After month of actively spying on the Occupy Wall Street movement, Thomas Ryan, a 20-year security veteran, on Saturday leak of thousands of emails from the protest mailing list to both the NYPD and FBI.
Ryan is a former security instructor for the US Army and the co-founder of Cyber Operations and Threat Intelligence for Provide Security. According to his website, www.ProvideSecurity.com, Ryan leads a team of “the most-highly trained and capable physical, threat and cyber security professionals in the world.”
Ryan volunteered to monitor the movement because he thought it was something he ought to do.
“I am for a peaceful protest, not one that says it’s peaceful and people get hurt,” he said, according to Metro New York.
Since the start of Occupy Wall Street a month ago, Ryan has attended the protests in plainclothes, doing his best to blend in. Using social media like Facebook and Twitter, he’s been sending tips to the NYPD and FBI. Although both law enforcement agencies declined to comment, sources state that the tips sent by Ryan were public information, since they were posted on social media sites to begin with.
Ryan’s most recent effort came Saturday, when he exposed over 3,900 emails sent to an Occupy Wall Street mailing list. Among the recipients of the list were his buddies at the FBI and NYPD, as well as ABC (the movement had planned demonstrations at the network too). Ryan inadvertently exposed himself as well; some of the emails he leaked had his own name on them. Needless to say, this calls his alleged security expertise into question.
In retaliation, Occupy Wall Street has branded Ryan as the worst kind of dissenter: a snitch, someone Occupy Wall Street spokesperson Patrick Bruner called, “disingenuous and unproductive.”
“[The protesters] keep saying they want their own Tahrir Square-but look what happened there. People died,” he said.
For protection, police presence at and around Zuccoti Park is constantly on alert, and so far, the only actions taken have been arrests and citations for disorderly conduct.
Responses to the news of Ryan’s cyber spying have been plentiful, with certain blogs calling for cyber attacks on Ryan.
Ryan has told Gawker.com, “I know what [the hackers’] tactics are going to be.”
According to the website, Ryan is fully aware of possible retaliation, and has their real names just in case.
“I'm going to keep my mouth shut because you never release it unless you have to. You always want to have the trump card.”