If you were pirating in the early 2000’s, the NSA probably knows.

 

A NEW CACHE of Edward Snowden documents have revealed that the NSA was actively monitoring file-sharing networks more than 12 years ago. 

According to a report at The Intercept, the NSA formed a research group dedicated to studying peer-to-peer internet traffic, via apps including LimeWire, eDonkey, Kazaa and BitTorrent, to see if it could find valuable intelligence by monitoring such activity.

“One question that naturally arises after identifying file-sharing traffic is whether or not there is anything of intelligence value in this traffic,” the NSA document begins.

“By searching our collection databases, it is clear that many targets are using popular file sharing applications; but if they are merely sharing the latest release of their favourite pop star, this traffic is of dubious value (no offence to Britney Spears intended).”

The document goes onto reveal that the NSA successfully cracked the encryption of at least two of these file-sharing sites – Kazaa and eDonkey – which gave it access to users’ email addresses, country codes, names, the location of the downloaded files and a list of recent searches.” 

“We have developed the capability to decrypt and decode both Kazaa and eDonkey traffic to determine which files are being shared, and what queries are being performed,” the researcher wrote.

 

This also the NSA the ability to look deeper into user behaviour, which lead to the discovery that some were using P2P systems to share files that weren’t “simply harmless music and movie files.”

“With more widespread adoption, these tools will allow us to regularly assimilate data which previously had been passed over; giving us a more complete picture of our targets and their activities,” the document adds.

As noted by The Intercept, Kazaa shut down in 2012, but the eDonkey network – although not as popular as it once was – is still active, and still uses “the same vulnerable encryption it did in 2004.”

A representative of the eMule developer team told the website: “There is no doubt the NSA could spy on the traffic if they wanted to,” adding that “preventing this was not the aim of the protocol encryption (and not much of an issue back then in the old days when this feature was coded).”

The newly-surfaced document reveals that the NSA, along with the UK’s GCHQ, went on to hack BitTorrent and other torrent sites. In one case, the GCHQ shared information about a pedophile ring with London’s Met police and could search out users sharing files with “jihad” in the filename on eMule, in another instance.

A GCHQ spokesperson said to The Intercept: “All of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework, which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary, and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO), and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee.

“All our operational processes rigorously support this position. In addition, the UK’s interception regime is entirely compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Verizon Disconnecting “Unprofitable” Users

Verizon often touts its mobile network as the most reliable and largest network in the United States, but 8,500 customers across 13 states have been given the boot by Big Red. Verizon says that these rural customers roaming charges cost the carrier tons and make continuing to support some 19,000 lines is unprofitable for the carrier.

States Affected by Verizon’s Roaming Cut-Off

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

Verizon said it sent notices of disconnection to the affected customers this month and those customers will have until October 17th to find new mobile service. Verizon says that’s plenty of time for people to find new networks as the customers generate more in roaming charges than they generate income for Verizon.

“These customers live outside of areas where Verizon operates our own network. Many of the affected consumer lines use a substantial amount of data while roaming on other providers’ networks and the roaming costs generated by these lines exceed what these consumers pay us each month.”

The interesting part of this story is that Verizon’s letter to customers doesn’t provide any way for them to stick with Verizon by reducing their data use. The letter simply states the October 17 cut-off period. One affected customer contacted Ars Technica and said her family only used 50GB across 4 lines, which is well below the 22GB cut-off.

Verizon maintains that these customers are getting the boot because of their roaming charges, but also fails to mention that it advertised its own unlimited plans directly to these rural customers in order to entice them to get plans. Now that the cost has become more than Verizon can bare, they’re giving those customers the boot.

What do you think, is this false advertising?

 

Sources:

Verizon Wireless’ Great Rural Purge: Tens of Thousands Losing Cell Service

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/09/verizon-kicks-8500-rural-customers-off-network-for-using-roaming-data/

Verizon Wireless terminating service for 2,000 cellphone customers in Washington County

The Collapse of Reddit.

1) The first thing they did was take away r/reddit.com.

This took away the only tool for communicating with reddit about reddit. If you had any concerns about the website as a whole, you could address them through r/reddit. Taking that away was the first step.

2) The power now resided in individual subreddits, obviously the most popular ones. There was a power grab to become moderators of these subreddits.

I remember as the upcoming election loomed, all of a sudden, r/circlejerk (one of the old default subreddits) became completely obsessed with bashing Ron Paul. It seemed to have been a bit orchestrated, and NOT by some kids trying to be funny. Also, it coincided perfectly with this highly suspicious campaign to filter him out of the election.

3) Once the default subreddits were controlled, drastic changes began to occur. I remember when r/IAma was open to anyone and the popularity was decided by voting. Now it is nothing more than a cheap place for celebrities to whore out their products and you need to be “approved”. Someone named Victoria is involved and how does that makes any sense whatsoever? Celebrities have entire teams of branding/PR/social media teams that work for them. Why do they need to be at reddit HQ and/or required to have a reddit rep? Because these AMA’s are extremely organized and sponsored with money.

There are plenty of subreddits that are now covertly controlled. Check out these posts which were pushed into r/undelete for identifying a list of keywords banned from r/technology.

4) The appearance of shills soon became VERY apparent.

All of a sudden new accounts started popping up out of nowhere. Cue the birth of r/HailCorporate. “Feel good” military posts started appearing, like a soldier coming home to his dog. New users entered AMA’s to lob softball questions “Mr Burns, your campaign has the momentum of a runaway freight train, how does it feel to be so popular?” From brand new accounts that never posted again.

Eglin Air Force Base = Reddit’s most addicted city! I would hate to be the poor reddit intern who got fired that day! “Didn’t you read the memo Billy. US military bases are never to be included in our yearly stats!!!” Anyone who tries to convince you that shills don’t exist is either grossly uninformed or a liar. Protip: the big political subreddits can’t seem to keep the seal on the circlejerk during weekends, almost as if an entire team of manipulators is suddenly on weekend hours.

5) Now we have blatant censorship on r/newsr/worldnews etc… saying that X site is not allowed. What ever happened to letting people vote on the content of this website? Trash tabloids constantly go viral on political subreddits due to sensationalized headlines and the fact that most Americans are unaware of different overseas publications.

Not to mention the fact that default subreddit rules are now completely refined, sophisticated and purposely worded to allow maximum mod-interpretation. Honestly, someone with a law degree would be proud.

Major politically-charged subreddits now insist on exact titles or quotes because that stops users from being able to post the important point summary of the article as the title . Using only official titles from only approved media has turned reddit into mainstream media.

6) Speaking of voting, they changed that too.

We now have an entirely new way to view upvote/downvote scores. A user used to be able to see their score. But now, everything is fuzzed. For example, if you made a semi-controversial comment before, but many people agreed, you may have a score like (47/45), leaving you with a -2 next to the comment. Now you just get a -2 and nobody knows if anyone agreed with you.

7) Hey guise, us nerds who run reddit have decided to shuffle all of the front-page subreddits, tee-hee we are so random ‿^

No more r/circlejerk, that pesky subreddit hits too close to home. Lets add 2X to the mix, (even though they wanted to remain an anonymous sub), fuck them, we need to show our shareholders we represent the female demographic. Lets also add a bunch of subs that we can use to share propaganda like r/nottheonion. And speaking of the female demographic and “gender discrimination” being represented, that happened around the time this person took over as CEO of reddit.

8) You are posting too much, please wait…

It now doesn’t matter if you have confirmed your email, or been posting on this site for years. If you anger the wrong mod/admin or your posts aren’t doing “well”, then you get benched.

Or you can always just have your comments deleted. You will not even know your comment is deleted. You will still see it. Only you. The only way to know is to be inherently suspicious, and sign out of your account after clicking on the permalink of the comment.

A sneaky tactic, but hey, at least it is only your comment and not your whole account. Isn’t it great that we have shadow-banning on a website that claims to support free speech.

9) Reddit is not a meritocracy.

tl;dr: Your votes do not matter. The front page is not decided on merit. Different subs are given different algorithms. There is a behind the scene ranking system that gives certain content a “head-start”. Subreddits such as r/conspiracy and r/the_donald,have learned that if they don’t like our sub, then we are banished from the front page, forever. 

10) The arrival and subsequent take over of r/undelete. Due to the now rampant censorship on the site, users took it into their own hands to bring the truth into the light. They created a part of reddit where users could see what was being deleted. Nope.

11) Now we are seeing a new site-wide trend that is designed to make it even harder to call out shills. Which is interesting considering that nobody seems to care when the accusations are sponsored by the mob: “This guy is a Putin-bot! Everyone must think the exact same way about complex geopolitical events.”

12) All of the proper “checks and balances” are now in place.

R/worldnews has become the ultimate modern-day version of the Two-Minutes Hate from George Orwell’s 1984: a daily period in which Party members of the society of Oceania must watch a film depicting the Party’s enemies and express their hatred for them.

But when we really want to drive a point home, the entire front-page gets in on the action!!! Look what happened in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Bombing, while users were pooling resources, the website was DDos attacked to stop the momentum. Good thing to, since moments later, our honest government said “Hey everybody, these two guys did it!” For arguments sake, despite anything that followed, it should be extremely alarming that millions of people suddenly decided they were guilty based on nothing more than a picture, the government’s word, and the manufactured consensus of their peers. I was on reddit in the exact moment the shift happened and NOBODY could tell me why they suddenly believed, without any other evidence, that two people attending the marathon with a circle around them was evidence of guilt. And I was gang-downvoted every time I asked.

And speaking of the BB, reddit will apparently never live down the fact that someone was wrongly accused. Why should a community be demonized for aggregating information and doing something that has proven to be successful in 90% of cases, particularly disasters? Why? Because the government can’t have people doing their own detective work, that would make their cover-ups way more difficult.

13) Online guerrilla tactics.

When reddit changed the voting system and people were on their last nerve with this site, a place called Whoaverse (now https://voat.co/) became popular overnight. It is basically a reddit clone and at the time was run by one guy. He was happy about the surge but mentioned it was going to be hard to keep up with, but was committed to making it happen. Guess what happened next?

Did you guess: “Thousands of targeted spam attacks to overload and destroy the website”? Then congrats, you now understand how far these fucks are willing to go to keep the herd in their pen. Hijacking a cool brand and using it’s facade to conduct propaganda games is extremely profitable, just ask VICE. Super secret link. And once you have the customer, it costs much less to keep them than to acquire new ones. So we are seeing online guerrilla tactics designed to destroy the competition by any means.

…………………………………….

It wasn’t always like this. A few years ago, there were just as many disagreements and differences of opinion on reddit, but they were REAL. And the site was still a democracy. People voted and things swung from side to side, everybody learned in the end.

Now we have a completely one-sided mess that pretends to be democratic but is quickly becoming the Fox News/CNN of the internet. They designed a system that would take advantage of the Eternal September syndrome and this manipulation has encouraged the retard masses to become their useful idiots.

I believe this can essentially be boiled down to not just greed, but controlling and manipulating the information that the millions of people see on a daily basis. Reddit gets billions of views. Manufactured consensus is very real and doing it through social media is the gold standard because people are hard-wired to value the opinions of their peers.

The people who run reddit are not the “cool bloggers” they try to portray themselves as. There is a head running things, and it is sinister and they are making A LOT of money, and have A LOT of power, and A LOT of influence.

And they know it. You should too.

Is the iPhone-X’s Face-Unlock a violation of Privacy?

On Tuesday, the world watched as Apple unveiled their tenth-anniversary special edition iPhone, the iPhone X. While iPhone boasts a newer more secure phone—using its patented new facial recognition system—internet sleuths were quick to point out the ominous implications behind the new tech.

As Wired reports, the iPhoneX replaces the iconic “home” button, featured on all previous versions, with a new “TrueDepth camera system.” A little black bar at the top of the phone contains several sensors, cameras, and even a dot projector that all work together to create a mathematical 3D model of the owner’s face.

A secure phone, at this moment, is the only thing that can protect the documented evidence of criminal behavior. Luckily—for the police—if you have a new iPhone X, all they theoretically need to do is to handcuff you and point it at your face. Now they have access to all of your private information. 

Had his phone been locked and had the security guard resisted alleged police pressure to confiscate his phone, evidence of a police murder may still exist. However, if he had an iPhone X, even if he would’ve resisted, they need only point it at his face.

“With the iPhone X, your iPhone is locked until you look at it and it recognizes you. Nothing has ever been more simple, natural and effortless,”  Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing said in his keynote speech Tuesday. “This is the future of how we’ll unlock our smartphones and protect our sensitive information.”

However, as many have pointed out, this simplicity is the device’s potential downfall.

 This abuse, as Snowden points out, can come in many forms.

While some folks expressed concern that the iPhone X will allow someone to unlock your iPhone while you sleep, Apple directly countered that claim, noting that the feature will only work when the user looks at the device with their eyes open. Schiller also explained that Face ID will recognize a user even when they change their hairstyle, put on glasses, wear a hat or change their appearance in other ways—perhaps when an unconscious person has their eyes pulled open.

The good news, however, is that while this technology has these ominous implications for abuse, it is far more secure than any of the previous devices. According to Schiller, the Touch ID had a false unlock rate of one in 50,000, whereas the new Face ID only had an error rate of one in 1 million.

Apple also has an extensive history of resisting the police state attempts at creating back doors to their technology. Just last year, in a landmark case, Apple refused to help the government break the law and allow for the various spy agencies to monitor iPhone users with a special decryption key for the state.

 Had the government successfully forced Apple into unlocking the phone or creating a backdoor to their encryption, experts in the technology field warned that this could be the end of privacy as we know it. For now, however, privacy is still winning—that is, until we see the first case of police unlocking an iPhone X by pointing at a handcuffed person’s face.

Sue Equifax for up to $25,000 without a lawyer

Equifax’s security failure affected 143 million US consumers, or 44 percent of the US population. To add insult to injury, Equifax waited over a month before revealing the security breach it had suffered. If you’re one of the millions affected by the breach, a chatbot can now help you sue Equifax in small claims court, potentially letting you avoid hiring a lawyer for advice.

Even if you want to be part of the class action lawsuit against Equifax, you can still sue Equifax for negligence in small claims court using the DoNotPay bot and demand maximum damages. Maximum damages range between $2,500 in states like Rhode Island and Kentucky to $25,000 in Tennessee.

The bot, which launched in all 50 states in July, is mainly known for helping with parking tickets. But with this new update, its creator, Joshua Browder, who was one of the 143 million affected by the breach, is tackling a much bigger target, with larger aspirations to match. He says, “I hope that my product will replace lawyers, and, with enough success, bankrupt Equifax.”

Not that the bot helps you do anything you can’t already do yourself, which is filling out a bunch of forms — you still have to serve them yourself. Unfortunately, the chatbot can’t show up in court a few weeks later to argue your case for you either. To add to the headache, small claims court rules differ from state to state. For instance, in California, a person needs to demand payment from Equifax or explain why they haven’t demanded payment before filing the form.

Attorney Scott Nelson, from the advocacy organization Public Citizen, says he isn’t convinced a chatbot can successfully win a lawsuit. “I am not inclined to think it would be a panacea. Filing and winning a small claims case takes more than just filling in a form.”

Still, chatting with the bot on a friendly blue screen can help take the guesswork out of small claims court procedures. All you have to do is state your name and address and it generates eight pages of lawsuit documentation in PDF form for you to print and file.

Equifax seems like it’s going to put up a fight, so help in the form of chatbots can’t hurt. Peter Vogel, a trial and transactional lawyer in Texas, says, “I believe that Equifax will fight class action lawsuits [and] small claims courts actions. That does not mean that Equifax will prevail, but … given the scope of the 143 million individuals, it strikes me that Equifax will want to make this as complicated as possible for consumers.”

Nintendo Increases Inventory of Super NES Classic Edition; NES Classic Edition Returns to Stores

REDMOND, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Due to incredible demand for the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018. Originally, shipments were announced to cease at the end of this calendar year.

In addition, more units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.

The Super NES Classic Edition system features 21 legendary Super NES games such as Super Mario WorldThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid. Launching on Sept. 29 at a suggested retail price of only $79.99, Super NES Classic Edition plugs directly into the TV using the provided HDMI cable, and comes with two wired controllers. For more information about Super NES Classic Edition, visit http://www.nintendo.com/super-nes-classic.

Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system with new shipments. More information about the timing of the return of NES Classic Edition will be announced in the future.

NES Classic Edition features 30 classic NES games such as the original Super Mario Bros.The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong. For more information about NES Classic Edition, visit http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic/.

Note to editors: Nintendo press materials are available at http://press.nintendo.com, a password-protected site. To obtain a login, please register on the site.

Article from BusinessWire

Ookla: Comcast Fastest ISP, T-Mobile Fastest Wireless Carrier

Ookla, the developer behind speedtest.net, has crowned Comcast and T-Mobile as the best choices for speed: Comcast Xfinity narrowly topped Verizon’s FiOS service as the fastest broadband ISP, while T-Mobile just edged out Verizon Wireless as the fastest wireless carrier. The data reflected 26 million unique broadband users, performing over 111 million tests across Ookla’s service. In the mobile space, about 3 million unique devices were used to generate 14 million tests, generating a comprehensive look at how each service performed both nationwide and over time.

“Comcast may be the fastest overall, but in certain areas, other competitors prevailed. In Southern regions like Texas and Florida, you’ll want to buy broadband service from Suddenlink. In Midwestern regions like Chicago and St. Louis, Mediacom provides the fastest broadband service, according to Ookla. In fact, Ookla also looked at the “winners” in major metropolitan areas, and found that Spectrum was the fastest in 24 of them, topping both Cox (19) and Comcast (18). “

Comedian Hilariously Exposes How the Media Controls Your Mind

Written by 

(ANTIMEDIAEven as trust in the mainstream media wanes, Americans continue to fall victim to established narratives, waxing hysterical over everything from nuclear war and natural disasters to race wars and disease. But there is at least one voice of reason.

Enter JP Sears, the viral internet sensation who blends sarcasm with spiritually and humor with heavy topics. In his latest video — which is, unsurprisingly, going viral — he breaks down “How to be Mind Controlled.”

He opens the video:

Would you like the escape the horrible reality of thinking your own thoughts? Me too. Learning to have your mind controlled is your key to escaping the hell of thinking for yourself.”

He delves right into calling out the media for terrifying the population into obedience and submission.

Good evening,” he says. “Life is a dangerous tragedy. When you accidentally start feeling peaceful or start thinking about what’s really important to you, that’s your cue to turn on the news. We’ll make you scared instead. Then you’ll instinctively want someone to protect you, which will make you completely submissive and controllable to those who you think will protect you.”

Impersonating the average fear-mongered news consumer, JP Sears continues:

I live in a constant state of fear because scary things would happen if I wasn’t scared all the time.

Thinking for yourself is like going to the grocery store and bagging your own groceries,” he muses. “It’s just a lower-class way of thinking. It’s significantly more luxurious to have someone else bag your groceries for you.”

He also waxes existential, tackling the fundamental problem of consciousness in our modern society:

You’ll sleep better at night when you’re convinced to believe the thoughts in your head are your own. Because they’re in your mind, it’ll be easy for you to believe they came from your mind.”

You’re free to do anything we want you to do,” he says. “You need to be under the spell of fear to make you hypnotically suggestible.”

Poverty, disease, terrorism, war, nuclear war, cyber warfare, germ warfare, biochemical warfare, and death are all wonderful things to be afraid of. Then it’s much easier for you to be controlled because you’ll be convinced to do whatever they want you to do because you’ll think doing so will help you avoid one of the things you’re afraid of.

Sounds about right. This sentiment also aligns with what JP Sears, who started his career as an emotional healing coach, told Anti-Media in an interview earlier this summer. “We as a society, and I mean this in the most loving way … I think we as a society have positioned ourselves as helpless victims bleeding out of power,” he said, referring in particular to the chaos that has enveloped the age of Trump.

He also believes much of the strife we see in society is a result of people’s inner struggles, which are often projected back out into the real world and political world.

We’ll help you obsessively monitor large-scale politics because it’ll help you ignore your own life,” he says sarcastically in his recent video.

“If you feel worse after watching [the news], then you’re doing better.

As he said of political language during our interview:

I think it is an incredibly low vibrational, low consciousness trap of a languageI think political language is not engineered to understand, accept or connect. I think it’s a language based out of the building blocks of separation.”

This is, again, reflected in “How to be Mind Controlled.”

The scary thing is that if you went a day without watching the news, you’d start to notice that there are a lot more things to appreciate than there are to be afraid of,” he says. “That’s why it’s important to watch the news every day. Preferably three times a day.”

Imagine the disaster that would happen if you got in touch with your passions. It might lead you to want to do things that are outside of your thrilling coffin of conformity. Then you’d probably end up getting shot at point-blank range by a nuclear missile and eaten by wolves. It’s a scary world out there.”

As JP Sears told us:

To me, humor can be an awakening language where we listen and consider something that we otherwise wouldn’t even listen to in the first place,” he said. “So, how that works, in my delusional opinion, is that humor is a language of connection, full stop.”

He has made similar videos on topics ranging from the American Heart Association’s condemnation of coconut oil to the 2016 election, as well as the yoga and spiritual communities, vegans, and Millennials.

Thuggish out of Control disgrace for a police officer drags nurse attempting to protect patient from unauthorized blood-draw

By  from Infowars

A Salt Lake City nurse has released police body camera and hospital surveillance footage which she claims shows her being illegally arrested back in late July after refusing police orders to draw blood from an unconscious patient.

Utah University Hospital nurse Alex Wubbels was in charge on July 26th when law enforcement officials arrived and ordered her to extract the blood of an unconscious truck driver who had been injured in a hit-and-run accident earlier that day.

Wubbels says she was just doing her job and was protecting her patient’s privacy when she was arrested and dragged out of the hospital by a Salt Lake City police detective, who the nurse says illegally arrested and assaulted her.

An analysis of the video confirms that on the day of the incident Wubbels correctly informed Detective Jeff Payne of the hospital’s policy when she explained to him that only “three things” would allow her to draw blood from her patient.

You need an “electronic warrant, patient consent,” or a patient must be under arrest for the blood to be taken, the nurse explained to Payne with papers in hand.

 

That’s when the frustrated detective can be heard asking Wubbels, “So without those in place, I’m not going to get blood? Am I fair to surmise that?”

“We’re done. You’re under arrest,” the detective said.

The detective then grabbed the nurse and dragged her out of the building as she screamed at the top of her lungs and cried, “Help! Help! Somebody help me! Stop! Stop! I did nothing wrong!”

The nurse was then handcuffed and taken to the station where she was later released without any charges.

An internal police investigation into the matter is being conducted and Det. Payne has been suspended from the department’s blood draw program, but still remains on active duty with the force, as the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

No lawsuit has been filed, but Wubbels is in touch with an attorney and hopes the footage will be used as a police educational tool for future situations.

Watch the exchange from a different angle:

New Evidence Reveals Comey Exonerated Hillary Before Key Witness Interviews

By BY TYLER DURDEN from The Last American Vagabond

A new letter from Senators Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham reveal testimony from new witnesses suggesting that former FBI Director James Comey had already started drafting documentation exonerating Hillary Clinton long before interviewing key witnesses, including Hillary herself. 

According to the letter, which is based on testimony from James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw, Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Hillary investigation in April or May 2016, well before he had interviewed up to 17 key witnesses.

Meanwhile, as if that weren’t bad enough, the Comey statement was also drafted before immunity deals were struck with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson who seemingly ran point, along with Platte River Networks, to destroy Hillary’s emails after a Congressional subpoena had been issued mandating their preservation.

Here is a summary from the Grassley/Graham letter:

Transcripts reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee reveal that former FBI Director James Comey began drafting an exoneration statement in the Clinton email investigation before the FBI had interviewed key witnesses.  Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, requested all records relating to the drafting of the statement as the committee continues to review the circumstances surrounding Comey’s removal from the Bureau.

“Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy,” the senators wrote in a letter today to the FBI.

Last fall, following allegations from Democrats in Congress, the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) began investigating whether Comey’s actions in the Clinton email investigation violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using their official position to influence an election.  In the course of that investigation, OSC interviewed two FBI officials close to Comey: James Rybicki, Comey’s Chief of Staff, and Trisha Anderson, the Principal Deputy General Counsel of National Security and Cyberlaw.  OSC provided transcripts of those interviews at Grassley’s request after it closed the investigation due to Comey’s termination.

Both transcripts are heavily redacted without explanation. However, they indicate that Comey began drafting a statement to announce the conclusion of the Clinton email investigation in April or May of 2016, before the FBI interviewed up to 17 key witnesses including former Secretary Clinton and several of her closest aides.  The draft statement also came before the Department entered into immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson where the Department agreed to a very limited review of Secretary Clinton’s emails and to destroy their laptops after review.

 

And here is a key excerpt from Ms. Anderson’s testimony:

Q:  So moving along to the first public statement on the case or Director Comey’s first statement the July 5, 2016 statement.  When did you first learn that Director Comey was planning to make some kind of public statement about the outcome of the Clinton email investigation?

A:  The idea, I’m not entirely sure exactly when the idea of the public statement um first emerged.  Um it was, I just, I can’t put a precise timeframe on it um but [redaction].  And then I believe it was in early May of 2016 that the Director himself wrote a draft of that statement …

Q:  So when you found out in early May that there was, that the Director had written a draft of what the statement might look like, how did you learn about that?

A:  [Redacted] gave me a hard copy of it…

Q:  So what happened next with respect to the draft?

A:  I don’t know for sure um, I don’t know. There were many iterations, at some point there were many iterations of the draft that circulated…

Meanwhile, as a reminder of the timing, if Comey was already drafting a statement clearing Clinton of any wrongdoing in April then it came before any of the following interviews….keep in mind that many people on this list were also granted immunity deals…apparently after Comey had already made up his mind that nothing happened.

1.  May 3, 2016 – Paul Combetta
2.  May 12, 2016 – Sean Misko
3.  May 17, 2016 – Unnamed CIA employee
4.  May 19, 2016 – Unnamed CIA employee
5.  May 24, 2016 – Heather Samuelson
6.   May 26, 2016 – Marcel Lehel (aka Guccifer)
7.   May 28, 2016 – Cheryl Mills
8.   June 3, 2016 – Charlie Wisecarver
9.   June 10, 2016 – John Bentel
10.  June 15, 2016 – Lewis Lukens
11.  June 21, 2016 – Justin Cooper
12.  June 21, 2016 – Unnamed State Dept. Employee
13.  June 21, 2016 – Bryan Pagliano
14.  June 21, 2016 – Purcell Lee
15.  June 23, 2016 – Monica Hanley
16.  June 29, 2016 – Hannah Richert
17.  July 2, 2016 – Hillary Clinton

And here’s some more background from the letter:

Mr. Comey’s final statement acknowledged “there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information” but nonetheless cleared Secretary Clinton because he claimed there was no intent or obstruction of justice. Yet, evidence of destruction of emails known to be under subpoena by the House of Representatives, and subject to congressional preservation requests, was obtained in interviews around the time that Mr. Comey began drafting his exoneration statement.[8]  Moreover, the Justice Department entered into highly unusual immunity agreements with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson in June 2016—after Mr. Comey began drafting his exoneration statement—to review Clinton email archives on their laptops.[9]

The immunity agreements limited the FBI’s ability to review Clinton email archives from Platte River Networks that were created after June 1, 2014, and before February 1, 2015, and which had been sent or received from Secretary Clinton’s four email addresses during her tenure as Secretary of State.[10]  These limitations prevented the FBI from reviewing records surrounding a March 2015 conference call that Paul Combetta, an employee of Platte River Networks, had with David Kendall and Ms. Mills, the attorneys for Secretary Clinton.[11]  After having been initially untruthful and then receiving his own immunity agreement, Mr. Combetta admitted in his third FBI interview, in May 2016, that after a March 2015 conference call with Secretary Clinton’s attorneys, he used BleachBit to destroy any remaining copies of Clinton’s emails.[12]

The limitations in the immunity agreements with Ms. Mills and Ms. Samuelson also kept the FBI from looking at emails after Secretary Clinton left office—the period in which communications regarding destruction or concealment of federal records would have most likely taken place.[13]  And finally, the agreements provided that the Department would destroy any records which it retrieved that were not turned over to the investigative team and would destroy the laptops.[14]  Despite public claims by the FBI that the laptops were not in fact destroyed, the purpose of that promise to destroy them has not been explained.[15]  However, Judiciary Committee staff reviewed the immunity agreements as part of their oversight work, so there is no question that the terms of the agreement called for the Department to destroy evidence that had not been fully and completely reviewed.[16]

But, we’re sure this is just another attempt to “criminalize behavior that is normal.”

Here is the full letter.