Hypocrites? Twitter allows hacked personal identifying info of Freedom Convoy donors to spread

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According to a review of Twitter’s platform by the Daily Caller News Foundation, the social media site is allowing hacked data from the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo to spread freely on the internet.

This time around Twitter is allowing posts to remain on its platform containing private information of Freedom Convoy donors.

Reports stated that GiveSendGo was hacked after the platform was used to raise nearly $10 million for the Canadian Freedom Convoy.

Twitter has clear policies against sharing any material that has been obtained through “unauthorized access or interception, or access that exceeds authorization to a computer, network, or electronic device, including breaches or intrusions.”

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According to Breitbart News, Twitter used the “hacked materials” policy to justify its censorship of the Hunter Biden “laptop” story before the 2020 election.

While the company later backtracked and said it was wrong to apply the policy, the suppression was enough to prevent it from reaching many undecided voters on the platform.

Twitter’s “distribution of hacked materials” policy bans “the use of our services to directly distribute content obtained through hacking by the people or groups associated with a hack.”

This includes “posting tweets which include links to hacked content hosted on other websites” as well as “posting hacked content on Twitter.”

Yet, a review of Twitter’s platform by the Daily Caller News Foundation found several tweets appearing to contain screenshots of the hacked donor list or links to files containing what appeared to be hacked materials.

The donor list contains personally identifying information including full names, zip codes, email handles and IP addresses as well as donation messages.

GiveSendGo became the primary mechanism for supporters to send funds to the truckers after GoFundMe froze and then threatened to redirect funds that had been raised on its platform for the Freedom Convoy.

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GiveSendGo has defied orders from the Ontario government to freeze the truckers’ funds.

Posting from its official Gab account and also on Twitter, GiveSendGo stated that the courts of Canada have no jurisdiction over the company, which is located in the U.S. and that the Freedom Convoy will receive its funds as normal.

The platform said in a statement:

“Know this! Canada has absolutely ZERO jurisdiction over how we manage our funds here at GiveSendGo. All funds for EVERY campaign on GiveSendGo flow directly to the recipients of those campaigns, not least of which is The Freedom Convoy campaign.”

Truckers protesting for freedom from coronavirus mandates and policies are blockading border crossings at the Canada-Montana border, the Canada-North Dakota border, and the Ambassador Bridge bordering Canada and Michigan, which is a critical route for trade between the U.S. and Canada.

GiveSendGo said in another statement:

“The funds from the Freedom Convoy are not frozen contrary to what you might be hearing on the news. GiveSendGo is working with many different campaign organizers to find the most effective legal ways to continue funds flowing.”

Twitter has previously defended not censoring certain content related to hacks, ranging from news articles citing information received directly from individuals who hacked GiveSendGo to information on donors to Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal defense fund.

At the time, a company spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that previous reports did not violate Twitter’s hacked materials policy because “this policy only addresses instances in which the materials themselves are being distributed – not discussions of or reporting about hacking which refer to but do not embed or link to the materials themselves.”

This is not the first time GiveSendGo has been targeted by hackers. The last time occurred when the platform was used to raise funds for Kyle Rittenhouse after GoFundMe banned support for him on its platform.

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U.S. attorneys general investigate GoFundMe’s $10M seizure of donations to truckers

February 6th, 2022

REDWOOD CITY, CA – Crowd-sourcing platform GoFundMe is being investigated for fraud by multiple state attorney generals after claiming the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser had violated its Terms of Service due to unlawful activity and threatened to seize millions of dollars.

Truckers have been engaged in a protest in downtown Ottawa for almost a week arguing against vaccine mandates, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for them to go home but ruling out deploying the army to remove them, according to Newsweek,

In a statement posted to the GoFundMe website on Friday, the company said:

“GoFundMe supports peaceful protests, and we believe that was the intention of the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser when it was first created.

“We now have evidence from law enforcement that the previously peaceful demonstration has become an occupation, with police reports of violence and other unlawful activity.”

The Ottawa Police Department in Canada admitted to approaching GoFundMe to shut down the fundraiser, accusing the Freedom Convoy of holding “unlawful demonstrations”:

“We want to thank GoFundMe for listening to our concerns as a City and a police service. The decision to withhold funding for these unlawful demonstrations is an important step and we call on all crowdfunding sites to follow.”

No credible evidence was presented by either Ottawa police or GoFundMe to show the alleged “unlawful demonstrations.”

Despite the apparent lack of evidence, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson thanked GoFundMe for suspending the fundraiser:

“In light of the unlawful behavior that has transpired in the last few days, they have come to the right decision in support of our city and our residents.”

Hypocrites? Twitter allows hacked personal identifying info of Freedom Convoy donors to spread

The Mayor added that he hoped limiting the Freedom Convoy’s funding will “restrict their ability to remain in Ottawa.”

The GoFundMe fundraiser, which listed Tamara Lich as an organizer and B.J. Dichter as a “team member,” was created to support the truckers that have travelled across Canada to Ottawa to participate in a protest against COVID-19 restrictions.

GoFundMe originally said that it would refund or redirect to charities the vast majority of the $10 million raised by the fundraiser. In a statement, the company wrote:

“Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest.

“Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers —we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities chosen by the Freedom Convoy 2022 organizers and verified by GoFundMe.”

The company gave donors an opportunity to request a refund but had to do so by February 19, 2022.

Both the removal of the fundraiser and the seizure of funds caught the eye of both the public and several U.S. Attorneys General.

Ezra Levant, publisher of Canadian right-wing news site Rebel News, tweeted:

“At the request of Trudeau, @GoFundMe has just stolen $9,000,000 from the truckers. Rather than automatically refunding it to the donors, they say they’re going to give it to groups of their own choosing. What a windfall for Black Lives Matter, Greenpeace and Planned Parenthood!”

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Black Lives Matter has collected tens of millions of dollars from the crowdsourcing site over the last couple of years without action from GoFundMe, despite months of violence in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Donald Trump Jr., former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, called for U.S. Attorneys General to investigate GoFundMe for shutting down the Freedom Convoy fundraiser and seizing the funds:

“All GOP Attorney Generals should be looking at this & helping to get people their $$$ back so it can be redirected to the truckers.

“Don’t let @gofundme scam you… call your AGs & let them know. GFM seems to have no problem finding BLM riots… peaceful truckers should be fine too.”

Tom Fitton, president of conservative activist group Judicial Watch, tweeted:

“State attorney generals and other relevant state officials should examine @GoFundMe’s $9 million shell game that victimized the Canadian truckers and their supporters who gave money in good faith.”

CJ Pearson, CEO of Right or Die, tweeted:

“I’m reaching out to every Republican Attorney General in America that I know and encouraging them to open a consumer protection investigation into the actions of GoFundMe.”

Pearson added that he spoke with the Georgia Attorney General, who promised to look into the seizure of funds:

“Just spoke with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, who said he will have his team look into GoFundMe’s theft of millions of dollars from hardworking Americans supporting the Freedom Convoy.

“Good on him. This is how we fight back.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also ordered an investigation into the seizure:

West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey also noted GoFundMe’s alleged deceptive practices:

“#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities? In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices.

“If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!”

Some people took to Twitter to urge SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to demand the return of thousands of dollars he donated to the fundraiser. Musk responded that the money was not his, but called GoFundMe “professional thieves.”

Musk also tweeted an article about the Capital Hill Occupied Protests (CHOP), which GoFundMe permitted to fundraise on their site. Underneath, he asked, “Double-standard?”

Yielding to the pressure from the public and facing multiple investigations, GoFundMe announced on Saturday that the company would refund all Freedom Convoy 2022 donations without requiring donors to make a refund request:

“The update we issued earlier (below) enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process. We will automatically refund all contributions directly — donors do not need to submit a request. You can expect to see your refund within 7–10 business days.”

A new “official donation site” was set up on Friday on GiveSendGo, according to lawyer Keith Wilson, who represents the protest.

 

 

 

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