It seems that the US Government is planning to use technology to create and manage fake identities for social interaction with terrorists. It is disgusting. In the time or greater openness and accountability brought on by the internet, the US of all places is trying to create a system of sock puppetry. It is just plain stupid because without a doubt the fakes will be found out. The end result will be the diminution, and not the enhancement of American credibility.
This part of the defense budget, that no one wants to cut. Cut NPR, cut just about everything else, but the main items that really affect the budget, the ones with the most fat to cut, and we add a program that will cost millions of dollars so they can spread propaganda.
They want to create fake online people designed to influence internet conversations and spread the greatness of America, American propaganda. They want people with a convincing background, that might leave some us out, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 controllers must be able to operate false identities from their workstations. It has been contracted out to a California company, but it will all military.
This project has been compared by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet.
The truth is this is a program that will be run by the military for the military. I feel that the California company may be just a front for the military, that will have open access to the internet and everyone They will tell you this is to protect you; to counter violet extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US. But they have spied on all Americans for years. They did it during Watergate, tapping phones, during the George’s administration and now they are doing it again. Since we are paying for it, we are spying on ourselves and everyone else. They want to counter extremist ideology and propaganda, keep us safe, the Patriot Act at its finest.
But they could get this all done for free. It is a joke, anyone us could do even a child. There isn’t anything to creating a false identity online. Millions do every day. If the government insists on paying, they can pay us with our own money.
I think we should all volunteer to become little lamp chops. We can all get fake email accounts, Uncle Sam or whatever, and we can create and manage anonymous and pseudonymous identities across most any social service.
Hell, if my government wants to spread information around the world without being detected, why doesn’t it just use Wikileaks? Oh, I forgot, Hillary Clinton called Wikileaks disclosures “not just an attack on American[but an] attack on the international community.” The leaks she said “tear at the fabric” of government.
Yeah, that’s right, it ripped the fabric of the Tunisian government and helped launch the revolts in the Middle East and a wave of freedom. The revolutions of freedom we are seeing came not from war and weapons, or spying, but from a more powerful force: transparency; openness; honesty.
Obama’s knee-jerk response to the WikiLeaks was to condemns, attack and as we all know, torture the alleged leaker and his allies. Our president lost the opportunity to remove himself from a secretive and deceitful history of government.
He ran of a campaign promise to be an open, transparent administrative. Disapprove of the theft of documents, but acknowledge the lesson of the leaks: our government keeps too much from its people. Try to get something from them, fill out FOIA and wait years for it, or get an excuse as to why they can’t. We have interfered in foreign politics and preferred security over democracy. We supported Mubarak for example so allegedly the Middle East would be stable. Stability was the operative word during the Egyptian revolution.
We cannot promote democracy abroad if we do not defend it at home. Once again our rights are being violated in the name of the greater good.
Persona management, as they call it, would face legal challenges if it were turned against citizens of the US, where a number of people engaged in “sock puppetry” have faced prosecution. Still being a lamp chop sounds like fun. We could all sing songs.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
- Fake IDs: Can we trust the social media battlefield? (ctv.ca)
- Bloggers beware: You may be punk’d by the Pentagon (rt.com)
- Wikileaks ‘helped Arab uprisings’ (bbc.co.uk)