar 'insults', no individuality even there. Several we began to notice on Democratic Forums, included 'Purity Troll' 'Concern Troll' and 'Member of the Reality Based Community'. 'Martyr', 'Whiner' 'Ponies' etc.

This is what I know, sincere people first of all rarely engage in name-calling, they are able to make their points with FACTS. But bots have a whole list of phrases and words, such as the examples above, which they all use repeatedly, showing either a complete lack of intelligence or they are part of a smear campaign.

I will say this, some are part of these campaigns unwittingly, they simply feel the 'campaign' represents their pov so they are freebies.

But it was back in around 2004 that people began to notice the use of these 'tactics' on LEFT WING forums and when they questioned them, were usually instantly banned.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #32)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:05 AM

48. spot-on. the term "bots" emerged to describe a brand of insincerity...

and this article confirms that they are used in the interest of those who can pay for the service, i.e. 1%-ers, corporate interests (CoC), military campaign interests, etc.

it's only natural that real people with real, "whole-world" insights, would get a creepy feeling about personas that engage in goal-directed one-way interactions. it doesn't take metadata to figure this out, it's something that a real human being can sense.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #48)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:23 AM

60. Bot, at least to me, implies a crude effort

Considering that bots came out of the IRC world. Some are beneficial in that they delete spam, welcome users etc. and are typically identified as a bot.

Once a script kiddie sees the example and is intrigued they try writing their own to spam, or harass people for kicks.

The software systems talked about here are at least 3rd generation. Calling them bots incorrectly implies a lack of sophistication.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #60)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:26 AM

63. totally agree -- i'm pointing to the use of the term by casual users...

but yes, you are so right that there's a bigger history, and that the term is actually quite limited.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #63)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:41 AM

71. Ah, the same way that Hacker became corrupted

Hacker was once a term of endearment and respect, as you are most likely aware.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #71)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:58 PM

105. eggsactly.

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Response to hootinholler (Reply #71)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 04:03 PM

198. hastings was investigating wht versues blk hackers

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6Fh3F6hufhDMGVjMUgxdXEwMzg/edit?pli=1

when he died

brown was investigating endgame when he was arrested

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #48)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:37 PM

225. Shoals of trolls and clots of bots

I've decided to follow the advice/example of several posters whom I most admire, like Catherina, and put these bots on my ignore list. Really, I've been on DU since 2002 without putting anyone on ignore. And you know what? It feels pretty darn good to put these poseurs on full ignore.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:45 AM

34. If anyone disagrees with you, then you can claim

 

They are an auto generated sock puppets generated by malevolent corporations.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #34)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:59 AM

43. no -- but you can take into account their behavior and history

and assess for yourself just how authentic that persona is. same as in IRL -- inauthentic interactions breed contempt.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #34)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:09 PM

112. It is reasonably easy to discern good-faith disagreement

 

from disingenuous antagonism.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #112)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:11 PM

114. Yes, I see both kinds here every day I am here.

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #34)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:42 PM

277. Exactly.

What a great way to amp up the paranoia around here - as if THAT'S needed.

The echo chamber for the ignore list enthusiasts will be built ever faster.


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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #34)

Wed Sep 18, 2013, 11:34 PM

297. Or rest assured they may just be an asshole.

 

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:49 AM

37. du rec.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

40. It's a brave new world

Last edited Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:28 AM - Edit history (1)

I also wonder if these capabilities and strategies have been used here on DU.

On a side note, it occurs to me this kind of software would be a perfect tool for criminal gangs and toxic corporate cults like Scientology or Eckankar for harassing their whistleblowers.

Let's hope not, but in the current lawless climate I suspect access to such cyber weapons is only a matter of writing a fat check.

It seems we're awash in an ocean of bullshit these days.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #40)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:07 AM

50. No... Brave New World had Sex and Soma

It is more like 1984 with a televised Brave New World.

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Response to agent46 (Reply #40)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:20 AM

58. see post #44 -- yes, they have been used here.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #58)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:31 AM

65. Wow

Thank you.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:58 AM

41. BOOKMARKED..... n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:04 AM

47. K&R. nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:15 AM

52. LOL, the fantasies of some fringe company means it's really happening!

 



Of course, reasonable Democrats like me know that our government would never do such a thing. We may have our imperfections, and we need to come together to work harder for the middle class, but we are still the greatest nation on Earth.

Regards,

Sock-Puppet Manny

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #52)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:25 AM

62. You forgot the pom poms, Palin, apple pie and something about vodka

The funniest is watching all the "Free Apple pie here! Just don't drink vodka" threads. Who the fuck do you think you're fooling? How about boycotting all the countries that collaborated on illegal renditions or boycotting companies that condone the torture and murder of workers around the world? Even better, how about boycotting all the silent partners that profit from the exploitation and murder of workers around the world as they fatten portfolios of the rich and famous? These people be very funny lol.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #52)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:24 PM

84. Oh, they're just mad because they didn't get their unicorn

 

or pony or...something.

Also, they hate President Obama

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #52)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:16 AM

248. No Manny, everyone who disagrees with you here is a government mole.

 

Didn't you get the memo?

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:18 AM

54. Interesting to see the mechanics of these propaganda ventures revealed.

They're such miserable failures in terms of their ideas and viewpoints, and they know it. So they have to invent a bunch of 'like-minded' people to agree with their lame viewpoints.

Even when 4 or 5 alleged 'people' appear to be attacking a good progressive Dem idea, if the actual repug propagandist behind all the 'people' has nothing convincing to argue or offer, their various 'people' are just offering 4 or 5 X nothing, regarding the debate on the issue. And the good real person's good ideas shine through.

I think sometimes the fake personas, operated by the single person, take two polar opposite caricature-like extreme viewpoints on the issues, in order to sew disruption and discord, and in order to force real people to pick one extreme side or another, where either side has a harmful pro-repug nazi aspect to it.

Thanks for the post, C, and yb.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:19 AM

56. I've just been reading up on this stuff at Project PM

That's the wiki set up by Barrett Brown to analyze the HBGary emails. It's not as complete or as deep as it might be, but it's a good starting point.

http://wiki.project-pm.org/wiki/Persona_management

In the wake of the HBGary investigation, it was discovered that the federal contractor had bid on a call for applications by the USAF to develop persona software for apparent propaganda and/or infiltration purposes. CENTCOM later admitted to using such capabilities abroad, but denies using them in the English language or in a way that would explicit target U.S. citizens, an action which would be illegal. Global Business Solutions and Associates LLC, Uk Plus Logistics, Ltd., NevinTelecom, Bunker Communications and Planmatrix LLC., were also among those bidding to provide such software, according to documents discovered by Raw Story. The contract was later discovered to have been won by Ntrepid, which still later was confirmed to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cubic Corporation and led in large part by execs and employees of the latter firm.

On October 15th, 2010, HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Barr emailed Mantech CEO Robert Frisbie about considering Palantir Technologies for help "..on some of the integration for link analysis and data correlation. We will likely be able to get into some of the persona management logic.." Barr here attached the PDF titled Social Media Persona Development. At some point, Barr also deployed a primitive single persona, intended to represent an intelligence contracting employee and USAF veteran, on Facebook and Twitter. During his attempt to infiltrate Anonymous, Barr also planned to create at least two fake personas with the intention of using the first to "discredit" the second in order to gain influence within the movement. In both instances, Barr seems to have relied on manual trickery rather than employing specialized software of the sort that's been developed elsewhere.

Patent 20090313274, created in an apparent join effort by IBM and the U.S. military (four members of which are listed as inventors), describes specific workings of a reasonably advanced persona management system, or at least a component thereof, providing software-based linguistic capabilities in order to retain "linguistic integrity" from conversation to conversation.

DARPA's July 2011 BAA (Broad Agency Announcement) entitled Social Media in Strategic Communications indicates that such software will increasingly form a broad programmatic area of military operations, rather than being acquired piecemeal or in covert dealings, as has been the case in the past.


http://wiki.project-pm.org/wiki/Mantech

Mantech International Corporation describes itself as "a leading provider of advanced technology, technical services and security solutions to the U.S. national security community" employing "approximately 10,000 highly skilled people who manage our global operations" in 40 countries. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia the firm's revenues have increased from $431 million in 2001 to $1.137 billion in 2006, mostly from providing IT and systems engineering services to intelligence agencies and the Pentagon, which together account for more than 90% of its revenue. It was founded in 1968 as a specialized military contractor that devised submarine war-game models for the U.S. Navy and was little-known outside the Pentagon until 1988 when (having previously grown by acquiring obscure professional services and engineering firms such as Mathetics Corp. and Energystics Corp) it acquired a subsidiary of Northrop Corp. In this way, Mantech continued to improve its position as a viable contender for further contracts. It was noted by the Washington Post at the time of the 1988 Northrop deal that chairman and co-founder George Pedersen would not let himself be photographed.[1] One of Mantech's many areas of expertise is "Policy Development, Planning, & Program Implementation"[2]

Mantech is of interest to this investigation due to its extremely close association with Aaron Barr and its interest in Persona Management, its status as major provider of services to the FBI, and its role in the Romas/COIN recompete lead by Barr and TASC.

In early 2011, Mantech won a five-year, $9.2 million dollar contract by which to "supply the FBI with security policies, procedures, training and planning, and manage security for FBI communications."

In early 2012, Mantech purchased HBGary, adding the firm to its Mission, Cyber & Intelligence Solutions unit.

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Response to starroute (Reply #56)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:04 PM

76. "such software will form a broad programmatic area of military operations" + Smith-Mundt Amendment

...interesting too that the Smith-Mundt Act was amended to allow for social media "special ops" in the US, they same way they run them in foreign countries we're "at war" with.

Here's the late Michael Hastings reporting on the possibility the amendment would pass -- which it did, going into effect July 1 this year (right about the time of his accident).


Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban
Propaganda that was supposed to target foreigners could now be aimed at Americans, reversing a longstanding policy. “Disconcerting and dangerous,” says Shank.


http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban


The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns. The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State. In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry warned that in the Internet age, the current law “ties the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.”The bill’s supporters say the informational material used overseas to influence foreign audiences is too good to not use at home, and that new techniques are needed to help fight Al-Qaeda, a borderless enemy whose own propaganda reaches Americans online.

Critics of the bill say there are ways to keep America safe without turning the massive information operations apparatus within the federal government against American citizens.

(snip)

The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”

(snip)

The Pentagon spends some $4 billion a year to sway public opinion already, and it was recently revealed by USA Today the DoD spent $202 million on information operations in Iraq and Afghanistan last year.

In an apparent retaliation to the USA Today investigation, the two reporters working on the story appear to have been targeted by Pentagon contractors, who created fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in an attempt to discredit them.

here's an article on the Pentagon's smear campaign against the journalists -- > http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-05-24/Leonie-usa-today-propaganda-pentagon/55190450/1

(snip)

The evaporation of Smith-Mundt and other provisions to safeguard U.S. citizens against government propaganda campaigns is part of a larger trend within the diplomatic and military establishment.

In December, the Pentagon used software to monitor the Twitter debate over Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing; another program being developed by the Pentagon would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets; and, last year, General William Caldwell, deployed an information operations team under his command that had been trained in psychological operations to influence visiting American politicians to Kabul.

A U.S. Army whistleblower, Lieutenant Col. Daniel Davis, noted recently in his scathing 84-page unclassified report on Afghanistan that there remains a strong desire within the defense establishment “to enable Public Affairs officers to influence American public opinion when they deem it necessary to “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will,” he wrote, quoting a well-regarded general.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #76)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:21 PM

81. I don't see the problem.


We're just paying the Pentagon and the State Department mountains of our own tax dollars, in a time of supposedly necessary austerity as to social programs and infrastructure, in order to flood the media and the Internet with false information and credibility attacks on critics in order to influence public opinion in favor of government policy, by using armies of invented personalities pretending to to be ordinary American citizens?

Nothing to see here.

Nothing at all.







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Response to DirkGently (Reply #81)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

88. wouldn't it be cheaper for them to just bomb us for real, in a false flag attack?

 

They want to bomb Iran? Blow up a major attraction in a major city, blame it on al Qaeda in Iran, presto, we're off to war.

I guess we should be relieved and grateful they're spending our money to dump bullshit on our heads instead of bombs.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #88)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:03 PM

108. these sorts of propaganda programs are exactly what drives cynicism wrt attacks on the US

either real or imagined as future possibilities/potentialities.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #88)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:31 PM

179. Tax payers probably spend billions

developing just such scenarios and alternatives to be activated at a command. Was 911 such a command? I believe it was.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #81)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:27 PM

176. They have our best interests at heart.

You can bet on that.

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Response to starroute (Reply #56)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:22 PM

148. Mantech purchased them?

That means they can hire anyone desperate enough for pennies to do whatever it takes for those pennies.

No wonder the arguments are so unconvincing, there are no convictions to them.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:20 AM

57. The usefulness of open forums is coming to a close

In the future we will see more emphasis on blogs/forums built on trust relationships where the operators are more selective about who can post. I can see Diaspora filling a need here.

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Response to cprise (Reply #57)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:38 AM

69. Sad, but true. But I would think a few minor restrictions would screen out (most of) the fakes.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:57 AM

75. Thank Goodness!

Thank Goodness, there are none of those here at DU!

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:15 PM

79. Thanks, Catherina, this has been a constant annoyance to so many of us for years


~~If It Quacks Like A RW Troll, It Is Most Likely A RW Troll~~
Est. 2003


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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:21 PM

82. Could explain a lot here at the "Underground..."

 

...and its palpable rightward drift on so many issues...

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:43 PM

97. But I have a question.

Isn't the purpose of this sort of thing to bring you over to the PTB's way of thinking.

I gotta say if that IS the purpose the folks that I think would possibly be suspect really really suck at that.

All they do is make me want to run the opposite way screaming. So that is why I have my doubts that this sort of thing really exists on DU. They just seem like the type of personalities that everyone avoids at parties frankly.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #97)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:55 PM

104. Well that's what happens when you're so cheap you won't pay for quality labor

"Quality labor at fair prices". Another thing they stand against. Instead they settle on, I dunno what you call it, idiots?

Out of pity for how pathetic their *contributions* on the internet are, you just want scream "OMG, pay them more! At least make it a challenge!". They just make me want to hurl so I totally ignore them, not figuratively either, at DU, I just banish them to nothingness so they can twist and squeal away out of my sight. It makes the gathering here so much more productive.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #97)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:09 PM

113. I think the goal, rather than convincing anyone,

is to thoroughly hijack, pollute and therefore eliminate public spaces where real discussion and organization can occur.

DU used to have a much higher level of discourse and therefore influence. It was not unusual for threads to reach a level of depth and detail that garnered many hundreds of recs. Substantive posts made today are quickly drowned in garbage talking points, vitriol, and mocking.

It is no accident that the small propaganda brigade here starts at least half of the new threads on DU each day, and that they nearly *always* demand the last word in any interchange. Their goal is to disrupt the important public space for liberal thought, discussion, and organization that DU used to offer, and to keep us busy instead batting off the corporate lies and talking points.





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Response to woo me with science (Reply #113)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:18 PM

116. Exactly! Distraction is often the goal.

 

For example, when a thread is posted about NSA surveillance we end up arguing over one paragraph of the preface to "How Would A Patriot Act" instead of discussing the abuse.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #113)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:55 PM

206. And "they" have been successful.

They have succeeded at driving off the majority of Well Intentioned Liberal Posters,
Honest Brokers of Information & Opinion, and loyal Democratic Party Activists who enjoyed an intelligent and challenging discussion of today's issues and problems.
[font size=1](I'm ONE STUBBORN SOB, so I'm still here.)[/font]

Not many years ago,
it was not rare to see a Top of the Greatest post with over a THOUSAND Recs,
and over 100,000 "Views".
One Hundred Thousand people reading a post at DU in a 24 hour time period!


Today, 200 recs, and 2,500 VIEWS is GOOD!
No wonder it echos in here.

The drop in the level of discourse at DU HAS driven people away from a place that was once know for the High Level of Political Discussion.

You are correct when you stated that their goal[font size=3]" is to thoroughly hijack, pollute and therefore eliminate public spaces where real discussion and organization can occur. "[/font]




You will know them by their [font size=3]WORKS.[/font]

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #113)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:34 PM

222. Bingo!

They don't want us to organize and do something about it.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #97)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:13 PM

115. The purpose of disinfo is to muddy things up, not to convince

For example, we have a stream of investigative journalists and whistleblowers dying in questionable circumstances, being arrested on seemingly trumped-up charges, or simply being called liars or Ron Paul supporters.

You might not actually believe any of the negative statements you see about such people. But that's not the point. The point is to sow a seed of doubt in your mind. To make you less likely to regard them as heroes or martyrs. To be reluctant to appear as their defender in case even more damning charges come out.

It's also to derail the discussion -- so that, for example, people are talking about whether Edward Snowden is a narcissistic attention-seeker instead of the content of his allegations. Or at the very least, it's to make you "want to run the opposite way screaming," with the result that you tune out on what has come to seem an unpleasant and pointless controversy.

Propaganda has many aspects, and the whole winning hearts and minds thing is only one minor category.

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Response to starroute (Reply #115)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:32 PM

125. Yes! To derail and to muddy, not to convince

It's why you see the same people dragging along their same tired circular blue links saying "this was already debunked". Then you click on the link and most importantly "view all" at the top only to see everyone laughing at their stupid shit.

I have all of them on my ignore list list. They're simply not worth the time, and I think that, except in circumstances where their egregious lies have to be obliterated, they're better left squawking among themselves.

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Response to starroute (Reply #115)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:38 PM

184. Very good!

I have observed this phenomenon in action.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #97)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:35 PM

182. It seems TPTB have

little respect in our ability for independent thinking.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 12:50 PM

102. Heh

 

Just read the whole thread and don't recall even one punk troll reply!

Did ya notice that?

DU does get infested with swarms around major breaking news and whatnot.

And I think they have somehow gamed the jury system. Note in the admins forum the signs of software problems vis-a-vi jury selections?

Anyway, if they think they are winning, they are crazy. DUers always come through with the real facts and effectively counter as the OP calls out the 'company of assholes' at [strike] play[/strike] work here.

Noticed too that many of the best DUers are posting on this thread.
Cheers! Comrades!

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #102)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:19 PM

118. Could you expand on how they may have gamed the jury system?

 

I admit, I have very little understanding of how the jury system functions.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #118)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:34 PM

126. Via software hacking?

 

I don't know beyond that. Just noticed that the admins were being alerted that many were being excluded from jury selection and that others were being pinged more often. That is what DUers reported in the admins forum.

We do know that script kiddies just love to mess with other's software. So this should come as no surprise to think they'd mess with DU. Eh?

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #102)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 06:10 PM

210. I think they are gaming the juries.

My bet is that it's been scripted into the persona-management software. They have to age their socks, otherwise they're too obvious. MIRT whacks the Beavis-and-Butthead trolls with a post count of two quite efficiently. To be a plausible persona, you've got to have a few thousand posts under your belt.

One thing you can do is post stuff in the Cooking forum or some other forum where nobody goes. That does eventually get trackable though.

You can also build a library of innocuous post material, with stuff like "K&R!" "He's my President!" "Awesome post!", and sprinkle them in threads as appropriate.

I'm thinking it's a mix of techniques used to automate the process, age their socks, make them appear to have at least superficial personalities, and do it in enough volume that they have several dozen socks to swarm a thread when a story like the Snowden story comes along and threatens the power-elites that write the checks.

On juries:

One thing you can do is have the persona-management software refresh threads and refresh forum index pages over and over, periodically, with a bit of randomness to simulate a human surfing DU, and screen-scrape the results for "You've been selected to serve on a jury."

Voila - not only are you aging your sock, but now you got on a jury, you've automated the process to maximize your odds of being on a jury, you're probably doing this with a hundred socks all at once, so you've multiplied your chances of getting on a jury by a hundred-fold, now you can use the juries as a weapon against those bitching about the sockpuppeting, trolling and propagandizing.

Because don't you know, troll-hunters make DU suck! :-p

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:01 PM

107. This is absolutely hilarious.

Thanks Tinoire!!

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #107)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:19 PM

117. You're welcome.

My sister had quite a bit to say about her disgust of how certain people threw the Palestinians, their supposed *cause*, under the bus when it became convenient. You wouldn't know any of those would you?

Once again, you're most welcome for reminding people of our blood link. I'm extremely proud of it. Call me whatever you want, as long as you think it's a slur, I'm proud of it.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #117)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:41 PM

132. She saved the PM.



On edit: And while we're here, please explain how trolling and gaming DU is going to bring about the revolution and collapse of the free enterprise system that you and your cohorts so constantly jawbone about?

You're a fucking clown.

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #132)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:05 PM

138. Oh gawd, now you're just as lost as I thought

please excuse me as I put you on permanent ignore

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #132)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:06 PM

140. Awkward...

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Response to whttevrr (Reply #140)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:10 PM

144. Long story...

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #132)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 10:19 PM

292. So you're the one that was the subject of an ATA whine! You should know that Skinner himself has

your back. He's as sick of the moronic "you're a paid shill!" and "you're a persona!" garbage as every other moderately intelligent person on this site is.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12592697
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1259&pid=2715

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Response to Number23 (Reply #292)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 10:43 PM

294. Check your inbox.

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #107)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:50 PM

137. Nailed it...



Ever notice some of the ones screaming loudest are posters who've had multiple identities at DU over the years?

Better Believe It!

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #137)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:39 PM

278. Indeed

Skinner (57,821 posts)
1. It's not something I want to encourage, no.

I would alert on such behavior when I am aware of it, and if I were on a jury I would vote to hide it.

I'd say it's pretty presumptuous for any DUer (other than myself) to claim to know who are sockpuppets and who are previously banned people. I think that Sid needs to spend more of his time discussing issues and less of his time focusing on stuff like this.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/12592693

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:05 PM

110. K&R

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:06 PM

111. ah! almost forgot...and then there's those who are real people

who identify with the managed personas.

that is all.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:32 PM

124. the CEO of HBGary has stinky socks

Aaron Barr CEO of HBGary is a sockpuppet himself. He was a low-level hacker who resigned from HBGary after Anonymous hacked his site releasing 71,000 emails making a laughing stock of HBGary's security. They even hacked Barr's home router forcing him to go offline. “I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,” he reportedly said.

A link to the chats he had with Anonymous under his sock name CogAnon. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011/02/virtually-face-to-face-when-aaron-barr-met-anonymous/

Before he was forced to go offline, Barr organized "cyberattacks, misinformation, forged documents, pressuring donors and even blackmailing WikiLeaks supporter and Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald" on behalf of BoA and the Chamber of Commerce, the USAF among others. (Forbes 2011) http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/02/28/hbgary-federals-aaron-barr-resigns-after-anonymous-hack-scandal/

Among the sockpuppets Barr was said to have personally created was an avatar on World of Warcraft.

His resignation coincides with the mysterious disappearance of several DU sockpuppets: At least one criminal operation comes to mind.

He and his company were fired by the government for exposing the dirty secrets, after which the government hired Ntrepid to create socks that could speak Farsi, Arabic, Urdu and Pashto.

The disinformation and astroturfing continue.



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Response to Generic Other (Reply #124)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:37 PM

129. “I need to focus on taking care of my family and rebuilding my reputation,”

LMAO!

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Response to Catherina (Reply #129)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:46 PM

134. Oooh look, Booz Allen named here too

Following the sting of HBGary Federal and parent company HBGary, Anonymous disclosed on-going interest and contract bids between those firms, Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Air Force to develop software that will allow cyber-warriors to create fake personas that help "manage" Pentagon interventions into social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/2011/03/sock-puppet-planet-secret-states-quest.html

Does this mean the NSA is involved in this sort of sockpuppet show too?

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Response to Catherina (Reply #129)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:49 AM

241. Yeah, but it's just a SIMs family.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:38 PM

130. Do we see this on DU? I suspect so. But who knows?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #130)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:23 PM

174. see post #44.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #130)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:44 PM

188. I think it is everywhere.

Across the intertubes.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 01:47 PM

136. K&R!! Pro surveillance state

people have arrived, so many newbies too.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:05 PM

139. My tinfoil hat needs another layer or two after reading this thread

I think I'm going for the extra heavy stuff this time.

Thanks for posting Catherina, it's been an interesting read.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #139)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:08 PM

142. I stole it from Yurbud, as noted in the OP

I think I'll join you in that extra heavy stuff tonight.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:08 PM

141. K&R'd, bookmarked, & quoted elsewhere --

thanks!

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:15 PM

145. There is ample evidence that this ...

... a major problem on this site.

The only really puzzling thing is, just who is it they think they are fooling?

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:19 PM

147. At some point the bulk internet surveillance is going to get corrupted

by all the fake personnas. It would be super funny if the Feds ended up trying to bust one of their own fictions. No doubt it will happen sooner or later.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:24 PM

149. IP addresses : Sockpuppets : Swarms

There would really have to be a focused effort to hide the origins of individual sockpuppets from a board admin. All connections to the board come from a unique IP address. There would be multiple sockpuppets coming from the same IP address unless forwarded through a proxy or spoofing is involved.

Obviously the less technical puppets would be found out quickly. It would be so easy to see multiple identities using the same IP address.

TOR could be used, but there would most likely need to be an individual virtual machine for each sockpuppet. And, it can be quite a task to find a node that would have a consistent regional signature. If someone was using multiple identities it would be difficult to hide that from the board Admin. The software involved in this must use some kind of proxy/IP spoofing mechanism to thwart detection.

It must be difficult to manage all that.

I wonder too if maybe the latest batch of sockpuppetry wasn't tested last year on Fox. There was a while where enormous flooding of their comment section occurred daily.(I only looked because it was like comment porn) I wonder if they disabled comments after suffering large bandwidth hits due to so many sockpuppets flooding their comment sections.

And once Fox shut down their commenting section, there was an explosion of new identities commenting at other places across the web.

This is definitely an intriguing thread.

Is there a list of suspected sockpuppets here?

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Response to whttevrr (Reply #149)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:57 PM

165. I was thinking of ways that they might implement it, but it really does pose some interesting

hurdles. For example, it's easy to get it so different IPs are used, but that right there in itself would be a red flag for me as an admin. If someone constantly connects with a new IP, something is probably funky. Even more so if you can identify the IP as originating from device functioning as proxy. Although, I could easily create something that spins up cheap cloud server every time I want a 'clean' IP, and then use that server proxy traffic for me. Of course all IPs in that case would be assigned to the same entity and appear to come from the same place. Also, if it's apparent it's a IP coming from something like that, then that's another red flag. So really for it to really work, I'd think they'd need to have a pool of IPs in different location that they could grab and assign to each persona within every context in which they are operating. The IP should match up with the general location that they say they're located at to add that extra credibility to admins who might be digging deeper.

The idea of virtual machines make sense, for a few reasons that I can think of off the top of my head. First it helps ensure that any signatures the browsers, plugins and whatever else don't give them away. Or that there isn't anything like secret flash cookies that expose themselves. Also, it seems like it would help them immerse themselves in the persona. Each one could have their notes all self-contained, they can put up pictures of the person they're pretending to be to keep them in the zone. Maybe even each VM could have some software that will auto-adjust grammar and spelling habits based on certain rules defined during its creation. For example, maybe a persona commonly confused words like "there", "their", and "they're" or than and then. You know? Then if they take screen shots during their discussions, it will look legit because they can customize it to look like something the person they are pretending to be would have (maybe add a wallpaper of the person's supposed husband or pet cat) It also ensure that suspicious people can't look closely and compare matching font sizes, types, taskbar icons, OS type, color schemes, timezones make sense etc... I've discovered sock puppet accounts before based on the fact the person used netzero and had many of the same programs running (plus the fonts used were similar and the person had the same IE toolbars installed)

Woah, I just went off spewing a bunch of nonsense. I'm sure some people are now eyeing me with a bit suspicion hehe... I swear, I was just typing shit that popped into my head for some reason.

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Response to penultimate (Reply #165)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:16 PM

203. Both of you should read the back-links more thoroughly

if you have time, much of what you are discussing is detailed in the articles.

In this article
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All

there is the link and quotation which describes, amonng other things, how they use different IPs, a static one for each persona. It goes on and on and is pretty sophisticated.

"link to the solicitation at website "FedBizOps.gov""

Solicitation Number:
RTB220610
Notice Type:
Sources Sought
Synopsis:
Added: Jun 22, 2010 1:42 pm Modified: Jun 22, 2010 2:07 pmTrack Changes
0001- Online Persona Management Service. 50 User Licenses, 10 Personas per user.
Software will allow 10 personas per user, replete with background , history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographacilly consistent. Individual applications will enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries. Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms. The service includes a user friendly application environment to maximize the user's situational awareness by displaying real-time local information.

0002- Secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). 1 each
VPN provides the ability for users to daily and automatically obtain randomly selected
IP addresses through which they can access the internet. The daily rotation of
the user s IP address prevents compromise during observation of likely or
targeted web sites or services, while hiding the existence of the operation. In
addition, may provide traffic mixing, blending the user s traffic with traffic from
multitudes of users from outside the organization. This traffic blending provides
excellent cover and powerful deniability. Anonymizer Enterprise Chameleon or equal

0003- Static IP Address Management. 50 each
Licence protects the identity of government agencies and enterprise
organizations. Enables organizations to manage their persistent online personas
by assigning static IP addresses to each persona. Individuals can perform
static impersonations, which allow them to look like the same person over time.
Also allows organizations that frequent same site/service often to easily switch IP
addresses to look like ordinary users as opposed to one organization. Anonymizer IP Mapper License or equal

0004- Virtual Private Servers, CONUS. 1 each
Provides CONUS or OCONUS points of presence locations that are setup for
each customer based on the geographic area of operations the customer is
operating within and which allow a customer?s online persona(s) to appear to
originate from. Ability to provide virtual private servers that are procured using
commercial hosting centers around the world and which are established
anonymously. Once procured, the geosite is incorporated into the network and
integrated within the customers environment and ready for use by the customer.
Unless specifically designated as shared, locations are dedicated for use by
each customer and never shared among other customers. Anonymizer Annual Dedicated CONUS Light Geosite or equal

0005- Virtual Private Servers, OCONUS. 8 Each
Provides CONUS or OCONUS points of presence locations that are setup for
each customer based on the geographic area of operations the customer is
operating within and which allow a customer?s online persona(s) to appear to
originate from. Ability to provide virtual private servers that are procured using
commercial hosting centers around the world and which are established
anonymously. Once procured, the geosite is incorporated into the network and
integrated within the customers environment and ready for use by the customer.
Unless specifically designated as shared, locations are dedicated for use by
each customer and never shared among other customers. Anonymizer Annual Dedicated OCONUS Light Geosite or equal

0006- Remote Access Secure Virtual Private Network. 1 each
Secure Operating Environment provides a reliable and protected computing
environment from which to stage and conduct operations. Every session uses a
clean Virtual Machine (VM) image. The solution is accessed through sets of
Virtual Private Network (VPN) devices located at each Customer facility. The
fully-managed VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) is an environment that allows
users remote access from their desktop into a VM. Upon session termination,
the VM is deleted and any virus, worm, or malicious software that the user inadvertently downloaded is destroyed. Anonymizer Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Solution or equal.

Contracting Office Address:
2606 Brown Pelican Ave.
MacDill AFB, Florida 33621-5000
United States

Place of Performance:
Performance will be at MacDIll AFB, Kabul, Afghanistan and Baghdad, Iraq.
MacDill AFB , Florida 33679
United States

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #203)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:34 PM

204. That's crazy to know such a system very likely may exist

or at the very least they want one and are developing it (I'm assuming they have it) They seem to have removed the solicitation request from the site listing though. Not sure if they expire or if they are hiding it though. Either way, that's messed up.

From technical standpoint, I find the possible implementations of it interesting though.

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Response to penultimate (Reply #204)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 05:58 PM

208. I'd say it clearly already exists

This is one use of technology that should not ever have been explored, there is no legitimate purpose to such technology, IMO.

I can see how it seems interesting from a technical standpoint. Also interesting would be an effort to identify its persona wherever they appear. Some kind of automated tree analysis to identify cohorts, then you need some way to distinguish real cohorts from false ones. I'd think that real cohorts would have a more diverse body of posts and probably more thought-out, conversational posting styles, though that would not necessarily be the case.

You'd need to work up a large number of possible indicators of sock-puppetry, a Bayesian approach I think it's called, and score the persona across all of them, since no one way would be certain to identify it. In the end, the decision should be made by a human but I'm fascinated by the idea of automated software that would flag likely trolls using the known techniques we have learned about so far, and hopefully adapting it as the propaganists improve their methodology. I have to focus my time looking for employment, not sure if I'm the person to tackle this, but it would be a real interesting and challenging project, and a very good thing if it worked, hmm. Maybe we could crowd-source this project somehow.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #203)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 09:45 PM

223. Wow! nt

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #203)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:40 AM

237. How organized. And who was paying for this? Why we were of course. n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:24 PM

150. K&R.

 

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:31 PM

153. kr

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #153)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:35 PM

157. And now the thread is complete...nt

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #157)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 12:02 AM

230. Yep.

They're all here.

And they dare pull the pathetic Two Minutes Hate about some amorphous threat that survives as their daily Emmanuel Goldstein.

Embarrassing.

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #157)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 04:51 PM

290. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!!! nt

 

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:34 PM

155. brad covered this extensively

after he found out he was targeted along with greenwald and velvet revolution



http://www.bradblog.com/?page_id=10115

The contract calls for the development of "Persona Management Software" which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.

Click here to view the government contract (PDF)

According to the contract, the software would "protect the identity of government agencies" by employing a number of false signals to convince users that the poster is in fact a real person. A single user could manage unique background information and status updates for up to 10 fake people from a single computer.

The software enables the government to shield its identity through a number of different methods including the ability to assign unique IP addresses to each persona and the ability to make it appear as though the user is posting from other locations around the world.

Included in HBGary's leaked emails was a government proposal for the government contract. The document describes how they would 'friend' real people on Facebook as a way to convey government messages.
...
The creation of internet propaganda software is only one of HBGary's controversial activities. According to Wikileaks competitor and occasional collaborator Cryptome.org, several other progressive organizations were intended to be targeted including anti-war activist, anti-torture organizations and groups opposed to the US Chamber of Commerce.

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #155)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:00 PM

167. Thanks, I didn't know that. n/t

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Response to Catherina (Reply #167)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:13 PM

171. someone as well informed as you should read him

everyday

he covers lots of stories the msm will not touch

if a person reads thru those links they will find when the chamber of commerce wanted to target librals,they went to bank of america for help who in turn went to dept of defense to find best propaganda spreader,who in turn hooked them up with hb gary

anyway glad you are getting the info out there!

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #171)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:29 PM

177. Thanks. I'll give it a try

http://www.bradblog.com right?

Between DU and twitter, I don't have time for other links but since you say so, I'll give it a try. I remember reccing their stuff when it's posted here

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:51 PM

163. The article was probably written by a sockpuppet.

And all of these anonymous responses ... with the weird screen names ... just more sock puppets.

I'm real ... but all of you are fake ... computer generated ... sock puppets.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #163)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 02:57 PM

166. I'm more of a stocking than a sock.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #163)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:12 PM

216. I don't like wearing socks. Or much of anything else. But my onboard cam is disabled. Lucky you!





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Response to freshwest (Reply #216)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 10:42 PM

226. Snort~

Sooooo was there a blowout sale on tin foil today? I missed it? Damn!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #226)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:19 PM

227. I looove that picture. I have one with a cat...

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Response to freshwest (Reply #227)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 11:28 PM

228. Like this one?



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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #228)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 12:08 AM

231. Oh, no, that is much better! I did tell you about the cats reporting to Sirius nightly, didn't I?

Last edited Mon Jul 29, 2013, 12:54 AM - Edit history (1)

It is delicious and the Sphinx is part of it. It's my favorite and I posted it on DU some time back. Another one is here:

Are Cats Spies Sent by Aliens? A Deep Examination of One of the Internet's Best Conspiracy Theories

By Austin Considine



Are those big eyes recording your every move for their alien masters? One conspiracy theory says yes...


Examine the evidence and decide for yourself:

1. There is no documentation before ancient Egypt that mentions the existence of cats. And in ancient Egypt, they were worshipped as gifts from the gods.
2. Science is baffled by a cat's purr, and cannot determine how the sound is produced. (Feedback, much?)
3. If you hold a cat's ears back and describe what you see, it is a perfect match to the classic “grey alien,” with its almond-shaped eyes, small mouth, and small nose.
4. A cat can see exponentially better than you. Making it appear that it must be more advanced evolutionarily speaking. How?
5. Ever watch a cat wake from a deep sleep and run out of the room in an instant? Transmissions from the mothership coming in, and they must be alone.
6. All things that come out of cats are totally unnatural. (Not of this earth.)
7. Cats survive situations that any earthbound animal would surely perish in. How can a cat fall out of a four-story building backwards, and land on its feet? (Anti-gravity properties.)
8. If you die, your cats will eat you. Not really a link between cats and Aliens, but still pretty creepy.

More at link:

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/are-cats-spies-sent-by-aliens-motherboard-examines-a-favorite-internet-conspiracy-theory

I'm cool with #'s 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. And I am sooo stealing that gif! We tried to warn people. Why won't they listen?



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Response to freshwest (Reply #231)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 12:28 AM

232. Your petite chat is beautiful.

Look at those eyes! Sweet~

People have a hard time listening with all that tin foil blocking the ears.

The gif, freshwest is a gift~ enjoy!

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #226)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:15 AM

235. Welcome to ignore, sheshe2.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #226)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 08:06 AM

242. +1 for this and the cat pics

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #163)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:18 PM

260. ...


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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:21 PM

173. great post and discussion


I think that much of this goes back to rahm emanuels' 'message management'. It was promoted to give this administration an opportunity to govern with little criticism in the early stages. I think that's when these type of programs went into full swing on progressive sites. I had to leave for a while because du became unrecognizable. I also think that the nsa snowden issue exposed many and some of their followers. There will always be folks who are easily manipulated and those who want to manipulate count on that. Some of the screen names are hilarious and couldn't be more opposite from what they say. The ignore feature is a blessing if we want to move conversation forward.

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Response to xiamiam (Reply #173)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:30 PM

178. I didn't know Rahm Emmanuel did 'message management'

Interesting.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #178)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:49 PM

190. an article by scahill in 2009 on rahms program

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Response to xiamiam (Reply #190)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:29 PM

218. "Message Discipline"!

What's this? This is horrible.

Rahm Emanuel's Think Tankers Enforce 'Message Discipline' Among 'Liberals'

The White House is 'helping' liberal groups to get their political messages in sync with the official line.


How Obama Manages the Liberals

by John Stauber — October 15, 2009

Christopher Hayes reports on the Common Purpose Project: "From day one the (Barack Obama) administration has pursued a strategy of keeping its progressive allies on the White House playbook. In a weekly Tuesday night meeting called Common Purpose, representatives from dozens of well-established progressive groups--environmental organizations, labor unions, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign and others -- gather at the Capital Hilton to meet with White House reps. According to about a half-dozen people who attend, the meeting is generally run by deputy chief of staff Jim Messina and attended by political director Patrick Gaspard, as well as staff from Organizing for America. Often the White House will bring in policy experts to give briefings on legislation such as healthcare or financial reform. Once in a while David Axelrod or Rahm Emanuel shows up. ... If access is the carrot the White House dangles in front of progressive groups, frozen out of the meetings or, worse, having funding squeezed, is the stick. 'There's no question that the big donors are funding the groups that are helping to pass the president's program,' said one attendee. 'And they're not particularly interested in funding groups that are challenging the president's program.' "

http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2009/10/8615/how-obama-manages-liberals


Wow, they really did think we're *retards*.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:36 PM

183. big K and R

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:44 PM

187. That makes a lot of pro-sense! n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 03:53 PM

193. It is a matter of when, not if.

 

We want so badly for our technology to speak to us like it was another human, well we will get that wish one day and not too far off.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:08 PM

214. Kick. Thanks, Catherina.

I can think of examples knowing, of course, they are prepared to deny it.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:23 PM

217. Have you copped to your discredited Venezualen posts yet?

 

[hr][font color="blue"][center]You should never stop having childhood dreams.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #217)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:20 PM

261. Goodbye, randome.


I'm sorry, there just isn't time.

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Response to sibelian (Reply #261)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:48 PM

268. So you think Kerry really did threaten Venezuela?

 

And at the same time admitted the U.S. forced down Bolivia's plane? Be real. No other outlet had this 'story' because it was bogus.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]You should never stop having childhood dreams.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 01:13 AM

234. Your Op is a Hoot Catherina~

Oooh Noooos~

We have entered the Twilight Zone~~~~~



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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #234)


Response to sheshe2 (Reply #234)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:43 PM

266. I love it when they out themselves like this

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #266)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:53 PM

269. LL, can you please edit or self-delete that remark

so I don't have to alert on it? Thank you.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #269)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 08:52 PM

275. Results from your alert.

AUTOMATED MESSAGE: Results of your Jury Service

Mail Message
At Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:03 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

I love it when they out themselves like this
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3368436

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a href="http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=aboutus#communitystandards" target="_blank">Community Standards</a>.)

ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Poster is broadly insinuating that sheshe2, one of the very nicest DUers, is a piece of "persona management" software. The DU Community Standards state: "It is the responsibility of all DU members to participate in a manner that promotes a positive atmosphere and encourages good discussions among a diverse community of people holding a broad range of center-to-left viewpoints." If poster disagrees with sheshe2, there are ways of doing it that don't cast unprovable aspersions and sow discord on DU. Please hide, thank you.

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Mon Jul 29, 2013, 07:14 PM, and the Jury voted 1-5 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: Truth hurts.
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #3 voted to HIDE IT and said: No explanation given
Juror #4 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #5 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I'm not sure that casting aspersions on the author of the OP is the intent of this post, so I'm leaving it alone.
Juror #6 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: The post does not directly implicate anyone else as "persona management" software.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #234)


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:04 AM

243. The thread is almost as illuminating as the OP. Nice work, Cat!

The thread is almost as illuminating as the OP. Nice work, Cat!

I'd never given any real thought to an infiltration of a site as public as DU seeing no real benefit to it on a large scale, but through the OP, the thread and the links , pretty much any question I had was addressed.

And coming across a few of the posts on this thread which trivialize the premise without addressing it actually give credibility to the premise rather than denying it any sound way by illustrating examples and means given.

Cool thread... one that's going to be in my brain for a while.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:17 AM

249. Umm... why are you calling a company "the government"? (nt)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #249)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:17 AM

252. What is fascism? The merger of state and corporate power. n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 10:19 AM

250. This thread is very useful for id'ing one of two groups:

 

1) people posting at DU who support Obama and therefore must be paid infiltrators;

2) crazy people

One of the two groups exists in significant numbers, the other group does not.

I will not claim which one is real and which is the product of paranoid fantasies.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #250)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:26 AM

254. This thread is a who's who of who is who.

What would you suggest I listen to while reading this thread geek tragedy?

Crazy Train - Ozzy?
All The Madmen -Bowie?

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Response to great white snark (Reply #254)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:57 AM

255. .

 

Fwiw, this thread convinced me to trash GD as a forum. It's a forum dedicated to crazy talk.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #255)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:56 PM

281. I'm beginning to agree with you!

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #250)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 10:24 PM

293. Not only that, but the theme of this thread is exceptional for getting Skinner himself

to chime in about the glorious idiocy of people so bored and/or mindless that they have to accuse people who disagree with them of being "paid propagandists".

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12592697
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1259&pid=2715

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 11:26 AM

253. K&R nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 05:47 PM

267. HB Gary always had the look and feel of a limited hangout

and this would have been old news in 2011, and much further along than this breathless dKOS post, going on three years old itself, would suggest.

My rough guess is that: (a) persona management as a US mil-intel technology is infinitely more developed than these "embedded MS Word documents" let on, and (b) the USG isn't using it domestically, at least at the moment. Other intel outfits, e.g. private and non-US gov't, may be however.

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Response to ucrdem (Reply #267)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:11 PM

285. maybe al queda is using bots. or China

 

that would explain some nonsensical posts I have seen.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #285)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 03:59 PM

286. My guess would be a PMSC, "private military and security company,"

apparently a breakout industry in post-911 Anglo-America. From Feb 2007:

Private military and security companies (PMSCs) have become a distinct and increasingly relevant phenomenon in defense and security politics. They can be used in different settings and situations and constitute adequate tools for their various clients.

Yet, there is an intense debate about them since they may and do generate specific problems, including severe violations of democratic norms and human rights codices. . . .

As such this anthology serves the interests of both the layman in the field who may read this book as a thorough and encompassing introduction to the field as well as those of the specialist - be it a politician, a journalist, a defense/security practitioner, a student or an academic - who will find new information and genuine, and sometimes even provocative, ideas.


http://www.privatemilitary.org/private_security_and_military_companies.html

Scads of 'em listed on Wikipedia and Google. And then there's Booz Allen Hamilton, no doubt profiting handsomely from Snowden's boasting, which kind of makes you wonder if he isn't still working for them, doesn't it?

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jul 29, 2013, 09:32 PM

276. kick

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:42 PM

279. k&r

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 04:06 PM

287. No doubt they're using this place as both testing ground and theater of deployment

We get the latest and greatest in computer generated shilling for the status quo. Yay.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #287)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 04:27 PM

288. Seems like the sockbot squad got in a platoon of reinforcements since this OP was posted. nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Wed Jul 31, 2013, 09:28 PM

291. Kicked & Recommended

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Fri Aug 30, 2013, 03:22 AM

295. Well, I can see now what that $52 Billion a year is buying US

 

a completely fake corporate-owned "participatory democracy"

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 03:44 AM

301. Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 05:05 AM

302. This post nearly has hundreds of recommendations. Help put it over the top.

Even you sockpuppets have a vote.

I encountered these sockpuppets clear back in 2,000. On a particular forum they would be nonexistent until the discussion turned to politics then these two guys would pop up and forcefully double team their opponents. Now I recognize them as employees of.....someone.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Mon Jun 2, 2014, 07:51 AM

303. Leave HBGary alone!11!!!11 Only "crazy people" think the USG hired them!

Just like the hoary old, thrice-disproven "it's only metadata" canard, the intent is to misinform the casual reader about what is going on.

1) HBGary make the sales pitch that cyberwarfare has a huge psychological component.

From HBGary's statement of work for the USG.

Understanding aspects of human behavior and cognitive functions to influence adversary decision making (e.g. Psychological Operations (PSYOP) and Military Deception (MILDEC)


http://info.publicintelligence.net/HBGary-CyberWarfare.pdf

2) The USG solicits such work in its solicitations.

From DARPA's "Social Media in Strategic Communication" program:

With the spread of blogs, social networking sites and media-sharing technology, the conditions under which our military forces conduct operations are rapidly changing. These conditions and speed with which information is pass are further accelerated by proliferation of mobile technology. Addressing the implications of these trends is part of preventing strategic surprise. DARPA’s mission is to prevent such surprise.


http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/Programs/Social_Media_in_Strategic_Communication_%28SMISC%29.aspx


Of course, as usual, the "non-crazy" posters here will respond with all the intellectual power at their disposal: A ROFL smiley.


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