Privacy Advocates to Critics: Shut the Fuck Up or We’ll Dox You

The filthy reactionary pile-on we call Twitter dot com lost a scrapper the other day, the account @JbJabroni10. For a couple of years, as far as I’m aware, JB ran around the infosec internet poking holes in bullshit official stories and connecting dots few others could see. He wasn’t a force, he never required reckoning, but he was hated all the way to the top by even Infodad Glenn Greenwald. This was his undoing.

JB’s problem was his bullheaded ignoring of “social justice” language conventions. He sometimes used the word “bitch.” He referenced spousal abuse as a headgame tactic, since this is what’s used against us from above every day. He made fun of some people’s appearance. He used sockpuppets to get around blocks to continue his harassment of his targets. This made him a ripe, more easily justifiable target for termination, when the time finally came. He hit the wrong dog on the nose and it tore his arm off: he was doxxed and his work contacted about his Twitter activity.

He was obsessive but this made him encyclopedic. He could reference things said by people weeks, months, years back. I couldn’t even always follow his train of thought, but others referenced his tweets to make points. The main thing to remember is though clearly annoying, he was not a troll. A troll is an often content-devoid interaction meant only to annoy, enrage, and derail constructive discussion. JB badgered high-status, key people for answers to questions he considered important. These people almost never answer questions to low-status individuals in good faith, if at all. That’s when JB would typically begin his harassment, and I find it hard to get too bent out of shape by this tactic.

One of his targets was Andrea Shepard, a Tor developer. She apparently orchestrated his Thanksgiving Day doxxing and documented the process of outing him. It’s important to note it did not involve hacking, but if you click through to her website you are logging your IP on her server. “Should have used Tor, fucko,” she tweeted from her locked account.

Should have used my product, fucko. Fittingly for a libertarian, she’s pushing a product and made JB an instructive lesson of what could happen when we don’t. Too bad she doesn’t take the philosophy so far as to allow questioning of her own funding source.

It’s popular to appropriate the phrasings of social justice toward anti-justice ends, and even typically anti-PC libertarians have taken it up. Shepard noted JB was involved in the “Pandorast” (as in, Pando Daily) “triggering” she experienced that caused her to lock her Twitter account. I’d be less inclined to dismiss her “triggering” if she weren’t palling around with misogynist Nazi (and doxxer) extraordinaire Weev, whom she included on her list of JB’s “victims.”

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If that scumbag doesn’t trigger you, you can’t be triggered. I’m also not about to listen to citations of alleged queer-shaming (17.7837625% of JB’s targets in my non-random “victim” sample were lesbians!) from someone who uses butt-fucking as a slur to render her own smear targets nonentities.

I know it’s so funny to ridicule and bat aside the “OpPornPixie” critique, but it’s a legit observation even if not necessarily directed from above. It is a Thing to sell products with sex, and the left is well aware. Why not also messages, philosophies, policies? And why not with other appearance signifiers? We can be told to vote or die with traditionally anti-establishment hip hop aesthetics. Shepard’s appearance fits this MO. Is she not dying her hair purple and using white face makeup for some sort of attention? There is no “self-expression” if there’s no one around to see it. She does her goth thing for a reason; how is it inappropriate for someone to notice? But it wasn’t the purple hair in a vacuum that JB was making fun of, it is specifically the countercultural signaling employed with the effect and maybe intent of distracting from her status as a fucking defense contractor.

A lot of this noise would probably dissipate if any of these people worked to settle the concerns of critics with good-faith answers. Win the argument. But no, just look what they do to some of their proponents! Tor supporter George Bell asked earnest questions of the developers a couple of weeks back. Rather than address his concerns, infosec celeb/Tor dev Jacob Appelbaum and Shepard played good cop-bad cop, meeting Bell with deflection and derision.

“It would be nice if someone at Tor rebutted the Pando stuff. I know everyone thinks it’s beneath them, but I keep seeing non-tech aware people who I respect and admire taking Pando moral panic on Tor seriously. I try to explain to them that it’s no secret and of all projects Tor is least vulnerable to corruption by funding, but it is an uphill struggle. I really don’t think taking a “don’t feed the trolls” approach is fair to the good people who don’t know any better and in the absence of a rebuttal of misinformation from Tor people, have to assume there’s something to it.”

Bell was ultimately rewarded for his good-faith persistence with blocking by Shepard.

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I hate to dwell on Shepard because though she was the one who apparently led the doxxing, the antics were “faved” by everyone at Tor, weakly ratified by EFF’s Jillian York, and facilitated by Tor hanger-on Bruce Leidl. A whole group of “net freedom movement” “privacy advocates” hi-fived each other on finishing off a particularly prickly gadfly and possibly getting him fired. Transparency from professional transparency advocates shouldn’t be such a strange thing to demand.

JB — and his parents, too, by the way — were doxxed not for his “misogyny,” evidence of which is thin at best, but for making powerful jerks uncomfortable. His language and tactics made it easy to make a misogyny charge stick. They’re the cops, and JB was a particularly vocal “criminal.” They shot him dead, and the lesson they hope we take is: “you’re next.”

—-

See the follow-ups and clarifications to this article:
Taxpayer-Funded Privacy Advocates, Liberal Pundits, and Nazi-Rapist-Snitch Allies Make Case for Doxxing Critics. You Are Literally Next.

Enraged Nerds Defend the Honor of Math

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7 comments

  1. tommyknocker1 · December 1, 2014

    Reblogged this on tommichaels886.

    Like

  2. jillian · December 1, 2014

    Since this is the second time you’ve misquoted me, I feel like I have to assume bad faith. I have repeatedly said that I don’t support this tactic, but instead of quoting me there, you take a single out-of-context quote to imply I support what Andrea did? For the record, I absolutely do not.

    I disagree that the misogyny was “thin,” however, and I do feel like this person was rewarded for their nastiness. I’m not uncomfortable by people calling me out for things that I say, but I’m definitely uncomfortable when they resort to misogyny and, when they get blocked as a result, use other accounts to keep going. I’m uncomfortable when they tell me to kill myself. I’m uncomfortable when they direct their comments toward my physical appearance or sexual preferences rather than my politics. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe this was about his politics, and if so that makes it far more egregious. But don’t doubt his harassment had a psychological effect on its targets.

    My two cents.

    Like

  3. Umfuld · December 1, 2014

    Noting the first embedded link regarding Greenwald’s response to the homophobic harassment by that Pokemon Glenbot; Like so many other things at first you see his point – he can’t be responsible for people online he doesn’t know or has never interacted with. But as always time reveals how full of shit he was:

    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/514046162559856640 (apparently now follows the kid who has had multiple accounts suspended for harassment – usually spamming scat images to Glen’s critics)

    Horrible people.

    Like

  4. lbe · December 1, 2014

    RE York’s comments:

    1. You misquoted me.
    2. My comments were taken out of context.

    In the first case you acuse Sassy of putting in/leaving out words in your statements. In th second, you suggest that what you said was excerpted. The former I don’t believe without proof or at least narrative. The latter ought make you more empathetic to JB’s situation, where he has been accused of stalking and general rape-y triggering and threats, actually which are extended requests for comments becoming aggressive with language.

    Personally I find the above described tactic both untoward and uneffective. I cannot imagine a situation without an asymmetric dynamic between the interrogator and interrogatee where it would produce. Think of a tv supercop proceedural or a dank room somewhere where Tor has made it possible for some loud mouth like JB to be gathered up from home or work or school and disappeared into hell.

    That’s a trigger. Welcome to the panopticon with all the bells and whistles of the Spanish Inquisition. Alas none of the flair for fashion.

    Back to your accusation. Isn’t it the reason triggering and supra-sensitivity and delicacy and anarchy and sexuality and locked accounts and inner jokes discussed openly in public forum: a means to point fingers while playing victim? A means to collaborate with a secret surveillance world technocracy-old guard-oligarch-militarist government while fronting as the posterchildren advertisement for the remedy to “The Man!” [Can’t wait til Tor launches an IPO. So much glitter!]

    At the very moment the discussion was turning to the implications of a compromised, violatable Tor, SPECTACLE! …But over there, away from those ideas!

    3. “For the record, I absolutely do not [agree with Shepard’s actions].
    4. “…and I do feel like this person was rewarded for their nastiness.”

    Again you self-contradict and in subsequent sentences, so good show. I’m not going to focus on the general irrationality of the justification for this attack, which don’t be confused it was, a man’s work and family were targeted, openly for all the world to see. Because it doesn’t happen in an unmarked government building or the underground of a football stadium doesn’t make it OK and is not an example of transparency.

    Rather let’s focus on the fragility of folks responding to triggers randomly all the time. What of all the other folks commiting equivalent or worse acts of vulgar langaue daily? Are any of them on Shepard’s timeline? Folks she may even support? Does Shepard herself have little punching dolls? Before you dismiss consider some of the worst professional 4Channers[techs by day, cyber.pederasts the rest of the time], weev, and “catfitz”.

    “But don’t doubt [his] harassment had a psychological effect on its targets.”

    And here Bing & Bob & Anne Frank & Chespirito & the Man-in-the-Moon do a sand dance above Aleppo and alight above the prisoners stroking their heads and offering them looks of deep empathy and comfort, until the moment they rise up, join in an Holocaust Hora and disappear in a convenient dust storm…

    Ashes to dust…

    Like

    • jillian · December 1, 2014

      “Again you self-contradict and in subsequent sentences, so good show”

      No. Those are two separate ideas. The first is that the tactic is horrific, no matter who the target is. The second started as a reply to @carwinb, whom I’ve met IRL once and therefore assume a different level of familiarity with (note: I was replying to something she said). It was taken as endorsement of the tactics, and I merely want to be clear that it’s not.

      I believe one can stand up against what PV did and still not be particularly fond of JB, don’t you?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lbe · December 1, 2014

    Re Jillian’s response to me:

    You explain that you yourself took you yourself out of context.

    This is absolutely typical of the Snowball Panopticon wherein all our information, statements and imagined-by-proxy of code innermost thoughts are available for the pickings of carrion users. The flipside is what you just commited above, back-designe of excuse. No accountability for any person all the time. The next step from

    The same responsibility you seek for JB[eg] to bear, you are above.

    Had you meant to say that you don’t support Shepard’s spectale/action while finding JB deserving of his consequences, you should have done so.

    However, to say that is to again self-contradict.

    If you merely feel JB is an untoward individual [apart from specific interaction], then I cannot imagine why you need to comment in the context of Sassy’s article.

    I feel that yellow bananas taste better than green, however I wouldn’t post that here standalone because it has no relationship to the discussion.

    The fact that you can be pushed to a somewhat more honest response by something which only exists in cyberspace speaks poorly of your principles. Though do feel free to further explain why I misconstrued.

    Be forewarned, I often regurgitate statements in poor translation from ancient amharic language, which are a priori revealatoury to things happening elsewhere, but I pepper my conversation with them anyway.

    Like

  6. lbe · December 1, 2014

    NB: For some reason in the “Snowball Panopticon” paragraphe the last two words failed to post:

    The next step from plausible deniability.

    Like

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