Cult City Tour attendee arrested after damaging Scientology cameras with laser

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CLEARWATER — As Robert Harris was strolling round Church of Scientology buildings on a Cult Metropolis Tour final month, he mentioned he determined to level his pocket laser on the church’s varied safety cameras as a technique to say: “Hello, I’m right here, right here’s my face, I see you.”

Ted Reinhard, who is just not a member of the church, launched the walking tour Feb. 2 as a way to demystify Scientology’s presence downtown. And Harris mentioned even a lifelong Clearwater resident like himself was curious to be taught extra.

However Harris’s laser allegedly ended up inflicting $2,091 in harm to 6 safety cameras on three Scientology buildings, in keeping with Clearwater police.

Harris, 76, was arrested at his dwelling on Monday and charged with one rely of felony prison mischief after admitting to the offenses that occurred on Feb. 26, in keeping with an arrest affidavit.

Robert Harris, 76.
Robert Harris, 76. [ Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office ]

“I’m not going to struggle the actual fact I did it,” Harris mentioned on Tuesday after being launched on bond. “I’ll struggle the actual fact I used to be not purposefully making an attempt to harm the cameras.”

Harris mentioned police confirmed him surveillance pictures supplied by Scientology officers that had been peppered with black dots, allegedly a results of burn harm to the digicam lenses from the laser. In addition they supplied pictures of Harris pointing the laser on the cameras.

In line with the arrest affidavit, video surveillance additionally captured Harris getting right into a car, which was registered to him.

“They’ve obtained cameras throughout downtown,” Harris mentioned. “They watched me stroll and go right into a restaurant. They watched me go to my automobile, then they obtained the license plate and seemed up the license plate and directed the detective.”

Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Harris’s arrest.

Harris’s laser brought on harm to cameras on Scientology’s data heart at 503 Cleveland Avenue, a church workplace constructing at 118 N Fort Harrison Ave. and the Flag Constructing at 215 S Fort Harrison Ave, in keeping with the arrest affidavit.

Pressure has been constructing round Cult Metropolis Excursions since Reinhard launched the enterprise. In a earlier assertion, Shaw referred to as the tour “bigoted propaganda.”

As a part of the tour, Reinhard has challenged attendees to rely the varied surveillance cameras “as we smiled, waved, poked at, and took footage of the cult’s cameras,” in keeping with a Feb. 25 publish on the tour’s web site.

He leads his teams in a pretend Navy jacket and hat, a play on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s exaggerated army report.

Since late February, Reinhard has additionally written now-deleted on-line feedback about three companies that falsely accused them of favoring Scientologists after these companies didn’t embrace his tour.

Throughout a dialogue on Thursday, the City Council described Cult City Tours as damaging to downtown revitalization efforts. All 5 council members mentioned the title sends the improper message to the general public as the town tries to indicate there may be extra to downtown than Scientology.

Solely council member Mark Bunker mentioned the excursions could possibly be a constructive technique to ease individuals’s fears in regards to the church if Reinhard would cease mocking Scientology.

Reinhard didn’t reply to an e-mail or voice message requesting touch upon Harris’s arrest.

Harris mentioned he was stunned to see “some very good officers” arrive at his door on Monday. He was unaware there was an investigation about his actions from a month earlier.

He mentioned he often carries a laser in his pocket to level at issues, particularly the night time sky. However he mentioned he by no means meant to break Scientology’s buildings and now needs there have been a neater technique to resolve his felony cost.

““I’d be completely satisfied to pay for the damages and write a letter of apology,” Harris mentioned. “They’ve obtained massive pockets and I don’t have massive pockets. The little pockets I’ve obtained, I don’t need them to take simply to make a degree about Cult Metropolis Excursions.”

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Man arrested for reportedly stealing a motorcycle

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Police arrested a person for allegedly stealing a motorbike from an public sale.

Robert Wiest

Based on the police report:

Wichita Falls police have been despatched to the intersection of Lee at Sixth Road, Saturday evening for a disturbance.

The proprietor of Gee Public sale advised them he had an public sale that day at Mike’s Towing the place a motorbike was auctioned. The client left however stated they’d be again to get the bike. When he returned, the bike was gone. Safety cameras revealed two males loading the bike onto a trailer and taking it away.

Throughout their investigation, police found Robert Wiest and one other particular person have been there to assist load a pickup and took the bike.

The opposite topic advised police he helped load the bike at Wiest’s request and didn’t comprehend it was not paid for. Police arrested Wiest and charged him with the theft. His bond was set at $2,500 by a decide.

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Two New Castle residents arrested in connection with Capitol riots

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A person and girl who stay in New Fortress and personal a Stowe Township enterprise are the most recent native individuals to be charged with federal crimes within the Capitol riot.Debra Maimone and Philip Vogel II had been arrested Friday morning.He is the proprietor and he or she’s president of Vera Basic Contracting and Cleansing Companies in Stowe Township, in keeping with authorities.Authorities say safety cameras captured Vogel and Maimone pushing by legislation enforcement and forcing open a door. They are saying it additionally exhibits Vogel kicking within the door to a Capitol workplace.Proof in opposition to the New Fortress couple consists of photographs from their very own social media accounts in addition to safety cameras. Maimone is seen carrying a “God, Weapons, and Trump” sweatshirt. Safety digital camera photographs present her and Vogel interacting contained in the Capitol.At one other level, Maimone allegedly will be seen placing a gasoline masks into Vogel’s backpack, serving to one other rioter put a gasoline masks in a bag, then giving them a thumbs-up gesture. Court docket paperwork say video exhibits Maimone knocking down her flag masks to indicate her face as she saying, “It is superb.”Paperwork say Vogel is heard telling her, “Put your masks again on, I do not need them to see you.”The FBI says they are often seen in different video taking protecting gear from a bag “clearly marked ‘police.'”The couple is free on an unsecured bond. They may face a most of two 1/2 years in jail and over $200,000 in fines if convicted.

A person and girl who stay in New Fortress and personal a Stowe Township enterprise are the most recent native individuals to be charged with federal crimes within the Capitol riot.

Debra Maimone and Philip Vogel II had been arrested Friday morning.

He is the proprietor and he or she’s president of Vera Basic Contracting and Cleansing Companies in Stowe Township, in keeping with authorities.

Authorities say safety cameras captured Vogel and Maimone pushing by legislation enforcement and forcing open a door. They are saying it additionally exhibits Vogel kicking within the door to a Capitol workplace.

Proof in opposition to the New Fortress couple consists of photographs from their very own social media accounts in addition to safety cameras.

Maimone is seen carrying a “God, Weapons, and Trump” sweatshirt. Safety digital camera photographs present her and Vogel interacting contained in the Capitol.

At one other level, Maimone allegedly will be seen placing a gasoline masks into Vogel’s backpack, serving to one other rioter put a gasoline masks in a bag, then giving them a thumbs-up gesture.

Court docket paperwork say video exhibits Maimone knocking down her flag masks to indicate her face as she saying, “It is superb.”

Paperwork say Vogel is heard telling her, “Put your masks again on, I do not need them to see you.”

The FBI says they are often seen in different video taking protecting gear from a bag “clearly marked ‘police.'”

The couple is free on an unsecured bond. They may face a most of two 1/2 years in jail and over $200,000 in fines if convicted.

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Homecoming Queen (and Her Mom) Arrested for Alleged Vote Hacking

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This week noticed new revelations of election interference, each large and small: On one finish of the spectrum, an alleged mother-daughter conspiracy to digitally rig a Florida highschool’s vote for homecoming queen. On the opposite, Russia’s affect operations designed to bolster Trump and sabotage Biden within the 2020 presidential election. Information of this insidious scheme has raised questions concerning the elementary resilience of American democracy—and the factor with the Kremlin is fairly dangerous too.

On Tuesday, a newly declassified report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence make clear how Russian intelligence businesses sought to affect the 2020 presidential election and swing it in the direction of Trump—although with out the identical sort of disruptive hacking that plagued the 2016 election. In different Russia information, Apple caved to Moscow’s demands that it prompt users to preload Russian-made apps on its iPhone there, opening the door to related calls for from different nations.

Within the UK, police and web service suppliers are testing a new surveillance system to log users’ online histories, following the nation’s passage in 2016 of a legislation that is come to be referred to as the “Snooper’s Constitution.” And in higher information for the safety of the web, Fb has built a so-called “Red Team X” of hackers who search out vulnerabilities in not solely Fb’s personal software program, however all of the software program Fb makes use of—and within the course of making that software program safer for everybody.

Towards the top of the week, a SpaceX engineer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The SEC filed a grievance as properly, marking the primary time the company has pursued costs associated to darkish internet exercise.

And there is extra! Every week we spherical up all of the information we didn’t cowl in depth. Click on on the headlines to learn the complete tales. And keep secure on the market.

Final fall, election software program maker Election Runner contacted faculty directors at J. M. Tate Excessive College to alert them to one thing fishy about their latest vote for homecoming queen. Because the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement would later write in charging paperwork, 117 votes had been forged from a single IP deal with, all for a single 17-year-old lady, the daughter of the college’s vice principal, Laura Rose Carroll. However every of these votes had required getting into the voter’s distinctive pupil ID quantity and start date—a thriller that was quickly solved when police realized from the college’s pupil council coordinator that the homecoming queen allegedly had been speaking about utilizing her mom’s community account to forged votes. Investigators say witnesses later advised them that the lady had bragged about casually abusing her mom’s credentials to entry different college students’ grades. And police additionally say they discovered that the mom was conscious of her daughter’s conduct, doubtless sharing her new password when she up to date it each 45 days. Each mom and daughter had been arrested and charged with fraudulently accessing confidential pupil data—except for grades and pupil IDs, the community additionally contained extra delicate information like medical historical past and disciplinary data.

A single zero-day vulnerability within the palms of hackers normally units them other than the unskilled lots. Now Google’s Menace Evaluation Group and Mission Zero vulnerability analysis group have found a single hacker group utilizing no fewer than 11 over the course of simply 9 months final 12 months—an arsenal that’s maybe unprecedented in cybersecurity historical past. Stranger nonetheless, Google had no particulars to supply about who the hackers could be, their historical past, or their victims. The vulnerabilities they exploited had been present in generally used internet browsers and working methods—resembling Chrome on Home windows 10 and Safari on iOS–permitting them to hold out extremely subtle “watering gap” assaults that infect each customer to an contaminated web site that runs the susceptible software program. Although Google has now helped to show these flaws and get them patched, the thriller of an unknown, hyper-sophisticated and uniquely well-resourced hacker group stays disconcerting.

Final week the anarchist hacker Tillie Kottman made headlines with an infinite safety breach, hacking 150,000 safety cameras offered by the agency Verkada that sit inside firms, prisons, faculties, and different organizations all over the world. This week Kottman, who makes use of the pronouns they/them, was indicted by the US Division of Justice for wire fraud, conspiracy, and id theft. Kottman is accused of not solely final week’s safety digital camera breach, but in addition acquiring and publicly sharing code repositories from greater than 100 corporations—together with Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, Adobe, AMD, Nintendo, and plenty of extra—by way of a web site they referred to as git.rip. In an interview with Bloomberg forward of the safety digital camera hack revealed final week, Tillman described their motivations: “a lot of curiosity, preventing for freedom of knowledge and in opposition to mental property, an enormous dose of anti-capitalism, a touch of anarchism—and it’s additionally simply an excessive amount of enjoyable to not do it.”

It is all the time ironic when exploiters of leaked private information eat their very own. However this specific case had maybe an anticipated end result given the title: Defunct hacked-password assortment service WeLeakInfo has leaked the knowledge of 24,000 prospects of the service, in accordance with unbiased safety journalist Brian Krebs. Till it was seized a bit over a 12 months in the past by the FBI, WeLeakInfo was one among a number of providers that collected caches of hacked or leaked passwords and packaged them on the market. However now, after the FBI allowed one among WeLeakInfo’s domains to lapse, a hacker took over that area and used it to reset the service’s account login with cost service Stripe. That exposed the non-public information of the entire service’s prospects whose funds had been processed with Stripe, together with full names, addresses, telephone numbers, IP addresses, and partial bank card numbers.

Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox has found a gaping vulnerability within the safety of textual content messaging. A hacker named Lucky225 demonstrated to him that Sakari, a service that enables companies to grant entry to its software program to ship SMS textual content messages from personal numbers, lets anybody to take over somebody’s quantity with solely a $16 month-to-month subscription and a “letter of authority” through which the hacker claims they’re approved to ship and obtain messages from that quantity—all because of the extremely lax safety methods of the telecommunications firms. Cox did actually grant Lucky225 that permission, and Lucky225 confirmed in seconds that he couldn’t solely obtain Cox’s textual content messages however ship them from his quantity and reset and take over Cox’s accounts that use SMS as an authentication methodology. A much less pleasant hacker with out permission may, in fact, do the identical.

Army contractor Ulysses has supplied in advertising supplies to trace tens of thousands and thousands of vehicles for patrons, in accordance with a doc obtained by Motherboard’s Joseph Cox, who in all probability deserves a number of investigative journalism awards by now. The corporate bragged that it aggregates information from vehicles’ telematics methods, although it is not clear precisely which sensors or which vehicles are sharing that information or how Ulysses obtained it. In a single picture, it claims it has the power to “geo-locate one car or 25,000,000, as proven right here,” subsequent to a map lined with dots overlaying a lot of Jap Europe, Turkey, and Russia. An govt for Ulysses responded to Motherboard’s questions by claiming the doc was “aspirational”—although the doc tells a unique story–and that it has no authorities contracts associated to telematics.


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