The Worst Trolls On The Internet Are The Government Trolls

Troll Warning - Photo by GilWe have all run into them.  All over the Internet, there are horrible trolls that seem to delight in making life miserable for other people.  But the worst trolls of all are the government trolls.  And thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have some startling new evidence of what really goes on behind the scenes.  According to newly revealed documents, British spy agency GCHQ is manipulating online discussions, infiltrating the computers of specific targets, purposely destroying reputations, altering the results of online polls, and using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for propaganda and espionage purposes.  If people don’t start getting outraged about this now, the governments of the western world are going to see it as a green light to do even more.  Eventually, it might get so bad that we won’t be able to trust much of anything that we see on the Internet. (Read More...)

New Bill Would Make It Legal To Target Propaganda And “Psychological Operations” Directly At U.S. Citizens

Should it be legal for the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on propaganda designed to change public opinion in the United States?  Should it be legal for the U.S. government to use television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Internet forums to conduct “psychological operations” targeted at the American public?  An amendment that has been added to a new defense bill in Congress would make it legal to target propaganda and “psychological operations” directly at U.S. citizens.  The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would overturn the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987.  Those two laws essentially make it illegal for propaganda that is used to influence public opinion overseas to be targeted at U.S. citizens back here at home.  If those two laws are struck down, there will be essentially very few limits to what the U.S. government can do to shape our opinions.  The government would be able to bombard us with propaganda messages on television, on the radio, in our newspapers and on the Internet and there would not even be a requirement that those messages be true.  In fact, just as happens so often overseas, it would likely be inevitable that the government would purposely disseminate misinformation to the American public for the sake of “national security”.  That is why it is imperative that this bill not become law. (Read More...)

10 Reasons Why Nothing You Do On The Internet Will EVER Be Private Again

The Internet is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother control grid where privacy rights are being systematically strangled to death.  The control freaks that run things have become absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that you do on the Internet.  One thing that you can count on is that nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again.  In fact, if you are obsessed with privacy then the last place you want to be is on the Internet.  Most Americans have absolutely no idea how far Internet surveillance has advanced in the past few years.  At this point, it would be hard to imagine any place less private than the Internet.  Do not ever put anything on the Internet that you would not want the authorities or your employer to hold you accountable for.  Basically, the Internet is creating a permanent dossier on each one of us, and we contribute to this process by freely posting gigantic volumes of information about ourselves on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  The Internet is the greatest tool for mass communication that the world has perhaps ever seen, and it gives average citizens the ability to communicate with each other like never before, but there is also a downside to using the Internet.  Everything that we do on the Internet is being watched, monitored and recorded and there is no longer any such thing as Internet privacy.  If you think that you still have any privacy on the Internet, then you are either ignorant of what is going on or you are being delusional. (Read More...)

The FBI, The CIA, Homeland Security, The Federal Reserve And Potential Employers Are All Monitoring You On Facebook And Twitter

Why is there such a sudden obsession with monitoring what average Americans are saying on Facebook and Twitter?  To be honest, the vast majority of what is being said on Facebook and Twitter is simply not worth reading even if you could understand it.  But for the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Reserve, Facebook and Twitter represent a treasure trove of intelligence information.  Tens of millions of us have compiled incredibly detailed dossiers on ourselves and have put them out there for the entire world to see.  Since the information is public, the various alphabet agencies of the federal government see no problem with scooping up all of that information and using it for their own purposes.  Many potential employers have also discovered that Facebook and Twitter can tell them an awful lot about potential employees.  Social media creates a permanent record that reflects who you are and what you believe, and many Americans are finding out that all of this information can come back and haunt them in a big way.  In the world in which we now live, privacy is becoming a thing of the past, and we all need to be mindful of the things that we are exposing to the public. (Read More...)

Why We Must Stop SOPA

Right now, there are two pieces of legislation in Congress that would change the Internet forever if they are enacted.  The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) would give the federal government the ability to potentially shut down millions of websites.  SOPA (the version being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives) is the more dangerous of the two.  It would essentially be the equivalent of a nuclear bomb being dropped on the Internet.  It would give government officials unlimited power to very rapidly shut down any website that is found to “engage in, enable or facilitate” copyright infringement.  That language is very broad and very vague.  Many fear that it will be used to shut down any websites that even inadvertently link to “infringing material”.  Can you imagine a world where there is no more Facebook, Twitter or YouTube?  Sites like those would be forced to hire thousands of Internet censors to make sure that no “infringing material” is posted, and many prominent websites may simply decide that allowing users to post content is no longer profitable and is just not worth the hassle.  Are you starting to get the picture?  That is why we must stop SOPA.  If SOPA is enacted, it could be the death of the free Internet. (Read More...)

Don’t Worry, The Federal Reserve Just Wants To Be Your “Online Friend”

According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve “is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook”.  Apparently we are not supposed to be alarmed though, because as the CNBC headline states, the Federal Reserve just “wants to be your Facebook friend“.  In fact, the CNBC article says that anyone that feels threatened by the fact that the Federal Reserve will be monitoring what we say on Facebook and Twitter is just “paranoid“.  Well, if it came out that Barack Obama was setting up a system that would identify “key bloggers” and monitor “billions of conversations” on the Internet to see what was being said about him, wouldn’t there be thousands of articles expressing outrage?  Sure there would be.  The Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent central bank that is above politics.  So why in the world would they need to perform “sentiment analysis” on what is being said about them on “Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube“?  The Federal Reserve obviously intends to identify the negative things that are being said about it and the specific people that are saying those things.  So is it really being “paranoid” to point out that all of this is more than a little bit creepy? (Read More...)

Facebook Is Now Using Facial Recognition Technology – Have You Checked Your Privacy Settings Lately?

The days when you could be “anonymous” on the Internet are long gone.  Social media networks like Facebook are a lot of fun, but you should expect to have absolutely zero privacy while using them.  If you still believe that anything you say or do on Facebook is private than you are being delusional.  Now, Facebook has even enabled facial recognition technology across its entire site.  Facebook can now instantly identify your face out of its half a billion users worldwide.  Facebook is using this technology for its new “Tag Suggestions” feature.  The idea is that facial recognition technology will speed up the process of tagging friends and family in photos that have been posted on Facebook. (Read More...)

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