the-lone-pamphleteer:

4 Darknesses: Internet being Manipulated, Deceived by Western Intel Trollsby Juan Cole

Researchers on online behavior  have shown that internet trolls (people who use insincere techniques to disrupt conversations) really are psychopaths, marked by narcisssism, sadism, Machiavellianism. Professors Eric Buckels, Paul Trapnell, and Delroy Paulhus administered surveys to students and found that about 6 percent of them enjoyed messing with other people’s heads on the internet, or trolling. This same group scored high on the four most vicious personality traits, known as the dark tetrad. They agreed when asked questions like this:
I have been compared to famous people (narcissism) It’s not wise to tell your secrets (Machiavellianism) Payback needs to be quick and nasty (psychopathy) Hurting people is exciting (sadism) In video games, I like the realistic blood sports (vicarious sadism)
Now it turns out that Western intelligence agencies who say that they are fighting al-Qaeda are actually spending time trolling the internet, displaying all the same Dark Tetrad characteristics. Their victims include “hacktivists,” but note that they are targeting these individuals on suspicion of hacking and that the persons targeted have not been convicted of any crime.
 Glenn Greenwald at Firstlook reveals the powerpoint slides used by British intelligence (GCHQ)  to train its operatives in how to deceive Western publics. It must also be underlined that we simply don’t know who exactly is targeted in cyberspace in this way or why. Some anti-war activists, e.g., may be among the victims.
The powerpoint slides instruct cyber-spies to entrap their “targets” in sex scandals (the “honey trap”), to write deceptive emails to their friends and colleagues (did anyone you know suddenly stop talking to you and wouldn’t explain why?), to change their photos on social media, and to create a blog in which the individual posed as a purported victim of some alleged dastardly deeds falsely attributed to the target. Where the target is a company, the slides advise “post negative information on appropriate forums,” “ruin business relationships”.
The mantra of these dirty tricks units is the “4 D’s”: deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive.
The slides, in short, exhibit signs of sadism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism, the Dark Tetrad. The “d’s” in “four d’s” are best understood as standing for “Darknesses.”
Again, these things were being done by government employees to people they just didn’t like. There is no pretense of law or due process here.
When political organizations and political cults, or when corrupt politicians pull these tricks, it makes them disreputable. Nixon used this playbook, e.g. But here we have civil servants being paid to act this way.
To have such institutions, pay for by tax payers, engaging in trolling the internet is highly corrosive of the values of a democratic country. Democratic politics depends on citizens knowing each other and knowing where they stand politically. To have secret government officers manipulating the reputations of people, breaking up their friendships and associations, and entrapping them with sex set-ups creates a situation where it is impossible to trust democratic process. Whenever you hear of a powerful person being embroiled in a scandal, you have to now at least ask, was this an intelligence agency that took him or her down? Was it because they were in the way of some corrupt goal? For when there is no real civilian oversight over invisible government, the opportunity for graft and other criminal behavior is enormous.
While it might suit narcissists to be paid to be internet trolls for a living, their government-sanctioned activities are destroying the internet as a legible means of communication and undermining democracy, which depends on transparency.
Conservatives who mind paying taxes so much don’t seem to mind paying taxes to support psychopaths and sadists who are employed by the government to undermine civil society.

the-lone-pamphleteer:

4 Darknesses: Internet being Manipulated, Deceived by Western Intel Trolls
by Juan Cole

Researchers on online behavior have shown that internet trolls (people who use insincere techniques to disrupt conversations) really are psychopaths, marked by narcisssism, sadism, Machiavellianism. Professors Eric Buckels, Paul Trapnell, and Delroy Paulhus administered surveys to students and found that about 6 percent of them enjoyed messing with other people’s heads on the internet, or trolling. This same group scored high on the four most vicious personality traits, known as the dark tetrad. They agreed when asked questions like this:

I have been compared to famous people (narcissism)
It’s not wise to tell your secrets (Machiavellianism)
Payback needs to be quick and nasty (psychopathy)
Hurting people is exciting (sadism)
In video games, I like the realistic blood sports (vicarious sadism)

Now it turns out that Western intelligence agencies who say that they are fighting al-Qaeda are actually spending time trolling the internet, displaying all the same Dark Tetrad characteristics. Their victims include “hacktivists,” but note that they are targeting these individuals on suspicion of hacking and that the persons targeted have not been convicted of any crime.

Glenn Greenwald at Firstlook reveals the powerpoint slides used by British intelligence (GCHQ) to train its operatives in how to deceive Western publics. It must also be underlined that we simply don’t know who exactly is targeted in cyberspace in this way or why. Some anti-war activists, e.g., may be among the victims.

The powerpoint slides instruct cyber-spies to entrap their “targets” in sex scandals (the “honey trap”), to write deceptive emails to their friends and colleagues (did anyone you know suddenly stop talking to you and wouldn’t explain why?), to change their photos on social media, and to create a blog in which the individual posed as a purported victim of some alleged dastardly deeds falsely attributed to the target. Where the target is a company, the slides advise “post negative information on appropriate forums,” “ruin business relationships”.

The mantra of these dirty tricks units is the “4 D’s”: deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive.

The slides, in short, exhibit signs of sadism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and narcissism, the Dark Tetrad. The “d’s” in “four d’s” are best understood as standing for “Darknesses.”

Again, these things were being done by government employees to people they just didn’t like. There is no pretense of law or due process here.

When political organizations and political cults, or when corrupt politicians pull these tricks, it makes them disreputable. Nixon used this playbook, e.g. But here we have civil servants being paid to act this way.

To have such institutions, pay for by tax payers, engaging in trolling the internet is highly corrosive of the values of a democratic country. Democratic politics depends on citizens knowing each other and knowing where they stand politically. To have secret government officers manipulating the reputations of people, breaking up their friendships and associations, and entrapping them with sex set-ups creates a situation where it is impossible to trust democratic process. Whenever you hear of a powerful person being embroiled in a scandal, you have to now at least ask, was this an intelligence agency that took him or her down? Was it because they were in the way of some corrupt goal? For when there is no real civilian oversight over invisible government, the opportunity for graft and other criminal behavior is enormous.

While it might suit narcissists to be paid to be internet trolls for a living, their government-sanctioned activities are destroying the internet as a legible means of communication and undermining democracy, which depends on transparency.

Conservatives who mind paying taxes so much don’t seem to mind paying taxes to support psychopaths and sadists who are employed by the government to undermine civil society.

motherjones:

The Pentagon is blocking LGBT and progressive websites, but not their conservative counterparts. Does your favorite blog make the censorship list?

motherjones:

The Pentagon is blocking LGBT and progressive websites, but not their conservative counterparts. Does your favorite blog make the censorship list?

kohenari:

When I was having a little discussion on Facebook about the fine that Hobby Lobby will soon incur because its owners don’t understand that a) businesses aren’t religious organizations and b) emergency contraception doesn’t cause abortions, I managed to incur the wrath of liberty-loving Colorado State Senator Tim Neville, who compared the Affordable Care Act with the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 … since mandating that employers provide access to health insurance and mandating the return of slaves to their owners are pretty much identical.
Not only is the Affordable Care Act tantamount to slavery, he notes, it’s also socialism … which leads inexorably to slavery.
According to Neville, one should never have to pay a tax to operate a business nor should one ever have to violate the tenets of his religious faith … even, it seems, if those tenets are entirely made up by the individual or violate the rights of others.
Neville concluded his lesson in liberty by arguing that a far better option than the health care that’s subsidized by my employer would be for me “to visit ehealthinsurance.com and choose a high deductible insurance plan with a health savings account, allowing opportunities to lower your cost of insurance by choosing a policy that covers what you need.”
So … the best way to increase liberty for everyone is for me to pay more for my health care needs. Because let’s not fool ourselves, that’s what “a high deductible insurance plan” means: When I go to the doctor for a well visit, I pay that high deductible. When my child has a persistent cough and then later an ear infection and then later needs vaccinations or to see a specialist, I pay that high deductible and then I pay it again and then I pay it again. When my wife needs surgery, I pay that high deductible.
And I’d better plan at the beginning of the year for any and every health care needs that we might have all year long. Because if I plan wrong, we might end up bankrupt. Or maybe we’ll only have to decide not to vaccinate our kids since it’s prohibitively expensive.
In Neville’s world, this makes sense … either because he has a lot of money or because he’s not worried about having a bunch of health care needs this year. Or both!
This is liberty and anything else is slavery, as far as Neville is concerned. No one should ever have to do anything he doesn’t want to do … except pay a high deductible for every single health issue that arises. This is, apparently, the only way that Hobby Lobby can maintain its corporate religious freedom: By not paying fines for freely choosing to deny coverage of certain reproductive health care options to female employees … because those women shouldn’t be making those reproductive health choices in the first place (since Neville and others like him believe they are “morally problematic).
Incidentally, here’s a little news item about the way that Neville got appointed to his state senate seat:





A Republican vacancy committee on Thursday night denied veteran state Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, a promotion to the upper chamber by the narrowest of margins and instead chose activist Tim Neville to take over for retiring Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp. But the proceedings turned sour after the 60-58 vote was confirmed in a supervised recount as Kerr supporters charged that a handful of Republicans who should have voted hadn’t been notified of the meeting.






Liberty! Freedom! Having things handed to you on a silver platter! Corporations are people!

kohenari:

When I was having a little discussion on Facebook about the fine that Hobby Lobby will soon incur because its owners don’t understand that a) businesses aren’t religious organizations and b) emergency contraception doesn’t cause abortions, I managed to incur the wrath of liberty-loving Colorado State Senator Tim Neville, who compared the Affordable Care Act with the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 … since mandating that employers provide access to health insurance and mandating the return of slaves to their owners are pretty much identical.

Not only is the Affordable Care Act tantamount to slavery, he notes, it’s also socialism … which leads inexorably to slavery.

According to Neville, one should never have to pay a tax to operate a business nor should one ever have to violate the tenets of his religious faith … even, it seems, if those tenets are entirely made up by the individual or violate the rights of others.

Neville concluded his lesson in liberty by arguing that a far better option than the health care that’s subsidized by my employer would be for me “to visit ehealthinsurance.com and choose a high deductible insurance plan with a health savings account, allowing opportunities to lower your cost of insurance by choosing a policy that covers what you need.”

So … the best way to increase liberty for everyone is for me to pay more for my health care needs. Because let’s not fool ourselves, that’s what “a high deductible insurance plan” means: When I go to the doctor for a well visit, I pay that high deductible. When my child has a persistent cough and then later an ear infection and then later needs vaccinations or to see a specialist, I pay that high deductible and then I pay it again and then I pay it again. When my wife needs surgery, I pay that high deductible.

And I’d better plan at the beginning of the year for any and every health care needs that we might have all year long. Because if I plan wrong, we might end up bankrupt. Or maybe we’ll only have to decide not to vaccinate our kids since it’s prohibitively expensive.

In Neville’s world, this makes sense … either because he has a lot of money or because he’s not worried about having a bunch of health care needs this year. Or both!

This is liberty and anything else is slavery, as far as Neville is concerned. No one should ever have to do anything he doesn’t want to do … except pay a high deductible for every single health issue that arises. This is, apparently, the only way that Hobby Lobby can maintain its corporate religious freedom: By not paying fines for freely choosing to deny coverage of certain reproductive health care options to female employees … because those women shouldn’t be making those reproductive health choices in the first place (since Neville and others like him believe they are “morally problematic).

Incidentally, here’s a little news item about the way that Neville got appointed to his state senate seat:

A Republican vacancy committee on Thursday night denied veteran state Rep. Jim Kerr, R-Littleton, a promotion to the upper chamber by the narrowest of margins and instead chose activist Tim Neville to take over for retiring Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp. But the proceedings turned sour after the 60-58 vote was confirmed in a supervised recount as Kerr supporters charged that a handful of Republicans who should have voted hadn’t been notified of the meeting.

Liberty! Freedom! Having things handed to you on a silver platter! Corporations are people!

"We get bullshit turf battles like Tumblr not being able to find your Twitter friends or Facebook not letting Instagram photos show up on Twitter because of giant companies pursuing their agendas instead of collaborating in a way that would serve users. And we get a generation of entrepreneurs encouraged to make more narrow-minded, web-hostile products like these because it continues to make a small number of wealthy people even more wealthy, instead of letting lots of people build innovative new opportunities for themselves on top of the web itself."

— Anil Dash, “The Web We Lost” (via AllThingsD)

(via dendroica)

"We started a Web site, but NBC refused to let us put the address on any of our ads because they didn’t want people to know the Internet existed. They were worried about losing viewers to it."

Judd Apatow in The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks. 1999 ruled. (via amandalynferri)

Sums up the entertainment industry pretty well. (via parislemon)

In a way, they were right (ratings as a whole are down, people aren’t watching TV as much), but in another way, this was so shortsighted.

(via shortformblog)

(via shortformblog)

thepeoplesrecord:

The UN asks for control over the world’s InternetDecember 6, 2012
Members of the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have agreed to work towards implementing a standard for the Internet that would allow for eavesdropping on a worldwide scale.
At a conference in Dubai this week, the ITU members decided to adopt the Y.2770 standard for deep packet inspection, a top-secret proposal by way of China that will allow telecom companies across the world to more easily dig through data passed across the Web.
According to the UN, implementing deep-packet inspection, or DPI, on such a global scale will allow authorities to more easily detect the transferring and sharing of copyrighted materials and other protected files by finding a way for administrators to analyze the payload of online transmissions, not just the header data that is normally identified and interpreted.
“It is standard procedure to route packets based on their headers, after all it is the part of the packet that contains information on the packet’s intended destination,” writes The Inquirer’s Lawrence Lati, “but by inspecting the contents of each packet ISPs, governments and anyone else can look at sensitive data. While users can mitigate risks by encrypting data, given enough resources encryption can be foiled.”
Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist widely regarded as the ‘Father of the Internet,’ spoke out against proposed DPI implementation on such a grandiose scale during an address earlier this year at the World Wide Web Consortium.
“Somebody clamps a deep packet inspection thing on your cable which reads every packet and reassembles the web pages, cataloguing them against your name, address and telephone number either to be given to the government when they ask for it or to be sold to the highest bidder – that’s a really serious breach of privacy,” he said.
Blogger Arthur Herman writes this week for Fox News online that the goal of the delegates at the ITU “is to grab control of the World Wide Web away from the United States, and hand it to a UN body of bureaucrats.”
“It’ll be the biggest power grab in the UN’s history, as well as a perversion of its power,” he warns.
The ITU’s secretary general, Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, has dismissed critics who have called the proposed DPI model invasive, penning an op-ed this week where he insists his organization’s meeting in Dubai poses “no threat to free speech.”
“It is our chance to chart a globally-agreed roadmap to connect the unconnected, while ensuring there is investment to create the infrastructure needed for the exponential growth in voice, video and data traffic,” Dr. Toure claims of the conference, adding that it presents the UN with “a golden opportunity to provide affordable connectivity for all, including the billions of people worldwide who cannot yet go online.”
Despite his explanation, though, some nation-states and big-name businesses remain opposed to the proposal. The ITU’s conference this week has been held behind closed doors, and representatives with online service providers Google, Facebook and Twitter have been barred from attending.
In a report published this week by CNet, tech journalist Declan McCullagh cites a Korean document that describes the confidential Y.2770 standard as being able to identify “embedded digital watermarks in MP3 data,” discover “copyright protected audio content,” find “Jabber messages with Spanish text,” or “identify uploading BitTorrent users.”
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

The UN asks for control over the world’s Internet
December 6, 2012

Members of the United Nation’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) have agreed to work towards implementing a standard for the Internet that would allow for eavesdropping on a worldwide scale.

At a conference in Dubai this week, the ITU members decided to adopt the Y.2770 standard for deep packet inspection, a top-secret proposal by way of China that will allow telecom companies across the world to more easily dig through data passed across the Web.

According to the UN, implementing deep-packet inspection, or DPI, on such a global scale will allow authorities to more easily detect the transferring and sharing of copyrighted materials and other protected files by finding a way for administrators to analyze the payload of online transmissions, not just the header data that is normally identified and interpreted.

“It is standard procedure to route packets based on their headers, after all it is the part of the packet that contains information on the packet’s intended destination,” writes The Inquirer’s Lawrence Lati, “but by inspecting the contents of each packet ISPs, governments and anyone else can look at sensitive data. While users can mitigate risks by encrypting data, given enough resources encryption can be foiled.”

Tim Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist widely regarded as the ‘Father of the Internet,’ spoke out against proposed DPI implementation on such a grandiose scale during an address earlier this year at the World Wide Web Consortium.

“Somebody clamps a deep packet inspection thing on your cable which reads every packet and reassembles the web pages, cataloguing them against your name, address and telephone number either to be given to the government when they ask for it or to be sold to the highest bidder – that’s a really serious breach of privacy,” he said.

Blogger Arthur Herman writes this week for Fox News online that the goal of the delegates at the ITU “is to grab control of the World Wide Web away from the United States, and hand it to a UN body of bureaucrats.”

“It’ll be the biggest power grab in the UN’s history, as well as a perversion of its power,” he warns.

The ITU’s secretary general, Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure, has dismissed critics who have called the proposed DPI model invasive, penning an op-ed this week where he insists his organization’s meeting in Dubai poses “no threat to free speech.”

“It is our chance to chart a globally-agreed roadmap to connect the unconnected, while ensuring there is investment to create the infrastructure needed for the exponential growth in voice, video and data traffic,” Dr. Toure claims of the conference, adding that it presents the UN with “a golden opportunity to provide affordable connectivity for all, including the billions of people worldwide who cannot yet go online.”

Despite his explanation, though, some nation-states and big-name businesses remain opposed to the proposal. The ITU’s conference this week has been held behind closed doors, and representatives with online service providers Google, Facebook and Twitter have been barred from attending.

In a report published this week by CNet, tech journalist Declan McCullagh cites a Korean document that describes the confidential Y.2770 standard as being able to identify “embedded digital watermarks in MP3 data,” discover “copyright protected audio content,” find “Jabber messages with Spanish text,” or “identify uploading BitTorrent users.”

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

thepeoplesrecord:

Democracy Now! Exclusive: Julian Assange on Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks & the Surveillance State

“When we look at what happens when civilization moves onto the Internet, how is it controlled at the moment? A lot of the problems we face on the Internet & the idea of the Internet is guys with guns can simply turn up to any Internet server & tell the people there to behave in a certain way just like they do with oil wells or they do with customs.

So as an international news civilization, a forum were people intellectually express themselves, where we deposit our history, political ideals & ambition, the Internet is suffering from mass interception, but on the other hand it is still subservient to the physical force in the various states that its infrastructure is located in.

Cryptography offers a way, an abstract a way from the physical world, to create as a sort of mathematical barrier between the physical world & the intellectual world, & in that way slowly declare independence from nation states. Our intellectual world cannot simply be deleted or taxed in the manner which we have suffered from for so long in nation states.”

Compare Amy Goodman & Juan Gonzalez’s great interview to CNN’s really annoying, unprofessional interview with Assange yesterday. 

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)

thepeoplesrecord:

‘Revolutionary’ eavesdropping technology patent to help governments monitor Internet chatsNovember 25, 2012
According to law enforcement agencies, the rising popularity of Internet chat services like Skype has made it difficult to eavesdrop on suspects’ communications.
But now, Dennis Chang, president of Sun Valley-based VOIP-Pal, has received a patent for a “legal intercept” technology that Chang says “would allow government agencies to ‘silently record’ VoIP communications,” Slate Future Tense reports.
Voice over IP chat software allows people to make phone calls over the Internet by converting analog audio signals into digital data packets. Because of the way the packets are sent over the Web, sometimes by a “peer-to-peer” connection, it can be complex and costly for law enforcement agencies to listen in on them. This has previously led some countries, like Ethiopia and Oman, to block VoIP services on “security” grounds.
Now, with this new technology, suspects whom authorities wanted to monitor could be identified through their username and subscriber data, or by billing records that associate names and addresses with usernames, making not only calls but “any other data streams such as pure data and/or video or multimedia data” available for interception.
Microsoft has filed a similar patent for “legal intercept” technology designed to be used with VoIP services like Skype to “silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session.”
Meanwhile, civil liberties and privacy concerns over increasing levels of surveillance have sparked huge interest in new encrypted communications platforms, deliberately designed to shield users from potential monitoring.
Source

thepeoplesrecord:

‘Revolutionary’ eavesdropping technology patent to help governments monitor Internet chats
November 25, 2012

According to law enforcement agencies, the rising popularity of Internet chat services like Skype has made it difficult to eavesdrop on suspects’ communications.

But now, Dennis Chang, president of Sun Valley-based VOIP-Pal, has received a patent for a “legal intercept” technology that Chang says “would allow government agencies to ‘silently record’ VoIP communications,” Slate Future Tense reports.

Voice over IP chat software allows people to make phone calls over the Internet by converting analog audio signals into digital data packets. Because of the way the packets are sent over the Web, sometimes by a “peer-to-peer” connection, it can be complex and costly for law enforcement agencies to listen in on them. This has previously led some countries, like Ethiopia and Oman, to block VoIP services on “security” grounds.

Now, with this new technology, suspects whom authorities wanted to monitor could be identified through their username and subscriber data, or by billing records that associate names and addresses with usernames, making not only calls but “any other data streams such as pure data and/or video or multimedia data” available for interception.

Microsoft has filed a similar patent for “legal intercept” technology designed to be used with VoIP services like Skype to “silently copy communication transmitted via the communication session.”

Meanwhile, civil liberties and privacy concerns over increasing levels of surveillance have sparked huge interest in new encrypted communications platforms, deliberately designed to shield users from potential monitoring.

Source

(Source: thepeoplesrecord)