Hacked Emails Detail Plan to Entrap, Discredit Opponents of US Chamber

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[Editors note: Read Josh Harkinson’s latest on ChamberLeaks here.]

On Monday, Anonymous posted 40,000 emails hacked from the account of Aaron Barr, a computer security expert who’d tried to infiltrate the well-known hactivist group and sell his findings to the FBI. Now Barr has a lot of explaining to do. It looks like his DC-based security firm, HBGary Federal, has been working in connection with the US Chamber of Commerce to sabotage the business group’s political opponents. Lee Fang of ThinkProgress explains:

According to e-mails obtained by ThinkProgress, the Chamber hired the lobbying firm Hunton and Williams. Hunton And Williams’ attorney Richard Wyatt, who once represented Food Lion in its infamous lawsuit against ABC News, was hired by the Chamber in October of last year. To assist the Chamber, Wyatt and his associates, John Woods and Bob Quackenboss, solicited a set of private security firms — HB Gary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win [described as “CtW” below], the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com.

One document from Team Thermis proposes an entrapment project:

Given the massive amount of material posted from Barr’s account, there could be much more here.  I’m looking into whether other media organizations that have investigated the Chamber, such as Mother Jones, have been targeted by Barr. Check back later today for updates.

 

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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