Is FriendlyChemist my friendly neighbor?

The question is prompted by this post on Gawker, where I suddenly can’t comment anymore. Interesting; is this banning #7? Well, if it is, that’s the LAST time I try to add value to one of Adrian‘s posts. Anyhoodle, here are my thoughts on whether this Silk Road user and extortionist FriendlyChemist is a neighbor of mine in White Rock, BC.

FriendlyChemist, according to the article, threatened to out a list of online drug exchange Silk Road’s users, although whether he had actual addresses and real names or just usernames and PO Boxes is unclear. In response, Dread Pirate Roberts, the head of Silk Road, hired another user to kill him; the user reportedly sent back photos proving the deed, although the RCMP say no way was there a gory drug murder in White Rock. Is he really dead? Probably not; he probably posed for some pix and then split the money with the guy DPR (allegedly) hired to kill him. No honour among thieves and all that. If they’re in the drug business and they’re not using, they’re in it because they’re greedy; this is too good an opportunity to cash in for a businessman to pass up.

That’s the US you’re looking at there, Point Roberts to be specific. So if you’re an athlete, you can actually SWIM to the US.

Some background:  White Rock is walking distance to the US border. There’s a border crossing with guards and everything, but you walk not far east and you can just walk into the US with no problems. Blaine, on the other side of the border, does a HUGE business with mailboxes for Canadians, who like to order from US sites and get delivery to the US and thus avoid all kinds of taxes, duty, and shipping fees. It is a major, MAJOR smuggling point and also a lovely, upscale retirement community.

White Rock Sunset

White Rock Sunset

Does anything go in the other direction? You bet! The Bacon Brothers, Canada’s most notorious drug lords, are based out of Surrey, which is literally across the street from White Rock. Not too long ago they shut down a helicopter flight training school which was just a front for pot deliveries from nearby Harrison Hot Springs  (also lovely: come for the views, stay for the contraband!). And the Guardian famously profiled a commercial truck driver who smuggled pot over the border at the official truck border crossing nearby.

Could a major drug manufacturer be based out of White Rock? Probably not, since it’s almost entirely housing and upscale retail, but out of Surrey or any of the nearby semi-rural areas? You bet. And don’t forget that at one point it was estimated that over 80% of the heroin in North America entered via the Port of Vancouver. It’s just a part of the culture of the region to be drug-positive or drug-neutral. You can thank the increasing violence relating to organized crime for a recent turn against it in the public’s view.

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Christopher Dorner: The New Guy

Dapper Fawkes

Dapper Fawkes

Hero. Revolutionary. Soldier. Assassin. Loser.

Guy Fawkes? Or Christopher Jordan Dorner?

#Dorner killed two civilians. But the State is making it about much more than that. This is a message about social control. #wakeup”
L3ft-Libertarian

Mainstream media and the general public reacted with understandable consternation to the news that Anonymous, or at least parts of the famously fractious internet hive mind, adopted accused spree killer the now-late Christopher Dorner as a new icon, a rallying point if not a hero. Dorner, a former University football star, LAPD officer and Navy pilot, was on the run from the police and accused of killing three people when he died of a single, allegedly self-administered gunshot as police burned the cabin in which he was hiding to the ground. A million-dollar bounty had been put on his head, and in a contentious move the government authorized the use of drones to locate, if not assassinate, him, one of the first times drones have been used against American citizens on American soil.

“One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.”
Jeremy Hammond

Dorner’s fame stems not primarily from his actions, but rather from his powerful manifesto shared on Facebook in which he stated his intention to kill as many police officers as he could, in what he said was revenge for institutionalized racism among the LAPD and the way he himself was victimized. His first two claimed victims, however, were guilty of nothing more than being related to an officer who had drawn his ire. Meanwhile, the LAPD seemed like a more-malevolent Keystone Kops, having failed to located Dorner, mistaking two little old ladies for the so-called “Chocolate Rambo” and firing on them.

“Anyone else feel like the safest place to hide from LAPD gun fire is directly behind dorner? @YourAnonNews #Dorner #LAPD
TheRaven

At first glance, Dorner seems little different from many another political revenge killer, from Andrew Kehoe to George Sodini: above average intelligence, good training, strong work ethic, and a powerful moral center. A man, in short, with every reason to expect success in life, who nonetheless tragically failed at the goal closest to his heart, and snapped as a result. For Dorner, it was a career as an LAPD officer.

For Guy Fawkes, it was bringing about a Catholic revolution in Protestant England by blowing up Parliament.

Unlikely icons for any movement, however splintered and self-contradictory, but it is their very failure which makes them eligible for the role.

“Guy Fawkes, as far as Anon is concerned was chosen because he failed. Fight Club is much closer to Anon’s culture. If people wonder whether Anon supports Dorner (no, just the LAPD meltdown) because of Guy Fawkes, G.F. was always a joke. What’s clear here: the subtext. Drones, fear, Erin Burnett the shark jumping drone hawk, this is like with Kony: war mind games, the whole lot of it. We cut thru dog and Kony show early on. Same here. Dorner is LAPD’s karma. Guy Fawkes a failure.”
Hectoring Hegemon

Anonymous’ public “face” was once a faceless stick figure cartoon known as Epic Fail Guy, a self-deprecating identifier for 4chan members, a group which at the time largely saw itself as basement dwelling wankers. But awesome basement-dwelling wankers. Anonymous emerged from 4chan, essentially evolving into its internet pranking arm. Not long after his creation, Epic Fail Guy stumbled across a Guy Fawkes mask, put it on, and the rest is history. Truly: English history.

Once OpChanology, the in-person protests against Scientology, was initiated in 2008, Anons needed a way to identify themselves as Anons while hiding their faces, and facelessness of the shiny green morph suit (another 4chan/Anon favorite) was not accessible to many people. The Guy Fawkes mask was chosen because, thanks to the anarchist (originally anti-Thatcherite) movie V for Vendetta, it was both affordable and ubiquitous worldwide. Revolutionary echoes handed down from Fawkes himself added to its appeal, as long as you didn’t look at the history too closely; however, the semiotics of the mask were actually directed at Scientology, intended to brand it a failure. Fawkes, after all, had to replace his gunpowder stock when the first stash deteriorated, failed in his attempt to get Spain to invade England or support his revolution, failed at this ultimate attempt to take out Parliament, and at last succeeded in killing himself. Score one for the revolutionary.

Instead of registering as a symbol of “Fail,” the heroic/outsider aspects of the mask were taken to heart by the public at large (who had no knowledge of 4chan’s history) and ultimately by Anonymous itself, which is not immune to the warm fuzzies given to our cultural icons. It’s better to be a lost, noble cause than a basement-dwelling wanker, no?

Remember: Epic Fail Guy = failure. Guy Fawkes = failure. Christopher Dorner?

A colleague and friend of Dorner’s was interviewed on KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, and claimed the benefit of small-A anonymity, calling himself “Ben.” When asked why, he said, “I have an interest in raising my children. Someone might have an animus against me for speaking the truth, and that’s what I don’t want to happen.” And that is what Chris Dorner was talking about.

A new Facebook manifesto, written by former LAPD officer Joe Jones, has surfaced, and echoes many of the accusations of racism and nepotism that Dorner made. Jones, however, repeatedly stresses that taking lives is not the answer, is never the answer, and is clearly not about to “go rogue.” Respect for the rule of law is currently unfashionable, and is insufficiently controversial to make Jones a renegade hero, however much courage was involved in speaking out with honor about dishonorable truths.

Was anyone, ever, willing to put money on Dorner’s achieving the goals of his manifesto? To eliminate institutional racism in the United States, to retroactively win his police hearing, to clear his name, and yet to simultaneously die while killing as many LAPD officers as he could? Would he ever have been embraced, even conditionally, if people truly believed that there were any chance of his ultimate success? People prefer dead (or obviously doomed) martyrs to live, inconvenient revolutionaries. They are easier to incorporate into political narratives. They are less likely to repudiate their earlier beliefs.

They are simply more convenient.

Christopher Dorner the man had already passed into legend long before his mountain hideout was surrounded and burned.

“Whatever pre-planned responses you have established for a scenario like me, shelve it. Whatever contingency plan you have, shelve it. Whatever tertiary plan you’ve created, shelve it. I am a walking exigent circumstance with no OFF or reset button.

The only thing that changes policy and garners attention is death.”
Christopher Dorner

“The real story here is that methods of oppression by our corpos are now coming home. From PERF to drones, we. let. it. happen.”
Hectoring Hegemons

But when it comes to what Hunter Thompson used to call the shitrain it’s always easier to watch a movie than to look in a mirror.

Noisemaker Rally for Jeremy Hammond, November 19th UPDATE: Nov 20th instead

Save Jeremy Hammond

Save Jeremy Hammond

UPDATE: The bail hearing was moved to Tuesday at 11, so the rally has been moved as well, to Tuesday at 10. Everything else remains the same.

Here’s the word straight from his step-mom’s mouth:

OK WE HAVE A NEW TIME AND DATE FOR THE HEARING: The date is Tuesday 11/20 and the time is at 11am. We will meet at Foley Square at 10am and head to courtroom 12A. Can I please get a like from the people who are going to confirm this. I was told that it is likely that the courts are changing the dates to minimize the number of people attending the hearing. DO NOT LET THEM BEAT US!

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time (and if you haven’t, just nod your head as if of course, who hasn’t been following all along?) you’ll know that my day job, usually performed between the hours of 7pm and 6am, is that of a journalist, freelancing at the Daily Dot, Slate, and elsewhere, as well as the Manolosphere (when I’m not AWOL with the flu, sorry boss!). I’m supposed to have a certain degree of objectivity while performing my job, but there are entire minutes of the day when I am not performing (or even procrastinating) my job, and I may make completely subjective statements such at the following:

Jeremy Hammond is a fucking hero whose only crime was fucking up an FBI entrapment operation he had no particular reason to know existed. If I had a son or daughter, I would hope they’d turn out like him. I hope, put to the test, that I would as well.

What is alleged is that when LulzSec (remember LulzSec? You should, people will be reading about them in history books in the future) hacked private security and intelligence company Stratfor, Sabu, the de facto leader, who was also secretly working for the FBI (stories about hackers have a lot of conditionals: phrases, morals, you name it), attempted to entrap WikiLeaks into paying for the secrets, which would have been a whole bundle of felonies. Hammond allegedly said (quite rightly) “Fuck that shit” more or less, “We didn’t hack this for money, we did this because it’s the right thing to do,” and allegedly handed the leaks to WikiLeaks for free, blowing the FBI‘s plan out of the water.

As the FreeAnons site says,

There is ample evidence to show that the Stratfor hack was organized, planned, and orchestrated by the FBI, through the agency of Hector Monsegur, [Sabu] for the expressed purpose of entrapping alleged Anonymous hacktivists. We understand that Jeremy’s years of organizing for social justice show him to clearly possess a more noble character than that of his accuser, Hector Monsegur, best known for hacking into the website of an online casino and using his former employer’s credit card in 2010 to make $15,000 in unauthorized purchases. These things clearly show that Monsegur is not a reliable witness or person of good moral character.

November 19th Hammond, who has been held for months without a hearing, will finally be given a bail hearing. Supporters are calling for all like-minded people to attend, in Anonymous wear if they prefer, at a noisemaking rally and then in court. You can indicate your attendance on Facebook or simply show up. Here are the details:

9:15 am, Monday, November 19th, 2012, ie one week from today

Foley Square, Manhattan

On the 19th of November 2012, the Jeremy Hammond Support Network will sponsor a rally in NYC at Jeremy’s bail hearing to show support for the accused hacktivist. Friends and supporters of Jeremy Hammond will gather at Foley Square for a brief march to the Metropolitan Correctional Center where we will pack the courtroom in solidarity with Jeremy Hammond.

We wish to make clear our intent to peacefully fill the courtroom. We are there to support Jeremy and the more people that actually make it into the court

room the better. We have been told that in the past individuals have been denied access to the court for wearing Anonymous-related emblems. Jeremy wishes to make it clear that he encourages people to wear their Anonymous gear if they so wish.

The event will be covered live on irc.anonops.com #freeanons via sms-irc, courtesy of the the Freeanons Solidarity Network (www.freeanons.org).

If your support doesn’t extend to physical presence, taking the day off work, or you’re not handy to Manhattan (as I, myself, am not), you can support Jeremy Hammond and other incarcerated Anons by:

If you have the mailing address for any incarcerated Anons, you can post them in the comments below. And no, I’m not trying to get your IP. I assume all Americans still use AOL anyway.

Barrett Brown’s girlfriend speaks out: the transcript

Save Barrett Brown. For what, we're not sure.

Save Barrett Brown. For what, we’re not sure.

You can go to my Daily Dot article for background or just skip this post and go on to the Unicorn Chaser tag if you’re already bored of this particular rabbit hole.

When the FBI raided controversial Anonymous member Barrett Brown’s apartment last week, they weren’t planning on being taped; audio of the raid went out live to participants in a TinyChat Barrett and his girlfriend had going. Now Brown’s girlfriend, @Elvira_ebooks, Evie Paradise, has taken to YouTube to respond to charges the entire thing was a fraud.

Video:

Now, here is the transcript. Slightly off-topic, you would not BELIEVE how long it takes to accurately transcribe a five minute video.

Hi my name is Barrett Brown, father of Project PM and miscellaneous other activities on the internet. Speaking of the internet, I was just having one of my friends say on Facebook, and they were telling me that there are a bunch of pastebins and whatnot and rumors flying around that the events of the past week in my apartment were staged. You fools. Is this…is it a setup?

Is it you, Chen?

Is it you, McCain?

Let’s find out. Because I! Made a chart!

This is the setup of my apartment. Oh my god. This is the setup of my apartment. I’m Barrett Brown. This star right here is my beautiful but very tired right now so she probably doesn’t look attractive and like, feel good, okay, my beautiful girlfriend. Evie. Elvira. Whatever.

This rectangle here is the door to my apartment. This slightly longer rectangle is the hallway. And this…scribbly thing… is A KITCHEN WALL.

There’s a wall there. Are you bored yet? TOO BAD because I’m gonna keep talking.

Here’s the wall. Here’s the Kitchen. Girlfriend. K? Computer. Should we review this one more time? Door to the apartment, hallway, kiiiiitchen wall, kitchen, where I make my shake…my “pizza”…and my girlfriend on the computer.

So if one of you prosec dingleberries is gonna come into my apartment, this is how it’s gonna go down. Okay? And this is how it went down.

People came in here. Like, this is a joke video, but this is actually the setup of the apartment. They came in here hooting and hollering, saying what did they say, they said, hi mister brown, can we take a look at your plants? They came in hooting and hollering. Girlfriend down here thinks its one of my deadbeat friends, deadbeat friends, people deadbeat friends that don’t call after you’ve been raided. They don’t even bother to respond to your girlfriend’s facebook messages.

She thinks it’s one of your geek friends, hooting and hollering in a fake raid bit, or something. You know? It’s not.

They say excuse me mister brown can we come in and he’s okay you’re friends of mine. They come in and a melee ensues, going down the hall like this, down the hall, okay? Girlfriend’s still here, thinking what the heck is, what now, what now is going on in this apartment?

But she finds out, doesn’t she? She finds out really soon when they exit the hallway and they turn around the corner. They turn around the corner. Okay, this circle here represents the corner. Okay? You see now? Do you see now? I mean does anyone have any questions?

And then she thinks to herself this is weird. There’s no right way to react like this, I’m gonna just reflexively shut the laptop, and she does. Sometimes she wishes she hadn’t, if she was gonna know all you all these deadbeats would do this.

I mean, come on. By now, by now, don’t you think…yeah, I don’t have time to talk to you people. I just do’ i just don’t have time. I’m Barrett Brown.

You see this? Okay, and then, you know, there’s this, going on like this. And this. And this.

This isn’t even funny. This is just an idea. Thanks a lot [Shane?]. Thanks for having an idea. I’m gonna ask someone else.

Barrett Brown TinyChat videos: Arrest and Threats

Barrett Brown Busted

Barrett Brown Busted

A much shorter report on these videos, also by me, originally appeared on the Daily Dot. This one contains a much broader introduction to Barrett Brown, his background, the arrest, and why these videos are important. For those of you who don’t know who Barrett Brown is, well, clear the next hour or so for rooting around on the internet.

“Not sure why we ended up in total war against everyone this week. Was supposed to be writing documentation, playing rogue-likes.”

Barrett Brown

Barrett Brown, Anonymous activist, journalist, Guardian columnist, YouTube monologist, and current involuntary guest of the U.S. government at an undisclosed holding facility (Disclosed now, actually), continues to wait for specific charges to be laid and the assistance of a lawyer. Since his dramatic mid-chat arrest last Thursday, word from the famously prolix Brown has been non-existent, while talk about him has been unrelenting, if mixed.

Part of the reason Brown’s ubiquity has actually increased is the uber-public context of his arrest: he was actually in a video chat when the police entered. That particular three-minute video has had over 70,000 views so far.

It’s the 21st century. Of course someone was recording the whole thing. That person reached out to me on Friday via on Twitter, and we then met on Skype for a more extended conversation. He said he wanted the world to see that Barrett Brown was not worthy of being called a leader . He is often referred to as a leader of Anonymous, which is leadersless; in fact, he IS a leader of Project PM, an initiative to dog infosec companies, but not an Anonymous operation per se. His arrest threw the rest of the team into a panic, as they feared the site would be taken down by the FBI; they sent out a call on Twitter for the site to be mirrored, as many times as possible, and quickly, so that if it vanished from one place it would pop up in three other places.

The FBI hates playing whack-a-mole.

The purpose of Project PM’s wiki is to provide a centralized, actionable data set regarding the intelligence contracting industry, the PR industry’s interface with totalitarian regimes, the mushrooming infosec/”cybersecurity” industry, and other issues constituting threats to human rights, civic transparency, individual privacy, and the health of democratic institutions.

But back to our source. Let’s just say I’ve been aware of him for some time and always found him informed and well-intentioned. Everything he said was corroborated by someone I’ve known even longer and respect, and you had better believe I peered over the videos. You can’t be too careful sometimes, as anyone who published the Hitler Diaries would know, eh Rupert?

Our source stressed his seriousness and his genuineness, although like most people in the world which features FBI takedowns on live chat, he preferred to rely on a pseudonym, X. X described himself as “a patriot, a proud American,” specified that he was not a part of Anonymous, and offered these details “im disabled with lyme disease, not a hacker, a patriot, a man of truth.” When I asked why he had come to me, why he wanted people to see these videos, he replied,

i didnt know much about him prior. then i went into his tinychat the day b4 the raid, and what i saw i was horrified; then i found out about the fbi threats. he was doing that on the vids i got. he threatened families with no remorse. the vids i have are gold, will show all of what we are both talking about. i just think justice was served and i hope people will learn from my videos. someone once thought to be a leader

He passed along three videos, including one logging the 45 minutes before, during, and after the raid. X explained that he was not on camera, just present in the text chat, watching the lulz roll by, as they often do with the pugilistic and intelligent Brown. X described the moment the FBI came calling, as Brown and his girlfriend relaxed in their apartment.

He was smoking his grass that he got and beers he went to get. thats what he was doing in the background the whole time. So then out of nowhere the raid hit, as he went to the door, i suppose, but he was hanging there all night in that area, so i think he had multi monitors and she was just distracted BUT imo she knew more.

It’s widely believed that the event which precipitated the raid (and certainly the event which precipitated X’s involvement) was Brown’s YouTube video “Why I’m Going to Destroy FBI Agent Robert Smith Part Three: Revenge of the Lithe,” in which he explained he was giggly because he ws voluntarily reducing his dosage of Suboxone and then said a few things that were inevitably going to come to the attention of the Bureau. He claimed that in a meeting with his lawyer he learned that his mother was now targeted by the FBI for obstruction of justice. He reacted with rambling, passionate outrage (he reacts to many things with rambling, passionate outrage), and threatened agent Robert Smith and his family.

from the transcript:

Anyway, so that’s why Robert Smith’s life is over.  So when I say his life is over, I don’t say I’m going to go kill him.  But I am going to ruin his life, and look into his fucking kids.

How do you like them apples?

Any armed officials of the US government, particularly the FBI, will be regarded as potential Zeta assassin squads…I will shoot all of them and kill them if they come and, and do anything…

Because they are engaged in a criminal conspiracy, and I have reason to fear for my life.  Not just from the Zetas, but from the US government, because of how much they fucked up, and how much they keep getting caught, and because of how much my name is wrapped around all that stuff…

So I have no choice left but to defend my family, myself, my girlfriend, my reputation, my work, my activism, my ideas, and the revelations that my friends are going to prison so that we could have a chance to get out for other people.  So that they would matter.

And frankly, you know, it was pretty obvious I was going to be dead before I was 40 or so, so I wouldn’t mind going out with two FBI sidearms like a fucking Egyptian pharaoh.  Adios.

After posting that, the social media-dependent Brown had a couple of TinyChat sessions, in which he continues to rant about “those fuckers” and call out people for cooperating with the FBI, among other actions. Those are the videos we have.

One critical thing to remember about Barrett Brown is, however drug-addled or garbled he may be, he frequently knows what he’s talking about, so it is wise to pay attention.

The first video (sorry, not great audio quality) starts at nearly 9pm and runs for 20 semi-comprehensible minutes, and in it Brown discusses the deterioration of the military since World War II, the nature of treason, whether Arabs are the most or second-most incompetent race, and hacker communications, among other topics. Someone threatens him with doxing (releasing his address, which is not under his own name; Brown fears action against him by the Zeta Mexican drug cartel) and Brown tries to draw him out. There’s a drive-by from celebrity patriot hacker The Jester, and a great deal of metaphorical testosteric head-butting to establish dominance.

He may be inscrutably masked, but chat participant Anonforecast has the best reaction shots.

In the second, more comprehensible, video, Brown explains his creation “Operation Clyde Toulson,” named after a former associate director of the FBI, who also seems to have been Hoover’s boytoy; the objective of the operation is retribution on agent Robert Smith. He’s wearing the same shirt as he wears in the YouTube videos uploaded earlier that day. In addition to his crusade against Agent Smith, he takes shots at Jennifer Emick of Asherah Research/Backtrace Security, Aaron Barr of HB Gary, and Tom Ryan. Run time on this video is 12 minutes.

And the third video is the entire TinyChat from that eventful Thursday, September 13, running just over 45 minutes long. Once the police make their dramatic, noisy, off-camera entrance, Brown’s girlfriend appears to close the laptop, shutting off the webcam but the audio continues to record. The text portion of the chat has been archived on Pastebin, if you want to give your ears a rest, but you will miss the full impact.

“What is it that makes you want to do this?” asks a disembodied voice in the darkness.

Good question.

Barrett Brown in tinychat

Barrett Brown in tinychat

UPDATE

Brown was booked at the Dallas County jail, from whence comes the above mugshot, but has since been moved to:

Barrett Brown
US Marshal #45047177
Mansfield Federal Detention Ctr.
1601 Heritage Pkwy
Mansfield, TX
76063

Supporters are encouraging people to send postcards and monetary donations. A source of mine says he will probably be moved to a mental facility soon; he has been attempting to reduce his dosage of Suboxone, a heroin substitute, over the past few days, but alcohol increases the effect, and he has been drinking and smoking pot. If he’s suddenly forced to go cold turkey in a mental ward, it could get very ugly very quickly.