Philip Brumley: WitchHunter

Philip Brumley, The Witchhunter

From June 2017 to the present, Legal Counsel for the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society went on a witch hunt to find the leakers of secret documents and books used by the hierarchy of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Most of the ordinary members, particularly the most vulnerable and most affected by these secrets – women and children – are unaware such secrets exist.

Originally published Feb 23, 2019 09:26. Last updated May 20, 2019 13:50.

Here are links to a substantial collection of subpoenas issued by Philip Brumley and his legal colleagues, Mario Moreno and Paul Polidoro in less than two years. The listing is in order from first to last subpoena issued.

  1. -17-mc-00194 – Tom Durbridge & Friends
  2. 7-17-mc-00195 – Tom Durbridge
  3. 7-17-mc-00217 – AvoidJW.org
  4. 7-17-mc-00241 – MyFTPUpload
  5. 7-18-mc-00076 – JW Videos HD
  6. 7-18-mc-00177 – Testigos de Jehová
  7. 7-18-mc-00179 – WifiBandit & Friends
  8. 7-18-mc-00180 – WifiBandit & Friends
  9. 7-18-mc-00181 – Reactivo
  10. 7-18-mc-00268 – Kevin McFree
    1. Motion to quash
  11. 7-18-mc-00289 – Fay Dehr
  12. 1-18-mc-00301 – The UnReluctant
  13. 7-18-mc-00312 – The UnReluctant
  14. 7-18-mc-00361 – Fay Dehr
  15. 7-18-mc-00362 – JW Kevin
  16. 7-18-mc-00364 – WifiBandit
  17. 7-18-mc-00409 – Testemunhas de Jehova
  18. 7-18-mc-00432 – Javier Guardado Aquilar
  19. 7-18-mc-00471 – Gran Muchedumbre
  20. 7-18-mc-00484 – Info JW
  21. 7-18-mc-00486 – Theocratic Videos
  22. 7-18-mc-00487 – JW Meetings
  23. 7-18-mc-00505 – Andres Leonardo
  24. 7-18-mc-00506 – Pinguino Emperador
  25. 7-18-mc-00515 – Medieval HND16
  26. 7-18-mc-00516 – Dert De55
  27. 7-18-mc-00528 – Hildebrando
  28. 7-18-mc-00529 – Neo MX
  29. 7-18-mc-00530 – JW Bethelite
  30. 7-18-mc-00566 – Atalayando
  31. 3-19-mc-80005 – DarkSpilver
    1. Electronic Frontier Foundation Motion to Quash (PDF)
    2. Electronic Frontier Foundation Motion to Quash (ZIP)
    3. Watch Tower’s Opposition to Darkspilver’s Motion to Quash Subpoena to Reddit, Inc (PDF)
      1. Declaration of Paul D. Polidoro in support of Watchtower’s Opposition to Motion to Quash
      2. EXHIBIT A – Screenshot of ExJW Subreddit
      3. EXHIBIT B – EFF backs Redditor in Fight to Stay Anonymous
      4. EXHIBIT C – Screenshot of back cover of WT Magazine
      5. EXHIBIT D – Zeemap of ExJWs
      6. EXHIBIT E – Proof of Service (Subpoena)
    4. Reddit Inc Joins EFF Motion to Quash
    5. Watch Tower object to Reddit Inc’s joining Motion to Quash
    6. Order regarding Motion to Quash Subpoena
    7. EFF Motion for De Novo Determination
    8. Watch Tower’s opposition to EFF Motion for De Novo Determination
  32. 4-19-mc-80006 – Ich3b
  33. 7-19-mc-00569 – Fader Man
  34. 7-18-mc-00571 – Moises Gutierrez
  35. 7-18-mc-00572 – JW Leaks
  36. 7-19-mc-00009 – JW Stream
  37. 7-19-mc-00010 – JW Stream
  38. 7-19-mc-00059 – Arcade Random
  39. 7-19-mc-00060 – Elkatire
  40. 7-19-mc-00081 – Alpha Omega
  41. 7-19-mc-00082 – Historia Y Ayuda Teocrática JW
  42. 7-19-mc-00083 – Jorgito El Loco
  43. 7-19-mc-00084 – JW Suicides
  44. 7-19-mc-00085 – JW Victims
  45. 7-19-mc-00087 – Whatch Tower Bible and Tract of PA
  46. 7-19-mc-00143 – sirjsslut
  47. 7-19-mc-00147 – JW Broadcasting
  48. 7-19-mc-00163 – Reuniones Teocráticas
  49. 7-19-mc-00188 – Tony Xiaoyu
  50. 7-19-mc-00211 – Biblia Ensina
  51. 7-19-mc-00221 – JW Channel Theocratic Meetings
  52. 7-19-mc-00260 – Anonymous Ey4LZb

The law invoked in these subpoenas is 17 USC §512 (DMCA). This law is antiquated as it was passed in 1998 to try to deal with online piracy. It was passed when no one in US Congress really understood what “online” meant. It’s purpose is solely to demand service providers (Google, Facebook, Reddit etc) to hand over any identifying information of users who are allegedly infringing on copyrights.

When it comes to such subpoenas, the only thing a judge looks at is whether there is a DMCA notice. A subpoena form is submitted and a lawyer signs a declaration saying a particular entity has info about an alleged infringer and the only reason they need the info is to protect their rights. As long as those three things are included with the filing, the judge has the court clerk issue the subpoena. The judge doesn’t really look at the particulars of the case. And for the most part, Watch Tower are happy that the Court has little or no interest in looking at the particulars of the subpoena because often times, they are looking for the identity of an individual who has posted a thumbnail.

The law is specific to service providers, which is defined as “a provider of online services or network access, or the operator of facilities therefor, and includes an entity described in subparagraph (A).” This means it can’t be used against someone who’s not a provider of online services or network access.

It’s a law with no teeth.

The language over subpoenas is really problematic, and it’s usually a tool to threaten people and try to make settlements happen. However, it’s worth noting that there is no case law to support what happens if the likes of Facebook or Google ignore the subpoenas.

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