Editors note #1 – Over the last year, this blog has been reporting on Google’s apparent use of proxies in an attempt to intimidate members of the EU parliament into voting against the proposed EU Copyright Directive. The Copyright Directive requires social media platforms above a certain size to do more to counter copyright infringement and to fairly negotiate licensing deals with creators. We focused in on the Google-funded/directed Canadian “engagement network” (whatever that is), Open Media and its subsidiary New/Mode. Newspapers like The Times of London and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung followed up with damning stories of their own here and here. We now go back and look at something slightly off topic for us: the doxxing and harassment of FCC Chairman Pai because it involves many of the same actors and bears a striking similarity to what happened in Europe.
Editors note #2. UPDATE: Thanks to a tipster we found a note in The Schmidt Family Foundation tax returns that seems to tie Eric Schmidt, the then Chairman of Google directly to one of these groups.
Eric Schmidt then CEO of Google personally gave Fight For The Future money to do education on something to do with fossil fuels during the net neutrality fight. Yeah sure. As far as we can tell Fight for the Future doesn’t do this sort of work. This sure looks like a false statement to federal authorities about the purpose of a contribution. Isn’t this similar to what Martha Stewart did?
Google Doxx: Google funded groups in 2017 illegal
doxxing of FCC Chairman
Wayback Machine archives of Popular Resistance Website a couple days before they doxxed Ajit Pai and sent protestors to his house. A tiny clue in the referenced URLs led us to Google funded websites
Huh what? FCC? Ajit Pai? Title II Net Neutrality?
Yes, we rarely cover the topic because it doesn’t directly relate to copyright and the music community. We have kept an eye on the net neutrality issue for one reason only: the same Google proxies, non-profits, and astroturfers that oppose us on copyright legislation desperately want Title II FCC oversight of Net Neutrality restored.
There are several groups with direct or (barely) indirect funding from Google that come to mind; Fight for The Future (former Google lobbyist/outside consultant Marvin Ammori is on the board), Open Media (Directly funded by Google, board of advisors includes ex-Google policy chief for Canada, Jacob Glick), Public Knowledge (named on the Oracle v Google “Shill list”), and Free Press (Ammori was general counsel until 2010). These groups work in lockstep with Google on copyright and other public policy issues important to Google’s bottom line. Tight little circle there.
FCC Title II enforcement of Net Neutrality is one such issue. For Google, a Title II net neutrality regime ensures Google’s data intensive network of (often unwanted) display, videos ads and other services continue to “free ride” on the bandwidth consumers purchase.
A little background: Until 2015, a less strict version of Net Neutrality was voluntarily observed by most internet service providers. Occasionally there would be reports of abuses but public outrage or threats to pursue antitrust type actions against ISPs seemed to largely keep abuses in check. Not always, but mostly. It wasn’t perfect but most people generally enjoyed their internet experience. Hence its popularity.
And it was the popularity of streaming television and the paid prioritization of traffic for services like Netflix that began to cause concern. I’m a Title II net neutrality skeptic but I rate these concerns legitimate. Were ISPs behaving in an anti-competitive manner by forcing (or allowing?) streaming services to pay for “fast lanes?” Companies like Google didn’t like this development either. They didn’t want to pay for “fast lanes” to deliver their data intensive services to the public. They preferred to enjoy what amounts to a free ride. Paying would surely hurt their bottom line.
I get that. Google is, after all a for-profit company.
However, it gets weird. Fast. Google was extremely close to many folks in the Obama Administration. And eventually the Obama Administration bought into Google’s argument for FCC enforcement of Net Neutrality and began to pressure the FCC.
White House visitor logs seem to indicate that Obama’s senior internet advisor David Edelman met with 30 net neutrality activists weeks before Obama announced his net neutrality plan. On the day Obama unveiled the plan, several of the activists who met with Edelman at the White House six weeks prior blocked then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheelerfrom leaving his driveway.
Many of these organizations were/are still funded by Google. Basically, it appears the Obama officials coordinated with Google funded activists to lobby the FCC, and in Wheeler’s case, prevent him from leaving his own driveway. The problem is that legally, the FCC is supposed to be independent of the White House. While it might be technically legal for the White House to coordinate with activists who, then on their own decide to harass the FCC, it’s definitely “not cool, man.” And the activists with whom the White House coordinated did some pretty disruptive things at FCC hearings and events. The FCC eventually caved under this pressure and the result is the FCC Title II Net Neutrality regulatory regime that prevailed 2015-2018.
In the end, most consumers didn’t notice the change. But the move was controversial in some camps. Obviously broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T were upset by what they saw as heavy-handed regulation and a disincentive to invest in their networks. Whether Tittle II caused broadband providers to stop investing in their networks or not is hotly disputed.
However, there were also more nuanced concerns from network experts. Many questioned whether consumers really wanted “strong” net neutrality. Do you want your ISP holding up that new Orville Peck video you want to watch because “neutrality” requires it to wait for data packets from the sketchy Moldovan auto-roll video advertisement trying to play in a pop-up browser window? Probably not. (No offense Moldavians.)
Others pointed out that many young consumers liked “zero rating,” a practice actvists argued violates strict Title II Net Neutrality. Zero rating is, for instance when a mobile service provider does something like allow you to stream Spotify or Netflix without it counting towards your mobile data allowance. Under Title II neutrality, zero rating is seen as favoring some services. I personally think it’s good that mobile services, their customers, streaming companies and content creators are experimenting with new ways of delivering and monetizing content over communications networks. It also just seems anti-innovation that the FCC would want rules that forbid packaging experiments.
Finally, there is also the very real concern that Title II regulation gave unelected FCC bureaucrats extraordinary control over the internet. Am I the only one that finds it ironic that many anti-Trump activists now also insist the (Trump) FCC continue to strictly regulate the internet through Title II?.
You see, Net Neutrality is a much more complex issue than you might think.
Skip forward now to 2017 when Republicans took control of the executive branch. Ajit Pai became head of the FCC. Pai immediately began talking about ending Title II authority and rolling back regulation of the internet to the pre 2015 status quo. Many people, rightly or wrongly, took this to mean “ending” Net Neutrality. Either way it was a reversion to the pre 2015 status quo. Which IMHO was not that terrible. However…
MASSIVE FUCKING FREAKOUT by all the Google aligned astroturfs. Especially those groups that were in the aforementioned Obama White House meetings. Groups like Fight for the Future, EFF, FreePress, Open Media and Public Knowledge were particularly strident in their calls to keep the FCC (a Trump FCC mind you) in control of Net Neutrality. It is understandable in some ways as these Google funded astroturfers had worked very hard to put FCC Title II Net Neutrality in place.
Fight for the Future and FreePress were particularly harsh in public statements towards Ajit Pai. For example, FreePress.net had this (sort of weird thing) to say about the (Indian-American) Chairman:
“That the Trump administration peddles lies and propaganda to prop up its hateful agenda is well known.Trump’s FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is no exception — this year he’s stooped to incredible lows in his attempt to justify his repeal of Net Neutrality and a plethora of other consumer protections.”
This from a FreePress blog post titled “Ajit Pai’s biggest lies of 2018.”
Evan Greer (she/her) spokesperson for Fight for the Future simply tweeted “Fuck Ajit Pai.” Greer, at the time was often a featured speaker alongside US Senator Markey (D-MA) at Net Neutrality events in DC. Greer also attended the White House meeting with Edelman. The point is, Greer is not a random person on Twitter, but a key player at a Google related astroturf. She’s also pretty radical: In 2012, Greer campaigned on behalf of an Al Qaeda terrorist.
Vitriolic and hyperbolic? Sure. A little weird linking “Trump Hate” (we all know what that means) to the Indian American guy? Yes. But hey they never seemed to cross the line into outright harassment and intimidation.
Margaret Flowers from Popular Resistance led a group of protestors to the FCC Chairman’s house. Popular Resistance then escalated the harassment by posting the Chairman’s address on its website. Pai has young children and Flowers, a pediatrician was clearly aware of that. Go figure.
No, the folks that crossed the line, the folks who actually broke the law were an outfit named PopularResistance.org (Sometimes operating as Protect Our Internet). What did they do? They sent protestors to the home of Ajit Pai. Repeatedly. And when that didn’t seem to make him change his mind, they then posted his address on their websites. Obviously, I’m not giving out the link but here is a partial screenshot. They also posted it on a now deleted Facebook event.
This isn’t just annoying and scary. It’s actually a federal crime as it is considered a form of cyberstalking.
From a DOJ document describing Doxxing:
“Posting personal information publicly with the intent to shame, defame, harass or endanger is illegal. It places the doxed individual in a potentially dangerous situation. The federal law often utilized to address doxing is 18 U.S.C. § 2261A:”
I would argue it’s even more serious. Since the intent is to make the guy about to vote on something fearful for the safety of his family if he votes the wrong way, I’d argue it’s a form of political terrorism as it was clearly designed to achieve a political end.
The environment in which all of this was happening was already supercharged with dire warnings (“It will destroy the internet”) and hysterical proclamations (“end of democracy”). It would be an understatement to say emotions were running high. The doxxing of Ajit Pai by Popular Resistance was like throwing gasoline on the fire. And then predictable happened.
In November 2017 The Washington Post reported, “FCC chairman Ajit Pai says his children are being harassed over net neutrality.” The Post noted there were pretty offensive and threatening signs posted in front of his house. I won’t reproduce them here. There were death threats. One federal official noted the frequency of threats reached the frequency of threats the President receives. Around the time all this was happening, I read a story about it in Variety. I was shocked to see the story had at least half a dozen comments that approved of the threats or made additional ones. Some of the commenters appeared to have used real names! The coordinated campaign against Pai normalized death threats against him.
Eventually the police arrested (and later convicted) a man that had made several threats to kill Pai’s family. The man plead guilty and later admitted he did it just to frighten Pai into changing his mind (see political terrorism comment above.)
The day of the vote there were two separate bomb threats to the FCC. The first was an email to the Washington Post from someone claiming to be from the hacking collective Anonymous. The person claimed to have sensitive private information on the FCC staff and that Anonymous had wired the FCC with explosives. For whatever reason, this threat wasn’t taken seriously.
The second bomb threat was regarded as more serious. Just as the commissioners were going to vote, a Net Neutrality supporter and serial bomb hoaxer phoned in a threat. The room was briefly evacuated, bomb sniffing dogs were brought in but eventually the vote was taken.
The last part of the story has a terrible twist. The man who was eventually arrested and convicted for calling in the FCC bomb threat turned out to be a for-hire “swatter” who had swatted a father of two in Wichita, Kansas who was shot to death by police when he opened door.
Sure, unpopular politicians occasionally get threats, but they don’t simultaneously have their addresses posted online and have unhinged protestors in their yards. They are generally not subjected to months of vitriol and venom from a corporate funded network of astroturf groups.
There is a very bright line between political demonstration and purposely trying to stir up violent mobs or dangerous lone wolves. This is just my opinion and I’ll go into it more later, but I think Popular Resistance and their fellow Google-funded “Ajitators” (their word not mine) Free Press, Fight For The Future, EFF and Public Knowledge knew what they were doing and they all tacitly approved the doxxing.
A few weeks after Pai was doxxed, a gunman showed up at a practice for the Congressional Baseball Game and shot and critically wounded Rep Scalise (R-LA). This had nothing to do with Net Neutrality but this was the political environment at the time all of this was going on. When Popular Resistance doxxed Pai and his family, the intention was to not let the man live in peace. Given the Scalise shooting and the superheated environment, something bad seemed much more likely to happen. Popular Resistance and their allies clearly knew this and exploited it. They intended to terrorize Pai into changing his vote.
This is an insane development for democracy like ours. Terroristic threats changing the way politicians vote because they are concerned for their own safety? Whether you agree with Pai or not you should be very frightened if this becomes the norm. Especially if you are on the progressive left (as Popular Resistance claims they are), as generally those on the extreme right have a lot more guns. (Ed note – um…not always). We can’t let this sort of intimidation become the norm for political discussions. But I digress.
Popular Resistance should have been sent a bill for all the extra local, state and federal manpower devoted to protecting Pai after targeting and doxxing created higher probability of threats translating into violence. Surely the security costs were significant. Pai canceled a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show because CES couldn’t afford the extra security required to protect Pai. And that was just one day. Now imagine months of extra security.
Also, does anyone enjoy the irony that so called “free speech” advocates like Free Press limited Pai’s ability to freely express himself?
Eventually Google stalwarts Free Press and Public Knowledge knew the whole thing had gone too far. The groups issued statements condemning the racist attacks, threats of violence, and general harassment that Pai and his family had been subjected to. Somewhat disingenuously in my opinion.
All three groups set out to create the impression of an existential crisis and they carefully directed the public’s anger at a single government official. Just because it was Popular Resistance that crossed the line, doesn’t mean Free Press, EFF and Public Knowledge should get a pass. Besides, it’s pretty clear all these groups coordinated with Popular Resistance.
Popular Resistance: Harmless Progressives? Violent Marxists? Cyberlibertarians? Corporate Shills? All of the Above?
First, let’s try to figure out exactly what Popular Resistance is? Progressive do-gooders? Radical Marxists? Cyber-libertarians? Putin’s useful idiots? Mercenary Protestors? Google 5th columnists? Performance Artists? I can make an argument for all the above.
So who/what are Popular Resistance? The website states:
“With the corporate takeover of federal and state governments, growing state violence and oppression, a widening wealth gap and the climate crisis, more people are becoming politically active in new and creative ways.
A growing culture of resistance is utilizing nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience as primary tactics, and is forming real democratic organizations to empower local communities—as opposed to working within the corrupt government dominated by a two-corporate party system and within an unfair, big finance, capitalist economy.
PopularResistance.org is a resource and information clearinghouse for this movement of movements. We provide a daily stream of resistance news from the United States and around the world, and a national events calendar. Follow us by signing up for our Daily Digest or subscribe to our free weekly newsletter.”
They also have a weird habit of reporting on themselves via themselves via their (literally) fake news bureau that seems to be staffed by the members of Popular Resistance.
Okay we know the type of organization: A standard, professional lefty, anti-capitalist group. But hey, their views seem no different than many of my musician friends. Nothing new to me. Still, let’s dig a little deeper.
Well that’s different. I read this wrong at first. I thought they wanted an investigation of Russian interference in US elections. Whatever your opinion of Russian collusion story, you have to agree this is not your typical progressive lefty grassroots organization.
Oh dear. Here are members of Popular Resistance defending Venezuelan dictator Maduro by occupying the Venezuelan embassy in Washington, D.C. to prevent the internationally recognized Government from taking control of the embassy.
At this point, these folks are beginning to diverge from the views held by my typical lefty musician friends. I don’t know a single one that thinks it’s reasonable to defend Maduro. Especially if they are animal lovers.
However, as U.S. citizens they have a right to their opinions and a right to protest. I certainly disagree with them, but they have their rights to do this. And at least they are non-violent. Or are they?
Well here is a still from one of their training videos on YouTube.
My summary: So it depends on who is defining violence, and violence is generally discouraged because most of the time it doesn’t expand movement, but sometimes it does and then it’s okay?
Did I get that right? Pretty sure I did.
Okay, radical far left revolutionary Marxist organization. Again, what’s new? I think my UC Santa Cruz student run food coop actually styled themselves a revolutionary Marxist collective. I may have even been a member. For all I know, I may even have revolutionary Marxists in my own band. It’s not illegal to hold these views and Popular Resistance is a legal organization, at least until they commit actual violence, the FCC Chairman files a doxxing complaint against them or….
..until they illegally occupy the Venezuelan Embassy and are arrested by US Secret Service (with actual Venezuelans cheering and applauding the DC police and Secret Service).
Countering the argument that these really are hardcore pro-Maduro revolutionary Marxists is the above photo. Those are the most pathetic revolutionary solidarity fists I’ve ever seen! Hard to brandish an AK-47 convincingly with a tepid fist like that.
Except for the guy on the far left with the baseball cap. I want him on my Venezuelan Civil War reenactment team!
But if they are revolutionary Marxists what’s all the above bullshit about? This is a post to one of their websites during the Net Neutrality debate. They seem care a fuck of a lot about technology startups considering they are anti-capitalists. Aren’t venture funded technology startups the very definition of wild west capitalism? “Comrade, so nice to see you shaking the invisible hand of the venture capital marketplace!”
And here they are arguing for free markets. Not something you see every day from solidarity-fist-raising-Maduro-supporting-revolutionary-Marxists. And the use of the term “crony capitalism?” That is what real capitalists complain about when they see the government creating subsidies for pseudo capitalist corporations like Fannie Mae or Tesla. I think Popular Resistance needs to establish a tribunal to root out the reactionary capitalist running dog in their midst! Find him/her/them and gulag them.
Popular Resistance Creates New Project “Protect Our Internet” Or do they?
And then Popular Resistance claims to do something quite extraordinary. On May 8th 2017 they announce the creation of a new Popular Resistance project called “Protect Our Internet.” This website appears to be used to manage their Net Neutrality mailing list, protests and doxxing events. They even created a special URL ProtectOurInternet.org.
The only problem with this claim? It is not quite true. Protect Our Internet domain was created by someone else. Not a member of popular resistance. It’s still owned by this person. It’s never clear how this was ever “their” website. Or if they did any management of the website.
The website was recently wiped and replaced with a generic WordPress blog with two very generic posts. So to really view it you have to use The Wayback Machine. It also recently changed domain registrars and perhaps someone forgot to put the anonymization proxy service back in place? Oops. That’s how I got this information.
Protect Our Internet appears to have been created in 2014 right before the White House meeting with Net Neutrality activists. It was not created in response to Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality. It was created under the Obama administration by someone named Christian Beedgen of Redwood City or possibly someone spoofing him. I reached out to Mr. Beedgen for comment and have not received a response.
There is a fairly well known internet entrepreneur named Christian Beedgen at that address in Redwood city. He is the co-founder of Sumo Logic. One of the newest Silicon Valley “unicorns” (privately valued at more than $1 billion). I’m not positive it’s the same person, but when I used Google street view to navigate to the address, I found a building that proudly displays the Sumo Logic logo. Could be someone has decided to impersonate him. If so, it is an inspired choice. The Crunchbase profile for Sumo Logic indicates the investors are a veritable who’s who of Silicon Valley venture capital. If Protect Our Internet is really a project of a radical far left group like Popular Resistance, why does the website belong to this internet entrepreneur guy and not one of the members of Popular Resistance? Why was the website registered 2 1/2 years before Popular Resistance created this “project?”
Also, since Popular Resistance says the protest at Pai’s house (address listed) is a Protect Our Internet event, does this mean Beedgen is responsible for the event? If I was Beedgen, I would immediately get a really good lawyer. This seems to make him a co-conspirator in the doxxing of a federal official in an attempt to intimidate him into changing a vote. Dude needs to straighten this shit out if he has nothing to do with it. When you have as much money as the Beedgen apparently has, there’s bound to be a clever litigator out there that will want to make him the deep pockets. Not Popular Resistance.
Seriously, what is really going on here? This is absolutely nuts.
Let’s leave it as a weird loose end for now, and I’ll get back to it in a minute.
I showed this Popular Resistance bullshit to a friend of mine and he joked, “it makes more sense as a government run domestic spying operation, disguised as a ‘resistance action clearing house.’ Check to see if these folks do business with Palantir.”
Pretty funny if you know anything about Palantir.
A more plausible explanation? Protect Our Internet is just a wing of Google’s far flung influence peddling operations. Let’s examine that now.
What’s the Google connection?
“Free Press began building a broad coalition of groups to petition the FCC for Title II reclassification under a campaign called “Save the Internet.” Aaron was quick to give props to more than another 40 groups, such as Demand Progress, Popular Resistance, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Fight For The Future (FFTF). “We kept plugging away at Net Neutrality and filed hundreds of pages of detailed comments with the FCC,” he said.” –Popular Resistance Website May 11 2017
This comment from the Google funded Free Press caught my eye. There is no way Free Press was not at least aware of Popular Resistance’s doxxing. It is their only real contribution to the Net Neutrality fight. It’s basically the only song on the Popular Resistance Greatest Hits Record.
If you go to the Popular Resistance concert the crowd sounds like this:
And again, a reminder about the other groups Free Press mentions:
- (UPDATED) Fight for The Future is run by a former(?)Google lobbyist and former(?)outside counsel. Also in 2016 Eric Schmidt, the Chairman of Google personally gave Fight For the Future $30,000for “Raising awareness around environmental impacts of fossil fuels.” I can find no evidence that Fight for the Future ever did such work. (I suggest Mr. Schmidt and Fight for the Future amend their tax returns as we intend to contact relevant non-profit and tax authorities).
- Electronic Frontier Foundation has received millions from Google. And its apparent lobbying for Google has twice made it the subject of judicial scrutiny. In Oracle v Googlethe court forced Google and Oracle to disclose “paid bloggers.” Guess who appears on that “shill list?” And in Frank v Gaos the Supreme Court of the United States was being asked whether Google could really be “punished” by forcing it to pay a cy pres award to EFF seeing as it was funded by Google in the first place and sides with the search monopolist almost 100% of the time.
- Public Knowledge also appears on that “shill list.”
- Demand Progress has Marvin Ammori from Fight for the Future on the Board. And Mike Masnick, who also appears on the so-called “shill list,” and whose Copia Institute is funded by… Google.
Eric Schmidt, then CEO of Google personally gave Fight For The Future money to do education on something to do with fossil fuels during the net neutrality fight. Yeah sure. This sure looks like a false statement to federal authorities about the purpose of a contribution. Isn’t this similar to what Martha Stewart did?
It’s all so fucking fake. Fake grassroots activists getting contributions for fake work. Fake consumer rights organizations. Fake think tanks. Fake websites. Fake revolutionaries.
Still, none of this means that Google was directly coordinating with Popular Resistance. And Popular Resistance and Fight for the Future were keen to make sure everyone knew this. Popular Resistance website:
“Ammori said that the groups weren’t talking directly to each other so the key was to coordinate them. He focused on pulling together startups in the business community.”
Never mind this contradicts what Free Press says in the previous quote.
“Shut up Free Press! We weren’t coordinating, I swear! You’re so stupid”
Does anyone really believe they weren’t coordinating? Aside from their guilty consciences, who was asking the question? If no one was asking the question why anticipate the question? And why does he make a point of saying this to Kevin Zeese at www.dcmediagroup.us which is the press bureau staffed by Popular Resistance?
And these guys know we can just look at the Facebook event and see who went/was interested/was invited to the protest at Pai’s house. Right? “Dear FBI/Secret Service: here is a list of people to interview”
Lame. Lame. Lame.
These guys are terrible conspirators.
As an aside, Dylan Petrohilos who actually went to the Popular Resistance protest in front of Pai’s house is a particularly nasty piece of work. In 2009, Petrohilos was charged with criminal damage to property after surveillance photos showed him jumping on the back of a police car and kicking out its window. When he was arrested, police found what appeared to be a plastic bag full of feces in his backpack.
Screenshot from the Popular Resistance website. There they go again writing about themselves as if they are a disinterested third party.
As interesting as all of that is, this turns out to be the long way around to making the case Google was involved.
It is much easier to make a direct case that Google, or at least a Google funded group under the command and control of a Google public policy team, aided Popular Resistance. It turns out all you have to do is look at the web archives and source code for ProtectOurInternet.org.
Here it is. May 8th just as Pai was doxxed.
Even non-technical folks can tell can tell looking at only the “external links view” that this page is 90%+ generated with elements that come from another website. A website called New/Mode. What’s the significance of this?
Who is New Mode?
According to Times of London New/Mode is an engagement platform that Open Media helped to found in 2016 and“New/Mode boasts that its one-click tools allow campaigns to ‘flood targets with public messages’ on social media and ‘blanket local media with stories from your supporters’”
…the New/Mode website back in 2018 claimed they founded Open Media (claim since deleted), and…
New/Mode CEO, Steve Anderson is introduced as “Senior advisor Open Media Co-founder of New Mode.” This at 2017 Net Squared Conference in Vancouver. Jesus guys, try to keep your stories straight. Is there also an olive oil company in the mix somewhere as well?
All kidding aside, the statements taken together, plus now deleted 2016 financial statements lead to the conclusion New/Mode and Open Media are for all practical purposes, the same organization. If this were a RICO case (and I’m not saying it isn’t) the prosecutors would treat them all as the same organization.
So who is Open Media?
Open Media was founded in 2014, and Jacob Glick was one of its founders. Glick previously worked for Google in Canada and the USA in the areas of public policy and government relations. He worked there long enough and at a high enough level that I wouldn’t be surprised if he has significant stock or stock options. He still serves on OpenMedia’s board today.
OpenMedia is partially funded through donations, but the enterprise also has “sponsors.” The company’s “platinum sponsors” include Google, Mozilla and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (WTF?). Sponsors in the platinum category have paid more than 20,000 Canadian dollars, but it is not clear whether this relates to one-off or repeat payments. Nor are the exact amounts donated known. Open Media is a Canadian non-profit. Which doesn’t mean jack shit. In Canada, what we call non-profits are called “charities.” Open Media is just a company that doesn’t make a profit. Unlike non-profits in the U.S., Canadian “charities” are not really required to disclose their finances. It’s essentially a black box.
Now lets’ return to the screwy ownership of the Protect Our Internet website. Popular resistance did not register the website. They still don’t own it. It wasn’t transferred to any of the members. So how did they manage the website? I mean even if it’s hosted on WordPress, the owner needs to set that up for whoever is using it. The inescapable conclusion is someone else built, managed and operated the website.
So the million dollar question in the Doxxing of FCC chairman Pai is “who managed the website?”
Some of the most important bits (if not all) of the website is running on New/Mode code. This includes management of mailing lists; distribution and posting news (including of doxxing of FCC Chairman Pa) and alerts for protests at Pai’s house. The finger seems to be pointing at New/Mode & Open Media. These are exactly the services that New/Mode advertises they provide.
And remember Open Media (New/Mode) were running their own campaign against Pai at the time. See below.
Regardless of who was running it, Google funded organizations appear to have provided material support to Popular Resistance in the doxxing and months of harassment directed at the FCC, the FCC chairman and his family. They were complicit.
The billion dollar question?
What did Google public policy know?
Is it really plausible that the Google public policy team did not know this was happening?
I suppose it’s possible Jacob Glick at Open Media/NewMode and Marvin Ammorri at Fight For The Future weren’t communicating with former bosses on Google’s #1 policy issue that year. It just seems unlikely.
I also suppose it’s possible Free Press, Demand Progress and Fight for the Future weren’t letting an important funder know what was happening as all three happily collaborated on a Google priority.
Someone somewhere knows who set up and ran that Protect Our Internet website. Start by asking this guy.