Whats that then?
The secretive US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has awarded arms globocorp General Dynamics a $10m contract to set up a network of psychological-warfare "influence websites" supporting the Global War On Terror. France and Britain are specifically included as "targeted regions". SOCOM is principally famous for its large …
Nothing new here, just the outsourcing of what has been done for years. I'm not surprised the Obumbler administration is so calm about releasing this info on a military astroturf campaign, it must be from long-term exposure to people like David Axelrod. And for all those posters that will ask why would the US be looking at us in the UK, do you really need reminding where loons like Richard Reid came from?
Let the Games begin .... although being light years behind in the Genre is a disadvantageous starting point, guaranteeing newbie status and constant elementary errors for vulnerability exploitation and/or Red Team BetaCrashTesting.
What's the point?
Anyone in the UK who wants to read news on-line can just go to the BBC.
Are the US likely to be able to tempt enough people to read their site to make any difference? I sincerely doubt it. I'm pretty sure it will be the same for other languages too.
Anyone who reads a "news" website and doubts the validity, accuracy or impartiality of the information can quite easily look elsewhere. If it seems more impartial (or more in keeping with their worldview) then they will soon stop reading US propaganda/fud.
Nothing anywhere will make me like Americans. I am not against the country, it is the "We are right, you listen." attitude that I can't stand. People will support America when it starts actually asking (and caring) before telling someone their opinion.
Still a few million quid in my bank account and I will quite happily believe them (not actually support them). If for no other reason than I am easy like that. :)
Otherwise our government will role over, have it's belly tickled by their owners - and let it happen. Nothing new to this, nothing shocking, same old sad sorry tale of UK government bends over for American bosses.
...Richard Reid did indeed come from Britain, yes. But then where did the Oklahoma bombers come from? And who funded the IRA?
It doesn't seem to have occurred to SOCOM that the reason they need sites like this to try and convince *everyone* that they're right is because *everyone* thinks they're wrong. Maybe they should look into that instead, or perhaps military authorities prohibit anyone from thinking they might be wrong themselves?
"PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information"
n. dispersion, spreading, distribution, diffusion
I am sure that they intended the synonym distribution but with things like this it's more likely to be diffusion in that by the time they've finished the truthful information will be very thin indeed.
If you haven't figured it out, if you're reading this, you're not the target audience.
I am a little disappointed that it took this long for the US and British military/government wonks to figure out that they need this.
You have to look at it from this perspective.
Al Queda et al are spreading their 'message' via the web where they encourage recruits.
Psych Ops should have ramped up a set of counter sites years ago to counter the message from these so called Jihadists.
Its all part of winning the hearts and minds of the brainless twits who are willing to become terrorists because they don't even grok their own religion.
Its actually a good thing.
Oh and while I'd love to see the US military taking over the Page 3 stuff, I don't think that their targeted audience would be interested in that sort of thing. :-(
(Yet another reason to call these terrorists a bunch of mindless twits. What red blooded guy wouldn't want to look at and objectify a beautiful woman? Besides being gay?)
PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information to Linux audiences in support of MS policy... these activities are not forms of force, but are force multipliers that use nonviolent means in often violent environments... they rely on logic, fear, desire or other mental factors... The ultimate objective of MS psychological operations is to convince Linux, platform agnostic, and MS fans and forces to take action favorable to MS...
Their purpose can range from gaining support for MS operations to preparing the battlefield for combat.
FUD, FUD, FUD
....ha ha haaaaa
Good luck, lets start with the Black Country..
That should keep them going for a year or two...
Then move onto say Geordie,
and then Glaswegian
No point doing cockney as all English people speak that anyway, according to Hollywood at least.
I can't help thinking that could also include US commercial goals, so not just limited to the War On Terror(tm).
"dissemination of web-based influence products and tools in support of strategic and long-term U.S. Government goals"
Yep, I'm still thinking, possibly also includes US commercial goals. (But then the War On Terror(tm) has also already been hugely profitable for some companies (and governments) and just think of all the extra strings its bought the governments to play with for years to come).
Just one problem, they should rename the group running it, the Ministry of Truth.
This "operation" is not to counter terrorism ala Al Quaeda, but the terror of unemployment. Since unemployment is still going up, this is really to create employment for people who would otherwise be watching TV. Look at the real requirements: speak with a British accent? Eh, what? Maybe I should apply. Lord knows I've watched Dr. Who way too much.
> to twist some of Maggie Thatchers words: Being the target of American propaganda is as threatening as being savaged by a lamb.
That wasn't Margaret Thatcher, that was Denis Healey, said of a verbal attack on him from Geoffrey Howe: "...like being savaged by a dead sheep", in the House in June 1978.
Jimmy Edwards for the contemporaneous pedantry.
I tire of the warnings about how close we're getting to Nineteen Eighty Four; an organisation for the "dissemination of truth" suggests they're taking the joke and running with it.
Oh well, from now on, whenever I encounter someone being Wrong on the Internet, I can accuse them of working for SOCOM.
Tell that to the people who were first targeted by propaganda, then by death squads coached/financed from within various US embassies. Ah yes, Reagan was a Great Communicator.
Nice lamb. Wait.. is there a wolf underneath??
You search for the WMD's, you conveniently "find" the WMDs, there is an "accident" with the WMDs that both takes care of the target, errr, aggressor and in the process proves both that they had WMDs and how dangerous they were, and you have everyone kissing your ass for years for saving theirs.
mines the one with a suitcase nuke and a ticket to an oil rich country in the pocket.
First off %99 of Americans look at this article and go gdamn worthless government pissing off one of our only allies left in the world. The fact is both the US and the UK have incompetent embarassing governments (regardless of party in charge) that are completely beholden to their own comfortable bureaucracy and large corporations who give big donations (BT, BAE, AIG, BoA, etc). Never mind the little people who they are supposed to serve. Western governance has sure taken the piss since Baby Boomers got in charge.
Our Special Relationship with the US?
Ah that's the one similar to the kind of relationship of obese, dribbling businessman with certain pecadillos and the desperate, penniless young call girl on her first "job", both stuck in a fetid, sleazy motel room! You pick which one you think we are.
"Nothin' proper 'bout your propaganda!" - RaTM
Methinks US Psyops have their work cut out to Counter the Spread of Words of Mass Discombobulation which merely Offer an Alternative Perspective which is impossible to deny and which can pop up anywhere.
"And all of these nation-states, non-nation-states, worldwide trends flow together, react in different ways and form the international environment in which the Untied States pursues its interests." .... http://www.dni.gov/interviews/20090915_interview.pdf
Quite a significantly true Freudian slip/typo there, Mr Blair.
"We do have to be very aggressive in the areas that you cited in cyber, both protecting our own secrets and stealing those of others, because not only in the developed countries but through the world information is moving to networks. And that’s where you have to go to learn what other countries and other groups are up to. And that’s what you have to be able to protect in order to be able to do your own work without it."...... Buying other peoples secrets rather than thinking to steal them, especially if the secrets relate to anything in cyber networking is a much better idea, for some players in the field field juicy titbits /honey traps which are intelligently designed to explode and decimate a system, if stolen/phished/deployed without payment..... which is very fair and perfectly proper, is it not.
"DIRECTOR BLAIR: That nexus is a toxic mixture. If you look at places like Afghanistan, the Taliban gets a large portion of its revenue from the opium trade in that country."
Uncle Sam has no funding streams to contend with as it simply prints as many dollars as it wants, which does though make the dollar extremely vulnerable when friend and foe alike quite reasonably want a piece of that Big Easy Action to buy friends and influence people. The biggest terrorists already in the US and holding the nation to ransom, are the Bankers and Gamblers on Wall Street who offer nothing themselves to markets but make silly money dreaming up schemes and scams to sell themselves as being indispensible and too big to fail. What a shower of wasters and losers they are.
And it is that sort of information/intelligence which is an abiding attack vector/systemic vulnerability which has no viable present defence.
And as for Blighty, well, .... it is unkind to mock the afflicted and intellectually challenged.
"Contractor is required to incorporate into TRWI websites the use of ... downloads of wall papers (inclusive of calendars) when directed by SOCOM"
Commander, you are ordered to put 25% more LOLcats on your site. Moaaar!!
But seriously, this is pretty messed up IMHO. But, I doubt it'll be real successful -- I mean, non-military astroturfing seems to be unearthed in very short order, bloggers are obsessed with finding out Microsoft, Sony, etc., are really paying for those mysteriously good reviews. I really think any gov't-funded astroturfing will be uncovered quite quickly.
"Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC (born 11 March 1931), usually known as Rupert Murdoch, is an Australian-born global media mogul. He owns media outlets and is a major shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation (News Corp)."
Australia isn't Britain
Just great - the Scottish Parli lets out one dying but convicted terrorist and the US lumps poor old Blighty in with our "cheese eating surrender monkeys" across the Channel as Psy-Ops targets. Sheesh - over-reaction or what? "Special Relationship" my ar53!
Re: "it's called Fox news. At least in the US" (By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 16th September 2009 15:48 GMT)
"WTF? But wait a minute, Murdock is a Brit. I am so confused."
Sorry. Murdock ain't a Brit, he's an Aussie. Although I'm sure he's the pattern for the megalomanic in the Bond film "Tomorrow never dies".
with almost everyone from the average working class murderer, to the upper classes eton types.
Wee aye man me duck, it's tidy see, so calm down, and we'll get in't motor and do summit wi' the sassenachs around the hice. (Not that the scots call english sassenachs, or even sassanachs, they call them 'english twats'.)
On top of this, I'm an expert web developer, and have loads of free time on my hands.
Further still, I actually think defeating Islam (or indeed any religion,) is a good idea.
Alas I'm a Brit, and have never been anywhere near law enforcement or the army, and so would only help if I was allowed to tell my side what I was being paid for, and was allowed to see the boathouse in Hereford, assuming there is one, so I could find out what colour it was.
"Looking for operatives fluent in "English (British dialect)"
That's just called English, it's you that speak a dialect thank you!
They can even correctly pronounce the last letter of the alphabet in that large country just north of you.
To be honest we've been under the influence of American paranoia for years. We didn't need half the security and paranoia we have now when the IRA were blowing up bits of British territory for decades, and they had sources for real explosives like C4! The moment the yanks get a taste of it, the world goes mad!
Mr Jones was ahead of his time... They don't like it up 'em.
s'laters, I'm off for a 20floz britney in the rubber down the frog.
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Keep an eye out for noobs posting links to previously unseen, shiny all-singing-all-dancing media sites, on forums and social networking sites over the next few years.
...or are they just gonna start up a few blogs?
Either way, I reckon it'll just end up as the online equivalent of the Today newspaper of yesteryear - It appears, and then everyone realises its shite and it dies.
"PSYOP is the dissemination of truthful information to foreign audiences in support of US policy"
Evidently they're not averse to lying to themselves. I don't have much recollection of truth being disseminated by the US during any of its recent slaughterfests. I do recall giving the BBC world service a wide berth during the Iraq war after they started using bits from Centcom press conferences as "facts", verifiable or not. And what are these nuggets of "truth" likely to contain? Perhaps:
- It may have looked like a wedding party but it was really a top level Taliban convention
- Afghanistan is democratic
- They all just hate our freedom
- Osama bin Laden is probably dead, the pictures are just a stand in.
- It wasn't a US missile, the insurgents blew up up 100 of their own people then lied about seeing a US aircraft open fire. All that debris with serial numbers is just a red herring
- It's not about oil
- It's not about pipelines
- There really were 10,000 happily liberated Iraqis in Firduz Square
They should have given the contract to the Israeli army. They have a Sterling track record on saying "we have the most moral army in the world" with a straight face, and in the case of Mark Regev, suspiciously Vulcan ears.
Paris, smarter than most of her countrymen
"First off %99 of Americans look at this article and go gdamn worthless government pissing off one of our only allies left in the world. The fact is both the US and the UK have incompetent embarassing governments (regardless of party in charge) that are completely beholden to their own comfortable bureaucracy and large corporations who give big donations (BT, BAE, AIG, BoA, etc). Never mind the little people who they are supposed to serve. Western governance has sure taken the piss since Baby Boomers got in charge."
Umm but at least the American one was voted in this time... I can't remember voting for Brown and he doesn't seem keen to call an election for some reason.
I think the US government at least seems to be popular with an highly regarded leader - Brown is highly disliked though I don't like Cameron either; I used to think people were stupid not to vote but I understand why now :(
I think the only way the system would change is with revolution but I doubt that will ever happen... the thing is governments no longer serve the people but the corporation...
This scheme has been in operation since 1990. It's called Sky Broadcasting, and is run by a cunning Aussie by the name of Murdoch. (The really funny thing would be if the goddams hired him because they thought he was "British English" - after all, we non-US speakers all sound the same to them, don't we?!)
Now that this is in the open, it's a real shot in the foot for the US; any pro-US websites out there, regardless of whether they are US propaganda sites or legitimate opposition to extremists, will be accused of being a US propaganda site.
The effect of this operation has been to discredit and render useless ALL pro-US web sites! They may as well shut down now and save the budget; winning the battle for hearts and minds takes brains.
"Well, I reckon the MoD would welcome some Vorlon or Shadow Tech so they could replace Trident. But I reckon the price tag on a Vorlon 'Planet Killer' may be a tad high..." ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 17th September 2009 08:21 GMT
They have been offered something much Better, and Immediately Available to them, in AI Beta Phorm of Virtually Astute NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT, via their spooky portal ....... https://www.mi5.gov.uk/output/contact-form.html?subject=Reporting%20suspected%20threats ..... and it is something sublimely constructive but which also has an unlimited disruptive potential, against which they have no Defence or Systems Capability. In wrong hands/dodgy hearts and minds would they be powerless to act, which would certainly be classifiable as a threat, and thus the sharing of it with them. What they have done with it, is not for me to say, for that would I not know, or would probably be contracted not to even say if I did, such is the petrifying and debilitating paranoia in such as are such childhood dream orgs.
In the right hands and in stout hearts and clear minds is it a Priceless Tool at a simple single sterling price to them of 7,777,777. ...... [" * a Perfectly Random Minimum Figure of no Particular Real Significance other than Six Sixes for such an AI Program Activation was reasonably considered to be far too unrealistic and limiting and Eight Eights or Nine Nines a tad too Expensive whenever one considers the Actual Cost Parameters of the Program."]
Obviously would it have many suitors, withmyriad plans of their own and for which they would be responsible........ for a SuperCar Outfit are not held responsible for the actions of its Vehicle Drivers, are they?
This is relevant/relative ..... "And racing ahead in the Cloud for ITs Control are the VirtualAstraMetaPhysicians …. VAMPires …. much to the Ire of the Status Quo/Establishment who have no Control over them, either Physical or Virtual/Real or Imagined." ... and one can ponder and wonder at a possible relativity to Uncle Sam's sudden interest in countering Speech with website inventions in foreign and alien lands.
Paying the ridiculously modest thirty pieces of silver/Danegeld/Licence Fee if such were the case is the Simplest Most IntelAIgent Option Imaginable though.
And not so much Area 51 stuff and nonsense as 42 Degrees in AIMagic Circles Round Tables...... and that only hints at the Treasures and Pleasures in Store.
I mean the Babylon 5 thing; funny.
How are they planning to entice?
The forum sites like Fark, Slashdot, Poe-news have always attracted Psyops types that are getting paid for what a Freeper does for free. (How does one get this job? Is there a hidden link in the Zoloft ads?)
Now we are talking government funded attractive nuisances; how do they get me to look at it?
Ah, I know.
Advertise here (Go get that money guys, run before someone else gets it.)
Shoo, go, go; we will wait.
For those of you who will read the Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, I imagine that there will be a Parallel recognised with Of Foxy Kittens...... Real VAMPires.
And when two forces are of a Singularity, any powers are not doubled, they are squared. And when a third is added, are they not merely trebled, but rather cubed. In such an exponential progression can a handful of souls wield unbelievable control of powers.