Secrecy

By Sheldon Rampton on April 28, 2008

The Pentagon military analyst program unveiled in last week's exposé by David Barstow in the New York Times was not just unethical but illegal. It violates, for starters, specific restrictions that Congress has been placing in its annual appropriation bills every year since 1951. According to those restrictions, "No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress."

As explained in a March 21, 2005 report by the Congressional Research Service, "publicity or propaganda" is defined by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to mean either (1) self-aggrandizement by public officials, (2) purely partisan activity, or (3) "covert propaganda." By covert propaganda, GAO means information which originates from the government but is unattributed and made to appear as though it came from a third party.

By Diane Farsetta on April 23, 2008

CAMERA, a lobby group that campaigns against criticism of the Israeli government in U.S. media, had a campaign to impact Wikipedia's coverage of Israel and Palestine issues.

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By Diane Farsetta on April 16, 2008

"Mywireless.org," a group that's "working hard to kill a cell phone reform bill at the Minnesota legislature," describes itself as "a non-profit consumer advocacy organization" formed to protect cell phone users' "freedom, value, security and mobility." But it's "staffed almost entirely by telecommunications industry executives, drawn mainly from the ranks of the

No
By Anne Landman on April 07, 2008

brainstormA rock cocaine cigarette filter? A cigarette that delivers birth control and sexual stimulant drugs to the smoker at the same time? A geriatric brand? All of these are actual ideas for new products and promotions that were recorded at cigarette company "brainstorming" meetings.

Yes
By Diane Farsetta on April 07, 2008

Administrators of "Popline," the "world's largest scientific database on reproductive health," which is housed at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health, "blocked the word 'abortion' as a search term after receiving a complaint from the Bush administration over two abortion-related articles listed in the database." The search block has since been re

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By Bob Burton on April 02, 2008

The giant of the fake news business, Medialink Worldwide, has fallen out of favor with investors. In the last year the company's share price has plummeted from $5.81 to its current level around the $1.70 mark. In its latest annual report, the company glumly states that sales in 2007 in the U.S.

No
By Diane Farsetta on April 01, 2008

"Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," suggests a 2006 study written for the U.S. military's Special Operations Command.

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By Diane Farsetta on March 28, 2008

bleachIn an unprecedented move by one of the Big Green environmental groups, the "Sierra Club's national board voted March 25 to remove the leaders of the Club's 35,000-member Florida chapter, and to suspend the Chapter for four years." What did the chapter do?

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By Anne Landman on March 26, 2008

Lung xrayThe lead author of the largest lung cancer screening study ever performed has come under fire for accepting cigarette company funding for the study. Dr.

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