Friday Mar 03, 2023
Friday Mar 03, 2023
On this edition of Parallax Views, Emma L. Briant, a fellow at Bard College who specializes in research on propaganda and disinformation campaigns, joins us to discuss the developing story of Team Jorge, a group of private Israeli contractors set-up by a former Israeli special forces operator and businessman Tal Hanan (code name: "Jorge"), and it's significance to the problem of the influencer-industrial complex and mercenary private firms engaged in election meddling/hacking (specifically countries in the Global South like Kenya and Nigeria), sabotage, and disinformation campaigns. The conversation also leads us to a broader discussion of the multitude of private firms filled with ex-military and ex-intelligence officials that are engaged in acts of subterfuge that are arguably destabilizing democracies around the world for profit.
Among the topics discussed in this conversation:
- The Iraq War and the origins of Dr. Briant's research
- Malign cyber-activities, national security, digital propaganda, technology, fake news, and social media disinformation campaigns
- How the Defense industry ties into the problem of the influencer-industrial complex and mercenary private firms; private firms and the Pentagon; failure of Western government to address these problems
- Why private firms like Black Cube, Team Jorge, and Psy-Group originate in Israel; the Israeli cybersecurity industry; tactics that were used against Palestinians now being used abroad by private firms; lack of oversight of private intelligence/security firms in Israel; the revolving door/escalator between the public sector and private sector
- Cambridge Analytica
- The hidden architecture behind the global industry peddling disinformation and propaganda
- The digital influence industry and digital influence mercenaries
- The need for regulation and oversight
- Private firms working for dictators and authoritarian leaders
- And more!