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  • 1.  Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-08-2020 17:01
    I first saw this in today's Briefing of news from the science journal, Nature.

    There are several details available from local news sources, including video. Some of them have partial paywalls. As a consequence, I could not read the warrant text.  A synopsis says the warrant is based upon a Comcast IP address being traced to Jones' home.  The warrant claims it was used to post an anonymous "mysterious" message at Florida's emergency public health and medical coordination team.  The IP address was, in some manner, associated with this message but officials are not making the connection because they claim to be protecting someone's personally identifying information. The warrant has more information, including that the IP address is an IPv6 address.  

    If an IP address is all they have to make the connection, as a former professional in that industry I consider that extremely flimsy evidence.  Indeed, it could be creating by someone cracking into the Jones' home network and issuing the message, or could masquerade in other ways, e.g., malware Javascript from a Web site. Moreover the association of the IP address with the Jones' home needs to be completely watertight. It is more difficult to make the association, for example, using conventional IP geolocation tools, because the address is IPv6. 

    Full warrant text is now available.

    Indeed, the only want to definitively tie this IPv6 address to a particular geographic location is with Comcast's cooperation, using their logs from the time of the incident on 10th November 2020. That's because IP addresses are volatile, particularly IPv6 addresses. Indeed, Comcast says they only retain logs for 180 days. 

    The basic details

    Local academics react.

    Video of raid.

    More details including defensive posturing by government.

    NPR version of story




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    Jan Galkowski
    Westwood Statistical Studios
    Westwood, MA 02090

    bayesianlogic.1@gmail.com
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  • 2.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-09-2020 08:49
    Jan,
    Thanks for raising these important points about this disturbing case.  The ASA Committee on Scientific Freedom & Human Rights is currently investigating what we can do to support her.

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    David Marker
    Co-Chair, ASA Professional Issues and Visibility Council
    Senior Statistician, Westat
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  • 3.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-09-2020 13:24
    Thanks much, David.

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    Jan Galkowski
    Westwood Statistical Studios
    Westwood, MA 02090

    bayesianlogic.1@gmail.com
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  • 4.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-22-2020 21:45

    Follow-up: Data scientist Jones files suit against Florida law enforcementThe New York Times.

    Patience when clicking the link.  It takes a bit for the browser to figure out where it wants to go.  If want it quicker, it's the last bullet in the reporting on COVID-19 for the day.



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    Jan Galkowski
    Westwood Statistical Studios
    Westwood, MA 02090

    bayesianlogic.1@gmail.com
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  • 5.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-23-2020 10:05

    I'm glad this is being discussed here and that the ASA Committee is seeing how ASA (and its members) can help. Let's remember, this statistician publicized the doctoring of Covid-19 outbreak reported by the Florida Dept of Health, after it dismissed the correct data by Ms. Jones and her co-workers. Ms. Jones is worried about the confiscation of her cell phone, fearing retribution will be taken against her former co-workers, who have been feeding her the correct outbreak data after Ms. Jones had to leave. She was presenting those correct data on her dashboard. Ms. Jones initially publicized the correct Covid-19 data before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The data would have alerted her fellow Floridians of the spread of Covid-19 and its casualties. Unfortunately, the DeSantis government, instead publicized lower spread and casualty rates, lulling Floridians into a false sense of security. (I had talked to people in FL at the time who weren't aware of the surging danger.) High death rates, despite the attempts at obfuscating the surge in deaths, surfaced and have become rampant. It's a genuine health concern if the state is still underreporting the Covid-19 spread and casualty rates.



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    Mark Czarnolewski
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  • 6.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-24-2020 08:33

    Unfortunately we seem to have become numb to such outrages.  We need to support Ms. Jones however we can.



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    Robert Agnew
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  • 7.  RE: Data Scientist Rebekah Jones' home raided yesterday with drawn police weapons, executing warrant

    Posted 12-24-2020 11:29

    I totally agree with  you Robert.  Rebekah needs our support.   I have sent email notification through my meetup group (stats seminars dc) to bring awareness to what's happening and to help Ms. Jones.    However, I am just one person that have limited resources and we need more people to have courage and support Ms. Jones.   

    This is an attack on science and, as a community, we need to support those who are being unjustly persecuted  for doing what right.   

    Mike



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    Michael Jadoo
    Economist
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
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