'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Sunday, October 16, 2011

They Are Watching Occupy Wall Street 

From Gawker:

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for a month. And it seems the FBI and NYPD have had help tracking protesters' moves thanks to a conservative computer security expert who gained access to one of the group's internal mailing lists, and then handed over information on the group's plans to authorities and corporations targeted by protesters.

Since the Occupy Wall Street protest began on September 17, New York security consultant Thomas Ryan has been waging a campaign to infiltrate and discredit the movement. Ryan says he's done contract work for the U.S. Army and he brags on his blog that he leads a team called Black Cell, a team of the most-highly trained and capable physical, threat and cyber security professionals in the world. But over the past few weeks, he and his computer security buddies have been spending time covertly attending Occupy Wall Street meetings, monitoring organizers' social media accounts, and hanging out with protesters in Lower Manhattan.

For more, go here. Of course, this is a typical instance of the privatization of domestic surveillance, the outsourcing of activities too sensitive for governmental institutions like the FBI and NYPD. It also suggests an extension of the practices currently being used against Muslims. If Anonymous was doing the same thing, intercepting NYPD and FBI communications and relaying them to OWS, the FBI would seek to prosecute those involved. One wonders whether disclosures such as this will have a radicalizing effect upon the participants in the Occupy Together effort.

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