The US military has a contract with a company to build “sockpuppet” software that would allow intelligence officers to assume dozens of fake identities on social networks, presumably to spy on and influence people, The Guardian reports.
The requirements for the software asks that intelligence analysts be able to manipulate 10 to 20 identities simultaneously, and that these identities have complex histories and be hard to decipher.
This is both scary and silly.
Scary because we’re not sure anyone wants the military to be able to impersonate people online, spy, and potentially even do propaganda tactics.
Silly because it’s kind of ridiculous that the military is spending time on this, and contracting, probably for an eye-popping amount of money, to an outside firm for software to do something that humans can do themselves perfectly fine.