Information warfare is the 21st Century equivalent of class warfare, with people like Aaron Swartz (threatened with decades of imprisonment, then bullied by prosecutors into taking his own life), Barrett Brown (imprisoned, awaiting trial and threatened with life imprisonment), Jeremy Hammond (same), Julian Assange (under investigation by Grand Jury) and Bradley Manning (facing life sentence in upcoming trial) as its most notable victims whom the US Government has decided to make an example of so as to deter others from following suit. Some have described leakers, whistleblowers, hackers and those that publish the information subsequently released by them as modern-day Robin Hoods, engaged in liberating information from the oligarchs of politicians, banker barons and their ilk. Today we focus on what is happening with Barrett Brown (and, in doing so, expand upon some of his investigations).
(Note: title of this article is a reference to Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s song, Warriors of the Wasteland.)
Glenn Greenwald…”Brown – who has been imprisoned since September on a 17-count indictment that could result in many years in prison – is a serious journalist who has spent the last several years doggedly investigating the shadowy and highly secretive underworld of private intelligence and defense contractors, who work hand-in-hand with the agencies of the Surveillance and National Security State in all sorts of ways that remain completely unknown to the public. It is virtually impossible to conclude that the obscenely excessive prosecution he now faces is unrelated to that journalism and his related activism.”
Here is a link to all the charges raised against Brown.
Barrett Brown’s journalism was centred largely around Project-PM see below – a website that provided a focus for investigations on surveillance systems, including TrapWire . Brown was one of four investigators that looked into and exposed TrapWire and the company behind it (the others were Asher Wolf, Justin Ferguson and yours truly ). Project-PM was “dedicated to investigating private government contractors working in the secretive fields of cybersecurity, intelligence and surveillance”. Brown also set himself the task of sifting through and analysing information obtained by Anonymous hacking of HBGary and Stratfor , both private companies engaged in intelligence gathering for the business community. Brown is now charged with basically helping to disseminate the information from Stratfor (which Jeremy Hammond is accused of hacking)
Christian Storm (WhoWhatWhere)…”ProjectPM is a crowd-sourced research effort with several aims. First, to study 75,000+ e-mails pilfered by Anonymous from military and intelligence contractor, HBGary Federal, and its parent company HBGary. Second, to post these raw, primary-source documents to a website where readers can edit and contribute further information. Third, to use these documents to map out the relationships between private contractors and the federal government that form our current national security state… The Obama administration’s assault on accountability is dual-pronged: attack the messenger (as in the case of Brown, WikiLeaks, even New York Times reporters) and attack the source (Bradley Manning, John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, etc.).”
Much of ProjectPM’s work is now being continued by Operation Blue Cabinet . The content on Blue Cabinet about Ntrepid (which manages Tartan surveillance software) and Abraxas and Anonymiser (proxy email system to entrap activists) is found here .
Persona Management is another technology Blue Cabinet is investigating, particularly the manipulation of social media through the use of fake online “personas” managed by the military. Such technology would allow single individuals to command virtual armies of fake, digital “people” across numerous social media portals. According to Raw Story (see link below) the US Air Force recently awarded a contract for this technology to Ntrepid . Another source states that Central Command (Centcom) has a similar contract with Ntrepid. (A video about Persona Management is displayed above.)
Back in July 2012 Darker Net connected Cubic, Abraxas, Trapwire, Tartan, Ntrepid, as follows…
1. Cubic Corporation (which runs defense systems and transport smart card systems) owns a number of companies, including Abraxas Dauntless and Abraxas Corporation.
2. TrapWire (which runs global surveillance systems using CCTV linked to its database, TrapWire Net) was previously owned by Abraxas Applications (which in turn was owned by Abraxas Corporation but sold off when Cubic Corporation merged with Abraxas).
3. Ntrepid (which runs ‘sock puppet’ fake Twitter accounts to spread disinformation) was assigned to the shareholders of Abraxas Corporation as part of the merger between Cubic Corporation and Abraxas.
4. Some of the expertise relating to Anonymizer (a so-called anonymous email system) was migrated to Ntrepid as part of the deal in 2010 when Cubic Corporation took over Abraxas Corporation, though many of the staff working on Anonymizer stayed on with Abraxas.
5. Tartan (which specialises in targeting protesters, including Occupy and anarchists) is a subsidiary of Ntrepid.
Christian Storm again…”Brown was never indicted for the infiltration, per se. Instead, he was charged with “trafficking” in stolen material and “access device fraud”—as mentioned, for posting, in a chat room, a link to the e-mail cache. Apparently, buried in the thousands of e-mails was the private credit card information of a number of Stratfor employees. It was not clear how Brown’s act was singular. That same link had been previously posted innumerable times across the Internet. All of this raises suspicions about some larger agenda in the government’s Javert-like pursuit of this young man.”
It will get worse unless – unless the information war is turned on its head and a major offensive, aimed at liberating information in a continuous stream from as many sources as possible to expose the corruption of government, its lackeys, business etc, is engaged.
Note: Barrett Brown’s mother has been forced to plead guilty to charges relating to hiding her son’s laptop from FBI and now could face $100,000 fine and up to one year in jail or six months probation.