The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations

I found this information on prayerwarriorpsychicnot’s blog that can be found at http://taknbsorbemwon5.wordpress.com.

I consider it a very good find as it is the playbook for online psyops.

Featured photo - How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

A page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:

GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell,” devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:

Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack,” while dissecting how human beings can be manipulated using “leaders,” “trust,” “obedience” and “compliance”:

The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:

We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?

As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”

These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.

Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.

Original article:  https://firstlook.org/theintercept/document/2014/02/24/art-deception-training-new-generation-online-covert-operations/

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15 comments on “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations

    • Thanks to your prolific blogging, I have. PATHOCRACY is the perfect term for the global elite’s creation of governments around the world.

      If you look at the list of characteristics, not only do they describe how the moral values of our country have been turned upside down, but they are the goals of the freemasonic, luciferian New World Order. Our whole society is motivated by purely pathological values from the top of the proverbial pyramid on down. The goal of these sadomasochistic rulers of infiltrating ALL of society has been completed. Now we have the proliferation of mind-controlled death squads with invisible kill weapons becoming somewhat ordinary. I believe that is why there are millions of targeted individuals and a plethora of cowardly acts of false flag terrorism being perpetuated on the global masses.

      To me, this is a living hell. That I have any peace in my mind and my heart is only because I turned to the Lord fully and, paradoxically, he has blessed me throughout. As the crime and personal mayhem, vandalism, poisoning and “nuking” continue and even increase, I have gained wisdom, courage, patience, understanding and compassion. Rather than asking, “Why me?” I ask, “Why not me?” I am very stubborn in the truth and am strong for having survived this level of disenfranchisement and persecution my whole life. I am a living testament to the love and purpose in all things good and that God does not allow things to happen in vain or without purpose.

      Thanks again for your commitment to truth and information awareness.

      • They think there is no power greater than them. They are mistaken. Evil does not succeed in the long run. I guess we are all learning a hard lesson – the folly of trusting our “superiors”.
        The blog on Pathocracy was brilliant. It perfectly describes what is happening. Thank you for taking time to read my blog and replying.

      • Yes, that is an interesting blog. It is important information about what is being done and why it is succeeding and, yet, I have never read it anywhere before. I may be re-blogging it myself.

        Its total satanism perpetuated from cradle to grave. Its absolutely sickening.

        Thank you for reading my blog. Take good care.

      • It’s a bit dated. I suppose it’s an internet thing that people tend to think only the most recent info is valid. I try to find the best whenever it was put out if it is still relevant.
        As a journalist his professional MO would be yo get an overview of the situation. That is how the patterns reveal. Which raises interesting questions about journalists. It looks like he was targeted giving him an incentive to speak out. So how are other journalists kept in line?
        Your comment about satanism/evil is apt. The logical result of gang stalking activity destroys the foundations on which human life is based. As social beings we are dependent on being able to trust others in our intimate/family relationships. Also all rational activities – business, caring for each other are reliant on trust. The gang stalkers are forced to betray that trust. The targets can’t trust anybody. This is like conquerors smashing a subject society and turning everyone into slaves.
        All the best.

      • There are people who have done extensive research that have published since the Internet got going. I find great articles that were written when not so many people were listening–they are golden to find.

        I believe that the gang stalkers choose to join with the illegal cointelpro programs. Although blackmail is sometimes used to persuade or influence some to join, many join because they want power, freedom, easy cash and free time. My statements are made after years of surfing with and observing my perps in action. What goes on at the beaches of southern California is akin to what is depicted in the movie, Point Break. They become seduced by the money, power and the perks, like free cars and free time. Surfing is the most addicting activity on the planet and people have killed for the possibility for more time to surf and freedom to travel the world in search of the perfect wave. Its one sick microcosm of this whole thing.

      • You’re a real surfer, not a net surfer. Wow. I envy you. My family are swimmers but we did not grow up anywhere near surf so – I’ll check out the film. thanks. I’m in UK. It seems to me that what is happening in The States is more extreme – because of your different penal system greater use of criminals. It is hard to judge a different context but I think it is more discreet here and virtually no public awareness that it is going on. Less scepticism of the authorities too – so that the people drawn into it are dupes. When they find out what it is really about they can’t get out.
        I owe a great debt to those who outlined the stalking on line. Otherwise I would never have worked it out.

      • Here in the U.S., many of the people that get involved know up-front what they are getting into.

        We all owe a debt of thanks to those who bravely put this out on the internet so that the rest of us could know what is going on.

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