Flashpoint, a surveillance contractor for the FBI, infiltrated chatrooms of airline industry groups that opposed vaccine mandates, according to a report by investigative journalist Lee Fang.
In the past, Flashpoint infiltrated Islamic terror groups. But it has since focused on vaccine skeptic groups and other domestic political groups.
Fang analyzed a webinar presentation by Flashpoint to clients that was held last year. In the presentation, Flashpoint analyst Vlad Cuiujuclu showed the company’s methods of identifying and infiltrating Telegram chat groups.
Describing the presentation, Fang wrote: “‘In this case, we’re searching for a closed channel of US Freedom Flyers,’ said Cuiujuclu. ‘It’s basically a group that opposed vaccination and masks.’
“As he clicked through a database, Cuiujuclu showed a chat group on Telegram sponsored by Airline Professionals For Justice, another group formed by airline industry workers opposed to the mandate. The forum, he added, provided useful insights, including Zoom links for meetings of the grassroots organization.
“‘Private chats,’ said Cuiujuclu, ‘require for you to have an invite link,’ which he noted can often either be found by scrolling through public forums or by ‘engag[ing] the admin of that channel.’”
Fang described the company as a leader in the “threat intelligence industry.”
On its website, Flashpoint boasted of its success in undermining aviation industry protests, environmental activism, and G20 protests. The webpages were taken down after Fang’s reporting, but they are still available on internet archive website Wayback Machine.
“By monitoring the situation and assessing tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP’s), Flashpoint was able to assess the impact of upcoming protests, and determine that these groups would likely continue to protest and attempt to impede airport construction and expansion projects through direct action,” Flashpoint’s website stated.
“Based on this information, Flashpoint customers were able to take actions to help control the impact to business operations, and to ensure the safety of their employees and facilities as well as the safety of those protesting.”