Krypt3ia

(Greek: κρυπτεία / krupteía, from κρυπτός / kruptós, “hidden, secret things”)

SIGINT/ELINT/HUMINT/Disinformation via Twitter

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Over the past week there has been a lot of media coverage of the relationship between Twitter, the hybrid online/mobile communication service, and its impact on post election events in Iran. The argument that Twitter service in Iran is a critical opposition activist tool is already over-hyped so I won’t rehash them here. Rather, I think its worth shedding some light on how Twitter is being used to spread disinformation and who is doing it.

Twitspam has a continually updated list of suspected fake accounts that may have connections with Iranian security. I used some of these account names as a starting point for a quick and dirty analysis of their networks.

Suspected AlJazeera English producer impersonator “AJE_Producer” appears to be trying to lure Twitter users in Iran into communicating with him directly through email or telephone with the intent of entrapping them. The diagram below illustrates how easily the suspected impostor was able to disseminate his requests for contacts. It shows only recent ‘active’ direct connections between AJE_Producer and twenty Twitter users and the recent active connections between those twenty users and their contacts. It does not show retweets nor does it reflect how many people may have simply read a message from AJE_Producer.

Although some of the connections are from people trying to challenge AJE_Producer’s methods there were a surprising number of people who took AJE_Producer at face value including some who actually appeared to be residing in Iran. Given the current level of violence in Iran this is alarming to say the least.

The rest

An interesting use of trending data to track real time (near real time) disinformation techniques in the Iran debacle ongoing today. Of course in tandem with the reports of DPI technology being used in Iran, this makes for a real foothold by the Clerics in controling their society completely. Of course they have pretty far ranging control now, but this last bit of technology will really give them the iron hand they want to have.

I am still finding it interesting not only to see this happen in real time, but also to see the reactions of countries that also monitor their internet connected populace only to condemn what the Iranian’s are doing…  Now ponder out there all you iPhone 3G and 3Gs users and your tethering of everything you say and do to not only the internet but also to GPS locking within feet of your location at all times.

Yeah… Welcome to the panopticon.

Written by Krypt3ia

2009/06/24 at 16:12

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