Florida State Police Raid Home Of COVID Whistleblower, Point Guns At Her & Her Family, Seize All Her Computer Equipment

from the this is fucked up dept

This is insane. Earlier this year, we wrote about Rebekah Jones, the data scientist working for Florida, who put together that state’s COVID-19 database (that had received widespread praise), and who was fired by the state for her failure to fake the data to make it look like Florida was handling the pandemic better than it actually was. Governor Ron DeSantis had made it clear he wanted data showing good results in order to justify reopening the state.

As Jones herself explained after being fired:

I was asked by DOH leadership to manually change numbers. This was a week before the reopening plan officially kicked off into phase one. I was asked to do the analysis and present the findings about which counties met the criteria for reopening. The criteria followed more or less the White House panel’s recommendations, but our epidemiology team also contributed to that as well. As soon as I presented the results, they were essentially the opposite of what they had anticipated. The whole day while we’re having this kind of back and forth changing this, not showing that, the plan was being printed and stapled right in front of me. So it was very clear at that point that the science behind the supposedly science-driven plan didn’t matter because the plan was already made.

Since then, Jones has been running Florida COVID Action, which is a dashboard of Florida COVID information, like the one she used to run for the state.

And apparently Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis couldn’t allow that to stand. This afternoon Rebekah posted a short Twitter thread, with video, showing Florida state police raiding her home. As she notes, when they asked her who else was in the home, she told them that her husband and children were upstairs, and they pulled out their guns:

This is horrifying on so many levels. Why was her home raided? Why did they pull out guns? Why did they do it after she told them that it was her children upstairs? Why did they seize all of her electronics equipment? Why are they doing any of this?

Jones has been doing everything to better inform the public of what’s happening in the middle of a pandemic, and this is the thanks she gets? Having her home raided by the police and having guns drawn on her children?

This is not supposed to happen. This should not happen. It is horrifying and I hope that Jones is able to retain powerful legal help to fight back against this clear violation of her civil liberties, and a clear authoritarian overreach by Governor DeSantis.

Update: Since the original story broke, Florida state police claim that the search warrant was in response to someone breaching an emergency alert system and sending a group text saying: “It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late.” The warrant claims that the breach was tied to an IP address at Jones’ house. Jones has vehemently denied she had anything to do with this:

“I’m not a hacker,” Jones said. She added that the language in the message that authorities said was sent was “not the way I talk,” and contained errors she would not make.

“The number of deaths that the person used wasn’t even right,” Jones said. “They were actually under by about 430 deaths. I would never round down 430 deaths.”

Later in the evening, the full search warrant was published, and it raise serious questions… not about Jones, as much as what the fuck Florida’s Dept. of Health is doing with its communications systems. The service that Jones is accused of using involves a shared password among a ton of people:

On November 10, 2020, at approximately 1420 hours and 1442 hours, an
unidentified subject gained access to a mull—user account group StatoESF—
8 Planning” and sent a group text stating the following: “it’s time to speak up
before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have
to be part of this. Be a here, Speak out before it’s too late— From
StateESF8 Planning”. FDOH estimates that approximately 1,750 messages were
delivered before the software vendor was able to stop the message from being
transmitted.

FDOH has several groups within ReadyOp’s application platform, one of which is
StateESF8.Planning. ESF8 is Florida’s Emergency Support Function for Public
Health and Medical with which they coordinate the state‘s health and medical
resources, capabilities, and capacities. They also provide the means for a public
health response, triage, treatment, and transportation. The group
StateESF8.Planning is utilized by multiple users, some of which are not
employees of FDOH but are employees of other government agencies. Once
they are no longer associated with ESF8 they are no longer authorized to access
the multi—user group.

All users assigned to StateESF8.Planning group share the same username and
password
. SA Pratts requested and received a copy of the technical logs
containing the Internet Protocol (IP) address for users accessing the ReadyOp
web—based platform for the multi—user StateESF. Planning.

As security pro Jake Williams notes, it is bizarre beyond belief that (1) you have an important system relying on a single shared username and password and that such login info is not changed after someone is fired:

Still, it sounds like we may end up seeing a classic CFAA-style case here, regarding “unauthorized access.” Unfortunately, there are some cases on the books where logging into a system where you had a password after you’ve been instructed not to do so any more means you’ve violated the CFAA. This is kind of stupid, because it should be on the organization itself to actually change the password, rather than putting the burden on the user… but if there’s real evidence here that she did access the system, she could be in serious CFAA trouble.

Even so, that’s no excuse for raiding her home with guns drawn.

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Comments on “Florida State Police Raid Home Of COVID Whistleblower, Point Guns At Her & Her Family, Seize All Her Computer Equipment”

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'Mi Casa, You Casa, We All Casa' - Biden speaksays:

Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

The actual death rate is well below ONE HALF PERCENT. And that only if old and/or have "co-morbidities".

This unprecedented control of ordinary daily activities over a mere flu-like virus should alarm the hell out of you.

Be among the first to test the vaccine. I’ll be bravely forgoing it so that the younger and more deserving can have first shot, as it were.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR viru

They also seem oblivious to the potential death rate. If the healthcare system is truly overloaded to the point of breakdown, the death rate will rise. Dramatically. Potentially to as high as 10% of the infected (perhaps 50% of infected are non- or minimally-symptomatic, then around 20% of the symptomatic find themselves in intensive care, and all those are in mortal peril).

fairusesays:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

You are not asking the right question. What is Florid’s major revenue source?

All that insane taxes out of state people pay getting around, hotel/condos, hard stop. Hospitality industry collects the state’s percentage at the door, workers give the state money instead of receiving unemployment money from the state. Empty resorts and hotels is not an option in the Governors mind.

He may as well eat his pistol, however, taking a scare the shit out of some scientist in a big flashy way, have "your science team" ready for the years worth of court …. Roll the dice. HIS position is next spring nobody cares and he will NOT be called evil because tax buckets are full.

Florida the Orange Banana Republic.
G’night

WindLanesays:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

Dude. This is not smart thinking.

The reason the flu doesn’t kill tons and tons of people is because we already have a vaccine for it.

And the reason Covid is so dangerous despite it’s low mortality rate is because it is insanely infectious and spreads like crazy.

One half percent is what you’re going with – so let’s use that.

One half percent of the world (because the virus is contagious enough to literally spread to everyone) is 3.5 MILLION people.

The US has already seen 275 thousand deaths.

Are you really so foolish that you can’t understand how dangerous this is?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

Profits over people, I am not surprised this would be the GOP stance.

Other people with actual knowledge have done the math, and you are wrong.

Please explain, if you are able, why so many conservative/GOP/republicans whatever … are actively and knowingly spreading the disease? To what end?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

The actual death rate is well below ONE HALF PERCENT.

Not accurate, but at any rate COVID-19 appears to cause lots of lingering and significant illnesses to survivors, including possibly erectile dysfunction. Ignoring all that, America has a population of roughly 328 million; let’s assume a super generously low death rate of 0.25%.

Basic math problem for you: what is 0.25% of 328 million? I’ll give you a hint: It’s still an insanely large number of avoidable deaths to have in a developed nation.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

"It’s still an insanely large number of avoidable deaths to have in a developed nation"

Even if it weren’t, the fact is that the US is vastly disproportionately represented in deaths. Taking today’s figures, the US accounts for approximately 18% of all COVID deaths, yet only have 4% of the world population.

Even if you’re psychotic enough to believe that around a million deaths are acceptable, you still have to answer the question of why being in the USA is a relative death sentence compared to the rest of the world.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

"The actual death rate is well below ONE HALF PERCENT."

So 270000 dead americans within a year – more than were lost in the first world war and about 5 vietnam wars in a row – but hey, Baghdad Bob, i don’t think that anyone’s surprised by now that to you the mountain of dead people, and multiple times as many permanently crippled, isn’t a national fucking emergency.

And a half percent of US dead alone means the death toll will hit more than 1,5 million dead americans. That’s one quarter of a holocaust you’re flippantly dismissing there.

And all just so you can justify law enforcement pointing guns at children.

bhull242says:

Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

The actual death rate is well below ONE HALF PERCENT. And that only if old and/or have "co-morbidities".

Actually, the death rate is closer to 2% when ignoring age and preexisting conditions. You also ignore the fact that survivors may end up with permanent adverse effects from the virus. Furthermore, if no control measures are taken, pretty much everyone is going to get it because it?s so contagious.

This unprecedented control of ordinary daily activities over a mere flu-like virus should alarm the hell out of you.

Considering the death toll of the Spanish flu, which was less than the death toll of COVID, and how easily COVID spreads, I?m more alarmed that nothing was done to contain the Spanish flu and the disregard for basic safety measures during this pandemic than I am about the amount of control used to contain this virus, which is worse than the flu by every measure.

Be among the first to test the vaccine. I’ll be bravely forgoing it so that the younger and more deserving can have first shot, as it were.

Considering the fact that, as you noted, the likelihood of death from COVID-19 increases with age, why would you want the younger to get first dibs? Unless you recognize that there?s more danger from COVID than just the possibility of death.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: It's rational people not stampeded by MINOR virus.

"I?m more alarmed that nothing was done to contain the Spanish flu"

Well, the reason for that was propaganda, with Spain being the country not involved in WWI that it first hit and everyone else pretending it wasn’t happening due to the war situation. Which only makes it even more concerning that propaganda is the reason so many more US citizens are dying due to propaganda.

"Considering the fact that, as you noted, the likelihood of death from COVID-19 increases with age, why would you want the younger to get first dibs?"

Because he’s the sort of psychopath who rather have people in his age group spreading the disease without risk to himself rather than protect the lives of people most at risk? If there’s one thing that’s become obvious recently, it’s that some people will happily sacrifice the lives of those around them rather than experience some minor temporary inconvenience.

Davidsays:

Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care then?'

‘Want’ [everyone to get sick] may be pushing it

Not really. Most of the deaths will be on Biden’s watch, and they’ll leave a situation where the contact tracers will be a waste of money and effort, and they’ll rub that in. "Biden said he wanted to do better and look at his numbers! If we hadn’t given him the vaccines, he’d have killed everyone, like he did with the swine flu. People should not have let him steal the election using his accomplices in courts and state legislature enabled by constitutional loopholes keeping our revered leader from realising his full potential and saving us all from the radical left."

That’s the storyline you’ll be getting. Hook, line, and sinker.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care then?'

That… is disturbingly believable, given how psychotic and deranged they are I can absolutely see Trump cultists wanting a higher death toll so they can accuse Biden of botching things even when those same people are bending over backwards excusing Trump from any blame for deaths while he’s in office.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care then?'

It’s not just believable – it’s inevitable. The virus will continue to be a hoax right up until Biden has finished swearing in on January 20th 2021, at which point it will become both the most important thing on the planet and Biden will be retroactively responsible for every death in 2020. Oh, and any sensible measure to try and control the virus or administer the vaccine will be evidence of some deep state Chinese communist takeover. Meanwhile Mitch McConnell will block any attempt to bring relief or aid to the people.

It’s so sadly predictable, but nothing says 2020 like being able to make basic predications based on obvious facts, and having to watch as millions of idiots swarm around each other not caring until they get infected.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care then?'

"The virus will continue to be a hoax right up until Biden has finished swearing in on January 20th 2021, at which point it will become both the most important thing on the planet and Biden will be retroactively responsible for every death in 2020. "

…and then Qanon will point out the fact that Biden intends to use the people he knew from his stint as VP under Obama is proof positive that the Kenyan Muslim still exercises power on behalf of his space lizard paymasters in the satanic pedo ring operated out of that pizza parlor.

"It’s so sadly predictable…"

As is the logical end result. It all depends on if the GOP collapses in vicious infighting over whether to keep embracing the racists, bigots, fanatically religious and the conspiracy nuts…or to throw them out in favor of a more normal state of inept and corrupt politics as usual.

Sadly the GOP is worse at handling being just inept and corrupt while still winning elections than they are at winning elections by mobilizing the Very Fine People and the pulpit-thumping brimstone speakers so my guess is come 2024 they’ll have spent 4 years working the base of red hats into new heights of frothing hysteria and found a candidate capable of harnessing that mindless anger and fear.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I ca

"There are aliens living on Mars just waiting for humans to grow up before joining in the Galactic Federation."

You know how we can tell that’s a hoax? Because any alien life intelligent and capable of interstellar travel isn’t going to waste their time waiting for a presumptive future where humans become rational as a species. They’d embargo the planet lest the infection spreads, or drop an asteroid killer on us if they aren’t saintly enough to spend the effort of containing what can only be described as a horde of sentient self-destructive vermin.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care then?

As is the logical end result. It all depends on if the GOP collapses in vicious infighting over whether to keep embracing the racists, bigots, fanatically religious and the conspiracy nuts…or to throw them out in favor of a more normal state of inept and corrupt politics as usual.

As far as I can tell the GOP consists only of racists, bigots, fanatically religious and the conspiracy nuts and about 5 people who are still in denial.

Face it, being a Republican makes being a white supremacist okay again. New slogan for the Republican party should be MWSGA (Make White Supremacy Great Again.) I think I’ll start making T-Shirts and hats. I might as well profit from the collapse of the US.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 'Am I sick/dying? No? Why would I care t

"As far as I can tell the GOP consists only of racists, bigots, fanatically religious and the conspiracy nuts and about 5 people who are still in denial. "

If only. There are plenty of republicans who are neither actively racist, all that religious, or a great believer in conspiracies. They are just uneducated, ignorant, dumber than a bagful of hammers and proud of it. You know the ones. The ones who aren’t interested in anything beyond the state border and, frankly speaking, unwilling to engage in anything unrelated to the city or even just the local neighborhood.

Try telling them about how unfair hiring practices and lack of government regulation of bank interest rates has slowly eroded the fiscal strength of their local community and all they get is a headache.
No, they’ll listen to the guy telling them some Chinese commie stole all their jobs, the mexican rapist is the one making their neighborhood unsafe and it’s all the fault of the liberal leftists they can’t have two cars and a big house on a single breadwinner the way their grandparents did no more. Because the guy telling them that makes shit simple for them.

And gives them a convenient scapegoat to blame for all their ills because it’s easier for them to accept it’s all the fault of the chinese, the mexicans, BLM or "ze jews" than it is to realize they made a few bad decisions taking large high-interest loans on a mobile home or pawning their next twenty years worth of income on a new car.

George Carlin said it best – "there’s some dumbass motherfuckers floating around this country" – but I don’t think even he was aware there were 70+ million of them.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re:

"It is almost as if some people want everyone to get sick."

Bear in mind that the christian evangelical doom cults have an active agenda of encouraging armageddon just to make sure the second coming and the rapture occur sooner.

And to no few christian sects in the US earthly suffering just gives you bonus points for when the training wheels come off – i.e. after you die and go to heaven, presumably.

It’s what makes puritanism, and calvinism especially, so odious; All of life is supposed to be hardship. Anything pleasurable is sinful. The whole point of earthly existence is to suffer. And then you get to go to heaven and look down on most of the world’s population burning in hell for eternity.

Says a lot that to a great many american christians, including a lot of Very Fine People, that is a vision of paradise.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re:

"In addition, many cults end with their leader murdering all the followers, why is this…"

If the cult leader believes his own spiel then that’s his messiah syndrome speaking. He’s not murdering them, he’s giving them a place ahead of the line before the pearly gates.

If he doesn’t, well, it’s the ultimate expression of a power trip that he can literally order his minions to kill themselves. Usually right after he’s stopped finding challenge in his flock of obedient sheep handing him their wives and daughters.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Unfortunately, this particular cult is more like Scientology than Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate. Trump is in it for ego and profit, so he’s not going to tell his followers to do anything that would impact those, and it will live on beyond his death.

The trick is to keep sane people recognising this and making sure that the cultist are not voted into positions of power.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Unfortunately, this particular cult is more like Scientology than Jonestown or Heaven’s Gate. "

Well, obviously it’s easier to build a cult when the icon to be worshipped is something both convenient and desirable.

"Trump is in it for ego and profit…"

Yes and no. To Trump it seems actual money is just his way of keeping score. What he’s really after is the power to look down on others and raise himself up.

Try a quick google on "What the Science of Addiction Tells Us About Trump". Politico has an interesting spin on Trump’s core motives.

It goes a long way to explaining how Trump connects to so much of his base – it’s all about a shared appreciation for that hard drug of retaliation against perceived wrongs. It’s not a cult of Trump. It’s a cult of hatred looking for any leader willing to provide targets to hate and reasons to hate them.

"…so he’s not going to tell his followers to do anything that would impact those, and it will live on beyond his death."

Actually, he has. more times than I can conveniently count. If there’s anything which could be considered the definitive proof the trump administration is unhinged it would be the amount of times it’s shot itself in the foot in these four years past.

We’re not talking about Tricky Dick here, we’re talking about a narcissist with a permanent hateboner so outspoken he trusts it to write his tweets and a disregard for rules and laws so wide he’s spent a lot of time trying to find a way to pre-emptively pardon himself and his closest cronies from the legal prosecution his unthinking rampages through the white house has opened him to.

That One Guysays:

Re: Re:

Even knowing that those kinds of people exist it still baffles and disgusts me how anyone could ever reach the point where ‘seeing/hearing someone screaming in agony’ is something to be enjoyed.

When the ‘reward’ for succeeding in your religion/belief is getting to see other people suffering that’s probably a good indicator that you’re not on the good side.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:

"When the ‘reward’ for succeeding in your religion/belief is getting to see other people suffering that’s probably a good indicator that you’re not on the good side."

Plus, it’s ironically against the fundamental teaching of the religion itself in this case. Whatever you think of Christianity in its organised modern form, most of Christ’s actual teachings boil down to "treat others well, and material wealth in the current world is irrelevant in the face of your eternal reward if you do the right thing here".

I’m an atheist myself, but I can’t help but hope that there’s some truth to the Christian version of the afterlife, as so many of these people will suffer according to their own creed. May the suffering they inflict on others be repaid to them.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re:

"Even knowing that those kinds of people exist it still baffles and disgusts me how anyone could ever reach the point where ‘seeing/hearing someone screaming in agony’ is something to be enjoyed."

Imagine, for a minute, that your entire life, from birth to adulthood you’ve been told by every authority that you are a sinner. Filthy, unworthy, unredeemed. You will burn in hell for eternity. Your only salvation is to be a good christian – which in these sects means to blindly obey your parents and preacher, abstain from any worldly pleasure, work yourself to the bone trying to be "good enough" – and it never is.

Meanwhile everyone who isn’t from an ultra-religious household gets to have fun growing up, is treated with indulgence and kindness, gets encouraged and told their future is bright, the sky’s the limit and their ambition and education the only limits on how high they’ll rise. They get to have girlfriends and boyfriends, significant others, and partners without having to chain themselves to whoever they fell for in their teens while their judgment was less than stellar.

Can you imagine the sheer, unadulterated envy and hatred the oppressed little sect members must be nursing for all of their lives?

THAT is how you get an entire demographic of cult members who all worship personal suffering and that one and only pleasure they’re allowed to look forward to – watching everyone else pay for having had the decent life they themselves were denied.

'Mi Casa, You Casa, We All Casa' - Biden speaksays:

What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO facts!

clear violation of her civil liberties, and a clear authoritarian overreach by Governor DeSantis.

When you see opposition to any "Republican", they’re automatically saints.

And of course you’re rabid on "we’re all gonna die unless wear masks and give up all civil rights".

So you rush out with this neglecting to even allow a possibility that she’s committed some crime.

We’ll see, I guess.

davedavesays:

Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO facts

Snowden wasn’t a whistleblower, because he didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already well known. He released confidential operational details of publicly-acknowledged programs rather than anything indicating activities we didn’t akready know about.

Your medical records are a good analogy. They are confidential, so we know they exist, but not what they contain. Snowden’s claim to be a whistle-blower is based on the idea that no-one knew you had medical records. It is simply not true.

He was a paid spy for Russia, though; that’s pretty solidly proven at this point. Treason for cash, not whistleblowing.

Mike Masnicksays:

Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO f

Snowden wasn’t a whistleblower, because he didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already well known.

As someone who covered this space before and after the Snowden revelations, this is flat out false. He did reveal a bunch of things that were not well known, including the existence of two surveillance programs that the NSA had previously denied.

He released confidential operational details of publicly-acknowledged programs rather than anything indicating activities we didn’t akready know about.

This is false. Both ODNI James Clapper and DirNSA Keith Alexander insisted that their authorizations under the Patriot Act and FISA did not allow them to collect data on a large swath of Americans. Snowden revealed that they actually did exactly that under the 215 program and the 705 program. Snowden absolutely blue the whistle on programs that were not publicly acknowledged, and in fact were publicly denied.

He was a paid spy for Russia, though; that’s pretty solidly proven at this point.

No, it is not even remotely proved.

davedavesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give

That’s insane. Neither of the programs you mention were any revelation. We always knew the US spied on its own citizens. That’s the whole point of Echelon.

It’s true that we thought they did it via third parties, and that in the two cases you mention they hadn’t dotted their i’s properly, but the idea we didn’t know what they were doing, rather than how they did it, is nonsense.

I have no idea on what basis you claim Snowden hasn’t proven his motivations by his subsequent actions, or

davedavesays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, g

Oops.

… Or why you’d think that what he released is all he stole. The null hypothesis is that he was a paid spy, given that he stole data and Immediately took it straight to China and Russia. Everything we have learnt since then is entirely consistent with that. He is living very well in Russia.

At this point, arguing Snowden blew a whistle is like arguing Trump won the election: it’s a fringe view to say the least.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several time

"The null hypothesis is that he was a paid spy, given that he stole data and Immediately took it straight to China and Russia"

No, the null hypothesis would be that the story we’re aware of – that he was a concerned citizen who gathered the evidence he could before taking it to The Guardian and other international news outlets, who then made a number of careful decisions over what to publish – is true.

Anything other than that, especially claims that he was being paid as a spy, would require evidence to change that hypothesis. Do you have any?

"He is living very well in Russia."

Russia, where he was passing through to get to another location and was not able to leave after his US passport was voided, requiring him to ingratiate himself with the country, who were happy to look after the asset that had been handed to them on a plate by the US government.

You either have the sequence of events confused, or you are deliberately trying to rewrite history to get to the story you want it to be.

bhull242says:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several time

Actually, he released the information to American and international journalists like The Guardian before going to China or Russia, and the only reason he?s still in Russia is because we essentially trapped him there.

More importantly to my original point, Snowden was in opposition to the Obama administration, which was not Republican, and yet Techdirt supported Snowden rather than the administration. This runs counter to your statement:

When you see opposition to any "Republican", they’re automatically saints.

I was using Snowden as a counterexample. Whether or not you believe that he was actually whistleblower, Techdirt does and treated him as such, and their articles are by-and-large supportive of his efforts, but he was opposing Democrats, not Republicans. The same goes for Jones in this article except that the leader of the government she was working for previously happens to be a Republican. You may believe that she did something wrong, but the reason Techdirt supports her isn?t because she opposed a Republican but because she is (at least ostensibly) a whistleblower. There may be an anti-authority or pro-whistleblower bias here, but not an anti-Republican bias.

Do you want more? There have been a bunch of articles opposing Biden, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Obama, and other Democrats on this site. (Drone strikes, the TPP, the CASE Act, anti-?230, weak reasons to break up Big Tech, etc.) In fact, generally the attitude towards Democrats has only been slightly more positive than Republicans, and only because fewer Democrats actively make themselves look foolish, more Democrats do positive things more often (like Wyden), and most faults among Democrats are present at least as much in Republicans (e.g. opposition to ?230, not understanding technology, copyright maximalism, and corruption). Also, Trump and Bill Barr.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several

"In fact, generally the attitude towards Democrats has only been slightly more positive than Republicans"

This is one of the reasons I keep coming back here. Facts don’t change depending on who is in office, and the general attitude outside of the regular troll brigade tends to be the same. It’s a shame that the choices recently have been "people who believe in reality" and "people who are living in an alternate universe", but the facts are the same for people who don’t buy into that.

A partisan view of this might make sense if both sides were willing to deal with reality, but differ in terms of how they believe the issues should be dealt with. But, we’re dealing with people who think that fiction can stop reality if you believe it hard enough, and so they need to be ignored.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO f

"Snowden wasn’t a whistleblower, because he didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t already well known."

Rewriting history is fun. But, even if you’re correct, what was happening might have been suspected, but it was never proven, and Snowden’s revelation are what have enabled people to address the problem head on in the aftermath.

"Your medical records are a good analogy."

They’re really not, but let’s go with that. Let’s say you’re suspected of having HIV, but you refuse to allow others to access your medical records, yet you continue to donate blood while blocking others from testing the blood, and you also have a prolific number of sexual partners who you insist should not use any form of protection. Would it not be a good thing for the medical records to be released and people to know the facts, rather than having to rely on innuendo and suspicion to try and curb your activity?

"He was a paid spy for Russia, though; that’s pretty solidly proven at this point"

I’m sure you wouldn’t mind sharing the proof here. No, the fact that he ended up in Russia because the US cancelled his passport while travelling through the country is not sufficient evidence.

Toom1275says:

Re: Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO f

You’ve very clearly confused Ed Snowden, the patriot who revealed illegal programs that only a handful of senators knew about at the time, with Chelsea Manning, who released operational details of publickly-acknowledged programs and Julian Assange, Russia’s stooge.

Anonymoussays:

Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO facts!

The system they claim she posted a comment on used a shared username and password for literally hundreds of users, one that isn’t changed when someone is fired. This is what they claim triggered their ire. In what universe do you think that this justifies a raid at gunpoint?

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re: What's "clear"? You ask WHY several times, give NO facts

a shared username and password for literally hundreds of users

Certainly it sounds bad. Far worse than to admit that she appears to have sent e-mail to a publicly visible e-mail list. Unfortunately using a publicly-accessible mailing list does not sound scary enough to justify sending an armed goon squad.

While I say that she appears to have sent e-mail to a publicly accessible e-mail list, the details of what happened are unclear. There are some things which make the state’s claims somewhat implausible. For instance, that it took weeks to track down the IP address from the log and use “whois” to find out that it was from Comcast.

The address was and IPV6 address, and that certainly seems unusual. Still, you can cut and paste an IPV6 address into whois(1) and it does appear to work. The claimed address was indeed Comcast, so that much holds together.

However, the language claiming that someone “gained access” to the group would appear to rule out Jones, who had presumably either been granted access directly or who had obtained the group name and e-mail address from some web page.

Much of the affidavit sounds more like pasted marketing material than actual information: “web-based platform developed for incident and emergency planning, immediate access to information, and fast, flexible and efficient communcations. ReadyOp integrates multiple databases …”

Also, the stated qualifications of your affiant'' sound more like a Prenda operative than a legitimate investigator. For instance, he recitesSANS Introduction to Information Security” as a relevant qualification. He is “authorized to investigate all criminal matters in the State of Florida.” These days, it is hard to imagine a crime that does not involve computers — even the muggers and public urinators have smart phones — so that SANS expertise is probably exactly what the state needs.

Perhaps this is the best that the Governor’s minions could find to justify sending a goon squad. But it seems like pretty thin stuff, and I expect that Jones’ attorney is going to raise the issue of this as an unusual discovery tactic in the pending (since the summer) civil litigation between Jones and the state.

'Mi Casa, You Casa, We All Casa' - Biden speaksays:

"On my children." -- Video or it didn't happen.

Just a notion, Maz, can you find ANY articles at all questioning the NEED for "lockdown" such as 37 million in California are under? ANY objectivity at all on just that narrow question? HMM?

Sheriffs in California are REFUSING to enforce the tyranny that Gov "Hairdoo" is merely ordering — it’s not a law, it’s mere advice, as several Sheriffs have pointed out.

But it’s NO suprise that you’re supporting arbitrary restrictions on ordinary civil rights! Everything you claim are for, your true position turns out opposite.

fairusesays:

What Would East German Citizens Think?

The people who lived expecting the knock on the door every day know. Post WWII my "spook" father volunteered to stay. The only thing he said was, "You could not image how people lived." /reference – Secret Police

I say, "The governor has a nice long winter filled with Snow Birds and tourists if he gets his way". Follow the money from, for example, NY,Nj,Ohio, then throw a dart at a map of choice.

A simple solution is always cook the books. Ask any policy wonk in climate change.

That One Guysays:

Easy answers, but not pleasant ones

This is horrifying on so many levels. Why was her home raided? Why did they pull out guns? Why did they do it after she told them that it was her children upstairs? Why did they seize all of her electronics equipment? Why are they doing any of this?

In order:

Because she refused to shut up and allow the Official Narrative to go unchallenged and a Message needed to be sent to what happens to those that challenge authority.

To really nail home that ‘message’ via threat of death and/or injury(all completely ‘accidental’ of course).

To make it crystal clear that yes, that included her children too.

To punish her and attempt to stop her from continuing to speak out.

See all previous answers.

Or in even shorter form: ‘Because we can, and what are you going to do about it?’

MathFoxsays:

Re: Easy answers, but not pleasant ones

It is clear, she is a defector for not following orders and leaving the service. Besides, she blew the whistle about our malpractice. If we don’t intimidate whistleblowers and defectors there will be more coming out of the woodwork.
That doesn’t fit our self-image of competence and our economic interests.

TripMNsays:

Re: Re: Easy answers, but not pleasant ones

This is not far from the truth. On Twitter she mentioned that the big thing she was pissed about was her computer included information about other government workers that had talked to her during the summer (probably giving her inside information). The expectation is that this info will be used with more items from the Gestapo playbook.

lostalaskasays:

10:1 odds the policehad to be talked down from using a SWAT team

To all the people who were surprised when the cops hand went for his gun upon realizing children were present. I don’t think you realize how dangerous children are. One child can be dangerous, but a group of them are like piranha, I’ve seen them strip the meat from the bones of a bucket of KFC in minutes.

For the sarcastically challenged and for those who’ve lost all faith in humanity and might think this was a real argument or concern I present to you the "/srcsm" tag.

Also, you think there is any chance she’ll ever see the thousands of dollars worth of electronics they took from her house in the next decade? 4:1 odds against.

Anonymoussays:

Re: 10:1 odds the policehad to be talked down from using a SWAT

Also, you think there is any chance she’ll ever see the thousands of dollars worth of electronics they took from her house …

Would those electronics be trustable, or should they be handed straight to security researcher if she ever sees them again?

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: 10:1 odds the policehad to be talked down from using a S

Would those electronics be trustable, or should they be handed straight to security researcher if she ever sees them again?

Nuked from orbit just to be sure. Let an agent of any governing body near your equipment, and the only thing you can be sure of is the fact that it has a new master that isn’t you.

For the sarcastically challenged and for those who’ve lost all faith in humanity and might think this was a real argument or concern I present to you the "/srcsm" tag.

For the jokingly inclined and for those who’ve failed to realize what kind of hellhole they truly live in, I present to you the United States of America as it truly is: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re: Re:

standard practice

Not in civil cases. In civil cases, we push paper: notice of intent to obtain papers from third parties, requests for paper from opposing parties, notice of deposition, and the like are the normal tools of discovery. Searches at gunpoint are generally not common practice.

That said, litigating against the state is a bit more challenging because of the unequal resources. Think of it as a person having to pay both sides’ lawyers, because as a taxpayer that is what happens when you litigate against the state.

Edsays:

Obvious by now

The GOP is a domestic terrorist organization. They will stop at nothing to further their draconian agenda. They will lie, cheat, steal, rape, murder, imprison… whatever it takes to continue dismantling the United States of America. Until the rest of America, nee the world, faces the truth and takes action against this direct and present threat, we are all in danger. There is no such thing as a "good Republican", just as there is no such thing as a "good cop". They are all complicit and should be treated as such.

Anonymoussays:

Just echoing what That One Guy said. This is intimidation plain and simple. Desantis wanted her to shut up and stop contradicting the official statement to justify reopening the state and sent in thugs with a badge to enforce that silence at the point of a gun and if that meant putting a gun to her husband and children then so be it.

This is unacceptable and shouldn’t even be a thing. They should DEMAND Desantis step down as governor for trying to silence someone who was trying to better inform people.

Anonymoussays:

Huh. Interesting that this comes right after a major Florida newspaper published a scathing report, using numerous insider sources, on how Desantis covered up a lot of COVID information.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-ne-coronavirus-florida-desantis-spin-ss-prem-20201203-tyjmgkos6bd7vo7vnripqliany-htmlstory.html

I wonder if this is him trying to track down who talked to the paper.

Delestoransays:

A bit more to the story

The Tallahasse Democrat has a bit more information…(Sorry, I’m not a link wizard)

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2020/12/07/agents-raid-home-fired-florida-data-scientist-who-built-covid-19-dashboard-rebekah-jones/6482817002/

It looks like they served a warrant because someone accessed a custom built messaging system used for notifying people during emergencies. The system has one username and password that everyone uses, or so the article says. More than 17,000 people received the illicit message, so chances are the password was long ago completely compromised. I’d expect some sort of hacking charges or unauthorized access charges to be leveled against her with plenty of pressure to take a deal. Since this involves the internet, it is quite likely that the Feds get to have a hand in it – knowing how much they love this sort of thing.

The article mentions that there are a lot of former employees who were purged from the various agencies using the insecure message system who might also be motivated to put a message on the system urging recipients to speak up about the dead and dying. No where are there any other former employees mentioned as having been raided. It is my observation that when law enforcement thinks that a group of people is behind some act, they raid the whole group and then it makes the news (if it makes the news at all). This sure seems like a clear case of scapegoating.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Search Warrant

"Unless there are some information in the redacted portion of the document supplied by Comcast there is no way to map an IPv6 address to a residential address."

It only makes sense if Comcast revealed the data relevant here, since an IPv6 address will be tied directly to a single account and not be shared among customers as an IPv4 address would be. If Comcast gave them subscriber records, they basically have the details of the only customer the address has been assigned to.

If Comcast didn’t play ball, they don’t have anything other than "this was a Comcast customer".

cattresssays:

Re: Search Warrant

Of note, signing the search warrant was one of the first official actions of a judge appointed by DeSantis in September, to a civil court. According to the GOP lawyer who resigned over the raid, choosing this civil court judge to sign off on a criminal warrant points to involvement by DeSantis’ office. It’s not like criminal court justices routinely scrutinize or reject warrant applications, so there has to be a reason for going to this judge.

cattresssays:

Aren’t there enough "Florida people" doing terrifying and insane things from tossing gators through the drive thru window to wrestling each other while their pants and underwear struggle to escape leaving a bare ass for everyone at Wawa at 2am to be left with nightmares for years to come? I mean, priorities people. A raid because someone sent an ethical plea through a completely unsecured communication system, which apparently generated no action from the roughly 1700 people who received the message. Did the cop taking this ridiculous report look at the official explaining what happened the same way they look at people reporting their car was stolen, and they left it unlocked with a key in the visor?
I just hope she had all the data and information showing corrupt and illegal actions by the state backed up remotely or made sure she had copies saved with other trustworthy people. Because that evidence is as good as gone by now.

Anonymoussays:

So someone sent messages, but in the affidavit, no authoritative source actually says the messages were unauthorized.

The agent “reviewed the logs”, with no explanation that there are logs in the first place, what’s logged, how logs were accessed, who provided access, or how the logs were verified. The assumption here is the system was compromised, but the logs are trustworthy?

From that rock-solid review of the logs comes an IP address. Nothing in the affidavit connects the IP address to the location of the warrant. Did the agent just enter the IP into Google Maps? (That’s sarcasm.)

Then a lot of carefully detailed and incredibly specific boilerplate.

Is this normal for warrant affidavits, or is this especially sloppy work by police and insignificant review by the judge?

Anonymoussays:

Re:

I had a question about connecting the IP address to her as well. Was it an exact match to her system or did they use a broad swath of coverage. We?re they even connected or did they just us a techie term to sound more credible.
Could some sophisticated spoof the system? Yes. But this doesn?t sound like someone sophisticated. Unless it was an setup to take down the scientist.

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Re:

The redactions are irrelevant, though. No system admin worth their salt would design a system where people would retain access to this kind of messaging system when they leave the company. The police should have rightly laughed in their faces and told them they need to fix the way the system is used so everyone gets individual accounts; this isn’t the police’s problem at all and it was basically a matter of time until some disgruntled employee used it.

Jones is almost certainly a convenient scapegoat, here.

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re:

Of course. And to the Very Fine People who kept harping on that point the response to your question would be a blank stare followed by a statement like "Well, yeah. The chinese do bad stuff."

That the chinese doctor in question was trying to save lives is irrelevant to those people. To them that’s just the pre-made excuse they hang on the fact that the chinese government is bad and anyone opposing them must be good.

The same way US authority is good and anyone they beat up must therefore be bad.

Some folks like the world to be simple.

Joesays:

Bulls?t

The same governments who pretend they?re omniscient are running a critical system with a single username n password… duh.
But
Not surprising at all.
And we?re supposed to blindly follow their dictates? Not me.
How do I get money to this woman to find her defense? When that?s over I?ll give her more so she can go on OFFENSE.
She deserves praise AND a big settlement funded by the plutocrats that instigated this mess?- don?t use OUR money to fund YOUR malfeasance and stupidity.
Unfortunately this was all too predictable for anyone with a brain.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

And a handy side effect of this is they now have access to all of her communications & contacts.
I’m SURE they would NEVER EVER use this information to punish people still in the system who expressed even the slightest bit of support. /s

From a many who swore he could be called directly to save seniors in homes after the hurricane & then just turned the phone off as the death toll mounted… oh and tried to make it harder to sue the hell out of the homes that left those in their care to die.

Hugh Brissays:

MY UPDATE: 1) still no video of guns pointed at kids

2) IP address info is pretty well nailed down.

3) Know she had the password.

4) And that was unauthorized use of a gov’t communication system.

5) She’s an activist, an insubordinate employee

6) Who decided her "data analyst" slant superseded the elected Governor.

7) She’s not left wrecked and alone, but got over 420,000 so far, proving IS an activist.

PaulTsays:

Re: MY UPDATE: 1) still no video of guns pointed at kids

So, to translate – you’re OK with outright fraud by elected officials in the middle of a pandemic that risks many lives, so long as you can prove the person being shut down by armed thugs for exposing them are in possession of a password shared between hundreds of other people and the public are outraged enough by that raid to donate to the ensuing legal defense?

That’s a position, I’ll grant you, but it might not be a good one…

bhull242says:

Re: MY UPDATE: 1) still no video of guns pointed at kids

1) is to be expected at this point.

2) is a fair point, but I haven?t actually seen the evidence.

3) is true, but also true for every current or former employee because of their lax security standards.

4) I don?t know, but can somewhat concede.

5) is highly questionable and also irrelevant.

6) is saying that she thinks honest analysis goes above politics, which I think is not a bad thing.

7) is not actually proof of anything other than the fact that many activists think that she?s being treated unjustly, not that she herself is an activist.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: MY UPDATE: 1) still no video of guns pointed at kids

That’s actually the least objectionable part of the situation. Assuming the information is correct about it being an IPv6 address and they got the subscriber details direct from Comcast, it’s unlikely that it was wrong. The idea that the usage of a shared, publicly available password should result in an armed raid from the administration she was proving was actively endangering its constituents, however…

DeSantis De Tyrantsays:

The Password Is Freely Available To Anyone

Florida police said a raid they conducted Monday on the Tallahassee home of Rebekah Jones, a data scientist the state fired from her job in May, was part of an investigation into an unauthorized access of a state emergency-responder system. It turns out, however, that not only do all state employees with access to that system share a single username and password, but also those credentials are publicly available on the Internet for anyone to read.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/12/florida-posted-the-password-to-a-key-disaster-system-on-its-website/

ROGSsays:

Re: The Password Is Freely Available To Anyone/not

This needs to happen, and keep happening to white females who work in communications, and others who are complicit with state power only as long as it advances their privilege.

Because they are largely complicit agents of state power and police abuses themselves, as Lastng as it benefits their white, female, privileged perspective.

Go, GESTAPO!

A win for the inherent racism of TDs spoofnsors, the Anti Defamation League, the Catholic Council, the Baptists (shout out to bhull242), and all the rest of their gang stalking NGOs.

And Techdirts help, of course, via its comment pool full of the aforementioned.

bhull242says:

Re: Re: The Password Is Freely Available To Anyone/not

There?s a lot to unpack here, but let me start with by far the least important: I?m not a Baptist. Nor am I Catholic, for that matter. I have no idea why you think I am.

Also, in case you missed it, we?re talking about someone who?s a victim of police abuse and state power, not an enabler of it.

But seriously, what are you talking about?

Scary Devil Monasterysays:

Re: Re: Re: The Password Is Freely Available To Anyone/not

"But seriously, what are you talking about?"

With ROGS the actual facts are irrelevant. She’s a white female educated researcher once working for the state power, hence she needs to be drawn and quartered.

And where he’s coming from with that would be obvious in his following statements;

"Go, GESTAPO!"

and;

"A win for the inherent racism of TDs spoofnsors, the Anti Defamation League, the Catholic Council, the Baptists (shout out to bhull242), and all the rest of their gang stalking NGOs."

Bluntly put, he’s at best a deranged conspiracy theorist in whose mind everyone who dares oppose his tinfoil hat hypotheses is the enemy and at worst a troll who thinks he’s just larking around.

Brian Hullsays:

re: Nabiki

Voiceover, live, from Dipshitland….

"Do we know that Comcast gave them the residential info for that IP address?"

Totally distracting question, as per your usual schtick.

No, "we" dont know anything. You, always talking to a mythical WE.

But what some of "US" DO KNOW, with certainty, is that all state police target US citizens with illegal wiretaps of their communications devices, and then, target them with organized gang stalking, and its targeted political messaging, via state banditos, exactly as we see in this case.

Fusion Center wiretapping is just one part of that, and I am certain that scrutiny of her computer connection would reveal exactly that, as per ROGS Analysis.

Pablosays:

Protest

This Rebeca sounds to me is a Jews bitch who spreads missinformation like all this dirty Jews run media.We have enough of this bulshit.Take a media out from this rats.She is a lier.Police did not pull a guns for her kids because they were upstears .So put her in the cell where shi bilongs.Enough of this fake virus and this fashist behaviour of governments who are not our rulers but our servants.

Mikey A. Vellisays:

UPDATE: EXPOSED AS LYING NUTCAKE.

Techdirt will censor, I mean "hide" this indisputable FACT precisely because IT IS FACT.

Rebekah Jones, Florida `Whistleblower,’ Claims She Never Said She Was Asked To Delete COVID Deaths. She Claimed That Specifically.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/05/rebekah-jones-the-covid-whistleblower-who-wasnt/

As part of the 10,000 word screed Jones wrote after my piece was published, she linked to a snippet of code that shows clearly that her dashboard did not interact directly with the state’s database, but instead utilized Excel files that other people at the Florida Department of Health had put on a network drive. Or, put another way: Jones confirmed this week that she has been lying about the role she played in the department. And, once she’d done that, there was nothing that she could do except to back off her main claim. No direct access to the database means no ability to delete data from the database. No ability to delete data from the database means no claim that she was asked to delete data from the database. No claim that she was asked to delete data from the database means no scandal.

If not enough for you kids to abandon support of this LIAR, there’s yet more juicy tidbits of obsessive cheating with a student that led to getting JAILED.

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