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. icon
    Ninja (profile), 25 Feb 2014 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    At one of the protests there were a few who tried to break a public building (I can't recall if it was the Town Hall or the Municipal Theater) and the protesters that were just walking in peace made some sort of human barrier to stop them. There are also several cases where protesters grouped around wounded cops and helped carry them to safety when things went berserk (at the time the police was totally at fault for the escalation). At a point tear gas bombs were shot INSIDE hospitals where the protesters, wounded and healthy, tried to seek shelter.

    At the moment they are very worried with the World Cup. There are two very dangerous laws that gained a lot of traction with the last demonstration, one is the Marco Civil (to some extent the Brazilian version of the terrifying spawn of SOPA and the Cybersecurity bills) and an anti-terrorism law that combined would be the wet dream of any dictatorship. Obviously they are ignoring the main source of such disruptions: the fact that we spend billions of dollars in a circus while our health system is in shambles, the education produces functional illiterates and our judicial/jail/law enforcement systems are broken resulting in very poor conditions for those who can't afford the private option of what the Government should provide as is written in the Constitution (our Constitution).

    While terrible, what's happening here is hardly a surprise given our recent history for those who are following it.

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