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The HBGary emails revealed that "security" contractors and government "security" agencies are presently developing software to engage in major cyber psyops.

Codenamed Metal Gear by Anon, the softwear crawls social networking sites to collect personal information and identify anonymous online activists for harassment and arrest.

Secure anonymous online communications are necessary to avoid suppression, torture and death in many countries, and have been instrumental in organizing recent North African and Arabian uprisings.

This new software in the hands of unscrupulous corporations and government agencies could prove very dangerous to civil rights, human rights, consumer rights, labor rights, etc. activists all over the world.

But it gets worse...much worse.

Beyond merely identifying and monitoring online activities of activists, Metal Gear would also enter the realm of psyops by fielding an automated army of sockpuppets (alternate accounts), each with their own "realistic" profile, to infiltrate, manipulate, and flood chat, comment and messaging venues.

This is a high level project, with major corporations, Dept of Homeland Security, NSA, and other government and military participation.

The primary goal of Anonymous Operation Metal Gear is to mobilize a mass inquiry into the development of this software.  

The press release below contains details, links and documentation for research by reporters and others, to further completely expose this insidious plan to subvert and suppress free speech.

Op Metal Gear

HBGary

Originally posted to radical def on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 04:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by InfoWar and Anonymous Dkos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Merely From What I Saw of Realworld Activism (12+ / 0-)

    late 60's to early 70's I accepted that this would happen to online activism about as fast as activism itself developed.

    I wouldn't have the first clue how to accomplish it or what digital artifacts to look for. Glad to see somebody's on the case but I can't imagine how individual humans can stand up against the global economy's intel capabilities.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:00:35 PM PDT

    •  We'll do what we've always done (9+ / 0-)

      The older, more experienced will share their knowledge with the younger, more savvy energetic ones.

      And we hang tight. Together. And continue the march toward a more perfect world.


      Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. --Thurgood Marshall

      by bronte17 on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:03:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've no doubt, it's already underway... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kafkananda, G2geek, buddabelly, walkshills

      Everyone knows that the Chamber, Republicans, Tea Party, Libertarians, et al have been flooding all communications venues, relentlessly hammering away on their talking points, as well as infiltrating, with varying degrees of weaseling subterfuge and subtlety...

      Then there's various other "progressive" Libertarians, Greens, and a full gamut of hard "left" elements, who take every opportunity to slag Obama and the Democrats, deliberately sowing cyncial defeatism and demoralization, hoping to peel off recruits for their electoral boycott and splitting lines.

      Of course, various gov't agencies have also been infiltrating, manipulating, setting up, or otherwise co-opting and sabotaging everyone from the environmentalists to the little old church lady peace groups, forever, including lately.

      But this automated full-on assault weapon under development does seem to be trying to take it to a higher level.

      Anonymous pwnd HBGary, though, heh...and more follow up on this could produce interesting revelations, and leverage.

      Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

      by Radical def on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:30:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um. seriously. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slave138, kurt, JimWilson, Lisa Lockwood
        Then there's various other "progressive" Libertarians, Greens, and a full gamut of hard "left" elements, who take every opportunity to slag Obama and the Democrats, deliberately sowing cyncial defeatism and demoralization, hoping to peel off recruits for their electoral boycott and splitting lines.

        First, there's plenty of legitimate criticism from the left.

        Second, Obama and the Democrats don't seem to be on our side either.  

        If they were, we wouldn't have such a need for orgs like anonymous.  

        They didn't take baby steps when they saved the Rich.

        by Whimsical Rapscallion on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 05:56:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  um, no, really... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, buddabelly

          Do you deny that the tendencies and practice I describe have proliferated on dkos?

          Sure, they think it's "legitimate" to troll dkos, "on principle", in their self-righteous vanguardist zeal, heh...

          I think a more correct left line is to bring principled, qualified, tactical solidarity with Obama and the Democrats, to block the Republicans from power.

          That doesn't mean you have to swill kool aid and cheer, but it does mean remembering who the other side is.

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

          by Radical def on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:15:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can accept and respect this opinion (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JimWilson, Lisa Lockwood
            I think a more correct left line is to bring principled, qualified, tactical solidarity with Obama and the Democrats, to block the Republicans from power.

            However, it would be nice if you could acknowledge that there is a great deal of space between that and this:

            Sure, they think it's "legitimate" to troll dkos, "on principle", in their self-righteous vanguardist zeal, heh...

            Demeaning language like that does absolutely nothing toward bringing people closer to your point of view.  

            Quite the opposite, in fact.

            That said, I do agree that there are highly critical elements of the Democrats here, but I do not agree with your absurd caricature of them.

            They didn't take baby steps when they saved the Rich.

            by Whimsical Rapscallion on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 06:27:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hey, TOS is TOS (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              G2geek, buddabelly, walkshills

              Just saying..."some people" lie their ass off, when they click yes on the TOS...just to gain access to the venue, so they can troll us, for their own opportunist purposes.

              Such elements demean themselves.

              I don't think my representation is nearly as absurd as the unprincipled, contrived, hyperbolic jive that they tend to bring.

              And such subjective, absolutist elements do not tend to be amenable to reason.

              I try, but I figure if they can dish it out the way they tend to do, then they oughta be able to take it, rhetorically speaking.

              Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

              by Radical def on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 07:16:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  think of Turing tests. (4+ / 0-)

        Automated sock puppets will not pass them and can be outed in that way.  

        Live human shills are also possible to discern by a slightly more sophisticated version of the Turing test, scoping out their language and expressed beliefs and so on.   We identify habitual trolls around here using these methods.

        It's all about discernment: learning to discern, learning to weigh the subtleties of what you see online, and of course learning to think for oneself rather than going along with crowds that may be made of Metal Gear.

        BTW, nice name, instant viral meme, credit to whoever came up with that.  

        •  Yeah, I think they might just do one, or a few (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          meg

          at a time?

          Like, i think it's about having numerous agents on computers, maybe each agent operating one av at a time, but each agent also being able to switch back and forth between numerous other avs automatically, to post live, back and forth, or to gang up on someone, or whatever.  

          One agent could work one venue, with several avs, to try to steer the comment threads, attack progressives who comment, etc. If it gets hot, he could call in another agent, who would bring in his own several avs, try to flood the venue.

          They could role-play numerous personas.  Not clear on how many avs one agent could juggle, heh...sounds like fun, kinda.

          But they wouldn't be strictly bots, it seems.

          Democracy is the most fundamental revolutionary principle. Information is the ultimate key.

          by Radical def on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:49:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there are ways to tell. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            meg, Radical def, walkshills

            There are techniques for attributing identity across multiple userIDs and platforms, regardless of IP addresses and whatnot.  In other words, for hunting trolls, shills, bots, and other such, and for unmasking righties in general.  

            One of the techniques I'm aware of is pretty hush-hush and said to be the most accurate method available.  It could easily be embodied in a piece of software that could run on a dedicated platform hosted somewhere.  It could even be run on a desktop machine, and used by a live operator who would be on duty to receive inputs via email or chat:  "Hey dude, is the person at this URL the same as the person at this other URL?"

            What I'm looking for (aside from coders who could write it and give it a decent user interface) is a way to maximize its use by our side and minimize or prevent entirely its use by our enemies.  

            Know any good progressive coders?   (The folks I know are busy at the moment.)

  •  This seriously needs to get out to as many... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical def, G2geek, meg, daysey

    ...people in the "common sense" media (Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, etc.) as possible. The more exposure this gets and the more people, Anon and otherwise, that are looking into this, the better the chances we have of putting a stop to it.

    I mean, there are already groups of paid trolls working for Andrew Breitbart soiling the dialogue here and on Keith's FOKNewsChannel. It'd be rather horrid if somehow, Breitbart could cut down on the number of sycophants doing his dirty work and leave it to automated sock puppets.

  •  As far as the sockpuppeting goes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radical def

    that would assume we are all complete moron easily swayed by screaming, unreasonable voices.

    Most of us here, hold very firm beliefs that may bend a bit with good, factual reason and debate, but not bend just because someone else will rigidly insist on their point.

    Either they send out automated sockpuppets- thus unreasoning and inflexible and quickly sorted as a waste of time. Or, a person that generates a real debate- which in some ways, is a tool for us to sharpen our points of debate. To be challenged in our stand is to find where we are weak and where we are strong. This is a tool that can be turned against the user.

    I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

    by WiseFerret on Sun Mar 20, 2011 at 08:13:32 PM PDT

    •  We're better off than the six blind men. (0+ / 0-)

      We once talked here of linking all the dots after 2004. Eventually the image became revealed in more and more detail, a mosaic becoming realized. We don't all quite see it the same, but we do share a great deal of consensus, with community wisdom and insight.

      Our knowledge is compounding all the time because our growth has been organic and shared across a whole human spectrum in so many ways. We ingest and internalize as a group - and we have a historical legacy that travels with us.

      We have meerkats.

      The truth is we are tortured by the truth.

      by walkshills on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:34:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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