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Fake News and Cyber security: James Scott talks to Commander Divine

By April 11, 2018 One Comment

“If you’re going after a political figure and your goal is to shut them down, they’re not just looking at jacking the guy in his car. They’re looking for embedded devices this guy has.”
—James Scott

 

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James Scott (@ArtOfTheHak) is a writer who works in cyber-security, advising congress about cyber security. He is a co-founder of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology and a fellow at the Center for Cyber-Influence Operations Studies. He gives us his insights into Fake News and how political parties, special interests and nation-states use Twitter, Facebook and other kinds of social media to spread views and influence others.

Learn how:

  • Large tech companies including Google and Facebook have their own agendas
  • Manipulation of social media is standard practice for national and special interests
  • Buying a crowd to protest something isn’t difficult

Learn how you need to make sure that your thoughts are actually your own.

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Transcript

Hey folks, welcome back. This is Mark Divine with the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Hope you’re doing well. Hope you’re navigating the spring. Looking forward to some warmer days, or some dryer days, or shoveling out. Whatever it is.

And I hope you’ve been doing your training and practice and forging that Unbeatable Mind.

Before I introduce my guest today who I’m super-excited to talk to. Mr. James Scott. Let me remind you that we’re well into our Burpees for Vets challenge. If you haven’t heard about it, I challenged the tribe–that means you–to do 22 million burpees this year. To raise awareness, and funds, and money to create long-term care programs for veterans who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress.

Why 22 million? Well, because that is audacious and ridiculous goal. And I can’t do it alone. I’m committing to 100,000 of those burpees and I’ve been dutifully picking them away 300 a day. So soon as I’m done with this podcast, guess what I’m going to be doing?

300 a day, so I’ve got since January 1, we’re nearing 45,000 I think.

Anyways, it’s feeling pretty good. But I can’t do it alone. So we have so far roughly 200 and some odd people have joined me. We’ve committed to somewhere between 7 and 8 million burpees in the bank. Not done, but committed to.

And we’ve got about 150,000 dollars already committed toward our 250,000 dollar goal. So that’s amazing. What a killer start considering it’s just still into the first quarter.

So if you’re interested in joining us–by the way, we just had a team from Microsoft join us. And Microsoft is going to double down on that donation as a corporation. So if you have a company that does matching donations then put a team together or come support my team or however you want to do it. The information’s at burpeesforvets.com.

Oh, I didn’t mention why 22 million. Not just an audacious goal, but because 22 vets a day are committing suicide and that’s just unsat. It’s unsat. The government can’t do anything about it. They’ve just perpetuated the problem with their methods. Just aren’t working for that sickness. So we decided we got to do something about it.

All right. The other thing I wanted to say is I worked for a long time on the 5th anniversary edition of my book “The Way of The SEAL.” That is done and it’s due to be launched on Memorial Day. You can go pre-order it if you’re interested, which’ll get you some special kind of bonuses. I don’t remember what they are off the top of my head, but if you go to wayoftheseal.com. Check it out.

And I think you’re going to like it. I’ve got 2 new chapters. One on leading in VUCA environments, and one on building elite teams. And then I’ve updated all the rest of the content and added key takeaways so it’s really improved. Already a great product improved.

Introduction

03:37

Okay, so… enough on all that stuff. James Scott. Introduced to me by my buddy Michael Ostrolenk. Who’s been an Unbeatable Mind coach-slash-partner of mine since 2011. He came to our SEALFIT Academy and then he’s been working with me. James and Michael have known each other for some years, and so here we are. Now I’m talking to James.

Now James is a big brain. He’s a senior fellow and co-founder of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology. That’s a mouthful, and I guess we’ll soon learn what that’s all about.

He’s also a senior fellow at the Center for Cyber-Influence Operations Studies.

If you have not been following the news about the Russian influencing Facebook and Facebook using 50 million private identities to market and help get Trump elected then you’ve had your head stuck in somewhere.

And that’s what James is an expert in. On how to look at those memes and how they’re affecting us at a nation-state level, and cyber security and all that.

So he’s an advisor to congressmen and senators and federal agencies and all sorts of stuff. Super-interesting guy.

James, thanks so much for joining me today from Chicago where you’re snowed in and delayed and all that kind of stuff.

James Scott: Actually, it’s not snowing here. It was snowing in DC.

We got an inch of snow and all hell broke loose.

Mark: That’s right. We were talking about how DC got shut down with one inch of snow. That’s kind of a metaphor isn’t it? For what happens in Congress?

Just gridlock at the slightest sign of trouble.

James: Absolutely.

Mark: So, you know, before we get into all… I think I was mentioning earlier that my kind of passion at Unbeatable Mind has a pretty broad swath, so we can go in a lot of different directions.

But generally let’s start with you as an individual. How did you get interested in what you do? First, what do you do? And how did you get interested in that? And develop the expertise around it? Because there’s a fairly… very unique and niche field that is quite cutting edge.

James: Yeah, I got into this… I’m a writer. So I write books. And what was happening was I write on technology and cyber warfare and things like that. So what happened was I started getting calls from Congress to come in and be in hearings and roundtables to help write legislation that took the contents from the books that I have written and to kind of advise and help the government evolve.

And then from there, I started getting pulled into the intelligence community. And then Five Eyes, and GCHQ, MI6, CIA, NSA, NASA. Even down to like HHS and DOE. I just sent talking points over to DOE today on the Chinese PLA nation-state.

So with the influence ops stuff… I’m a social engineer by trade. So the vectors are the same. If I’m trying to get a senior executive at a critical infrastructure organization to click on a malicious payload… there’s a psychology manipulating the cognitive biases, whatever, just to get them to click.

Cause if they click, I can deliver the payload and usually with them, it’s usually in the form of a recruiting letter with a malicious payload built into a PDF file attachment. You call first, and you’re like, “Hey, look, I’m a recruiter. I can guarantee you, you know, twice what you’re making now.” Get them excited. And then so you manipulate that psychology and then they click. And then you own their network.

So…

Mark: The malicious payload is malware?

James: Yeah, malware with a compiled payload like a key logger, hotmic activator, camera activator for blackmail and espionage. And then something that can get you in the network to set up persistence. You move laterally throughout the network, and then you can put your payloads on different vulnerable devices. And then the goal is to elevate credentials. And move laterally. And then find out where the treasure trove of data is and exfiltrate it. And then manipulate the systems while you’re in there to obfuscate your digital footprint.

Mark: How prevalent is this, by the way, James? We see this in the movies and I’ve been watching Homeland and I think… when I watch Homeland, I’m like, “Man, that sounds accurate.”

James: Yeah, I’ve never watched that. I usually don’t watch… I’m not really into watching cyber-stuff, you know what I mean? But it is relevant.

But I can get into any network, any government facility, anything. Just give me the target, and just let me do it.

So nowadays, we had this whole cyber-war thing and cyber-warriors. Like killer access operations and the NSA. But this is evolving quickly.

Instead of cyber-warriors now that are just hackers, I’m pushing in the intelligence community for cyber-Spartans. And a cyber-Spartan is a social engineer with technical acumen that has completely embraced their inner sociopath.

And you have to understand–you can’t defend against someone like me. It won’t happen. It can’t. And I’m trying to help the agencies understand, “Look, it’s not enough to hack anymore.” Because this is a…

So we have cyber-warfare, but now the influence op. They’re weaponizing the same vectors. The payload’s just different.

With influence operations the payload is a malicious piece of information fully weaponized. Sent over weaponizing social media vectors like Twitter from a fully weaponized account.

And what I mean by that is if you’re trying to do like a Chaos Op for example. And you’re fanning the flame of let’s just say, Trump supporters and then Trump haters.

Your Trump supporters account… you have to have thousands of them. But if it’s a Twitter account, the image, the bio, who you’re following, the retweets, your tweets, your follow-to-follower ratio has to be right. And it all has to be in the same theme. It has to be completely weaponized for it to work.

And so the weaponization…

Weaponized Social Media

10:28

Mark: And what do you mean by weaponize… how do you weaponize an account?

James: Yeah, so if you’re looking to weaponize, for example, a school shooting. Which is what Muslim Brotherhood does. Russian state, domestic militias, special interest groups. PLA. Iran and North Korea are getting involved in digital Chaos Ops.

So what you do is you fan the flame of both sides, so that you can weaponize the incident by a Hegelian dialectic, you know–problem-outcry-solution. But with a Chaos Op it’s problem-outcry. There is no solution, it’s just chaos.

And they do that to off-balance democracy. Take people’s confidence away in the system. Create distrust. Distrust.

And then pretty much just make everything chaotic. Chaos is the op.

So a weaponized account, if it was a school shooting for example, what the Russian nation state would do is create a bunch of bot accounts on all the digital vectors like Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram. Even down to the dating sites.

You want to get that digital footprint for the op very deep. So I mean, you can actually see that… you go to Match or Tinder, you can still see the “I’m with her,” bot accounts. They’re not actual people, but the campaign went in and set them up.

And it’s like, if you voted for Trump–swipe left. It’s normalizing the concept.

So with a fully weaponized account on Twitter for example for a school shooting incident, what would happen is you would go after the 2nd amendment, for example. So you make it about the 2nd amendment. You would have anti-gun accounts. So you would weaponize the account with the anti-gun theme.

And then the opposite accounts would be pro-NRA. Pro-2nd amendment. Pro-conservative. So it would be that type of theme. So all the images, Tweets and everything would be of that same theme.

And so that’s what I mean by weaponized account.

Mark: Can you give us an example of where this has been recently maybe?

James: Yeah. I mean, if you look at the Florida school shooting, we put tests out there in response to… since I’m talking about Twitter. We put Twitter responses into some of the more emotionally charged conversations that were happening on Twitter. And we immediately noticed the bot accounts were pushing our Tweets. That were just comments on the tweets.

So you can see a lot with Twitter. A lot of times meme warfare, when they’re testing a meme, you create the meme, post it on Instagram because it’s a high PR site for images. You make sure the hashtags are weaponized properly. Usually just hijack hashtags that are already being used by the digital tribe that you’re trying to target.

And then you test it on Twitter. And you weaponize again, hashtags that are already being used by the digital tribe and chieftain that you’re targeting. So it becomes… the hashtag is already normalized with that particular ideological variant.

And when it takes off and you see it organically takes off, you take all of your bot accounts and push any organic movement that you see. So when you see the quote or the meme begin to mutate, to become part of the narrative of that tribe. Every time you see an incident of organic growth, you fan the flame with all your bot accounts.

So if somebody tweets it from their account. Not just a retweet. You take all your bot accounts, give them 200 retweets, 1000 likes, a bunch of machine learning, artificial intelligence injected comment. So you can use machine learning and artificial intelligence to create the illusion of comments and viral ability.

So that’s what happens. So with the school shooting, we immediately saw everybody involved. Not just the Russians, Chinese, Muslim Brotherhood–as part of their cyber-caliphate. But the anti-gun lobby had their bot accounts going in. The more progressive leaning political, ideological variant. Whatever. They were getting in and they had their bots going crazy.

And then you had the alt-right. They were doing theirs. But I didn’t really see an organized alt-right botfest going on. I really saw it on the progressive left in that case.

Mark: It’s interesting that they’re coming down hard on the whole Facebook 50 million user account issue. Even though they’ve been employing the same tactics for years.

James: Oh yeah. Yeah.

Mark: So here’s a question. Why don’t Facebook and Twitter just ban or delete the bot accounts? They can’t be heard to identify.

James: Well they’re running into a big problem right now. With these dragnet surveillance capitalists. You look at Comcast, Time Warner, Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. These are dragnet surveillance capitalists that became dragnet surveillance propagandists and are now a corporate nation-state censorship collective.

Mark: You’re talking about Facebook, Google, the organizations.

James: Yes. So what they’re into is kickbacks, specifically from the alt-right. Because they’re extremely organized. So we’re running into a censorship issue with these, I guess, public forums of debate. And they censor political material, like you’ll see a lot of…

I was just working on… I’m doing a paper on Antifa, Black Lives Matter and then the opposite side of the spectrum with the alt-alt-right.

So what is happening is the alt-right in particular, they’re getting their YouTube channels shut down. They’re getting their Twitter accounts suspended. Things like that. And that particular ideological variant, that group is extremely organized. And they network extremely heavily. So what happened was people are starting to use alternative forums. I think one of them is DTube? I think it’s DTube.

And then you have kim.com that’s going to come out with, hopefully a Twitter alternative. The only reason I’m on Twitter is cause I have over 100,000 followers. And so that’s the only reason I even use it. And it’s quick to get… if I have a new book come out, I can put the link out there. So it’s a good communication mechanism. But I don’t put my personal life on it. You know what I mean?

Mark: Right. So… let me ask… so it sounds to me like you’re saying that these organizations have a political bias and so they will respond and shut down one ideology’s bots and machine, but they haven’t done it in equal measure on the other side?

James: Yeah, that’s actually the truth. So these… again, I’m non-political. I’m not even bi-partisan. I don’t even vote because I can’t. I have to show objectivity, cause I advise to progressive democrats in the Senate. And alt-right conservatives. And all the political siloes within the intelligence community.

So I have to be able to demonstrate objectivity. I don’t get political at all. But the thing is, the alt-right in particular is getting really shut-down on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. In particular. And they all have censorship algorithms, which is how they manipulate their users. So if you go to Google for example, and you type in… I don’t know… you’re trying to get information. You’re not getting necessarily the best answer or even the most correct answer. You’re getting the censored response that coincides with the meta-data that they’ve curated on you and your psycho-archetype. So you’re not… the censorship algorithm is extremely heavy and it’s getting more potent.

And the thing is 2020, these corporate nation-state… the corporate nation-state censorship program… they will have a candidate. In 2020.

And I expect to see some heavy censorship. Heavy.

Mark: Zuckerberg is already kind of running, isn’t he? He’s doing his world-tour through the 50 states…

James: That guy… Mark… what do they call him “Dude Suckerberg?” He doesn’t have a chance. No way. No way.

Oh my gosh, you talk about toxic individual… that guy…

Mark: Yeah. I hear that.

Hey, so this is fascinating to me. What about blockchain start-ups like Telegram or Steemit? Can’t they… can’t this decentralized approach solve that problem? Or will it create some other problems?

James: Yeah, no. Steemit. I think DTube. The decentralized very open forums. I definitely think that that’s the future. But the problem is… I hate censorship. I’m very progressive leaning when it comes to that. I think when you trample on people’s right to see the full picture, you’re really playing dirty.

Fake News

22:03

Mark: yeah, well Trump made the term–he didn’t coin the term–but he made the term “fake news” an everyday term. He’s onto something. Not to… I’m not extolling Trump’s virtues at all, but what percentage of the news we see is fake news? It’s probably a huge percentage.

James: Yeah. I think it’s like this. I think most of the news has a particular political ideological slant to it. So if you’re watching–and it’s funny. I just did an interview on this for the book. If you watch Fox, for example. You know you’re going to get a conservative ideological variant/slant to your news narrative. If you watch MSNBC, you know you’re going to get a progressive ideological variant/slant to a news narrative. If you watch CNN then you’re just an idiot. Because it’s pure propaganda…

You’re an idiot. You hate yourself if you watch CNN because it’s a narrative illusion, pure media news fiction. Pure fiction.

It’s an anti-Trump hate cult. And they will never rebound from where they are because they stopped reporting the news. They just want to get their agenda out there and everybody stopped listening.

Mark: And they’re also… you see that in the major print publications. New York Times, Washington Post… it’s just a massive anti-Republican propaganda.

James: It’s interesting, but what happens though with this demonization of the right by the progressive mainstream media, what they’re doing is making the alt-right…it’s giving them the motivation to fight back. And I’ll tell you–look–I get asked all the time. Well, Trump won because of MSNBC and CNN. It gave his ideological tribe and he was psychographically targeting them with Cambridge Analytica, he knew who his tribe was. He knew what they wanted to hear. And he ran an election 2.0 campaign.

Hillary Clinton ran your prototypical rule for radicals traditional campaign using mainstream media. That’s why she lost.

But yeah, so the hate mongering, the hate cult that CNN is for anything having to do with any conservatives… again, I am non-political. But it’s just reality. Like I really solved this when I was writing this book. The worst thing that could happen to Trump right now is for the mainstream media to quit the hate-mongering. Because it would give his tribe nothing to fight against.

As long as he can keep them in a fight. They’re defending the 2nd amendment. Defending our traditional, Western way of life. Defending freedom of speech. Whatever. As long as he can keep his tribe fighting, he’s gonna…

Look, if he keeps doing what he’s doing right now, his tribe is so emotionally obsessed with his messaging… right now, he will win by a landslide in 2020. Absolutely guaranteed. But again, the worst thing that could happen to him is mainstream media starts actually covering the news and not just hate-mongering. That’s the worst thing that could happen to his future campaign.

Mark: It’s interesting though, that they can’t see that. I mean, I see that as a lifelong martial artist. I know that force on force creates more force, you know what I mean? The more you feed something, the more energy it has. So Aikido says “Hey, do the sidestep around it. Let the energy flow right by you.”

But the mainstream, they can’t see that, because they’re stuck in their own bias. And so they just keep doing the same thing, expecting different results.

James: Yeah, it’s interesting. So I don’t know… I just watch the news now as entertainment. And because it’s not news anymore, it’s just 24/7 hate cult against Trump, against 2nd amendment, against…

It’s just gotten to be so ridiculous. So I think the thing about fake news, if you really want to watch… Okay, if you want to watch fake news, obviously, that’s CNN. 100%. But if you’re curious as to what actual propaganda rooted in fact is, but with a particular ideological slant in order to hyper-elevate a particular ingredient in the news, check out RT. The Russian… whatever. Russian Times? I don’t know what.

Mark: Is that the official Russian television station?

James: Yeah, it’s their propaganda channel. It’s like our Voice of America. So it’s… not even like Voice of America. They don’t have the right funding to even compete. We’re losing the info-war abroad.

But watch that because RT has to be fact. It has to be fact-based or they lose credibility and people stop watching it. And then everybody can say, “Oh, see? It’s just propaganda.”

What they’ll do is take an ingredient of a factual incident that is detrimental to a democracy. Or take some American’s confidence away in the democratic process, or in American law enforcement or the government. And they’ll fan that one negative fact so hard that they make that the narrative for the day.

And they make it go viral on Twitter. They’re extremely organized. So Russia’s in a position… because they have a GDP less than India. Less than Korea. This illusion that there our hyper-evolved adversary is an illusion.

Mark: Well, except for the nuclear weapons. But they are economically weak, and geopolitically they’re weak. But they’re effective at projecting strength in hybrid warfare.

Russian Influences

28:48

James: Strong Russia. Strong Putin. So this info-war, and memetic warfare. It’s the Russian maskirovka. The digitized maskirovka. And they’re masters at it because they have to.

This is… hacking and information warfare in the digital space is thriving. The Russian APTs are extremely techno-accelerated. So they’re really evolving in this space even though they’re completely isolated by the West and the NATO alliance and Five Eyes. But it’s funny… I was talking to a friend of mine in MI6 and he was talking to one of their assets at FSB. And they can’t believe all the street cred that they’re getting for stuff that they’re not even doing. As far as this Russian collusion narrative illusion. They’re like, “Wow. How do we actually do this? How do we do it?”

It was funny to hear that. They’re just like, “Holy Cow. What a demonstration of skill. We didn’t have to do anything, we just watched the mainstream media hyper-fan the flame of this illusion and we look great. So as far as a demonstration of skill, they’re looking like killers.

Mark: So that’s an example of the weaponized information used by one political party against the other. Essentially blaming it on Russia and Russia sitting back and taking all the credit, saying this is pretty cool.

James: Yeah, the idea that Russians had any hard impact on the election is completely ludicrous. Everybody was involved. Everybody. You had the special interest groups here, you had PLA. You had China as part of their 13th 5 year plan. They used the Chinese student scholar associations at Universities to troll and to protest.

They used the Tongs to get into local industry. And they use the Triad as enforcers. Intimidators.

And it’s all funded by the Chinese Communist Party–the consulate system here.

It’s funny cause I do a lot for CIA I’ll go to the Universities and see what interest there is to Communists in the Intelligence Community. And at CMU the Chinese student and scholar association is really strong. And the crazy thing is over there they have Rand corporation, they have CERT right down the street. And I said to the one professor, “Wow, you guys have a heavy Chinese representation here.” “Oh yeah, in Chinese student scholar.”

I’m like, “Do you understand they are a weapon. They’re an espionage IP theft weapon for the Chinese Communist Party. Don’t you get that?”

But the thing is they use them as assets–the PLA and Chinese Communist Party–that’s how they weaponize our university systems against us. That’s how they… with the Tongs. That’s how they weaponized economics against us. The Triad will bring in weapons…

Mark: What’s the Triad?

James: The Triad is the Chinese Mafia. But it’s fully sponsored by their government. And they bring in weapons, they bring self-radicalizing wound collectors over our borders. They fan the flames of protests here on behalf of Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

Mark: I was going to ask you about that… so most of those protests are just paid agitation.

James: Yeah, most of what we’re seeing now… Charlottesville included… if you hold up–being a SEAL you’re obviously familiar with the Color Revolution template, which is the most potent ingredient in coup d’état.

So if anybody thinks that we’re not experiencing a colour revolution attempt right now, do this. Look at the color purple. Who’s wearing it? What’s the event? And what’s being announced? And that’s all I’ll say on that.

That’s very real here. So most of these protests are Chaos Ops. They’re not using the full Hegelian dialectic, colour revolution template.

But you can see the three main ingredients–you have the core, the cohort and the citizens. So the core is the funding arm. The cohort is the–they’re the worker bees. They’re the hired, real believers. And then the citizen–these are people that are like, “Hey, I wanna believe.”

There’s two types of citizens. There’s “Hey, I wanna believe. I’ll come to this protest. Maybe I’ll act out, but most of the violence is by the cohorts. Those are the guys that are most likely to get arrested, whatever…

But the other part of the citizen group is the paid actor. Literally paid actor. Go to any search engine and type in “Crowds for hire,” “crowds for rent,” and you will see the least talked about, most booming industry there is.

I can create a protest out of thin air for 10,000 dollars cost. I can spark a riot for 20. I can do it in 72 hours.

Mark: And there’s organizations that do this… is ACORN one of them? I’ve heard about that…

James: ACORN is the… they bring the leaning weight to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Caliphate. So you have like a Linda Sorso, is her name? I think it’s Linda Sorso. She’s the extremist that called for a Jihad in the United States. I think it’s Linda Sorso.

But she is a… what her job for Muslim Brotherhood is to create a space for self-radicalizing wound collectors to meet or to come into contact with Muslim Brotherhood operatives who will then to take them to like, Dark Web or whatever…

They will cultivate a relationship with them in order to expedite their self-radicalization. In order to get them to act out meaning take a car, drive it onto a playground, kill a bunch of 6 year olds. Then when there’s public outcry, then Muslim Brotherhood cyber-Caliphate kicks in, in a digital setting and using all their bot accounts will say “See? Everybody’s xenophobic. You gotta get up and fight against this.”

So they activate Black Lives Matter, Antifa for the intimidation stuff. They’re very organized. Very organized.

Mark: Who’s in control? It sounds like in the West the democracy is so easy to penetrate, and this has been going on for years. You have to wonder, so we have political candidates who are enemies of the state? And is it possible that we someday have a Manchurian candidate president?

Some would say Trump is. Some said Obama was. So maybe it’s already happening.

James: Well Obama was the first to use psychographic targeting. So he did a Cambridge Analytica type thing. But he actually worked directly with Facebook…

And then Trump just basically followed that same process. But he just paid for it, you know?

But there’s a lot of talk about the New World Order, I guess. The George Bush Sr. version of this elitist collective, Agenda 21ish, NATO, UNish type thing. That is dead. Those guys are all dying.

Mark: That was a centralized…

James: Yeah, centralized power for overall control… for global control really is what it was. So the North American Union, which we would have. The socialist ideology from Canada, in combination with the capitalist ideology of the United States and the workforce from Mexico.

So this was going to be the answer if the European Union worked out, which it’s not. It’s falling apart. So I don’t really see us going there.

But now instead of the individual elitists, what’s happened is the Corporate Nation-state Collective is… they’ve kind of stepped in, in a pretty dangerous way. I’ve worked with… we’re working with the White House to put out the CLOUD Act for example. To gain support in Congress for the CLOUD Act.

This is something that’s going to make it easier to investigate crimes in networks.so if a server is domiciled in Ireland and US law enforcement needs to gain access to it, they can’t do it because of the laws over there.

So this whole process expedites that. I think that this is going… it expedites the investigation. So we’re going to start with US/UK sharing to expedite the process. Then we’ll move to our Five Eyes partners. And then our closest Western European allies. And this is going to… I think that in a way this is going to kind of take away that cabal, secretive capability that these corporate nation-states have, do you know what I mean? I really hope so anyway. But I don’t know…

I’m more fearful of Google and their dragnet surveillance process, and Facebook’s psychological manipulation process than I am any government. They’re dangerous. These guys are dangerous.

Blockchain

41:25

Mark: So I mentioned… we talked about blockchain earlier. The general public doesn’t have much understanding of it, but I’ve been studying it like a madman. Ever since I bought 100 Bitcoin and then sold them cause I took my eye off the ball. Now I’m like, “Holy Shit. That would have been a million and a half, 2 million bucks right now.”

And so I started studying the blockchain again last year. And this is coming fast. And interestingly enough, back to your point, a lot of the activity is coming out of Eastern Europe and Russia. I mean, these guys are just geniuses in this. A ton happening here in the United States of course too.

But this is decentralized everything. Decentralized banking, decentralized real estate, decentralized government even. There’s a blockchain project called “Bitnation” where you can become a digital citizen–a global digital citizen–or you can create your own nation. I never heard of a virtual Jihad, but I’d be surprised if they don’t use Bitnation as part of their platform.

But anyways, I’m sure you’ve studied this as well. But where do you see 10 years out… Where do you see governance and corporate behemoths like Facebook and Google? Cause there’s a major threat coming their way with the blockchain.

James: Well, blockchain–I mean–I do a lot in Congress for election reform. Mike and I were working on the Grand Amendment for Election Reform. And the Paper act of Congressman Meadow office.

Blockchain I think is going to change everything. It decentralizes things. If you look at Bitcoin, the only thing behind the US dollar… used to be back pre-Bretton Woods convention–used to be backed by gold. Now it’s just backed with the dwindling confidence in the American government.

And so people are like, “I’m not buying this crap. It’s a fiat currency. It’s garbage. Forget about it.”

And so the Bitcoin thing is giving a lot of people hope in something more real and viable. But the problem is, anything good can also be weaponized. And so you have these billionaire banker people that are already in there pumping and dumping that currency. That’s why you see it up and down, up and down.

As far as election reform, we’re seeing kim.com is pushing the Internet party. I think that we’ll see a real candidate come out of that in a few years.

And I think the blockchain concept even down to election reform and securing the vote…

Mark: yeah, there is an African country that just did their election on the block…

James: Yeah, but it’s Africa, so who cares. I mean, that’s the mentality on the hill. That’s exactly… you might as well mention Estonia, do you know what I mean?

Mark: No, I know, but my point is that sometimes technology… because of the regulations and the barriers put up in the West… the technology takes root and then you can see it power-shift very quickly, you know?

To all of a sudden, we’re wondering what the hell happened because we’re sitting on Industrial Age institutions with Information Age flows. But we’ve missed the point on decentralization and now we’re… power-shifts to Africa, or to Eastern Europe.

James: Yeah.

Mark: That’s interesting.

Cyborgs

45:09

Let’s shift focus, I know we’ve been going for a while here, but this has been so fascinating. I want to talk about cyborgs. When I went through SEAL training and got into SEAL team 3, my nickname was “cyborg.” People thought I had nanobots running around my system, and that my legs and arms were like from Steve Austin. Because of I guess that way I moved and my endurance and whatnot.

But I’ve always been fascinated with augmentation. Kind of like, I’ve had this vision that there’s going to be a split in the human race. Those who connect to the internet and augment themselves.

And those who say, “Screw that. That’s the mark of the Devil.”

But you wrote a book on this. “Hacking Cyborgs” What do you think is going to happen by 2025? What’s your view?

James: Cyborgification. Cyborgification is really technologically extending oneself to make up for the vulnerabilities of natural man. That’s what it is.

And so the only person… it’s funny, cause you’re all over the place… not you, but people are all over the place with this. They think it’s like, “Oh. A mark on your forehead or right hand it’s gonna be the mark of the Beast. The End Times. It’s the apocalypse.” Whatever.

It’s like I had this guy who was a preacher really attack me for the cyborg book. And I did some research on the guy. I mean normally I don’t care. A troll’s a troll and they’re going to troll.

But I did some research on the guy, and this guy had an insulin pump and a pacemaker. That’s cyborgification. So he’s technologically extending himself in order to make up for deficiencies in his natural body. So…

Mark: And you could make the argument… I think Ray Kurzweil said this… that the iPhone is cyborgification. It’s an extension of you to the Internet. You just hold it in your hand. It isn’t planted inside of you.

James: Yeah. You’re technologically extending yourself in order to be more efficient. And so I see this really hyper-accelerating over the next few years. Just like we are with the self-driving cars. I think the scary thing is when we enter the existence of… the merging of virtual reality and cyborgification. I think the scary thing is going to be when artificial intelligence is then injected into that process.

I think we’re moving too fast in that space. Because, you know, with weaponization of space… We have a center for Space Warfare studies that we’re starting with a few people from NASA.

And people don’t understand, there is a war going on in space right now, for satellite signal intelligence and stuff like that. Not like a war… but like for satellite positioning and the weaponization of the space element.

I think the scary thing is going to be when artificial intelligence and machine learning are injected into autonomous technologies. Because you’re setting these technological entities up to… Machine Learning? Deep Learning? Artificial Intelligence? Put some meta-data in there, you have a cyber-demigods. Techno-demigod.

I think that’s going to be a scary space. But I think that the next thing that we’re going to see with the cyborgification is the accelerated process of thinking. And I think that’s going to be really interesting to see artificial intelligence injected into consciousness. I think that’s really exciting to me.

But how do you protect the sanctity of the mind? How do you protect the original thought at that point? Without having the analytical aspect of artificial intelligence mimetically shaping that thought, you know what I mean?

So I think cyborgification is happening. It’s happening in a big way. We just have to go about it…

Another thing… we have to take security by design into consideration with this stuff. Cause you’re injecting… I have friends that can hack your insulin pump. Your pacemaker. They can kill you with your insulin. Put you in shock. And this is a scary thing.

And you look at the technology with embedded devices… this cyborgification and they’re not using Nist sp8160 standards for security by design. And so that’s going to be the next space for hackers. And people can do it, if you’re going after a political figure, and you’re goal is to shut them down, people now, they’re not just looking at reputational harm, or like jacking the guy in his car. They’re looking for embedded devices that the guy has. What kind of medications does he have? Okay, hack the pharmacy. That kind of stuff.

So you’re seeing a lot of real indirect attacks that are extremely potent especially with embedded devices.

Mark: Wow, that’s fascinating.

Yeah, I think nanotechnology and AI have just enormous implications for the dark side. Obviously enormous potential good as well. And the conversation has to be had soon… and I know it’s happening in the stove pipe, but not at a societal level at all.

But think about it, I’ve read a little bit about breakout. So the race right now is on at a geopolitical level for nation-states… the first one that achieves AI breakout, which is where the acceleration to where AI exceeds human capacity. Then reaches that singularity moment.

Whoever gets there first, rule the world, basically. Or the universe. It’s one theme.

That’s heady stuff. And everything changes. If it’s possible. If it’s possible for AI to have that type of… that level of intelligence or capacity.

James: Yeah, AI is the technological equivalent to the God Particle. It’s everything. It’s the most organic everything from a technological or thought process space.

And, you know, you look at drone technology. Take machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning injected into drone autonomous technology? It can out-think, out-maneuver… I’ll tell you what man, there’s stuff… there’s technology out there with these drones using this type of thinking model. It will cover all day, for surveillance, Middle East whatever. It’s solar. Now when it starts to run out of charge, it will find a place where it can land, charge and take cover. And then go up again.

That’s insane. And that’s nothing. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with this stuff. Crazy.

Information Warfare

53:24

Mark: That is crazy. Well we could talk all day about this stuff, but I think we better shut it down here before we start putting people to sleep.

Anyone out there who’s as fascinated about this stuff as I am, then they’re going to want to learn more.

So you’ve written a bunch of books. What would be the one of your books that would like people… you think people need to read? One or two. And then where do they find them?

James: Yeah I think “Information Warfare: The Meme is an Embryo the Narrative.” I think that’s the ultimate web-pill. That’s how I tried to write it. Dedicated to my sons. To weaponize their minds. The awesome thing about that book is people are really putting it to work. They’re making memes from quotes from the book. And they’re… it’s been very grassroots promoted, which I didn’t even intend on. That’s a good start for pretty much anybody. If you’re into the digitization of information warfare influence operations, and psychological warfare.

Mark: What I love about this book is people can learn about the biases that allow these memes to… I guess what you would say is “weaponize” them or to penetrate. So you wanna be aware of your biases, is one thing we talk about a lot in Unbeatable Mind. So you can prevent them from affecting or infecting you so to speak.

James: It’s interesting because with that book–when I’m dealing with NATO–NATO is in a tough position because they’re supposed to be effective in the offensive. But purely from a defensive position when it comes to information warfare.

And you can’t inoculate propaganda. And they asked me to come and speak to their senior psychological operations guys. And I kept telling them, “What you’re proposing in the defensive position is impossible. It’s impossible.”

And I think the only thing that you can inoculate is within the mind, being able to identify a narrative illusion. And use factual news with an ideological variant/twist to it. I think it’s going to happen in the mind. You have to know how to identify it, and shut it down in your mind.

Because you’ve got people that are going to… special interest groups, nation-states, Hail Mary states, they’re going to always weaponize social media vectors now. To get their propaganda out there. Unless there’s extreme censorship–which is actually what’s happening–I don’t care how much surveillance or censorship you have. You’re not going to be able to stop this from happening. The only way you can shut it down for yourself is in your mind.

Being able to identify it and shut it down. And then you teach your kids, “Hey look. This is propaganda. Do you see that? Yeah that was true but it’s got a conservative slant to it. That’s true, but it’s got a progressive slant to it. So protect the sanctity of your mind.”

Mark: Or you can delete your Facebook app, and your Twitter app.

James: Oh yeah. I’m not even on Facebook. And again, like I said, the only reason I’m even on Twitter is because I have like, 100,000 followers. That’s the only reason I even have a social media presence. I’m not on LinkedIn, nothing. I don’t have a Facebook page.

Mark: I have all that stuff, but it really is for marketing. I don’t use it personally. Someone sends stuff out for me.

James: We have a company page on Facebook. Where we put books and stuff. So yeah, I totally get it as a promotional model.

Mark: Right. But I’m trying to get my team to realize that, “Hey, you know what? Facebook could go away overnight.”

The founder of “What’s App” today came out with a Delete Facebook meme. #deletefacebook. Cause of what happened with the 50 million… what was the name of the company again? Cambridge.

James: Cambridge Analytica. Yeah, but here’s the thing about Cambridge Analytica. Their claim to fame was the Trump campaign. But Cambridge Analytica is just another big data analytic algorithm writing company. That focuses on psychographic targeting.

Now they’re the least involved in this space. They just get tons of press because the guys that do this don’t want the attention. Because they’re all in bed with the social media dragnet surveillance capitalists. And Facebook knew what they were doing with the data. They knew.

Mark: Interesting stuff. Well, it pays to be aware that a lot of the information that you’re getting out there folks, is manipulated to say the least. Or at least influenced. And so all of us are part of this memetic, influence operations both internally and from factors outside. Go check out James’ book “Information Warfare.” James, it’s on Amazon right? I’m sure?

James: Yeah it is.

Mark: Awesome. So that’s a good place to start.

If you’re interested in cyborgs and the clash of AI and augmented humans then your book… what’s the full name of your book on cyborgs?

James: “Hacking Cyborgs: By 2025 non-augmented humans will be obsolete.” That’s right. I had someone help me with that.

Mark: I just pulled up Allison’s notes. “Hacking Cyborgs: By 2025 non-augmented humans will be obsolete.” Damn. That’s like 7 years from now.

James: Oh yeah. We’re already there. If you have an iPhone or a phone with apps…

Mark: You’re already there.

Oh wow. It’s going to be interesting to watch. May we live in interesting times.

James, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it.

Everyone this is important stuff. Thanks for listening. Check your biases, and practice Unbeatable Mind every day so that you can make sure that information is flowing into and out of your brain is you. And not somebody else.

All right. James, thanks again.

Hooyah. Take care and good luck with everything. And I look forward to meeting you in person.

James: Sounds good. Thanks.

Mark: All right folks. That’s it for today. Thanks again. Stay focused. Train hard. Be safe and beware of fake news.

Hooyah.

Divine out.

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