by Mike Masnick
Fri, Mar 18th 2011 6:17am
You may recall that one of the things that came out in the big HBGary Federal data dump was that the US government had put out a request (that HBGary was thinking of bidding on) for software that would let the government manage a bunch of social networking profiles at once, in order to create a series of different online personas on different social networks that could all be easily controlled by one person. Well, HBGary Federal didn't get the account... but someone else did. Apparently a company called Ntrepid has scored the contract and the US military is getting ready to roll out these "sock puppet" online personas. Of course, it insists that all of this is targeting foreign individuals, not anyone in the US. And they promise it's not even going to be used on US-based social networks like Facebook or Twitter, but does anyone actually believe that's true? As for HBGary Federal, losing out on this contract may be the least of its problems. Congress is now investigating any contracts the government currently has with HBGary, along with partners-in-planning, Palantir and Berico.
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