Meet The Breitbart Stooge Who Hacked #OWS For The FBI And NYPD

You know there was no way for Breitbart not to insert himself into these protests, and of course, be on the wrong side: The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for a month. And it seems the FBI and NYPD have had help tracking

tom ryan.png

You know there was no way for Breitbart not to insert himself into these protests, and of course, be on the wrong side:

The Occupy Wall Street protests have been going on for a month. And it seems the FBI and NYPD have had help tracking protesters' moves thanks to a conservative computer security expert who gained access to one of the group's internal mailing lists, and then handed over information on the group's plans to authorities and corporations targeted by protesters.

Since the Occupy Wall Street protest began on September 17, New York security consultant Thomas Ryan has been waging a campaign to infiltrate and discredit the movement. Ryan says he's done contract work for the U.S. Army and he brags on his blog that he leads "a team called Black Cell, a team of the most-highly trained and capable physical, threat and cyber security professionals in the world." But over the past few weeks, he and his computer security buddies have been spending time covertly attending Occupy Wall Street meetings, monitoring organizers' social media accounts, and hanging out with protesters in Lower Manhattan. As part of their intelligence-gathering operation, the group gained access to a listserv used by Occupy Wall Street organizers called September17discuss. On September17discuss, organizers hash out tactics and plan events, conduct post-mortems of media appearances, and trade the latest protest gossip. On Friday, Ryan leaked thousands of September17discuss emails to conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who is now using them to try to smear Occupy Wall Street as an anarchist conspiracy to disrupt global markets.

As I understand things, the listserv is real and correct, although the assertions that Ryan makes about some grand anarchist conspiracy being hatched is typical conservative hysteria and hyperbole seeking to discredit the movement. But truly, that's not the part that's so disturbing to me.

What may much more alarming to Occupy Wall Street organizers is that while Ryan was monitoring September 17 discuss, he was forwarding interesting email threads to contacts at the NYPD and FBI, including special agent Jordan T. Loyd, a member of the FBI's New York-based cyber security team.
[..]
Did the FBI and/or NYPD ask him to monitor Occupy Wall Street? Was he just forwarding the emails on out of the goodness of his heart? In a phone interview with us, Ryan denied being an informant. "I do not work with the FBI," he said.

Ryan said he knows Loyd through their mutual involvement in the Open Web Application Security Project, a non-profit computer security group of which Ryan is a board member. Ryan said he sent the emails to Loyd unsolicited simply because "everyone's curious" about Occupy Wall Street, and he had a ground-eye view. "Jordan never asked me for anything."

Yeah, that's not actually working for me. Loyd was quoted in a NYIT press release on the cyber security:

FBI agents John Leo and Jordan Loyd named hacktivists – individuals who hack systems to draw attention to a particular issue – as newly emerging threats to U.S. information systems. As an example, Leo and Loyd cited this weekend’s scheduled “Occupy Wall Street.” Virtual organizers are using sites like Facebook and Twitter to call for peaceful protests on Wall Street on Sept. 17 for corporate and government change. The agents said they have been monitoring the event on cyberspace and are preparing to meet it with physical security.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.