Inside the OpenMIND: open source social media data mining and predictive policing

By Beau Hodai
November 11, 2013

Records recently obtained by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) shed light on a technology, OpenMIND, utilized by law enforcement/counter-terrorism fusion center personnel in gathering and analyzing mass amounts of ‘open source intelligence’ derived from the online lives of Americans.Herb dog bw

Jump to Source Materials Archive

According to records obtained by DBA/CMD, this technology, employed by state/regional ‘homeland security’ ‘fusion centers,’ is able to access to password protected sites and is deliberately designed to hide both the presence of inquiring analysts, as well as their subjects of interest.

Furthermore, these technologies serve as vacuums that amass, store and collate vast amounts of data in order to monitor shifts in public opinion and predict the possible future actions of those being monitored.

OpenMIND and Open Source Intelligence

Traditionally, intelligence personnel have referred to information gleaned through news publications, academic journals, governmental or other openly-available sources, as “open source intelligence.” Commensurate to the increasing practice of uploading the details of an individual’s personal life to the World Wide Web, “open source intelligence” has come to serve largely as a euphemism (in the world of ‘homeland security’ practitioners, at least) for information trolled from citizens’ Facebook, Twitter, or other online social media presence.OpenMind functional architecture

One tool utilized by fusion center personnel in gathering and analyzing such ‘intelligence’ en masse is the OpenMIND “open source intelligence harvesting” system produced by Swiss intelligence software corporation, 3i-MIND Technologies GmbH (3i-MIND). Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Justice, Domestic Surveillance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fusion Centers, Homeland Security, Jiffy Squid, Occupy Wall Street, Private Defense/Intelligence Industries, Public records, Source Materials Archive, Surveillance state | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

New Records Detailing FBI, Fusion Center Monitoring of Activists, Anarchists

DBA Press releases an additional 1,784 pages of Phoenix Police Department Homeland Defense Bureau (PPDHDB) records pertaining to Occupy Phoenix and other Phoenix area activist groups.

Access records here (filed under “records relating to PPD/ACTIC and other fusion center Herb dog bwmonitoring of activists, Part 4″).

These records complete a public records request filed by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy in June of 2012 as part of a joint project, “Dissent or Terror: how the nation’s counter-terrorism apparatus, in partnership with corporate America, turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

Much of this final set of records– which were only recently released by PPD, on September 16, 2013– detail the efforts of counter-terrorism/law enforcement personnel involved in the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC) in tracking the activities of Phoenix area activists through the first half of 2012.

Some key points of interest include:

– FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel, along with ACTIC and Scottsdale Police Department “terrorism liaison officers” actively investigated Phoenix area anarchists and other activists who were organizing a February, 2012 rally in protest of the murder of a Scottsdale man by Scottsdale Police Department officer James Peters.

Peters had killed six other citizens prior to his shooting of John Loxas in early February of 2012. The activists investigated by the FBI and ACTIC personnel were calling for the immediate dismissal of Peters from the police department, Peters’ indictment for murder, and an investigation into whether the Scottsdale Police Department was engaged in a conspiracy to shelter the actions of Peters.

Records do not indicate any alleged or suspected criminal activity on the part of these activists who were investigated by ACTIC and FBI personnel.

– FBI, Tempe Police Department, PPDHDB/ACTIC monitoring of an Occupy Phoenix Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) protest held in June, 2012. Communications pertaining to this event disclose the fact that ACTIC “terrorism liaison officers” shared the names of several specific Occupy Phoenix activists with the FBI, as well as other information pertaining to these individuals. Again, records do not indicate that the activists whose names were given to the FBI were accused, or even suspected, of any crime.

– Communications disclose that PPDHDB/ACTIC personnel, Scottsdale Police Department personnel and FBI personnel attempted to identify Phoenix area anarchists and other activists who took part in a 2012 May Day march. This identification was attempted through the use of open source videos posted by activists to YouTube. Again, no alleged or suspected crime on the part of activists was disclosed as an impetus for this investigative activity.

– Open source intelligence products created by PPDHDB/ACTIC “Terrorism Liaison All-Hazards Analyst” Brenda Dowhan were shared during the course of 2012 with the U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI. These open source intelligence products created by Dowhan were a distillation of information gathered from Occupy Phoenix/Occupy Wall Street-related social media sites, such as the Facebook pages of both activist organizations and individuals. These open source intelligence products did not disclose any illegal activity on the part of activists.

– The sharing of information between the FBI, Transportation Security Administration and PPDHDB/ACTIC, as pertained to an Occupy Phoenix promotional event held on Phoenix light rail in November, 2011.

Posted in Domestic Surveillance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fusion Centers, Homeland Security, Jiffy Squid, Occupy Wall Street, Public records, Public-private partnerships, Source Materials Archive, Surveillance state | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street

May 20, 2013

DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy release the result of a year-long investigation: “Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained from counter Herb dog bwterrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how state/regional “fusion center” personnel monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012. Personnel engaged in this activity at fusion centers include employees of municipal, county and federal counter terrorism/homeland security entities. Such entities include local police departments, the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (including U.S. DHS components such as the Transportation Security Administration).

The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private intelligence sharing partnerships.

While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring of Occupy Wall Street activists nationwide, the bulk of the report details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the “Arizona fusion center”) monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest activity.

Report with photos (4.2 MB):

Download (PDF, 3.22MB)

Report in plain text (562 KB):

Download (PDF, 552KB)

Report Appendix :  [Note: documents contained in an appendix to this report are referenced throughout. The appendix is available though DBA Press and SourceWatch at the URLs listed above. While many central documents are contained in this appendix, the appendix does not contain all referenced documents. For further documentation, consult the source materials archive.]

Download (PDF, 28.27MB)

View Source Materials Archive.

While small glimpses into the governmental monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement have emerged in the past, there has not been any reporting– until now– that details the breadth and depth of the degree to which the nation’s post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.

The report reveals for the first time:

– How law enforcement agencies active in the Arizona fusion center dispatched an undercover officer to infiltrate activist groups organizing both protests of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the launch of Occupy Phoenix– and how the work of this undercover officer benefited ALEC and the private corporations that were the subjects of these demonstrations.

– How fusion centers, funded in large part by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, expended countless hours and tax dollars in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street and other activist groups.

– How the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has financed social media “data mining” programs at local law enforcement agencies engaged in fusion centers.

– How counter terrorism government employees applied facial recognition technology, drawing from a state database of driver’s license photos, to photographs found on Facebook in an effort to profile citizens believed to be associated with activist groups.

– How corporations have become part of the homeland security “information sharing environment” with law enforcement/intelligence agencies through various public-private intelligence sharing partnerships. The report examines multiple instances in which the counter terrorism/homeland security apparatus was used to gather intelligence relating to activists for the benefit of corporate interests that were the subject of protests.

– How private groups and individuals, such as Charles Koch, Chase Koch (Charles’ son and a Koch Industries executive), Koch Industries, and the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council have hired off-duty police officers– sometimes still armed and in police uniforms — to perform the private security functions of keeping undesirables (reporters and activists) at bay.

– How counter terrorism personnel monitored the protest activities of citizens opposed to the indefinite detention language contained in National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

– How the FBI applied “Operation Tripwire,” an initiative originally intended to apprehend domestic terrorists through the use of private sector informants, in their monitoring of Occupy Wall Street groups. [Note: this issue was reported on exclusively by DBA/CMD in December, 2012.]

The full report, along with accompanying articles, may also be viewed on SourceWatch: http://ows.sourcewatch.org

Posted in Criminal Justice, Domestic Surveillance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security, Investigative report, Investigative reporting, Jiffy Squid, Lobbying and Special Interests, Media matters, Occupy Wall Street, Private Defense/Intelligence Industries, Public records, Public-private partnerships, Surveillance state | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

“Operation Tripwire:” the FBI, the Private Sector and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street

“Operation Tripwire”– the FBI, the Private Sector and the Monitoring of Occupy Wall Street

Jump to source materials archive for this article.

By Beau Hodai, December 30, 2012

Records obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) by DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy (DBA/CMD) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request indicate that the FBI employed tactics under a “counter terrorism” initiative called “Operation Tripwire” in the monitoring of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists.Herb dog bw

[Note: records referenced in this article were obtained by DBA/CMD on November 8, 2012, as a partial response to a FOIA request submitted by DBA/CMD to the FBI on June 7, 2012. DBA/CMD have been analyzing these incomplete materials along with other public records to tell a more complete story of the pattern of domestic surveillance that has been underway.]

“Tripwires,” Mall Cops, and “Radical Cheerleaders

On October 19, 2011, an FBI agent filed a report, titled “Domain Program Management [,] Domestic Terrorism,” detailing an October 11 briefing given to “Jacksonville Executive Management” (EM) and a supervisory special agent (SSA) “Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator.” The subject of the October 11 briefing had been the potential growth of the OWS movement throughout north/central Florida. (All agent names were redacted from this, and other, FBI reports.)

“During the 11 October intelligence meeting, writer advised EM of the Occupy venues and further advised that they may provide an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction,” wrote the agent, who went on to say that special areas of concern were Daytona, Gainesville, and Ocala, where “some of the highest unemployment rates in Florida continue to exist.”

As such, the report’s author recommended that the Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator, “consider establishing tripwires with the Occupy event coordinators regarding their observance of actions or comments indicating violent tendencies by attendees” (emphasis added). Continue reading

Posted in Corruption, Domestic Surveillance, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security, Investigative reporting, Jiffy Squid, Occupy Wall Street, Public records, Surveillance state | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off