31 March 2024

Maybe Now We Will See a Push for Privacy Legislation?

Normally, I am not one to take the side of data brokers, who make their business your business, but I am profoundly amused that a data broker has outed visitors to pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s private island.

Of course, I'm sure that they had good business causes to be down there.  They were probably funding his movie, Close Encounters with the Third Grade.

Nearly 200 mobile devices of people who visited Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious “pedophile island” in the years prior to his death left an invisible trail of data pointing back to their own homes and offices. Maps of these visitations generated by a troubled international data broker with defense industry ties, discovered last week by WIRED, document the numerous trips of wealthy and influential individuals seemingly undeterred by Epstein’s status as a convicted sex offender.

The data amassed by Near Intelligence, a location data broker roiled by allegations of mismanagement and fraud, reveals with high precision the residences of many guests of Little Saint James, a United States Virgin Islands property where Epstein is accused of having groomed, assaulted, and trafficked countless women and girls.

Some girls, prosecutors say, were as young as 14. The former attorney general of the US Virgin Islands alleged that girls as young as 12 were trafficked to Epstein by those within his elite social circle.


Little is known publicly about Epstein’s activities in the decade prior to his 2019 arrest. The majority of women who came forward that year to accuse the convicted pedophile in court say they were assaulted in the ’90s and early 2000s.

Now, however, 11,279 coordinates obtained by WIRED show not only a flood of traffic to Epstein’s island property—nearly a decade after his conviction as a sex offender—but also point to as many as 166 locations throughout the US where Near Intelligence infers that visitors to Little St. James likely lived and worked. The cache also points to cities in Ukraine, the Cayman Islands, and Australia, among others.

Near Intelligence, for example, tracked devices visiting Little St. James from locations in 80 cities crisscrossing 26 US states and territories, with Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, and New York topping the list. The coordinates point to mansions in gated communities in Michigan and Florida; homes in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts; a nightclub in Miami; and the sidewalk across the street from Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

The coordinates also point to various Epstein properties beyond Little St. James, including his 8,000-acre New Mexico ranch and a waterfront mansion on El Brillo Way in Palm Beach, where prosecutors said in an indictment that Epstein trafficked numerous “minor girls” for the purposes of molesting and abusing them. Near’s data is notably missing any locations in Europe, where citizens are safeguarded by comprehensive privacy laws.

What is our society coming to when an elite group of co-conspirators cannot hang out without their locations being revealed anyway?

Hint:  The answer is that even though in this case a greater societal purpose may be served, the behaviors of the data brokers, and the surveillance advertisers, and the social media stalkers are still reprehensible, and still need to be shut down.


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