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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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