Feeds

US Spec Ops operates psywar websites targeted at UK

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.