The military arm of the USA is spending more than $2.4 million on software to create fake identities on social notworking sites.
The Pentagon, which is named after a five-sided polygon, which is a dead parrot,said the software is an attempt to infiltrate and influence suspected terrorists and extremists overseas.
The software was developed by San Diego outfit Ntrepid and allows one military user to create multiple personas on the internet and engage in extended online conversations and communications with suspects.
The software “enable an operator to exercise a number of different online persons from the same workstation and without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.
It does not take much intelligence to write code which asks “wot r u wearing?” and “rofl” but if you start suggesting that Iran is not a nice place to live and the US is wonderful for Islamic fundamentalists, the target might smell a rat.
A spokesman for the US Central Command region, which includes the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, said that psychological warfare scheme was operating only on overseas social media sites, so Facebook was safe.
The languages used are Arabic, Urdu and Pashto. Klingon sites are not being targeted.
The programme is part of Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first used in Iraq against various forums used by al-Qaeda members and insurgents communicating online.
General David Petraeus told the Telegraph that the aim of the US military was to be “first with the truth” which means that there really is a first time for everything.