There seems to be an organization central to all the finds that we have been uncovering over the past few weeks. One which links Laura Silsby, James Alefantis, David Brock, other individuals that I loosely refer to as the “DC Group” as well as others.
See my past threads for more info on Silsby, as well as Alefantis and his Comet Ping Pong pizza establishment:
I. The NCMEC
What is the NCMEC?
This organization is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). See their web page here:
The NCMEC website says “In January 1984 NCMEC was incorporated by private individuals as a non profit corporation to serve as a national resource center and clearinghouse on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children.”
The term “private corporation” is key here. They do not have government oversight. This means they act as gate-keeper for the government to deal with child porn material without any oversight over what they’re doing, and law enforcement cannot get involved without them giving a go ahead.
NCMEC haven’t exactly been responsible in this oversight free role they are given either. They are in the middle of a law suit over their handling of child pornography constituting a violation of the Fourth Amendment:
The details of the suit are as follows: AOL maintains a database of hash values assigned to images classified as child abuse so that they are more easily identified/tracked. AOL was simply sending NCMEC the images without bothering to open them and verify the contents. So NCMEC was violating the right to protection from undue searches and seizures by opening what AOL sent. Notice how in this instance, only NCMEC was aware of what the photo actually was (and think about how that could be used to keep a lid on information).
The NCMEC is significant mainly because of the oddly large number of connections it has. They appear to have some strong ties to Hollywood: Brian Cranston has been involved with them in the past and helped to make educational resources for them:
II. NCMEC Connections to Silsby and the “DC Group”
Especially interesting is that the NCMEC has connections to both stories I have previously run concerning child sex trafficking.
A. Laura Silsby
Since being arrested in Haiti for trying to steal 33 children and getting let off the hook with the help of the Clinton’s, Silsby has moved on to inappropriately continue to work in the anti-human trafficking sector. Silsby moved to Idaho and adoped the last name Gayler.
Silsby has moved on to work for a company called AlertSense which works with a number of US states on their alert systems, which include Amber Alerts.
Here is a local info webpage showing her working for AlertSense, as well as AlertSense’s main webpage showing that Silsby works on their Executive Team. Why would they let a woman convicted of trafficking children anywhere near systems that dealt with Amber Alerts?
And here is a less academic source covering Silsby’s move from a Haitian prison to AlertSense:
So how does this relate to the NCMEC? They are in charge of the Amber Alert program:
III. NCMEC Connection to Alefantis/Brock
A. James Alefantis/David Brock/the “DC Group” Connections to Jeff Koons
Remember how James Alefantis posted an “art” piece by Jeff Koons showing him having sex with what is purportedly his pornstar wife?
It turns out that Jeff Koons is more to Alefantis than an artist he admires. To begin with, Koons is very involved with the DC/East Coast art scene.
Here on page 10 both Alefantis and Koons are mentioned as being involved in the DC art scene for example:
But none of these circumstantial bits of evidence are as important as the discovery that Correct the Record paid Jeff Koons $50,000 according to their SEC filing, seen here on page 9:
Correct the Record is run by David Brock, who is in a relationship with James Alefantis. Here is a link confirming this and showing them caught up with another individual in some kind of blackmail love triangle:
Here is a photo of Brock on Alefantis' Instagram:
B. Jeff Koons Work Connections to the NCMEC
How is the connection to Koons Important? Koons is a board member of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). You can find an admission of that fact on his own web page:
The ICMEC was founded in 1998 by none other than the NCMEC:
IV. NCMEC Connections to Thorn and Hollywood
A. What is Thorn?
The NCMEC investigation arose while I was looking in to an organization called Thorn. Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children (previously known as DNA) was founded by Hollywood personalities Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. Wikipedia mentions that several other Hollywood stars support Thorn, and Brian Cranston (who also has worked with the NCMEC) has sponsored an event for them recently:
One of the main services Thorn provides is creation of product (termed “SpotLight” and “Solis” for use on the clear and dark net respectively) that help with API, software which sifts through the material.
It does this sifting by scanning the hash symbols which were previously mentioned in this post (relevant to the case which landed the NCMEC in hot water for violating the Fourth Amendment). Thorn was involved with the creation of this hash symbol identification system.
Despite Thorns claim’s about the effectiveness of their software, they have only identified 6,325 victims and 2,186 traffickers. These numbers are quite a paltry drop in the pond when you consider the fact that over 800,000 children are reported missing each year:
B. Thorn's Connection to the NCMEC
Thorn doesn’t just sell products to “help” combat child trafficking though, they also facilitate a meeting of various companies’ tech advisors in what is known as the Thorn Tech Task Force. Members of the Task Force include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox, Yahoo, Instagram, Tumblr, Imgur and Pinterest (many of whom were caught favoring the Clintons in the recent election). Officially, Thorn merely provides this guideline for the Task Force and doesn’t take an official role.
Once the various representatives in the task force go back to work, they collaborate closely with the NCMEC. And they are working with the very hash system that got the NCMEC in hot water for Fourth Amendment violations.
Again, when their hash sharing system catches an image, it is shared only between the companies and the NCMEC. And the recent lawsuit the NCMEC is embroiled in indicates that the companies don’t even look at flagged images themselves. Think about how this could absolve them of liability while also ensuring that no one other than the NCMEC was able to view or access the flagged images.
The NCMEC, ICMEC and Thorn all need to be placed under more intense scrutiny and investigation given Thorn’s work with the NCMEC and the NCMEC’s association with AlertSense (where Silsby works) and Koons, who has associations with David Brock and his partner James Alefantis.