Editor’s Note: Suneel Chakravorty, 31, is often mistaken for a gullible follower of Keith Raniere. He maintains Raniere is only his friend.
He agreed that some of the allegations against Raniere may be true and require investigation which he said he would undertake in an honest fashion. He said he would report his findings. He is undertaking an investigation into the quest of his friend Raniere to find a virgin successor.
Meantime, Suneel has also undertaken an investigation into the allegation of his friend that the FBI tampered with the photos of Camila found on his hard drive.
KR Claviger: I believe that Judge Garaufis will dismiss Keith’s Rule 33 motion for the simple reason that all of the “newly discovered evidence” could have been discovered before – or during – Keith’s trial. That means it does not qualify as “newly discovered evidence” – although, if true (which it’s not), it might be a great argument for another appeal based on “ineffective counsel”.
Suneel: Then the judge is affirming that the FBI has no presumption of honesty or integrity. Due diligence requires at least some basic assumptions. It includes the assumption that the FBI does not tamper with evidence. Otherwise, is it to be expected that normal due diligence covers looking at any evidence that the FBI handles as likely to be tampered with.
Erased: It doesn’t seem anyone is arguing, if they are pictures of an underage girl, whether Keith took them or owned them, skipping right over that they are real and that they were taken by “someone” for purposes of sexual intent.
Suneel: The real issue is not whether Raniere took the Camila pictures or not, or whether he had prurient interest in doing so. The real question is not even if she was 15 when the photos were taken. She might have been. The question is did he possess them? Were they found where the FBI said they found them on his hard drive? Assuming he took the pictures, for sexually perverted reasons, and that she was 15 when he took them, if someone else handed the photos to the FBI and then they planted them on the hard drive, this is not tolerable. If you want to hold Raniere to a bad standard then you must hold the FBI to a high standard.
Aristotle’s Sausage: You can’t fake EXIF data in conventional digital photo processing software. Sure, you can buy software online that claims it lets you alter and fake metadata. You’ll likely end up with a virus on your computer and your financial information in the hands of the Ukrainian Mafia, but then that’s what you get for messing with spyware and computer hacking sites. So I’d say no, EXIF files are not easily faked.
Suneel: If you were right, or even half right I would be willing to let you persuade me. Instead, since you are wrong, I offer to show you how to change EXIF data without getting a virus or being hacked by any Mafia anywhere. Many people desire to change or remove EXIF data for simple privacy reasons. It is easy to change. If you doubt it Ari, then post a picture in the comment section. Keep the EXIF data to yourself. I will change it all, videotape and publish the video of the photo with the before and after EXIF data. And do it in under one minute.
Chris: Wouldn’t the reliability of dates in the EXIF data assume the user put the correct date and time in the camera? I have a coffeemaker with a clock on it that allows one to make it start brewing at a certain time. I never set it because I don’t use that feature, and so the time is always incorrect. I could imagine a non-professional photographer wouldn’t care either.
Suneel: Yes, the reliability of the date/time on EXIF data embedded by the camera absolutely depends on the correctness of the camera. Most cameras permit the owner to adjust the date and time. This is another reason why FBI Examiner Booth was wrong to say EXIF data is reliable.
Anonymous: The dates correspond with the info from the emails between Raniere and Camila, the absence of the operating scar, and various other details, so however ingenious that theory (Keith Raniere might even ‘pinch’ the idea for his defense), it won’t fly. Besides, KR being a control freak, he would have made sure to set the exact date to ‘memorialize’ the event. When was the camera purchased? If no one put the correct date in the camera, it would show ‘factory setting’, not some random date anyway. What clusters of other pictures were taken around those dates? In any case, If Camila decides to testify, it’s (silly) game over.”
The lack of a visible appendectomy scar is only corroborating evidence for dating the photos to pre-2007. So are the emails and texts between Camila and Raniere. These should be given appropriate weight. However, whether Booth told a lie about EXIF data is a separate matter. For my part, I found it peculiar that the prosecution did not ask Daniela to identify the Camila photos, since she was the sole witness who said she knew the scar would be visible in any Camila picture taken after the operation. While an FBI agent testified that the Camila pictures were scar-less, Daniela was not asked to do so. She would have been the best witness for this.
I also found it odd that though she said she posed for nude photos which were taken in 2005 by a Canon camera, and the prosecution had the camera and her photos, that the prosecution did not show her the camera or her own photos for identification.
EXIF is reliable: As a 20+ year tech thought leader and professional, I agree with Booth’s assessment on EXIF data. Sure, any metadata can be altered including EXIF but in doing so, breadcrumbs of the original metadata would remain as well as new metadata of the hack/edit.
Suneel: That is not what FBI Forensic Examiner Booth said. He did not say that he checked the EXIF data for tiny breadcrumbs left behind if someone removed or changed the EXIF data . He said EXIF data is hard to change or remove. It is not. By the way, I can show you, though you are a 20 year tech thought leader, how to change EXIF data without a single breadcrumb. Have you read Hansel and Gretel?
Are all women “fish holes” Suneel? Maybe you, Suneel, are the one who is prejudiced against these women and inclined to disbelieve them”
Suneel I am not disinclined to believe Camila if she testifies under oath and is cross-examined without interruption.
Computer Scientist: To me, this is all completely irrelevant because the likelihood of such tampering occurring is infinitesimal to zero. If the defense were to contest the date of the images, they could only do so to the extent of instilling reasonable doubt in the jury.
Perhaps the likelihood is as small as the upper end of your scale, and certainly not the lower end. It is certainly not zero – that is it is not impossible for the FBI to tamper. Perhaps in their history they never have. Still the likelihood is not zero. And if FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Brian Booth lied about the reliability of EXIF data, that does not mean the FBI tampered. It only raises the not unreasonable doubt that one lie might be the clue to many others. In total, that might create reasonable doubt, a wondrous element of due process, that no one should be convicted in criminal court unless the proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. I urge you to study up on this palladium of liberty which protects us from tyranny.
Erasend: This all gets to the core of Suneel’s ongoing issue. You can believe someone did wrong things, support them anyway, and in a personal belief of justice also believe how they were convicted was wrong and should be addressed regardless of what they did.
There are plenty that do this and is a core part of the justice system. For example, a lawyer choosing to defend a client they know for a fact is guilty is a necessary and important part of the justice system (something people forget when they condemn lawyers for this).
Suneel (and others like Clyne) are incapable of doing this. He still has Keith on that pedestal and refuses to believe Keith did anything legally and/or morally wrong.
Suneel: Keith may have done things which I consider to be wrong. Frank Parlato has challenged me to look into these things without confirmation bias, and I am doing that. I will let others judge of whether I’ve shed my confirmation bias or not. But I have another bias, one which I cannot shed. It is called rejecting everything else for the truth. If I find Raniere is rotten, I will not hide or obscure it.
Anonymous: I do not find the FBI photo data testimony the most compelling evidence on the child pornography charge. There is plenty of other corroborating evidence.
There is other sworn testimony. There are the damning words of Keith himself texting “virgin Camilla”. Do you think Keith was lying back then? Or is Keith lying now?
Suneel: You do not fully understand the elements of the crimes charged. Yes, there was other evidence that tended to corroborate the only true evidence of possession of child porn – the hard drive, the photos themselves and the EXIF data dating of them by forensic examiner Brian Booth. The proof of the sexual exploitation was the Canon camera, the camera card and the hard drive. Not what anyone said about taking pictures or having him having sex, or scars or things filled out on abortion medical papers. The proof of possession is possession. The proof of exploitation is that the photos were from his camera. But the forensic data was not properly evaluated at trial.
So far I can tell, Booth was lying about EXIF data. The pivotal evidence that proved the photos were of Camila at age 15 was that Booth said the EXIF data showing the 2005 dates is very reliable.
StevenJ: You are ignoring 90% of the evidence that proves Keith had sex with Camilla at age 15. You question a small piece of evidence and ignore the rest. What about the scar? Photoshopped by the FBI? What about the pictures? Fake? No? Then who took them? Who would benefit sexually from those explicit pictures? Who made similar pictures of other women in his harem? What about the testimony from Daniela and Camila? Lies? What about the text messages between Camila and Keith? Also doctored by the FBI? The evidence is overwhelming.”
Suneel: Let me answer your questions. You say I ignore 90 percent of the evidence that proves Keith had sex with Camilla at age 15. I should hope to ignore all of it as far as the law is concerned. He was not charged with having sex with Camila. He was charged with possession of child porn and sexual exploitation. The sexual exploitation was not that he had sex with her but that he took photos of her.
What about the scar? Photoshopped by the FBI? The scar may or may not positively date the photos but it might be possible that the scar is there but not visible in the photos. It was not the scar but the EXIF data that dated the photos. What about the pictures? Fake? No? I do not know if the photos are fake as in not true pictures of Camila. I did not see them, of course. They might be real. They might have been taken in 2005. But the question is did Raniere take them and were they in his possession. Assuming Raniere did and that he benefitted sexually from those pictures and made similar pictures of other women in his “harem,” if the FBI framed him – even if he is guilty – then we have to reveal that.
The testimony from Daniela about Camila? The text messages between Camila and Keith? The inappropriate relationship may be 100 percent true; the pictures may have been taken in 2005. And law enforcement may believe in their hearts that someone is guilty, whether it be of child porn or murder, or any other crimes. But they can’t be permitted to plant a gun, even the suspect’s own gun to win the case.
StevenJ: Your goal is to free Keith, not to seek justice. “Make justice blind” my ass. Manson-follower type prison-dancer Suneel: how can anybody take you serious after that stunt?”
Suneel: The last time I danced. This time, like Frank says, I figure on making other people dance.
Anonymous: The only valid conclusion that can be made is that what the FBI agent said about EXIF data seems to be incorrect. Why he said what he said is conjecture, without additional evidence to prove intention to deliberately lie.
Agreed. And perhaps you will agree that it is strange that FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Brian Booth happened to be wildly incorrect about such an important piece of evidence. It might not have been deliberate lying but if not it almost had to be incompetence and lack of knowledge about computer tech.
Anonymous: Suneel – You still HAVE TO PROOF the FBI changed the files!!!! The possibility the FBI could have changed the file is a POSSIBILITY and not actual proof the FBI altered the files. I thought you were smart?… You have solid proof of a possibility. Nothing more. It’s worthless and has no legal merit. Suneel, you cannot produce a shred of evidence the FBI actually changed the file.
You’re right and then again you’re wrong. You need evidence to prove tampering. I have not yet proven the FBI tampered, only that FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Booth lied about EXIF data. But, please be advised, that the proverbial fat lady has not sung yet.
Virgin successor: Would you please address all of Keith’s texts and emails about the ongoing search for a “virgin successor”?
Anonymous: Note the very last statement: “FOR THE CONSUMER…UNLESS YOU WIND UP GETTING SOFTWARE THAT’S JUST DEVELOPED TO DO THAT.” I don’t think Booth made a blanket statement about EXIF data that it was difficult to alter, period.
Suneel: It’s hard to drink coffee, unless you wind up getting a cup. It’s hard to fly from San Francisco to New York, unless you wind up getting a plane ticket. It’s hard to change EXIF data, unless you wind up downloading any number of freely available, widely used, and easy-to-learn apps that allow you to change EXIF data within a few clicks. But that was not the impression that Booth and the prosecution wanted the jury to infer. They wanted the jury to infer that getting the cup, or the ticket is very, very hard. Read the transcripts.
my2cents: “The exif data was only one piece of the information that supports the charge. They have texts, medical records etc. Similar pictures with other people and their testimony.
Suneel: EXIF data was the critical evidence. As for Raniere’s past, I’m looking into that. Frank is advising me in my investigation so that it is rigorous and devoid of confirmation bias.
Anonymous: “Regarding the experts who never saw the Hard Drives….. So this entire time Suneel has been claiming he had experts look at the drive he’s been lying or making innuendo?
Suneel: I have retained experts to examine the forensic evidence presented at trial. This included a defense clone as well as the FBI’s own forensic reports of the devices. We will see who is lying and if so, who did so under oath.
Anonymous: “Two things can be true: Cami may be telling the truth and the FBI cheated. Both merit investigation and I intend to find out the truth.” How do you intend to find out the truth, Suneel?
Suneel: I am reviewing the claims Camila made in her victim impact statement, doing a deep dive of the Camila texts and other relevant texts, emails, etc, and am speaking to those who knew her, and ideally speak with her.
And now to respond to the peanut gallery…
StevenJ: This apparently smart Suneel is one of the dancers that danced for months in front of the prison in which KR was incarcerated… Suneel: a dancing-clown.
Suneel: As former captain of the Harvard ballroom dancing team, I think it’s fair to say I can dance.
benjicarver: I think Suneel has PTSD from having to wipe Clare’s poopy bottom.
Suneel: I’d rather wipe an ass than kiss one. Benji, I wouldn’t dwell too much on this point, just keep your own ass clean.
Never Forget…: ” Suneel was a student of Nxivm. That means Suneel bowed to a photo of Keith Raniere daily in classes of curriculum created by Keith Raniere.
Suneel: I didn’t bow to Keith, not even a photo of him. When I met with him in prison, I shook hands, man-to-man, which I would do with you should I ever meet you, if you should gain the fortitude to identify yourself, which I doubt.
Jim Henson: That photo of Suneel looks like a Muppet. That’s appropriate since Keith’s got his arm up Suneel’s backside and determines what comes out of his mouth.
Suneel: I’d rather look like a Muppet than be a commenter who can’t muster the courage to be rude in his own name and instead has to use the name of a dead puppeteer. How about using Geppetto the next time?
StevenJ: “[Suneel’s] able to remember 300 digits of Pi. Did Suneel provide any proof of this claim?
Suneel: Steven, I have several classmates who can verify this. By the way, before I forget, I’ll compete against you in a memory contest, live, and broadcast it on YouTube.
Anonymous: Suneel looks like a guy, who found out he is his wife’s 57th lover. 😉
Suneel: I remember the night I told you your wife was a good lay. I was lying. I only said that to make you feel good.
Nice guy: Suneel is a cheapskate!
Suneel: Exactly. I recently drew up my new will and named myself as the sole heir.
Too hygienic for DOS, right here!: Suneel, would you go naked into a cage kept in a basement in Albany indefinitely because you are committed to your growth?
Suneel: No, but I do have a Sub-woofer.