You are hereThe Brad Blog: U.S. Chamber Plot Update: Malware, Fake Personas, Government Contracts, Public Shame, Bar Complaints, Media Failures and Other Updates

The Brad Blog: U.S. Chamber Plot Update: Malware, Fake Personas, Government Contracts, Public Shame, Bar Complaints, Media Failures and Other Updates

The latest news in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce scheme to illicitly target me and my family, as well as other progressive citizens, journalists and organizations...

February 18, 2011- It's strange, difficult and a bit uncomfortable reporting on the $12 million U.S. Chamber disinfo plot and smear campaign after finding myself (and my family), much less (VR), the non-profit organization co-founded by The BRAD BLOG, as direct targets of it. As you might have assumed, there is much going on behind the scenes that I can't report on at this time, but I've been happy to see some fairly decent coverage --- even by some in the print MSM, if not much in the broadcast media yet --- of this important, disturbing and still developing story.

It's easier to talk and opine on what I've learned about the plot, as I've been doing in a lot of media interviews over the past week (a few of those radio appearances are linked below), than it is to actually report on it, per se. Yet, there have been several noteworthy points and advancements in the story over the past week since I originally covered it in depth here on Monday.

New information being dug up over the last several days, since I initially reported on this story in depth at the beginning of the week, now indicates that the Chamber Plotters had likely intended to use cyber attacks and hacks against us as well.

Those key updates, and the very quickest of backgrounders for those unfamiliar with the sordid tale up until now, follow below...

Quick Background

For those new to the story, it involves email revelations that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest corporate lobbying firm, was working with the law firm Hunton & Williams (H&W), to develop a scheme with three well-connected, government-contracted cyber-security/intelligence firms (HBGary Federal, Berico Technologies and Palantir Technologies --- calling themselves "Team Themis" collectively) to use nefarious and likely illegal schemes in hopes of discrediting VR, myself and other progressive citizens, journalists and organizations who had opposed the Chamber's extremist corporate agenda.

A parallel plot, similar in many ways, was also being developed, according to tens of thousands of emails and other documents posted to the web by the "hacktivist" collective Anonymous, led by the Bank of America to attack WikiLeaks with the same law firm and security contractors on board. That plot included a scheme to target Salon journalist Glenn Greenwald, and both involved the use of tools and techniques developed for the so-called "War on Terror", the planting of false documents and the creation of fake personas, all in hopes of discrediting the perceived political enemies of both the Chamber and BofA.

The schemes, as Greenwald described them, appear to "quite possibly constitute serious crimes."

"Manufacturing and submitting fake documents with the intent they be published likely constitutes forgery and fraud," he wrote. "Threatening the careers of journalists and activists in order to force them to be silent is possibly extortion and, depending on the specific means to be used, constitutes other crimes as well."



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