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Active Measures by Thomas Rid

1960s counterculture, 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, continuation of politics by other means, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, guest worker program, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, peer-to-peer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

“The desire for speedy, easily visible, and audible success sometimes makes the intelligence service the victim of its own propaganda and disinformation,” observed Bittman, the Czech defector, in the early 1970s.9 Forty years later, by the 2010s, data had become big, engagement numbers soared, and the hunger for metrics was more ferocious than ever. Yet disinformation, by design, still resisted metrics. If more data generally meant more reliable metrics, then the internet had the reverse effect on the old art of political warfare: the metrics produced by digital disinformation were, to a significant degree, themselves disinformation. The internet didn’t bring more precision to the art and science of disinformation—it made active measures less measured: harder to control, harder to steer, and harder to isolate engineered effects.

A society’s approach to active measures is a litmus test for its republican institutions. For liberal democracies in particular, disinformation represents a double threat: being at the receiving end of active measures will undermine democratic institutions—and giving in to the temptation to design and deploy them will have the same result. It is impossible to excel at disinformation and at democracy at the same time. The stronger and the more robust a democratic body politic, the more resistant to disinformation it will be—and the more reluctant to deploy and optimize disinformation. Weakened democracies, in turn, succumb more easily to the temptations of active measures.

In 1953, the main historical display in the study room at Soviet intelligence headquarters showed Feliks Dzerzhinsky, and the inscription under his portrait was devoted to the Trust.40 Operatsiya Trest, as one prominent Soviet defector reported, figured prominently in the active measures training at the Andropov Red Banner Institute, the First Chief Directorate’s academy of foreign intelligence.41 As late as 1997, the official Russian foreign intelligence history celebrated the disinformation operation as a towering success story. “The disinformation work carried out by MOTsR played a distinctly positive role,” the SVR’s official history recounted, and added that Soviet spies were able to confirm the effectiveness of the two-step ruse that fed disinformation to Polish, Estonian, and Finnish services, who in turn passed on the deceptive material to their partner agencies in France, Britain, Japan, Italy, and “in some measure” the United States. The adversaries of the USSR, taking the disinformation at face value, arrived at an “exaggerated notion of the Red Army’s military power,” the SVR concluded, which in turn led them to reject intervention against the USSR.


Reset by Ronald J. Deibert

23andMe, active measures, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, availability heuristic, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, Cal Newport, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, liberal capitalism, license plate recognition, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megastructure, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, New Journalism, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, QAnon, ransomware, Robert Mercer, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, sorting algorithm, source of truth, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, surveillance capitalism, the medium is the message, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, undersea cable, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero day, zero-sum game

Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/why-crafty-internet-trolls-in-the-philippines-may-be-coming-to-a-website-near-you/2019/07/25/c5d42ee2-5c53-11e9-98d4-844088d135f2_story.html In Indonesia, low-level military personnel coordinate disinformation campaigns: Allard, T., & Stubbs, J. (2020, January 7). Indonesian army wields internet ‘news’ as a weapon in Papua. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-military-websites-insight/indonesian-army-wields-internet-news-as-a-weapon-in-papua-idUSKBN1Z7001 Taiwan is like a petri dish of disinformation: Zhong, R. (2020, January 16). Awash in disinformation before vote, Taiwan points finger at China. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/06/technology/taiwan-election-china-disinformation.html They’ve employed hackers-for-hire to target ngos.

They are feeling the pressure to react, and have taken several noteworthy steps to combat the plague of disinformation, including shutting down inauthentic accounts by the thousands, hiring more personnel to screen posts and investigate malpractice on their platforms, “down-ranking” clearly false information on users’ feeds, and collaborating with fact-checking and other research organizations to spot disinformation. These efforts intensified during the COVID pandemic. But in spite of these measures, social media remain polluted by misinformation and disinformation, not only because of their own internal mechanisms, which privilege sensational content, or because of the speed and volume of posts, but also thanks to the actions of malicious actors who seek to game them.191 For example, in spite of widespread revelations of Russian influence operations over social media in 2016, two years later researchers posing as Russian trolls were still able to buy political ads on Google, even paying in Russian currency, registering from a Russian zip code, and using indicators linking their advertisements to the Internet Research Agency — the very trolling farm that was the subject of intense congressional scrutiny and indictments by Robert Mueller.192 In similar fashion, despite all the attention given and promises made to control misinformation about COVID-19 on its platform, an April 2020 study by the Markup found that Facebook was nonetheless still allowing advertisers to target users who the company believes are interested in “pseudoscience” — a category of roughly 78 million people.

Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/11/world/americas/youtube-brazil.html An opportunity for climate change denialists to propagate disinformation: Ryan, H., & Wilson, C. (2020, January 22). As Australia burned, climate change denialism got a boost on Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahryan/facebook-australia-bushfires-climate-change-deniers-facebook Conspiracy theories circulated across social media: Knaus, C. (2020, January 11). Disinformation and lies are spreading faster than Australia’s bushfires. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/12/disinformation-and-lies-are-spreading-faster-than-australias-bushfires At least one prominent politician bought into it: Capstick, S., Dyke, J., Lewandowsky, S., Pancost, R., & Steinberger, J. (2020, January 14).


pages: 382 words: 105,819

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee

4chan, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Bill Atkinson, Boycotts of Israel, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, computer age, cross-subsidies, data is the new oil, disinformation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, game design, Ian Bogost, income inequality, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, laissez-faire capitalism, Lean Startup, light touch regulation, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Chicago School, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Facebook (along with Google and Twitter) has undercut the free press from two directions: it has eroded the economics of journalism and then overwhelmed it with disinformation. On Facebook, information and disinformation look the same; the only difference is that disinformation generates more revenue, so it gets much better treatment. To Facebook, facts are not an absolute; they are a choice to be left initially to users and their friends but then magnified by algorithms to promote engagement. In the same vein, Facebook’s algorithms promote extreme messages over neutral ones, disinformation over information, conspiracy theories over facts. Every user has a unique News Feed and potentially a unique set of “facts.”

The shared values that form the foundation of our democracy proved to be powerless against the preference bubbles that have evolved over the past decade. Facebook does not create preference bubbles, but it is the ideal incubator for them. The algorithms ensure that users who like one piece of disinformation will be fed more disinformation. Fed enough disinformation, users will eventually wind up first in a filter bubble and then in a preference bubble. If you are a bad actor and you want to manipulate people in a preference bubble, all you have to do is infiltrate the tribe, deploy the appropriate dog whistles, and you are good to go.

These and other sites would have been fertile ground for the Russian messages on immigration, guns, and white nationalism. They were also ideal incubators for disinformation. Renée explained that the typical path for disinformation or a conspiracy theory is to be incubated on sites like Reddit, 4chan, or 8chan. There are many such stories in play at any time, a handful of which attract enough support to go viral. For the Russians, any time a piece of disinformation gained traction, they would seed one or more websites with a document that appeared to be a legitimate news story about the topic. Then they would turn to Twitter, which has replaced the Associated Press as the news feed of record for journalists.


pages: 277 words: 70,506

We Are Bellingcat: Global Crime, Online Sleuths, and the Bold Future of News by Eliot Higgins

4chan, active measures, Andy Carvin, anti-communist, anti-globalists, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, Columbine, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Google Earth, hive mind, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, pattern recognition, rolodex, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, Skype, Tactical Technology Collective, the scientific method, WikiLeaks

After the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, the Finnish government stepped up its defences against false news reports and online manipulation, establishing courses on disinformation for members of the public. In the first few years, thousands attended.87 Sweden, too, launched campaigns to tackle disinformation and has worked on a new government agency for the psychological defence of the country.88 We all need to stay alert to disinformation techniques. If you imagine that digital natives, those who grew up with the internet, are equipped to handle this environment, you are wrong. A Stanford study from 2016, which tested thousands of American students’ ability to spot fakery online, reported that ‘young people’s ability to reason about the information on the Internet can be summed up in one word: bleak. … In every case and at every level, we were taken aback by students’ lack of preparation.’89 Some 82 per cent of middle-school students could not tell a news story from an advertisement.

Moscow retaliated with expulsions of its own.4 At Bellingcat, we watched, awaiting a point of entry. Scattered around the globe, we are an online collective, investigating war crimes and picking apart disinformation, basing our findings on clues that are openly available on the internet – in social-media postings, in leaked databases, in free satellite maps. Paradoxically, in this age of online disinformation, facts are easier to come by than ever. A core team of eighteen staffers works with scores of volunteers, producing reports seen by hundreds of thousands, including government officials, influential media figures, and policymakers.

General Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and the NSA, recalled a turning point for American intel back in the mid-1990s, when espionage officials faced a question: try to dominate cyberspace, or to dominate the information sphere generally, including diplomacy, public affairs, disinformation, and more? ‘We had a sharp debate, and we finally decided that we’re probably in the cyber-dominance business,’ he recalled. ‘Now the important punchline here is that the Russians went to door number two. The Russians went to not just cyber-dominance, but information-dominance.’24 Less than an hour after MH17 went down, the Internet Research Agency – a notorious ‘troll factory’ based in St Petersburg, where desk workers are paid to spew out vast amounts of disinformation online – went to work. During those first three days, its Twitter accounts posted 111,486 times, a pace that it has never matched before or since.25 Most tweets were in Russian, starting with the claim that the downed plane had been a Ukrainian military aircraft, and was therefore a legitimate target.


pages: 372 words: 100,947

An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination by Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

affirmative action, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, clean water, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global pandemic, hockey-stick growth, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, Jeff Bezos, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, natural language processing, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, QAnon, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Sam Altman, Saturday Night Live, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social web, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, surveillance capitalism, Travis Kalanick, WikiLeaks

He was unsurprised when the figures he’d provided were immediately torn apart by academics and independent researchers who had long been studying Russia’s presence online. In San Francisco, disinformation researcher Renée DiResta reviewed the Facebook blog post from her apartment overlooking the bay. Almost immediately, she began texting researchers and amateur disinformation sleuths she had developed relationships with over the last two years. The number of people actively studying disinformation in the United States could be listed in one breath. DiResta, like the others, had chanced into studying the field. When researching preschools for her firstborn son in 2014, she discovered that a number of preschools in Northern California had lax rules on vaccinations.

Stamos and other members of the security team—working under what was known as an XFN, or “cross-functional,” group—continued to search for Russian interference and broadened their scope to look for disinformation campaigns affecting other countries. The security team had already found that governments were actively using the platform to promote their own political agendas. In a separate report produced by the XFN team, Stamos included flags from nations such as Turkey and Indonesia as examples of governments that had used Facebook to run disinformation campaigns to sway public opinion and elections in their countries or those in nearby states. Facebook needed to go on the offensive.

“It was a slow, slow process, but what we found that summer, the summer of 2017, it just blew us away,” recalled one member of Facebook’s security team. “We expected we’d find something, but we had no idea it was so big.” While over the years some Facebook employees had speculated that the IRA was focused on spreading disinformation in the United States, no one had thought to go looking for a professional disinformation campaign run by the organization. The security team had not believed the IRA audacious or powerful enough to target the United States. Facebook’s assurances to Senator Warner and other lawmakers that they had fully uncovered Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 elections were based on the assumption that they were looking for Russian military intelligence activity, but they had missed the forest for the trees.


pages: 407 words: 108,030

How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations With Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason by Lee McIntyre

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Alfred Russel Wallace, Boris Johnson, Climategate, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, different worldview, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, selection bias, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steven Levy, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks

Robin Emmott, “Russia Deploying Coronavirus Disinformation to Sow Panic in West, EU Document Shows,” Reuters, March 18, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-disinformation/russia-deploying-coronavirus-disinformation-to-sow-panic-in-west-eu-document-says-idUSKBN21518F. 29. Allen Kim, “Nearly Half of the Twitter Accounts Discussing ‘Reopening America’ May Be Bots, Researchers Say,” CNN, May 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/22/tech/twitter-bots-trnd/index.html. 30. Eric Tucker, “US Officials: Russia behind Spread of Virus Disinformation,” AP News, July 28, 2020, https://apnews.com/3acb089e6a333e051dbc4a465cb68ee1. 31.

Indeed, according to the New York Times, the Russian government has been spreading science denial propaganda since the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, up through Ebola, until today with numerous conspiracies about the cause of the coronavirus. William J. Broad, “Putin’s Long War Against American Science,” New York Times, April 13, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/13/science/putin-russia-disinformation-health-coronavirus.html; Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger, “Russian Intelligence Agencies Push Disinformation on Pandemic,” New York Times, July 28, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/28/us/politics/russia-disinformation-coronavirus.html. For more information and citations about Russian propaganda efforts, see chapter 8. 8    Coronavirus and the Road Ahead In early 2000, President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa convened a meeting of experts to discuss HIV/AIDS.

“The Coronavirus Gives Russia and China Another Opportunity to Spread Their Disinformation,” Washington Post, March 29, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-coronavirus-gives-russia-and-china-another-opportunity-to-spread-their-disinformation/2020/03/29/8423a0f8-6d4c-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html; Edward Wong et al., “Chinese Agents Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say,” New York Times, April 22, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/coronavirus-china-disinformation.html. 32. Oliver Milman, “Revealed: Quarter of All Tweets about Climate Crisis Produced by Bots,” Guardian, February 21, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis; Ryan Bort, “Study: Bots Are Fueling Online Climate Denialism,” Rolling Stone, February 21, 2020, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/bots-fueling-climate-science-denialism-twitter-956335/. 33.


pages: 240 words: 74,182

This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality by Peter Pomerantsev

"side hustle", 4chan, active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, call centre, citizen journalism, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, Etonian, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, illegal immigration, mass immigration, mega-rich, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Skype, South China Sea

They had originally described themselves as being concerned with ‘fake news’, but then found the meaning of those words was morphing to denote any content that someone didn’t like. They tried instead to differentiate between ‘disinformation’ (content designed to mislead) and ‘misinformation’ (content that misleads by accident). But many of the most pernicious campaigns I’d seen didn’t necessarily use ‘disinformation’. And even if ‘disinformation’ is identified, would, or indeed should, that make it illegal necessarily? What if one were to refocus ‘disinformation’ from content to behaviour: bots, cyborgs and trolls that purposefully disguise their identity to confuse audiences; cyber-militias whose activity seems organic but who are actually part of coordinated campaigns full of fake accounts; the plethora of ‘news’ websites which look independent but are covertly run from one source, all pushing the same agenda?

Fielding, Nick and Ian Cobain, ‘Revealed: US Spy Operation That Manipulates Social Media’, Guardian, 17 March 2011; https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks. 16 DiResta, Renee, Kris Shaffer, Becky Ruppel, David Sullivan, Robert Matney, Ryan Fox, Jonathan Albright and Ben Johnson, ‘The Tactics & Tropes of the Internet Research Agency’ (Austin, TX: New Knowledge, 2018); https://disinformationreport.blob.core.windows.net/disinformation-report/NewKnowledge-Disinformation-Report-Whitepaper.pdf. 17 Monaco, Nicholas and Carly Nyst, ‘State-Sponsored Trolling: How Governments Are Deploying Disinformation as Part of Broader Digital Harassment Campaigns’ (Palo Alto, CA: Institute for the Future, 2018); http://www.iftf.org/fileadmin/user_upload/images/DigIntel/IFTF_State_sponsored_trolling_report.pdf. 18 Wu, Tim, ‘Is the First Amendment Obsolete?’

Nor was busting drug crime Duterte’s only selling point: I have talked to supporters of his who were attracted by the image of a provincial fighting the elites of ‘Imperial Manila’ and the prim Catholic Church establishment. But P’s account of digital influence does echo some academic studies. In ‘Architects of Networked Disinformation’, Dr Jonathan Corpus Ong of the University of Massachusetts and Dr Jason Cabañes of Leeds University spent twelve months interviewing the protagonists of what Ong called Manila’s ‘disinformation architecture’, which was made use of by every party in the country.3 At the top were what he described as the ‘chief architects’ of the system. They came from advertising and PR firms, lived in sleek apartments in the skyscrapers and described their work in an almost mythical way, comparing themselves to characters from the hit HBO fantasy TV series Game of Thrones and video games.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

Governments have been startlingly late in taking responsibility for combating misinformation. Only in 2018 did the UK government begin to set up a national security unit to tackle disinformation, and even then they were criticised for the slowness with which they proposed to do so.43 Meanwhile the US had, by the end of 2020, no coordinated counter-disinformation strategy steered by any branch of government.44 But if you think this means the future of conflict will be wholly online, you would be mistaken. Disinformation may soften an adversary, sowing doubt in the population; cyberattacks may weaken the day-to-day operations of their economy. But if that doesn’t achieve your objective, killing their soldiers might.

Howard, The Global Disinformation Order: 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation, Working Paper 3 (Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda, 2019) <https://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/posts/the-global-disinformation-order-2019-global-inventory-of-organised-social-media-manipulation/#continue> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 35 Diego Martin et al., Trends in Online Influence Efforts (Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, 2020) <https://esoc.princeton.edu/publications/trends-online-influence-efforts> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 36 Gregory Winger, ‘China’s Disinformation Campaign in the Philippines’, The Diplomat, 6 October 2020 <https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/chinas-disinformation-campaign-in-the-philippines/> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 37 Jack Stubbs and Christopher Bing, ‘Facebook, Twitter Dismantle Global Array of Disinformation Networks’, Reuters, 8 October 2020 <https://www.reuters.com/article/cyber-disinformation-facebook-twitter-idINKBN26T2XF> [accessed 24 March 2021]. 38 Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, ‘Russian Facebook Trolls Got Two Groups of People to Protest Each Other In Texas’, VICE, 1 November 2017 <https://www.vice.com/en/article/3kvvz3/russian-facebook-trolls-got-people-to-protest-against-each-other-in-texas> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 39 ‘How Covid-19 Is Revealing the Impact of Disinformation on Society’, King’s College London, 25 August 2020 <https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/how-covid-19-is-revealing-the-impact-of-disinformation-on-society> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 40 ‘Coronavirus: “Murder Threats” to Telecoms Engineers over 5G’, BBC News, 23 April 2020 <https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52395771> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 41 Wesley R.

., Trends in Online Influence Efforts (Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, 2020) <https://esoc.princeton.edu/publications/trends-online-influence-efforts> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 36 Gregory Winger, ‘China’s Disinformation Campaign in the Philippines’, The Diplomat, 6 October 2020 <https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/chinas-disinformation-campaign-in-the-philippines/> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 37 Jack Stubbs and Christopher Bing, ‘Facebook, Twitter Dismantle Global Array of Disinformation Networks’, Reuters, 8 October 2020 <https://www.reuters.com/article/cyber-disinformation-facebook-twitter-idINKBN26T2XF> [accessed 24 March 2021]. 38 Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, ‘Russian Facebook Trolls Got Two Groups of People to Protest Each Other In Texas’, VICE, 1 November 2017 <https://www.vice.com/en/article/3kvvz3/russian-facebook-trolls-got-people-to-protest-against-each-other-in-texas> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 39 ‘How Covid-19 Is Revealing the Impact of Disinformation on Society’, King’s College London, 25 August 2020 <https://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/how-covid-19-is-revealing-the-impact-of-disinformation-on-society> [accessed 3 January 2021]. 40 ‘Coronavirus: “Murder Threats” to Telecoms Engineers over 5G’, BBC News, 23 April 2020 <https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-52395771> [accessed 2 January 2021]. 41 Wesley R.


pages: 309 words: 79,414

Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists by Julia Ebner

23andMe, 4chan, Airbnb, anti-communist, anti-globalists, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, feminist movement, game design, glass ceiling, Google Earth, job satisfaction, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, off grid, pattern recognition, pre–internet, QAnon, RAND corporation, ransomware, rising living standards, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Transnistria, WikiLeaks, zero day

The consequences are often severe: 63 per cent of victims reported severe psychological effects, 38 per cent said it led to self-censorship, 8 per cent lost their jobs and 6 per cent left their jobs as a result.28 Discrediting formerly respected news outlets and their reporters is just one part of the information battle. The other part consists in spreading disinformation. Disinformation doesn’t necessarily mean outright lying; it can also include information that is misleading.29 Inaccurate information, severe biases and logical fallacies often reinforce misleading narratives. In the tradition of the Soviet strategic-deception technique of dezinformatsiya, modern-day disinformation campaigns seek to obfuscate, distort or conceal facts.30 The founding counter-intelligence chief of the CIA, James Jesus Angleton, claimed that their goal is to create an information landscape ‘where fact and illusion merge, a kind of wilderness of mirrors’.31 In October 2018, I enter a plain white house in Riga, Latvia that looks like a detached family home.

This experimental approach of direct online engagement with radicalised audiences illustrates the potential to further explore the use of social media analysis and messaging in deradicalisation programmes.3 Elves Versus Trolls Sharing pieces of disinformation or propaganda is not illegal but it doesn’t need to go unchallenged. The Baltics, where media manipulation by the Kremlin propaganda machine is a major concern, are currently leading the way in countering disinformation. The so-called Baltic Elves are made up of thousands of voluntary activists who spend their spare time dismantling the disinformation campaigns of Russian trolls – from exposing biased news pieces and misleading statistics to debunking fabricated stories and half-truths.

Available at https://www.ifj.org/media-centre/news/detail/category/press-releases/article/ifj-survey-two-thirds-of-women-journalists-suffered-gender-based-online-attacks. 29Caroline Jack, ‘Lexicon of Lies: Terms for Problematic Information’, Data and Society Research Institute, 2017. 30Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible (Public Affairs, 2014), and John Pollock, ‘Russian Disinformation Technology’, MIT Technology Review, 13 April 2017. Available at https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604084/russian-disinformation-technology/. 31David Robarge, ‘Moles, Defectors, and Deceptions: James Angleton and CIA Counterintelligence’, Journal of Intelligence History 3(2), Winter 2003, p. 31. 32Interview with Donara Barojan, deputy director of the NATO Digital Forensic Research Lab. 33Jon White, ‘Dismiss, Distort, Distract, and Dismay: Continuity and Change in Russian Disinformation’, IES Policy Brief, Issue 2016/13, May 2016. Available at https://www.ies.be/files/Policy%20Brief_Jon%20White.pdf. 34Chloe Colliver et al., ‘Smearing Sweden: International Influence Campaigns in the 2018 Swedish Election’, ISD, October 2018.


pages: 324 words: 96,491

Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News by Clint Watts

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, Climatic Research Unit, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Julian Assange, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, University of East Anglia, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, zero day

Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, then shared a doctored video on Twitter seeking to justify Acosta’s dismissal for aggressive action. The video had been sped up and the reporter’s comments had been removed.38 The rapid proliferation of social media disinformation was expected, but rapid proliferation of social media disinformation from the White House was not. If America can’t count on the commander in chief to do the right thing, we most certainly can’t expect everyone else to do much better. The best disinformation peddlers in the future will have three distinct technological advantages over those that came before them. Cambridge Analytica demonstrated how the aggregation of user data provided deep insights for nimbly targeting and influencing selected audience members.

Machine learning applications will be able to pore over old data and current information feeds to design the perfect message for an entire preference bubble and the precise variant for each individual in the bubble, as well as when, how, and where to deliver it. Advertisers, political campaigns, and Russian disinformation peddlers would be handicapping themselves if they didn’t use this approach to push their products and ideas. Disinformation and misinformation have been easy to create and proliferate as the barriers to entry for these technological tools have lowered. False print stories and graphic memes have had a devastating effect. The latest dangerous technological dimension coming online now is falsified audio and video.

GOP sponsor of the bill Senator Lankford said the measure “helps the states to prepare our election infrastructure for the possibility of interference from not just Russia, but possibly another adversary like Iran or North Korea or a hacktivist group.”37 I can think of no time in American history when public and government attention and outrage have been so high without seeing any real progress toward solving the problem. Congress is unlikely to stem the tide against disinformation, and American elected officials have become the source of as much misinformation as authoritarians. Facebook’s public relations counteroffensive mirrors what I expected as I finished writing this book. Moving forward, the worst abusers of social media for nefarious influence will be public relations firms and political campaigns. The midterm elections of 2018 showed how Russia’s art would be quickly adopted by the most aggressive and best resourced. Russia didn’t push much disinformation to influence the 2018 elections, but even if they had, it would have been completely outpaced by the endless volumes of false information peddled by political campaigns and the White House.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

They could just get the Americans to do it themselves, by clicking, liking, and sharing. Americans on Facebook did the Russians’ work for them, laundering their propaganda through the First Amendment. But this new era of scaled disinformation is not confined to the realm of politics. Companies like Starbucks, Nike, and other fashion brands have found themselves targets of Russian-sponsored disinformation operations. When brands make statements that wade into existing social or racial tensions, there have been several identified instances in which Russian-sponsored fake news sites, botnets, and social media operations have activated to weaponize these narratives and provoke social conflict.

In a rare moment of solidarity, government ministers and senior opposition members of Parliament sang as a unified chorus about Facebook’s negligence in failing to prevent its platform from becoming a hostile propaganda network for elections and the implications for Western democracies. The next wave of stories focused on Brexit, with the integrity of the referendum vote called into question. A collection of documents I provided to law enforcement revealed that the Vote Leave campaign had used secret Cambridge Analytica subsidiaries to spend dark money to propagate disinformation on Facebook and Google ad networks. This was determined to be illegal by the U.K.’s Electoral Commission, with the scheme ending up as one of the largest and most consequential breaches of campaign finance law in British history. The office of the U.K.’s prime minister, 10 Downing Street, descended into communication crisis as the evidence of Vote Leave’s cheating emerged.

After the hearing, the FBI, DOJ, SEC, and FTC launched investigations. The U.S. House Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee all wanted to talk to me. Within weeks, the European Union and more than twenty countries had opened up inquiries into Facebook, social media, and disinformation. I told my story to the world, and now every screen was a mirror reflecting it back at me. For two weeks straight, my life was chaos. Days would start with appearances on British breakfast shows and European networks at 6 A.M. London time, continuing with interviews on U.S. networks until midnight.


pages: 652 words: 172,428

Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order by Colin Kahl, Thomas Wright

banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, citizen journalism, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, future of work, German hyperinflation, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, job automation, Kibera, liberal world order, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, one-China policy, open borders, open economy, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, spice trade, statistical model, World Values Survey

“Disclosing Networks of State-Linked Information Operations We’ve Removed,” Twitter Safety, June 12, 2020, https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/information-operations-june-2020.html.   90.  Matt Apuzzo, “Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation,” New York Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/world/europe/disinformation-china-eu-coronavirus.html.   91.  Mark Scott, Laura Kayali, and Laurens Cerulus, “European Commission Accuses China of Peddling Disinformation,” Politico, June 10, 2020, https://www.politico.eu/article/european-commission-disinformation-china-coronavirus/.   92.  Yang, “China’s Early Warning System.”   93.  Whittell, “The Disappeared.”   94.  Yao Yang, “Is a New Cold War Coming?

Most people around the world do not pay all that much attention to geopolitics, but in this case their lives were upended because of something that happened in China. Governments across the globe knew that they could not trust the information coming out of Beijing—now or in the future. SOWING DISINFORMATION China supplemented its so-called mask diplomacy with a massive global disinformation campaign. The centerpiece of this effort was to raise doubts about the virus’s origins. On February 27, Zhong Nanshan, a Chinese infectious disease expert, told a press conference, “The infection was first spotted in China but the virus may not have originated in China.”75 On March 8, China’s ambassador to South Africa tweeted: Although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus is originated from China, let alone “made in China.”76 Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, a particularly brash and assertive Chinese diplomat, tweeted out to his 300,000 followers on March 12: CDC was caught on the spot.

American intelligence agencies believe that in mid-March 2020, China actively pushed out false text messages telling Americans that a friend of a friend or a relative had confided that the federal government was about to shut down the entire country once they had the military ready to enforce it.84 This prompted a National Security Council tweet in response: “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown.”85 Trump, however, seemed unconcerned. When asked on Fox News about China’s disinformation campaign, he said, “They do it and we do it and we call them different things. Every country does it.”86 Laura Rosenberger, who was then leading the Alliance for Securing Democracy Project at the German Marshall Fund, described the disinformation strategy’s goals: “to deflect blame from Beijing’s own failings and to highlight other governments’ missteps, portraying China as both the model and the partner of first resort for other countries.”


pages: 342 words: 114,118

After the Fall: Being American in the World We've Made by Ben Rhodes

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, centre right, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, independent contractor, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, open economy, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, QAnon, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, too big to fail, trade route, Washington Consensus, young professional, zero-sum game

This nation’s new technologies proliferated like an uncontrolled virus before we understood their impact, transforming the way that human beings consume information; at first hopeful, the unifying allure of the Internet and social media segmented people back into lonely tribes where they could be more easily manipulated by propaganda, disinformation, and conspiracy theory. Somehow, after three decades of unchecked American capitalism, military power, and technological innovation, the currents of history had turned against democracy itself, bringing back those older forms of nationalism and social control in new packaging. To be American in 2020 was to live in a country diminished in the world, unwilling to control the spread of disease or face up to our racism, and looking over the precipice of abandoning the very democracy that was supposed to be the solid core of our national identity.

How the 2008 financial crisis had collapsed not only the global economy, but also confidence in the very fact of American-led globalization, opening the door to deeply familiar nationalist appeals. How the post-9/11 wars had also discredited American leadership while opening the door to a hypersecuritized politics of Us versus Them, one that could easily be repurposed to target an available Other in country after country. How the spread of social media had unleashed a flood of disinformation that undermined democracy while offering autocrats ever more powerful tools of social and political control. I saw this most clearly in three countries that were Communist throughout the Cold War and are at the center of the political forces remaking the world today. In Hungary, where the anticommunist liberal turned reactionary nationalist Viktor Orban took advantage of the 2008 financial crisis to create a model of authoritarian politics that is strikingly similar to the playbook that the Republican Party has run in America.

She rocketed to international attention in 1989, the year that the Berlin Wall came down, by leading a democratic movement protesting the military government. By 2017, she was doing what she felt she needed to do to survive in a world where nationalism ran amok. Her own journey—from democracy icon to tacit collaborator in brutality fueled by Buddhist nationalism and rampant anti-Rohingya disinformation on Facebook—didn’t cut against the currents of history, it drifted in the wake of events in the wider world. In April 2017, I went to Milan with Barack Obama. He was there to speak about climate change a few weeks after Donald Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The rhythm of the trip felt familiar: a private plane, a block of hotel rooms, Secret Service agents.


pages: 491 words: 141,690

The Controlled Demolition of the American Empire by Jeff Berwick, Charlie Robinson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Corrections Corporation of America, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, crony capitalism, cryptocurrency, dark matter, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, epigenetics, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, fiat currency, financial independence, global pandemic, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mandatory minimum, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, open borders, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, private military company, Project for a New American Century, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, reserve currency, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Saturday Night Live, security theater, self-driving car, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, South China Sea, surveillance capitalism, too big to fail, unpaid internship, urban decay, WikiLeaks, working poor

• There will always be an attack against the weakest portion of the person’s rebuttal of the disinformation, then this will be used to imply that everything else they are saying must be equally as weak. • The disinformer will never, ever, admit that they are lying, so one should not even bother waiting for it. • Expect the disinformer to ferociously pushback over the top with a statement like “How dare you accuse me of lying about something as serious as this?”. The more enraged, vicious, and vocal; the bigger the lie they are trying to hide. [See Bill Clinton]. • Do not expect a professional disinformer to ever actually debate the real topic and actual heart of the lie, but rather to dismiss everything as being rumors, internet lies, baseless accusations, speculation, personal attacks against their character, or a hit piece by their opponents or rivals

• Disinformers will demand proof from those challenging their version of events, then if proof is presented, they will claim that the evidence is incorrect, irrelevant, or invalid. • It is not unheard of for disinformers to simply manufacture new lies to try and validate their old lies. Then create even more lies to back up the others. • Multiple streams of the same disinformation talking points will be activated and pushed into the corporate media at the same time to give the impression that where there is smoke, there must be fire. • Any good disinformation is 80% truth mixed with 20% lies. Just enough truth to check out factually to the casual observer, but not enough truth to actually be correct. • Disinformers will often try to act annoyed that they are even being questioned about a particular event as if the case has already been closed and the science settled while trying desperately to change the topic completely

• The percentage of age 65+ viewers that are now getting their news online jumped by an astounding 10% in just 12 months.174 Whether the reason is convenience or reliability, the numbers show that television news is in free fall, and they have no one to blame but themselves. Their Disinformation Business The intentional promotion of false stories and lies has always been a cornerstone of the CIA’s charter. Their job is to collect good information and keep it secret, and they use disinformation to muddy the waters in order to throw people off of their tracks. Disinformation is horribly damaging to a free society and a very effective tool for those in power to cover up for their criminal deeds. There is an art form to lying professionally, but once the tactics are exposed and people become aware of them, they become far easier to spot going forward.


pages: 525 words: 131,496

Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence by Jonathan Haslam

active measures, Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, falling living standards, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Valery Gerasimov, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, éminence grise

One promising institutional innovation was the special office for disinformation founded by Artuzov and subsequently taken up by Unshlikht. On January 11, 1923, the production of disinformation (deza) about Russia’s domestic and foreign policy “and also the state of its armed forces and the measures taken for the defence of the republic” was centralised.55 Faking Politburo minutes, departmental memoranda, and false orders of battle topped the list of priorities. These practices peaked under Nikita Khrushchev with the formation of A Directorate (disinformation) in the KGB buttressed by the Information Department of the Central Committee, which ballooned as the International Information Department into the 1980s.

On June 17, Stalin brusquely dismissed Fitin’s reports of imminent invasion as “disinformation.”57 Too late, covert information reaching the Soviet embassy in Berlin impressed even the usually indifferent Dekanozov, whose loyalty to Stalin could not be doubted. But even on the eve of invasion, as late as June 21, Beria, ever sensitive to Stalin’s state of mind and ever conscious of the fate of his predecessors, overreacted, demanding Dekanozov’s immediate recall and punishment for continually bombarding them with “disinformation” about an imminent German invasion—surely the nadir of Moscow’s intelligence assessment.58 Beria, utterly inexperienced but inebriated by overweening self-confidence, proved to be the most disastrous head of intelligence the Soviet Union ever had. 5.

—Russian proverb RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE IDIOM (SOVIET PERIOD) Agenturíst: operative responsible for running agents Aktívnaya razvédka/aktívka (active intelligence): terrorism and sabotage Aktívnye meropriyátiya (active measures): black propaganda, dirty tricks, etc. Boevýe shífry: working ciphers Bol’shói Dom (literally, the “Big House”): Comintern; later the Lubyanka Chertvyórtyi: the Fourth Directorate of the Staff/General Staff, later GRU Dezá (dezinformátsiya): disinformation Enkavedíst: employee of the NKVD (GUGB), state security Ente-eróvsev: scientific and technical intelligence operative Gámma: ciphering sequence/one-time pad Gebíst: state security operative Geberóvskii: state security operative Gereúshnik: GRU operative Kagebíst/kagebéshnik: KGB operative Kirpích (literally, “brick”): watchman on delegations abroad Komitétchik (literally, “committee man”): KGB operative Kontóra (literally, “office”): KGB First Main Directorate at Yasenevo Krokíst: counterintelligence operative, state security (OGPU) Krýsha (literally, “roof”): cover Lástochnik (swallow): female operative employed for seduction Lesá (the woods): KGB school, later the First Main Directorate at Yasenevo Lózung: a crib for breaking open a cipher Marshrútnyi agént: employee of state security handling communications Nevidímyi front (invisible front): secret intelligence Óboroten (literally, “shapeshifter”): turncoat/traitor Omsóvets: operative in Comintern’s department for international communications Opér: abbreviation for either Operatívnyi sotrúdnik/ofitsér or Operabótnik Operabótnik: KGB operative Operatívnyi sotrúdnik/ofitsér: GRU operative Opertékhnik: a technical operative Operupolnomóchennyi: one responsible for a particular operation Osobísty: GRU officers Osóbye meropriyátiya (special measures): assassination and other tasks approved only by the Politburo Osóbye zadáchi (special tasks): assassination and other tasks approved only by the Politburo Osvedomítel’: information operative Pe-eróvets: political intelligence operative Podkrýshnik: operative under deep cover Razvédupr’ (Razvedyvatel ’noe upravlenie): a generic term for military intelligence Rezident: chief of a secret intelligence station Rezidentura: secret intelligence station Sapogí (boots): KGB term for GRU counterparts S”em (literally, “removal”): seizure of a traitor Shifrográmma: ciphered telegram Svád’ba (literally, “wedding”): seizure of a traitor Tsereúshnik: CIA officer Verbóvshchik: operative specialising in recruitment Vorón (“raven”): male operative employed for seduction Zagrantóchka: overseas post PREFACE The role of secret intelligence in the history of international relations has long been a neglected one.


pages: 106 words: 33,210

The COVID-19 Catastrophe: What's Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again by Richard Horton

Boris Johnson, cognitive bias, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, global pandemic, global village, Herbert Marcuse, informal economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea

WHO became so worried about the effects of an infodemic that it established a new unit – the Information Network for Epidemics, or EPI-WIN – to counter its impact. But what is more sinister still is the part disinformation might have played in propagating false beliefs about COVID-19. Disinformation is that category of misinformation deliberately aimed to deceive. Those who propagate disinformation seek to amplify discord within societies. The European External Action Service has documented multiple examples of disinformation targeted at Europe and the European Union (EU). The intention behind these attacks is often to discredit the EU for the way it has handled the crisis, to suggest that the EU has failed to help its member states, and to show that other countries, such as China, have done more to help Europe than Europe itself.

The relationship between WHO and the US government is unlikely to be healed while both Dr Tedros and President Trump remain in their positions. One or both will almost certainly have to depart their roles before relations can be restored. * I have already discussed the many strange stories of disinformation – the infodemic – that emerged during the crisis of COVID-19. What was even more surprising and unexpected was that governments themselves resorted to political disinformation campaigns in order to defend their own roles in managing the outbreak. These efforts to rewrite the narrative of COVID-19 are important to document. Just as there has been a struggle to contain the outbreak, so there is a struggle to control the way the public views government management of the outbreak.

But, given the country’s overall limited testing capacity, a sparse public health workforce and certain challenging disease characteristics, including mild and asymptomatic cases and rapid spread, it is unlikely that states were able to reach the levels of operational excellence needed to control the outbreak fully. Nevertheless, there was an extraordinary response from sections of civil society. To fight fake news about the pandemic, the Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 became a grassroots initiative to neutralise disinformation. States deserve much of the credit for the country’s partly successful response. There were important lessons for other countries to learn from India. One shortcoming of India’s COVID-19 response was the low rate of testing. Another constraint was an acute shortage of health workers, while yet another consisted of the large communities living in slums with no possibility for physical distancing.


pages: 482 words: 121,173

Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age by Brad Smith, Carol Ann Browne

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boeing 737 MAX, business process, call centre, Celtic Tiger, chief data officer, cloud computing, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, immigration reform, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, national security letter, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, pattern recognition, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

We coupled our AccountGuard announcement with information about these new attacks and an explicit statement that the six websites had been created by “a group widely associated with the Russian government and known as Strontium, or alternatively Fancy Bear or APT28.”9 It marked the first time we had been this explicit in identifying Russia as the source of the attacks, a move that was followed within days by both Facebook and Google as they acted to take down disinformation and fake accounts from their sites. While this was hardly the end of our journey, it marked how far the tech sector had come since 2016. As the industry took new steps, the press began to urge the US government to match our efforts. It provided what we hoped would become a new foundation for broader and more collaborative action.

Cyber-based threats around hacking of campaigns and disruption of voting were barely on the radar screen a decade ago. Today they are real risks that spill into daily news reports. Just as democratic governments and industry worked together to win a world war in the 1940s, today they must develop a unified response to protect the peace. And as authoritarian regimes experiment with disinformation campaigns, even more complex challenges lie ahead. Chapter 6 SOCIAL MEDIA: The Freedom That Drives Us Apart In a museum in the center of Tallinn, Estonia, which sits on the edge of the Baltic Sea, a young woman and man spin in perpetual motion, perched on opposite ends of a long, narrow plank.

It sounds a common chorus of people around the world yearning for freedom. And most important, it examines the constant tension between freedom and responsibility that the museum’s pair of floating mannequins so elegantly display. When we visited Estonia in the fall of 2018, the US Congress’s investigation into disinformation campaigns on Twitter and Facebook was at full throttle. The world had awoken to this new set of challenges and was asking questions. How had this happened? Why had it happened? And why hadn’t we realized it sooner? One answer to these questions came to us on a Saturday morning at the Vabamu Museum, the brainchild of an Estonian turned American named Olga Kistler-Ritso.


Calling Bullshit: The Art of Scepticism in a Data-Driven World by Jevin D. West, Carl T. Bergstrom

airport security, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Wiles, bitcoin, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, delayed gratification, disinformation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, experimental economics, invention of the printing press, John Markoff, longitudinal study, Lyft, meta-analysis, new economy, p-value, Pluto: dwarf planet, publication bias, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, Socratic dialogue, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, stem cell, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, twin studies, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, When a measure becomes a target

They just want our attention and will tell us whatever works to capture it. MISINFORMATION AND DISINFORMATION Social media facilitates the spread of misinformation—claims that are false but not deliberately designed to deceive. On social media platforms, the first outlet to break a story receives the bulk of the traffic. In the race to be first, publishers often cut any fact-checking out of the publication process. You can’t beat your competitors to press if you pause to rigorously fact-check a story. Being careful is admirable, but it doesn’t sell ads. Social media is also fertile ground for disinformation, falsehoods that are spread deliberately.

Social media posts are unconstrained by most borders. And they are shared organically. When social media users share propaganda they have encountered, they are using their own social capital to back someone else’s disinformation. If I come across a political leaflet or poster on the street, I am immediately skeptical. If my dear uncle forwards me a story on Facebook that he “heard from a friend of a friend,” my guard drops. Disinformation flows through a network of trusted contacts instead of being injected from outside into a skeptical society. In 2017, Facebook admitted that over the past two years, 126 million US users—half of the adult population and about three-quarters of its US user base—had been exposed to Russian propaganda on the site.

We seek multiple images from multiple vantage points. Society will adjust similarly to a world of deepfakes and whatever reality-bending technologies follow. There are three basic approaches for protecting ourselves against misinformation and disinformation online. The first is technology. Tech companies might be able to use machine learning to detect online misinformation and disinformation. While this is a hot area for research and development, we are not optimistic. Tech companies have been trying to do this for years, but the problem shows no signs of abating. Microsoft, Facebook, and others have recently started to release large data sets to academic researchers working on this problem; that suggests to us that the tech companies know that they need help.


pages: 475 words: 134,707

The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health--And How We Must Adapt by Sinan Aral

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, death of newspapers, disinformation, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, hive mind, illegal immigration, income inequality, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multi-sided market, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, performance metric, phenotype, recommendation engine, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, skunkworks, Snapchat, social graph, social intelligence, social software, social web, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the strength of weak ties, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra

“how to avoid a phishing attack, what bots are”: Sarah Perez, @sarahintampa, “Google’s New Media Literacy Program Teaches Kids How to Spot Disinformation and Fake News,” TechCrunch, June 24, 2019, https://techcrunch.com/​2019/​06/​24/​googles-new-media-literacy-program-teaches-kids-how-to-spot-disinformation-and-fake-news/; Google’s “Be Internet Awesome,” https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/​en_us/. Bad News: “Fake News ‘Vaccine’ Works: ‘Pre-Bunking’ Game Reduces Susceptibility to Disinformation,” Science Daily, June 24, 2019, https://www.sciencedaily.com/​releases/​2019/​06/​190624204800.htm. the game reduced the perceived reliability of fake news: Jon Roozenbeek and Sander van der Linden, “Fake News Game Confers Psychological Resistance Against Online Misinformation,” Palgrave Communications 5, no. 1 (2019): 12.

To understand whether dystopia is our destiny, we have to understand how the Hype Machine works. To do that, we’ll need to go back to first principles, starting with a deep dive under the hood of the Hype Machine, followed by an examination of social media’s effect on our brains. *1 Disinformation is deliberate falsehood spread to deceive, while misinformation is falsehood spread regardless of its intent. Disinformation is a subset of misinformation. *2 Chris Bail and his team found no evidence that interactions with IRA Twitter accounts in late 2017 impacted political attitudes or behavior. But several limitations prevented them from determining “whether IRA accounts influenced the 2016 presidential election.”

The study he was referring to was one I published: Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, and Sinan Aral, “The Spread of True and False News Online,” Science 359, no. 6380 (2018): 1146–51. cauldron of misinformation: Zeke Miller and Colleen Long, “US Officials: Foreign Disinformation Is Stoking Virus Fears,” US News, March 16, 2020; Brooke Singman and Gillian Turner, “Foreign Disinformation Campaign on Fake National Quarantine Trying to Cause Panic, Trump Admin. Officials Say,” Fox News, March 16, 2020. Google, Apple, and MIT developed Bluetooth-based contact tracing systems: Mark Gurman, “Apple, Google Bring Covid-19 Contact-Tracing to 3 Billion People,” Bloomberg, April 10, 2020; Kylie Foy, “Bluetooth Signals from Your Smartphone Could Automate Covid-19 Contact Tracing While Preserving Privacy,” MIT News, April 8, 2020, http://news.mit.edu/​2020/​bluetooth-covid-19-contact-tracing-0409.


pages: 309 words: 81,243

The Authoritarian Moment: How the Left Weaponized America's Institutions Against Dissent by Ben Shapiro

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, gender pay gap, global pandemic, Herbert Marcuse, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, microaggression, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, obamacare, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, War on Poverty, yellow journalism

In June 2020, the Biden campaign circulated a petition and open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, calling for “real changes to Facebook’s policies for their platform and how they enforce them” in order to “protect against a repeat of the role that disinformation played in the 2016 election and that continues to threaten our democracy today.”32 The social media companies have increasingly taken heed. And they’ve moved right along with the clever switch made over the course of the past several years from “fighting disinformation” to “fighting misinformation.” After 2016, the argument went, Russian “disinformation” had spammed social media, actively undermining truth in favor of a narrative detrimental to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. There was some evidence of this—although the amount of actual Russian disinformation on Facebook, for example, wasn’t overwhelming in the grand scheme of things.

Follow-on stories in the Post quoted Hunter Biden’s ex–business associate Tony Bobulinski accusing Joe Biden himself of lying about his knowledge of Hunter’s activities: “I have heard Joe Biden say he has never discussed his dealings with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden,” Bobulinski alleged.6 The Biden campaign and its media allies responded by calling the Hunter Biden story “Russian disinformation.”7 The story, needless to say, was not Russian disinformation; there was no evidence that it was in the first place. In fact, about a month after the election, media reported that Hunter Biden had been under federal investigation for years—CNN reported that the investigation began as early as 2018, and that it had gone covert for fear of affecting the presidential election.8 The Hunter Biden story never fully broke through into the mainstream consciousness.

Over two years. That’s an average of 1,243 engagements per post—an extremely low total.34 But put aside the relative success or unsuccess of the Russian manipulation. We can all agree that Russian disinformation—typically meaning overtly false information put out by a foreign source, designed to mislead domestic audiences—is worth censoring. Democrats and media, however, shifted their objection from Russian disinformation to “misinformation”—a term of art that encompasses everything from actual, outright falsehood to narratives you dislike. To declare something “misinformation” should require showing its falsity, at the least.


pages: 651 words: 186,130

This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth

4chan, active measures, activist lawyer, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Boeing 737 MAX, Brian Krebs, cloud computing, commoditize, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, defense in depth, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, gender pay gap, global pandemic, global supply chain, index card, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Menlo Park, MITM: man-in-the-middle, moral hazard, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, offshore financial centre, open borders, pirate software, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ransomware, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Seymour Hersh, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day, Zimmermann PGP

TrickBot’s developers were now cataloging American municipalities they had access to, selling anyone who wanted it a paint-by-number approach to hacking our election. When it came to disinformation, Russia’s goal was still the same: divide and conquer. But this time, the Kremlin’s trolls didn’t have to spin up “fake news.” Americans—perhaps nobody more so than our president—were generating plenty of false, misleading, and divisive content every single day. In 2016, Russians spun up fictitious tales of Democrats practicing witchcraft. With Americans more divided than at any time in recent history, Russia’s trolls and state news outlets found it far more efficient to amplify American-made disinformation than create their own. This time they weren’t looking to go viral—that would draw too much attention—they simply searched for sparks wherever they flew and offered up a little kindling.

And when thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest the murders of African Americans at the hands of police, I watched those same Russian accounts retweet Americans, including the president, who dismissed the Black Lives Matter movement as a Trojan horse for violent left-wing radicals. With each new campaign, it got harder to pinpoint where exactly American-made disinformation ended and Russia’s active measures began. We had become Putin’s “useful idiots.” And so long as Americans were tangled up in our own infighting, Putin could maneuver the world unchecked. “The mantra of Russian active measures is this: ‘Win through force of politics rather than the politics of force,’ ” is how Clint Watts, a former FBI agent who specializes in Russian disinformation, explained it to me. “What that means is go into your adversary and tie them up in politics to the point where they are in such disarray that you are free to do what you will.”

In the years following its implementation, researchers found that Japanese devices were better protected than other countries with similar GDPs. We will never build resilience to cyberattacks—or foreign disinformation campaigns, for that matter—without good policy and nationwide awareness of cyber threats. We should make cybersecurity and media literacy a core part of American curriculum. Too many cyberattacks rely on vulnerable American systems, running on software that is not up-to-date or which has not been patched. This is, in large part, an education problem. The same goes for information warfare. Americans are being coopted by disinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories because Americans lack the tools to spot influence operations, foreign and domestic, in real time.


How to Be a Liberal: The Story of Liberalism and the Fight for Its Life by Ian Dunt

4chan, Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, battle of ideas, Bear Stearns, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, bounce rate, British Empire, Brixton riot, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, experimental subject, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, invisible hand, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, liberal world order, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, zero-sum game

Howard, Bharath Ganesh, Dimitra Liotsiou, John Kelly and Camille François, is the first major analysis of the Russian disinformation attack on the US, based on data provided by social media firms to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The Global Disinformation Order 2019 Global Inventory of Organised Social Media Manipulation, by Samantha Bradshaw and Philip N Howard, gives information on how extensively these techniques are now being used around the world. For accounts of disinformation in the digital age see David Patrikarakos’ lively and important War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the 21st Century, from which the account of the Russian disinformation building is taken, and How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict, by Nina Jankowicz.

It was not effective in convincing many people outside of Russia or east Ukraine. But that was not the purpose. The aim was in fact two-fold. Firstly, it would give Moscow a spreadable narrative in which it could maintain its innocence. And secondly it would confuse people. It would smudge reality, sow doubt, churn out as much disinformation as possible and hope the noise cancelled out the facts. The Ukrainian disinformation campaign worked as proof-of-concept for Putin. He now turned his attention to his opponents in the West. Using the same tactics, he could try to achieve similar results in countries like Britain and the US. From the end of 2014, the proportion of English, as opposed to Russian, language tweets from Kremlin fake accounts started to increase dramatically.

Those who live under its shadow are therefore encouraged to process information according to their tribal identity rather than its veracity, to close themselves off from anything that might challenge their faith. The lies of the nationalist movement range from the gigantic to the trivial, from the systemic to the opportunistic. This disinformation is not just a means to an end. It is an end itself. It serves two distinct agendas. Firstly it attempts to redefine day-to-day events in whichever way most suits the nationalist narrative. Secondly it works to degrade the entire notion of empirical reality. If nationalists can lie without consequence, the concepts of truth and falsity fall into irrelevance.


pages: 358 words: 93,969

Climate Change by Joseph Romm

carbon footprint, Climatic Research Unit, decarbonisation, demand response, disinformation, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge worker, mass immigration, performance metric, renewable energy transition, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, the scientific method

In books and documentaries such as “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming,” historians and journalists have shown (1) that this misinformation and disinformation campaign goes all the way back to the tobacco industry’s campaign to cast doubt on claims that cigarette smoking is bad for your health and (2) that in some cases it involves the same exact people.49 In 2009, the New York Times documented that the Global Climate Coalition, an anti-action lobbying group backed by industries that profit from fossil fuels, ignored its own climate scientists during the 1990s while spreading disinformation about global warming.50 An internal report stating that the human causes of global warming “cannot be denied” fell on the deaf ears of Coalition leaders.

In July 2015, we learned that oil giant Exxon understood the scientific reality of climate change as far back as 1981, many years before climate change became a political issue that they tried to spread confusion about. Over the years, fossil fuel companies and their executives were documented to have funneled tens of millions of dollars into this disinformation campaign. For a long time, the leading funder was the oil company Exxon-Mobil. However, they have been overtaken by Koch Industries—a company with large fossil fuel interests, run by billionaires Charles and David Koch—which spent more $48.5 million from 1997 to 2010 to fund disinformation. A report concluded that “From 2005 to 2008, Exxon Mobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the climate denial machine.”

We have been headed for a tripling of atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, and the dangerous consequences of doing so are widely understood and accepted by the world’s leading climate scientists and governments. The multidecade disinformation campaign funded by the fossil fuel industry is marked by a rejection of basic science and the constant repetition of flawed arguments that have been long debunked by scientists, even ones who were advising the fossil fuel industry. That disinformation campaign continues today with more money than ever. What are climate science deniers? The scientific community and leading governments of the world have repeatedly reported on the ever-strengthening body of research supporting our understanding of basic climate science.


pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, disinformation, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, G4S, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, post-work, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

A letter check, as well as revealing details of Grosse’s espionage, also identified two of the intermediaries employed by Steinhauer to maintain contact with agents in Britain. Building on his experience of supplying bogus information to Duff during the Schultz case, Kell supplied more elaborate disinformation to Salter which Grosse passed on to Berlin. Grosse’s case officer was sufficiently pleased with the disinformation to forward a more detailed list of inquiries on wireless telegraphy, range-finding, naval guns and coal supplies. Grosse was, however, told that his report about ‘a floating conning-tower’ (apparently one of Kell’s less plausible inventions) was ‘surely imaginary’.

Even had the Müller deception continued for longer, however, its success would have been limited. Unlike the turned German agents of the Second World War, Müller was executed and therefore unable to add personal credibility to the disinformation sent to German intelligence in his name. The Double-Cross System also depended not on one individual but on a series of turned German agents as well as on the co-operation of the whole intelligence community to provide a mixture of information and disinformation capable of both impressing and deceiving the enemy for the remainder of the war. Unlike MI5 in the Second World War, MO5(g) lacked the regular flow of SIGINT (signals intelligence) which enabled it to monitor the impact of the deception.69 The discovery by German intelligence of the Müller deception made it difficult for MO5(g) to attempt a similar deception without arousing German suspicions.

Also sent information regarding the effects of the Zeppelin raids on London. In September, on MI5 instructions, COMO sent further disinformation on the military situation in England and likely movements on the Western Front. He told the Germans that the British were planning an attack on the Belgian coast on the 15th. COMO continued to pass on at irregular intervals details of the intelligence missions entrusted to him by the Kriegsnachrichtenstelle, and MI5 continued to channel disinformation through him. According to a post-war summary, COMO ‘was always quite honest and trustworthy and did some v[ery] valuable work for us, at the same time holding the German’s [sic] confidence’.


pages: 443 words: 116,832

The Hacker and the State: Cyber Attacks and the New Normal of Geopolitics by Ben Buchanan

active measures, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, family office, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, kremlinology, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nate Silver, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, risk tolerance, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, zero day

In the days prior to the October 7 email dump, Trump’s friend Stone told an unnamed senior Trump campaign official and other Trump supporters that WikiLeaks would imminently dump many more embarrassing files, and would commence with weekly releases. After the release of Podesta’s emails, an unnamed associate of a high-ranking official in the Trump campaign texted Stone, “Well done.”50 Amplification By the tail end of the election cycle, the Russians’ focus was less on hacking additional systems and more on propaganda and disinformation. Perhaps this shift in approach was a response to the warnings from President Obama, including a hotline message a week before the election.51 More likely, however, it was the culmination of a multiyear effort to project and amplify divisive and pro-Trump messages inside the United States. This part of the Russian campaign both drew on and supported the hacking efforts.

They kept track of online group sizes, frequency of posts, and audience engagement, including comments and other responses. These operatives worked for a nebulous St. Petersburg-based organization known as the Internet Research Agency, the most well-known—but likely not the only—Russian group running disinformation campaigns in the United States.52 Internet Research Agency employees made several trips to the United States in mid-2014 under false pretenses. As early as May 2014, they began discussing the 2016 presidential election as a target.53 In 2016, they posed as Americans and communicated with political activists and organizers in the United States to get a better sense of American politics.

Their targets included the World Anti-Doping Agency, which had revealed Russian cheating in the Olympics; the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which had examined Russia’s poisoning of a former spy; and the investigation into Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which Russian forces had shot down in Ukraine.19 A network of outlets, including social media accounts and state propaganda platforms such as Sputnik, stand ready to push the Russian message.20 Iran and its supporters have used disinformation for their own purposes, too. Researchers found sprawling campaigns that relied on hundreds of fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter. These campaigns aimed to mislead individuals all over the world. One effort aimed to sow division in the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. It included well-constructed fake news articles that revealed a sophisticated understanding of online media and politics in the targeted countries.


pages: 444 words: 130,646

Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest by Zeynep Tufekci

4chan, active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, Andy Carvin, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of movable type, invention of writing, loose coupling, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, pre–internet, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, the strength of weak ties, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

The Swedish defense minister, touring the country in an attempt to discuss Sweden, NATO, and Russia, found himself being grilled about these fake stories. People were scared that these stories might be true, confused about what to believe, and unsure about how to deal with this flood of negative stories. Censorship by disinformation focuses on attention as the key resource to be destroyed and credibility and legitimacy as the key components necessary for a public sphere that can support dissident views—or indeed, any coherent views. Rand Corporation researchers refer to this phenomenon as the “firehose of falsehood” propaganda model.18 The primary goal is simple: “to confuse and overwhelm” the audience.19 As in many such cases, it is impossible to pin down responsibility for the campaign, but “numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V.

However, these gatekeepers had normative standards to judge factual error, and many newspapers published investigations later about how they got the reporting in the run-up to the war so wrong. Their failures were recognized as failures, or at least as departures from standards they were supposed to uphold. However, these failures have contributed to declining trust in traditional media, making the public sphere even more vulnerable to disinformation campaigns. Our new era is marked by the multitude of people and institutions with the capacity to broadcast, each with different normative standards—and some with no concerns about accuracy even as a standard that is not always upheld—with a polarized public with little trust in any intermediary, and drawn to information that confirms preexisting biases.

The United States has often been accused of deliberately spreading misinformation against regimes it wanted to overthrow or destabilize in many countries. Politicians have been known to resort to starting rumors about their opponents. None of this is without precedent. However, what is more striking in the twenty-first century is that the disinformation campaigns are not necessarily carried out to persuade people or to make them believe any particular set of alleged facts. Instead, the goal is often simply to overwhelm people with so many pieces of bad and disturbing information that they become confused and give up trying to figure out what the truth might be—or even the possibility of finding out what is true.


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The Science of Hate: How Prejudice Becomes Hate and What We Can Do to Stop It by Matthew Williams

3D printing, 4chan, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, algorithmic bias, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, European colonialism, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, global pandemic, illegal immigration, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, microaggression, Milgram experiment, selection bias, Snapchat, statistical model, theory of mind, twin studies, white flight

In the same period police in the UK recorded a 21 per cent increase in hate crimes targeting south and east Asians.29 Similar rises have been recorded across Europe, Australasia, Asia, Africa and the Americas.30 No science has yet confirmed a link between Trump’s divisive rhetoric and the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. There are certainly alternative explanations, such as a rise in general online hate speech and disinformation targeting Chinese and Asian people. Online disinformation also singled out Muslims, Jews and the LGBTQ+ community for spreading the virus. Via clicks from Facebook, thirty-four websites known for spreading far-right conspiracy theories and hate received c.80 million interactions between January and April 2020. In comparison, via Facebook, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website received just 6.4 million interactions, and the World Health Organisation website 6.2 million.31 Much of the far-right social media chatter came from ‘accelerationists’ who believe that the collapse of the state can be brought about by extreme violence against liberal, black, Muslim and Jewish people.

Human Rights Watch, ‘Covid-19 Fueling Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia Worldwide’, 12 May 2020, www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/12/covid-19-fueling-anti-asian-racism-and-xenophobia-worldwide. 31. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Far-Right Exploitation of Covid-19’, London: ISD, 2020. 32. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Covid-19 Disinformation Briefing No. 2’, London: ISD, 2020. 33. A. Goldman, ‘Man Suspected of Planning Attack on Missouri Hospital Is Killed, Officials Say’, New York Times, 25 March 2020. 34. Institute for Strategic Dialogue, ‘Covid-19 Disinformation Briefing No. 2’. 35. M. L. Williams et al., ‘Hate in the Machine: Anti-Black and Anti-Muslim Social Media Posts as Predictors of Offline Racially and Religiously Aggravated Crime’, British Journal of Criminology 60 (2019), 93–117. 36.

Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign hired Cambridge Analytica and the Leave.EU Brexit campaign hired Aggregate IQ to use artificial intelligence to ‘micro-target’ those who would be most vulnerable to messages designed to stir up fears of the ‘other’.3 During the COVID-19 pandemic, social media was flooded with far-right conspiracy theories and hate targeting Jewish, Muslim, Chinese and LGBTQ+ people for supposedly creating and/or spreading the disease (more on this in Chapter 10).4 Beyond organised campaigns, the everyday internet user also took to social media to post hateful messages, triggered by disinformation and careless phrases, like ‘Chinese virus’ and ‘kung flu’, coming out of the White House.5 What is most worrying about this trend is that the research shows divisive messages from public figures are directly linked to tipping some people into hateful violence on the streets. In January 2021 the world witnessed an unparalleled example of this when the US Capitol Building was stormed by Trump supporters who had been whipped up by his polarising rhetoric.


Pirates and Emperors, Old and New by Noam Chomsky

American ideology, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, drone strike, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land reform, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, union organizing, urban planning

The attitude towards the public is revealed by what one Reagan official called “a vast psychological warfare operation” designed to set the agenda for debate over Nicaragua—a disinformation campaign called “Operation Truth”; Goebbels and Stalin would have been amused.10 Disinformation has been an Administration specialty since the earliest days, though the media and Congress always profess to be shocked when a new example is exposed, recently during the 1986 disinformation campaign concerning Libya (see chapter 3). In this case, the display of outraged surprise necessitated a slight case of amnesia; as early as August 1981, Newsweek had reported a government “disinformation program designed to embarrass Qaddafi and his government” along with assorted acts of U.S. terrorism within Libya to try to “demonstrate that Qaddafi was opposed by an indigenous political force.”

The plan was apparently activated in a secret National Security directive of January 14, 1983 (No. 77, Management of Public Diplomacy Relative to National Security). Alfonso Chardy, “Secrets Leaked to Harm Nicaragua, Sources Say,” Miami Herald, October 13, 1986. 11. Newsweek, August 3, 1981. On the disinformation program concerning Libya, see chapter 3. On other disinformation programs and media cooperation, see my Turning the Tide; Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, The Bulgarian Connection (Sheridan Square, 1986). 12. Alfonso Chardy, Knight-Ridder Service, Boston Globe, October 28, 1986. 13. Robert Reinhold, “Ex-General Hints at Big Role as U.S.

“The press was forbidden to publish pictures of the destroyed plane, of the dead and the wounded,” Amiram Cohen observes in a detailed analysis of the Israeli reaction (undertaken after the KAL 007 atrocity), and “journalists were not allowed to visit the hospital in Beersheba and to interview survivors,” all part of a “disinformation” effort. The international reaction was dismissed by the Israeli press as yet another demonstration that “the spirit of anti-Semitism flourishes” in Europe, virtually a reflex response, in the U.S. as well, when someone dares to mention or criticize an Israeli crime. The Israeli press insisted that “Israel is not responsible” and that “one must blame the [French] pilot.”


pages: 412 words: 115,048

Dangerous Ideas: A Brief History of Censorship in the West, From the Ancients to Fake News by Eric Berkowitz

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bonfire of the Vanities, borderless world, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, coronavirus, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Index librorum prohibitorum, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, microaggression, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, New Urbanism, pre–internet, QAnon, Ralph Nader, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, source of truth, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, undersea cable, WikiLeaks

For Internet companies, and to the detriment of users in more tolerant jurisdictions, the price of doing business internationally is that censorship decrees in one country could apply elsewhere or worldwide. In the wake of the disinformation–saturated 2016 Brexit referendum and US election, European governments moved to force online Internet companies to purge disinformation from their platforms. A 2018 German law requires networks with more than two million members to take down fake news within twenty-four hours of notification or face fines of up to €50 million, and a 2018 French law allows authorities to order the deletion of false online information that could affect elections.

Bobby Allyn, “Researchers: Nearly Half of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots,” NPR, May 20, 2020, https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/20/859814085/researchers-nearly-half-of-accounts-tweeting-about-coronavirus-are-likely-bots; Thor Benson, “Trolls and Bots Are Flooding Social Media with Disinformation Encouraging States to End Quarantine,” Business Insider, April 20, 2020, https://www.businessinsider.com/trolls-bots-flooding-social-media-with-anti-quarantine-disinformation-2020-4. 103. Shahbaz, “Freedom on the Net 2018.” 104. Boos v. Barry, 485 U.S. 312 (1998), citing Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, 485 U.S. 46 (1988); FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978). 105. “Two Chinese Tourists Are Arrested for Making a Hitler Salute in Germany,” Economist, August 7, 2017, https://www.economist.com/gulliver/2017/08/07/two-chinese-tourists-are-arrested-for-making-a-hitler-salute-in-germany. 106.

The government censured a newspaper for publishing an advertisement that suggested too obviously the desperation caused by the diminished food supply: “Fat Dogs Wanted.”46 At times, news reports from France, Germany, and Austria were so heavily censored that nothing would appear of them in newspapers except blank spaces where the articles would have been. Some Austrian newspapers protested by inserting the word “Zensur” in the blank spaces, but in Germany such protests were forbidden, as they only highlighted the fact that information was being withheld. Censorship resulted in disinformation, either by omission—such as strict restrictions on casualty reports—or by affirmative falsehoods. The first day of the bloodiest defeat in British history, at the Somme on July 1, 1916, was framed as a victory. The report (by Gibbs, who was nowhere near the front lines and who relied on official sources) surely brought anxious families some relief as they read it over breakfast: Our troops, fighting with very splendid valor, have swept across the enemy’s front trenches . . . and have captured villages and strongholds which the Germans have long held against us.


pages: 371 words: 109,320

News and How to Use It: What to Believe in a Fake News World by Alan Rusbridger

airport security, basic income, Boris Johnson, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, future of journalism, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Google Earth, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Murray Gell-Mann, Narrative Science, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, offshore financial centre, profit motive, publication bias, Seymour Hersh, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, the scientific method, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, yellow journalism

But pity the confusion in the general public’s mind as they try to understand the word ‘journalism’. DISINFORMATION It refers to intentionally disseminating mistaken information, sometimes covertly, in order to influence public opinion, obscure the truth, discredit an opponent or spread public cynicism, distrust or apathy. The culprit may mix truth with false conclusions and lies. It can be traced back to the Russian term dezinformatsiya (information designed to sow doubt and increase mistrust in institutions). Disinformation may not be a new thing, but the scale and speed at which information can be spread in the digital age is without precedent in history.

The hacking and leaking of internal Democratic Party communications during the 2016 US election were simply one high-profile symptom of the new warfare, which saw widespread covert political disinformation as well as the use of troll farms and bots to infiltrate and sway public debate. In some ways Putin’s agenda was not dissimilar from the tactics used by Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and other populists in seeking to undermine faith in any kind of evidence-based reality. If you can, for instance, convince enough people that the New York Times is completely fake, then (they imply) you might as well believe Bannon’s reality, and Trump’s alternative facts. The targets of disinformation are not always the obvious ones. The writer Peter Pomerantsev explored the odd-seeming behaviour of the Kremlin in choosing to crawl inside American protest movements online.

If journalism is trying to persuade sceptical readers that it is the safe harbour of reality, why would it handsomely reward and celebrate people for writing rubbish? We have seen in recent years some high-profile failings of journalism, not least the phone-hacking scandal, which rumbles on to this day. Equally, there are heroes and heroines of reporting as glorious as at any time in a century or more. There is now more disinformation put out into the world than ever before, much of it politically motivated. The owner of a media business can raise or corrupt it. And rarely is a paper all good, or all bad. So, it’s hard to write a book with a simple message about journalism and why it should be trusted. Much of it should; quite a lot shouldn’t.


Necessary Illusions by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, full employment, Howard Zinn, Khyber Pass, land reform, long peace, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, union organizing

The “United States” is thus deprived of means previously available to “cope with” enemies who are so deceitful as to operate within the law, and who are “politically dishonest by hiding one’s true political aims or knowingly planting lies and disinformation.” Prominent in this category are the church-based groups and others that opposed the Vietnam war and are carrying out similar “calculated political deception” with regard to our crusade for freedom in Central America. The “lies and disinformation” of these subversive elements in the service of their hidden agendas or foreign masters “may poison the marketplace of ideas and damage a democratic society more seriously than the overt advocacy of forceful overthrow.”

To illustrate, I have reviewed a few samples of the media’s contributions to the government project of “demonizing the Sandinistas” while praising the violent terror states backed or directly installed by the United States in the region. With all the skepticism I have personally developed through studying media performance over many years, I had not expected that they would rise to this challenge. When writing in 1985 about the Reaganite disinformation programs concerning Central America, I did not compare Nicaragua to El Salvador and Guatemala to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the charges (where they were not outright lies); that seemed an insult to the reader’s intelligence. Instead, I compared the allegations concerning Nicaragua with the behavior of the “model democracy” of Israel during the same period and that of the United States itself in wartime conditions, showing that the Sandinista record was respectable by these—admittedly, not very impressive— standards.3 But my assessment of the media was naive.

The media even permitted themselves to be duped by a transparent fraud, the well-timed “discovery” of a shipment of MiG fighter planes to Nicaragua, which predictably turned out to be fanciful and was later attributed to Oliver North’s shenanigans, but which admirably served its purpose of helping to efface the unwanted Nicaraguan elections. When it had become obvious that no MiGs had arrived, a new phase of disinformation began, shifting attention to the leak of secret information (that is, to the planned release of intelligence fabrications, so it appears), condemned as “criminal” by Secretary Shultz. The press again went along, taking the issue to be the alleged leak and not the propaganda exercise in which they had participated, even claiming that the MiG pretense had harmed the U.S. and anti-Sandinista groups.


Killing Hope: Us Military and Cia Interventions Since World War 2 by William Blum

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, deindustrialization, disinformation, kremlinology, land reform, liberation theology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, South China Sea, trickle-down economics, union organizing

In the 1930s, and again after the war in the 1940s and '50s, anti-communists of various stripes in the United States tried their best to expose the crimes of the Soviet Union, such as the purge trials and the mass murders. But a strange thing happened. The truth did not seem to matter. American Communists and fellow travelers continued to support the Kremlin. Even allowing for the exaggeration and disinformation regularly disbursed by the anti-communists which damaged their credibility, the continued ignorance and/or denial by the American leftists is remarkable. At the close of the Second World War, when the victorious Allies discovered the German concentration camps, in some cases German citizens from nearby towns were brought to the camp to come face-to-face with the institution, the piles of corpses, and the still-living skeletal people; some of the respectable burghers were even forced to bury the dead.

In the Philippines it is customary for the local/regional government to get a 10 percent rake-off on all such enterprise and for national politicians to get another 10 percent. So the safe explanation becomes "Communist-inspired subversive insurgency." The word for this in the Philippines is Huk.24 The most insidious part of the CIA operation in the Philippines was the fundamental manipulation of the nation's political life, featuring stage-managed elections and disinformation campaigns. The high-point of this effort was the election to the presidency, in 1953, of Ramon Magsaysay, the cooperative former defense department head. Lansdale, it was said, "invented" Magsaysay.25 His CIA front organizations— such as the National Movement for Free Elections—ran the Filipino's campaign with all the license, impunity, and money that one would expect from the Democratic or Republican National Committees operating in the US, or perhaps more to the point, Mayor Daley operating in Chicago.

On the broadcasts of the CIA's "Voice of Liberation" the picture was different: The rebels were everywhere and advancing; they were of large numbers and picking up volunteers as they marched; war and upheaval in all corners; fearsome battles and major defeats for the Guatemalan army. Some of these broadcasts were transmitted over regular public and even military channels, serving to convince some of Arbenz's officers that the reports were genuine. In the same way, the CIA was able to answer real military messages with fake responses. All manner of disinformation was spread and rumors fomented; dummy parachute drops were made in scattered areas to heighten the belief that a major invasion was taking place.27 77 United Fruit Company's publicity office circulated photographs to journalists of mutilated bodies about to be buried in a mass grave as an example of the atrocities committed by the Arbenz regime.


pages: 470 words: 148,444

The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, demand response, different worldview, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, eurozone crisis, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, illegal immigration, intangible asset, Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks

To understand what ended up happening in the 2016 presidential election, you have to understand this: When protests toppled the Ukrainian government, Putin interpreted that as the United States coming into Russia, akin to an act of war; when he launched his counterattack—annexing Crimea, creeping into eastern Ukraine—he weaponized information and showed a willingness to lie, using traditional media like television, and new media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, to spread disinformation into open, Western societies like a virus. Eventually, the Russians would come into America, as they believed we’d gone into Ukraine. They took advantage of the fact that we were worn down by decades of political polarization and the balkanization of our media. America’s antibodies to the sickness of Russian disinformation were weak, if they were there at all. * * * — IN APRIL 2016, WE landed in London for a hastily arranged trip to help David Cameron fight off a Brexit referendum.

There was a lingering unease, a palpable sense that the place was under threat. In a meeting, the Estonian president, Toomas Ilves, insisted to Obama that we had to take Putin at his word if he said he would take Kiev. Ilves had an academic manner, and he described methodically how Russia was using fake news and disinformation to turn Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority against Europe. Speaking in paragraphs, he tied together Putin, the emergence of right-wing political parties in Europe, and ISIL. These are people, he said, who fundamentally reject the legitimacy of the liberal order. They are looking for another form of legitimacy—one that is counter to our notion of progress.

It didn’t matter much that the shifting Russian explanations could be debunked. The investigation was going to take years; with their media capabilities and willingness to lie, the Russians could fill that space with all manner of false narratives. Since the protests had ousted Russia’s client leader in Ukraine in 2014, we’d grown accustomed to Russian disinformation. Sometimes it could be thuggishly personal. Jen Psaki, who was then our State Department spokeswoman, was a target. Russian media outlets—amplified by Russian bots—invented quotes from her to discredit our policies. In social media campaigns, her head was superimposed on the body of a model in a provocative pose to suggest that she was a crude, unserious person.


pages: 345 words: 100,135

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Dr. Paul Babiak, Dr. Robert Hare

business process, computer age, disinformation, fixed income, greed is good, job satisfaction, laissez-faire capitalism, Norman Mailer, old-boy network, risk tolerance, twin studies

Specifically, their game plans involved manipulating communication networks to enhance their own reputation, to disparage others, and to create conflicts and rivalries among organization members, thereby keeping them from sharing information that might uncover the deceit. They also spread disinformation in the interest of protecting their scam and furthering their own careers. Being exceedingly clever and secretive, they were able to cloak their association with the disinformation, leading others to believe that they were innocent of manipulation. Secrecy is a key to a corporate con’s success. Impression Management, Deception, and Lies Impression management, deception, and lying are integral and necessary parts of social interactions.

Their often theatrical, yet convincing stories and entertaining explanations reinforce an environment of trust, acceptance, and genuine delight, leading most people to accept them exactly as whom they appear to be—and almost unconsciously excuse any inconsistencies they might have noted. If challenged or caught in a lie, psychopaths are not embarrassed. They simply change or elaborate on the story line to weave together all the misarranged details into a believable fabric. Well-practiced oral communication skills make this endless stream of disinformation seem believable, sensible, and logical. Some psychopaths are so good at this that they can create a veritable Shangri-la view of their world in the minds of others; a view that they almost seem to believe themselves. Surprisingly, psychopaths will lie even to people who already know the truth about what they are saying.

The psychopathic fiction, “I am the ideal employee,” created in the minds of his or her supporters can be easily transformed into a very believable “I am the ideal leader.” In this case, the internal psychopath will look much better than any but the most outstanding external candidate. Furthermore, the psychopath also has a clear advantage should the company compare him or her with internal candidates. Recall that corporate psychopaths spread considerable disinformation about their rivals (unbeknownst to the company or the rival), which leads to doubts and concerns, thus effectively knocking other candidates out of contention. This is a real problem for the company trying to fill a top-level job. The best defense for this type of systematic manipulation is to add more hurdles or screens, in the form of executive recruiters and formal succession planning.


pages: 330 words: 83,319

The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder by Sean McFate

active measures, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Donald Trump, double helix, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, hive mind, index fund, invisible hand, John Markoff, joint-stock company, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero day, zero-sum game

Its spies even have a name for this kind of subversion—“active measures”—and it’s an example of how shadow wars are fought by weaponizing information. One reason why RT is effective is that it blends legitimate experts and journalists with crackpots, offering a plausible version of events that is nested within a larger global disinformation campaign. Think of RT as strategic storytelling. The “Troll Factory” is another component of Russia’s active measures against the West, revealing the true power of cyberwarfare. It’s not sabotage, like Stuxnet—it’s disinformation. Located in Saint Petersburg and officially called the Internet Research Agency, it’s where Russian operatives hack into websites, create phony news sites, and pump out fake news and bogus social media messages.

The United Nations demanded a full inquiry, but armed Russian separatists blocked access to the crash site, so the UN gave up. The world erupted in outrage until a new scandal seized the news cycle, and everyone moved on. Without clear evidence, it’s hard to know truth from fiction. War is becoming a “he said, she said” affair with no meaningful consequences for liars. Russia has become a disinformation superpower, employing a “kill ’em with confusion” strategy. And it’s working. The evidence is everywhere: making a war in Ukraine invisible, hacking the 2016 US presidential election, stoking the Brexit vote, supporting fringe political groups, fueling right-wing nationalism in NATO countries, and spinning its dubious role in the Middle East.

RT features programming tailor-made for US and UK viewers, as well as offering services in French, Spanish, and Arabic. Its reach is global, broadcasting to some one hundred countries via satellite television and the internet. But no one should be fooled into thinking RT is a news outlet. RT is not a media company but an intelligence operation, and its purpose is not information—it’s disinformation. It offers “alternative facts” to seed doubt and change minds. Taking a page from the embattled spook’s handbook, its mantra could be: “Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counteraccusations.” The Kremlin funds RT’s $400 million annual budget to warp the truth for Russia’s strategic interests.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, two and twenty, University of East Anglia, urban planning

Notwithstanding its studiously neutral name, the coalition would spend millions of dollars in the 1990s on a public disinformation campaign whose strategy and tactics recalled the tobacco industry's earlier efforts to persuade people that smoking cigarettes does not cause cancer. Indeed, Seitz and organizations he directed were paid more than $45 million for their work, first by tobacco and later by energy companies, as I'll describe later in this book. The goal of the disinformation campaign was to "reposition global warming as theory rather than fact," according to an internal strategy memo unearthed by journalist Ross Gelbspan, who exposed the campaign in his 1997 book The Heat Is On.

The Times editorial called the proposal "political hot air." It then disparaged the science of global warming by citing a Wall Street Journal opinion article by'S. Fred Singer—in retrospect, not a wise choice, for Singer would emerge in the 1990s as a recipient of funding from ExxonMobil and other energy companies that spread disinformation about climate science. In a final stab at wit, the Times chortled that if Sims and Laing really wanted to study the greenhouse effect, they should sprinkle a tomato patch with "steer manure," something they as politicians should have no trouble locating. But his parents had taught Sims long ago not to let what others say hold you back.

Although Ross Gelbspan and other journalists published occasional exposés of the coalition's funding sources and political agenda, the deniers' assertions were generally taken at face value in congressional hearings, news stories, and other public forums and ended up having considerable effect. "The goal of the disinformation campaign wasn't to win the debate," Gelbspan later explained. "The goal was simply to keep the debate going. When the public hears the media report that some scientists believe warming is real but others don't, its reaction is, 'Come back and tell us when you're really sure.' So no political action is taken."


pages: 137 words: 35,041

Free Speech And Why It Matters by Andrew Doyle

Ayatollah Khomeini, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, disinformation, Herbert Marcuse, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Joseph Schumpeter, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, microaggression, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Silicon Valley, zero-sum game

p.81‘people who are already hateful and prone to violence’: Gordon Danning, ‘“Hate speech” does not incite hatred’, Quillette (18 January 2018). p.81the current movement in the United States to see that hate speech is exempt: Writing in the New York Times, Emily Bazelon argues that the First Amendment is ill-equipped to deal with ‘the spread of viral disinformation’ in the digital age. See Emily Bazelon, ‘The problem with free speech in an age of disinformation’, the New York Times (18 October 2020). p.82Marantz’s strategy of recasting his argument as a ‘fact’: In Robby Soave’s rebuttal to Marantz’s article, he points out that rates of violent crime in the US have continually fallen since the 1990s, even though during that same period the Supreme Court has been increasingly insistent on upholding protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.

We have all heard of the ‘Streisand effect’, whereby attempts at censorship and suppression inadvertently draw more attention to the offending material. Whenever I hear demands for a book to be banned, my first thought is invariably: ‘How can I get hold of a copy?’ The same principle applies to disinformation. The term ‘fake news’ is now often deployed as a strategy to delegitimise alternative viewpoints. But even in cases where deception is unambiguously the motive, censorship usually has the unintended effect of accelerating the dissemination of the material in question. Many purveyors of ‘fake news’ rely on the narrative that they are brave truth-tellers fighting back against oppressive forces who would see them silenced.

Index A abuses of state power 67 academic freedom 60–3 Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity (Williams) 63 Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin 21, 22 Almansor (Heine) 94 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 19, 93 Ancient Greeks 58 ‘anecdotal evidence’ 32 anti-censorship campaigners 17 anti-Semitism 18–19, 66, 80 Arendt, Hannah 72 Areopagitica (Milton) 3–4 ‘art’ 56 artists 55–8 Associated Press 50 Atwood, Margaret 26 Auschwitz 80 authoritarianism 89 avoidance of conflict 35–6 B Barrett, Lisa Feldman 70 ‘Battle of Cable Street’ 20 Benn, Tony 69 Berkeley, University of California 33 Bernstein, Eduard 97 big tech corporations 11–13, 45 ‘blackshirts’ 20 blasphemy 51 Boghossian, Peter 74 ‘bonfire of the vanities’ 55 books censors 4 destruction 94 humanistic culture 9–10 moral or immoral 83 Botticelli, Sandro 55 Boyle, Danny 84 Bradbury, Ray 11 Brexit 67 British Library 95 C cancel culture 25–30, 42–3, 63, 96 Cardozo, Benjamin 33 Catholic Church 9 Cato Institute 28 Cave, Nick 27 Censored (Coleman) 87 censorship and the censors 85 and criticism 16, 24 and the Internet 13 metaphor of sunlight 44 of printed texts 4 right-leaning tabloids 7 right-wing talking point 6 and social media 11, 45 tech giants 13 Charbonnier, Stéphane (‘Charb’) 50, 51, 53 Charlie Hebdo 50, 51–3 ‘Charter 77’ committee 3 Chomsky, Noam 26 Christakis, Erika 61 Christakis, Nicholas 61–2 ‘Clean Up TV’ campaign 83 Clinton, Chelsea 79 Coleman, Paul 87 College of Policing 88 comedians and comedy 49–50, 56 see also satire Communications Act 2003 (UK) 66, 89 Communications Decency Act 1996 (US) 12 concept creep 46–7, 68 consent 75 Cope, Edward Drinker 74 Cox, Jo 82 Crash (Cronenberg) 84 criticism 16, 24, 32, 57 Cronenberg, David 84 ‘crowded theatre’ argument 22–4 Crown Prosecution Service 88 ‘culture wars’ 2, 63–4 D Danning, Gordon 81 Darwin, Charles 74 Davis, Daryl 17–18, 69 ‘Day of Absence’ protests 62 debating defeated ideas 68 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen 10 decolonising authors 96 ‘Decolonising Working Group,’ British Library 95 Defending My Enemy (Neier) 19 democratic accountability 11 ‘despotism of custom’ (Mill) 57 dictatorships 90 ‘direct-effects model’ 84 Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 88 disinformation 85 Dissertation on First-Principles of Government (Paine) 18 diversity 33 ‘dog whistle’ 16 Dorsey, Jack 12 dystopian fiction 11 E Eddo-Lodge, Reni 27–8 emotional and intellectual comfort 37 emotional pain 75 ‘The English People’ (Orwell) 59 Enlightenment 10 European Court of Human Rights 87 European Union referendum (2016) 59 Evergreen State College 62 F Facebook 12, 13 ‘fact-checking’ 13 Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) 11 ‘fake news’ 12, 85 fascism 32–3, 67–8 feminism 71 First Amendment of the United States Constitution 10, 11 First Principles (Spencer) 43 forced conversions 43 Foucault, Michel 73 Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) 61 Founding Fathers 10, 11 France 50 Frankfurt School 83 ‘free speech crisis’ 89 ‘Free Speech Is Killing Us’ (Marantz) 81–2 French Revolution 10 Fritsch, Theodor 66 G Galileo 4 ‘gaslighting’ 25–6 gender identity 30 gender-neutral pronouns 89 gender self-identification 26, 71 Goebbels, Joseph 66, 80, 94 Gopnik, Adam 72 ‘gramophone mind’ (Orwell) 97 ‘grossly offensive’ online speech 89 H Haidt, Jonathan 70, 71 Hall, Radclyffe 84 Hardy, Thomas 75 Harper’s Magazine 26–7 Hate Crime Operational Guidance (College of Policing) 88 ‘hate crimes’ 88 ‘hate incidents’ 88 ‘hate speech’ 12, 19, 87–91, 96–7 ‘hate speech’ laws 22, 52–3, 66–7, 87 Havel, Václav 3 Hazlitt, William 43, 60 Heine, Heinrich 94 higher education 60–1 see also universities historical discrimination 33 Hitchens, Christopher 3 Hitler 10, 66 Hobbes, Thomas 6 Holland, Tom 73–4 Holmes, Oliver Wendell 22–3 Holocaust denial 68 House of Commons 82 humanistic culture 9–10 Humberside Police 1 Hutus 77 I identity issues 33–4 identity-obsessed activism 83 ‘identity quakes’ 74 inciting violence 77–85 Internet 13, 45, 96 see also social media Is Free Speech Racist?


pages: 462 words: 172,671

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin

continuous integration, database schema, disinformation, domain-specific language, don't repeat yourself, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, finite state, G4S, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, iterative process, place-making, Rubik’s Cube, web application

It results in a new version of the function: public List<Cell> getFlaggedCells() { List<Cell> flaggedCells = new ArrayList<Cell>(); for (Cell cell : gameBoard) if (cell.isFlagged()) flaggedCells.add(cell); return flaggedCells; } With these simple name changes, it’s not difficult to understand what’s going on. This is the power of choosing good names. Avoid Disinformation Programmers must avoid leaving false clues that obscure the meaning of code. We should avoid words whose entrenched meanings vary from our intended meaning. For example, hp, aix, and sco would be poor variable names because they are the names of Unix platforms or variants. Even if you are coding a hypotenuse and hp looks like a good abbreviation, it could be disinformative. Do not refer to a grouping of accounts as an accountList unless it’s actually a List. The word list means something specific to programmers.

Using inconsistent spellings is disinformation. With modern Java environments we enjoy automatic code completion. We write a few characters of a name and press some hotkey combination (if that) and are rewarded with a list of possible completions for that name. It is very helpful if names for very similar things sort together alphabetically and if the differences are very obvious, because the developer is likely to pick an object by name without seeing your copious comments or even the list of methods supplied by that class. A truly awful example of disinformative names would be the use of lower-case L or uppercase O as variable names, especially in combination.

Contents Foreword Introduction On the Cover Chapter 1: Clean Code There Will Be Code Bad Code The Total Cost of Owning a Mess The Grand Redesign in the Sky Attitude The Primal Conundrum The Art of Clean Code? What Is Clean Code? Schools of Thought We Are Authors The Boy Scout Rule Prequel and Principles Conclusion Bibliography Chapter 2: Meaningful Names Introduction Use Intention-Revealing Names Avoid Disinformation Make Meaningful Distinctions Use Pronounceable Names Use Searchable Names Avoid Encodings Hungarian Notation Member Prefixes Interfaces and Implementations Avoid Mental Mapping Class Names Method Names Don’t Be Cute Pick One Word per Concept Don’t Pun Use Solution Domain Names Use Problem Domain Names Add Meaningful Context Don’t Add Gratuitous Context Final Words Chapter 3: Functions Small!


pages: 319 words: 89,192

Spooked: The Trump Dossier, Black Cube, and the Rise of Private Spies by Barry Meier

Airbnb, business intelligence, citizen journalism, commoditize, coronavirus, corporate raider, Covid-19, COVID-19, digital map, disinformation, Donald Trump, forensic accounting, global pandemic, index card, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, medical malpractice, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, WikiLeaks

And when you think about Christopher Steele, the retired British intelligence agent calling his buddies who called their buddies in Moscow to get this information, the FSB is certainly capable of following those trails and polluting them with certain disinformation.” Shane went on to say that it was possible that Kremlin operatives, while focusing the brunt of their disinformation campaign against Hillary Clinton, might have hedged their bets by planting dirt about Trump and his associates. A former CIA spy on the same panel suggested that Shane had let his imagination run wild. “I mean anything is possible, you are absolutely right,” she said.

Russian intelligence operatives were likely monitoring the activities of Orbis Business Intelligence and Steele’s allegations about Michael Cohen’s trip to Prague could have been a plant, the report said. Steele was adamant that his memos hadn’t been contaminated by Russian disinformation. But if so, the other reason for its inaccuracies wasn’t particularly appealing. If the material wasn’t disinformation, there was only one alternative. It was shit information. TWO PEOPLE HAD REFUSED to be interviewed by investigators working on the Horowitz report—Glenn Simpson and Jonathan Winer, the lawyer who had arranged Steele’s State Department meeting.

AFTER ALLASON’S REPORT PUBLICLY emerged, Orbis Business Intelligence issued a statement dismissing it as a “politically motivated” piece of fiction and adding that Allason had no knowledge of Steele’s sources. But in time, another troubling theory about the dossier would begin to gain traction. It went like this: Russian intelligence operatives, aware that Steele was collecting information about Trump and the Kremlin, fed disinformation to his sources that then got incorporated into the dossier. One journalist who came to suspect that early on was Scott Shane, an experienced investigative reporter for The New York Times. It was Shane who had enraged Simpson by telling him that the paper decided to out Fusion GPS, though Simpson and Peter Fritsch soon forgave the paper and gave a copy of the dossier to a group of its reporters in Washington, D.C.


pages: 56 words: 17,340

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky

British Empire, declining real wages, disinformation, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker

There's a long history that goes back to the earliest modern democratic revolutions in seventeenth century England which largely expresses this point of view. I'm just going to keep to the modern period and say a few words about how that notion of democracy develops and why and how the problem of media and disinformation enters within that context. EARLY HISTORY OF PROPAGANDA Let's begin with the first modern government propaganda operation. That was under the Woodrow Wilson Administration. Woodrow Wilson was elected President in 1916 on the platform "Peace Without Victory." That was right in the middle of the World War I.

It was backed by the Soviet Union, the United States, Europe, the major Arab countries, and the Arab oil producers. It couldn't defeat Iran. But all of a sudden it's ready to conquer the world. Did you find anybody who pointed that out? The fact of the matter is, this was a third-world country with a peasant army. It is now being conceded that there was a ton of disinformation about the fortifications, the chemical weapons, etc. But did you find anybody who pointed it out? No. You found virtually nobody who pointed it out. That's typical. Notice that this was done one year after exactly the same thing was done with Manuel Noriega. Manuel Noriega is a minor thug by comparison with George Bush's friend Saddam Hussein or George Bush's other friends in Beijing or George Bush himself, for that matter.

Notice that this is not all that different from what the Creel Commission when it turned a pacifistic population into raving hysterics who wanted to destroy everything German to save ourselves from Huns who were tearing the arms off Belgian babies. The techniques are maybe more sophisticated, with television and lots of money going into it, but it's pretty traditional. I think the issue, to come back to my original com ment, is not simply disinformation and the Gulf crisis. The issue is much broader. It's whether we want to live in a free society or whether we want to live under what amounts to a form of self-imposed totalitarianism, with the bewildered herd marginalized, directed elsewhere, terrified, screaming patriotic slogans, fearing for their lives and admiring with awe the leader who saved them from destruction, while the educated masses goose-step on command and repeat the slogans they're supposed to repeat and the society deteriorates at home.


Turning the Tide by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, collective bargaining, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, disinformation, failed state, feminist movement, Howard Zinn, land reform, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Paul Samuelson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, union organizing

The real fears of U.S. planners, and the duplicity of the media, are well illustrated by the brilliant exploitation of the speech by Sandinista commandante Tomas Borge cited in chapter 3, note 3. As noted, his call for Nicaragua to become an example that would be followed by others was converted by the U.S. disinformation system into the threat of military conquest, in pursuit of a “revolution without borders.” Though the fraud was at once exposed the device was too useful to abandon and Borge’s call for a revolution without borders” is now a staple of U.S. disinformation, with columnists regularly warning that “Sandinista Stalinism” may be serious about “waging a ‘revolution without borders’.”54 The most interesting use of this fraud was in Reagan’s speech on the eve of the House vote on contra aid in June 1986, considered as a triumph of “the great communicator.”

The President claimed in July 1983 that they had “literally made a contract to establish a true democracy” with the OAS before taking power in July 1979. This claim is without foundation; Roy Gutman observes that this charge, constantly reiterated by apologists for US atrocities, was concocted as part of a “successful U.S. disinformation campaign...According to the OAS, in a July 16, 1979, telex to then General Secretary Alejandro Orfila the Sandinistas said they planned to convoke ‘the first free elections in this century’ but made no reference to timing and said nothing about creating a ‘true democracy’.”71 But although the charge has no merit with regard to the Sandinistas, it does apply to Israel; with considerably more force, in fact.

Note that this account is one that can be checked against the historical record, a fact that a rational person will use in assessing the claims made without substantiation that constitute the government’s case. Use of the term “resistance forces,” with its favorable connotations (the resistance against the Nazis, etc.), to refer to the US proxy army attacking Nicaragua from its foreign bases is a neat piece of trickery by the state disinformation machine, quickly picked up by the loyal press, which sometimes even goes so far as to intimate that Nicaraguan officials refer to the terrorist forces in this way; thus we read that “President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua said yesterday his government suspended civil liberties last week to ‘guarantee’ his army’s defeat of US-backed resistance forces,” and that “he said, however, that defeat of the resistance forces could create an even more ‘dangerous situation”’ by prompting US invasion.98 Government claims rest primarily on alleged material evidence that is classified, not a very credible tale.


pages: 918 words: 257,605

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, book scanning, Broken windows theory, California gold rush, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, corporate personhood, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, disinformation, dogs of the Dow, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, facts on the ground, Ford paid five dollars a day, future of work, game design, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, Ian Bogost, impulse control, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, linked data, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, means of production, multi-sided market, Naomi Klein, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, off grid, PageRank, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, precision agriculture, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, refrigerator car, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Mercer, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, structural adjustment programs, surveillance capitalism, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, two-sided market, union organizing, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck, Yochai Benkler, you are the product

As the US Deputy Attorney General told the press, “The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable companies who in their bid for profits violate federal law and put at risk the health and safety of American consumers.”31 Information corruption has also been a continuous feature of the Facebook environment. The turmoil associated with the 2016 US and UK political disinformation campaigns on Facebook was a well-known problem that had disfigured elections and social discourse in Indonesia, the Philippines, Columbia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Chad, Uganda, Finland, Sweden, Holland, Estonia, and the Ukraine. Scholars and political analysts had called attention to the harmful consequences of online disinformation for years.32 One political analyst in the Philippines worried in 2017 that it might be too late to fix the problem: “We already saw the warning signs of this years ago.… Voices that were lurking in the shadows are now at the center of the public discourse.”33 The guiding principles of radical indifference are reflected in the operations of Facebook’s hidden low-wage labor force charged with limiting the perversion of the first text.

Whenever anything like that happens, we don’t want it to happen and we take responsibility for it.”48 Consistent with the aims of the adaptation phase of the cycle, Bloomberg Businessweek observed of Google, “The company is trying to fight fake news without making sweeping changes.”49 Although both Google and Facebook made modest operational adjustments to try to diminish economic incentives for disinformation and instituted warning systems to alert users to probable corruption, Zuckerberg also used his super-voting power to reject a shareholder proposal that would have required the company to report on its management of disinformation and the societal consequences of its practices, and Google executives successfully fought back a similar shareholder proposal that year.50 Time would tell whether the companies’ users and customers would inflict financial punishment, and if so, how sustained that punishment might be.

From this perspective the only rational objective is the pursuit of products that snare “everyone,” not “the best products.” A significant result of the systematic application of radical indifference is that the public-facing “first text” is vulnerable to corruption with content that would normally be perceived as repugnant: lies, systematic disinformation, fraud, violence, hate speech, and so on. As long as content contributes to “growth tactics,” Facebook “wins.” This vulnerability can be an explosive problem on the demand side, the user side, but it breaks through the fortifications of radical indifference only when it threatens to interrupt the flow of surplus into the second “shadow” text: the one that is for them but not for us.


pages: 319 words: 75,257

Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy by David Frum

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-globalists, Bernie Sanders, centre right, coronavirus, currency manipulation / currency intervention, decarbonisation, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, employer provided health coverage, illegal immigration, immigration reform, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, microaggression, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QAnon, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon

The gangster politics of Trump worked in great part because the conservatism that dominated US politics in the 1980s and 1990s lost its relevance to the America of later decades. The inherited political system left a lot of people stranded for meaningful answers at the exact same time that Facebook and YouTube lowered to virtually zero the cost of spreading mass disinformation. Socially disconnected young people, and especially young men, tumbled into their own social anti-knowledge systems, just as their elders were disinformed by Fox and Sinclair. These young men looked online for serious answers to big questions. They, too, often found bigotry and conspiracy theories instead. Yet even as American conservatism stopped meaning much to people under forty, the need for something like conservatism persisted.

The second most important television news type is cable, a medium of course dominated by Fox News, now reinforced by the new Fox-on-meth One American News Network (OANN). Next to television in importance are social media. About four in ten Americans say they get news from Facebook. About two in ten also get news from YouTube.19 Facebook and YouTube are the most important conduits for alt-Right and pro-Trump disinformation. Together, Fox News and the right-wing Daily Wire accounted for about 10 percent of the top ten thousand news stories on Facebook in the first quarter of 2019.20 The single biggest advertiser on Facebook in the summer of 2019, after the Trump campaign itself, was the Epoch Times, a far-right source of pro-Trump conspiracy theories and false news.21 Meanwhile, Twitter is in danger of becoming the Fox News of the Left, policed by pile-ons by angry Twitter mobs.

Despite the favorable economy, Trump’s approval rating among black voters tumbled to an amazing 6 percent in midsummer 2019 polls.25 By then, 80 percent of black voters described Trump as racist.26 Should Donald Trump be defeated in 2020, whether he leaves the White House under his own motor power or is hustled out by the White House ushers, Trumpism will not be so easily removed from American national life. Trump himself will rave and rage on Twitter and TV after a political defeat. He will sabotage anyone who tries to lead the Republican Party in a more hygienic post-Trump direction. He will muster all the suspicion and resentment of his former supporters; he will headline a campaign of disinformation and provocation on TV, radio, and social media. What do you imagine Fox News and your father-in-law’s Facebook feed will look like post-Trump? What kind of institution will the post-Trump Republican Party be? Trump transferred a brutal style of politics from right-wing media culture into electoral politics.


pages: 137 words: 36,231

Information: A Very Short Introduction by Luciano Floridi

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, bioinformatics, carbon footprint, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, disinformation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet of things, invention of writing, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Laplace demon, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Pareto efficiency, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, RFID, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Vilfredo Pareto

It follows that when semantic content is false, this is a case of misinformation. If the source of misinformation is aware of its nature, as when John intentionally lied to the mechanic, one speaks of disinformation. Disinformation and misinformation are ethically censurable but may be successful in achieving their purpose: in our example, the mechanic was still able to provide John with the right advice, despite being disinformed by him about the exact cause of the problem. Likewise, information may still fail to be successful; just imagine John telling the mechanic that his car is merely out of order. The second advantage is that [DEF] forges a robust and intuitive link between factual semantic information and knowledge.

The reader may have already thought of several examples that illustrate the problem: someone's testimony is someone else's trustworthy information; A's responsibility may be determined by the information A holds, but it may also concern the information A issues; censorship affects A both as a user and as a producer of information; disinformation (i.e. the deliberate production and distribution of false and misleading contents) is an ethical problem that concerns all three `informational arrows'; freedom of speech also affects the availability of offensive content (e.g. child pornography, violent content, and socially, politically, or religiously disrespectful statements) that might be morally questionable and should not circulate.


Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America by Peter Dale Scott, Jonathan Marshall

active measures, air freight, anti-communist, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, trade route, union organizing

Rather than recount some controversial stories, we have steered away from witnesses whose credibility has come into serious question. A scandal like Iran-Contra inevitably produces a large number o f opportunistic superwitnesses, fantasizers, and conspiracy peddlers—not to mention conscious agents o f disinformation.24 If, despite our best efforts, history proves a few o f our assertions wrong, it will hardly overthrow the larger conclusions o f this study. The first half o f this work analyzes available evidence on the way corrupt military elites, Contra leaders, the CIA, and Washington policy-makers opened the door to the cocaine trade through Central America.

A State Department report to Congress in July 1986 stated flatly that “ there is no information to substantiate allegations” that Miami-based Cuban exiles had “been a source o f drug money for . . . any . . . resistance organization.”32 In response to further congressional inquiries, the Justice Department first withheld information, then insisted that allegations had been fully investigated and refuted. The CIA went even further, declaring that any reports o f Cuban exile involvement in weapons shipments, much less drug smuggling, were the result o f a disinformation campaign.33 FBI reports made public by the subcommittee exposed those official claims as outright lies. Far from having “no information” to back up the allegations, the FBI had direct substantiation in September 1984 from Jose Coutin, a Cuban American actively involved in the Contra support effort.

A related dummy company, which did business with the same bank, purchased arms for the Contras through Manzer al-Kassar, the Syrian arms and drug broker, who also dealt with leaders o f the Medellin Cartel.13 Noriega’s personal lawyer and business representative in Geneva also set up a front to establish an airfield in Costa Rica for supplying the Contras.14 Evidence gathered by Costa Rican judicial authorities suggests that Noriega’s intelligence operatives also helped the CIA and its allies in the Costa Rican security services obstruct the investigation o f an assassination attempt against Pastora by peddling disinformation about the main sus­ 68 / Narcoterrorism, the CIA, and the Contras pect’s background. The bombing o f Pastora’s press conference at La Penca on May 30, 1984, which killed several journalists and an aide to Pastora but missed the rebel leader himself, was most likely planned by hardliners in the Contra movement close to the CIA, according to an official Costa Rican probe.


The Secret World: A History of Intelligence by Christopher Andrew

active measures, Admiral Zheng, airport security, anti-communist, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francisco Pizarro, Google Earth, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, two and twenty, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

His response to an NKVD report from Schulze-Boysen on 16 June was the obscene minute: ‘You can tell your “source” in German airforce headquarters to go fuck himself. He’s not a “source”, he’s a disinformer. J. Stalin.’ Stalin also heaped abuse on the Fourth Department illegal Richard Sorge, posthumously recognized as one of the heroes of Soviet intelligence, who sent similar warnings from Tokyo, where he had penetrated the German embassy and seduced the ambassador’s wife. Sorge’s warnings of impending German invasion were denounced by Stalin as disinformation from a lying ‘shit who has set himself up with some small factories and brothels in Japan’.72 Even in marginal comments, Stalin almost never used obscenity.

By March 1943, twenty-eight of the captured Second World War spies had been turned into double agents feeding disinformation to Germany. ‘In addition’, according to a top-secret MI5 report, ‘twelve real and seven imaginary persons have been foisted upon the enemy as double-cross spies.’55 Stalin and Soviet intelligence were convinced that some of its British agents were also ‘double-cross spies’. ‘Our task’, the Centre instructed its London resident, Anatoli Gorsky, ‘is to understand what disinformation our rivals are planting on us.’56* The Centre tied itself in knots as it tried to explain why, despite the British Double-Cross, some intelligence from its British agents appeared to be genuine.

Berlin has no knowledge or solid opinion about the strategic future and therefore has to let the local generals and admirals make up their own mind by giving them prompt access to all the reports that come in.’73 Ironically, some of the intelligence about which the Abwehr was most confident was a product of the British Double-Cross System. It had, for example, no doubt whatever about the reliability and importance of the disinformation fed to it in the MINCEMEAT deception.74 In February 1944, following the defection to the British of an Abwehr officer in Istanbul,* Hitler abolished the Abwehr as an independent organization, placing it under the control of Himmler and the SD. The SD believed it had gained control of a major network of Abwehr agents in Britain. In reality, all were double agents, controlled by MI5, feeding disinformation to their German case officers. The SD, however, had one major genuine agent of its own: Elyesa Bazna (codenamed CICERO), the valet of the British ambassador in Ankara, Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen.


pages: 288 words: 81,253

Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, Filter Bubble, hindsight bias, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, loss aversion, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, p-value, phenotype, prediction markets, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, urban planning, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

This is perhaps no more evident than in the rise in prominence of “fake news” and disinformation. The concept of “fake news,” an intentionally false story planted for financial or political gain, is hundreds of years old. It has included such legendary practitioners as Orson Welles, Joseph Pulitzer, and William Randolph Hearst. Disinformation is different than fake news in that the story has some true elements, embellished to spin a particular narrative. Fake news works because people who already hold beliefs consistent with the story generally won’t question the evidence. Disinformation is even more powerful because the confirmable facts in the story make it feel like the information has been vetted, adding to the power of the narrative being pushed.

Every bet we make in our lives depends on our beliefs: who we believe will make the best president, if we think we will like Des Moines, if we believe a low-fat diet will make us healthier, or even if we believe turkeys can fly. Being smart makes it worse The popular wisdom is that the smarter you are, the less susceptible you are to fake news or disinformation. After all, smart people are more likely to analyze and effectively evaluate where information is coming from, right? Part of being “smart” is being good at processing information, parsing the quality of an argument and the credibility of the source. So, intuitively, it feels like smart people should have the ability to spot motivated reasoning coming and should have more intellectual resources to fight it.

AARP, 185 accountability, 129, 130, 135–37, 149, 150, 176, 188, 199, 204 accuracy, 129, 130, 132–34, 136, 138, 139, 145, 150, 155–56, 158, 160, 161, 171 Adventures of the Mind, 243n After-School All-Stars (ASAS), 213–15, 217 age-progression technology, 184–87 agreement, 173–74 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), 127–28, 132–33, 248n All In: The Poker Musical, 91 all-or-nothing thinking, see black-and-white thinking Alou, Moises, 98, 99 American Foreign Service Association, 139–40 Anguished English (Lederer), 90n approval, 132–34 Arbesman, Samuel, 67–68, 219 Ariely, Dan, 89 Armstrong, Scott, 143 Ascent of Man, The (Bronowski), 20 assent, 173 automobile accidents, 89–90, 101, 111–12 backcasting, 218–22, 225, 226 backgammon, 244n Back to the Future movies, 177 Bailenson, Jeremy, 185 baldness, 49, 51 Bank of America Merrill Lynch, 185 Bartman, Steve, 98–100, 114, 229, 247n baseball, 84 Bartman play in, 98–100, 114, 229, 247n Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), 146–48, 153, 154 behavioral economics, 11 behavioral research, 107 Belichick, Bill, 6, 48 beliefs, 43, 44, 47–72, 76–77, 115, 122, 130 abstract, 50–52, 65–66 accuracy of, 138 based on hearing something, 49–53, 65–66 betting on, 61–62, 64–67, 72, 79–80, 84, 209 confidence in, 67–72, 135, 169 confirmatory thought and, 128 as contagious, 168 expressing, 170 formation of, 49–55, 59, 61, 65–66, 80 information and, 49–53, 55–56, 59–61, 66, 70, 94, 138–39 and processing experience, 57–59 smart people and, 62–64 stubbornness of, 59–62 Believing Brain, The (Shermer), 11–12 Benghazi attack, 92 Berkshire Hathaway, 191–93 Berra, Yogi, 96, 247n bet(s), 111–14 accountability and, 135 on beliefs, 61–62, 64–67, 72, 79–80, 84, 209 decisions as, 3–4, 43–45, 67 definition of, 44 on future, 79–80, 209 against ourselves, 45–46 winning, 130 bias, 66, 124, 131–32, 139, 157, 181n, 207 blind-spot, 62–63, 125–26 confirmatory thought and, 128–29, 132, 141–48, 155 exploratory thought and, 128 hindsight, 10, 26, 212, 227–31 Rashomon Effect and, 157–58 self-serving, 89–96, 102, 103, 108, 110–12, 115, 132, 136, 194 Binion’s Horseshoe Casino, 101, 124n bin Laden, Osama, 140, 208–9 black-and-white thinking, 29–31, 34, 67, 94–95, 97, 105 blackjack, 194–96 blind-spot bias, 62–63, 125–26 Bosnia, 140 Bossypants (Fey), 250n brain, 11–15, 53, 107, 110, 116, 122, 132, 165, 183, 188, 191, 198, 219 brain tumors, 197 Brethren, The (Woodward and Armstrong), 143 Brexit, 31–32, 231, 245n Breyer, Justice, 143–44 Bronowski, Jacob, 20 Buddhist monks, 110 buddy system, 124, 178 Burger, Justice, 143 Burke, Brian, 6 business start-ups, 29, 35 “but,” 173, 207 Caldwell, Charley, 57 Camerer, Colin, 13, 242n Cantril, Hadley, 57–58 car accidents, 89–90, 101, 111–12 cardiovascular disease, 55, 164–65 Carroll, Pete, 5–7, 10, 11, 22, 33, 35, 46, 48, 165–66, 216–18, 229, 230, 241n–42n Carstensen, Laura, 185 Catching Hell, 99 Center for Retirement Research, 184 Central Park, 220 CEO’s president-firing decision, 8–11, 33, 43, 48, 158, 229–30 certainty: illusion of, 204, 206, 207 see also uncertainty characterizations, 205 chess, 20–23, 80, 86, 91, 219, 244n Chicago Cubs, 98–100, 229 children, 45, 175–76 Christie, Chris, 92–93, 110 CIA, 140, 170 Citizen Kane, 64–65, 68–69 Clinton, Hillary, 32–33, 92, 230–31, 245n Cocteau, Jean, 98 coelacanth, 67–68 coin flips, 24–26, 244n communication: of information, 166, 173 with world beyond our group, 172–76 communism, Mertonian, 154–60, 206 comparison and competition, 104, 105, 107, 109, 110, 123, 165 compassion, 102–3, 105, 113–14 self-, 206 ConAgra, 228–29 confidence in beliefs, 67–72, 135, 169 overconfidence, 204 confidence intervals, 72 confirmatory thought, 128–29, 132, 141–48, 155, 205 conflicts of interest, 164–69, 206–7 Conrad, Lauren, 119–21, 125, 161, 175, 205 consequences, 179–80 Constitution, 156 Crawford, Jarret, 146 Crystal Lounge, 2, 75, 90 CUDOS, 153–55 disinterestedness, 154, 155, 164–69 Mertonian communism, 154–60, 206 organized skepticism, 154, 155, 169–71, 206, 224 universalism, 154, 155, 160–64, 173, 205 Daily Princetonian, 57 Dartmouth-Princeton football game, 56–59 data interpretation, 63–64, 181n Dawkins, Richard, 92n, 103 D-Day, 208 debating, 168–69 decision groups (truthseeking groups), 124–27, 188, 205, 206, 225 accountability in, 129, 130, 135–37 accuracy in, 129, 130, 132–34, 136, 139 charters for, 128–31, 133, 150, 157 communicating with world beyond, 172–76 debating in, 168–69 diversity of viewpoints in, 137–41 rules of engagement for, 150–51, 154–55; see also CUDOS social approval in, 132–34 tilt and, 199–200 decisions, 2–4, 44, 231 as bets, 3–4, 43–45, 67 consequences of, 179–80 moving regret in front of, 186–89 in poker, 116, 167, 179, 180, 188, 196–98 decision swear jar, 204–7 deliberative mind, 12–14, 16, 181n, 183, 186 Dershowitz, Alan, 32 Des Moines, Iowa, 37–43, 46, 48, 62, 66, 79, 135 detail, 158–59 devil’s advocate, 170–71 diabetes, 55, 164 disinformation, 60 disinterestedness, 154, 155, 164–69 dissent, 128, 137, 139–40, 143, 145, 148, 160, 169–73, 212, 225 Dissent Channel, 139–40, 170 diversity of opinions, 60–61, 129–30, 137–42, 145, 147–48, 150, 171, 172n, 211, 225 doctors, 81, 96 dog-to-human age ratio, 49, 50, 53 Doubleday, Abner, 53 Dreber, Anna, 149 Dr.


The End of the Cold War: 1985-1991 by Robert Service

active measures, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, The Chicago School, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Casey, speech to Dallas World Affairs Council, 18 September 1985, pp. 1–17: RRPL, John Lenczowsky Files, box 1, Active Measures. 32. A. A. Snyder, Warriors of Disinformation: American Propaganda, Soviet Lies, and the Winning of the Cold War: An Insider’s Account, p. xiii. 33. Chapter and verse was supplied in a USIA memo, ‘Soviet Disinformation Campaigns in 1987’, n.d., pp. 1–4: John O. Koehler Papers (HIA), box 16, folder: Eastern Europe, 1974–1995. See also ‘The USSR’s Disinformation Campaign’: Foreign Affairs Note, State Department, July 1987: Citizens for International Civil Society (HIA), box 89, folder 1. The Pravda cartoon appeared on 31 October 1986. 34. Snyder, Warriors of Disinformation, pp. 93–4. 35. Ibid., pp. 94–5. 36.

P. ref1 Sofaer, Abe ref1, ref2 Sokolov, Sergei ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Solidarity ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 Solomentsev, Mikhail ref1, ref2, ref3 Solovëv, Yuri ref1 South Africa ref1, ref2, ref3 South African Communist Party ref1 South Korean passenger plane, shooting down of (1983) ref1, ref2 South Kuriles ref1 spies see espionage spy networks see espionage SS-20 missiles ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 SS-23 missiles (‘Oka’) ref1, ref2, ref3 Stalin, Joseph ref1, ref2, ref3 Stanishev, Dmitri ref1 Star Wars movie series ref1 Star Wars programme see Strategic Defense Initiative State Department (US) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14, ref15, ref16, ref17, ref18, ref19, ref20, ref21, ref22, ref23, ref24, ref25, ref26 see also Baker, James; Haig, Alexander; Shultz, George Stepanov-Mamaladze, Teimuraz ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Stockholm talks ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 Stoph, Willi ref1, ref2 Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14, ref15 and Bush ref1 and Gorbachëv ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14, ref15 attitude to among West European leaders ref1 hostility towards by other governments ref1 Reagan’s commitment to see Reagan, Ronald slacking of Soviet combativeness over ref1, ref2, ref3 Weinberger’s strident advocacy of ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 working on rival programme by Soviets ref1, ref2, ref3 Štrougal, Lubomír ref1 summits (US–Soviet) Camp David (1990) ref1 Geneva (1985) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 Helsinki (1990) ref1 Malta (1989) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Moscow (1988) ref1, ref2, ref3 Reykjavik (1986) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Washington (1987) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Suslov ref1, ref2, ref3 Sweden ref1 Syria ref1, ref2 Taiwan ref1, ref2 Tarasenko, Sergei ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Tbilisi massacre (1989) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 technological transfer, embargo system on ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 see also jamming, radio and TV telebridges ref1 Teller, Edward ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Teltschik, Horst ref1, ref2 Thatcher, Margaret ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 anticommunism ref1 and Bush ref1 and Chernenko ref1 and coup against Gorbachëv ref1 and German reunification ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and Gorbachëv ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Gorbachëv’s meeting with (1989) ref1 and Kohl ref1, ref2, ref3 and Mitterrand ref1 and nuclear disarmament ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 opposition to providing financial credits to USSR ref1 reaction to Gorbachëv’s January 1986 declaration on nuclear weapons ref1 reaction to Reykjavik summit ref1 and Reagan ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 and Strategic Defense Initiative ref1, ref2, ref3 talks with Soviet leaders ref1 visit to Moscow (1987) ref1 visit to Poland (1988) ref1 Tikhonov, Nikolai ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Tito, Josip Broz ref1, ref2 travel permits (USSR) ref1, ref2, ref3 Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START) ref1, ref2 Trilateral Commission ref1 troop movements, inspections of ref1 Trudeau, Pierre ref1, ref2, ref3 Tsygichko, Vitali ref1, ref2 Tuczapski, Tadeusz ref1 Turkmenistan ref1 TV jamming, see jamming, radio and TV Ukraine ref1, ref2, ref3 independence (1991) ref1 Union Treaty ref1, ref2 United States and Afghan war ref1, ref2 balance of trade deficit ref1 and Baltic states ref1, ref2 congressional elections (1986) ref1 and Eastern Europe ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 economy ref1 and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait ref1 military-industrial complex ref1, ref2, ref3 neoglobalism of ref1 refusal to give financial aid to USSR ref1 relations with China ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 relations with Japan ref1 relations with Russia ref1, ref2 relations with West Germany ref1 Soviet disinformation about foreign policy of ref1 trade relations with USSR ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 United States Communist Party ref1, ref2 United States Information Agency ref1, ref2 see also Romerstein, Herb; Wick, Charles Uno, Sōsuke ref1 USSR ‘1941 syndrome’ ref1 agriculture ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 anti-American propaganda and campaigns of disinformation about US policy ref1 biological weapons ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 censorship ref1 changes in society ref1 constitutional structure ref1 declaration of emergency (1991) ref1, ref2 disappearance of atomic submarines in Sargasso Sea (1986) ref1 discarding commitment to Central America ref1, ref2 dismantling of (1991) ref1, ref2 and Eastern Europe ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 and Eastern Europe revolutions (1989) ref1 economy and economic problems ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14 and global communism ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 human rights questions ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 industrial espionage see espionage information technology industry ref1 invasion of Afghanistan (1979) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 landing of German Cessna in Red Square (1987) ref1 Law on the State Enterprise (1988) ref1 limits placed on numbers of foreigners visiting ref1 as a militarized police state ref1 military expenditure ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 military-industrial complex ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 military-technical collaboration with non-communist countries ref1 oil industry ref1 and Poland ref1, ref2 pre-Gorbachëv difficulties in ref1 preparations for nuclear war ref1 restrictions on movement of citizens ref1 spread of political volatility and demonstrations (1989) ref1 spy network ref1 technological gap between the West and ref1 telephone system and lifting of quarantine of communications ref1 trade relations with US ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 and world communism ref1 Ustinov, Dmitri ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11 Vãduva, Ilie ref1 Vaino, Karl ref1 Van Cleave, William ref1 Varennikov, Valentin ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 Vatican ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 see also John Paul II, Pope Vatican Radio ref1 Velikhov, Yevgeni ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Vetrov, Vladimir ref1 Vietnam ref1, ref2, ref3 Vietnam War ref1 Voice of America ref1 Vorontsov, Yuli ref1, ref2, ref3 Votkinsk installation ref1 Waigel, Theodor ref1, ref2, ref3 Wałesa, Lech ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Warner, John ref1 Warsaw Pact ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10 dissolution of (1991) ref1, ref2 Washington summit (1987) ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Weinberger, Caspar ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8 anti-rapprochement with Soviets ref1, ref2 character ref1 and Falklands War ref1 and Geneva summit ref1, ref2 and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty negotiations ref1, ref2 and nuclear disarmament ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6 political career ref1 and Reagan ref1, ref2 reform of Defense Department (US) ref1 resignation (1987) ref1, ref2 on selling advanced technology to the USSR ref1 and Shultz ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 and Strategic Defense Initiative ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 and US–Russian relations ref1 wanting economic sanctions against USSR ref1 West German Defence Ministry ref1 West Germany ref1, ref2, ref3 demilitarized corridor between East Germany idea ref1 economic miracle ref1 and nuclear weapons ref1 Reagan’s visit (1987) ref1 relations with East Germany ref1 relations with Eastern Europe ref1, ref2 relations with US ref1 relations with USSR ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5 Shevardnadze’s visit (January 1988) ref1 Soviet gas pipeline proposal ref1 see also German reunification; Germany; Kohl, Helmut Western Europe, policy towards Eastern Europe ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, United States ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 USSR ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Whence the Threat to Peace ref1 Whitehead, John ref1 Wick, Charles ref1, ref2 Will, George ref1, ref2 Wolf, Markus ref1 Workers’ Party of Ireland ref1 world communism ref1, ref2, ref3 subsidizing of by USSR ref1 World Peace Council ref1 Wörner, Manfred ref1, ref2 Wyman, Jane ref1 Yakovlev, Alexander ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12, ref13, ref14, ref15, ref16 advocate for drastic reform ref1, ref2 and Afghanistan ref1 appearance and character ref1 attacks upon ref1 background ref1 and Gorbachëv ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4 and Lithuania ref1, ref2 political career ref1 rivalry between Shevardnadze and ref1 visit to Lithuania (1988) ref1 Yanaev, Gennadi ref1, ref2 Yavlinski, Grigori ref1 Yazov, Dmitri ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9 Yeltsin, Boris ref1, ref2, ref3 and Baltic states’ declarations of independence ref1 and coup against Gorbachëv ref1, ref2 and dissolution of Soviet Union ref1 and Gorbachëv ref1, ref2, ref3 political comeback ref1 resignation ref1 trip to United States (1990) ref1 and Vilnius massacre (1991) ref1 wins Russian presidency election (1991) ref1 Yugoslavia ref1, ref2, ref3 Gorbachëv’s visit (1988) ref1 Yurchenko, Vitali ref1 Zagladin, Vadim ref1 Zaikov, Lev ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7, ref8, ref9, ref10, ref11, ref12 Zaikov Commission see Big Five Zakharov, Gennadi ref1, ref2 Zambia ref1 Zamyatin, Leonid ref1 Zarya villa (Foros) ref1 Zhao Ziyang ref1, ref2 Zhivkov, Todor ref1, ref2, ref3, ref4, ref5, ref6, ref7 Zia-ul-Haq, President ref1, ref2 1.

What’s to be said about these data? Of course it’s said there that the plan has been fulfilled. But that won’t be the truth because it’s the corrected plan that’s been fulfilled whereas the plan envisaged by the national-economic plan has not been fulfilled. This is how we get a situation here where we ourselves create disinformation.26 He was saying something that was general knowledge in the leadership. What was extraordinary was the fact that he brought it up for discussion. He would not have done this if he had not thought he had Andropov’s blessing. Andropov had plucked Ryzhkov from the State Planning Commission and promoted him to the Party Secretariat as soon as he became General Secretary.


pages: 573 words: 157,767

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. Dennett

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Andrew Wiles, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Build a better mousetrap, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, computer vision, disinformation, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fermat's Last Theorem, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information asymmetry, information retrieval, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, phenotype, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, social intelligence, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

An organism that simply ignores distinctions that might mislead (damage the design of) another organism has not been misinformed, even if the distinction registers somehow (ineffectually) on the organism’s nervous system. In Stevie Smith’s poem, “Not Waving but Drowning” (1972), the onlookers on the beach who waved back were misinformed but not the seagulls wheeling overhead. We can’t be misinformed by distinctions we are not equipped to make. Understanding what disinformation is benefits doubly from our asking cui bono? Disinformation is the designed exploitation (for the benefit of one agent) of another agent’s systems of discrimination, which themselves are designed to pick up useful information and use it. This is what makes the Ebola virus’s design an instance of camouflage. Kim Sterelny (2015, personal correspondence) has raised an important objection: Humans are representational magpies—think of how incredibly rich forager fauna and floras are—much of their natural history information has no practical value.

That term has many uses. We live in the Information Age, say the pundits, and people seem to agree, but few notice that this term also has several different meanings. Which Information Age: The age of megabytes and bandwidth? Or the age of intellectual and scientific discovery, propaganda and disinformation, universal education, and challenges to privacy? The two concepts of information are closely related and are often inextricably intertwined in discussion, but they can be made distinct. Consider a few examples: 1.The brain is an information-processing organ. 2.We are informavores. (George Miller, psychologist) 3.

(Less often noted is the fact that issuing blanks to some shooters removes an option that might otherwise be tempting on some occasions: to rebel, turning one’s rifle on the officer in command. If you knew you had a live round, that opportunity would be available for informed rational choice. You can’t use information that you don’t have.) What about misinformation, which can also accrue, and disinformation, which is deliberately implanted in you? These phenomena seem at first to be simple counterexamples to our proposed definition, but, as we will soon see, they really aren’t. The definitions of “semantic information” and “design” are linked in circular definitions, but it’s a virtuous, not vicious, circle: some processes can be seen to be R&D processes in which some aspect of the environment is singled out somehow and then exploited to improve the design of some salient collection or system of things in the sense of better equipping it for thriving/persisting/reproducing in the future.


pages: 299 words: 88,375

Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy by Eric O'Neill

active measures, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, computer age, cryptocurrency, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, full text search, index card, Internet of things, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, ransomware, rent control, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, thinkpad, web application, white picket fence, WikiLeaks, young professional

But it was during the Cold War that the Soviet Union turned espionage into an art form. Russian spymasters launched massive collection campaigns to recruit American moles from within the FBI, CIA, and NSA. At the same time, they were pioneering desinformatsiya practices that spread disinformation and disruption in order to shape American political decisions. These active-measure (aktivinyye meropriatia) disinformation campaigns included media manipulation; use of front organizations (like the US affiliate of the World Peace Council, a secret Soviet affiliate) to sway public opinion; kidnappings; and provision of funds, training, and support to terrorist organizations, to name a few.

The needle ceased its furious scribbling and found the center of the page. I passed. * * * The intelligence community initiates new members into a tyranny of secrets. It is within this mind-set that spies and counterintelligence operatives—those who hunt the spies before they can steal, disrupt, or spread disinformation—operate. The two most important rules for a spy: don’t get caught; and if compromised, lie. A counterintelligence operative follows a similar but far more difficult mandate: say nothing about your secrets. But just as in the biblical story of Adam and Eve, eating from the tree of knowledge can have unintended consequences, and a secret can corrode from within.

In his February 6, 1980, congressional testimony, John McMahon, the CIA deputy director for operations, stated that the Soviets’ active-measures network was “second to none in comparison to the major world powers in its size and effectiveness.” The 1980s saw a number of audacious—and highly successful—disinformation campaigns. One involved spreading rumors of CIA and FBI involvement in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Another seeded foreign newspapers with articles—purportedly written by American scientists—claiming that AIDS was the result of the Pentagon’s experiments to develop biological weapons.


pages: 407

Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy by Rory Cormac

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disinformation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Etonian, illegal immigration, land reform, Malacca Straits, Mikhail Gorbachev, private military company, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, Stuxnet, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Following a spate of high-profile kidnappings, the Ministry of Defence sent an SAS team to Brazil to train local forces in close protection skills.25 This became a growing role for the SAS which remains important today.26 Meanwhile, SIS and the Foreign Office drew on their own skills to counter kidnappings. In May 1971, SIS launched what diplomats called a ‘covert campaign of disinformation’ against the Tupamaros in Uruguay. A leftist urban guerrilla group, the Tupamaros had kidnapped British ambassador Geoffrey Jackson in Montevideo in January and his colleagues back in London turned to black propaganda and disruption to secure his release. Disinformation aimed at sowing doubts among the fighters about the continuing value of holding Jackson.27 The IRD produced an article by a French journalist with a suitably authentic revolutionary background to promote self-criticism among the Tupamaros.

The information was often true, albeit selectively edited, but ­crucially the sponsor stayed hidden. In its 1950s heyday, grey propaganda exposed what Britain saw as Soviet, nationalist, and terrorist lies in an attempt to win hearts and minds around the globe. So-called ‘black’ propaganda was far more devious—and dangerous. It could contain disinformation and was either unattributable or falsely purported to come from a different author, often to discredit the target. Examples included forged material linking Communist Party officials to illegal slush funds and subversive activity against the Kremlin or material incriminating Irish republican leaders in embezzlement.

Targeting the Gulf and Aden, it sought to use unattributable propaganda disseminated by what officials called ‘untraceable methods’ to warn of the dangers of getting too close to Nasser.18 By this time, however, diplomats back in London put the brakes on anti-Nasser operations.19 Any kind of covert action risked spoiling recent efforts to resume diplomatic relations with him. The Sharq-al-adna radio station was handed over to the BBC and opted to play more bazaar music in a lighter approach to propaganda, which proved popular for years to come.20 In return, the Soviets inserted agents inside the United Arab Republic to channel disinformation produced in Moscow and Prague. Targeting America and, to a lesser extent, OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 06/02/18, SPi 130 E n d of E m pi r e the UK, forged material implicated the West in subversive activities against Arab nationalism. Eastern bloc intelligence collected signatures of senior diplomats, which could then be used in forged documents, by sending out Christmas cards to the Whitehall and Washington elite and eagerly awaiting the replies.21 British covert action in the Middle East followed a remarkably similar pattern.


pages: 231 words: 71,299

Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy by Talia Lavin

4chan, coronavirus, COVID-19, disinformation, Donald Trump, epigenetics, feminist movement, Ferguson, Missouri, game design, mass immigration, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, phenotype, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, zero-sum game, éminence grise

Trolls learned to gamify their tactics, overwhelming selected targets with abuse or contacting en masse the ad sponsors of journalistic outlets that had the temerity to criticize them. As Becca Lewis, with coauthor Alice Marwick, put it in a 2017 report on GamerGate’s broader consequences for disinformation online, the movement was predicated on “retrograde populism”: “Gamergate participants asserted that feminism—and progressive causes in general—are trying to stifle free speech, one of their most cherished values. They are reacting to what they see as the domination of the world by global multiculturalism and the rise of popular feminism.

As one commenter on the gaming message board Escapist Forums put it, the movement was an expression of “anger at feminists and SJWs [Social Justice Warriors, a derogatory term for leftists] trying to dictate what’s in games and screeching when things don’t meet a ‘diversity’ quota”—and its end goal was a “crazy as all get out revolution.” It’s unsurprising that these scorched-earth tactics extended to racialized abuse of critics, and purposeful disinformation generated to blur the white, male nature of the movement. Shireen Mitchell, a black female activist, recalls the racist abuse that accompanied her outspoken stance against the harassment of women online at the time. “It was one of the most public racist and sexist displays,” she told me. Having received abuse and threats after planning to participate in a South by Southwest panel on online harassment, Mitchell was accompanied by a security detail while speaking at another event about online harassment.

It’s big business—YouTube monetization can be quite lucrative as YouTubers rack up more and more subscribers—and it’s an algorithmically aided rabbit hole that can lead someone, over weeks or months or years, from trying to catch up on the latest news to believing that communist Jews are actively working to take over the globe. It’s a digital complement to right-wing disinformation purveyors like radio personality Rush Limbaugh and the slate of miscreants at Fox News; while older viewers might be sucked in via basic cable, it takes only an internet connection to inculcate younger people into a world where salvation is white of skin, where feminists are sinister harpies, where everyone “other” is to be scorned and subjugated.


pages: 297 words: 83,651

The Twittering Machine by Richard Seymour

4chan, anti-communist, augmented reality, Bernie Sanders, Cal Newport, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Google Chrome, Google Earth, hive mind, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta-analysis, Mohammed Bouazizi, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, patent troll, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Rat Park, rent-seeking, replication crisis, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart cities, Snapchat, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, upwardly mobile, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Since these efforts are themselves part of the simulacrum, they slip easily back into the cycle of meaningless information. The more sophisticated propagandists recognize this, and instead work with the grain of the collapse of meaning. For example, the BBC alleges that Russian disinformation campaigns no longer bother to promote a single narrative, but instead flood the internet with so many competing versions of a story that no one knows what to think.70 It would be prudent to assume that all parties now involved in disinformation are using similar techniques. The problem is not that the internet is a web of lies. Of course it is. In 2016, a team of researchers published a study of online conduct which found that less than a third of users claimed to be honest about themselves on the internet.71 But the machine was invented to help us lie.

When Trump used the term, he was using it to describe media organizations publishing a document concerning his alleged relationships with the Russian state that, they admitted, they couldn’t verify. Moreover, this definition of ‘fake news’ would cover many stories critical of Trump. For example, the Washington Post alleged that Russian hackers had ‘penetrated’ the US electricity grid during the election, and that a range of left-of-Clinton websites were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Both stories, aggressively promoted by the Post, were later humiliatingly edited, their central claims withdrawn.22 Those bewailing ‘fake news’, overwhelmingly journalists from the legacy media, are also missing the real scoop. ‘Fake news’ is old news. After all, exactly when was the era of unalloyed truth-telling?

Dan Hind, The Threat to Reason: How the Enlightenment Was Hijacked and How We Can Reclaim it, Verso: London and New York, 2008. 47. Now a similar rhetorical move . . . Kakutani, The Death of Truth, p. 45. 48. In surprise bestsellers . . . David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11, Arris Books: Devon, 2004; Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, War on Truth: Disinformation and the Anatomy of Terrorism, Olive Branch Press: Ithaca, NY, 2005; Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, The London Bombings: An Independent Inquiry, The Overlook Press: London, 2006. 49. As Emma Jane and Chris Fleming’s analysis . . . Emma A. Jane and Chris Fleming, Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid, Bloomsbury: New York and London, 2014 pp. 4–5.


pages: 493 words: 136,235

Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers, and Themselves by Matthew Sweet

Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, computer age, disinformation, Donald Trump, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, Haight Ashbury, Herbert Marcuse, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Seymour Hersh, Skype, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Thomas Malthus, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, WikiLeaks, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

A decade ago he adopted the pseudonym Will Hart: See Will Hart, Alien Civilizations: Scientific Proof of Their Existence (Privately published: Createspace Publishing Platform, 2004). had identified Harry Rositzke of Operation Chaos: Don Schmitt, “William Moore: UFO Opportunist or Agent of Disinformation?” Open Minds TV, July 23, 2014, http://www.openminds.tv/william-moore-ufo-opportunist-agent-disinformation/29056. “infuses every engagement with both credibility and content”: See Dr. Rita Louise, business website, http://soulhealer.com. he described a visit he’d made to Mexico: “True Origins of Aliens,” Just Energy Radio, July 18, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Under Operation Edgar Allan Poe, the two Bills produced a theory attuned to their own paranoia and narcissism: that the Soviets were behind Palme’s killing and were now working hard to achieve their second objective: “laying the blame at the doorstep of the ELP [European Labor Party], as a first step in dismantling the LaRouche movement globally.” LaRouche liked this theory, because it was all about him. Their hefty report, A Classical KGB Disinformation Campaign, proved nothing about the assassination, but contained much evidence that the LaRouchians inhabited a Ptolemaic universe with themselves as its center. Legitimate press interest in the European Labor Party was “a coordinated wave of lies and innuendo” unleashed from Moscow. Journalists who described the party’s gruesome methods were subject to personal attacks.

In 1985 he had taken on the running of the Labor Committees Biological Holocaust Task Force, in which capacity he advocated putting AIDS patients into quarantine camps and insisted, against scientific evidence, that the disease could be spread by insect bites and casual human contact. (He made a panic-mongering tour of Europe, recycling stories about the synthetic nature of the virus, a theory born in a disinformation campaign by the KGB.) His most operatic act of fealty occurred in September 1990, when delegates from the Labor Committees took over the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, to listen to a speech recorded by LaRouche in his cell. During this period the organization decided, under the influence of LaRouche’s wife Helga, to make overtures toward right-wing Catholic organizations.


pages: 615 words: 187,426

Chinese Spies: From Chairman Mao to Xi Jinping by Roger Faligot

active measures, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business intelligence, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, housing crisis, illegal immigration, index card, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, Port of Oakland, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, union organizing, young professional, éminence grise

Kang Sheng goes to Moscow At the beginning of 1933, Kang Sheng was sent to Moscow to join the Comintern leadership. The revolution in Europe was floundering with Hitler’s rise to power. It was imperative that it be revived in Asia. Kang was to be trained in new Soviet methods of state security and espionage. He was also involved in agitprop, as propaganda was called in those days. Agitprop, disinformation and deception were all weapons as important as intelligence-gathering. Towards the end of 1933, Kang published an article in the Comintern journal entitled “The 6th Kuomintang campaign and the victory of the Chinese Red Army”. Perhaps this was a straightforward analysis seeking to trigger worldwide proletariat solidarity with the Chinese revolution.

At least, that is how I imagined it forty years later on a guided tour of Dixia Cheng, the vast city beneath Beijing that Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao built during the Cultural Revolution as protection in the event of a nuclear or chemical attack ordered by the Kremlin. The launch of a vast KGB disinformation campaign in China led to a renewed burst of activity on this vast, secret project. A legendary Russian agent named Victor Louis was, unwittingly, the cause. He wrote regularly for the press in the West, publishing scoops from impeccable sources with the help of his friend Yuri Andropov, the new head of the KGB.

At that time, you were not even a member of the Central Committee.”3 The Soviets’ loathing of Kang Sheng was all the more intense because, like Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi, he had once been an approved agent of the GPU, the KGB’s predecessor, from which he had learned everything he knew about espionage techniques: dissimulation, disinformation, manipulation—and, as was to become quite clear, how to turn a situation completely on its head. Many members of the Chinese leadership thought that Kang Sheng was pushing the anti-Soviet line too hard. But the purpose of these and subsequent attacks was to impress both Mao and Khrushchev; Kang was playing a game of both internal and international politics.


On Power and Ideology by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, feminist movement, imperial preference, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stanislav Petrov, union organizing

In the original, Borge says that “this revolution transcends national boundaries,” making it clear that he means ideological transcendence and adding: “this does not mean we export our revolution. It is enough—and we couldn’t do otherwise—for us to export our example . . . we know that it is the people themselves of these countries who must make their revolutions.” This is the statement that was deformed and then exploited by the U.S. disinformation system—including the media, as we shall see—as proof that Nicaragua actually boasts of its planned “aggression.” Here we see a clear example of the switch between the two variants of the domino theory: the real concern of privileged elites over the demonstration effect of successful development becomes transmuted, for the public, into a pretended concern that the U.S. will once again be at the mercy of yellow dwarves with pocket knives, who will conquer everything in their path, finally stealing all we have, while the “bound and throttled giant” is unable to prevent this aggression.

And in fact that policy is being continued until today; so, for example, China supports Pol Pot who attacks Cambodia from bases in Thailand and this is part of the American alliance designed to make Cambodia and Vietnam suffer as much as possible. QUESTION: How is it possible that the intelligent elites of the U.S. are not the people in sympathy with the protest movements, considering that the common masses in the U.S. are victims of the Mass Media propaganda and disinformation in television, etc.? How can you explain this fact? ANSWER: We are mostly intellectuals, and intellectuals like to consider themselves as being very smart and enlightened. And of course intellectuals are the people who write history and do sociology. So the picture of the world that intellectuals present is that the stupid masses are ignorant and understand nothing while the intellectuals are fine, intelligent, ethical, and far-sighted people.

Particularly offensive are projects that would provide services to private farmers, since these would not only benefit the country economically but would also harm the propaganda image of a totalitarian state carefully crafted by the U.S. ideological system. These crimes are intolerable for the reasons that I have already discussed. It was necessary to respond in the usual manner: by international terrorism, embargo, pressures on international institutions and allies to withhold aid, a huge campaign of propaganda and disinformation, threatening military maneuvers and overflights as part of what the Administration calls “perception management,” and other hostile measures available to a powerful and violent state. Near hysteria was evoked in the U.S. government when Nicaragua accepted the draft of the Contadora treaty in 1984, shortly after Ronald Reagan had informed Congress that the purpose of the contra war was to compel Nicaragua to accept the treaty and Secretary of State Shultz had praised the draft treaty and denounced Nicaragua for blocking its implementation.


pages: 561 words: 157,589

WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us by Tim O'Reilly

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, deskilling, DevOps, disinformation, Donald Davies, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, George Akerlof, gig economy, glass ceiling, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, gravity well, greed is good, Guido van Rossum, High speed trading, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyperloop, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lao Tzu, Larry Wall, Lean Startup, Leonard Kleinrock, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, microbiome, microservices, minimum viable product, mortgage tax deduction, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Oculus Rift, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Buchheit, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Sam Altman, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, SETI@home, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, social web, software as a service, software patent, spectrum auction, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, the map is not the territory, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, universal basic income, US Airways Flight 1549, VA Linux, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, yellow journalism, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Finally, it’s essential to realize that search engines and social media platforms are the battlefield of an online war, with hostile attackers using the same tools that were originally developed by advertisers to track their customers, and then by scammers and spammers to game the system for profit. In addition to the Russian-sponsored social media disinformation campaigns, the Trump campaign’s Project Alamo used highly targeted disinformation to discourage Clinton voters from going to the polls. These posts were referred to as “dark posts” by Brad Parscale, who led the campaign’s social media efforts, private posts whose viewership is tightly targeted so that, as he put it, “only the people we want to see it, see it.”

All were cooked up by Macedonian teens out to make a buck. The story about the “FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead in Apparent Murder-Suicide”—also totally fake but shared half a million times—was the work of a Southern California man who started in 2013 to prove how easily disinformation spread, but ended up creating a twenty-five-employee business to churn out the stuff. Facebook users were not the only ones spreading these stories. Many of them circulated by email and on Twitter, on YouTube, on reddit, and on 4chan. Google surfaced them in Google Suggest, the drop-down recommendations that appear for every user as they begin to type a query.

Social media and its advertising business model has taken the process to its logical conclusion. Targeted social media campaigns will almost certainly be a feature of all future political campaigns. Online social media platforms—and society as a whole—will need to come to grips with the challenges of the new medium. The moment of crisis may come when we realize that the tools of disinformation and propaganda are the very same tools that are routinely used by businesses and ad agencies to track and influence their customers. It is not just political actors who have a vested interest in spreading fake news. Vast sums of money are at stake, and participants use every tool to game the system.


pages: 719 words: 209,224

The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman

active measures, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, failed state, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, standardized shipping container, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, zero-sum game

Garthoff has offered a suggestion, which remains unproven, that U.S. disinformation persuaded the Soviets that the United States was continuing work on biological weapons after the Nixon decision. According to Garthoff, the FBI fed disinformation to the Soviets that the United States was undertaking a clandestine BW program. See Garthoff, "Polyakov's Run," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 56, no. 5, September/October 2000, p. 37. It is known there was a disinformation campaign for chemical weapons, which is described by David Wise in Cassidy's Run: The Secret Spy War over Nerve Gas (New York: Random House, 2000). Details of a disinformation campaign on BW are not known.

Many others with imagination, determination, guile and conscience sought to rein in the danger. The goal of the book is to tell the story of how the Cold War arms race came to an end, and of its legacy of peril--and to tell it from both sides. Too often in the past, the history has been obscured by American triumphalism, which reflected only one side, or by secrecy and disinformation in Moscow, which masked what really happened inside the Soviet Union and why. With fresh evidence, it is now possible to see more clearly the deliberations that unfolded behind closed doors in the Kremlin during Gorbachev's tumultuous rule. It was there, in arguments, meetings, documents and phone calls, that Gorbachev, deftly maneuvering and cajoling, faced off against the entrenched and powerful forces of the military-industrial complex and began a radical change in direction.

The KGB agents in Bonn, Brussels, Copenhagen, London, Oslo, Paris, Rome and Lisbon were told to watch out for such things as "a sharp increase in the activity of all forms of intelligence," especially on the readiness of Warsaw Pact forces; possible positioning of agents to awaken sleeper cells in the East to "operate in wartime conditions;" closer coordination between the CIA and Western spy agencies; an "increase in the number of disinformation operations" against the Soviet Union and its allies; "secret infiltration of sabotage teams with nuclear, bacteriological and chemical weapons into the countries of the Warsaw Pact;" and expanding the network of sabotagetraining schools and emigres and setting up sabotage teams with them. The instructions strongly reflect the police state mentality of the KGB.


pages: 485 words: 148,662

Farewell by Sergei Kostin, Eric Raynaud

active measures, car-free, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, index card, invisible hand, kremlinology, Lao Tzu, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

Despite Ludmila’s vigorous denial and the absence of evidence, the “gift-taking” version was largely substantiated not only in the investigation documents, but also in the corridors at the PGU. Disinformation had always been the institution’s strong point. By firmly establishing Ludmila’s greed, they improved Vetrov’s image in the eyes of his colleagues. It came as a surprise to see how easily well-informed and rational men such as intelligence operatives accepted this version, which was a complete fabrication. Was it male solidarity? Rejected men, many of whom had courted Ludmila to no avail? It is plausible. The disinformation campaign launched within Directorate T seems to have succeeded. Today, its officers admit that Ludmila’s image had been made up following Vetrov’s case.

The French agency knew that its former target had been posted in Canada. Later on, when it received Vetrov’s offer to collaborate, the DST should have or could have asked its Canadian colleagues, under any pretext, for additional information about him. Nothing substantiates such an assumption. Could it be disinformation on the part of Peter Marwitz, cleverly concealed in the many relevant corrections he made to the text of Bonjour Farewell, after his correspondence with Sergei Kostin had become a friendly exchange? It is never pleasant to suspect somebody you like of having a hidden agenda, but it is the essence of the trade to be good at being likeable, at earning people’s trust, and to keep this trust even after a few little lies.

He could prolong his existence and partially redeem himself by participating in an intelligence game. Making the most of Vetrov, the PGU had a chance to deceive the DST and, through it, all of the West. “I grant you, the issue presented itself each time a mole was uncovered,” said Igor Prelin.5 “But not to disinform the other side. In this situation, it was extremely difficult to hide the fact that the mole was arrested; in time, the adversary was bound to find out. From a counterintelligence standpoint, the most severe blow dealt to the adversary, after an agent had been identified, was to catch the handler red-handed.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, disinformation, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, hockey-stick growth, HyperCard, Ian Bogost, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

conspiracy theories and 9/11 “truthers”: Zeynep Tufekci, “YouTube, the Great Radicalizer,” New York Times, March 10, 2018, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/opinion/sunday/YouTube-politics-radical.html. the profit from the clicks: Jonathan Albright, “Untrue-Tube: Monetizing Misery and Disinformation,” Medium, February 25, 2018, accessed August 21, 2018, https://medium.com/@d1gi/untrue-tube-monetizing-misery-and-disinformation-388c4786cc3d. “can just breed and multiply”: Sheera Frenkel, “She Warned of ‘Peer-to-Peer Misinformation.’ Congress Listened,” New York Times, November 12, 2017, accessed August 21, 2018, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/12/technology/social-media-disinformation.html. had a Democratic staffer murdered: Amanda Robb, “Anatomy of a Fake News Scandal,” Rolling Stone, November 16, 2017, accessed August 21, 2018, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/anatomy-of-a-fake-news-scandal-125877; Colleen Shalby, “How Seth Rich’s Death Became an Internet Conspiracy Theory,” Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2017, http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-seth-rich-conspiracy-20170523-htmlstory.html.

Microtargeting is a superb tool for sowing division, because it means each gnarled, pissed-off group can get its own customized message affirming its anger. The spectacle appalls Ghosh. After he left Facebook, he wrote a report for New America arguing that “the form of the advertising technology market perfectly suits the function of disinformation operations.” Political misinformation “draws and holds consumer attention, which in turn generates revenue for internet-based content. A successful disinformation campaign delivers a highly responsive audience.” Adtech, the engine of rapidly scaling web business, is “the core business model that is causing all the negative externalities that we’ve seen,” he tells me. “The core business model was to make a tremendously compelling and borderline addictive experience, like the Twitter feed or Facebook messenger or the News Feed.”

In 2014, they began hounding female video-game writers and developers, in a campaign that became known as “Gamergate.” Meanwhile, noxiously racist harassment has followed many black celebrities or thinkers who’ve raised their voices on the service. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Twitter became—much like Facebook and YouTube—flooded with bots controlled by a Russian troll factory, intent on spreading disinformation often to prop up Trump and exacerbate partisan hatreds. Even Trump himself wielded Twitter like a club, singling out individual critics—including, once, a teenage girl—who’d then be harassed by Trump’s followers. Stone, Dorsey, and I were right, it turns out, about the power of Twitter to create new forms of joint behavior.


pages: 69 words: 15,637

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder

British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, Danilo Kiš, disinformation, Milgram experiment, Rosa Parks

If we have no control over who reads what and when, we have no ability to act in the present or plan for the future. Whoever can pierce your privacy can humiliate you and disrupt your relationships at will. No one (except perhaps a tyrant) has a private life that can survive public exposure by hostile directive. The timed email bombs of the 2016 presidential campaign were also a powerful form of disinformation. Words written in one situation make sense only in that context. The very act of removing them from their historical moment and dropping them in another is an act of falsification. What is worse, when media followed the email bombs as if they were news, they betrayed their own mission. Few journalists made an effort to explain why people said or wrote the things they did at the time.

Ukrainian and Russian journalists who sniffed the air in the Midwest said more realistic things than American pollsters who had built careers on understanding the politics of their own country. To Ukrainians, Americans seemed comically slow to react to the obvious threats of cyberwar and fake news. When Russian propaganda made Ukraine a target in 2013, young Ukrainian journalists and others reacted immediately, decisively, and sometimes humorously with campaigns to expose disinformation. Russia deployed many of the same techniques against Ukraine that it later used against the United States—while invading Ukraine. When Russian media falsely claimed in 2014 that Ukrainian troops crucified a small boy, the Ukrainian response was rapid and effective (at least within Ukraine itself).


Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower by William Blum

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, collective bargaining, Columbine, disinformation, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, union organizing

In a 1979 coup, Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power in this island country of 110 thousand, and though their actual policies were not as revolutionary as Castro's, Washington was again driven by its fear of "another Cuba", particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the region met with great enthusiasm. Reagan administration destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon after the coup, featuring outrageous disin-formation and deception. Finally came the invasion in October 1983, which put into power individuals more beholden to US foreign policy objectives. The US suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400 Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers. The invasion was attended by yet more transparent lies, created by Washington to justify its gross violations of international law.

He and his country would have to be put in their place. In 1981, US planes shot down two Libyan planes in Libyan air space. Five years later, the United States bombed one of Qaddafi's residences, killing scores of people. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to overthrow him, economic sanctions, and a major disinformation campaign reporting one piece of nonsense after another, including conspicuous exaggera-tions of his support for terrorism, and shifting the blame for the 1988 bombing of PanAm 103 to Libya and away from Iran and Syria when the Gulf War campaign required the support of the latter two countries.

And no matter how cynical they've grown about electoral politics at home, few of them harbor any doubt that the promotion of free and fair elections has long been a basic and sincere tenet of American foreign policy. In light of this, let us examine the actual historical record. Philippines, 1950s Flagrant manipulation by the CIA of the nation's political life, featuring stage-managed elections with extensive disinformation campaigns, heavy financing of candidates, writing their speeches, drugging the drinks of one of the opponents of the CIA candidate so he would appear incoherent, plotting the assassination of another candidate. The Agency covertly set up an organization called National Movement for Free Elections, the better to promote its agenda, and trusting citizens joined up all over the country.


Culture of Terrorism by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, centre right, clean water, David Brooks, disinformation, failed state, Farzad Bazoft, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, union organizing

Furthermore, Washington can readily contrive non-compliance with the agreement on the part of Nicaragua, confident that its fabrications will be prominently displayed on the front pages, as frequently in the past. Familiar examples include the allegations about Sandinista support for Salvadoran guerrillas, a doctrinal truth presupposed as proven in media commentary despite the complete failure to provide credible evidence; and the disinformation operation with regard to Soviet MIGs timed carefully to overcome the (minimal) danger of honest coverage of the unwanted Nicaraguan elections of 1984—one of Oliver North’s capers, so it appears11—these elections being a non-event according to official doctrine and media commentary.12 Adherence to the agreement by the Reagan administration, in contrast, would be completely unverifiable, and as the hearings on which all eyes had been focused had demonstrated beyond any conceivable doubt, the administration could proceed as before, if it chose, to provide new armaments to its proxy forces and to direct continuing attacks against Nicaragua, whatever agreements were reached on paper.

In contrast, it is hazardous for Nicaragua to agree to the conditions of the Arias plan, or any other. If it lives up to them, the fact will be suppressed or converted by the U.S. propaganda system into a proof of their totalitarian nature, exactly as was accomplished in the case of the 1984 elections by the U.S. government disinformation system with the media meekly doing their duty.18 Furthermore, there is little reason to suppose that the U.S. will adhere to any formal agreement that is reached, so that subversion, economic pressures and the other measures available to a terrorist superpower are likely to continue, perhaps eliciting a Nicaraguan reaction that will violate the formal agreements and thus call forth still greater U.S. terror in retribution.

But at a deeper level, the immediate public response illustrates the insight of the 18th century European Enlightenment that the value and meaning of freedom are learned through its exercise, and that the instinctive desire of “all free peoples to guard themselves from oppression” (Rousseau) may be repressed among a subordinated population, effectively removed from the political system, disengaged from the struggle against state and other authority, and in general, objects rather than agents.2 In the absence of organizational forms that permit meaningful participation in political and other social institutions, as distinct from following orders or ratifying decisions made elsewhere, the “instinct for freedom” may wither, offering opportunities for charismatic leaders to rally mass popular support, with consequences familiar from recent history. The attitude of the state authorities towards the public is revealed still more clearly by what one Reagan official called “a vast psychological warfare operation” designed to fix the terms of debate over Nicaragua, a vast disinformation campaign called “Operation Truth”—Goebbels and Stalin would have been amused. The campaign was largely successful, along with similar operations with regard to Libya, international terrorism, the arms race, and numerous other matters. The pioneers of modern totalitarianism would also have nodded their heads in approval over the formation of a State Department Office of Public Diplomacy, reported to be controlled by Elliott Abrams under the supervision of the National Security Council, dedicated to such maneuvers as leaking “secret intelligence [that is, constructions of state propaganda disguised as intelligence] to the media to undermine the Nicaraguan government.”


pages: 497 words: 161,742

The Enemy Within by Seumas Milne

active measures, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, collective bargaining, corporate governance, disinformation, Edward Snowden, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invisible hand, Kickstarter, market fundamentalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, strikebreaker, union organizing, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, éminence grise

Meanwhile, a good part of MI5’s ‘counter-subversion work’ – which the security service itself claims to have abandoned – has been absorbed by the police, both in the form of the Special Branch and newer outfits such as the National Domestic Extremism Unit and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (both originally under the control of the opaque and unaccountable Association of Chief Police Officers). They have already become notorious for the infiltration of undercover agents and agents provocateurs into environmental, animal rights, anti-racist and other protest groups, as well as for disinformation campaigns, while evidence has grown of systematic Special Branch collaboration with private corporations to blacklist trade unionists. Of course, the global blanket surveillance of mobile phone, email and internet traffic by the US National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ – revealed by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 – is on another scale entirely from the then unprecedented operations they carried out against the British miners’ union and its international solidarity network in 1984–5.

He had acted for the NUM over its receivership imbroglio and then discovered in 1990 that he had not been told what was going on behind the scenes. ‘He got the wrong end of the stick. He was fond of Arthur, he liked all of them, but he felt betrayed and it made him act irrationally.’ Both Scargill and Heathfield think that Lightman was privately fed choice morsels of disinformation by his nameless informants, which shaped the nature of the report. ‘I always wonder in inquiries of this sort whether the establishment gets to these people,’ Heathfield mused in the final stages of the 1990 campaign. As time wore on, he became less philosophical about the matter. ‘I have nothing but contempt for Gavin Lightman,’ he said later.

Windsor himself traces his alienation from the NUM leadership to his Libyan mission and Scargill’s behaviour on his return, complaining that the publicity around the contacts made it almost impossible to get a mainstream job outside the union. They were ‘at Scargill’s mercy’, as Angie Windsor put it. But Libya also gave Windsor a powerful weapon, which he wielded to pulverizing effect – twice over.3 A CORNER-SHOP TERRORIST The NUM’s Libyan connection has been long buried in a morass of claim and counterclaim, lies and disinformation. At the centre of the affair is Mohammed Altaf Abbasi, a Kashmiri political exile and small-time businessman who came from Pakistan to live in Britain in the mid 1960s. At the time of the 1984–5 coal strike, Abbasi – a British citizen – was living a sort of double life in the style of Superman’s Clark Kent.


pages: 594 words: 165,413

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Ada Lovelace, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, financial independence, impulse control, LNG terminal, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, trade route, Upton Sinclair

Ryan had trained himself to be objective. He ran through the four alternatives he had considered, careful to examine each in detail. This was no time to allow personal views to intrude on his thinking. He spoke for ten minutes. "I suppose there's one more possibility, Judge," he concluded. "This could be disinformation aimed at blowing this source. I cannot evaluate that possibility." "The thought has occurred to us. All right, now that you've gone this far, you might as well give your operational recommendation." "Sir, the admiral can tell you what the navy'll say." "I sorta figured that one out, boy," Moore laughed.

These Alfas and Victors appear to be racing for our coast, almost certainly with the intention of establishing an interdiction force—effectively a blockade of our Atlantic coast." "Blockade," the president said, "an ugly word." "Judge," General Hilton said, "I suppose it's occurred to you that this is a piece of disinformation aimed at blowing whatever highly placed source generated this report?" Judge Moore affected a sleepy smile. "It has, Gener'l. If this is a sham, it's a damned elaborate one. Dr. Ryan was directed to prepare this briefing on the assumption that this data is genuine. If it is not, the responsibility is mine."

While one might recognize the inequities of life under Communism and yearn for justice, religious freedom, a chance to develop as an individual, another might simply want to get rich, having read about how greedy capitalists exploit the masses and decided that being an exploiter has its good points. Ryan found this interesting if cynical. Another defector type was the fake, the imposter, someone planted on the CIA as a living piece of disinformation. But this kind of character could cut both ways. He might ultimately turn out to be a genuine defector. America, Ryan smiled, could be pretty seductive to someone used to the gray life in the Soviet Union. Most of the plants, however, were dangerous enemies. For this reason a defector was never trusted.


pages: 380 words: 109,724

Don't Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles--And All of US by Rana Foroohar

"side hustle", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, AltaVista, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, cleantech, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, death of newspapers, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, disintermediation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Etonian, Filter Bubble, future of work, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, light touch regulation, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, PageRank, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, price discrimination, profit maximization, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, search engine result page, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, subscription business, supply-chain management, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, WeWork, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

While the British government had initially denied any involvement by nefarious actors using platform tech to influence the referendum, a damning report released by the British Parliament in February 2019 found just the opposite.10 The report indicated that there was indeed a possibility that the Brexit vote had been influenced by Russian actors, and that at the very least there were big questions about the ongoing role of disinformation in elections, questions that might require a reworking of electoral law, which the committee in charge of the investigation found was “not fit for the purpose” of dealing with companies like Facebook, which “intentionally and knowingly violated both data privacy and anti-competition laws.” As MP Damian Collins put it, “Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalized ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day.

But Google was only marginally more responsive to those first signs of election manipulation in the wake of 2016, and it turned out to have played a major role as well. Its subsidiary YouTube was a host to much of the pre-election hate that was stirred up by actors both abroad (including the same Russian agents that were active on Facebook) and at home.7 The 2016 election, Brexit, and the continued role that Russia plays in online disinformation underscore the fact that the very cohesion of society is at stake in this new digital revolution. We are experiencing a crisis of trust in this country; we’ve lost faith in our institutions, our leaders, and the very systems by which society is governed. As tempting as it might be to point a finger straight at the White House, this is not all about the current administration.

Yet, if changing their business model compromised profits, then it was clear which road the platforms would choose. “It took me a very long time to accept that Zuck and Sheryl had fallen victim to overconfidence,” says McNamee.20 Even as evidence piled up, following the U.S. Senate’s election meddling report, that Facebook and other platforms had been used to spread disinformation and suppress votes, “I wanted to believe that [they] would eventually change their approach.” It wasn’t to be. Surveillance Capitalism on Steroids If election manipulation were the only way in which Big Tech was undermining democracy and civil liberty, it would be bad enough. But it’s not.


pages: 434 words: 117,327

Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America by Cass R. Sunstein

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, anti-globalists, availability heuristic, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, microaggression, Nate Silver, Network effects, New Journalism, night-watchman state, obamacare, Potemkin village, random walk, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Steve Bannon, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey

It remains unclear whether Trump can take advantage of these divisions in order to consolidate his power, but the possibility cannot be dismissed. Can It Happen Here? An aspiring dictator would do best by pushing against all these margins rather than trying to crush the institutional barriers seriatim. Imagine that Trump simultaneously: (1) harasses only the toughest and most critical journalists while encouraging a squid cloud of disinformation that keeps the public in the dark about his mistakes and failures; (2) defies Congress only in carefully selected cases where his goals are popular and Congress is divided; (3) harasses agencies that pose a threat to his power (intelligence agencies?) while lavishing resources and attention on those that support him (immigration agencies?)

While a majority of Americans reported to Pew after the 2016 election that fake news had caused “a great deal” of confusion about current events, 84 percent described themselves as at least somewhat confident in their own ability to discern real from fake.1 This confidence may well be misplaced, as a dramatically altered media environment in the United States gives propaganda and falsehoods far greater scope for influence than at any time in our history. One possible source of our relative complacency now is that Russia’s attempts to meddle in our democracy proved largely unsuccessful during the Cold War. Back then, the short- and long-term aims of Soviet influence and disinformation operations—so-called active measures—were simple: discrediting, and weakening, countries with opposing political agendas. In 1982, just months before succeeding Leonid Brezhnev as leader of the Soviet Union, KGB chairman Yuri Andropov told Soviet foreign intelligence officers abroad to more directly incorporate these “active measures” into their standard work.

Analogous efforts aimed at Margaret Thatcher during the UK’s 1983 general election had also come up short, as she, too, won reelection in a landslide. Reagan’s victory was obviously overdetermined, but, even had the US presidential election been close, the Soviet Union faced huge obstacles during the Cold War in influencing the American electorate—or voters in other democracies—with its propaganda and disinformation. Indeed, as historian Christopher Andrew and former KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin observed in their definitive account of KGB activities in the West, Reagan’s landslide “was striking evidence of the limitations of Soviet active measures within the United States.”5 While it is not easy to quantify the impact of active measures, there is no question that foreign powers like Russia and China, or non-state actors like ISIS, today have a much greater ability to use “fake news” or “alternative facts” to influence a democratic electorate than they did during the Cold War.


pages: 1,172 words: 114,305

New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI by Frank Pasquale

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, battle of ideas, Bernie Sanders, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, collective bargaining, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, data is the new oil, decarbonisation, deskilling, digital twin, disinformation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, finite state, Flash crash, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, high net worth, hiring and firing, Ian Bogost, independent contractor, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, late capitalism, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, Modern Monetary Theory, Money creation, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, obamacare, paradox of thrift, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, profit motive, QR code, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, regulatory arbitrage, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, smart cities, smart contracts, software is eating the world, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, telepresence, telerobotics, The Future of Employment, Therac-25, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing test, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, wage slave, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero day

Thus, even protective plans can seem aggressive, as in the case of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Popularly known as Star Wars, SDI would have relied on lasers in space to shoot down Soviet missiles. Had it worked, it would have upset a fragile balance of deterrence (mutually assured destruction via nuclear annihilation). Now, LAWS, automated cyberattacks, and disinformation campaigns threaten to disrupt long-settled expectations about the purpose and limits of international conflict. We must find new ways of limiting their development and impact. War may at first appear as a state of exception, where ordinary ethical reasoning is suspended (or at least radically circumscribed).

A failure among the de facto sovereigns of the internet to distinguish between stories on the real Guardian and the “Denver Guardian” is not simply a neutral decision to level the informational playing field. Rather, it predictably accelerates propaganda tactics honed by millions of dollars of investment in data, PR, and spin-doctoring. Shadowy quasi-state actors are well practiced in the dark arts of bias, disinformation, and influence.89 Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows. In our time, for better or worse, vast conglomerates like Facebook and Google effectively take on the role of global communication regulators. They must take responsibility for this new role or be broken up in order to make way for human-scale entities capable of doing so.

Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich, Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life, Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2018, https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR2314.html; Alice Marwick and Rebecca Lewis, Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online (New York: Data and Society, 2017), https://datasociety.net/pubs/oh/DataAndSociety_MediaManipulationAndDisinformationOnline.pdf. 53. On the distinction between speech and conduct, see, for example, Claudia Haupt, “Professional Speech,” Yale Law Journal 125, no. 5 (2016): 1238–1303. 54.


pages: 409 words: 112,055

The Fifth Domain: Defending Our Country, Our Companies, and Ourselves in the Age of Cyber Threats by Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, computer vision, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, DevOps, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Exxon Valdez, global village, immigration reform, Infrastructure as a Service, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, open borders, platform as a service, Ponzi scheme, ransomware, Richard Thaler, Sand Hill Road, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, software as a service, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, undersea cable, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero day

Eventually, the computer network operations were labeled “cyber,” in part due to the Clinton administration, to the eternal frustration of language purists. The Russians, however, never saw cyber war and propaganda as separate. From before the Russian Revolution, they had been masters at spying, deception, and disinformation. They had Russian words and phrases for their tools, such as maskirovka, disinformatia, and kompromat. It was literally part of their military’s checklist. The advent of computer networks just gave them another place to practice spying, deception, and disinformation when permitted by civilian authorities. Putin not only permitted, he ordered. In the words of Alex Stamos, Facebook’s former CSO, “Their [U.S. adversaries’] dream is when most Americans say [about the election], ‘I don’t have a choice in this.’”

Putin’s strategy is to divide us, so if you respond from a divided perspective, you really play into his hands.” Together, along with a team on both sides of the Atlantic, they created the Policy Blueprint for Countering Authoritarian Interference in Democracies, an action plan for defending against hybrid war. The ASD is transatlantic because the Russian cyber and disinformation operations haven’t just been directed at the United States. In fact, they had tested them extensively in Europe before bringing them to America. “Our European friends had been sounding the alarm for a long time and maybe, we thought, we should start listening to them in ways that we hadn’t been.”

To assure a minimum level of scrutiny, Congress should by law require social media to look for and delete bots and foreign entities pretending to be Americans. The Federal Trade Commission, which has a decent record of protecting consumers online, should rise to the challenge and issue regulations governing disinformation campaigns on the internet. While they are at it, Congress should take the minimal step of requiring online political ads to disclose who paid for them, and then ban foreign money from ads supporting candidates or causes. Simon Rosenberg would also have political parties and candidates sign a voluntary and public pledge that they will not use fake personas on social media or engage in the kind of bot and troll operations pioneered by the Russians.


pages: 345 words: 92,063

Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business by Julie Battilana, Tiziana Casciaro

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Asperger Syndrome, blood diamonds, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, different worldview, disinformation, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, feminist movement, fundamental attribution error, future of work, gig economy, hiring and firing, impact investing, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mega-rich, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, zero-sum game

Nelson and Harsh Taneja, “The Small, Disloyal Fake News Audience: The Role of Audience Availability in Fake News Consumption,” New Media & Society 20, no. 10 (2018): 3720–37; and for a review of the nuanced literature on social media and democracy: Joshua A. Tucker et al., “Social Media, Political Polarization, and Political Disinformation: A Review of the Scientific Literature,” Hewlett Foundation, March 2018, https://hewlett.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Social-Media-Political-Polarization-and-Political-Disinformation-Literature-Review.pdf. 96 For guidance on overcoming these limitations and building a more democratic digital public sphere, see Joshua Cohen and Archon Fung, “Democracy and the Digital Public Sphere,” in Digital Technology and Democratic Theory, ed.

What is at stake, therefore, is our ability, and our children’s, to think critically and decide for ourselves what we want and how to behave.40 History has taught us that preserving this ability is critical in the face of propaganda and power concentration. In the digital era, it is particularly crucial as we grapple with deep fakes, fake news, and coordinated disinformation campaigns aimed at altering the very basis of reality. Yet concentrations of power are not immutable. It is always up to us to agitate, innovate, and orchestrate to change the power hierarchy, as many Google employees have shown us. CURBING THE POWER OF BIG TECH In March 2018, it came to light that Google had entered into a contract with the U.S.

To begin with, increased surveillance can squash protest and dissent, as activists like Tope know all too well.93 Platform algorithms wired for profits spread controversial, inflammatory content to those most susceptible to engage with it94—content that is often blatantly false. By deciding what information we see and what opinions we hear, social media amplifies political polarization, while spreading disinformation and fake news.95 Unregulated and nascent, hostile and profit-driven, the digital public sphere today falls woefully short of its democratic potential.96 Though no simple prescription exists to counter these threats, one element is clear: While the world of business and the global economy have been drastically transformed in the past half-century, our democratic institutions have yet to catch up.


pages: 204 words: 61,491

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman, Jeff Riggenbach Ph.

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, disinformation, global village, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the printing press, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, the medium is the message

It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the fact that they change from week to week, as the pollsters tell us. What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of “being informed” by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. I am using this word almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. In saying this, I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world.

Allen Smith, John, Description of New England smoke signals Socrates Solomon Sontag, Susan Sophists Spectator sports “Star Itek” (TV show) Steele, Richard, Guardian Steinbeck, John Steiner, George Stiles, Ezra Story, Joseph Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom’s Cabin Streep, Meryl Sullivan, Big Tom surgery, televised Swaggart, Jimmy Swain, William Swift, Jonathan, A Tale of a Tub Taft, William Howard Talbot, William Henry Fox Tale of a Ttib, A (Swift) Tatler Technics and Civilization (Mumford) technology and medium, distinctions between telegraph telephone television; as education; education for control of; as entertainment ; as epistemology; as junk; as myth; as politics; popularity of American programs abroad; as religion; as technology vs. medium television commercials ; as political discourse television news shows ; appearance and credibility of newscaster ; discussion following The Day After (ABC movie); as disinformation; music on ; “Now ... this” mode of discourse Tennent, William Teresa, Mother Terry, Reverend Thoreau, Henry David; Walden Thoth (Egyptian god) Tocqueville, Alexis de; Democracy in America “The Tonight Show” (TV show) Toyota transportationh-century Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, A (Edwards) “Trivial Pursuit” (game) Truman, Harry truth, media as Tumer.


pages: 546 words: 176,169

The Cold War by Robert Cowley

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doomsday Clock, friendly fire, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, transcontinental railway

Did that futility apply to the operation as a whole? Was the huge effort to record, transcribe, translate, categorize, cross-reference, and evaluate the sea of tapped material also for nothing? Or worse than nothing: Did the Soviets, as several agents later claimed, feed the taps with massive disinformation? Operation Gold seems cut to the current fashion of dismissing most espionage as a scandalously exorbitant con. Writing after examining the archives on their respective sides, many experts—from Markus Wolf to John le Carré to Phillip Knightley—concluded that the tunnel's practical value in the Cold War was extremely limited.

In that view, the massive tunnel adventure can be seen as a telling display of the futility of espionage in general and the CIA's efforts in particular. Former BOB officers disagree, as might be expected. Recovering from the Sniper's seemingly crushing revelations, they continued to sing the tunnel's praises. Denying that they were duped by disinformation fed through it, they cited selected Soviet evidence to bolster their rebuttal. In general, they say, the tunnel treasury—1,750 intelligence reports by September 1958, based on 90,000 translated messages or conversations—was a huge asset even two years after the taps were shut down. In 1957, for example, an East German BOB operative fired from her housekeeping job for General Pitovranov (during a Soviet security campaign to eliminate German employees) managed to land another job in Karlshorst, this one for East Germany's counterintelligence chief, General Karl Linke.

To protect its secret that it knew the American secret—thus shielding Blake as an intelligence source—the First Directorate willingly compromised other KGB departments, together with fellow intelligence services and the Soviet army in Germany. Not even General Pitovranov was told about the tunnel until Blake's reassignment, in a normal rotation, from London to Berlin's SIS station. Whether some disinformation was leaked into the torrent of genuine stuff coursing the cables may never be known. Whether it's true, as Markus Wolf believes, that his side never would have discovered the tunnel without Blake's tip-off is also a moot question. But Operation Gold does reveal some of espionage warfare's ironies.


pages: 891 words: 253,901

The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government by David Talbot

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, drone strike, independent contractor, information retrieval, Internet Archive, land reform, means of production, Naomi Klein, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation

Fletcher Prouty, The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2008), 368. 251Arbenz was showered with abuse: “Guatemala: Battle of the Backyard,” Time, Sept. 20, 1954. 252Hunt claimed that he had spread the word: Ann Louise Bardach, “Scavenger Hunt,” Slate, Oct. 6, 2004. 252“They were trying to break him down”: Author interview with Erick Arbenz. 253The agency’s disinformation campaign began immediately: See Roberto Garcia Ferreira, “The CIA and Jacobo Arbenz: History of a Disinformation Campaign,” Journal of Third World Studies 25, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 59–81. 254The tragedy was “trapped in his head”: Ibid. 254Hunt . . . continued to track closely the man: Ann Louise Bardach, “Scavenger Hunt.” 255Arbenz’s beloved daughter, Arabella: Rich Cohen, The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King (New York: Macmillan, 2012), 206. 256But Maria Arbenz always believed that her husband had been assassinated: Author interview with Erick and Claudia Arbenz. 257Jacobo and Maria Arbenz were the Kennedys of Guatemala’s fledgling democracy: Piero Gleijeses, Shattered Hope: The Guatemalan Revolution and the United States, 1944–54 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), 134–47. 259The powerful influence of the United Fruit Company: Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 102–7. 260Foster made a discreet tour of Central America: Peter Chapman, Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2007), 84–85. 260a “Communist-type reign of terror”: New York Times, June 16, 1954. 261Dulles assembled his Guatemala task force in the White House: David Atlee Phillips, The Night Watch (New York: Atheneum, 1977), 49–51. 262an “opéra bouffe”: New York Times, June 22, 1954. 262Arthur Hays Sulzberger was extremely accommodating: New York Times, June 7, 1997. 263the CIA had no qualms about compiling a “disposal list”: Kate Doyle and Peter Kornbluh, eds., “CIA and Assassinations: The Guatemala 1954 Documents,” National Security Archive, http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB4/. 264the CIA began pressuring him to purge Guatemala: Stephen M.

The CIA was afraid of him—an educated, articulate reformer who had stood up to the local elite and the U.S. government. He was a big threat to these powerful interests.” For the rest of the exiled Guatemalan leader’s life, the CIA was determined to strip away whatever shred of respectability still clung to him. The agency’s disinformation campaign began immediately after Arbenz’s downfall, with a stream of stories planted in the press—particularly in Latin America—alleging that he was a pawn of Moscow, that he was guilty of the wholesale butchery of political foes, that he had raided his impoverished country’s treasury, that he was sexually captivated by the man who was the leader of the Guatemalan Communist Party.

Meanwhile, the Trujillo regime spread the word that Galíndez was “suffering from a persecution complex” and had likely disappeared for personal reasons. Phony Galíndez sightings were reported throughout Latin America and as far away as the Philippines. At the same time, the CIA disseminated other disinformation about Galíndez to its friendly press assets, claiming that the missing scholar had absconded with more than $1 million of CIA funds, which the agency allegedly had given him to set up an anti-Franco underground in Spain. Other CIA documents, which circulated as high as Dulles’s office, tried to brand Galíndez as “a witting tool of the Communists.”


Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disinformation, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Paul Samuelson, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce

Well, it’s Kremlin-directed international terrorism. 15 This stuff was crafted from the first moment—and furthermore, it was all utterly transparent right from the very beginning, like I was writing about it as early as 1981. 16 The media pretend they don’t understand it, scholarship pretends it doesn’t understand it, but it’s been as predictable as a broken record: they put it on in 1981, and it’s still playing. The whole media campaign on terrorism started with a series of C.I.A. disinformation releases about Libya. In 1981 the C.I.A. leaked a story to the press about U.S. efforts to assassinate Qaddafi, in the hope that this would lead Qaddafi to some kind of erratic reaction which we could then use as an excuse to bomb him. Okay, that was exposed: the first reference to C.I.A. disinformation about Libya appeared in Newsweek in August 1981, when Newsweek stated that it had been subjected to a disinformation campaign by the government. 17 Since then, there have been about a half-dozen similar cases in which Washington floated some lunatic story about Libya and the media bought it, then discovered later that it was disinformation and pretended they were all surprised; I mean, at some point you’d think they would begin to ask what’s going on, but apparently not.

One interesting thing was put on the record, this famous 42-page document that they referred to; I don’t know if any of you saw that. 10 See, the government would not allow secret documents to appear, but they did permit a summary to appear, which the judge presented to the jury saying, “You can take this to be fact, we don’t question it anymore because it’s authorized by the government.” That doesn’t mean it’s not disinformation, incidentally; it means that this is what the government was willing to say is the truth, whether it’s true or not is another question. But this 42-page document is kind of interesting. It outlines a massive international terrorist network run by the United States. It lists the countries that were involved, the ways we got them involved.

Okay, that was exposed: the first reference to C.I.A. disinformation about Libya appeared in Newsweek in August 1981, when Newsweek stated that it had been subjected to a disinformation campaign by the government. 17 Since then, there have been about a half-dozen similar cases in which Washington floated some lunatic story about Libya and the media bought it, then discovered later that it was disinformation and pretended they were all surprised; I mean, at some point you’d think they would begin to ask what’s going on, but apparently not. And some of these cases were completely crazy—there was a story about Libyan hitmen wandering around Washington, S.W.A.T. teams on alert patrolling the White House, that kind of thing. It was all total madness. 18 Well, every one of these confrontations with Libya has been timed for some domestic purpose. The big one, the bombing of Libya in April 1986, was timed for the contra aid vote in Congress—the point was to build up a lot of hysteria beforehand, and it kind of worked: they rammed through a big aid package a month or two later. 19 It was all a complete set-up, totally prefabricated.


pages: 417 words: 109,367

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-First Century by Ronald Bailey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Climatic Research Unit, Commodity Super-Cycle, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, disinformation, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, energy security, failed state, financial independence, Garrett Hardin, Gary Taubes, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, knowledge economy, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, phenotype, planetary scale, price stability, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Stewart Brand, Tesla Model S, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, two and twenty, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, yield curve

As is usual with such confabs, the UN arranged for youth representatives to meet. At one such session, a young Kenyan announced his opposition to GMOs. Why? Because he had heard that GMOs weakened the immune systems of Africans so that they would more easily succumb to AIDS. From whom could he have gotten this disinformation? What could be more demoralizing than to believe that white scientists from rich countries had devised a technology that aimed to kill you? In 2003, I watched a Brazilian member of the Friends of the Earth repeatedly yell at a group of poor Mexican women to whom food made with biotech ingredients was being distributed that it was “contaminated” and “toxic” and would harm their children.

In 2013, some Filipino “farmers” rampaged through the fields where the IRRI was growing the Golden Rice variety. The “farmers” were later identified as anti-biotech activists who have worked with Greenpeace in the past to block other biotech crop varieties. Frankly, the scientific community has been far too passive for way too long in confronting the disinformation campaigns of anti-biotech groups such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. But the Golden Rice atrocity finally aroused researchers. In August of 2013, Science magazine published a strong editorial, “Standing Up for GMOs,” condemning activists for their anti-scientific attacks on crop biotechnology.

Despite this clear record of safety, the statement continues, “The anti-GMO fever still burns brightly, fanned by electronic gossip and well-organized fear-mongering that profits some individuals and organizations.” Hooray! It’s great that thousands of researchers have finally called out Greenpeace and other anti-biotech activist groups for peddling and profiting from their disinformation. In 2014, researchers in Germany and California published another study that calculated that the delay in getting Golden Rice into the fields of poor farmers in India has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in India that would otherwise have been saved. As the study noted, Golden Rice is “a cost efficient solution that can substantially reduce health costs.”


pages: 363 words: 105,039

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers by Andy Greenberg

air freight, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, clean water, data acquisition, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, global supply chain, hive mind, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, pirate software, pre–internet, profit motive, ransomware, RFID, speech recognition, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

When I spoke to former president Yushchenko on the phone later that year, he argued that Russia’s tactics, online and off, have one single aim: “to destabilize the situation in Ukraine, to make its government look incompetent and vulnerable.” He lumped the cyberattacks together with the Russian disinformation flooding Ukraine’s media, the terroristic fighting in the east of the country, and his own poisoning years earlier—all underhanded moves aimed at pulling Ukraine to the east or painting it as a broken nation. “Russia will never accept Ukraine being a sovereign and independent country,” he told me.

When Galeotti published his take on Gerasimov’s speech in July 2014, titling his post “The ‘Gerasimov Doctrine’ and Russian Non-linear War,” he saw in the speech a prescient explanation of the strategy Russia had already used in the earliest months of its Ukrainian invasion. Even before any signs of a cyberwar had come to light, Russia was secreting troops across the border out of uniform, flooding the Ukrainian media with disinformation, and exploiting internal instabilities. But when the GRU’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election emerged two years later, it suddenly seemed to suggest an even more far-reaching and insidious example of the ideas Gerasimov described, now put into practice. As the frenzy around Russia’s election-related hacking grew in late 2016 and 2017, the Gerasimov Doctrine began to be referred to in mainstream Western media as the key to understanding all Russian warfare.

The notion was repeated widely enough that Galeotti himself felt the need to step back from it, pointing out that Gerasimov had hardly been the first to suggest waging hybrid wars that extended past the traditional military front—the Georgian war offered a clear example five years earlier—and that his “Gerasimov Doctrine” wasn’t even a formal or comprehensive doctrine so much as a momentary peek into the evolution of Russian military thinking. But in early 2018, after Sandworm had been connected directly to the Russian military, I couldn’t help but see how Gerasimov’s ideas explained Sandworm’s actions, too. The “informational confrontation” Gerasimov suggested wasn’t necessarily limited to disinformation or propaganda. In fact, both Galeotti and Giles emphasized to me that there is no distinction in common Russian vocabulary between “information war” and a concept of “cyberwar” that suggests disruptive or physical consequences of hacking. Both fall under the same term, informatsionnaya voyna.


pages: 572 words: 179,024

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, disinformation, drone strike, Maui Hawaii, mutually assured destruction, operation paperclip, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Project Plowshare, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, South China Sea, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, zero day

The CIA would learn from this experience: it could use the public’s preconceptions as well as the media’s desire to tell a story to its own benefit. Civilians could unwittingly propagate significant disinformation on the CIA’s behalf. In Central Intelligence Agency parlance, there are two kinds of strategic deception: cover and disinformation. Cover induces the belief that something true is something false; disinformation aims to produce the belief that something false is in fact true. In other words, cover conceals the truth while disinformation conveys false information. When the CIA disseminates false information, it is always intended to mislead. When the press disseminates false information that helps keep classified information a secret, the CIA sits back and smiles.

“Alarming news is coming from Cuba at present, news that the most aggressive American monopolists are preparing a direct attack on Cuba,” Khrushchev told the group. Barnes believes Khrushchev “may have been referring to our messing with them with our Hawk missiles homing in on their planes.” Were that the case, Khrushchev had a valid point. But the mercurial dictator had his own difficulties in sticking to the facts. Disinformation was a hallmark of the Soviet propaganda machine. To a roomful of Cuban diplomats, many of whom knew otherwise, Khrushchev falsely claimed, “What is more, [the Americans] are trying to present the case as though rocket bases of the Soviet Union are being set up or are already established in Cuba.

This wilderness, Angleton said, was the product of a myriad of KGB deceptions and stratagems that would one day ensnare, confuse, and overpower the West. Angleton believed that the Soviets could manipulate the CIA into believing false information was true and true information was false. The CIA’s inability to discern the truth inside a forest of Soviet disinformation would be America’s downfall, Angleton said. James Jesus Angleton allegedly had as many enemies inside the Agency as inside the KGB, but Richard Helms trusted him. Helms and Angleton had known each other since World War II, when they worked in the OSS counterintelligence unit, X-2. In the 1960s, in addition to acting as the liaison between the CIA and the FBI, Angleton controlled the Israeli “account,” which meant he provided Helms with almost everything Helms knew about Israel.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, compensation consultant, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disinformation, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, independent contractor, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

Just six minutes after his first Tripathi tweet, Luke Russert tweeted again, saying, “It’s still early w unconfirmed reports, but if Redit [sic] was right with the Sunil Tripathi theory, it’s changed the game 4ever.” Reddit wasn’t right. Three years before social networks would fuel a vicious cycle of fake news—often aided by Russian disinformation outlets, domestic right-wing meme warriors, and politically minded propagandists—Reddit had seeded an entirely incorrect and highly damaging news cycle. Two hours later, around 5 a.m. the entire theory fell apart. NBC reported that Tripathi was not a suspect. All of the online speculation, of which Reddit was a primary hub, had indeed turned into what the moderators and the press had feared: a witch hunt

This sort of plotting happens in massive private-message threads on Twitter, in Facebook groups, on private chat servers such as Discord, and, very overtly, on 4chan’s /pol, a “politically incorrect” board that had been created by 4chan’s founder in 2011 to siphon off and contain the overtly xenophobic and racist comments and memes from other wings of 4chan. This mostly off-Reddit organizing then plays out on Reddit as vote brigading, or attempting to silence individual voices by downvoting them into oblivion. Other products were meme generation and dissemination, harassment campaigns, and propagation of disinformation, largely aiming to disseminate far-right viewpoints. Brigading had long been against the site’s rules, but this activity was difficult to track, and almost impossible to differentiate from regular Reddit activity due to the fact that it looked an awful lot like normal Reddit activity: Those taking part were coming from disparate IP addresses, mostly domestic, and most of which otherwise interacted typically with the site.

In it, he mostly delivered one-liners in his flamboyantly brash style about his love for “daddy.” He also called Ted Cruz a “weird amphibian loser” and referred to feminists as “obese.”) Another constituency growing around this time, it would later become known, was Russian propagandists, apparently in an effort to sow disinformation and discord among the American electorate. Reddit later identified 944 user accounts associated with a Kremlin-tied troll farm; the largest posters were active on The_Donald, using upvoting schemes to make their posts more popular. While most of the accounts’ efforts were ineffective, a few were successful; one posted a sex video that falsely claimed to include Hillary Clinton, and it received more than one hundred thousand upvotes.


pages: 290 words: 73,000

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, affirmative action, Airbnb, algorithmic bias, borderless world, cloud computing, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Google Earth, Google Glasses, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, new economy, PageRank, performance metric, phenotype, profit motive, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Snapchat, Tim Cook: Apple, union organizing, women in the workforce, yellow journalism

Indeed, as I gave talks about this book in the weeks after the election, I could only note in my many public talks that “as I’ve argued for years about the harm toward women and girls through commercial information bias circulating through platforms like Google, no one has seemed to care until it threw a presidential election.” Notably, one remarkable story about disinformation (patently false information intended to deceive) made headlines about the election results. This new political landscape has dramatically altered the way we might think about public institutions being a major force in leveling the playing field of information that is curated in the public interest. And it will likely be the source of a future book that recontextualizes what information means in the new policy regime that ensues under the leadership of avowed White supremacists and disinformation experts who have entered the highest levels of public governance.

In short, Daniels argues that using racial formation theory to explain phenomena related to race online has been detrimental to our ability to parse how power online maps to oppression rooted in the history of White dominance over people of color.12 Often, group identity development and recognition in the United States is guided, in part, by ongoing social experiences and interactions, typically organized around race, gender, education, and other social factors that are also ideological in nature.13 These issues are at the heart of a “politics of recognition,”14 which is an essential form of redistributive justice for marginalized groups that have been traditionally maligned, ignored, or rendered invisible by means of disinformation on the part of the dominant culture. In this work, I am claiming that you cannot have social justice and a politics of recognition without an acknowledgment of how power—often exercised simultaneously through White supremacy and sexism—can skew the delivery of credible and representative information.


pages: 241 words: 75,417

The Last President of Europe: Emmanuel Macron's Race to Revive France and Save the World by William Drozdiak

Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, centre right, cloud computing, disinformation, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, UNCLOS, working poor

The massive and coordinated hacking operations used by Russia to interfere in American, French, and other European elections highlighted the vulnerability of Western democracies to clandestine attacks by clever adversaries. Although Macron believed that Trump was in fact correct in his frequent harangues about Europeans needing to spend more for their own defense, he realized that purchasing more troops, tanks, bombs, and submarines would not protect Europe from cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns. If Europe was ever going to achieve an enduring strategic partnership with Russia, there would have to be a greater level of cooperation and understanding with Moscow about the uses and abuses of advanced technologies in the future. As one of the West’s youngest and most consequential leaders, Macron felt comfortable thinking in terms of the next three decades, unlike most of his peers.

Putin and his military strategists have expressed amazement at how effective their methods have been in sowing discord and disarray across Europe. The Kremlin’s financial and political support for right-wing populist nationalist parties, such as France’s National Rally, the Northern League in Italy, Austria’s Freedom Party, Hungary’s ruling Fidesz Party, and the Alternative for Germany, has targeted voter resentments in its disinformation campaigns. Moscow has capitalized on the failure of mainstream parties in the West to respond effectively to public anxieties about the impact of immigration on national identity, the growing divide between rich and poor, and the frustrations of young people seeking sustainable employment. These social problems are exploited by Moscow’s social media campaigns in ways that elicit a sympathetic response from aggrieved groups in the West.

In the Baltic states, for example, Moscow has frequently used social media campaigns to stir up protests among ethnic Russians in Latvia and Estonia who complain about not being allowed to vote or receive full citizenship rights. Putin enjoys further leverage in his dealings with European leaders because of the importance of Europe’s trade with and investment in Russia, the levels of which are nearly ten times those of the United States. Russia’s disinformation strategy has generally sought to deepen political divisions across Europe by supporting the causes of both right- and left-wing populist parties against the ruling establishment, often through clever social media campaigns ahead of elections. When Macron and other Western leaders have vehemently objected to Russia’s actions, Putin has responded either by denying responsibility for any such attacks or by claiming that Russia is merely engaging in retaliation against Western propaganda.


Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America Into the Space Age by Robert Stone, Alan Andres

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, disinformation, feminist movement, invention of the telephone, low earth orbit, more computing power than Apollo, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Works Progress Administration

But this time the biological specimens died when the cabin depressurized during the return voyage, a detail unreported to the world press at the time. The reentry was equally problematic, ending with a parachute failure and crash landing. Nevertheless, the Russians made every effort to save face by celebrating Zond 6 as a success. The Soviet Union then commenced a disinformation campaign designed to convince the world that Russia would attempt a piloted circumlunar mission in December. In fact, no such plans were being considered. In addition, a KGB colonel stationed in the United States was instructed to plant rumors at Cape Kennedy that Apollo 8’s Saturn V had been sabotaged.

On East German television, a news program informed its viewers that space stations and unmanned satellites were far more important; the Moon was a pointless destination and Apollo little more than a symptom of capitalism’s failure. But, unlike some sensationalist American magazines that had made the case that the entire Soviet space program was, in fact, a clever propaganda hoax, there was no active Soviet disinformation campaign to spread rumors that the American government and media had faked the moon landing. Within the privileged inner circles of the Soviet scientific world, 16mm copies of the Apollo moon-landing film were studied and discussed. And among those with access to the film was Sergei Khrushchev.

Motivated by anger about the Pentagon’s deception in Vietnam, Kaysing decided to write something “outrageous,” hoping that it might prompt Americans to no longer blindly accept as truth the official word out of Washington, D.C. Ironically, this was one rumor the Soviet Union hadn’t tried to cultivate as part of their disinformation campaign against the United States. At the time of the moon landing, few voiced rumors of it being a hoax, although as early as 1968 just such a secret government conspiracy had served as part of the plot of a darkly satiric BBC television drama, The News-Benders. Author Norman Mailer may have sensed the growing paranoia when he joked a year after Apollo 11, “In another couple of years there will be people arguing in bars about whether anyone even went to the Moon.”


The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman

back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, IFF: identification friend or foe, Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier

The purpose of the seminar was to scrub his material for any signs of disinformation. Two and a half years had passed since Tolkachev’s first approach at the Moscow gas station, yet the intelligence agencies and the military still harbored skepticism. If Tolkachev was under the control of the KGB, if his documents were fabricated in order to send the United States off in the wrong direction, it would be calamitous to take the bait. The danger was certainly real; the KGB had a long history of skillfully using deception, disinformation, and misdirection. The United States had used the same methods against the Soviet Union.9 At the same time, the United States was eager for insight and intelligence about Soviet military plans and intentions.

The nature of the material from Tolkachev—the complex diagrams, specifications, blueprints, and circuit boards from airborne radars and the disclosure of Soviet military research and development plans stretching a decade into the future—was extraordinary. Two U.S. intelligence and military experts who examined thousands of pages of Tolkachev’s documents over a period of years said they never found a single page contaminated with disinformation, and they cross-checked the intelligence as far as they could with other sources.5 Tolkachev opened a window on Soviet intentions and capabilities, which were at the core of the CIA’s mission. For the leadership of the United States, it was vitally important to know Soviet priorities in military research and development, as well as capabilities—what they could do and could not do.

For an official account of the tunnel operation, see “The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952–1956,” Clandestine Services History, Historical Paper No. 150, June 24, 1968, declassified in part by the CIA in 2012, included as doc. No. 001-034, chap. 1, in the document collection accompanying Bird and Bird, “CIA Analysis.” Some previous accounts have claimed the intelligence take from the tunnel was contaminated with disinformation. In an authoritative account, Murphy, Kondrashev, and Bailey, Battleground Berlin, say the operation “did in fact produce a large amount of badly needed and difficult to obtain military intelligence” in a period before such material became available from the U-2 overflights and satellite imagery.


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, WeWork, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K, you are the product

The report went into detail about the GRU’s involvement, admitting that Facebook had yet to learn how deeply the Russians had cracked the code of using Facebook to spread propaganda. It included a number of screen shots of pages that his Threat Intelligence team believed were of Russian origin, not just involving the election but earlier forays into Ukrainian-related disinformation, and even propaganda regarding the Olympics. To emphasize this point, Stamos put the logos of the Russian intelligence agencies on his report. Attacks from a hostile super-state were not something that could be addressed by tweaking News Feed signals. It required deeper understanding—and direct involvement from Zuckerberg.

Fake news, they concluded, was really a problem of cutting off the money supply of malefactors, like the Macedonians in Veles, who were gaming the system. In a sense, they saw it as a similar situation to Facebook’s problem with spammy developers. Dealing with fake news, under that view, was not really much different from taming the excesses of Zynga’s Mark Pincus. “We understood some of the disinformation efforts had been traced to Russia [but] the fake news problem seemed larger,” says Colin Stretch, Facebook’s general counsel. So, belying its name, Project P went hard on financially motivated fake news and gave propaganda a pass. While not disputing Project P’s conclusion, Stamos still felt that Facebook should sound an alarm about foreign interference on Facebook.

So while the thirteen-page white paper talked at length about how foreign interference might operate, it did not single out Russian involvement. In fact, the word “Russia” did not appear. “Facebook is not in a position to make definitive attribution to the actors sponsoring this activity,” the authors wrote. They also cautioned that state disinformation is but a small part of “false news” on Facebook. The one concession to acknowledging Russian involvement was a note about how nothing in the white paper contradicted a recent report from the US director of national intelligence—which was explicit that the Russians tried to screw up our election.


pages: 138 words: 43,748

Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle by Jeff Flake

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, David Brooks, disinformation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global supply chain, immigration reform, impulse control, invisible hand, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Potemkin village, race to the bottom, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, uranium enrichment, zero-sum game

Defending our political prerogatives by filling our heads with propaganda is not a virtue, and it certainly cannot be called conservative. As conservatives, we believe in the marketplace. If we aren’t confident enough to take our ideas to the people and confident enough that they’ll be heard, especially given the political hegemony we currently enjoy, then I am not sure that we deserve that hegemony. A reliance on mis- or disinformation betrays a lack of confidence in our defining ideas, a lack of commitment to our core principles, and it contributes to the decline of the country we love. I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: We must get off this kick. A COUPLE OF MONTHS into the Trump administration, as word of factional tension began to spill out of the White House—between the hard-right advisors who had helped elect the president on one side and members of the president’s family on the other—Michael Gerson, the conservative writer and former senior aide to President George W.

Buckley was a conservative colossus, in whose debt every American who claims conservative pedigree remains to this day. He was every bit as courageous as Goldwater in advancing and defending conservative positions during a period when conservatism had been in retrenchment and decline. It is Buckley who taught us how a real conservative deals with extremism and paranoia and a burgeoning culture of disinformation in the ranks. The scale of what we are now experiencing is orders of magnitude different, because of the Internet, but it is not new. — In 1955, when Buckley founded National Review, there had never been anything like it in the country. Buckley’s magazine became the vibrant intellectual center of American conservatism, and in the late 1950s it not only championed Goldwater’s rise to lead the conservative movement (which would lead directly to Reagan’s rise over the next two decades) but also counseled Goldwater on how to handle the extremists in his party at the time, particularly the members of the shadowy John Birch Society, ardent anticommunists who were probably best known for their elaborate conspiracy theories of communist infiltration.


pages: 302 words: 85,877

Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World by Joseph Menn

4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, disinformation, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Firefox, Google Chrome, Haight Ashbury, independent contractor, Internet of things, Jacob Appelbaum, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Mitch Kapor, Mondo 2000, Naomi Klein, Peter Thiel, pirate software, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, ransomware, Richard Stallman, Robert Mercer, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero day

Misha cheerfully wrote on the group’s site, “We’re a neo-Marxist, anarcho-socialist guerrilla unit forged for the sole purpose of getting on TV.” The group considered what it was doing to be performance art. Back then, the truth didn’t seem as endangered as it does now, so muddying the waters for a cause struck them as ethically acceptable. “It’s one thing if you have a state sponsor of disinformation and propaganda that is trying to affect a particular political outcome, versus trying to raise consciousness of some issue that might not break through otherwise,” said one member of cDc. “The circumstances matter.” At the time, the group considered getting rid of its old bomb-making recipes out of a sense of social responsibility.

Technically, it was not a breach: it was a failure of basic advertising processes, where Stamos had no control. Instead, CEO Zuckerberg had to go before Congress to apologize and promise to give users more control over their data. Meanwhile, former Facebook and Google executives began condemning their former employers for allowing disinformation to thrive. Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google, formed the Center for Humane Technology and warned that Facebook and YouTube had let some of the world’s most powerful instances of artificial intelligence figure out how to keep people watching, and that the answer had been to show outrage and extremism.

“We intend to dominate and subvert the media”: This statement appeared in cDc website updates including this one: www.cultdeadcow.com/news/medialist.htm. “We’re a neo-Marxist, anarcho-socialist guerrilla unit”: Omega, “cDc Response to Newsday Magazine by Omega,” December 1, 1996, https://w3.cultdeadcow.com/cms/1996/12/cdcs-response-t.html. “It’s one thing if you have a state sponsor of disinformation”: This came from hacker Mike Seery, who used the handle Reid Fleming. Seery was an old friend of Misha’s and a longtime active cDc member credited by Misha for the neo-Marxist line. “public spectacle to affect the public debate”: The slogan is from a Yes Men page, http://yeslab.org/theyeslab.


pages: 476 words: 125,219

Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy by Robert W. McChesney

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Automated Insights, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Brooks, death of newspapers, declining real wages, disinformation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of journalism, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, informal economy, intangible asset, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, mutually assured destruction, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, New Journalism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, patent troll, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post scarcity, Post-Keynesian economics, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Skype, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the medium is the message, The Spirit Level, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transfer pricing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, yellow journalism, Yochai Benkler

28 As Jarvis puts it, “Resistance is futile.”29 It is difficult to read these books and not look to the sky and thank one’s lucky star for having been put on the planet at this unprecedented glorious moment in history. The Skeptics The skeptics directly counter some of what the celebrants say, but to a certain extent the two sides are talking past each other. Shaheed Nick Mohammed, in his 2012 The (Dis)information Age, takes dead aim at the notion that the Internet is spawning greater levels of knowledge, “the notion that these technologies and their popular modes of usage necessarily lead to a more informed public.” He notes that the Internet works as much or more to promote ignorance as knowledge; hence survey research demonstrates little if any improvement in the knowledge levels of Americans between 1989 and 2007.30 Mark Bauerlein develops this point, noting that study after study confirms that young people today constitute “the dumbest generation,” shockingly ignorant of civics, history, geography, science, literature, the works.

Diamandis and Kotler, Abundance, 25. 27. Lund, Massively Networked, 141. 28. Rory O’Connor, Friends, Followers and the Future: How Social Media Are Changing Politics, Threatening Big Brands, and Killing Traditional Media (San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2012), 20. 29. Jarvis, Public Parts, 11. 30. Shaheed Nick Mohammed, The (Dis)information Age: The Persistence of Ignorance (New York: Peter Lang, 2012), ii, 8. 31. Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2008), inside flap, 13. 32. Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto (New York: Knopf, 2010), 49–50. 33.

., 8, 27, 174, 223 Diamond, Jared, 25 Dickens, Charles, 79 “digital commons,” 102, 103 Digital Dead End (Eubanks), 10 digital journalism, 184–94, 212, 277n101. See also online nonprofit news media Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 124–25 digital music downloads, 141 digital photo repositories, 138 digital rights management (DRM), 124 digital television, 128, 139 digital video recorders. See video recorders Dionne, E.J., 226 The (Dis)information Age (Mohammed), 8–9 Disney, 120, 121, 131 dissidents, 126, 160, 163, 170, 194, 211. See also protests and demonstrations distribution costs. See production and distribution costs domestic surveillance. See government surveillance donations, 199, 212 Downes, Larry, 258n165 duopoly, 60, 112–13 Dylan, Bob, 80–81 eBay, 131, 137 e-books, 127, 131, 139, 246n28 ecological crisis.


pages: 461 words: 125,845

This Machine Kills Secrets: Julian Assange, the Cypherpunks, and Their Fight to Empower Whistleblowers by Andy Greenberg

Apple II, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Burning Man, Chelsea Manning, computerized markets, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disinformation, domain-specific language, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, hive mind, Jacob Appelbaum, Julian Assange, Mahatma Gandhi, Mitch Kapor, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mondo 2000, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Richard Stallman, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, social graph, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, undersea cable, Vernor Vinge, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, X Prize, Zimmermann PGP

And since the moment that he committed to handing over his instant messenger chat logs to the authorities, Lamo says he hasn’t doubted the conclusions of his moral calculus. Lamo’s lids fall to half-mast. “He wanted to make the world a better place. He just didn’t know what he was doing,” he intones flatly. “I wish there could have been some other resolution. I actually suggested to the agents that they keep him around and feed him disinformation. Instead, they chose to grab him.” This is the stranger, of all possible strangers, to whom Bradley Manning chose to confess a leak that may put him in prison for the rest of his life. When Manning sought out Lamo as a confessor and friend, he had some reason to believe that the older hacker was a kindred spirit.

The Cryptome founder responded with a series of increasingly angry and sarcastic e-mails, sent too fast to even allow responses from the other WikiLeakers. “The CIA would be the most likely $5M funder. Soros is suspected of being a conduit for black money to dissident groups racketeering for such payola,” he wrote bitterly, suggesting that WikiLeaks attempt to raise a hundred million dollars from the CIA instead. “Fuck your cute hustle and disinformation campaign against legitimate dissent. Same old shit, working for the enemy,” Young added, vowing to leak the entire mail list on Cryptome—which he soon did. He signed off, “In solidarity with fuck em all.” Assange responded shortly thereafter. “J., We are going to fuck them all.” Then he unsubscribed John Young from the list.

Whether by sniffing the Tor network, receiving it from a Tor-masked source, or through other untraced means, Assange and WikiLeaks obtained and published its first leak: It was a Somalian government document calling for the assassinations of leaders in two rogue Somali states. John Young, who at that point hadn’t yet broken off from the group, warned that the leak could easily be disinformation or a forgery. “This is not to suggest leaks are not to be trusted, just not blindly so, for they are now standard tools for lying, smearing and stinging by governments, corporations, persons of all demonics,” Young wrote on the WikiLeaks mail list. In the end, WikiLeaks did post the Somalian leak, but with a breathless disclaimer: “Is it a bold manifesto by a flamboyant Islamic militant with links to Bin Laden?


pages: 589 words: 162,849

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin’s Master Agent by Owen Matthews

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, disinformation, garden city movement, Internet Archive, Kickstarter, post-work, South China Sea, urban planning

The story of Sorge’s turbulent career as an agent for the Communist International, his apparent disgrace as that organisation was ruthlessly purged of all but the most slavishly loyal non-Russians under Stalin, of Sorge’s recruitment by Soviet military intelligence and the subsequent cycles of distrust and paranoia that led to Sorge’s gold-standard intelligence being dismissed as enemy disinformation, is told here for the first time. So is the inside story of Sorge’s desperate attempts to warn Stalin of the coming German invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1941 – a warning that was systematically suppressed by the top brass of the Red Army, terrified of contradicting Stalin’s fixed idea that Hitler would never attack him.

Worse, in the wake of the signing of the Nazi–Soviet non-aggression pact, Stalin and the Defence Commissariat became even more critical of Soviet military intelligence than ever. Lieutenant Colonel Maria Poliakova, one of the few of Proskurov’s subordinates who had managed to survive the purges, recalled the director returning from a visit to the General Staff in a fury of frustration. ‘What do they take us for – fools? How could this be disinformation?’ Proskurov exclaimed. In May 1940, at a meeting with the deputy Commissar for Defence, Proskurov declared: ‘No matter how painful it is, I must say that no other army has such disorderliness and a low level of discipline as ours.’16 The operational consequence of this atmosphere of distrust from the top was Centre’s constant, nagging insistence on seeing primary documents rather than word-of-mouth information, however highly placed the source.

In the end, Schellenberg ‘agreed that I should protect Sorge from attacks by the [Nazi] Party, but only on condition that he included in his reports intelligence material on the Soviet Union, China and Japan … When I reported this to Heydrich he agreed, with the proviso that we immediately establish surveillance on Sorge. Heydrich was skeptical about the whole thing and warned that Sorge may be furnishing us with disinformation.’3 Schellenberg claimed, in effect, that he had agreed with no less a figure than the Reich’s security chief that Sorge be treated as a potential Soviet agent nearly a year before his eventual arrest by the Japanese. But this does not fit the facts. If Schellenberg was truly convinced that Sorge was a Soviet spy, leaving him with an office in the embassy, security clearance and the confidence of Ott, Thomas and the DNB would have been a grave security risk.


pages: 1,071 words: 295,220

Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations by Ronen Bergman

Ayatollah Khomeini, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, card file, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Ronald Reagan, Seymour Hersh, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

When they reached Marseille, a heavily sedated Krug was placed on an El Al plane flying Jewish North African immigrants to Israel. The Mossad handlers told the French authorities he was a sick immigrant. At the same time, the Mossad launched a wide-ranging disinformation operation, with a man resembling Krug and carrying documents in his name traveling around South America, leaving a paper trail that indicated Krug had simply grabbed the money and run away from Egypt and his collaborators. Simultaneously, the Mossad leaked disinformation to the media saying that Krug had quarreled with General Khalil and his people and had apparently been abducted and murdered by them. In Israel, Krug was imprisoned in a secret Mossad installation and subjected to harsh interrogation.

“But Begin heard about the plan and he thought it was too diabolical and ruled it out,” said a senior member of the Salt Fish team. Interview with Dayan, April 18, 2013, and “Yoav,” December 2016. Once they even heard Arafat himself on the phone Interview with Dayan, June 4, 2012. He scattered disinformation around among his aides A Mossad document from July 1, 1982, shown to the author by “Matias,” said, “Salt Fish is taking extreme safety precautions and according to Junction sources, he gives his own people disinformation out of fear that some of them may be serving us.” “Arafat kept on breaking his routine” Interview with Moshe Yaalon, August 16, 2011. “He changes places all the time….From command post to command post, with all their communications systems, and their international communications…” Sharon report to cabinet, July 18, 1982.

The Palestinian leader understood that it was not a coincidence that bombs were repeatedly falling at places he had just entered or just left. He told his people that Sharon, in Beirut, was acting like a “wounded wolf” and wanted to kill him in revenge for the way the war was dragging on. He began taking more precautionary measures, arranging several meetings at the same time in different places. He scattered disinformation around among his aides, suspicious that one of them might be a Mossad agent, and he moved around all the time. “Arafat kept on breaking his routine,” said Moshe Yaalon, a Salt Fish officer. “There was no regular pattern in his behavior, nothing that could enable the preparation of a raid by land against a bunker or a house.”


pages: 148 words: 45,249

Losing Earth: A Recent History by Nathaniel Rich

disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, the scientific method

When it comes to the United States, which has not deigned to make any binding commitments whatsoever, the dominant narrative for the last quarter century has concerned the unrestrained efforts of the fossil fuel industry, compounded by the ingratiating abetment of the Republican Party, to suppress scientific fact, confuse the public, and bribe politicians. The mustache-twirling depravity of these campaigns has left the impression that the industry always operated thus. But while the Exxon scientists and American Petroleum Institute clerics of the seventies and eighties were hardly good Samaritans, they did not initiate multimillion-dollar disinformation campaigns, pay scientists to prevaricate, or try to brainwash elementary school children, as their successors would. The germ of this onslaught can be traced to Jim Hansen’s testimony before Congress on June 23, 1988. After Exxon’s Duane LeVine consulted on strategy with a public relations officer, he gave a presentation on the greenhouse effect to Exxon’s board of directors in February 1989, emphasizing “the uncertainty in scientific conclusions.”

Investments in persuasion peddling rose to the level of a line item during the run-up to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where Bush refused for the final time to commit to specific emissions reductions. The following year, after President Bill Clinton proposed an energy tax in the hope of meeting the goals of the Rio treaty, API’s number two, William O’Keefe, assumed control of the GCC and directed a $1.8 million API investment in a GCC disinformation campaign. Senate Democrats from oil and coal states joined Republicans to defeat Clinton’s tax proposal, which was widely blamed for the Democrats’ rout in the midterm congressional elections in 1994—the first time the Republicans had won control of both houses in forty years. Through the rest of the decade, the GCC spent at least $1 million a year to crush public support for climate policy.


pages: 163 words: 47,912

A Short History of Russia by Mark Galeotti

cuban missile crisis, disinformation, hypertext link, mega-rich, Mikhail Gorbachev, trade route

He began an era of conquest such as the world had never seen, and his successors would come to regard themselves as having a divine mandate to extend their rule across the world in the name of Blue Sky Tengri, the ruling deity of their shamanic faith. Settled peoples were conquered; other nomadic powers incorporated or destroyed. China, Central Asia, much of the Middle East, all would fall to this formidable steppe army, its savagery, its speed and also its capacity to wield diplomacy, disinformation and despair as effectively as bow and sword. By the early thirteenth century, the Polovtsians, who had displaced the Pechenegs, found themselves in the same invidious position, facing a newer, greater, sharper-toothed nomad threat from the east. Polovtsian Köten Khan fled to the court of Prince Mstislav the Bold of Galich, his son-in-law, with a stark warning: “Terrible strangers have taken our country, and tomorrow they will take yours if you do not come and help us.”

Support for pro-democracy and anticorruption activists in Russia, criticism of the deaths of outspoken journalists and politicians, and a series of risings against Moscow-friendly regimes in the Arab world and the post-Soviet states—especially the “Euromaidan” protests that brought down a corrupt regime in Ukraine in 2013–4—were all thrown together as evidence of a Western strategy to this effect. While the West became worried about Russian “hybrid war”—the use of subversion and disinformation to spread division and undermine political institutions—Moscow was equally concerned about facing a similar threat of its own. © Helen Stirling This nationalist turn made it easier for Putin to articulate a vision for his Russia, and one that he presumably hoped would inspire a people who, since his return to the presidency in 2012, had become increasingly disenchanted, tiring of fake politics, entrenched corruption and a stagnant economy that could no longer buy their tolerance.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, different worldview, disinformation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Physicists in Congress Calculate Their Influence. New York Times, June 10, 2008. DeCarlo, S., et al. America’s Largest Private Companies. Forbes Magazine, November 3, 2010. www.forbes.com/lists/2010/21/private-companies-10_land.html. DeMelle, B. Disinformation Database: David Legates. DeSmogBlog, n.d. www.desmogblog.com/node/2830. [blog] DeMelle, B. Disinformation Database: An Extensive Database of Individuals Involved in the Global Warming Denial Industry. DeSmogBlog, n.d. www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database. Dennis, J. A., et al. Epidemiological Studies of Exposures to Electromagnetic Fields: II.

Environment and Climate News, May 1, 2006. www.heartland.org/policybot/results/18971/Are_Polar_Bears_Dying.html 15. Legates, D. Climate Science: Climate Change and Its Impacts. Dallas: National Center for Policy Analysis, 2006. www.ncpa.org/pub/st285?pg=7. 16. Burnett. Are Polar Bears Dying? 17. DeMelle, B. Disinformation Database: David Legates. DeSmogBlog, n.d. www.desmogblog.com/node/2830. [blog] 18. Taylor, M. Last Stand of Our Wild Polar Bears. Toronto Star, May 1, 2006. http://ff.org/centers/csspp/library/co2weekly/20060505/20060505_17.html. [opinion] 19. Burnett, H. S. ESA Listing Not Needed for Polar Bears.

Harvard Crimson, September 12, 2003. www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/9/12/warming-study-draws-fire-a-study. 29. Editorial Staff. Guide for Authors: Conflict of Interest. Elsevier.com, n.d. www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/701873/authorinstructions#7000. 30. DeMelle, B. Disinformation Database: An Extensive Database of Individuals Involved in the Global Warming Denial Industry. DeSmogBlog, n.d. www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database. 31. Wahl-Jorgensen, K., ed. The Handbook of Journalism Studies. New York: Taylor and Francis, 2009. 32. Limbaugh, R. Global Warming Hoax: Polar Bears Are Just Fine!


pages: 432 words: 143,491

Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain's Battle With Coronavirus by Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott

Boris Johnson, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, gig economy, global pandemic, Kickstarter, nudge unit, open economy, Ronald Reagan, Skype

The report warned: ‘The magnitude of these numbers suggests substantial human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out. Heightened surveillance, prompt information-sharing and enhanced preparedness are recommended.’ At this stage, only 41 cases of illness from the virus had been reported in Wuhan and it was said to have caused just two deaths, which was an astonishing piece of disinformation by the Chinese authorities given the chaos that was taking place in the city’s hospitals at that very moment. The following Wednesday, 22 January, two days before the Cobra meeting, the government convened the first meeting of its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) to discuss the virus.

He was busy hosting Barack Obama on only the second ever UK state visit by a US president.6 On each of those three occasions, the prime minister in question had clear and justifiable reasons for not attending. When we revealed in The Sunday Times in April that Johnson had missed all of the first five Cobra meetings, the government spin machine lurched into action. In an extraordinary 14-page error-strewn ‘blog’, the government’s new Covid ‘disinformation’ unit claimed that ‘it is entirely normal and proper for [Cobra] to be chaired by the relevant Secretary of State’, who in this case was Hancock. It argued that it was acceptable for Johnson to miss the first two Cobra meetings in January because, at that time, the WHO ‘had not declared Covid-19 a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, and only did so on 30 January’.

But as we pointed out in the last chapter, experts – such as Richard Horton of The Lancet, and Professor Martin Hibberd of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Sage committee member Sir Jeremy Farrar – were all saying on the day of the first Cobra meeting on 24 January that the coronavirus outbreak in China represented a serious threat to public health that may well become global. Horton argues in his book The Covid-19 Catastrophe that the ignorance excuse is government disinformation and does not hold water. He recounts how his own words were twisted in a ‘Kremlinesque way’ by the government’s blog rebuttal to our article in order to downplay his warnings. He then makes a reference to a televised address by the prime minister on 10 May. ‘Boris Johnson spoke to the nation,’ Horton writes.


Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior

"side hustle", 4chan, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, borderless world, Chelsea Manning, Columbine, corporate raider, desegregation, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Jeffrey Epstein, Julian Assange, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, payday loans, Plutocrats, plutocrats, QAnon, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Bannon, Thomas L Friedman, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, white flight, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game

Instead of fearing the open internet, Kremlin officials embraced it, using social media to smear the opposition and to release a firehose of propaganda intended to overwhelm citizens’ faculty for critical thinking.7 The emergence of networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Russia’s VKontakte in the 2000s and 2010s made disinformation easier to spread. The arrival of memes allowed eye-catching lies to be delivered via mobile phone, meaning users who lacked home computers could circumvent the internet entirely. Before I left academia for good, networked authoritarianism was my focus—not only because of its danger to citizens of authoritarian states, but because I could see the utility of the model in Western states that were experiencing a similar erosion of institutional trust.

* * * Trump was part of a wider movement of white supremacists and international kleptocrats seeking to dismantle Western democracy. I was one of the few American journalists to warn of this crisis in advance, and this unwanted distinction resulted in my being in great demand to speak on the issue abroad. In January, I was flown to the United Kingdom for a conference on press freedom and disinformation, where some Brits told me horror stories of Brexit while others assured me that they would figure it out, they would keep calm and carry on, this idiotic crisis surely would not undo a millennium of British sovereignty. I was not so sure. Brexit was a direct precursor of the US election, featuring not only the same largely unexpected result, but the same players behind the scenes.

See oligarchs; Putin, Vladimir; Russian mafia; Soviet Union Russian mafia expansion of and FBI Italian mafia compared with and Maxwell, Ghislaine and Maxwell, Robert money laundering and campaign contributions and Mueller investigation and 9/11 and Trump Tower and UK institutions See also organized crime Ryan, Paul Sapir, Alex Sapir, Tamir Sater, Felix Saudi Arabia autocratic kinship ties in and axis of autocrats and Epstein, Jeffrey and human rights violations and Khashoggi, Adnan and murder of Jamal Khashoggi and transnational criminal networks savior syndrome scandal, crime covered up with Scarborough, Joe Schiff, Adam Schlafly, Phyllis Schnurbusch, Dan Schwartz, Peter Schwartz, Tony Schweich, Tom Scott, Dred Seals, Darren September 11, 2001 events of and exploitation of fear impact on media industry political weaponization of Trump, Donald, on Sessions, Jeff Sessions, William sex trafficking Sherman, Brad Shiflett, Dave Sinquefield, Rex Snowden, Edward social media and Arab Spring authoritarian weaponization of and Brexit referendum corporate assets and disinformation Facebook #Ferguson and Ferguson uprising Gamergate Instagram #MeToo and Russia and toxic online culture and transnational criminal networks Twitter and 2016 presidential election VKontakte (Russia) and Wikileaks #YourSlipIsShowing Soviet Union and Cohn, Roy Cold War intelligence collapse of post-Soviet dictatorships and Red Scare samizdat (underground literature) and Trump, Donald See also Russia Spayd, Liz spectacle and pageantry Spitzer, Eliot Spy (magazine) St.


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The People vs Tech: How the Internet Is Killing Democracy (And How We Save It) by Jamie Bartlett

Ada Lovelace, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, information retrieval, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, mittelstand, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, off grid, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, payday loans, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Mercer, Ross Ulbricht, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, strong AI, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, ultimatum game, universal basic income, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y Combinator, you are the product

Many used advanced tracking cookies that followed users around the web, advanced programmatic ad delivery and AI content optimisation to serve up more conspiracy theories to the so-inclined.34 It is increasingly clear that Russian president Vladimir Putin was engaged in this information war too. For some years, the Russian Government has known that covert media manipulation online can subtly shift public opinion in ways that promote its interests – supporting far-left and far-right parties across Europe and firing up campaigns of internet disinformation throughout the Ukrainian crisis. During the US election the Russian Government took these Cold War techniques up several notches. Thousands of paid content producers pushed out pro-Trump or anti-Hillary content, flooding feeds and overwhelming serious hashtags with nonsense, making them unusable.

According to former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, this now constitutes a ‘serious threat’ to democracy – not because it might decisively swing an election, but rather because it chips away at social cohesion and public confidence in the democratic system itself. The Kremlin doesn’t care what the US law is on gun control – but if the American people are arguing, the Russian government believes it is winning. The scale of the Russian disinformation effort was staggering, but hardly surprising. Democracies with free media, fair elections and an open internet are more subject to international meddling than closed autocracies (and if some of the projections I set out in the next chapter about future unemployment are correct, ‘paid content producer’ whose job it is to influence online opinion might one day be a very desirable position).


The Despot's Accomplice: How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy by Brian Klaas

Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global pandemic, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Seymour Hersh, Skype, Steve Jobs, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

But it is to say that any positive aspects of these two models are overshadowed by serious drawbacks and shortcomings. Beijing and Moscow are aware of these flaws. That’s why most of China’s and Russia’s diplomatic methods for spreading their respective models rely on some form or propaganda or disinformation campaign. â•… If you switch on your television in just about any hotel room these days, you’ll be able to watch propaganda straight out of the Kremlin on Russia Today, now re-branded just as RT to subtly obscure its funding source. The programming is specifically designed to parry Western accounts of global news, spinning each story as Putin would hope to see it covered.

After all, its most popular YouTube videos include a 2010 clip of Vladimir Putin singing Fats Domino’s hit song Blueberry Hill and a series of overly graphic videos of live births.35 Nonetheless, RT’s existence is sufficient to provide an alternative Russo-centric nar€ 207 THE DESPOT’S ACCOMPLICE rative as global events unfold, and that is meaningful. RT’s disinformation has worked in the past and it will work again. â•… Take for example, the story of “Lisa,” a 13-year-old German-Russian girl living in Berlin who briefly went missing from her home and claimed that she had been raped in early 2016. Ivan Blagoy, a journalist working for RT, alleged on air that the German authorities were involved in a cover-up and that Lisa had been gang raped by Syrian refugees.

Federal Election Commission, 185, 188 City on a Hill, 10, 35, 179, 188, 189 Cleisthenes, 28 climate change, 209 Clinton, Hillary, 5–6, 112, 178, 190 Clinton, William “Bill”, 52, 92, 102, 112, 115–16, 184, 190 Cobra Gold, 201 Cold War, 1, 20, 35–6, 37–50, 55, 66, 75, 81, 93, 149, 150, 200–1, 204, 221 Colombia, 27, 33, 171, 189 Commonwealth of Independent States Observation Mission (CISEMO), 211 Communist Party of China, 208 of Moldova, 195 of Thailand, 199 Community College of Denver, 209 Confucius Institutes, 209 Congo, 20, 36, 38, 42–4, 47, 48, 95, 121 Congress, US, 32, 33, 35, 184, 194 Connecticut Compromise, 32–3 constitutions, 31–2, 150–1, 190, 197 Contadora Island, Panama, 117 COPPPAL (Conferencia Permanente de Partidos Políticos de América Latina y el Caribe), 211 Corner House, Riga, 147–8, 160, 225 corruption, 73, 82, 99, 107, 139, 260 170–1, 197, 200, 201, 209, 210, 219 Côte d’Ivoire, 3, 19, 104–10, 111, 119 2000 presidential election, 104 2002 outbreak of civil war, 104 2010 presidential election, 104–5; outbreak of violence, 105–6, 119; Gbabgbo offered asylum in the US, 111 2011 UN/French intervention, 106, 108–10; Gbabgbo extradited to ICC, 106, 109, 119 2015 presidential election, 110 Council of Europe, 84 Council of Five Hundred, 29 counterfeit democracies, 3, 6–9, 20, 23, 33–4, 52, 70, 73, 79, 82–90, 158–9, 173, 175, 204, 210, 216–17, 220, 223 Crimea, 64, 65 crisis of democracy, 180 Critias, 29 Croatia, 75 Cuba, 45, 49–50, 176 curse of low expectations, see Madagascar Effect Daily Show, The, 53 Dark Ages, 30, 219 Dayton, Mark, 186–7 DDoS (Distributed Denial-ofService), 168 death squads, 47, 114, 117 Delian League, 29 democracy deficit, 180 democracy promotion industry, 58–60, 138 democracy wars, 67, 69–79, 220 Democratic Party, 35, 58, 84, 92, 124, 142, 182–8 INDEX Democratic Republic of the Congo, see Congo demos, 27, 28 Deng Xiaoping, 206 Denmark, 77, 220 Denver, Colorado, 209 Department for International Development (DFID), 59 Department of Defense, 115 Detention Site Green, Udon Thani, 201 Development Alternatives Inc., 138 Development Assistance Committee (DAC), 58 Devlin, Larry, 43 Diamond, Larry, 171 Dictator’s Learning Curve, The (Dobson), 210 digital communications, 49, 125, 161–75, 207, 208, 221, 223 Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional (DINA), 48 direct democracy, 28–9 disabled rights, 141, 144 disinformation, 207–8 Dobson, Will, 210 “Don’t Forget Me” (GooGoosha), 140 Dubai, 82 Duékoué, Côte d’Ivoire, 105 Dulles, Alan, 41 Durack, Western Australia, 29–30 Duvalier, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc”, 114 Ebola, 184 echo chamber effect, 165 Egypt, 6, 9–10, 13–16, 27, 88, 155, 163–4, 225 1987 US aid payments begin, 14 2001 EU Association Agreement, 155 2008 Afifi exiled to US, 163 2009 Clinton describes Mubaraks as ‘friends of my family’, 6; Obama’s Cairo speech, 9–10, 218 2011 Tahrir Square protests begin, 10, 13, 163–4; Mubarak ousted, 13, 164 2012 Morsi elected president, 14; anti-Morsi demonstrations begin, 164, 247 2013 coup d’état; el-Sisi comes to power, 14–16, 88, 164; Saudi Arabia announces aid package, 15 Eid al-Kabir, 124 Eisenhower, Dwight David, 38, 43 elections campaign finance, 185–8, 238 foreign aid/intervention, 97–110, 143 “free and fair”, 8, 14, 88–90, 102, 159, 193 gerrymandering, 180–5, 188, 251 grade inflation, 88–9, 158, 159 inclusivity, 24, 129–31, 221 observation/monitoring, 8, 65, 81, 83–4, 88–90, 102, 158–9, 173–4, 178, 211, 223 polling, 174–6 respect for, 5, 37–48 rigging of, 22–3, 34, 61, 63–4, 70–1, 83–5, 87, 112, 158–9, 166, 210–11 short-term thinking, 26, 54, 56 turnout, 180, 184 Electoral Integrity Project, 189, 238 Elizabethville, Congo, 43 “emerging democracy”, 88 Emory University, 136 261 INDEX “End of History”, 163, 214 English Civil War (1642–51), 31 Ennahda party, 126–8 Equatorial Guinea, 6, 11, 121, 173, 220 Erdoggan, Recep Tayyip, 20, 161–3, 176 Eritrea, 11, 24 Estonia, 17, 149, 151 Ethiopia, 27 Eton College, Berkshire, 202 European Commission, 150 European Parliament, 84, 180 European Partnership for Democracy (EPD), 58 European Union (EU), 2, 3, 56, 61–3, 65–7, 84, 90, 100, 143, 145, 148–56, 160, 180, 195, 214, 223, 225, 247 1999 European Parliament elections, 180 2004 Eastern Bloc countries accede to Union, 148–9 2005 intervention in Palestinian election campaign, 100 2006 asset ban on Lukashenko government, 63 2008 aid given for Ghanaian election, 143 2009 Eurozone crisis begins, 180, 190 2013 endorsement of Azerbaijani election, 84; endorsement of Malagasy election, 90 2014 Riga designated European Capital of Culture, 148, 225 2015 Riga summit; Juncker slaps Orbán, 150 2016 Belarus sanctions suspended, 65, 67, 195; Zimbabwe sanctions suspended, 247; UK € 262 holds membership referendum, 1 Eurozone crisis, 180, 190 Facebook, 125, 161–3, 165, 168, 172, 223 Falls Church, Virginia, 163 famine, 24 Fatah, 99–102 Fats Domino, 207 Ferjani, Said, 125–33, 142, 156, 221, 224 Fidesz Party, 150–2 financial crisis (2008–9), 185, 206 FixMyStreet, 171 Florida, United States, 117 Forces Nouvelles, 106 Ford, Gerald, 45 Foreign Affairs, 53 foreign aid, 14–15, 47, 49, 52, 57, 89, 90, 92, 93, 95, 100–1 Fourteen Points (1918), 35 France, 2, 33, 44, 55–6, 58, 72, 89, 106, 108–10, 115, 129, 214, 225 “free and fair”, 8, 14, 88–90, 102, 159, 193 free speech, 94, 103, 161–3, 165, 188 free trade zones, 152–60 Freedom House, 139, 140, 189 Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 189 Front Populaire Ivorien, 105 FSB (Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti), 61 Fukuyama, Francis, 74, 163, 214 fungibilty, 95 Gaddafi, Muammar, 24, 76–9, 102, 113, 129 Gambia, The, 121 Gandhi, Jennifer, 136 INDEX Gaza, Palestine, 100–1, 240–1 Gbabgbo, Laurent, 105–10, 111, 119 General Motors, 48 Geneva Convention, 177 Geneva, Switzerland, 140 George III, King of the United Kingdom, 31 Georgia, 143 Geraldton, Western Australia, 30 Germany, 17, 23, 35, 44, 56, 58, 74–5, 103–4, 147–8, 165, 189, 201, 204, 208, 213, 223 Gerry, Elbridge, 181–2 gerrymandering, 180–5, 188, 251 Ghana, 17, 143, 144, 171 Ghani, Rula, 137 globalization, 153 Globe & Mail, 94 golden handcuffs, 111, 119–21, 154 golden parachutes, 19, 116–21 Gollum, 20, 161–3, 165, 176 Google, 164 GooGoosha (Gulnara Karimova), 140, 145 Government Organized NonGovernmental Organizations (GONGOs), 209–10, 212 grade inflation, 88, 99, 158, 159 Great Leap Forward (1958–61), 24 Greece, 20, 21, 22, 27–30, 31, 156, 230 Green Revolution (2009), 135–6, 166–8 gridlock, 184–5, 187 Guardian, 166 gun regulation, 186–7 gunboat diplomacy, 116, 118, 120 Gutiérrez, Luis, 182 Guyana, 171, 220 Guys and Dolls, 40 Hague, William, 77 Haiti, 114–21 Hamas, 99–104, 241 Harmodius, 28 Harvard University, 45 health care, 184–5 Henry IV “the Impotent”, King of Castile and Léon, 30, 231 Herodotus, 29 Higiro, Robert, 94 Hipparchus, 28 Hitler, Adolf, 23, 103–4, 165 HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), 116, 207 Hobart, Tasmania, 153 homosexuality, 12, 20 Hong Kong, 168–70, 176, 221 House of Representatives, 33, 181 human rights, 10, 11, 52, 54, 57, 64, 113, 118, 139, 209, 213 Humphrey, Hubert, 21 Hungary, 150–2, 160, 171 Hussein, Saddam, 63, 72, 73, 79, 124, 156–7 I Paid a Bribe, 170–1 Ibragimbekov, Rustam, 82 Iceland, 88 Iglesias, Julio, 140 “illiberal democracy”, 227 Illinois, United States, 182–3 Iloniaina, Alain, 222–3 imihigo program, 93 Immunization of the Revolution, 127 inclusion, 24, 129–31 India, 56, 98, 152, 156, 170–1, 172, 220 Indonesia, 27, 156, 218 Indyk, Martin, 102 insidious model effect, 46, 48 Inter-Commission Working Group 263 INDEX on International Cooperation, 211 Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), 52, 53 International Criminal Court (ICC), 106, 109, 118, 119 International Monetary Fund (IMF), 105 International Republican Institute (IRI), 58, 142 Internet, 49, 125, 161–75, 207, 208, 221, 223 iPad, 151 iPhones, 20, 83, 135–6, 145 Iran, 26, 30, 36, 38, 47, 48, 69, 98, 117, 135–6, 145, 208, 232 1951 nationalization of AngloIranian Oil Company, 38 1953 Operation Ajax; Mossadegh ousted, 38–42, 98, 208 1979 Islamic Revolution, 42, 117, 216 2009 intervention in Lebanese election, 98; presidential election; Green Revolution protests, 135–6, 166–8 2010 VOA announces “citizen journalism” iPhone app, 135–6, 145 2015 nuclear deal, 26 Iraq, 2, 5, 20, 49, 63, 67, 72–5, 77, 78, 79, 98, 124, 128, 129, 133, 156–7, 198, 213 1979 Saddam comes to power, 72, 129 1990 invasion of Kuwait, 156 2003 US-led invasion, 63, 72–3, 77, 84, 98, 156, 201, 234; de-Ba’athification campaign, 72, 77, 124, 128 2006 formation of al-Maliki government, 73 264 2015 IS execute election officials, 74 Ireland, 90, 217 Islam, 11, 12, 16, 99, 105, 123–6, 129, 131, 177, 218 Islamic State (IS), 74, 78, 131 Islamism, 99, 123–6, 129, 131, 177 Israel, 14, 99–104 Italy, 98, 192 Jackson, Peter, 162 Jammeh,Yahya, 121 Japan, 17, 24, 35, 56, 58, 74–5, 89, 112, 154, 156, 164, 204, 206, 217, 218, 220 al-Jazeera, 76 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 172 Joan of Portugal, Queen consort of Castile, 231 Jobs, Steve, 151 Johnson, Boris, 202 Jordan, 18, 60, 155 Juncker, Jean-Claude, 150 Kabila, Joseph, 121 Kabul, Afghanistan, 70 Kagame, Paul, 6, 91–6 Kagan, Robert, 217–18 Kakul Military Academy, 53 Kallel, Abdallah, 124 Kant, Immanuel, 118 Karbala, Iraq, 201 Karegeya, Patrick, 94 Karimov, Islam, 139–40, 142, 154 Karimova, Gulnara, 139–40, 145 Karnataka, India, 170 Karoui, Nébil, 131 Karzai, Hamid, 70 Katanga, Congo, 43–4 Keane, John, 30 INDEX Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 11, 35–6, 55, 190, 192 Kenya, 220 KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti), 3, 61–2, 147–8, 194, 225 Khan, Rana Sanaullah, 52 Khomeini, Ruhollah, 167 Kim Jong-un, 136, 181 Kingdom of Ebla, 28 Kipling, Rudyard, 69 Kissinger, Henry, 44–7, 214 knee-jerk reactions, 26, 55 Koch Brothers, 185–6 Konrad Adenauer Foundation, 58, 189 Kounalakis, Eleni, 151 kratos, 27 Kununurra, Western Australia, 30 Kuwait, 156, 229 Kyrgyzstan, 185 2011 NATO-led intervention, 76–7; death of Gaddafi, 76–7, 113 2013 Political Isolation Law, 77, 128 LINE, 164–5 Literary Digest, 174 lobbying, 186–7 local-level democracy, 3, 18, 169–73 locusts, 6–7 London, England, 132–3 long-term thinking, 4, 46, 48, 51–67, 138, 141, 234 Lord of the Rings (Tolkien), 20, 161–3, 165, 176 “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”, 40 Lukashenko, Alexander, 61–7, 154, 193–5, 206, 222 Lumumba, Patrice, 42–4 Lumumbashi, Congo, 43 Lake, Anthony, 117 Landon, Alf, 174 Langouste (Ramakavélo), 87 Laos, 200 Latin Earmuffs, 182 Latvia, 147–50, 151–2, 154, 160, 225 League of Democracies, 152–60, 212 Lebanon, 98 Léon, 30–1, 231 Léopoldville, Congo, 43 Levy, Phil, 157 Libya, 2, 5, 20, 24, 49, 67, 69, 76–9, 102, 113, 128, 129, 133, 156, 213 1969 coup d’état; Gaddafi comes to power, 78, 113, 129 2008 Rice makes visit, 76 MacCann, William, 34 Madagascar, 3, 6–9, 17, 20, 59, 85–91, 96, 200, 220, 222–3, 234–5 1991 Panorama Convention, 87 1992 presidential election, 87 1993 population census, 89 2006 presidential election, 85–6 2009 coup d’état; Rajoelina comes to power, 6, 90 2012 Rajoelina announces capture of bandits’ sorcerer, 7 2013 general election, 8, 89–90, 211, 222–3 Madagascar Effect, 6–8, 17, 81, 96, 159, 204, 234–5 Madison, James, 31–2 Malaysia, 153, 218 al-Maliki, Nouri, 73–4 Mao Zedong, 23, 24 265 INDEX marketplace of ideas, 24, 219 Mauritius, 220 May, Theresa, 26 McCain, John, 77 McMahon, Michael, 83 McSpedon, Joe, 49 Megara, 156 Mejora Tu Escuela, 171 El Mercurio, 47 Merkel, Angela, 208 Mesopotamia, 28 Mexico, 27, 149, 155, 156, 171, 172, 178 MI6, 43 Miami, Florida, 117 Miloševicc, Slobodan, 98, 120 Minnesota, United States, 21, 186–7 Minsk, Belarus, 19, 61–2, 66, 192, 193 Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 119 Mobutu, Joseph-Desiré, 43–4 Mogadishu, Somalia, 116 Moghaddam, Ismail Ahmadi, 167 Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran, 39–42, 117 Moldova, 195–6 Mondale, Walter, 21 Mong Kok riots (2016), 169 Mongolia, 17, 30, 189 Morjane, Kamel, 130 Morocco, 155, 171 Morsi, Mohammed, 14, 15, 164, 247 Moscow, Russia, 210 Mossadegh, Mohammed, 38–42, 43, 232 Mosul, Iraq, 72, 73 al-Moubadara, 130 Mubarak, Hosni, 6, 13, 164 Mugabe, Robert, 112–13, 157–8 Mugenzi, Rene Claudel, 94–5, 189 € 266 Muhirwa, Alice, 93 Muñiz de Urquiza, María, 90 Munyuza, Dan, 94 Musharraf, Pervez, 51–7 Myanmar, 218, 225 Nasiri, Nematollah, 40 Nation, The, 198 National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), 197 National Democratic Institute (NDI), 58, 92, 142 National Endowment for Democracy (NED), 58, 60, 144, 247 National Rifle Association (NRA), 186–7 Native Americans, 32, 33 Nawabshah, Pakistan, 51 Nazi Germany (1933–45), 23, 44, 74–5, 103–4, 147–8, 165 Nepal, 98 Netherlands, 58, 89, 143 Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, 58 New Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto, 26 NewYork Times, 71, 93, 185–6 New Zealand, 112, 156, 209 Nicaragua, 24, 98 Nidaa Tounes, 131 Niger, 185 Nigeria, 171, 172 Nixon, Richard, 44–7 Niyazov, Saparmurat, 25 Nobel Prize, 18, 24, 131, 156, 163 non-alignment, 43 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 58–60, 141–2, 144, 158, 209–10, 212, 238 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 45, 55, 77 INDEX North Carolina, United States, 183 North Korea, 4, 11, 136, 138, 144, 173, 176, 181 Norway, 24, 77, 205, 219 nuclear power/weapons, 26, 192 Nunavut, Canada, 153, 230–1 Nunn, Sam, 116 Nuristan, Afghanistan, 70 Nyaklyayew, Uladzimir, 61–2, 65 Nyamwasa, Faustin Kayumba, 94 Obama, Barack, 6, 9–10, 14, 49, 54, 55, 57–8, 76, 96, 111, 183, 204, 205, 218 Obiang, Teodoro, 6, 121 Odysseus, 22, 153 oil, 4, 11, 16, 24, 84, 192, 229 olive oil, 125 Operation Ajax (1953), 38–42, 98, 208 Operation Desert Storm (1991), 156 Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–14), 70 Operation Uphold Democracy (1994–5), 116 Orbán, Viktor, 150–2 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), 64 Ortega, Daniel, 98 Orwell, George, 15, 101, 199 Oswald, Lee Harvey, 192 Ouattara, Alassane, 105–10, 119 Oxford University, 198, 202 OxfordGirl, 166 Pakistan, 18, 50–7, 70, 220, 233 Palestine, 99–104, 108, 240–1 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 99 Panama, 117 Panorama Convention (1991), 87 Papua New Guinea, 188 parliaments, 31 partisan engagement, 99–104 Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), 156 People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), 197, 202 Pericles, 29 Persia, 28 Peru, 153 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 33 Philippines, 218 Pinochet, Augusto, 47–8, 225 Piromya, Kasit, 204–5 Plateau Dokui, Abidjan, 107 Plato, 29 Poland, 201 Political Isolation Law (2013), 77, 128 polling, 174–6 Pomerantsev, Peter, 210 Pongsudhirak, Thitinan, 165 Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 117 Portugal, 218, 231 Pouraghayi, Saeedah, 167 Powell, Colin, 116, 120 Préval, René, 117 Price, Melissa, 30 Princeton University, 186 prisoner’s dilemma, 200 process engagement, 99–100 propaganda-industry tax, 209 protectionism, 177 proto-democracy, 28 Public Diplomacy of the Public Chamber of Russia Elections, 211 Pul-i-Charki, Kabul, 71 Putin, Vladimir, 63, 64–5, 194–5, 204, 207, 214 267 INDEX al-Qaeda, 18, 50, 52–3, 55, 78, 177, 234 Qatar, 155, 229 Qatif, Saudi Arabia, 11, 16 Queen, 121 racism, 176, 218, 250 Rajoelina, Andry, 6 Ramadan, 126 Ramakavélo, Desiré-Philippe, 86–7 Rao, Bhaskar, 170 Rassemblement des Républicains, 105 Ratchaburi, Thailand, 199 Ravalomanana, Marc, 6 Reagan, Ronald, 35–6, 55 realpolitik, 4, 45, 48, 98, 104 refugees, 208 representative democracy, 30–3 Republican Party, 39, 58, 79, 124, 142, 181, 182–8 Rever, Judi, 94 Riahi, Taghi, 39–40 Rice, Condoleeza, 76, 102 Riga, Latvia, 147–8, 150, 160, 225 rock lobster, 87 Rojanaphruk, Pravit, 198–9, 221, 223–4 Romania, 149, 209 Rome, Ancient (753 BC–476 AD), 21, 30 Romney, Mitt, 112 Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 39, 174 Roosevelt, Kermit, 38–40, 208 Roosevelt, Theodore “Teddy”, 39 de Rosas, Juan Manuel, 34–5 Roskam, Peter 183 rule of law, 10, 27, 73, 77, 136, 159, 209, 218 Rumsfeld, Donald, 145 Russia Today (RT), 207–9 268 Russian Federation, 24, 27, 60–1, 63–5, 82, 106, 140, 149, 190, 191–6, 204, 205–12, 214, 221, 229 1996 Commonwealth with Belarus established, 194 2002 proposal for re-integration of Belarus, 194 2005 support for Moldovan opposition on Transnistria, 195–6; Russia Today established, 207 2010 Putin sings Fats Domino’s Blueberry Hill, 207 2013 endorsement of Azerbaijani election, 211 2014 annexation of Crimea; intervention in Ukraine, 64, 65; RT reports “genocide” in Ukraine, 207; RT reports CIA behind Ebola outbreak, 207 2015 NED banned, 60; pressure on Belarus to host military base, 65, 195 2016 RT report on rape of “Lisa” in Germany, 208; Putin praised by Trump, 214 Rwanda, 6, 20, 91–6, 120, 185, 189, 215, 216 Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), 91 San Diego State University, 209 sanctions, 52, 62–5, 67, 103, 106, 135–6, 145, 156–8, 160, 195, 247, 253 Sandinista National Liberation Front, 98 Sandy Hook massacre (2012), 186 dos Santos, José Eduardo, 112–13 Sarkozy, Nicolas, 108 INDEX SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), 25–6 Saudi Arabia, 5–6, 9–12, 15–16, 19–20, 85, 98, 138, 144, 200, 216, 229 1962 slavery abolished, 11 2009 intervention in Lebanese election, 98; children sentenced to prison and lashes for stealing exam papers, 11, 16; Jeddah floods, 172 2010 Indonesian maid mutilated by employer, 11, 12; arms deal with US, 10–12 2011 Qatif protests, 16 2013 aid package to Egypt announced, 15; purchase of US naval craft announced, 16; Badawi sentenced to prison and lashes, 16 Saudi Arabia Effect, 5, 9, 16, 85, 138, 200 Schneider, René, 45 School of the Americas, 115 Seattle, Washington, 77 Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), 43 Sen, Amartya, 24 Senate, US, 32–3, 187 Senegal, 42, 121 September 11 attacks (2001), 18, 52–3, 55, 70 Serbia, 98, 120 Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 211 Sharif, Nawaz, 51–2, 233 Shinawatra, Thaksin, 196, 199, 201, 202, 205 Shinawatra,Yingluck, 198 short-term thinking, 3–4, 26, 46, 48, 51–67, 120, 138, 141, 234 Shushkevich, Stanislav, 192–3 Siberia, 147, 148 Sidick, Koné Abou Bakary, 107–9 Sierra Leone, 88, 171, 209 Singapore, 23, 24, 27, 93, 155, 215, 216, 217, 229 Siripaiboon, Thanakorn, 165 el-Sisi, Abdel Fattah, 15 Skujenieks, Knuts, 148 Skype, 62 slavery, 11, 29, 32 social media, 49–50, 125, 161–70, 173, 176, 199, 207, 208, 223 Socrates, 29 Solon, 28 Somalia, 42, 116 Sophocles, 29 Sopko, John, 137 Sousse attacks (2015), 131 South Africa, 27, 94, 157, 189 South Korea, 17, 27, 112, 152, 156, 218 Soviet Union (1922–91), 1, 22–3, 35–6, 37–50, 61, 64, 82, 121, 147–8, 150, 160, 192–4, 201, 204, 206–7 Spain, 218 Sparta, 28, 29 St John’s College, Oxford, 202 Stalin, Joseph, 23 Stanford University, 171 State Department, 11, 15, 54, 202 state power, 27 Statkevich, Mikalai, 61–2, 65, 222 Stewart, Jon, 53 Sting (Gordon Sumner), 140 Stockholm Syndrome, 199 Sudan, 206 Sukondhapatipak, Werachon 198 Sundaravej, Samak, 197 Super PACs, 185 Supreme Court, US, 185, 188 Sweden, 92, 220 269 INDEX Switzerland, 118, 140, 205 Syria, 78, 120, 131, 198, 208, 217, 224, 225 Szájer, József, 151 Tahrir Square, Cairo, 10, 13, 163–4 Taiwan, 27, 218 Taliban, 18, 52, 56, 71, 138 tame democracy promotion, 59 Taming of Democracy Assistance, The (Bush), 59 Tarakhel Mohammadi, 70–1 Tasmania, Australia, 153 Tasting and Grumbling, 197 Tea Party, 185 terrorism, 11, 16, 18, 19, 20, 26, 52–3, 55, 63, 70, 78, 97, 100, 101, 131, 156, 201, 234 Tetra Tech, 138 Thailand, 3, 19, 27, 154, 164–5, 196–206, 212, 221, 223–4, 253 1973 pro-democracy uprising, 199 1976 student protests, 199 1982 launch of Cobra Gold exercises with US, 201 2003 troops dispatched to Iraq, 201 2006 coup d’état, 196, 197 2008 judicial coup, 196, 197, 202, 253 2010 protests and crackdown, 202 2014 NCPO coup d’état, 164, 196–206, 221; junta gives out free haircuts, 154; rail deal with China, 203; junta releases LINE “values stickers”, 164–5 2015 man arrested for insulting Tongdaeng, 165 270 2016 constitutional referendum, 197, 223 Thirty Tyrants, 29 Thucydides, 28, 29 time horizon, 55 Tobruk, Libya, 77 Togo, 170, 177–8 Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel, 20, 161–3, 165, 176 Tongdaeng, 165 torture, 11, 28, 43, 48, 52, 124–7, 132, 139, 141, 222, 224 Trans-Pacific Partnership, 153 Transnistria, 196 transparency, 26, 82, 170, 174, 212, 218 Tripoli, Libya, 77 Trojan War, 22 Trump, Donald, 1, 20, 25, 79, 178, 180, 187, 188, 204, 205 Tudeh Party, 41, 232 Tunisia, 12–13, 17, 18, 19, 27, 65, 77, 123–33, 142, 143, 144, 155, 156, 209, 218, 221, 224–5 1987 coup d’état; Ben Ali comes to power, 124, 126, 129 1991 Barraket Essahel affair, 123, 126, 224 1995 EU Association Agreement, 155 2010 self-immolation of Bouazizi; protests begin, 12, 126, 224 2011 ousting of Ben Ali, 13, 124–6, 130 2014 assembly rejects bill on political exclusion, 128; law on rehabilitation and recognition of torture victims, 224; presidential election, 130 2015 Bardo Museum and Sousse attacks, 131, 156; National INDEX Dialogue Quartet awarded Nobel Peace Prize, 18, 131 Tunisia’s Call, 131 Turkey, 20, 27, 39, 149, 161–3, 165, 176 Turkmenistan, 11, 25, 26, 138, 144, 154 Twitter, 49, 162, 163, 166, 168, 176, 199, 208 U2, 92 Udon Thani, Thailand, 201 Uganda, 166, 176 Ukraine, 2, 27, 64, 65, 171, 198, 207, 213 Umbrella Movement (2014), 168, 176, 221 United Arab Emirates (UAE), 229 United Kingdom (UK), 1–3, 31, 33, 38, 43–4, 56, 58, 71–2, 92, 94–5, 126, 129, 132–3, 156, 166, 171–2, 180, 189, 202, 214 1707 Acts of Union, 31 1947 Churchill’s statement on democracy, 22, 190, 215 1951 Mossadegh nationalizes Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, 38 1987 Ferjani arrives in exile, 126 1999 European Parliament election, 180 2003 invasion of Iraq, 72–3 2009 OxfordGirl tweets on Iranian Green Revolution, 166; Blair meets with Kagame, 6, 92 2011 intervention in Libya, 77; Kagame appears on BBC radio; threat against Mugenzi, 94–5, 189 2012 launch of FixMyStreet, 171 2016 EU membership referendum, 1 United Nations (UN), 104, 105, 106, 108–10, 118, 130, 132, 140, 152 United States (US) 1787 Constitutional Convention, 31 1812 redrawing of Massachusetts senate election districts, 181–2 1869 Wyoming grants women vote, 33 1870 non-white men receive vote, 33 1913 Seventeenth Amendment enacted, 32 1917 Wilson’s “safe for democracy” speech, 35 1918 Wilson’s Fourteen Points, 35 1920 women receive vote, 33 1924 protections to ensure Native American voting rights, 33 1936 presidential election, 174 1948 CIA intervention in Italian election, 98 1953 Operation Ajax; Mossadegh ousted in Iran, 38–42, 98, 208 1960 plot to assassinate Lumumba with poisoned toothpaste, 43 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, 14–15 1962 Saudi Arabia pressured into abolishing slavery, 11; Cuban Missile Crisis, 50 1963 Kennedy’s Berlin speech, 35; assassination of Kennedy, 192 271 INDEX 1965 protections to ensure minority voting rights, 33 1973 ousting of Allende in Chile, 47 1982 launch of Cobra Gold exercises with Thailand, 201 1987 Reagan’s Berlin speech, 35; aid payments to Egypt begin, 14 1988 Reagan’s “city on a hill” speech, 10, 35, 179, 188, 189 1990 intervention in Nicaraguan election, 98 1991 launch of Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, 156 1992 presidential and House of Representatives elections, 183–4 1993 Clinton assumes office, 115; Battle of Mogadishu, 116 1994 launch of Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, 116; Cessna crash at White House, 116; Cédras given “golden parachute”, 116–17 1997 USAID Cambodia claims to have “exceeded expectations”, 59 1999 Pakistan urged to return to democracy, 52, 53 2001 September 11 attacks, 18, 52–3, 55, 70; cooperation with Pakistan begins, 52–3, 55; invasion of Afghanistan, 70, 71, 84, 98 2002 Bush announces new approach for Israel/Palestine conflict, 99 2003 invasion of Iraq, 63, 72–3, 77, 84, 98, 156, 201, 234 272 2004 Belarus Democracy Act, 63, 194 2005 Senate vote on armorpiercing bullet ban, 187; intervention in Palestinian election campaign, 99–104 2006 Musharraf appears on The Daily Show, 53 2008 Afifi arrives in exile, 163, 247; Rice’s visit to Libya, 76 2009 Obama assumes office, 55, 57; Clinton describes Mubaraks as “friends of my family”, 6; Obama’s Cairo speech, 9–10, 218; military helicopter drops ballot boxes in Afghanistan, 70; Kagame receives Clinton Global Citizen award, 92 2010 VOA announces “citizen journalism” app for Iran, 135, 145; Citizens United v.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disinformation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

At the time of writing, even traditional Republicans are wondering (1) how on earth Donald Trump was ever elected president, and (2) why so many people seem to fall prey to blatant disinformation and conspiracy theories. Trump’s manifestly a liar, someone who lies even when evidence disproving the lie is readily available. But here’s the bigger problem: in a world where trust has eroded sharply, where our government doesn’t work, and where companies that once guaranteed jobs for life are now either outsourcing them or hiring robots, Trump’s lies can seem minor in comparison to the more systemic breach of trust voters are feeling. Once-trusted news organizations are now thrust into competition with dubious online purveyors of disinformation, with both being accused of peddling “fake news.”

Any technology that reduces friction and makes such collaborations happen should benefit everybody, in other words. Still, there’s nothing to say this will assuredly play out in a way that’s best for the world. We’ve seen how the Internet was co-opted by corporations and how that centralization has caused problems—from creating big siloes of personal data for shady hackers to steal to incentivizing disinformation campaigns that distort our democracy. So, it’s crucial that we not let the people with the greatest capacity to influence this technology shape it to suit only their narrow interests. As with the early days of the Internet, there is much work to be done to make this technology sufficiently safe, scalable, and attendant to everyone’s privacy concerns.


pages: 343 words: 101,563

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Chekhov's gun, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kim Stanley Robinson, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The future is already here, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

The natural villains are the oil companies—and in fact a recent survey of movies depicting climate apocalypse found the plurality were actually about corporate greed. But the impulse to assign them full responsibility is complicated by the fact that transportation and industry make up less than 40 percent of global emissions. The companies’ disinformation-and-denial campaigns are probably a stronger case for villainy—a more grotesque performance of corporate evilness is hardly imaginable, and, a generation from now, oil-backed denial will likely be seen as among the most heinous conspiracies against human health and well-being as have been perpetrated in the modern world.

Already, in the United States, courts are awash in a wave of lawsuits aimed at extracting climate damages—a bold gambit, given that most of the impacts they enumerate have yet to arrive. The most high-profile are the torts brought against oil companies by crusading attorneys general—public health claims, more or less, put forward by the public or at least in its name, against companies known to have engaged in disinformation and political-influence campaigns. This is the first vector of climate liability: against the corporations that have profited. Another kind of charge is made in Juliana v. the United States, also known as “Kids vs. Climate,” an ingenious equal-protection lawsuit alleging that in failing to take action against global warming, the federal government effectively shifted many decades’ worth of environmental costs onto today’s young—an inspiring claim, in its way, made by a group of minors on behalf of their entire generation and those that will follow, against the governments their parents and grandparents voted into office.

But one way we might manage to navigate that path without crumbling collectively in despair is, perversely, to normalize climate suffering at the same pace we accelerate it, as we have so much human pain over centuries, so that we are always coming to terms with what is just ahead of us, decrying what lies beyond that, and forgetting all that we had ever said about the absolute moral unacceptability of the conditions of the world we are passing through in the present tense, and blithely. IV The Anthropic Principle What if we’re wrong? Perversely, decades of climate denial and disinformation have made global warming not merely an ecological crisis but an incredibly high-stakes wager on the legitimacy and validity of science and the scientific method itself. It is a bet that science can win only by losing. And in this test of the climate we have a sample size of just one. No one wants to see disaster coming, but those who look, do.


pages: 357 words: 99,684

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

anti-globalists, back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Chekhov's gun, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, disinformation, do-ocracy, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional

Once information networks become ‘social’, the implications are massive: truth can now travel faster than lies, and all propaganda becomes instantly flammable. Sure, you can try and insert spin or propaganda, but the instantly networked consciousness of millions of people will set it right: they act like white blood cells against infection so that ultimately the truth, or something close to it, persists much longer than disinformation. In fact, this quality of Twitter means, according to the South Korean authors of the first data-based study of it, that it is not really a ‘social network’ but more like a news service. Services like Flickr, MSN and Yahoo involve a high level of ‘reciprocity’, since about 70 per cent of relationships are two-way.

The general intellect has expanded Economists and business gurus have for two decades been grappling with the concept of ‘information capitalism’: what it means if the most valuable commodities in the market are ideas, rather than physical objects. One fact is clear: people know more than they used to. That’s to say, they have greater and more instant access to knowledge, and reliable ways of counteracting disinformation. Though academia has become obsessed with firewalling and commercializing the products of research, the info-revolution has massively expanded the primary sources of knowledge. Since 1665, when the first two scientific journals were started, researchers estimate that about 50 million scholarly papers have been published.

P. 127 cellphones 75–76, 133–34 Central Security (Egypt) 9, 11, 17 Challenge of Slums, The (UN) 198–99 Charles, Prince 51–52 Chávez, Hugo 33 China 38, 78, 108, 112, 121, 125; consumption 109; foreign currency reserves 107; monetary policy 123 Chomsky, N. 28–29 Chris (student demonstrator) 48 Cinco, Mena 196–98, 206, 206–9 Citigroup 67 civil disobedience 56 class struggles 131 Clegg, Nick 44 Climate Camp movement 1, 55 Clinton, Hillary 26 collaborative production 139–41 Coming Insurrection, The 189–91 commodity price inflation 120–22, 195 communes 189, 190 Communiqué from an Absent Future 38–39 Communist Manifesto, The (Marx and Engels) 174, 188–89 communists 80 computer gamers 136 Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition 44 consumption, and self-esteem 80–81 control 148 co-operatives 84 corruption, threat of 177–78, 205 creative destruction 106 credit crisis 106, 109 credit default swaps 99, 107 Critical Legal Thinking website 54 cross-border links 69–70 Cruz, Gloria 204 cultural stereotypes 27 culture: mass 29–30; popular 65, 176; transnational 69; working-class 72; youth 70 culture wars 178–84 currency manipulation 121–22 currency war 122–24 cyber-repression 78 Czechoslovakia 173 Darkness at Noon (Koestler) 128–29 Davies, Nick 148 Davos 17, 111 Dawkins, Richard 75, 150 Day X, 24 November 2010, London 41–42, 46–48 Debord, Guy 42, 46–17, 51 debt, toxic 110–11 default theory 111 deflationary slump 123 Deleuze, Gilles 46, 85 Delius, Frederick 127, 132, 152, 176 democratic counter-revolution 177, 188 demographics of revolt 66, 66–73; Athens, December 2008 uprising 73; students 66–71; the urban poor 70–72 Deptford 57 Detrick, Terry 154, 155–56, 156 devaluation 91, 122–23 @digitalmaverick 1–2 discontent, three tribes 68–69 disillusionment 68–69 disinformation, counteracting 146 disposable income 67 Dodd–Frank Act (USA) 167 @dougald 1 Dubstep Rebellion 48–52; blog 52; the Book Bloc 50–51; casualties 51; Fleet Street photographers 51; graffiti 51; marchers 49; police–student confrontation 50–51 durable authoritarianism 27, 30, 191 Durkheim, Emile 103–4 Dworkin, Ronald 46 eBay 74 e-commerce 81 economic crisis 3; revolutions, 1848 173 economic stagnation 191–92 economic theory 111 Economist, the 25 egoism 132 Egypt: bread prices 11; democratic counter-revolution 177; economic growth 119; economic indicators 119–20; elections, November 2011 177; Gini Index 119; inflation 120–21; opposition movement 10; organized workforce 72; police corruption 11; privatizations 17–18; unemployment 119–120; urban poor 71; working class 19–20 Egyptian revolution, the: the Army and 178; balance sheet 5; bread prices 11; casualties 17; chants 191, 211; counter-revolution 18; Day of Rage, 28 May 15–17; and Facebook 6, 10, 11, 12, 14; freedom 5; immolations 11, 71; Internet switched off 14; medical professions 20–22; military coup 17–19; numbers involved 13; outbreak, 25 January 10–14, 83; police violence 15; questions facing 23–24; Twitter blocked 14; Twitter feeds 13, 14; ultras 16–17; working class 20; on YouTube 11, 14, 15–16; zabbaleen riots 6–10 email 10 emancipated life 143–44 Engels, Friedrich 174, 188–89, 190 @eponymousthing 184 equity withdrawal 114 Estero de San Miguel, Manila 196–99, 205–6, 206–9 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The (film) 29 Eurobonds 113 Eurocrisis, the 111–13 European Central Bank 92, 98, 104, 112 European Financial Stability Facility 92, 104 European Financial Stabilization Facility 113 European monetary union 112, 113 European Union: response to Greek debt crisis 91–92, 96, 98–99, 104; sovereign debt crisis 104 Europe, revolutions, 1848 172 Eurozone 104; debt crisis 91–92, 99, 111–13 Execution of Maximilian (Manet) 53 exploitation 85 Facebook 74; Arab world growth of 135; and the Egyptian revolution 6, 10, 11, 12, 14; establishing connections with 75; ‘We are all Khaled Said’ page 11; and the Iranian revolution 34; and London trade-union demonstration, March 2011 57–58; Middle East usage 135; reciprocity 77; user numbers 135 Farewell to the Working Class (Gorz) 79–80 fatalism 30, 31 feedback loops 187 Feldstein–Horioka paradox 107 Feldstein, Martin 107 Fennimore and Gerda (Delius) 127, 132 First World War 128 Fisher, Mark 30 Flaubert, Gustave 171, 192 Flickr 10, 75 Food Price Index 121 Fordist era 28 Foucault, Michel 46, 84–85 fragmentation 80–81, 82 fragmented power 17 ‘Fragment on Machines’ (Marx) 143–44 France 173; Languedoc, 1848 174, 187; socialism 188; see also Paris freedom 27, 124; of expression 127; individual 127–30; Marx on 141–42; suppression of 131–33 Freeman, Richard 108 free-market economics 92, 188 Friedman, Milton 111 Fukuyama, Francis 30 G20 Summit, 2009 48, 122 Gaddafi, Muammar 25, 31 Gapan City, Philippines 193–96 Gates, Bill 23, 110 gay rights 132 Gaza 37; Israeli invasion of 33 Gaza City 31 Gaza Flotilla, May 2010 55 general intellect, the 144, 145–47 General Motors 39 Germany 113, 191; revolution of 1848 172; wages 108, 112 @Ghonim 13 Giddens, Anthony 31 Gide, André 127 Giffords, Gabrielle 182 Gini Index 119 Gladwell, Malcolm 81–82, 83 global capital flows 107–8 global financial crisis 31, 39, 66–67, 85, 110–11, 115, 191 globalization 69,72, 105, 108, 109, 122, 124, 149, 191 Golkar, Saeid 78 Googlebombs 78 Gorz, André 79–80, 143 graduate with no future, the 66–73, 96–97; disposable income 67; as international sub-class 69; life-arc 67; numbers 70; revolutionary role 72–73; and the urban poor 70–71 Grapes of Wrath, The (Steinbeck) 153, 155, 159, 163, 164 Great Britain: anti-road movement 56; benefit system 113–14; changing forms of protest 54–57; collapse of Labour 113–15; devaluation 123; Education Maintenance Allowance 47; end of winter of discontent 61–62; equity withdrawal 114; European elections, 2009 115; general election, 2010 43; the graduate with no future 96–97; Millbank riot 42–44; non-UK born workers 115; police failures 61; public spending cuts 54–55; radical tactics 54–57; spontaneous horizontalists 44–46; Strategic Security and Defence Review 124; student population 70; UK Uncut actions 54–55; university fees 44, 47, 50, 54; youth 41–42, 44, 53–54; youth unemployment 66 Great Depression, lessons of 123–25 Great Doubling 108 Great Unrest, 1914 175–76 Greece 37, 188; anomic breakdown 103–4; austerity programme 92–93, 102; bailouts 92, 96, 98, 113; cabinet reshuffle 96, 97–98; debt crisis 90, 91–92, 98–99, 112; GDP 91; general election, 2009 91; general strike 99; the left 100; media ownership 87; Medium Term Fiscal Strategy 91; model of capitalism 102; MP resignations 89; Papandreou government falls 96; political legitimacy lost 104; the salariat 101; tax evasion 97; tax revenues 92; tax system 91; see also Athens Greek Communist Party (KKE) 88, 90 Grigoropoulos, Alexandras 32 grime (music) 52 Grossman, Vasily 129 @GSquare86 69 Guindi, Ezzat 9 hackers 35 el-Hamalawy, Hossam, @3arabawy 10, 22, 71 Hardy, Simon 69 Hayek, Friedrich 111, 209 Henderson, Maurice 161–62 Hennawy, Abd El Rahman, @Hennawy89 12–13 Here Comes Everybody (Shirky) 138 Herman, Edward S. 28–29 hidemyass.com 14 hierarchy: erosion of 80–81; informal 83; predictability of 77 higher education market 67 Hill, Joe 176 historical materialism 131 Hogge, Becky 140 homelessness 159–63 Hoon, Geoff 114 Horioka, Charles 107 horizontalism 45, 55, 56, 62, 100 Huffington Post blog 184 human rights 143 Hungary 172 Ian’s Pizza, Madison, Wisconsin 184 Ibrahim, Gigi, @GSquare86 69 ideology 29, 149 immolations 11, 32, 71 impotence, zeitgeist of 29–30 impoverishment 209 Inception (film) 29 India 120–21 Indiana 116–17, 125 indignados, the 88, 100–1, 104 individual: freedom of 127–30; power of the 65, 79; rise of the 127–30 Indorama group 22 industrialization 192 Indymedia 74 inequality 209 inflation 109, 120–21 info-capitalism 148, 211 info-hierarchies 147–52 info-revolution, the 146, 149–50 informal hierarchies 83 information capitalism 145 information management 147 information networks 77 information tools 75 Inkster, Nigel 65 institutional loyalty 68 interest rates 67 International Labour Organization 19–20, 120 International Monetary Fund 92 Internet consciousness 136–38 Internet, the: access in slums 207; Arab world growth 135; and behaviour changes 131; and the Iranian revolution 35; out of reach for some 152; power of 29; shutdowns 14, 78; and the spread of ideas 150–51 investment, and savings 107 Invisible Committee, the 189–91 Iran 25; causes of failure of revolution 36–37; election, 2009 33–34; and the Internet 35; and the Middle East balance of power 178; rooftop poems 36; Twitter Revolution 33–37, 78, 178; on YouTube 34, 35 Iraq 25, 55 Ireland 92, 111, 112, 188 Islam 30, 37 Israel 26, 33, 179–80 Italy 104 Jakarta 33 James, C.


Stasiland: Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder

Berlin Wall, centre right, disinformation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, index card, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, telemarketer, the built environment

He is fifty-seven years old, and the only Stasi man I have ever met who outed himself. A lieutenant colonel, he worked in one of the most secret divisions of the overseas spy service, the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA). Herr Bohnsack was in Division X, responsible, as he put it on the phone to me, for ‘disinformation and psychological warfare against the west’. The HVA was the overseas espionage service of the Stasi. Its director, Markus Wolf, the son of a Jewish doctor and playwright, is intelligent and urbane, and was the model, apparently, for John le Carré’s spymaster Karla. Wolf’s HVA was subject to its minister, Mielke.

‘Because we were responsible for the west,’ Herr Bohnsack explained to me, ‘we could travel and we were quite different. Our diplomats could speak languages and were cultivated. We all scorned Mielke; we had our Wolf, the tall slim elegant intellectual.’ Herr Bohnsack trained as a journalist and worked for twenty-six years in disinformation. Much of Division X’s work was directed against West Germany. It collected sensitive or secret information from agents in the west and leaked it to cause harm; it manufactured documents and spliced together recordings of conversations that never took place in order to damage persons in the public sphere; and it spread rumours about people in the west, including the devastating rumour that someone worked for them.

p. 227 None of the torturers at Hohenschönhausen has been brought to justice. See Ritchie, p. 877. pp. 237 and 242 Articles on Herr Bohnsack include Der Spiegel 29/1991 pp. 32–34 (in which Bohnsack confirms that West German politicians’ votes were bought by the Stasi), and Der Spiegel 30/1991, pp. 57–58. On disinformation see also Der Spiegel 49/1991, pp. 127–30. Despite the Stasi vote-buying, Brandt’s term as chancellor was short-lived. Two years later Brandt fell when it was revealed that one of his closest advisers, Günter Guillaume, was one of Wolf’s agents. Acknowledgments My first debt of thanks is to the people who told me about their lives, most of all Miriam Weber, whose story was the impetus for finding the others.


pages: 412 words: 96,251

Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Cass Sunstein, centre right, Climategate, collapse of Lehman Brothers, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, disinformation, Donald Trump, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, illegal immigration, immigration reform, microaggression, Nate Silver, obamacare, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, source of truth

Among Clinton voters, the most popular choice was CNN, with 18 percent naming it as their main news source, followed by MSNBC, which was the top choice of 9 percent. Among Trump voters, 40 percent named Fox News.10 The Pew findings mirror what other researchers have discovered. In “Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,” a study of media dynamics in the 2016 election, six Harvard researchers concluded: The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets.

Disentangling Party and Ideology in America,” American Political Science Review 113, no. 1 (Feb. 2019): 38–54, doi.org/10.1017/S0003055418000795. 9 Justin Amash, “Justin Amash on Trump, Impeachment, and the Death of the Tea Party,” interview by Jane Coaston, Vox, July 3, 2019, vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/7/3/18759659/justin-amash-trump-impeachment-gop-tea-party-republicans. 10 Jeffrey Gottfried, Michael Barthel, and Amy Mitchell, “Trump, Clinton Voters Divided in Their Main Source for Election News,” Pew Research Center, January 18, 2017, journalism.org/2017/01/18/trump-clinton-voters-divided-in-their-main-source-for-election-news. 11 Rob Faris et al., “Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,” Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University, August 16, 2017, cyber.harvard.edu/publications/2017/08/mediacloud. 12 Rush Limbaugh, “Climategate Hoax: The Universe of Lies versus the Universe of Reality,” Rush Limbaugh Show, November 24, 2009, rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2009/11/24/climategate_hoax_the_universe_of_lies_versus_the_universe_of_reality/. 13 Matt Grossmann and David A.

., 9–10 as influence on reasoning, 81–102 intelligence short-circuited by, 90–99 in legal challenges, 98–99 as mega-identity, 69–70, 72 misperception in, 94–95 negative, see negative partisanship political identity vs., 69–70 political vacillation in, 81–86 racism vs., 76–77 strengthening of, 176–81 voter awareness of, 16 Washington’s warning against, 11 “Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation” (Harvard study), 235–36 Paths Out of Dixie (Mickey), 23 Paul, Rand, 177 Pauly, Mark, 81 peer review, 179 Pelosi, Nancy, 229 Pence, Mike, 177 Peretti, Jonah, 152–53, 154 “Perils of Presidentialism, The” (Linz), 201 Perry, Rick, 177 persuadable middle electorate, 172–73 persuasion, electoral influence of, 171–95 Peters, Ellen, 90 Peterson, Jordan, 123, 132 Phillips, Nathan, 167–68 podcasting, 141 polarization: approaches for managing of, 249–68 echo chamber theory and, 158–59 feedback loop of, xix–xx, 136–37 historical perspective of, 1–17, 203, 267 in identity politics, xx–xxiii issue-based vs. identity-based, 32–33 low ebb of, 34 Obama’s paradox of, 65–70 in political journalism, 163 political necessity of, 2–4 reinforcement of opposing viewpoints in, 158–63 Republican vs.


pages: 357 words: 99,456

Hate Inc.: Why Today’s Media Makes Us Despise One Another by Matt Taibbi

4chan, affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, crack epidemic, David Brooks, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, immigration reform, interest rate swap, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, moral panic, Nate Silver, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Saturday Night Live, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, traveling salesman, unpaid internship, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y2K

To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the “overwhelming and bipartisan” standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now. There was never a real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn’t. If he isn’t, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC’s Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a “reckoning for the media.” Of course, there won’t be such a reckoning. (There never is).

The piece claimed Russians were trying to divide Americans on social media after a mass shooting using Twitter hashtags like #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. The Times ran this quote high up: “This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this,” said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically.” About a year after this story came out, Times reporters Scott Shane and Ann Blinder reported that the same outfit, New Knowledge, and in particular that same Jonathon Morgan, had participated in a cockamamie scheme to fake Russian troll activity in an Alabama Senate race.

“But as long as you got news from somewhere other than Rachel Maddow the case for skepticism was amply available as well.” These people all worked in organizations that either bungled Russia stories as MSNBC did, or shamelessly hyped fears to boost ad sales as MSNBC did, or both. Douthat’s New York Times outstripped Rachel’s act with its insane infographic series, Operation Infektion: Russian Disinformation from the Cold War to Kanye. (Kanye!) Maddow never described Russia, as this Times animation piece did, as a virus literally eating us alive at the cellular level. She was never so shameless as to blame Russia for your creeping sensation that the American media is not awesome at its job. From Infektion: “If you don’t know who to trust anymore, this might be the thing that’s making you feel that way,” the Times suggested, over graphics of red disease eating your cells.


pages: 196 words: 58,886

Ten Myths About Israel by Ilan Pappe

British Empire, disinformation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, ghettoisation, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, one-state solution, WikiLeaks

A true and unbiased understanding of the past offers the possibility of peace. The distortion or manipulation of history, in contrast, will only sow disaster. As the example of the Israel–Palestine conflict shows, historical disinformation, even of the most recent past, can do tremendous harm. This willful misunderstanding of history can promote oppression and protect a regime of colonization and occupation. It is not surprising, therefore, that policies of disinformation and distortion continue to the present and play an important part in perpetuating the conflict, leaving very little hope for the future. Constructed fallacies about the past and the present in Israel and Palestine hinder us from understanding the origins of the conflict.


pages: 518 words: 107,836

How Not to Network a Nation: The Uneasy History of the Soviet Internet (Information Policy) by Benjamin Peters

Albert Einstein, American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Davies, double helix, Drosophila, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, hive mind, index card, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, linear programming, mandelbrot fractal, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, scientific mainstream, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, the strength of weak ties, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, transaction costs, Turing machine, Yochai Benkler

Just as Kitov, Lyapunov, and Sobolev had done in their initial article by claiming that anticyberneticist Soviet philosophers had fallen victim to the machinations of a subtle pro-American disinformation program, Glushkov occasionally partook in that classic cold war move of blaming the cunning enemy for one’s internal problems. Glushkov, for example, once blamed an unnecessary political battle in the 1972 All-Union Conference on a “disinformation campaign skillfully organized by the American secret service, which was directed against the improvement of our economics.” No matter how fueled by the fumes of international conspiracy, such claims appeared to work at home.

See also Soviet cybernetics collapse of, 175 and command economy, 58–59 as corrupt corporation, 193–194 and cybernetic analogies, 54–55 economic and industrial growth of, 59–60, 185–186 economic corruption in, 188 five-year plans, 58, 166, 183 funding environment, 143 government of, 213–214 interministry competition, 183 knowledge base, 9 military-civilian divide, 89–90, 92–93, 159, 180, 214 military expenditures, 78–79 political economy, 60 political structure of, 213–214 population growth, 61 post-collapse era, 5 postwar science in, 29 and private interests, 201–202 public and private life in, 195–196 research institutes, 136 science under Stalin, 34 as state of exception, 3 universalization of science, 47 and U.S. disinformation, 169 Sovnarkhozy, 63 Space surveillance system, 83–84 Spencer, Herbert, 55 Sputnik I, 92 Stalin, Joseph, 4, 29, 31–34, 58–60, 62–63, 69, 75, 135, 199, 213 Starovsky, V. N., 147, 150–151, 160–162, 217 State as brain, 55, 120, 202 as nervous system, 202 Statistics, 84 Stavchikov, Aleksandr, 173–174 Stigler’s law of eponymy, 97 Stognii, A.


pages: 1,157 words: 379,558

Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris by Richard Kluger

air freight, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, corporate raider, desegregation, disinformation, double entry bookkeeping, family office, feminist movement, full employment, ghettoisation, independent contractor, Indoor air pollution, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transaction costs, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty

Allen ratcheted the propaganda machine up to a new level of paranoiac shrillness, declaring soon after his installation: “We must learn to distinguish the real facts of tobacco from unjustified emotional campaigns, based on the ‘health scare’—a technique that was not successful one hundred or three hundred years ago and, we are confident, will not be successful today.” If their hired mouthpieces were intemperate in operating their disinformation agencies, the industry’s own executives were even more confrontational. Howard Cullman, head of the Cullman Brothers cigar leaf business and the more polished and political brother of Joseph Cullman, Jr., whom he succeeded on the Philip Morris board upon Joe Junior’s death in 1955, denounced “recurrent attacks of do-gooders … announcing what they think should be our way of life… .”

The Tobacco Institute’s now monthly newsletter, Research Reports on Tobacco and Health, typically carried articles with headlines like “Human Virus Induces Animal Lung Cancers” and “Study Questions Accuracy of Death Certificates” and reprints of pro-industry articles like “Heavy Smokers with Low Mortality.” Amid this steady drumbeat of denial and disinformation, there was no cruder instance of reassurance to the industry’s customers than the one in a letter of rebuttal by the TIRC’s new president, W. T. Hoyt, in the February 1963 issue of The New Englander, in which he wrote: “Our scientific advisers tell us that the causes of lung cancer are still not known and that, as a matter of fact, recent research has tended to point up many new possible causes … .”

Shortly after winning the top job at AT, Walker dispatched his resident intellectual, former Forbes writer Robert Heimann, who held a doctorate in sociology from New York University and was later named executive vice president, to address the New York Society of Security Analysts. Heimann was a master dispenser of denial and disinformation. The health issue was a red herring, he asserted, “and clinical and experimental research do not bear out the anticigarette theory. … Nor has any substance been found in cigarette smoke in any quantity known to cause cancer in humans.” This argument glossed over the dire possibility that no single substance but a combination of substances lurking in the product was lethal over time and, furthermore, that nobody knew the threshold, if any, of carcinogenic activity for the substances in smoke.


pages: 767 words: 208,933

Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alex Zevin

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, Columbine, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, desegregation, disinformation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, hiring and firing, imperial preference, income inequality, interest rate derivative, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, liberal capitalism, liberal world order, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Martin Wolf, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Journalism, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Norman Macrae, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, railway mania, rent control, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Seymour Hersh, Snapchat, Socratic dialogue, Steve Bannon, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, Yom Kippur War, young professional

Senior vice president at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington and Warsaw-based think tank with a list of donors that includes the US State Department and arms companies, Lucas runs its stratcom [i.e. propaganda] program, euphemistically described as an ‘on the ground effort to monitor, collate, analyze, rebut and expose Russian disinformation’ in ‘central and eastern Europe’.122 Given this outlook, it is hardly surprising that revelations about the reach of the US security and surveillance state since 2008 should not have perturbed the Economist. Obama’s unprecedented use of drones to assassinate suspected terrorists on his ‘kill lists’ – in Yemen, Somalia or Pakistan, where America was not at war, and without judicial oversight even when the targets were its own citizens – ‘do not undermine the rules of war’, though more could be done to ‘adapt’ a ‘potent new weapon’ to the constitution.123 When the US Army private then named Bradley Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of secret government documents related partly to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010, exposing war crimes committed by US mercenaries, the Economist insisted that both he and the ‘digital Jacobins’ at Wikileaks to whom Manning confided this cache be punished.

From the onset of the Cold War, it was an energetic side-car of that secret state in the battle against Soviet communism – with editors routinely accepting material from the Information Research Department, set up covertly for propaganda purposes out of the British Foreign Office in 1948. Between 1954 and 1980, Brian Crozier and Robert Moss spread ‘disinformation’ from a still wider array of sources, including MI6 and the CIA – not just in the intelligence gossip sheet they ran, Foreign Report, but directly in the Economist. Along with Brian Beedham, they attacked those – congressmen, journalists, whistle-blowers – who dared shine a light on the national security apparatus.

Democracy’ in 1971, The War for the Cities in 1972 – all retailed the idea that Che Guevara’s failure to raise a peasant revolt in Bolivia in 1967 prefigured a shift in tactics and terrain for left subversives from the countryside to the city: Robert Moss, The War for the Cities, New York 1972, pp. 7, 27, 241–48. 29.Crozier, Free Agent, p. 110. 30.‘Birth of a Civil War’, 11 March 1972. 31.‘Come off ITT’, 1 April 1972; ‘Who’s for Sweet-and-Sour Turkey’, 5 August 1972; ‘Ticket to Cuba’, 2 September 1972. 32.Fred Landis, ‘Robert Moss, Arnaud de Borchgrave, Right-Wing Disinformation’, CAIB, August 1980, p. 38. 33.Robert Moss, Chile’s Marxist Experiment, New York 1974, p. 190. 34.Ibid., p. i. 35.For the way Moss used CIA-invented stories while denying CIA involvement, a representative sentence: ‘The full extent of these preparations was not accurately known until after the September coup, when the military junta claimed it had discovered – in a safe in the office of the Communist under-secretary for the interior, Daniel Vergara – detailed plans for the assassination of hundreds of opposition leaders, senior officers, conservative journalists and businessmen.’


Inside British Intelligence by Gordon Thomas

active measures, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, job satisfaction, Khyber Pass, kremlinology, lateral thinking, license plate recognition, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

However, the meeting concluded an attack could trigger devastating reprisals against 8,500 British troops based in Iraq and would certainly result in Iran cutting off oil supplies to the West. There would be an increase in suicide attacks on Israel, and it would also bring China and Russia into confrontation with the West. What had astonished Asgari was not that the details had been published in a respected London broadsheet, the Daily Telegraph—long ago he had learned that disinformation was an integral part of espionage. Was the report nothing more than that? His surprise was that it might be part of the ongoing process by MI6 to test him, to challenge the truth of his own judgment: that Iran was still “at least three years away from creating a nuclear bomb.” He knew that much would depend on his view being believed.

The harsh conditions in Latchmere House had led to several suicides in its cellblocks. Fifteen spies failed to pass Stephens’s grilling and were hanged or shot in the Tower. Fourteen agreed to become double agents, using their German radios to send false information to Berlin. Known as Operation Double Cross, it became the start of long-distance disinformation. Petrie also approved a plan for RAF planes to fly over the Channel and drop pigeons carrying false information in the hope they would fly back to dovecotes owned by Nazi sympathizers in France and spread confusion. Any bird flying back to Britain with its message faced the risk of being killed by one of the falcons of the Bird Interceptor Unit set up by MI5 on the south coast of England.

Cryptologists at Fort Meade, who had been placed on standby, began trying to decipher the messages, but there was no way they could break the codes. Allen and John Foster Dulles both concluded the volume of signal traffic could be the precursor of Israel asking for French support to be allowed to launch an attack on Jordan if the Iraqi army invaded the Hashemite kingdom. That possibility had been part of the Mossad disinformation campaign. By midnight, agreement had been reached in the château. Israel would launch a ground attack on Egypt across the Sinai Desert and aim to reach the Suez Canal within twenty-four hours, a promise Moshe Dayan had shortened to “if not sooner.” Britain and France would then issue an ultimatum to Nasser that he should allow their troops to enter the Canal Zone as temporary peacekeepers, after which the Israeli forces would withdraw to the Sinai side of the waterway.


pages: 396 words: 116,332

Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes) by Andrew M. Lobaczewski

anti-communist, corporate raider, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, John Nash: game theory, means of production, phenotype, Project for a New American Century

However, it also provokes society to elaborate pinpointed, well-thought-out self-defense measures based on its cognitive and creative efforts. Pathocratic leadership believes that it can achieve a state wherein those “other” people’s minds become dependent by means of the effects of their personality, perfidious pedagogical means, the means of mass-disinformation, and psychological terror; such faith has a basic meaning for them. In their conceptual world, pathocrats consider it virtually self-evident that the “others” should accept their obvious, realistic, and simple way of apprehending reality. For some mysterious reason, though, the “others” wriggle out, slither away, and tell each other jokes about pathocrats.

Originally published online (www.cassiopaea.org), The Wave is a fully modern exposition of the knowledge of the ancients, with subjects ranging from metaphysics, science, cosmology, and psychology to the paranormal, UFOs, hyperdimensions and macrocosmic transformation. “The Secret History of the World” … and how to get out alive If you heard the Truth, would you believe it? Ancient civilisations. Hyperdimensional realities. DNA changes. Bible conspiracies. What are the realities? What is disinformation? The Secret History of The World and How To Get Out Alive is the definitive book of the real answers where Truth is more fantastic than fiction. Laura Knight-Jadczyk, wife of internationally known theoretical physicist, Arkadiusz Jadczyk, an expert in hyperdimensional physics, draws on science and mysticism to pierce the veil of reality.

She also cites the clear evidence that our planet undergoes periodic natural cataclysms, a cycle that has arguably brought humanity to the brink of destruction in the present day. For its no nonsense style in cutting to the core of the issue and its sheer audacity in refusing to be swayed or distracted by the morass of disinformation that has been employed by the powers that be to cover their tracks, 9/11: The Ultimate Truth can rightly claim to be the definitive book on 9/11 - and what that fateful day’s true implications are for the future of mankind. The new Second Edition of 9/11: The Ultimate Truth has been updated with new material detailing the real reasons for the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, the central role played by agents of the state of Israel in the attacks, and how the arrogant Bush government is now forced to dance to the Zionists’ tune.


pages: 394 words: 117,982

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age by David E. Sanger

active measures, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, computer age, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mutually assured destruction, RAND corporation, ransomware, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

If it confused and divided his enemies at home, all the better. What is different now is the great amplifier of social media. Stalin would have loved Twitter. Skillful as he was as a propagandist, his transmission capability was primitive. “What’s new is not the basic model; it’s the speed with which such disinformation can spread and the low cost of spreading it,” American political scientist Joseph Nye, the man who invented the term “soft power,” wrote in describing how Russia was making use of “sharp power.” If soft power is the ability to win over other societies because of the attractiveness of your culture, economy, and civic discourse, sharp power is the ability to insert the knife, stealthily and surgically.

If you believe that, then I don’t think you have internalized the message the Trump supporters are trying to send in this election.” Nine days later Zuckerberg was in Peru, at a summit that President Obama was also attending. The president took him into a private room and made a direct appeal: He had to take the threat of disinformation more seriously, or it would come to haunt the company, and the country, in the next election. Zuckerberg pushed back, Obama’s aides later told me. Fake news was a problem, but there was no easy fix, and Facebook wasn’t in the business of checking every fact that got posted in the global town square.

Says Russian Hackers Penetrated Its Files, Including Dossier on Donald Trump,” New York Times, June 14, 2016, www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/us/politics/russian-hackers-dnc-trump.html. A persona with the screen name Guccifer 2.0: Rob Price, “RESEARCHERS: Yes, Russia Really Did Hack the Democratic National Congress,” Business Insider Australia, June 21, 2016, www.businessinsider.com.au/security-researchers-russian-spies-hacked-dnc-guccifer-2-possible-disinformation-campaign-2016-6. said he was Romanian: Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, “Alleged Russian Hacker ‘Guccifer 2.0’ Is Back After Months Of Silence,” Vice, January 12, 2017, motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/9a3m7p/alleged-russian-hacker-guccifer-20-is-back-after-months-of-silence. The transcript of Lorenzo’s interview with Guccifer 2.0 is viewable at motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/yp3bbv/dnc-hacker-guccifer-20-full-interview-transcript.


pages: 404 words: 115,108

They Don't Represent Us: Reclaiming Our Democracy by Lawrence Lessig

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, blockchain, Cass Sunstein, Columbine, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, disinformation, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, income inequality, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Mark Zuckerberg, obamacare, Parag Khanna, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steven Levy, surveillance capitalism, Upton Sinclair, Yochai Benkler

See Morris Fiorina, “Americans Have Not Become More Politically Polarized,” Washington Post, June 23, 2014, available at link #104; Morris P. Fiorina, “The Political Parties Have Sorted,” a Hoover institution essay on contemporary American politics, series no. 3, 2016. 66.Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts, Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 73–74. 67.Benkler, Faris, and Roberts, Network Propaganda, 75-6. 68.Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism (New York: Basic Books, 2012). 69.Hillary Clinton, What Happened (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2017), Kindle edition, loc. 4048. 70.Benkler, Faris, and Roberts, Network Propaganda, 17. 71.For a related view—that the media “must embrace their solemn duty and educate the population about our great challenges—ratings be damned”—see Rob Cohen, “TV News Is As Much to Blame for Democracy’s Decline as Trump Is,” Chicago Tribune, November 16, 2018, available at link #105. 72.Among the most comprehensive analysis of the news coverage during the 2016 campaign is that conducted by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center.

Ridout, Political Advertising in the United States (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2016), 13–40; Randolph Kluver et al., The Internet and National Elections: A Comparative Study of Web Campaigning (New York: Routledge, 2007); Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, and Hal Roberts, Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 367–68; Clifford A. Jones, “Campaign Finance Reform and the Internet: Regulating Web Messages in the 2004 Election and Beyond,” in The Internet Election: Perspectives on the Web in Campaign 2004, ed. Andrew Paul Williams and John C.

On the relative effect of the Leave versus Remain campaign, see Vyacheslav Polonski, “Impact of Social Media on the Outcome of the EU Referendum,” EU Referendum Analysis 2016, available at link #231. For the claim that fake news was spread and Russia almost certainly had some illicit hand, see “Disinformation and ‘Fake News,’” House of Commons: Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, February 14, 2019, 72–77, available at link #232; Dan Sabbagh, “Facebook to Expand Inquiry into Russian Influence of Brexit,” Guardian, January 27, 2018, available at link #233. 53.Burson v. Freeman, 504 U.S. 191 (1991), upheld a ban on politicking within one hundred feet of a polling place.


pages: 210 words: 65,833

This Is Not Normal: The Collapse of Liberal Britain by William Davies

Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, central bank independence, centre right, Chelsea Manning, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, credit crunch, deindustrialization, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, family office, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, ghettoisation, gig economy, global pandemic, global village, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, loadsamoney, London Interbank Offered Rate, mass immigration, moral hazard, Neil Kinnock, Northern Rock, old-boy network, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, prediction markets, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, statistical model, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, universal basic income, web of trust, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler

The mentality of this New Right is one that is hostile to the very idea of ‘neutral’ or ‘independent’ institutions as checks on power; they are viewed as sclerotic and self-interested. Much has been written about the philosophy of Dominic Cummings in this respect, but it was Michael Gove who elevated Cummings in the first place – and who is now sowing confusion and disinformation in the media as enthusiastically as anyone. The entire Conservative election platform hangs on the idea that Parliament and Whitehall are betraying ‘the people’ – that is, they are pursuing their own political agenda. In this view, everyone has already picked a side – and if you refuse to state your choice, you are marked as left-wing, probably a Remainer, and potentially disloyal to Britain.

Arendt, ‘Truth and Politics’, in Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, Penguin, 1993, p. 250. 9 ‘Majority worldwide say their society is broken – an increasing feeling among Britons’, Ipsos Mori, 13 September 2019. 10 Y. Benkler et al., Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics, Oxford University Press, 2018. 11 G. Blank, ‘The Myth of the Echo Chamber’, OII blog, 9 March 2018. 12 Ipsos.com, ‘Ipsos MORI Veracity Index 2019: Trust in Professions Survey’, November 2019. 13 M. Andrejevic, ‘“Framelessness” or the Cultural Logic of Big Data’, in M.


pages: 400 words: 121,708

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink by Taylor Downing

active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, nuclear winter, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Seymour Hersh, Stanislav Petrov, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Yom Kippur War

The CIA directorate of intelligence decided that any attempt to play up the possibility of ‘war danger’ was simply a ploy to stop the deployment of Pershing II and Cruise missiles in western Europe and to deepen divisions within the Atlantic alliance, putting pressure on Washington for a more conciliatory line. It was all put down to part of a programme of Soviet disinformation to discredit the US and bolster opposition to the siting of American missiles in Europe.2 The US intelligence establishment remained adamant that there was nothing to be concerned about. In May 1984, analysts produced a Special National Intelligence Estimate entitled ‘Implications of Recent Soviet Military-Political Activities’.

This report outlined as its ‘central concern… the possibility of major Soviet initiatives to influence the November election’. The Soviets had identified the Reagan administration as ‘a more consistently hostile opponent of the USSR’s interests and aspirations than it has faced in many years’. Fears grew that the Soviets would spread rumours and disinformation to try to discredit Reagan and make him look like an aggressive leader whose actions would put the people of America at grave risk. The November 1983 war scare was once again presented as ‘hostile propaganda, which blames the United States for an increased danger of war’ in order to ‘excite opposition to Washington’s policies’ and to ‘undercut the President’s re-election prospects’.26 In reality, the Soviet Union was too weak and leaderless to exert any real influence upon the outcome of the US election.

It concluded unequivocally that in November 1983 ‘we may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger’.13 In the mid-1990s the CIA decided to open its own investigation into whether it really had missed one of the most frightening moments of the Cold War. Were the Soviets actually about to launch a nuclear strike against the West? There was still controversy within the CIA over whether this was a real crisis or simply an example of Soviet disinformation. Robert Gates asked, ‘To what degree was our skepticism about the war scare prompted by the fact that our military didn’t want to admit that one of its exercises might have been dangerously if inadvertently provocative, or because our intelligence experts didn’t want to admit that we had badly misread the state of mind of the Soviet leadership?’


pages: 391 words: 123,597

Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again by Brittany Kaiser

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, Burning Man, call centre, centre right, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cognitive dissonance, crony capitalism, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Etonian, haute couture, illegal immigration, Julian Assange, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, off grid, open borders, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, rolodex, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Bannon, the High Line, the scientific method, WeWork, WikiLeaks, you are the product, young professional

I thought it odd, but it also showed efficiency, if nothing else, on Arron’s part. Still, it was strange, and when David and I visited the call center, we could see at once that it was the same one used for Eldon Insurance. As I later testified to the UK parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee in its “Disinformation and ‘fake news’” inquiry, sixty people or so manned the phones, at about five rows of desks, making outgoing calls to customers in what I was told was the Eldon database to ask questions about Brexit where they usually would be answering questions from their insurance customers. The manager of the call center was a young woman who looked to be about my age.

Her allegations against me had real collateral damage: I was subpoenaed by Mueller the next day, which she then printed nine months later, conveniently leaving out the date and touting it as though it had just happened, further confusing the world and obfuscating the truth. Even before those “articles,” in my opinion, Carole’s spread of disinformation was beyond shocking—especially on Twitter—let alone her lack of journalistic ethics, constantly leaving me without any right to comment before publication. Because this was typical of her behavior, I thought, why should I believe her now? Furthermore, it was hard to see Chris Wylie as reliable: he was a disgruntled employee whose current access to information had to have been limited, unless he had someone on the inside at SCL or CA serving as a kind of mole.

But not unlike the very people who were the targets of Cambridge Analytica’s devious and brilliant messaging, I, too, had been a perhaps unwitting victim of an influence campaign. As with so many others, something had made an impression on me, I clicked on it, and that had sent me through a wormhole of disinformation, and I made choices I never would have thought I was capable of making. It had happened as equally to me as to the country I was born in and the country I’d adopted as my own. I was a proxy for each of those nations, willingly hoodwinked, living in an echo chamber, and never even knowing it.


pages: 533 words: 125,495

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, basic income, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, coronavirus, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, Erdős number, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, feminist movement, framing effect, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, high batting average, index card, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Monty Hall problem, Nash equilibrium, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, QAnon, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, scientific worldview, selection bias, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Walter Mischel, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Even before the Trumpian takeover, thoughtful Republican stalwarts had disparaged their own organization as “the party of stupid” for its anti-intellectualism and hostility to science.73 Since then, many others have been horrified by their party’s acquiescence to Trump’s maniacal lying and trolling: his game plan, in the admiring words of onetime strategist Steve Bannon, to “flood the zone with shit.”74 With Trump’s defeat, rational heads on the right should seek to restore American politics to a system with two parties that differ over policy rather than over the existence of facts and truth. We are not helpless against the onslaught of “post-truth” disinformation. Though lying is as old as language, so are defenses against being lied to; as Mercier points out, without those defenses language could never have evolved.75 Societies, too, protect themselves against being flooded with shit: barefaced liars are held responsible with legal and reputational sanctions.

., 82–83 validity vs. soundness, 83 loss aversion, 192–94 lotteries, 176–78, 182–83, 188–92 Lotto, Beau, 30 Love Story (film), 76–78, 263 lucky streaks, 148 Madison, James, 41 Madman Theory, 60–61, 236 Maduro, Nicolás, 23, 24 main effect, 273, 274, 275, 278 Maine, USS, 124, 125 The Maltese Falcon (film), 61–62 mañana fallacy, 101 Mao Zedong, 245 margins of error, 196 marshmallow test, 47–48, 50 Marx, Chico, 294–95 Marx, Karl, 90 Masons, 36, 40 mathematicians caution about mindless use of statistical formulas, 166–67 mansplaining, 18 paragon of rationality, 74 simulation vs. proof, 20 stereotype of, 20 Matthew Effect, 263–64, 354n21 Maymin, Philip, 342n17 Meadow’s fallacy (multiplying probabilities of interdependent events), 129–30, 131 media accountability for lying/disinformation, 313, 314, 316, 317 availability bias driven by, 120, 125–27 consumer awareness of biases in, 127 correlation confused with causation and, 256, 260, 353n13 cynicism bred by, 126–27 innumeracy of, 125–27, 314 negativity bias, 125–26 politically partisan, 296 rational choice portrayal by, 173–74 reforms for rationality, 127, 314, 316, 317 tabloids, 287–88, 306 and truth-seeking, 316 the Winner’s Curse and, 256, 353n13 See also digital media; entertainment; journalism; social media medical quackery, 6, 90, 284, 304, 321, 322 celebrity doctors, 305 COVID-19 and, 284 harms caused by, 322 hidden mechanisms posited by, 258 intuitive essentialism and, 304–5, 321 science laureates and, 90 medicine base-rate neglect in diagnosis, 155 Bayesian reasoning in, 150–51, 152, 153–54, 167, 169–70, 321 correlation and causation, 251–52 COVID-19, 2, 283 disease control, 325 drug trials, 58, 264 evidence-based, 317 expected utility of treatments, 192–94, 198–99 false positives, 169–70, 198 frequencies and, 169–70 randomized controlled trials and, 264 rational ignorance and, 57 rationality and progress in, 325–26 sensitivity of tests, 150, 154, 169, 352n10 signal detection and, 202, 211, 213, 220 specificity of tests, 352n10 taboo tradeoffs in, 63–64 See also health; mental health Meehl, Paul, 279, 280 Mellers, Barbara, 29, 219–20 memes, 144, 308–9 mental health, 251, 256, 276–77, 276, 280 Mercier, Hugo, 87, 291, 298–99, 308, 313 meteorology, 114, 127, 133, 220 The Mikado (Gilbert and Sullivan), 27 military, 63, 220, 231, 295 Miller, Bill, 143 Miller, Joshua, 132 mind-body dualism, 304 miracles, Bayesian argument vs., 158–59 Mischel, Walter, 47 Mlodinow, Len, 143 modal logic, 84 modernity vs. ecological rationality, 96–98 vs. mythology mindset, 303–4 See also progress modus ponens, 80 modus tollens, 80–81 Molière, virtus dormitiva, 11–12, 89 money diminishing marginal utility of, 181–83, 247 dollar value on human life, 63–64 See also finances; GDP per capita money pump, 176, 180, 185, 187–88 monocausal fallacy, 260, 272–73 Montesquieu, 333, 335 Monty Hall dilemma, 16–22, 115, 342n33 morality of Bayesian base rates, 62, 163–66 discounting the future and, 51–52 God and, 67 Golden Rule (and variants), 68–69 heretical counterfactuals, 64–65 impartiality as the core, 68–69, 317, 340 marginal utility of lives and, 183–84 the mythology mindset and, 300, 307 relativism and, 42, 66–67 self-interest and sociality, 69 taboo tradeoffs and, 64 See also moral progress moral progress overview, 328–29 analogizing oppressed groups, 335 animals, cruelty to, 334–35 democracy, 335–36, 339 feminism, 336–37 homosexuality, persecution of, 333–34 ideas vs. proponents, 339–40 rationality as driver of, 329–30, 340 redistribution of wealth and, 182 religious persecution, 301–2, 330 sadistic punishment, 332–33 slavery, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339 war, 331 Morgenbesser, Sidney, 81, 82, 178 Morgenstern, Oskar, 175, 197, 228, 350n1 motivated reasoning, 289–92, 297, 298, 310.

See also Madman Theory reality as motivating, 41–42, 288, 298, 309, 320 reasoning about reasoning, 37–41, 70–71 rejection of the paranormal and, 309–10 as uncool, 35–36 winning arguments as adaptive function of, 87–88, 291 See also ecological rationality; goals; irrationality—crisis of; normative models; taboos —effects of overview, 319–20 life outcomes, 320–24 material progress, 324–28 moral progress. See moral progress —recommendations to strengthen accountability for lying and disinformation, 313, 314, 316–17 avoidance of sectarian symbolism, 312 educational curricula, 314–15 evidence-based evaluation, 312, 317 incentive structures, 315–17 in journalism, 314, 316, 317 norms valorizing, 311–13, 315 in punditry, 317 “Republican party of stupid,” 312–13, 357n73 scientists in legislatures, 312 in social media, 313, 316–17 viewpoint diversity in higher ed, 313–14 Rationality Community, 149–50, 312 Rationality Quotient, 311 Rawls, John, 69 realism, universal, 300–301 reality, motivating rationality, 41–42, 288, 298, 309, 320 reality mindset Active Open-Mindedness/Openness to Evidence and, 310–11, 324, 356–57n67 definition, 299–300 mythology mindset, border with, 303 as unnatural, 300–301 reason, in definition of “rationality,” 36 Rebel Without a Cause, 59, 236, 344n29 reciprocity, norms of, 5 recursion, 71, 108 reflectiveness Cognitive Reflection Test, 8–11, 50 definition, 311 intelligence correlating with, 311 openness to evidence correlating with, 311 and reasoning competence, 323, 324 resistance to cognitive illusions and, 311 unreflective thinking, 8–10, 311 of weird beliefs, 299 regression correlation coefficient (r), 250–51 definition, 248, 252 equation for, 272, 278–81 general linear model, 272 human vs., accuracy of, 278–80 instrumental variable regression, 267–68 multiple regression, 270–72, 271 regression line, 248–49, 253–54, 270 residuals, 249–50, 270–71 regression discontinuity, 266–67 regression line, 248–49, 253–54, 270 regression to the mean and bell curve distribution, 253 definition, 252–53 imperfect correlation as producing, 254 regression line, 253–54 scatterplots and, 253–54 as statistical phenomenon, 253 unawareness of, 254–56, 320, 353n13 regret avoidance, 17, 190 relativism and relativists argument against rationality, 39–40 as hypocritical, 42 morality and, 42, 66–67 religion argument from authority, 90 the cluster illusion and, 147 forbidden base rates and, 163–66 the Golden Rule in, 68–69 heretical counterfactuals, 64–65 monotheism, 40 the mythology mindset and, 301–2, 307 persecution of, progress against, 330–31 See also God Rendezvous game, 233–34 replicability crisis in science Bayesian reasoning failures and, 159–61 preregistration as remedy, 145–46 questionable research practices and, 145–46, 160, 353n13 science journalism and, 161–62 statistical significance and, 225 Texas sharpshooter fallacy, 144–46, 160 Winner’s Curse, 256 representativeness heuristic, 27, 155–56 Republican Party and Republicans calling Democrats socialists, 83–84 expressive rationality and, 298 Fox News and, 267, 268, 296 pizza classified as vegetable by, 101 politically motivated numeracy, 292–94 rehabilitating, 312–13, 357n73 See also left and right (political); politics reputation, 47, 237, 242, 308, 313 resistance to evidence.


pages: 956 words: 288,981

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011 by Steve Coll

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, centre right, colonial rule, computer age, disinformation, energy security, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, index card, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce

If the threat was against the U.S. embassy, they might consider a more targeted, secret alert to employees there. They issued dozens of such warnings in public and private in the weeks after the Africa attacks.5 They were aware that bin Laden and his leadership group were probably planting disinformation to distract them. They assumed that the more they closed embassies and issued alerts, the more they encouraged this disinformation campaign. Yet they could see no alternative. They had to collect as much threat information as they could, they had to assess it, and they had to act defensively when the intelligence looked credible. There was plenty that looked truly dangerous.

One of the largest units focused on the Abu Nidal Organization, which had claimed hundreds of civilian lives in multiple strikes during the 1980s. Clarridge and his colleagues decided to sow dissent by exposing the group’s financial operations and trying to raise suspicions among members. Abu Nidal had become a paranoid, self-immolating group on its own accord, but the agency helped accelerate its breakup through penetrations and disinformation. Abu Nidal faded as an effective terrorist organization within three years. There were other successes, especially in Germany and Italy, where the terrorists began to consume themselves, sometimes helped along by covert operations. Hezbollah, on the other hand, proved a very hard target. It was the new center’s first attempt to penetrate a committed Islamist terrorist organization that targeted American citizens.

For a full year after Hezbollah kidnapped and tortured the CIA’s Beirut station chief, William Buckley, beginning in 1984, the agency “had absolutely no idea” who had taken him or the other American hostages in Lebanon, Baer recalled. Meanwhile, the Counterterrorist Center had to deal with hoax after hoax—some mounted by Hezbollah as disinformation—about where the hostages were located.29 Clarridge wanted to attack. He sought to enlist U.S. Special Forces to launch an elaborate hostage rescue operation in Beirut. He rigged up special refrigerator trucks in Europe, disguised to look as if they belonged to Lebanese merchants; he hoped they could be shipped in and used to run Delta Force commandos into West Beirut.


pages: 1,118 words: 309,029

The Wars of Afghanistan by Peter Tomsen

airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, disinformation, drone strike, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, trade route, union organizing, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Modeled on the KGB, it was given the lofty title of “Department of Defense of the Interests of Afghanistan.” Known and feared by its Dari acronym, AGSA, the new Afghan communist spy agency would grow into a huge Soviet-Afghan organization controlling domestic and foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, border security, covert action, several elite combat units, and disinformation capabilities.15 Soviet Communist Party advisers were tasked with guiding the PDPA in its transition from a political party out of power to one exercising a monopoly of power in Afghanistan. This required PDPA solidarity. Soviet advice to maintain Khalq-Parcham unity appeared to be honored in the immediate aftermath of the coup.

The uproar was finally squashed by a vote in which everyone agreed to accept everyone else’s delegates. On February 14, Mojaddedi led his contingent out of the shura for four days to protest Pakistani interference. In a confidential cable to Washington, the American embassy reported that “every faction in the shura is putting out its own version of, and disinformation about, all the backroom maneuvering that is going on. There are no neutral sources of information. Even the official press outlet for the shura, Afghan News Agency, is in fact controlled by one of the parties—Hezb Islami-Gulbuddin, and is distorting the news accordingly.”49 Rancorous debate over the lack of fair representation in the shura destabilized proceedings for several days.

“Your assessment about Afghanistan is wrong,” he volunteered. In many conversations during our three-year association in Beijing, Fedotov had proven to be well informed and straightforward. His rejection of the conventional wisdom that Najib was losing and the Afghan Mujahidin were winning troubled me. Was he spreading disinformation or was U.S. intelligence reporting behind the curve? The Pakistani ambassador to China, Akram Zaki, invited me to a reception honoring a visiting delegation of the recently formed Afghan Interim Government. It was headed by the AIG foreign minister, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. The reception took place in Zaki’s spacious living room.


pages: 245 words: 72,893

How Democracy Ends by David Runciman

barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, first-past-the-post, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Internet of things, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, Norman Mailer, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, Travis Kalanick, universal basic income, Yogi Berra

News feeds could be targeted accordingly. It is hard to know if it made any difference. But the margin of Trump’s victory was sufficiently narrow – tens of thousands of voters in a few key states – to suggest that it just might have. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has rediscovered its appetite for bombarding Western electorates with disinformation, based on extensive data harvesting. Bots on Twitter that pretend to engage in democratic debate are being programmed to make debate impossible, by turning all political argument into a never-ending shouting match. Bots that are very bad at impersonating human intelligence can still be very good at impersonating angry voters.

., 12, 55 C Cambridge Analytica (firm), 156, 157, 159 capitalism, 196, 199 Carson, Rachel, 85, 87–8 Silent Spring, 82–3, 89, 90–91, 93 catastrophes, 6, 7, 85–6 environmental, 82–3, 85, 87–93; see also climate change nuclear, 83–4, 97 total, 100 Chicago: violence, 211 China and climate change, 174 Communist Party, 172–3 economy, 172, 208 foreign policy, 30–31 government model, 174 as a meritocracy, 175–6 nationalism, 172 pollution, 89 view of Trump, 173 Churchill, Winston, 8, 75–6, 168–9, 177 civil service, 41, 55–6; see also bureaucracies Clark, Christopher: The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, 115 Clemenceau, Georges, 71, 75–6 climate change, 90–93 China and, 174 consciousness raising, 89, 92–93 conspiracy theories, 91–92 incremental nature of, 97 and risk, 101 support for, 108 and uncertainty, 96 see also global warming Clinton, President Bill, 54–5 Clinton, Hillary, 13–15, 16, 198 Cold War, 28–9, 67, 94, 95–6, 106–7, 108–9 communism 194; see also China: Communist Party; Marxism-Leninism; Stalinism consciousness raising, 85, 89, 92–3, 106 conspiracy theories, 60–71 climate change, 91–2 and division, 99 and fake news, 75 France, 69 India, 65–6 nuclear weapons, 96 Poland, 65, 66 and totalitarianism, 98 Turkey, 65, 66 United Kingdom, 62–3 United States, 62, 64–5, 67 and war, 77 conspiracy theorists, 153 Constantine I, king of Greece, 27, 28 consumerism, 166 Corbyn, Jeremy, 58, 94–5, 148–9, 150, 209 corporations, 129–32, 139, 166 coups, 3, 217 Algeria, 41–3 and catastrophes, 85 and clarity, 59 and conspiracies, 7, 60 and counter-coups, 56–7 Cyprus, 33, 38–9 economic conditions for, 31 in fiction, 57–8 Greece, 26–30, 27, 32, 33, 34–5, 38, 40, 45 Luttwak on, 41–2, 46 Turkey, 50–52, 53, 66 varieties of, 44–5 election-day vote fraud, 44 executive, 44 executive aggrandisement, 44, 52, 55 promissory, 44, 47, 50–51 strategic election manipulation, 44 Zimbabwe, 48 crises, 5–6 Cuban missile Crisis (1962), 107–8 mid-life, 5, 8, 169, 218 Cummings, Dominic, 179 currencies, 135 digital, 136 Cyprus: coups, 33, 38–9 D databases, 123 de Gaulle, General Charles, 41, 42 de Tocqueville, Alexis, 142, 187 death, 23–4, 204, 216–17 democracy appeal of, 6, 169–71 audience, 47, 117 direct, 35, 48, 143, 161, 162, 163 failure of, 50 obsolescence, 167–8 plebiscitary, 47 spectator, 47 spread of, 3 strong and weak, 59–60 threats to 6–7, 53–4, 108, 112; see also coups digital revolution, 152, 164, 200–201, 215, 219 dignity collective, 172, 173, 177 and elections, 170, 177 and loss, 175 disruption, 198–9 Dorsey, Jack, 137 Dreyfus, Alfred, 69 dystopias, 90–91, 113, 114, 118–19, 126, 220 E East India Company, 130–31 economic growth, 172, 192 accelerationists and, 200 and populism, 192 United States, 175 Western Europe, 175 Economist (journal), 133 Edgerton, David, 122 education, 109–10, 163–4, 183–4, 185 Eggers, David: The Circle, 139, 140, 141–2, 144 Egypt, 48–50 Eichmann, Adolf, 84, 85–6 elections 4, 218 and advertising, 158–9 computers and, 125 and coups, 44, 45 decision-making process, 188–9 and dignity, 170, 177 and disinformation, 156–7 Egypt, 48–9 France, 148 fraud, 44 Greece, 28, 29, 39, 40, 148 Italy, 148 manipulation of, 44 Netherlands, 148 online, 162 Turkey, 51 United Kingdom, 95 United States see under United States see also vote, right to elites, 75 and climate change, 91–2 corporate, 139 and nuclear disarmament, 95 and populism, 65 power of, 61 see also wealth environmentalists, 200 epistocracy, 178–9, 180, 181–8, 191, 205 equality, 202–3; see also inequality Erdogan, President Recep, 51–3, 66, 149, 213 Estlund, David: Democratic Authority, 185 Ethiopia, 154–5 European Central Bank (ECB), 33, 39, 116–17 European Union (EU) and corporations, 132 and Greece, 30, 32, 116–17 executive aggrandisement, 45–6 military, 55, 56 United States presidents, 92 experts see epistocracy; technocracy ExxonMobil, 92 F Facebook, 131, 132–3, 134–5, 136, 138–9, 140, 141, 145, 150, 157 fascism, 169 financial crash (2008), 79, 110, 116 Forster, E.


pages: 434 words: 77,974

Mastering Blockchain: Unlocking the Power of Cryptocurrencies and Smart Contracts by Lorne Lantz, Daniel Cawrey

altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency peg, disinformation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fault tolerance, fiat currency, Firefox, global reserve currency, Internet of things, Kubernetes, litecoin, Lyft, margin call, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, offshore financial centre, packet switching, peer-to-peer, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, software as a service, Steve Wozniak, tulip mania, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, web application, WebSocket, WikiLeaks

“Pay-to-play”—paying a significant fee to be featured in a seemingly unbiased news story—is rampant in the cryptocurrency industry. One reporter reached out to cryptocurrency news sites and found many of them were willing to take money in return for favorable coverage. Sometimes these news outlets would request thousands of dollars for a positive story, which shows the kind of shadow market for disinformation that exists in the industry. Figure 6-11 shows the prices some outlets wanted to charge for a favorable story. Figure 6-11. Pay-to-play Social media can be a tool for news gathering, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. On Twitter, there are entire campaigns meant to influence thinking on bitcoin, XRP, and many other smaller cryptocurrencies.

Gox-Bitfinex multisignature wallet contracts, Multisignature Contracts-Multisignature Contracts N Namecoin, Altcoins naming services, Naming Services network hash rate, Block discovery networkscentralized versus decentralized versus distributed design, Distributed Versus Centralized Versus Decentralized Corda, The Corda networknodes having visibility into transactions, Corda ledger DAG design, DAGs Libra's centralization challenge, Novi transactions confirmed by network on Bitcoin, Transaction life cycle New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation NiceHash, NiceHash Nightfall blockchain, Nightfall nodes, Distributed Versus Centralized Versus Decentralizedin Avalance consensus mechanism, Avalanche Libra, validator and full nodes, How the Libra Protocol Works Lightning, Lightning nodes and wallets in proof-of-stake networks, Proof-of-Stake nonces, The mining processin block discovery on Bitcoin, The mining process running out of nonce space or overflow, The mining process in Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper, The Whitepaper noncustodial wallets, Wallet Types: Custodial Versus Noncustodial(see also wallets) nonfungible tokens, Fungible and Nonfungible TokensERC-721 standard for, ERC-721 Nothing-at-Stake problem, Proof-of-Stake Novi wallet, Novi NuBits, NuBits NXT blockchain, NXT O oligarchical model dominating the web, Web 3.0 Omni Core, Understanding Omni Layerlimitations of, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum Omni Layer, Understanding Omni Layer-Adding custom logicadding custom logical operations to Bitcoin, Adding custom logic-Adding custom logic how it works, How Omni Layer works limitations of, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum technical stack, overview of, Understanding Omni Layer Tether project built on, Tether opcodes, Gas and Pricing Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, The More Things Change operating system platform (EOS), Blockchains to Watch operators, ERC-777, ERC-1155 Optimistic Rollups, Other Altchain Solutions, Lightning nodes and wallets options, Derivatives OP_RETURN field, Adding custom logictranslation of metadata in, Adding custom logic Oracle, Blockchain Platform, Blockchain as a Service oracles, Important Definitionsmanipulation in Fulcrum attack, The Fulcrum Exploit order books, Order Booksthin, slippages and, Slippage over-the-counter (OTC) market, Slippage P paper wallets, Wallet Type Variations Parity, Parity Parity hack (2017), Parity participants, Participants passwordssecurity vulnerabilities, Zero-Knowledge Proof Thinbus Secure Remote Password protocol, Zero-Knowledge Proof pay-to-play, Tools for fundamental analysis payment channels, Lightningnode dropping or losing connection to, Lightning nodes and wallets opening by sending funding transaction, Funding transactions withdrawing funds from, Off-chain transactions payment systemsLibra, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains permissioned ledger uses of blockchain, Payments physical cash versus digital, Electronic Systems and Trust Permacoin, Alternative methods permissioned ledger uses of blockchain, Permissioned Ledger Uses-Paymentsbanking, Banking central bank digital currencies, Central Bank Digital Currencies gaming, Gaming health care, Health Care Internet of Things, Internet of Things IT systems, IT payments systems, Payments permissioned ledgers, Databases and Ledgers permissionless ledgers, Databases and Ledgers person-to-person trading of cryptocurrency, Evolution of the Price of Bitcoin phishing attacks, Security Fundamentals Plasma implementation of sidechains, Other Altchain Solutions Ponzi schemes in cryptocurrency, Skirting the Laws PotCoin, More Altcoin Experiments precompilation of zk-SNARKs, zk-SNARKs preminingissues with, Litecoin premined altcoin, Ixcoin, Altcoins prices (gas), Gas and Pricing Primecoin, Altcoins privacyand censorship resistance with dapps, Use Cases Ethereum-based privacy implementations, Ethereum-Based Privacy Implementations future developments in blockchains, Privacy information security in decentralizing finance and the web, Privacy-Ring Signaturesring signatures, Ring Signatures Zcash, Zcash zero-knowledge proof, Zero-Knowledge Proof zk-SNARKs, zk-SNARKs insufficient anonymity on Bitcoin, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering paired with scalability, Mimblewimble blockchain protocol, Mimblewimble, Beam, and Grin privacy-focused blockchains, PrivacyMonero, Blockchains to Watch-How Monero Works Zcash, Zcash privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, Privacy-Focused CryptocurrenciesDash, Dash Monero, Monero Zcash, Zcash private blockchain networks, Privacy private blockchains, The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance private keys, Public/private key cryptography(see also public/private key cryptography) products/services, buying or selling, Evolution of the Price of Bitcoin proof-of-history, Alternative methods proof-of-stake, Proof-of-Stake-Proof-of-StakeByzantine fault-tolerant algorithm, HotStuff, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains Casper algorithm in Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum Scaling proof-of-stake velocity, More Altcoin Experiments proof-of-storage, Alternative methods proof-of-work, Block Generation, Proof-of-Work-Confirmationsbit gold's client puzzle function type, Bit Gold block discovery, Block discovery confirmations by miners of blocks to include in blockchain, Confirmations criticisms of, Proof-of-Stake, Ripple and Stellar CryptoNote protocol, Monero Ethereum's Ethash protocol, Ethereum: Taking Mastercoin to the Next Level longest chain rule, The mining process mining process for block discovery on Bitcoin, The mining process mining process on Bitcoin, The mining process in Satoshi Nakamoto's whitepaper, The Whitepaper transaction life cycle, Transaction life cycle use by B-Money, B-Money use by Hashcash, Hashcash X11 ASIC-resistant, Dash protocols, Electronic Systems and Trust pseudonimity, KYC rules and, KYC and pseudonymity public keys, Public/private key cryptography(see also public/private key cryptography) public/private key cryptographyBitcoin's use of, Public/private key cryptography examples of public and private keys, Naming Services generating keys, Generating keys private key storage for digital wallets, Authoring a smart contract private keys for wallets, Private Keys public and private keys in cryptocurrency systems, Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems-Public and Private Keys in Cryptocurrency Systems unauthorized access to private key, Bitcoin Transaction Security use in controlling access to personal information, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking pull transactions, Bitcoin Transaction Security, ERC-777 push transactions, Bitcoin Transaction Security, ERC-777 Q Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), Blockchain as a Service Quorum blockchain, Quorum, JPMorgan R ransomware, CryptoLocker and, CryptoLocker and Ransomware rate limiting, Exchange Risk, Rate Limiting real estate transactions, using tokens on a blockchain, Tokens on the Ethereum Platform recovery seed, Recovery Seed recursive call vulnerability, Forking Ethereum and the creation of Ethereum Classic regulationof cryptocurrency exchanges, Jurisdiction FATF and the Travel Rule, The FATF and the Travel Rule FinCEN guidance and beginnings of, FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation-FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation regulatory challenges in cryptocurrency market, Regulatory Challenges-Basic Mistakes regulatory issues with ICOs, Tokenize Everything regulatory arbitrage, Avoiding Scrutiny: Regulatory Arbitrage-Crypto-Based StablecoinsICOs as example of, Initial Coin Offerings relational databases, Databases and Ledgers replay attacks, Replay attacksprotecting against, on Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, The Ethereum Classic Fork replication systems, Databases and Ledgers REST APIsEthereum network, Interacting with Code WebSocket versus, REST Versus WebSocket ring confidential transactions, Blockchains to Watch, How Monero Works ring signatures, Monero, Ring Signatures, Blockchains to Watchhiding public address of sender on Monero, How Monero Works Ripple, Other Concepts for Consensus, Rippleblock times, Float Configuration 2 Robinhood mobile app, Brokerages Rollups, Zero Knowledge (ZK) and Optimistic, Other Altchain Solutions, Lightning nodes and wallets Royal Mint, The Royal Mint S Santander, blockchain-issued bonds, Banking SAP, Blockchain as a Service, Blockchain as a Service satoshi, Gas and Pricing Satoshi Nakamotobitcoin address related to, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering efforts to establish identity of, Storing Data in a Chain of Blocks identity, guesses at, Bahamas Satoshi's Vision group (Bitcoin SV), The Bitcoin Cash Fork whitepaper, The Whitepaper savings services (DeFi), Savings scalabilitycentralized versus decentralized exchanges, Scalability discontent over Bitcoin network's scaling, The Bitcoin Cash Fork EOS solution to blockchain issues, Tokenize Everything privacy paired with, Mimblewimble blockchain potocol, Mimblewimble, Beam, and Grin Scalable Transparent ARguments of Knowledge (STARKs), STARKs scaling blockchains, Scaling Blockchains-Other Altchain Solutions, The Scaling Problem-Ethereum ScalingAvalanche consensus mechanism, Avalanche DAG network design, DAGs Ethereum, Ethereum Scaling-Ethereum Scaling Lightning solution, Lightning, Lightning-Lightning nodes and wallets Liquid multisignature wallet, Liquid other altchain solutions, Other Altchain Solutions SegWit, SegWit sharding, Sharding sidechains, Sidechains STARKs, STARKs Schnorr algorithm, Privacy Scott, Mark, Skirting the Laws SCP consensus protocol, Stellar scripted money, Improving Bitcoin’s Limited Functionality Scrypt mining, Altcoins, Litecoin Secret Network, Privacy securitiestokens proposed in ICOs, Different Token Types unregistered securities offerings, Skirting the Laws Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FinCEN Guidance and the Beginning of Regulation securityBitcoin transaction security, Bitcoin Transaction Security custody infrastructure for exchanges, Counterparty Risk detection of blockchain tampering with Merkle roots, The Merkle Root early vulnerability on Bitcoin, An Early Vulnerability exchanges taking care of private keys, Counterparty Risk flash loans exploiting vulnerabilities in DeFi platforms, The Fulcrum Exploit fundamentals for cryptocurrencies, Security Fundamentals-Recovery Seed identity and dangers of hacking, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking information security in decentralizing finance and the web, Privacy Lightning Network vulnerabilities, Lightning proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, criticisms of, Proof-of-Stake recursive call vulnerability, Forking Ethereum and the creation of Ethereum Classic replay attacks vulnerability, Replay attacks, The Ethereum Classic Fork sharding, vulnerabilities with, Other Altchain Solutions theft of cryptocurrencies in exchange hacks, Exchange Hacks-NiceHash theft of cryptocurrencies in other hacks, Other Hacks-Summary transaction malleability vulnerability, Lightning nodes and wallets security token offerings (STOs), Different Token Types security tokens, Token Economics seeds (recovery), Recovery Seedstorage of, Authoring a smart contract SegWit (Segregated Witness), SegWit, Lightning nodes and wallets self-sovereign identity, Identity and the Dangers of Hacking SHA-256 hash algorithm, Introducing the Timestamp Server, Hashes SHA256 and RIPEMD160 functions, Generating keys shadow market for disinformation, Tools for fundamental analysis sharding, Other Altchain Solutions, Shardingin Ethereum 2.0, Ethereum Scaling Shavers, Trendon, Skirting the Laws Shrem, Charlie, Skirting the Laws sidechains, Other Altchain Solutions, SidechainsLiquid technology and, Liquid Optimistic Rollups and, Lightning nodes and wallets Silk Road, Catch Me If You Cancriminal investigation tracking bitcoin address to operator, The Evolution of Crypto Laundering provision of bitcoin to users without KYC/AML, Skirting the Laws SIM swapping, SIM Swapping-SIM Swapping Singapore, regulatory arbitrage, Singapore single-shard takeover attacks, Other Altchain Solutions slashing algorithms, Proof-of-Stake slippage, Slippage smart contracts, Mastercoin and Smart ContractsDAML language for distributed applications, DAML for decentralized exchanges, Decentralized Exchange Contracts, Custody and counterparty risk deploying and executing in Ethereum, Deploying and Executing Smart Contracts in Ethereum-Interacting with Codeauthoring a smart contract, Authoring a smart contract deployment, Deploying a smart contract-Deploying a smart contract Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), The Ethereum Virtual Machine executing a smart contract, Executing a smart contract gas and pricing, Gas and Pricing interacting with a smart contract, Interacting with a smart contract programmatically interacting with Ethereum, Interacting with Code reading a smart contract, Reading a smart contract writing a smart contract, Writing a smart contract deployment for dapps, Challenges in Developing Dapps EOS platform, Blockchains to Watch ERC-20 compliantevents supported by, ERC-20 example of, ERC-20-ERC-20 methods implemented, ERC-20 ERC-compliant, library of, Decentralized Exchange Contracts flash loanscreating the contract, Creating a Flash Loan Contract-Deploying the Contract deploying the contract, Deploying the Contract manipulation of oracles in Fulcrum attack, The Fulcrum Exploit steps in process, Flash Loans Libra support for, Borrowing from Existing Blockchains Omni Layer providing, Understanding Omni Layer publicly viewable record of method call to Uniswap smart contract, Custody and counterparty risk-Exchange rate sending tokens to via push and pull transactions, ERC-777 third-party auditors of, Fungible and Nonfungible Tokens Uniswap contract viewable on Ethereum, Infrastructure social media, campaigns to influence cryptocurrencies, Tools for fundamental analysis soft forks, Understanding Forks software development, changes from use of cryptcurrency and blockchain, Web 3.0 software forks, Understanding Forks software wallets, Wallets Solidcoin, Altcoins Solidity language, Authoring a smart contract South Korean exchanges, Regulatory Challenges speculation in cryptocurrency, Market Infrastructure, Tulip Mania or the internet?


pages: 462 words: 129,022

People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, deglobalization, deindustrialization, disinformation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, global supply chain, greed is good, income inequality, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, late fees, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, new economy, New Urbanism, obamacare, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Peter Thiel, postindustrial economy, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Great Moderation, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, two-sided market, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, working-age population, Yochai Benkler

The reason, to a large extent, is the handcuffs we put on ourselves, in our attempts to protect free speech. Even the US Supreme Court, well attuned to the principle of freedom of speech, has noted that one cannot cry fire in a crowded theater (Schenck v. United States, 1919). In this war for an informed public, to block the corrosive effects of those who would use disinformation to weaken our democracies, the measures we have described here are small compromises. Further actions may be needed. In the end, the market power and potential for abuse of a platform like Facebook may be simply too large for societal well-being. When Standard Oil became too large and powerful, we broke it up.

The discussions of new technologies have been particularly influenced by my coauthor Anton Korinek; on artificial intelligence, by Erik Brynjolfsson, Shane Legg of DeepMind, Mark Sagar of Soul Machines, and a dinner on AI at the Royal Society after my lecture there on the subject of work and AI. Yochai Benkler, Julia Angwin, and Zeynep Tüfekçi have contributed to my understanding of the special issues posed by disinformation. As I return to the issues of globalization, I need to thank Dani Rodrik as well as Danny Quah, Rohinton Medhora, and Mari Pangestu; and on the role of globalization in tax avoidance, Mark Pieth and the Independent Commission for Reform of International Corporate Taxation, chaired by José Antonio Ocampo, on which I serve.

Knopf, 2013). 40.In particular, the GDPR regulations referred to in note 27. 41.There are those who claim that since markets are essentially local, the value of global information will be limited. The marginal value of having information from multiple markets (from, say, China plus the United States plus Europe) would, in this view, be sufficiently small that we could ignore the “unfair” advantage deriving from different regulatory regimes. 42.Online disinformation presents a particular challenge, especially in a world in which the “truth-telling institutions” are under attack (see chapter 1). Discussing the appropriate policy response would, however, take us beyond this short book. CHAPTER 7: WHY GOVERNMENT? 1.Sir Isaac Newton in 1675 said: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” 2.I first articulated some of these ideas in a little book, The Economic Role of the State (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989). 3.Or “Samuelsonian pure public goods,” after Paul A.


pages: 511 words: 132,682

Competition Overdose: How Free Market Mythology Transformed Us From Citizen Kings to Market Servants by Maurice E. Stucke, Ariel Ezrachi

affirmative action, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, Corrections Corporation of America, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Chrome, greed is good, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, income per capita, independent contractor, information asymmetry, invisible hand, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, mandatory minimum, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, mortgage debt, Network effects, out of africa, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, precariat, price anchoring, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, sunk-cost fallacy, surveillance capitalism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ultimatum game, Vanguard fund, winner-take-all economy, Yochai Benkler

Internet Research Agency, Indictment, Case No. 1:18-cr-00032-DLF (D.D.C. Feb. 16, 2018), https://www.justice.gov/file/1035477/download, ¶¶ 32, 43. 147.Craig Timberg and Tony Romm, “New Report on Russian Disinformation, Prepared for the Senate, Shows the Operation’s Scale and Sweep,” Washington Post, December 17, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/12/16/new-report-russian-disinformation-prepared-senate-shows-operations-scale-sweep/. 148.See, e.g., Bundeskartellamt 2019 Background Paper. 149.Wheeler, The Root of the Matter, 8. 150.Wheeler, The Root of the Matter, 8. 151.Romain Dillet, “French Data Protection Watchdog Fines Google $57 Million under the GDPR,” Tech Crunch, January 21, 2019, https://tcrn.ch/2R0M8E9. 152.Graeme Burton, “Google Now Pays More in EU Fines Than It Does in Taxes,” The Inquirer, February 6, 2019, https://www.theinquirer.net/3070503/. 153.Bundeskartellamt 2019 Background Paper. 154.Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Rohit Chopra, In re Facebook, Inc.

., Bundeskartellamt, Online Advertising, February 2018, https://www.bundeskartellamt.de/SharedDocs/Publikation/EN/Schriftenreihe_Digitales_III.pdf, 8 (noting how “[s]ome even claim that the value of advertising is now first and foremost the value of the data and that the big platforms have huge market advantages on account of their combining reach with data depth”); Furman Report, 1.52, 1.73, 1.79, 1.136. 130.ACCC Preliminary Report, 80. 131.House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Disinformation and ‘Fake News,’ Final Report 2019–8, HC 1791 (February 14, 2019), https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmcumeds/1791/1791.pdf, ¶ 116. 132.House of Commons 2019 Report, ¶ 96 (“From the Six4Three case documents, it is clear that spending substantial sums with Facebook, as a condition of maintaining preferential access to personal data, was part and parcel of the company’s strategy of platform development as it embraced the mobile advertising world.”); Sam Levin, “Facebook Documents Published by UK—the Key Takeaways,” Guardian (Manchester), December 5, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/dec/05/facebook-documents-uk-parliament-key-facts. 133.House of Commons 2019 Report, ¶ 106. 134.House of Commons 2019 Report, ¶ 106. 135.Google Ads, “Grow Your Business with Google Ads,” accessed May 2, 2019, https://ads.google.com/home/ (“Your digital ads can appear on Google at the very moment someone is looking for products or services like yours”). 136.See, e.g., ACCC Preliminary Report, 87 (“Over the past two years, almost half of all complaints received by the ACCC about Google and Facebook from small businesses have been in relation to a lack of transparency in advertising services, including difficulties in disputes.”); see also Bundeskartellamt, Online Advertising: Advertisers often refer to online advertising platforms like those run by Google and Facebook as walled gardens, that is closed platforms or systems on which producers or operators impose user restrictions.


pages: 476 words: 139,761

Kleptopia: How Dirty Money Is Conquering the World by Tom Burgis

active measures, Anton Chekhov, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, coronavirus, corporate governance, Covid-19, COVID-19, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, disinformation, do-ocracy, Donald Trump, energy security, Etonian, failed state, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Julian Assange, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, WikiLeaks

The covert projects would include ‘cyber assaults’ on Ablyazov and those close to him, ‘psyops’ based on a profile produced by psychologists, recruiting ‘agents of influence’ such as journalists, academics and politicians, suborning Ablyazov’s people wherever possible with ‘inducements of all kinds’, bugging and sabotage – ‘the specialists we use are “the best of the best”’ – as well as ‘staff infiltration’, liaising with ‘common enemies’ and ‘media manipulation globally’. Robertson was evidently a practised fake newsman. He knew that, rather than go straight to a reporter with a smear, it worked better if you first planted your disinformation online, say in some anonymously written blog. Thus ‘established’, such allegations ‘can legitimately be reported by the mainstream media’. They could say whatever they wanted about Ablyazov: ‘perverted sexual proclivities, allegations of extreme criminality, jihadi sympathies’. In another email on Kazaword, the nationalised BTA Bank agreed to pay Robertson’s firm $5 million.

They had the same taste in operatives. Trump selected as his top intelligence official a propagandist called Richard Grenell. ‘A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth even has a chance to get its pants on,’ was the quotation, misattributed to Winston Churchill, atop his firm’s website. The disinformation campaigns Grenell himself had orchestrated underscored the point. Before he served the president, he served private clients with a need for alternative facts – among them ENRC, the Trio’s corporation. As for enemies, Trump and Sasha’s approach suggested they concurred with Nazarbayev: ‘Those who agree with and accept his opinions and stick to the rules are in “his” group.

Vogel and Maggie Haberman, ‘Conservative website first funded anti-Trump research by firm that later produced dossier’, New York Times, October 27, 2017, nytimes.com/2017/10/27/us/politics/trump-dossier-paul-singer.html a propagandist: Josh Kovensky, ‘Grenell’s past foreign clients make him unprecedented choice to lead intel community’, Talking Points Memo, February 26, 2020, talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/grenells-past-foreign-clients-make-him-unprecedented-choice-to-lead-intel-community ‘A lie gets halfway’ . . . among them ENRC: Archived version of Capitol Media Partners website, services page, web.archive.org/web/20120620093013/http://capitolmediapartners.com/?page_id=7, and clients page, web.archive.org/web/20120620093019/http://capitolmediapartners.com/?page_id=9. The author emailed Capitol Media Partners to ask what Grenell did for ENRC but received no reply disinformation campaigns: Michael Ames, ‘How Trump’s new intelligence chief spread misinformation about Bowe Bergdahl’, Politico, March 11, 2020, politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/11/richard-grenell-smear-against-bowe-bergdahl-125157 he discovered: David Gerrard and Elizabeth Gerrard v Diligence, particulars of claim, September 6, 2019 Anna Machkevitch: Tabby Kinder, ‘Court date for Hirst collector’, The Times, June 15, 2019, thetimes.co.uk/article/court-date-for-hirst-collector-w2092w006 Benedikt Sobotka: Samuel Rubenfeld, ‘UK drops prosecution of mining executive’, Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2018, wsj.com/articles/u-k-drops-prosecution-of-mining-executive-1541532653 returned to private practice: ‘Former SFO senior prosecutor joins Cohen & Gresser’s London office’, Cohen & Gresser press release, September 2018, sites-cohengresser.vuture.net/8/108/september-2018/jwg-announcement-final.asp?


pages: 524 words: 130,909

The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin

3D printing, affirmative action, Airbnb, anti-communist, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, borderless world, charter city, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, David Graeber, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Extropian, facts on the ground, Ferguson, Missouri, Frank Gehry, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, Haight Ashbury, helicopter parent, hockey-stick growth, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kickstarter, life extension, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, moral panic, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, QAnon, quantitative hedge fund, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Bannon, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, technology bubble, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, the new new thing, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Y Combinator, Y2K, yellow journalism

In April 2019, Reed Hastings and Erskine Bowles, the former Clinton administration official who’d at times supported efforts to rein in Zuckerberg’s power, resigned from the Facebook board. The following March, Ken Chenault, the former CEO of American Express and another board member who’d raised concerns about Facebook’s unwillingness to stop disinformation, followed suit. Zuckerberg replaced those critics with his friends and business partners, including Drew Houston, the thirty-seven-year-old founder of Dropbox, and Peggy Alford, a PayPal executive who’d worked at his for-profit philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. By early 2020, the only board members whose tenure dated to before 2019, other than Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, were Thiel ally Marc Andreessen and Thiel himself

Earlier in the month, the Trump campaign had run ads that claimed that former vice president Biden had pressured Ukraine’s government to drop an investigation into the business dealings of his son Hunter Biden. This was a lie. CNN refused to air the ads, but Facebook allowed them, citing a policy of not fact-checking things that politicians say. Senator Warren called Zuckerberg out, describing Facebook as a “disinformation-for-profit machine.” She said it had “already helped elect Donald Trump once through negligence” and, by failing to fact-check the ads, was again putting its profits above any sense of civic duty. Zuckerberg responded with a speech at Georgetown University. “I know many people disagree, but, in general, I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians or the news in a democracy,” he said, citing Dr.

James O’Keefe, years earlier: Russell Brandon and Colin Lecher, “Facebook Says It Fired Leaker for Participating in Conservative Bias ‘Stunt’,” The Verge, February 27, 2019, https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/27/18243097/facebook-leaker-project-veritas-moderation-documents; Steven Thrasher, “Conservative Facebook Investor Funded Anti-ACORN Videographer,” The Village Voice, September 22, 2009, https://www.villagevoice.com/2009/09/22/conservative-facebook-investor-funded-anti-acorn-videographer/. unwillingness to stop disinformation: Jeff Horwitz and Deepa Seetharaman, “Chenault Leaves Facebook Board after Disagreements with Zuckerberg,” The Wall Street Journal, March 13, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/chenault-leaves-facebook-board-after-disagreements-with-zuckerberg-11584140731. displayed copies of Xi’s book: Adam Taylor, “Why Would Mark Zuckerberg Want Facebook Employees to Read the Chinese President’s Book?”


pages: 276 words: 81,153

Outnumbered: From Facebook and Google to Fake News and Filter-Bubbles – the Algorithms That Control Our Lives by David Sumpter

affirmative action, algorithmic bias, Bernie Sanders, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Minecraft, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, p-value, prediction markets, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Robert Mercer, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, traveling salesman, Turing test

He wasn’t particularly candid when I asked him questions about what they do, but he was keen to tell me one thing: ‘The algorithms Facebook uses are criminal in my opinion, slanted and manipulated, and not always for the right reasons or to benefit the users.’ Apparently, it isn’t as easy as it used to be to spread racism, misogyny and intolerance on social media. Disinformation and fake news have become a prominent feature of all elections. Two days before the French presidential election in 2017, an online disinformation campaign took off around the hashtag #MacronLeaks. Computer hackers had broken into the Emmanuel Macron campaign’s email accounts and posted the contents online. On Twitter, the #MacronLeaks campaign aimed to make sure that people knew about the hack and to create maximum uncertainty about the contents of the leak.


pages: 266 words: 78,986

Quarantine by Greg Egan

cosmic microwave background, dark matter, disinformation, fudge factor, intermodal, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Schrödinger's Cat

I mean, I couldn’t say to the fucking Director, “If you’re such a genius, you tell me how she does it. You tell me how to stop her.” ‘ I shake my head. ‘She didn’t do any of this. She can’t have. Somebody took her. All three times.’ ‘Yeah? Who? Why? What do you call the first two times—dry runs?’ I hesitate. ‘Disinformation? Someone trying to convince you that she could break out on her own, so that when they finally took her, you’d think—’Casey is miming severe incredulity, verging on physical pain. I say, ‘Okay. It sounds like a load of crap to me, too. But I can’t believe she just walked out of there, alone.’ * * * It takes me forever to get to sleep.

Apparently, the program loops endlessly once it finds the factors, repeatedly confirming the result… so either I’ve caused some permanent corruption which is making the machine consistently lie, or the whole audacious scheme has worked—and an independent check on a second computer will soon settle the issue. Just what our sceptical clients will make of this impossible feat, I don’t know; in their place, I’d suspect I was being set up for a torrent of disinformation. Maybe they’ll decode great slabs of genuine data, and assume that it’s all designed to mislead them. I glance up at a patch of cloudless blue sky, and laugh. Po-Kwai is on a rest day, but that’s no problem; I’ve used Ensemble successfully under these conditions three times before. The smeared Nick-and-(dreaming)-Po-Kwai clearly has it down to a fine art now, the requisite skills preserved between incarnations in some corner of my skull, or hers, or both.


pages: 308 words: 85,880

How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age by Andrew Keen

23andMe, Ada Lovelace, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, British Empire, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, digital map, disinformation, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, Filter Bubble, Firefox, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, income inequality, independent contractor, informal economy, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, postindustrial economy, precariat, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social graph, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Future of Employment, the High Line, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tim Cook: Apple, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

Orchestrated by Vladislav Surkov—Putin’s personal advisor and, according to the Anglo-Russian writer Peter Pomerantsev, the “hidden author of Putinism”19—it’s a style of government intent on transforming politics into a tightly produced reality television show of innuendo, gossip, and menacing unreality. Surkov’s Putinism—not unlike, in many ways, the Trumpist spectacle produced by Stephen Bannon and Breitbart News in the United States—transforms politics into a real-time, always-on war of misinformation and disinformation. It is a definitively untrustworthy operation, run, to borrow some words from the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, by a party of “crooks and thieves.” And the internet, with its absence of curatorial authority and the anonymity of many of its users, has become the ideal medium for orchestrating this new type of war against truth.

It has been held responsible for interfering with the 2016 US presidential election.23 Things have got so bad in this onslaught of fake news that in 2015 the European Union set up East Stratcom, its own eleven-person team to defend the Continent against fake news. Recent online lies have included the Swedish government’s support of the Islamic State and EU’s plans to regulate snowmen. Created by the EU to address, in its words, “Russia’s ongoing disinformation campaigns,” East Stratcom has discredited twenty-five hundred stories in the sixteen months since its establishment.24 A year after I met Ilves, I was invited to speak at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, often dubbed the Russian Davos, on a panel about government policy toward data. The panel, which included two of Putin’s most senior advisors on digital policy, was addressing the question: “Is big data a natural asset or a commodity?”


pages: 300 words: 87,374

The Light That Failed: A Reckoning by Ivan Krastev, Stephen Holmes

active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, anti-globalists, bank run, Berlin Wall, borderless world, corporate governance, David Brooks, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, kremlinology, liberal world order, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, nuclear winter, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, postnationalism / post nation state, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, shared worldview, South China Sea, Steve Bannon, the market place, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, WikiLeaks

The problem is that most orchids are too dispersed through the jungle for the wind to carry pollen to them; they depend on insects or birds for this crucial service. But since they do not provide any food or other nutrients for these carriers, orchids have to trick them into perpetuating their species. It was taking care of the orchids and exposing Soviet double agents that made Angleton believe that ‘the essence of disinformation is provocation, not lying.’98 When denying the well-documented presence of Russian Special Forces in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, Putin was not lying. He was provoking, that is goading and needling and poking at the West to elicit a sub-rational, stammering response. He was trying to destabilize and demoralize the West by forcing it to confront the limits of its power.

Although the transformation of English into the global lingua franca once seemed like a signal example of America’s soft power, it now appears to have created a world in which America’s military dominance and economic success are undermined by cultural illiteracy, incurious parochialism and indifference.51 The problem is exacerbated by the tendency for State Department specialists who know the languages and cultures to be sidelined by Defense Department heavyweights who do not. In any case, lack of familiarity with the language, history and politics of other nations naturally engenders suspicion and fear of what one only dimly comprehends. It also raises the chances of being deliberately deceived by carefully tailored, agenda-driven disinformation. When American military personnel in Afghanistan or Iraq report about locals that ‘the only language they understand is force’, they are revealing more about their own monolingual provincialism and tunnel-vision than about the country in which they are stationed and whose domestic conflicts they struggle vainly to decipher.52 Failure to grasp how others think makes strategic action difficult, since strategy requires an ability to foresee how others are likely to react to one’s initiatives.


pages: 326 words: 84,180

Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness by Simone Browne

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, British Empire, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, disinformation, Edward Snowden, European colonialism, ghettoisation, Google Glasses, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, lifelogging, mass incarceration, obamacare, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Scientific racism, security theater, sexual politics, transatlantic slave trade, urban renewal, US Airways Flight 1549, Works Progress Administration

Of the scholars that have written about surveillance as it concerns black people, many have taken as their focus the FBI Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) that ran from 1956 until 1971 and that saw individuals and domestic political organizations deemed subversive, or potentially so, come under investigation by the bureau with the aim of disrupting their activities, discrediting their efforts, and neutralizing their effects, often through infiltration, disinformation, and the work of informants. Sociologist Mike Forrest Keen’s study of the FBI’s surveillance of sociologists such as W. E. B. DuBois and E. Franklin Frazier, David Garrow’s The FBI and Martin Luther King Jr., Theodore Kornweibel on the FBI’s surveillance of the activities of Marcus Garvey and the United Negro Improvement Association through the use of informants and disinformation, or Carole Boyce Davies’s writings on the intense FBI scrutiny of Trinidadian activist, Marxist, and journalist Claudia Jones, for example, form part of this scholarly work.


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, disinformation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

“Silent Collaborators”: Clandestine Cancer Research Financed by Tobacco via the Damon Runyon Fund 14. Ecusta’s Experiments 15. Consensus, Hubris, and Duplicity PART THREE. CONSPIRACY ON A GRAND SCALE 16. The Council for Tobacco Research: Distraction Research, Decoy Research, Filibuster Research 17. Agnotology in Action 18. Measuring Ignorance: The Impact of Industry Disinformation on Popular Knowledge of Tobacco Hazards 19. Filter Flimflam 20. The Grand Fraud of Ventilation 21. Crack Nicotine: Freebasing to Augment a Cigarette’s “Kick” 22. The “Light Cigarette” Scam 23. Penetrating the Universities 24. Historians Join the Conspiracy PART FOUR. RADIANT FILTH AND REDEMPTION 25.

We are encouraged to think of cigarettes as more like coffee or chocolate or a very fine brandy—and not like choking phlegm and a ghostly shadow life in the hospital with tubes up your nose. Smoking is not supposed to be like lead paint or toxic waste or the white-knuckled grip of addiction but rather like hope and peace and choice and the very satisfaction of life itself. 18 Measuring Ignorance The Impact of Industry Disinformation on Popular Knowledge of Tobacco Hazards After smoking Camel cigarettes for twenty-four (24) years, my lungs are as clean as a whistle. SYLVIA SINDELAR TO REYNOLDS, APRIL 28, 1958 Take old George Burns for example; he’s been smoking for (probably) 60 years now, and is probably healthier than average for a man of his age.

An equally misleading propaganda piece, titled The Answers We Seek, had been shown to 324,512 viewers by 1982, including tens of thousands of children.22 TESTIMONIALS OF SMOKERS: THE CONSUMER LETTERS Public opinion polls show that millions of Americans still do not appreciate many of the dangers of tobacco use.23 That is perhaps not surprising in a nation where huge swaths of the population don’t know that humans share a common ancestor with apes, or cling to the preposterous notion that Iraq—or the CIA or Israel—conspired to blow up the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center or that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim. H. L. Mencken once observed that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public; of course the real issue is not lack of intelligence but rather the lingering effects from one of history’s most powerful disinformation campaigns. What can we say about knowledge, beyond what we’ve already learned from polls? The letters written to the tobacco companies are useful in this regard, since here we have the unfiltered testimony of consumers, or at least of those going to the trouble of writing and mailing a letter.


pages: 478 words: 149,810

We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson

4chan, Asperger Syndrome, bitcoin, call centre, Chelsea Manning, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Firefox, hive mind, Julian Assange, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, pirate software, side project, Skype, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

Barr started talking to Hunton & Williams, a law firm whose clients—among them the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bank of America—needed help dealing with opponents. WikiLeaks, for example, had recently hinted at a trove of confidential data it was holding from Bank of America. Barr and two other security firms made PowerPoint presentations that proposed, among other things, disinformation campaigns to discredit WikiLeaks-supporting journalists and cyber attacks on the WikiLeaks website. He dug out his fake Facebook profiles and showed how he might spy on the opponents, “friending” Hunton & Williams’s own staff and gathering intelligence on their personal lives. The law firm appeared interested, but there were still no contracts come January 2011, and HBGary Federal needed money.

Already, rumors were spreading that LulzSec had been founded by the same crew that had hit HBGary. Enemy hackers were posting documents filled with details they had dug up online about each member, much of it wrong but some of it hitting close to home. LulzSec’s members needed to switch their focus from finding targets to protecting themselves. Kayla suggested a mass disinformation campaign. Her idea was to create a Pastebin document revealing that Adrian Lamo owned the domain LulzSec.com; then to add details of other Jesterfags and claim they were members of LulzSec; then to spam the document everywhere. It was a classic social-engineering tactic, and it sometimes worked.

While Sabu was an informant, his lies were aimed at not only other hackers but also journalists. Together with his FBI handlers, he would lie to reporters who hoped for an online interview. Sometimes the reporters were speaking to federal agents, other times it was Sabu but with the agents looking over his shoulder. In the end, it was just another disinformation campaign. Throughout his volatile year with Anonymous, Sabu had proved himself to be a masterful liar. But there was one thing he could not seem to fabricate: his name. At one point in 2011, before his FBI arrest, Hector Monsegur dropped the nickname Sabu online and started trying to use the new nickname Kage or Kaz in private IRC channels.


pages: 224 words: 12,941

From Gutenberg to Google: electronic representations of literary texts by Peter L. Shillingsburg

British Empire, computer age, disinformation, double helix, HyperCard, hypertext link, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, means of production, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Saturday Night Live, Socratic dialogue

Finally, Google’s method of costing and financing its services through user-fees for its advertisers based on hits rather than on licenses or product sales suggests a way to structure the finances of electronic knowledge sites that is significantly different from the sale of books or subscriptions to databases. Yet, web browsers, regardless of the sophistication of their prioritizing processes, have no scholarly refereeing system to vouch for the quality of information and disinformation accessed in a search. Web browsers are independent of concerted efforts to develop coherent bodies of knowledge, thus a search provides at least initially a disordered array of information sites where reliable information and accurate representations of foundation documents are undistinguished, and perhaps indistinguishable, from rumors and gossip.

Index abridgment 32 access to texts 85 open source 106, 108 adaptation 20, 85 aesthetic object 5, 169, 174–6, 178, 182, 186 author’s 174 editor’s 184 intended 174 aesthetics 22, 23, 188 agnosia, tonal 48 Altick, Richard 128 aphasia 47–8 archives 4, 34, 82, 85 CD-based 121 archivists 4, 12 Aristotle 29 artifacts 13, 24, 26, 169, 174–5, 178, 182, 186–7 assumptions 191 Austin, J.L. 46 Australian Colonial Texts Series 36 authenticity 23 author 6, 53, 174 commentary 158 European 186 function 53 German 176 literary 63 putative 34–6, 45 authoring 50 authority 6, 32, 174, 177 author’s 52 in script acts 56 mixed 182–4 unmixed 184 authorship 130 economics of 130 Barthes, Roland 60 Barwell, Graham 10, 141 Beardsley, Monroe 60 Beckett, Samuel Samuel Beckett project 108 Beowulf project 4, 108 Bernays, M. 170 Berrie, Phill 10, 91, 118, 124, 142 bibliographic codes 16–18, 72 Bickerton, Derek 42–3 Binder, Henry 84 biography 60 Birney, Earle 187 Blake, William 4, 142 book 12–14 ‘‘bookness’’ of’ 139 buyers 6, 135 electronic 1–2, 28–9, 65; complexity of 28; as distinguished from print books 29; quality of 29–30 physical condition of 129 as physical object 12, 49, 127, 135 print book 1, 65; advantages 29; as copytext 168; as distinguished from electronic books 29; survival rate 27 production 6, 64 virtual 141 book collecting 151 book historians 136 book history 158 goal of 135 Boorstin, Daniel 193 Bordalejo, Barbara 10 Bornstein, George 8, 16 Bowden, Ann 133–4 Bowers, Fredson 9, 25, 153, 185 Bradbury and Evans 36 Braddon, Mary Elizabeth 147 Bradford, Robin 153 Bree, Linda 10 British Empire 131 Brown, Charles Brockden 164 Brown-Rau, Alexandra 108 Bryant, John 8–9 209 210 Index Burton, Anthony 123 Byron, George Gordon, Lord 16, 72, 185 Caldwell, Price 10, 75, 77 Calvin, William H. 43, 46 Cambridge, Ada 36 Carlyle, Thomas 161, 170 Carey, Peter 64 Caxton, William 179 censorship 33 Center for Editions of American Authors (see Modern Language Association) Cervantes 29 Chaucer, Geoffrey 4, 87, 179–84 Chaucer project 142, 144 The General Prologue on CD-ROM 87 Chesnutt, David 142 Chopin, Kate 36 Clark, Marcus 120 Cockran, Patti 142 codex 29, 85 Cohen, Morton 131 Colby, Robert 122 Cole, Gavin 10 collation Hinman Collator 110 historical 164 Lindstrand Comparator 110 sight 22, 110 software 107 Committee on Scholarly Editions (see Modern Language Association) communication 7, 41–2, 45 event 67 of determinate effects 63 theory 140 Communist Manifesto, the 16–18 compositors 181 computer files legacy research materials 109, 112, 115, 122; quality control 116 computer technology 26–8, 139 (see also software and markup) Contemporary German Editorial Theory 9, 169 context 31, 54, 66, 78, 146, 191 functional 67 generative 54 generic 55 historical 59, 130 matter 54 place 54 relevant 74 sense-making 73 thematic 55 time 54 contextualization 55 conventionality 41 conventions 50–1 copyright 139 copyright law 132 costing 2 Crane, Stephen 84 criticism, literary 12, 63, 83, 151 junk 75 Marxist 130 New 60, 75 Practical 60 psychological 60 reader response 45 textual (see textual criticism) critics literary (see criticism) textual (see textual critics) Cross, Nigel 127, 128 cultural engineering 163 deconstruction 51–3 Descartes, René 198 Dedner, Burghard 26 Deppman, Jed 10 Derrida, Jacques 43, 51, 60 de Saussure, Ferdinand 60 de Smedt, Marcel 91, 108 Dewey, John 196 Dickens, Charles Clarendon Dickens editions 134 Dickinson, Emily 4, 65, 75 Emily Dickinson project 142 Dijksterhuis, E. J. 192 discourse communities 23, 43 disinformation 2 documents 13, 14–15, 26, 180–1, 184 authority 182 foundation 2 paper 1 physical 5, 96, 174 source material 2, 19, 111 Donne, John John Donne Variorum 107 Dreiser, Theodore 83 Duggan, Hoyt 142 DVD movie 85 Eaves, Morris 142 Eco, Umberto 60, 192 editing 111, 145, 157, 179 as creative activity 7 electronic 1 Index French genetic criticism 9 German historical-critical 9, 169, 178 goals of 12 intentionalist school 56, 169, 185 as reconstruction 26, 52 as restoration 7, 26 scholarly 31, 44, 95, 109, 140, 152, 161–2, 174; computer-assisted 97; goal of 82, 170, 174, 81–2, 96; as literary criticism 144, 166; paradigm 81 textual 171 theory 11 edition CD-based 121 clear-text 18, 154, 172 customized 82 critical 156, 184 electronic 4–5, 16, 34, 38, 82, 98, 164; characteristics 89–90; creation of 94; design and construction of 94, 103, 114, 145; discussion of 92; limitations of 110; linking 156; The Literary Text in the Digital Age 141; navigation 98; ‘‘pulp texts’’ 140 electronic scholarly 50, 85, 88, 96–7, 103, 149; adaptations 102; bibliographical analysis 101; capabilities 101–2; collations.101; context presentation 93, 101; digital images 101, 107; document representation 92, 101; emendations 101; history of 141–2; industry standards 98, 99; intertextuality 102; linguistic analysis 102; methodology 93; reception history 102; textual analysis 101; transcriptions 101; user enhancements 102; uses for 93 failure of 157 first 129, 149 Historical-Critical 173 print 97; limitations of 110; as off-shoots of electronic editions 97–8; reprint 139–40, 149 print scholarly 117, 164 scholarly 7, 34, 84, 173; components 169; introduction 146 user 12, 82–3, 97 user-controlled 83 editors 82, 96–7, 144, 170 Anglo-American 173–6, 178, 182–4 controlling 83 function 99 German historical-critical 172–6, 181, 184 insight 169, 172 of new projects 111 presence in text 163 scholarly 56, 94, 109, 157, 168, 179, 180; responsibility of 171 Eggert, Paul 8, 10, 12, 26, 91, 141–2, 190 Eliot, George 148 Mill on the Floss 166–7 Eliot, Simon 128 error 15, 20, 30, 155, 184, 189 innocent 15, 30, 85 misprints 178 sophistications 15, 30–1 typographical 15, 30, 72 Essick, Robert 142 facts 191 Faulkner, William 180–1 Feltes, N.N. 131 financing 2, 103–4, 106, 112–13 Fiormonte, Domenico 4, 10 Firestone Library 146 Fitzgerald, F.


pages: 316 words: 91,969

Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America by William McGowan

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, corporate governance, David Brooks, different worldview, disinformation, East Village, friendly fire, haute couture, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, medical residency, New Journalism, obamacare, payday loans, postnationalism / post nation state, pre–internet, Seymour Hersh, uranium enrichment, yellow journalism, young professional

The Times cheered when President Obama released the so-called “torture memos” detailing previously classified information on CIA interrogation methods; “Memos Spell Out Brutal CIA Mode of Interrogation,” its front-page headline screamed. When Obama gave his May 2009 speech on terrorism and detention policy, the editorial board expressed “relief and optimism,” saying that for seven years “President George W. Bush tried to frighten the American public—and successfully cowed Congress—with bullying and disinformation.” Obama, said the editors, “was exactly right when he said Americans do not have to choose between security and their democratic values. By denying those values, the Bush team fed the furies of anti-Americanism, strengthened our enemies and made the nation more vulnerable.” Obama himself had sent a number of signals that while he would be breaking with certain Bush terror policies, there would be no retribution.

Martinez came in after the rough stuff, “the ultimate good cop with the classic skills: an unimposing presence, inexhaustible patience and a willingness to listen to the gripes and musings of a pitiless killer in rambling, imperfect English,” Shane reported. “He achieved a rapport with Mr. Mohammed that astonished his fellow C.I.A. officers. A canny opponent, Mr. Mohammed mixed disinformation and braggadocio with details of plots, past and planned. Eventually, he grew loquacious.” They would have long talks about religion, comparing notes on Islam and Catholicism, one CIA officer recalled, adding another detail that no one could have predicted: “He wrote poems to Deuce’s wife.” The story of Martinez and KSM, suggested Shane and the Times, appeared to show that traditional methods alone might have elicited the same information or more from KSM than were obtained by waterboarding.


The Internet Trap: How the Digital Economy Builds Monopolies and Undermines Democracy by Matthew Hindman

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, accounting loophole / creative accounting, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, bounce rate, cloud computing, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, disinformation, Donald Trump, fault tolerance, Filter Bubble, Firefox, future of journalism, Ida Tarbell, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the telescope, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, lake wobegon effect, large denomination, longitudinal study, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, New Economic Geography, New Journalism, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, performance metric, price discrimination, recommendation engine, Robert Metcalfe, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Stewart Brand, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, Ted Nelson, The Chicago School, Thomas Malthus, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Yochai Benkler

By contrast, solutions that depend on voluntary action by a few small firms are untenable on their face. For firms that do want to limit their collection of private data, there is currently no solution to this prisoner’s dilemma. Strong regulation is the only way out of this catch-22. Public Discourse and Disinformation Evolutionary audiences create other vulnerablities, too: they provide novel and often insidious ways for states to influence public discourse. Recent work by Samantha Bradshaw and Phil Howard has catalogued the rapid emergence of “cyber troops”—organized government, military, or political party teams trying to shape public opinion on social media—in more than two dozen countries.39 Some states have developed and used these capabilities to constrain domestic media.

and, 1, 3 auctions, 3, 42, 86, 101 audience reach: attention economy and, 11–14; categories of content and, 165; churn and, 9, 84–85, 88–95, 100–101, 163–64, 167; compounded, 133; Darwinism and, 13, 136, 165–67, 169, 203n9; distribution of, 6, 12–13, 84–85, 88–100, 112, 114, 155, 167–69, 171, 179, 185; evolutionary model and, 164–67; false solutions and, 137–46; growth patterns in, 84, 88, 91, 95–96, 100; headlines and, 13, 32, 36, 38, 107, 147, 149–50, 154–57, 160–61; logarithms and, 88–96, 97, 100, 184–86; methodology and, 184–92; mobile devices and, 2–4, 13, 39, 69, 109, 137, 142–44, 147, 152, 160, 165, 167, 170, 179; nature of internet and, 162–80; news and, 104–18, 121–22, 126–30, 133–39, 142–49, 152, 154, 157–61, 169; overlap and, 67, 76–77, 108, 110; paywalls and, 132, 137–40, 147, 160; public sphere and, 10–11, 13–14, 99, 169; rankings and, 7, 25, 31, 54, 84–96, 100, 110–12, 136, 157, 186; recommendation systems and, 60 (see also recommendation systems); stability and, 165; traffic and, 83–96, 99–101, 104–11, 114–18, 121, 129, 134, 169, 186–89; unique visitors and, 87–88, 106–11, 128, 134 AWS, 153, 168, 203n28 Ayres, Ian, 3 Bagdikian, Benjamin, 171 Bai, Matt, 7 Bankler, Yochai, 12, 170 Banko, Michele, 51 Bank of America, 9 Barlow, John Perry, 162–63, 176 BBC, 32 Beam, Christopher, 35 behavioral targeting, 55–58 Being Digital (Negroponte), 38 Bell, Robert, 44–49 bell curve, 92–93, 95 BellKor, 44–49 Bellman, Steven, 34 Bell Telephone, 16–17 Berners-Lee, Tim, 3 Bezos, Jeff, 72, 139, 147, 150 Bieschke, Eric, 38 BigChaos, 47 BigTable, 21, 23 Bing: attention economy and, 3; economic geography and, 79; Experimentation System and, 28; experiments and, 24–25, 28, 31; market share of, 3, 30–31, 195n63; nature of internet and, 174; news and, 32, 61, 134; page views and, 24; revenue and, 24, 31, 70; tilted playing field and, 24, 28, 30–32 “Bing It On” (Microsoft campaign), 31 black box problem, 52 blogs: attention economy and, 7–9, 13; Darwinism and, 136; economic geography and, 77; methodology and, 189; nature of internet and, 169; news and, 121, 133, 136–37, 155–56, 159; personalization and, Index 45, 50; political, 136; tilted playing field and, 17, 25, 35; Webb and, 45 Boczkowski, Pablo, 70–71 Borg, 21, 23 Boston, 113–14 Bosworth, Andrew, 162 Bowman, Douglas, 25 Box, George, 64 Bradshaw, Samantha, 177 Branch, John, 152 Brand, Stewart, 164 branding, 28–32, 36, 86, 166 Brexit, 58 Brill, Eric, 51 Broadband penetration, 124, 126, 190 browsers, 2, 24–25, 34, 107, 143, 175, 195n63 budget constraints, 72, 181 Buffet, Warren, 102 bundling, 65–67, 76–77, 197n8, 198n10, 198n14 Buzzfeed, 137, 145, 149–51, 159–60, 168 Caffeine, 21, 23 Cambridge Analytica, 40, 58, 59 Campus Network, 35–36 capitalism, 20, 85, 162, 176 Census Bureau, 190 Center for Public Integrity, 140 Chancellor, Joseph, 58 Chandler, Alfred, 20 Chartbeat, 107, 149, 153 Chicago, 113, 141 China, 80, 177–78, 193n5 Christie’s, 42 Chrome, 24–25, 145 churn, 9, 84–85, 88–95, 100–1, 163–64, 167 Chyri, Iris, 130 CineMatch, 43–44, 46, 50 Clauset, Aaron, 184 clickbait, 150 click-through rates, 56–57 cloud computing, 34, 153–54, 168, 203n28 CNN, 9, 32, 39, 72, 107, 159 Colossus, 21, 23 Columbia Journalism Review, 119, 148 Comcast, 172 comment systems, 19 comparative advantage, 62–63, 80, 82 • 227 competition: attention economy and, 1, 3–4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 165–66; bundling and, 67; economic geography and, 64, 67, 74, 78; nature of internet and, 164–70, 173–75; news and, 104, 114–15, 135, 137, 146, 149, 159, 164–70, 173–75; personalization and, 40; political economy and, 40–53, 60; search engines and, 1; social networks and, 35–36; tilted playing field and, 16–17, 21–22, 26–37; traffic and, 83, 86–87, 101 comScore: attention economy and, 10; nature of internet and, 187–88; news and, 104–10, 113, 116, 119–22, 127, 128–29; traffic and, 87, 199n19 concentration: attention economy and, 2–9, 13; dispersion and, 6, 42, 100, 200n23; economic geography and, 63–64, 68, 78, 80–81; forces of, 5–8, 19, 30, 61, 64, 80, 184; lopsided understanding of internet and, 5–8; markets and, 9, 30, 68, 78, 85–88, 99–100, 104, 114–15, 122, 127–30, 171, 184, 199n15; methodology and, 184; nature of internet and, 164, 171–72, 179; news and, 104, 114–15, 122, 126–28, 130, 134; personalization and, 39, 61; revenue and, 2–4, 8, 68, 171, 179; tilted playing field and, 19, 30, 32; traffic and, 7–8, 30, 32, 63, 83–88, 96, 99–101, 104, 122, 171, 199n15 Congress, 104, 141–42 conservatives, 32, 48, 69, 72, 75, 131, 175 consumption: attention economy and, 6, 10; branding and, 28–32, 36, 86, 166; bundling and, 65–67, 76–77, 197n8, 198n10, 198n14; digital content production and, 71–80; economic geography and, 63–68, 70–76, 79; experience goods and, 29–30; methodology and, 181–84; models and, 181–84; nature of internet and, 164–65, 168, 172–75; news and, 110, 113, 122, 125–29, 143, 149; personalization and, 42–43, 50, 57–58; preferences and, 5, 8, 32, 43, 54, 63–65, 69–81, 181–84, 198n41; price discrimination and, 66, 139; switching costs and, 8, 34, 63, 72, 78–79, 164; tilted playing field and, 17, 22–26, 29–34, 37; traffic and, 86; unique visitors and, 87–88, 106–11, 128, 134 cookies, 107 cost per thousand impressions (CPM), 69 court system, 6, 129, 148 creative destruction, 84, 167 228 • Index CSS, 143 CU Community, 35–36 DailyKos, 75 Daily Me, The, 38–39, 61 Daily You, The (Turow), 39 Dallas Morning News, 118 dark fiber, 21 Darwinism, 13, 136, 165–67, 169, 203n9 data centers, 2, 12, 15–16, 20–23, 54 data mining, 59, 135 data packets, 22, 171 “Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A” (Barlow), 162–63 deep learning, 21 DeepMind, 23, 194n24 democracy, 7, 70, 103–4, 163, 175–78, 180 DeNardis, Laura, 171 Department of Justice, 115, 130 Des Moines Register, 136 Detroit, 83 digital content production model, 71–80 Dinosaur Planet, 46–47, 49 disinformation, 177–78 dispersion, 6, 42, 100, 200n23 distribution costs, 12–13, 155, 167–69, 179 diversity: economic geography and, 8, 63–64, 79; methodology and, 189, 191; nature of internet and, 180; news and, 104–5, 115, 118, 129–30, 149; personalization and, 53, 60–61 DNAinfo, 141 Dremel, 27 Duarte, Matias, 27 duopolies, 4, 30, 42, 68, 180 Earl, Jennifer, 169 Easterbrook, Frank, 175 eBay, 3, 26, 39, 42, 86–87, 175 economic geography: advertising and, 3–4, 63, 67–69, 80; agglomeration and, 9, 63, 82–83; aggregation and, 65–67, 76–77; Apple and, 79–80; apps and, 80; auctions and, 3, 42, 86, 101; audience reach and, 87, 104, 106–11, 114–18, 121, 129, 134, 169, 186–89; Bing and, 79; blogs and, 77; bundling and, 65–67, 76–77, 197n8, 198n10, 198n14; comparative advantage and, 62–63, 80; competition and, 64, 67, 74, 78; concentration and, 63–64, 68, 78, 80–81; consumption and, 63–67, 70–76, 79; customers and, 17, 24, 30, 33, 50, 57, 68, 149, 164, 172, 174; digital content production and, 71–80; dispersion and, 6, 42, 100, 200n23; distribution costs and, 12–13, 155, 167–69, 179; diversity and, 8, 63–64, 79; economies of scale and, 63–67, 74, 76, 79, 81; efficiency and, 63, 65, 67–68; Facebook and, 68, 79–80; Google and, 68–69, 79–80; government subsidies and, 133, 137, 140–42; hyperlocal sites and, 68, 77–78, 81, 101–4, 119, 121, 130–37, 164, 180; increasing returns and, 36–37, 63–64, 80–81, 181, 184; international trade and, 5, 62, 80; investment and, 73; journalism and, 78, 81; Krugman and, 6, 62–63, 80; lock-in and, 34–37, 61, 101, 173; long tails and, 8, 70, 84, 184, 199n15; markets and, 63–68, 74–75, 77–78; media preferences and, 69–71; Microsoft and, 65–66; models and, 63–65, 69–81, 198n27, 198n41; Netflix and, 70; networks and, 68–69; news and, 65–80; newspapers and, 65, 68–69, 78; page views and, 24, 87, 106, 108–18, 121, 125–29, 151, 157, 160–61, 188–89, 200n18; paywalls and, 107, 109, 132, 137–40, 147, 160; preferences and, 5, 8, 32, 43, 54, 63–65, 69–81, 181–84, 198n41; profit and, 73–77, 81; protectionism and, 174; quality and, 72–78, 81, 83–84; revenue and, 63, 65–68, 73–75, 79; search costs and, 8, 30, 34, 37, 41–43, 63, 72–74, 168, 181–82; search engines and, 64, 79–81; software and, 65–66; stickiness and, 74; subscriptions and, 65, 67; television and, 66, 70; traffic and, 63, 77–81; video and, 69, 76; Yahoo!


pages: 1,386 words: 379,115

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton

car-free, complexity theory, disinformation, forensic accounting, gravity well, megacity, megastructure, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, planetary scale, trade route, trickle-down economics

‘Speaking of which; are you absolutely sure Elaine Doi is a Starflyer agent?’ Bradley leant forwards over the table. ‘That wasn’t us.’ ‘Excuse me?’ ‘A very well executed fake. I have to admit, the Starflyer is becoming quite sophisticated in its campaign against us. Physically, Bruce and his kind are causing a lot of expensive damage while disinformation like that shotgun is damaging our credibility. Just when we were starting to attract a degree of media interest, not to mention political support. Still, I blame myself, I should have anticipated such a move.’ Adam finally sipped some of the Gifford’s champagne to help wash down a scone. ‘You know, that might have been a dangerous move on their part.’

We are looking for any Starflyer connection among the Commonwealth political elite. She might well be the link.’ ‘Isabella as a Starflyer agent? That’s hard to swallow.’ ‘You said yourself there’s something wrong about her. That shotgun did a lot of damage to the Guardians’ credibility. It is logical to assume the Starflyer would use disinformation of that nature to damage its one true opponent. Her involvement would confirm her connection to its network.’ ‘But she’s only twenty-one, and she was going out with Kantil two years ago. How would she get mixed up in something like that so young? She spent most of her early life on Solidade.

As she said it, she realized how weak it sounded. ‘I should have absolute proof in a couple of days. That’s why I’m preparing the groundwork now.’ ‘They accused Doi of being a Starflyer agent. The President herself.’ ‘She’s not.’ Justine recalled the conversation she’d just had with Bradley Johansson. ‘That was part of a disinformation campaign to discredit the Guardians.’ He clicked his fingers. ‘Your interest in revisiting the Sorbonne Wood weekend. That’s a part of this as well.’ ‘We were being manipulated.’ ‘Preparing us for war. Yes, I see now. Just as the Guardians claim.’ ‘You say it with such scepticism.’ ‘And did you blindly follow your father’s belief?’


pages: 592 words: 161,798

The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, disinformation, Donald Trump, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Glasses, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, long peace, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

In addition, the possibilities of disinformation as war-fighting had been part of Soviet military doctrine.17 Russian efforts used social media to spread false messages and create misleading impressions to weaken opponents, especially with their own public opinion. The EU spoke of ‘hybrid threats’ because it saw this as a form of activity that could help undermine security even at times of comparative peace. Evidence was found in the role, confirmed by the US intelligence community, played by Russia during the 2016 presidential election, employing disinformation and leaks of hacked emails, in undermining Democrat Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

And on the other, it takes on the other definition of “cool,” in that it involves the latest cutting-edge technologies in ways that are changing the paradigm of conflict to a much greater degree than any of those employed during the Cold War—which was, after all, about old-fashioned geopolitical jockeying for advantage in anticipation of potential old-school total warfare.15 The risks attached to major war and the reluctance to commit substantial forces to lesser conflicts have led major powers to search for ways, whether subversion of the political process, economic coercion, cyber-attacks, or brazen disinformation campaigns, to influence events while keeping their liabilities limited and risks managed. Again there was the difficulty that these methods were unlikely to bring much to a conclusion but instead encouraged niggling, persistent conflicts until at some point a way was found to sort out the underlying issues or else some spark moved them out of the grey zone and back into open warfare.


pages: 314 words: 101,452