From 2007-2010 I worked in pioneering social media psychological warfare capabilities for the Department of Defense. I was recently asked on Facebook what the “ShadowNet” & “iPsy,” which was its commercially marketed name, not the classified code-name; was built for?
The ShadowNet and iPsy were built to support what is known in military nomenclature as IIA, or Interactive Internet Activities. Here is the military’s definition.
The ShadowNet and its relational database, iPsy, served basically two distinctive purposes. The ShadowNet was used to provide anonymity (non-attribution) and dissemination of whatever content or message your wanted to get out to control the narrative. As seen above, IIA supports Computer Network Operations. CNO, for example, could be honeypots, hacking, computer virus… Does this remind you of anything? DNC emails are stolen, then disseminated using sophisticated anonymity which, in my opinion was used to create a “false flag” that pointed the intrusion at Russia.
Think of the ShadowNet as a project management tool for either covert, (using anonymity, fake persona’s and often times fabricated news) to disseminate your message in a way that is 100% unattributable to the analyst sending the message), or overtly, through attributable government organizations like Voice of American or the Public Affairs Office.
I’m only going to tell you what it was capable of, nothing operational. That would violate national security laws, and also violate the sacred trust given with my clearance. It is up to you what you do with this information. I suggest letting your elected officials know if it is something you think has been abused and our nation should have a debate on.
This would be especially useful in situations like the dissemination of the fabricated Russian Dossier and the DNC email scandal as just 2 examples. Here is a recent article I wrote about an IIA/IO operation in Afghanistan that was used by a U.S. Military PSYOP team against sitting U.S. Senator’s in an attempt to get additional funding for the war.
I found it interesting that most people only noticed the fact the U.S. Military used covert, tactical psychological warfare against American Senators, and not the most interesting and concerning part, developing psychological profiles on the TA’s, or Target Acquisitions.
When people think of using social media as a way to influence using psychological warfare, they generally first think of thousands of fake Russian bots engaging on Facebook and Twitter. What is rarely discussed is the intelligence collection process that is used to understand your target(s) for the most effective results.
Mueller’s Special Counsel has indicted 2 companies, Wikistrat & Psy-Group, which are Israeli owned by Joel Zamel. According to an article in the New York Times, Psy-Group , a company that provides the exact same services that iPsy was built to do, presented the Trump campaign with a quote to build detailed, psychological profiles on Republican delegates during the highly contested 2016 Republican convention. The article states there was no evidence the Trump campaign used this service, but it wouldn’t have been illegal.
Another presidential convention in 2008 had a very contested convention, and president Obama went on to tap the owner of the ShadowNet as his National Security Advisor. Perhaps Democrats should look into this?Patrick Bergy; Original ShadowNet developer.
This process involves not only collecting your likes, things you share and your friends to build a behavioral profile, it now includes a the real-time collection of a targets social media, credit history, financials, travel and criminal records. Components of the ShadowNet and iPsy were integrated into a new application called ClearForce, by Dynology. The ClearForce application was then turned into its own company and includes on its board former Obama CIA director, Michael Hayden, Obama’s National Security Advisor and NATO commander, Gen. James Jones, and a California Democrat Congresswoman/ Diane Feinstein campaign manager. Here is a short video I made to show what I’m talking about.
Having studied the Seth Rich incident from the perspective of a subject matter expert in both cyber-security and social media psychological warfare, I believe Seth Rich was chosen as a target. In such a scenario, a company not unlike ClearForce would use an application like ClearForce to do a detailed psychological profile on everyone with potential access to the leaked DNC emails.
The ClearForce “like” application would then use its artificial intelligence to build detailed behavioral psychological profiles, and the targets most likely susceptible to a socially engineered influence operation that gets your TA to steal the data for you.
As stated, I have no evidence of this, but the question doesn’t have to just be if they did it, it can also be about should we allow private companies owned by senior White House officials and Democrat Congresswomen to have this ability?