DARPA wants soldiers’ minds controlling machines, and vice versa

It is no big secret that the U.S. military and its friends in private business want to wire their latest technology directly into the human brain. In late 2016, I wrote about the Defense Department using "electrical brain stimulators" to give its drone operators "minor brain zaps" to keep them awake, for instance. More recently, … Continue reading DARPA wants soldiers’ minds controlling machines, and vice versa

YouTube to add ‘conspiracy theory’ disclaimers from Wikipedia

YouTube, the widely-used video uploading site owned by Google, which is in turn owned by Alphabet, whose former chairman and current board member Eric Schmidt is a key adviser to the Pentagon, has announced that -- in a Cass Sunsteinesque effort to combat the perceived threat posed by "conspiracy theories" -- it will begin showing … Continue reading YouTube to add ‘conspiracy theory’ disclaimers from Wikipedia

Parkland conspiracy theories raise legitimate questions

In the two weeks since reports first emerged of 17 students killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, much controversy has erupted over issues that are often brought up in the wake of such incidents -- namely gun control and the 2nd Amendment. Yet other issues unrelated to firearm laws have also … Continue reading Parkland conspiracy theories raise legitimate questions

Army outlines future electronic warfare, cyberspace plans

Most observers seem to agree that future conflicts around the world will involve greater use of electronic and cyber warfare. A new document published this month, titled The U.S. Army Concept for Cyberspace and Electronic Warfare Operations 2025-2040, offers some insight into how military planners are currently looking at this issue. "This document describes how the … Continue reading Army outlines future electronic warfare, cyberspace plans

Conspiracy-dismissing media hypes UFO coverup disclosure effort

    Fueled by a series of stories in the New York Times, the legacy media have recently piloted their often painfully conventional craft into largely uncharted territory with extensive coverage of the mysterious phenomena known as unidentified flying objects (UFOs). While certainly a fascinating subject, the timing of the Times' UFO articles (and "teaching … Continue reading Conspiracy-dismissing media hypes UFO coverup disclosure effort

Army looks to further integrate psy-ops with electronic warfare

The term "information operations," interpreted broadly, could cover anything from old-school psychological warfare like the kind of leaflet bombing schemes that have gone on since the First World War, to blocking internet access or faking the origin of a cyber attack. Recognizing this, U.S. Army planners hope to further integrate all aspects of information operations … Continue reading Army looks to further integrate psy-ops with electronic warfare

Iraqi security forces latest weapon? Facebook

If one thing has become clear in the past year or two, it is that even more than in the rest of our lives, on the internet and social media, appearances can be deceiving. From Russian trolling operations that we've heard so much about in the news, to less widely covered (and seemingly less effective) … Continue reading Iraqi security forces latest weapon? Facebook

Social media business models under fire

As controversy continues over investigations into Russian online disinformation programs, the business models of tech companies, and social media companies in particular, have become the target of a growing chorus of criticism. Last week, lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter testified on Capitol Hill about Russian purchases of political ads and manipulation of their platforms. … Continue reading Social media business models under fire

Military using fake internet to train trolls

A new social media simulation program gives the U.S. military the capability to train its information operators for a wide range of cyber deception and propaganda operations without going on the real internet. The tool, called the Social Media Replication Toolkit System (SMRTS) and developed by the San Diego-based Cubic Corporation, "harvests and remixes real … Continue reading Military using fake internet to train trolls

U.S. should test propaganda before using it, psy-ops commander says

The Pentagon's propaganda activities -- what it now euphemistically refers to as "military information support operations" (MISO) -- have a long history of both using trickery and deception to provide incredible tactical advantages in some cases, and failing spectacularly in others. "When employed correctly Military Information Support Operations (MISO--formerly PSYOP [psychological operations]) as a force … Continue reading U.S. should test propaganda before using it, psy-ops commander says