Lawsuit Claims Accidental Google Search Led To Years Of Government Investigation And Harrassment

from the so-plausible-yet-so-bizarre dept

We've seen a few lawsuits filed over autocomplete suggestions, but those have all been aimed at Google by people who failed to understand a) how search engines work, and b) the unintended consequences of their actions. Targeting a search engine for unflattering autocomplete suggestions tends to make the problem worse. Each legal effort only results in more stories "confirming" the autocomplete suggestions.

This lawsuit is a bit different. The plaintiff is arguing that an accidental search triggered by an autocomplete suggestion ruined his life. But it's not Google's fault. It's… well, it's pretty much damn near everyone else.

Jeffrey Kantor, who was fired by Appian Corporation, sued a host of government officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry in Federal Court, alleging civil rights violations, disclosure of private information and retaliation…

He also sued Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, EPA Administrator Regina McCarthy and U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta.
That's a lot of big names, all of which are somehow related to Jeffrey Kantor's errant search, a mistake anyone could have made. But in this era of pervasive surveillance, a mistake may be all it takes.
"In October of 2009, Kantor used the search engine Google to try to find, 'How do I build a radio-controlled airplane,'" he states in his complaint. "He ran this search a couple weeks before the birthday of his son with the thought of building one together as a birthday present. After typing, 'how do I build a radio controlled', Google auto-completed his search to, 'how do I build a radio controlled bomb.'"
From that point on, Kantor alleges coworkers, supervisors and government investigators all began "group stalking" him. Investigators used the good cop/bad cop approach, with the "bad cop" allegedly deploying anti-Semitic remarks frequently. In addition, his coworkers at Appian (a government contractor) would make remarks about regular people committing murder-suicides (whenever Kantor expressed anger) or how normal people just dropped dead of hypertension (whenever Kantor remained calm while being harassed).

Kantor also claims he was intensely surveilled by the government from that point forward.
He claims government officials monitored his book purchases and home computer, and implied that everything he did was being monitored…

Kantor [also] claims the stalking spilled over into his personal life when the government secretly attached a GPS antenna to his car to track him.
Kantor alleges this harassment continued long after he lost his job at Appian (who he's currently suing as well). The claims of stalking, harassment and surveillance fill a great deal of the 33-page filing. His suit also claims that personal information obtained through "FISA warrants" was routinely used against him (and repeated back to him) by a number of people -- the so-called "group stalking" or "gang stalking."

Kantor also makes the rather novel claim that the statute of limitations (for incidents over 2 years old) doesn't apply because the exposure of the NSA's PRISM program (which is how the accused apparently gathered much of Kantor's private info) didn't occur until 2013.
Section 223 of the Patriot Act gives citizens two years from the time they discover that their civil rights have been violated to sue. These privacy violations occurred between 2010 and 2013. Many of the privacy violations occurred in the last two years. Other violations that Kantor alleges occurred in 2010 and early 2011, which is beyond 2 years. However, the law says that the timeline is based on when the citizen had a reasonable chance to discover the violation. Since the PRISM program was only declassified in July of 2013, these earlier violations should not be time-barred.
All in all, the filing doesn't build a very credible case and comes across more as a paranoiac narrative than a coherent detailing of possible government harassment and surveillance. Here are just a few of the highlights.
One day in 2010, Kantor went to an adult web site from his home computer. The next day at work, a CRGT manager, Tony Buzanca, came up to Kantor, who was working at his computer, bent over and whispered in Kantor's ear, "people who go to pom sites are going to hell." Kantor contends that the government monitored Kantor's internet traffic, disclosed this private information to Buzanca, and had Buzanca repeat it back to Kantor for the purpose of harassment and group stalking. There was no legitimate investigative purpose to this disclosure of Kantor's private information, which must have been obtained through the Patriot Act enabled FISA warrant...

Two days before Kantor requested to be transferred, he drove to a park area of Ft Belvoir after work. He hiked on a trail and retumed to his car, which was in an isolated area (where no one normally parks). There was a van next to his car and there were three men. As Kantor returned to his car, one man said to the other, "He has been here two years 'and he won't quit. I guess he is trying to prove a point." Kantor later discovered that an antenna had been affixed to his Audi A4. The government must have been using GPS tracking to track Kantor and the stalkers were using this GPS information to follow Kantor around and stalk him…

Kantor had driven to lunch with his Appian manager, Mike Kang. Mike Kang asked Kantor what movies his wife likes. Kantor answered and politely asked Mike Kang what movies his wife likes. Kang stated that his wife likes "the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and the "Harry Potter" movies. Kantor thought that this was strange since at the time the only version of "the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" that existed was in Swedish and Harry Potter was a kids' movie. Kantor also thought this was disturbing because those were the exact two books that he was reading, and he had borrowed these books from his local library. The second book Kantor was reading to his son…
As Kantor left work that afternoon, he was followed by an African-American man in a suit. The man sat across from Kantor on the Metro train. At the West Falls Church exit, which is one stop before the Dunn Loring exit, the man got up and started screaming at the top of his lungs at Kantor, "You respect my privacy, I'll respect your privacy, bitch!" He screamed this around five times at Kantor at the top of his lungs, and then got off the train right as the doors were about to close...

[Kantor' boss] also sent Kantor an email that said, "It's the end of the world as we know it." Kantor forwarded the email to his house. The next day he showed his father, Lawrence Kantor Jr, the email, with the title, "It's the End of the World as We Know It" and Kantor's browser history, which showed that he had emailed for the chords and lyrics to REM's "It's the end of the World as We Know It" the night before his manager sent him the email. This group stalking had occurred hundreds if not thousands of times, but this was an instance where there was digital proof and a witness on Kantor's side that had seen it in action…
Kantor in this very draft alleged that he was being wrongly investigated as a terrorist and complained overhearing his coworkers saying that his car was being searched for an AK--47. In the evening of 8/5/2013, a Vienna police officer walked into the volunteer office and said to Kantor and the three other volunteers in the room, "So this is where all the terrorists hang out. I am going to go look for an AK-47." The police officer then left. He said nothing prior to this comment and nothing after it. Kantor had never seen the police officer before or hence. This illustrates that the privacy violations and group stalking are still occurring. Is Kantor supposed to Contact the town police and complain that police officers are stalking him (which is a crime that they themselves like the FBI are supposed to be preventing, instead of engaging in)?
Kantor has retained Christopher Swift of Swift & Swift, an attorney who apparently specializes in patent law, to represent him in this lawsuit against several government officials. The lawsuit seeks $13.8 million in compensatory damages and $45 million in statutory damages, as well as an injunction against the government to prevent it from further stalking him.

But that's not all!

The lawsuit also asks the judge to find that the PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional and illegal and order the FBI to turn over all calls and contacts where violations of the PATRIOT Act are alleged to the DoJ and the administration's "privacy advocate."

Now, there are a couple of ways of looking at this. Kantor may have undiagnosed mental issues which have led him to believe everyone (at several consecutive jobs) is out to get him and has access to his personal info. Certainly, the idea that the government has access to all of this info is less dubious than it was back in 2009 when the harassment allegedly began, but the rambling nature of this filing (which was apparently written with the assistance of an attorney) sounds a bit more like unhinged near-ravings than a blow-by-blow account of long-term harassment.

On the other hand, there would be no better way for the government to harass someone out of the workforce (while maintaining plausible deniability) than to create a situation so over the top and ridiculous that it instantly strips the victim of all credibility. So, there's that to consider as well.

The alleged starting point (the wrong Google search) is also not that far off either, as far as that goes. With certain keywords triggering NSA activity, it's not exactly paranoid to express a concern that a few erroneous searches could result in some sustained surveillance.



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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

    EEEK!

    I just heard an explosion some where!

    ...

    Oh, that's just the Google haters heads exploding.

     

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    davebarnes (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 6:43pm

    Better Search

    "How do I kill Dickhead Cheney?"
    WVMBE WBPZM MNWCZ NYDMA QFAMD MVMQO PBVQV MBMVM TMDMV BEMTD

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Now just imagine what intended harassment would be.

    Schmidt hisself has warned about the power of Google, that it's too dangerous for mere mortals to have and must be kept in hands of the Nazi ubermensch.

    Google is in advertising, not freedom. Advertising is commercial propaganda full of deceit.

    15:05:03[q-26-3]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:08pm

    "The alleged starting point (the wrong Google search) is also not that far off either, as far as that goes. With certain keywords triggering NSA activity, it's not exactly paranoid to express a concern that a few erroneous searches could result in some sustained surveillance."

    I disagree, unless you are already being investigated for something, no-one is going to give a crap what you search for on Google.

     

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      Nick (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:23pm

      Re:

      Yeah, that's my opinion too. A single unintentional (and not followed-up-on) search on google will not place you on a terrorism watch list. There are far too many people in this country that are indeed curious about how to make some things that would be considered disrespectable for the NSA to monitor each and every one of them. And then to "blow" the investigation multiple times by making these facts known the day after? Pure coincidence.

      Heh, I love how he found it "odd" that his friend's wife liked Harry Potter, a "kid's movie". My parents like the books, and the movies too, so it's not at all odd that an adult would like them. And this man is reading a VERY popular book to his kid the same time the movies are out? WOW! STOP THE PRESSES!

       

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        KingofDarkness (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Didn't the article say he worked for a government contractor? That would mean you automatically get more attention, wouldn't it?

        This kind of stuff makes ME paranoid. When I imagine someone who has gone through extensive surveillance and abuse, I imagine they would behave much like the stereotype of a crazy paranoid person. Not all of this guys stories have to be literally true. If he was surveilled for some time by some means and he was made aware of it, this would certainly lead to him beginning to see it everywhere. The human brain is pattern oriented and planting that seed can have severe results.

        Just as Jeremy bentham's Pent Octagon would not require full time jailors, because the inmates would not know if they were being watched. The idea of being persistently watched affects people's behavior. All it would take is a timely confirmation (legitimate surveillance on this guy by some government spook) every now and then to keep this guys mind wrapped up in the feeling/idea that he was being watched.

        This is what makes me worry about this sort of government abuse. I do not believe any outsider or anyone not intimately involved in the situation could reliably judge the validity of these type of allegations. I would even be skeptical to dismiss them if a Psychiatrist declared this guy insane. Because that diagnosis was made after years of possible surveillance and abuse.

        Scary business...

         

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:10pm

    this kind of shit happens a lot actually

    it makes me sad, hopefully the guy gets some sort of something for it unfortunately the world runs on ignorance and corruption, not justice

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 7:22pm

    There was a case where a Hollywood writer was researching for ideas about a murder plot script and was visited by the feds.

     

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      aldestrawk (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 10:23pm

      Re:

      Even stranger, Philip K. Dick thought that a visit by the feds was triggered because he had gotten too close to the truth in one of his stories. That's what it feels like here. A story about a paranoid schizophrenic whose paranoid imaginings reveal a truth few suspected and no one believed it's magnitude. What a fictionally fitting result it would be if the Patriot act is overturned because of his lawsuit.

      Dick himself wrote letters to the FBI about a Moscow directed plot to control science fiction. He got the feeling from the first responses that the FBI was brushing him off. He ended up writing more letters but not sending them. Instead, he put them in an addressed and stamped envelope and threw them in the trash. His reasoning was that "The authorities will receive the letter if, and only if, they are spying on him."

       

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    madasahatter (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Searching

    There seems to be something missing. I doubt a few accidental or deliberate searches will trigger close monitoring by the Feds. I would not be surprised when the Syrian chemical weapons were in the headlines that many searched for information. Most, if not almost all, were only interested in learning general information about them. What would get someones interest is if you bought parts.

    Also, did he click on any of the returned links or did he immediately redo the search with the correct terms?

     

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      OldGeezer (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:54pm

      Re: Searching

      I'm with you. I may not take a lot of searches with naughty keywords to get their attention but I seriously doubt that one search would do that. I know if I accidentally clicked on a wrong search it would not take me long to close it and correct it.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 3:25am

      Re: Searching

      the part you might be missing is, that he worked for a governmental contractor. it is likely to assume that they are already under heightened surveilance anyway.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:08pm

    total bullshit

    how on earth does 'airplane' get autocompleted to BOMB ??

    autocomplete works on the frequency of use, so unless thousands of people types in 'how do you build a radio controlled bomb' (didn't happen), This is yet another bullshit story that Masnick wants to use to support his "IHateEverythingGov.com" mentality.

    No wonder no one believes you anymore Masnick, you've lost all credibility. Lets hope you get some help with that unnatural hatred you have, it's getting to be a problem for you. (BTW: Get out and get some sun, you look sick)..

     

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      aldestrawk (profile), Dec 13th, 2013 @ 10:06pm

      Re: total bullshit

      You do realize the autocomplete claim comes from the complaint filed in court?

      Tim, Does it bother you that the cranks don't always credit you?

       

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        OldGeezer (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:15am

        Re: Re: total bullshit

        Reporting on a suit filed in court accurately in not the bullshit. Much if not all of what this guy is claiming is bullshit. Probably does have psychiatric problems.

        Damn, why do I let these fucking trolls get to me and waste my time answering them. Giving them just what they want.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 29th, 2014 @ 3:56pm

      Re: total bullshit

      I just tried googling, "How do I build a radio controlled...", and bomb does pop up.

      Try it.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    a radio controlled bomb is made exactly the same as a 'normal' bomb, except it has a radio to control the OFF/BOOM switch.

    NSA understand this, almost everyone with any technical knowledge knows this, why does masnick not question this, and do you think the NSA would care anyway, or would understand making a bomb detonate by radio is no different than making a bomb with a locally controlled switch ?

    But its' "hategovalways.com" here now, so truth and facts have no place here. Just 'rageAtTheSystem.com'.

    Oh and does you beloved Google routinely give their search results to NSA? is that not an issue for you M I C... K E Y. 'IHAVEGOV.ORG' ?

     

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    Earnest, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 1:56am

    A jew sues his fellow jews

    Then why are so many jews in so many high and important positions?

     

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      OldGeezer (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:30am

      Re: A jew sues his fellow jews

      Yeah, the Jews run everything and are responsible for all the world's evils. Maybe we could just set up concentration camps and gas them. Oh, that's been done?

       

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      Anonymous, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 5:51am

      Re: A jew sues his fellow jews

      It's the Zionists that are the problem. Not all Jews are Zionists; in fact, there are Jews who are AGAINST Zionism. But a typical Zionist tactic is to get people to confuse the two, so that people who criticize "the Jews" or the state of Israel will be seen as "anti-semitic".

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 2:13am

    There are plenty of unhinged people making deluded claims of mass conspiracy and harassment. When it's as obviously the case as it is here it seems somewhat cruel to report the guys derangement when he clearly needs help.
    I know in the states certain levels of derangement traditionally get treated in a different way with services such as fox news feeding the fear and paranoia of afflicted individuals but even by the so much lower standards of that poor country this man's issues are still clearly more in need of medical assistance than public ridicule.

     

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    GEMont, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 3:16am

    PsyOps

    Of course the guy is crazy.

    The Federal Government would never condone the use of standard psyop techniques for half a decade on a civilian government employee over a single Google search for remote controlled bombs, at a cost of millions of tax-payer dollars, because...

    Oh wait a minute. We're talking about the US Federal Government...

    Never mind.

     

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    Anonymous, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    Always surf and search through a proxy, and always use a cleaning program to clean your history, cache, etc..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 6:50am

    It's good to know the gubmint is on top of google search requests, without the overbearing surveillance of everything we just might end up with an unbeknownst to us fake hand signing dude right next to world leaders.

     

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    Don't Ask, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Rulings

    No judge will rule in his favor this day and age and a jury of his own peers will ultimately yield to fear and intimidation to rule against him.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    hmmm even if it were bogus wouldnt it force certain disclosures to be made like how much info/data does the Intel world have on this guy ..they'll have to prove they didn't ..or am i missing a step (i'm not a lawyer or well versed in law)

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    I think this guy is full of shit. If he was investigated it was for more than one accidental search. They do have ways of catching people doing searches with terrorist related keywords. Just yesterday a man was arrested driving a van into the Wichita airport with a van loaded with fake explosives supplied by the FBI. He got caught because he searched for help in building a bomb in the internet and ended up chatting with an agent pretending to be Al-Qaeda. They didn't say how he was first intercepted but I'm guessing he did some searches with monitored keywords.
    http://www.kansas.com/2013/12/13/3176861/wichita-news-conference-set-friday.html
    This doesn't appear to be some entrapment setup like some cases in the past. This guy was very enthusiastic about his plans. Here is the criminal complaint:
    http://media.kansas.com/smedia/2013/12/13/13/41/hZFE9.So.80.pdf

     

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      GEMont, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 8:13pm

      Re:

      "Just yesterday a man was arrested driving a van into the Wichita airport with a van loaded with fake explosives supplied by the FBI."

      "chatting with an agent pretending to be Al-Qaeda."

      While I fail to see the connection between this and the situation in the article above, I cannot help but wonder why you would feel that "this case" you posted about was not an entrapment situation, "like some cases in the past."

      The standard FBI entrapment process is to find someone who blogs/speaks-out about their hatred of the US Fed, and then contact him pretending to be a Terrorist Group willing to set him up with bombs and contacts.

      Once hooked, the FBI then supplies the fool with a carload of fake explosives and sends the fool to meet with an FBI agent posing as the contact for the Terrorist Group.

      Then with great fanfare and public notification, the FBI swoops in on the fool and arrests him, claiming one more terrorist plot foiled.

      If you eliminate this type of entrapment arrest from the FBI's total of Terrorist Plots Foiled To Date, you end up with 2 - the same 2 the NSA claims they foiled using their global snoop and scoop programs.

      The case you posted about fits this bill precisely.

      Is it merely wishful thinking that makes you want this case to not be entrapment?

      As an aside. It is highly unlikely that living people actually monitor the Google Search phrase imput of the world, and it is highly likely that a computer program does this task.
      It is also highly likely that this program flags EVERY search that includes the word "bomb" anb/or the phrase "remote controlled" - among a zillion other trigger words and phrases.
      Once flagged, it is reported to a human operative who then sets into motion whatever process policy dictates, whether the flag includes more than one instance of the search or not, since one search is all that is needed for a would-be terrorist to get the information desired.

      Did this point cross your mind at all?

       

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    ScytheNoire, Dec 14th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Won't somebody think of the children!

    What about his son? Did he ever get his radio controlled plane?

     

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    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 14th, 2013 @ 11:12pm

    I don't think this guy was just some blogger they enticed and put the whole idea in his head. It looks like he was actively seeking assistance in making a bomb. He drove to the airport actually planning to blow himself up in the attack. He even stated that he thought about shooting 2 air force pilots outside his hanger earlier. I think this guy would have actually carried out a real attack if he had gotten assistance from another terrorist if the FBI had not stung him. It looks like in this case he initiated everything.

     

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    Annonimus, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 1:04am

    You know when you have a story that could be both the ravings of a paranoid lunatic and could have plausibly happened in real life you are getting into lovecraftian territory because what else is a cosmic horror story but a tale of how the ravings of lunatics are real.

     

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    GEMont, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 1:44am

    Manufacturing FBI terrorist plots hollywood style.

    You don't think he was just some blogger...

    Well, that's different. If your crystal ball tells you he was a bad guy, then its obvious your crystal ball has been equally efficient in labelling the man the article was about with perfect precision. I bow to your superior methodology. (sarcasm)

    For the record, these utter idiots who post their plans of revenge/glory on line, all seek assistance in making bombs and all make claims of what they plan to do with those bombs, and who they plan to kill with those bombs, and always include themselves as victims - that's the perk that attracts such idiots to the whole terrorist shtick in the first place - martyrdom.

    How else did you think the FBI finds them?

    It is the claims, plans and desires stated by these morons that lets the FBI know how and where and when to set up their entrapment snares - what Terrorist Groups they should pretend to be and what to say when making contact with the idiot cum wanna-be terrorista.

    While I think it may indeed be pertinent to entrap them and get them off the street and into some sort of mental institution or at least get them medical treatment for their mental illness, I deny the validity of the FBI claiming to have foiled a Terrorist Plot upon their arrest.

    The "plot" was entirely the creation of the FBI.

    Methinks it is also a lot harder than you seem to believe, to find and contact a real terrorist group from inside the USA. Real terrorists are never as stupid as these FBI promotional plot patsies.

    If it was otherwise, the FBI would be busy trying to foil hundreds, if not thousands of real plots every year and would have no time to entrap morons into playing patsy for their public relations promotional games.

    Instead, they are so desperate for real terrorist plots, that half of the "plots" (1 of 2) they claim to have foiled was a taxi-driver sending money overseas to a listed terrorist group.

    Methinks you simply want to maintain your fantasy about the FBI being the good guys. Good luck with that.

     

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      OldGeezer (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 4:14am

      Re: Manufacturing FBI terrorist plots hollywood style.

      I'll grant that this guy was not too bright but could it be that he was determined to commit some sort of attack whether anyone helped him or not? He had a pass to drive right onto the tarmac. Even an idiot could figure out how to cause an explosion with access to hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel. If he had been more savvy and the FBI hadn't led him to make a harmless bomb this could have ended badly. I'm usually a skeptic like you when it comes to any federal agency but I have to believe that once in a while they might get one right. It didn't sound like this guy needed much encouragement. He had already been caught with a gun at the airport before. He could have taken hostages or just gone on a shooting rampage. One way or another I think this guy would have pulled something off.

       

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        GEMont, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

        Re: Re: Manufacturing FBI terrorist plots...

        Methinks ye still be missing the point.

        There was absolutely nothing stopping law enforcement from removing this guy from circulation after any of his many foolish endeavours - such as being caught at an airport with a gun.

        The only reason this dipshit was still walking the streets and planning his plots against the monster, was because he was the perfect patsy for another FBI public relations scam.

        The FBI and other law enforcement officials allowed this man to remain at large after numerous incidents of mal-intent, specifically so they could use him for their own benefit.

        Now which is the more nefarious - a moron trying to bomb his way into fame and glory, or a law enforcement agency willing to allow such morons to run loose so they can use them as promotional photo-ops to make a corrupted agency appear as though it was still made up of good guys?

        Because the FBI is willing to risk public lives in order to gain public confidence by allowing dangerous fools to roam free, I have no difficulty at all in believing that it and its kindred 3 letter agencies would use years of PsyOps on a suspected bomb maker they wanted to force into doing something stupid - for the same purpose, public relations promotion.

        Power corrupts.
        Power and non-accountability corrupts completely.
        Corrupted power protected by law is the epitome of evil.
        Bad men are still bad men even if they do wear white hats.

         

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          OldGeezer (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

          Re: Re: Re: Manufacturing FBI terrorist plots...

          The gun incident was in 2009, long before he was communicating with the feds. I have no idea why Beechcraft didn't pull his clearance and fire him then. I have never worked anywhere that wouldn't immediately can you if you brought a gun to work. The fault there is first with his employer. Also is a surprise our great airport security didn't arrest him and prevent him from ever coming back.
          You could be right, but could it also possibly be that they wanted an absolutely solid case against him to put him away for good? Writing emails about a terror attack could get you arrested but how much time would he get for that compared to taking him down at the airport gate with what he thought was a real bomb? Some smart lawyer might get him reduced charges and time if all he did was write about it. The O.J. dream team couldn't get this guy off now. He is gone for good. Keeping him focused on this car bomb mission could keep him occupied until they could really get the goods on him.

           

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    PopeRatzo (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 6:30am

    can't say

    I no longer believe there are things that the United States government "would never do".

    I've seen too many of those things happen in my lifetime. I remember my dad, a WWII vet, telling me that the US "would never torture a prisoner", and "would never assassinate" or "doesn't target civilians" or "doesn't spy on Americans who haven't committed a crime" or...

    I never dismiss out of hand any outrageous assertion about our government's (or some private contractor's) misbehavior.

     

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      OldGeezer (profile), Dec 15th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

      Re: can't say

      When I was in the Army in the 70's in Germany I spoke to WWII veterans from there who told me that they were actually relieved to be taken prisoner because they knew they would be treated well by the Americans. How times have changed.

       

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        GEMont, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

        Re: Re: can't say

        And sadly, as long as good folks keep pretending that the people running the USA are still the Good Guys, this is gonna just get worse.
        Methinks it is the inability of the population to admit that they have been invaded and conquered by the nastiest members of their own population, that will spell the utlimate dissolution of the United States.

         

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    JT, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Nah.

    Interesting headline, but a plaintiff suing a mazillion people and asking for a federal law to be overturned as one remedy is a pretty sure sign of a vexatious and/or paranoid litigant.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 3:49pm

    I believe Kantor. Why wouldn't the government abuse it's massive spying apparatus, to harass law-abiding citizens whom the government doesn't care for.

    I imagine it will be near impossible for Kantor to secure employment. The government also likes to "black list" a person's background check information. Making it nearly impossible for poor Kantor to find a new employer that will hire him.

     

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    G, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

    You have a number of good points, admittedly, however, the fact remains that law enforcement could have protected the public better by arresting him for any of his infractions.

    His mental health is obviously impaired and I'm certain that institutionalization would have been a cinch, especially if they were monitoring him regularly since his aberrant behaviour began.

    Whether they wanted a perfect case against him or not, using the public as bait is not exactly the original job description of the FBI.

    To do this sort of thing repeatedly, while out in the real world, not a single REAL in-country Terrorist Plot materializes, makes it appear - to me at least - as though the FBI has been charged with promoting the Terrorist Under The Bed Boogey Man Scare necessary to keep the War on Terrorists going, by manufacturing homegrown terrorists out of irate citizens.

    I've said it before but its worth repeating:

    Anti-American Terrorists do not exist because Americans own SUVs and flat screen TVs. They exist because American Business uses the American Military to invade small countries to steal their resources, or to do whatever happens to be necessary to insure the profits of American Industry.

    If you want to stop terrorists, stop bombing their countries into the dark ages and killing all their able bodied men.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 15th, 2013 @ 6:57pm

    it is called counterintelligence and Mike German of the aclu and previous fbi counter op publically stated that they do this to even regular Joe as practice. activists and journalists have been talking about it for two decades. All the rules changed in 2009 to legitimize this.

     

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      GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:36am

      Re:

      Precisely. Cointelpro. Counter Intelligence Program.

      Believing the man to be a would be bomber, allows the agency to use any and all means to force him into doing something they can use against him.

      Pschological warfare is designed to cause your enemy to make mistakes they would otherwise not make. It is literally a process designed to drive someone or some group crazy.

      Since the American Public has been reclassified as the enemy, it is now perfectly legal to use these methods on american civilians, just as it is now perfectly legal for a federal agency to kidnap an american citizen and ship him off to a foreign country and then torture him and even eventually kill him, all without due process.

      Those of you who are paying attention may have noticed that on quite a few occasions now, federal spook agencies have literally told the courts to shove their demands where the sun doesn't shine, when they are told to obey the law.

      As long as the fed considers itself at war with its domestic adversary, it will only get worse for the US citizenry.

       

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    cristinaemerson1, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 1:01am

    how search engines work

    by people who failed to understand
    a) How search engines work, and
    b) The unintended consequences of their actions. Targeting a search engine for unflattering autocomplete suggestions tends to make the problem worse. Each legal effort only results in more stories "confirming" the autocomplete suggestions.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 2:58am

    Changing times

    I think a notable point is that while less than a few years back the man would be pretty universally accused of being completely nuts, after all the crap the government and NSA have been shown to have done in the past(and continues to still do today), at least a decent number of people here seem to be entertaining the idea that he could be telling the truth, at least in part.

     

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    GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:18am

    Vexatious Litigation?

    I'll assume this is in response to my query about the number of folks who have sued a mazillion officials and asked for federal laws to be overturned....

    I'll assume this, because the response does not answer the query, but instead directs me to read a description of a common legal "shenanigan".

    The Wiki page you posted a link to referenses Vexatious Litigation.

    "Vexatious litigation is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits, solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the judicial process and may result in sanctions against the offender."

    Copied directly from the Wiki site.

    The man's efforts are meant to reign in an out-of-control federal agency that he claims has used psyops on him for years after a Google Search Auto-fill process placed the word "bomb" instead of the words "model airplanes" (as he had intended) after his imput of the words "building remote controlled".

    He is not attempting to harrass or subdue the agency via meritless motions.

    The only way to prevent the agency from continuing the program of psychological warfare is to have the laws that make such attacks on American citizens legal, changed or removed.

    Do you claim that Google Search is NOT perpetually computer monitored by federal spooks, specifically hoping to catch precisiely this sort of search input by would-be terrorists??

    The American Military has used psychological warfare on its enemies since it made its first enemies. Today, the american public has been re-classified as the "adversary" - look that up on Wiki.

    For real vexatious litigation, see the articles here on the copyright trolls, Prenda Law.

     

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      nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 7:47am

      Re: Vexatious Litigation?

      I'll assume this is in response to my query about the number of folks who have sued a mazillion officials and asked for federal laws to be overturned....

      If you use the "reply to this" link it would make your conversation easier to follow. It also may help if you switch to threaded mode using the link at the top of the page.

       

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        identicon
        GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

        Re: Re: Vexatious Litigation?

        Actually, I do use "reply to this", however, the editor has been wonky lately - cusor will not respond to keyboard movement keys, cursor does not move when I click on screen, extra letters appear out of the blue, cursor will suddenly jump to new place on page - that sort of thing. Makes it all quite a challenge really. Can take 4-5 Reviews to get the thing right before submission.

        Thank you for the "threaded mode" suggestion. I had not realized such existed. I've always had difficulty following posts on TechDirt as they appear one after the other with no real link to the messages they respond to except the title.

         

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    GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 5:14am

    ...something fishy....

    IT technical query.

    When typing into a text field on line, is the text that is typed into the box monitorable prior to hitting Return, or clicking on the Search button??

    In other words, can the text I type into a text field be read remotely as I type it, or do I have to "enter" the finished text before it can be read by a computerized monitor?

    It just occured to me that even if the Auto-Complete process did indeed place the word "bombs" after the words "remote controlled", the typer would still need to enter the words "model airplanes" to complete his query prior to hitting the search button.

    Even if he did not notice the Auto-complete insertion of the word "bombs", his finished query string should have then read "building remote controlled bombs model airplanes".

    There is no apparent circumstance where he would have hit enter or clicked the search button immediately after the auto-complete addition of the word "bombs" and thus the only way the Spooks could have read "building remote controlled bombs" would be if they could read the input as it was typed into the box, or if the man had indeed typed "building remote controlled bombs" and then clicked on the search button.

    Methinks I might have to retract my defense. :)

     

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      nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 7:50am

      Re: ...something fishy....

      When typing into a text field on line, is the text that is typed into the box monitorable prior to hitting Return, or clicking on the Search button??

      Google knows what you're typing before you hit enter. Those autocomplete suggestions come from their servers. Since the NSA is trapping basically all internet traffic, they likely have access to it as well.

      Even if he did not notice the Auto-complete insertion of the word "bombs", his finished query string should have then read "building remote controlled bombs model airplanes".

      I think what happened is he clicked or hit enter on the first suggestion before realizing it said "bomb".


      There is no apparent circumstance where he would have hit enter or clicked the search button immediately after the auto-complete addition of the word "bombs"


      Why?

       

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        GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re: ...something fishy....

        "There is no apparent circumstance where he would have hit enter or clicked the search button immediately after the auto-complete addition of the word 'bombs'"

        "Why?"

        When typing into a search engine, it is unlikely that anyone would assume that the auto-complete would choose the right insertion when what you're looking for has numerous types - remote control; planes, boats, cars, trucks, toys, helicopters, rockets, home-lighting, garage doors, lawn-lights, etc., and I would assume that even a bad typist like me, who needs to watch the keyboard as they type, would still look at the screen after typing "remote controlled" and notice that the word "bombs" was not the words "model airplanes", before hitting Search.

        A really bad typist - one who looks at the screen only after the whole search string was typed in - would likely not notice the auto-complete insertion at all and continue typing the words "model airplanes" after the word "bomb", resulting in a search string "remote controlled bombs model airplanes".

        The only reason I can think of to type "Remote Controlled" by itself, and then hit enter/search, would be if I just wanted info on all types of remote controlled items indescriminately and according to the man's claims, he was specifically after a remote controlled model airplane for his son.


        While I admit it is possible, I just find the "error" difficult to perceive.

         

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          nasch (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: ...something fishy....

          When typing into a search engine, it is unlikely that anyone would assume that the auto-complete would choose the right insertion

          I think you're underestimating the stupidity of some people. :-)

           

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            GEMont, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ...something fishy....

            "think you're underestimating the stupidity of some people. :-)"

            I wish that were true. However, humanity's own actions throughout history has insured my realization that stupidity and ignorance are the two most common aspects of human nature world wide. While I place the blame for this squarely at the feet of Society/Culture - programming by the rich for the benefit of the rich - it is nonetheless the most unavoidable aspect of the species.

            I simply don't see this situation - the nasty search string - as being caused by stupidity.

            Carelessness perhaps - but even that is a stretch.

             

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        GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: ...something fishy....

        Thanks for response.

        It was indeed the Auto-Complete process itself that got me thinking about whether the spooks can read as you type.

        Given that information, it is quite possible that the man saw the auto-complete insertion and deleted the word "bombs", finishing the string properly with "model airplanes", and the computerized snoop and scoop recording of the event would still maintain a copy of the string that included the word "bombs", triggering the cointelpro by the spooks.

        Now that's a scenario I can perceive readily.

         

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          OldGeezer (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 8:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: ...something fishy....

          If you enter How do I build a radio-controlled into Google the only auto complete you get is car, boat & helicopter. I'm not saying that bomb was never in there but that sounds unlikely to me.

           

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            GEMont, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ...something fishy....

            I would assume that Google altered the Auto-complete's selection criteria shortly after this law-suit became public, if indeed it was ever part of the list of possibles.

            While it is indeed somewhat suspect that:

            a. "Bombs" would be the first selection in a Goodle Search Auto-complete's criteria for possible insertions after "Remote Contolled" and

            b. that anyone would actually trust an auto-complete to select the type of remote controlled item to search for and

            c. that anyone would hit search after reading the word "Bombs" inserted into their search string...

            - the simple fact that the NSA snoop and scoop computers can easily record what you type as you type it, does lend credence to the idea that - IF - the auto-complete added the word "Bombs", there would indeed be a copy made by the NSA S&S system of the search string reading "remote controlled bombs".

            I assume that ANYONE, ANYWHERE on earth who would type such a string into a google search box would immediately and automatically be put on the NSA's "bad-guys to watch" list.

            Anyone working for the US government would come under special scrutiny and anyone who met certain internal criteria would be open for cointelpro implementation.

            The real problem here is that the FBI, NSA, CIA, ETC., have proven themselves to be deceptive to the max, over-reaching in every way possible, irresponsible and incapable of respect for the laws of the land and they have shown that they hold the privacy of their fellow Americans and the citizens of the rest of the world in utter contempt.

            There is very little I would not expect them to do to get their way and weasel out of criminal charges.

             

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    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Red flags everywhere

    Everything the guy says and how he says it screams that he has a paranoid delusion going on. However, it's also true that there's been a handful of people in the past who sounded just as crazy and ended up being right, so it's impossible to know for sure.

     

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    John85851 (profile), Dec 16th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    This guy has a mental illness

    A friend of mine had schizophrenia and the stories he told me sound very similar to what this guy is claiming. My friend also worked at a defense contractor, which is probably what sets the paranoia started in the first place.

    To a schizophrenic, random and simple events become part of a bigger conspiracy. Did a guy on a subway really yell that phrase five times? Or was he singing loudly to himself, but was interpreted to become part of the larger "conspiracy". And, of course, any random conversation also gets woven into the conspiracy, even if it's about something trivial.

    If I were the lawyer, I'd get this guy the mental help he needs instead of starting a lawsuit... then again, as we all know, some lawyers will take any case just for the money or attention. Maybe the guy doesn't have a case and maybe the lawyer thinks he can use this as a way to make bad laws illegal.

     

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      GEMont, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 5:23pm

      Re: This guy has a mental illness

      Just in case you did not read the previous posts, cointelpro, counter-intelligence programs, are designed specifically to make people crazy, or at least to make them appear crazy to the general public.

      The idea is ancient and effective; make your enemy appear to be a lunatic, and no matter what he says about you or about anything else, nobody will listen because people will think the victim is just crazy. Its even better when the process actually results in driving your target insane.

      The bonus here is that the methods used to accomplish this goal will appear to those who hear about them, to be beyond anything anyone would actually do, increasing the public disbelief in the "ravings" of the victim.

      This is even moreso when the actions are being done by what is widely perceived as the "Good Guys".

       

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      John Allman (profile), Jan 22nd, 2014 @ 10:21am

      Re: This guy has a mental illness

      @ john85851

      The reasons that people who complain of harassment inflicted upon them by the public sector intelligence and security industry have schizophrenia diagnoses like your "friend" does, is that complaining of such harassment on its own is enough to precipitate a schizophrenia diagnosis.

      You describe accurately how those with heightened anxiety how commonly misinterpret innocent coincidences as sinister. But your observation gets us no closer to ascertaining in any individual case, whether the misinterpretation is endogenous and accounts for the whole of the perception of harassment of a self-claimed victim who is not being persecuted at all (it is "paranoia"), or the misinterpretation is exogenous (it is "hyper-vigilance" induced by sensitisation) and only accounts for an exaggerated perception of the extent of the harassment, on the part of a victim who is actually being harassed to some extent, though perhaps not as severely as he imagines.

       

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    Crazy Canuck, Dec 16th, 2013 @ 4:00pm

    Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean that there aren't people out to get you!

    =P

     

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    Craig Redd, Jan 25th, 2014 @ 1:40pm

    The truth

    Every word is true...this psychological torture happens to thousands of Americans every day of their lives including to myself and my wife

     

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    Meerkat Wizard (profile), Feb 3rd, 2014 @ 3:02pm

    Counterintelligence Subversion

    The harassment alleged in the complaint is identical to a set of tactics refined by East Germany's Stasi. They referred to it as zersetzung (corrosion) because of the intended effects upon the targeted individual. In spying industry parlance, it is counterintelligence subversion.

    The most comprehensive archive of mainstream news reports on the subject is at a site called "Fight Gang Stalking."

     

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    Rick G, Feb 13th, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Before my harassment, I also would have been skeptical...

    I have been through group harassment as well - by members of local law enforcement and by community members. I had to end my private practice (divorce attorney) in 2012, my home of over 20 years is now in foreclosure and my previous excellent credit is ruined as a result. I created a website detailing some of my experiences entitled "My Five Years of Systematic Police Harassment in Pinellas County, Florida." Judge for yourself. It could possibly happen to you or someone you know.

     

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    John G, Mar 18th, 2014 @ 10:13pm

    organized gang stalking

    Tactics Involved: Parroting, directed conversation, repeating private conversations of a target in public while 2 people talk to one another in the targets presence. burglaries, vandalism, loud cars circling property or passing one another when target leaves the home. 99% of the websites on this subject are FAKE disinformation 99% of youtube videos about gang stalking are FAKE and mix fact with fiction. Demonic voices and futuristic weaponry just one example. "Someone" is spending a lot of time and money to cover this up and discredit gang stalking otherwise known as Government flash mobs. Osinformers is a major disinformation player with websites and youtube channels. They have ties to the government. If someone takes down the people running this website they will get to the bottom of what this is really all about.

     

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    identicon
    John G, Mar 18th, 2014 @ 10:13pm

    organized gang stalking

    Tactics Involved: Parroting, directed conversation, repeating private conversations of a target in public while 2 people talk to one another in the targets presence. burglaries, vandalism, loud cars circling property or passing one another when target leaves the home. 99% of the websites on this subject are FAKE disinformation 99% of youtube videos about gang stalking are FAKE and mix fact with fiction. Demonic voices and futuristic weaponry just one example. "Someone" is spending a lot of time and money to cover this up and discredit gang stalking otherwise known as Government flash mobs. Osinformers is a major disinformation player with websites and youtube channels. They have ties to the government. If someone takes down the people running this website they will get to the bottom of what this is really all about.

     

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    Ivan Marinkov, Mar 18th, 2014 @ 10:17pm

    Organized Government Stalking

    Organized stalking works side by side with illegal surveillance. Harassment tactics include but are not limited to bugging a targets home and parroting, repeating portions of their private conversations in chat rooms or in public. Forced entry, taking items of no value or rearranging them. computer hacking, Noise, sleep deprivation, orchestrated and repetitive instances of road rage/ hostile hand gestures on the road. Brighting, flashing headlights into a targets home. In short it's Gaslighting. Synchronized and repetitive actions that on the surface appear to be normal everyday annoyances except for their repetitive nature which get a target sensitized to this torturous form of stimuli. The objective is to cause a nervous breakdown and incarceration of the targeted individual. There is a HUGE disinformation campaign about this subject all over the internet particularly on youtube. Fake vlogs featuring wild eyed disheveled people rambling about demonic voices and futuristic weaponry, a website and youtube channel called Osinformers (OSI) is a major disinformation player. Any sort of response whatsoever would be greatly appreciated.

     

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    Ivan Marinkov, Mar 18th, 2014 @ 10:19pm

    Organized Government Stalking

    I copied and pasted the previous post, disregard the last sentence. thanks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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