Why talk about it now?

Bloggers Beware – USAF issues counter-blogging response flow-chart

Posted by aonomus on January 7, 2009

So, while this blog is mostly tech/science based, I occasionally touch on a subject that I feel needs to be addressed, and in this case it impacts something I feel very strongly about. Today Wired magazine wrote an article describing the US Air Force’s counter-blogging program and response chart regarding how to handle online activities for enlisted airmen/women.

Now the chart appears to be a well designed and thought out document to prevent negative image or PR regarding the USAF, the current war or politics in general, it also creates a potential problem. For anyone that writes any non-pro war statement on their blog, this may attract the attention of their counter-blogging program, particularly if your blog attracts a good amount of traffic per day. With the chart as a general ‘marching order’ for any USAF personnel that blog or read blogs, this creates an (un?)intentional counter-intelligence program that may lead to USAF personnel explicitly attacking those online that voice opinions contrary to that of the current government.

The best propaganda, is that which you don’t believe to be propaganda; someone who leaves a nasty comment at the bottom of a blog post can’t be hired now could they? If you get enough people spouting the same view against someone elses, they become the loudest voice and can hold more influence over others.

Moral of the story: Take everything online with a grain of salt, especially since no responses are credentialed typically. Just because a certain view is the most common does not make it correct by default.

Remember, the citizens media is powerful, just look at all these examples of bad cops being filmed, and posted on Youtube so that they can’t cover up whatever they did. And don’t take my word for it, but historically government agencies have been known for counter-intelligence programs, specifically COINTELPRO. What better way to influence public view than to become it?

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