This is the interactive agenda for Suits and Spooks Washington D.C. 2015. This a draft a agenda and subject to change. Online registration is available here.
Wednesday, February 4 • 3:45pm - 4:10pm
Poisoning the Well: Evolution of Psychological Warfare

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How the PsyOps Industry is Diffusing the Democratizing Power of Social Networks 

Modern psychological warfare has no need for chemical compounds or staged brothels. Our perception of current events is almost entirely shaped by social networks built on the premise of providing an accurate representation of what ordinary citizens are thinking and feeling. That authenticity has made social networks into an attractive platform for political speech and social activism capable of sparking entire revolutions overnight.

The idea that a mob of concerned, politically-motivated citizens will organize through these networks and take to the streets to demand political involvement, representation, and a better overall political structure is a dream for countries invested in democratizing other nations. The mob’s wake provides a cover of homespun authenticity that invalidates talk of foreign interference or political cunning while creating favorable conditions for foreign operatives to act. Social networks are a free market coup.

The crowdsourced political power of these grassroots movements has not gone unanswered, as an industry of social network manipulation has risen to counteract it. Social bots, fake blogs, artificial viralization services and more are being sold to foreign governments looking to manipulate their population’s perception of current events. By exploiting the innate trust-relationship between social networks and their users, these companies disrupt opposition, bury content, and profile dissenters for further pursuit. To the delight of socialist dictators and oppressive regimes, mercenaries have entered the stage of information warfare

Just as espionage and surveillance have evolved under state patronage, we are now witnessing the evolution of psychological warfare. Gone are the days of MKULTRA, Facebook and Twitter will do just fine!  

Amateurs shut off the internet, professionals poison the well! 

avatar for Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade

Juan Andrés Guerrero-Saade

Senior Security Researcher, Kaspersky Lab
Juan Andrés joined Kaspersky Lab in 2014 as a Senior Security Researcher. His experience and research interests span Government Surveillance, Intelligence Analysis, Cyber Warfare and Cyber Espionage. Juan Andrés’s previous research focused on placing intricate philosophical systems... Read More →

Wednesday February 4, 2015 3:45pm - 4:10pm
Main Track