Sharyl Attkisson Lawsuit Against Rod Rosenstein Claiming She Was Hacked By Government Tossed

from the crazypants dept

Remember Sharyl Attkisson? If not, she is a former CNN and CBS journalist who made something of a name for herself both in reporting on the Obama administration, often critically, as well as for accusing that same administration of hacking into her computer and home network. Whatever you think of her reporting, her lawsuit against Eric Holder and the Justice Department over the hacking claims was crazy-pants. Essentially, she took a bunch of the same technological glitches all of us deal with on a daily basis -- flickering television screens, a stuck backspace key on her computer -- and wove that into a giant conspiracy against her and her reporting. She made a big deal in the suit, and her subsequent book on the matter, over some "computer experts" she relied on to confirm that she was a victim of government hacking, except those experts remained largely anonymous and were even, in some cases, third party people she'd never met. For that and other reasons related to how quickly she managed to do initial discovery, the case was tossed by the courts in 2019.

That didn't stop Attkisson's crusade against the government, however. In 2020, she filed suit against Rod Rosenstein, again accusing the government of spying on her and her family. To back this up, she again relied on an anonymous source, but that source has since been revealed. And, well...

The source was initially anonymous but later identified by Attkisson’s attorneys as Ryan White, an alleged former FBI informant. White is a QAnon conspiracy adherent who appears to have been the source of bizarre child-abuse allegations that Georgia attorney Lin Wood leveled at Chief Justice John Roberts last year, according to a report in the Daily Beast.

And so here we are yet again, with an extremely serious claim lodged against the federal government that relies on the tinfoil hat crowd as "evidence." In addition, Attkisson lays out again the computer and network hacking claims, with a named "computer forensic" expert who apparently told her that there was spyware on her machine, that they had logs for where these breaches originated (such as a Ritz Carlton hotel), and that the tools used for all of this appeared to be the sort typically only available to government actors. And here too, just as in her original lawsuit, there are tons of details and claims that reveal that, like so many other conspiracy theories, there is a duality problem. Namely, that the federal government is so nefarious and great at hacking that they completely compromised nearly every machine Attkisson used at work and at home, but that same federal government was too stupid to mask the IP address from which it launched these attacks.

For example, her suit claims that these attacks were originally launched from the United States Postal Service in Baltimore, where some staff involved in infiltrating The Silk Road worked. The contention of her Qanon witness is that the spying on Attkisson somehow happened as an offshoot of a multi-agency task force against dark web dealings. And to believe all of that, you again have to believe that the government's l337 h4x0rs didn't bother to cover their USPS tracks.

But those are conversations about the merits of Attkisson's case. We don't really need to get that far, because her suit has again been tossed on essentially procedural grounds.

Bennett, an appointee of President George W. Bush, also ruled that there was inadequate indication that any surveillance of Attkisson involved activities in Maryland, which Bennett’s court has jurisdiction over.

“The Amended Complaint is devoid of any factual allegations with respect to actual conduct related to the alleged surveillance which occurred in Maryland,” Bennett wrote in his 20-page decision, issued on Tuesday. “The conclusory statements that the alleged surveillance was performed by individuals in Maryland, unsupported by any factual allegations, lie in contrast to the Plaintiffs’ numerous assertions regarding conduct performed and events which occurred in the Eastern District of Virginia.”

So, on the one hand, it's not as if the court is saying that Attkisson's claims are nonsense. And maybe this will lead to her refiling her lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction. On the other hand, it doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence in the merits of her claims or her legal team that they can't even get the case filed in the correct jurisdiction.

So, do I think this is the last we'll hear from Sharyl Attkisson's lawsuits over the supposed hacking of all her things? No, I doubt it. After all, she must certainly have another book to write and promote soon.


Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: conspiracy theories, doj, rod rosenstein, sharyl attkisson, surveillance, usps


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  • identicon
    Pixelation, 22 Mar 2021 @ 8:12pm

    I personally know someone with Schitzophrenia. It's a sucky disease and a likely culprit in this case. It's very real for them and anyone suggesting they get help is part of problem, in their mind.

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

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 22 Mar 2021 @ 10:15pm

    Maybe Sidney Powell is available

    with some "unprecedented ALLEGATIONS (you know, not actual facts) of biblical proportions" to help this along.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 22 Mar 2021 @ 10:16pm

    Shallow Excuse

    And to believe all of that, you again have to believe that the government's l337 h4x0rs didn't bother to cover their USPS tracks.

    I've never bought the "I'm too smart to have committed this crime" argument. Most people make an occasional mistake.

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 12:05am

      Re: Shallow Excuse

      Of course people make mistakes occasionally. But, there's a world of difference between "yikes, I may have left a crumb of evidence that someone might find" and "meh, we couldn't be bothered to use VPNs or proxies while committing our illegal hacks". The second is what was being alleged, and that's hard to believe.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:44am

      Re: Shallow Excuse

      Like you posting your usual BS.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 12:47am

    Something something cults cut you off from the real world, telling you everyone is out to get you and the only one you can trust is dear leader.
    Its slow at first, but as the 'signs' align you slip deeper and deeper into the mire.
    Mentally insert a meme here:
    You aren't important enough to chip, change my mind dot gif

    If you talk to the crazy, you hear a tale of woe about how all of these bad things happened, but its not their fault it is the fault of the secret cabal who hates them b/c white/nationalist/evangelical/etc...
    That Judge took away their children, not because they ended up in the hospital with measles after you took them to a "measles party", but because those evil people who passed laws to make sure we were all injected with a long list of horrible things want control of my baby so they can eat them!!!!
    The only reason I showed up drunk for court was to stop the mind control rays from working & it wasn't real court anyways because there was no fringe on the flag my buddy Skippy told me the real law!
    (Shhh Mike I can hear you rolling your eyes at me from here)

    They use Happy Holidays to erase Baby Jeebus from Christmas!!!
    Because in their little bubble everyone loves Baby Jeebus, Christmas is actually his birthday (not a stolen pagan festival), and everyone celebrates it even those mind controlling space laser controlling candle lighting Jews who control everything & use that power to keep me down.

    The cult leaders enjoy keeping their followers focused on these things & supporting them even as the leaders sell them out over and over again, but manage to blow the whistle and redirect the anger away from where it actually belongs.

    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me, but pretty sure there isn't a satellite tasked with following just me & agents dispatched to cause me misfortune at every turn.

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

  • identicon
    Another non political Anon., 23 Mar 2021 @ 5:01am

    North Korean hackers sometimes operate behind vpns and sometimes their ips get exposed.
    In such sense it´s not odd that an "USA hack" would let one of their ips exposed.
    To find ips is not that easy anyway.
    They are just a bunch of numbers and you need to find them, understand them etc.
    It´s not as easy as "this ip contacted my computer, I am hacked"
    They are only numbers they can be faked, you ca not understand them etc
    So in such sense this claims that "expert hackers would not let the victim find their ip" is not really a valid claim

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 1:17pm

    Curiosity

    So let me get this clear: you just wrote an article pretending you looked at some evidence (as if you were a jury) and pronounced judgment on a case that was dismissed purely on procedural grounds (i.e, the court didn't hear any of the evidence)?

    Why didn't you just write one paragraph? Or better yet, one sentence: Case of alleged hacking by corrupt official Rob Rosenstein dismissed for being brought in wrong jurisdiction, stand by for the refiling.

    Why expound dump trucks of hot air claiming you know all about something you obviously know nothing about? And it doesn't matter what you think you know about this case at all. It's just weird. Can't you stick to Copyright, Patent and telco overreach? What provokes you to go off the deep end with this emotional and hysterical speculation?

    And I thought tech guys were rational.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Mar 2021 @ 3:33pm

      Why expound dump trucks of hot air claiming you know all about something you obviously know nothing about?

      Pot, kettle, black.

      But for a real answer: We have every right to judge her claims on their merits, and the merits of her claims are so thin as to be practically non-existent.

      And it doesn't matter what you think you know about this case at all.

      Then why do you care so much about what Techdirt writers think about it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 3:39pm

      Re: Curiosity

      Because clearly the people filing don't know anything about their case either. They claim to have all sorts of evidence, yet fail to even include a factual allegation (never mind any evidence in support thereof) in their filing.

      That's why.

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:42pm

      Re: Curiosity

      What provokes you to go off the deep end with this emotional and hysterical speculation?

      Hmm, it seems that line fits your post better.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Mar 2021 @ 4:58pm

    Ryan White, an alleged former FBI informant

    How can an FBI informant not be an absolutely reliable source for the allegation, no matter how absurd or improbable? I thought FBI informants were always trustworthy and should always be taken at their word, even when they have a long history of lying and being wrong.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.