The Worst Trolls On The Internet Are The Government Trolls
By Michael Snyder, on July 15th, 2014
We have all run into them. All over the Internet, there are horrible trolls that seem to delight in making life miserable for other people. But the worst trolls of all are the government trolls. And thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have some startling new evidence of what really goes on behind the scenes. According to newly revealed documents, British spy agency GCHQ is manipulating online discussions, infiltrating the computers of specific targets, purposely destroying reputations, altering the results of online polls, and using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for propaganda and espionage purposes. If people don’t start getting outraged about this now, the governments of the western world are going to see it as a green light to do even more. Eventually, it might get so bad that we won’t be able to trust much of anything that we see on the Internet.
There is a lot about the Internet that is really awful, but one great thing about it is the fact that it has allowed average individuals to communicate on a mass scale unlike ever before. As the general population has become aware of how powerful of a tool the Internet can be, the elite have become extremely alarmed. Unlike so many other things in our society, it has not been something that they have been able to easily control.
But the elite have been starting to catch up to all of this new technology and are learning how to use it for their own purposes. Thanks to Snowden, we now have a list of specific tools that GCHQ has been using to manipulate the Internet. The following is a short excerpt from a recent ZDNet article about these new revelations…
A number of interesting tools and their short descriptions are below:
- ASTRAL PROJECTION: Remote GSM secure covert Internet proxy using TOR hidden service
- POISON ARROW: Safe malware download capability
- AIRWOLF: YouTube profile, comment and video collection
- BIRDSTRIKE: Twitter monitoring and profile collection
- GLASSBACK: Technique of getting a target’s IP address by pretending to be a spammer and ringing them. Target does not need to answer.
- MINIATURE HERO: Active skype capability. Provision of realtime call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.
- PHOTON TORPEDO: A technique to actively grab the IP address of MSN messenger user
- SPRING-BISHOP: Finding private photos of targets on Facebook
- BOMB BAY: The capacity to increase website hits, rankings
- BURLESQUE: The capacity to send spoofed SMS messages
- GESTATOR: Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (YouTube)
- SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE: Perfect spoofing of emails from Blackberry targets
- SUNBLOCK: Ability to deny functionality to send/receive email or view material online
- SWAMP DONKEY: A tool that will silently locate all predefined types of file and encrypt them on a targets machine
- UNDERPASS: Change outcome of online polls (previously known as NUBILO).
- WARPATH: Mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign.
- HUSK: Secure one-on-one web based dead-drop messaging platform.
The list, dated from 2012, says that most of the tools are “fully operational, tested and reliable,” and adds: “Don’t treat this like a catalogue. If you don’t see it here, it doesn’t mean we can’t build it.”
If we are going to have a free and open society, then we simply cannot have the governments of the western world running around systematically manipulating the Internet for their own purposes.