Hatemail 2020-10-08: Ideological Tipping Points 

Newsletter and intel from the LaBac Hacker Collective

In just the past 24 hours, the biggest trial of fascists since the Nuremberg trials took place in Greece. Golden Dawn, a far-right Greek political party, and its members (some in elected offices) were found guilty of murder and conspiracy

As celebrations of this rebuke of fascism erupted across Greece, it is clear that other European bloc countries are struggling with their challenges. Germany in particular is struggling to crackdown against far-right operatives, who have infiltrated positions of power in politics, law enforcement, and the armed forces. We have to ask: What would an escalated, overt fascist operation look like in America? 

Movements like QAnon may bear an example. QAnon not only has its own publications and media outlets, but its followers are well-enough aligned with paramilitary militia that they could ultimately operate an autonomous fascist operation. The pending election of a QAnon follower to Congress could very well be the start of the legitimization of QAnon as a more prominent political ideology, after which the establishment of its own institutions, political rituals, and processes may follow.

Thursday October 15, 2020 - Data & Society Sociotechnical Security Researcher Moira Weigel hosts author Tim Hwang to discuss the way big tech financializes attention. [Data & Society]

Friday October 16, 2020 - Join Michele Gilman for a conversation with Professor Meredith Broussard on enhancing the digital literacy of poverty lawyers to better advocate for social justice and the low-income communities they serve. [Data & Society]

Social Media Platforms Try to Prepare for the 2020 Election 

  • [The New York Times] [The Verge] Yesterday, Facebook Inc. announced a ban of all political and issue-based ads after polls close on election day to avoid political manipulation through their platforms. These latest measures follow similar Facebook policy changes announced earlier this month to avoid the spread of election-related misinformation. On Tuesday in particular, Facebook issued a ban on QAnon conspiracy content, removing groups, pages, and accounts representing QAnon. 

  • [Reuters] [The Daily Beast] Last week, Reuters broke the story of a Russian operation disguised as a right-wing news site called the Newsroom for American and European Based Citizens (NAEBC). The site, which was being investigated by the FBI, reportedly targeted U.S. voters with pro-Trump content.  

  • [The Verge] The House Judiciary Committee recently released a report on whether antitrust laws are being violated by Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The report largely concludes that these companies hold immense power over smaller competitors, though partisan infighting caused general disagreements over proposed solutions. (The report appears to have been taken down from the committee’s site, but we have you covered with links to an archived copy and the Verge’s DocumentCloud post). 

Ideological Tipping Points 

  • [Vice TV] The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a delayed assessment that warns of growing violent white supremacy threats in the country. Yet Trump has repeatedly framed Antifa, and not white supremacists, as a growing national security threat. Vice recently explored the commotion and confusion surrounding Antifa in this documentary

  • [New York Times] In Germany, a recent report found that over three years, there were more than 1,400 cases in which soldiers, police, and intelligence officers were suspected of far-right extremism. Katrin Bennhold (@kbennhold) also reports on how Germany’s far-right is gaining momentum, how this boost is historically tied and understood through Germany’s reunification.

  • [Washington Post] Yesterday, a Greek court found leaders of the far-right party Golden Dawn guilty for attacking immigrants and for the murder of an anti-fascist rapper. The landmark ruling is being heralded as a rebuke of the Golden Dawn party, causing celebrations in Greece.

On Our Radar…

  • [Axios] [The Hill] China continues to enact its influence beyond its borders. In January, a Chinese international student attending the University of Minnesota was jailed in China for their tweets critical of President Xi. This month, accounts on Twitter critical of the Chinese government were suspended at Beijing’s request.

  • [NPR] In these pandemic times, women are leaving the workforce at four times the rate as men, according to stats from the Department of Labor. Experts are pointing to the difficulties of accessing childcare during the global pandemic (while also working a job) coupled with gendered expectations of labor in the home as playing a role. 

  • [ArsTechnica] DHS officials issued an advisory on Tuesday concerning the malware known at Emotet, which is increasingly targeting state and local government infrastructures. 

Hate speech website: amren[.]com

Who hosts: Cloudflare LLC, Linode LLC

Today’s site is amren[.]com. A contraction of “American Renaissance,” the site pushes pseudoscience and research often referenced by white supremacists as evidence of superiority. Their site users Cloudflare to protect their infrastructure, and we have previously observed their server to be hosted by Linode at 45.33.7[.]219.