John Scott-Railton Profile picture
Chasing digital badness. Sr. Researcher @citizenlab @UofT @munkschool. Fmr. Ed. @SecPlanner. Once-upon-a-time neuropharmacology. Tweets mine.
Ella Sanders Profile picture . Profile picture hippie @ heart Profile picture eDo Profile picture Adam Smithee Profile picture 20 added to My Authors
12 Jun
Terrifying moment a man is restrained by passengers & crew near cockpit.

Based on multiple reports & a check of flight tracks, this appears to be @Delta Flight 1730 (LAX - ATL) which diverted to Oklahoma City.

Developing story, details unconfirmed.
Flight track for @Delta 1730 (Los Angeles - Atlanta) showing the diversion to Oklahoma City (OKC).
flightradar24.com/data/flights/d…
One of the reports tweeted by a passenger is that the man was attempting to open a door during flight.

I find it reassuring to know pressurization of the aircraft and the design of the doors, makes it physically impossible to do that.
businessinsider.com/why-plane-door…
Read 5 tweets
11 Jun
BREAKING: serving @Chicago_Police officer Karol Chwiesiuk breached the #Capitol.

He bragged about it...even claimed he knocked someone out night before.

Later texted: "N*** Don't snitch".
justice.gov/file/1403441/d…
2/ Narrator: in fact, Chwiesiuk s device location history snitched on him, before his texts could...

The complaint more or less tracks his every move from Chicago to the inside of the #Capitol.
3/ Interesting: complaint makes a point of showing an email Chwiesiuk got from Stop-the-Steal promoter Ali Alexander on January 5th telling people where to meet at the #Capitol #Jan6.
Read 6 tweets
11 Jun
Terrible take.

Gabriel Schoenfeld has a history of calling for journalists, including @nytimes, to be prosecuted under the espionage act.
Better take:

“The guarding of military and diplomatic secrets at the expense of informed representative government provides no real security for our Republic”

-Justice Hugo Black, weighing in on Nixionian attempts to suppress Pentagon Papers.

Source: law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/t…
Also.. "small but vocal minority." What?

Here's a reminder of American towards the Vietnam war during that period.

Read 4 tweets
11 Jun
NEW: Conspiracy indictment for Three Percenters militia from CA for role in #Capitol breach:

Alan Hostetter 56 San Clemente
Russell Taylor 40 Ladera Ranch
Erik S. Warner 45 Menifee
Felipe Martinez 47 Lake Elsinore
Derek Kinnison 39 Lake Elsinore
Ronald Mele 51 Temecula

THREAD
2/ Back in Spring 2020 Alan Hostetter et. al. created the "American Phoenix Project" to fight COVID restrictions...

Like so many anti-shutdown groups, by November, they were advocating violence in support of Trump & pushing the stolen election narrative.
3/ Alan Hostetter was a fixture in the Stop the Steal movement...

Also, he is a former sheriff. Here he is calling for the execution of Trump's foes.

Read 13 tweets
10 Jun
What I find curious: the 1 time I saw Seth trying to visually investigate the Capitol... he was off base.

Also, he is *factually wrong* here on the demographics of the #Oathkeepers that the NYT investigated.

Moreover... 1/
2. I am perplexed as to why Seth went after this particular visual investigation.

After all, it produced stories like this: showing Trump intimate Roger Stone's bodyguards joining in the Capitol siege.
nytimes.com/interactive/20…
3. The GOP is trying to whitewash the history of an unprecedented assault on our democracy.

#seditionhunters' work means that the story of the #Capitol siege continues to be written, break news...and cannot be so easily dismissed.

bloomberg.com/features/2021-…
Read 5 tweets
8 Jun
Takeaway from #OperationTrojanShield?

Doomsday statements by Law Enforcement about encryption are strategic rhetoric.

LE regularly pleads helplessness... saying encryption in popular products puts them a step behind criminals.

Here, they were steps ahead. 1/
2/ Who doesn't like see transnational criminal organizations digitally dunked on?

Law Enforcement has richly earned their bragging rights on this one.

SO, don't let them forget it... the next time they try to force @WhatsApp, @Apple, etc. to backdoor encryption.
3/ Another lesson from #operationtrojanshield: baked-in-backdoors get used!

Law enforcement has an endless & understandable appetite for listening in on ppl speaking unguardedly.

Backdoor any encrypted service...and there will be tremendous pressure to use it for everything.
Read 4 tweets
8 Jun
WILD: the @AusFedPolice & @FBI secretly ran a backdoored encrypted phone service.. for criminals.

Got thousands of users around globe

Now charges are starting to drop. THREAD

Report by @josephfcox: vice.com/en/article/akg… ImageImageImageImage
2/ A confidential human source on @FBI payroll since 2018... gifted them a nascent encrypted communications company aimed at criminal customers.

The FBI then baked in a backdoor, which sent a decryption key alongside each "encrypted" message... and began distribution. ImageImage
@FBI 3/ Trust is hard when you are a criminal.. so #trojanshield used known distributors...to get it rolling.

They even called their early project a "beta test"

Fascinating details: @FBI & @AusFedPolice coordination & MLATs to underpin this... plus a cooperating third country. ImageImageImage
Read 8 tweets
5 Jun
NEW FOOTAGE: watch Oregon's @RepNearman tell people, step-by-step, how to breach the Oregon Capitol... with his assistance.

Days later, the breach happened.

Videos adapted from @Oregonian
Story oregonlive.com/politics/2021/…
And yes, the phone number that @RepNearman tells people to call to get someone to come open the door...

Yeah that is his number.
Pulled more footage from the original source. @RepNearman giving advice on the best day for things to go down.

Lady: "...Monday everybody shows up."

Nearman: "Monday, you've got one crack at it there"

The following Monday, December 21st, the breach happened.
Read 5 tweets
4 Jun
Watershed moment for shady anti-vaccine groups.

Once desperate for coverage, they are now seeking to steer America's news agenda.

Latest gambit? Dumping & spinning thousands of Fauci emails they obtained via FOIA.
Shady groups* hustling the now-familiar "email dump" catnip on social media.

That the actual email contents may be anodyne is irrelevant.

You know where this narrative goes.

*not naming them to deny them the airtime that they crave.
With large enough set of *literally anyone's email* you can create almost any impression.

Cobble together out-of-context bits, then spin them.

It's perfect a tool for creating conspiracy narratives..
Read 4 tweets
2 Jun
Update: For a minute I was part of the amplification of a widely-tweeted-but-mistaken report about Trump's FB/ Insta pages being newly visible (they've been so all along)

Whew I'm embarrassed...and grateful to a few ppl including @catthekin @find_evil who quickly flagged it.1/2
2. Here's how I got there.

1. Get a tip
2. Find a dozen other v. credible accounts featuring images of the 'restored' pages & the same report.
3. Checking myself to make sure pages were indeed up

What I didn't do is:

4. Check the wayback machine
5. Historic news stories.
3. An extra minute of googling would have surfaced historic stories that contradicted the reports I was seeing.

Like this piece by @_B_Contreras_ from April showing that the FB page never went down.
latimes.com/business/techn…
Read 4 tweets
29 May
Kafkaesque nightmare: private jail kept a man in solitary for for 355 days after arrest.

No lawyer. No hearing.

@CoreCivic Staff strung him along while never flagging to the gov that he was still in custody. THREAD  The U.S. Marshals Service arrested Rudy Rivera in Californi
2. After almost a *year* in solitary confinement he writes to the Federal Public Defender's Office... there is clearly panic and he gets a hearing the next business day.

Judge declared it "extreme" and egregious." All charges dismissed with prejudice...

But ordeal isn't over.
3. Mr Rivera then sues private prison company @CoreCivic for false imprisonment.

Somehow, a district court rules in favor of Core Civic.

Finds prison company could not *technically* schedule a hearing or release him, so they weren't liable.
Read 6 tweets
18 May
Enough with the "they were not armed" lie.

Christopher Alberts (black hoodie) stating intention to overthrow the gov.

Gov:
-Alberts brought firearm & large capacity ammo device
-Alberts engaged in violence. THREAD
2. Indictment: Christopher Alberts was armed while assaulting police at #Capitol.

He was not the only one.

Lonnie Coffman had guns on his person when arrested. And a truck w/a cache of homemade napalm & rifles.

Coffman: justice.gov/opa/press-rele…
Alberts: justice.gov/opa/case-multi…
3. Almost nobody that entered the #Capitol got frisked, let alone searched. You saw it. Everyone saw it.

But plenty of folks were armed.

Here's a Sig P320/M17 (@MalcolmNance ID'd it for us) carried by unknown male #gingergun.
Read 5 tweets
18 May
Insurrection: act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government - Merriam Webster Dictionary. 1/2
Lie: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive.

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Fear: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

-Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Pic via @MiaFarrow h/t @n_ymiller
Read 6 tweets
8 May
BREAKING: ransomware attack shuts down major pipeline carrying 45% of the fuel consumed on US East Coast.

Story: @nakashimae @willenglund & @yjtorbati
washingtonpost.com/business/2021/… Image
Shutdown of a major pipeline *system is just the latest in a growing trend of ransomware attacks against operational & industrial systems as @RobertMLee points out.

Many cases have flown below the radar. “There are absolutely cases...
Here's a diagram of the massive Colonial Pipeline system that just got shut down by a ransomware attack.

It serves ~50 million people.

Pic: WSOC Image
Read 4 tweets
4 May
UGH: anti-maskers again accosting kids outside school.

...but students not having it.

Middle school girl: "kill yourselves"
Strong evidence that the kids know what's up...👇
Later a group of High School heroes trolls the anti maskers with an ironic counter protest "Legalize ranch!" so hard they... leave.

Read 7 tweets
2 May
UGH: 70% of Republicans think Biden didn't win the election.

Per new CNN poll, reporting by @donie.
But also, % of Americans identifying as Republican is lowest since 2012.

-40% Republican/leaning
-49% Democratic/leaning

Source: Gallup
news.gallup.com/poll/343976/qu… Image
"..one sown, doubt in the democratic process is difficult to dispel."

Ppl that believed Bush stole 2004 election... remained true believers.

Preview of what's to come?

Recommended read by @JoannaWeiss.
politico.com/news/magazine/… And many of them still beli...
Read 5 tweets
30 Apr
Amazon has a poisonous quackery problem.

Time to call it out. 🧵

#1 "Apricot kernel powder" is anti-cancer quackery.

It is converted by your body into... CYANIDE. Make a smoothie & get poisoned.

Lots of it Amazon. Even an "Amazon's Choice"
#2: Drinking paint thinner.

Turpentine is poison. Can cause brain & kidney damage, coma, death.

It is a also quack cancer etc. cure. Yet plenty of it is clearly being sold in "food grade" form, recommended & drunk.

Again, there's even an "Amazon's choice"
#3 Drinking Bleach.

Lots of "water purification" products that match the ingredients of the quack "miracle Mineral solution" aka bleach.

From questions & reviews it's clear that people are drinking the stuff.

Drinking bleach is as toxic as it sounds.
Read 7 tweets
23 Apr
I'm worried.

Traffic is apparently *down* all over media-land.

If Trump gets re-platformed... I doubt editors will resist stories amplifying his disinformation.

It's not like we spent the past few months *actually* fixing our collective disinformation immune system.
Trump isn't just a guy, he's an entire disinformation ecosystem.

ONCE/IF Trump is back I think he'll chase public & bruising "censorship" showdowns w/whomever platforms him.

Then leverage defenders & ecosystem to bully platforms into permitting increasingly problematic stuff.
Plenty pro-Trump stuff also slid to *other* platforms, like Gab, Rumble, Parler, Bitchute...

Big platforms lost some traffic. Only they know whether it was enough to hurt.

I wish I were optimistic enough to believe this won't influence their thinking about re-platforming.
Read 6 tweets
21 Apr
INFURIATING: anti-maskers accosting kids outside their elementary school.

Vid: @SamBraslow
AWFUL. "I'm positive you hate that mask..and it smells bad"

Woman to an elementary school kid.

The actual *potentially deadly* strangers we should warn kids about...
Read 7 tweets
20 Apr
NOW: Derek Chauvin found guilty, all 3 counts.
GUILTY: 2nd degree murder
GUILTY: 3rd degree murder
GUILTY: manslaughter

The video& pathology evidence was clear.. so was Chauvin's callous indifference to George Floyd's distress.. even as bystanders pointed it out.
theguardian.com/us-news/2021/a…
Convicted Murderer Derek Chauvin's bail has been revoked, and he has been remanded into custody.
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
🚨NEW: former Navy SEAL Shannon Rusch... brought his SON Trevor to the #Capitol siege.

There is VIDEO. Trevor breached the Capitol carrying a police baton.

Investigative collaboration between us, @1600PennPooch & reporter @KELLYWEILL. THREAD 1/

Story: thedailybeast.com/son-of-former-…
2/ Yesterday our investigative collaboration revealed that Shannon Rusch, a former SEAL and motivational speaker joined in the #ProudBoys surge to the capitol.

3/ Former SEAL Rusch uses social media a lot.

Including repeatedly posting pictures of himself and his son Trevor, and tagging him, in DC on January 5th...
Read 12 tweets