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About those disinformation campaigns Chamber of Commerce developed against Bradblog, Greenwald, and Lord knows who else....

... BradBlog has the whole story here. Go read it all, it's dreadful:

For those new to the story, it involves email revelations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest corporate lobbying firm, was working with the law firm Hunton & Williams (H&W), to develop a scheme with three well-connected, government-contracted cyber-security/intelligence firms (HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies --- calling themselves "Team Themis" collectively) to use nefarious and likely illegal schemes in hopes of discrediting VR, myself and other progressive citizens, journalists and organizations who had opposed the Chamber's extremist corporate agenda.

A parallel plot, similar in many ways, was also being developed, according to tens of thousands of emails and other documents posted to the web by the "hacktivist" collective Anonymous, led by the Bank of America to attack WikiLeaks with the same law firm and security contractors on board. That plot included a scheme to target Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald, and both involved the use of tools and techniques developed for the so-called "War on Terror", the planting of false documents and the creation of fake personas, all in hopes of discrediting the perceived political enemies of both the Chamber and BofA.

Incredibly enough, H&W was recommended to BofA by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

The schemes, as Greenwald described them, appear to "quite possibly constitute serious crimes."

Here's what I want to know. Why did "Justice" recommend Hunton & Williams? Did they do so on the basis of experience with similar campaigns in the past? Say, for the bank of Satan, BoA, which H&W represents?

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Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

striking home yet, you've touched upon with your last question: has this type of "campaign" been conducted in the past? And the answer to that is, most certainly, yes. (Note that the reason for the acquisition and posting of the e-mails was because an executive of HBGary had boasted that he had acquired the identities of some members of Anonymous through 'scraping" of social media, threatened them with exposure to the authorities, and Anonymous struck back at the company-the e-mails they acquired were just a "batch", they weren't looking for anything specifically like this plot. Imagine what they could have found if they'd been in a "search" mode, and then imagine what they'd have found if they'd targeted some other companies that were not as small and insignificant as the "Themis three"-because those guys were just small potatoes in the world of "security firms". So, it was just serendipity that a small group of activists stumbled upon these nefarious plots). The SEIU has found evidence of someone from the law firm of Hunton&Williams spending 20 hours n their sites, Marcy Wheeler has done some bang-up reporting on this issue here:
http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2011/0...
(I know, it's FDL, but she does first-rate stuff)

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

timing of HRC's speech with the Justice Departments lawyers pressing for Twitter to release confidential info as they try to hang Assange and Wikileaks just miles away and a few hours before she spoke. Makes me re-evaluate all the derisive comments about Assange being "paranoid". I guess you're not really paranoid if they ARE out to get you eh?

Submitted by lambert on

1. Assange could be paranoid or have real enemies.

2. Assange could be paranoid and have real enemies.

3. Assange could be paranoid, have real enemies, and be attacked by his enemies as he imagines they are attacking him.

4. Assange could be paranoid, have real enemies, and be attacked by his enemies, but not as he imagines they are attacking him.

I lean toward #4 because it's the most, er, paranoid.

There's a wonderful line in Philip K. Dick's Clans of the Alphane's Moon that goes something like, paraphrasing from memory: "Paranoids experience love in every flavor and variety and intensity. Except they experience is as a variety of hate." Which explains a lot about our political system.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

I think it's 3 and 4, because then you'd never be able to tell which is which, and you'd be even more paranoid. (BTW, Dick is one of my favorite authors, and I understand he wrote about paranoia from experience).

Submitted by hipparchia on

i thought, from what i've read on the internet, that they got the password to barr's email account and stole, and published, ALL of his emails.

they targeted only barr's email account because they were pissed at him personally, not because they intended to do any of the hard work that's involved in actually finding out what governments and corporations are actually doing to people.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

They hacked the Company, and got corporate emails, (in addition to accessing his personal account, and wiping his Ipad) to illustrate the lack of security a "security" company has. And "hard work" has nothing to do with discovery of cyber-evil-doing nowadays since it's all hidden in plots like that, so it's either hack or leaks.

Submitted by hipparchia on

you're correct in that hacking is an easy [well, relatively easy] way to stumble on some things, but i have some issues with it as a tool.

1. i do not support vigilante 'justice', however much i may want the vigilantes' target to be brought down.

2. the rich, the corporations, far too many sections of the govt are all waging war on we-the-people, and our weapons are few and pretty darn ineffective most of the time... i'm all for civil disobedience, and the strategic breaking of some kinds of laws, but i can't bring myself to endorse the wholesale hacking of everybody who MIGHT be plotting against us, just because somebody found something THIS time. i suppose there could come a time when things will get bad enough generally that i'd toss all my scruples, instead of just some of them, but not yet.

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Submitted by letsgetitdone on

does this sort of thing with the apparent collaboration of the DOJ, I wonder it isn't time for vigilante justice? After all, the Law is in league with the crooks, so reliance on legal instruments is very unlikely to bring justice.

Submitted by hipparchia on

apparently would be the operative word here. i have some issues with some of the lefty bloggers' dotted lines they've drawn. it's always possible they're still getting the big picture exactly right, but they've made some technical errors that have left me wondering if their overall analyses are as sound as they think they are.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

just ask the anti-war protestors indicted in the midwest, and how their names were obtained. Just ask the lawyers fighting aginst the requests for twitter to supply info to the feds in their zeal to go after citizens. Just ask about the flimsy case against Manning, achieved by a private/fed collaboration that just reeks of forgery and entrapment. They are very brazen, and they don't care who knows it, there will be no penalties, for any act they label "security". Wikileaks and Anonymous are the Freedom Fighters, the underground railway, for those who want their rights and privacy maintained, and their governments accountable. Anon has supported the uprisings against many oppressive regimes, why not here, too? The hysteria drummed up and the negative comments from the MSM and many bloggers are the result of a very effective disinformation campaign (and we can read about how thats done in the HBGary emails).

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

legally (like we have a rule of law for gov/private sector lawbreakers...hahahahaha), after Barr threatened to give a list of (incorrect) names to the FBI? The list itself was acquired by them, and published, because the names/identifiers were wrong and Anon was a little perturbed that our state security was going to go after innocent people. The original Ddos attacks on Paypal, etc, were done because those corporations were denying the citizens of this country and others the right to perform a perfectly legal action with their own money and donate to Wikileaks. They aren't "wholesale hacking", they are responding to threats. And if you're concerned about "wholesale hacking" that horse left the barn with the Patriot Act, so I say if they can hack us, we can hack them.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

was that the "usual methods" of discovery, like reading financial reports ("follow the money") and general investigative reporting will not get you the type of info that came out of HBGary. Cyber-crime can only be exposed by cyber-"investigation" and that won't happen without leaks or hacking. BTW that stuff ain't "easy" either, at least if you want to be good at it (ask HBGary).

Submitted by hipparchia on

if they can hack us, we can hack them.

deep in my heart that's how i feel too, but on the whole, i'd much rather live in a society that encourages and protects true investigative reporting from the outside and true whistle-blowing by insiders.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

wholesale data-mining in the name of security, and state/private partnerships to not only illegally spy on, but threaten, incarcerate, and torture citizens, myself, but we are where we are, the playing field has changed drastically, the old ways are useless, and we can only fight back with what we have. If we can rise up and change the laws, or the playing field (and techies are working on it), then truly, we will all be the better for it, but for now, we have to fight back by any means necessary (always loved that title).