IB: "Federal government routinely hires internet trolls, shills to monitor chat rooms, disrupt article comment sections" You've probably run into them before -- those seemingly random antagonizers who always end up diverting the conversation in an online chat room or article comment section away from the issue at hand, and towards a much different agenda. Hot-button issues like illegal immigration, the two-party political system, the "war on terror" and even alternative medicine are among the most common targets of such attackers, known as internet "trolls" or "shills," who in many cases are nothing more than paid lackeys hired by the federal government and other international organizations to sway and ultimately control public opinion. Several years ago, Canada's CTV News aired a short segment about how its own government had been exposed for hiring secret agents to monitor social media and track online conversations, as well as the activities of certain dissenting individuals. This report, which in obvious whitewashing language referred to such activities as the government simply "weighing in and correcting" allegedly false information posted online, basically admitted that the Canadian government had assumed the role of secret online police. At the time, this was a great unknown to the general Canadian public. Of course, the same type of online patrolling by the government is also happening in the U.S., particularly from the CIA and its infamous In-Q-Tel program. At a 2012 summit, former CIA director David Petraeus essentially admitted that the CIA has a covert online presence that it uses not only for data mining purposes but also to infiltrate online conversations for the purpose of protecting "national security" interests. Such interests, it turns out, include disrupting conversations that discuss topics like 9/11 truth, for instance, or U.S. involvement in giving weapons to Syrian rebels.