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Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Astroturfing Program 153

gotfork writes "Quoting The Guardian: 'A pro-Kremlin group runs a network of internet trolls, seeks to buy flattering coverage of Vladimir Putin and hatches plans to discredit opposition activists and media, according to private emails allegedly hacked by a group calling itself the Russian arm of Anonymous.' While a similar program has operated in China for a long time, and some commentators have suggested that a similar program exists in Russia, this is the first confirmation."
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Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Astroturfing Program

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  • Re:The horror! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday February 09, 2012 @05:57PM (#38988607)

    What's changed is that the pervasiveness of social media and the anonymity of the internet makes it so that waging an astroturfing PR campaign can be both harder to detect and much more effective. Basically, you should take everything and everyone online with a grain of salt (including me!).

  • Now, in the US! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zooblethorpe ( 686757 ) on Thursday February 09, 2012 @05:58PM (#38988621)

    I am disgusted to discover that a politician would hire people to say nice things about them and bad things about their opponents. This must stop at once.

    Indeed. In fact, I've got a lovely bridge to sell to anyone who thinks that something similar isn't already happening in the US, or really, in just about any Internet-savvy nation.

  • Re:Tu Quoque? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Thursday February 09, 2012 @06:20PM (#38988907) Journal
    Well, worse than Israel, that's for sure. Israel has legitimate security concerns, most of which, by the way, stem from Russian geo-political policies rather than from any of their own doing. It was Russia that goaded Egypt into wars with Israel. It was Russia that built both of Iran's nuclear reactors. It was Russia that supplied Syria with tanks that almost over-ran Israel. I don't recall Israel supplying half of Russia's neighbors with weapons to attack Israel, so I am pretty sure Israel has a higher moral ground in this one.
  • Re:Lie! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2012 @06:44PM (#38989181)

    Of course he should have been elected, at least once he made it past the primary. We're pretty much stuck electing Democrats until the Republicans marginalize the ignorant religious conservatives who have taken over their party. Being racist, superstitious, and still believing in trickle-down economics at this late date completely disqualifies them for office.

  • Re:Tu Quoque? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2012 @06:49PM (#38989245)

    Israel has legitimate security concerns, most of which, by the way, stem from Russian geo-political policies

    No. Israel has self-inflicted security concerns from acting as if they are a cut above the rest of the world's people and treating every non-Israeli with complete and utter disdain and contempt (and many countries collectively as sub-human) while conducting themselves as if they are above the laws to which every other country in the world is subject.

    They have only been able to get away with this because they have owned the big dumb heavily-armed bullies (the US) lock, stock and barrel for decades. If you don't belive that, you need to find out who the biggest lobbyist group in the US is. Hint: it's called AIPAC.

  • Re:Now, in the US! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Thursday February 09, 2012 @08:38PM (#38990371)
    After the fall of the Soviet Bloc, both US and Russia and it's satellite states have followed a very similar course. The governments are merging with the money/power elites. In Russia they are relatively honest, and talk about the "oligarchs". In the US this is going on under the radar.

    There are differences. In Russia the oligarchs are untouchable as long as they don't challenge Putin politically or economically. All policy foreign and domestic is under sole control of the state.

    In the US it is the opposite. Large areas of government policy are being controlled by the corporate elites. That is was ACTA/SOPA/etc are all about, as is TARP and the ongoing bank/Wall Street bailout. The government is shielding corrupt and inefficient corporate entities from the consequences of their incompetent behavior.

    When Jamie Diamon, head of JPMorgan, said that "we have a right to make a profit", he was speaking literally. He thinks that the big banks are not subject to capitalism and should have guaranteed success. This is much closer to a feudal society, where the landed aristocracy always has the best, even when the peasants are starving. It is not capitalism, where failure is always an option. FDR called this "economic royalism", which is a good description of our current economic system.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake