UK military spied on critics of lockdown – media – RT World News
MoD reportedly targeted public figures who questioned London’s pandemic policies
Britain’s Ministry of Defense has been closely monitoring the social media accounts of public figures critical of the government’s Covid-19 policies since the start of the pandemic, a whistleblower told the Daily newspaper on Saturday. Mail. This assertion contradicts repeated official denials that the government conducts such surveillance.
The Army’s secret 77th Brigade has compiled files on anyone with a significant following who has questioned the lockdowns, warrants and predictions of doom that have characterized London’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, according to the source, who worked for the unit during the pandemic.
The unit’s tasks included combating “disinformation” and “harmful stories… from so-called experts”, aided by raw data mined from social media by AI and civilian employees. Undesirable stories were suppressed or removed, while government stories were promoted.
“I got the impression that the government was more interested in protecting the success of its policy than worrying about any potential foreign interference,” the whistleblower told the Mail, suggesting London’s resolute focus on suppressing criticism might have caused them to overlook genuine foreign interference in the form of China’s pro-lockdown campaigns.
While the 77th Brigade’s information specialists only officially target foreign entities with “non-lethal engagement and legitimate non-military levers as means of adapting adversary behavior”, the whistleblower explained that they cheated to surveil UK citizens by claiming that “unless a profile explicitly states their real name and nationality, they could be a foreign agent and were fair game.” Prohibited from repeatedly viewing the account of a named British citizen while on the date, they simply waited until their shift was over to spy on people they couldn’t pretend to be foreigners.
Civil liberties group Big Brother Watch (BBW) has obtained numerous documents supporting the whistleblower’s claims and revealing that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and sports and the Cabinet Office Rapid Response Unit were also involved in surveillance of British civilians.
BBW director Silkie Carlo has called for the disinformation unit to be disbanded immediately and for a full investigation into the documents it had obtained, outlining the government’s work on “Fighting Disinformation” as dangerous for democracy.
An unnamed source at 10 Downing Street told the Mail that disinformation units have halted much of their work since the lockdowns ended.
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