San Diego sheriff Bill Gore
With San Diego cops anteing up $18,000 for a so-called open-source intelligence tool to tap into the whereabouts and activities of social-media users, can county sheriff Bill Gore be far behind in local law enforcement's high-tech online skulking intrigue?
As previously reported, county contracting records show that the former FBI Special Agent in Charge at the controversial 1992 Ruby Ridge massacre in Idaho has targeted so-called Sovereign Citizens, controversially pegged by the FBI as potentially violent, libertarian-leaning miscreants.
"Individuals who adhere to this ideology believe their status as a sovereign citizen exempts them from US laws and the US tax system," according to a report by the bureau. "They believe the US Federal Reserve System, the Treasury Department, and banking systems are illegitimate. Therefore, one of the perceived 'benefits' of being a sovereign citizen is not paying federal or state taxes."
Gore is soliciting instructors to teach cops here how to identify "recognizable behavioral indicators of [a] potential sovereign citizen, how to effectively handle and de-escalate and encounter with a sovereign citizen and how to directly counter a sovereign citizen’s threat, in order to proactively prevent a potential violent attack."
Now the sheriff has upped the ante further with a call for experts to come up with ways to breach the walls of online security ostensibly guarding the privacy of social-media users.
"The course shall thoroughly cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media outlets," relates an April 13 request for quotation from Gore's office.
Trainers will "instruct participants how to search deep into the internet for personal information about any subject/target," and will "include techniques on how to legally access some private content."
Adds the document, "This is to include data that is believed to be hidden, in all forms of social media mentioned above."
Other topics cover "methods of extracting reverse caller ID databases for both landline and cellular numbers," along with an explanation of “the legal benefits of being able to obtain such data via the internet."
In addition, "The course should instruct participants in the proper searching of content, including videos and documents posted by users. Participants should be instructed on advance searches to enable them to locate content stored in the cloud."
On a defensive note, law-enforcement officers will be provided with ways to keep their own online secrets safely tucked away from prying eyes. "This course should show officers how to assess their current online footprint."
The curriculum will also offer extended guidance on how to create "disinformation in order to hide accurate information found online."
In cases where private entities express a reluctance to give up information, the document says, "the course shall teach participants ways to force companies to remove their data from the companies’ data collection systems."
No budget for the project is listed. "Authors and instructors shall have a Law Enforcement background in patrol and/or governmental level major investigations, authored several books on the subjects, and developed custom investigative search tools that are available to all participants and be able to translate this experience into useful and practical instruction to first responders in a dynamic and engaging manner."
As with the sheriff’s sovereign citizens effort, the new round of tutorials will be run out of the San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center, described in records as the county's "all crimes, all hazards fusion center," specializing in high-tech intelligence-gathering and a host other undercover activities.