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Sun May 28, 2017, 05:41 PM

 

The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money

CONTENTS
Introductions...................................................................... 4
Executive Summary ........................................................... 6
Background......................................................................... 8
The Kremlin Tool Kit ........................................................ 14
The Weaponization of Information ...................................... 14
The Weaponization of Culture and Ideas ........................... 18
The Weaponization of Money ............................................... 22
The New, Non-Linear Internationale ............................. 24
Ukraine and the Advent of Non-Linear War.................. 29
Responses to 21st-Century Challenges......................... 34
Defining Western Weak Spots............................................... 34
Best Practices ........................................................................... 38
Recommendations ........................................................... 40
For Weaponization of Information....................................... 40
For Weaponization of Money ................................................ 42
For Weaponization of Ideas ................................................... 42

http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/PW-31.pdf

Defining Western Weak
Spots
• The Kremlin applies different approaches to different
regions across the world, using local rivalries
and resentments to divide and conquer.
• The Kremlin exploits systemic weak spots in the
Western system, providing a sort of X-ray of the
underbelly of liberal democracy.
• The Kremlin successfully erodes the integrity of
investigative and political journalism, producing
a lack of faith in traditional media.
• Offshore zones and opaque shell companies help
sustain Kremlin corruption and aid its influence.
For journalists, the threat of libel means few publications
are ready to take on Kremlin-connected
figures.
• Lack of transparency in funding and the blurring of
distinctions between think tanks and lobbying
helps the Kremlin push its agendas forward without
due scrutiny.



Recommendations:
For the Weaponization of Information

• A Transparency International for Disinformation:
The creation of an NGO that would create
an internationally recognized ratings system for
disinformation and provide analytical tools with
which to define forms of communication.
• A “Disinformation Charter” for Media and Bloggers:
Top-down censorship should be avoided.
But rival media, from Al-Jazeera to the BBC, Fox
and beyond, need to get together to create a charter
of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Vigorous
debate and disagreement is of course to be
encouraged—but media organizations that practice
conscious deception should be excluded from the
community. A similar code can be accepted by
bloggers and other online influencers.
• Counter-Disinformation Editors: Many newspapers
now employ “public editors,” or ombudsmen,
who question their outlet’s reporting or
op-ed selections and address matters of public
controversy that these might entail. “Counter-propaganda
editors” would pick apart what might be
called all the news unfit to print.
• Tracking Kremlin Networks: We must ensure
that Kremlin-supported spokesmen, officials and
intellectuals are held to account. Employees of
think tanks, pundits or policy consultants with
vested financial interests in the countries they
cover need to disclose their affiliations in public
statements.
• Public Information Campaigns: Stopping all
disinformation at all times is impossible. Public
information campaigns are needed to show
how disinformation works and shift the public’s
behavior towards being more critical of messages
that are being “buzzed” at them.
• Targeted Online Work: Audiences exposed to
systemic and intensive disinformation campaigns,
such as the Russian-speaking communities in
the Baltic states, need to be worked with through
targeted online campaigns that include the equivalent
of person-to-person online social work.

For the Weaponization of Money

• Strategic Corruption Research and a Journalists’
Libel Fund: Financial and institutional support
needs to be made available so that deep research
can be carried out in the sensitive area where
politics, security and corruption meet; this needs
to be backed up by a fund for journalists who
face potential libel litigation for the offense of
doing their jobs. A non-profit organization, based
in Western capitals, modeled on Lawyers Without
Borders but dedicated exclusively to defending
journalists, is long overdue.
• Target: Offshore: A network of stringers in offshore
jurisdictions is needed to carry out deep
research into the financial holdings of Russian
oligarchs and officials.
• Crowd-sourced Investigations: It is in the interest
of NGOs to enlist experienced bloggers, citizen
journalists or adept social media users to collaborate
on specific events or news stories that adhere
to the same standards of empirical rigor used
by traditional journalists. A handful of analysts
armed with YouTube, Google Maps, Instagram,
or foreign company registration websites can
generate headlines.

For the Weaponization of Culture and Ideas

• Re-establishing Transparency and Integrity in
the Expert Community: Self-disclosure of funding
by think tanks and a charter identifying clear
lines between funders and research would be a
first step in helping the sector regulate itself and
re-establish faith in its output.
• The Valdai Alternative: A broad gathering should
be convened to bring together think tanks, experts
and policymakers to focus on:
- addressing fears around the erosion of tradition,
religion and national sovereignty;
- mainstreaming Russia’s neighbors such as Ukraine,
Georgia and Estonia in the debate about Russian
policy; and
- engaging with “swing states” such as the BRICs and
others in the Middle East, Asia and South America
that are being courted by the Kremlin to join
its anti-Western Internationale.

Overall, the struggle against disinformation, strategic
corruption and the need to reinvigorate the global
case for liberal democracy are not merely Russia-specific
issues: today’s Kremlin might perhaps
be best viewed as an avant-garde of malevolent
globalization. The methods it pursues will be taken
up by others, and these counter-measures could
and should be adopted worldwide


More as in 44 pages here: http://www.interpretermag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/PW-31.pdf

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Reply The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money (Original post)
Madam45for2923 May 2017 OP
Achilleaze May 2017 #1
Madam45for2923 May 2017 #2
Madam45for2923 May 2017 #3
Madam45for2923 May 2017 #4

Response to Madam45for2923 (Original post)

Sun May 28, 2017, 05:54 PM

1. Republicans submissively assume the position

And refuse to lift a finger to defend the United States of America. Deplorable. Republicans are betraying their responsibility to protect and defend America. Disgusting.

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Sun May 28, 2017, 06:03 PM

2. Sorry, am confused about the title in your post.

 

But yes what the Rep. party is showing us is un american, reprehensible and indefensible.

Yes, disgusting. May they be embarrassed of their role in the not far future.

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Response to Madam45for2923 (Original post)

Tue May 30, 2017, 06:30 PM

3. Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media With links to Donald/ C/A.

 

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network

But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)

Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign and, so I’d read, the Leave campaign. When Mercer supported Cruz, Cambridge Analytica worked with Cruz. When Robert Mercer started supporting Trump, Cambridge Analytica came too. And where Mercer’s money is, Steve Bannon is usually close by: it was reported that until recently he had a seat on the board.

Last December, I wrote about Cambridge Analytica in a piece about how Google’s search results on certain subjects were being dominated by rightwing and extremist sites. Jonathan Albright, a professor of communications at Elon University, North Carolina, who had mapped the news ecosystem and found millions of links between rightwing sites “strangling” the mainstream media, told me that trackers from sites like Breitbart could also be used by companies like Cambridge Analytica to follow people around the web and then, via Facebook, target them with ads.

On its website, Cambridge Analytica makes the astonishing boast that it has psychological profiles based on 5,000 separate pieces of data on 220 million American voters – its USP is to use this data to understand people’s deepest emotions and then target them accordingly. The system, according to Albright, amounted to a “propaganda machine”.

A few weeks later, the Observer received a letter. Cambridge Analytica was not employed by the Leave campaign, it said. Cambridge Analytica “is a US company based in the US. It hasn’t worked in British politics.”

Which is how, earlier this week, I ended up in a Pret a Manger near Westminster with Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s affable communications director, looking at snapshots of Donald Trump on his phone. It was Wigmore who orchestrated Nigel Farage’s trip to Trump Tower – the PR coup that saw him become the first foreign politician to meet the president elect.

Wigmore scrolls through the snaps on his phone. “That’s the one I took,” he says pointing at the now globally famous photo of Farage and Trump in front of his golden elevator door giving the thumbs-up sign. Wigmore was one of the “bad boys of Brexit” – a term coined by Arron Banks, the Bristol-based businessman who was Leave.EU’s co-founder.

Cambridge Analytica had worked for them, he said. It had taught them how to build profiles, how to target people and how to scoop up masses of data from people’s Facebook profiles. A video on YouTube shows one of Cambridge Analytica’s and SCL’s employees, Brittany Kaiser, sitting on the panel at Leave.EU’s launch event.

Facebook was the key to the entire campaign, Wigmore explained. A Facebook ‘like’, he said, was their most “potent weapon”. “Because using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”





https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

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Response to Madam45for2923 (Reply #3)

Wed May 31, 2017, 03:14 PM

4. The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked -A shadowy global operation involvi

 

The Observer
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
by Carole Cadwalladr



https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy?CMP=share_btn_tw

A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?

It also reveals a critical and gaping hole in the political debate in Britain. Because what is happening in America and what is happening in Britain are entwined. Brexit and Trump are entwined. The Trump administration’s links to Russia and Britain are entwined. And Cambridge Analytica is one point of focus through which we can see all these relationships in play; it also reveals the elephant in the room as we hurtle into a general election: Britain tying its future to an America that is being remade - in a radical and alarming way - by Trump.

There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.

My entry point into this story began, as so many things do, with a late-night Google. Last December, I took an unsettling tumble into a wormhole of Google autocomplete suggestions that ended with “did the holocaust happen”. And an entire page of results that claimed it didn’t.

Much more at link

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