WTF Military’s ‘persona’ software

OzSTEEZ

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Exclusive: Military’s ‘persona’ software cost millions, used for ‘classified social media activities’

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/22/exclusive-militarys-persona-software-cost-millions-used-for-classified-social-media-activities/

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.

These "personas" were to have detailed, fictionalized backgrounds, to make them believable to outside observers, and a sophisticated identity protection service was to back them up, preventing suspicious readers from uncovering the real person behind the account. They even worked out ways to game geolocating services, so these "personas" could be virtually inserted anywhere in the world, providing ostensibly live commentary on real events, even while the operator was not really present.

When Raw Story first reported on the contract for this software, it was unclear what the Air Force wanted with it or even if it had been acquired. The potential for misuse, however, was abundantly clear.

A fake virtual army of people could be used to help create the impression of consensus opinion in online comment threads, or manipulate social media to the point where valuable stories are suppressed.

Ultimately, this can have the effect of causing a net change to the public's opinions and understanding of key world events.
 

Floptical

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You guys are obviously not seeing the intent of this tool. It was very clear during the latest issues in Iran, Egypt, and Lebanon that social networks were one of the primary means of communicating.
 

OzSTEEZ

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You guys are obviously not seeing the intent of this tool. It was very clear during the latest issues in Iran, Egypt, and Lebanon that social networks were one of the primary means of communicating.
That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the military making fake profiles on these social networking sites.
 

Floptical

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That has absolutely NOTHING to do with the military making fake profiles on these social networking sites.
This is just another tool to go with the various methods human Intel is collected by almost every country in the world not just the US. So don't make this about the US being evil again. There are plenty of countries that have the same amount of blood on them from so called collections. And if people are afraid of it being misused within the Western World to sway things then those people are fools for making decisions based on what other people are saying on facebook.
 

OzSTEEZ

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This is just another tool to go with the various methods human Intel is collected by almost every country in the world not just the US. So don't make this about the US being evil again. There are plenty of countries that have the same amount of blood on them from so called collections. And if people are afraid of it being misused within the Western World to sway things then those people are fools for making decisions based on what other people are saying on facebook.
 

Floptical

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As far as the spending then they can cut the overall budget. As with anything they are given the allotted amount of money from Congress. They are going to decided within that amount what to spend on. It's just like any other business. If corporate gives your department a set budget they don't care what functions that budget goes to as long as it's within your AOP for the year. The easy fix with anything that you're concerned about overspending on just cut the amount of money you provide.
 
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dbzeag

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And sadly Americans are all talk when it comes to really caring about this stuff..
What can a layman do in that situation? Every two years vote out someone from office that signed the paperwork to OK this, then wait another 10 years for someone in congress to figure out how to remove this ability of the gov, then another 20 years before a vote on that removal bill can come to the floor?

Seriously, what would/are you doing about this issue? About any issue?
 

OzSTEEZ

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What can a layman do in that situation? Every two years vote out someone from office that signed the paperwork to OK this, then wait another 10 years for someone in congress to figure out how to remove this ability of the gov, then another 20 years before a vote on that removal bill can come to the floor?

Seriously, what would/are you doing about this issue? About any issue?
Walk like an Egyptian..


And me? Ain't my country, if shit gets any worse, I'm out.