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Library of Congress bomb suspect livestreamed on Facebook for hours before being blocked


The man suspected of making a bomb threat near the Library of Congress livestreamed his anti-government remarks for hours before Facebook took down his account on Thursday afternoon.

The man broadcasted to the social network as he sat in his car surrounded by police in Washington, D.C. He said his car would “blow up” if security shot through his window.

Several hours after his threats began, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company “removed the Facebook profile in question and are continuing to investigate.” At least one of the videos was taken down by nearly 1 p.m. after the suspect began livestreaming messages outside of the library at 9 a.m.

Clips from the suspect’s video circulated widely on social media throughout the morning, and after the stream itself was blocked. The man repeatedly said he was “trying to get Joe Biden on the phone” and said he was making the threat on behalf of the people in Afghanistan.

The man continued to livestream as Capitol Police and other law enforcement officials investigated his claim that he has an explosive device in his pickup truck, which he drove onto the sidewalk outside of the Library of Congress. His threats led to the evacuation of several congressional buildings.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Emily Birnbaum

See an X-Wing from ‘Star Wars’ Next Year at the Smithsonian

The T-70 X-Wing prop in a restoration hangarSmithsonian Magazine/Jim Preston, NASM

One of the most iconic items in movie history is the X-Wing Starfighter from the legendary Star Wars film franchise. And in 2022, you’ll be able to see a screen-used prop from 2019’s Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker at the Smithsonian.

The beloved fictional spacecraft is on loan from Lucasfilm Ltd. It’s currently parked at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, undergoing conservation. There, museum conservators clean the prop and check for any damage that might have occurred during transit, as the ship was transported in pieces.

In late 2022, the T-70X-Wing will be moved just outside Washington D.C.’s Albert Einstein Planetarium at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. There, teams will work to reassemble the ship from the pieces it was shipped in and hang it by rigging from the ceiling at the museum. An impressive feat, given that the prop’s wingspan measures 37 feet.

“We are thrilled to have an X-Wing on exhibit,” stated Margaret Weitekamp, space history chair at the museum. “It’s a real screen-used vehicle from the 2019 film Rise of Skywalker. This display speaks to that crossover connection between people who are excited about space flight and have been inspired by the visions Star Wars has been putting out since 1977.”

This isn’t the first time a piece of Star Wars history has been on display at Washington’s iconic Smithsonian museum. Previously, in 1997, a curated collection of costumes and props were a featured exhibition, dubbed Star Wars: The Magic of Myth, including a production model of the Millennium Falcon. The exhibition explored the themes of creator George Lucas.

Other science-fiction spacecraft have spent time at the Smithsonian, too, like 2016 exhibit from the Star Trek TV series. The exhibition, titled Boldly Go 50, put the studio model of the Starship Enterprise on display. Others, like 2001: A Space Odyssey also shared the limelight a few years back.

There’s no doubt that being able to see the iconic X-Wing in real life, even though it’s just a movie prop, will put a smile on every Star Wars fan who gets to see it.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

Ransomware crooks threaten to ID informants if cops don’t pay up

Ransomware crooks threaten to ID informants if cops don’t pay up

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Ransomware operators have delivered a stunning ultimatum to Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Department: pay them $50 million or they’ll leak the identities of confidential informants to street gangs.

Babuk, as the group calls itself, said on Monday that it had obtained 250GB of sensitive data after hacking the MPD network. The group’s site on the darkweb has posted dozens of images of what appear to be sensitive MPD documents. One screenshot shows a Windows directory titled Disciplinary Files. Each of the 28 files shown lists a name. A check of four of the names shows they all belong to MPD officers.


Other images appeared to show persons-of-interest names and photos, a screenshot of a folder named Gang Database, chief’s reports, lists of arrests, and a document listing the name and address of a confidential informant.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dan Goodin

Ocasio-Cortez: Facebook, Zuckerberg ‘bear partial responsibility’ for insurrection

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Friday condemned Facebook as well as co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for misinformation posted on the platform, arguing that both Zuckerberg and his company “bear partial…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Celine Castronuovo

Jack Dorsey breaks his silence after Trump ban

50026d60-b9e0-11e9-beff-985d9d456e24Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made his first public statements since the company permanently banned Donald Trump from its platform. In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he believed Twitter made the correct decision, but that “a ban is a failure of ours ultim…

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Parler Users Breached Deep Inside U.S. Capitol Building, GPS Data Shows


At least several users of the far-right social network Parler appear to be among the hoard of rioters that managed to penetrate deep inside the U.S. Capitol building and into areas normally restricted to the public, according to GPS metadata linked to videos posted to the platform the day of insurrection in Washington.

Read more…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dell Cameron and Dhruv Mehrotra

Facebook pauses political spending in wake of Capitol attack


Facebook is halting its political spending for at least the first quarter of 2021 in the wake of last week’s violent insurrection at the Capitol.”Following last week’s awful violence in D.C., we are pausing all of…

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Mills Rodrigo

Stolen computers are the least of the government’s security worries


Reports that a laptop from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office was stolen during the pro-Trump rioters’ sack of the Capitol building has some worried that the mob may have access to important, even classified information. Fortunately that’s not the case — even if this computer and others had any truly sensitive information, which is unlikely, like any corporate asset it can almost certainly be disabled remotely.

The cybersecurity threat in general from the riot is not as high as one might think, as we explained yesterday. Specific to stolen or otherwise compromised hardware, there are several facts to keep in mind.

In the first place, the offices of elected officials are in many ways already public spaces. These are historic buildings through which tours often go, in which meetings with foreign dignitaries and other politicians are held, and in which thousands of ordinary civil servants without any security clearance would normally be working shoulder-to-shoulder. The important work they do is largely legislative and administrative — largely public work, where the most sensitive information being exchanged is probably unannounced speeches and draft bills.

But recently, you may remember, most of these people were working from home. Of course during the major event of the joint session confirming the electors, there would be more people than normal. But this wasn’t an ordinary day at the office by a long shot — even before hundreds of radicalized partisans forcibly occupied the building. Chances are there wasn’t a lot of critical business being conducted on the desktops in these offices. Classified data lives in the access-controlled SCIF, not on random devices sitting in unsecured areas.

In fact, the laptop is reported by Reuters as having been part of a conference room’s dedicated hardware — this is the dusty old Inspiron that lives on the A/V table so you can put your PowerPoint on it, not Pelosi’s personal computer, let alone a hard line to top secret info.

Even if there was a question of unintended access, it should be noted that the federal government, as any large company might, has a normal IT department with a relatively modern provisioning structure. The Pelosi office laptop, like any other piece of hardware being used for official House and Senate business, is monitored by IT and should be able to be remotely disabled or wiped. The challenge for the department is figuring out which hardware does actually need to be handled that way — as was reported earlier, there was (understandably) no official plan for a violent takeover of the Capitol building.

In other words, it’s highly likely that the most that will result from the theft of government computers on Jan. 6 will be inconvenience or at most some embarrassment should some informal communications become public. Staffers do gossip and grouse, of course, on both back and official channels.

That said, the people who invaded these offices and stole that equipment — some on camera — are already being arrested and charged. Just because the theft doesn’t present a serious security threat doesn’t mean it wasn’t highly illegal in several different ways.

Any cybersecurity official will tell you that the greater threat by far is the extensive infiltration of government contractors and accounts through the SolarWinds breach. Those systems are packed with information that was never meant to be public and will likely provide fuel for credential-related attacks for years to come.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Devin Coldewey