Defense Contractors Wage War On Arab, Muslim and Anarchist Americans
Recent reports of FBI harassment of activists have gone national.? The FBI has been visiting activists, their neighbors, families and employers in a bid to intimidate those planning on protesting the political conventions.? These events are reaching the news now because these latest FBI actions are face to face and in person.? Under such circumstances it is impossible for the FBI to hide themselves behind anonymity.? However, the post 9/11 harassment began much earlier and until now has largely been covert.? This covert harassment has been just as damaging to the activists targeted, if not more so, than the more recent overt harassment.? The major difference is that those harassed overtly by the FBI can point to their harassers and identify them by name.
Covert harassment has taken two primary forms: infiltration into protest groups and online harassment of activists.? This article is about the later.? What I report here is first hand knowledge.? Specifically, I am the former director of the programming department for a defense contractor in Austin, Texas.? This defense contractor, Cycorp, has played an important role in the online harassment of Muslims, Arabs and Anarchists.? A great deal off effort and many threats have gone into preventing this information from reaching the public, but with the latest break in news about FBI harassment, perhaps it is time that my story will be listened to.
Within days of the attacks of 9/11, I was in a management meeting at Cycorp.? There was a mixture of sadness and glee in the wake of the attacks as members of management began to see the attacks as an opportunity to obtain more business for Cycorp.? The Pentagon had explicitly asked all defense contractors to evaluate the technology they had developed for the DoD and put forth proposals on how it could be used to fight terrorism.? Cycorp had already been working on terrorism related projects and was already working on projects that would become part of the Information Awareness Office, steward of the Total Information Awareness Office, a project I would later play a role in exposing and killing.
In addition to its projects funded by the DoD, Cycorp was developing a commercial project which would use its knowledge base and inference engine to reason about threats to networks.? This product, CycSecure, showed some promise.? Its conceptual leader, however, was quickly forced out and replaced with another individual who will play a role in this article further on.? Stratfor and other government installations began asking Cycorp if they could use the same technology in reverse.? Specifically, they wanted to use it to attack networks as a cyber warfare tool.
Somewhere near the end of 2001, the president of the corporation, Douglas B. Lenat brought forward a controversial project that had been offered to the company by an intelligence agency he refused to name.? Cycorp has done work in the past with DARPA, the CIA, the NSA and it was not unusual to see representatives of these agencies and other agencies such as the FBI at the offices of Cycorp.? The controversial project entailed creating a cyber warfare unit at Cycorp.? The goal of the cyber warfare project would be to target "enemies of the United States" with cyber warfare and harassment.? I immediately demanded to know whether the targets of the warfare would be foreign or domestic.? I pointed out that targeting domestic groups would be embarrassing for Cycorp should knowledge of such a program become public. ?In reaction to my statement rejecting such an idea, Douglas B. Lenat immediately stated that we would not pursue the project.? This was very unusual in that Cycorp was in need of funds and the corporation, to my knowledge, had never rejected a proposal on ethical grounds.
In the wake of 9/11, as I saw our civil liberties erode, I authored several websites to increase awareness of changes in the political environment of the United States and to oppose the Bush Administration.? Among these were the websites Break Your Chains and Stop Fascism.? Shortly after publishing these websites, not less than four members of management at Cycorp (a small company) harassed me for being an anarchist during management meetings.? Douglas B. Lenat called me into his office and explained to me that he had been a target of self declared anarchist Ted Kaczynski.? Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unibomber, had targeted technology leaders with mail bombs.? As a consequence of being on Kaczynski's hit list, Lenat had lived in fear of exploding packing for many years.? He let me know on no uncertain terms that he considered anarchist beliefs to be dangerous.? Ted Kaczynski was no ordinary anarchist, but this did not seem to matter to Lenat.
Additionally, it was not uncommon at management meetings to hear remarks made that disparaged Islam.? When Daniel Perle was murdered, word went around the office that Daniel Perle was a family friend of Douglas B. Lenat.? There was a clear antipathy on the part of Lenat towards Anarchism and Islam.
During this time, my deputy at Cycorp, Josiah Hagen, was delighted when I mentioned to him that the company had been offered a project to wage cyber warfare on "America's enemies."? He was disappointed that I had killed the idea (or so I believed) and said he would have been happy to volunteer for the project.? He then asked me if I had any problem with him "going over my head" and talking with upper management.? It was always my policy not to constrain the liberty of my workers so I told him he was free to do so.
Shortly thereafter Josiah Hagen brought an Internet Appliance to work that he used to access the Internet through a telephone line rather than through the company's network.? He claimed to be playing with it and trying it out.? When I asked him who had given him permission to access the Internet from the office using an Internet appliance, he told me that upper management had given him the permission (i.e. Douglas B. Lenat and Mary Shepherd).
Upper management at Cycorp had long been clear that playing on the Internet was not an accepted practice at Cycorp.? It was not at all usual to give an employee permission to play online.? Even more unusual was giving an employee carte blanche to circumvent the company network from within the office.? This was not only a breech of security, but was unprecedented.
Josiah Hagen began to spend the evenings at Cycorp "playing" on the Internet.? Since he was required to be at the office during normal hours and began coming in very late after staying up all night long on the Internet, I mentioned this at a management meeting and Douglas B. Lenat told me that Josiah was working on a project that he (Douglas B. Lenat) was very interested in and was doing it on his behalf and that I should excuse Hagen for his lateness.
During this same period I became the online target of harassment which included demands that I shut down my websites and Internet forums.? I received an endless barrage of death threats against myself and family.? I was taunted, online, as a "terrorist."? The harasser's IP address indicated that he was using WebTV, just the kind of network connection one would expect from a user of an Internet appliance.? The harasser announced, online, that I would be fired from job.? Shortly thereafter I was fired from Cycorp and an harassment website known as KOBEHQ was put on line.? The harassment website, at that time, listed me as public enemy number one above that of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.? In addition to targeting me with harassment, the website targeted Muslims and Arabs.? Members of this online gang began to spam and flood each and every Arab, Muslim and Anarchist forum they could enter with demands to shut down the forums combined with threats, hate speech and psychological abuse of the forum users.? Their statements were racist and threatening.? They collected private information on their targets (as well as gross disinformation) and published it online.
In September of 2002, following a sequence of online death threats directed against me, I went to the FBI field office in Austin, Texas and filed a complaint about the harassment.? The FBI interviewed me.? They offered no help, took my report and asked me some specific questions which I will not list here now.? One piece of information I have the FBI in that interview later showed up online posted by an associate of the harassment operation.? Additionally, the harassers claimed to be in communication with the FBI and proved it by posting the name of an FBI with whom I had communicated online.? The harassers also posted, verbatim, various comments made by the FBI agent I spoke to in Austin, Texas.
After I left Cycorp, in addition to the online harassment, I found that someone had been interfering in my job search.? As an experiment, I stopped looking for work for a couple of months.? Shortly after halting my search, the lead harassers sent me a message telling me that they knew I was no longer looking for a job.? Two individuals at Cycorp were listed as references for the jobs I was getting no response from: Stefano Bertolo and Cyndy Matuszek.? Cyndy Matuszek is the individual that had taken over the CycSecure project and Stefano Bertolo inherited my machines at Cycorp.? These machines had cached my passwords for my email accounts and cell phone accounts.
The harassers sent me copies of my own email and once reported my location and stated that they had access to my cell phone account.? The proved the later by sending me an email telling me were I had made a cell phone call from while traveling.? Later, the harassers would send an email from my former email account at Cycorp to Bill O'Reilly and have that faked email read on the air (http://www.stephen-devoy.com/articles/billoreilly.htm ).
Clearly, there seemed to be a close relationship between Cycorp and the harassment.? However, let's make something clear.? I am only one individual harassed by Cycorp.? In addition to myself, countless Arab and Muslim websites were targeted and harassed 24/7.? Two other former Cycorp employees were harassed by email and another was identified from a protest photo.? Of the websites harassed, most of these shut themselves down in response.? The few that did not shut themselves down replaced their open publishing protocol with a protocol that required registration.? Once they did this, they were no longer harassed and the harassers posted on their own website that they would not harass anyone after they went to registration.? The reason for this is that registered posts are easier for law enforcement to track.? Therefore, their goal was to shut down anonymous speech critical of the US Government.? They did not target pro-US Government anonymous speech.? The only parties interested in doing this would be an intelligence agency wishing to stop any communications media that they feared would be used by "enemies of the state."? Unfortunately, their definition of "enemy of the state" was entirely racial, political and religious and had nothing to do with terrorism.? You were a terrorist in their eyes if you were a Muslim, an Arab or an Anarchist.? As a terrorist, they believed they could deny you your First Amendment Rights, break into your network, install viruses, steal information and harass you.
After two and a half years of this online harassment, I did an experiment to determine whether Cycorp was involved.? Due to the harassment, I had left my residence and moved to another state.? I announced publicly that I had left Massachusetts and did not disclose me actual location.? I sent a fax directly to Mary Sherpherd, director of human resources at Cycorp requesting that a tax document be resent to me.? I provided the address of a third party in Massachusetts as the location to send the tax document to.? Within hours the harassers sent me an email and posted online that they knew where in Massachusetts I was.? They even listed the town I had included in the address on the Fax I sent to Cycorp.? Since I do not live in Massachusetts and since only Cycorp received disinformation that I am living in Massachusetts and since that information in highly accurate form was reported back by the harassers within hours of sending the Fax to Cycorp, I consider it proved that Cycorp is directly linked to the harassment operation known as KOBEHQ.
I can only conclude that Cycorp did, in fact, accept the contract to wage cyber warfare against Arab, Muslim and Anarchist Americans.? The next question is, who is paying for this?