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Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:44 PM

Revealed: walkie-talkie app Zello hosted far-right groups who stormed Capitol

Source: The Guardian

Audio and chat logs show insurrectionists communicated via the app, which has avoided proactive content moderation

...
“We are in the main dome right now,” said a female militia member, speaking on Zello, her voice competing with the cacophony of a clash with Capitol police. “We are rocking it. They’re throwing grenades, they’re frickin’ shooting people with paintballs, but we’re in here.”
...
“Jess, do your shit,” said another. “This is what we fucking lived up for. Everything we fucking trained for.”
...
The Zello user who described breaking into the Capitol building appears to be Jessica Watkins, a 38-year-old bartender from Ohio, who admitted to participating in the insurrection. Watkins told the Ohio Capital Journal she was the leader of a local militia called the Ohio State Regular and a member of the national Oath Keepers militia.

The username of the Zello profile in question, “OhioRegularsActual – Oathkeeper”, matches Watkins’s militia affiliations, referencing the Ohio State Regulars, Oath Keepers, and her role as a militia leader through the inclusion of “Actual” in her virtual “radio callsign”.



Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/13/zello-app-us-capitol-attack-far-right



Many more details at the link for this rather long article.

34 replies, 3308 views

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply Revealed: walkie-talkie app Zello hosted far-right groups who stormed Capitol (Original post)
Denzil_DC Jan 13 OP
C_U_L8R Jan 13 #1
Chin music Jan 13 #3
brewens Jan 13 #5
barbtries Jan 13 #2
C Moon Jan 13 #4
barbtries Jan 14 #12
msongs Jan 13 #6
Miigwech Jan 13 #7
Denzil_DC Jan 13 #11
barbtries Jan 14 #13
Talitha Jan 13 #8
Miguelito Loveless Jan 13 #9
Bernardo de La Paz Jan 13 #10
christx30 Jan 14 #15
orangecrush Jan 14 #14
realityphantom Jan 14 #16
Lonestarblue Jan 14 #17
orangecrush Jan 14 #18
marble falls Monday #25
Denzil_DC Jan 14 #19
realityphantom Jan 15 #21
Denzil_DC Jan 15 #22
Post removed Monday #23
marble falls Monday #26
Denzil_DC Monday #27
marble falls Monday #28
Denzil_DC Monday #29
marble falls Monday #30
Denzil_DC Monday #31
marble falls Monday #33
Denzil_DC Monday #32
marble falls Monday #34
marble falls Monday #24
Nitram Jan 14 #20

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:49 PM

1. Paintballs? Really?

I thought the terrorists were supposed to be the cosplayers.

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)


Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:56 PM

5. They must mean those pepper balls. They said being teargassed the whole way, probably

the same thing.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:52 PM

2. put her on the

"to be arrested" list.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #2)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 10:56 PM

4. I think they should hold off on arrests until President Biden is active.

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Response to C Moon (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 12:03 AM

12. i don't.

I want as many as possible of them locked up or charged at the very least before the inauguration.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:02 PM

6. so if they're using quotes that means they have recording, correct? otherwise it is not

and exact quote but like those red text quotes in the new testament

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:05 PM

7. Is this the same woman? from 2013



A Chillicothe woman tearfully told a Peoria County judge Thursday she thought daily about the fatal accident she was involved in last year and wished she could trade places with the victims.

PEORIA — A Chillicothe woman tearfully told a Peoria County judge Thursday she thought daily about the fatal accident she was involved in last year and wished she could trade places with the victims.

“I am so very sorry,” Jessica Watkins said as she read from a one-page statement just before she was sentenced to five years in prison.



https://www.pjstar.com/article/20130920/news/309209872

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Response to Miigwech (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:23 PM

11. No, different Jessica Watkins.

The Jessica Watkins in the OP is a bartender in Champaign County, Ohio. Among many other activities.

https://www.citybeat.com/news/blog/21147932/ohio-bartender-and-her-militia-drove-to-dc-to-join-the-capitol-breach

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Response to Miigwech (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 12:07 AM

13. could be.

it was in 2013, she would have been out of prison by 2017. She's a bartender, people who tend bar tend to be drinkers. But i don't know. There's an astronaut by that name too, according to google.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:13 PM

8. Paintballs - I'd heard there was 'red stuff' on some of the Capitol's statuary... was that it?

Also -
I'm not at all religious (but VERY Spiritual) and have been privately praying for Joe and his incoming administration. Good grief, they're being handed a helluva shit sandwich next week!

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:16 PM

9. So, shutting down the cell towers in the area

will cut off their comms.

Good to know.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Wed Jan 13, 2021, 11:19 PM

10. "everything we trained for". There is a lot of seditious conspiracy up and down. . . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 01:28 AM

15. Some of the House reps have said some

of their colleagues took people on a tour the previous day, people that were later arrested for participating in the riot. Reconnaissance mission?
I’ve seen other video from the riot with them meeting during the place, with a woman with a bullhorn giving orders, others saying “we need more people over here!” And she’s saying, “you should coordinate together is you’re going to take this building.”
Anyone that says it wasn’t a planned, and inside job is either a fool, or in on it.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 01:18 AM

14. She is "actually"


Fucked now.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 04:23 AM

16. I'm certain I will be branded a trouble maker but...

 

Last edited Thu Jan 14, 2021, 04:58 AM - Edit history (1)

My biggest problem with the Gaurdian's article and most takes on digital platforms is that no one seems to make a differentiation between services and platforms.

Zello is not a platform, you cannot publicly post content to be seen by the service's users at mass. Zello is a messenger. Watkins was a member of a Radiogroup made up of people who were participating in conversation about the Capital operation. However despicable or moronic their actions, the Zello messenger and it's company deserves no backlash. It would be like trying to go after phone carriers for allowing them to text about they're behavior via SMS

Trying to normalize the concept of moderation in messaging services makes us no better than China and how they actively change people's messages in private conversations in WeChat to fit a narrative.

This group was stupid enough to use Zello, an unecrypted voice messager that just so happened to have some of it's messages downloaded and leaked. This should be something that concerned people look for when trying to make sense of senseless events such as the DC operation. Pushing on companies like Zello will either see us with public messaging options that have spying built in or will cause them to remove themselves from our market all together. Either scenario will cause the domestic terrorists to adapt and become adept in other communications that are harder to detect, record and leak.

(Speaking on all of this as an individual with decades of communications experience)

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Response to realityphantom (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 07:21 AM

17. Excellent information. Thanks.

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Response to realityphantom (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 07:35 AM

18. If the survival



Of the republic that gives us our liberties is at stake, all bets are off, imo..

When you have people invading the Capitol for the purpose of murdering elected officials, I would say that constitutes an emergency.

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Response to orangecrush (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 08:43 AM

25. At the very least.

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Response to realityphantom (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 08:52 AM

19. Zello has terms of service which it has struggled to enforce.

It's similar in that sense to platforms (I'll stick to that term as I don't think your distinction is meaningful or helpful) like Facebook, Twitter and Parler etc., which also allow private messaging as part of their services or include closed groups which are not accessible by all. The very forum on which you've posted has rules about acceptable content which you signed up to before you could post - nobody twisted your arm, and you were free to take your views elsewhere if you felt them too restrictive.

Are you seriously suggesting that these platforms should be a free for all because of some misplaced adherence to libertarianism?

Anyway, my intent with posting the OP was to draw attention to the degree of organization and prior intent among the insurrectionists. The argument about Web privacy is a different issue.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 15, 2021, 12:55 AM

21. A Radio group..

 

Is hardly an indication of organization.

I don't feel it's up to the companies to moderate acceptable content unless it's public facing and in the event they are charged with doing so, we need to have standards to notify users before they use a service that communications are being monitored on the company end.

Having done this as a hobby and a career for many years, it's a given that the Government is always listening or attempting to, however there is a certain expectation or value to knowing a company providing a service of communication keeps things at least private from themselves.

It's this conversations that has me zealously advocate for good old radio communication. Learn about antennas, transmitters and legal encryption folks.

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Response to realityphantom (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 15, 2021, 01:07 AM

22. "A Radio group.. Is hardly an indication of organization."

I can only assume you haven't read the article linked in the OP, or even the brief extracts of their exchanges in the OP itself. Your statement there is nonsense.

You seem to be claiming that companies have no responsibility for the uses to which their platforms and services are put. The law - and their own terms of service which users sign up to - disagree with you.

Indeed, your main concern is that these poor insurrectionists should have used encrypted communications to preserve their privacy. I don't think that argument will fly with many, but your concern is noted.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #22)


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 08:44 AM

26. Thanks for putting that so clearly.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:18 AM

27. Oh, I suspect a number of us might have done a better job if they'd been the ones replied to.

I couldn't really figure out where our new friend was coming from with all this. I guess I'll never know as he's now been PPR'd before I could read his latest bulletin.

I won't miss this disjointed exchange!

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:38 AM

28. I think he's an OG Ham Radio man. I think he's in his 60-70's a Truman Democrat ...

... a little conservative who has an educated interest in freedom of electronic speech. Also, a bit of a short temper when challenged and a habit of breezing over a ToS.

But I was wrong about the CFD guy, too.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:46 AM

29. Possibly.

Had I seen his latest response and he'd persisted in promoting encrypted radio communication, I would have responded with this (my bold):

The US government is warning that groups could rely on radio equipment as an alternative to social media to plan future criminal activities.

In a stark warning Sunday, the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau said people coordinating or conducting criminal activity over radio waves are breaking the law.

"The Bureau has become aware of discussions on social media platforms suggesting that certain radio services regulated by the Commission may be an alternative to social media platforms for groups to communicate and coordinate future activities," the FCC said in its warning Sunday. "Individuals using radios in the Amateur or Personal Radio Services in this manner may be subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and, in some cases, criminal prosecution."

The FCC licenses certain signals for people to broadcast over radio waves. Those messages are generally protected by the US Constitution's First Amendment. But the FCC reminded radio licensees and operators that it is prohibited to transmit "communications intended to facilitate a criminal act." People are also not allowed to encode their messages to obscure their meaning from law enforcement.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/17/tech/fcc-radio-extremist-social-media-attack/index.html

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:48 AM

30. And I bet NSA is all over it.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:52 AM

31. I'm pretty old school myself.

I was a bit of an NVDA activist in my younger years. We had concrete evidence our phone conversations were being intercepted and we were being surveilled in various other ways, including agents provocateurs.

Even to this day I don't assume anything I communicate via whatever medium is private.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 11:44 AM

33. I haven't assumed privacy since the sixties. I do not fly since I started winning every ...

... "random passenger" search. My first FBI search was in O'Hare in '72 while in uniform.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 10:59 AM

32. An afterthought:

If there's one surefire way to attract organizations like the NSA's attention, it's to use encryption. If someone wants to pit themselves against their resources in a battle of the bytes, it's unlikely to be a winning proposition.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 11:45 AM

34. The whole thing has a certain "Spy vs Spy" aspect to it.

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Response to realityphantom (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 18, 2021, 08:42 AM

24. Good information. But Zello still holds at least some responsibility.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Thu Jan 14, 2021, 11:45 AM

20. "This is everything...we trained for." Wow!

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