Anonymous Member Launches Decentralized Investigation of FBI
A “notice of public evaluation and discovery” was filed against the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) today by Eric “Tristan” Roberts, a member of the hacktivist group Anonymous, on the Bitnation Public Notary (BPN) platform.
The Bitnation courtesy notice hopes to initiate a decentralized investigation into alleged wrongdoings by the FBI, which it claims include “the perpetuation of slavery and mass violation of privacy.” The project, which Roberts instigated, seeks primarily to collect evidence on the bureau from the general public, notarizing them via the BPN, and storing them on the popular code repository GitHub.
Moolah Investigation Used Similar Crowd Technique
The project was partially inspired by the Chris Ellis-led crowd investigation into the Dogecoin exchange Moolah, whose founder Ryan Kennedy absconded with over US $1 million in customer funds in 2014. That investigation also used GitHub as its principal evidence store. Kennedy was eventually tried and sentenced to 11 years on unrelated rape charges, but the missing funds have yet to be recovered.
In conversation, Roberts is firm in his views. “The FBI has become a tool for enforcing power disparities,” he says, “and there’s no culpability. […] Many people are pulling FBI Director James Comey’s strings.”
FBI Has Encountered Roberts Before
It isn’t Roberts’ first interaction with the FBI. In November 2016, he was detained for defacing federal property, after spray-painting the word “CORRUPT” on a wall of the FBI building and an “X” over the FBI seal during the annual anti-establishment Million Mask March. He was arrested on Pennsylvania Avenue after twerking on the hood of a police car. Charges were eventually dropped.
Roberts is scheduling the public meeting for his project (tagged on Twitter with #FBIJustice) to coincide with the next Million Mask March, during which thousands of Anonymous members and supporters could potentially evaluate the collected evidence and determine the next actions to take.
Do you think Roberts’ investigation into the FBI will have any impact? How effective is Bitnation’s platform? Let us know in the comments.
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