ER Editor: For perspective, readers may also be interested in this April 26, 2020 piece by UK Column presenter Mike Robinson about how a military intelligence propaganda campaign on the public has been going on in the UK for at least the past five years: The British Military Information War Waged On Their Own Population.
Called 77th Brigade, a unit of several thousand personnel was created in 2015 to wage ‘information warfare’ on its own population:
Last Wednesday, during the daily UK Government Coronavirus livestream, the head of the British Army, General Sir Nick Carter, bragged:
We’ve been involved with the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit, with our 77th Brigade helping to quash rumours from misinformation, but also to counter disinformation. Between three and four thousand of our people have been involved, with around twenty thousand available the whole time at high readiness.
To understand the implications of this statement, we have to go back to 2018, when Carter gave a speech to the Royal United Services Institute.
“In our 77th Brigade,” he said, “… we have got some remarkable talent when it comes to social media, production design, and indeed Arabic poetry. Those sorts of skills we can’t afford to retain in the Regular component but they are the means of us delivering capability in a much more imaginative way than we might have been able to do in the past.”
Previously known as the ‘Security Assistance Group’, 77th Brigade was set up in 2015 as part of ‘Army 2020’. The Security Assistance Group had been established following the amalgamation of the Media Operations Group, 15 Psychological Operations Group, Security Capacity Building Team, and the Military Stabilisation and Support Group.
77th Brigade is described on their website as being about ‘information and outreach’. But what does that mean? General Carter again:
We also, though, need to continue to improve our ability to fight on this new battlefield, and I think it’s important that we build on the excellent foundation we’ve created for Information Warfare through our 77th Brigade, which is now giving us the capability to compete in the war of narratives at the tactical level. [Emphasis mine]
It is in this context, then, that Carter’s words from last week’s livestream should be viewed. Carter has acknowledged that the British military is waging war on a section of its own population.
It is linked to in the article below, but we highly recommend this accompanying piece from the Ottawa Citizen illustrating how Canadian military propaganda – to propagate fake stories among the population – has already been used on the population in Nova Scotia, in this case forging provincial government communications. See Forged letter warning about wolves on the loose part of Canadian Forces propaganda campaign that went awry.
We suspect that the Canadian operation is probably well under way already, bearing in mind Canada’s participation in the Five Eyes network.
Canadian military wants to establish new organization to use propaganda, other techniques to influence Canadians
The initiative also proposes the creation of a new research capability established to analyze and collect information from the social media accounts of Canadians, non-governmental organizations, industry and the news media, according to the report.
The Canadian Forces have already tested that capability earlier this year. This newspaper reported that a team assigned to a Canadian military intelligence unit monitored and collected information from people’s social media accounts in Ontario, claiming such data-mining was needed to help troops who were to work in long-term care homes during the coronavirus pandemic.
But others have questioned how collecting information on the public’s views concerning Ontario Premier Doug Ford was even relevant to how the Canadian Forces were to care for elderly residents. In addition, concerns have also been raised on why the military turned over such data to Ford’s government and what became of it.
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