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Fighting And Winning Against US Psychological Cyber Warfare

Proceed with caution: the CIA, NSA, FBI and DOD are your ‘friends’ on Facebook.

The Duran

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Authored by Lauren Smith:


Social media and Google serve three strategic purposes for the U.S. government. First, they allow Washington to conduct espionage; second, they facilitate the spread of disinformation campaigns, and third, they serve as conduits for the transmission of social contagions. In deploying thought control against the users of social media and Google, the U.S. government shapes and regulates voting outcomes and civil unrest. As such, social media and Google can best be understood as unconventional weapons (UW) for use in proxy wars to achieve regime change against non-compliant Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) governments, such as, in Latin America, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Through geopolitical manipulations to overcome opposition, the U.S. government seeks to bring about the ruling elites’ vision of a corporate-controlled global economy without deploying troops. This ‘non-violent’ or ‘soft-coup’ model of unconventional warfare is organized through the efforts of U.S. quasi non-governmental organizations, such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Used in various so-called Color Revolutions in Eastern European countries, the Middle East and now Latin America, the model’s user-friendly packaging and features via social media and Google conceal their fundamentally military and security oriented application. The NED makes no secret of its advocacy of using social media to fight proxy wars.

At a minimum, NAM country governments should promote wide public awareness of that reality but also fight back by using commercially available software able to search, monitor, analyze and manage social media content. To counter U.S. corproate and government manipulation of social media, NAM governments can and should integrate this software into their communications strategies. Concurrently, either unilaterally or together they should guard against cyber invasion by passing cyber laws with strong penalties, as done by Germany with its groundbreaking Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG). NAM countries such as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) member states should perhaps follow Germany’s example of robust laws and fines.

Cambridge Analytica and Social Contagion

Two things are important to understanding the U.S. government’s offensive against unfavorable non-aligned countries: first, the origin of Facebook and Google; and second, their collective influence over human motivation through coercion and the spread of social contagions through distorted reality. Facebook’s influence can best be understood through the two scandals over Cambridge Analytica and the Social Contagion Study.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that Facebook exposed the personal data of 87 million users to a political consulting firm, of which Trump adviser Steve Bannon was vice-president and founder. They used personal data to influence Facebook users’ votes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election in favor of Trump. The main client of SCL, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, is NATO – as well as the defense departments of NATO member states. Another company involved in the scandal is Palantir, whose chairman and founder, Peter Thiel, was a major contributor in Trump’s presidential campaign. Palantir not only has numerous contracts with the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense, but Thiel was Facebook’s leading investor, remains on its board of directors and is also on the steering committee of the elite corporate strategy group Bilderberg.

Another scandal involving Facebook is the Social Contagion Study, in which Facebook altered the news feed content of 700,000 unsuspecting users. The study controlled posts containing words with positive- or negative-charged emotions to spy on reactions. The team concluded its study by saying that emotions are spread via contagion through social networks. Facebook was publicly condemned for using Orwellian thought-policing on its users. The DoD’s Minerva Research Initiative funded research by Cornell University for a similar study entitled ‘Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes.’ Cornell University also worked on a study funded through 2017 managed by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, which aimed to develop an empirical model of the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagions. The project aimed to determine the ‘critical mass’ (tipping point) of social contagions by studying their ‘digital traces.’

Facebook and Google: Origin and Influence

The CIA has a non-profit venture capital corporation called In-Q-Tel (IQT). Top managers of IQT are founders or board members of Facebook. IQT is linked to Facebook through Palantir’s Peter Thiel. In August of 2004, Thiel acquired a 10.2 percent stake in Facebook for US$500,000. The next two capital injections were US$12.7 million from Thiel and Accel Partners in May 2005 and then US$27.5 million from an Accel-led round of financing that included Thiel, Accel and Greylock Partners in April 2006. In 2012, Thiel sold the majority of his shares for over US$1 billion, but remains on Facebook’s board of directors.

Google’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were both on the payroll of the National Science Foundation (NSF) while working on its Stanford Digital Library Project (SDLP), which involved creating search algorithms to scan large quantities of data to find relationships. Funded by the U.S. federal government, the NSF’s mission statement includes intent to ‘secure the national defense.’ NSF has a longstanding relationship with the DoD’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Not only was Google’s development nurtured by NSF/DARPA, but Google was also was aided by the secretive Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) program, administered by private contractors for the CIA and NSA. In 2004, Google bought Keyhole from IQT. Keyhole’s mapping technology software, EarthViewer, became Google Earth. Both IQT and Google funded the ‘threat intelligence’ company Recorded Futures and have seats on its board.

Besides geographic and locational tracking, Google assists the U.S. government in its efforts to write – and rewrite – history. According to Google’s transparency report, the U.S. government has named 79,901 items for removal since 2009. In that same period, Venezuela named 10 items for removal, and Nicaragua just one. According to the authors, Olivia Solon and Sam Levin, Google’s search and autocomplete algorithms prioritize sites with right-wing bias, and far-right groups trick it to boost propaganda and misinformation in search rankings. As explained by Robert Epstein, from the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology, Google has the power to rig elections through something he calls the search engine manipulation effect (SEME). Appearing on the first page of Google search results can give websites undue authority.

Besides taking proactive security measures, activists and non-aligned countries can learn from the U.S. government and control the technology posting supportive material on social media and Google. Most people using the Internet already know everything deviating from the prevailing imperialist narrative is automatically considered subversive and likely to get blocked. Social media mean our ‘friends’ in the U.S. government are watching, ready to control anything tactical we post on the Internet. One egregious example of that control is that Facebook has now removed Venezuela’s teleSUR English page twice. But while the U.S. government takes the lead in unconventional warfare technology, it also offers opportunities that can be exploited. What can’t be appropriated can be protested. Their elaborate global surveillance system was devised because the ruling elite know they are outnumbered. Knowing that gives us power.

Lauren Smith, author of historical fiction, has a BA in Politics, Economics and Society from SUNY at Old Westbury and an MPA in International Development Administration from New York University. Her novel on Nicaragua’s 1979 revolution is due out in 2019.

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Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, a recent high-level meeting of the Five Eyes member states (which includes the United States) has proposed measures that would reduce our ability to encrypt our own data:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/five-eyes-encryption-and-your-privacy.html

Five Eyes are calling on technology companies to build back doors into their products so that law enforcement (aka “The State”) will always be able to access encrypted data, largely because the group believes that privacy is not absolute in this post-truth era.

TheCelotajs
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TheCelotajs

They have been doing that for years. Why do you think Microsoft is pushing Windows 10 so hard. Because they can see every move one makes now through remote Desk Top. It has more back doors then a house does.

TommyChan
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TommyChan

This article was first published 16 Aug 2018 by teleSUR

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Permanently banned at RT…..here is their reasoning, which entirely excludes the context of my posts. Now I see they have another site up. Hi, You were blacklisted. We have some rules for posting comments on our web site (http://rt.com/comment-posting-rules/), you should read them before you post your comment. Some of your comments: After Joomerica helped him to kill 100000 Iranians using CW. I offered 50/1 odds that the Dotard in Chief would get anything accomplished….looks like I’m winning. Israel said to…read the Oded Yinon plan. Murder, steal land and get stupid US to pay for it. Trump won’t be putting… Read more »

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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