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What US Social Media Is Doing and What US Social Media Should be Doing

What US Social Media Is Doing and What US Social Media Should be Doing

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
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Look up. Read that Edmund Burke quote. Again. I’ve been saying for nearly SEVEN YEARS, and documenting here on my site how jihadis have been radicalizing and recruiting foreign fighters and more importantly ‘lone wolf attackers’ online. Back then they were using their own privately hosted servers in Europe (Belgium, Russia, Sweden) and the Middle East (Doha, Qatar). I was watching this happen 7 years ago and decided to take my own ‘offensive cyber countermeasures’ with a view to disrupting and destabilizing their infrastructure, servers, and even their trust relationships with service providers in an attempt to push them off their own platforms and funnel them into a smaller space – US owned and operated platforms and social media. I’ve talked about this approach many times.

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…. And smaller spaces, should have been easier to watch.
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Turns out, my efforts to get these fuckers right where we want them doesn’t agree with some US social media corporate policies. Let’s talk about Twitter specifically. They are really really big on the 1st Amendment and not suppressing ‘Freedom of Speech’ – so much so that they seem to have forgotten that:
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  • The First Amendment was written and designed to prevent the government (ie unapplicable to private citizens – including Twitter) from infringing on the freedoms of speech and expression of individual citizens and/or groups of citizens. As a private citizen (ie not the government) it’s wholly impossible for me or Twitter to violate anothers’ 1st Amendment rights.
  • The ISIS accounts whose ‘rights’ Twitter, whether intentionally or not, are ‘protecting’ are owned by individuals outside the US, who are not US citizens, therefore they are NOT protected by the Constitution of the United States.

It’s WE THE PEOPLE, not them the people.

Now don’t misunderstand me, an onlooker could be forgiven for observing Twitters’ stance on equality and ‘Freedom of Expression/Speech’ rights between and for all the users of its’ platform as admirable, whether they are members of a foreign terror organization or your little old Grandmother who can’t stand lemons and anchovies. It’s also worth noting that every now and then they do go on a rampage – suspending active ISIS accounts, which could be argued as counter-productive by those in certain circles that rely on those accounts for intelligence collection, if you know what I mean? I’m sure Twitter would land on the same side of the fence as Edward Snowden with regards to this. But again they are forgetting that these targets who Twitter allows to use the platform are foreign nationals, and part of a terrorist organization, so again, it’s NOT unconstitutional to monitor them.

But that’s not all….

Recently we have seen a bruh-hah-hah erupt over Twitters’ FUCKING DUMBASS decision to ban US intelligence agencies from using the DataMinr software (a private entity) which analyzes PUBLIC tweets to predict and detect terror attacks because Twitter is ‘concerned about the optics’ of such a relationship. In addition to this, many of you are aware I myself have spent the last 8 months plus in my spare time and at my own expense, developing my own solution called ‘InternetAWACS‘ (iAWACS) which listens for and maps Twitter jihadi chatter, Active Shooter Situations, and much more. Well guess what – at exactly the same time Twitter decided to cut the Dataminr service, a completely separate entity to my own solution, iAWACS also went dead. I had developed SIX nodes listening for various traffic online, here’s a screenshot of it in action, geo-locating an ISIS account holder that frequently traveled between Indianapolis and Lafayette:

iawacs

ENLARGE IMAGE

iAWACS analyzed PUBLIC TWEETS and determined lots of things like geolocation, current sentiment, users criminal willingness, propensity for violence, trustworthyness, and a bunch of other stuff. None of this information was obtained from anything private. It was simply analyzing PUBLIC DOMAIN information that the target had pumped out themselves. No privacy breaches, no civil rights infringements.

In order to create iAWACS I needed access to the Twitter Streaming API. And at the time of writing ALL SIX of my iAWACS nodes are not intercepting any tweets or images, because Twitter appears to have (repeatedly) revoked my API authentication tokens, without warning or explanation. This happened within ONE DAY of them announcing they didn’t want to allow US intelligence agencies access to similar technologies like Dataminr as outlined above.

Here’s my SIX iAWACS nodes as they stand right now:

  • FIREHOSE Unfiltered and sucks up everything – THIS ONE IS INTENSE!  Beware the images tab!
  • DRONEBAIT – Listens out just for Jihadi Chatter.
  • ACTIVESHOOTER – Listening for Active Shooter situations.
  • TRENDINGUSA – Tracks the current US trending Topic.
  • MAJOR INCIDENTThis node activates when there is a major incident in progress and has local EMT audio.
  • DEMO NODE Demo node listening for tweets mentioning NYPD, LIVE NYPD AUDIO & NYC Airspace Monitoring.

They are all sitting dormant and idling because Twitter is picking and choosing who it wants to grant access to what is essentially PUBLIC DOMAIN data. It’s worth noting that in the immediate days BEFORE the Brussels attacks iAWACS detected an uptick spike in traffic on the DRONEBAIT NODE indicating something was about to happen, it was so abnormal I even tweeted about it at the time:

uptick

Link to original tweet

So to recap on the situation as it is right now:

  • Twitter has effectively decided that foreign citizens who are members of terror organizations are protected under the US Consititution.
  • Twitter leaves thousands of ISIS accounts up yet suspends the really high-profile HVT accounts making it damn near impossible to keep track and monitor them.
  • Twitter denies firehose and streaming API access to private entities who create automatic intelligence analysis applications that may or may not be utilized by governemment agencies for the purpose of predicting, detecting and monitoring terrorist attacks on US soil.

Scroll back up and read the opening quote to this post again.

During WWII, what has become known as ‘The Greatest Generation’ not only went to fight, but those still at home all became part of the effort too. In some cases, industry and manufacturing temporarily stopped regular output to turn their machinery towards making parts for aircraft and armor. Civilians risked their lives to inform on enemy movements in France and other parts of Europe. We need to take a leaf outta my Grandmother who hates lemons and anchovies book, because make no mistake, we are right in the middle of a war, whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not. Its not just by Air, Land and Sea, but now also by Cyber. We can all play a part.

So now to Twitter, I’m not saying you’re violating U.S. Code § 2339B – (Providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations) because I’m not a lawyer, but you possibly need to ask yourself, are you part of the solution, or are you part of the problem, because I sure as fuck know what it feels like from where I’m perched.

I guess we’ll never know what may or may not have transpired last night in the Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, had Twitter not taken steps to block and ban access to certain intelligence collection and analysis tools.

My point is, US Social Media is making it very difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. And it almost seems like that’s the way they want it. By design. In closing and I’m sure it has nothing to do with anything, but did you know that one Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, who in 2011 invested $300 million in Twitter, now owns 34.9 million shares. That’s more than Jack Dorsey. Here’s the actual Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Probably just a coincidence.

For those interested in more information on iAWACS, here’s some right here and please check out the RELATED ARTICLES BELOW.

Peace,

J

UPDATE: 20:37pm June 18 2016

Since I published this blog article many of you on Twitter have expressed outrage to Twitter for ‘switching off’ my iAWACS project. Thankyou. I’m hapy to announce as of right now, all the iAWACS nodes listed above have suddenly come back online and are able to monitor traffic and images as before. It’s almost like my streaming API keys suddenly got un-blacklisted. Let’s hope things stay that way. Again, thanks to everyone who was vocal about this. #PeopleAreAwesome

 

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Profile photo of JΞSTΞR ✪ ΔCTUAL³³º¹
Proud infidel. Cyber Minuteman ● Listed in TIME Magazine 30 Most Influential People on the Internet ● My laptop is exhibited in the International Spy Museum, DC

17 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Rev

    Absolutely, 100% spot on – don’t know any way possible this could be said any better…

  2. Profile photo of Winerose99

    That’s your best yet kudos!
    Double thumbs up!!

  3. Profile photo of Linda

    Brilliant post! Spot on.

  4. Profile photo of Darren Plane

    You are so right, during WWII ordinary citizens were doing their bit, assisting the war effort, whether it was working in factories, or coming up with ideas and ways to combat the enemy, it was ordinary citizens that used their civilian knowlege to crack codes, and then in the case of the Navajo, using their unique dialect to create a communication system that couldn’t be cracked by the enemy. Ordinary citizens had designed Radar before the military realised a use for it, even Einstein had imagined the Atomic bomb, before it was needed for War. Just as now, people like you are realising ways of identifying the signs of an impending attack, and you are effectively being denied the ability to help protect people in this war, once upon a time, the current actions of Twitter would be deemed collaborating with the enemy.

    • Profile photo of Fkaerin

      Great comment. We will have to wait & see what our collective country decides is enough.

  5. Profile photo of gecko

    so many with no clue and zero determination to get one. keep doing the good works, brother. maybe some will find that bright object in what you preach.

  6. Profile photo of Beth J

    Great new blog post. It’s got to suck having such a great proven tool such as #iAWACS stuck in limbo waiting for Twitter to get their heads outta their asses and let you do what you do.

  7. Profile photo of Liberty Speaks

    I can’t even imagine what could have been gleamed during the attacks by iAWACS as well as by our US Intel community if access was still available to Twitters data. The amount of Intel that has been lost or cut off since they made their decision is staggering to me. The optics that Jack Dorsey should be seeing right now is at a minimum culpability.

  8. Profile photo of SGT_B _DUB

    The silent majority are becoming a huge problem and you just outlined it

  9. Profile photo of Rae Rae

    You always say it best & used one of my favorite quotes in doing so. I just wish they would actually fucking listen to you because you are 100% correct. Nice blog J.

  10. Profile photo of rm1evo

    Good work yo!

  11. Profile photo of Sugarcane

    When you first put the blog post out, I was wondering what the video would be, but noticed there wasn’t one. Great choice. ;^)

  12. Profile photo of Isabella ✘✘

    That’s a great article, one of your best.
    Kudos and thanks for your hard work and the great commitment.
    Hope that @twitter, @jack and @delbius too can read it and will think about it and about all the filth they’re doing.

  13. Profile photo of Frank

    Great article, thank you!

  14. Profile photo of jeremy arter

    There are none so blind as those who do not want to see….. – another illuminating article from a master of his craft.

  15. Profile photo of Baudbuster

    Maybe I’m reading too much into this… but who uses the same profile picture on a different account three years later… This Seleste Beltran chick smells funny.

  16. Profile photo of ardav

    Once again it seems technology outpaces policy. In this case, U.S. social media infrastructure is being ‘exported’ and used by adversaries. We’ve formally regulated the export of goods and expert services to prevent just such an outcome since the 80s. Supercomputing components and methods of encryption have been long denied to various regions of the world. Why should adversaries be able to spin up Amazon EC2 instances, publish video on YouTube, or set up Bitcoin rigs/accounts to fund their enterprises? Business is increasingly converting to digital. Perhaps there is an expanded role for export regulators such as State DDTC / DoD DTSA / Commerce BIS to play in ensuring adversaries are denied the use of online services?

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