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Intelwars Iran IT propaganda

West’s Information War Continues

April 8, 2021 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – YouTube has recently deleted the latest channel used by Iranian state media’s PressTV. The move follows attacks on the Iranian media outlet by US-based social media giant Facebook earlier this year. 

PressTV’s own take on the deletion in its article, “Google renews attack on YouTube account of Iran’s Press TV,” would note: 

Google has for the seventh time targeted Iranian broadcaster Press TV, blocking the English-language news network’s access to its official YouTube account without any prior notice.

The US tech giant shut YouTube accounts of Press TV late on Tuesday, citing “violations of community guidelines.”

Iranian state media is only the most recent target of US censorship and information warfare, with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter having also recently de-platformed government accounts in Myanmar as well as a concerted effort by these same networks to either de-platform or undermine the credibility of Russian and Chinese state media.  

The use of ambiguous justifications like “violations of community guidelines” which themselves can be ambiguous and open to interpretation, helps demonstrate the political nature of what is clearly a campaign of censorship. 

YouTube and other US-based social media platforms, still dominating the global social media industry, attempt to portray targets of what is clearly politically-motivated censorship as “fake news” or somehow engaged in dangerous “disinformation,” while the accounts of Western-based media organizations actually involved in very real disinformation, often times in promotion of sanctions and warfare having a direct impact on millions of lives, remain online and in good standing. 

Western Monopoly Challenged 

Beyond social media, the UK had recently ousted Chinese state media, CGTN, which was met by Beijing in turn shutting down BBC broadcasts in China. 

More recently, China-based BBC reporter John Sudworth would flee to Taiwan, fearing legal actions for his outrageous, one-sided propaganda regarding Xinjiang.

The BBC’s own article, “BBC China correspondent John Sudworth moves to Taiwan after threats,” deliberately attempts to portray Sudworth as a victim of “threats” rather than a foreign agent involved in political interference under the guise of journalism finally facing legitimate legal actions. 

The BBC article laments: 

The number of international media organisations reporting from China is shrinking. Last year China expelled correspondents for the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, among others.

And in September 2020, the last two reporters working in China for Australian media flew home after a five-day diplomatic standoff.

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) of China says foreign journalists are “being caught up in diplomatic rows out of their control”.

In reality, these foreign “journalists” aren’t being “caught up in diplomatic rows,” they are the primary actors helping drive these rows. 

It’s worth mentioning leaked documents revealing the BBC, among others including Reuters, signing secret contracts with the British Foreign Office to carry out influence operations both inside Russia and along Russia’s peripheries in Eastern Europe. 

It is without doubt that the BBC engages in similar activities inside and along China’s borders as well, with Sudworth’s own work clearly aimed at advancing Western foreign policy, not investigating or reporting actual news. 

Years ago, the notion of Western nations fearing alternative media enough to engage in sweeping, transparent censorship against outlets like PressTV or CGTN, or the Western media fleeing or backpedalling in countries they’ve maintained offices in for years, would seem unthinkable. 

The information war waged by Western nations is indeed heating up, but it is not the one-sided exercise of monopoly it used to be. 

Today, alternative media, both state-sponsored and independent, poses a serious challenge to the West’s monopoly over the creation and flow of global information. Only through the West’s control over a relatively new form of media, social media, is the West’s edge maintained. 

For Iranian, Chinese, Russian and the media of many other nations seeking to introduce balance to the global conversation, the West’s hitherto control over social media remains a serious hurdle. 

US-based social media networks have been key to advancing Western foreign policy objectives, and perhaps especially in the realm of promoting and executing so-called “color revolutions.” 

Russia and China’s recent pledge to work closer together to counter Western-sponsored “color revolution” and “disinformation” might benefit from a multipolar alternative to US-based social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. 

While Russia and China both have their own domestic alternatives which have proved an effective measure to protect their own respective information space, the creation of a wider-appealing platform for nations along their peripheries, targeted by Western disinformation, could help give state-sponsored and independent alternative media the space it needs to finally balance out the lopsided advantage the West artificially maintains through censorship across its own networks.

The creation of both sovereign information space within nations and shared space between nations but outside of the control of Western censorship would be infinitely useful. When long-standing media organizations like PressTV struggle to reach audiences for a lack of alternatives to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the utility of such space becomes clearer still. 

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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color revolutions Intelwars IT propaganda Thailand

Nations Should Begin Removing Facebook, Twitter, and Google from Their Information Space

Legal options are a start. The ultimate goal should be replacing Facebook, Twitter, and Google with local alternatives like Russia, China, and many other nations are already doing.

September 24, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The Thai government has begun legal proceedings against US-based social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Google. This comes at a time when nations around the globe have begun pushing back against the abusive American tech firms and their role in advancing US foreign policy and in particular, illegal US interventions including war.

Not only are these US-based tech companies refusing to follow Thai laws regarding sedition, libel, and disinformation targeting national security and sociopolitical-economic stability, they have pursued a one-sided policy of censoring information critical of ongoing US-backed anti-government protests – shadow banning or outright censoring any and all accounts attempting to share information about documented US government funding behind the organizations involved. 
Virtually every aspect of current, ongoing anti-government protests in Thailand are funded by the US government. 
 
The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – an organization created by the US government, funded by the US Congress, and overseen by both Congress and the US State Department – funds everything from the Thai opposition’s core leadership, to organizations petitioning the government to rewrite the Thai constitution, to media organizations promoting the protests, and even groups who physically bring people to rallies. 
 
 
Since verifying this information is as easy as going to the US NED’s own official website, Twitter, Facebook, and Google’s concerted efforts to bury or altogether ban accounts discussing this information on the grounds of “fake news” is clear cut censorship designed specifically to aid US political interference within Thailand’s internal political affairs – a violation of the UN Charter regarding political independence and non-interference as well as a direct attack on Thailand’s sovereignty. 
 
Facebook, Twitter, and Google are Extensions of US Interventionism


Facebook, Twitter, and Google all openly serve as extensions of US special interests having been documented to be working with the US government and the US State Department in particular to use their platforms to help advance US foreign policy. 
 

This was admittedly done throughout the the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011. 

The New York Times in an article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” not only admitted to the role the US government played in stirring up unrest in the Arab World in 2011 – but also the role US-based social media giants like Facebook and tech giant Google played, stating (emphasis added):

Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department.

Google has also admittedly helped the US government in its efforts to violently overthrow the government of Syria. The Independent in a 2016 article titled, “Google planned to help Syrian rebels bring down Assad regime, leaked Hillary Clinton emails claim,” would note Google’s activities regarding Syria:

An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton’s leaked emails have reportedly revealed. 

By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.

Clearly, more is going on at Google than Internet searches – and a US tech giant involved in an illegal war to violently overthrow the government in Syria is a US tech giant that will willingly involve itself in other US interventions around the globe as it, Facebook, and Twitter are clearly doing in Thailand today. 

 
Targeting Thailand 
 
Twitter in particular has been actively involved in boosting the illusion of popularity of Thai anti-government protests – hosting a massive online army of automated and sockpuppet accounts. This “bot army” has helped create numerous anti-government hashtags propelled to the top of Twitter’s “trending” list. These hashtags are then promptly the subject of dishonest news articles across Western and local anti-government media outlets citing them as “evidence” of wide public approval. 
 

Just how unpopular Thailand’s anti-government opposition is in real life can easily be gauged by elections in which opposition parties lost by several million votes, as well as during anti-government rallies in which even paid, bused-in protesters are unable to fill modestly-sized parks in the Thai capital of Bangkok. 
 
In addition to boosting the illusion of the protest’s popularity, Twitter and opposition groups also actively suppress and censor accounts critical of the protests. 
 
 
Facebook and Google are likewise involved in similar, politically-motivated activities in favor of anti-government protests. All three tech giants have been confirmed to be involved in similar activities around the globe.  


Why should Thailand tolerate foreign companies, operating so dishonestly, and doing so specifically to cause harm to Thailand, its sociopolitical and economic stability, and the Thai people who depend on both for their daily lives? 

The answer is Thailand shouldn’t. 

Nations like China and Russia have long-since fully replaced these US-based tech companies in their own information space. 
 

 
Chinese alternatives like TikTok are so popular that they have even created a foothold in the West. Not only are Russia and China able to protect their information space from the malicious activities of US tech giants aimed at undermining both nations, all the profits and other benefits of owning cutting edge tech companies are retained within Russian and Chinese borders. 

Other nations within Southeast Asia itself have been making similar moves to push out US tech companies. This includes Vietnam which has been a long-time target of both US military aggression and “soft power” intervention for decades.
 
Just as Thailand procures weapons from nations like Russia and China to defend its physical territory, it may also consider moving toward similar deals in regards to acquiring the tools and technology required to defend its information space. 
 
The creation of Thai alternatives to popular US-based social media and Internet search companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Google could be quickly spurred along by recruiting celebrities to switch over to these Thai platforms while continuing legal pressure to finally, completely restrict the use of US alternatives. 
 

 
This is not simply because these companies are foreign. It is because they have demonstrated for over a decade now a pattern of abusing their access to information space around the globe to violate both local laws and international laws prohibiting political interference, aggression, and intervention. 
 
These are tech companies who have aided and abetted real world harm. The nations of Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, and many others targeted by the US in 2011 with the aid of these tech companies have been the scenes of deadly street violence and even total war. Tens of thousands have died with millions more displaced. 

While Thailand’s grievances with these US-based tech companies at the moment seem relatively minor, it should be remembered that Facebook, Twitter, and Google are aiding protests that ultimately seek to replicate the same sort of disruptive violent instability that consumed the Middle East and more recently Hong Kong, China. 

Legal moves are a good start. Private and public preparations to fully replace these companies within Thailand’s information space will be the only viable long-term solution.
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Intelwars IT SciTech

AI Arms Race: Future of Warfare

April 2, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – The truth about artificial intelligence (AI) and the process of machine learning (algorithms which learn on their own rather than perform tasks based on human programming) is somewhat less spectacular than depicted in Hollywood movies. Yet the impact of advanced information technology on modern warfare will be significant nonetheless.

Already, machine learning is allowing automation including self-driving cars and analysis by computers that by far surpass average human abilities. It is development that is already having a significant impact on national and global economics. If we translate this process to various aspects of modern warfare, it becomes clear that whomever does so first and most effectively, will have an immense advantage over their adversaries.

This may explain why there is an AI “arms race” so to speak. The US, Russia and China are all racing to develop not only applications in AI and machine learning, but also investing in the human resources and building the infrastructure to continue to do so at accelerated rates.

China already has the second largest number of researchers involved in AI, second only to the United States. Both it and other states are continuing to invest in AI and its various sub-disciplines, fully aware of the impact this technology is increasingly having on economics as well as national security.

The OODA Loop 

US Air Force Colonel John Boyd developed what is now known as the OODA Loop. OODA represents the process of observing, orienting, deciding and acting. This process is not only one still employed by the US military (all branches) but also a process adopted by many businesses.

It requires first and foremost the ability to not only accumulate immense amounts of information during the “observe” process, but also requires the ability to make sense of that information. Human analysts are limited by the amount of information they can sift through, and even then they are limited by various human flaws that may prevent the successful interpretation of information they do sift through.

AI on the other hand, is able to sift through immense amounts of information, at incredible rates and with accuracy repeatedly proven to be superior to human analysts.

To get a grip on the scale we’re discussing, consider the fact that Facebook has AI algorithms that sift through, identify the faces and objects within and accurately tag a monumental 350 million photographs… daily.

In a 2017 talk at the US Naval War College, Admiral John Richardson would impress upon the audience two key points.

First, today with information technology and sensors (including satellites, ground sensors and information available across the Internet), a massive amount of information is now available strategically and tactically for military commanders. Second, whichever nation is able to accumulate and make sense of this information the fastest will have an edge over its adversaries.

The “observe” and “orient” processes of the OODA loop currently and in the future depend on the ability to acquire and make sense of this information, providing commanders with the most crucial information from among the vast amount of info available in order to “decide” and “act.”

An AI algorithm able to process images, text and other forms of information by the hundreds of millions within a single day and accurately categorize and prioritize it is clearly a tool that will be essential for future warfare.

The United States, both across public and private institutions and enterprises, is investing deeply in developing the ability to do this and to do it better than other nations.


AI Arms Race: Racing Toward Global Balance? 

The OODA Loop was originally conceived as a means of creating an agile military able to overcome the brute force of a much larger but less agile enemy. Today, it is a blade that cuts both ways. The US, which conceived and openly develops the OODA Loop, continuing today to augment it with AI and machine learning, could find itself either the agile military outcompeting larger but less agile enemies, or outcompeted by nations who are more successful at integrating AI and machine learning into their own intelligence and decision making processes.

Currently it is not clear who has the greatest advantage regarding AI. Even with the US possessing the largest number of total AI researchers as well as the largest number of top researchers, AI has not been able to make a significant difference for the US in terms of its declining economic and military might.

With other nations fully aware of the impact AI is having and will have in the future, all while fully investing in this discipline and attempting to catch up to the US, it is doubtful the US ever will acquire a significant advantage in terms of AI alone. And integrated together with other aspects of military and economic activity, it appears that a balance of power is developing between nations that no amount of innovation within the US alone will yield the sort of technological edge the US used to dominate the planet for nearly a century.

This is perhaps a hopeful development. It means that the US will need to reorient itself, to constructively compete and collaborate among other nations rather than operate above them. But in order to ensure this much more appealing future, other nations must continue investing in and developing tools and capabilities like AI to ensure such a balance of power emerges and is sustainable.

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

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fintech Intelwars IT

Libra: Facebook Wants to Control Your Money

Facebook – backed by some of the largest banks and corporations on Earth – seek to create a global digital currency and reassert Western dominion over the global economy. 

November 30, 2019 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Many are probably already familiar with US-based social media giants like Facebook and Twitter carrying out sweeping campaigns of censorship executed in line with US foreign policy objectives.

New Eastern Outlook itself was deleted off of both networks – just one among many thousands of accounts wiped out in a virtual information war.

Many are also probably aware of how Facebook in particular has trampled the privacy of its users, manipulated users unwittingly through involuntary experiments and controls what many people around the globe see while online – most of the time without users even realizing it.

But imagine instead of just silencing and marginalizing opponents or controlling the information the public has access to and thus manipulating the public itself, Facebook was also able to control the very currency people use in their day to day lives.  Its control over the public, both within the US and beyond, would be unprecedented.

The ability to control both information and money would be a potent tool, enhancing Facebook’s already deeply disruptive and abusive behavior as well as the much larger corporate-financier interests Facebook works with and for.

Enter Libra 
Earlier this year Facebook announced its own currency called Libra. It is based on blockchain technology, billed as a “cryptocurrency,” and aims at dominating banking and commerce in much the same way Facebook already dominates social media, messaging and in general, the flow of information.

There is no doubt that the same cooperation Facebook has provided the US government and the interests that dominate its domestic and foreign policy in controlling and manipulating public opinion around the globe, stifling alternative news, and even overthrowing governments will translate directly into a similar pattern of abuse through its desired control over a global currency.

Unlike hard currency which does not know in whose hands it resides and thus is unable to discriminate against its holder – Libra not only allows Facebook to know whose hands its currency is in, but how much of it is there, what it is being used for – in addition to all other personal information Facebook has access to. This not only allows for an obvious extension of Facebook’s already well-known politically-motivated abuses – but also gives Facebook the ability to target users who may pose as competition to Facebook or one of the many larger corporations Facebook works with or for.

Imagine Facebook carrying out a similar campaign to their current one of political censorship, but with an added monetary component – not only removing the West’s political opponents from their social media network and effectively silencing them, but crippling them financially by freezing their accounts and denying them access to the massive digital global economy they hope to create and control through Libra.

While US politicians and regulators appear to be obstructing Libra’s rollout, the truth is that many of the very interests these politicians and regulators work for are directly involved in Libra’s creation.

Not Just Facebook: What is the “Libra Association?” 

The initial white paper laying out Libra’s premise included in its introduction:

Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.

Such noble intentions are betrayed not only by Facebook’s involvement, but also by the partners included in Libra’s creation.

While Facebook serves as the face of Libra, it and its subsidiary Calibra are only two among many members of the Geneva-based “Libra Association.”

Other partners include Mastercard, Visa, Lyft, Uber, Vodafone, and eBay along with a handful of venture capital firms and nonprofits.

These nonprofits include Women’s World Banking funded by Visa, Credit Suisse, MetLife, Citi Bank, Exxon, Bloomberg, Mastercard, Goldman Sachs and many other large corporations and banking interests.

There is also MercyCorps whose website is particularly opaque in regards to its funding, but includes inveterate Neo-Conservative, former World Bank president, and US Deputy Secretary of State under George Bush Jr. Robert Zoellick upon its “Global Leadership Council.”

Kiva – like MercyCorps – is another Libra Association “nonprofit” partnered with a collection of banks and corporations including Google, HP, Mastercard, PayPal, Capital One, Deutsche Bank, MetLife, PepsiCo, Citi Bank, eBay, BlackRock, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Chevron.

It would be difficult to construct a more dubious list of partners, donors, and associates in fiction than the one standing behind Libra in reality.

Judging by the composition of those driving Libra forward, we can make two assumptions:

  1. Libra’s founders are among the same special interests that drive US policy, legislation, and regulations. The prospect of the US government legitimately evaluating and regulating Libra in line with the best interests of the American and global public is nonexistent;
  2. Despite Libra’s stated mission of “empowering billions,” its rollout looks more like the restructuring of America’s financial hegemony over billions. Libra seeks to circumvent alternatives created to work around the already abusive and coercive global financial networks the US dominates and weaponizes to its own advantage.
F. William Engdahl in his article, “Is the Fed Preparing to Topple US Dollar?,” aptly noted that Bank of England governor Mark Carney at a US Federal Reserve sponsored symposium proposed a global digital currency citing Libra specifically as a model. 
Considering the very interests that constitute Western banking and finance are involved in Libra’s creation – it is obvious that Libra is more than just a model being cited – it is the global digital currency insiders like Carney proposed coming to life. 
Remembering Facebook’s Long History of Abuses 

While many of the corporations and financial institutions involved in Libra’s creation are systematically corrupt all on their own, the conduct of Facebook past and present most aptly illustrates the abuse to be expected should Libra be adopted globally.
While Facebook poses as an independent corporation monopolizing and abusing its social media network and subsidiaries – in reality Facebook has carried out these abuses in tandem with the US government and the collection of special interests that monopolize US domestic and foreign policy.

US government oversight – including past hearing and regulatory inquiries into Libra itself – is often done for public consumption only – with Facebook otherwise continuing onward with absolute impunity.    

Abusing Privacy: A summary of these abuses best begins with quoting Mark Zuckerberg himself. Elle magazine in an article titled, “Quick Reminder: Zuckerberg Once Called People Who Trust Him With Their Data ‘Dumb F*Cks’,” summarizes Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s view of the public and their entrusting of personal information to Zuckerberg and his social media network. 
While Zuckerberg would apologize for this, it is clear he was only sorry that it became public. Facebook continues to this day abusing the trust of those using its services by involuntarily providing the personal information of tens of millions of Facebook users to third parties. 
Business Insider in its article, “The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower explains how the firm used Facebook data to sway elections,” notes how Facebook not only provided personal information to the British firm Cambridge Analytica, but how that information was used to meddle in US elections. 
Political Meddling: The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal was mild compared to other episodes of political meddling Facebook has been involved in. Perhaps the largest most destructive episode was before and during the so-called “Arab Spring.”

While the Western media portrayed it as a spontaneous uprising across North Africa and the Middle East – documented evidence reveals the US government along with its corporate partners including Facebook began training and equipping agitators years before the unrest began. 

Facebook was one of the primary partners of Movements.org which organized annual training seminars for opposition leaders who then returned home and attempted to overthrow their respective governments in 2011.

Even the New York Times in an April 2011 article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” would eventually admit:

Some Egyptian youth leaders attended a 2008 technology meeting in New York, where they were taught to use social networking and mobile technologies to promote democracy. Among those sponsoring the meeting were Facebook, Google, MTV, Columbia Law School and the State Department.

Censorship: Building armies of pro-Western agitators is not the limit of Facebook’s involvement in politics. It also carries out systematic campaigns of censorship aimed at critics of Western foreign policy.

It recently banned New Eastern Outlook and several of its authors including this author from its network. More recently still, it has systematically removed accounts attempting to counter US-funded propaganda regarding unrest Washington is sponsoring in Hong Kong, China. 

Facebook’s own statement over its selective censorship regarding China is ironically titled, “Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior From China.” It provides no evidence of its claims and deliberately includes a political context to demonize the users and pages it removed. Its statement is ironic because the protests in Hong Kong themselves are most certainly coordinated inauthentic behavior – funded out of Washington D.C. and actively using Facebook to advance their agenda.

Manipulating Public Perception: In 2013, Facebook was caught manipulating the news feeds of unwitting users to influence them psychologically. A report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) titled, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” stated in its abstract that: 

We show, via a massive (N = 689,003) experiment on Facebook, that emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. We provide experimental evidence that emotional contagion occurs without direct interaction between people (exposure to a friend expressing an emotion is sufficient), and in the complete absence of nonverbal cues.Not only are the findings troubling – illustrating that Facebook possesses the ability to influence the emotions of its users unwittingly through careful manipulation of their news feeds – but the invasive, unethical methods by which Facebook conducted the experiment are troubling as well.

Facebook also regularly manipulates its users’ news feeds through its algorithm which sidesteps the preferences of users and shows them whatever Facebook itself decides they should see. This usually includes sponsored news content from accounts users aren’t even following and usually at the expense of seeing content from accounts users do follow.

Uprooting the Facebook Threat 

Facebook’s ability to bait hundreds of millions of users to adopt their platform, then switch the nature of its network into a malign tool of manipulation, censorship, surveillance, and propaganda is already a global menace nations around the globe are finally starting to recognize and respond to.

The notion of Facebook coupling its already disturbing hold over information with control over a global currency backed by some of the West’s largest and most corrupt corporations and financial institutions is a larger problem still.

It takes no great leap of imagination to see how abusive and destructive to individuals, organizations, and even entire nations Facebook’s dominion over global currency would be.

Imagine how America’s trade war with China would play out if Facebook was able to hook hundreds of millions of users around the globe onto its Libra currency. Corporations like Huawei or retailers offering Huawei products might see their online stores shuttered, their accounts frozen, and otherwise sanctioned and economically strangled out of existence by Facebook.

It’s clear that the promise of decentralized, democratized money cryptocurrencies offered has been co-opted and leveraged by the very interests that stood the most to lose from such a future.

Nations would be wise to respond to Facebook’s Libra by responding to Facebook itself. Nations like Russia and China have already largely displaced Facebook from within their own borders by creating alternatives. Nations like Vietnam have recently begun creating alternatives as well.

While media organizations like Bloomberg in articles like, “Facebook’s Latest Competition? Authoritarian Governments.,” try to frame Vietnam’s efforts as a struggling dictatorship trying to stifle the free flow of information – it is clear by looking at Facebook’s past and present that Facebook itself represents a dictatorship.

Nothing about its policies are “democratic.” The execution of its policies is unilateral, lacking any genuine appeal process or any sort of independent oversight. It is in every way a monopoly and dictatorship over information and the growing variety of services linked to its social media network that Bloomberg claims Vietnam’s government is.

The important difference is that the Vietnamese government is located in Vietnam while Facebook is located in Silicon Valley thousands of miles away. The people of Vietnam have a much better chance at reforming, checking, and balancing their own government than keeping in check a malign foreign corporation. And ultimately – it is an issue for Vietnam and Vietnam alone to resolve.

Nations are beginning to understand the importance of defending their respective information space – it becoming as important as a nation’s physical territory. It is obvious that the same vigor must be dedicated to defending a nation’s monetary policy and the economy it glues together.

Uprooting the conduit through which highly disruptive schemes like Libra will flow by replacing them with domestic alternatives controlled by and for domestic interests is the only way to fully confront the looming threat Facebook and the interests working with it on Libra represent.

Nations that believe they can work with Facebook on ensuring regulations and policies align with local laws need only look back at the “Arab Spring.” When a large move is made by Washington against a targeted nation, this token cooperation Facebook normally provides evaporates. Nations lack the time and resources to respond and are often overwhelmed by the large influence Facebook and other foreign firms are able to exert during episodes of concentrated, sponsored unrest.

The only way to be certain of ensuring national security and monetary stability is to eliminate Facebook and other foreign firms like it from a nation’s information space. A nation’s defense would never be outsourced to a foreign corporation. Neither should a nation’s flow of information – and now – the flow of money.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.     

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