Cyber-stasi firm "Project Vigilant" among those recruiting at Defcon hacker conference

Via the Submitterator, Boing Boing reader Trotsky points to some news from the recent Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas: "Project Vigilant says they hope to add 1,300 new employees by 2011 to help profile and identify 'adversaries.' One of their better known and longstanding 'adversary characterizers?' Adrian Lamo. A press release says the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can 'develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address."

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  1. We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because adversity characterizers stand ready to do backtracing on our behalf.

  2. “Viglio”? Spelling fail. Iugiter vigilo = I am continually vigilant. But not so vigilant as to notice spelling errors in a logo.

  3. “Attributing actions to actors”?

    That’s a pretty cool mission statement. Coming up next, “Attributing thoughts to thinkers” and “Attributing speech to speakers”.

  4. This confirms my thoughts: a war in search of an adversary. Good luck to them – if they don’t find any adversaries, they may be out of a job. And wouldn’t that be a shame?

  5. Is it just me, or does anyone else not like the fact that you must log in to see any content on their page… What if I just want to view their company info and such anonymously?

  6. “‘The p eople called the Jugitors, they attribute the attributions?!'”

    From the article:
    Uber’s Wikileaks revelation is one of the first public statements from the semi-secret Project Vigilant. He says the 600-person “volunteer” organization functions as a government contractor bridging public and private sector security efforts.

    This group is a “volunteer” organization that’s also a government contractor? Whaaaat? Just how does that work?

    1. He says the 600-person “volunteer” organization functions as a government contractor bridging public and private sector security efforts.

      Sounds like they’re crowd-sourcing real for-pay work to unpaid volunteers who want to be Officious Little Pr***s Wearing Shirts of a Certain Color? Who get their jollies ratting people out? That’s very strange.

      No, their site will not receive permission to execute JavaScript in my browser.

  7. Based on the article, the company seems to intentionally tread an ambiguous line in inferring that their mission is to thwart terrorism. But they also seem to intentionally keep the language flexible to allow for a wider range of clients. Could critics of BP or some other corporation be considered “adversaries?” Hard to imagine a company like this refusing a lucrative contract to ferret out enemies of some beleaguered corporation or political figure.

    In addition, why assume that the activities of their staff is to “merely” create dossiers on 250 million potential “adversaries?” Why wouldn’t they take a more proactive role in actively subverting those adversaries? Is that not the logical next step?

    1. Thanks for posting this. The Minuteman comparison seems accurate, too.

      I thought that adversity built character. Apparently, adversaries build characterization, too.

  8. “A press release says the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can ‘develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address”

    Good, maybe they can track down that dastardly “Heywood Jablome”.

  9. They can develop portfolios on any name, screen name, or IP address. And yet: “The organization says it never looks at personally identifying information, though just how it defines that information isn’t clear, nor is how it scrubs its data mining for sensitive details.”

  10. A press release says the organization tracks more than 250 million IP addresses a day and can ‘develop portfolios on any name, screen name or IP address.”

    What a great way to thwart whistleblowers exposing corruption, etc. You can tell the corrupt ones within corporations, government and military are really tiring of this whole truthy Internet thing.

    Proxies are fun!

  11. “Juggalo Victorio”, yeah there’s going to be a seminar for this at the Gathering. “F*&%in attributions, how do they work?”

  12. Sounds like the Internet’s Guardian Angels – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian_Angels

    Caught grief with them a few times at big protests, covering the events – they were not real careful to distinguish between press and protestors.

    P. S. If they really went after the real bad actors, it would be nice. I have my doubts…

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