It’s hard to know where to begin – so much has transpired and events are unrolling rapidly. Whether or not you are a supporter of Canada’s Freedom Convoy you should be gravely concerned, even if you are an American.
I won’t spend time on Convoy activities prior to their eventual demise, as this has already been covered in two previous posts (see: here and here). Instead I’ll begin at the end – the Convoy’s dispersal and the subsequent actions of the Canadian government.
Please be aware: what is happening in Canada can easily happen here. American contributors to the Canadian Convoy have already been doxxed and are even now being harassed by U.S. media outlets.
So what went down and how did we get here?
Table of Contents
State of Emergency Declared
Following numerous threats against, and demonization of, the Convoy protestors, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the “Emergencies Act” – a law passed in 1988 and never before used by a Canadian Prime Minister.
Under Trudeau’s order, all rights to any public protest – nationwide – were suspended, and Canada was placed into a de-facto state of Martial Law. In addition, directives were issued to financially sanction anyone involved in the protests. In subsequent days, this would be expanded to not only cover Convoy participants, but anyone who donated to the Convoy, and even Convoy family members and affiliated businesses.For example, a woman in Chilliwack, BC allegedly had her account frozen over a $50 donation according to Member of Parliament (MP) Mark Strahl:
Trudeau further threatened to confiscate the pets of the protestors, saying they would be impounded for 8 days and then “relinquished”. The Prime Minister similarly issued a veiled threat against the children of protestors, warning them of consequences should they bring their kids to “illegal assemblies”.
The invocation of the Emergencies Act was designed to set the stage for what was to come.
On February 18, 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau ordered law enforcement and other “security personnel” to move-in to disperse the protestors in Ottawa.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) units established a line, and began their advance into the protestors. During the initial phases of the assault, an elderly Mohawk woman with a walker was trampled by an officer’s horse:
Here’s a still shot from above:
In the following clip, an RCMP officer throws a protestor to the ground. Despite the fact the man is not resisting and is down and no longer a threat, the officer proceeds to beat him repeatedly with the butt of his rifle.
The scene above is almost surreal. People are waving Canadian flags as the Canadian National Anthem (O’ Canada) plays in the background even while law enforcement brutalizes peaceful protestors.
Around 100 or so people were initially arrested, and the police brought-in masked tow truck drivers to tow away the rigs. You may recall that Trudeau and the RCMP had difficulty getting tow truck drivers to cooperate in removing the truckers’ rigs. Trudeau’s solution was to order tow operators to either cooperate or have their licenses and insurance suspended.
Under the threat of sanctions under the Emergencies Act, tow operators caved. Tow trucks did show up under police escort, their drivers masked, and tape strategically placed over their business names.
More people showed up later on, and tear gas was deployed. Protestors were also shot with rubber bullets.
Ottawa in the Aftermath
Trudeau stated that the Emergencies Act was necessary because the lives of Ottawans and the operation of local businesses had been disrupted by the protestors. However, now that the truckers are gone, things have definitely not returned to “normal”.
In this clip, a woman in the streets of the capitol is threatened with arrest, and then struck by an officer for going out for a coffee:
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland has stated that it is the Canadian government’s intention to make the financial sanctions provision of the Emergencies Act permanent.
Freeland indicates that the government will work in tandem with financial institutions to surveil crowd-funding platforms and any donations made to causes the government deems “problematic”.
A few days after Trudeau took steps to freeze the financial accounts of thousands of Canadians, several of the nation’s top banks went “dark”. There is some evidence that the financial sanctions of the Emergencies Act may have triggered a bank-run.
On February 14, 2022 it became public knowledge that the crowd funding platform GiveSendGo (GSG) had been “hacked“. GSG had stepped- in to accept donations for the Convoy after Gofundme had dropped them on likely ideological grounds (and/or pressure by government agencies).
A few days prior to the hack, GSG reported that their site had come under “heavy attack”. The weapon of choice was a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack.
Initial indications were that at least of some data on the donors had likely been stolen. The GSG website was taken down and redirected to the URL “givesendgone.wtf”. Users redirected to that page were treated to a vile, expletive-ridden “manifesto” by the alleged “hacker”. The culprit claimed he had obtained detailed donor information, and would be releasing it for the purposes of doxxing contributors.
The alleged hacker eventually surfaced and bragged, claiming responsibility – not only for GSG – but several other data breeches, including Gab, Parler, Epik (a hosting service), and Truth Social (Trump’s new social network). His name is Aubrey Cottle (aka ‘Kirtaner’), a Canadian self-proclaimed “hacktivist”. Here he is taking credit in a very “colorful” way (NSFW):
Cottle claims to have worked with government law enforcement and intelligence agencies, including the FBI, RCMP, and INTERPOL. Here is an interesting document that details some of what is known about – or has been claimed by – Mr. Cottle. (Please note Cottle’s claims may or may not prove to be factual. He might just be nuts instead of evil and nuts)
One thing is certain: Cottle has been a “known quantity” for quite a while. If he is not protected and/or working for the “alphabet agencies”, has he been previously investigated? Given that he has claimed credit for yet ANOTHER (and rather infamous) attack, is he being investigated now? If not, is he telling the truth?
One other thing we know – the product of the GSG hack (whether Cottle is responsible or not) is being actively used by law enforcement and the press. That brings us to the people responsible for disseminating the GSG data dump, as well as a plethora of other misgotten information.
The GSG data dump was distributed by a self-described “whistleblower” organization named “Distributed Denial of Secrets” (DDOSecrets). If you’ve noticed the similarity of this organization’s name to the term “DDOS” (as in attack), that is probably not a coincidence. DDOSecrets was founded by Emma Best and an anonymous person known only as “The Architect”.
I won’t put a direct link to their website here, but you can copy and paste their URL into your browser if you’d like: “ddosecrets.com”. It is worth exploring their website, as I believe you will notice some “patterns” to their targets and methods. Moreover, I find some of their “justifications” for what they do to be rather….interesting.
For example, one oft-used excuse for their release of private data, can essentially be summarized as “if it isn’t properly protected and we can steal it, it’s public information and we’ve committed no crime”. It’s a bit like saying “Yes, I stole your TV and jewelry, but you left your door unlocked so it’s fine”. Or how about “You were walking alone in a dark alley, and you were dressed provocatively. That’s why you got raped, no worries.”
Personally, I cynically had to chuckle at this one:
For ethical and legal reasons, you should not hack data specifically to give it to Distributed Denial of Secrets to make public. However, we welcome submissions from leakers and hackers who review data they have access to and then conclude it should be made public. (emphasis added)
Or to put it another way: “No don’t hack data just to give it to us (wink nudge). But if you review what you stole and think it should be made public – OK”
Whereas Wikileaks primarily dealt in the trade of leaking government or public official information for the purposes of increased transparency, DDOSecrets seems to have a preference for releasing the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of private individuals who have not been accused or convicted of committing any crime (e.g. the GSG donors to the Freedom Convoy). Again, the dubious justification here seems to be that the people running DDOSecrets don’t like you or your ideas, and thus, you are fair game because they think you’re bad.
This isn’t to say I wholly endorse the tactics of Wikileaks, but at least there is some consistent and rational methodology to what they do. It should also be noted that DDOSecrets has also disseminated some similar types of information (mostly on law enforcement organizations). But their preference for right-leaning targets is fairly self-evident. One would be hard-pressed to find donors to the various BLM bail-funds (for example), that have been responsible for the release of violent felons (including would-be assassins) onto our streets. Wouldn’t that serve the public interest?
DDOSecrets even deals in the products of ransomware attacks. Yes, you read that correctly. People or organizations that have had their data stolen by ransomware criminals can have their data released by DDOSecrets. Apparently they think this is OK because – corporations, bad! Besides, it’s “totally legal” because the cyber-criminals dumped their booty onto the dark web, so now it’s “public information”. Try purchasing or accepting free of charge, a known stolen item from a thief. “Receiving Stolen Property”….isn’t that a criminal offense? Hmmm. I’m confused.
You should also know that Best and Assange parted ways, and not amicably. Indeed, Best was instrumental in advancing the claim that the release of Hillary Clinton’s emails by Wikileaks was done in collaboration with Russian intelligence:Oooo, Emma really doesn’t like Julian, but she seems to be quite the Hillary fan-girl…
Best continues to maintain – along with most of the U.S. mainstream media – that Wikileaks and Assange did work with Russian intelligence to hack Hillary’s emails. But there have been legitimate questions since 2017 as to whether this was the case, or, was it an inside job?
One should keep in mind that the entire Russia-Collusion narrative has convincingly been revealed to be a hoax perpetrated by…Hillary Clinton. This has only recently come to light as a result of Special Counsel John Durham’s probe of the matter. So might that shed more light on the Wikileaks-Russia matter?
But that is perhaps a topic for another post. There is a reason why I have taken the deep-dive into Best and her DDOSecrets organization. As you will hopefully see, it is quite relevant to the doxxing of the Convoy donors, and has the potential for far reaching implications for Americans.
The 4th Amendment Side-Step?
Despite their work together at Wikileaks, Julian Assange rots in jail while Emma Best walks free. Notwithstanding some “Kabuki Theater” between the Federal government and Best, they nonetheless awarded DDOSecrets 501(3)(c) status in July 2020. DDOSecrets works directly and collaboratively with major media outlets, and at the very least, indirectly with various government intelligence agencies.
What has been outlined thus far should at least call into question the legality of DDOSecrets’ practices. In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security even designated the organization as a “criminal hacker group“. Yet a few months later, they were granted 501(3)(c) status, and continue to operate with impunity (there’s the Kabuki Theater I promised you).
So what gives? Why are the DHS, FBI, et al not all over Best and DDOSecrets like white-on-rice? What about Aubrey Cottle – the deranged degenerate who allegedly committed the GSG hack and who has (apparently) a long association with DDOSecrets?
Perhaps the alphabet agencies view them as useful. I’m sure the Canadian government is grateful for their work.
Think about the implications here. In order to access your PII on something like the crowd-funded “Freedom Convoy”, U.S. Federal law enforcement would have to show probable cause that a crime had been committed to a judge. That judge would then have to issue a warrant based upon that evidence. In the unlikely event a judge might actually grant such a sweeping warrant, there would certainly be restrictions on the public dissemination of those data to say, journalists or political opposition operatives, no?
If you work for the government, it might be really tempting to let DDOSecrets and their operatives just do what they do best. Reap the benefits with no pesky Constitutional Amendments getting in the way. Clever, no?
“But” you say, “Canada has different rules”. True enough. Yet can anyone doubt that those data on U.S. donors have found their way into the hands of U.S. authorities? And what of the planned U.S. trucker convoy? Will you donate knowing you could be doxxed and harassed by journalists or the political opposition? You might not ever be formally accused or convicted of committing a crime, and yet you will be punished.
Oh, and let me remind you of that DHS warning on “domestic terrorism”:
For those of you on the left who might be reading this with relish, consider what might happen should the political winds shift and those you now war against assume the reigns of power. You, my friend, could be “on the menu”.
You opponents in and out of government have been very busy with that GSG data. Take a look at this nifty Google Map:
That’s “just” Ontario. If you are in the States and donated, I’m sure some enterprising wokester will be making a pin just for you. And to think, the government and law enforcement agencies we pay to protect us, would allow this to go on unchecked. War is here, and it’s come for us all.
What to Do?
In this rather lengthy post I’ve outlined the threat environment as best I can in the time allotted. Things as I said, are moving very rapidly. I do NOT want to discourage you from participating in your Constitutionally protected rights to engage in any lawful 1st Amendment (or other lawful) activity.
But forewarned is forearmed. I created a list of tips/suggestions that I posted to a blog I follow. The site administrator thought enough of it to feature them prominently. They have since been cross-posted to many sites (much to my surprise). I now present them here for your consideration.
I’ve had a look through the GSG donor dump, and it is disturbing to say the least. I also located a Python-based “scraper” specifically designed to harvest data from the GSG platform. Inside that script was a URL and instructions on how to retrieve data – I tested it briefly. You should know, that GSG data retrieval is still ACTIVE – although the scraper I examined “only” pulls names, donation amounts, comments, and other misc. info. No email addresses or IP addresses are obtainable using that method. This is definitely NOT the case with the “big” GSG dump, which has it all.
So I’ve come up with a few thoughts on trying to “anonymize” donations. The tips presented by Eeyore are a good start. I might add the following suggestions:
- Use a VPN when connecting to give your donation. It takes some research to find a good one, but among other things, concentrate on *where* the VPN provider is located and under what laws govern it’s operations. Stay OUT of the 5-eyes countries, or dealing with any provider that adopts the governing laws of those countries!!
- Get an “anonymous” email provider. You need to use this address sparingly, and only for things for which you need to protect your identity. Some providers are located in countries with very strict privacy laws. Some will allow you to pay in crypto. Many do not keep records and even subject themselves to independent audits. When setting up or accessing your account, connect using the VPN if possible, or even Tor (some providers work over Tor for webmail, some do not). DO NOT USE any account name that can be easily connected back to you. Make it is unique, obscure, and nothing you’ve ever used before or will ever use again!
- Consider prepaid cards (debit, credit?). Don’t know the options in Canada, but in the States these are common and do not usually require a name attached to them. Pay cash to “charge” the card. When registering the card online, use the VPN.
- NEVER USE YOUR NAME WHEN MAKING A DONATION. This is one of the reasons for the prepaid cards vs. a conventional CC. With a conventional CC, you have to give your REAL NAME for validation. In the GSG hack, CC numbers were not (apparently) harvested, but the names were (even if the person chose to be “anonymous”). With the GSG hack, selecting “anonymous” appears only to have impacted whether your name appeared in the website public “donor” list. The hackers still got people’s real names.
- Avoid providing superfluous data, such as comments. One “analyst” who had access to a restricted set of the GSG data (no IPs or email addresses), analyzed comments to ascertain the potential origins and general identities of donors. E.g. “When I served in Iraq, we fought for freedom, not these draconian mandates…” (you get the idea), or “We support you here in Texas!!”.
- This should be obvious but it bears repeating: NEVER USE A COMPANY EMAIL ADDRESS!! A bunch of GSG donors did this, and are now looking for new jobs.
- Keep your gob SHUT! No need to tell anyone you contributed.
- Even if you follow these suggestions I cannot guarantee you anonymity. Don’t trust me at all – don’t trust anyone – do your own research! Your mileage may vary.
- If an alphabet agency really, really, really wants to hunt you down, they probably can succeed. The goal is to make it hard and not worth-their-while to expend those kinds of resources over a $50 donation. However, you can certainly prevent the “hacktivists” and their “journalist” allies from easily doxxing you. It can also provide plausible deniability if you do it right.
- I fully agree with Eeyore. This is NOT about circumventing laws to commit criminal acts! This is about protecting yourself when engaged in legal activities that the establishment now deems to be “fair game” in their war against freedom.
I have no idea WHY GSG is STILL allowing public information on donors to be scraped. Donations are STILL rolling in, and names are accessible. The primary NGO involved (Distributed Denial of Secrets) is serving as the “clearing house” for hacked data. They are a very nasty bunch, and they target only conservative outlets. They claim there is an even bigger dump coming, and that the GSG site is still vulnerable and they are still harvesting PII. GSG IS NOT SAFE!! DDOSecrets also provides the products of ransomware dumps – dubiously claiming it’s in “the public domain” because the thieves dumped their booty onto the dark web. They are obviously a protected racket, or they would have been busted years ago. They are likely affiliated with government intelligence agencies.
BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!
If you read this far, thank you. This piece wound up being much longer and more in-depth than I ever intended or expected. I’m putting my ass on-the-line, but like many of you, so did my fore-bearers. They fought to give us the precious birthright that is America, and how can we sit back and enjoy its many fruits and then fail to defend her when called?
Good luck and God’s Speed.
And for the the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
— The Declaration of Independence