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Twitter ‘Not’ taking down Islamic State accounts, but banning users who report terrorists

What illness has overtaken the people who run Twitter — and Facebook? What illness has overtaken mainstream media reporters and so much of the Western intelligentsia? Why are they so willing to abet evil?

125000 accounts suspended

“Hackers Say Twitter Isn’t Telling the Whole Story About Anti-Terror Fight,” by Joshua Philipp, Epoch Times, March 4, 2016:

Online activists have added fuel to the controversy over the effectiveness of Twitter’s attempts to fight ISIS supporters who use its services to spread terrorist propaganda and recruit new members.

While Twitter says it is making strong efforts to shut down terrorist accounts, activists say that not only is the microblogging company not taking down the accounts that matter, but it has even been shutting down accounts of users trying to report terrorists.

In January, a Florida woman, Tamara Fields, filed a lawsuit against Twitter, alleging that it breached the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act by “spreading extremist propaganda,” which caused an attack in Jordan that killed her husband, a private contractor, Lloyd “Carl” Fields Jr.

Facing bad press and a lawsuit, Twitter published a blog post on Feb. 5, saying that since mid-2015 it suspended 125,000 accounts for “threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS.”

Members of the online anti-terrorist community were quick to fire back, however. They say that Twitter is taking credit for their work, and there are still many holes in its efforts to keep terrorist recruiters off its services.

Several hacker groups, including Anonymous, have rallied against ISIS under an online campaign they call #OpISIS. While most participants keep their identities hidden, most of their activities are public. They often publish lists of ISIS supporters and recruiters, and call on the community to report the accounts.

Through this campaign, Anonymous claims by Nov. 23, 2015 to have taken down more than 11,000 Twitter accounts linked to ISIS, according to a tweet from OpParisOfficial.GhostSec, another hacker group, claims it has reported 19,568 Twitter accounts promoting terrorism.

GhostSec was credited with helping prevent a terrorist attack in Tunisia, and may have helped stop another attack in New York City in 2015, according to Michael Smith, principal of national security company Kronos Advisory. Smith was GhostSec’s go-between for law enforcement and intelligence officials.

“Who suspended 125,000 accounts? Anonymous, Anonymous affiliated groups, and everyday citizens,” says a statement from WauchulaGhost, an anti-terrorist hacker with the hacker collective Anonymous, but was formerly with GhostSec.

“You do realize if we all stopped reporting terrorist accounts and graphic images, Twitter would be flooded with terrorists,” WauchulaGhost says.

Who Suspended 125,000 Twitter accounts? #OpISIS #Anonymous #GhostOfNoNationhttps://t.co/BR44Ie1mP6 pic.twitter.com/kIa8mabJQd

After Twitter made its announcement claiming to have shut down ISIS accounts, many participants in #OpISIS saw a very different development. Twitter began banning accounts of users who were trying to report online terrorism.

Members of the community have taken this as a slap in the face. While Twitter is telling the public it’s working to stop ISIS recruitment on its services, it has been suspending accounts of the community who are doing the actual footwork.

Sometimes the accounts get hit one-by-one, other times in groups. Members of the community sometimes rally behind account holders, and Twitter gets them back up and running quickly. Other times, the accounts may stay suspended.

For instance, on Feb. 28 close to 15 Twitter accounts of users involved in the anti-terror campaigns were suspended, including some of the top accounts involved in #OpISIS, including WauchulaGhost’s. Their supporters barraged Twitter with tweets, and most of the accounts were back online about two hours later.

WauchulaGhost said he’s still not sure what happened, noting, “I never received an email from Twitter.”

After one week, Twitter had not responded to an email inquiring why it banned the anti-terror accounts.

Some members of the community say Twitter is suspending accounts in its new campaign to stop online bullying—but that explanation has raised the question of why calling out users spreading terrorist propaganda and trying to recruit terrorists is categorized as “harassment.”

“I can say they are suspending a lot of accounts for harassment. Good accounts not Daesh accounts,” WauchulaGhost said in an interview on Twitter. “Even a lot of our (Anonymous) accounts are being suspended for harassment.”…

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Anonymous’ hackers being used by Russian Intelligence?

Jeffrey Roman from Data Breach Today reported on the 2012 cyber attack against the Sheriff of Lake County, Florida computers. Roman wrote, “Hacktivists associated with Anonymous have reportedly released sensitive information from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. According to WKMG Local 6, hackers who came from an Internet server in Russia posted 16,000 files online, which include 911 calls, witness and victim statements, names of young crime victims, and names of Central Florida SWAT team members and their personal phone numbers, as well as the SWAT unit’s operating guide, the number of team members and number of snipers.”

“The hacking group LulzKnightz, which associates itself with AntiSec and Anonymous, has claimed responsibility, and took to a Pastebin page to post the data online, which equals 4.7 gigabytes of information,” notes Roman.

In a statement posted to that page, LulzKnightz explained its justification for the attack, saying, “More evidence that the illegitimate justice system protects their own, who get away with rampant corruption and theft, while the police apply unconstitutional profiling and pressure in their efforts to raise their arrest quotas and keep homeland security money rolling in.”

But is this attack about exposing an “illegitimate justice system”, “rampant corruption and theft” or something else?

Russian_Foreign_Intelligence_Agency

Seal of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service – Служба Внешней Разведки

Who was really behind this attack on a Florida sheriff’s computers and why? The who: The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service – Служба Внешней Разведки. The why: International espionage.

The Lake County Sheriff’s computers were targeted, as are tens of thousands of other law enforcement computers, by a foreign government – Russia. The purpose is to gather intelligence. Russia monitors groups like LulzKnighz, AntiSec and Anonymous. In some cases, Russia embeds its own people into these and other hacker organizations to gather needed intelligence. These groups become a cover for Russian intelligence operations. As one expert in cyber warfare put it, “Some of these hackers may be ignorant of the fact they are being used, but they are not innocent.”

In this particular case the data traveled to an Adidas server in Romania and then to servers in Moscow. Foreign intelligence services monitor hacker groups daily and when they detect a breach, such as what happened in the Lake County Sheriff case, they tag along and take what they really want. Who gets the blame? Not the Russians, of course, but Anonymous who is more than happy to take the credit. The consequences of these attacks have a direct impact on US national security.

The Russians wanted the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) usernames and passwords  on the Lake County Sheriff’s computers. Why? Because many of the members of the JTTF use the same username and password for their own department computers. This gives Russia access to a variety of federal computer systems like that of the FBI.

Anonymous is being used by Russian intelligence. Some members of Anonymous, and other groups, are actually plants. Others do it as proxies, a.k.a. spies, being paid by the Russians in Bitcoins for their work. Some just do it for the fun of exposing an “illegitimate justice system” and unknowingly are aiding and abetting treason against the United States.

Perhaps Anonymous needs to vett who their members really are? Some of them are part of Russia’s “illegitimate justice system”.

EDITORS NOTE: The feature photo is of members of the ‘Anonymous’ group travel on the London Underground system between Scientology’s Queen Victoria Street and Tottenham Court Road offices. The masks are those of everyman ‘V’ from the film ‘V for Vendetta’. It is courtesy of James Harrison.

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