The Guardian’s recent revelations concerning the intelligence community collecting cell phone call and location data from every single American, as well as the massive cataloging of social media interactions has jump-started a new national dialogue on privacy. This new social dialogue has not yet begun to include questions about the intelligence community speaking secretly rather than listening secretly. The public may be only just beginning to understand how the intelligence community can and does intervene anonymously in national politics.

Glenn Greenwald has promised that the releases to date are only the beginning. The mainstream press has centered its focus on the first two major revelations by the Guardian, out of the four the paper has chosen to release so far. Questions about the life, and life expectancy, of the leaker began to eclipse the leaks themselves – right as Obama met with the Premier of China and as the third classified document was released. That document outlined the beginnings of the United States plans for cyberwar with other nations and soured the discussions between the two leaders.

The classified document also revealed offensive cyber-operations may be being carried out against the American public in peace time, contrary to earlier unclassified reports. These revelations complement other releases of corporate spy secrets made by hacktivists in recent years.

The current directive from the President is an order to make war plans and it contains a list of programs and practices that these war plans do not change. On page five of the order it is stated that the plans will not change “the use of online personas for counter intelligence, intelligence gathering or law enforcement purposes.”

What is being referred to in the document is not just a few false Arabic language Facebook pages or FBI agents posing as children to catch pedophiles – but industrial strength sockpuppetry designed for the scientific trolling for social control. Officially, these programs and techniques are not used domestically. Last week, officially, Google and Facebook were not giving the NSA access. This week, they are publicly asking the government permission to start a discussion on how much access they give.

When HBGary was hacked, it was revealed that, in addition to spying on activists, they were bidding on a government contract to write software that would allow an intelligence agent to easily manage up to 50 different profiles on the internet. These profiles would be complete with social networks, fake histories, geographically correct information, and an intelligent system for keeping all the lies straight.

Considering that HBGary was conspiring to break the law in other ways to defame and destroy activists across a broad spectrum of progressive causes, and one dismissed executive continued his crusade after his firing, this program would have almost certainly been employed in the effort, had it been built. Perhaps it was built and employed, or is being employed in a similar capacity now, and simply not funded under that particular program.

After being utterly embarrassed by Anonymous as a security company, HBGary lost out to Ntrepid, who built the same software for CentCom, and called it “MetalGear.” MetalGear is allegedly employed to spread disinformation in Arabic, Urdu and Farsi on suspected terrorist websites to undermine the enemy’s willingness to fight.

Ntrepid allegedly does not deploy MetalGear in English or Spanish against domestic targets, but a number of companies offered a number of products to the government that are similar. These include Nevinsoft (or Nevintelcom), which is run out of a home in Tracy California and UK Plus Logistics Co. Ltd, which is run out of a basement office in Kabul and seems to have no ties to the UK other than a hotmail address and a name.

Ntrepid also makes other software products. One Ntrepid product is called Tartan, which allows the user to visualize social relationships and influence within a group so as to target individuals properly. Ntrepid is owned by the Cubic Corporation, which also owns Abraxas Applications. Sabras makes a facial recognition software that catalogs people seen near potential terrorist targets who act in a suspicious fashion. Thus a couple having their photo taken in front of a beautiful vista that includes the Golden Gate Bridge could be entered into a database of potential terrorists. This program is called Trapwire.

Abraxas has a partner in the Trapwire program called Stratfor. When Stratfor was hacked by Anonymous and its internal emails were released, it was revealed that they had targeted domestic political movements for private spying. One released email said “[...] The Occupy Movement is extremely dangerous [...] if they continue to refuse conforming to the established political process,” and advocated that protestors be held by the military indefinably without trial: “NDAA should be immediately passed as quietly as possible so these groups can be dealt with cleanly.” NDAA refers to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. The 2014 version of this act is before Congress now.

Recent lies and doublespeak surrounding recent NSA spying revelations by congressional representatives and Obama administration officials have cast doubt on claims that there is not a vast domestic spy apparatus that specifically targets domestic dissent. Ntrepid has 21 different contracts with the federal government, including one with the Department of the Interior for basic R & D for software modeling of “Message in the Medium: Pridicting [sic] Influence and Attention Using Attitude Annotation and Salience Modeling,” according to a government website. The Department of the Interior deals encountered significant dissent directed at its policies from both Native American and environmental activists.

In addition to the Departments of State and Defense, Ntrepid has contracts with the Agency for International Development to modify and provide IP addresses inside and outside the United States. USAID has been used as cover for CIA spying in the past. Ntrepid also has contracts with the IRS to provide it with anonymous internet browsing software presumably so they can monitor the websites without being detected. Why the government would want to anonymously send email and monitor websites is not spelled out in the contract.

Ntrepid's MetalGear might appear to be a hamfisted attempt at trolling, but combined with their Tartan software, provides secret policemen with a comprehensive, targeted way to inject themselves into online conversations. Combining Tartan's functionality with the CIA's MetaCarta software, that links documents with places, allows the intelligence community to decide who to troll, as well as when and where to troll them.

While the CIA's venture capital non-profit In-Q-Tel was investing in MetaCarta, it also invested in Intelliseek. Intelliseek produced a meta-search engine called Bullseye starting in 1998. Intelliseek was eventually purchased by BuzzMedia, the makers of BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed in turn was purchased by Nielsen. It might seem strange that the CIA invested in a search engine that later became a market research tool, but free speech exists in the so-called market place of ideas. While the commercial applications of market research concern themselves with products, political applications are concerned with ideas, causes and slogans.

Used altogether these software tools allow 10 people to be 500 people talking in very targeted ways and venues, skewing dialogue in comment sections of news stories, flooding online polls, anonymously distracting and smearing targeted opinion leaders all from a basement room in the Pentagon.

As the debate about the omnipresent surveillance state continues, an informed mind can only wonder how much public opinion really is public opinion, and how much is secretly manufactured public sector opinion.