THE AMERICAN CYBER CIVIL WAR

THE AMERICAN CYBER CIVIL WAR

by Anon

The current battle over social media censorship can be traced back to origins in the CIA’s Project Mockingbird. This article will argue that Project Mockingbird did not terminate after the Cold War but continued when the dot-com bubble enabled social media tech giants to pick up the mantle and continue campaigns of social influence.

The dot-com bubble was not an organic phenomenon. It arose from a more sinister purpose: to achieve a complete takeover of worldwide media and suppress dissenting voices. By whom, you may ask? Did they succeed? We speculate that the bubble was deliberately created, and its entire trajectory planned, to give certain highly-placed insiders absolute control over what has arguably become our most key communications sector. Nowhere is that stranglehold more evident than in today’s battle over social media censorship that is playing out in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

But let’s start by examining the bubble as it is typically explained.

“The dot-com bubble was a stock market bubble caused by excessive speculation in Internet-related companies in the late 1990s, a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the Internet.” [1] The Telecommunications Act of 1996 [2] was expected to generate profitable new technologies. Investors were eager to invest, at any valuation, in any Internet-related company. Venture capital flowed freely, and investment banks profiting from initial public offerings fueled additional speculation by encouraging investment in the sector. Investors overlooked traditional metrics—sky-high debt-to-equity ratios and negligible earnings per share—in hopes of cashing in. Stock prices kept levitating, as hot money rushed into the new sector in a speculative frenzy, creating a bubble that kept inflating. Media commentary hyping the potential of dot-com companies pervaded the airwaves.

Federal government assistance, in the form of venture capital, promoted dozens of key companies in the rapidly-expanding telecomm sector. The bubble made well-placed insiders instant billionaires, enabling them to secure present and future dominance over what has become the most influential communications sector.

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CIA’S NON-PROFIT TECHNOLOGY PARTNER, IN-Q-TEL

In-Q-Tel (formerly Peleus and In-Q-It) is a not-for-profit venture capital firm in Arlington, Virginia. It invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of equipping the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies, with the latest information technology. [3], [4]

IQT was conceived around 1998 as a new way for the CIA to acquire and fund new technologies useful to the national security mission. It was established as a legal entity in February, 1999.

“IQT identifies startups with potential for high impact on national security and works closely with them to deliver new capabilities that our government partners need to boost their technological edge.” Its own website declares that IQT invests in commercially-focused, venture capital-backed startups, identifying and adapting off-the-shelf products capable of deployment in 6 to 36 months. Currently it focuses on data analytics, cybersecurity, AI/machine learning, ubiquitous computing, IT solutions, communications, materials/electronics, the commercialization of space, power & energy, and biotechnology. [5] “IQT works side-by-side with the venture capital community to identify cutting-edge technology that has the potential for commercial success, but more importantly, the potential for high national security impact.”

This approach finds and delivers critical, innovative technology quickly and cost effectively. In-Q-Tel’s private-sector participation, funding, and acquisition of cutting-edge technologies is not necessarily sinister. Like any tool, technology has the potential for good or evil, depending on how it is used. But who has oversight over the independent nonprofit corporation besides its own board of directors?

HISTORY OF CIA ABUSES: PROJECT MOCKINGBIRD

Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program dating to circa World War II that enlisted journalists, American and worldwide, to spread propaganda—fake news—to manipulate public opinion. [6] (Sound familiar?) Mockingbird enlisted journalists and even clergy in intelligence-gathering roles. Cooperative media companies included CBS, Time, New York Times, ABC, NBC, AP, UPI, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek, Mutual Broadcasting System, Miami Herald, Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.

Senator Frank Church’s April 1976 committee uncovered CIA ties to foreign and domestic news media. [7] It also brought to light the existence of the CIA’s infamous heart-attack gun. The Committee heard that former CIA director William Colby had instructed, in 1973, that “as a general policy, the Agency will not make any clandestine use of staff employees of U.S. publications which have a substantial impact or influence on public opinion.” In 1976, then-CIA Director George H. W. Bush announced that the CIA would no longer “enter into any paid or contractual relationship with any full-time or part-time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station.” Those weasel-words do not rule out delegating such functions to subcontractors, affiliated entities, unaccredited writers, or the use of propaganda in specific instances rather than “as a general policy”.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Bernstein’s acclaimed exposé uncovering Operation Mockingbird was published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977. [8] Did these exposures end the clandestine program, or did it morph into a less-recognizable form? Has the drastic consolidation of media ownership and advent of social media simply become Mockingbird version 2?

How can the public ascertain if past CIA abuses have been rectified and are not occurring through, perhaps, its technology alter-ego IQT, or through public companies that sprang to life when infused with IQT venture capital? The Congressional committee with intelligence oversight responsibility, chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, has shown it cannot be trusted. Mr. Schiff has lied about classified intelligence with which he was entrusted in his “Gang of Eight” [9] role. In the Trump administration, the CIA is under new management (directors Mike Pompeo, then Gina Haspel). The Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, is new in that role. Should the American people trust our national security organizations, in light of the long history of past abuses?

Today’s world, rife with fake news, and big tech collecting and selling user information to target the wary public, exhibits striking parallels.

DARPA LIFELOG: TRANSFORMED INTO FACEBOOK?

Whose brilliant idea was it to create a honeypot so seductive, so ubiquitous, that people worldwide would commit all their significant life events, people connections, likes and dislikes, photographs, etc. to an online repository? Such a database would surely simplify intelligence-gathering. When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense conceived the project, they called it LifeLog. Some posit that LifeLog simply burrowed underground by transforming itself into Facebook.

LifeLog’s 2003 bid solicitation proposed “an ontology-based (sub)system that captures, stores, and makes accessible the flow of one person’s experience in and interactions with the world”. It aimed to trace the threads of a person’s life by capturing “all of a subject’s experience, from phone numbers dialed and e-mails viewed to every breath taken, step made and place gone”. [10] It sought to compile a database of every activity and relationship, even credit card purchases, web sites visited, content of telephone calls, e-mails and instant messages, scans of hardcopies faxed or mailed, books and magazines read, television and radio selections, physical location recorded via wearable GPS sensors, and biomedical data from wearable sensors. The purpose was to identify “preferences, plans, goals, and other markers of intentionality” [11] – in other words, to anticipate everything that a person might do as a result of exercising their “free will”. If all causes and effects are identified, could an organization manipulate the causes in order to produce specific effects – i.e. to deprive people of their free will by manipulating everything they see and hear?

The LifeLog program was canceled in February, 2004. [12] In a peculiar “coincidence”, Facebook was launched on February 4, 2004. By 2009, it had become the world’s most used social networking service.[13] Can one prove that Facebook is the direct successor of LifeLog? Can one disprove it? You be the judge.

REINING IN SOCIAL MEDIA CENSORSHIP

The existence of extreme censorship and exclusively left-leaning political bias by Big Tech is not debatable—despite testimony from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at a July 27, 2020 antitrust hearing, downplaying the practice with virtue-signalling and disingenuous statements on their commitment to serve users.

Insiders and whistleblowers have revealed administrative tools that Twitter uses for censorship. [14] This year Twitter officially admitted its controversial practice of shadowbanning—limiting the distribution or visibility of user posts in a way that’s difficult to detect—via updated terms of service.

Congressman Jim Jordan wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in advance of the July 27th hearing seeking data on its censorship practices. “Recent actions suggest that Twitter is increasingly discriminating against conservative voices on its platform,” Jordan wrote. As an example, he cited President Trump’s tweet on absentee voting, which Twitter fact-checkers alleged to contain “potentially misleading information.” Jordan refuted the allegation with facts from the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, which stated as far back as 2005 that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud” in American elections. More recently, Obama’s Commission on Election Administration likewise found that “when [voter fraud] does occur, absentee ballots are often the method of choice.” [15]

Who knows which 3-letter agencies, or their black-budget counterparts, are still entrenched at CIA, In-Q-Tel, Facebook, Twitter, Google, or other social media giants—burrowed in deeply like a blood-sucking tick and lurking in the shadows, while subtly exerting control? Or even worse, have private entities totally outside of government oversight taken over the role of guiding society according to globalist goals?

It does appear that the CIA’s intentions, when it formed Project Mockingbird, were shady at best. Did the marriage of convenience with mainstream media giants turn into an abusive relationship in which MSM and Big Tech got the upper hand, sucking up the venture capital fertilizer and growing beyond expectations, a virtual Jack-and-the-Beanstalk? When examining covert programs, it is difficult to assess intent. Motivations are often concealed under layers of ambiguity and disinformation. It is conceivable, but not absolutely provable, that governmental intelligence-gathering did morph into the social media profiling that infests society today.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act [16] protects online platforms from liability for their users’ posts. The key phrase says “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This law has shielded platforms from suit, allowing them to moderate users’ content without responsibility for defamatory content.

With President Trump’s May 28, 2020 executive order [17] declaring internet companies “publishers” when they use their extraordinary powers to regulate speech and inject their own editorial bias by suppressing conservative speech, we are now seeing the next phase of information warfare play out.

The stranglehold that companies like Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. had over information flows played a huge role in political victories by the Radical Left, that resulted in the presidency of Barack Obama and the continued domination by globalist, big-government interests.

Will President Trump’s order to reassert Americans’ first-amendment right of free speech be effective in returning our society to a more balanced posture, where voices from both the Right and the Left have equal opportunities for debate and discourse? Will a new “truth ecosystem” like the American Broadcasting CommUnity (ABCU|8) be effective in freeing us from the oppressive media sector? Can Americans’ moribund acceptance of censorship be overturned through a resurrection of free speech, honest journalism, and courteous, lively debate?

Sources

1. Wikipedia, “The Dot-com bubble”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_bubble

2. Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Act_of_1996

3. Wikipedia, “In-Q-Tel”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel

4. Central Intelligence Agency, “In-Q-Tel: A New Partnership Between the CIA and the Private Sector,” https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/intelligence-history/in-q-tel

5. IQT website, https://www.iqt.org/

6. Operation Mockingbird and the CIA’s History of Media Manipulation, https://citizentruth.org/operation-mockingbird-cia-media-manipulation/

7. Full Documents of Operation Mockingbird, https://archive.org/stream/FamilyJewelsFullDOCUMENTSOFOPERATIONMOCKINGBIRD703_201610/Operation%20Mockingbird%20The%20CIA%27s%20Operation%20Mockingbird%20Manipulated%20Media-5_djvu.txt

8. Carl Bernstein, “The CIA and the Media”, http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

9. The Gang of Eight is a colloquial term for a set of eight leaders within the United States Congress who are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the executive branch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang_of_Eight_(intelligence)

10. NY Times, “Pentagon Explores a New Frontier In the World of Virtual Intelligence”, May 30, 2003. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/30/us/pentagon-explores-a-new-frontier-in-the-world-of-virtual-intelligence.html

11. “DARPA’s bid solicitation for LifeLog”, Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20030603173339/http://www.darpa.mil/ipto/Solicitations/PIP_03-30.html

12. Vice.com, “15 Years Ago, the Military Tried to Record Whole Human Lives. It Ended Badly”, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbqdb8/15-years-ago-the-military-tried-to-record-whole-human-lives-it-ended-badly

13. Thoughtco.com, “Who Invented Facebook?”, https://www.thoughtco.com/who-invented-facebook-1991791

14. ReclaimTheNet.org, “Leaked screenshots appear to show internal Twitter tool that can blacklist users from search and trends”, https://reclaimthenet.org/twitter-panel-blacklist-search-trends/

15. Breitbart News, “Jim Jordan Demands Twitter Disclose ‘Extremely Alarming’ Censorship Practices”, https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/07/08/jim-jordan-demands-twitter-disclose-extremely-alarming-censorship-practices/

16. “Communications Decency Act”, 47 US Code §230, https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230

17. White House, “Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship,” https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-preventing-online-censorship/