The Capitol mob began organizing weeks ago for the violence that occurred on January 6, planning inside conspiracy theory and far-right online communities on platforms like Parler and Gab. Groups that typically live in the darker corners of the internet stepped into the spotlight when they took the Capitol and broadcast the breach around the web.
The disarray and violence in Washington on January 6 drew a big audience, too. More than 23 million people watched the event on cable news stations — it was the most-watched day in CNN’s 40-year history, averaging 5.22 million viewers — and millions more followed along online via livestreams. There were more than 4.6 million mentions of unrest at the Capitol between 12 am and 6:30 pm ET that day, according to Zignal Labs, a firm that tracks online misinformation. The number of mentions first spiked after Trump spoke at the “Save America” rally in front of the White House and then surged after the mob breached the Capitol…
While the tumult was stunning, it was not surprising. The groups that stormed Capitol Hill this week have long been active on platforms like Gab and 4chan, and more recently, they’ve adopted newer tools like the lightly moderated social media site Parler and the anonymous messaging service Telegram to organize. Some have continued to use mainstream platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube…
Although there may have been the occasional detail restricted to encrypted email or messaging, everything that used to be discussed at private or public meetings…now lives on the Web. So, even if the FBI/NSA now uses AI searches of the Web to snoop on everyone in this benighted land, whatever is turned up still has to pass verification by the snitches and plants inside all of these groups.
The FBI/NSA may have been modernized since the days when they mostly relied on actual FBI agents to report on the innards of discussion…from every political group ranging from civil rights activism to teachers unions, from the rare nutball anarchist commune to the largest issue-driven activist organizations in the country…they still rely on firsthand snooping. AI and human. A spike mike in the wall of a union hall or a bug at your ISP. You don’t need to be paranoid to presume Uncle Sugar is listening in.
None of this has anything to do with ethics, constitutionality or political niceties. It’s what they do. Scumbag thoroughness, at most, is only governed by budget line items.
Pence returns to his old role in the Republican Party,