August 17, 2015
#95 Interview With Anonymous
First, the National Post's Adrian Humphreys on working with Anonymous. Then, Jesse interviews #OpAnonDown about their recent leaks on CSIS foreign stations, their John Baird threat, and more.

Interview with Gabriella Coleman on OpAnonDown

Adrian Humphrey’s Twitter: @AD_Humphreys

OpAnonDown’s Twitter: @OpAnonDown

Transcript taken* from Jesse’s online chat with OpAnonDown

*Producer’s note: Grammar/spelling errors have not been edited as to reflect the raw audio file sent to CANADALAND

Jesse Brown: What are you trying to accomplish? Is this really about justice for James Daniel McIntyre or would you be leaking this stuff anyhow?

Anonymous: We would have leaked some of this material anyway. In our view, everything here is entirely connected, however. The atmosphere set by Stephen Harper, RCMP, CSIS and more is to treat environmental protesters as terrorists. Our goal is to protect activists on the ground, to see C-51 completely repealed, and to see how police interact with and spy on indigenous, environmental, and other protesters as well as the general public reset.

JB: Did you hack a government system? Privy Council Office? Treasury Board?

A: With respect to what we have hacked, it would not be in our OpSec interests to speak specifically. In general, here is how things stand: The most protected system in Canada is the new one being put in place for CSIS foreign stations. The second most protected system is probably a tie between the CPC’s SIMS database and the new domain that more sensitive government systems are already switching to. Treasury, for instance, is still on the decade old architecture. Stephen Harper cared way more about protecting his party databases then he did about protecting Treasury Board and Privy Council. Then, of course, there is the 30 year old foreign stations architecture described in the document we leaked.

JB: You’re implying that you did in fact hack the Privy Council Office or the Treasury Board. It’s been suggested that you may have just photoshopped away redactions from a document anybody could have gotten thru an ATIP request. Did you?

A: No. If there was an ATIP request, the government would have produced it by now. We did not get this document through FOI, ATIP, or any other way. Any other similar way.

JB: There seems to be consensus that the document is legitimate. So I take from this chat that you claim to have got it through some kinda hack but you can’t confirm that because it’s a crime and stuff. So, moving on….

A: Moving on

JB: How does exposing the existence of 23 previously secret CSIS stations around the world help the cause of “re-setting” how the State spies on activists and the public?

A: The document refers specifically to CSIS powers to spy on Canadians in Canada as well. This is the new architecture that will allow them to do that more efficiently and secretly. It also demonstrates that we are privy to some of their most well guarded secrets.

JB: So what’s the ideal outcome of that document dump for you?

A: A trial by jury of the officers who shot James McIntyre, the repeal of Bill-C51, and a public fully informed of the two, even three-tier justice system that is fully implemented in Canada as of now.

JB: All 3 of those things may happen, but not because you leaked a document. You get that, right?

A: We get that there are a variety of factors that contribute to any outcome. We know our role and appreciate its limitations. There is zero chance the officer will be tried by jury, actually.

In the enormously unlikely event that charges are laid against an officer or officers, they will choose a trial by judge rather than by jury.

JB: Tony Clement called you “clownish” and other journalists are openly dismissive, even mocking of you. I am deeply skeptical, but not dismissive for 2 reasons: 1. the document seems to be legitimate. 2. obtaining and releasing it might be serious crimes, and you’re risking your freedom by doing this.

A: Thank you. Both of those things are true. There are members of our team that are at more risk than others. As we told the National Post, clowns, court jesters, and political comedians have always been able to tell truths that others cannot. While there are some mockers, we are generally pleasantly surprised not only at the reception to our operation in the Canadian media, but also by the real attempts to finally catch up in terms of secure communications. We appreciate your efforts, for instance, as much as they include inevitable failures and wasted time.

JB: My efforts often include inevitable failure and wasted time. But thanks.  So you’re a team. How many?

A: That wouldn’t be prudent to say. More than one. Less than fifteen.

JB: I’m working under the assumption that I’m talking to the same entity that 1.made the video demanding the arrest of the officers 2.controls the @OpAnonDown twitter handle 3.released the document about CSIS we are discussing and 4.dumped that statement of claim today . All true?

A: All true. Not always the same person, of course, but same team for all of those things, yes.

JB: Ok so since you tweeted the Baird stuff, let me ask: what is the point of tweeting highly defamatory and serious allegations without providing anything that could reasonably be considered substantiation?

A: We explained this in some detail in our press release on Saturday. For many many hundreds of years, those in power could count on structures of power to allow them to get away with unspeakable crimes so long as they could never be proven to a level that is nearly impossible. We caveated what we said appropriately. We think what we’ve done is to encourage full and fair examination of a relevant public issue. Several hundred, maybe a few thousand who are keenly attuned to Twitter now know what dozens of Ottawa and Toronto journalists have whispered about for months, if not years. The article saying that we are threatening to release these texts, for instance, wound up on relatives of ours Facebook pages without our prompting. The texts themselves did not. One more thing on that.

JB: ok…

A: The ongoing CSA inquiries in the UK show that the very highest reaches of power, with the tacit consent or pariticpation of the highest levels of media and law enforcement can be involved in the worst kind of abuse of children for a very long time while it is hushed up. We will have no part in such secrecy. Get the truth out either way. If Baird is innocent of those claims, let’s clear his name and hear the real reason he quit in a hurry.

JB: You called on the public to send any info they have on this to the Globe and Mail. I took from that that you don’t have proof yourself, beyond what you’ve released. Correct?

A: Our very first tweet on this could, understandably, be read to mean that we have decrypted video. We do not. And we attempted to clear that up as best we could with the press release on Saturday. We are now aware of many more parts of the story but cannot put them out there as of yet. We do not have “smoking gun” proof or we would get it out immediately.

JB: Sometimes I know something is true but I can’t prove it. I realize I’m talking to a nameless, amorphous digital entity, but what the heck, let me ask anyhow: do you know if the allegations are true?

A: As we said in our press release, at this point we would be shocked if the most serious allegations against Baird at this point are not true. There comes a tipping point when you hear and see enough of these kind of stories. There was with Cosby. There was with Ghomeshi. There was, in a different domain, with certain atheletes like Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds.

JB: So this morning you posted a Statement of Claim filed years ago by former inmate and “notorious businessman” Nathan Jacobson against the Attorney General and CSIS…

A: yes

JB: You said it was a sealed court document, right?

A: It was at one point, yes. We are getting two different stories, both plausible. In one, the court unsealed it and we don’t have that order. In the second story, a court clerk screwed up and allowed someone to have the file when they shouldn’t have. We don’t know which version is correct.

JB: Michael Harris told me today that it wasn’t sealed when he sought it out- just really hard to find, having been suspiciously moved to a remote courthouse. But how did you get it?

A: It was passed along a chain of trust built up over many years. We believe the original source either helped Harris procure it or even alerted him to its existence. We are not 100% sure. Harris’ story sounds correct. He would definitely know more about the document’s provenance.

JB: In any event, it’s pretty wild stuff! Doesn’t do much to substantiate the claim that Jacobson had anything to do with Baird’s alleged behaviour, but still pretty nuts.

A: Very nuts! That’s why we published it immediately upon reception. It’s exactly what we are talking about with respect to two or even three tiers of justice. Jacobson admitted in an official court document that he bribed a CSIS agent to the tune of perhaps millions of dollars. The CSIS agent was apparently suspended permanently for the bribery. But then suddenly, there’s a settlement. The CSIS agent is back on the job. Likely, Jacobson got a ton of public money for his trouble. Just. Wild. You know, if an indigenous person steals a lemon in Canada, they can be immediately shot dead. But stealing and bribing on huge contract related to oil, gas, and isotopes? It’s all agame.

JB: I’m not sure who it puts pressure on. The Liberals were in power at the time, so I can’t see it rattling any cages in our current government. Are you trying to connect dots or just dump hot shit?

A: It puts pressure on Liberals, yes. It puts pressure on the current government though too. They’ve acted like they had no idea who this top donor was that rubbed shoulders with all the cabinet ministers, even the prime minister. It also puts pressure on CSIS and things like Bill-C51. It’s very clear that Canada’s spy apparatus is completely unaccountable and has zero business. Less than zero business, actually. Less than zero business getting further power to put people on secret lists, get information that could be used to blackmail, etc. etc.

JB: This whole recent episode has seen more back and forth between you and the mainstream press than anything I can recall. Why do you care what the National Post prints? by “you” I mean Anonymous.

A: There are few reason. First, the recent episode with Paul Watson and some of our own experiences with outlets like The Star show that it’s particular journalists worth trusting, not outlets. Secondly, we think the Post reaches Harper’s base. Many will vote for Harper no matter what. But at some point, the strongest base begins to melt away in the face of so much overwhelming corruption on matters they care about.

JB: Yeah but if you had proof (video, documents) you could just dump it and all media would be forced to cover it, as was the case with the PCO/Treasury Board document. So why form relationships with specific reporters? (I will admit I was surprised that Adrian Humphreys reported on a threat by Anonymous)

A: Humphreys did a bang up job on the Matt DeHart story where Canada went along with the torture of one of Anonymous’ own by the United States. We cannot just do a dump for reasons of security and also because we have learned that dumps mean lots of very important information gets buried.

JB: So you’re looking for a signal boost from reporters you trust.

A: Reporters we trust to not be clueless. We would work with very hostile reporteres if they took security seriously and had half a clue what was up and what was down tech wise. Anonymous has no expectation that we will always receive fawning press.

JB: You claim to know that Canada was caught spying on the United States, and that Obama decided to kill the Keystone pipeline as punishment. Got proof?

A: Thank you Jesse. You ask the hard questions in a way that isn’t mean spirited.

JB: that’s sweet of you to say, OpAnonDown.

A: Stay tuned with respect to Keystone and spying on the United States. That wasn’t our last word on this.

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