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Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 17:49 EDT
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Most people use social media like Facebook and Twitter to share photos of friends and family, chat with friends and strangers about random and amusing diversions, or follow their favorite websites, bands and television shows.

But what does the US military use those same networks for? Well, we can’t tell you: That’s “classified,” a CENTCOM spokesman recently informed Raw Story.

One use that’s confirmed, however, is the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online “personas” managed by the military. Raw Story recently reported that the US Air Force had solicited private sector vendors for something called “persona management software.” Such a technology would allow single individuals to command virtual armies of fake, digital “people” across numerous social media portals.

These “personas” were to have detailed, fictionalized backgrounds, to make them believable to outside observers, and a sophisticated identity protection service was to back them up, preventing suspicious readers from uncovering the real person behind the account. They even worked out ways to game geolocating services, so these “personas” could be virtually inserted anywhere in the world, providing ostensibly live commentary on real events, even while the operator was not really present.

When Raw Story first reported on the contract for this software, it was unclear what the Air Force wanted with it or even if it had been acquired. The potential for misuse, however, was abundantly clear.

A fake virtual army of people could be used to help create the impression of consensus opinion in online comment threads, or manipulate social media to the point where valuable stories are suppressed.

Ultimately, this can have the effect of causing a net change to the public’s opinions and understanding of key world events.

‘Classified social media activities’

According to Commander Bill Speaks, the chief media officer of CENTCOM’s digital engagement team, the public cannot know what the military wants with such technology because its applications are secret.

“This contract,” he wrote in reference to the Air Force’s June 22, 2010 filing, “supports classified social media activities outside the U.S., intended to counter violent extremist ideology and enemy propaganda.”

Speaks insisted that he was speaking only on behalf of CENTCOM, not the Air Force “or other branches of the military.”

While he did reveal who was awarded the contract in question (PDF), he added that the Air Force, which helps CENTCOM’s contracting process out of MacDill, has even other uses for social media that he could not address.

A series of targeted searches for other “persona management software” contracts yielded no results.

Mystery bidder

While data security firm HBGary Federal was among the contract’s bidders listed on a government website, the job was ultimately awarded to a firm that did not appear on the FedBizOpps.gov page of interested vendors.

A controversy over the HBGary firm, which recently had its inner-workings dumped onto the Internet by hackers with protest group “Anonymous,” was what initially brought the “persona” contract to light.

HBGary, which conspired with Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce to attack WikiLeaks, spy on progressive writers and use malware against progressive organizations, was also revealed to have constructed software eerily similar to what the Air Force sought.

“This contract was awarded to a firm called Ntrepid,” Speaks wrote to Raw Story. “In addition to the classified activities this software supports, USCENTCOM, like most military commands, does use social media to inform the public of our activities. I should emphasize that such uses do not employ the kind of technology that was the subject of this contract solicitation.”

Ntrepid Corporation, registered out of Los Angeles, bills itself as a privacy and identity protection firm in some job postings, and a national security contractor in others, but its official website was amazingly just one page deep and free of even a single word of description.

In spite of their thin online presence, Speaks said the firm was awarded $2,760,000 to carry out the “persona management” contract.

He added that it was unclear why the contract went to an unlisted bidder, and that he would try to find out and report back.

Update: On Wednesday morning, Speaks issued the following statement: “Federal Business Opportunities is a tool used to advertise Government requirements. When a requirement is posted on the FedBizOpps.gov website, potential offerors can enter their information into the interested vendors section but, they are not required to in order to be eligible to compete. Additionally, an offeror need not have access to the FedBizOpps.gov website in order to compete for Government contracts.”

Privacy? Or something else?

Ntrepid’s chief technology officer, Lance Cottrell, founded the privacy firm Anonymizer, Inc. in 1995, making him a global leader in identity protection and cryptography. He also runs theprivacyblog.com.

Far from just being involved in privacy efforts, Ntrepid is a player in the national security realm and was invited to give a presentation for the US EUCOM i3T conference, which took place in Berlin last week.

Event organizers described the affair as a series of talks “on the challenges to developing technology, demonstrations of advanced technology pertinent to facilitating and/or enabling security and stability, ways and means of analyzing socio-cultural risks and opportunities, and the operationalization and execution of solutions to mitigate or avail issues with U.S. and multinational partners.”

Featured speakers included the US EUCOM director of intelligence, the director of the Air Force Research Labratory and the chief information officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency, among other high-profile names.

While the company is remarkably scarce with information on their website, descriptions of the firm’s goals seem to vary depending on their job openings.

One post seeking a “senior QA test engineer,” filed with corporate candidate tracking firm Catsone.com, describes Ntrepid as “the global leader in online privacy, anonymity, and identity protection solutions”.

But another help wanted ad, seeking an “intelligence analyst” on Appone.com, described Ntrepid as “a leading provider of technology and managed services to national security customers in the areas of cyber operations, analytics, language engineering, and TTL”.

Its customers are both public and private sector, the ad said.

A Linked In profile of the company cited them as providers of “software, hardware, and managed services for cyber operations, analytics, linguistics, and surveillance.” It had at least 30 employees, according to the business networking site, all located in either San Diego or Washington, DC.

Cottrell himself has advocated on behalf of civil liberties, claiming that widespread Internet surveillance tends to provide no real security benefits.

Efforts to contract both Ntrepid Corporation and Mr. Cottrell did not trigger a response by late Tuesday. A phone number could not be located.

Updated from a prior version after the contract disappeared from a government website.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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  • nomentiro$o

    Lockdown USA coming soon to a door near you.

  • http://twitter.com/Howieisright Howieisright

    It should be called Fox news 2.0.

  • Anonymous

    Yawn.

    Who gives a shit.

    You’re being watched, and you have been all your lives since your first tellyphone call.

    Deal with it.

    It’s boring.

  • Anonymous

    All your phone calls can be voice-translated into text and stored with all the other bad little things you did.

    Even taking a picture of your message and sending it won’t work because they can recognize objects in pictures now.

    Get used to it.

    What ever you do, you be prepared to back it up at the Supreme Court level.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/U3ZIUVQLDOXTHOLCLGSR6NHCYM Camma

    Maybe they are behind Lou Sarah on Facebook.

  • Anonymous

    This is where some of the annoying trolls come from, chumps! And we’re all paying for them to spew propaganda.

    The sick part is, it does get more Orwellian than this.

  • hourglass1

    hey who changed my avatar?

  • Anonymous

    I give a shit.
    I don’t like the fact we’re spending millions on crap like this while the grand austerity programs of our right wing government is gonna hurt. Trillions on war, millions for crap like this, and now we’re gonna have social security gutted, huge cut backs in vital services, and huge tax cuts for billionaires.

    Yeah, I give a shit, and I know the NSC and the DHS has been gathering everyones stuff. It goes beyond that.

    You don’t give a shit, but many others do.

  • Anonymous

    Military drones and now GI “ventriloquists.” Armed Forces: a place where mis-fits go that can not get along in normal societies.

  • Anonymous

    used for inciting people in other countries to revolt, like egypt, tunisa, libya, ……..

  • Guest

    Cut this shit instead of social programs!

    There wouldn’t be a “budget problem” if all the fucking military-spending bullshit was lowered or completely stopped!

    Oh…and there is the matter of those two “little” wars of aggression that is becoming more and more invisible daily as the numbers keep building to finance them and the (Now mostly unreported) bodies keep stacking up.

  • Anonymous

    When I suggested that the American government might be behind the current unrest in the Middle East or even suggested that it might not just be a spontaneous eruption of democratic feeling, I was told I was nuts right here at RS by some of the posters here!

  • ThatBostonMan

    If it’s for law enforcement activities why the hell would it need to be “classified”?

  • http://www.ameridane.org/ thingwarbler

    it’s always revealing to see the hypocrites in congress go on about the dire financial straits we’re in, and how americans must tighten the belt and yada yada yada and then you find the footnote about all the cuts only hitting discretionary spending, not defense and department of homeland security. such utter bullshit it is.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEUDUVF5EGJZRZETF3KV53P7BQ Thomas

    I suspect the social activities are where and when the drug and gun shipments will be arriving and if the payment is to be made in dollars, gold or 7 year old boys.

  • http://twitter.com/Bootstrapbettys Bootstrap Betty

    It’s also false consensus. They are using the software to bombard forums and message board with like commentary that makes the opposing viewpoint marginalized even when the majority of real readers share the opposing view.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    this explains “ThatBostonGuy” for one…

  • Anonymous

    ThatBostonBot

    Yeah, he fits the profile.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Will people finally get HuffPost to re-print this story! This directly affects news sites with reader comments and it looks like the military IS a major covert presence on these liberal sites.

  • Anonymous

    Wayne Madsen broke this story a bit ago, but yes.

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ hounddogg

    well…speak of the devil!…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Fear is also a military tactic…Im sure the Trolls use it non-sparingly. Don’t get used to anything. They finally suspended emergency rule in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco…sustain resistance. RZST

  • Anonymous

    They’re keeping us safe. Support the troops, even when they waste grillions. Right, teagaggers?

  • Anonymous
  • Guest

    WELL SAID, thingwarbler!

  • Anonymous

    The teagaggers will be all over this, right?

  • Anonymous

    This is how they duped the Arabs into revolting. Destabilize and conquer. Welcome to world war 3

  • Anonymous

    President Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex. He was very insightful but he couldn’t even imagine the eventual scope of the the MIC, especially when it became aligned with the MSM. I’ve been rereading 1984 and I recommend a review of that remarkably prescient book.

  • hegesias

    Huh? Conquer? It has had a US puppet dictator for 30 years. Who is “conquering” it?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_J2BKVG44GLNRGIAYKD7UO4O27E Arthur Young

    This is what I see , when I hear about how we have to reign in cost and that we can’t continue to be spending for social programs and that we the public are too demanding , they are so full of it…that it is spilling out for all to see. We are supposed to believe our Representatives when they tell us the coffers are empty, then tell me why is it they can throw money into the Military, Public Works, The Penal System, The Educational System and none of this wheeling and dealing “trickles down ” to where it is needed, it’s quite simple it is sucked up by Contractors and Vendors etc and there is no oversight or anything else. The 2 Parties are a joke, how long must we hold our breath until there is a realization that we are being berated, ignored, abused by a dysfunctional government on both levels. Money for everything and everybody….except for our fellow citizens who are being raked over the coals. Some of our Leaders don’t even want to sit at a table just to hammer out a rough agreement.

  • Anonymous

    So I or you could be a FOP (Fake Online Persona) under PMS (Persona Management Software). Now I know why most of the idiots I challenge on here don’t respond… They weren’t programmed for response once contacted by the person they commented to.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Hey wait a minute; doesn’t that software violate the sacred terms of service agreements of the social media sites? Can’t believe the US gov would do something like that. My god, is nothing scared anymore?

  • overdoneputaforkinit

    Your lack of consent is resistance to treatment. We will both work to overcome your resistance to treatment and then we will proceed to help you adapt to the new world order. We will help you adapt to the new reality we have created for everyone for your benefit. We will help you feel comfortable with alternate ways of viewing reality. We are here to help you. Your comfort is our goal. Thank you for your assistance in reaching your new goal.

  • Jaimie11

    We have a host of them on the RS blog.

  • Jaimie11

    He says one thing one day, the opposite the next. Programmed to be oppositional.

    You know where he got his name? It’s the title of a romance novel.

    http://www.amazon.com/That-Boston-Man-Massachusetts-Americana/dp/0759238316/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/184-3178295-1338324

  • Jaimie11

    You are narrow minded just as I have observed, you fake liberal – here’s a real liberal for you.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/21/947947/-The-Koch-Brothers-End-Game-in-Wisconsin

  • kiboshki

    It’s called FOX Nation.

  • Anonymous

    They should be!!

  • Sandi

    The reason for this is just so obvious. Most people are honest people who have no reason not to trust others. The government, however, trusts no one and thinks everyone can be used to further their agenda. So, they use these sites to document everything. . . who your aunts and uncles are, who your second and third cousins are. They know who all your family connections are. . . connections most don’t want to give up easily. Remember. . . Freedom is not free. Those who fight for freedom always have to act in secrecy. With Facebook and Twitter there is no secrecy.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7TFC4AB4FMVYBR6EU5WCZ653IU Bob Hardin

    I wonder how many of these “personas” are posting on Yahoo right now, in this very thresd.

  • Sandi

    You really think this is about propaganda? No. . . look around you. The planet is in turmoil. There is a war going on–a war between the people and those in power. That’s why “they” need to have a hand in our internet. Pick your side now. Are you for the “masses” or are you for the “establishment”?

    “These are the times that try men’s souls”.

  • Daren_Gray

    A pitch perfect imitation of the very software being discussed in this article. Nice.

    Often the apathetic and weak-minded citizens will do the job of the oligarchs out of their own dog-ass ambivalence and ignorance. Or… not an actual human at all. These “meh,” “yawn,” and “move on” type comments always pepper articles like this where privacy, civil rights, or the welfare of common citizens are at stake. How about go fuck yourself, astroturf.

  • Daren_Gray

    We need to organize face-to-face, people. One to one.

    The Internet is more honeypot and manipulation portal as it is a tool for genuine reform. Get your smut and your sports scores online, but don’t *EVER* fall into the belief that this mechanism is anything other than the holy grail for surveillance and mass manipulation.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like using this software would be a breach of the terms of service of both Facebook and Twitter.

  • Anonymous

    LOL

  • Anonymous

    Move along, citizen. Nothing to see here.

  • Daren_Gray

    America is a living monument to the Stasi, who were complete and utter amateurs, quaint in their awkward attempts at mass control. A nation of informers, betrayers. Yep, your family. Yes, your friends. Most Americans would turn you in, spill the beans, or tar you with the brush of subversion if offered a two-for-one sandwich coupon at Subway. Many would do it simply because they are bored. Or want to gain a modicum of attention. Americans are loyal to their cellphones, brand of soda, and sports franchises. That’s it.

    We need to keep our trusted social networks two and three deep and only discuss substantive topics face-to-face. Of course, this will make the oligarchs furious and they regard any conversation that they cannot record, index, and process at their whim as innately evil and therefore of a terrorist nature. Preferring to communicate in private makes you a pedophile, mass murderer, or psychopath in the eyes of the state.

    Only the evil and truly twisted seek privacy in America.

  • ghostof911

    Even though they stick out like Rush Limbaugh in a crowd of cheerleaders, they can be very disruptive. It wasn’t mentioned in this Raw account, but another story stated the perps get paid $250/hour.

    HBGary was preparing to pay folks $250/hour to manage such personas on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as part of the U.S. Chamber plot.

  • ghostof911

    a place where mis-fits go

    Only if they can’t make it as professional wrestlers.

  • Jaimie11

    They must have come over from Puff-Ho where they seem to have done an excellent job of keeping all the correct ideas lined up in neat rows for the naive and delusional. We’re swarmed with them. And what an insult – we’re paying their wages with phony money we are also liable for paying back to the crooks.

    But, spirit, have you seen this?

    http://in.news.yahoo.com/cia-spy-davis-giving-nuclear-bomb-material-al-20110219-224833-452.html

  • ghostof911

    Should anyone really care that someone is collecting a lot of useless information about us? I don’t, although I’m afraid the information someone collects on me would bore someone to death, and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s death.

    The millions spent on the pointless exercise is a concern. Those designating money to be wasted are abusing the public trust.

  • ghostof911

    I’ve been poking around. I don’t think the article has merit.

  • Anonymous

    so agree on 1984… it’s simply a must read for understanding power and human beings… someone might read ‘war is peace’ and think why? read and find out, Orwell nailed it…

  • Anonymous

    certainly us companies related to the MIC probably played a hand. we need to know what companies, what tools, etc. ferret out all this stuff, let’s see if egypt’s new rulers can provide that…

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha ha ha ha. Flew right over the cuckoo’s nest.

  • Anonymous

    another reason to stay way from huffpo..

  • Anonymous

    I think their has been a few of these “persona’s” here on raw story. Not a heavy reader of this site but in the past I’ve noticed several posters who seemed to be on every story at once and multiple times posting on each within a short time frame. Just struck me as too orchestrated to be random posters.

  • Jaimie11

    I wonder – I haven’t seen it in the Pakistani and Indian papers yet it originated in Yahoo India – weird huh? But the “conspiracy” sites have all picked it up.

    The papers in Pakistan are saying Davis is a recruiter for al Qaeda – well that would not be a surprise but is it the whole story? Could be. Think NYT will pick it up?

  • Anonymous

    The US military sure is awfully bad at keeping secrets. I’m not certain I feel entirely comfortable having my freedom defended by an organization with that level of incompetence. Maybe things will get better once the tea-baggers have thoroughly privatized it.

  • Guest

    Fuck, why not just classify the whole damned government and get it over with you fucking fascists. Excuse my language.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Whatever the Wehrmacht/Luftwaffe is up to, you can be sure it is no good. Probably inspired by criminal Republicans, and paid for by money stolen from the middle class, and to be used against the middle class.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    No, nothing is sacred if a dollar is to be made from it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    It is not the troops that are up to evil doings. They are pawns, just as the rest of the middle class. They tend to believe the government BS more than the rest of the citizens. Not their fault that they are being duped.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/42THFKXIPMJHQBIH6OPI4RVIDY Thebes

    Our ubiquitous video screens are now monitoring and manipulating us in ways even Orwell never envisioned.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7TFC4AB4FMVYBR6EU5WCZ653IU Bob Hardin

    (1) I wonder how long they have been doing this, or something like this. Is the Ntrepid program just an improvement on already functioning technology?

    (2) The Yahoo forums on the Wisconsin demonstrations have been 5 to 1 negative toward the unions. But polls show about an even split. Is this skew on Yahoo the result of targeting with multiple VPN protected accounts?

    (3) WTF is the Air Force doing in this enterprise? The Air Force?

  • Anonymous

    What dumbfuck would pick up a telephone owned by AT&T and expect privacy?

    A dumbfuck like you.

    Blow it out your ass, assmonkey.

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    So, are you one of the personas?

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    You have got to be one of the personas. You have a prolific amount of posts and they run consistently extremist. Where are you from?

  • http://twitter.com/Michael_Gaston Michael Gaston

    I believe Ericoroded is a persona. He has over a thousand posts and they run consistently pro-extremist right wing nut whack type of posts. He is also on Huff post.

  • jimbo92107

    I was just talking about the manipulation of Twitter feeds by what appeared to be manipulated re-tweets of opinions that were pushing an agenda.

    Now I see it’s the US military. Mother. Fuckers.

    These people need to be punished. The question is how…

  • Anonymous

    this definitely seems to me like what happens in the early stages of a high-tech “oceania” a la 1984.

  • Anonymous

    The US military is ruining the internet? I wondered where all the rightwing retards were coming from. Turns out they weren’t even real.

    Can you imagine one worthless GOPer like Feith running this thing?

  • http://www.tommyjonestheband.com RantingTommy

    What about my jewish friends that can’t stand Israel?

  • http://thepoliticalbandit.com/ William Cormier

    What you said is true, which is exactly why the fascists have to utilize propaganda to deceive the masses. Re-forming public opinion through lies and deception has worked countless times in the past – and if you quiz the Average American on what’s going on today you will find that it still works today.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Valentine/1277133078 Michael Valentine

    Domestic propaganda.

  • Anonymous

    Pre-conditioning, that book is.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D34K3MFMDQPZHR6NMFYZBOJI6I Scott

    Why was this labeled exclusive, it has been all over the 2nd tier news for weeks.

  • http://twitter.com/PyreBorn Darth Pyre

    That’s what people don’t understand Israel =/= Jewish, I know very few Jewish people that approve of Israel anymore

  • http://www.nu4ya.com/ neuph

    dude, you are so totally a “persona”. anyone who says things like “yawn”, “get over it”, “it’s been happening for so long” and anything like “i’ve known about this for so long it’s old news” is clearly part of the propaganda program…

    really, d’ya think 1938 germans would be morally correct if they’d said “yawn, this nazism has been happening for years now, deal with it, it’s boring”?

    i’d like to see if the Koch bros., neo-con organizations, BP oil or other private co.’s etc. have all purchased the same program.

  • Wyrdless

    The fake online personas could be identified in a publicly edited database so that their usefulness would be eliminated

  • http://twitter.com/THEEPITBULL TheOminousParallels

    Tempus Omnia Revelat

    There’s more going on here than people know; Josef Mengele still lives :(

    The Ominous Parallels – http://www.theominousparallels.blogspot.com/

    The Ominous Parallels is a web site that discusses how The United States government uses organized Harassment and Torture perpetrated by the National Security Agency (NSA), Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) and other government agency’s using Military grade Psychological Operations and Direct Energy Weapons against United States citizens, and other countries citizens from around the world.

    As a former Intelligence community worker working for Science Applications International Corporation I’ve come under covert-overt attack by the National Security Apparatus for whistle-blowing that the office I worked in located at Chantilly, VA right beside the Dulles International Airport for Science Applications International Corporation was empty on the morning of the 11th of September 2001.

    THE COMPANY AS A WHOLE KNEW IN ADVANCE THAT THE ATTACKS WHERE COMING!=FOREKNOWLEDGE

    Since leaving Science Applications International Corporation I’ve been under constant surveillance, constant harassment by the U.S. Government, its agency’s and Science Application International Corporation. The Ominous Parallels website discusses the specifics concerning these covert types of harassment – active measures that I’ve been exposed to and have experienced; moreover, the specifics of how these operations work.

    For emphasis, this includes methodologies of psychological torture via direct energy weapons and covert operations. Philippe Sands book titled “The Torture Team” is profound as it speaks to these methodologies that I have experienced as a TI.

    As a TI I know that the torture at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are a “by-product” of something much more sinister that is going on in our world. My hope is that one day these programs will be exposed and to that end The Ominous Parallels website seeks to educate the public about these kinds of weapons, operations, players and the effect it is having on our world.

    More important is how the inhumane actions of our government parallels that of Nazi Germany between 1933 – 1945.

    This is REAL; TIs need some kind of safe-haven!

    Love “Light” and Energy

    _Don

    (((3)))

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000073-Hypnotic-Mind-Control-101.pdf [Right Click Save As]

    http://theominousparallels.blogspot.com/2010/01/unwo-control-matrix-ynthetic.html [Posted January of 2010]

    http://www.theominousparallels.blogspot.com

    http://www.topblog3.blogspot.com

    http://www.theominousparallel.net

    Report submitted 07/03/07

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000009-Cover-Letter.doc

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000010-The-Ominous-Parallels-Report.doc [Read with discernment]

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000011-News-Since-Report-Release.doc

    References:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/expose/expose_2007/episode204/watch.html

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7238049

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0210/S00034.htm

  • Anonymous

    Um, the Pentagon?

  • Anonymous

    Along with former 4-star generals/current defense contractor-ceo’s pepperred all over the news, actual paid-shill newspeople, paid (suckers) trolls… they’re re-writing the propaganda playbook.

    Goebbels.com?

    All this, as opposed to just acting like a decent, freedom-loving democracy. It’s cheaper, and it actually WOULD win the hearts and minds of the world. We wouldn’t have to worry about extremists and jihadists and all that.

    Thank goodness for Anonymous… no matter how much money they pour into this sh*t, some 17 year-old computer genius hacker will always be able to expose these bastards. For free.

  • Anonymous

    Shoulda wrote “Goebbels-dot-com”… not a link, satire!

  • Anonymous

    Howz that $250/hr?

    or is it $0.00025/post?

    Or are you just a jackass for free?

  • Anonymous

    You don’t own the wires, you can’t expect privacy.

    Next!

  • Anonymous

    Good grief. Are we now the North Vietnamese? North Koreans? The enemy? Is this what we pay taxes for?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    The value of ‘virtual flashmobs’ cant be underestimated. Imagine if during the Alternet article by Chauncey DeVega where Herman Cain was lambasted as an ‘Uncle Tom’…if the trolls with brand new 1 day old identities and hate speech to spare had instead each had a unique and fully fleshed out identity…as well as a single coherent point neatly articulated several different ways…and were indistinguishable from real commenters.

    We already know that opinion flows a lot like rivers…if a path is precut for them, they take the easiest route for the most part. This kind of research is overdue…in the sense that the web has been like the wild west compared to our stale, moribund televised media…and new research into drowning out alternative opinions and shaping discourse discretely in digital mediums has found its time…

    …especially in the era of Wikileaks…which is a digital medium experience with ramifications that can be downplayed via televised media…but not online…and lo and behold…here we are a few months later with new online resources for social media manipulation being looked into and explored by the military.

    Staying conscious of the fact that propaganda is all around us is exhausting…but the other choice is even uglier.

  • Anonymous

    More patronizing namecalling posing as critique, I didn’t see this post until a few minutes ago. But this morning when I first became aware of this situation from a response posted by someone at the website below:

    http://newsjunkiepost.com/2011/02/20/may-1933-hitler-abolishes-unions/comment-page-1/#comment-11830

    I immediately posted this response at Raw Story:

    “Evidently all this union busting crap is just a diversion, although a helpful diversion for the Republicans and their anti-union cohorts, according to one Harry Johnson responding at another site, buried deep in the bill eradicating the unions and collective bargaining is another more pertinent aspect for Koch Industries energy company arm.

    “According to Mr. Johnson ” ‘commander in chief’ walker of Wisconsin has a provision in his bill to sell off state owned power plants to his cronies with no bid.”

    “Now we see what might be the real payoff for the Koch Brothers; I wonder how many other states in this current circle jerk that we are seeing from Montana to Iowa and Ohio also have this same small print in their union busting bills?”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/22/wisconsin-capitol-blocks-pro-union-website/#comment-154565724

    So, how does this make me a fake anything. I said what I said based on what I knew when I was saying it. When I received more information I changed my position immediately, without reading anything at DailyKos. I took the information processed it and made a comment based on that new information. Isn’t that exactly what you claim you do and what I can’t do or refuse to do? I’d say you are wrong on all counts about me.

    If you want to check the veracity of what I just said here you can check the times of my posts on the “May 1933″ story where Mister Johnson first informed me of this!

  • Anonymous

    Aren’t FB, Google and Twit et al. owned by the CIA anyway?

  • jimbo92107

    I like the US military! Do you like the US military? I like the US military!

    FunctionEnd

  • jimbo92107

    TeaBagBot says:

    I support the troops! Don’t you support the troops? I hate taxes! Don’t you hate taxes?

    FunctionEnd

  • jimbo92107

    There is no evidence to support this story! I like the US military! Don’t you like the US military?

    FunctionEnd

  • jimbo92107

    If you think programming bots with fake personalities is tough, then you haven’t taken a mid-level programming course.

  • jimbo92107

    BotNation welcomes the HumanOpinion of ericoroded! This topic is boring! You’re being watched. Conform!

  • ghostof911

    Jaimie, this is a peculiar story. I searched around, but found mention of it only way at the bottom of a European Union Times article. I said the story didn’t have merit because, although it’s explosive, no one else is picking it up. Since the Russian SVR was mentioned, it could have been falsely planted.

    Bizarre.

  • ghostof911

    What would a high-level programming course be like?

  • Anonymous

    Why do you believe the military is over 54 percent of our national budget.
    Which most is secret.
    More than the money which all countries combined spend on military.

    Halliburton’s Hidden Treuhand
    2008
    Vanity Fair reported shipments of over $12 billion in cash to Iraq. $9 billion of the cash is gone and unaccounted for.
    http://www.truth-out.org/article/halliburtons-hidden-treuhand

  • Jaimie11

    I found this spirit – it supports your take – Sorcha Faal is probably SVR. Even Alex Jones has dropped it.

    http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=77278

  • ghostof911

    Your link didn’t work, but no biggie. Makes you respect the folks who write blog posts for a living. They have to sort through the bs to find the true stories on a routine basis.

  • Jaimie11

    That’s too bad – it still works for me – try this and let me know if it doesn’t – http://tinyurl.com/49x6u4f

  • ghostof911

    Nope. Neither link fires. The gremlins must be attacking.

  • Jaimie11

    Here is the newspaper front page – a link to the story is there – I hope it works.

    http://pakobserver.net/

  • ghostof911

    Your links appear to be fine. There appears to be a problem with the connection to Pakobserver. None of the links to it in Google open for me. I’ll try your links later.

  • Jaimie11

    The original Yahoo India story has appeared on Veterans Today. It’s gonna get legs now.

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/02/22/cia-agent-davis-accused-of-delivering-dirty-bomb-to-taliban/

  • ghostof911

    That works. Thanks. I’ll ask around to see if there’s truth to it.

  • ghostof911
  • Jaimie11

    The plot thickens…thanks spirit. Very interesting.

    Had to reply here – the column is too narrow under your firedoglake post for the reply button to show.

  • http://twitter.com/GinnyHoge Virginia Hoge

    I know all about this phenomena, having been on Topix for almost two years. Whats scary is how it its moving into Facebook and other social media. I can tell you from Topix, its crazy how one lunatic, yet trained, troll, can have dozens of personas and claim to be many different people. They can easily control a debate and its totally deceptive. It takes so much effort to out these name-changing trolls, to identify them as a single person, and the entire time, they can claim you are inaccurate. It takes anonymous posting to a new and much more lethal level. Awareness of this phenomena is really needed.

  • Anonymous

    Cut the military budget so the defense contractor pigs can’t waddle up to the trough. Ike was right…you can’t have a functional democracy with this military industrial complex.

  • Anonymous

    Cut the military budget so the defense contractor pigs can’t waddle up to the trough. Ike was right…you can’t have a functional democracy with this military industrial complex.

  • http://twitter.com/THEEPITBULL TheOminousParallels

    Tempus Omnia Revelat – Let’s keep this thread alive and at the TOP!

    There’s more going on here than people know; Josef Mengele still lives :(

    The Ominous Parallels – http://www.theominousparallels.blogspot.com/

    The Ominous Parallels is a web site that discusses how The United States government uses organized Harassment and Torture perpetrated by the National Security Agency (NSA), Science Application International Corporation (SAIC) and other government agency’s using Military grade Psychological Operations and Direct Energy Weapons against United States citizens, and other countries citizens from around the world.

    As a former Intelligence community worker working for Science Applications International Corporation I’ve come under covert-overt attack by the National Security Apparatus for whistle-blowing that the office I worked in located at Chantilly, VA right beside the Dulles International Airport for Science Applications International Corporation was empty on the morning of the 11th of September 2001.

    THE COMPANY AS A WHOLE KNEW IN ADVANCE THAT THE ATTACKS WHERE COMING!=FOREKNOWLEDGE

    Since leaving Science Applications International Corporation I’ve been under constant surveillance, constant harassment by the U.S. Government, its agency’s and Science Application International Corporation.

    The Ominous Parallels website discusses the specifics concerning these covert types of harassment – active measures that I’ve been exposed to and have experienced; moreover, the specifics of how these operations work.

    For emphasis, this includes methodologies of psychological torture via direct energy weapons and covert operations. Philippe Sands book titled “The Torture Team” is profound as it speaks to these methodologies that I have experienced as a TI.

    As a TI I know that the torture at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are a “by-product” of something much more sinister that is going on in our world. My hope is that one day these programs will be exposed and to that end The Ominous Parallels website seeks to educate the public about these kinds of weapons, operations, players and the effect it is having on our world.

    More important is how the inhumane actions of our government parallels that of Nazi Germany between 1933 – 1945.

    This is REAL; TIs need some kind of safe-haven!

    Love “Light” and Energy

    _Don

    (((3)))

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000073-Hypnotic-Mind-Control-101.pdf [Right Click Save As]

    http://theominousparallels.blogspot.com/2010/01/unwo-control-matrix-ynthetic.html [Posted on these type of activities in January of 2010]

    http://www.theominousparallels.blogspot.com

    http://www.topblog3.blogspot.com

    http://www.theominousparallels.net

    Report submitted 07/03/07

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000009-Cover-Letter.doc

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000010-The-Ominous-Parallels-Report.doc [Read with discernment]

    http://www.theominousparallels.net/docs/000011-News-Since-Report-Release.doc

    References:

    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/expose/expose_2007/episode204/watch.html

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7238049

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0210/S00034.htm

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    Do these social drones lead the social sheeple by hitting the like button on their own commits? Just when I got my first like,I find out it could be a drone hit.OMG am I real or a billboard on the highway to hell? One question if these guys sold them such high tech shit is ANON real or a way to “take over ever thin”? NAH, they just want you to think they’re smart enough to control it all after paying some hack for shit that only works in their mind.

  • Anonymous

    I guess if you out source it you can claim it wasnt you.

    Smith-Mundt Act!!!!

  • Elim

    I’m glad I’m not involved with this social media bullshit. Posting on forums is as much as I do, and damned few of those. I do not Twitter, Facebook or Myspace.

  • Elim

    I saw that, though from a different source. That fits right in with our alternate (other than elected) government who perpetrate false flag operations by giving terrorists what they need to build and place a bomb. That’s how the first WTC bombing happened. In fact, that’s how most terrorist bombs happen.

  • Elim

    There’s got to be some software that’ll tell us who the personas are. After all, for every disease they invent, they also invent the cure. For a price, of course.

  • Elim

    What profile? What is the profile?

  • Elim

    The place where poor people go when they want to eat, have health care and a roof over their heads for themselves and their families.

  • Elim

    I read an interesting theory yesterday, that the reason our government is so contrary and unresponsive to us, is so we will lose faith in it, and demand something new–which they already have waiting in the wings for us.

    Same as it alway was: Create the Problem, wait for our (predictable) Reaction, then offer us their Solution.

  • Elim

    He’s on HuffPo with the same name?

  • Elim

    Yes. And Wikileaks (sorry, believers!) and Alex Jones and Sorcha Faal.

  • Elim

    Well, we could send them to another war….

  • Elim

    But then non-persona people would end up on the list simply because their opinions were not well received. How would you like to be one of them?

  • Elim

    Charlie Sheen and Rick Sanchez tried it. Look how well it worked for them.

  • Elim

    And they’re all Americans, right?

  • Elim

    Anyone could do that on Topix, without the help of any software. Topix really sucks, because you cannot reply directly to people right under their post. If you are replying to someone on page one, and there are 50 pages in the thread, your reply goes to page 50. I never registered, so I am unaware of the functionality a registered user would get as opposed to an anonymous poster.

  • Wyrdless

    That is why there could be an online peer reviewed process to review the
    quality of publicly available goods. Peer review reduces errors.
    It works for doctors, cars, and software. why not for people?

    What is your solution? try to convince them not to do it? Do nothing?

  • Elim

    You mean some sort of vetting process? No, I don’t like the sound of it.

    I don’t think there is an equitable solution. Maybe some other software that would identify and exclude.

  • lilyannerose

    A few posting trolls I know of comes to my mind!

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