Aug 8th, 2010 by Peter Young
Updated August 9th, 2010 Voice of the Voiceless
Activists beware: FBI informant Darren Thurston now a “computer security” expert
After Darren Thurston’s release from prison, the informant in the Green Scare A.L.F. / E.L.F. case has resurfaced as a computer security consultant.
A warning to anyone who has received computer security services from someone going by hard_mac, or rad_boy: Your consultant was once working for the FBI, and may still be.
Thurston became an asset for the federal government in the Green Scare case after his arrest on arson charges for the 2001 torching by the Animal Liberation Front of a BLM wild horse holding barn in Susanville, California. In exchange for reduced charges, he implicated several others in serious arsons. Among them was Justin Solondz, who is serving a three year sentence in China on unrelated charges after being arrested there while a fugitive.
There is additional information about Thurston that may be of concern to activists. From Vancouver Anarchist Online Archive:
“Vancouver lawyer Peter Edelmann (who sometimes works for activists) confirmed in early 2010 that Darren Thurston has been working for him in his legal office since sometime not long after Thurston’s return to Vancouver in late 2008. This opens the possibility of breaches of lawyer-client confidentiality, given Thurston’s signed and sealed agreement to give information on other activists to the FBI.”
One point bears repeating: Thurston entered into a plea agreement which remains sealed, and which he himself has never made public. The terms of the plea agreement are unknown, and may include working for the FBI / Canadian authorities after his release.
Thurston’s computer security consulting site can be viewed here.
Perhaps not by coincidence, there is information another government informant, Justin Samuel, has also gone into the computer security field. Samuel provided 86 pages of testimony, and perhaps additional undocumented information, to prosecutors investigating mink releases in 1999.
It is possible the FBI has found the perfect niche for former activists who have switched sides: giving them “expert”-status and putting them in charge of sensitive data on others computers. Warrants may be unnecessary when the FBI has a “man on the inside”.
- Peter Young