Here's a diagram, one of several, prepared by the (British) government and divulged to us by Glenn Greenwald, "How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations":
That's not the thing that's supposed to screw with your head. That's them, behind the scenes, secretly formulating a devious plan to screw with your head. Are we supposed to be shocked/intimidated by these plans, or mildly irritated that people who went to grad school have acquired government jobs?
You know what would screw with my head? Sharing the internet with government operatives who are attempting to execute this plan? No: Having to sit through an in-person session where someone was doing a PowerPoint presentation with these diagrams.
Greenwald breathlessly asks: "Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?" Could he make a diagram of that question? Seriously, what powers? It's the same old power to use language to manipulate our thinking that government has always used.
The defense against this well-known power is good reading skill, critical thinking, more writing and more reading and more debate. Be skeptical. There are mobys and sock puppets on the internet, and some of them are working for a government. Know it. What "oversight" or "cognizable legal framework" could possibly save us? If you don't trust the government, don't trust the government. Don't whine for the government to save you. Save yourself. I'm trying to save us... by laughing at those diagrams. Come on!