The dystopian times warned about by George Orwell in his iconic book, 1984 are upon us. The United States has just unleashed DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the Pentagon, as their own Ministry of Truth in order to control and manipulate the information Americans are privy to.
The Pentagon has unveiled an initiative to fight “large-scale, automated disinformation attacks” by unearthing deep-fakes and other polarizing content with the eventual goal of rooting out so-called “malicious intent” entirely. You had better get your thinking in line with the Pentagon and DARPA, or things could get ugly quickly.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking software capable of churning through a test set of half a million news stories, photos, and audio/video clips to target and neutralize potentially viral information before it spreads. In DARPA jargon, the aim is to “automatically detect, attribute, and characterize falsified multi-modal media to defend against large-scale, automated disinformation attacks.” “Polarizing viral content,” however, includes inflammatory truths, and the program’s ultimate goal seems to be to stamp out dissent. –RT
The authoritarianism and control the government believes they have over others is unbelievable. But unfortunately, too many people are perfectly fine with others manipulating their own thoughts and behaviors.
The desired software will not just identify a particular meme as inauthentic. It will identify the source of that meme, the alleged intent behind it, and predict the impact of its spread. According to the Pentagon, they just want to even the playing field between the “good guys” (who they say is good, like politicians) and the “bad guys” (those who are sowing discord and bucking authoritarianism by dissenting.) The Pentagon’s targets aren’t limited to deepfakes either. That’s just the bogeyman-of-the-month being used to justify this unprecedented military intrusion into the social media and news realm, or information at all. If the program is successful after four years of trials, it will be expanded to target all “malicious intent” – that should send chills down the spine of any journalist who’s ever disagreed with the political establishment’s narrative.
The U.S. government has quickly transformed themselves into the U.S.S.A. without very many noticing and the mainstream media will play along in order to make sure the slaves stay in line without asking questions.
But perhaps the worst part about all of this is that the government itself, including the Pentagon, has an extensive history of running fake social media profiles to collect data on persons of interest, including through the NSA’s JTRIG information-war program revealed in the Snowden documents. Agents regularly deploy reputational attacks against dissidents using false information. Fake identities are used to cajole unsuspecting individuals into collaborating in fake FBI “terror” plots, a phenomenon which might once have been called entrapment but is merely business as usual in the post-9/11 U.S.SA.
All of this begs the question: how will DARPA determine the “intent” behind any meme or bit of information? Will they punish journalists who push fakes for the political establishment? Probably not. This is where the “impact” and “intent” fields come in handy for them: fakes from “trusted sources” will be let through, while fakes and real stories designed to “undermine key individuals and organizations” (dissent and those who seek freedom from the political class) will be terminated before they have an impact on the thoughts of others. When “disinformation” is redefined to include all potentially polarizing stories that don’t conform to the establishment narrative, reality is discarded as so much fake news and replaced with Pentagon-approved pablum.
This should be enough to terrify anyone who has ever disagreed with the government.
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.