Should Feds inform victims of NXIVM’s computer hacking operation?

One of the things we know from insiders who left NXIVM  – and from several victims – is that NXIVM, under the direction of Keith Raniere, and financed by Clare Bronfman and Sara Bronfman-Igtet, did a lot of hacking into people’s computers. Most of these criminal activities were carried out by Ben Meyers and Steve Ose – and others trained by them or trained directly by Raniere.

What we don’t know is the number of people who fell victim to this often-undetected crime – and/or what NXIVM did with the information and records it stole from their computers.

It is possible that confirmation of this nefarious activity is already in the hands of the Feds – or soon will be – as they review material inside the 51 devices that Nancy Salzman A/K/A The Prefect was storing  in her former home at 3 Oregon Trail.

The feds came to Nancy Salzman’s house at 3 Oregon Trail and removed some 51 devices [in addition to more than half a million in cash]. What is contained in those devices? Photo Albany Times Union.
Photo courtesy Albany Times Union

Should the Feds contact anyone whose computer or phone was hacked into by NXIVM – and inform them of what information and/or records were stolen?

The underlying problem here is that, in all likelihood, the Feds may not charge anyone with these illegal hackings. In the grand scheme of things, these are relatively minor crimes – especially when compared to other crimes that have already alleged: e.g., identity theft, harboring of aliens for financial gain, forced labor, sex trafficking, and wire fraud.

From the standpoint of each hacking victim, these are crimes they should be told about so that they can, at a minimum, take corrective and protective measures. In addition, if the victims were provided with evidence of these crimes, they might be able to file appropriate civil actions against Raniere, the Bronfmans, Meyers, Ose et al.

Love in bloom at NXIVM – Ben Meyers and Michelle Salzman-Meyers.  Hacking was in bloom also and it was Ben who loved to do it.

What if, for example, the Feds find out that one of the NXIVM hackers obtained someone’s financial records? Should they tell that person about what happened so that they can change their passwords, get new credit/debit cards issued, install better firewalls, etc.?

What if the Feds come across someone’s medical records when they’re going through the 12 terabytes of data that are on the computers, data storage devices and cell phones that were seized from Salzman’s house and Raniere’s so-called “Library”?

Steve Ose is a man who served Keith Raniere for years. Part of his service, according to sources, was to hack into others’ computers and do other deeds meant to harm innocent people who happened to run afoul of Raniere. Was he intimidated into doing these deeds for Raniere? He ran off – in terror to Texas a few years ago, it is said, – to flee from his Vanguard. What crimes does he know about? Can he cut a deal to tell all and avoid prosecution?

Should they let those people know that such information fell into the hands of Raniere and his criminal cohorts?

What if the Feds find that NXIVM downloaded a virus – or a keystroke logger – to someone’s computer? Should the Feds pass along that information to the owner of the computer so they can have an IT expert remove the virus or keystroke logger?

And what should the Feds do if they find evidence that Raniere et al hacked into John Tighe’s computer – and planted child pornography on it? Do the Feds have an affirmative obligation to step up and inform Tighe that he was, in fact, framed for a crime he didn’t commit?

This seems to be a grey area – both from a legal and a moral standpoint. But it certainly seems like the Feds, at a minimum, ought to contact every known victim of NXIVM’s hacking operation – and tell them what they found out.

Wouldn’t you want to know if your computer had been hacked into by Raniere and his followers? And wouldn’t you want to know exactly what they stole from you – and what they did with it?

Prefect and Vanguard – enjoy the celebration of his nativity.

If one was a member of NXIVM – someone who looked up to and revered Keith Raniere, if you attended Vanguard Week, if you ever – say at an intensive – turned over your computer to Ben Meyers or Steve Ose – even momentarily – for them to install some special code so – they said – you could partake of shared information from the mighty and exalted one – you might wish to be concerned that the mighty and exalted one was also secretly taking of information from you.

Please be advised, all NXIVM members – you may have been hacked at the express orders of your Vanguard.  The fruits of your hack may be in one of the many devices seized from your Prefect that the Feds now have in their possession.


About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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