Thursday, February 27, 2014

Yet another "crazy conspiracy theory" turns out to be truth

For at least ten years now, there have been persistent rumors that the government pays people to participate in online communities and post online comments to articles in widely read news websites.  I have myself identified at least two people who I am convinced are paid by someone (probably a private concern) to promote a certain political worldview.  They keep regular hours and I've little doubt they are paid to "work from home."  And they love a little character assassination.  That's crazy right?

It's easy enough to dismiss as "conspiracy theory" claims that the government is actively engaged in social media, not only to influence the opinions others, but more often, to discredit opposing views, often resorting to tactics like the following to discredit individuals who offer opinions that are at odds with the official State or Party line. 

  1. use  "honey traps" (usually sex) to lure the target into compromising situations where they can be blackmailed
  2. plant destructive viruses on the target's computer
  3. change the target's photos on social network sites
  4. write blog postings that appear to have been written by the target
  5. send email to the target's colleagues, spouse, neighbors, friends

The more vocal, the more influential that person is, the more vicious the attacks. Think of the worst people you know, the very few people you know who'd resort to this sort of thing.  Such people are utterly contemptible, right?  No character, right?

On Monday, secret documents, obtained by Edward Snowden, were released by Glenn Greenwald on his new website, which prove that it is no conspiracy theory that the government is paying people to do these things and probably worse.

Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in "false flag operations" to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories.  Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know, now, that it this not "wild, crazy conspiracy theory" and never was. 

According to Greenwald, "these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself."

Keep in mind, these documents say nothing about the NSA, but few people are in doubt, now, that the NSA is the real leader in these actions, or consider it unlikely that the NSA is not also taking these actions.  

And that's what Edward Snowden has changed, right?  The belief that "our government would never do something like that?"

Thank you, Edward Snowden.  And may God bless you, Sir!