Tag Archives: Social Media

LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

As you may well know there is a group of activists here in Los Angeles, known as Stop LAPD Spying, which is dedicated to the goal of stopping LAPD from spying. Such a group is, sadly, really necessary because LAPD just will not stop spying. From the famous red squad to the present, they just will not cut it out. And one of the forms LAPD spying takes in the present day is the monitoring of social media accounts and the dissemination of so-called intelligence gathered there. For instance, in 2017 dedicated LAPD social media stalkers learned of an unpermitted demonstration planned by a group called Code Pink, and they emailed a bunch of security people and BIDs Downtown about it and possibly even sent cops to the event.

And just today I learned of another such incident, this time involving LAPD’s Transit Services Division. It seems that Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles was planning a protest for April 22, 2019 to take place on the Red Line train, although the location was not at first revealed. As folks will do these days they coordinated it via social media, and the TSD was watching. And screenshotting. And disseminating their work to various private security companies, who sent it along to their clients, which include business improvement districts.

I learned of this from an April 21, 2019 email sent by Brian Raboin of Allied Universal Security to his clients, including the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Raboin quotes extensively from an LAPD email that I don’t yet have a copy of, in which it’s revealed that not only was TSD monitoring Extinction Rebellion’s social media, but that the Media Relations Division was as well. There is a transcription of this email below. And Raboin also sent an attachment consisting of thirteen pages of screenshots from various Extinction Rebellion social media pages. Selected images from this document appear below as well.

On April 22, 2019 Extinction Rebellion announced via Facebook that the protest would take place, or at least start out, at Universal City Station. And, even more ominously in the jaundiced view of these cops and their henchies in private security, recommended that participants wear “clothes that can get stained.” The police sent out an update immediately and Raboin forwarded it along to his clients. That’s the story. I’ll leave the moral for you to formulate.

But it’s essential to continue to piece together evidence about what LAPD can monitor, what they do monitor, and with whom they share the fruits of their monitoring. Just yesterday it seems like the whole human population of New York City rose up against violent overpolicing on their subways. And the whole human population of Los Angeles can see that we have the same problem and that it might well lead to the same kind of reaction. So it’s worth remembering while we’re organizing, friends and fellow humans, that the cops are reading our Twitters.
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LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s 2018 Notice On LAPD Use Of Personal Social Media Accounts Does Not Bode Well For Officer Sean Dinse’s Renewed Participation In Former LAPD Volunteer Fern Peskin-White’s Private Anti-Homeless Vigilante Facebook Group — Not To Mention The Fact That He Rejoined Seemingly In Defiance Of A Direct Order

No doubt you recall the whole to-do out in the far west Valley having to do with former LAPD volunteer Fern Peskin-White and her various secret anti-homeless vigilante Facebook groups, highly problematic for having LAPD officers as members even as other members were cracking jokes about burning out the zombies and any number of other horrific forms of terrorism.

So Valley Chief Jorge Rodriguez convened a public meeting a few weeks ago and he and Chief Michel Moore announced that LAPD officers would no longer participate in these vigilante groups. But then, apparently in violation of a direct order from his superior officer, Sean Dinse rejoined the group on Friday, September 27, 2019.

I have heard some speculation about the relevance of the fact that Dinse rejoined using his personal Facebook account rather than an official LAPD account, and I thought that it might be a good time to review a 2018 notice by Chief Michel Moore on LAPD use of social media which covers precisely this issue.

Note that I wrote about this item a few months ago in relation to a larger release of records having to do with LAPD and social media. The current episode with Dinse and the vigilante anti-homeless Facebook groups gives it a currency and a context that it did not have at that time, so I think it’s worth bringing up again. The key bit here is that, according to Moore,
Continue reading LAPD Chief Michel Moore’s 2018 Notice On LAPD Use Of Personal Social Media Accounts Does Not Bode Well For Officer Sean Dinse’s Renewed Participation In Former LAPD Volunteer Fern Peskin-White’s Private Anti-Homeless Vigilante Facebook Group — Not To Mention The Fact That He Rejoined Seemingly In Defiance Of A Direct Order

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Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

I’ve been looking into official City of LA uses of social media. In particular I have some interesting results on Twitter use, especially blocking behavior, by Council offices and the City Attorney and by Police Commission boss Steve Soboroff. I’m also trying to understand the City’s policies regarding social media, and I recently obtained a number of really interesting records about this from the LAPD. They are all available here on Archive.Org and there are links to the individual files below:

2012 Notice from Charlie Beck regarding LAPD use of social media — This is a very primitive first attempt at an LAPD social media policy. Beck says that they’re working on a comprehensive policy, but meanwhile he reminds everyone that “Department employees who choose to use social media sites for personal use or Department-related activities are reminded to adhere to Department policies and procedures, including but not limited to [policies on ] Conduct Unbecoming an Officer, Endorsement of Products and Services, Confidential Nature of Department Records, Reports, and Information, … and the Department’s Law Enforcement Code of Ethics.”

2015 LAPD Social Media User Guide — This is a really important item. It’s the LAPD’s comprehensive guide to social media use for official, personal, and investigative purposes. There’s a transcription of some parts of this fascinating item after the break, mostly the part on how LAPD uses fictitious online personas during investigations. This is a particularly timely issue right now as such profiles often violate terms of service, e.g. Facebook’s, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has taken up the matter.

It also has a lot of bizarro-world examples of how cops can use social media to improve the world, e.g. “After an officer-involved shooting, the watch commander used social media to identify and dispel rumors. He/She clarified the facts by disseminating information from the press release, resulting in an increase of public support for the police department.”

2018 Chief of Detectives notice on preservation of social media accounts for investigative purposes — Exactly what it sounds like. Instructions on how to ask the service providers to preserve accounts that are evidence and, obviously, a warning that “Officers shall not login to any personal accounts to view content related to any investigation. This may inadvertently connect personal accounts to those of suspects, victims, or witnesses, or otherwise compromise sensitive investigations.”

2018 Guidance from Michel Moore on Official and Personal Social Media Accounts — Another really important item here. In particular Moore orders officers who want to create official accounts, even those personal official accounts, to get permission from the public information division (PID) first. Captains and above aren’t required to ask permission but they are required to inform the PID when they create an account and provide information about it.

Moore also gives some really thoughtful advice that, I believe, is widely ignored by his subordinates: “Employees using an official Department social media account generally should not block or mute users or followers unless failure to do so impacts public or officer safety. Absent exigent circumstances, personnel shall first consult with the PID for direction prior to blocking or muting a user participating in an official Department social media account.” There’s much more here than my summary can do justice to and you really ought to read the whole thing. There’s also a transcription of this after the break.

LAPD Labor Relations Unit discussion of social media and photography policies — I didn’t even realize that the LAPD had a Labor Relations Unit until the responsive records came in. This is a hugely document in that the LRU evidently didn’t have any actual records to hand over but they responded to the various elements of my request in writing. Agencies certainly aren’t required to do this but it’s really nice when they do.

In particular they reveal that they do actively monitor social media accounts and websites of unions, which I find a little creepy, but I suppose that as long as they stick to monitoring rather than participating and also only look at public stuff there’s not much to be done about it. It’s internally contradictory, which invites detailed further study. E.g. they both admit to videotaping labor actions and at the same time deny that they do. Turn the page for transcribed selections from this and other records discussed above.
Continue reading Presenting Copies Of LAPD Social Media Policies And Guidelines — Including Comprehensive Handbook Promulgated In 2015 By Charlie Beck — Explaining How To Use Social Media In Investigations — Fictitious Online Personas On Social Media — Community Relations — And So On — Also Info From LAPD Labor Relations Unit — On How Cops Comport Themselves At Labor Actions — Like They Evidently Videotape Them And Use A Decibel Meter To Prove Code Violations — But They Also Deny Videotaping Labor Actions — And More!

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Christmas Comes Early for Apple Fanboy Steven Whiddon

Apple fanboy Steven Whiddon wondering if he's going to get a MacBook Pro or a lump of coal
Apple fanboy Steven Whiddon wondering if he’s going to get a MacBook Pro or a lump of coal
About 22% (seriously, almost 14 minutes) of the October 23, 2014, meeting of the Hollywood Media District BID Board of Directors was devoted to an interminable discussion about buying new computers for the BID’s secret headquarters on Highland Avenue. You don’t have to watch the whole damn thing, and we have links to various subclips after the break. The upshot is that Steven asks the Board for $7000 to buy a MacBook Pro, a Mac desktop, and an iPad and they vote to give it to him.
Continue reading Christmas Comes Early for Apple Fanboy Steven Whiddon

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