The United Chamber of Hacking?


Submitted By Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger



When someone mentions the United States Chamber of Commerce to me, I automatically think of the recent claims that were made that the Chamber solicited campaign donations from foreign corporations during the last election cycle. “A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.” Think Progress   While that may be an atrocious and possibly illegal funding of domestic elections with foreign money, I am not currently interested in that “activity” of our friends at the Chamber of Commerce. Something else caught my eye!

I am concerned today with allegations that claim the Chamber of Commerce plotted with military contractors “…to come up with a proposal to discredit groups like ThinkProgress, the SEIU,,, and others. The tactics proposed included spying on families, using malware computer viruses to steal private information, using fake documents to embarrass liberals, and creating fake identities to infiltrate their targets.”  Think Progress   These allegations should be taken seriously because they claim that the Chamber was planning on stealing private information that was stored on the aforementioned groups computers.  The last time I checked, hacking into computers and stealing information was illegal.  Recently, Richard Clarke, the former cyber security czar with the Bush Administration, argued that the Chamber might have committed a felony.

I think it’s a violation of 10USC. I think it’s a felony, and I think they should go to jail. You call them a large trade association, I call them a large political action group that took foreign money in the last election. But be that as it may, if you in the United States, if any American citizen anywhere in the world, because this is an extraterritorial law, so don’t think you can go to Bermuda and do it, if any American citizen anywhere in the world engages in unauthorized penetration, or identity theft, accessing a number through identity theft purposes, that’s a felony and if the Chamber of Commerce wants to try that, that’s fine with me because the FBI will be on their doorstep in a matter of hours” Think Progress   While Richard Clarke is not an official of the Department of Justice, he does make a good point.  The contractors that the Chamber is alleged to have planned or plotted with to make these alleged intrusions into private computers of groups that are critical of the Chamber of Commerce, just happen to be contractors that have worked with the military in the area of cyber war. 

It amazes me that the United States Chamber of Commerce can allegedly plot to commit computer crimes and the main stream media is silent on the issue.  While there has been some interest on this issue from Congressmen, we still have heard very little about the potential crimes from the mass media.  Washington Post   Will the Chamber of Commerce be investigated for these serious allegations and how far will we allow an advocacy group to go to try to get their candidate(s) elected before the FBI calls a halt to any illegal activities?  It is funny that political activists on the right can scam people into believing that someone has committed crimes or made disparaging comments about an opponent and the entire media machine is right on the story, but if and when the line of legality gets crossed by the Right, you can’t give away the story.  Damn that Liberal Media!?


Additional Sources: Think Progress  and Think Progress                                                 

 Respectfully submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, Guest Blogger

33 thoughts on “The United Chamber of Hacking?”

  1. Thanks to OS for bringing this to my attention in the birther” thread which has become too long — my browser/computer can’t handle it…

    Anonymous hits the US Chamber of Commerce

    April 30, 2011 8:38 AM

    Last night at midnight, more than a gigabyte of internal memos from the US Chamber of Commerce and two other conservative think-tanks were leaked to the Internet. Although no announcement has been posted to the semi-official Anonymous web site, the archive contains a README file crediting the hacker/cracker/griefer collective.

    Anonymous’ scrapes with the Chamber of Commerce started back in February, when leaked documents from the security firm HBGary implicated the CoC in a proposed smear campaign against progressive journalists. Meanwhile, The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the American Legislative Council have appeared recently on the blue for their involvement in Wisconsin and Michigan’s budget battles.

    posted by verb (23 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

  2. Elaine,
    Thanks for the link. I did see this article and the first thing I thought of was that somebody needs to show this to Obama and explain that these are the dirt bags he is dealing with!

  3. New ChamberLeaks Presentation Emerges, Details More Plans To Sabotage Liberals
    By Lee Fang
    Think Progress, 4/11/2011

    In February, ThinkProgress broke a story revealing that attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had communicated with a set of military contractors — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies — to develop tactics for sabotaging and spying on the Chamber’s progressive critics. The Chamber attorneys and the security firms discussed targeting ChamberWatch, the SEIU, MoveOn, ThinkProgress, and other groups. The proposals details efforts to steal private computer information, spy on the families of the Chamber’s critics, and plant false documents within organizations opposed to the Chamber’s agenda.

    ThinkProgress has uncovered yet another presentation from one of the private security firms describing plans for the Chamber. Because of a technical glitch, a few emails of the 75,000 emails leaked to the public from one of the defense firms did not process. One of the emails now processed correctly reveals yet another proposal, created by HBGary Federal executive Aaron Barr, and forwarded to the other security firms. Although it appears not to have been completed, the last slide in the presentation lists tactics — labeled “Discredit, Confuse, Shame, Combat, Infiltrate, Fracture” — to “mitigate [sic] effect of adversarial groups while seeking litigation.”

  4. I have walked with other union members in Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay, and Madison, all in Wisconsin.

    Walking is not enough to safely restrain one Walker in particular, alas.

    Yet a journeys of any length begins with a first step.

    Followed by enough steps to get to the end.

    The Wisconsin State Motto is, Forward

    That one Walker seems, to me, to be walking backward.

  5. I remember John Stewart saying something about a politician (I believe it was Mr. Cheney) becoming “Cartoonishly evil.” I think that about sums up the CoC.

  6. Blouise,
    That is a good point that should be stressed even more. We have numbers and the issues to use as weapons.

  7. :quietly:

    No need for bloodshed though Lam type false flags will attempt to make it happen. Of course pure anger and frustration also comes into play. The beauty of this particular set of circumstances in all of the states concerned is that the police and fire are part of the demonstrations … that makes it particularly dangerous for Lam false flag types and a lot safer for sincere demonstrators.

  8. Patriot,
    I saw that the CEO of one of the firms resigned, but the only interest I have seen are the 20 Congressmen who signed a letter asking for more information. Maybe they can get the DOJ to look at the evidence.

  9. Actions like this by the Chamber show how brazen the rich and powerful have become in the US. The wealthy are above our system of justice. War crimes go unchallenged. Raping our environment for untaxed profit is a common and too often disastrous occurrence. Regulations are either abolished by purchasing legislators and if they are too tough to abolish they starve the funds of the regulators.

    What does this story say of the three private contractors who were all eager to commit serious crimes for money? I know a top rep for one of the firms stepped down ( after Anonymous started to get involved and embarrassed them by leaking his intentions) but is anyone investigating these contractors?

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