Twitter’s Keyser Soze

Liberty Speaks

Liberty Speaks

In 1995, Director Bryan Singer brought the gritty, twisted, and intelligently devised film The Usual Suspects to the screen, introducing us to the elusive character “Keyser Soze”.  Throughout the film,  the plot continuously reinforces Soze’s status and identity as legendary, mythical and ruthless.  He was portrayed as a villain to some, feared and respected, to others a principled archetypal hero, and to some a made up boogeyman.  In the end, with the “reveal”  we learn his identity, only to watch Soze fade into the shadows once again.  It is a complete dramatic Hollywood style ending.  Soze becomes legend, a ghost, but most importantly, he became a great idea.

Today, social media has its own Keyser Soze.  He’s not the ruthless brutal murderer from the movie,  but the anonymous ghost, feared adversary, and avenger that Soze represented.  He is called a criminal by those he targets, a vigilante by some of his peers, has a plethora of imitators, and hundreds of individuals who seem hell-bent on revealing who he really is.  One thing is certain; the impact he has made online.  His followers and friends who support him number in the tens of thousands and if ever asked who he is to them, many would use the term “inspiration” and “patriot” in their descriptions.  Through his anonymity, he typifies the idea of Keyser Soze.

Five years ago, a very real man began a specific mission of taking down and disrupting Jihadist websites.  According to his own bio, he is a former soldier from a very specialized U.S. military unit, who served in and around the battle theater of Afghanistan.   Using his talent for coding he created a custom-made DOS tool called XerXeS (I don’t understand coding, so for info links on it and all references see links below story).  He began ruthlessly pursuing, disrupting, as well as collecting Intel on various Jihadist sites.

ScreenHunter_10 Dec. 01 03.41

Then, on December 19, 2009 describing himself as a Hacktivist for good,  “The Jester” on Twitter was born.  With his identity not known, nor his persona recognizable, (though I suspect his deep inner circle knows better) he began using the social media site to announce his actions and reasons for his mission.  I found an interesting article from  January 2010 written by Richard Stiennon that includes one of Jester’s first tweets as well as biographical information provided by Jester himself via email:

Terrorist are utilizing internet technologies to recruit, propagate, and co-ordinate.  I exist in shadow to disrupt their online activity.

That was the beginning of Jester’s exploits into the bowels of the internet.  Over the next five years he would claim victory or TANGO DOWN over the jihadists online, but they weren’t his only targets.  Some other notable characters and groups drawing the interest and ire of this man were as follows:

  • Julian Assange of Wiki leaks,
  • Westboro Baptist Church (This one is my personal favorite!)
  • Edward Snowden
  • Anonymous, LulzSec, Occupy Wall Street also garnered disruption and DOXING

In return, some of these groups retaliated against him as well.  Attempted identity reveals, alleged criminal activity,  and DDOS attacks on his Blog.  Then there are the TROLLS, who I am sure he has lost count of.  If you have followed Jester on Twitter, you’ll recognize the video below he often posts after warning some of these individuals he is on to them:

 

So, now we get to my part in this story.  To begin, let me start by stating this is NOT AN EXPOSE, so to those out there wishing to get some tidbit of info on his identity…Good luck with that!   Though there has been five years of articles and questions…such as:  Why does he do it? Why do so many follow him, imitate him (notice the name on Twitter is JΞSTΞR ✪ ACTUAL™), hate him and troll him?  Who is he?  Will he ever be identified?  This is not an autobiography.  I wont be going into detail regarding Jester.  I can only answer one question of my own, and ask one question:  Who I see him as, and What’s with this countdown to his 10,000th tweet?  But I digress…

I started following Jester on Twitter shortly after BlogCon 2013 in Dallas.  I’d over heard a conversation mentioning his name so I asked who he was? The reply was simple:  ‘One of the good guys‘.  So over the last year or so I’d reply to, or re-tweet what he would place on his timeline.  Ultimately he started following me as well.  I became one of his 1337 “Tweeps” whom he follows (more on that later).  It wasn’t until the horrifying beheading of James Foley that I directly involved myself in Jester’s particular mission of stopping the jihad propaganda machine.  (I wrote about it back in August and the link to the story is provided below.)  Since then, I have been an active friend and have enjoyed seeing his conversations pop up on my timeline.

So my question…who do I see him as?

Well not as an archetypal hero though some consider him one.  It’s more that I see him as a normal person who does unconventional archetypal heroic acts.  He does have a skill set that is perfectly honed to this and I appreciate his intelligence.  However,  I also see him as flawed like all of us which makes him relate-able, fun and sometimes frustrating.  If he’s anything like me, there may be crude jokes, possible vices like drinking, smoking, swearing like a sailor (or Marine), the occasional hubris that ultimately will rub people the wrong way.  Hey, he has done a lot of things to be touted as pretty cool.  I can be arrogant occasionally, and really, who doesn’t act like that sometimes?  I don’t want the people I surround myself with to be boring, but I’m not into hero-worship.  We all can do great things, and we all can make mistakes in the process.  One thing I will admit is I love his tastes in music.   They mirror my own as a former 80’s rocker chick.  One of his favorite bands to post videos from, AC/DC  (Jester would say he “suffers from or prefers the term OC/DC….it’s similar, but it ROCKS!”)  gets my attention on a regular basis. Lastly I see him as a patriot.  He started his Jester persona as a way to combat terrorism on his terms.  He supports America’s military and her allies without compromise.  Posting their triumphs often accompanied by the military tribute video Thunder Struck, (yes by AC/DC) on his timeline.

I don’t know who he is.  I joked one time with him that he was a reincarnation of Billy the Kid.  Considering he has his location on twitter in Lincoln County, I thought it appropriate.  After all, William Bonney is buried in Lincoln County, New Mexico (my home state).  I do know that to this day, there is only one known video of him out there…and it was done for a most honorable reason:  An Ice Bucket Challenge that Jester did for one of his twitter fans.  His words:

“Yes it occured. I broke rank & did the #ALSIceBucketChallenge to raise awareness/money for the ALS Assoc.”

Notice who he nominated to do it next…

 

*I am sure Julian and Eddie have just been too busy begging for asylum to respond.

So, as I mentioned earlier, I’m one of 1337 followers that Jester has chosen to follow.  He may block one from that list, but always seems to add one to keep the same number.  (I think I figured out the reason why; Leet-Speak or 1337 is an alternative alphabet for the English language on the internet used by “Elite” hackers. i.e: Jesters handle is th3j35t3r.) Let’s say mystery solved on that one.

So what’s this countdown to his 10,000th tweet and does it have anything to do with the five-year anniversary coming up on December 19, 2014?  That’s my question and the reason for the story.  Speculation is running a little wild, and some have concluded that Jester is going to retire.  I wouldn’t blame him if he did.  From my own personal experience during the ISIS Media Black out, in order to alert, flag, and block the videos showing the beheading of James Foley, I had to first watch them.  Seeing over and over the depravity, and evil of that act was sickening.  I can’t imagine what J has seen over five years hiding in the dark web.  What  does that do to a person? Even one who is trained and dedicated to their mission? Also, how do you live a life of absolute anonymity?  Better question…How do you have a life under that constraint?  I can’t answer that.

So, to conclude, I think the answer will be known on December 20th, 2014.  What ever he decides I wish him well.  He may still be around and tweeting or maybe he’ll announce a new endeavor is coming up.  Maybe he decides retirement is what he wants an disappears once his “mission” is completed.  Who knows, 30 some odd year’s from now an old man will take to what ever media outlet technology has to offer, and tells a journalist  “I was Jester” like in the movie Young Guns II.

Or maybe…on the 20th we will look to our news-feed……..

 

Stay Tuned,  Stay Frosty!

 

 

The Links

The Usual Suspects 1995

Jester’s Twitter Page

Jester’s Wikipedia

Meet a Cyber-op’s Warrior

XerXeS   plus more…

Richard Stiennon article via InfoSecurity

Jesters Court Blog (all the info on LulzSec, Wikileaks, Assange, Snowden,  Anonymous, Occupy, ISIS and the trolls are all in here.)

Interesting video on if Jester is a criminal

A powerful patriotic Hacker

Wikileaks attack launched

Going after Snowden  and here

Westboro Babtist Church gets a taste of their own medicine

#ISISMediaBlackout Propaganda TANGO DOWN

Leet Speak

AC/DC THUNDERSTRUCK

* I do not claim to own any videos in this story.  Also, some information was left out due to redundancy, and/or verification of authenticity.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Cyber Warriors, Hell Yes, jihad, Liberty Speaks, Military, The Articles, Twitter, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

People Better Start Paying Attention To ESEA Waivers

For those paying attention to the increasing intrusion and overreach by the federal government into education, the following link should really set your hair on fire:

Hold the Turkey: Federal Government Releases Massive Regulatory Agenda

The following quote is pulled from the section entitled, ““Phasing out” State Authority for Special Education”:

The Secretary will amend the regulations governing title I, part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), to phase out the authority of States to define modified academic achievement standards and develop alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards in order to satisfy ESEA accountability requirements.

 

Duncan State LedThe NCLB waivers which lead to ESEA waivers, when boiled down, are being used by the federal government to control the states on education.

The NCLB waivers were what (illegally) bound states to Common Core.

ESEA waivers followed suit and have been deemed unconstitutional.

I have it on good authority that NC’s Superintendent intends to push for the ‘fast track’ the re-authorization of North Carolina’s ESEA waiver.

The deadline of which is January 2015. With only one State Board of Education meeting between now and then, it looks like Dr. Atkinson hopes to just ram this thing through.

The choice seems to be that NC either gives up the ESEA waiver and be subject to NCLB sanctions or give the state will have to give up our Title One money.

Either way, the Fed is still lording over North Carolina. Either way, say  ‘Bye-Bye’ more of our state’s sovereignty.

 

Related Reads:

Waiver Watch: Let the Renewal Games Begin

Posted in Education, June Atkinson, LadyLiberty1885, NC Board Of Education, The Articles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wake School Board Reassignment and New Device Program

Two blips for the radar for parents and taxpayers in Wake County this week.
1. The Wake County School Board has rejected any changes to their controversial reassignment plan, despite very vocal opposition from residents and parents.  More at News and Observer Ed section. Money quote:

“I’m having problems forcing this change,” said school board member Susan Evans.

Yeah, sure she is.  Flashback to September, 2014:

Susan Evans said she would prefer to reduce overcrowding by encouraging attendance at under-enrolled schools – such as West Cary Middle, which is in central Cary, and East Cary Middle – by giving them special programs or making them magnet schools.

“Once we get past the 2015-2016 school year, nothing is off the table,” she said. “We’ll be looking at all kinds of things in the future.”

Cary gets what Cary wants.

Apex and Holly Springs? You can just suck it up.   It’s only another reassignment on top of the  2013-14 student assignment plan being the third plan in as many years.  Remember citizen, don’t you yell at Susan Evans, she has her own agenda to think about:

“We’re not going to stand here tonight and tell you OK because you yell at us – we’re going to change that,” said board member Sue Evans to the crowd of more than 300 parents.

2. Wake County School Board is instituting a new program with regard to technology devices. Just my opinion here, but parents should be asking to see the privacy policy and network security for Wake Public Schools involved before signing on to this.

“The policy needs to become up to date with reality. The policy needs to put in place appropriate security, needs to put in place appropriate responsibility from the student and appropriate guidance for teachers and administration to make sure the use is constructive and not disruptive,” said Dr. Jim Martin, WCPSS chair of policy committee.”  – Central NC TWC News

 

Posted in Education, LadyLiberty1885, The Articles, Wake County School Board | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!


I wish the best to you all this Thanksgiving.
Take time to count your blessing and be with loved ones.

I am thankful for your readership and generosity,

AP Dillon
Lady Liberty 1885

Posted in LadyLiberty1885, Random Musings | Tagged | Leave a comment

NC Senate Bill 880 And The NC Superintendent Position

Something for everyone’s radar prior to entering the holiday news dead zone.

In June of 2014, Senator Jerry Tillman filed Senate Bill 880 titled the Education Simplification Amendment.  It passed the first reading and was sent to the Education/Higher Education committee.  See the bill’s history here.

According to the SB 880’s opening text, the NC Superintendent of schools position would be changed significantly from and elected superintendent to a Governor appointed ‘secretary of education’ through a state Constitutional amendment:

AN ACT TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION OF NORTH CAROLINA TO SIMPLIFY THE MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION BY PROVIDING FOR A SECRETARY OF EDUCATION TO REPLACE THE CURRENT SYSTEM OF A SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION AND, STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1.(a)  Section 4 of Article IX of the Constitution of North Carolina is repealed.

SECTION 1.(b)  Section 5 of Article IX of the Constitution of North Carolina reads as rewritten:

Sec. 5. Powers and duties of Board.Department of Education.

The State Board of Education There is established within the Executive Branch a Department of Education which shall supervise and administer the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support, except the funds mentioned in Section 7 of this Article, and shall make all needed rules and regulations in relation thereto, subject to laws enacted by the General Assembly. The head of the Department of Education shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with law subject to confirmation by joint resolution of the General Assembly. The General Assembly shall provide by law for the filling of temporary vacancies in that position.

My 2 Cents
While NC’s Department of Public Instruction has become bloated and wields far too much unchecked power, eliminating the election by the people of its leadership is not the answer. I know only about a dozen states have elected Superintendents, but personally, I’d rather the people decide than a single person.

It would appear North Carolina isn’t alone in this desire to remove an elected position. Indiana is also looking at a shift and that the ‘structure needs to change‘.  This proposal appears to be backed by the Chamber of Commerce there. Reminder: The US and local Chambers of Commerce are ardent Common Core supporters. They would not be backing this move if there were not some sort of logistical benefit.

The department needs far greater transparency, their website is a confusing labyrinth and the legal aspects of agreements and grants the current DPI has entered North Carolina into beg for increased oversight.

Oversight and transparency like the fact our State Superintendent is now President of one of the D.C. trade groups that holds the copyright on Common Core and is pushing the standards ten ways from Sunday?  If that doesn’t scream conflict of interest, I don’t know what does.

Related Reads:
About That Race To The Top Money

About That Race To The Top Grant – Part II

About That Race To The Top Grant – Part III

Posted in Common Core, Education, June Atkinson, LadyLiberty1885, NC DPI, NCGA, Pat McCrory, The Articles | Tagged , , | Leave a comment