As anti-lockdown protests continue to rage in London, resulting in the arrests of over 150 this past weekend, The Sunday Times is out with a hugely alarming report that almost has to be seen to be believed given how open and brazen an example it is of the state using every means possible to crush free speech and independent thought.
Britain will literally use military intelligence to seek out and stamp out what The Times calls "anti-vaccine militants" and related "propaganda content" in cyberspace.
Of course, it's entirely open to state authorities' interpretation as to what this even means, and will likely morph into cracking down on any speech that's even remotely critical or questioning as to the potential harmful side effects of the new rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines.
This as the UK has agreed to buy more than 350 million doses of vaccines from at least seven global producers, and hopes to start vaccinating as fast as possible as confirmed cases continue to rise into the winter months.
The Times writes that a secretive elite unit will be used as part of information warfare combating anti-vaccine content online:
The army has mobilized an elite "information warfare" unit renowned for assisting operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban to counter online propaganda against vaccines, as Britain prepares to deliver its first injections within days.
The defence cultural specialist unit was launched in Afghanistan in 2010 and belongs to the army’s 77th Brigade. The secretive unit has often worked side-by-side with psychological operations teams.
If this doesn't sum up the British state's self-understanding of its own immense power and control over citizens in the year 2020 then nothing else will: the military will use psyops on UK citizens to enforce vaccine group think.
The army has mobilised an elite “information warfare” unit renowned for assisting operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban to counter online propaganda against vaccines, as Britain prepares to deliver its first injections within days. https://t.co/7JY2gl0oMj— The Times (@thetimes) November 29, 2020
But it's not exactly that the UK military openly admitted this. Instead, it's coming to light via leaked internal documents:
Leaked documents reveal that its soldiers are already monitoring cyberspace for Covid-19 content and analysing how British citizens are being targeted online. It is also gathering evidence of vaccine disinformation from hostile states, including Russia...
And of course "Russia!" manages to be conveniently slipped in as the ultimate "justification" - given the military must fundamentally frame its operations as seeking to root out and subvert a 'foreign plot' as opposed to admitting blunt suppression of citizens' rights and freedom of information.
A follow-up statement to the reporting by the UK Ministry of Defence claimed the brigade’s efforts are "not being directed at the UK population" but primarily at hostile foreign actors wishing to sow disinformation.
Again, it's amazing just how casually The Times reports this - as if it's par for the course and merely another standard weekend news development in the creeping Orwellianism that is contemporary UK statism backed by the ultra-powerful military and intelligence communities (or perhaps already long established?).