FBI Warrant against 8Chan


FBI Warrant Against 8Chan
by Susan Basko, esq.

The FBI was granted a search warrant against 8Chan, a right wing troll message board.  John T. Earnest is a young man who went to a synagogue in Poway, California, and shot and killed people.  Several days before the killings, he posted a manifesto onto pastebin.  Shortly before the killings, he posted a link to the manifesto onto 8Chan.  Earnest stated that he had been a lurker on 8Chan for a year and a half, and learned a lot.

According to the FBI application for the search warrant, the agent states that several users of 8Chan reported to the DOJ about Earnest's final postings onto 8Chan.

ANALYSIS OF THE PURPOSES OF THIS SEARCH WARRANT:  The FBI wants to know how and by whom John T. Earnest was "radicalized" on 8Chan.  Earnest comes from a family that is not racist or antisemitic, but rather, an educated California open-minded family.  Earnest was an accomplished classical pianist and a nursing student.  He was a highly unlikely person to turn into an antisemitic domestic terrorist.  His most "radical" connections seem to have come on 8Chan, which, by his own admission, was the location where he came upon his ideas that led to the shootings.

This search warrant is trying to find the identities of Earnest's contacts on 8Chan by obtaining the IPs and metadata of those commenting on Earnest's posts.  However, those on 8Chan are likely to be using VPNs and/or Tor, so IPs may not actually be available.

One thing to always keep in mind is that a person who may appear to be agreeing with a person who is posting bad ideas or bad plans may be fake-agreeing with the goal of drawing out the person or getting the person to give more details of their plan.  If an observer acts shocked or disagrees sharply, usually the person will not divulge details.  This is a very standard technique in gathering information and one we can assume was in practice on 8Chan among some of those interacting with John Earnest.  Not everyone who acts as if they agree is actually in agreement; some may be trying to elicit further details.

This is not the first time a person heavily involved in a troll message board has been involved in a terroristic shooting.  William Edward Atchison, a young man who was an admin on Encyclopedia Dramatica and active on Kiwi Farms, two right wing troll/ hate/ defamation websites, killed school students and then himself.  At that time, I called upon the DOJ to investigate how white people are  being radicalized online by troll hate websites.  It seems that the goal of this search warrant is to try to gain some insight into how and by whom this inspiration to kill is occurring.

 I have read the entire manifesto written by John T. Earnest and posted on pastebin.  I also read the public statement posted by his parents, apologizing and vowing to assist the FBI in its efforts to find out how and why their son was radicalized into hating and killing Jews.  These are attitudes and actions that Earnest's parents say go against their beliefs and against how they lived their lives and what they taught their children.  I am intentionally not posting the manifesto here, since it may inspire others who are easily influenced or gullible or mentally imbalanced.  In the manifesto, Earnest admits that his beliefs and actions run contrary to how he was raised.  He also notes that he is giving up a good life and a promising future to engage in the killings.

There is a very real question of the mechanism by which an accomplished young man from a seemingly normal family became radicalized into an antisemitic killer.  John T. Earnest himself wrote that he learned by lurking on 8Chan for a year and a half.

The search warrant asks 8Chan to turn over the IP addresses and any other information regarding people who were interacting and commenting on Earnest's postings.  Just below is the main pertinent part of the application for the warrant.  Further below is the full application for the warrant.

Below are excerpts from the warrant application from page 10 and on, that explain the motivation of the FBI in asking to get the IP and metadata on those who commented on John Earnest's 8Chan post.  The headings are written by me to explain each excerpt from the warrant application.

WHAT THE FBI WANTED -- John Earnest's IP info, all postings made from that IP, all postings made by people responding to Earnest's posts or commenting about them, and all IP and metadata related to those comments:
D. Basis for Information Sought. Agents seek IP address and metadata information about Earnest's original posting and the postings of all of the individuals who responded to the subject posting and/or commented about it. Additionally, agents seek information about any other posting coming from the IP address used by Earnest to post the subject posting.

WHAT EARNEST WROTE - his 8Chan farewell address, a link to his manifesto on pastebin, and a link to the facebook location where he planned to livestream the shootings using a GoPro camera:
As discussed above, Earnest made a posting in which he thought to draw attention to his forthcoming attack on the Chabad of Poway, share his views through his open letter, and offer people the opportunity to observe the attack itself.

WHO RESPONDED (See my notes above about how a person who appears to be sympathizing may be pretending to sympathize to try to elicit more details.  Never take online conversational roles at face value.):
Several people responded, both individuals who were taken aback about the posting as well as people who were sympathizers.

HOW THAT MIGHT IMPLICATE THEM:
As a result, some of the individuals may be potential witnesses, co-conspirators and/ or individuals who are inspired by the subject posting.

HOW COULD THAT POSE A DANGER OF ANOTHER ATTACK:
Based on agents' training and experience, following attacks such as those conducted by Earnest, other individuals are inspired by the attacks and may act of their own accord. For example, as described above, Earnest himself was inspired by the Christchurch event in New Zealand.

COMMENTS MAY BE EVIDENCE OF EARNEST'S MOTIVATION:
Regardless of the nature of the comments, the evidence sought to be seized as described in Attachment B is relevant as evidence of Earnest's bias and motivation in committing the hate crimes set forth in Attachment B.

POTENTIAL WITNESSES, CO-CONSPIRATORS, OR INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE INSPIRED:
Even comments made in response to the subject posting or about it are relevant to Earnest's motivation for his violent attacks to the extent that as explained above, some of the posters may be potential witnesses, co-conspirators, or individuals who are inspired by the subject posting.

JOHN EARNEST SAID HE WAS INSPIRED BY 8CHAN:
As discussed above, Earnest stated in the subject posting, "I've only been lurking for a year and a half, yet, what I've learned here is priceless."

EARNEST INSPIRED OR EDUCATED BY THOSE WHO COMMENTED ON HIS THREADS:
This information suggests that Earnest was inspired and/or educated by individuals who commented on his threads.

IP AND METADATA SOUGHT ON ALL COMMENTERS FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION:
Based on this information, there is reasonable cause to believe that the information sought, specifically IP address and metadata for all commenters, constitute evidence of his motivation in committing the offenses described herein and are thus relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation, information that may be sought by an order issued pursuant to l S U.S.C. § 2703( c) and ( d).

MAY LEAD TO IDENTITY OF PEOPLE WHO INSPIRED OR EDUCATED JOHN EARNEST:
That is, the information may lead to the identity of individuals who inspired and/or educated Earnest or are aware of his motivation in committing the attacks.

Intellectual Property Basics in 5 Minutes


Intellectual Property Basics in 5 Minutes
by Susan Basko, esq.

Intellectual property is the name for the creations of the mind that are owned by a person or company.  There are four kinds of intellectual property -  PATENTS, COPYRIGHTS, TRADEMARKS, AND TRADE SECRETS.

1. PATENTS.  Patents are government certifications and protections given to INVENTIONS.  Inventions can be physical mechanical items that do things, such as machines or gadgets.  Inventions can also be computer programs or code that do things.  Process patents or Method patents are about a method of doing something.  Patents are difficult and expensive to get.  Applying for a patent can take years. If you do not register a patent on your invention, you have no protection.  Whoever registers a patent first, gets the patent.  Some patents are based on prior art, which means the invention relies on and uses one or more earlier inventions.  Patents can be extremely valuable and can be sold or licensed.  A patent lasts 20 years from the date of filing, design patents last 14 years.  After 20 years, the patent enters the public domain.  This is why things such as patented medicine or gadgets become much cheaper to buy after 20 years.

The US Patent Office runs a patent assistance center, which you can read about here: https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/support-centers/inventors-assistance-center-iac

Helpful hints:

PATENTS = INVENTIONS.

1. Never send your idea or invention to a company or person unless you have a signed contract that says they will not disclose your idea and will not compete with or steal your idea.

2. If you sign a Work for Hire contract to develop an invention, you will lose ownership over your invention and will not own the patent.

3. BEFORE you sell your invention or patent to anyone, you should have a contract and have it read by a lawyer.

4. If you sell or display the things you have invented, and have not applied for a patent, anyone can steal your invention.  If you apply for a patent, but have not yet received the patent, you can write "Patent Pending" and give the application number.

5. If you get a patent, don't sit on it, because it is only protected for 20 years.


2. COPYRIGHTS.  Copyright protects creative, original works that have been set into tangible form.  Tangible form means it has been written, a photo has been taken, a drawing has been made, a song has been recorded (live performance does not get a copyright), etc.  Copyright does not protect ideas or things that have only been talked about.  Copyright is for things like photos, visual art, creative writings, sound recordings, etc.

The way to get the protections of the Copyright law is by registering copyright with the US Copyright office.  Registering copyright is easy and inexpensive.  Unlike patent and trademark, a copyright registration is not a certification that any part of your work has elements that have copyright.  For example, things that are stock elements cannot have copyright.   If you want to file a lawsuit based on copyright infringement, you must have a completed copyright registration.

Copyright registration takes about 6 months to a year.   If you register copyright in a timely way after creation or before the copyright is infringed, you may be eligible for statutory damages and/or attorney fees.  Registering copyright brings great protections and is so affordable.  Most copyright applications are done online at the US Copyright website and the items to be registered are uploaded as digital files.   For example, if you are registering photographs, you upload jpeg files, and if you are registering writing, you will upload one of the acceptable types of word files. For example, the Copyright office accepts certain screenwriting file formats, if you want to register copyright on a screenplay you have written.

Copyrights last for the life of the author plus 70 years.  There are other past rules about how long a copyright lasts, but this is the basic rule for things created since 1978. Copyrights are extremely valuable because they protect the right to copy a creative work.  Owning copyrights on desirable creative works can support the author or creator for their lifetime, and then support their family for 70 years after that.

Copyrights can be difficult and expensive to protect. Many people stop infringing on a copyright just by being told they are infringing and being asked to stop.  If you need to file a lawsuit to stop someone from infringing, there is a 3 year statute of limitations -- a time limit.  The copyright must be fully registered before any such lawsuit can be filed, and keep in mind, the registration usually takes at least months.

Helpful hints:

COPYRIGHTS  ARE FOR CREATIVE ORIGINAL WORKS IN TANGIBLE FORM. 

COPYRIGHTS PROTECT THE RIGHT TO COPY. 

COPYRIGHT - RIGHT TO COPY. 

1. Register copyright on any creative works you plan to sell, display, or license. Group registrations are available on multiple units of the same type of work by the same author with the same copyright owner -- such as multiple photographs, song lyrics, short stories, etc.

2. iF YOU sign a contract to make something as a Work for Hire, you are giving up the copyright and will not own any rights over the work.

3. Before you sign over any copyrights to anyone, have a lawyer advise you.


3. TRADEMARKS. Trademarks are words or marks (such as logos, symbols, etc) that are used to denote the source of a specific good or service.  Trademark law and rules are extremely complex.  A trademark is difficult and somewhat expensive to get and keep.  A trademark is an extremely valuable and useful asset.  You have to use a trademark to keep it.  Trademark is registered with the US Trademark Office using an online application.  The application process usually takes about a year to two years, and can be very complex.  Most trademark applications fail or are abandoned during the application process.  One a trademark registration is granted, it must be renewed after 5 years, and then again after 10 years.  Then the trademark can become permanently yours, as long as you keep using it and keep others from using it.  It can be time consuming and expensive to protect a trademark.

Helpful hints:

TRADEMARK = A MARK THAT DENOTES A GOOD OR SERVICE

1. Do not use an online service or a do-it-yourself to file a trademark registration. Have a lawyer first advise you on the likelihood of success on a trademark registration, and then, if the likelihood seems good, have the lawyer apply to register the trademark.

2. Trademark law is very complex.  The situation is set up so that if another person or company objects to your trademark application, this can result in a challenge at the trademark office or a lawsuit.  This makes it crucial to know the likelihood of success beforehand and know what you could be getting into.

3. A registered trademark can be an extremely valuable asset and can be used as loan collateral.


4. TRADE SECRETS.  Trade secrets are, by far, the biggest form of intellectual property and the most valuable.  Trade secrets are what make a company work.  Trade secrets are the information, data, processes, customer lists, etc. Your business or company must keep its trade secrets a secret by keeping these items out of the reach of and away from the eyes of anyone that could steal them.  The standard is that trade secrets are literally to be kept under lock and key.  Employees and partners should have a nondisclosure agreement and/or a handbook, but even without that, they owe a duty of loyalty and nondisclosure.  Theft of trade secrets can be a crime.  If you have a business, you should read up on how to protect your trade secrets.

Helpful hints:

TRADE SECRETS MUST BE KEPT SECRET. 


There ya have it -- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY in under 5 minutes. 

Big Changes in Copyright Registration


Big Changes in Copyright Registration
by Susan Basko, esq.

Recently, there have been several really big changes in U.S. Copyright Registration.

 The first big change was brought about by a Supreme Court ruling.  The law has been that to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you had to already have registered copyright on the work you were claiming was infringed.  But what did it mean to "register copyright"?  Was it enough to complete the application, or did the entire registration process have to be completed?  In the past, in most courts, you could simply apply for copyright registration and proceed to a lawsuit while the application was pending.  Now, the Supreme Court says the registration must actually be complete.  Copyright registration is a process that, at this time, is taking about a year to complete.  That's right -- I recently filed some copyright applications and the info box popped up saying the current time estimate is one year-- although in the past, I have seen it at times as low as six months.  Depending on the timing of things, this gap of a year's time could mean a person might not be able to meet the 3 year statute of limitations on a copyright claim.

 Thus, it is more important than ever to file your applications to register copyright on your creative works as soon as possible after creation.  Having your works registered promptly can often prevent the need for a lawsuit, too, because the threat of a lawsuit is then present, along with the possibility of statutory damages and/or attorney fees. There is no power or leverage in claiming a creative work as your own if you have no copyright registration to back it up; there is a great deal of power and leverage in having clear ownershihp of a registered copyright on your work.  It is also important to name your works so the name given immediately and clearly identifies the work being protected.  There is nothing so powerful as making your work easily searchable and identifiable in the Copyright database.

There is simply no substitute for registering copyright and now some other changes at the Copyright Office have made it easier and less expensive than ever to register your works.  In the past, we could register "collections" of items.  The Copyright Office meant for all items in a collection to be protected, as well as the collection itself.  Some courts meddled in and interpreted collections to mean that only the collection itself was protected, and not the individual items.  The response of the Copyright Office has been to create an administrative provision allowing the registration of a group of related items using one application and one application fee, but where each item in the group will be specifically registered.  The registration forms ask for information on each item in the group, thus providing a more robust searchability in the database, and thus, better protection.

Group registrations are the best thing to come along in Copyright in a long, long time.   So let's look at what can be registered as a group at this time. A group registration allows registration of UP TO 10 UNPUBLISHED WORKS by the same author or authors and all of the authors must also be the copyright claimants.  All 10 works must be in the same category and all must be making the same claim.  The application must be made online on the US Copyright website, and digital copies of the works must be uploaded.

 The copyright office also has new rules allowing group registration for UP TO 750 PUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPHS.  That's right -- seven hundred fifty photographs are given copyright protection for one small fee.  This is amazing protection for just pennies a picture.  The photos must all be by the same author, all from the same calendar year, all must be published, the copyright claimants must all be the same, a digital copy of each photo must be uploaded, and a list of each photograph and its info must be made using a template provided by the Copyright Office.  This is an incredible bargain in allowing up to 750 photos to be registered for one fee.  Similarly, a group of UP TO 750 UNPUBLISHED PHOTOGRAPHS may also be registered, using similar guidelines, but the set must all be unpublished.

  In addition, the Copyright Office is proposing a rule that will allow a group registration of up to 50 short online literary works that were authored within a 3 calendar month period, all with one application and one registration fee.  If this rule comes into practice, it would be useful for "poems, short stories, articles, essays, columns, blog entries, and social media posts."  If this rule goes into effect, it will probably be implemented in late 2019 or in 2020.  With these new Group registrations, there simply is no excuse to not protect your valuable creative works with Copyright registration. 

R Kelly Studio Fiasco/ code violations

 R Kelly Studio space, 2nd floor, photo from 2015, before Kelly rented there.
R. Kelly Studio Fiasco/ code violations
by Susan Basko, esq.

R. Kelly has lots of legal troubles lately, including that he is being evicted from the studio he rents for over $22,000 per month.  According to the Chicago Reader, the studio is owned by Midwest Commercial Funding, LLC.  Chicago got an inspection order, went in and found 48 building code violations. 

The building is also up for sale for nearly $4 million.  It's not likely a building being sold with a whole roster of major code violations can be sold for that much money. The studio building is a warehouse near Union Park in Chicago.  This is an up and coming area with a lot of hip businesses, internet-based start-ups, cafes, etc.  The area is near the Lake Street el, is a few minutes from downtown, but is dicey.

R Kelly Studio building exterior
This is the exterior of the building, as shown in a realtor ad.  According to the realtors, the building was built in 1928.  The second floor is an open area 40 feet by 100 feet, with a 14 foot ceiling.

R Kelly studio 2nd floor, picture from 2015 before Kelly was a tenant.
Kelly was getting bad publicity after a scandalous news article by Jim DeRogatis was published, alleging that Kelly was running a sex cult and/or holding women captive.  The landlords moved to evict Kelly and were trying to sell the building. The City got this inspection order below.

Chicago building inspection order for the building housing R Kelly's studio
If you know anything about Chicago, you know the City uses building code violations to harass people or to gets its way, if they cannot find a more efficient route.  So, the City building inspector came into the studio and found 48 building code violations.  This is a building up for sale for almost $4 million -- so, either the price must be reduced to allow a buyer to repair the place, and/or it must be sold as is and someone has to fix it, or it must be sold as is for demolition.  In 2010, an inspector found numerous code violations on the exterior of the building, but entry to the interior was refused.  This was before R Kelly was a tenant.  See the notation that in 2010, the building inspector was refused entry to the building.

The report includes the long list of  2019 alleged code violations, which are labeled as being from the Strategic Task Force, which sounds much more dire than just a building inspector.  The building owners are being required to remove plumbing and other work that was done without a permit.  They are required to hire an architect, come up with plans, get permits, and make a lot of structural repairs and improvements.  

Meanwhile, it looks like R. Kelly can take his money and go have a studio somewhere that does not have massive building code violations.   Scroll along the right edge of the report to view all of the alleged violations in detail.

Jussie Smollett -- What Went Uber Wrong with the Plan

Jussie Smollett - photo credit: By Sister Circle Live 
Jussie Smollett -- What Went Uber Wrong with the Plan
by Susan Basko, esq.


Other writers: If you are going to "borrow" my writing or research, at least give me credit.  I do original research and -- heck, you ought to try that, too.

The latest twist in the Jussie Smollett street attack story is that he paid his two body-building friends, Chicagoans Nigerian brothers Abel and Ola Osundairo, $3500 to stage the mugging.   (Allegedly, someone emailed in to remind me to write allegedly.)

What went wrong with the plan?

1. The story seemed fishy from the beginning for a whole roster of reasons, including that Chicago is not MAGA country, but rather, is a sanctuary city and longtime Democratic stronghold.  Then there was the fact it was an icy cold Chicago night and people were not out strolling about.  Surveillance video had to be searched to find even two people out and about.  Then there was the oddball fact that Jussie Smollett still had his Subway sandwich after being attacked and tossed around.  Subway sandwiches are excellent, but in case of a violent tussle, are likely to be dropped and lost.  All in all, the story rang up as not likely fully true.

2. The attack took place - or was staged -- just below a street surveillance camera.  And then it turned out the camera was actually facing the opposite direction. This was the first big snag in the plan; the video evidence was nonexistent.

3. Chicago police located two potential attackers on surveillance video and then, according to at least one news report, used the Uber ride-sharing app to identify one of them.  Uber requires those who join its app to allow the company to have access to the phone's locations, pictures, files, phone calls, texts, contacts lists, etc.  All the CPD had to do was issue a subpoena or warrant to Uber and they could obtain not only the name of the man using the account, but his financial data, airline ticket jpgs and itineraries which were likely stored on the phone, photos, a location history, and tons of other information likely contained on the phone that the user had given Uber permission to access upon joining Uber.

 Scary?  The permissions required are why I have not joined Uber; I was shocked when I recently read the permissions list. Here are screen shots of the Uber app permissions that appeared on a version of the app that recently appeared.  The app gives written notice that "Updates to Uber may automatically add additional capabilities within each group."  In other words, these capabilities may be expanded each time an app update occurs.  Some apps update automatically, and others require a click or permission.  Very rarely would anyone seek out or read what permissions are being given to the app on an update.


This first screen full of permissions gives Uber permission to know the identity of the user, find accounts on the phone, add or remove accounts, read the contact card, read the person's contacts, and find the person's approximate and precise locations.


This second set of permissions gives the Uber app the abilitiy to receive text messages on the user's phone, read the user's text messages, and send text messages from the user's phone.  Uber is also given permission to directly call phone numbers, presumably using your phone or possibly using your phone contacts to make phone calls.  Uber is also given permission to modify or delete contents of the user's SD card.  The SD card is where you may have stored pictures, files, tickets and receipts, songs and videos, games, etc. 


This third set of permissions allows Uber to use the user's camera to take pictures and videos! It also allows Uber to obtain the user's WiFi connection information, which would show which WiFi systems have been available to your phone and which you have logged into.  This would be a way of tracking the Uber user's movements and activities, as well as a way to be able to find out more information, such as what was done on any of those WiFi systems.  Included in this set of permissions is that Uber can read the phone status and identity and the Device ID and phone call information.   You're just calling for a car ride, not joining the CIA, remember.


This fourth set of Uber app permissions overlaps with the third screen.  Here, Uber lists as "Other" a set of "New" permissions.  Uber can: Draw over other apps (I am not sure exactly what this means, but it does not sound good), prevent phone from sleeping, connect and disconnect from WiFi, read Google service configuration, control vibration, pair with bluetooth devices, change your audio settings, use accounts on the device (sounds like it can buy things on your Amazon account? or what?), view network connections, and have full network access.

 Basically, when you give Uber all these permissions, you are employing Uber to spy on you, your contacts, your locations, phone calls, your audio, and all your files. It sounds like with the two Nigerian-Chicagoan brothers, the Chicago Police Department were able to track them via the Uber app.  One day, the men in the grainy photo were unidentified and barely recognizable.  Soon thereafter, Chicago police knew their names, their address, knew when they had flown to Nigeria and when they were coming back.  Police were waiting at O'Hare Airport for them upon their return.

 What's the upshot here?  Does Uber need all this information and all these capabilities to arrange for someone to give you a ride?  Likely, it needs some of these capabilities.  Having some of these permissions probably makes Uber riders and drivers safer or at least they can be held accountable easier if they do something bad.  After all, with Uber, you are getting into a car with an unlicensed stranger and that driver is allowing random people off the street into their car.  The Uber app permissions make both the driver and riders more known and less random.   The knowability probably makes the whole enterprise a bit safer for all involved.

 The downside is you are giving Uber the right to act as a surveillance machine upon the intimate details of your life that are contained in your phone.  Upon considering this list of permissions, I could not get myself to click, "I accept."   I decided that if I cannot walk or take a bus or train, I will call a taxi or a friend, if one is nearby.  Many times, I am in places where taxis are scarce.  My lack of Uber has meant such things as walking with groceries in the rain or walking a distance to where I knew there was a cab stand.  It's not convenient and I long to use a ride sharing service, if one were respectful of my privacy.

 What is the legality of police using information gathered by the Uber app, when the Uber user has given the app permission to gather all that information?  If the police serve a subpoena or warrant upon Uber, it seems likely the Uber user has no standing to object to the subpoena and would probably not even be given notice of the subpoena.

Might the police require Uber to commandeer the phone and, for example, require Uber to give the location of the phone, and likely of the phone owner, since most people carry their phones with them?  Might police require Uber to use the phone camera to show the people or the place where they are located?  Might police require Uber to use the phone as a listening device?  Or would Uber be required to only give the information it would have otherwise obtained in the normal course of its business operations?

 Conversely, are there privacy laws that prohibit an app from gathering excess information?  Right now, as far as I know, the legal standard is that the app must get permission from the users to gather or use information.  However, app permissions are always a take-it-or-leave-it proposition -- either you agree to allow the app to do what it does or you do not use the app.  A user cannot opt in or out of the various permissions.  And, as seen above, the app can automatically add on more capabilities with each update. 

All these are legal questions that have yet to be explored, as far as I know.   Right now, awareness is the key.  If you are agreeing to turn your phone into a complete surveillance device that can be used against you, then at least be aware you are doing that.


Stalking Notice and Disclaimer

Stalking Notice and Disclaimer
by Susan Basko, esq.

For the past month or so, a mentally ill young woman in California has been posting extremely defamatory, menacing, and harassing posts to or about me on her 5 or 6 twitter accounts.  She has posted dozens upon dozens of weird and disturbing posts, accusing me of all manner of made-up crimes and such, as well as accusing a psychiatrist, apparently known to her, of murder and other serious crimes.

 The young woman has issued death threats to me via Twitter, accused me of strange crimes and wrongdoings, and posted lots of misplaced anger. I am not and never have been involved in her life, other than exchanging 5 or 6 cordial emails with her many years ago.

 For sake of clarity, I need to state that I have never met this young woman, have never spoken with her, and there is no interaction or connection between us.  She approached me on Twitter about 8 years ago and we exchanged a few emails.  She explained that she had bipolar illness and a history of very serious stalking and riling up confusion by impersonating people and writing letters in their names to other people to get the other people angry.  She told me she had been arrested for stalking, had been hospitalized as a result, and that she was on some sort of parole or probation because of it.  After a few emails, I dropped the potential friendship explicitly.

She has stalked me on and off ever since and this has caused considerable harm to me.  She has engaged in horrifying, ongoing massive attacks of lying and delusional accusations of crimes and wrongdoings against me and people that I know.   She and her friends and associates in a group called the Rustle League have littered the internet with huge amounts of shocking defamation and ridicule of me, using skilled search engine optimization to weaponize Google and maximize the extreme defamation against me.   I have also been the target of hacking, swatting, false and malicious police reports and bar complaints, false and malicious lawsuit filings, bomb threats made using my name, and on and on and on.

  It should go without saying that I have no relationship, connection, or interaction with this young woman or any of her friends or associates.  I have never met her or had any interaction with her and have never done anything to her; nor has anyone that I know.  She has menaced and stalked me and attacked me on and off for years on end, as have her friends and associates in the Rustle League and her other online associates.

 This young woman has bipolar illness and appears to be in a delusional mania.  This young woman is a very junior lawyer, so a lot of her harassing tweets have a legal theme.  None of it makes any sense and none of it conforms to reality.  She often posts tweets claiming I am doing something wrong legally, or that she is filing a Bar complaint, or that she is filing an FBI complaint.  There is no wrongdoing or crime at all on my part and never has been any.  These accusations are all in her imagination and relate to her desire to menace and harass and possibly partly caused by her mental illness.

 I have her blocked on my Twitter accounts and none of my tweets are to or about her, making her menacing input not only unwelcome, but frightening to me.  I should be able to participate in a public forum without being set upon by this person menacing and defaming me and threatening to kill me.

 Tragically, the young woman is a member of a group called the Rustle League, which is a group of people who met online.  Most or all of these people have major mental illness and/or substance abuse problems.  They are known for hacking, doxing, stalking, swatting "social engineering," which is a form of trickery to get information to be able to hack or dox a person, invasions of privacy, obtaining personal materials and posting those online, not respecting personal boundaries, projection of their own wrongdoing onto others, particularly onto their victims, and other bad acts.

 I have been a target of this whole group for over 8 years.  During that time span, most of the Rustle League members have landed in prison or in mental institutions, some have died, and a few have gotten mental health care or drug rehab and gotten their lives a bit more together.  Sadly, during this young woman's delusional mania, other members of the group have been egging her on and even participating in her delusional rhetoric and highly defamatory claims. 

  If one is in a bipolar mania, turning to others with the same sort of mental problems for help is not useful.  There is something to be said for choosing one's friends wisely.  This young woman has chosen, even while relatively well, to befriend people who are actively involved in stalking, menacing, hacking, and harassing others.

 For the first several years that I was stalked by the Rustle League members, most of them used swastikas on their Twitter accounts, as well as pictures of Hitler, many derogatory references to Jews and "Jew gold."  They also posted on their twitter accounts obscene photos of a distended anus, which they call "goatse," which signified their participation in the highly defamatory and harmful website, Encyclopedia Dramatica.   When one has a mental illness, the worst possible thing is to choose friends who will lead one into and approve of activities and behaviors that are, on their face, sick and depraved.  The pervasive use of Nazi and  obscene symbolism by members of the Rustle League, as well as the members' association with well-known Nazi and ISIS leaders, would be enough to warn anyone that the group was not a normal or healthy social club.  The group members only stopped posting swastikas and goatses on Twitter when Twitter finally banned their use.  It took Twitter years to install that ban.

 While I have sympathy for anyone experiencing extreme mental illness, it is also unfair that I have been made the target of the delusions, menacing, accusations, stalking, and the extreme levels of online character assassination and defamation.  Mental illness does not have to involve harming strangers.  Nor should mental illness involve the person being allowed to be online making a public spectacle of how sick they are and how confused their thinking is.   Once the mania has worn off, that is too much damage to try to recuperate from, and too much damage has been done to innocent strangers, such as myself.  In this instance, she is also online chronicling the unraveling of her very new legal career.

 What I find the saddest is that this young woman's family has not had her hospitalized and taken her off the internet, where she is making a spectacle of her illness and her delusions.   This same young woman engaged in the exact same kind of online manic assault against me and people I know just a few short years ago.  That time, she also made criminal accusations against that same psychiatrist as well as against others.  After that horrific situation, I thought surely her family would put in place a system to quickly have her hospitalized and taken off the internet when her mental illness flared up.  Apparently not.

Overall, I cannot see how or why this stranger's mental illness should be an issue I am forced to deal with for years on end, simply because her family refuses to provide proper care and guardianship for her. They leave her running around physically and on the internet, harming others, always including me in her list of victims.  This is not socially right.  The family has the wherewithal to hospitalize her and keep her and society safe.

 I debated heavily about whether or not to write and post this sort of disclaimer.  However, after weeks of having this woman post dozens upon dozens of menacing accusations on 5 or more twitter accounts, to an audience of over a thousand people, and then watching her equally disturbed friends joining in, I feel I had no choice but to state clearly and simply that I have no connection to this person or her friends, and yet have been horrifically stalked and attacked by them for years.  I have kept screen shots and URL listings off all of the tweets from this attack as well as the onslaught from a few years ago as evidence or proof, if any is needed.

 The internet is littered with the horrific defamation and smears against me created by this malicious group. That is their stock in trade and their raison d'etre.  I don't claim to understand this new form of group mental illness; I have simply been the victim and observer of it.

 While I have the greatest sympathy with those experiencing mental illness, I do not wish to continue being victimized by the mental illness and bad behaviors of this young woman or that of her friends in the nefarious group, Rustle League.  All I have ever asked is that these unpleasant and damaging people Leave Me Alone.  Leave me alone.  For many years now, this has been an impossible task for them. If anyone has any questions about this terrible situation, please email me.

Jail Phone Call Recordings Online


Jail Phone Call Recordings Online
by Susan Basko, esq.


I have hesitated and waited in explaining this publicly, but questions have been raised, and so I shall explain.  There is a situation that has raised the question publicly of whether or not I reported a serious crime committed against me and others to the authorities -- and the answer is, "Yes, I reported this crime."  I am finally speaking up because I do not want my own integrity and ethics to be put into question by the shocking wrongdoing of other people.  

A deeply evil man named James Alexander McGibney of San Jose, California, has stalked me for years.  He is a horrible sick man who stalks scores of women nationwide.  James McGibney has a very lengthy and notorious history of harassing and terrorizing women  and girls across the nation.  I know personally quite a few women who have been stalked and terrorized by James McGibney, myself included.  The women I know of who have been and are stalked by McGibney are of a certain type: mother and grandmothers, highly intelligent, successful, virtuous women and upstanding citizens, pillars of their community.  James McGibney targets women he "sees" on the internet and then stalks and terrorizes them mercilessly for years on end, never stopping.  He has done this to me and to quite a number of women I have come to know through our mutually being stalked by him.

McGibney's main goal and tactic in stalking all these women seems to be to try to weaponize Google -- he buys up domains in the names of his stalking victims and in the names of their family members, and creates websites where he posts lies, invasions of privacy, smears, and other filth.  His goal appears to be to take good virtuous women and try to destroy their reputations by posting filthy garbage "about" them.  In doing so, James McGibney is an enemy to all women, to families, and to civilized society.  His actions are deeply evil and hate-filled.  He and his associates treat women as less than human.  He has tried to remove all dignity, all grace, and all decency from women nationwide.  I know; I am one of the victims and have been so for years now.

 James McGibney runs a for-profit defamation-smear and extortion business called ViaView, Inc.  He also supposedly works for a company called Rosendin Electric.  McGibney's Via View, Inc., runs horrific smear websites where McGibney posts all manner of lies, filth, and harassment about his stalking victims.  Included among these smear-extortoin websites are Cheaterville, which was designed for McGibney to post photos of young girls with their personal information and call them such things as slut and whore, and then McGibney demanded take-down payments of hundreds of dollars.  In court filings, McGibney claimed he was making hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on that one evil website alone.  (If I often use the word "evil" in writing of James McGibney, it is because it is the most apt word.)  Another McGibney website is Bullyville, where McGibney posts tons of lies, smears, invasions of privacy, and his other extortionate materials.  McGibney conducts these rampant assaults on the dignity of women, apparently in addition to working at Rosendin Electric.

James McGibney engages in targeted harassment so terribly much that his Twitter accounts have been repeatedly kicked off and banned by Twitter.  This is so rare for Twitter to kick anyone off the platform, but McGibney deserved it, withi his incessant death threats and demeaning harassment aimed at his stalking victims.   It takes a whole lot of wickedness to get kicked off Twitter permanently, and McGibney has been kicked off permanently many, many times. He waits a while and sneaks back and creates a new account.  Right now, there is an account that appears to belong to McGibney, followed by 28 people, most of which are known long-time internet harassers -- and a few sock puppets.

I never heard of James McGibney until he, out of the blue, began stalking me.  One night, someone emailed me to say that James McGibney was tweeting that I sell children for sex.  Huh?   I am a mother, a grandmother, a lawyer, and have never been involved in any crime of any sort, let alone any type of sexual crime or misdeed.  My actions are of the highest character and goodness. I come from a large and loving, close-knit, good family.  We are a family filled with degrees and honors and awards, interesting careers, honorable children, and most of all, love. We are a family that goes on hay rides and apple picking together.  We make soup for our neighbors and volunteer in our communities.  The tweets and accusations were so bizarre that, at first, I blocked McGibney on Twitter and ignored him.  I know now I should have called the police immediately.

 By the time I found out who James McGibney was, he had already purchased multiple domains and emails in my name.  He used the domains to create false, horrific websites where he posts hundreds of lies about me.  I am a lawyer.  James McGibney and his former lawyer, Jay Leiderman, bought up the domains suebasko(dot)com and Suebaskolaw(dot)com and other domains + emails in my name.  They pretended to be me and posted tons and tons of lies about me -- entirely fabricated ugly, vile, dishonest bullshit.  I have never met or spoken with either of them.  I had never done anything to either of them.  Their attacks were entirely unprovoked and shocking and out of the blue.  In fairness, I will say that Leiderman appears to have gotten mental health care and appears to have stopped engaging, at least overtly, in these activities, but James McGibney persists.  The internet is absolutely littered with the lying, defamatory garbage created in my name by these people and their stalker associates - the obvious purpose being to extort me.

Several years ago, a young woman from Colorado, with whom I was acquainted online and via phone, contacted me to tell me that her boyfriend, with whom I am also similarly acquainted, had been arrested.   I knew them both as a talented, caring young couple very much in love and planning their future together. The young woman said her boyfriend had been arrested through actions of her mother, who, she said, had interfered in her other past relationships.  The young woman was heartbroken and wanted to help her boyfriend out of jail as quickly as possible.  She asked me to help and asked me to allow the boyfriend to call me.  

I made a Securus Tech jail phone call account for $20 or $30 and allowed the young woman's boyfriend to call me several times, until he used up the money.  That was about 12 short calls in total.  The calls were simple, but personal.  There is nothing unusual in the calls and normal people would find them boring.  That's normal people, not deranged stalkers.  The phone calls are not anyone's business and only sick, depraved people would want to stalk in and listen to the personal phone calls of other people.  

In October 2017, I found out that an assistant county attorney in Jefferson County, Colorado, named Rebecca Klymkowsky, had sold or given 20 hours of recordings of the man's jail phone calls to James McGibney, the cyberstalker extortionist described above.  The stalker McGibney placed the jail phone call recordings onto one of his vulgar, dishonest websites, along with his deranged narrative.  

There is no known law or legal reasoning that would allow Klymkowsky to sell or give the recordings to McGibney -- or to anyone.  I have been assured by many higher level legal sources that there is absolutely no legal basis for this to have been done.  Simple logic would explain this to anyone, even if they had no legal knowledge.  Jail inmates use phone calls to help find witnesses and to plan their defenses, to stay in touch with their families, friends, and jobs.   Making those jail phone calls public would interfere with any defendant's right to due process and a fair trial, as well as defeat the purposes of keeping inmates in contact with their loved ones and responsibilities.  What has been done is shocking and inconceivable under the laws and Constitution of the United States of America.

The ONLY way that jail phone calls could possibly be legally released would be to a bona fide law enforcement agency with a valid subpoena to use them for a bona fide legal investigation purpose.  There is absolutely no situation where a crazed cyberstalker would be allowed to obtain jail phone call recordings to post on the internet for cyberstalking and extortion purposes.

In addition, I was assured by Securus Tech, the jail phone call company, that a jail phone call recording could only be released to a bona fide law enforcement agency with a valid subpoena, and no other way.  Common sense and logic would tell us this, too.  

I have duly reported this situation to higher legal authorities, as I was required to do.  I have been assured by the highest law enforcement authorities that this situation is being worked on.  

I have never listened to the jail phone call recordings that are supposedly posted by James McGibney, on his stalking website.  I do not know if he posted real calls, if he edited or switched the calls around.  I do know the actual calls are mundane.  

I urge everyone to avoid going to any website run by James McGibney.  The websites are of an evil nature, and anyone good would want to avoid such places.  (In my religious upbringing, these were called "occasions of sin" or "places of sin.") The websites were created by James McGibney to indulge in his hatred of women across the nation -- especially his hatred of good women who are mothers and/or grandmothers.  For whatever reason, these good, lovely women are McGibney's chosen target of hate.  It is inexplicable, because I have been in contact with a number of the women victims of McGibney's stalking, and they are all caring, intelligent, responsible, good, lovely women.  It has been said that since McGibney's mother put him up for adoption, that he hates all women and seeks to punish them.  Behind every sick, twisted person, there is usually some story from their upbringing, and this might be his.

The McGibney websites are also likely to have trackers and tracers, and in fact, McGibney has claimed that he can identify visitors to websites.  This presents a highly dangerous situation for anyone. 

James McGibney is a man who is running a business trying to make money by making up lies and smears about other people.  He is trying to damage the reputations of strangers. He is not a good person.  I would urge anyone decent to avoid him and his websites.   

Please be aware that I report all serious crimes committed against me, including all forms of stalking and cyberstalking, false reports of crimes, false blogs and websites, anyone claiming I am part of a conspiracy theory the person dreams up, threats of any sort, repeated unwanted contacts or postings via social media, impersonations, and more. 

HERE IS AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE THAT EXPLAINS PEOPLE LIKE JAMES MCGIBNEY AND HOW IN THEIR MINDS, THEY JUSTIFY ATTACKING WOMEN.