Real estate mobbing, as it is practiced in my own northeastern neighborhood of Seattle where the tricks are dirty and real estate speculators run free, is stalking with the intent to drive legal residents from their homes and turn them over for speculation. When a crime is committed to turn over a property, and when the goal is to punish the victim into keeping his or her mouth shut, mobbers stalk everywhere they can, and using every device.
Mobbing may begin at home, but it is mobility harassment that follows the victim everywhere, online and off. The strategy behind mobbing appears to be to make the victim believe that she is continually being watched, until she is terrorized to the point where she flees. Because the big bad wolf chasing her is not visible to authorities, a mobbing victim who reports is easily dismissed as paranoid or mentally unstable.
Mobbing is a real estate scam. It’s the kind of wet dream that a racketeering ring of lot-seeking real estate speculators would come up with. It’s the kind of crime in which the nasty and the greedy violate their neighbors’ civil and human rights, indemnifying themselves against their crimes by using defamation of their victims. The scum who pursue mobbing, this crime I’ve called a hoax inside a con inside a scam, use a kitchen sink of methods old and new, combining the techniques of surveillance with those of cyber-thugs, wreaking havoc in the lives of their victims as they straddle the physical and virtual worlds.
When crimes once virtual move into the physical world, it’s a sign that the criminals who use virtual means, unchecked, have been emboldened by the failure of police and the FBI to prosecute them. When crimes that were physical, like stalking, encroach into the virtual world, it’s a sign that criminals are integrating digital components into their crimes in the physical world not only to extend their reach, but because the crooks believe they can commit digital crimes with impunity. When real estate speculators and neighborhood watches begin to use digital crime to commit the larger human rights crime of harassing legal residents from their homes, when digital crime appears to be part of a business plan, real estate speculation has gone too far.
I’m in Seattle this weekend, tending my home and the sweet cat I must leave behind to make a living in San Francisco as the victim of a real estate mobbing in Seattle. In addition to stepping up the subtle but continuous cyber-bulling (also called “mobbing”) at my workplace in San Francisco over the smart phones of others left on and accessible, as well as the likely use of vulnerable speaker-enabled access points, the real estate mobbers of northeast Seattle remain in their familiar formation from which they pursue what I have called the “surround sound” method of harassment into my Seattle home.
This weekend, the nasty neighborhood watch lady is the most visible of the “ring” plying this racket of constructive eviction as a milestone on the path to gentrifying yet another neighborhood out of the affordability range for the 99 percent. Now that the homes on the other sides of both mobbing houses have changed hands, there is greater caution exercised from the homes of the white-collar professional men who moved into the homes flanking mine now about five years back when the Great Recession lifted and developers and speculators moved into this lakeside enclave. Self-professed rednecks, both of these, it took only a few months before the nasty neighborhood watch lady was heard from a dinner party at one of their houses, decrying my parking on the street, only a few months before the prematurely balding thirty-something owner of the mobbing house to the south whined to his father about my legal parking from his veranda: “She parks there, and sometimes she parks there”, with his father responding, “Don’t worry son, we’ll get her out.”
This is how they proclaimed their status as overlords. This is how they let me know of the departure I, a middle-aged woman who’d already been the target of a neighborhood bullying by the neighborhood watch and at the hands of an unethical developer and his real estate lackeys, was expected to make from the small and quaint 1940s dwelling that remains my legal rental home.
I’ve been working in San Francisco and commuting back and forth between the Bay Area and Seattle. This is what I’ve had to do to survive the harassment of the neighborhood watch that afflicts my northeast neighborhood, and their developer and real estate speculating friends. With each time my environment changes, the stalking and harassment change as well. Some of the critical factors in my San Francisco workplace are obviously related to whether those sitting around me have smart phones on and available.
It has occurred to me that one thing companies could consider doing if they suspect that employee smart phones, managed or not, are being breached or used as a platform for lurking or bullying, would be to commission, convincingly set up, and scatter some decoy phones around the office. Such phones could record their own activities, including the use of speakers and interfaces that carry sound, and even the ring tone. You could even back-door decoy devices or install spyware on them to capture forensic evidence of intrusions. If an employee complained that he is being phone-phreaked or that he heard verbal abuse on his phone while in the workplace, one or more decoy phones could be left at desks near his own.
I would imagine that most people who experience harassment over the interfaces of their smart phones keep them off as much as possible. Just the same, I should probably note that victim devices should be kept off or at least be set to refuse calls or to have the sound and ring tones muted. This way, a phone “mobber” who is devoted to continuously harassing a “target” will be forced to look instead for the closest access point, and for nearby IMSI or IP address information.
To begin to rein in blackmailers, harassers, and other thugs who incorporate cyber-bullying or harassment into their evil platforms, the FBI should begin to note the use and purchase of equipment like IMSI catchers and satellite phones. Stop respecting the privacy of those who use invasion of privacy and surveillance to constructively evict people from their homes. Begin to make useful laws to regulate the sale of equipment like IMSI catchers, satellite phones and drones.
Cyber-crime is well on its way to reaching epic proportions and those who harass in the virtual world often have a larger goal in mind, not unlike criminals who perform virtual shakedowns and robberies by using ransomware. Instead of ignoring what appear to be isolated cases of cyber-stalking, stop tolerating crime that appears to be a “special case” or an “isolated case,” in short, crimes that target single individuals. Consider the possibility not only of satellite phones being used to cyberbully from a veiled position, but of call-in harassment, even to an LRAD-equipped drone capable of chasing the target in a vehicle or on a bicycle. Think about it. It may sound unlikely, but real estate mobbers appear to operate as control stalkers who seek to dominate and to crush. All the better to create an attractive business plan and a business strategy that will appeal to “investors.” And there are other cases of remotely plied harassment; I recently wrote about just such a case, of infrasonic sound used to harass a women in Florida. The sound was triggered remotely, with a smart phone. Once a drone is modified to receive calls from throw-away cell phones or satellite phones and to broadcast their content using directional sound, all that’s required is for the mobbers to share the number of the “mobile” device and take turns calling it. They can work “shifts,” they can even call into a conference for some gang-bullying; not too easy to be a mob of one. Consider also the use of cyber-crime against “enemies” (in real estate, probably “obstacles” to development) as a white collar crime that may appeal to those who have no police record. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be “fronting” a ring of real estate mobbers.
Another element that might have something to do with the quieter harassment into my home this weekend could be my recent letter to the FAA about the probable use of drones to harass people out of the homes that developers want, about the likely use of a drone to follow me on my bike rides along Lake Washington and to batter the front windows of my home that overlook the lake front with verbal abuse from the vantage point that would logically be held by a drone equipped with a parabolic or parametric speaker emitting directional sound.
Each of these technologies is novel, and in combination all the more so. It is this novelty that makes it possible for a ring of those involved in a bullying campaign to discredit their victim by malicious gossip alone, leveraging police bias to ensure that her claims are ignored by a precinct quick to weigh in on the side of home owners against an increasing population of renters whose homes are ipso facto “nuisances” awaiting the revitalization of the bulldozer. Whether he is defamed as crazy or criminal, the word of a “renter” in Seattle is less than that of a home owner.
At any rate, it is quieter this weekend in my home here over the lake. Perhaps it’s because another house being rehabilitated is poised atop a hill that overlooks the Burke-Gilman bike trail. This house, which sat empty for some time, sits high over the street and has a line-of-sight view of the airspace above the mobbers’ homes and on mine between them. This rehab house is directly over a spot there I once saw a drone hovering as I went down to the trail to begin my bike ride, a spot very near the lakeside home of some allies of the south mobbing house owner, and launching a drone from a dock on Lake Washington, or from a supporting home further from the victim home, would certainly help to hide a drone or any equipment, even a low-power radio station or a scanning radio, that was pivotal in turning over homes for speculation. Either way, today there is the sound of construction noise resounding over the slopes that guard the northwest side of Lake Washington, and the presence of workers there would make it unwise to deploy a drone from a nearby lakeside home.
Another contributing factor to the increased quietness could be that the home owners north and east of the the north mobbing house owner are home, that the new home owners south of the south mobbing house owner are home, and that the tenant of the nasty neighborhood watch lady appears to also be home. When the vehicles of these people are absent and they are presumably not home, the harassment often increases in intensity and volume.
Otherwise, like other intervals when the mobbers have exercised caution, there is little movement from the north and south mobbing houses. This weekend, the white BMW of one of the south mobbing house owner’s friends, together with the red SUV of the Crossfit guy with the tattoos were lined up at the north margin of their driveway, riding a makeshift fence astride the property line.
But the harassment has almost always continued whether or not people are seen from either house, except during holidays or “game days,” when it has often seemed that “staffing” was a problem. There are times when I’ve seen vehicles silently pulling up and dropping off or picking up people from the south house under cover of darkness, or times when after periods of heavy verbal abuse directed into my home I’ve seen the south mobbing house owner or his snarky friends and cronies pile into their BMWs and SUVs and leave as some parting shot was delivered. It has appeared that there may be a network of shared wireless speakers between the two houses flanking my own with a call-in system, or that a drone is used, perhaps with satellite phone or some other kind of call-in to an speaker affixed onto the harassing machine, to add mobility and “remote” the harassment in a way that at once shields the mobbing owners whose occupancy guards against sound spillage creating witnesses, while confusing the victim as to the source of the familiar voices and making it possible for the mobbers to deflect suspicion with claims that they weren’t even home and that the victim is “hearing voices.”
This type of ruse, in addition to the use of acoustic leakage and ventilation-transport of verbal abuse appears to have made the mobbers, their real estate scumbag friends and their white collar shield, confident of escaping prosecution, especially given their bid to cast their victims in the light of degenerates and criminals, turning the tables in a manner that Wikipedia has reported, once more, is typical of cyber-harassment (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberbullying).
In actuality, real estate mobbing is a physical expression; it represents the deployment of cyber-bullying to the physical world. This is the cyber-bullying that we naively believe is limited to the virtual world and expressed through textual changes that leave a readily identifiable forensic trail. For this is not only a case of racketeering that involves a neighborhood watch and real estate speculators in a bid to make good on a real estate scam used to hoax and harass legal residents out of their homes, this real estate mobbing in northeast Seattle deliberately uses methods that are unfamiliar and obscure, certainly to Seattle Police, and perhaps even to the FBI.
One of these is the mobbers’ WiFi stalking and harassing over public and private wireless networks, riding on a backbone of speaker-enabled access points, the Internet-connected speakers of devices around the victim, and the WiFi-connected phones and other devices that have speakers. Another is the use of directional sound to protect the crime and effect the hoax that the victim is “hearing voices.” And yet another is the transmission of verbal abuse over the airwaves and in the form of “interference” that effects victim devices. One recipe for this is the simple pairing of CB radio with a linear antenna, another means to effect this kind of harassment appears to be with the use of a private TV transmitter, a technique I’ve been intending to write a post on, and there may be more than that, including hacking the firmware of TVs smart and dumb, or using malware or hacks to stream VoIP verbal abuse to digital music players or radio. Software-defined radio apparently has piqued the imagination of many hackers and adding software-defined radio to the application layer opens a host of possibilities not only for monitoring the air traffic but for creating and mixing sound streams, over the air.
According to the Wikipedia article, it is acknowledged that cyberstalking may cross over to the physical world. What seems to receive less attention is the possibility that cyberstalking is used to extend the reach of those who stalk or harass in the real world, that cyberstalking is just another digital crime and may well be a component of stalking. In the same way, phone phreaking, over a pathetically vulnerable cordless phone or by satellite phones that hide the caller identity, also extends the reach of the stalker. So too does using an IMSI catcher to intercept calls and potentially to “cross” them with streams of verbal harassment, or installing a “back door” or spyware on the phone of a target.
There’s no reason why the FBI cannot do anything about cyber-harassment when it is connected to, and especially when it is presaged, by events in the real world, the physical world. I remember reading about the case of an executive who claimed that disgruntled former employees were responsible for cyber-harassing him. He said he’d even talked to a contact at the FBI who said that there was nothing they could do.
Nothing they can do? But the cyber-stalking that dogged this man, like the component of my mobbing that is effected through cyber-stalking, was tied to a real-world situation and no doubt instigated by those who were known to the executive as they are to me. In my own case, moreover, because of the coupling of the cyber-stalking with harassment that could only come from a place of proximity, and because of the civil component of harassment as well as the overconfidence that led to my neighbors’ sick need to ensure that their own voices, insults and taunts figured prominently in the mobbing they expected to run me off, the involvement of my neighbors and my neighborhood watch should be obvious.
Situations like mine present a rare opportunity for the FBI to not only see how cyber-bullies (“mobbers”) operate, but to learn how corruption in a neighborhood watch organization leads to racketeering. By taking advantage of the fact that the nasty neighborhood watch lady and her speculator friends instigated a predatory crime that relies on a campaign of felony stalking and cyber-stalking managed from houses flanking the victim home, the nasty neighborhood watch lady has made it easy for investigators. If mobbings often happen as mine has, with the flanking houses used as positions from which to terrorize the victim, people who mob should be easily caught and prosecuted. There’s no better way to begin to dismantle the network of those who would harass people from their legal homes, than to focus an investigation on a neighborhood where the mobbers have not stopped mobbing, a neighborhood from which the mobbers have not yet flipped their homes and decamped.
The FBI needs to begin to dig in somewhere here. Digital crimes are proliferating and the tactics used by the real estate mobbers of northeast Seattle are common in effecting them, from radio interruption and interference, to phreaking, to drones. The boldness of criminals who would move in around a victim home to attempt to turn it over is partially the result of not pursuing the perpetrators of digital crimes although police bias and the shield of a complicit neighborhood watch also figures prominently. To deter similar crimes, the boldness of the crime must be matched by investigative zeal.When a neighborhood watch begins using criminal methods to force renters out of the area, it’s time that those criminal methods were exposed and prosecuted. This isn’t the big bad wolf, this is a whacko neighborhood watch. It’s not like they’re difficult to find. Unlike the stalkers of GamerGate, the mobbers aren’t behind seven proxies. They’re next door and across the street, on the other side of a wall. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Crimes like this will continue to proliferate so long as they are ignored. Throwing up our hands and saying that there’s nothing we can do shields the criminals who use cyber-stalking and other digital crimes. This attitude is exactly why real estate speculators and dirty landlords would use a “shadow service” offering to get rid of tenants by criminal means. Regretfully not much difference between the tactics of these smirking and snarky criminals and some of those in the current administration.
Today on NPR’s The Moth, I heard a story from a guy about how, during a brief stint in public relations, he was charged with renting a hideaway for Momar Gaddafi and wound up renting a property that belonged to Trump (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/23/muammar-gaddafi-tent-trump-estate). The deal done, who should show up at the door but Trump himself, asking for a chance to talk turkey with Gaddafi about real estate opportunities in Libya. This was Trump blithely stepping over the bodies in Gaddafi’s wake to for a lucrative deal (http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/06/06/trump-says-he-made-a-lot-of-money-in-deal-with-gadhafi_n_10317504.html). This is the mentality of people in real estate. Like Trump, some of them do not hesitate to step over bodies to get to a good deal. Like Trump, some hire goons to piss in the hallways of buildings if it makes it easier to turn over apartments and raise rents. This is the mentality of developers who tried to bribe the staff of Mayor Murray into looking the other way as they forced tenants from buildings in Seattle. This is the mentality of the anti-renter neighborhood watches in Seattle who would seek to institute a Chronic Nuisance Ordinance (CNO) and have rental homes in their neighborhoods deemed “nuisances” in order to turn them over to speculators to build exorbitantly priced mini-mansions in the neighborhood. So what if it makes people homeless so long as it fattens their wallets.
The Trump administration is an administration of salespeople, and they speak in the doublespeak of mobbers and cyberbullies whose goal is to turn their crime upside down and make their victims look like the criminals. Say something enough times and it becomes true. Lie about the healthcare plan replacement until it passes. When the press briefings aren’t going well, say the news is fake and forbid cameras, even stop briefing. The mentality of mobbing is the same. Spread malicious gossip about your enemies until the police believe it. When your victims report your crimes, declare that they’re delusional. Do what Kellyanne Conway did the other night with her handwritten visual aids when she insisted there was no “Collusion,” just “Illusion” and “Delusion.”
At its worst, the toxic culture of sales spawns pathological liars. Real estate is the business of selling at the highest cost, to reap the greatest profit. And we’ve put an administration of sales people into the White House. Trump is undoing decades of international treaties and accords and ignoring the human rights abuses of any potential business partners. In my neighborhood, the speculators ignore the most basic rights guaranteed by the constitution as they support and join in harassing tenants out of their homes and use the resources and agencies of the City of Seattle, including Seattle Police Department, to make good their crime.
Surely it is time to stop them.