•   
  •   
  •   

Technology Crowdsourcing effort to ID Trump's whistleblower not the first name-and-shame effort

17:45  07 october  2019
17:45  07 october  2019 Source:   post-gazette.com

Nunes rips Democrats and their 'media assets'

  Nunes rips Democrats and their 'media assets' Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) ripped into Democrats and their "media assets" for drumming up a new "public spectacle" to hurt President Trump at a hearing Thursday on a whistleblower complaint against the president. "I want to congratulate the Democrats on the rollout of their latest information warfare operation against the president and their extraordinary ability to once again enlist the mainstream media in their campaign," the top Republican on the committee said.Rep.

Researchers see crowdsourcing as one of the great gifts of the internet age, but trying to ID the Trump whistleblower has a dark side.

Trump also requested that Zelenskiy "do us a favor though" and investigate a conspiracy theory about Ukraine's alleged interference in the 2016 election. At the hearing, top Ukraine diplomat William Taylor and senior State Department official George Kent became the first witnesses to testify publicly, marking Schiff, who opened the hearing by laying out a timeline of Trump ' s efforts toward Ukraine, was interrupted early in the hearing by Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., about the potential witnesses that Republicans had requested. She then asked whether witnesses will be prohibited from answering

The efforts over the last 10 days by amateur sleuths to identify the whistleblower who filed the complaint about President Donald Trump’s call to the Ukrainian prime minister had a clear intent, and it wasn’t to send flowers of thanks.

a man sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Crowdsourcing expert Kurt Luther, who teaches at Virginia Tech and grew up in Upper St. Clair, created the website civilwarphotosleuth.com to use crowdsourcing and facial recognition technology to identify Civil War era photographs. He was inspired to create the site after seeing a picture of his great-great-great uncle Oliver Croxton, a Union soldier, during a Civil War exhibit at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. The photograph on Civil War Photo Sleuth is courtesy of the Ken Turner Collection.© Provided by PG Publishing Co., Inc.

Crowdsourcing expert Kurt Luther, who teaches at Virginia Tech and grew up in Upper St. Clair, created the website civilwarphotosleuth.com to use crowdsourcing and facial recognition technology to identify Civil War era photographs. He was inspired to create the site after seeing a picture of his great-great-great uncle Oliver Croxton, a Union soldier, during a Civil War exhibit at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. The photograph on Civil War Photo Sleuth is courtesy of the Ken Turner Collection.

Pelosi, on handling of whistleblower complaint: 'This is a cover-up'

  Pelosi, on handling of whistleblower complaint: 'This is a cover-up' "Our focus is on this allegation," the House speaker said Thursday at her first press conference since announcing a formal impeachment inquiry earlier this week."This is a cover-up. This is a cover-up," Pelosi told reporters at her weekly press conference as she answered questions for the first time since announcing a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday evening.

An Interim Military US Government was actually running the US and they saw President Biden as a treasonous agent. A few days before Joe Biden’ s Inauguration and due to foreign interference in the 2020 Presidential Election, Trump had instigated the Insurgency Act, declared Martial Law and Soon the Emergency Broadcast System would be activated to announce all. The Military would then produce all TV programming for at least the next 72 hours, filled with videos of political elite’ s tribunals, accompanied by seven messages from Trump . The networks have already been informed that they

"We should make extraordinary efforts to protect the whistleblower , committee member Representative Jackie Speier told Reuters. "Interview him by video, change the nature of his voice, have him lighted in such a way that you can't see his face." It was not the first time that had been done for transcripts of Trump ’ s conversations with foreign leaders, the complaint said. For that reason, Quigley said the committee should be able to question the whistleblower on matters other than Ukraine. " I want to protect him or her and find out however much we can while protecting them and

“This ‘whistleblower’ needs to be put in the public spotlight, and then [expletive] prosecute him/her to the fullest extent of the law,” one Reddit user wrote in one message board conversation that was trying to identify who the whistleblower was.

Others, not only on Reddit, but on the site 4Chan, and even Twitter, threw out names, without any evidence, that the whistleblower must be recently resigned national security adviser John Bolton, or CIA Director Gina Haspel, or Susan Gordon, the former deputy director of national intelligence, or maybe even Ned Price, a former CIA officer who retired in 2017.

“We’re seeing the weaponization of social media, in everything from terrorism, to celebrities, to domestic politics,” said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at the centrist think tank, New America.

Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower’s Sources and Alludes to Punishment for Spies

  Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower’s Sources and Alludes to Punishment for Spies President Trump on Thursday morning told a crowd of staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations that he wants to know who provided information to a whistle-blower about his phone call with the president of Ukraine, saying that whoever did so was “close to a spy” and that “in the old days,” spies were dealt with differently. © Doug Mills/The New York Times President Trump boarding Air Force One in New York on Thursday. The remark stunned people in the audience, according to a person briefed on what took place, who had notes of what the president said. Mr.

Trump then doesn't go back to the White House, turns out the staff came out to see him off before he left for Cleveland because nobody' s going to be seeing him for awhile, and then he' s supposedly left Cleveland for his Bedminster resort in NJ. And with those raids, and that very first of many asset forfeiture filings by the DOJ yesterday, these people now know the truth down to the marrow of their bones: Trump is going to do it.

Trump and his supporters have rejected the accusations that he did anything improper. ___ 12:10 a.m. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the State Department intends to follow the law as House Democrats seek documents and other information about President Donald Trump ' s efforts to press Ukraine to investigate a political opponent. What the law requires of the Trump administration in terms of meeting Democrats' demands has been a subject of dispute. Pompeo says his department has yet to turn over any documents but intends to follow a proper review. Pompeo has become a key figure in

Mr. Singer, whose 2018 book, “LikeWar,” explores how social media has been weaponized, said what is happening with the whistleblower is not unlike what happened in 2013 when crowdsourcing by amateurs wrongly identified people they believed were involved in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing.

“The goal here is not merely to find them, it’s to find them and harm them and intimidate them and their families and friends,” he said.

These prominent cases of the dark side of crowdsourcing distress researchers who see the technology as one the great gifts from the spread of the internet across the globe.

“In some sense, crowdsourcing is one of the biggest advancements in technology we’ve seen in the last decade,” said Aniket Kittur, a professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and an expert on crowdsourcing. “Now we can tap into the knowledge and expertise and resources all around the world.”

Everyone In Washington Is Reading the Whistleblower Complaint — Except Senate Republicans

  Everyone In Washington Is Reading the Whistleblower Complaint — Except Senate Republicans The whistleblower complaint might have been the most-read document in Washington — but not among Senate Republicans. © mandel ngan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images“Haven’t seen it,” said Utah Sen. Mitt Romney. Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said they hadn’t read it either. “I’ve been running around this morning,” Ohio Sen. Rob Portman apologized.

Another whistleblower complaint has been lodged, this one alleging "inappropriate efforts to influence" the mandatory IRS audit of President Donald Trump ' s and Vice President Mike Pence's tax returns. In his letter, first widely reported this week, Neal described the whistleblower 's allegations of "evidence of possible misconduct" as credible. "This is a grave charge that appreciably heightens the Committee's concerns about the absence of appropriate safeguards as part of the mandatory audit program and whether statutory codification of such program or other remedial, legislative measures

Now, Team Trump is in the process of gathering irrefutable evidence of criminal collusion to carry out election interference, and the cover-up trails will lead directly to Big Tech (targeted censorship and collusion with China) and the fake news left-wing media (gaslighting propaganda campaign to cover up evidence of This could include seizing their domain names such as Twitter.com, YouTube.com, Facebook.com, etc. Defeat the DNC forever by revealing overwhelming evidence of widespread election fraud, which will also result in a nationwide call for a voter ID system for all future elections.

Researchers like Mr. Kittur and one of his former CMU colleagues, Kurt Luther, now at Virginia Tech, spend much of their time exploring ways to make crowdsourcing more effective, while trying to limit the possible “bad actors” who would misuse the same technology.

“We need something that will aggregate the information,” said Mr. Kittur. “But if you don’t think about how it will be used for malicious means — it will be.”

Mr. Luther has focused much of his research on identifying when crowdsourcing goes bad and why, and how that can help create crowdsourcing systems that do the good they were intended to.

Mr. Luther, an associate professor and director of the Crowd Intelligence Lab, points to American law enforcement-guided crowdsourcing efforts to, for example, find more of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assault victims, or Europol’s attempt to identify specific items in photos of child pornography images.

“It’s a powerful use of traditional crowdsourcing that goes back to the old ‘Wanted’ posters,” said Mr. Luther, who grew up in Upper St. Clair. “They simply asked, ‘Do you know this person?’ And they were effective.”

Republican senators accuse whistleblower of 'hearsay'

  Republican senators accuse whistleblower of 'hearsay' Republicans have argued that because the whistleblower was not personally on the call, he lacks credibility. “It’s not actually clear. He’s not really a whistleblower, so it’s really more hearsay,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said Friday. “If we’re talking about someone who actually is not a whistleblower, someone who’s only heard it hearsay, then that brings everything into question."He added that the “concept of someone who heard it secondhand does not make them a credible person on the topic.” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.

“It’s where the crowd goes beyond that and tries to do its own analysis and interpretation, without expertise to guide them, that they run into problems,” he said.

Mr. Luther has recently published two papers that demonstrate how crowdsourcing with an expert guide can be much more effective.

One of his research papers that will be presented later this month at a crowdsourcing conference demonstrates how a website his team created is helping to identify people in previously unidentified Civil War-era photos.

First, using 21,000 previously identified photos, they “seeded” the site as photos that can later be compared to unidentified pictures. People were then invited to upload unidentified photos, and, using Mr. Luther’s team’s newly developed “Second Opinion” software, they analyzed the photos for specific facial features, which could then be compared to previously identified photos. Users were asked to analyze the photos, and their analysis was later reviewed by an expert to positively identify the new pictures, work that is ongoing on the website Civilwarphotosleuth.com.

In the first month of usage of the site during August and September 2018, users uploaded 1,200 new, unidentified photos, and were able to name about 10% of the people in the photos.

Amateur pro-Trump ‘sleuths’ scramble to unmask whistleblower: ‘Your president has asked for your help’

  Amateur pro-Trump ‘sleuths’ scramble to unmask whistleblower: ‘Your president has asked for your help’ The looming battle over President Trump’s potential impeachment has sparked an online hunt in the far-right corners of the Web.Their guesses have been scattershot, conspiratorial and often untethered from reality, spanning a wide range of such unlikely contenders as presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Pence.

The challenge of photo identification, Mr. Luther noted, is that all the best facial recognition software in the world can’t with regularity differentiate between two or more closely similar photos of people, though it can say they look alike.

Picking out the one photo that is the right one, and identifying that person, “is the last-mile problem,” he said, like the ease of traveling all over the world by mass transit, for example, but struggling to make that last mile to get to your specific front door.

Mr. Luther was motivated to create the website in 2013 when he attended a Heinz History Center exhibit in Pittsburgh on the Civil War and spotted a picture of his great-great-great uncle Oliver Croxton, a Union soldier during the Civil War.

“In my lab, we still think there’s exciting potential to take advantage of crowdsourcing,” he said. “We try to make use of the advantages and expertise and minimize the downsides.”

A big lesson that has been learned, he said, is how even well-intentioned efforts to help ended up going down the wrong path. He cited examples such as the Boston Marathon bombing, and, later, in 2017, when various online efforts tried to use crowdsourcing to identify people who attended and participated in the Unite the Right rally, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 11-12, 2017.

“It was primarily on Twitter where people were trying to ID those people [at the rally] and, once again, like in Boston, they ended up naming the wrong people and attacking them,” he said. “This wasn’t law enforcement. It was mainly a naming-and-shaming effort.”

Mounting evidence buttresses the facts laid out in whistleblower complaint

  Mounting evidence buttresses the facts laid out in whistleblower complaint New documents, firsthand accounts and statements by President Trump himself that corroborate the claims have emerged on a near-daily basis.

As a result, one of the tactics that Mr. Luther tries to employ is to support expert-guided crowdsourcing where someone who knows how to use the information helps direct the gathering of information.

But he has also tried to look for ways that established platforms like Twitter, Reddit and 4Chan can respond to minimize the deleterious effects of even a well-intentioned crowdsourcing effort.

Reddit, for example, tries to quickly shut down any effort at “doxing” on its message boards, where users begin to share personally identifiable information of a person, such as street addresses, phone numbers, identification numbers and anything else that can be used to harass someone.

The 4Chan site, which was at the center of the misidentification of people in the Boston Marathon bombing, took down the entire discussion site and deleted it after one family was harassed, even though the supposed suspect had already killed himself prior to the bombing for reasons unrelated to the bombing.

Another option, Mr. Kittur said, is to provide incentives for people to not misuse the technology.

For example, he said, to get rid of email spam — those unwanted, mass-emailed ads — if spammers were required to pay 1 cent per ad sent “it would disappear overnight,” he said.

Mr. Kittur’s team has worked over the years with Wikipedia to try to prevent the misuse of that crowdsourced encyclopedia.

One big problem, he said, are the bad actors who try to go in and rewrite whole sections of Wikipedia entries to make them wrong or unhelpful. But Wikipedia built in a one-step option to return the page to its previous version without the maliciously rewritten information.

“It makes it significantly harder for someone to vandalize a page than to keep it the way it was,” he said.

Mr. Singer, the “LikeWar” author, pointed out that, in its own way, the Tree of Life terrorist attack last year in Squirrel Hill was the result of a crowdsourced incitement to a person who got his information about where to attack from a list put up in a chatroom that gathered that kind of information. Authorities have charged Robert Bowers in the Oct. 27, 2018 attack that left 11 people dead and seven people injured, including himself.

Jordan: Republicans Will Subpoena Whistleblower for Public Hearing

  Jordan: Republicans Will Subpoena Whistleblower for Public Hearing House Democrats are expected to shut down the subpoena request.House Democrats, who control the majority on the committees conducting the resulting impeachment probe, are expected to shut down the subpoena request as they have already rejected the idea of the whistleblower testifying in public, citing concern for the anonymous member of the intelligence community’s safety.

Adam Hertzman, spokesman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, said that might be, but added: “Let me be clear, the murderer in Pittsburgh committed his acts because of anti-Semitic hatred. And although there are echo chambers online that fueled that, that hatred is the critical element.”

That said, Mr. Hertzman pointed out over the last year, he has tried to concentrate on “the positive things” that have occurred since the shooting, “and there were a lot of crowd-sourcing efforts that were very positive.”

Not only did people contribute millions of dollars, beginning within hours of the shooting, through crowdsourcing efforts on GoFundMe and others, thousands of expressions of support flowed to Tree of Life and all three congregations that were affected through similar technologies.

Rabbi Doris Dyen, a member of Dor Hadash, one of three congregations, said the duality of the role technology played in the last year in connection with the Tree of Life attack is real.

But, she said: “Usually the emphasis in Jewish tradition is on the ‘kavanah’ of the user — ‘the intent’ — not on the thing being used,” she said.

“Reddit can be used for anything,” she said. “And it’s sad to me that it’s being used in a way by a person whose intention is to harm another person.”

“The tools don’t have brains. It’s human beings that decide how to use them. But I guess it’s always been that way.”

Sean D. Hamill: shamill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2579 or Twitter: @SeanDHamill

Jordan: Republicans Will Subpoena Whistleblower for Public Hearing .
House Democrats are expected to shut down the subpoena request.House Democrats, who control the majority on the committees conducting the resulting impeachment probe, are expected to shut down the subpoena request as they have already rejected the idea of the whistleblower testifying in public, citing concern for the anonymous member of the intelligence community’s safety.

usr: 1
This is interesting!