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Greenwald writes: "I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself."

Glenn Greenwald. (photo: Salon)
Glenn Greenwald. (photo: Salon)

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A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+13 # polfrosch 2014-02-25 10:58
"1984" is on the rise.

Snowden is the hero who opened our eyes.

Now is the time for "High Noon".

We will to have to fight for real freedom without the mainstream media. They failed us.

The watchdog of democracy is consumptive, deaf and half blind.

Which means: it fulfills it´s purpose. Not it´s true purpose, but the purpose of the deep state.

This above and rsn is rare and precious. True watchdogs.

The purposeful mainstream media watchdogs are busy airing documentary No. 214 and typing article No. 345.243 to educate us about how dumb these people are who fall for "conspiracy theories".
 
 
+14 # Anonymot 2014-02-25 11:35
It all seems pretty simple-minded, but then the people who use it are pretty simple minded. Worse, it probably works pretty often, because their targets are no more sophisticated than they are.

The real point, of course, is that all of this is symptomatic of a fascist state, neither a true democracy or the America we believed we lived in.

Then if you read this you wonder if there's anything we can do about it:
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/22216-a-shadow-government-controls

Once upon a time we thought Obama was a nice guy and Hillary would make a good President. Now that we know that they are part of our sub rosa, illegal government, where do we go from here? They own our guns, our technology, and our money. How do we claw our way back to a democratic future.
 
 
+8 # polfrosch 2014-02-25 15:23
It may seem simple-minded. But it is elaborate.

The Stasi would break into the apartment of a target victim they wanted to "decompose" (that´s what they called it) and just move some furniture. The target victim would react like anyone reacts to the violation of the intimacy of a home: shocked and traumatized. This can be quite serious.

If the victim would tell about the burglary to social contacts, even friends and relatives would ridicule the story: "You mean the Stasi broke into your apartment just to push your closet a foot to the side? Come on..." The more the victim would insist and try to get sympathy or empathy, the more adverse the reactions.

Then the Stasi would position empty bottles in front of the apartment, and start rumours: the person had affairs, was a drunkard, had deviant sexual behaviour, a dark secret. = stuff neighbours like to talk about.

At the same time the Stasi would start rumours the target victim alledgedly was talking bad about it´s social contacts.

Friends and relatives would turn away, stop calling and break up. Social decomposition.

This method destroyed personalities and drove people into suicide.

It works via Facebook too - I´m shure. It´s "simple-minded" - but can be deadly.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2014-02-26 12:30
And it's a good reason to avoid "social media" like facebook at all costs.
 
 
+6 # cordleycoit 2014-02-25 12:05
A lot of the above we have seen over the years and some of reads like the bad ideas of a situationist group think. Some of the more offensive hacks done include dns attacks on alternative press, sending viruses that burn up machines, planting trolls, beatings, fiery accidents and an endless parade of provocateurs.We remain in opposition to the thugs and corporate creeps. Thinking people are started thinking and the truth keeps emerging. As the forces race to defeat us they rush to their own doom,
 
 
+3 # Lucretius 2014-02-25 13:45
The San Francisco Chronicle reported last year that the Pentagon would be putting people on social websites to interact and influence the course of discussion. This means the Pentagon has its own ideological position. Greenwald, in this long article, talks about destroying reputations. I'm sure this is all true. I'd like to know more about who is being targetting than simply Anonymous hactivists.

But there is a more important point that I believe Greenwald has missed in pouring on these charts and diagrams on us--and that's the government now pushes a certain viewpoint upon society through couvert intelligence. The million dollar question is what exactly is that viewpoint? And how do you presently characterzie the ideology of an organization like the Pentagon that operates covertly to influence politically influence people in certain directions?

Greenwald doesn't name any other specific groups. The information is still vague, general, just about how the government does this. The question is WHAT groups and IN WHAT DIRECTION?

This is a long standing government program known as COINTELPRO. The only difference is now the mechanism of the internet. So Glenn, please tell us something new and up to date here.
 
 
+1 # artistinaspen 2014-02-28 10:21
Ouch.

Regardless, the government is out of control.

Glenn left America because he felt he kept hitting himself against the wall with the judicial system; however, I live in Colorado where it may get interesting by drawing a line in the sand with the elites:

http://www.aspentimes.com/entertainment/9293008-113/mulcahy-skico-crowns-lawsuit
 
 
+4 # mgwmgw 2014-02-25 17:34
Think critically.
Do not believe everything that you read or hear.
It may be a lie. It may be a mistake.
It may be incomplete from limited space or attention span.
It may be selective on purpose, true as far as I goes, but misleading.
It may be a mixture of these, a little fact and a whole lot of fiction.

Governments can do this. Other people can do this too.
That is why transparency is important,
and why secrecy often leads to bad things.

If somebody says something, consider why they say it.

I believe, but have no way to prove, that the government's position is pretty clear, that the least bad alternative is pretty much the status quo, with power to the highest bidder, ever increasing concentration of wealth, and incremental loss of constitutional rights justified by never ending war and fear. Any attempt to find a better alternative would be guided somewhere unproductive, shown to be impractical, outspent, suppressed violently, or in other ways defeated. This has been rather effective up to now.
 
 
-3 # polfrosch 2014-02-26 04:42
Quoting mgwmgw:
I believe, but have no way to prove, that the government's position is pretty clear, that the least bad alternative is pretty much the status quo, with power to the highest bidder, ever increasing concentration of wealth, and incremental loss of constitutional rights justified by never ending war and fear.


Wow. You sound like an 80 year old citizen of the USSR in the early 1980s. Timid.
Is it that bad in the USA? You don´t believe in your essential contribution to the history of mankind any more?
"Enjoy life under british colonial rule, the future will be terrible!" ???
 
 
-1 # polfrosch 2014-02-27 04:05
Rereading your statement I noticed I can understand it in 2 meanings:
1. You describe the governments position as pretty clear and least bad possibility and agree with it.
2. You describe the governmnets position and do not agree with it.

My other comment is for possiblity 1.

If it is 2.: I´m sorry, it was a misunderstandin g.
 
 
+5 # Nominae 2014-02-25 17:36
From the article above: "the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”indepen dent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups."

Really goes a long way toward explaining many of the totally inane, wildly off subject, and even aggressively single topic postings (i.e. thorium nukes) that pop up right here on our own RSN feed.

One of my favorites was the poster who, right after the Snowden releases, was sweating blood trying to convince us of what a benevolent, benign and impotent bunch of folks were the staff and contractors of the NSA.

This poster was swearing to us that the NSA could do little harm with only the "couple of hundred" employees at their disposal.

But "disruption" ? There is no shortage of that at RSN, and the sad result is the way that the readership usually falls for it, allowing such bomb throwers to totally commandeer and redirect the entire conversation, taking it as far away as possible from the content of the article supposedly under discussion.

As difficult as it may be to do, the best response to "disruption" and "bomb throwing" is simply to ignore it as one might ignore an unpleasant child, and return ASAP to the actual subject under discussion.

These "plants" are being paid. Regular readers are not.
 
 
+4 # treadlightly 2014-02-25 19:36
This story took an abnormally long time to open on my phone, as if it had to travel through a series of filters.
Bless the truth tellers for sacrificing everything so that we might overcome the tyrants.
I don't think I can be shocked anymore by the extent of corruption inherent in our government.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2014-02-25 23:37
Quoting treadlightly:
This story took an abnormally long time to open on my phone, as if it had to travel through a series of filters.


While it is always prudent to be wary, this article takes so long to load (even on a desk top) in large part because of all the graphics intensive enclosures that Mr. Greenwald includes from da gub-mint.

And, bless his heart for doing so. This stuff has *so* much more impact when we are allowed to read right out of the official training manuals.
 
 
+1 # ritawalpoleague 2014-02-28 09:44
Yes indeed, NOMINAE, bless Greenwald's heart (and mind also). All this constant surveillance and constant breaking into our computers and cell phones, combined with manipulation of both is the villainaire rulers' trying, per usual, to control us all. Cannot have word of mouth, now word of truth via communications on computers and cell phones, interfering with their total takeover, now can the evil villainaires.
 
 
+2 # ishmael 2014-02-25 19:55
Human Science Operations Cell .... aren't "cells" the things NOT to be?
 
 
+2 # ishmael 2014-02-25 19:55
Attempting to control online discussion ....
 
 
+5 # Willman 2014-02-25 20:37
This article is telling us the length and breadth as well as the depth our government's will go to maintain and further the "status quo"
Whose status quo you might ask?
Why the "Deep State's" of course.
Just buy their crap food,consumer and financial products and don't question their authority.And do not post drivel like this on the internet or we might discredit you.
 
 
+4 # bibi 2014-02-25 21:29
Nobody can stop the truth from coming out eventually.
 
 
+2 # polfrosch 2014-02-26 04:19
Sadly - I don´t think this is true. (I would love to be wrong though.)

The truth will come out if a state has to

1. capitulate militarily, is
2. deconstructed completely and has
3. lost all essential credibility.

The truth about Nazi Germany came out to 95% (some secrets stay with the victorious powers who obtained them.)

The truth about the USSR came out, say 40% maximum.

The truth about the USA, say about 20% maximum. (Just look at Snowdens info!)

We know less about e.g. the real history of the cold war than about ancient Carthage.

It´s more prudent to tackle this actively than to hope for an invisible hand.

And this also means we MUST protect people like Snowden, keep him independent and safe and respect him as hero.

We have to make an example of him. The more people follow his example, the better for a real democracy.

The US government wants to make him an example too, but with a 180 degree different perspective.

I do believe this is a struggle of fundamental importance.

It is the struggle against the Deep State and 1984.

These structures are on the rise. In USA, GB (UKUSA treaty/"Five Eyes"), Russia and China. They come with power. There is not much difference between these states regarding this topic.
 
 
+2 # swissms 2014-02-26 01:57
Does anyone remember Watergate? that was enough of a revelation to cause the president to leave office. I dub this Infiltrationgat e.
 
 
0 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-02-26 15:55
You make an excellent point. But these are different times. We the People are now resigned to surveillance. Watergate....to day? If it happened today? I mean..look at the stuff that's gone down and not a peep. The 2000 election, 9/11, the wars----even when people get in the street and protest, it seems to do no good. The good guys planes go down in flames. And the world yawns..except here at RSN for which I am very thankful on a daily basis.
 
 
0 # treadlightly 2014-02-26 09:17
The tactic I see employed with the most success is division by comparison. Using our strong competitive natural instincts against us.
Observe for yourself how much happier and successful people who are good at sharing cooperatively can be.
Of course this means less profits for people of the 1% who care about cooperation only when it benefits them.
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2014-02-26 12:33
NOTE TO RSN:

I have an idea that would greatly reduce all trolling on this site.

1. Allow people who reply to other's comments to get 2 chances:
-person 1 comments.
-person 2 replies.
-person 1 defends himself.
-person 2 gets a last chance.
-person 1 gets the last word.

2. Allow a maximum number of total comments per thread. Maybe 10 or so. I comment a lot on some threads, but the ones where I comment the most are always in response to someone else who seems to be trolling (usually one of only about 4 commenters, and most of you know who they are).

----------

My idea might be difficult to program and automate. I don't know. Maybe it could be left up to the honor system and moderated by the administrators.

Anyway, it would have a few very positive effects:

1. People would be forced to think out what they plan to say and not just write willy-nilly.

2. Trolls couldn't do much distracting, before they'd be eliminated from the discussion.

3. More individuals would be encouraged to comment, because the threads wouldn't always be dominated by the same individuals.

(I've seen numerous occassions when a troll effectively destroys entire discussions, by simply being an irritant, making incessant smartassed remarks, and making sure every other comment offered is by him. A particular individual comes to mind... This would destroy his ability to do that.)
 
 
-2 # John S. Browne 2014-02-26 22:05
#

Sorry, bad idea, "B.B.". Limiting the number of comments is limiting freedom of speech. What should "simply" happen, though such sites as RSN can't seem to be bothered, is that those who are OBVIOUS shill-trolls should be banned. Freedom of speech does NOT include working a government and/or other organizations', such as NGOs, agenda to falsely propagandize and deceive. I capitalized the word, "obvious", because sites need to be VERY careful, and be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the "shill-trolls" they ban, truly are shill-trolls; but no shill-trolls should be tolerated WHATSOEVER. I don't think this is particularly difficult, because real shill-trolls are usually quite obvious. Yes, maybe then they'd work to further deceive by making it less obvious, but that would work to the benefit of all of us in a way because at least there probably wouldn't be as much ad hominem attacks and contentiousness coming from true shill-trolls going on. I think this is a really workable idea. What do you think?

#
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2014-02-26 22:54
But, it's difficult to prove who's a troll in a way we can all objectively agree on. People don't always even agree on the definition of the word, "troll". Also, if you're interested in free speech, you should want people to challenge you. No troll can do much damage, if they're not allowed to make more remarks than other people.

As far as freedom of speech, first of all, RSN isn't the U.S. government, and it can moderate any way it sees fit. Second of all, allowing people to make incessant remarks (sometimes 100 in one comment thread) absolutely encourages trolls to attack the conversation and, effectively, scare everyone else away.

Limiting the number of comments, would discipline people to take the conversation seriously. I'd LOVE to be only allowed 10 comments per thread, so long as the same rule applied to everyone.

P.S. I just counted, and on a previous thread from a few days ago (about global warming), "Malcolm" made 67 comments. Most of them were just childish insults. None of them involved any substance. I've seen him do this over and over and over, every time the subject of global warming is brought up. It basically scares away most other commenters from the thread, because they simply can't compete with the seemingly endless amount of time he has on his hands. You can NOT engage him in meaningful debate, it immediately breaks down to insults and nasty remarks. People get sick of it and stay away.

His "freedom of speech" stifles everyone else's.
 
 
-2 # John S. Browne 2014-02-27 00:15
#

I'm very tired of people parroting that lie about freedom of speech, like the First Amendment and most, if not all, of the Bill of Rights supposedly only apply to the government. But we ALL have the DUTY and/or RESPONSIBILITY as Americans to obey the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and that of course includes the First Amendment. We are born with human and civil rights. They are innate to us. Therefore, they can't be taken away, and we don't give them up ANYWHERE. Yes, there is a matter of courtesy when not carrying out protest; but, other than that, we have freedom of speech EVERYWHERE, and don't give it up anywhere, contrary to the false belief that we supposedly do. We particularly have freedom of speech on all public property, but we don't give it up on private property either, especially in businesses, such as comment sections on websites, where the space has been opened to the public. In ALL of those places, the "proprietors" have the First Amendment LEGAL OBLIGATION to FULLY obey the First Amendment and not censor and/or violate ANY legitimate free speech (shill-trolling , threats of physical violence, falsely crying wolf in a crowded theater, etc., excluded of course).

(Continued)
 
 
-1 # John S. Browne 2014-02-27 00:16
#

Please don't try to convince me otherwise. I have a True Legal background, am no longer brainwashed by any such popular myths and falsehoods, and you will NOT change my mind. So, lastly, comments moderators CANNOT legally "moderate any way (they) see fit"; although, they constantly illegally do so with impunity because there are, unfortunately, no criminal penalties for violating the supreme law(s) of the land.

Postscript 1: You're right, Malcolm and all of his ilk are extremely bad.

Postscript 2: It isn't difficult to determine who is a shill-troll if one observes their comments "long" enough; and it doesn't take that long. Think about how relatively "quickly" it becomes obvious to YOU that people are shill-trolls.

#
 
 
-2 # John S. Browne 2014-02-26 22:05
#

Sorry, bad idea, "B.B.". Limiting the number of comments is limiting freedom of speech. What should "simply" happen, though such sites as RSN can't seem to be bothered, is that those who are OBVIOUS shill-trolls should be banned. Freedom of speech does NOT include working a government and/or other organizations', such as NGOs, agenda to falsely propagandize and deceive. I capitalized the word, "obvious", because sites need to be VERY careful, and be ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that the "shill-trolls" they ban, truly are shill-trolls; but no shill-trolls should be tolerated WHATSOEVER. I don't think this is particularly difficult, because real shill-trolls are usually quite obvious. Yes, maybe then they'd work to further deceive by making it less obvious, but that would work to the benefit of all of us in a way because at least there probably wouldn't be as much ad hominem attacks and contentiousness coming from true shill-trolls going on. I think this is a really workable idea. What do you think?

#
 
 
-1 # John S. Browne 2014-02-26 22:06
#

I apologize everyone for the accidental redundant comment.

#
 
 
+2 # Lowflyin Lolana 2014-02-26 15:52
Does it get much more disturbing and depressing than this? I don't know, man, I just don't know anymore.
 
 
+2 # Edwina 2014-02-27 11:21
Limiting the power of corporations over the internet seems to me the first line of defense. As long as there is an open internet, we can eventually learn what our shadow government, which includes corporations and banks, is up to. The lapdog, not watchdog, FCC is considering rules to tighten corporate control of the internet. Join the fight-back.
 
 
-3 # LAellie33 2014-03-02 03:46
Somehow me thinks you are behind this whole Snowden thing, and it makes me very uncomfortable just reading all your convolutions. Perhaps I'm wrong. I don't think so.
 
 
-3 # LAellie33 2014-03-02 03:53
Mr. Greenwald is trying too hard to destroy America.
 

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