Alba Party MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill has asked whether the British Army’s information warfare force, known as 77th Brigade, has conducted operations against targets in Scotland.

He asked via a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the 77th Brigade has conducted operations against targets in Scotland.”

James Heappey, a Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“77th Brigade has not and does not conduct operations targeted at UK domestic audiences.”

Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter last year revealed that 77 Brigade was involved in countering misinformation online relating to Coronavirus. It is important to note that this isn’t being directed at British citizens or at UK organisations, the effort against misinformation is being directed at sources outside of the country.

The Ministry of Defence said:

77th Brigade previously support Cabinet Office’s Rapid Response Unit with monitoring and detecting disinformation and misinformation. Instances identified were passed to the Cabinet Office for action. The Brigade is no longer involved in these tasks which came to an end in the summer. The 77th Brigade are not currently supporting in the Cabinet Office with any projects that would involve interactions with British Citizens who might be posting disinformation nor misinformation and any capabilities are not being directed at the UK population. 77th Brigade do not, and have never, conducted any kind of action against British citizens.”

Essentially, the effort was being directed at external sources, not internal audiences or sources.

Last year, Scottish National Party politician Douglas Chapman claimed that 77th Brigade are “attacking and undermining” people in Scotland. Essentially, it was being claimed that the British Army were engaged in operations online against British citizens. When questioned on proof of this actually happening, Chapman removed his tweet.

77th Brigade specialise in “non-lethal” forms of psychological warfare, using social media including Facebook and Twitter to fight with information in response to external factors, like Russian misinformation.

Their target is Russian propaganda, propaganda that is notably very active around NATO troops deployed to the Baltics alleging that the soldiers there are criminals and rapists. The point of units like 77th Brigade is to counter this kind of threat.

Russia is at the forefront of information warfare in the modern age, utilising an array of organisations and strategies to spread disinformation to further national strategy.

The flood of inaccurate stories is so strong that both NATO and the European Union have established special offices to identify and refute disinformation, especially with coronavirus.

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Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago

Oh dear! Now they are really getting paranoid 😀

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

What can one say? I try to be objective when commenting about Scotnats but reports like these confirm the belief that there is a lot of underlying hatred for the notion of Britishness within the Nationalist community. In addition there is no doubt that the Russians have stirred the pot and would be delighted to witness the breakup of the United Kingdom.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Smacks of desperation to me. Trying to create a ‘them and us’ position on national security. I suspect it will be counterproductive. Scots might wonder if their own sovereignty is desirable but would find the concept the the UK (and maybe the rest of NATO) are the enemy of the people of Scotland would stretch credibility to breaking point. The Russians will attempt to stir the pot but secretly know most people are not that daft.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Hello Mark-agree with what you say and I would add without any trace of condescension that I believe the bulk of those who support the SNP are decent people and don’t subscribe to this nonsense

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Yes I totally agree Geoff. Fanatics are few in number on any side of any argument.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago

Disgusting…. people who are that deluded should never be allowed to enter politics.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

Scotland’s version of “Jewish Space Lasers!”

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago

There are many deluded people in politics but fortuneately far more sensibile people – at the moment.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

I would say it’s about time that random drugs tests were carried out on sitting MP’s.

Either that or regular mental health assessments.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

Scottish National Party politician Douglas Chapman does not provide any proof of his allegation and withdrew the tweet. He should be charged with some sort of offence.
Equally I think it wrong for James Heappey, a Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, to say in detailed terms what 77 Bde do. They should be considered as the SF and submarine service are, as areas where there are no details given out.

Ryan Brewis
Ryan Brewis
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Then you get muppets claiming it’s a secret unit of the Army undermining Scottish sovereignty.
Probably not really putting the country’s safety at risk like revealing the deterrent’s location would.

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Chapman really should keep his trap shut about anything defence related. Considering Rosyth Dockyard is in the constituency, he’s pretty clueless about it all. Maybe an example of being promoted beyond your ability but I seem to mind him being a decent enough local councillor. He’s all aboard the gravy train now though.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

In a word….cobblers.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

What? Did they hack into the databases of local restaurants to check the prices of cobbler?!?!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago

I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if HMG or any government for that matter didn’t use grey zone methods like that to combat separatism. Scottish “independence” will literally never happen regardless so it’s a moot point but still

Last edited 1 month ago by Levi Goldsteinberg
Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

You would have to be VERY sure of your people if you want to use subterfuge like that within your own country. If it came out that it was happening then its going to cause a massive swing the other way.

For that reason alone I’d be surprised if it was going on from the military (with plenty Jocks in it). As for independence never happening, I hope you’re right but I do fear the worst in the medium to long term.

ewaste
ewaste
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

You’d need to be living under a rock to have missed the scandals of police and intelligence service deep, real deep by all accounts, cover operations against domestic groups from animal rights to environmental groups including the CND. Northern Ireland… well nobody really should need to expand on that.

ewaste
ewaste
1 month ago

The Government is hardly likely to admit to carrying out information warfare in the UK so it’s a daft question. However you’d also need to be naive to believe their official response on the matter. The Government of the day makes full use of it’s options to maintain control and protect it’s interests. Whether that’s against environmental groups, Scottish Nationalists or Republican groups in Northern Ireland.

peter fernch
peter fernch
1 month ago

Oh dear not another hysterical outburst from an idiot indy politician.
Where do these prats come from ust trying to appeal to the mad anti unionist who will eagerly suck up any weird out of these world conspirities