According to a spokesperson for US Central Command, Persona Management Software is not being used by the US government inside the United States and that the program is limited to “foreign, non-English speaking” websites.
Lt. Cmdr. Bill H. Speaks, spokesperson for US Central Command, said the program “supports classified activities outside the [United States]” on “non-English speaking websites.”
When asked if the program could be used by private security firms for domestic operations, Speaks declined to comment, saying only that the program did not exclusively belong to the US government.
According to Speaks, the contract was awarded in August of 2010 to software and contracting companies, not HBGary as previously insinuated by other outlets. HBGary Federal was one of the parties interested in applying for the contract in July of last year. However, the software is not necessary to create fake profiles on social media sites. The software only allows individuals to shield their identities with greater ease.
UPDATE: 3/17/11 – Speaks also indicated that the winner of the contract was a company called Intrepid Inc and Anonymizer owned by Abraxis Corporation, which according to its website, “develops special technology and implements trusted unique technical solutions to address the global challenges faced by the National Security community.”
The private security firm HBGary Federal was attacked by internet hacker group Anonymous earlier this month in which over 70,000 emails were copied and posted to the internet. The posted emails seemed to indicate that the company was planning to use “fake people” on social media sites to infiltrate and discredit their perceived political enemies.