In the first part of this article series, the post 9/11 rise of a private NSA was detailed. Some started in reaction to the twin tower attack. They aren't connected with the government, intelligence, or homeland security. They are private citizens who have no security clearances in any western country.
They use the free OSINT software found on the internet to find or decide who is a terrorist. Many of them enjoy the feeling of power they get from getting people fired from their jobs and put on terrorist investigation lists.
They are freelancers with no oversight or rules. They are only accountable to themselves and their employers. These freelancers thrive on their ability to remain hidden from the public eye. In reality, they could be any of your socially inept, angry neighbors down the street who is afraid of their own shadow in person. But give them a keyboard and they'll take your job, your bank account and your freedom.
These freelancers have carved a niche for themselves at the bottom of the OSINT and hacking professions. Today these people who feel so insignificant in their own lives are the cyber warriors for hire by anyone who has an ax to grind and the means to pay them.
They are Hate for Hire.
Freelance Cyber Soldiers
"Our view is that cyber is another operational domain, much as the seas are, much as the land is, much as space is." -- Admiral Mike Rogers, Commander US Cyber Command, Director of the NSA, Chief of CSS
Cyber in this context goes way beyond hacker attacks aimed at taking down a website. It is meant to cause damage and even death as a military tool. Because this new frontier is so new, the laws governing "Cyber-war" have yet to drawn up. What has been done so far are a set of guidelines that define who and what can and can't be targeted.
The Tallinn Manual sets out 95 black letter rules to apply international law to Cyber warfare. In the context of war, there are crimes against humanity that are unique to cyber. All the rules follow established laws of war including targeting civilians is a war crime. This will become very important by the time you get to the bottom of the article and make the remedy very simple to accomplish.
When you compare these rules to the conduct described in the first part of this article series detailing how people exercising First Amendment rights were treated by freelancers like Weisburd, the pattern of abuse is clear. These rules are trying to describe Laws of War.
"Weisburd doesn't get paid to follow people. After stalking and collecting information his method hasn't changed since the beginning. ... Weisburd has not merely 'dismantled' websites. He has harassed individuals engaged in perfectly legal online dissent, threatened their family members, harassed their employers, and harassed their web hosts. He regularly uses lies, disinformation and threats to accomplish these goals. Weisburd decides what is 'threatening.'"
If we no longer question who gets to spy, then who gets to decide who is a sanctionable enemy of the state? Who gets to run counter-terror operations against whom? What punishment can they mete out?
Non-state actors, just ordinary run of the mill citizens have both the means and the will to carry out (PRIVATE) foreign diplomacy, intelligence, military policy, and military actions. If a freelancer is working for a foreign government doing this to citizens in their own country that are expressing legal free speech, are the freelancer's actions legal?
Coinciding with the unveiling of the Peacemaker website which is a Ukrainian SBU, Ministry of Information, and Ukrainian Defense Ministry undertaking was the opening of a new web blog -- Kremlintrolls.com by Andrew Aaron Weisburd (@webradius) which opened a few days earlier than the Ukrainian government site.
In a March 2015 article series I described the true reason for the "Peacemaker" website. It is meant to be a clearinghouse of information to target journalists, activists, people of influence, and people with any connection to them.
Weisburd is currently freelancing for the Ukrainian government and "Peacemaker" has all the earmarks of his involvement. Within a few days of the article peace activist, David Swanson was harassed by someone posing as a Russian embassy officer in WDC.
"On January 11th, 2015 ('Mirotvorets')
the peacemaker websitewent live with a mission to ...'In the future the Peacemaker site will be similar to the site of the Viennese Simon Wiesenthal Center, which since the late 1940s has been focused on tracking and catching Nazi war criminals. In the case of Ukraine, these will be criminals who destroyed the Ukrainian people -- the traitors, collaborators, Russian and other mercenaries, and military personnel taking part the undeclared and therefore illegal war by Russia, he concluded...Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs Advisor Herashchenko wrote. It is also noteworthy that foreign intelligence serviceshave become interested in the Peacemaker site -- the CIA, FBI, European intelligence and counterintelligence. The reason in simple. The civilized countries, drawing on information on the pro-Russian militants-terrorists, will be able to create their own databases of suspicious persons and individuals that must be neutralized and isolated from society, he said.'
Within one month after the article that stated journalists were going to be targeted offline, Oles Buzina was put on a cleansing list at Peacemaker, geo-located, and executed. Regrettably there is only so much you can do.