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

Facebook releases ‘information operations’ report, update on govt. data requests

"I think the idea that fake news on Facebook ... influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said back in November, following Donald Trump's poll-defying win. A new report from the company, however, titled "Information Operations and Facebook," shows just how far the social media giant's position has … Continue reading Facebook releases ‘information operations’ report, update on govt. data requests

Pentagon online psyop against ISIS revealed as mess of incompetence, corruption

In the past year it's been reported that the U.S. Department of Defense may not be able to meet its "audit readiness" deadline of September 30 this year for its first ever audit. A big part of the problem is that the Army has reportedly been making improper financial statements amounting to trillions of dollars … Continue reading Pentagon online psyop against ISIS revealed as mess of incompetence, corruption

Carnage, violence, law and order, biometric profiling and predictive policing under Trump

Last summer, as he rallied supporters at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump declared himself the "law and order candidate," echoing the (somewhat ironic) claims of Richard Nixon before him. Yet given the rapid development of technology available to law enforcement in the decades since Nixon occupied the Oval Office, President Trump's use of the … Continue reading Carnage, violence, law and order, biometric profiling and predictive policing under Trump

Counter-terror chatbots plan would automate entrapment trolling

In a post last week on Lawfare, a blog published in cooperation with the Brookings Institute, former National Counterterrorism Center official Walter Haydock argues that "Artificial Intelligence Targeting Personas" -- an obscure term that does not appear to have been used before publicly, if at all -- could be harnessed in the fight against online … Continue reading Counter-terror chatbots plan would automate entrapment trolling

Facebook let surveillance company monitor its favorite protest group

The American Civil Liberties Union of California revealed on Tuesday that it has obtained records from prominent social media companies showing that up until recently they had agreements with a controversial data mining company called Geofeedia that markets its social media surveillance services to law enforcement agencies. The companies named in the ACLU report -- … Continue reading Facebook let surveillance company monitor its favorite protest group

Anti-ISIS influence ops drill reveals parts of U.S. deception strategy

It's typically not every day that Americans hear about "influence operations," though recent history has been an exception to that rule as news outlets and government officials have aggressively hyped the alleged threat of Russian covert ops aimed at swaying the U.S. election, or at least at causing chaos leading up to it. Indeed, much … Continue reading Anti-ISIS influence ops drill reveals parts of U.S. deception strategy

Impersonation of journalists added to FBI’s trolling tool kit

The Federal Bureau of Investigation can, in certain circumstances, impersonate journalists in the course of undercover work, according to a report released this month by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General. While somewhat controversial, the finding is not unexpected, coming at a time of increasing use of fake Internet personas by government authorities … Continue reading Impersonation of journalists added to FBI’s trolling tool kit