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Operation Earnest Voice and the Sock Puppets - USCENTCOM - PsyOps

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posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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edit : I just found out that my other thread has been moved from here and into Education and Media. So I guess this might be sent the same way. (sorry mods, only just saw my messages.)

This should be able to serve as an intro for others new to this. I'd like to go further into it but I really do have too much other stuff to be getting on with and haven't got the spare time at the moment. Hopefully it's of use to some of you.





Operation Earnest Voice is an online Psy-Ops program from the US Military that creates sock-puppets, also known as trolls, to spread propaganda, distort social media and forum conversations, cause problems for those trying to raise awareness of various issues, and several other things that we'll probably not know about for a long time to come. It was first developed in Iraq to combat Al-Qaeda operatives and supporters online. Ntrepid, a corporation from California, was given the contract for this operation, which The Guardian reported on right back in March 2011.

It's not so easy to understand the connections this has to several other things though. For instance, it's also tied to TrapWire, which was talked about a lot by activists after it turned up in the Stratfor leaks, Tartan, another program from Ntrepid that works to reveal connections between people and groups, Anonymizer which was made by Ntrepid to make online activity untraceable, Abraxas corp which owns TrapWire and Anonymizer, and that also created Ntrepid in 2010, and finally Cubic, which is the parent company of them all.

So if that's fairly confusing, what does the full picture look like? A multi layered labyrinth that'd take months to research properly? How many connections does all this actually have to governments, agencies, military programs and corporations, and how much is it currently distorting what's happening online?

Trying to explain all this in paragraphs that give more and more connections has already been done quite a bit I think, so instead here's a list with some details, quotes and links that will hopefully help some people that want to research this.



Abraxas



Based in Virginia and created after the 9/11 attacks. Is heavily linked with the CIA. Provides the CIA, DHS, and the US military with training, software, and IT support. Also has many other clients around the world not linked with US agencies and military. Was founded by a former CIA agent that had 30 years of service with the agency, Richard “Hollis” Helms. Was taken over by Cubic corporation on Dec 20th, 2010.


Anonymizer



A program that hides the identities of users on the internet. Company for the program was founded in 1995 by Lance Cottrell, who owned it until he eventually sold it to Abraxas in 2008. After the sale, Cottrell became the Chief Scientist and Technology Officer of both Anonymizer and Abraxas. In 2010 he became the Chief Scientist of Ntrepid which was formed in the same year.


CENTCOM/USCENTCOM



United States Central Military Command, which created Operation Earnest Voice and gave Ntrepid the $2.76m contract to create the software that would be used for the operation's sock puppet activities.


Cubic



Corporation based in California that was formed in 1951, that deals with all aspects of "high technology systems, products, and services for government and commercial customers." (quote from their site.) Again, owns Abraxas which it bought on Dec 20th, 2010.


IQT



Not specifically linked to Operation Earnest Voice in any research seen so far, but could be linked in several ways, especially if the operation develops ties in the future with other tech companies/corporations. (or if it already has done.) Also known as In-Q-Tel and registered as a not-for-profit organization, was formed in 1999 with the aim of creating relationships between new tech companies and government agencies. A quote from their site : "Since 1999, IQT has broadened its scope of operations, and now supports multiple agencies within the IC such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T)."


Ntrepid



Created by Abraxas in 2010 and based in California and Washington DC. Created Tartan (see next in list for more.) and given the contract for Operation Earnest Voice. Currently has Tartan at version 2.0, and also has ION that helps anonymize IP's, Timestream which plots case info/research onto timelines, Virtus which translates data into different languages, and Elusiv, which is a GPS tracking system.


Tartan



Program developed by Ntrepid, which analyzes the influence and details of individuals within social networks. Has been linked to tracking the Occupy movement and labelling many of them as "anarchists." A glance at the graphics interface of the program makes it look very similar to Truthy, which is a research project that analyzes several of the same types of things on twitter.


TrapWire



A Virginia based corporation owned by Abraxas, founded in 2004. It makes a surveillance program used by the US government, and was known to many after it surfaced in the leaked communications from Stratfor, which hackers from Anonymous obtained. But Adrian Chen from Gawker pointed out that the program had been known since 2006 when a patent application was filed, giving many of its details. The link to the patent application that Chen gives in his article has since had its content removed.
edit on 22-1-2013 by robhines because: added/typos




posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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Quotes





"Lance Cottrell continued along as the "President, Founder, and Chief Scientist" of Anonymizer, until 2008. Then, Lance Cottrell connected with Richard Hollis Helms, the former CIA agent and CEO of Abraxas Corporation, and sold him Anonymizer, Inc. Mr. Cottrell then became the Chief Scientist/ Chief Technology Officer of both companies."

"In 2010, Ntrepid Corporation was formed [by Abraxas] and Mr. Cottrell became its Chief Scientist. Today he is employed by Ntrepid Corporation, and Anonymizer, Inc. and is a consultant to Taia Global, Inc."


Source : Blue Cabinet - Anonymizer



"Abraxas owns TrapWire, a secret global surveillance system, founded in 2004 and run by ex-CIA chiefs, with clients all over the world"

Source : Wikipedia - Anonymizer - Sold to Abraxas corporation




"The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives."



"The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

Source : The Guardian - Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media




"Most people use social media like Facebook and Twitter to share photos of friends and family, chat with friends and strangers about random and amusing diversions, or follow their favorite websites, bands and television shows. But what does the US military use those same networks for? Well, we can’t tell you: That’s “classified,” a CENTCOM spokesman recently informed Raw Story.



"One use that’s confirmed, however, is the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online “personas” managed by the military. Raw Story recently reported that the US Air Force had solicited private sector vendors for something called “persona management software.” Such a technology would allow single individuals to command virtual armies of fake, digital “people” across numerous social media portals..."


Source : Blue Cabinet - Ntrepid



Links




TrapWire

Ntrepid

Telecomix Blue Cabinet Wiki - Main Page

Telecomix (creator of Blue Cabinet wiki.)

Operation Earnest Voice - Project PM

TrapWire tied to anti-Occupy Internet-spy program - RT News

@TelecomixBSRE (Bureau of Surveillance Research and Exposure.) - Twitter
edit on 22-1-2013 by Asktheanimals because: ex tags added



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by robhines
 


Thanks for the post, robhines!! I read through your thread, and opened some of the links and agree, PsyOps are being utilized by our government and through govenment paid private companies. This is all true.

So, what's the problem? This development (use of PsyOps) is as old as the first battle that has ever taken place. Simply trying to 'change' the minds/beliefs of an opponent. The Middle East and parts of Asia are full of anti-Western propaganda, so we are just fighting back, in a non-lethal manner. Trying to change the hearts and minds of the populace which are bombarded by anti-American and anti-Western hate!!

One of the articles outlines the approach:

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: "The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US."

I'm all for it!! It also further states:

none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to "address US audiences" with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto. Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

However, I am not naive enough to believe that Western/American social networks are also being infiltrated. Does it muddy the water? Yes. But, if you are trying to persuade a certain debate/discussion and, social media is one of the top, if not the top mechanism to persuade, I find it totally plausible that any government would use this tool to get its' message out there.
Now, gullibility is the real question. How many people just believe what they read? Without furthering their own knowledge, their own research? That is the real question. That responsibility is placed upon each and everyone of us.
In a society where 'free speech' is strongly protected, it falls upon the reader, should they choose to, to be skeptical, and research what it is that may be questionable. It's just the times we live in. It is an accepted tool.

That's just the way I see it!!

Peace!! ID



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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Hi ItDepends,

The problem I have is that after researching so much of the things the US military does I really doubt that OEV is being put to much good use. (I accept that it can be put to good use though.) I think it's probably heavily linked with the CIA and other agencies that want to distort information/conversations that people are using/having in order to find more truth, so I just see it as being a problem that a lot of us should be aware of.


Originally posted by ItDepends
Now, gullibility is the real question. How many people just believe what they read? Without furthering their own knowledge, their own research? That is the real question. That responsibility is placed upon each and everyone of us.
In a society where 'free speech' is strongly protected, it falls upon the reader, should they choose to, to be skeptical, and research what it is that may be questionable.


I can agree with this though. If you're just going to take one or two dodgy sources as proof instead of researching further then it's only going to lead to problems. It's also a hard habit to get past if you used to do it, especially if you have bias about whatever subject it is. I even find myself doing it sometimes, so I can imagine many others do it regularly. The trick is to realise you've done it, or that you might be doing it, instead of just blindly repeating what you haven't researched properly as fact, which then distorts things for others and creates a huge mess.

Thanks anyway, I've been at this all day and have had about enough of it now, need to get it posted in a couple of other places then I'm done with it hopefully!



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:35 PM
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reply to post by robhines
 


Start looking at SRI and Blackbird Tech too. Also SAIC. You should be able to find common threads there.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:43 PM
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These psyop programs ARE achieving their goal, has anyone else noticed the dissapearence of some of the big posters?

This thread for instance will make people think twice before they post anti government/whatever info.

One thing to consider though...
If THEY feel the need to employ thousands of people to invade forums then clearly these forums frighten them.



posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 05:47 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam
reply to post by robhines
 


Start looking at SRI and Blackbird Tech too. Also SAIC. You should be able to find common threads there.


Thanks, will do! I could've waited on this and researched further I guess, but there's too much other stuff to do at the moment and I wanted to help with the bits I had, instead of waiting ages and not posting anything. I can always expand any post I make on my own site/tumblr/blogspot though, so will link to one of them in the near future if much more is found and added. Thanks again.



posted on Jul, 5 2015 @ 05:50 PM
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originally posted by: robhines

Originally posted by Bedlam
reply to post by robhines
 


Start looking at SRI and Blackbird Tech too. Also SAIC. You should be able to find common threads there.


Thanks, will do! I could've waited on this and researched further I guess, but there's too much other stuff to do at the moment and I wanted to help with the bits I had, instead of waiting ages and not posting anything. I can always expand any post I make on my own site/tumblr/blogspot though, so will link to one of them in the near future if much more is found and added. Thanks again.


Hello

I was wondering if you have got any further along with this or anything more to add. I read through this and your other thread, followed Bedlam's crumbs and came across the SRI acquisition the Sarnoff Corporation. Sarnoff then was head of RCA and NBC but had in a previous incarnation been head of US Marconi and was indeed part of the package when British Marconi sold it to RCA. I'm not sure why Bedlam is being so coy, it seems well documented that the SRI is highly dependent on defense budgets.


As of February 2015, SRI employs approximately 2,100 people.[1] In 2013, SRI had about $540 million in revenue.[1]

In 2013, the United States Department of Defense consisted of 63% of awards by value; the remainder was composed of the National Institutes of Health (11%); businesses and industry (8%); other United States agencies (6%); the National Science Foundation (6%); the United States Department of Education (4%); and foundations (2%).[109]

As of February 2015, approximately 4,000 patents have been granted to SRI International and its employees.[7]



Working with investment and venture capital firms, SRI and its former employees have launched a large number of companies and other organizations over a wide range of fields.[4][146] In engineering and analysis, notable spin-offs include Weitbrecht Communications,[147] Exponent and Raychem.[146] Noteworthy spin-off companies in the area of legal, policy and business analysis include Fair Isaac Corporation, Global Business Network and Institute for the Future.[146]

Research in computing and computer science-related areas led to the development of many companies; in the field of artificial intelligence alone, Siri, Symantec, and the Australian Artificial Intelligence Institute were created by SRI. Other big names in computing include E-Trade, Verbatim Corporation and Nuance Communications. Wireless technologies spawned venture capital firm enVia Partners, Firetide and Vocera Communications.[146] Health systems research inspired surgery and drug-related companies,[148] including remote surgery company Intuitive Surgical, Orchid CellMark, and Telesensory Systems.[146][149]


en.wikipedia.org...

I have my suspicions that much like RCA, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop etc etc, that when these companies are instituted that they carry with them a member of the board that continues to represent ownership, by the DoD, of the patented technology or idea. This seems, I am finding, to be particularly true in computer programmes, going back to a caveat entered into patent law in 1980 by the DoD.




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