Feeds

US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK

As far as we can tell we aren't one of them

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Looking for operatives fluent in "English (British dialect)"

All the standard bread-and-butter methods will be employed:

Government will require the use of XHTML, PHP, Java scripting, and flash development... Free email service for users of TRWI websites, as determined feasible by SOCOM, in order to integrate them as active participants of the site... Contractor is required to incorporate into TRWI websites the use of web logs (blogs), streaming Video/Audio, moderated chat rooms, downloads of wall papers (inclusive of calendars) when directed by SOCOM... contractor will, at a minimum, develop Internet-based marketing procedures such as use of Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization to prioritize search result listing of the applicable websites.

The difference will be that rather than a normal media boss, the Initiative websites will be controlled by managers reporting to SOCOM based in US regional command HQs around the world - managers holding US Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information clearances, with "extensive public diplomacy, journalism, and mediarelations skills". Rather than ads or venture capital, the cash will come from SOCOM's psyops war chest.

Then there are hints of unconventional web tactics, different from your normal media:

The Government will require the contractor to provide “ghosted” websites that are protected by username and password and ready to go active upon approval by SOCOM.

So who are the "targeted readers" who are to be steered into supporting US policy, in particular the War On Terror?

A hint is given by the list of required foreign target languages, which includes obvious ones like Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Russian, Malay etc - but also French, and "English (British dialect and spelling)".

There's also a suggestion that operations similar to the Initiative may already be running, supporting the "24/7 multi-media campaign" spoken of last year (pdf) by SOCOM's commander.

The Government will provide the contractor with Government Furnished Information (GFI) from any existing, USSOCOM-operated influence website strategies.

It would appear that any UK media site or channel which appears to be functioning without any visible means of support appropriate to its expenses may in fact be a tentacle of US Special Ops psywar command. (Or the Iranian equivalent, perhaps.)

We've obviously checked with our upper management regarding the identity of our backers, but it seems we don't have any need to know who they are. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.