For years, the debate over Big Tech and its threat to freedom has centered most prominently on free speech. At stake is whether or not conservatives, populists, or any free-thinking or independent-minded individual who objects to our Regime’s corrupt ruling class will be allowed to share their views on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, and even whether they will be allowed to create alternatives without being hounded out of business.
This battle is extremely important. But an arguably even more important fight concerns the financial ecosystem of the Internet, and on that front the situation is no less dire. Two weeks ago, PayPal abruptly announced a major new partnership with the Anti-Defamation League to investigate the financial transactions of its users:
PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), in partnership with ADL (the Anti-Defamation League), today announced a new partnership initiative to fight extremism and hate through the financial industry and across at-risk communities. This is the latest effort by PayPal in combating racism, hate and extremism across its platforms and the industry.
Through this collaboration, PayPal and ADL have launched a research effort to address the urgent need to understand how extremist and hate movements throughout the U.S. are attempting to leverage financial platforms to fund criminal activity. The intelligence gathered through this research initiative will be shared broadly across the financial industry and with policymakers and law enforcement. [ADL]
This arrangement ought to arouse enormous concern, not just from conservatives, but anybody who cares about the danger totalitarian woke capital poses to the basic liberties of Americans. At a minimum, simple prudence requires that conservative groups do everything they can to decouple their financial well-being from PayPal’s services. But more generally, rank and file users should look elsewhere as well, and Republican lawmakers should take interest in what is unfolding.
As will soon become clear, PayPal’s deal with the disgraced ADL ought to be treated as seriously as a massive data breach or hack of its users’ information. Earlier this year a hacker going by the moniker “God User” posted information on over over 700 million LinkedIn profiles on the DarkWeb; in 2019 Facebook experienced a devastating data breach concerning over 500 million users, whose information appeared online. Paypal sharing its user data with a radical political organization with a possible history of illegal activity must be treated with no less seriousness. In fact, the situation is far worse, as PayPal is intentionally inflicting this vulnerability on its users; unlike the data breaches described above, PayPal seems to have no intention of fixing the situation.
Both PayPal and the ADL have been remarkably cagey about the exact details of their collaboration. In particular, PayPal has done nothing to reassure consumers that it won’t be turning over enormous amounts of sensitive information to the ADL.
There is certainly no reason to think PayPal has moral qualms about empowering the ADL or about weaponizing its business for political ends. PayPal CEO Dan Schulman is one of the most aggressively political CEOs in America. In 2016, Schulman canceled a planned 400-job expansion into North Carolina over the state’s transgender bathroom bill. The service has banned Alex Jones and Gab.com from using its services. And after January 6, PayPal cut off payments to GiveSendGo, the Christian crowdfunding site that allowed users to donate money for the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse and January 6 protesters.
PayPal’s own policies provide zero reassurance that the company refrains from using and abusing customer data however it wishes. The company’s “privacy” policy is anything but, as it merely lists all the information about users that PayPal reserves the right to gather and preserve.
Here are the kinds of personal data that we may collect when you create an account or use our services:
1. Information that identifies you, for example:
- First and last name
- Phone number
- IP address
- Information collected from cookies or other tracking technologies
2. Records and financial information, for example:
- Social Security Number
- Government-issued identification
- Bank account and routing numbers
- Credit and debit card information
- Financial information
3. Personal characteristics, for example:
- National origin
- Military status
4. Commercial information, for example:
- Online shopping cart information
- Purchase history
5. Internet or network activity, for example:
- Interactions with our services or sites
- Shopping history
6. Geolocation data, for example:
- Global Positioning System (GPS) information when you give us permission through your device settings
- IP-based geolocation
7. Audio, electronic, visual, biometric, or similar information, for example:
- Call recordings when you talk to customer service
- Voice identification, when you consent to this biometric method of authentication
- Photo IDs and profile pictures you provide
8. Professional or employment information, for example:
- Business information, contact emails and phone numbers
- Tax IDs
9. Information we infer based on your personal data, for example:
- Fraud and risk assessments
- Personalization preferences
Today, the ADL is led by former Obama Administration apparatchik Jonathan Greenblatt. Before his stint with Obama, Greenblatt was literally a bottled water salesman, who hit on the genius idea that you could sell bottled water for $2 a bottle as long as five cents of the purchase price went to fund charity programs in Africa. Amusingly, it turned out that by bottling water in Southern California and shipping it elsewhere, Greenblatt’s company was exacerbating water issues in America’s most drought-prone region. In 2014, Greenblatt took his at-all-costs “water bottle salesman mindset” over to the ADL and since then has substantially shaped the group’s ideological tenor.
The ADL’s most famous push for ideological control came in April, when Greenblatt demanded that Fox cancel Tucker Carlson’s show for describing mass immigration as the “replacement” of existing American citizens. But that was simply one demand among many for Greenblatt, and that particular demand was notably much less successful than many of the ADL’s other censorship efforts.
Everyone has a right to expression free from government regulation. But press outlets and social media aren’t public places; they’re private businesses. Both have an ethical obligation to society and a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. No newspaper is required to publish a particular article; most newspapers have editors who safeguard against libel or hate. Moreover, access to social media platforms is a not a legal right, it is a privilege. Abuse it, and you should lose it.
On January 7, the ADL demanded that all Qanon-associated accounts on Twitter be banned. Countless accounts were immediately purged. A short time later, the ADL attacked Amazon for allowing third-party sellers to sell Qanon, Oath Keeper, and Three Percenter merchandise. Not only that, but the group pressured Cloudfare and Epik to stop providing webhosting services for “extremist platforms like Gab.”
That’s the 2021 ADL in a nutshell: Claiming to support “free speech” while relentlessly fighting for a world where powerful corporations collude to prevent the “wrong” ideas from appearing on social media, and banning “badthinking” people from creating their own independent websites. But the list of misdeeds of the crooked ADL doesn’t stop there. The ADL doesn’t just believe in making sure that it can say whatever it wants while its foes are silenced. It also believes in making sure the right to dox is reserved exclusively to itself and its allies.
Last January, the ADL published an article explaining that “Doxing Should Be Illegal,” but “Reporting Extremists Should Not.”
Many people define doxing as posting someone’s personal information online. But doxing as a blanket term threatens to ignore the crucial difference between criminal doxing on the one hand, and, on the other hand, lawfully identifying people online, where the purpose may be to protect others, track down extremists or report on a public interest story. … [U]nlawful doxing is different from the work that activists and researchers—including those at ADL—are now engaging in to identify extremists and help law enforcement agencies investigate the rioters who violently stormed the Capitol. These activists and researchers are not operating with a criminal mental state.
In other words, when the ADL or “activists” it agrees with dox their enemies online they are operating in the right “mental state,” so no matter the consequences of their behavior it is always good. But if the ADL’s opponents do the same behavior, it is by definition done with a “criminal mental state,’ and it can credibly be a criminal offense.
It’s no surprise that, to justify this kind of power grab, the ADL has been aggressively hysterical about the January 6 incident, consistently describing it as an “insurrection.” And since this so-called “insurrection,” ADL’s ambitions to control American society have only metastasized. The US military has become one of the ADL’s chief targets in 2021, and they are going so far as to seek an ideological purge of the armed forces. In a March blog post, the ADL wrote that military regulations must be revised to ensure that soldiers can be disciplined not merely for belonging to certain banned groups, but for holding banned ideas:
Military regulations should also reflect, insofar as it is possible, the nature of modern extremist movements. Regulations that only refer to extremist groups or organizations, for example, may not be sufficient to deal with adherents of extremist movements who do not belong to any specific group. Language that also refers to movements or causes, or that refers to activities as well as groups, is more likely to be more effective.
In May, The Washington Post quoted the ADL’s Mark Pitcavage in support of the idea that the military should issue sweeping bans on even “interacting” with “extremists” online:
Officials reviewing military rules on extremism, which do not reflect the amorphous, largely online nature of today’s far right, also are considering a move that would ban “mere membership” in such groups.
Some activists argue that the prohibitions should be more sweeping because, in their view, even interactions with extremists in an online forum, for example, constitute active participation in potentially violent movements.
“It’s not so much their opinion; it’s them being involved with other extremists,” said Mark Pitcavage, an expert on domestic extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks hate groups.
What counts as an “extremist?” With the Biden Administration in charge, the ADL is sure to play a major role in deciding it, so it’s worth recalling some of the things they’ve warned are racist or offensive in recent years:
The “okay” hand sign as a “racist” meme was concocted by 4chan as a troll, to indicate how it was trivially easy to convince the left that anything was racist. Fascinatingly, the ADL openly knows this was the purpose, but they decided to take the bait anyway and create an entire page about the racist use of the okay sign.
The ADL has occasionally tried to show a smidgen of neutrality by criticizing Antifa, but buried in their anti-“hate” database it’s clear how they actually feel. Considered on par with actual racist or violent rhetoric, the League simply classifies the entire category of “anti-Antifa” imagery as hate-based. The tone of its writing makes it clear how they really feel: Antifa are fundamentally heroic and laudable, and those who stand against them are villainous. But don’t take our word for it:
White supremacist anti-left (or sinistrophobic) symbology especially targets far left and anarchist activists who have dedicated themselves to actively opposing and exposing white supremacists. In the 1990s and 2000s, for example, white supremacists created images that targeted anti-racist skinheads known as SHARPS (for “Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice”), such as placing a red circle and diagonal bar, or a gun sight, on top of an image of a Trojan helmet (a common SHARP symbol).
More recently, white supremacists have created similar imagery directed against antifa (short for anti-fascist), the loosely-organized left-wing and anarchist anti-racist movement. White supremacists have coined the term “anti-antifa” for themselves.
It’s Okay To Be White
While the “okay sign” was popularized to show how easily the left could be convinced that anything was white supremacist, the “It’s Okay to be White” campaign was created with a more direct purpose: To expose the immense, innate, practically panicked hostility on the left to even the most mild statement in defense of white people. And just like with the “okay sign,” the ADL was the most enthusiastic participant in proving the campaign’s point:
The phrase “It’s Okay To Be White” is a slogan popularized in late 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the controversial discussion forum 4chan. The original idea behind the campaign was to choose an ostensibly innocuous and inoffensive slogan, put that slogan on fliers bereft of any other words or imagery, then place the fliers in public locations. Originators assumed that “liberals” would react negatively to such fliers and condemn them or take them down, thus “proving” that liberals did not even think it was “okay” to be white.
What the ADL neglects to mention, of course, is that 4chan was completely right. Here is the the Daily Northwestern hyperventilating:
University Police are investigating flyers found in Crowe Hall reading “IT’S OKAY TO BE WHITE,” deputy chief of police Gloria Graham told The Daily.
Graham said in an email that an individual reported the posters after finding them on a bulletin board and deeming them “offensive.” UP currently has an “open case,”Graham added.
Here’s the Star Tribune:
Posters that read “It’s OK to Be White” have popped up in cities and schools across the country in recent days, including at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. …They have since been removed, but their brief appearance struck a chord with students who said the signs run counter to the school’s values of inclusiveness and safety for all who work and study there.
“I was really shocked that someone had the guts to do this because we try to promote diversity so much, and seeing this is saying, “Hey, we still have students who aren’t fully invested in this diversity message,’ ” senior Micah Ferden told WDAY-TV in Fargo.
More than a dozen handmade stickers reading “It’s okay to be white” surfaced around Harvard Square Wednesday, prompting Cambridge officials to remove them and a Harvard Law School Dean to denounce the signs as “provocations intended to divide us.”
And finally, here’s the Daily Utah Chronicle:
Multiple posters that said, “It’s okay to be white,” were found on Sunday and Monday at the University of Utah. In response, the U’s Office of Equity and Diversity posted a statement on Facebook condemning the posters Monday. … Nelson also stressed the importance of reporting incidences of discrimination to the proper authorities.
“If someone on campus witnesses discrimination or feels discriminated against, they should report the incident to the U’s Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action or the Office for Inclusive Excellence, so the incident can be investigated and addressed,” he said.
So the ADL, then, is the group that now will wield power over identifying “extremist” activity on PayPal, and which will aim to exert its influence on the ongoing purge of the American armed forces.
The ADL’s close ties with PayPal would be bad enough just based on the group’s clear-cut bias and its hysterical responses to trivial provocations. But the ADL has an even darker history, one that includes an overt willingness to spy on Americans and even break the law in pursuit of its agenda.
In the early 1990s, the ADL was at the center of a far-reaching espionage scandal. At the time, the group’s main concern was anti-Israel sentiment on the left, so the group’s espionage targets were on the left as well. But the ADL showed no limit in whom it was willing to target, extending its snooping all the way up to members of Congress, including a future House Speaker. To pay its operatives, the ADL used a secret bank account created under a fake name.
Podcast host and former Matt Taibbi colleague Mark Ames described the saga in a 2013 article:
In 1993 I received a letter in the mail. It informed me that I was the victim of an illegal spy ring involving members of the ADL and a San Francisco Police Department intelligence detective called Tom Gerard. The letter came with an index card that included my full name, driver’s license, the license-plate number on my shitty old Subaru hatchback, and the Mission District addresses of my apartment and the leftie bookstore where I worked, near Guerrero and 20th Street. My file had been marked “Pinko,” one of five categories that the ADL spymaster used to flag the group’s targets.
Police had seized thousands of index cards like mine in raids on the ADL’s San Francisco office, and in searches of the homes and storage facilities of the organization’s key figures. According to newspaper reports of the time, 12,000 Americans and 950 groups were victims of the now-forgotten scandal.
The list of victims reads like a Who’s Who of the Liberal Establishment: NAACP, ACLU, Greenpeace, ACT UP!, National Lawyers Guild, Mother Jones founder Adam Hochschild, reporters from the Los Angeles Times and KQED public television, and scores of local labor unions including the United Auto Works and Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers. The ADL operatives even spied on a handful of U.S. Congressmen, all Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, Senator Alan Cranston, Pete McClosky, Mervyn Dymally, and Ron Dellums of Oakland, head of the House Armed Services Committee. [Pacific Standard]
The reason the ADL investigated Ames, it turns out, was that he had demonstrated against South Africa’s apartheid government, and the ADL feared that anti-apartheid activists would eventually make similar attacks and use similar tactics against Israel (thirty years later, the BDS movement indicates they were right on that count).
But the ADL didn’t just gather information on anti-apartheid activists. Its investigator actually sold the information to South Africa, including a report on Democratic Congressman Ron Dellums, the black chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
While police raided the ADL’s offices and seized thousands of pages of material, they ultimately agreed not to prosecute in return for a small fine and a promise from the ADL not to illegally spy on people in the future. One possible reason for the lenient treatment? One of the ADL’s investigators, Tom Gerard, fled to the Philippines and threatened to expose CIA conduct if he was treated too harshly.
“But the 50-year-old former spy and San Francisco police inspector is no longer playing games. He says he will blow the whistle on what he calls illegal CIA support of Central American death squads if he is indicted and tried for his suspected role in a growing California-based scandal over a nationwide intelligence network run largely on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League.Gerard detailed his charges against the CIA in a three-hour interview on this jungle-clad southern Philippine island, where he fled Oct. 25. He said much of the proof is contained in a black American Tourister briefcase seized by San Francisco police from his gym locker there. [LA Times]
That, then, is the organization that is now collaborating with PayPal to wage war on extremism: A group that panics over hand signs and the phrase “It’s Okay to Be White,” a group that illegally spied on thousands of Americans, a group that lies about supporting “free speech” while strongarming megacorporations into doing its bidding and demanding the cancellation of shows it doesn’t like.
The time to worry about this collaboration is right now. Nationalists, Republicans, and all Americans who care about the future of this country can’t afford to wait six months or a year or five years, when the inevitable fruits of the ADL’s witch hunt appear, and they have censored even more voices and marginalized all opposition to the Globalist American Empire. The time to hold PayPal accountable and protect ordinary Americans from the machinations of the ADL is right now.
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