Saturday, January 9, 2021

Cyber Sleuths Help ID MAGA Insurrectionists


In his profile of a Trump insurrectionist that stormed the Capitol on January 6, The New Yorker's Ronan Farrell notes a resource that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are benefitting from to identify and arrest the rioters -- cyber sleuths:

"A day after the riots, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, notified the F.B.I. that he suspected the man was retired Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., a Texas-based Air Force Academy graduate and combat veteran. Scott-Railton had been trying to identify various people involved in the attack. 'I used a number of techniques to hone in on his identity, including facial recognition and image enhancement, as well as seeking contextual clues from his military paraphernalia,' Scott-Railton told me."  (our emphasis)

Once he'd confirmed Brock's identity, Scott-Railton provided Brock's name to the FBI. In addition to the FBI's "Person of Interest" collection of photos of the rioters, cyber sleuths like Scott-Railton are helping to identify them and turn them in. It helps that many of the MAGA morons posted videos of their criminality proudly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and hung around DC hotels. Also, work associates, social acquaintances and even family have been standing up and reporting those individuals to the FBI. Farrell's article continues:

"The F.B.I. has identified and charged thirteen individuals involved in the attack on the Capitol. Some of them have been identified by the crowd-sourced online movement. 'There’s tons of people taking shots of individual faces and putting them into tweets, which has been extremely helpful,' said Michael Sheldon, an associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, who, like Scott-Railton, used facial-recognition software to identify Brock. 'We reach out to each other if we see someone has something useful or there’s some room for collaboration.' Experts and citizens with no formal training in digital forensics also tweeted various clues and inferences. Scott-Railton stressed that the approach was a supplement to, rather than a replacement for, traditional law-enforcement investigations." (our emphasis)

To emphasize, any tips derived from independent research should be reported to the FBI before any person of interest's name is publicly released. Solid tips and information regarding the identities of the seditious MAGA mob that trashed the Capitol building or threatened public officials should be reported to the FBI here.

BONUSNaming names continues


donnah said...

I am still appalled by the violence and the destruction done by these thugs. They shit on our Capitol, literally and figuratively. They threatened innocent people, killed people, and shook the foundation of democracy.

And they posted selfies.

ObxRex said...

a cell tower data dump of that pings as that location during those hours will tell the gov everyone who was there during the riot.

Hackwhackers said...

donnah -- They seemed so smug and proud of themselves because their powerful cult leader had just given them permission to do it.

ObxRex -- Yes, that's a good point.