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Archive for November, 2017

Or what the Weinstein spy connections tell us about online activism and infiltration of activists’ lives

The agencies that Weinstein used to monitor, harass, confuse, marginalize, gaslight and discredit the women he had abused weren’t set up to keep the abuse victims of powerful men, in line. That’s just how they were used by a few powerful men once these agencies were well established. These agencies were set up to target activists and silence journalists.

What has been revealed in the wake of Weinstein’s use of these agencies is the covert actions activists and journalists have been subjected to for some time: to create counterintelligence including the use of online avatars.   We do have direct evidence of online avatars in overt support for Israel. With the Weinstein revelations, we now know that avatars also post as supporters of their targets, while gaslighting and subverting them. There have been reports of online targeting of activists. Behind the scenes, these operatives infuse themselves into women’s lives, into movements, disrupting activist communities. Those who have been targeted experience suspicious car accidents, cancelled appointments, hacked computers, bad jacketing (where activists are accused of being enemy agents or operatives). The gaslighting where nothing is predictable and everything is chaos can be overwhelming and the impact on activists is devastating.

Cafe Intifada has been reporting on this privatized espionage for some time. It is well known for example that nonprofit groups like Discover the Network and Stand With Us keep dossiers on activists, providing “supporters” with material to be used when targeting the free speech of activists who work for and support Palestinian human rights. Some of this work becomes evident when there are specific campaigns to silence particular activists or groups of activists, as has been exposed on this blog.  

The Weinstein revelations don’t tell those of us targeted, anything new, but these revelations do bring to light these methodologies and offer some vindication to those of us whose accusations have been dismissed as paranoid ramblings. No, this is not a Hollywood movie about fictitious Bourne identities. This isn’t some Hollywood fantasy of Sandra Bullock trapped in the internet. These agencies do real damage to real lives. Weinstein hired these firms because of the work they have been doing all along. Let’s just say:  WE TOLD YOU SO! 
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