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Home of Florida Data Tech Rebekah Jones Raided for Allegedly Hacking the State’s Emergency Alert System

Home of Florida Data Tech Rebekah Jones Raided for Allegedly Hacking the State’s Emergency Alert System

The FDLE stated it began an investigation after receiving a DOH complaint “regarding unauthorized access to a DOH messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system”, the Miami Herald reported.

https://youtu.be/NBUUExwBW9A

In May, Florida data technician Rebekah Jones was fired for what state records reportedly showed was a pattern of making unauthorized public remarks about the Florida coronavirus dashboard she helped manage.

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) communications director Helen Aguirre Ferre said in a statement to the media at the time that Jones “exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the Department,” including allegedly making “unilateral decisions to modify the Department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiological team or her supervisors.”

Jones’ version of events was much different. She appeared in numerous interviews in the aftermath, claiming she was fired because she refused to manipulate Florida’s data to make DeSantis look better and in a way that would better justify the state’s reopening plans.

Seeing as Democrats and the mainstream media treated DeSantis as an irresponsible governor because he chose to manage the crisis much differently than NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), they immediately latched on to Jones’ story as the gospel truth, treating her as a “martyr” and “whistleblower” despite the information that ran totally contrary to her’s and the media’s established narratives about DeSantis and the state’s data.

Some of those inconvenient facts included the fact that Jones was not the “architect” of Florida’s COVID dashboard, as some media outlets claimed, nor was she a coronavirus “scientist” as other media outlets like NPR and The Guardian claimed.

Most importantly, she was not asked to “manipulate” data to portray DeSantis and Florida in a more flattering light, as Tallahassee Reports documented extensively here.

A few weeks after her firing and subsequent media tour, Jones started her own Florida coronavirus dashboard and has maintained it since. She also continues to do interviews with the media to tout her website and claim she was a victim of what she says has been Florida’s attempt to mask the data.

Fast forward a few months to Monday, Jones posted a video to her Twitter account about how the Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement (FDLE) raided her home and, according to her, seized all her tech equipment, including her phones and computers. She also alleged agents pointed guns at her children:

Jones claimed in later tweets that this was all on DeSantis and that it was retaliation for her “speaking truth to power”:

Jones’ name trended on Twitter all day yesterday and into today as Democrats rushed to her defense, automatically believing her version of events without bothering to find out the details as to why the raid happened in the first place:

The Miami Herald had more information on the FDLE’s actions in a report they filed Monday:

The FDLE said in its statement that the search warrant was issued for Jones’ Tallahassee home and it began an investigation “after receiving a complaint from the Department of Health regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system.”

[…]

In an affidavit signed by FDLE investigator Noel Pratt on Dec. 3, he concluded the email message was sent to approximately 1,750 accounts before it was discovered. Pratt said in the affidavit that he tracked down the IP address of the computer associated with the email and it directed him to Jones’ home address, which he said was probable cause to conduct a search of her property and seize her computers.

[…]

The FDLE said that when agents arrived at Jones’ home, “they knocked on the door and called Ms. Jones in an attempt to minimize disruption to the family.

“Ms. Jones refused to come to the door for 20 minutes and hung up on agent,’’ the statement said. “After several attempts and verbal notifications that law enforcement officers were there to serve a legal search warrant, Ms. Jones eventually came to the door and allowed agents to enter.”

ABC7 news anchor Jeff Butera analyzed the affidavit for the search warrant and posted his findings to his Twitter feed:

Jones denied the hacking allegation and the FDLE’s claim that she initially refused to answer her door when they arrived. Chris Cuomo interviewed her on his program last night, of course, to try and lend credence to her claims. She told him that DeSantis’ alleged targeting of her wouldn’t stop her from continuing to run an alternative dashboard for Florida’s coronavirus cases:

Just my personal opinion, but this woman has “drama queen” written all over her. It may be that we find out more information later that corroborates her claims, but I’m not betting any money on it. She was thoroughly discredited back in May, and if the hacking allegations are true, she’s going to be in a lot of trouble, and justifiably so.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —

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Comments

“Pratt said in the affidavit that he tracked down the IP address of the computer associated with the email and it directed him to Jones’ home address,”

Which right there tells you that Jones’ competence and talents as an IT professional place her somewhere in the lowest 30th percentile.

    Geologist in reply to henrybowman. | December 8, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    If she isn’t talented enough to hide her IP address, how can she be skilled enough to hack into the Fl. Dept of Health’s Emergency Alert System? Something doesn’t look kosher here!

      CommoChief in reply to Geologist. | December 8, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      My guess is:
      1. Her previous PW wasn’t eliminated
      2. She used some generic PW
      3. Someone fed her a new PW

        mochajava76 in reply to CommoChief. | December 8, 2020 at 8:51 pm

        Another article stated that everyone used a shared username and password, which you just don’t do.

        This might have been avoided if they just followed protocols

          mochajava76 in reply to mochajava76. | December 8, 2020 at 8:59 pm

          Well, no. It could not have been avoided, as she is crazy (based on her other run ins with the law).

          But it could have been mitigated

      Dusty Pitts in reply to Geologist. | December 8, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Like most criminals, she simply didn’t bother thinking beyond “how do I pul this off?” to “how do I make sure I get away with it?”

Accessing a database or other computer system without authorization is a big time no no.

Too bad there weren’t any bodycams when the warrant was served.

No one told the big brain about VPNs?

I am not so sure that she really is a blond but she is doing her best, to get by.

Gotta be embarrassing for the husband and the children. The neighbors probably already knew.

She can enter the Miss USA Forehead contest, competing against Grechen Whitmer.

This could go either way. (After all, all she has to do with some ISPs/plans is turn off her modem, wait 5 minutes, then turn it on again, and there’s a new IP. The odds of her getting the one the hacker used, though? Not good.)

But, yeah, her credibility is not what it was. (And it didn’t start out real great, except for those who instinctively believe all ‘whistleblowers’.)

Once again, we need too look at thee timeline, reference thi woman.

For thee last six months, she has been completely off the radar. No articles about her relationship with the governor, the state or COVID. Until, miraculously, someone illegally accesses the emergency notification system at Florida’s HHS and sends some activist message over it. The source of this message, reportedly, a static IP address from this woman’s home. Now, she gets raided. Huummm.

If the claim that the message came from her IP was inaccurate, why would the state suddenly decide to target her? She had fallen into the blackhole of media disinterest. She was no threat to the Governor or the State. Her face was not being splashed across television screens across America. No one even knew she still existed. So why “frame” her, as she is alleging?

Her story doesn’t make much sense.

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