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FBI used Instagram, an Etsy review, and LinkedIn to identify a protestor accused of arson

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An image allegedly showing Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal throwing burning debris into a police sedan during protest in Philadelphia on May 30th. | Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

It took an Etsy review, a LinkedIn profile, a handful of Instagram videos, and a few Google searches for FBI agents to identify a masked woman accused of setting two police cars on fire during recent protests in Philadelphia. The protests took place on May 30 in response to the police killing of George Floyd.

The case, as reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, demonstrates how police have been able to use social media and other publicly-available online records to identify protesters from just a few scraps of initial information. According to NBC, the individual charged by the FBI, 33-year-old Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal, now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison if convicted and a fine of up to $250,000.

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skywardshadow
13 days ago
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j_k
14 days ago
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By searching for videos of the protests uploaded to Instagram and Vimeo, the agents were able to find additional footage of the incident, and spotted a peace sign tattoo on the woman’s right forearm. After finding a set of 500 pictures of the protests shared by an amateur photographer, they were able to clearly see what the woman was wearing, including a T-shirt with the slogan: “Keep the Immigrants. Deport the Racists.”

THE FBI FOLLOWED A TRAIL OF DIGITAL BREADCRUMBS TO IDENTIFY BLUMENTHAL
The only place to buy this exact T-shirt was an Etsy store, where a user calling themselves “alleycatlore” had left a five-star review for the seller just few days before the protest. Using Google to search for this username, agents then found a matching profile at the online fashion marketplace Poshmark which listed the user’s name as “Lore-elisabeth.”

A search for “Lore-elisabeth” led to a LinkedIn profile for one Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal, employed as a massage therapist at a Philadelphia massage studio. Videos hosted by the studio showed an individual with the
same distinctive peace tattoo on their arm.

Anarchist Organizing

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Mikhail Bakunin: \
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skywardshadow
22 days ago
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wmorrell
23 days ago
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Too soon?
jlvanderzwan
23 days ago
In my experience people who sincerely say "too soon" are the same who complain protests aren't civil enough while turning a blind eye to police brutality. So no.
wmorrell
23 days ago
Yet there’s clearly a too soon line. Unless you’re the special kind of asshole that laughs about police beating non-violent, non-resisting anarchists, who happen to be right in front of you, right now.
jlvanderzwan
23 days ago
I think we're talking about two different things: jokes at the expense of the victims, or satirical/cynical jokes about those in power. Punching down is always too soon. But this comic is not mocking the anarchists, but the police, people who think anarchists are inherently evil and trying to destroy society, and complacant hypocritical people who do not want justice to happen because it would require societal change and painful reflection.
wmorrell
23 days ago
Sure, you could read it that way. But the comic series also has a long history of lampooning the ideas of some philosophers, and the setup of the first two rows would “usually” land a punchline of only the first panel in the last row. Except it adds the police bit in the final two panels, where the “joke” is quite literally punching down at the anarchists. It’s simultaneously “punching up” at police on a meta level, but I still feel it’s overall more on the “bad joke” side of the fuzzy line. Comic 247 makes the same overall joke as 345, but sets it up as lampooning “polite society” the entire way through rather than Kropotkin, Goldman, et al.
jlvanderzwan
23 days ago
Did you read the author's comment underneath the comic?
jlvanderzwan
23 days ago
I mean, it would require a very special kind of tone deafness for an American comic artist to depict police brutality this week without it being intended as a point of critique of said police brutality
wmorrell
23 days ago
I did read the author comment. I still believe the comic itself veers far too much into territory of laughing at police violence, at a time when police violence is at the forefront of anyone paying a little bit of attention. Like I said, comic 247 makes the same overall joke, but does it in a way that targets the "Karens"/"Amy Coopers" among us, and the police. While this comic 345 jokes about the historical ineffectiveness of various anarchist movements, and then has the police beat them. Again. That's what makes the joke problematic, and pairing it with a comment that explicitly supports BLM and condemns the police, does not make the comic itself any less problematic.
quad
20 days ago
ITT the left eating itself
jlvanderzwan
20 days ago
Yeah, heaven forbid we ever have a disagreement where we explain our different views at length with in-depth arguments
Levitz
19 days ago
Online argument too civil; didn't read? ;)

Why do online trolls call SWAT teams? Because the police hurt people

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Protest Against The Killing of George Floyd Photo by Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Americans in all 50 states are protesting against police brutality. That alone should be all anyone needs to know that something is gravely wrong and that police violence has touched every community in the nation. And yet, as people continue to deny what they are seeing, it’s important to remember the reasons why police brutality is undeniable. One of those is the internet’s favorite way of making a death threat: calling on SWAT teams to terrorize people in their homes.

Swatting is when someone makes an anonymous, fake emergency call that baits a heavily-armed police response. These hoaxes can have deadly results, and many of the perpetrators are never found. Swatting has been used to terrorize victims by a variety of perpetrators, from...

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skywardshadow
27 days ago
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Aww! This Cop Stopped Traffic to Help Ducks Cross the Road Right Before He Beat Up Peaceful Protestors

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skywardshadow
31 days ago
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Alpha Centauri is still the best 4X game 21 years after launch

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Alpha Centauri is still the best 4X game 21 years after launch

It's been over two decades since the greatest year for PC gaming: 1999. Perhaps it was the fear of imminent annihilation from the Y2K bug, but never before or since have so many groundbreaking, genre-defining and defying games been released at once. In 1999, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic founded the team-based shooter. EverQuest launched a thousand MMO addictions. The Longest Journey was the Last Good Adventure Game. Planescape: Torment wove an interactive story that remains unequalled. And Sid Meier gave us 4X games with his magnum opus: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

For some time, Alpha Centauri was the undisputed greatest game of all time. It topped countless lists of the greats, and for many it is still unsurpassed, especially in the 4X genre. What kind of game casts a 20-year shadow?

Alpha Centauri was the spiritual and narrative sequel to Civilization, picking up after a Civ match has been 'won by launching a spaceship to another star. In Alpha Centauri's story, this was less a triumph of technology and more of a necessary escape from an Earth that had been torn apart by environmental catastrophe. Life on the new planet wasn't about to get any better, however, since the colonists split into seven philosophically distinct factions prior to their arrival, and founded seven different colonies around the planet.

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skywardshadow
45 days ago
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Command & Conquer looks set to show us how a remaster should be done

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Command & Conquer looks set to show us how a remaster should be done

Less than two years ago, EA announced Command & Conquer: Rivals. I'm all for new ideas and all against the extreme things that people can threaten to do when they're angry on the internet, but it's not to legitimise that reaction to be genuinely confused about what the publisher was hoping to achieve.

C&C's last main sequence release was Tiberian Twilight, way back in 2010. I would love to see EA's audience research on Rivals because I can't think of a single reason to imagine a substantial overlap between people who care about this series and those who play a lot of mobile games. The outrage among hardcore C&C fans was 100% guaranteed, as inevitable as the solar cycle, and I really wonder whether the C&C name won over mobile gamers in sufficient numbers to consider that price worth paying.

And yet, only four months after EA announced Rivals at E3 2018, it announced the C&C Remastered Collection. It did so on Reddit, directly to the existing C&C community, and before a single line of code had been written - determined to include the community in development from the very beginning. In the context of Rivals, it was a U-turn so abrupt and substantial that you can practically hear the tires screeching.

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skywardshadow
65 days ago
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