Exposed: Military contractors hired to create fake Facebook accounts, infiltrate opposing groups
by: Jonathan Benson
Friday, September 02, 2011
A secret campaign to take out groups and organizations that oppose the policies and agendas of the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the US government has been outed, thanks to an archive of private emails obtained by Think Progress. According to reports, USCC hired HBGary, Federal and several other defense contractors to create fake accounts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in order to sabotage progressive groups critical of the organization’s platform.
Top secret government efforts to thwart opposition are nothing new, especially as they involve social media sites. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, for instance, recently told Russia Today that Facebook is “the most appalling spying machine ever invented,” and that it is routinely used by US Intelligence to illegally collect private information on individuals (http://www.naturalnews.com/032373_F…).
But now it has been revealed that some of the same contractors employed by the US government are now selling their information gathering and spying services to the highest private bidders, which in this case includes USCC. Private emails obtained by the infamous “Anonymous” group bring to light plans by HBGary’s executive Aaron Barr to partner with several other organizations, and create fake online identities, mine personal data, and even hack personal computers.
HBGary’s hacking escapades included creating the phony Facebook persona “Holly Weber,” a fictitious 27-year-old woman that was to be used to troll progressive groups critical of USCC. Upon exposure, however, USCC quickly withdrew from its dealings with HBGary, and the account was shut down. Screenshots of the account, though, have been archived (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2…).