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New Bill Would Make It Legal To Target Propaganda And “Psychological Operations” Directly At U.S. Citizens

Should it be legal for the U.S. government to spend billions of dollars on propaganda designed to change public opinion in the United States?  Should it be legal for the U.S. government to use television, radio, newspapers, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Internet forums to conduct “psychological operations” targeted at the American public?

An amendment that has been added to a new defense bill in Congress would make it legal to target propaganda and “psychological operations” directly at U.S. citizens.  The latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act would overturn the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1987.  Those two laws essentially make it illegal for propaganda that is used to influence public opinion overseas to be targeted at U.S. citizens back here at home.  If those two laws are struck down, there will be essentially very few limits to what the U.S. government can do to shape our opinions.  The government would be able to bombard us with propaganda messages on television, on the radio, in our newspapers and on the Internet and there would not even be a requirement that those messages be true.  In fact, just as happens so often overseas, it would likely be inevitable that the government would purposely disseminate misinformation to the American public for the sake of “national security”.  That is why it is imperative that this bill not become law. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Tech Giant Warns CISPA Is “Alarming” Threat to Privacy

Tech giant Mozilla has publicly slammed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) which passed the House last week, labeling the legislation an “alarming” threat to privacy.

“While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time to fully and openly consider these issues with stakeholder input before moving forward with this legislation,” Mozilla, which is best known for its Firefox browser, said in a statement.

The statement is important because it marks the first time any Silicon Valley entity has denounced CISPA, with an array of powerful companies lining up in support of the legislation which passed the US House of Representatives 248 to 168 and now heads to the Senate. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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