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Apple aids FBI in locating protester accused of firebombing cop cars

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Apple gave the FBI data on a Black Lives Matter activist accused of firebombing police vehicles during a protest last May.

The FBI investigation into the incident, which took place at a demonstration in Seattle over the police killing of George Floyd, began after a tip pointed to Kelly Jackson as the alleged perpetrator.

After obtaining Jackson’s name, the FBI was able to secure records from Verizon placing the suspect at the protest earlier this year. The FBI also learned that the suspect owned an iPhone 7, according to a search warrant obtained by Forbes.

Investigators then contacted Apple and were given access to Jackson’s iCloud account, which included photographs from the day of the protest.

The FBI says it found a screenshot of an Instagram post in Jackson’s photo gallery describing the protest as “The Defiant Walk of Resistance Against Injustice.”

Jackson also purportedly took a screenshot of a webpage that listed the “ingredients” for a Molotov cocktail.

Investigators further claim that one video in Jackson’s iCloud account showed a white male’s hands pulling a glass bottle out of a black bag, while another showed a similar bottle being thrown into a police car that caught fire immediately after.

While the man’s face is never visible in the two videos, the FBI says it was able to match the sweatshirt worn in the clips to other videos of the suspect that day.

Jackson, who is accused of lighting two police vehicles on fire, was arrested last week and charged with arson and unlawful possession of a destructive device.

Although Apple has not commented publicly on the case, the company complies with the majority of requests it receives from law enforcement.

In its last transparency report, Apple stated that it received 4,095 requests for user data and handed over information for 3,645 during the second half of 2019.


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*First Published: Sep 16, 2020, 5:30 pm

Mikael Thalen

Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.

Mikael Thalen

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Jada Pinkett Smith Hears What Her Mom And Daughter Thought Of Her ‘Entanglement’ For 1st Time

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Jada Pinkett Smith knows a thing or two about vulnerability. Now, she’s opening the conversation up to her family.

Jada surprised fans with a Red Table Talk episode in July after rumors of an affair surfaced. There have been many rumors around her marriage to Will Smith over the years, but this was the first with commentary from a source.

August Alsina, a friend of the Smith family, revealed that he and Jada had some sort of relationship for a period of time. Jada took herself to the table to open up about what she called an “entanglement,” in conversation with Will.


On a more recent episode of Red Table Talk, the subject of vulnerability came up. Jada was joined by her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith. The three started talking about the times they’d been most vulnerable on the show. This led to the subject of the entanglement. It was Adrienne and Willow’s first opportunity to comment publicly.

Jada Pinkett Smith has opened up about some very personal times in her life this year. It all started in June, when Smith family friend August Alsina spoke with Angela Yee of The Breakfast Club about his previous relationship with Jada. He claimed that he got Will Smith’s blessing to date Jada.

“I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation…. He gave me his blessing,” August revealed.

“And I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really, deeply loved and have a ton of love for her. I devoted myself to it. I gave my full self to it. So much so that I can die right now, and be ok with knowing that I fully gave myself to somebody… And some people never get that in this lifetime.”

The interview fueled rumors of marriage problems between Will and Jada. They also validated years of claims that the two had an open marriage. The couple decided to get real about that time in their lives on a very candid episode of Red Table Talk.

Jada explained that she and will went through a low period where they decided to separate.

“I got into a different kind of entanglement with August,” Jada admitted.

“One thing I want to clear up that was swirling around in the press was you kind of giving permission. The only person that can give permission in that certain circumstance is myself. But what August was probably trying to communicate… I think he wanted to make it clear that he’s not a homewrecker.”

Later in the conversation, Will asked Jada to be clearer as part of the show’s commitment to candid conversation.

“It was a relationship, absolutely. I was in a lot of pain and I was very broken. In the process of that relationship, I definitely realized that you can’t find happiness outside of herself,” she said.

“And luckily enough, you and I were going through a process of healing in a much different manner. I would definitely say we did everything possible to get away from each other only to realize that that wasn’t possible.”

Will asked her what she had hoped to gain from the relationship.

“I just wanted to feel good. It had been so long since I felt good and it was really a joy to just help heal somebody,” she answered.

On a more recent episode of Red Table Talk Jada, her mother Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and her daughter Willow Smith spoke with author Brené Brown about vulnerability. Brené praised the women’s commitment to vulnerability, calling it “the birthplace of courage.”

“I’ll tell you Brené, we definitely be trying to practice some vulnerability over here,” Jada said. The three hosts went on to discuss what moments they felt they’d been most vulnerable on the show.

“For me, it would be the last RTT we did,” showing a clip from the episode about August.

“Full blast of, like, flaws, and feeling and just the total breakdown of any mask.”

Adrienne said it took “so much courage” for Jada to hold herself accountable in that public way.

“I’m so proud of you,” Willow added.

“To be able to see you and dad do that, for me, that was like, okay that’s real deal. That’s real love.”

“When you can be like, I’m with you, I’m gonna stand by you and I’m gonna hold your hand because I love you. That’s what we do and that’s really important.”

Willow went on to say that her most vulnerable moment was opening up about her history with self-harm. In a previous episode, she’d admitted to cutting during the period following her “Whip My Hair” success.

“Looking back, it makes me feel even stronger because so many people DMed me or talked to me and were like, ‘Wow, that really helped me,’” she explained.

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Japanese Breakfast’s Michelle Zauner Teases Her Memoir ‘Crying In H Mart’

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Back in 2018, Japanese Breakfast vocalist Michelle Zauner published the poignant essay Crying In H Mart in the New Yorker. The story detailed her experience growing up as one of the only Asian kids in her Eugene, Oregon hometown, and how she honors her late mother’s memory through food. Zauner transformed the essay into a full memoir, and she has now shared its release date: April 20, 2021.

Described as an “exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance,” the book is set for an official release next April. Alongside her announcement, Zauner described the life events which eventually led to Crying In H Mart:

“My mother passed away almost six years ago and ever since, my life has felt folded in half, divided into a before and after her death, my identity and my family having been fractured in the wake of her loss. I’ve spent the past six years processing grief in the best way I knew how — through creative work. I wrote two albums worth of material in an attempt to encapsulate all of that heavy darkness, confusion and loneliness, and then I spent another three years writing pages and pages to try and capture my mother’s brilliant character and spirit, what it was like to be raised by a Korean immigrant in a small west coast town with very little diversity, the intense shame I felt towards my mixed race identity and how my embrace of Korean food and culture helped me come to terms with that upbringing, allowed me to reconnect with her memory.”

After sharing the news on social media, Zauner posted a heartfelt interaction between her and an Instagram user who used to serve her mother at her hometown’s Olive Garden.

Check out the Crying In H Mart cover art below.

Knopf Publishing

Crying In H Mart is out 4/20/2021 via Knopf. Pre-order it here.

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GoFundMe to investigate Project Veritas-backed fundraiser for phony insider

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Project Veritas, the undercover organization headed by right-wing activist James O’Keefe, is pushing its supporters to donate to a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Omar Jamal, the star of its Minnesota “ballot harvesting” video.

GoFundMe told the Daily Dot that the fundraising company’s “Trust & Safety team” is currently investigating the fundraising page in Jamal’s name.

As the Daily Dot reported on Monday, Jamal is the whistleblower at the center of O’Keefe’s latest sting operation, claiming to be a Minnesota expert on Somalia. But Jamal only published his “Somali Watchdog Group” advocacy site in August 2020, right around when Project Veritas was assembling footage for their piece.

It does not appear the group existed before Project Veritas found Jamal for its video.

Jamal has been called an unreliable grifter and criticized for presenting himself as a spokesperson for the Somali community.

“I can confirm that our Trust & Safety team is investigating this fundraiser and has reached out to the organizer for more information,” a GoFundMe spokesperson told the Daily Dot.

The spokesperson added that the funds raised “are being safely held by our payment processor and will only released once we know how the funds are being spent and how the funds are being delivered.”

The GoFundMe spokesperson also shared with the Daily Dot that the funds potentially going to Jamal are back by the company’s “GoFundMe Guarantee,” which “ensures that donations are protected if campaign funds…are misled by a campaign organizer or beneficiary. “

“It’s important to know that the platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means funds are guaranteed to go to the right place or donors will get a refund,” the company spokesperson concluded.

On GoFundMe, Jamal has already raised over $30,000.

In the video, the Veritas ballot harvesting “insider” claims he works with local police, a claim the Daily Dot was unable to verify.

According to the “insider,” his goal is to raise half a million dollars to “fight any legal challenges I may be presented with and establish a baseline of financial stability for my family for the next year.”

What legal challenges he may face as a result of his “whistleblowing,” if it is legitimate, is unclear. When asked what legal needs Jamal might have, a Project Veritas spokesperson could not provide any.

Jamal added in his plea to potential donors: “I’m asking for your donation to further fund this ongoing, important project, that I’m collaborating with Project Veritas.”

Project Veritas and O’Keefe have been extensively pushing the campaign across their social media platforms.

“This story was made possible thanks to a BRAVE insider willing to wear an undercover camera and work with Veritas,” the right-wing group tweeted. “If you can, please support Omar Jamal. He has risked everything to help us blow the lid on this massive voter fraud scheme.”

When Project Veritas communications director Neil W. McCabe was reached for comment by the Daily Dot, he initially distanced Veritas from the page, before beginning to ask this reporter questions.

“I think you would agree … don’t you think that America is a better place with Project Veritas in it, then not in it?” McCabe asked.

Asked why the Project Veritas “whistleblower” was seeking to raise half a million dollars and what legal fights Jamal had to foot the bill for, McCabe failed to address the question.

“Do you know my title … I’m not the communications director for his GoFundMe page, so if that’s what he said, I will take it at face value, I have no reason to believe that’s untrue, do you?” McCabe stated.

Asked if he stood by the GoFundMe page, McCabe stated that he stood by Project Veritas’ social media posts.

Jamal did not return the Daily Dot’s request for comment.


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*First Published: Sep 30, 2020, 1:43 pm

Zachary Petrizzo

Zachary Petrizzo is an undergraduate student at George Mason University and a Washington, D.C. based journalist.

Zachary Petrizzo

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