This is the second part of Robert Norse’s interview with Christopher Doyon a.k.a. Commander X, that occurred on December 16, 2010, and shortly after Doyon organized and carried out a DDoS attack against the county of Santa Cruz, California. You can find the first part of the interview here.
At the time of the interview, Doyon had been living in the Santa Cruz area for approximately a year and a half after trying his hand as a spiritual guru named the “Wizard of Haight-Ashbury,” who, among other things, laid claim to creating software that allowed you to time travel. When he arrived in the coastal town, he ratcheted up tickets and court cases, and quickly became a disruptive force against the city’s anti-homeless laws while living on the streets himself.
Doyon caught the attention of Norse, a well-established activist and radio host in the community who brought Doyon on to his show as a co-host after their initial meeting. Doyon went on to co-host almost two dozen more shows over the course of the next year.
However, when Doyon called into Norse’s show just a few hours after he launched the DDoS attack, he identified himself as “Commander X” and tried to disguise his voice. As I stated in #OpISIS 8.4:
Hooboy, where does one even start? Well, first of all, despite Doyon’s attempt to disguise his voice, the software he [used] failed to mask his heavy East Coast accent and even I recognized his voice simply from listening to a handful of Norse’s radio shows previously. I would be shocked if Norse—and the feds— didn’t recognize him immediately, or at least by the end of this show.
If you decided to listen to the full show (HERE), then you already know that after Doyon signed off, someone else called in and this is how it went:
Norse: We have a caller…let’s see what they have to say.
Norse: Hey there, caller, you’re on Free Radio with Steve and Robert…
Caller: Okay, um, yeah, it’s regarding your mystery caller you had on there—
Norse: Commander X.
Caller: Okay, uh, whatever his nom de plume is or whatever, uh, to me, if that wasn’t the [unintelligible] and, I think, pretty delusional Curbhugger Chris…is that you call him?
Norse: There is a man named Curbhugger Chris that has actually been a co-host on my show.
Caller: Yeah, I’ve heard him numerous times and if that wasn’t him, I mean, I’ll—I’ll eat tomorrow’s Sentinel [Santa Cruz Sentinel]…I think that if you’re sort of perpetrating, I’m not saying you are, but if you’re in collusion with Chris and then you’ve cooked this sorta little Commander X or whatever, up…I mean, it was a dead ringer for him, I’m not saying it was him but his speech pattern and if you take away that whatever that [voice disguiser] —
Like me, this was just some random private citizen who heard Doyon’s voice on Norse’s shows before and knew that he was behind Commander X. I feel pretty confident at this point that the F.B.I. knew exactly who Commander X was about five minutes after he launched the DDoS attack. Maybe sooner. And yes, “Curbhugger Chris” was yet another persona that Doyon adopted.
And from #OpISIS 8.1:
After Christopher Doyon a.k.a. Commander X finally had his 10-year felony drug case closed in 1998, he hid his online presence about as suspiciously well as Snowden did, meaning he didn’t. Like, not at all. With an interest in internet radio, he allegedly moved back to the East Coast and launched an internet channel called Terrapin Station (a.k.a. “Unbrokenchain“).
So yeah. After the DDoS attack against the Santa Cruz county website, Doyon called into Norse’s radio show and, again, you can find the transcript for the first half of that phone call at #OpISIS 8.4. During that phone call, Doyon—er, sorry, Commander X read a public statement on air in which he repeatedly encouraged activists and private citizens to download the High Orbit Ion Cannon off his website, a cyber tool that’s easy to use but carries a five-year prison sentence if caught using it to deploy DDoS attacks.
Not that Doyon warned anyone about the illegality of it. On the contrary, he told everyone it was perfectly legal because he’s clearly a self-centered asshole. Or was working with the feds. Or both.
Below is a partial transcript which starts up directly after Doyon finished reading his public statement (approximately the 31:30 mark), the exact place we left off. And if you thought the stuff coming out of this guy’s mouth couldn’t get any worse, buckle up.
Norse: …I guess, you know, I’m sort of interested in what the vulnerability of people like yourselves is. I know in terms of legal vulnerability, you know, Julian Assange, is, of course, a famous figure who’s himself been cut off from funding and so forth for revealing the criminal war activities of various governments, particularly the US government. And, in response, there have been what is called cyberattacks on Visa Mastercharge [MasterCard] and so forth. Was your attack today similar to that against those groups?
Doyon: It was exactly the same. Only on scale was it different. We only needed 10 cannons. Your county website is very small and, uh, does not present much of a web profile. It took about 10 cannons for us to knock it down whereas, to give you an example what it would take to bring down MasterCard, we needed approximately 500.
Norse: 500, I’m sorry, 500 what?
Doyon: As we told you in the statement, we, uh, distribute them. They’re available on our website and I encourage all of your listeners to go right now and download one yourself. They’re very easy to use and our advisors are standing by to help you. Download one, we aim them at the websites, and we fire the lasers, and the websites disappear.
Norse: So you’re talking about PLF777.limewebs.com is one of the websites…?
Doyon: That is.
Norse: And the second one is—
Doyon: That is.
Norse: Second one is svtplay.se/b/2264028?
Doyon: Correct. Now, the first one that you read is our home website. Please understand that we have been involved in many, many actions this week. This website is very vulnerable. One of the reasons we use the urls that we use is because we are constantly on the move. Should our website crash, though, it will be replaced very, very shortly and available. Just remember our name, we are everywhere.
Norse: And again, your name is?
Doyon: And the second one—
Norse: Your name is?
Doyon: And the second url is a movie which I believe that all your listeners and the citizens in your city should watch. It’s very, very important. But the lasers are available on our home website.
As you can see, at no point did Doyon stop urging the folks of Santa Cruz and, technically, anyone around the world who was listening to Norse’s show, to download a cyber tool that can land you in prison for five years with a $100,000 fine. On public radio, no less. It’s some of the most careless, batshit crazy, fed-like behavior I’ve ever seen coming from a so-called hacker.
At this point in the interview, Norse started reading an article published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel earlier that day about the attack. It was fairly detailed and I don’t know where they got the information from (probably in an email written by Doyon himself), but they reported that Doyon’s alleged and super secret, underground group, Peoples Liberation Front (PLF), wasn’t just from Massachusetts. They were from Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In case you missed it, in the first part of this interview Doyon told everyone on the radio that PLF’s ops command center was located in Massachusetts. And previous to that, he revealed a massive amount of information about his private life, including the fact that he used to live in Cambridge, during Norse’s past radio shows. Now the F.B.I. had a name, city, and a state.
And remember #OpISIS 8.3 when I mentioned that Doyon took credit for taking down the Swedish prosecutor’s website in both an Anonymous IRC chat and his 2017 book? He bragged about it to Norse, as well, although it now seems unlikely that he had anything technical to do with it other than taking credit for what other hackers did:
Doyon: We’ve taken down approximately, uh, six times we’ve taken down websites. [Unintelligible] we did MasterCard multiple times. Twice to be precise. And then at one point there was a split in the command of Anonymous and immediately after the Swedish prosecutor appealed his bail [Julian Assange’s], the PLF decided to unilaterally take down the Swedish prosecutor’s website.
And that we had to do it on our own because Anonymous would not agree to issue the targeting orders. So, we took our own troops back and whoever else would follow our charge, and, uh, approximately 1,100 cannons stood, uh, with us, 1,100 operators firing multiple cannons in many cases.
So, 1,100 [unintelligible] stood with us as we took down the Swedish prosecutor’s office within minutes after that announcement was made on CNN that Julian would not be released. We took down that site. and I never felt better about anything in my life to be honest with you. I was so angry that they held that up.
At one point there was a split in the command of Anonymous…we had to do it on our own because Anonymous would not agree to issue the targeting orders. Loool wut? And what came next sounded like Doyon’s unofficial announcement that he was in the process of infiltrating the WikiLeaks scene next by building himself up as an Assange insider.
Doyon: Now, as anyone can read on our website, you can [unintelligible] Julian was released this morning, and the group command of Anonymous, which we are loyal to and we stand under that command presently, and it is under a ceasefire.
The one thing that we will not do is fire while Julian is at his liberty. Julian can fight his own battles. And trust me, I know Julian and he will be able to take care of himself just fine. As long as he’s not in a cage and if he can get to a computer, Julian will be fine. So, he’s in a mansion right now just about three quarters of a mile from the courthouse.
And, uh, we would like to also thank Mr. Michael Moore, I’m sure he’s not listening but [unintelligible] who knows, for posting the bail for Julian. And so Julian is at his liberty now, as for as I know he’s doing fine. We follow the news minute by minute and we’re in constant contact with the central command of the Anonymous operation, as it’s known.
Group command of Anonymous. We’re in constant contact with the central command of the Anonymous operation, as it’s known. Lordy, this dude is nuttier than a fruitcake. As the interview continued, Norse pointed out that not everyone in the community was happy about what transpired earlier in the day and there were (legit) concerns that the DDoS attack would bring “federal heat” to their local protest.
Norse: Commander X, let me ask you, I’ve looked at some of the comments on the Sentinel story…there is some comments in the comment section and one of those comments says, ‘These punks aren’t helping Peace Camp 2010 or anyone else, they’re just going to bring federal heat to a local protest. Nice going, jerks.’ What’s your reaction to that?
Doyon: Oh, that’s, that’s—I got a great reaction to that. You know, I will tell you something Mr. Who—does he have a name, does this fellow have a name?
Norse: He calls himself “Flag” on this comment…
Doyon: Alright, well, I hope Mr. Flag is listening this evening out there, sir. Uh, let me address some things directly to you. First of all, we were very effective and we did exactly what we said we were going to do, and we did it exactly when we said we were going to do it. We’re holding the cards here.
Doyon: Number two, there have been some 25,000 people standing at one time under what we call an anon ops command. Over 25,000 people and we’ve been doing this for a week now. Not one single person has been arrested in the process of these attacks or because of these attacks.
If you were to follow the news or do a little research, you would know that every single attorney that has appeared on major networks from CNN to Fox news has said the same thing: ‘This simply isn’t illegal.’ And that’s going to be a problem.
The United States of America…[unintelligible]…these forms of attacks, they are more akin to a First Amendment expression similar to a sit-in so good luck trying to attract the feds.
Secondly, right now there is so much going on in cyberspace that you can’t even imagine and the federal government, I assure you, with 800,000 State department documents [the documents that Manning leaked] floating out there in cyberspace, going from bit torrent to bit torrent, the federal government has bigger fish to fry than the PLF. Good luck.
Not one single person has been arrested in the process of these attacks or because of these attacks.
This simply isn’t illegal.
Good luck trying to attract the feds.
The federal government has bigger fish to fry.
Approximately ten days later, Doyon was arrested and his devices were seized by the feds. Nine months after that, he and Joshua Covelli, a hacker that Doyon successfully recruited, were indicted because welcome to the face of Anonymous, ya’ll! Advisors are standing by!!
Norse: [D]on’t you think that there’s a danger that people are going to say ‘Here’s this group of, you know, uh, I don’t know, maybe misguided people or thugs, as this guy calls—he’s calling you ‘thugs’—he’s saying, you know—
D *deep chuckling*
Norse: —you’re causing trouble—
Doyon: I am, I am a thug.
Norse: You are a thug? Alright, well then, Mr. Thug, uh, what—you know, don’t you—I mean is this a way of garnering public support for Peace Camp 2010? You think this is going to have a positive impact on the community?
Doyon: Oh, lemme tell you something. Right now at this very moment the download counter on my HOIC is clicking so I’m thinking this is residents of Santa Cruz taking up my call. And by the time I’m done, there are so many hundreds of people who are going to download this piece of software that we will literally be able to control the entire internet of the county. We will take down any site at our will, at our whim. So, I’m not feeling terribly afraid right now, no.
Right. Now start alleging on public radio that the innocent residents of some coastal city in California are all downloading a cyber tool that carries a hefty prison sentence because that definitely won’t bring the federal heat. Well played (and so f*cked up), Commander X.
Norse: Well, I’m just saying, can’t this [High Orbit Ion Cannon] be used by any group ranging from NeoNazis to, you know, pro-life groups to CIA supporters that take down—
Doyon: Absolutely, it’s all about—
Norse: —to take down websites—
Doyon: It’s all about the numbers. You know, somebody in Santa Cruz is probably responsible for taking down the forum this morning, uh, right now, this evening. While I have another address I could give you—it’s a beautiful site, it’s where our command–uh, operation command center is—people are welcome to troll information we release [unintelligible] regularly on how to, on different sorts of hacking and whatnot. It’s an excellent resource. But it’s down currently, it got slammed by the West just about the time I went on the air, coincidentally. You know, that’s life. That’s cyber war. And you know, if I find out who did it, I’ll take their site down.
Norse then (carelessly, imo) suggested that Doyon post his group’s information on IndyBay.org where he posts his own material. Doyon stated that he didn’t have the time and suggested that Norse do it himself because there’s nothing wrong with trying to incriminate a veteran activist, radio host, and long-serving thorn in the local government’s side while we’re burning the rest of the city down, amirite? Then Doyon encouraged Norse to post on his website:
Doyon: Why don’t you go on our forum and you can write some stuff. We hear a lot of good stuff about you.
Norse: Oh, well, thank you.
Doyon: We’ve got a dossier about three inches thick on you.
Norse: Uh, once I’m on your forum other people may have a dossier three inches thick, as well. That was one of the reasons, I know you invited me to sort of join the chatroom and observe the process of the takedown. Frankly—
Norse: — I don’t have, I don’t have —I got an email to that effect earlier today from the community information—but, I was not really in a position to, uh, judge whether what you were doing was legal and what the implications were for, what a journalist’s protections were and, you know, so I —
Doyon: If you follow the rules you’ll be protected. I said that in the email and our next embedded journalist will be Kurtis from the Santa Cruz Sentinel—
Norse: Yup, ah ha—
Doyon: —if he’s listening…wait Mr. Norse!
Norse: Yeah sure.
Doyon: I want to speak. If Kurtis from the Santa Cruz Sentinel is listening as I probably believe he is, I exchanged several emails with him today, I would like to say hello, first of all. [Unintelligible] kind, he was a gentleman, and uh, and uh…I’d like him to be embedded in the command center for the next action if there is a next action.
I sincerely hope though that there won’t be to be honest with you. As I said in the communique to the media, I’d like to see the prosecutor simply do the right thing. It’s Christmas. Let these poor, simple people go and then, you know what, you will never hear from the Peoples Liberation Front again. We will pack up and go.
Throughout the course of the interview, Doyon struggled to maintain a group image or “we” persona (as in the “Peoples Liberation Front”) and he essentially confessed to more and more as the radio program went on i.e. I sent the emails, I spoke with Curtis Alexander, I hope there won’t be anymore attacks, I’ll take their site down in retaliation, the numbers on “my” HOIC are going up, etc. And as the interview wrapped up, Doyon inexplicably gave away his location:
Norse: Well, thank you, Commander X, and I look forward to reports from Kurtis Alexander and from you in the future…I’m still a little nervous about how this is being done but that’s probably my middle class upbringing. But I acknowledge the righteousness—
Doyon: Well, you know, I was prepared for you to say something like that so I just want to tell you, just as a little dig because I know you have quite an activist history, I would just like to say that this how us East Coast activists fly on—
Norse: Right on! Well, maybe you can educate some of us West Coast activists, okay?
Doyon: I hope, I hope to do just that, that’s why I’m here in your town
Norse: Alright, well thank you…
“I hope to do just that, that’s why I’m here in your town.” And there it is, folks. If the feds weren’t sure who attacked Santa Cruz earlier that day, they were now. It doesn’t matter whether or not Doyon meant to convey that he was in Santa Cruz, say, virtually. Or, if he did, in fact, accidentally (or purposely) reveal where he was. The feds would have investigated all of it, including what was probably a very audible, “Holy shit, did he just admit that he’s physically in Santa Cruz right now?” moment in the San Francisco field office.
In #OpISIS 3, I mentioned an article that Kurtis Alexander wrote for the Santa Cruz Sentinel with a headline that read, “Cyber Hackers Attack Santa Cruz County Government Website, Briefly Interrupting Service”:
In an e-mail inquiry to the group, an anonymous member going by the name ‘Commander X’ told the Sentinel the group became interested in the Peace Camp because another anonymous member knew a participant in the protest. The group declined to say which local demonstrator it knew and said its actions Wednesday were performed unbeknownst to that person.
Seeing that Doyon admitted earlier in the interview with Norse that he was the one emailing with Alexander, he not only talked about himself in third person in the above email, he confirmed that he was part of the PLF AND the “anonymous member”/“local demonstrator” in Santa Cruz.
And in case you missed it in the previous article, before Doyon called into Norse’s radio show, Norse told his audience that the PLF sent him an email in which the group took credit for organizing Peace Camp 2010. This statement not only falsely implicated the real Peace Camp 2010 organizers as co-conspirators, it placed the “PLF” physically in Santa Cruz.
I’m not joking, a first grader would have cracked this case in five minutes. A first grader also would have known better than to allow such a reckless and self-centered guy like Doyon to become the public face of his grade school.
The following was clipped from the transcript above to shorten up the main article but I’m including it here because Norse makes some good points about the Santa Cruz protests. You can choose to read it or not. You can also listen to the show in its entirety HERE.
Norse: So, Commander X let me ask you this, um, you know there is, of course, um, I think maybe the public and that’s who you’re really, I think, talking to and that’s who the people who are hacking the websites of MasterCharge and Visa and trying to—
Doyon: These are people, Robert! These are people, Mr. Norse, that are just simply taking their world back piece by piece , chunk by chunk—
Norse: Right, I—
Doyon: Like [unintelligible].
Norse: I understand but let me say though the—one thing, I think they may, they have a certain base of support because people are thinking, at least I’m one of those and I think a number of people are thinking if they’re not government officials or blinded by media propaganda that it’s really important that people like Julian Assange and others who use the internet to disperse information about criminal behavior by public government employees and individuals and people in positions of power, that’s an important thing.
And then when Paypal and MasterCharge [MasterCard] cuts off the funding of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks that certainly is a legitimate cause for a series of cyberattacks. It actually economically hurt those groups for at least brief periods of time but I don’t know—
Doyon: MasterCard, MasterCard lost one million dollars per minute—
Norse: Right, exactly—
Doyon: —for nine hours
Norse: Exactly, but I’m wondering though, in contrast, people watching this situation, first of all they’ve never heard of Peace Camp 2010, though maybe now they will thanks to this, this certainly has a publicity value…uh, don’t you think that people might interpret this as a form of trying to—even though you’re saying you’re not—you’re trying to get the prosecutor to drop charges which, frankly, I think he should do independently of anything your group is doing or anyone else is doing simply because these are human rights violations. People have to be able to sleep at night and also these are First Amendment violations. People have the right to protest the fact they can’t sleep at night. And also this is—
Norse: —an exposure of government malfeasance because the kinds of measures taken by the government in order to suppress this protest have been illegal in some respects, certainly unconstitutional , they set up [unintelligible] lights, engaged in jailing people for First Amendment activity, they have arrested homeless peo—
Doyon: We are aware of all of this—
Norse: Right, but I’m saying that the community might not be and that’s why— I’m talking to both you and the community.
Disclaimer: Ten thousand more pages of disclaimers to follow.
If you were mentioned in this article because your associate(s) did or said something stupid/dishonest, that’s not a suggestion that you did or said something stupid/dishonest or that you took part in it. Of course, some may conclude on their own that you associate with stupid/dishonest individuals but that’s called having the right to an opinion. If I’ve questioned something that doesn’t make sense to me, that’s not me spinning the confusing material you’ve put out. That’s me trying to make sense out of something that doesn’t make sense. And if I’ve noted that you failed to back up your allegations that means I either missed where you posted it or you failed to back your shiz up.
If I haven’t specifically stated that I believe (my opinion) someone is associated with someone else or an event, then it means just that. I haven’t reported an association nor is there any inference of association on my part. For example, just because someone is mentioned in this article, it doesn’t mean that they’re involved or associated with everyone and everything else mentioned. If I believe that there’s an association between people and/or events, I’ll specifically report it.
If anyone mentioned in this article wants to claim that I have associated them with someone else or an event because I didn’t disclose every single person and event in the world that they are NOT associated with, that’s called gaslighting an audience and it’s absurd hogwash i.e. “They mentioned that I liked bananas but they didn’t disclose that I don’t like apples. Why are they trying to associate me with apples???” Or something similar to this lovely gem, “I did NOT give Trish the thumb drive!” in order to make their lazy audience believe that it was reported they gave Trish the thumb drive when, in fact, that was never reported, let alone inferred.
That’s some of the BS I’m talking about so try not to act like a psychiatric patient, intelligence agent, or paid cyber mercenary by doing these things. If you would like to share your story, viewpoint, or any evidence that pertains to this article, or feel strongly that something needs to be clarified or corrected (again, that actually pertains to the article), you can reach me at email@example.com with any questions or concerns.
I cannot confirm and am not confirming the legitimacy of any messages or emails in this article. Please see a doctor if sensitivity continues. If anyone asks, feel free to tell them that I work for Schoenberger, Fitzgibbon, Steven Biss, the CIA, or really just about any intelligence agency because your idiocy, ongoing defamation, and failure as a human is truly a sight to behold for the rest of us.
If I described you as a fruit basket or even a mental patient it's because that is my opinion of you, it's not a diagnosis. I'm not a psychiatrist nor should anyone take my personal opinions as some sort of clinical assessment. Contact @BellaMagnani if you want a rundown on the psych profile she ran on you.
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