Flying the friendly skies

For much of this year, I flew and drove back and forth between Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, commuting to work whenever I could on contract with a network security firm. I had lost a lengthy contract with Microsoft after the likely hoax of a root kit on my computer at the opening of the mobbing and had to be flexible to stay employed. The Bay Area offered a lot of opportunity and, I hoped, my trips down would give me respite from the mobbing and allow to me to continue working to expose the crime.

Unfortunately, the mobbing continued through every leg of each of my journeys to California, through light rail and cab ride, through security and into secured areas of both Seattle-Tacoma and Oakland airports. What should be of specific concern to authorities is that the mobbing continued, even on the plane.

Nearly all of my flights were on the Boeing 737 classic series, characterized by Wikipedia.org as a narrow-body, medium range aircraft. With a cabin at once elegant and comfortable, the 737 classic is well suited to the Seattle-to-Oakland run along a corridor heavily traveled by the business class as well as by tourists and families.

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The Boeing 737 classic offers “flight amenities” that include “inflight wi-fi.” This service allows you, the traveler, to connect to an onboard wireless network and to “surf, work, and be social.” The traveler who wishes to avail herself of the wireless service is instructed by a brochure supplied in the seat-back pouch before her to turn on wi-fi when the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet altitude and connect to the “gogoinflight” network.

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Other amenities include USB ports as well as 110 volt outlets for charging.

Given the prevalence of wireless networks in the mobbing, I could assume that onboard wireless is what gives the hackers access to me. But shouldn’t the wireless network be locked down? After all, wireless systems are the easiest to crack and provide an entry point for movement across an otherwise protected network.

An April 15, 2015 article in the Daily Mail cites a U.S. government report that hackers can infiltrate flight systems and take over cockpit controls by using Internet access increasingly provided for customers on commercial flights. (Fears terrorists could use on-board WiFi to hack into flight systems and crash passenger plane, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-3039742/Fears-terrorists-use-board-WiFi-hack-flight-crash-passenger-planes.html) The report explains that while cockpit controls are separated from passenger entertainment and Internet services, updates to legacy aircraft systems commonly result in wi-fi systems that share routers or internal wiring. To solve the problem, airlines resort to the use of firewalls between systems, a stopgap measure that is inadequate because firewalls can be hacked. The report emphasizes, “Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors.

Recent research additionally shows that even an air-gapped system, that is, a physically isolated computer, is no longer safe. A July 2015 article in Wired reported on Israeli researchers’ breach of the air-gap using the GSM network in combination with “electromagnetic waves and a basic low-end mobile phone.” (Researchers Hack Air-Gapped Computer With Simple Cell Phone, http://www.wired.com/2015/07/researchers-hack-air-gapped-computer-simple-cell-phone/)

Because the air-gap serves high-security environments, researchers warned that “devices capable of intercepting RF signals” should be prohibited. The article further cites 2014 research demonstrating that even the radio signals from a computer video card can enable an attack by a smartphone with an FM radio receiver. In the end, researchers discovered they could wirelessly exfiltrate data from up to 30 meters away and though exterior walls, by using a dedicated receiver. An August 2015 CNN article claims “[hackers] can just infect an office printer and—with software alone—turn it into a radio.” A photograph shows Ang Cui, a scientist from Red Balloon Security, standing over a hacked printer as it transmits radio waves to an antenna. (How your washing machine can steal computer files, http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/05/technology/radio-hack/)

The essential vulnerability then, is not in the physical media that networks devices together. The vulnerability is intrinsic to radio. But what airline is going to tell its business class customers they cannot fly with radios?

Because of their wireless network capabilities, cell phones and laptops are treated differently. Devices that have wireless capabilities send signals when they are in transmit mode. These transmissions can interfere with aircraft systems in flight and with wireless systems on the ground. For this reason, wireless use is regulated by the FCC and the FAA and the use of wireless is permitted only where an on-board wireless network that is specified to accommodate the transmissions of those signals is extended for customer use.

But when cell phones have controls for cellular use, for wireless use, and for use as a wireless hot spot, things get complicated. For this reason, the use of cell phones for voice communications in flight is prohibited.

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A few months back, when it dawned on me that the mobbers might be using radio to harass me, I found RadioReference.com. Actually, maybe what led to my finding this site was realizing that family of one of those mobbing me has call letters.

What stood out right away was some mysterious forum titled “Software Defined Radio.” A quick search assured me that hackers were “very excited” about it. In a moment, the low-tech and high-tech techniques of mobbing came together in radio spectrum.

Early on in the mobbing, when I was purchasing cheap RF detectors and going room-to-room looking for devices planted in my walls, the mobbers attempted to heighten my fear by allowing me to “overhear statements” about “all the RF” they had going through my home. They warned that I would get cancer if I didn’t “get out” immediately.

As it turns out, all of our homes are shot through with RF—radio frequency—and with increasing numbers of home appliances working the ultra high frequency (UHF) band, the waves are rising. You can find an informative DefCon (the hackers’ conference) presentation on SDR entitled All Your RFz Are Belong to Us: Hacking the Wireless World with Software Defined Radio on YouTube.

In radio spectrum, there’s a frequency for everything, and everything has a frequency. On a software-defined radio, signal processing is done in software instead of hardware. This allows a single SDR to transmit and receive a wide variety of radio protocols or “waveforms”. The result is a software application able to bridge bands across the spectrum.

I got a cheap NooElec USB dongle with antenna and remote control this week and found a companion volume on the use of SDR on Amazon.com, The Hobbyist’s Guide to the RTL-SDR: Really Cheap Software Defined Radio. My attention was immediately drawn to the sections on using SDR to receive data from the ACARS and ADS-B aircraft radio systems.

ACARS is the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System. Get an SDR and you can listen in on the status messages sent between planes and ground stations to mark the phases of a flight, for example, reports of taking flight or touching down. Standard ACARS transmits on the VHF band, usually 131.550 MHz. Some ACARS messages may be sent by satellite or on the HF band.

ADS-B is Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast, the system used by the Mode-S transponder on a plane to broadcast information about location and altitude to other aircraft and air traffic controllers. According to The Hobbyist’s Guide, if you pair the RTL-SDR radio with a good antenna, you can listen in on ADS-B signals from as far as 290 miles away. ADS-B transmits at 1090 MHz and the data is not encrypted.

Whether either of these two systems could provide entry points for intrusions by hackers who are not already onboard an aircraft is unknown to me.

The Hobbyist’s Guide also includes sections on Monitoring Military Aircraft and Real-time Cockpit Instrument Display.

Historically, the argument against the proliferation of personal devices on aircraft has centered on radio interference. In 1966, FM radio interference was the major concern of the FAA.

CNN writers Mike M. Ahlers and Rene Marsh insist there is evidence that electronic devices have contributed to interference on planes. Portable electronic devices are unlikely to be the sole cause of an accident, they say, but the FAA remains interested in them as contributors to accidents that could occur. (Can your cell phone bring down a plane, http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/23/travel/cell-phones-devices-on-airplanes/)

The article describes a visit to the Boeing Electromagnetic Interference Lab in Seattle, in which a laptop computer was placed within range of an antenna to show how it affected airplane radio frequencies. The test showed that the laptop could potentially interfere with VFR (visual flight rules) radios on the plane. The lab engineer explained that pilots must work around any interference that occurs and that this added work can become an issue during “critical phases of flight” such as takeoff and landing, when the pilot must be focused on the safety of the aircraft.

The article cited study findings by the International Air Transport Association that from 2003 to 2009, pilots reported 75 cases of suspected electronic device interference, including interference from mobile phones. Pilots found that when passengers shut off the devices, the interference ceased. The report concluded that most aircraft systems, including communication and navigation systems as well as flight controls, were vulnerable.

The FAA recommends that devices remain off until aircraft are at 10,000 feet. This is the standard that Alaska airlines references in its brochure on wi-fi and other flight amenities.

The difficulty is in controlling the human factors and the ever-present unintended consequences. Criminal real estate speculators who are willing to follow and harass their victims in the air are one of the wildcards in the deck. Onboard electronic communications systems should at least be hardened against rogue operators and shielded from interference. Perhaps a mobbing victim could then get a few minutes of peace.

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It would be in keeping if the mobbers harassed me on flights over the wireless entertainment system. I’ve temporarily quieted them before by plugging a headphone into a jack or muting the volume of a computer. They’re not using my cell phone on the plane because my cell phone and the wireless connection on my cell phone and computer are always off when they are not in use. I keep everything shut off when I’m not making a call or using the phone as a music player in my car, something that regrettably gives the mobbers a pretty good platform for harassment.

Other possibilities include cellular access over the cell phones of others on board the plane. Just like anywhere I go since the mobbing started in May of 2014, when I’m on a plane and my seatmate is using a smart phone, I hear the harassment more. But why would hackers go for the cellular network when wi-fi is the easiest and the most unlikely network for any breach to be detected? Perhaps they use cell phones that have wireless service turned on.

Another theme in the mobbing is the following with harassment by public address and wireless systems. In a recent example of this type of monkey-wrenching, hackers broadcast pornography over a public address system at Target.

Perhaps what makes mobbers mobbers is that they’ll use any means available to them to hack, hoax or harass a victim out of their home. This might begin at home, but they show no reluctance to monitor and harass on the freeway, at the bank, at the worksite, or on the plane.

The fact that the mobbers can almost seamlessly harass me from airport to airport and on the flights between them, however, is deeply troubling. As a general rule, I leave my own cell phone off. At the outset of the mobbing, I had no cell phone; now I disable cellular, wireless, and GPS tracking on the phone I have as much as possible. The most likely means would seem to include:

  • Public address systems in airports, especially those connected to wireless networks
  • Public address systems on aircraft
  • Wireless networks offered on aircraft
  • Speakers on the devices of fellow travelers with wireless enabled
  • Speakers on the devices of fellow travelers with cellular service enabled

There’s something terribly wrong with this picture. Here we are, going to an airport patrolled by local police, the TSA and federal agents, we present our identification and must prove that we have legitimate business past the security gates. We take off our shoes, our coats, remove everything from our pockets and make our luggage available for x-ray scanning. We walk through imaging machines to show we have secreted no weapons, some of us are patted down and others of us are checked for explosive residue. We go to great lengths to secure the safety of domestic and international travel from airport to airport. How is it possible to be harassed in secure areas of the airport and even on an airplane?

It seems likely that this would work to some extent as it does when I’m outside anywhere. Because they monitor my home, the mobbers know when I’m flying and what flight I’m going to be on. Monitoring allows my position in space to be tracked, regardless of whether I carry a portable device. Once my location is known, it can be mapped against access points on a wireless network or even just the wireless speakers of a building public address system. The easiest thing might be to follow me on others’ portable devices. Since a prominent feature of mobbing seems to be harassment that isolates and is difficult to prove, I’ve also speculated on whether, at least in Seattle, I am followed from a distance. But that only works up to a certain point, and where I’ve typically stayed in California, the harassment has increased with the number of wireless access points in the house. Conversely, the few times I ended up on a flight on an aircraft about two-thirds of the size of the 737, an aircraft lacking on-board wi-fi and entertainment, the flight was much quieter.

The persistence of the mobbers in harassing under the gaze of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other airport and flight security personnel raises questions about the security of the communication systems at airports. Should hackers and harassers be able intrude on personal and public communications systems in secured areas? If hackers can put pornography on the Target public address system, what could a terrorist do with the public address system at an airport? And does passenger use of portable devices in the terminal make our airports insecure?

 

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Get your boarding pass

On being mobbed documents a real estate mobbing, also known as “property mobbing” or “mobbing,” in Seattle, Washington. The property being “mobbed” is the property some speculators want to “turn over” and acquire for redevelopment and speculation. In this case, the property is my home.

My neighborhood,  overlooking Lake Washington, is being razed and rebuilt house by house. For almost two years, I have been continually harassed in my home by “mobbers” who work from flanking houses owned by real estate speculators or house flippers. There are four captains of the neighborhood watch living in houses within 100 yards, all of them on friendly terms with the mobbers.

Mobbing is clearly an organized crime and probably constitutes racketeering under federal law. But the harassment that is intended to evict me, the tenant, while it includes multiple felonies like stalking, cyber-stalking, and monitoring, is effected using means that are difficult for a victim to report as well as difficult for police to understand.

Network security methodologies used to detect intrusions are based on changes that can be detected in files or in computer processes; for example, the addition of a malware file, or the suspicious use of a process. These methods focus on data or material “indicators of compromise” (IOCs).

But mobbers who hack work for people with money, or at least they work for themselves or for those who want to appear to make money legally. So hacking for real estate is more likely to involve silent methods of intrusion, like packet sniffers working off of a shared Comcast line or following over wireless networks.

Mobbers use these methods to get to know their victim, her habits, her vulnerabilities, and her secrets. But to “clear” victims out of the target properties, mobbers lurk. They lurk on wireless networks, they make use of radios and public PA systems. They lurk to babble, to harangue, and to harass.

Later on today or tonight I’ll post an entry on being mobbed while flying, Flying the friendly skies. Mobbers, like a lot of hackers, are interested in all things radio. So, based on my own first-hand experience, there’s no reason why a pack of property-hungry mobbers would let a “target” just fly off on some jet plane to work out of town when the going gets rough. Where there’s a radio, there’s a way.

But every action has a reaction, most have unintended consequences, and radio systems have interference. How do mobbers follow their victims onto planes? Moreover, is it safe when they do?

Citizens Band neighborhood networks

I began to write notes for this topic in early December, while listening to a recording of President Roosevelt’s first Fireside Chat on March 12, 1933. As soon as I turned up the volume to the crackling transmission of FDR addressing the American people about the actions that would be necessary to respond to the banking crisis, a female voice spoke over his. “Get out! Get out!” she said, again and again.

This is how I live here in my northeast Seattle neighborhood with captains of the neighborhood watch within houses of me.

I noted the source of the harassment as being the speakers of my computer, on the Internet over Ethernet and a Century Link modem. That night, the harassment was most likely the woman with long dark hair I’d seen getting into a familiar Mazda SUV when I brought in the Christmas tree. Otherwise, it was likely the girlfriend of the owner of the other mobbing house, the one who seemed to take to the “queen bee” role in the mobbing but these days mostly stays out of sight. Either way, the voice was familiar to me from its participation in the mobbing.

But beyond the documentation I keep in anticipation of an investigation by police authorities, the criminals who call themselves “mobbers” as they attempt to harass me out of my home are of little interest to me. Now, weeks later, let’s get back to our own fireside chat.

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Radio is ubiquitous. So much so that when the harassing voices of the mobbers first appeared on my Proton radio alarm clock at the opening of the mobbing, it never occurred to me that all they needed was radio technology in order to transmit their voices onto my radio. It took nearly two years before I came across mention on the web of an easy technique using Citizens Band (CB) radio and a linear antenna to maliciously put sound on neighbors’ speakers. I haven’t written about it in detail yet, but hopefully I will soon, in a more extensive post on radio.

FDR took up radio as a method to communicate directly with the American public during the years of the Great Depression, years of homeless and hunger.

In neighborhoods where mobbing is suspected, good neighbors might also consider taking up radio, CB radio to be exact.

I haven’t yet tested my theory by completing programming of the Uniden scanner I purchased—I’ve been trying to get enough useful documentation of the crime itself on this blog so getting the radio set up has been on the back burner. But if the mobbers are using CB radio with a linear antenna to project sound onto speakers, it’s possible that anyone within range can use a scanner to hear it.

If you’re my neighbor, one of the good ones, or if you’re a good neighbor concerned that someone is doing this to others in your own neighborhood, consider setting up a community radio network. You could scan broadcasts to listen for any broadcast close by. The scanner I purchased has a feature that can automatically search for nearby broadcasts, as well as a feature that will save at least short segments of the broadcasts found to on-board memory. Hook the scanner up to a laptop with one of the applications written to make programming easy, and you can program from and save to the laptop. Start with Citizens Band, which apparently does not require a license to broadcast. This would make the Citizens Band attractive to mobbers. No license, no trace.

NOTE: There is apparently a Family Band that does not require licensing to use. If others experiencing radio-based harassment want to try setting up a scanner to legally listen and record nearby broadcasts, you’ll probably need to use the close call functionality of the scanner to check multiple bands.

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In the last weeks, I’ve also been learning a bit about software-defined radio (SDR), something which I’ve read that hackers are highly interested in. Turns out that with a “soft” radio, the only device you need these days is a processor. What’s more, it looks like, depending on the implementation, you can get one for next to nothing. I have one priced at about $20 on order from Amazon.com. Not sure exactly what you can transmit using SDR, but it looks like you can use a single software-defined radio to access most bands, including WiFi, Bluetooth, the aerial band used by planes, and more. And once you’re working from a computer, it’s easy to transfer information back and forth between the radio application and streaming applications, which could be pretty handy as a format used to send harassment based on their use by music players. Malware installed on the victim device could even silently stream harassment from web locations without downloading it in a manner that would make it available for forensic analysis. I note that this sort of thing would be most likely to occur on devices with WiFi always On. Finally packet information could also easily be shared between the radio application and packet sniffers like WireShark that can be used to silently lurk and steal information. This would be a handy way to record calls and even to replay them to the victim.

Early on in the mobbing my own mobbers insisted that they record nothing. It seemed a way to let me know that any search conducted on their premises would turn up nothing, that there would be no forensic evidence. As the mobbing progressed and I realized that it was possible for them to eavesdrop and to harass without physically planting devices in my home, it made sense to me that they would not record. After all, if you’re hired by people with money, you’re probably being hired because you can do the job without them, or you, getting caught. But it’s also possible, especially given the fact that I’ve heard bits of phone calls or conversations played back to me, that that was a lie to get me to give up, and give in. I note they also insisted early on that they had “all” of the email I ever written, which would be something of a recording.

Back to radio, there are a lot of videos on YouTube on SDR. Listen to a few of them and it will be clear just how far behind the game law enforcement is when it comes to technology. A lot of the reason why I have to research these things is to help the police to help me. Of course, if I could compile a software-defined radio that would only accept signals from NPR, maybe I could listen to The Moth without having the scumbucket criminals who hole up nearby putting harassment over my favorite show. If there might only be a way to use software-defined radio without being on the Internet, anyway.

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But back to neighborhood radio networks, if everyone on your block had a scanner programmed to pick up nearby broadcasts, that is, if everyone had access to the means of communication that mobbers might use to harass their victims, we could shut down at least some types of radio harassment. Perhaps police departments, including the Seattle Police, could even set up community radio stations in neighborhoods where people, like me, complain of racketeering and other felonies. The mobbers can’t monitor everyone.

Cheers.

 

The close-range technologies of mobbing

Proximity can be said to be the platform of mobbing. Whether actual or simulated, mobbing is all about constructing for the victim, the phenomenology of never being alone, and always being watched. This requires, in the manner of stalking, constant intrusion into the world of the victim.

This is where mobbing comes into its own.

On being mobbed introduces a series of entries describing the close-range methods of harassment that real estate mobbers use to force legal residents from their homes and to make them available for speculation. The first of these, soon to be posted, will talk about femtocells and other devices mobbers use to intercept your phone calls and break into your communications with harassment.

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you
All around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

—(They Long to be) Close To  You (1970), The Carpenters

Mobbers stalk you to monitor you.

The physical closeness of mobbers to their victim, feigned or otherwise, is crucial for the success of the mob. It is only through proximity that continual access to the victim is assured. Technology alone cannot guarantee the access required for continual monitoring and harassment of the victim. A victim who refuses to accept monitoring or does not understand its meaning may shut down a network connection, she may put a sticker over the camera on her laptop or keep her smartphone in a signal-blocking pocket. Wireless networks may be unreliable and, to the likely dismay of the mobbers, there are still a lot of people who live much of their lives offline. What’s more, though it’s debatable whether it’s more terrifying to be cyber-stalked by shadowy criminals or those you know, it’s probably easier to intimidate your victim out of reporting when she knows from your presence around her that she’ll be threatened for every report she makes.

To be complete, to assure an experience of end-to-end (and endless) harassment for the victim from the start of the mob ‘til the victim is expelled from the property the mobbers wish to acquire, the ideal is for the mobbers to surround the victim in his or her home.

Encirclement makes certain that regardless of the nature of the harassment—whether it is delivered over wi-fi or over the public address system at Whole Foods, the victim will come to understand that until she leaves her home, there is no chance that the mobbing will end. To flush out the victim of the mob, encirclement of the property to be acquired is the best strategy.

This is tenant clearing by mobbing.

The physical closeness has benefits for the mobbers. Besides benefitting from the inability of the victim to “escape,” the victim is forced every day to see those who are criminally harassing her pretending to be good people living normal lives while she must witness the public ridicule of those criminally harassing her as the “village idiot.”

Within easy range, the mobbers are also free to use a variety of close-range methods of harassing the victim. And within easy range, mobbers can use felony methods of harassment that may be less detectable because of their limited range.

 

 

Mobbing for “life”: Pro-life mobbers

The holiday season has been a time of intensified harassment for me. A lot of people are out of town, the neighborhood is even quieter than usual and the mobbers are under pressure to finally break me, to finally “get [me] out.”

I stack layers of sound board in front of the window panes in whatever part of the house I’m inhabiting. For daytime, it’s the dining, kitchen, and living room areas. At nighttime, it’s the bedroom.

The truck of the guy who owns the mobbing house to the north is gone and his tan Toyota sedan and the familiar Mazda used by those who come and spend the night is there, as it is many weekends. I haven’t seen the guy who owns the mobbing house to the south and his vehicle is out of site. But I have seen his girlfriend’s vehicle there a couple of times—she’s the one who said in court that they wouldn’t have children if I lived next door—and I do hear the voices I associate with her presence in the harassment. Now the guy with the red SUV is there; he was here yesterday and pulled in again this morning with the same child whose presence often coincides with the voice of a child in the mobbing. (For more on the incidence of children’s voices in the mobbing, look for a post I wrote a few weeks back, Fourth Rule of Mobbing.)

In that light, on this rainy December day, when the my modest view of Lake Washington is blocked by sound board, this post is about hypocrisy.

In the course of a real estate mobbing of nearly two years duration as mine as been, the harassers say many, many things— a lot of it garbage, a lot of it lies or stupid grandiose statements. It has often seemed that they spoke for each other more than for me, competing to see who could spin the wildest hoax about why I was being harassed from my home or to see whose words had the greatest effect on me. Constantly referring to themselves by the names of people in the neighborhood, out of my past or declaring to represent them; claiming to be traffic cops (attempting to criminalize me, the victim) and then to be attorneys (attempting to intimidate me by threats of civil suits); telling me that the therapist I’d most recently seen had put patient notes about me on the web (a lot of trumped up psychobabble and diagnoses attended this story) and then later, after I called her to see if it was true, openly attempting to dissuade me from seeing her again because the content of psychotherapy might be admissible in court. If these things seem extravagant to you, I assure you, there’s much, much more. So much so, that it will take weeks and perhaps months of time after the mobbing for me to recall even most of the hoaxes, the insults, and the other extraneous statements with which they’ve been mobbing me day-in and day-out since May of 2014. Some days, something comes to mind that I haven’t thought of in a while, or sometimes they suddenly throw in something they haven’t said in a while.

The burden of non-stop harassment is the immense liability of inadvertently disclosing information useful in prosecuting the crime during its commission. And while regaling me with wild stories and trying to impress each other with their monologues and mobbing double-talk, they’ve given me too much information.

So much the better.

These days they tend to rely on the repetition of a smaller set of insults, accusations and threats. I have wondered if these are the comments they hope will be so unbearable for me to hear that I will decamp from my legal home and scurry off, leaving them scot-free to go on mobbing and victimizing others for property or money or both. I have also wondered if they speak for themselves based on some half-assed psychological profile of me or whether they speak for those who hired them or whom they “represent.”

In other words, are the insults I am told repeated for the sadistic pleasure of, for example, the co-captain of the neighborhood watch who almost certainly invited this crime to be perpetrated against me? Does real estate mobbing offer an unparalleled chance for people who hate to vent their hatred without the penalties that would follow a murder? Or are the insults made to a purpose? For example, to hurt a person to the point where she would leave her home and not sue since the very repetition of those insults in court would humiliate the victim further? Lastly, is the purpose to fault the victim in order to distract from the real goal of the mobbing: Property acquisition.

In any case, I say mobbing is more about the people who mob than the one they mob. These people have turned out to be every bit as ugly and miserable as they seem.

I haven’t wanted to create an exhaustive listing of the things that I recall have been said for this website though I would hope to have the opportunity to be extensively interviewed by a forensic interviewer when the FBI finally involves themselves. But on this occasion, I do want to mention one of the utterances that has been repeated in the mobbing: This is the constant claim that I have “killed three girls,” sometimes that I’ve killed boys. Alongside that, there were claims made that they were from the pro-life movement (“We’re all pro-lifers here”).

Because of what has seemed to be a tendency to say anything and everything in hopes of coming across the thing that would cause me to pack my bags and leave my legal home because of criminal harassment, I’ve been skeptical of many of these statements. My assumption has been that they probe for reaction, that they want to frighten people into believing that they’ll spread rumors that will ruin his life or that the mobbers believe they might be able to arouse guilt in the victim if they make the right accusation. Specifically, I assumed they expect a woman who has had an abortion to have some deep-seated guilt about it that they can criminally exploit. There’s also the possibility they thought I might flee my home in fear of my life if a bunch of crazed “right-to-lifers” were after me.

That said, in case there is something to this one, I’m putting it on the record here. I wouldn’t be too surprised if some “right-to-lifers” (as they call themselves while they’re acting like vigilantes and assaulting or killing others who are exercising their legal rights) were going around harassing women who’ve had abortions or used the morning-after-pill out of their homes or if they were going after people who were otherwise outspoken about the right to choose.

I note that, according to the laws of the city of Seattle, targeting individuals based on political ideology is considered malicious harassment or a “bias” crime. Regardless of whether this crime is done in the name of property acquisition and influenced by anti-renter sentiment on the part of some in the neighborhood watch, the harassment has been chock-full of statements that show bias. Additionally, the predatory nature of the crime, revealed by the fact that it targets a single, middle-aged woman who lived alone at its outset and was intentionally surrounded by harassers… this should make the very fact of the crime a hate crime even if those who rent are not a protected class.

A few other things that have made me wonder about whether some of the mobbers actually justify what they are doing based on the pro-choice views of the victim include:

  • Before the mobbing, when I was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with what seemed to be going on around me, I tried to learn more about the people around me by looking online. I found a social networking page for the girlfriend of the owner of the mobbing house to the south. The page had one of those propaganda pictures on it that “pro-lifers” like to use, it might have been a picture of an aborted fetus or something. I saw it and went on.
  • One of the frequent visitors at the mobbing house to the north who I strongly associate with some of the harassment because of the timing of her stays had hanging from her rear-view mirror one of those sets of angel wings. I thought I remembered reading somewhere that that was a symbol of the “pro-life” movement.
  • The mobbers used to like to say that they were “moral hazard” patrols. (And I never even got a scarlet letter!)

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were real estate mobbers involved in the “pro-life” movement who thought it was just dandy to harass pro-choice people out of their homes. After all, there sure seem to be a lot of money-grubbing conservative Christians.  It would just be another hypocrisy from those who wear the mantle of “pro-life” while they physically assault and even murder others. Bombing an abortion clinic is considered a form of domestic terrorism; I have argued that real estate mobbing should be considered the same.

Attempting to justify real estate mobbing based on the victim’s views on abortion would just be another case of “pro-lifers” showing themselves for what they are by deciding that those who believe in choice don’t deserve the rights given to every citizen of this country under the law.

If a business deal was brokered to sell houses around me to mobbers who promised the nasty neighborhood watch they’d get rid of me, then those in the neighborhood watch who believe in choice for themselves would be even more guilty of instigating a violence against me, another woman. They would also be guilty of betraying their own convictions and using those who would deny all women choice in order to vent their spite.

And if the mobbers have deliberately made statements to indicate that they’re “pro-life” because they think it might make me uncomfortable, they’re using the “pro-life” movement in the commission of a crime, something that should be offensive to anyone who understands what it is to have strongly held beliefs about right and wrong.

One would wonder about the flexible morality implicit in acts like this. But then, mobbers are people with tongues glib and waggling, people whose talk is cheap. And as for any “pro-lifers” who would claim to defend their beliefs by criminally stalking, cyber-stalking, and harassing a woman for profit?

One’s most deeply held beliefs should always pay so well.

 Postscript: A more expensive vehicle, one that looks like that of the attorney pal of the owner, the attorney who co-wrote a brief that said the “only explanation” for the reports I made to the police of harassment was paranoid schizophrenia, pulled into the driveway of the south mobbing house as I edited this post. And as I returned to the computer and began to write this postscript, that vehicle departed.

 

 

The next platform for hacking is the sky

At this year’s DefCon, a technology conference for hackers, roboticist David Jordan presented his company’s Aerial Assault drone, a drone equipped with an arsenal of software tools for detecting and recording weaknesses and locations of within-range wireless networks.  An August 11 post to the Popular Science website on the Las Vegas conference is titled “DRONE AT DEFCON HACKS FROM THE SKY.” (http://www.popsci.com/drone-defcon-hacks-sky)

With the sky as network perimeter, a field of wireless networks become a battleground of targets. The drone can detect, hover over and hack a wireless network or relay the GPS coordinates back to its operator to slate a later attack. Kelsey Atherton, the writer of the Popular Science article, reminds us, “At their core, drones are little more than computers that fly.” The Aerial Assault drone is available to consumers for $2,500. Information from WikiLeaks, according to the same article, revealed that defense contractor Boeing was investigating the feasibility of a hacking drone for military applications earlier this year. With the integration of drones into the U.S. arsenal, where do we draw the line between hobby drones and weaponry?

Earlier models of hacking drones provided unprotected wireless networks that harvested data from users who unknowingly joined the service. (https://www.rt.com/usa/312072-aerial-assault-hacking-drone/) Such drones could hover and harvest data from corporate users on lunch breaks in public squares and other exterior environments.

Alongside developments such as these, 2015 brought the introduction of drones like the Skyjack, built to hack and control other drones in the sky or within radio range from Linux machines on the ground.

With flying hacker drones available to hackers and hobbyists, there must be a means for individuals hacked in this manner to begin to investigate intrusions and theft of data.

In my own experience, telling the police you suspect a cyber-crime has occurred meets with inaction and a reply that there is no probable cause. Yet, so far as I understand it, without a police referral there is no possibility of involving the FBI, the organization actually tasked with cyber-crime.

For an individual who is being hacked or monitored (without forensic “artifacts” that allow an intrusion to be traced) to have a chance of even discouraging surveillance by a hacker drone, it must be possible to trace ownership of a drone. If drones do not have flight plans for each time they lift off, in addition to having a transponder they should be restricted to operation in a limited airspace. The plan or area of flight should be publicly documented with information that identifies both owner and flying machine. The information should be readily accessible to the public and conveyed in a manner that is reasonably understood by the lay person.

 

On Christmas Day

Being that this is the season of caring and sharing and a time when families come together, the publication of a post on mobbing families seems apropos. See my last post, The Family that Mobs Together.

Today is Christmas. I woke numerous times in the wee hours of this holiday not to the sounds of Santa’s sleigh or the bright red button of Rudolph’s nose, but to continued holiday demands that I leave my legal home. The mobbing continues now, this Christmas Day, from the north and south sides of my home. On weekends and holidays when the mobbers have time off, the harassment is often even more vicious and now, likely because after more than a year and a half the mobbing has not produced the desired result, forcing me from my home, the harassment has steadily escalated in intensity anyway. The mobbing houses, in the Christian tradition, are decked with Christmas trees and lights. The harassing song of the mobbers is ceaseless, with voices young and old, male and female, repeating the same refrain.

I haven’t been out yet today but except for the red SUV that these days attends much of the harassment, the driveway of the mobbing house to the south is vacant with no signs of the owners though the Christmas tree has remained lit for days. The owner of that mobbing house began keeping his large SUV in the garage some months back, about the time I began writing the Mayor of Seattle and the City Attorney. Last night, after I returned from an attempt at some Christmas Eve respite by being less directly mobbed in a Capitol Hill restaurant, probably over wireless network or the cell phone of a Christmas Eve diner (I left mine in the glove compartment), a familiar mini-Cooper pulled into the driveway of the south house. The north house was attended last night by a familiar Mazda SUV known to bring a variety of visitors who attend the harassment from that location. It seems as though my increased reporting as well as my photographing license plates has encouraged carpooling and sharing among the mobbers. The parking strip of the co-captain of the neighborhood watch who demanded that my landlords “do something” about my non-criminal activities appears to be having a quiet holiday from her location opposite my front window which is laden with sound board that only blunts the harassment she apparently instigated in collusion with others in the neighborhood watch, at least one developer and some real estate speculators against me, her neighbor, her fellow man.

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright,
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child!
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace!

The family that mobs together

The phenomenon of real estate mobbing seems to involve a network of criminal real estate “clearers.” In my case, for example, a series of vehicles have come, usually for a few nights weekly, to the mobbing houses. The harassment changes depending on the vehicles in attendance. The change might be in the gender or age of the harassing voices, it might be in some distinctive characteristic of the harassing voice or the type of harassment, for example, some harassers seem more interested in bodily functions, others in personal habits. The vehicles have changed over time, to at least some extent, and there is a studied effort to come in after dark or to attempt to harass and distract while the harassers quickly come and go, often getting rides from others or quickly departing from a closed garage. Over time, too, the apparent age of the voices in the mobbing has dropped, as have their claims to be or to “represent” people from the neighborhood who are known to me.

The voice of the owner in the north house complained to me a while back, “I’ve got people coming from all over the state to mob you.” That may be true. I would assume that anything involving tenant “clearing” is easier to do in locations without tenants’ rights organizations such as the Tenants Union in King County. I would also assume that criminal harassment for purposes of speculation is easier to get away with in cities with more conservative politics and fewer protections for citizens than exist in Seattle. But this statement does make it clear that there is at least a network of those who do this. I would also wonder if this type of practice is supported by those house “flippers” and real estate speculators who would subscribe to the membership area of sites like propertymob.com. The existence of sites that openly encourage investors to report the owners of desirable lots for property violations in order to compel them to sell and that complain about the hassles of investment properties with tenants would make me wonder whether site members are being taught how they might get tenants to “Move on!” and their landlords to sell.

Although there does seem to be a real estate mobbing network of some type, it also seems likely that harassing tenants out of properties is, for some, is an undertaking that is at least known of or supported by their families and that might be good old-fashioned family fun.

Fun and profit, that is.

The move-in of the twenty- to thirty-something couple in the south mobbing house was attended by both of their families, groups of people who would later make me think of some website where I’d seen “World’s Worst Neighbors” advertising themselves for hire out to people who don’t like their neighbors. Over time and based on events leading to the onset of the criminal mobbing, I concluded that it made sense that “real estate mobbing” would progress from a scenario of unpleasant, “bad” or “snobby” neighbors through a phase of malicious gossip, defamation and increasing threats before the full-on harassment, cyber-stalking and stalking that finally emerged in my own situation in spring of 2014.

The family aspect of real estate mobbing has been prevalent from the start when the mother of the owner of the house to the south told me on meeting me, as though she did not know I rented, that most renters were not “very good people.” It wasn’t long before I heard the owner of that mobbing house complaining loudly to his father about where I parked on the public street and heard the father’s response: “Don’t worry son, we’ll get her out.” And then, this in the summer the mobbing began, I stood in my driveway and saw, when their garage door opened, the father and son working together on a venting system. Seeing me in my driveway, they closed the garage door. The venting was soon installed and then later raised up to its current position of venting directly at the window pane in my half-light side door.

That summer, as I began to be mobbed in my bed by sound that was likely projected at the windows, there were numerous days when I was horrified to see the parents of both the owner of the mobbing house to the south and his girlfriend going into the house while ventilation harassment drifted between their house and my own. This type of harassment they typically shut off whenever people came up the driveway they didn’t want to hear it; I was left with the conclusion that those for whom they did not turn it off were friends who knew. Indeed, on one occasion, I heard a woman who’d come up the driveway to the south mobbing house with a friend knowingly remark, “They’re harassing her out of her house.” During these months, I saw people from the local neighborhood watch, too, coming and going from the mobbing house while harassment was freely directed to me, and the voices of the local neighborhood watch were also included in the mob. One day, standing out in my driveway, I watched the owner of the mobbing house to the south conspiratorially talking to his parents who had just emerged from the house as the mobbing was underway. The older woman assured him as the vehicle drove away, “A few more days.”

Now it is a year or a year and a half later. Funny thing, the parents of those kids don’t come over a lot more anymore. Shortly after I began writing the City Attorney of Seattle and wrote my first letter to the Attorney General (I have a second ready to go this week), the mother of the girlfriend of the south mobbing house showed up and loaded some stuff into her Audi or Lexis SUV. It wasn’t the first time that I’d made a complaint and seen them pull a vehicle close to the opening of the garage to load some draped or boxed object.

But there’s a real likelihood that in real estate mobbing, there are families who mob and who pull in their children and relatives to mob or to support the mobbing, even just by dropping hints or having a lot of noisy “family” gatherings next door. There are the added side benefits of having multiple generations not only to keep up appearances or to be able to thoroughly network the neighborhood but to better represent voices of all ages in the mob, even to use the voices of one’s own children in the mob.

It has also occurred to me that if the mobbers are threatening to accuse you of pedophilia—and at one point my landlord did tell me there was gossip about my asking “girls” to “pose” for my camera, something so ridiculous to me that I laughed since I hadn’t the slightest interest in photographing anyone in this neighborhood—perhaps they would even use their children to make false accusations to police. That is, basically, what happened in Wenatchee, Washington years back, isn’t it? For more information on a modern witch hunt, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wenatchee_child_abuse_prosecutions. If people are so afraid of being accused of crimes like child abuse, just think how attractive it would be to real estate mobbers to try use such accusations to force people out of their homes and to get them to leave without anyone being the wiser.

But there is reason to investigate real estate mobbing as a network of individuals and families who collude in forcibly evicting residents from a property they want to acquire, perhaps by playing the snobby new owner of the home next door or the young family who is somehow more deserving of the property than the older legal resident and encouraging them to move in a more “civil” manner. Interestingly, both the owner of that mobbing house and his girlfriend have other “family” businesses they engage in with their parents.

It’s possible that the adult children move into the home as the bright young family, the up-and-coming and somehow more sympathetic new home owners while their own parents finance and back the venture. This makes sense since the type of people who would do such a thing as a family probably bring up their children teaching them to hate. When the property they wish to acquire falls, the house is razed, rebuilt and flipped. The mobbing family benefits from the criminal venture, each of them walking away with a share of the profit.

I suppose it’s possible that encouraging your kids to criminally harass a neighbor out of her home could be just a cheap way to get your kids started on a nest egg or to recoup any down-payment you gave them on the mobbing house, but that seems like a pretty sad possibility.

 

 

 

A merry mobbing

Ho, ho, ho! A merry mobbing to all of you from me, the mobbed.

“What are you doing for Christmas?”

“Me? Oh, I’m being real estate mobbed.”

With many a layer of sound board

the speakers disconnected

and the wireless shut down,

we’ll see if Santa comes round.

There’s a chill in the air

and the windows shut tight.

We’ll see if the harassers

let us sleep tonight.

We’ll see how we go. Ho, ho, ho!

Wishing you a Happy Chanukah, a Merry Christmas, a Good Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and a Happy New Year too.

 

Mobbing close to the bone: Bone conduction

The technique of bone conduction, a method of transmitting sound waves to the inner ear through bone, is a close-range technique of harassment. It is the chief method, perhaps, used to convey harassment to me whenever I put my ear to the pillow, no matter the thickness of the sound board I use against my window panes. Instead of being a technology, bone conduction is criminals making the most of the anatomy of the human ear.

Not knowing what this phenomenon was called, but having experimented with blocking it with earplugs or by changing body position or the closeness of my ear to the pillow, I figured that a doctor could explain it to me based on his training in human anatomy. But then I came across the term bone conduction.

The use of bone conduction is another indicator of the possible involvement of those with some level of medical training in my mobbing. After all, the mobbing has included references to my health, my medical records and, from time to time, has softened based on the mobbers’ observations of some physiological reaction induced in me by the stress of the mob. It made sense to me, that if there is money involved in mobbing, if those who do it are practiced professionals who “safely” remove residents from properties they or those who hired them want to acquire, they would be attentive to the health of their victims, if for no reason other than liability. And given the fact that the mobbers have used other physical vulnerabilities in the harassment, for example, allergies or fatigue, their willingness to take advantage of my very bones to harass me from close range in a manner that I could not escape was par for the course.

Judging from the copious references to “voice-to-skull” (V2K) harassment on sites where real estate mobbing may be miscast as government conspiracy, the technique of harassment by bone conduction figures prominently in a lot of criminal property acquisition.

Bone conduction includes compressional and inertial bone conduction. Compressional bone conduction is the individual vibration of segments of the skull. This type of vibration compresses the bone in the inner ear and allows for the perception of sound. Compressional bone conduction is the result of high-pitched sound. Inertial bone conduction vibrates the entire skull while the sound sensing parts of the inner ear remain at rest. This type of bone conduction results from sounds of low pitch. The following image shows the path of vibration from the bones of the skull, past the ear drum and to the cochlea.

bone-phicom1d

Bone conduction is nothing new although its importance in hearing is increasingly recognized.

The Audiphone (http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/did/19thcent/), a bone conduction fan of the 1800s, is said to have provided a benefit of up to 30 dB. To use the Audiphone, you would bite down on a diaphragm to enable the sound vibrations to be transmitted by the bone of your teeth.

audiphone

A recent update to the Audiphone described in a 2012 article in the Denver Post is the SoundBite, a prosthetic device that uses tooth bone to transmit sound by conduction to the middle ear bones. (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_20992684/hearing-aids-get-better-bone-conduction-found-be). A hearing aid placed in the ear canal transmits information to a vibrating device that is held over the teeth like a retainer. According to the Denver Post, the major challenge of creating the device was finding a way to embed miniaturized electronics in a dental appliance.

Another early bone conduction device was held behind the ear, a design that was considered an “elegant” method of hiding a hearing impairment.

THacousticfan

The capacity to transmit or strengthen sound by harnessing vibration allows for better enhancement of hearing through hearing aids. When combined with cheap transducers, there are increasing possibilities for new devices as well as for human interaction with them. Breaking the Sound Barrier for Hearing and Gesture (http://www.innovationnetwork.guru/2015/06/breaking-the-sound-barrier-for-hearing-and-gesture/) references new AT&T patents, for example, that allow for “gesture capture” to enable vibrations sent through the body to transmit data to sensors in mobile devices. This would mean that your body could have its own “signature.” It could also allow for interaction with a device without handling it.

Another innovation that relies on bone conduction is the 2015 Hackaday prize-winning entry, the WallTech Phantom, headphones that makes use of a bone conduction amplifier and Bluetooth technology. (https://hackaday.com/tag/bone-conduction/) And Google Glass, “smart” eyeglasses, will use bone conduction speakers to convey information to athletes.

I laughed when I came across the Happy Sleep Sound Pillow, a high-density foam pillow that sports a “headphone-free” bone conduction speaker. (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008FIY5L4) Given the efficient source of transmission from the mobbers to my bed, my own pillow functions more than adequately as a bone conduction speaker for a side sleeper like me.

But how would a bunch of real estate mobbers induce bone conduction in someone sleeping in a bed next door?

I can’t be sure at this point, but like many of the mobbing technologies, it could easily have something to do with radio.

When researching a blog entry I haven’t yet written on the telephone, I ran across a reference to the old tin-can phone with two cans on either side of a line, you know, the kind of phone you might have made as a child. And then I saw references to underground communication systems that use a dipole (two pole) system to convey sound. I began to think about antennas and ground rods.

Think geophysics. And then think about the expertise in geophysics in the building field. There would be no lack of awareness on the part of the kind of expertise that exists in the building trades of how vibrations moves through earth. In my area where small landslides often occur in the winter months and planning to build a home can require an extensive permitting process because of the proximity of Lake Washington, the seismic devices are frequently used to monitor the movement of earth during construction.

I only recently started thinking about this, but especially if you share earth or perhaps even a concrete slab with the houses around you, vibration travels. Wikipedia describes “through-the-earth” signalling such as that used in underground mines and caves as a method of radio signalling that uses low-frequency waves. Conventional higher-range radio signals rely on line-of-sight positioning of antennas and repeaters. That makes me wonder what the possibilities are if you have mobbers working in houses on either side of the lot to be acquired. Wouldn’t that constitute line of sight?

Wikipedia provides information on the radio bands used for ultra low frequency broadcasts at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_low_frequency. The site also includes a detailed description of Radio Spectrum at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_spectrum. A particularly interesting table shows how radio spectrum is broken into bands from low to high frequency, including those that fall into the hackers’ realm of wireless and cellular radio as well as Bluetooth, ZigBee, satellite and GPS. These combined with the more traditional bands of amateur radio and television, could perhaps be said to make up the “mobbers’ radio spectrum.”