Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Peter Thiel' is associated with 67 posts.

FTR #1083 AOC and The Immigrant “Psy-Op”: More about Socialists for Trump and Hitler (“The Assistance”)

Resuming analysis of AOC’s highly questionable credentials, we note the shady circumstances of her victory over long-time incumbent Joe Crowley: ” . . . . she capitalized on an extremely low primary turnout to eek out a 57% vs. 43% (15,897 vs. 11,761) victory. And while it is true that the young candidate deployed an impressive grassroots canvassing strategy, the devil is in the details— including dirty local politics, vitriolic campaign rhetoric, far left agitators, and an intensive Facebook advertising blitz in the lead up to the primary. . . .”

She drew on the support of disgraced and convicted abuser Hiram Monserrate, and deflected criticism with her standard retreat into identity politics: ” . . . . Part of the local controversy revolved around the involvement of disgraced ex-Queens politician Hiram Monserrate. A domestic abuser who spent time in prison on a corruption conviction, Monserrate has feuded with Crowley for years. During their contentious primary, Crowley accused Ocasio-Cortez of seeking support from the ex-con, even speaking at an event held at a Democrat Club he runs in Queens. . . . Monserrate told the New York Post ‘there were a group of us, in the (club) and other community activists I have been working with for years who understood that we would do our part to get rid of Joe Crowley…We were in support of Alexandria’s campaign.’ . . . .”

In our series on Surveillance Valley (FTR #’s 1075 through 1081) we noted that the Internet is an information weapon, conceived in the context of counterinsurgency and solidified in applications of counter-democracy. The rise and operations of AOC are inextricably linked with the Internet, social media, in particular.

AOC’s campaign drew on Internet resources, and interests outside of her district: ” . . . . In fact, the vast majority of Ocasio-Cortez campaign donations have come from out-of-district and out-of-state. Of particular note is Blue America PAC, a “collaboration between the authors/publishers of DownWithTyranny.com, Hullabaloo.com and CrooksandLiars.com.” The PAC made an $11,000 independent expenditure in opposition to Joe Crowley, creating the website QueensAgainstCrowley.com. . . . The meme-heavy social media pages for the PAC’s various websites pushed out vitriolic blog and social media posts during the primary, using budget graphics with British-English copy to promote hashtags like #AbolishICE #Berniewouldhavewon and #MobBossCrowley. . . .”

Drawing momentum, in part, from foreign trolls and bots, AOC’s signature “Abolish Ice” campaign plays right into the hands of Team Trump and the racist/xenophobic right. ” . . . . . For anyone engaging with Ocasio-Cortez’ social media posts, the foreign bot and troll activity is noticeably synchronized and pervasive. There’s no better example than the #AbolishICE campaign she championed as her number one primary issue and has helped take national. Much of her social media content has focused on the “Abolish ICE solution” to immigration reform while accusing “Boss Crowley” and other Democrats of being “Pro-ICE”. In the one month lead up to the June primary, Ocasio-Cortez’ campaign spent over $80,000 on Facebook advertising — the largest of her expenditures. . . .”

Next, we note AOC has quoted and defended Eva Peron. Although this may well just be another manifestation of identity politics, it is worth noting that Eva Peron (nee Eva Duarte) was a Nazi spy prior to, and during, World War II, and a Bormann/Vatican agent after that:

” . . . . . . . .The all-conquering Evita left Spain for Rome on June 25, 1947. Father Benitez would smooth her way in the Vatican with the aid of Bishop Alois Hudal [one of the key members of the Vatican/Nazi “Ratline”]. Two days after she arrived she was given an audience with pope Pius XII, spending twenty minutes with the Holy Father–“a time usually allotted by Vatican protocol to queens.” However, there was a more sinister side to the Rome trip. Using Bishop Hudal as an intermediary, she arranged to meet Bormann in an Italian villa at Rapallo provided for her use by [Argentine shipping billionaire Alberto] Dodero. The shipowner was also present at the meeting, as was Eva’s brother Juan Duarte. There, she and her former paymaster cut the deal that guaranteed that his Fuhrer’s safe haven would continue to remain safe, and allowed Bormann to leave Europe at last for a new life in South America. . . . ”

Next, the discussion turns to Peter Thiel and his Palantir firm, the alpha predator of the high-tech surveillance jungle. As we have seen and as we will review, there is reason to suspect that “Mr. AOC”–“Subhas Chandra” Chakrabarti–is a Thiel protege.

Palantir is one of the firms pivotally involved with facilitating ICE’s activities: ” . . . . The database created by Palantir uses information pulled from the DHS, FBI and other sources to build profiles of people who have crossed the border, including ‘schooling, family relationships, employment information, phone records, immigration history, foreign exchange program status, personal connections, biometric traits, criminal records, and home and work addresses,’ the Intercept reported last year. . . . . Policing software provided by Palantir and Forensic Logic’s COPLINK program enables Information sharing between ICE and state and local law enforcement. . . . Palantir software has been implemented by DHS fusion centers across California, as well as by police departments in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Burbank; and sheriff’s departments in Sacramento, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. The company has received more than $50 million from these agencies since 2009, mostly financed by DHS grants, the report shows. . . .”

We then review substantive evidence of Thiel/Palantir/Chakrabarti networking:

1.–Chakrabarti worked for Bridgewater Associates: ” . . . . After graduating from Harvard, Mr. Chakrabarti worked for a year as a technology associate at the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, and then moved to Silicon Valley to help found the technology company Stripe. . . .”
2.–Bridgewater Associates was a major source of the venture capital to launch Palantir.
3.–Former FBI director James Comey was the chief counsel for Bridgewater Associates. As FBI director, Comey was instrumental in handling the election to Trump.
4.–It appears that Chakrabarti’s stint as head of product development at Stripe may well have been as a Thiel protege.

Reviewing information from past broadcasts, there are indications that the scapegoating of illegal immigrants by Team Trump is part of a “psy-op,” with AOC helping to generate “black propaganda” by branding the Democratic Party as “Illegal Immigrants R Us.”

In FTR #718, we warned [back in 2010] that Facebook was not the cuddly little entity it was perceived to be but a potential engine of fascism enabling. Momentum for the remarkably timed immigrant caravan that became a focal point for Trump/GOP/Fox News propaganda during the 2018 midterm elections was generated by a fake Facebook account, which mimicked a Honduran politician/human rights activist, Bartolo Fuentes. Significant aspects of the event:

1.–” . . . . Facebook has admitted the account was an imposter account impersonating a prominent Honduran politician. But it is refusing to release information about the account, who may have set it up or what country it originated from. . . .”
2.–” . . . . In response to a query from BuzzFeed News, a Facebook spokesperson said the phony account ‘was removed for violating [the company’s] misrepresentation policy,’ but declined to share any further information, such as what country it originated from, what email address was used to open it, or any other details that might reveal who was behind it. Facebook added that, barring a subpoena or request from law enforcement, it does not share such information out of respect for the privacy of its users. Fuentes said he believes it’s important to find out who was behind the rogue account — but hasn’t gotten any answers from Facebook. ‘Who knows how many messages could have been sent and who received them?’ . . . .”
4.–” . . . . Fuentes has been unable to get any information from Facebook about the account, but one small detail stood out. Whoever created it listed the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa as Fuentes’s hometown, rather than the San Pedro Sula suburb of El Progreso. That might seem like a minor error, but it’s the sort of mistake a foreigner — not a Honduran — would make about the well-known former lawmaker, whose left-wing party stands in opposition to the current president’s administration. . . . ”
5.–” . . . . It operated entirely in Spanish and precisely targeted influencers within the migrant rights community. And rather than criticize or undermine the caravan — as other online campaigns would later attempt to do — it was used to legitimize the event, making a loosely structured grassroots event appear to be a well-organized effort by an established migrant group with a proven track record of successfully bringing Central American people to the US border. . . .”
6.–” . . . . before the account got started not many people seemed to be joining. Only after the account kicked into gear did enthusiasm and participation spike. The account also claimed falsely that the caravan was being led by a migrant rights organization called Pueblo Sin Fronteras. Later, once the caravan swelled to a massive scale, the Pueblo Sin Fronteras did get involved, though in a support rather than leadership role. . . .”
7.–” . . . . It appears that this account helped the caravan gain key momentum to the point where its size became a self-fulfilling prophecy, spurring even more to join and groups which hadn’t been supportive to get involved. . . .”
8.–” . . . . It’s hard to believe one Facebook account could play that decisive a role. But the account seems to have been sophisticated. And it is equally difficult to believe that a sophisticated operator or organization would have gone to such trouble and limited their efforts to a single imposter account. . . .”

In the summer of 2018, we highlighted the first degree murder charge laid against an “illegal” Mexican migrant worker following the discovery of a deceased white Iowa college girl Mollie Tibbetts. This became propaganda fodder for Team Trump.

We note in this context that:

1.–The announcement of Rivera’s arrest for the Tibbetts murder happened on the same day that Paul Manafort’s conviction was announced and Michael Cohen pleaded guilty. Might we be looking at an “op,” intended to eclipse the negative publicity from the the Manafort/Cohen judicial events?
2.–Rivera exhibited possible symptoms of being subjected to mind control, not unlike Sirhan Sirhan. ” . . . . Investigators say Rivera followed Mollie in his dark Chevy Malibu as she went for a run around 7.30pm on July 18. He ‘blacked out’ and attacked her after she threatened to call the police unless he left her alone, officers said. . . . It is not yet clear how Mollie died. . . . Rivera told police that after seeing her, he pulled over and parked his car to get out and run with her. . . . Mollie grabbed her phone and threatened to call the police before running off ahead. The suspect said that made him ‘panic’ and he chased after her. That’s when he ‘blacked out.’ He claims he remembers nothing from then until he was back in his car, driving. He then noticed one of her earphones sitting on his lap and blood in the car then remembered he’d stuffed her in the truck. . . . ‘He followed her and seemed to be drawn to her on that particular day. For whatever reason he chose to abduct her,’ Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation special agent Rick Ryan said on Tuesday afternoon. . . . ‘Rivera stated that she grabbed her phone and said: ‘I’m gonna call the police.’ . . . . ‘Rivera said he then panicked and he got mad and that he ‘blocked’ his memory which is what he does when he gets very upset and doesn’t remember anything after that until he came to at an intersection.’ . . .”
4.–Just as Sirhan had been in a right-wing milieu prior to the Robert Kennedy assassination, so, too, was Rivera: ” . . . . The prominent Republican family which owns the farm where Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged killer worked have insisted that he passed background checks for migrant workers. Christhian Rivera, 24, who is from Mexico, was charged with first degree murder on Tuesday after leading police to a corn field where Mollie’s body was dumped. Dane Lang, co-owner of Yarrabee Farms along with Eric Lang, confirmed that Rivera had worked there for four years and was an employee ‘of good standing.’ Dane’s brother is Craig Lang, former president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and the Iowa Board of Regents, and a 2018 Republican candidate for state secretary of agriculture. . . .”
5.–Trump cited the Tibbetts murder in a Charleston, West Virginia, rally that day: ” . . . . President Donald Trump chirped in during his Tuesday address at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, blaming immigration laws for Mollie’s death. ‘You heard about today with the illegal alien coming in very sadly from Mexico,’ he said. ‘And you saw what happened to that incredible beautiful young woman. ‘Should’ve never happened, illegally in our country. We’ve had a huge impact but the laws are so bad. The immigration laws are such a disgrace. ‘We are getting them changed but we have to get more Republicans.’ Gov. Kim Reynolds complained about the ‘broken’ immigration system that allowed a ‘predator’ to live in her state. . . .”

In a transition to our next program, we underscore the decisive role of Glenn Greenwald in paving the legal road for the realization of the “Leaderless Resistance” strategy that dominates the contemporary political landscape.

We note in this context:

Citizen Greenwald’s views on immigration echo those of Donald Trump: “ . . . . ‘The parade of evils caused by illegal immigration is widely known,’ Greenwald wrote in 2005. The facts, to him, were indisputable: ‘illegal immigration wreaks havoc economically, socially, and culturally; makes a mockery of the rule of law; and is disgraceful just on basic fairness grounds alone.’ Defending the nativist congressman Tom Tancredo from charges of racism, Greenwald wrote of ‘unmanageably endless hordes of people [who] pour over the border in numbers far too large to assimilate, and who consequently have no need, motivation or ability to assimilate.’ Those hordes, Greenwald wrote, posed a threat to ‘middle-class suburban voters.’ . . . .”


FTR #1082 Funky Resumes: Update on Socialists for Trump and Hitler (“The Assistance”)

In this program, we highlight the disconcerting CV’s of Saikat Chakrabarti, Cenk Uygur, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as PACs and related entities created by Chakrabarti and underpinning AOC. Chakrabarti appears to be a political acolyte of Subhas Chandra Bose, “The Duce of Bengal.” In a YouTube segment defending AOC against criticism, the recently resigned Chakrabarti sported a T-shirt featuring the likeness of that key Indian fascist.

“Subhas Chandra” Chakrabarti ignited the war within the Democratic Party that he had intended. Noteworthy in his “funky resume” is the fact that he worked for Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. James Comey was the firm’s chief legal counsel, before moving to head the FBI. His reopening of the Hillary Clinton e-mail “non-scandal” just before election day helped give Trump the victory.

Following his resignation this past week, “Subhas Chandra” Chakrabarti is now under investigation for his campaign finance activities: ” . . . The inquiry centers on two political action committees founded by Saikat Chakrabarti . . . . The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country. . . . But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency. In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 million, mostly from small donors. A third of the cash was transferred to two private companies whose names are similar to one of the PACs — Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC — federal campaign filings show. . . .”

We suspect that the irregularities in Chakrabarti’s activities and the irregularities in Ocasio-Cortez’s resume and activities were not only deliberately preconceived, but are part of an electoral “Psy-Op” that will get considerable coverage in the 2020 campaign, possibly handing victory to Trump.

“Team AOC” will of, course, cry “racism” via Twitter.

AOC has already been handed Martyr Status by Donald Trump’s attacks, and we believe she may well become the face of the Democratic Party, as Team Trump wishes.

A blog post from “The Medium” notes the fishy elements of AOC’s CV, the questionable activities of the Chakrabarti entities and the indications that “Team AOC” has more in common with the very right-wing elements and individuals that they decry than anything that could be called “progressive:” ” . . . . independent research into her background and funding has revealed ‘Democratic Socialist’ Ocasio-Cortez is neither a progressive Democrat nor a good faith candidate. And for someone with an economics degree — one of the only claims on her resume that checks out — the 28-year-old candidate has a lot to learn about campaign finance and election law. At any other time, Ocasio-Cortez’ myriad red flags — her unlikely victory, antagonistic rhetoric, national amplification, and shady funding — would beg media scrutiny. . . .This new breed of supposed “progressives” — with their radicalized, anti-establishment fervor — appear to have more in common with that far-right insurgency [the Tea Party] than either group has with mainstream American politics. . . . But we are not living in ordinary times — a situation Ocasio-Cortez and her “progressive” posse are all too willing to exploit to accomplish their destructive goals. As natural as any evolution, the “Bernie or Bust” influence operation that infected our 2016 election is alive, well, and adapted for survival. It’s new useful idiots are Ocasio-Cortez and the murky entanglement of two new Political Action Committees (PACs)— founded by The Young Turks’ scandal-plagued host Cenk Uygur and a group of tech-savvy ex-Bernie campaign staffers. . . .”

Questionable aspects of Team AOC include:

1.–Her entrepreneurial pretense, which appears to be illusory.
2.–Her elevation of undergraduate/internship activities to be political posts.
3. –The dubious fabric of her Bronx working class cache: ” . . . . Ocasio-Cortez has claimed to be a ‘third-generation Bronxite’ from a ‘working class’ family. . . . She graduated from the predominately white Yorktown High School located in Yorktown Heights, NY, where the average household income is $141,254 and average household net worth is $1,192,838. . . .”
4.–The fact that she appears to have vetted herself as a candidate: ” . . . . A review of the core staff reveals significant crossover and a musical chairs of board members between the two [PACs]. Ocasio-Cortez assumed a leadership role with Justice Democrats sometime in 2017 — thereby effectively vetting herself for the role of candidate. . . .”
5.–Brand New Congress recruiting candidates to run as Republicans in red districts: ” . . . . Brand New Congress, the PAC we now see Ocasio-Cortez criss-crossing the country helping to promote, has the perplexing mission of ‘attempting to recruit Congressional candidates to run as Republicans in red districts.’ . . .”
6.–The contradictory nature of Team AOC’s activities is encapsulated in the following analytical synopsis: ” . . . . An analysis of FEC filings shows that their network of PACs, LLCs, board and staff navigate in the same legal and ethical grey area their entire “anti-dark money” platform is based on combatting. Beginning with Justice Democrats, the PAC has raised $2,100,399 over the course of the 2017–2018 election season. Yet over that same time period, the PAC has made zero independent expenditures in support of any candidates. In fact, dozens of candidates have instead made payments to Justice Democrats. . . .”
7.–The central role of the “Bernie Bots” in this unsavory activity: ” . . . . A review of disbursements reveals that of the $2,026,298 spent to date, over $600,000 for “strategic consulting” services was directed to Brand New Congress LLC — a business entity controlled by Chakrabarti. Another $1 million in contributions has been directed to ex-Bernie staffers or their firms. This includes $222,000 to Middle Seat Consulting LLC, run by Brand New Congress co-Founder Zack Exley, and about $800,000 in salaries and payroll costs. Because those LLCs have not disclosed financial reports, the public has no way of knowing what that money was used for. . . .”
8.–Brand New Congress also benefiting the Bernie Bots: ” . . . . A review of Brand New Congress PAC filings demonstrate a similar movement of fundraising donations into the pockets of ex-Bernie “consultants”. Of the $477,688 raised, no independent expenditures to candidates were made, yet $261,000 was paid to Brand New Congress LLC and over $100,000 was disbursed as salaries or payroll costs. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1.–Review of key points of the fascist activities of “Team Bose.”
2.–Review of Narendra Modi’s fushion of Hindutva fascism with Team Bose.
3.–An overview of Cenk Uygur’s curious resume.
9.–A constellation of highly questionable activities in connection with AOC’s defeat of 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley, such as the role of the “Blue America” PAC, UK English copy: ” . . . . The meme-heavy social media pages for the PAC’s various websites pushed out vitriolic blog and social media posts during the primary, using budget graphics with British-English copy to promote hashtags like #AbolishICE #Berniewouldhavewon and #MobBossCrowley. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

Review of key points of the fascist activities of “Team Bose.”
Review of Narendra Modi’s fushion of Hindutva fascism with Team Bose.
An overview of Cenk Uygur’s curious resume.


FTR #1081 Surveillance Valley, Part 7: Yasha Levine Gets the Jim Garrison/Gary Webb Treatment

We emphasize the treatment afforded Yasha Levine. As might be expected, Levine received the Jim Garrison/Gary Webb treatment. The retribution directed at Yasha Levine epitomizes why Mr. Emory refers to the so-called progressive sector as “so-called.”

” . . . . The threats and attacks had begun sometime overnight while I slept. By morning, they had reached a vicious and murderous pitch. There were calls for my death—by fire, by suffocation, by having my throat slit by razor blades. People I had never met called me a rapist, and alleged that I took delight in beating women and forcing people to have sex with me. I was accused of homophobia. Anonymous people filed bogus claims with my editor. Allegations that I was a CIA agent poured in, as did claims that I worked with British intelligence. The fact that I had been born in the Soviet Union didn’t do me any favors; naturally, I was accused of being an FSB spy and of working for Russia’s successor to the KGB. I was informed that my name was added to a dark net assassination list—a site where people could place anonymous bids for my murder. The roaming eye of the Internet hate machine had suddenly fixed on me. . . .”

In addition to online bullying, slander and veiled and direct threats, the so-called “privacy activists” joined in pillorying Yasha Levine: ” . . . . Micah Lee, the former EFF technologist who helped Edward Snowden communicate securely with journalists and who now works at The Intercept, attacked me as a conspiracy theorist and accused me and my colleagues at Pando of being sexist bullies, he claimed that my reporting was motivated not by a desire to get at the truth but by a malicious impulse to harass a female Tor developer. Although Lee conceded that my information about Tor’s government funding was correct, he counter intuitively argued that it didn’t matter. . . .

” . . . . Journalists, experts, and technologists from groups like the ACLU, the EFF, Freedom of the Press Foundation and The Intercept and employees of the Tor Project joined in to attack my reporting. Unlike Lee, most did not attempt to engage my reporting but employed a range of familiar PR smear tactics—tactics you usually see used by corporate flacks, not principled privacy activists. They took to social media, telling anyone who showed interest in my articles that they should ignore them instead. Then, when that didn’t work, they tried to discredit my reporting with ridicule, misdirection, and crude insults. . . .

” . . . . A respected ACLU privacy expert, who now works as a congressional staffer, called me “a conspiracy theorist  who sees black helicopters everywhere” and compared my reporting about Tor to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. As someone who escaped state-sponsored anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union, I found the comparison extremely offensive, especially coming from the ACLU. The Protocols were an anti-Semitic forgery disseminated by the Russian Tsar’s secret police that unleashed waves of deadly pogroms against Jews across the Russian Empire in the early twentieth century. Tor employees put forth a torrent of childish insults, calling me a ‘dumb Stalinist state-felcher’ and a ‘fucktard’s fucktard.’ They accused me of being funded by spies to undermine faith in cryptography. One of them claimed that I was a rapist, and hurled homophobic insults about the various ways in which I had supposedly performed sexual favors for a male colleague.

 “In the way that these Internet hazing sessions, go, the campaign evolved and spread. Strange people began threatening me and my colleagues on social media. Some accused me of having blood on my hands and of racking up an “activist body count”–that people were actually dying because of my reporting undermined trust in Tor.The attacks widened to include regular readers and social media users, anyone who had the nerve to ask questions about Tor’s funding sources. An employee of the Tor Project went so far as to dox an anonymous Twitter user, exposing his real identity and contacting his employer in the hopes of getting him fired from his job as a junior pharmacist.

It was bizarre. I watched all this unfold in real time but had no idea how to respond. Even more disconcerting was that the attacks soon expanded to include libelous stories placed in reputable media outlets. The Guardian published a story by a freelancer accusing me of running an online sexual harassment and bullying campaign. The Los Angeles Review of Books, generally a good journal of arts and culture, ran an essay by a freelancer alleging that my reporting was funded by the CIA. Paul Carr, my editor at Pando, lodged official complaints and demanded to know how these reporters came to their conclusions. Both publications ultimately retracted their statements and printed corrections. An editor at the Guardian apologized and described the article as a ‘fuck up.’ But the online attacks continued. . . .”

Program Highlights Include:

1.–The role of Eddie Snowden in misattributing the Shadow Brokers non-hack to Russia.
2.–Snowden’s foreshadowing of the alleged Russian “hack” of the Macron campaign”: ” . . . . ‘That could have significant foreign policy consequences,’ Snowden wrote on Twitter. ‘Particularly if any of those operations targeted US allies. Particularly if any of those operations targeted elections.’ . . .”
3.–James Bamford’s analysis of WikiLeaker/Tor promoter/BBG associate Jacob Apelbaum as the most likely source of the Shadow Brokers non-hack. 
The ludicrous nature of the “Russia-did it” hypothesis concerning the Macron hacks: ” . . . . The hacked documents in the ‘Macron hack’ not only contained Cyrillic text in the metadata, but also contained the name of the last person to modify the documents. That name, ‘Roshka Georgiy Petrovichan’, is an employee at Evrika, a large IT company that does work for the Russian government, including the FSB (Russian intelligence.) Also found in the metadata is the email of the person who uploaded the files to ‘archive.org’, and that email address, frankmacher1@gmx.de, is registered with a German free webmail provider used previously in 2016 phishing attacks against the CDU in Germany that have been attributed to APT28. It would appear that the ‘Russian hackers’ not only left clues suggesting it was Russian hackers behind the hack, but they decided to name names this time–their own names. . . .”
4.–Neo-Nazi and Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras associate Andrew Auerenheimer’s role in modifying the documents in the Macron hack:  ” . . . . Shortly after an anonymous user of the 4chan.org discussion forum posted fake documents purporting to show Mr. Macron had set up an undisclosed shell company in the Caribbean, the user directed people to visit nouveaumartel.com for updates on the French election. That website, according to research by web-security provider Virtualroad.org, is registered by ‘Weevlos,’ a known online alias of Andrew Auernheimer, an American hacker who gained notoriety three years ago when a U.S. appeals court vacated his conviction for computer fraud. The site also is hosted by a server in Latvia that hosts the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi news site that identifies its administrator as ‘Weev,’ another online alias of Mr. Aeurnheimer, Virtualroad.org says. ‘We strongly believe that the fake offshore documents were created by someone with control of the Daily Stormer server,’ said Tord Lundström, a computer forensics investigator at Virtualroad.org. . . .”
5.–French cybersecurity chief Guillaume Poupard negated the assertion that Russia hacked the Macron campaign: ” . . . . The head of the French government’s cyber security agency, which investigated leaks from President Emmanuel Macron’s election campaign, says they found no trace of a notorious Russian hacking group behind the attack. . . . “


FTR #1080 Surveillance Valley, Part 6: Double Agents, Part 2 (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 3)

In this program, we resume discussion and analysis of the consummately important recent book Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet by Yasha Levine. In the previous program, we noted, among other points of analysis, the decisive role of Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden in promoting the intelligence-agency crafted Tor network.

In addition to Tor, the Open Technology Fund (read “CIA”) helped finance the Signal app for mobile phones. It, too, is fundamentally compromised. ” . . . . . . . . The Tor project remained the best-known privacy app funded by the Open Technology Fund, but it was quickly joined by another: Signal, an encrypted mobile phone messaging app for the iPhone and Android. . . .”

Not surprisingly, the CIA’s Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden was a big promoter of Signal, as well as Tor: ” . . . . People at the ACLU claimed that Signal made federal agents weep. The Electronic Frontier Foundation added Signal alongside Tor to its Surveillance Self-Defense guide. Fight for the Future, a Silicon Valley-funded privacy activist organization, described Signal and Tor as ‘NSA-proof’ and urged people to use them. Edward Snowden was the combo’s biggest and most famous booster and repeatedly took to Twitter to tell his three million followers that he used Signal and Tor every day, and that they should do the same to protect themselves from government surveillance. ‘Use Tor, Use Signal,’ he tweeted out.

“With endorsements like these, Signal quickly became the go-to app for political activists around the world. Egypt, Russia, Syria, and even the United States—millions downloaded Signal, and it became the communication app of choice for those who hoped to avoid police surveillance. Feminist collectives, anti-President Donald Trump protesters, communists, anarchists, radical animal rights organizations, Black Lives Matter activists—all flocked to Signal. Many were heeding Snowden’s advice: ‘Organize. Compartmentalize to limit compromise. Encrypt everything, from calls to texts (use Signal as a first step.)’ . . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the fundamental contradictions inherent  in this dynamic: ” . . . . If you stepped back to survey the scene, the entire landscape of this new Internet Freedom privacy movement looked absurd. Cold War-era organizations spun off from the CIA now funding the global movement against government surveillance? Google and Facebook, companies that ran private surveillance networks and worked hand in hand with the NSA, deploying government-funded privacy tech to protect their users from government surveillance? Privacy activists working with Silicon Valley and the US government to fight government surveillance—and with the support of Edward Snowden himself? . . . .”

Following Snowden’s promotion of OTF’s Tor and Signal technologies, OTF was at a zenith: ” . . . . After Edward Snowden, OTF was triumphant. It didn’t mention the leaker by name in its promotional materials, but it profited from the crypto culture he promoted and benefited from his direct endorsement of the crypto tools it financed. It boasted that its partnership with both Silicon Valley and respected privacy activists meant that hundreds of millions of people could use the privacy tools the US government had brought to market. And OTF promised that this was just a start: ‘By leveraging social network effects, we expect to expand to a billion regular users taking advantage of OTF-supported tools and Internet Freedom technologies by 2015. . . .’

As eventually became clear, the Tor network was easily breached. It is a safe bet that the fascists grouped around the Pirate Bay site (on which WikiLeaks held forth), had breached Tor’s “secrecy,” in addition to the obvious fact that intelligence services could penetrate it at will.

With this in mind, John Young’s rumination about WikiLeaks sound more and more substantive.

In all probability, WikiLeaks was a huge data mining operation both by the very intelligence agencies who were ostensibly targeted by WikiLeaks, and the Fascist International network around Carl Lundstrom, Daniel Friberg, David Duke et al.

In FTR #’s 756 and 831 we noted Snowden’s fascist views and connections. Levine merely characterizes him as a “right-wing libertarian,” but there is MUCH MORE TO IT THAN  THAT!

Snowden downplayed the fundamental role of the Big Tech firms in aiding and abetting government surveillance, in addition to their own massive surveillance and resultant data mining. ” . . . . There, while living under state protection at an undisclosed location in Moscow, he swept Silicon Valley’s role in Internet surveillance under the rug. Asked about it by Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, who had first reported on the NSA’s PRISM program, Snowden shrugged off the danger posed by companies like Google and Facebook. The reason? Because private companies do not have the power to arrest, jail, or kill people. ‘Twitter doesn’t put warheads on foreheads,’ he joked. . . .”

Embodying his “corporatist” and Technocratic Fascist point of view, Snowden championed the Big Tech firms as bulwarks against government Internet surveillance, despite the only-too-obvious fact (reinforced by the documents he leaked) that Big Tech is–and always has been–in bed with, and actively collaborating with, the very government intelligence agencies conducting that surveillance: ” . . . . The only islands of safety were the private data centers controlled by private companies—Google, Apple, Facebook. These were the cyber-fortresses and walled cities that offered sanctuary to the masses. In this chaotic landscape, computer engineers and cryptographers played the role of selfless galloping knights and wizard-warriors whose job was to protect the weak folk of the Internet: the young, the old and infirm, families. It was their duty to ride out, weapons aloft, and convey people and their precious data safely from fortress to fortress, not letting any of the information fall into the hands of government spies. He called on them to start a people’s privacy war, rallying them to go forth and liberate the Internet, to reclaim it from the governments of the world. . . .”

The nauseating head of Facebook–Mark Zuckerberg–has decried the intelligence community’s use of the Internet for data mining. In FTR #1077, we highlighted the Cambridge Analytica affair, and Facebook’s full cooperation with that project at every turn.

Other Big Tech firms had similar reactions. “. . . . . ‘We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday,’ Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. He blamed the government and positioned Facebook as a victim. “I’ve called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform.’ Apple,  Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! All reacted in much the same way, denying the allegations and painting themselves as the victims of government overreach. ‘It’s tremendously disappointing that the government sort of secretly did all this stuff and didn’t tell us. We can’t have a democracy if we’re having to protect you and our users from the government,’ Larry Page told Charlie Rose in an interview on CBS. . . . .”

We present the conclusion of the main part of the book, with Levine’s summation of the inextricable nature and symbiosis between the Internet, the tech firms and the so-called “privacy community.”

The key points of discussion and analysis of Levine’s book (as a whole) include:

1.–The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes.
2.–Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.
3.–Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which  the Internet is predicated.
4.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
5.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
6.–The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose.
7.–Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.

NB: Mr. Levine does not go into the fascistic character of Snowden, Assange, Greenwald et al. Some of those shows: Greenwald–FTR #888, Snowden–FTR #’s 756, 831, Assange and WikiLeaks–FTR #’s 732, 745, 755, 917.

“. . . . Then there was the fact that Signal ran on Amazon’s servers, which meant that all its data were available to a partner in the NSA’s PRISM surveillance program. Equally problematic, Signal needed Apple and Google to install and run the app on people’s mobile phones. Both companies were, and as far as we know still are, partners in PRISM as well. ‘Google usually has root access to the phone, there’s the issue of integrity,’ writes Sander Venema, a respected developer and secure—technology trainer, in a blog post explaining why he no longer recommends people use Signal for encrypted chat. ‘Google is still cooperating with the NSA and other intelligence agencies. PRISM is also still a thing. I’m pretty sure that Google could serve a specially modified update or version of Signal to specific target for surveillance, and they would be none the wiser that they installed malware on their phones.’ . . .

. . . . So, although the app encrypted the content of people’s messages, it also marked them with a flashing red sign: ‘Follow Me, I Have Something to Hide.’ (Indeed, activists protesting at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016 told me that they were bewildered by the fact that police seemed to know and anticipate their every move despite their having used Signal to organize. . . .”

” . . . . For many Internet companies, including Google and Facebook, surveillance is the business model. It is the base on which their corporate and economic power rests. Disentangle surveillance and profit, and these companies would collapse. Limit data collection, an the companies would see investors flee and their stock prices plummet. [Italics are mine–D.E.]

“Silicon Valley fears a political solution to privacy. Internet Freedom and crypto offer an acceptable alternative. Tools like Signal and Tor provide a false solution to the privacy problem, focusing people’s attention on government surveillance and distracting them from the private spying carried out by the Internet companies they use every day. All the while, crypto tools give people a [false] sense that they’re doing something to protect themselves, a feeling of personal empowerment and control. And all those crypto radicals? Well, they just enhance the illusion, heightening the impression of risk and danger. With Signal or Tor installed, using an iPhone or Android suddenly becomes edgy and radical. So instead of pushing for political and democratic solutions to surveillance, we outsource our privacy politics to crypto apps–software made by the very same powerful entities that these apps are supposed to protect us from. . . .”


FTR #1079 Surveillance Valley, Part 5: Double Agents (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 2)

Continuing with our examination of Yasha Levine’s seminal volume Surveillance Valley, we continue our analysis of the individuals, institutions and technologies central to the so-called “online privacy” effort. The Tor Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Broadcasting Board of Governors and its Open Technology Fund and Jacob Appelbaum are all the opposite of what they have been represented as being.

We begin with information overlapped from our last program, highlighting how Jacob Appelbaum and the Tor network hooked up with WikiLeaks.

Tor, Appelbaum, Assange and WikiLeaks:

1.–Became increasingly intertwined, enjoying accolades from many, apparently unsuspecting, groups: ” . . . .  His [Appelbaum’s] association with WikiLeaks and Assange boosted the Tor Project’s public profile and radical credentials. Support and accolades poured in from journalists, privacy organizations, and government watchdogs. The American Civil Liberties Union partnered with Appelbaum on an Internet privacy project, and New York’s Whitney Museum—one of the leading modern art museums in the world—invited him for a ‘Surveillance Teach-In.’ The Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Tor its Pioneer Award, and Roger Dingledine made in on Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers for protecting ‘anyone and everyone from the dangers of Big Brother.’ . . . .”
2.– Differed fundamentally from the accepted text: ” . . . . With Julian Assange endorsing Tor, reporters assumed that the US government saw the anonymity nonprofit as a threat. But internal documents obtained through FOIA from the Broadcasting Board of Governors, as well as analysis of Tor’s government contracts paint a different picture. They reveal that Appelbaum and Dingledine worked with Assange on securing WikiLeaks with Tor since late 2008 and that they kept their handlers at the BBG informed about their relationship and even provided information about the inner workings of WikiLeaks’s secure submission system. . . .”
3.–Did not adversely affect the government funding of Tor at all, as might be expected by the superficial apparent reality of the situation: ” . . . . Perhaps most telling was that support from the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] continued even after WikiLeaks began publishing classified government information and Appelbaum became the target of a larger Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks. For example, on July 31, 2010, CNET reported that Appelbaum had been detained at the Las Vegas airport and questioned about his relationship with WikiLeaks. News of the detention made headlines around the world, once again highlighting Appelbaum’s close ties to Julian Assange. And a week later, Tor’s executive director Andrew Lewman, clearly worried that this might affect Tor’s funding, emailed Ken Berman at the BBG in the hopes of smoothing things over and answering ‘any questions you may have about the recent press regarding Jake and WikiLeaks.’ But Lewman was in for a pleasant surprise: Roger Dingledine had been keeping folks at the BBG in the loop, and everything seemed to be okay. ‘Great stuff, thx. Roger answered a number of questions when he met us this week in DC,’ Berman replied. . . .”
4.–” . . . . In 2011 contracts came in without a hitch–$150,000 from the Broadcasting Board of Governors and $227,118 from the State Department. Tor was even able to snag a big chunk of money from the Pentagon: a new $503,706 annual contract from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, an elite information and intelligence unit that houses a top-secret cyber-warfare division.The Navy was passed through SRI, the old Stanford military contractor that had done counterinsurgency, networking, and chemical weapons work for ARPA back in the 1960s and 1970s. The funds were part of a larger Navy ‘Command, Control, Communcations, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance’ program to improve military operations. A year later, Tor would see its government contracts more than double to $2.2 million: $353,000 from the State Department, $876,099 from the US Navy, and $937,800 from the Broadcasting Board of Governors. . . .”

In this context, we recall some earlier observations about WikiLeaks. John Young, one of WikiLeaks’ founders turned critic of the organization harbors deep suspicions concerning the group. ” . . . they’re acting like a cult. They’re acting like a religion. They’re acting like a government. They’re acting like a bunch of spies. They’re hiding their identity. They don’t account for the money. They promise all sorts of good things. They seldom let you know what they’re really up to. . .There was suspicion from day one that this was entrapment run by someone unknown to suck a number of people into a trap. So we actually don’t know. But it’s certainly a standard counterintelligence technique. And they’re usually pretty elaborate and pretty carefully run. They’ll even prosecute people as part of the cover story. That actually was talked about at (Sunday’s) panel. They’ll try to conceal who was informing and betraying others by pretending to prosecute them. . . .” The Tor/Appelbaum/BBG (read “CIA”)/WikiLeaks nexus may very well be proof of Young’s suspicions.

Appelbaum, WikiLeaks and Tor became fundamental to the operations of Eddie “The Friendly Spook” Snowden. In past discussion, we have noted that in the summer of 2009, when Snowden made his decision to disclose the NSA documents, he was working for the very same CIA from which the Broadcasting Board of Governors and its Open Technology Fund were derived. Jacob Appelbaum was funded by BBG, as was Tor. ” . . . . From the start, the Tor Project stood at the center of Snowden’s story. The leaker’s endorsement and promotion introduced the project to a global audience, boosting Tor’s worldwide user base from one million to six million almost overnight and injecting it into the heart of a burgeoning privacy movement. In Russia, where the BBG and Dingledine had tried but failed to recruit activists for their Tor deployment plan, use of the software increased from twenty thousand daily connections to somewhere around two hundred thousand.

“During a promotional campaign for the Tor Project, Snowden said: ‘Without Tor, the streets of the Internet become like the streets of a very heavily surveilled city. There are surveillance cameras everywhere, and if the adversary simply takes enough time, they can follow the tapes back and see everything you’ve done. With Tor, we have private spaces and private lives, where we can choose who we want to associate with and how, without the fear of what that is going to look like if it is abused. The design of the Tor system is structured in such a way that even if the US Government wanted to subvert it, it couldn’t.’ Snowden didn’t talk about Tor’s continued government funding, nor did he address an apparent contradiction: why the US government would fund a program that supposedly limited its own power. Whatever Snowden’s private thought on the matter, his endorsement gave Tor the highest possible seal of approval. It was like a Hacker’s Medal of Valor. With Snowden’s backing, no one even thought to question Tor’s radical antigovernment bona fides. . . .”

Next, we review information about the so-called “Arab Spring.” In FTR #’s 733 through 739, we presented our view that the so-called Arab Spring was a U.S. intelligence operation, aimed at placing the Brotherhood in power in Muslim countries dominated either by a secular dictator or absolute monarchy.

Yasha Levine has highlighted the role of U.S. tech personnel in training and prepping the Arab Spring online activists. As we have noted in the past, the so-called Arab Spring might have been better thought of as “The Muslim Brotherhood Spring,” as the neo-liberal, privatization ideology of Brotherhood economic icon Ibn Khaldun was fundamental to the operation.

The economic goals of the Arab Spring “op” were reviewed in, among other programs, FTR #’s 1025 and 1026.

Recall while reading the following excerpts of this remarkable and important book, that:

1.–The Tor network was developed by, and used and compromised by, elements of U.S. intelligence.
2.–One of the primary advocates and sponsors of the Tor network is the Broadcasting Board of Governors. As we saw in FTR #’s 891, 895, is an extension of the CIA.
3.–Jacob Appelbaum has been financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, advocates use of the Tor network, has helped WikiLeaks with its extensive use of the Tor network, and is an ideological acolyte of Ayn Rand.

The Arab Spring provided motivation for enhanced U.S. funding for Internet Freedom. The Open Technology Fund, like the BBG a CIA “derivative,” was at the center of this: ” . . . . The motivation for this expansion came out of the Arab Spring. The idea was to make sure the US government would maintain its technological advantage in the censorship arms race that began in the early 2000s, but the funds were also going into developing a new generation of tools aimed at leveraging the power of the Internet to help foreign opposition activists organize into cohesive political movements. The BBG’s $25.5 million cut of the cash more than doubled the agency’s anticensorship technology budget from the previous year, and the BBG funneled the money into the Open Technology Fund, a new organization it had created within Radio Free Asia to fund Internet Freedom technologies in the wake of the Arab Spring. . . .”

The fundamental position of BBG and OTF (read “CIA”) to the so-called online privacy community was concisely expressed by Yasha Levine: ” . . . . From behind this hip and connected exterior, BBG and Radio Free Asia built a vertically integrated incubator for Internet Freedom technologies, pouring millions into projects big and small, including everything from evading censorship to helping political organizing, protests, and movement building. With its deep pockets and its recruitment of big-name privacy activists, the Open Technology Fund didn’t just thrust itself into the privacy movement. In many ways, it WAS the privacy movement. . . .”


FTR #1078 Surveillance Valley, Part 4: Tor Up (Foxes Guarding the Online Privacy Henhouse, Part 1.)

Yasha Levine’s summation of the inextricable nature and symbiosis between the Internet, the tech firms and the so-called “privacy community” include:

1.–The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes.
2.–Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.
3.–Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which  the Internet is predicated.
4.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
5.–The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect.
6.–The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose.
7.–Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.

After detailing the history of the development of the Internet by the national security establishment, Levine presents the story of the development of the Tor network.

Key points of analysis and discussion:

1.–Tor’s Silicon Valley backing: ” . . . . Privacy groups funded by companies like Google and Facebook, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future, were some of Tor’s biggest and most dedicated backers. Google had directly bankrolled its development, paying out generous grants to college students who worked at Tor during their summer vacations. Why would an Internet company whose entire business rested on tracking people online promote and help develop a powerful privacy tool? Something didn’t add up. . . .”
2.–Not surprisingly, Tor does not shield users from orgiastic data mining by Silicon Valley tech giants: ” . . . . Tor works only if people are dedicated to maintaining a strict anonymous Internet routine: using only dummy email addresses and bogus accounts, carrying out all financial transactions in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and never mentioning their real name in emails or messages. For the vast majority of people on the Internet—those who use Gmail, interact with Facebook friends, and shop on Amazon—you reveal your identity. These companies know who you are. They know your name, your shipping address, your credit card information. They continue to scan your emails, map your social networks, and compile dossiers. Tor or not, once you enter your account name and password, Tor’s anonymity technology becomes useless. . . .”
3.–Silicon Valley’s support for Tor is something of a “false bromide”: ” . . . . After all, Snowden’s leaked documents revealed that anything Internet companies had, the NSA had as well. I was puzzled, but at least I understood why Tor had backing from Silicon Valley: it offered a false sense of privacy, while not posing a threat to the industry’s underlying surveillance model. . . .”
4.–Tor is, in fact, financed by elements of the very same intelligence community and national security establishment that supposedly frustrated/”locked out” by Tor! ” . . . . But as I analyzed the organization’s financial documents, I found that the opposite was true. Tor had come out of a joint US Navy—DARPA military project in the early 2000s and continued to rely on a series of federal contracts after it was spun off into a private nonprofit. This funding came from the Pentagon, the State Department, and at least one organization that derived from the CIA. These contracts added up to several million dollars a year and, most years,  accounted for more than 90 percent of Tor’s operating budget. Tor was a federal military contractor. It even had its own federal contracting number. . . This included Tor’s founder, Roger Dingledine, who spent a summer working at the NSA and who had brought Tor to life under a series of DARPA and Navy contracts. . . .”

Widely regarded as a champion of Internet freedom and privacy, the Electronic Frontier Foundation helped finance Tor and championed its use.

Key elements of discussion and analysis of the EFF/Tor alliance include:

1.–EFF’s early financing of Tor: ” . . . . . . . . In 2004, [Roger] Dingledine struck out on his own, spinning the military onion routing project into a non-profit corporation called the Tor Project and, while still funded by DARPA and the Navy, began scratching around for private funding. He got help from an unexpected ally: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which gave Tor almost a quarter million dollars to keep it going while Dingledine looked for other private sponsors. The EFF even hosted Tor’s website. . . .”
2.–The EFF’s effusive praise for the fundamentally compromised Tor Project: ” . . . . ‘The Tor Project is a perfect fit for EFF, because one of our primary goals is to protect the privacy and anonymity of Internet users. Tor can help people exercise their First Amendment right to free, anonymous speech online.’ EFF’s technology manager Chris Palmer explained in a 2004 press release, which curiously failed to mention that Tor was developed primarily for military intelligence use and was still actively funded by the Pentagon. . . .”
3.–The EFF’s history of working with elements of the national security establishment: ” . . . . In 1994, EFF worked with the FBI to pass the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which required all telecommunications companies to build their equipment so that it could be wiretapped by the FBI. In 1999, EFF worked to support NATO’s bombing campaign in Kosovo with something called the ‘Kosovo Privacy Support,’ which aimed to keep the region’s Internet access open during military action. Selling a Pentagon intelligence project as a grassroots privacy tool—it didn’t seem all that wild. . . .”
4.–In FTR #854, we noted that EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow was far more than a Grateful Dead lyricist/hippie icon: ” . . . . Indeed, in 2002, a few years before it funded Tor, EFF cofounder [John] Perry Barlow casually admitted that he had been consulting for intelligence agencies for a decade. It seemed that the worlds of soldiers, spies, and privacy weren’t as far apart as they appeared. . . .”
5.–EFF’s gravitas in the online privacy community lent Tor great credibility: ” . . . . EFF’s support for Tor was a big deal. The organization commanded respect in Silicon Valley and was widely seen as the ACLU of the Internet Age. The fact that it backed Tor meant that no hard questions would be asked about the anonymity tool’s military origins as it transitioned to the civilian world. And that’s exactly what happened. . . .”

In FTR #’s 891 and 895, we noted the primary position of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the development of the so-called “privacy” networks. The BBG is a CIA offshoot: “. . . .  The BBG might have had a bland sounding name and professed a noble mission to inform the world and spread democracy. In truth, the organization was an outgrowth of the Central Intelligence Agency. . . . The bulk of the BBG is no longer funded from the CIA’s black budget, but the agency’s original cold War goal and purpose—subversion and psychological operations directed against countries deemed hostile to US interests—remain the same. The only thing that did change about the BBG is that today, more of its broadcasts are taking place online . . . .”

After documenting Radio Free Europe’s growth from the Nazi/Vichy run Radio France during World War II and RCA’s David Sarnoff’s involvement with the Transradio Consortium (which communicated vital intelligence to the Axis during the war), the program highlights the involvement of Gehlen operatives in the operations of Radio Free Europe, the seminal CIA broadcasting outlets.

The BBG (read “CIA”) became a major backer of the Tor Project: ” . . . . . . . . It was Wednesday morning, February 8, 2006, when Roger Dingledine got the email he had been badly waiting for. The Broadcasting Board of Governors had finally agreed to back the Tor Project. . . . Within a year, the agency increased Tor’s contract to a quarter million dollars, and then bumped it up again to almost a million just a few years later. The relationship also led to major contracts with other federal agencies, boosting Tor’s meager operating budget to several million dollars a year. . . .”

Yasha Levine sums up the essence of the Tor Project: ” . . . . The Tor Project was not a radical indie organization fighting The Man. For all intents and purposes, it was The Man. Or, at least, The Man’s right hand. . . . internal correspondence reveals Tor’s close collaboration with the BBG and multiple other wings of the US government, in particular those that dealt with foreign policy and soft-power projection. Messages describe meetings, trainings, and conferences with the NSA, CIA, FBI and State Department. . . . The funding record tells the story even more precisely. . . . Tor was subsisting almost exclusively on government contracts. By 2008, that included  contracts with DARPA, the Navy, the BBG, and the State Department as well as Stanford Research Institute’s Cyber-Threat Analytics program. . . .” 

Next, we begin chronicling the career of Jacob Appelbaum. A devotee of Ayn Rand, he became one of Tor’s most important employees and promoters. “. . . . Within months of getting the job, he assumed the role of official Tor Project spokesman and began promoting Tor as a powerful weapon against government oppression. . . . Over the next several years, Dingledine’s reports back to the BBG [read “CIA”–D.E.] were filled with descriptions of Appelbaum’s successful outreach. . . .”

Introducing a topic to be more fully explored in our next program, we note Appelbaum’s pivotal role in the WikiLeaks operation and his role in the adoption of Tor by WikiLeaks: ” . . . . Appelbaum decided to attach himself to the WikiLeaks cause. He spent a few weeks with Assange and the original WikiLeaks crew in Iceland as they prepared their first major release and helped secure the site’s anonymous submissions system using Tor’s hidden service feature, which hid the physical location of WikiLeaks servers and in theory made them much less susceptible to surveillance and attack. From then on, the WikiLeaks site proudly advertised Tor: ‘secure, anonymous, distributed network for maximum security.’ . . . . Appelbaum did his best to be Assange’s right-hand man. He served as the organization’s official American representative and bailed the founder of WikiLeaks out of tough spots when the heat from US authorities got too hot. Appelbaum became so intertwined with WikiLeaks that apparently some staffers talked about him leading the organization if something were to happen to Assange. . . . Assange gave Appelbaum and Tor wide credit for helping WikiLeaks. ‘Jake has been a tireless promoter behind the scenes of our cause,’ he told a reporter. ‘Tor’s importance to WikiLeaks cannot be underestimated.’ With those words, Appelbaum and the Tor Project became central heroes in the WikiLeaks saga, right behind Assange. . . .”


FTR #1077 Surveillance Valley, Part 3: Cambridge Analytica, Democracy and Counterinsurgency

Continuing the discussion from FTR #1076, the broadcast recaps key aspects of analysis of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

In our last program, we noted that both the internet (DARPA projects including Project Agile) and the German Nazi Party had their origins as counterinsurgency gambits. Noting Hitler’s speech before The Industry Club of Dusseldorf, in which he equated communism with democracy, we highlight how the Cambridge Analytica scandal reflects the counterinsurgency origins of the Internet, and how the Cambridge Analytica affair embodies anti-Democracy/as counterinsurgency.

Key aspects of the Cambridge Analytica affair include:

1.–The use of psychographic personality testing on Facebook that is used for political advantage: ” . . . . For several years, a data firm eventually hired by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, has been using Facebook as a tool to build psychological profiles that represent some 230 million adult Americans. A spinoff of a British consulting company and sometime-defense contractor known for its counterterrorism ‘psy ops’ work in Afghanistan, the firm does so by seeding the social network with personality quizzes. Respondents — by now hundreds of thousands of us, mostly female and mostly young but enough male and older for the firm to make inferences about others with similar behaviors and demographics — get a free look at their Ocean scores. Cambridge Analytica also gets a look at their scores and, thanks to Facebook, gains access to their profiles and real names. . . .”
2.–The parent company of Cambridge Analytica–SCL–was deeply involved with counterterrorism “psy-ops” in Afghanistan, embodying the essence of the counterinsurgency dynamic at the root of the development of the Internet. The use of online data to subvert democracy recalls Hitler’s speech to the Industry Club of Dusseldorf, in which he equated democracy with communism: ” . . . . Cambridge Analytica was a company spun out of SCL Group, a British military contractor that worked in information operations for armed forces around the world. It was conducting research on how to scale and digitise information warfare – the use of information to confuse or degrade the efficacy of an enemy. . . . As director of research, Wylie’s original role was to map out how the company would take traditional information operations tactics into the online space – in particular, by profiling people who would be susceptible to certain messaging. This morphed into the political arena. After Wylie left, the company worked on Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign . . . .”
3.–Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie’s observations on the anti-democratic nature of the firm’s work: ” . . . . It was this shift from the battlefield to politics that made Wylie uncomfortable. ‘When you are working in information operations projects, where your target is a combatant, the autonomy or agency of your targets is not your primary consideration. It is fair game to deny and manipulate information, coerce and exploit any mental vulnerabilities a person has, and to bring out the very worst characteristics in that person because they are an enemy,’ he says. ‘But if you port that over to a democratic system, if you run campaigns designed to undermine people’s ability to make free choices and to understand what is real and not real, you are undermining democracy and treating voters in the same way as you are treating terrorists.’ . . . .”
4.–Wylie’s observations on how Cambridge Analytica’s methodology can be used to build a fascist political movement: ” . . . . One of the reasons these techniques are so insidious is that being a target of a disinformation campaign is ‘usually a pleasurable experience’, because you are being fed content with which you are likely to agree. ‘You are being guided through something that you want to be true,’ Wylie says. To build an insurgency, he explains, you first target people who are more prone to having erratic traits, paranoia or conspiratorial thinking, and get them to ‘like’ a group on social media. They start engaging with the content, which may or may not be true; either way ‘it feels good to see that information’. When the group reaches 1,000 or 2,000 members, an event is set up in the local area. Even if only 5% show up, ‘that’s 50 to 100 people flooding a local coffee shop’, Wylie says. This, he adds, validates their opinion because other people there are also talking about ‘all these things that you’ve been seeing online in the depths of your den and getting angry about’. People then start to believe the reason it’s not shown on mainstream news channels is because ‘they don’t want you to know what the truth is’. As Wylie sums it up: ‘What started out as a fantasy online gets ported into the temporal world and becomes real to you because you see all these people around you.’ . . . .”
5.–Wylie’s observation that Facebook was “All In” on the Cambridge Analytica machinations: ” . . . . ‘Facebook has known about what Cambridge Analytica was up to from the very beginning of those projects,” Wylie claims. “They were notified, they authorised the applications, they were given the terms and conditions of the app that said explicitly what it was doing. They hired people who worked on building the app. I had legal correspondence with their lawyers where they acknowledged it happened as far back as 2016.’ . . . .”
6.–The decisive participation of “Spy Tech” firm Palantir in the Cambridge Analytica operation: Peter Thiel’s surveillance firm Palantir was apparently deeply involved with Cambridge Analytica’s gaming of personal data harvested from Facebook in order to engineer an electoral victory for Trump. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, at one point was its largest shareholder and is still one of its largest shareholders. In addition to his opposition to democracy because it allegedly is inimical to wealth creation, Thiel doesn’t think women should be allowed to vote and holds Nazi legal theoretician Carl Schmitt in high regard. ” . . . . It was a Palantir employee in London, working closely with the data scientists building Cambridge’s psychological profiling technology, who suggested the scientists create their own app — a mobile-phone-based personality quiz — to gain access to Facebook users’ friend networks, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The revelations pulled Palantir — co-founded by the wealthy libertarian Peter Thiel — into the furor surrounding Cambridge, which improperly obtained Facebook data to build analytical tools it deployed on behalf of Donald J. Trump and other Republican candidates in 2016. Mr. Thiel, a supporter of President Trump, serves on the board at Facebook. ‘There were senior Palantir employees that were also working on the Facebook data,’ said Christopher Wylie, a data expert and Cambridge Analytica co-founder, in testimony before British lawmakers on Tuesday. . . . The connections between Palantir and Cambridge Analytica were thrust into the spotlight by Mr. Wylie’s testimony on Tuesday. Both companies are linked to tech-driven billionaires who backed Mr. Trump’s campaign: Cambridge is chiefly owned by Robert Mercer, the computer scientist and hedge fund magnate, while Palantir was co-founded in 2003 by Mr. Thiel, who was an initial investor in Facebook. . . .”
7.–The use of “dark posts” by the Cambridge Analytica team. (We have noted that Brad Parscale has reassembled the old Cambridge Analytica team for Trump’s 2020 election campaign. It seems probable that AOC’s millions of online followers, as well as the “Bernie Bots,” will be getting “dark posts” crafted by AI’s scanning their online efforts.) ” . . . . One recent advertising product on Facebook is the so-called ‘dark post’: A newsfeed message seen by no one aside from the users being targeted. With the help of Cambridge Analytica, Mr. Trump’s digital team used dark posts to serve different ads to different potential voters, aiming to push the exact right buttons for the exact right people at the exact right times. . . .”

Supplementing the discussion about Cambridge Analytica, the program reviews information from FTR #718 about Facebook’s apparent involvement with elements and individuals linked to CIA and DARPA: ” . . . . Facebook’s most recent round of funding was led by a company called Greylock Venture Capital, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Greylock’s senior partners is called Howard Cox, another former chairman of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What’s In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their website), this is the venture-capital wing of the CIA. After 9/11, the US intelligence community became so excited by the possibilities of new technology and the innovations being made in the private sector, that in 1999 they set up their own venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel, which ‘identifies and partners with companies developing cutting-edge technologies to help deliver these solutions to the Central Intelligence Agency and the broader US Intelligence Community (IC) to further their missions’. . . .”

More about the CIA/DARPA links to the development of Facebook: ” . . . . The second round of funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer was formerly chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, and served on the board with Gilman Louie, CEO of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company’s key areas of expertise are in ‘data mining technologies’. Breyer also served on the board of R&D firm BBN Technologies, which was one of those companies responsible for the rise of the internet. Dr Anita Jones joined the firm, which included Gilman Louie. She had also served on the In-Q-Tel’s board, and had been director of Defence Research and Engineering for the US Department of Defence. She was also an adviser to the Secretary of Defence and overseeing the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is responsible for high-tech, high-end development. . . .”

Program Highlights Include: Review of Facebook’s plans to use brain-to-computer technology to operate its platform, thereby the enabling of recording and databasing people’s thoughts; Review of Facebook’s employment of former DARPA head Regina Dugan to implement the brain-to-computer technology; Review of Facebook’s building 8–designed to duplicate DARPA; Review of Facebook’s hiring of the Atlantic Council to police the social medium’s online content; Review of Facebook’s partnering with Narendra Modi’s Hindutva fascist government in India; Review of Facebook’s emloyment of Ukrainian fascist Kateryna Kruk to manage the social medium’s Ukrainian content.


FTR #1075 Surveillance Valley, Part 1: Eugenics, Racism and High Tech

Beginning a critically important series on a vitally important book titled Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet, this program explores the genesis of high tech and data processing, an origin that is inextricably linked with eugenics, anti-immigrant doctrine and–as is characteristic of fascism, the fear of the ubiquitous, malevolent “other.”

Highlights of discussion and analysis include:

1.–The genesis of high tech was Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine. ” . . . . A few years earlier, working for the U.S. Census Bureau, Hollerith had developed the world’s first functional mass-produced computer: the Hollerith tabulator. An electromechanical device about the size of large desk and dresser, it used punch cards and a clever arrangement of gears, sorters, electrical contacts, and dials to process data with blazing speed and accuracy. What had taken years by hand could be done in a matter of months. As one U.S. newspaper described it, ‘with [the device’s] aid some 15 young ladies can count accurately half a million of names in a day.’ . . .’
2.–Hollerith’s machine found its (arguably) greatest application with the compilation of the census and the application of the pseudo-science of eugenics to it: ” . . . . Grasping about for solutions, many settled on various strains of race science quackery. So-called social Darwinists relied on a twisted version of the theory of evolution to explain why the poor and marginalized should remain that way while the wealthy and successful deserved to rule unchallenged. Taking this notion a step further, adherents of eugenics fervently believed that naturally superior Anglo-Americans were on the verge of being wiped out due to the high birth rates of ‘degenerate’ and immigrant stock. To head off this threat, they advocated strict controls on reproduction — breeding humans for quality in the same way that farmers did cows and horses. . . .”
3.–Hollerith’s machine was seen as the perfect vehicle for realizing eugenic practice through refining the census: ” . . . . The census had been a racial instrument from its inception, beginning with the original constitutional clause that instructed census officials to count black slaves separately from whites and to assign them a value of only three-fifths of a person. With each decade, new ‘racial’ categories were invented and added to the mix: ‘free colored males and females’ and ‘mulatto’ were counted, including subdivisions like including ‘quadroon’ and ‘octoroon.’ Categories for Chinese, ‘Hindoo,’ and Japanese were added, as were ‘foreign’ and ‘native born’ designations for whites. The census slowly expanded to collect other demographic data, including literacy levels, unemployment statistics, and medical ailments, such as those who were ‘deaf, dumb, and blind’ and the ‘insane and idiotic.’ All of it was broken down by race. . . .The census needed to improve drastically. What it needed was a talented inventor, someone young and ambitious who would be able to come up with a method to automate tabulation and data analysis. Someone like Herman Hollerith. . . .”
4.–Hollerith’s technology–when applied to the census, anticipated the mass surveillance technology of the internet: ” . . . . Overnight, Hollerith’s tabulator technology had transformed census taking from a simple head count into something that looked very much like a crude form of mass surveillance. To the race-obsessed political class, it was a revolutionary development. They could finally put the nation’s ethnic makeup under the microscope. The data seemed to confirm the nativists’ worst fears: Poor, illiterate immigrants were swarming America’s cities, breeding like rabbits, and outstripping native Anglo-American birth rates. Immediately following the census, the states and the federal government passed a flurry of laws that heavily restricted immigration. . . .”
5.–As discussed in FTR #279, IBM’s Hollerith machines (acquired when Thomas J. Watson bought out Hollerith) were fundamental to the operations of the Third Reich: ” . . . . ‘Indeed, the Third Reich would open startling statistical venues for Hollerith machines never before instituted — perhaps never before even imagined,’ wrote Edwin Black in IBM and the Holocaust, his pioneering 2001 exposé of the forgotten business ties between IBM and Nazi Germany. ‘In Hitler’s Germany, the statistical and census community, overrun with doctrinaire Nazis, publicly boasted about the new demographic breakthroughs their equipment would achieve.’ . . . Demand for Hollerith tabulators was so robust that IBM was forced to open a new factory in Berlin to crank out all the new machines. At the facility’s christening ceremony, which was attended by a top U.S. IBM executive and the elite of the Nazi Party, the head of IBM’s German subsidiary gave a rousing speech about the important role that Hollerith tabulators played in Hitler’s drive to purify Germany and cleanse it of inferior racial stock. . . .”
6.–The Trump administration’s framing of questions for the 2020 census appear aimed at creating a “national registry”–a concept reminiscent of the Third Reich’s use of IBM’s Hollerith-collected data: ” . . . . Based on a close reading of internal Department of Commerce documents tied to the census citizen question proposal, it appears the Trump administration wants to use the census to construct a first-of-its-kind citizenship registry for the entire U.S. population — a decision that arguably exceeds the legal authority of the census. ‘It was deep in the documentation that was released,’ Robert Groves, a former Census Bureau director who headed the National Academies committee convened to investigate the 2020 census, told me by telephone. ‘No one picked up on it much. But the term ‘registry’ in our world means not a collection of data for statistical purposes but rather to know the identity of particular people in order to use that knowledge to affect their lives.’ Given the administration’s posture toward immigration, the fact that it wants to build a comprehensive citizenship database is highly concerning. To Groves, it clearly signals ‘a bright line being crossed.’ . . .”


Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine Kateryna Kruk’s Nazi and Fascist Manifestations

In FTR #1074, we highlighted Facebook’s appointment of Kateryna Kruk to be its Public Policy Manager in Ukraine. Kruk is very close to the Atlantic Council, which was effectively positioned by Facebook to handle its management of “Fake News.” The Atlantic Council is a foundational element of the push for a new Cold War and has profound links to both U.S. intelligence and the fascist/Nazi milieu that grew out of the Reinhard Gehlen spy organization. In addition to having worked with Svoboda during the Euromaidan protests, Kruk has manifested other Nazi and fascist affiliations: 1.) In 2014, she tweeted that a man had asked her to convince his grandson not to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia. “I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I thanked that boy and blessed him.” And he then traveled to Luhansk to fight pro-Russian rebels. 2.) In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dilly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich–pictured above, at right–had been fighting with the fascist Ukrainian group Right Sector, and had posted photos on social media wearing Nazi German symbols. After he was killed, Kruk tweeted an homage to the teenage Nazi. (The Nazi was also lionized on Euromaidan Press’ Facebook page.) 3.) Kruk has staunchly defended the use of the slogan “Slava Ukraini,”which was first coined and popularized by Nazi-collaborating fascists, and is now the official salute of Ukraine’s army. 4.) She has also said that the Ukrainian fascist politician Andriy Parubiy, who co-founded a neo-Nazi party before later becoming the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament the Rada, is “acting smart,” writing, “Parubiy touche.” . . . .


FTR #1074 FakeBook: Walkin’ the Snake on the Earth Island with Facebook (FascisBook, Part 2; In Your Facebook, Part 4)

This program supplements past coverage of Facebook in FTR #’s 718, 946, 1021, 1039 noting how Facebook has networked with the very Hindutva fascist Indian elements and OUN/B successor organizations in Ukraine. This networking has been–ostensibly to combat fake news. The reality may well highlight that the Facebook/BJP-RSS/OUN/B links generates fake news, rather than interdicting it. The fake news so generated, however, will be to the liking of the fascists in power in both countries, manifesting as a “Serpent’s Walk” revisionist scenario.

Key elements of discussion and analysis include:

1.–Indian politics has been largely dominated by fake news, spread by social media: ” . . . . In the continuing Indian elections, as 900 million people are voting to elect representatives to the lower house of the Parliament, disinformation and hate speech are drowning out truth on social media networks in the country and creating a public health crisis like the pandemics of the past century. This contagion of a staggering amount of morphed images, doctored videos and text messages is spreading largely through messaging services and influencing what India’s voters watch and read on their smartphones. A recent study by Microsoft found that over 64 percent Indians encountered fake news online, the highest reported among the 22 countries surveyed. . . . These platforms are filled with fake news and disinformation aimed at influencing political choices during the Indian elections. . . . ”
2.–Narendra Modi’s Hindutva fascist BJP has been the primary beneficiary of fake news, and his regime has partnered with Facebook: ” . . . . The hearing was an exercise in absurdist theater because the governing B.J.P. has been the chief beneficiary of divisive content that reaches millions because of the way social media algorithms, especially Facebook, amplify ‘engaging’ articles. . . .”
3.–Rajesh Jain is among those BJP functionaries who serve Facebook, as well as the Hindutva fascists: ” . . . . By the time Rajesh Jain was scaling up his operations in 2013, the BJP’s information technology (IT) strategists had begun interacting with social media platforms like Facebook and its partner WhatsApp. If supporters of the BJP are to be believed, the party was better than others in utilising the micro-targeting potential of the platforms. However, it is also true that Facebook’s employees in India conducted training workshops to help the members of the BJP’s IT cell. . . .”
4.–Dr. Hiren Joshi is another of the BJP operatives who is heavily involved with Facebook. ” . . . . Also assisting the social media and online teams to build a larger-than-life image for Modi before the 2014 elections was a team led by his right-hand man Dr Hiren Joshi, who (as already stated) is a very important adviser to Modi whose writ extends way beyond information technology and social media. . . . Joshi has had, and continues to have, a close and long-standing association with Facebook’s senior employees in India. . . .”
5.–Shivnath Thukral, who was hired by Facebook in 2017 to be its Public Policy Director for India & South Asia, worked with Joshi’s team in 2014. ” . . . . The third team, that was intensely focused on building Modi’s personal image, was headed by Hiren Joshi himself who worked out of the then Gujarat Chief Minister’s Office in Gandhinagar. The members of this team worked closely with staffers of Facebook in India, more than one of our sources told us. As will be detailed later, Shivnath Thukral, who is currently an important executive in Facebook, worked with this team. . . .”
6.–An ostensibly remorseful BJP politician–Prodyut Bora–highlighted the dramatic effect of Facebook and its WhatsApp subsidiary have had on India’s politics: ” . . . . In 2009, social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp had a marginal impact in India’s 20 big cities. By 2014, however, it had virtually replaced the traditional mass media. In 2019, it will be the most pervasive media in the country. . . .”
7.–A concise statement about the relationship between the BJP and Facebook was issued by BJP tech office Vinit Goenka: ” . . . . At one stage in our interview with [Vinit] Goenka that lasted over two hours, we asked him a pointed question: ‘Who helped whom more, Facebook or the BJP?’ He smiled and said: ‘That’s a difficult question. I wonder whether the BJP helped Facebook more than Facebook helped the BJP. You could say, we helped each other.’ . . .”

In Ukraine, as well, Facebook and the OUN/B successor organizations function symbiotically:

(Note that the Atlantic Council is dominant in the array of individuals and institutions constituting the Ukrainian fascist/Facebook cooperative effort. We have spoken about the Atlantic Council in numerous programs, including FTR #943. The organization has deep operational links to elements of U.S. intelligence, as well as the OUN/B milieu that dominates the Ukrainian diaspora.)

Overlapping cybersecurity outfit CrowdStrike, the Atlantic Council has been at the forefront of the “Russia” was behind the high-profile hacks meme:

CrowdStrike–at the epicenter of the supposed Russian hacking controversy is noteworthy. Its co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitry Alperovitch is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, financed by elements that are at the foundation of fanning the flames of the New Cold War: “In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks. . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. . . . The connection between [Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri] Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . . ”

In May of 2018, Facebook decided to effectively outsource the work of identifying propaganda and misinformation during elections to the Atlantic Council, so choosing someone like Kruk who already has the Atlantic Council’s stamp of approval is in keeping with that trend:

” . . . . Facebook is partnering with the Atlantic Council in another effort to combat election-related propaganda and misinformation from proliferating on its service. The social networking giant said Thursday that a partnership with the Washington D.C.-based think tank would help it better spot disinformation during upcoming world elections. The partnership is one of a number of steps Facebook is taking to prevent the spread of propaganda and fake news after failing to stop it from spreading on its service in the run up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. . . .”

Since autumn 2018, Facebook has looked to hire a public policy manager for Ukraine. The job came after years of Ukrainians criticizing the platform for takedowns of its activists’ pages and the spread of [alleged] Russian disinfo targeting Kyiv. Now, it appears to have one: @Kateryna_Kruk.— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) June 3, 2019

Kateryna Kruk:

1.–Is Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for Ukraine as of May of this year, according to her LinkedIn page.
2.–Worked as an analyst and TV host for the Ukrainian ‘anti-Russian propaganda’ outfit StopFake. StopFake is the creation of Irena Chalupa, who works for the Atlantic Council and the Ukrainian government and appears to be the sister of Andrea and Alexandra Chalupa.
3.–Joined the “Kremlin Watch” team at the European Values think-tank, in October of 2017.
4.–Received the Atlantic Council’s Freedom award for her communications work during the Euromaidan protests in June of 2014.
5.–Worked for OUN/B successor organization Svoboda during the Euromaidan protests. “ . . . ‘There are people who don’t support Svoboda because of some of their slogans, but they know it’s the most active political party and go to them for help, said Svoboda volunteer Kateryna Kruk. . . . ”
6.–Also has a number of articles on the Atlantic Council’s Blog. Here’s a blog post from August of 2018 where she advocates for the creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church to diminish the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
7.–According to her LinkedIn page has also done extensive work for the Ukrainian government. From March 2016 to January 2017 she was the Strategic Communications Manager for the Ukrainian parliament where she was responsible for social media and international communications. From January-April 2017 she was the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Health.
8.–Was not only was a volunteer for Svoboda during the 2014 Euromaidan protests, but openly celebrated on twitter the May 2014 massacre in Odessa when the far right burned dozens of protestors alive. Kruk’s twitter feed is set to private now so there isn’t public access to her old tweet, but people have screen captures of it. Here’s a tweet from Yasha Levine with a screenshot of Kruk’s May 2, 2014 tweet where she writes: “#Odessa cleaned itself from terrorists, proud for city fighting for its identity.glory to fallen heroes..” She even threw in a “glory to fallen heroes” at the end of her tweet celebrating this massacre. Keep in mind that it was month after this tweet that the Atlantic Council gave her that Freedom Award for her communications work during the protests.
9.–In 2014, . . . tweeted that a man had asked her to convince his grandson not to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia. “I couldn’t do it,” she said. “I thanked that boy and blessed him.” And he then traveled to Luhansk to fight pro-Russian rebels.
10.–Lionized a Nazi sniper killed in Ukraine’s civil war. In March 2018, a 19-year neo-Nazi named Andriy “Dilly” Krivich was shot and killed by a sniper. Krivich had been fighting with the fascist Ukrainian group Right Sector, and had posted photos on social media wearing Nazi German symbols. After he was killed, Kruk tweeted an homage to the teenage Nazi. (The Nazi was also lionized on Euromaidan Press’ Facebook page.)
11.–Has staunchly defended the use of the slogan “Slava Ukraini,”which was first coined and popularized by Nazi-collaborating fascists, and is now the official salute of Ukraine’s army.
12.–Has also said that the Ukrainian fascist politician Andriy Parubiy, who co-founded a neo-Nazi party before later becoming the chairman of Ukraine’s parliament the Rada, is “acting smart,” writing, “Parubiy touche.” . . . .

In the context of Facebook’s institutional level networking with fascists, it is worth noting that social media themselves have been cited as a contributing factor to right-wing domestic terrorism. ” . . . The first is stochastic terrorism: ‘The use of mass, public communication, usually against a particular individual or group, which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but happen seemingly at random.’ I encountered the idea in a Friday thread from data scientist Emily Gorcenski, who used it to tie together four recent attacks. . . . .”

The program concludes with review (from FTR #1039) of the psychological warfare strategy adapted by Cambridge Analytica to the political arena. Christopher Wylie–the former head of research at Cambridge Analytica who became one of the key insider whistle-blowers about how Cambridge Analytica operated and the extent of Facebook’s knowledge about it–gave an interview to Campaign Magazine. (We dealt with Cambridge Analytica in FTR #’s 946, 1021.) Wylie recounts how, as director of research at Cambridge Analytica, his original role was to determine how the company could use the information warfare techniques used by SCL Group – Cambridge Analytica’s parent company and a defense contractor providing psy op services for the British military. Wylie’s job was to adapt the psychological warfare strategies that SCL had been using on the battlefield to the online space. As Wylie put it:

“ . . . . When you are working in information operations projects, where your target is a combatant, the autonomy or agency of your targets is not your primary consideration. It is fair game to deny and manipulate information, coerce and exploit any mental vulnerabilities a person has, and to bring out the very worst characteristics in that person because they are an enemy…But if you port that over to a democratic system, if you run campaigns designed to undermine people’s ability to make free choices and to understand what is real and not real, you are undermining democracy and treating voters in the same way as you are treating terrorists. . . . .”

Wylie also draws parallels between the psychological operations used on democratic audiences and the battlefield techniques used to be build an insurgency.