New Snowden Doc Reveals How GCHQ/NSA Use The Internet To 'Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations'

from the and-not-just-terrorists dept

A few weeks ago, Glenn Greenwald, while working with NBC News, revealed some details of a GCHQ presentation concerning how the surveillance organization had a "dirty tricks" group known as JTRIG -- the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. Now, over at The Intercept, he's revealed the entire presentation and highlighted more details about how JTRIG would seek to infiltrate different groups online and destroy people's reputations -- going way, way, way beyond just targeting terrorist groups and threats to national security.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
For years, people have said that the purpose of groups like the NSA and GCHQ were merely "signals intelligence," which were about understanding and decoding signals, not about taking any sort of offensive standpoint. However, as the Snowden docs have repeatedly revealed, the mandate of these organizations has long been much more offensively based, and they seem to have little problem with using questionable tactics to destroy people's lives. As Greenwald notes, is this really a power you trust a totally secretive government agency with almost no real oversight to use without it being abused?

There's a lot more in Greenwald's writeup, which you should read, but just a few of the key slides are worth reading to get a sense of what's going on here. This isn't just about infiltrating terrorist organizations. They seem to be using these kinds of techniques on just about anyone they dislike, which harkens back to the Hoover-era FBI infiltrating and seeking to discredit anti-war groups. It also raises very serious questions about whether these efforts are being used to stifle political expression.










The full presentation is embedded below. The cover slide is really something...

Filed Under: gchq, glenn greenwald, jtrig, nsa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Feb 2014 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You keep saying, “you're never gonna make it.”

    I don't believe you or John F. Both of you seem to be stuck in a paradigm that requires the illusion of government. It requires an evolution of thought that probably does not benefit either of your situations. You both benefit greatly by the unjust governments that people believe in and give power to. You are consumers of a vast amount of resources that are provided to you at a fraction of their real costs. Meanwhile, majority of the human beings in this world receive the butt end of what it takes to support your life style. It is true; your life style would not exist without an organized, aggressive and violent government. I think in the longer term. My life means nothing except for how I prepare this world for the future. Governments are the biggest polluters and kill the most life on this planet. Eliminating them would be a huge benefit for the future of this planet.

    “someone gets exploited for the sake of a select few...”

    You are currently part of the select few that are exploiting the world with your “government.” Your intellectual class is robbing majority of the world of its basic human rights.

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