The Internet has provided a forum for average people throughout the world to disseminate, share and debate information unattenuated by gatekeepers in the mainstream media and their politically connected friends. New media outlets like Personal Liberty Digest™ have, for years, been warning readers that the well-connected and ruling elite, displeased by this newfound proletariat freedom, have been prolific in attempts to undermine and marginalize information provided by any media outlet unwilling to obey the same unspoken rules that govern the content choices of major media outlets.
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Now, thanks to the efforts of National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, readers no longer have to take the word of “paranoid” bloggers who relate tales of paid government trolls lurking in comment sections and other concentrated top-down efforts to muddy the information provided by alternative media.
On his The Intercept blog this week, Greenwald provides documents from Snowden’s NSA cache which provide a look at some of the tactics employed by the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a spy agency that has been shown to have a close working relationship with the American spy agency.
The documents deal largely with the goals of GCHQ’s previously secret Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), an apparatus whose mission Greenwald describes thusly: “Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable.”