The contract calls for the development of “Persona Management Software” which would help the user create and manage a variety of distinct fake profiles online. The job listing was discussed in recently leaked emails from the private security firm HBGary after an attack by internet activist last week.
According to the contract, the software would “protect the identity of government agencies” by employing a number of false signals to convince users that the poster is in fact a real person. A single user could manage unique background information and status updates for up to 10 fake people from a single computer.
The software enables the government to shield its identity through a number of different methods including the ability to assign unique IP addresses to each persona and the ability to make it appear as though the user is posting from other locations around the world.
Included in HBGary’s leaked emails was a government proposal for the government contract. The document describes how they would ‘friend’ real people on Facebook as a way to convey government messages. The document reads:
- “Those names can be cross-referenced across Facebook, twitter, MySpace, and other social media services to collect information on each individual. Once enough information is collected this information can be used to gain access to these individuals social circles.
- Even the most restrictive and security conscious of persons can be exploited. Through the targeting and information reconnaissance phase, a person’s hometown and high school will be revealed. An adversary can create a classmates.com account at the same high school and year and find out people you went to high school with that do not have Facebook accounts, then create the account and send a friend request. Under the mutual friend decision, which is where most people can be exploited, an adversary can look at a targets friend list if it is exposed and find a targets most socially promiscuous friends, the ones that have over 300-500 friends, friend them to develop mutual friends before sending a friend request to the target. To that end friend’s accounts can be compromised and used to post malicious material to a targets wall. When choosing to participate in social media an individual is only as protected as his/her weakest friend.”
Other documents in the leaked emails include quotes from HBGary CEO Aaron Barr saying, “There are a variety of social media tricks we can use to add a level of realness to all fictitious personas… Using hashtags and gaming some location based check-in services we can make it appear as if a persona was actually at a conference and introduce himself/herself to key individuals as part of the exercise, as one example.”
Additional emails between HBGary employees, usually originating from Barr, discuss the vulnerability social networking causes.
One employee wrote, “and now social networks are closing the gap between attacker and victim, to the point I just found (via linked-in) 112 females, wives of service men, all stationed at Hurlbert Field FL – in case you don’t know this is where the CIA flies all their “private” airlines out of. What a damn joke – the U.S. is no longer the super power in cyber, and probably won’t be in other areas soon.”
Barr also predicted a steady rise in clandestine or secret government operations to stem the flow of sensitive information. “I would say there is going to be a resurgence of black ops in the coming year as decision makers settle with our inadequacies… Critical infrastructure, finance, defense industrial base, and government have rivers of unauthorized communications flowing from them and there are no real efforts to stop it.”
The creation of internet propoganda software is only one of HBGary’s controversial activities. According to Wikileaks competetor and occasional collaborator Cryptome.org, several other progressive organizations were intended to be targeted including anti-war activist, anti-torture organizations and groups opposed to the US Chamber of Commerce.
The emails also include a number of other embarrasing entries including the purchase of the book “The Multi-Orgasmic Man: Sexual Secrets Every Man Should Know” from Amazon for $6.76.
From the Seattle police incident report:
“On 1-19-11, 1523 Hours, An SPD Detective observed a B/M/
30-40, 509, 145, Short black hair, Brown hoody over a black
shirt, light jeans with bleach stains and tan boots/shoes, taking
photos’ that appeared to be suspicious in nature. He was using
an iphone, with a light red/pink gel protector. He took photos of
the Columbia Center, Seattle Municipal Tower, SPD HQ’s, King
County Admin Building- lower Admin Plaza and the south side of
City Hall. He was then picked up by a gold Lincoln Town car,
WA.B87063D and went E/B on James St.”
The city, using its Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI), continues its assault on traditional and constitutional American values such as self-reliance, equal justice, and individual liberty. But more to our immediate concern, the city is inflicting its socialist policies directly on the Seattle Police Department.
Any student of history knows totalitarianism begins with small bites. In 21st Century America, political repression comes in the form of what Europeans call Fabian or Democratic Socialism, which we Americans know as progressivism.
By this method, if we aren’t careful, we will literally vote ourselves into tyranny. Some think we came pretty damn close to it in 2008: Thank God for the November slap down ordinary Americans gave their overreaching government.
I’ll leave you with this refresher: employing the RSJI, the City of Seattle is actually deciding on which people do or do not “merit punishment” for a crime, based upon their race, ethnic heritage, and/or socio-economic status. So far this only applies to DWLS3, but one has to ask, what’s next? They’re also deciding purchases and the issuing of city contracts based upon similar criteria. This is social justice, folks, and socialism has no place in Seattle, and positively no place in the Seattle Police Department.
Getting pulled over and ticketed by law enforcement makes for a bad day, and we’re quite certain the feeling is amplified when the citation comes in the mail days after the infraction occurs. There’s no surprise, then, that most drivers can’t stand traffic cams, and in many cases, the ticketed fight the infractions tooth and nail. In the city of Baltimore, MD, there are 2,000 ticketed motorists who may have a solid case.
WBAL-TV 11 reports that a police officer who tragically died in a car accident ‘signed’ those 2,000 tickets months after he passed away. That’s a big problem, because each red light camera citation is supposed to be reviewed by an officer of the law before getting sent out. City officials claim that the residents received the wrong notice, and that the tickets were in fact properly reviewed before being issued. We’re guessing that those ticketed won’t buy that explanation and the courts in Baltimore will be quite busy for the next few months. Head over to WBAL TV to view the report.
(COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) A class action accuses a private probation company of bilking and extorting probationers who must pay for its services. The class claims that Providence Community Corrections, which operates in 45 states, triples the probation term of its average “client” so it can milk monthly supervision fees from them, charges far more in fees than the courts or service providers do, and does it all without an agency to regulate it, or to whom probationers can complain. And the class notes that there are “obvious and inherent problems associated with judges owning an interest in private probation companies.”
Misty Dawn Bell sued Providence in Davidson County Chancery Court, alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Consumer Protection Act. She seeks punitive damages for the class.
Bell claims that Providence’s unjustified supervision fees and other costs have extended her probation for more than a year because she could not afford the costs. She says she is not the only probationer affected by Providence’s behavior.
“Ms. Bell alleges that the probation of persons initially placed on probation for 11 months and 29 days routinely lasts in excess of three (3) years as a result of the wrongful conduct of PCC … the probation of one individual has lasted in excess of eight (8) years,” the complaint states.
Bell claims that Providence overcharges probationers, extorts money from them, intimidates them into signing unfair contracts, adulterates urine samples to make it look like they used drugs and sexually harasses and sexually assaults them.
Armed sheriff’s deputies act as Providence agents, adding to the intimidation and harassment, Bell says, and “PCC and judges incarcerate probationers based on their inability to pay.”
Bell claims this system has been recognized as corrupt for years.
“At least as far back as 2003, the existence of opportunities for abuse of individuals by private probation companies has been recognized in this state,” according to the complaint. “In a meeting of the Select Oversight Committee on Corrections held in December 2003, Judge Chris Craft, then Criminal Court Judge of Division VIII of the Shelby County Courts, noted that the Tennessee Legislature had passed a statute allowing private probation companies in the state of Tennessee, and that prior thereto, all probation had either been done by the state or by local municipalities. … Judge Craft noted that he was seeing a lot of what he felt was corruption and a lot of injustice resulting from the operation of private probation companies. Judge Craft noted the lack of requirements regarding owners and employees of private probation companies, in terms of their criminal records; i.e., the fact that persons with convictions for rape, forgery, embezzlement, drug convictions, armed robbery, etc. are able to serve as monitors of persons placed on probation. Judge Craft noted the conflict of interest, and opportunities for abuse based on the for-profit status of the private probation companies. Judge Craft noted … that some private probation companies were ‘charging fees that frankly aren’t justified,’ such as charging $35 per month for a monthly drug screen when the drug test costs them $15, and/or charging substantially more for a retest without violating the person in the event of a failed drug test. Judge Craft also noted abuses such as charging individuals excessive amounts for the privilege of not reporting. Judge Craft noted … that some of the private probation companies ‘we really suspect of doing things improperly with the probationers.’ Judge Craft anticipated, as stated on page 6 [of the committee report], that ‘We’re going to find people that are paying supervision fees that aren’t reported.’ Judge Craft noted, as stated on page 9, that the sole reason for the private process companies existence being to generate money and probationers are the sole source of revenue, provides greater likelihood of persons bribing and/or extorting money from probationers. Judge Craft noted, as stated on page 10, the obvious and inherent problems associated with judges owning an interest in private probation companies.”
Two years later, in another meeting of the Select Oversight Committee on Corrections, “Judge Craft noted some companies were charging as much as $300 for drug screens, that there was no regulatory agency to which victims of the companies could report violations, and that audits should and would be conducted on the private probation companies. Judge Craft further spoke of anger of the judges as it related to their private probation companies, stating, ‘The judges will be angry with us – they are protecting their own … a legislator has already contacted us … and wanting us to delay the process … we have received notes from several (private probation) companies saying they don’t have to be regulated. Judge Craft refers to defendants sent to the private probation companies as ‘money-making machines’ for companies that offer no services. Judge Craft estimate that this designation applied to 30,000 to 40,000 people. Judge Craft also discussed the opportunities for judicial misconduct in conjunction with private probation companies while Jackson noted that ‘for more than seven years the SOCC had been in receipt of reliable presentations of corruption within the system and we just sort of accept it.'” (Ellipses and parentheses in complaint. “Jackson” is not further identified.)
Suing for the class, Bell says, “Nothing, however, has been done to address the abusive practices of PCC as detailed herein.”
She claims, inter alia, that “PCC engages in intentional, willful, and reckless conduct … in complete disregard of the applicable law.
“PCC isolates those placed on probation, using intimidation and threats to coerce signatures on contracts between the persons on probation and PCC. …
“PCC adulterates urine samples and/or otherwise causes or reports positive drug tests regarding persons that have not used drugs.
“PCC extorts monies in excess of the fees authorized by applicable law and/or contracts. …
“(E)mployees and/or agents of PCC engage in sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“PCC uses threats and intimidation to force probationers to drop out of school, and/or take other actions as necessary to pay the excess fees that are being demanded.”
Bell claims Providence’s violation began immediately: “PCC demanded a supervision fee payment one week after Ms. Bell had been placed on probation, of $51 even though the supervision fee was $45 per month, and even though PCC was expressly prohibited from requiring any supervision fees to be paid in advance.”
Bell sums it up: “The intent and effect of PCC’s wrongful conduct is to misrepresent the actual amount owed by probationers, to collect amounts in excess of amounts PCC is lawfully authorized to collect, to extend the probation period of probationers for as long as possible, during which time the probationer is required to pay PCC $45 per month. … PCC engages in virtually each of the acts of injustice regarding which Judge Craft had voiced concerns in 2003.”
The class is represented by Cyrus Booker and Maria Hall of the Booker Legal Group in Nashville.
(COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE) A federal judge asked on Thursday both parties to resolve a dispute over a FOIA request by nonprofit advocacy groups for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement “Secure Communities” program. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network said in its original complaint that the program created “error-prone civil-immigration databases” of fingerprints that ICE uses for deportation.
Joining as plaintiffs were the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
The defendants are the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the FBI, and the Office of Legal Counsel.
The plaintiffs said that Secure Communities was implemented nationwide “without sufficient transparency, oversight, or public engagement.”
“Secure Communities subjects people interacting with the criminal justice system to an automatic and indiscriminate civil immigration investigation. Through Secure Communities, ICE identifies large numbers of people for deportation by cross-checking fingerprints submitted through criminal FBI fingerprint queries against error-prone civil immigration databases,” according to the complaint.
When the first complaint was filed, on April 27, 2010, Secure Communities was in its “pilot phase,” in 145 jurisdictions; plans had been laid to expand it into every jail in the country by 2013, the plaintiffs said.
The plaintiffs sought records to get “information necessary to facilitate meaningful public discourse and increase government transparency.”
After the government produced records, the plaintiffs asked U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin to resolve a dispute about the format in which the records were produced.
In her 27-page opinion, Scheindlin wrote that after the plaintiffs filed their complaint, they negotiated with the government to create Rapid Production Lists to turn over thousands of pages of records.
“Defendants failed to produce any records by the agreed-upon July 30 date, but nearly two thousand pages of records were produced on August 3, August 13, September 8, and October 22, 2010. These productions did not satisfy the July 7 agreement,” Scheindlin wrote.
The ruling states that the plaintiffs asked for “National policy memoranda, legal memoranda or communications relating to the ability of states or localities to opt-out or limit their participation.
In January of this year, the government sent the plaintiffs five unsearchable PDF files with just under 3,000 pages of documents stripped of identifying data, which merged electronic and paper files.
Scheindlin wants the parties to resolve their dispute over formatting.
“Once again, this Court is required to rule on an e-discovery issue that could have been avoided had the parties had the good sense to ‘meet and confer,’ ‘cooperate’ and generally make every effort to ‘communicate’…
“Lawyers are all too ready to point the finger at the courts and the Rules for increasing the expense of litigation, but that expense could be greatly diminished if lawyers met their own obligations to ensure that document production is handled as expeditiously and inexpensively as possible. This can only be achieved through cooperation and communication,” Scheindlin wrote, ending her Feb. 3 ruling.
DHS’s “See Something Say Something” Program at Walmart claims their first victim… because he was on his cell phone
“We don’t take these things lightly,” Hughes said, “especially nowadays.”
KPD responded to control the scene and ordered a lockdown of the store both to keep shoppers in and prevent the individual from entering the store.
After identifying the vehicle and person in question, Hughes said a decision was made on the scene for police to attempt contact. They were able to communicate with him and he voluntarily exited the vehicle. No weapon was found and the individual was taken into custody without incident less than 20 minutes after police arrived on scene.
The individual was talking on a cell phone at the time of the incident. It’s likely that is the object the passerby identified as a gun.
Hughes said no crime was committed and no additional information, including the person’s name, would be released.
Wal-Mart security offered full cooperation, Hughes said. The Adair County Sheriff’s Office also responded and offered assistance, but Hughes said the incident was resolved prior to their active involvement.