Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy

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FBInCIAnNSATerroristSlayer

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Sep 22, 2022, 8:24:14 AMSep 22
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Entire Western media including Social media and big tech are COVERTLY
CONTROLLED by CIA NSA MI6 MI5 ASIS ASIO Psychopaths and hence EVERYTHING
you hear, watch every day of your lives is a fucking "LIE".


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https://www.mintpressnews.com/meet-ex-cia-agents-deciding-facebook-content-policy/281307/

Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy

It is an uncomfortable job for anyone trying to draw the line between
“harmful content and protecting freedom of speech. It’s a balance”,
Aaron says. In this official Facebook video, Aaron identifies himself as
the manager of “the team that writes the rules for Facebook”,
determining “what is acceptable and what is not.” Thus, he and his team
effectively decide what content the platform’s 2.9 billion active users
see and what they don’t see.

Aaron is being interviewed in a bright warehouse-turned-studio. He is
wearing a purple sweater and blue jeans. He comes across as a very
likable, smiley person. It is not an easy job, of course, but someone
has to make those calls. “Transparency is incredibly important in the
work that I do,” he says.

Aaron is CIA. Or at least he was until July 2019, when he left his job
as a senior analytic manager at the agency to become senior product
policy manager for misinformation at Meta, the company that owns
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. In his 15-year career, Aaron Berman
rose to become a highly influential part of the CIA. For years, he
prepared and edited the president of the United States’ daily brief,
“wr[iting] and overs[eeing] intelligence analysis to enable the
President and senior U.S. officials to make decisions on the most
critical national security issues,” especially on “the impact of
influence operations on social movements, security, and democracy,” his
LinkedIn profile reads. None of this is mentioned in the Facebook video.

Berman’s case is far from unique, however. Studying Meta’s reports, as
well as employment websites and databases, MintPress has found that
Facebook has recruited dozens of individuals from the Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA), as well as many more from other agencies like
the FBI and Department of Defense (DoD). These hires are primarily in
highly politically sensitive sectors such as trust, security and content
moderation, to the point where some might feel it becomes difficult to
see where the U.S. national security state ends and Facebook begins.

In previous investigations, this author has detailed how TikTok is
flooded with NATO officials, how former FBI agents abound at Twitter,
and how Reddit is led by a former war planner for the NATO think tank,
the Atlantic Council. But the sheer scale of infiltration of Facebook
blows these away. Facebook, in short, is utterly swarming with spooks.


Trust me, bro

In a political sense, trust, safety and misinformation are the most
sensitive parts of Meta’s operation. It is here where decisions about
what content is allowed, what will be promoted and who or what will be
suppressed are made. These decisions affect what news and information
billions of people across the world see every day. Therefore, those in
charge of the algorithms hold far more power and influence over the
public sphere than even editors at the largest news outlets.

There are a number of other ex-CIA agents working in these fields.
Deborah Berman, for example, spent 10 years as a data and intelligence
analyst at the CIA before recently being brought on as a trust and
safety project manager for Meta. Little is known about what she did at
the agency, but her pre-agency publications indicate she was a
specialist on Syria.

Between 2006 and 2010, Bryan Weisbard was a CIA intelligence officer,
his job entailing, in his own words, leading “global teams to conduct
counter-terrorism and digital cyber investigations,” and “Identif[ying]
online social media misinformation propaganda and covert influence
campaigns”. Directly after that, he became a diplomat (underlining how
close the line is between those two professions), and is currently a
director of trust and safety, security and data privacy for Meta.

Meanwhile, the LinkedIn profile of Cameron Harris – a CIA analyst until
2019 – notes that he is now a Meta trust and safety project manager.

Individuals from other state institutions abound as well. Emily Vacher
was an FBI employee between 2001 and 2011, rising to the rank of
supervisory special agent. From there she was headhunted by
Facebook/Meta, and is now a director of trust and safety. Between 2010
and 2020, Mike Bradow worked for USAID, eventually becoming deputy
director of policy for the organization. USAID is a U.S.
government-funded influence organization which has bankrolled or stage
managed multiple regime change operations abroad, including in Venezuela
in 2002, Cuba in 2021, and ongoing attempts in Nicaragua. Since 2020,
Meta has employed Bradow as a misinformation policy manager.

Others have similar pasts. Neil Potts, a former intelligence officer
with the U.S. Marine Corps, is vice president of trust and safety at
Facebook. In 2020, Sherif Kamal left his job as a program manager at the
Pentagon to take up the post of Meta trust and safety program manager.

Joey Chan currently holds the same trust and safety post as Kamal. Until
last year, Chan was a U.S. Army officer commanding a company of over 100
troops in the Asia Pacific region.

None of this is to say that any of those named are not conscientious,
that they are bad people or bad at their job. Vacher, for example,
helped design Facebook’s amber alert program, notifying people to
missing children in their area. But hiring so many ex-U.S. state
officials to run Facebook’s most politically sensitive operations raises
troubling questions about the company’s impartiality and its proximity
to government power. Meta is so full of national security state agents
that at some point, it almost becomes more difficult to find individuals
in trust and safety who were not formerly agents of the state.

Despite its efforts to brand itself as a progressive, “woke”
organization, the Central Intelligence Agency remains deeply
controversial. It has been charged with overthrowing or attempting to
overthrow numerous foreign governments (some of them democratically
elected), helping prominent Nazis escape punishment after World War Two,
funnelling large quantities of drugs and weapons around the world,
penetrating domestic media outlets, routinely spreading false
information and operating a global network of “black sites” where
prisoners are repeatedly tortured. Therefore, critics argue that putting
operatives from this organization in control of our news feeds is deeply
inappropriate.

One of these critics is Elizabeth Murray, who, in 2010, retired from a
27-year career at the CIA and other U.S. intelligence organizations.
“This is insidious,” Murray told MintPress, adding,

I see it as part of the gradual and sinister migration of ambitious
young professionals originally trained (with CIA’s virtually unlimited,
U.S.-taxpayer funded pot of resources) to surveil and target ‘the bad
guys’ during the so-called Global War on Terror of the post-9-11 era.”

MintPress also contacted Facebook/Meta for comment but has not received
a response.

Arm’s length control

Some may ask what the big fuss is. There is a limited pool of
individuals with the necessary skills and experience in these new tech
and cybersecurity fields, and many of them come from government
institutions. Casinos, after all, regularly hire card sharks to protect
themselves. But there is little evidence that this is a
poacher-turned-gamekeeper scenario; Facebook is certainly not hiring
whistleblowers. The problem is not that these individuals are
incompetant. The problem is that having so many former CIA employees
running the world’s most important information and news platform is only
one small step removed from the agency itself deciding what you see and
what we do not see online – and all with essentially no public oversight.

In this sense, this arrangement constitutes the best of both worlds for
Washington. They can exert significant influence over global news and
information flows but maintain some veneer of plausible deniability. The
U.S. government does not need to directly tell Facebook what policies to
enact. This is because the people in decision-making positions are
inordinately those who rose through the ranks of the national security
state beforehand, meaning their outlooks match those of Washington’s.
And if Facebook does not play ball, quiet threats about regulation or
breaking up the company’s enormous monopoly can also achieve the desired
outcomes.

Again, this article is not claiming that any of the named individuals
are nefarious actors, or even that they are anything but model
employees. This is a structural problem. Put another way, if Facebook
were hiring dozens of managers from Russian intelligence agencies like
the FSB or GRU, everybody would recognize the inherent dangers. It
should be little different when it hires individuals from the CIA, an
organization responsible for some of the worst crimes of the modern era.
From state intelligence to private intelligence

Facebook has also hired a plethora of ex-national security state
officers to run its intelligence and online security operations. Until
2013, Scott Stern was a targeting officer at the CIA, rising to become
chief of targeting. In this role, he helped select the targets for U.S.
drone strikes across South and West Asia. Today, however, as a senior
manager of risk intelligence for Meta, “misinformation” and “malicious
actors” are his targets. Hopefully he is more accurate at Facebook than
at the CIA, where the government’s own internal assessments show that at
least 90% of Afghans killed in drone strikes were innocent civilians.

Other former CIA men at Facebook include Mike Torrey, who left his job
as a senior analyst at the agency to become Meta’s technical lead of
detection, investigations and disruptions of complex information
operations threats, and former CIA contractor Hagan Barnett, who is now
head of harmful content operations at the Silicon Valley giant.

Meta’s intelligence and online security team includes individuals from
virtually every government agency imaginable. In 2015, Department of
Defense intelligence officer Suzanna Morrow left her post to become
director of global security intelligence for Meta. The FBI is
represented by threat investigations manager Ellen Nixon and head of
cyber espionage investigations Mike Dvilyanski. Facebook’s influence
operations policy manager Olga Belogolova had stints at the State
Department and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Before Meta, David Agranovich and Nathaniel Gleicher both worked for the
National Security Council. Agranovich is director of global threat
disruption at Facebook while Gleicher is head of security policy. Hayley
Chang, director and associate general counsel for cybersecurity and
investigations, worked formerly for both the FBI and Department of
Homeland Security. And Meta’s global head of interaction operations,
David Hansell, was once an Air Force and Defense Intelligence Agency man.

Meta’s intelligence and online security team includes individuals from
virtually every government agency imaginable. In 2015, Department of
Defense intelligence officer Suzanna Morrow left her post to become
director of global security intelligence for Meta. The FBI is
represented by threat investigations manager Ellen Nixon and head of
cyber espionage investigations Mike Dvilyanski. Facebook’s influence
operations policy manager Olga Belogolova had stints at the State
Department and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Before Meta, David Agranovich and Nathaniel Gleicher both worked for the
National Security Council. Agranovich is director of global threat
disruption at Facebook while Gleicher is head of security policy. Hayley
Chang, director and associate general counsel for cybersecurity and
investigations, worked formerly for both the FBI and Department of
Homeland Security. And Meta’s global head of interaction operations,
David Hansell, was once an Air Force and Defense Intelligence Agency man.

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