@CT_Bergstrom Cambridge Analytica, Russian intel, etc could have blundered into using evolutionary algorithms in psychological warfare.

Evolutionary algorithms take a multitude of programs and throw them at the same problem. You eliminate the ones that fail & mix together those that succeed.
@CT_Bergstrom With automated and micro-targeted propaganda it's a similar process, informed by your targets' reactions to your latest efforts, their previous responses and psychographic profile.

You don't just elicit responses.

You drive them to particular decisions or attitudes over time.
@CT_Bergstrom But your key targets are not your only test subjects.

You're studying people on an immense scale.

So you have people with matching or near-matching profiles in less critical locations - non-swing states, voters w/more certain voting profiles, etc.
@CT_Bergstrom You can target these *non*-critical demographics to reap response data in initial rollouts, but also see what beneficial effects you can create for your operation.

Creating a larger social circle that will affirm articles you want affirmed, decry actions you want decried.
@CT_Bergstrom Potentially creating self-sustaining conflicts and disinformation sources.

But for an intelligence operation, this creates utterly insane amounts of hard evidence, in context (which you're often laying out yourself), for *millions* of crimes.
@CT_Bergstrom It's not just a specific video clip/article/infographic.

When Facebook can control who sees it, and your algorithms know exactly what reactions each element will illicit, you can use these actions to reinforce beliefs *or* to stir up conflict and division.
@CT_Bergstrom But if you're tracking these elements:

Who sends out the original piece?

Trust-washed media organization? Public figure? Well-known troll?

Does a troll use a friendly, disconcerting or repellent avatar? Such as a swastika or fascist-frog avatar, in the latter case?
@CT_Bergstrom What individual or group reactions are they getting?

Even in their non-critical demos? Who is close to or relatively isolated from more significant targets?

Can they demoralize volunteers? Silence critics or opposition organizers?

Embolden the worst elements?
@CT_Bergstrom One further advantage of evolutionary algorithms in an influence campaign that is glorified sabotage:
Normally you can't just use, say, random drugs on humans to look for a potent medicine or other effector.

People will die.

They don't even do that with lab rats - not unguided.
@CT_Bergstrom But when your agents are anonymous and you're *trying* to cause long-term damage, you may think you can get away with destroying a great deal.

Erroneously, as we'll see.
@CT_Bergstrom If you have access to medical/psychological records - see major, well publicized hacks of medical records for millions - and target accordingly, you have a target set whose mental landscape and even psychological triggers have been elaborately mapped out.
@CT_Bergstrom If you consider *people* as disposable as your programs, you can test.

If you already have "psychographic profiles" for, say, a couple hundred million Americans you're actively influencing, you can isolate the groups you want.
@CT_Bergstrom Because you can test reactions to stimuli directly - shares and various emotional responses on, say, Facebook, comments on posts, etc - and can microtarget and control feeds going to individuals via Facebook - you can find the most effective stimuli to run.
@CT_Bergstrom Botnets, however, are a vast slushpile of court-admissible evidence.

Paid trolls are their own Achilles heel.
@CT_Bergstrom It's one thing to have mountains of hard evidence re: crimes.

But the computers can literally document every minute detail and action in the felonies, as well as the larger enterprise.

Vast, complex PSYOPs managed with the precision of supercomputer.
@CT_Bergstrom Now imagine some group were hypothetically involved, such as Cambridge Analytica or Facebook.

Imagine if the records of the actions undertaken, and even the computers doing it, could be seized.

Not just the evidence but the crimes themselves, frozen in amber.
@CT_Bergstrom Think about all the precise pieces of stimulus not only visible as being managed, but easily tracked across a host of servers and databases, as very specific code came up again and again.
@CT_Bergstrom Then think of all the tech companies, media assets, entertainment assets, politicians, hackers and others being precisely coordinated with similar talking points and timetables...

Showing further collusion in the evolutionary algorithms, botnet support, bitcoin payments, etc...
@CT_Bergstrom Yes, I'm apparently the inventor of the concept, but never said anything about it other than to note how cataclysmically suicidal it was.

Mentioned repeatedly in an SF context in 2011.

I literally shelved a lot of positive applications to avoid this one.
@CT_Bergstrom Why? Because if you're targeting tens of millions, potentially a couple hundred million Americans, you're targeting not just normal citizens, but those suffering from PTSD, paranoia, severe aversions, early dementia, etc.

People expressly vulnerable to this manipulation.
@CT_Bergstrom Also, quantum leaps in human enhancement have their own downside when the only governments paying attention to you appear to be Russia and China.
@CT_Bergstrom The relevant commentary on the technology:
"Perhaps the scariest option... you are meddling in a place which is utterly owned or infected by a force you know nothing about, and which may be vastly more intelligent and dangerous than you are."
@CT_Bergstrom "Finally, one of the things I assume... is that many of the most powerful and advanced intelligences are keenly aware of what happens to the less powerful around them, even when they possess no real sense of compassion."
@CT_Bergstrom "Whenever an aggressive force acts, it exposes something about itself in doing so -- the technology it possesses, tactics it employs, goals it may or may not seek to further by way of a particular assault."
@CT_Bergstrom Hence, advanced...& seed AIs are often involved in a kind of cold war wherein they act subtly to assist otherwise outclassed victims - a single "ping" alerting an invaded system of an ongoing attack, a sudden shutdown of a key communications hub in mid-incursion or basilisk hack,
@CT_Bergstrom "...an involuntarily inserted or gift software patch that renders an obvious technique completely useless against the individual or organization.
One factor often seen in these kinds of conflicts is an unspoken, ongoing assessment made by all of the relatively sane participants."
@CT_Bergstrom "Am I exposing too much of my resources, technology, tools and/or identity in this matter, and if so, is it worth it?"
@CT_Bergstrom But the most important point?

Effectively unlimited search capacity via quantum computing means everything can ultimately be laid bare.

Transnational organized crime and hostile intel were doomed as soon as they moved onto the Internet.
@CT_Bergstrom The information - evidence, intel, public domain - showing links and associations was growing exponentially for the last two decades.

These organizations were doomed, even if they had never made any mistakes.

Much less all of them at once.
@CT_Bergstrom The ultimate flaw is the Internet itself, and the exponentially increasing data emerging.

Guess who owns the key databases?
@CT_Bergstrom "Undoubtedly someone will do a mass public search - or *has* done a mass search - on all #cryptocurrency identifiers. It's hard evidence. Other data points will crop up. Emails, names, pseudonyms, organizations, businesses, hang-outs."
@CT_Bergstrom "Take the map & superimpose #FARA, #FinCEN, #DeutscheBank, #Cypriot banks, money laundering, Transition emails, misappropriated copyrights, flipped witnesses...

"#Kompromat reaped by #botnets, online logfiles of everything, warrant-seized evidence, media subversion."
@CT_Bergstrom "PS. Add #Darknet sites- seized or active, intelligence operatives, data sources like the al Qaeda donation/money-laundering records taken during the Bin Laden raid...

"...deep-cover Russian spies under "re"-issued IDs exposed by a #BigData search to check for the preceding ID."
@CT_Bergstrom Then take everything from Cambridge Analytica - & remember that "stimuli" is in discrete packets distributed by automated systems, often unaltered - & realize it shows *more* connections, *more* coordination, *more* flagged accounts.
@CT_Bergstrom And *then* layer everything else on top of this map. 4 million+ documents from Cohen, who could be repository or *the* repository of US Mob archives? *Everyone* treasoning on Signal & WhatsApp? & every *other* cataclysmic data blunder out there?
@CT_Bergstrom And you *literally* do all of this in the context of all but hand delivering not only the data but unprecedented data-processing power in dealing with it.

As you've broken it *all* down into discrete packages - #bitcoin searches, commercial encryption, PSYOPS stimuli - for them.
@CT_Bergstrom Over 20-million messages collected by the @FBI on "secure" phones sold to +/-12,000 criminals.

Embarrassing parallel problems from an embarrassingly incompetent conspiracy.
@CT_Bergstrom @FBI Like a hologram, the more data, the more angles of analysis and exposure, the clearer this 3-dimensional image becomes.

But as we animate it across time, it becomes more than a sculpture of light, but a recreation of the living crimes themselves.
@CT_Bergstrom @FBI One thing about Trump - it wasn't *just* the botnets.

Because we were fighting so desperately, you had the botnets and the right retweeting, but also left, center and faux-left and center retweeting.

And then all the people arguing with him and each other.

On *every* tweet.
@CT_Bergstrom @FBI As President, backed by foreign-intel ops and the GOP, he had immense power to shape the "narrative."

Then consider evolutionary algorithms in psychological warfare playing *in* to all that.
It wasn't *just* addiction.

It was literally survival.
@CT_Bergstrom @FBI There are so many forensic sources of evidence.

Financial, digital, physical, or some combination thereof.

Like people laundering money and evading taxes through exchanges like Coinbase.

While Coinbase made mandatory reports to the @IRS_CI.

For years.
@CT_Bergstrom @FBI @IRS_CI +/-23-million users?

Not all of them Americans.

Not all of them committing crimes.

But if spending cryptocurrency or cashing it out into cash counts as realizing a profit, and such currencies have been on tax forms for two years now...

Exciting days may be ahead.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Ralph Cerchione

Ralph Cerchione Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Dry_Observer

23 May
Oh, I made sure I had a bunch of N95 masks before the pandemic hit North America, as well as ultraviolet air purifiers and a surface disinfector, a big container of gelled alcohol, disinfecting wipes, cleaning supplies, plenty of stored food...
Lots of fruit and nut-bearing trees, tons of berry bushes, a garden with topsoil enriched over decades filled with edible plants not necessarily recognizable as edible, a 3D printer, Arduino microcontrollers, live Spirulina algae...
A geothermally heated and cooled, passive solar, partially underground home, firearms, a couple solar panels and power storage, and assorted other resources.

Wait, were you talking about something other than the pandemic?
Read 4 tweets
23 May
@ericgarland @CanadianWizardT And then, as they say, it gets. Actually. Bad.

Realize there's just one vast map of evidence on top of another on top of another, & so on.

All of them integrating together in a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.

When even *one* of them, *alone,* was apocalyptic.
@ericgarland @CanadianWizardT I won't even bother to list them.

That list runs over multiple tweets, just citing the publicly known evidence sources.

This thing could have been eaten alive by everything Eric just mentioned, plus, say...

Cryptocurrency logs. Cell-phone logs. Records of paid botnets.
@ericgarland @CanadianWizardT Botnet components unplugged and "sitting in grandma's attic."

Security-video archives from DC and elsewhere, enhanced, data mined and parsed with facial recognition.

It just goes on endlessly.
Read 10 tweets
16 May
@ericgarland @ProfPaulPoast I believe we will have a world government.

Either before or *after* the technology for nuclear weapons - and equivalent weapons of mass destruction - is as widespread and easily employed as the technology for an electric toothbrush.

Before leaves us a much larger population.
@ericgarland @ProfPaulPoast You will notice with this pandemic, all the research China made in weaponizing coronaviruses since 2015, and the increasing distribution of do-it-yourself biotechnology, that in many ways we're already there.

You'll note I'm doing what I can to give us time.
@ericgarland @ProfPaulPoast From the technology to track weapons of mass destruction globally using generative adversarial networks.

To the ability to map illicit flows of wealth and targeted psychological operations.

But while the solution is clear, to a large degree, I'm not making that argument.
Read 62 tweets
14 Mar
@IRS_CI is investigating cryptocurrency, you say?

How *curious!*

IRS 'Operation Hidden Treasure' Looks to Do Some Bitcoin Mining of Its Own a.msn.com/00/en-us/BB1ew…
As promised regarding cryptocurrency and the IRS. You'll find this one *fascinating.*

Please note the prominent mention of @coinbase.

cc: @ericgarland @truth_eater @NatashaBertrand

By way of reminder...
From the Newsweek article:

"Coinbase Global is expected to launch an IPO soon. The company has about 43 million accounts and may be valued at about $100 billion."

43 million accounts?

Curious, indeed.
Read 10 tweets
10 Jan
@ericgarland You can automate the personalized propaganda for each individual, using evolutionary algorithms in psychological warfare.

They haven't just lost this tool with only 10 days left.

They'll struggle to reconstitute it & coordinate across multiple platforms.
@ericgarland These platforms gave white supremacists, conspiracy theorists and foreign-intelligence assets a captive audience without people having to leave a "legitimate" site for some neo-Nazi forum or Russian social media.

Imagine trying to coordinate sedition when social media knows it?
@ericgarland So either you give up the refined algorithms and enriched data of existing social media, which let you test and refine messaging and calls for action in real time, in exchange for losing most of your following and scattering the rest across multiple niche sites...
Read 4 tweets
2 Jan
@LincolnsBible While the indifference people are showing not only to strangers but also the lives and health of their friends and loved ones is disturbing, there may be more forces driving this attitude than we imagine.

You already know about the vast, targeted psychological warfare online.
@LincolnsBible Allegedly being executed by actors such as Cambridge Analytica, Russian intelligence and other actors, via social media.

But there's another factor, built into this medium.

The steady addiction to the dopamine release of using it.
@LincolnsBible Others discuss this more in depth, but the goal of so many product manufacturers and service providers is to capture their audience by addicting them.

But even people who, say, play video games incessantly have trouble doing it all the time. They have work, school, etc.
Read 23 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!