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Cybersecurity expert reportedly authenticates NY Post’s Hunter Biden email; mainstream media largely silent

A cybersecurity expert says that Hunter Biden’s email regarding former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee meeting with a Ukrainian businessman is authentic.

Earlier this month, the New York Post reported that Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, handed over a copy of a laptop’s hard drive to the outlet. Giuliani insisted that the laptop belonged to Hunter, and was handed over by a Wilmington, Delaware, computer repair shop owner.

The former vice president’s presidential campaign has denied any involvement in the alleged meeting.

Neither Hunter nor Joe have issued remarks on the authenticity of the emails obtained from the laptop or its hard drive at the time of this reporting.

What are the details?

On Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported that Robert Graham — founder of cybersecurity firm Errata Security out of Georgia — said he was able to confirm the authenticity of Hunter’s email regarding his father, Joe, and an executive at Burisma Holdings.

The outlet reported that Graham was able to use cryptographic signature information found in the email’s metadata in order to verify that the message — purportedly from Ukrainian businessman Vadym Pozharsky to Hunter, who thanked the former vice president’s son for inviting him to Washington, D.C., and providing “an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together” — was legitimate and authentic.

The investigative report also revealed that Graham used DomainKeys Identified Mail — or DKIM signature — to verify with a private key on Google servers that the sender and recipient as well as the content of the email were not changed in an attempt to fabricate a fake message.

The outlet reported, “Graham, who has been cited as a cybersecurity expert in The Washington Post, the Associated Press, Wired, Engadget and other news and technology outlets, told the DCNF that he used a cryptographic signature found in the email’s metadata to validate that Vadym Pozharsky, an advisor to Burisma’s board of directors, emailed Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015. Graham used the DKIM signature within the email to verify with a private key on Google’s servers that the sender, recipient, subject, date and body of the message that the DCNF obtained from Giuliani were unchanged from when the email was originally sent in April 2015.”

“Graham previously told the DCNF that emails sent from Gmail, such as Pozharski’s message to Hunter Biden, can be ‘absolutely verified beyond a shadow of a doubt’ by testing its contents against the unique DKIM signature found in its metadata,” the outlet added.

Graham told the outlet, “[C]ommitting criminal hacking doesn’t make true information any less true, so no matter how illegitimately they gathered emails, the contents are provably legitimate.”

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Commentary: Big Tech is going to end up as a mouthpiece for some future Republican president, and they’ll have only themselves to blame

Big Tech really stepped in it this week.

I get the feeling that they at last realize that they are in trouble; I don’t think they yet realize how serious that trouble really is.

On the one hand, it’s possible to sympathize with companies like Facebook and Twitter, who have had to deal with their executives being frog marched in front of congressional committees for having the temerity to have built a social media ecosystem where center-right articles can be shared and disseminated.

Liberals really hate this and have engaged in a yearslong bullying campaign targeting the social media giants, as well as their advertisers. The message has been clear: Suppress right-wing viewpoints or we will make you feel pain. Their stated purpose is to make sure that the social media giants are not helping to spread “false information,” which of course to them means any viewpoint they don’t agree with.

On the other hand, the social media giants should have realized long ago that nothing they could possibly do would be enough to placate the liberal mob, short of outright banning all center-right publications. Until the world reverts to the way it was prior to the internet, when the flow of all information was gatekept by legacy media outlets that were 90% staffed with Democrats, they will never relent.

Their bumbling reaction to the explosive New York Post story about Hunter Biden was likely, to them, just another step down the road of placating that mob by showing that they are super serious about stopping the spread of “disinformation.” I am sure it didn’t hurt that an overwhelming majority of their employees are Democrats, either.

Left-wing pressure, plus ideological blinders, plus overconfidence in an eventual Joe Biden victory equals a situation where Facebook, in a moment of truly extraordinary arrogance, sent a spokesman to Twitter to declare that the Post’s story would be throttled even before a fact-checker had looked at it. The spokesman didn’t even bother to remove his work history — which consisted almost entirely of working for organizations dedicated to helping Democrats win election — from his Twitter bio.

I am sure that Facebook and Twitter probably want nothing more than to be left alone, free from constant government oversight and meddling in their jobs. What they seem to not realize is that there’s exactly one group of people who has been fighting for that result: The free-market libertarians who are increasingly politically homeless but still to some degree remain in an uneasy alliance with the Republican Party.

Those people have been waging a fierce fight for the proposition that tech companies should be able to do with their platform as they wish, since they built it. Further, they have argued that allowing the government to meddle in the content moderation policies of the social media companies will inevitably backfire when and if Democrats control the government.

The tech companies’ actions this week have made that fight an impossible one to win. Anger at the haughtiness and patent unfairness of the social media companies among folks on the right was already near a boiling point, and the New York Post debacle has pushed the temperature past the tipping point.

I can say with almost complete certainty now that the Josh Hawleys of the world are going to decisively win this fight within the Republican Party, free market principles be damned. After this week, there will no longer be a meaningful part of any major political party that stands up for the right of Twitter and Facebook to run their companies as they see fit.

The government, being the government, cannot be trusted to manage the tech companies fairly. If human history teaches us anything, it is that the day the government injects itself into the moderation policies of the Big Tech companies, those companies will promptly become de facto government censors for the political party that is then in power.

The tech companies might not be scared of that result just yet. After all, in their minds, the government is probably going to be almost completely run by Democrats in three months’ time anyway. And they might well be right about that.

What they fail to realize, because they are poor students of history, is that control of power in the United States is and always will be cyclical. No matter how firmly one of the major political parties grasps power, they always eventually lose it. The GOP looked like it was headed for perpetual electoral domination after the Civil War, and they were wrong. The Democrats looked like they were headed for perpetual electoral domination after the Great Depression, and they were also wrong. As recently as 2008, Democratic strategists confidently predicted that demographic trends spelled an ever-shrinking minority for the GOP, only to watch their party get trucked in the 2010 and 2014 midterms, as well as the 2016 presidential election.

Neither party, quite frankly, is capable of being responsible with too much power. Even if Democrats take control of the White House and both chambers of Congress in November, as they are currently favored to do, it is inevitable that they will overreach. Probably, this will happen sooner rather than later. Their voting base practically demands it. And when that happens, American voters will put Republicans back in power.

On that day, employees of Facebook and Twitter will wake up and discover, to their horror, that it’s no longer Democratic bureaucrats who are watching over them and helping them to determine what is allowed on their platforms, but Republican bureaucrats. And they will wail and scream at the unfairness of it all, and how they are being forced to act as mouthpieces for the Republican Party.

And they will have no one but themselves to blame.

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Man who discovered Hunter Biden emails speaks out, says he fears for his life now

John Paul Mac Isaac, an independent Mac repair shop owner in Wilmington, Delaware, has spoken out about reports on emails purporting to show that Hunter Biden introduced a Ukrainian businessman to his father, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, when the elder Biden was vice president.

What’s a brief history here?

On Wednesday, the New York Post reported that shop owner Mac Isaac was asked to repair a laptop computer that allegedly contained a variety of nefarious and possibly incriminating emails and photos reportedly confirming a meeting between the former vice president and a top Burisma executive.

The Post report said that the email appears to confirm that Hunter brokered the meeting between his father, then vice president, and Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi.

Mac Isaac was unable to positively identify the computer’s owner, but said a Beau Biden Foundation sticker was on the laptop device.

The outlet also reported that personal, explicit photos of Hunter existed on the computer’s hard drive.

You can read more on the contents as well as the ensuing controversy here and here.

The report from the New York Post sparked heavy controversy after Twitter blocked users from its link.

What are the details?

Mac Isaac said that an unidentified customer left three laptops for water damage repair in April 2019 but never returned for them despite multiple attempts at contact. The customer or customers also reportedly did not pay the $85 bill for recovering the computer’s data.

Mac Isaac said that he was able to retrieve the data from just one of the laptops despite the damage. When he recovered the files, Mac Isaac said “it was a mess.”

“I would have been responsible for dragging and dropping the contents onto a hard drive,” he said, pointing out there was a bevy of personal information on the laptops.

According to the Daily Mail, Mac Isaac, who spoke with reporters on Wednesday, said that he feared he would be murdered after he turned over the laptop computers to FBI investigators.

During one instance, Mac Isaac said that he contacted FBI agents over the laptops, but in a second instance, he said that FBI agents came to him in 2019.

According to the Daily Mail — which describes the man as a Trump voter — Mac Isaac said he retained a copy of the laptop’s contents because he “feared he would be killed by people who ‘work for [Joe] Biden’ and having it was ‘protection.'”

As the year progressed, he said he became concerned over the media coverage of the alleged ties between the Biden family and the Ukrainian businessmen.

“Middle of summer, I started to get concerned because you see stuff in the papers and the news and online,” he said.

Following the related news stories, Mac Isaac said he reached out to a friend and asked for advice.

During an interview recorded by a Daily Beast reporter, Mac Isaac said, “I was afraid, I reached out to some people that I trusted that could possibly get me in touch with the FBI. Then they showed up.”

The outlet reported that two FBI agents with a subpoena showed up at his shop in December and took the laptop.

Several weeks later, Mac Isaac said he heard from the agents.

“One of the agents called me up three weeks later,” he said, and revealed that the agent warned him against speaking to anyone who came asking about the laptop or its contents — specifically “anybody representing Hunter.”

He passed the laptop information to Rudy Giuliani

The outlet noted, “Mac Isaac said he had acted to pass on the laptop to [Rudy] Giuliani because he feared being killed because of what was in his possession saying: ‘I’m pretty vocal about not wanting to get murdered.'”

He also insisted that he believed those who work for Joe Biden could possibly place his life in danger, and suggested that he didn’t want to be shot while “jogging in the morning.”

“I think that it’s not the government as an entire entity, but I think there’s a history in this country of people with political motives doing horrible things,” he admitted. “I don’t want to be on the receiving end of that.”

On Wednesday, the Post reported that it was President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who turned over the information to the outlet.

Giuliani reportedly obtained the information from his own personal lawyer, Robert Costello. According to reports, Costello obtained the laptop’s contents from Mac Isaac himself.

It is unclear at the time of this reporting how Mac Isaac got in touch with Costello, or vice versa.

As highlighted by the Daily Beast, “Mac Isaac refused to answer specific questions about whether he had been in contact with Rudy Giuliani before the laptop drop-off or at any other time before the Post article’s publication. Pressed on his relationship with Giuliani, he replied: ‘When you’re afraid and you don’t know anything about the depth of the waters that you’re in, you want to find a lifeguard.’

“Seeming to realize he’d said too much,” the outlet reported, “[H]e added: ‘Ah, s**t.'”

The outlet concluded, “So Rudy was your lifeguard? the reporters asked. ‘No comment,’ he replied.”

‘I just don’t know what to say’

According to Fox News, at least one of the laptops reportedly contained “disturbing” items.

On Wednesday, Mac Isaac told the outlet, “I just don’t know what to say, or what I’m allowed to say. I know that I saw, I saw stuff — and I was concerned. I was concerned that somebody might want to come looking for this stuff eventually — and I wanted it out of my shop.”

Fox News reported that a spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on the matter, “citing the bureau’s practice of neither confirming nor denying the existence of an investigation.”

“Representatives for Delaware’s U.S. Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment,” the outlet reported. “When contacted by the New York Post, a spokesperson for the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s office said, ‘My office can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.'”

The Biden campaign has previously denied all related allegations, and has continually insisted that no such meeting was found in the former vice president’s schedules from 2015.

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Twitter CEO admits it was ‘unacceptable’ to block sharing of  NY Post’s Biden Burisma story ‘with zero context’

After a day of social media outrage and online recriminations, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted the company’s missteps in blocking the sharing of a report from the New York Post that could be damaging to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

Dorsey made the admission Wednesday on his Twitter account.

“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable,” he tweeted.

The story outlined emails obtained by the New York Post that show Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to the board of Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma, thanking Hunter Biden for arranging his meeting with his father, who was vice president at the time.

Twitter users were banned from sharing the story on their public timelines and also in direct messages by Twitter.

Later Wednesday, Twitter provided the rationale for its actions.

“We want to provide much needed clarity around the actions we’ve taken with respect to two NY Post articles that were first Tweeted this morning,” said the Twitter Safety account.

“The images contained in the articles include personal and private information — like email addresses and phone numbers — which violate our rules. As noted this morning, we also currently view materials included in the articles as violations of our Hacked Materials Policy,” they continued.

“Commentary on or discussion about hacked materials, such as articles that cover them but do not include or link to the materials themselves, aren’t a violation of this policy,” they added. “Our policy only covers links to or images of hacked material themselves.”

‘Attempt to influence the upcoming election’

Critics of social media censorship jumped on the incident to further excoriate the social media companies of selective enforcement of their rules.

“.@Twitter and @Facebook’s censorship of the @nypost story on a meeting between Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and Burisma is an obvious and transparent attempt to influence the upcoming election,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Twitter. “That’s why today I sent a letter seeking answers behind this censorship.”

Here’s more about the censorship of the Biden Burisma story:


Bannon sounds off on Joe Biden as NY Post shines light on Hunter Biden’s emails

www.youtube.com

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