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Glen L Roberts

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Nationality  Stateless
Occupation  Author, activist
Name  Glen Roberts
Citizenship  Renounced
Glen L. Roberts httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Full Name  Glen Lee Roberts
Born  May 5, 1962 (age 53) (1962-05-05) Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
Known for  Privacy activism and voluntary statelessness

Glen L. Roberts

Glen Lee Roberts (born May 5, 1962) is an American-born stateless author resident in Paraguay. His Amazon profile describes him as a real example of "The Man Without a Country". Roberts lived in the Midwest until he moved to Latin America in late 2002. He said the last time he visited the U.S. was in February 2003.


On June 21, 2013, he left the U.S. Consulate in Asuncion, Paraguay, with a signed and sealed Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States. He had never obtained nationality from another country, so at that moment he became stateless. Paraguay did not accede to the UN treaty of 1954, Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons until July 1, 2014. Therefore, at the time of Roberts' statelessness, he was without any kind of international protection.

Renunciation of U.S. citizenship

Roberts stated that he renounced his citizenship because he had changed significantly both professionally and personally during the 11 years he lived outside the U.S. In a statement presented to the U.S. Consul during the renunciation process, he said: "For me, the United States is a 'foreign country'."

His "Written Statement Relative to Renunciation" began with: "I think at the first moment of looking at a blank screen to begin writing this, the thought came to mind that this is 'supposed' to be some kind of in-depth, angry, rant about all the real and/or perceived 'injustices' of the United States at a personal as well as global level. I also believe that had I sat down ten years ago to write this, that is probably what would have resulted. However, my decision to renounce my U.S. Citizenship is not based on a need to 'condemn' the United States, it is rather based on how I have changed over the past years. In particular during the almost eleven years that I have lived outside the United States."

Shortly after approval of his renunciation he published a book titled "How to Renounce Your U.S. Citizenship in Two Easy Steps". It is available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon. It is also available in PDF format via Bitcoin from Nimble Wisdom. His complete "Written Statement Relative to Renunciation" is included in the book.

"Since I have now stepped outside the system, I am no longer supporting it on a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual level. Those systems [countries where he resides] of course impose various limitations on me because of their rules and regulations, etc. However, at least I am not directly bound by (involuntary) allegiances and fidelities."

Roberts' Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States was issued on June 21, 2013 and his loss of US Citizenship was effective as of that date. Final approval by the State Department in Washington was not given until September 2, 2014. His name appeared on the Federal Register list published by the IRS four times a year on February 11, 2015.

Bitcoin activist

Roberts is looking toward using bitcoin for all his daily expenses, both directly with merchants that accept bitcoin and indirectly via credit cards preloaded via bitcoin. He "sees the lack of government regulation as the main advantage of bitcoin". Also that personal and monetary statelessness may help with respect to governments that "take charge over all spheres of human life making it difficult to live beyond certain parameters including economic activities and civil liberties."

In January, 2015 Roberts published a book titled "Bitcoin: A how-to guide for small business". He says, "to participate in the bitcoin economy nothing more than a bitcoin wallet is necessary. There are no application fees, no application forms, no documents to be verified, no requests for proof of address, nationality or anything else. It is a open financial system truly available to all, and is not controlled by any political entity."

Conflict with U.S. government

During his time in the U.S., he spent many years as a privacy activist and published a newsletter titled "Full Disclosure". He was well known in some circles for his Stalkers Home Page and for publishing a list of 4,500 Social Security Numbers of top U.S. military officers on the web.


ROBERTS, Glen L. v. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, et al. In 1983, Roberts brought suit against the Central Intelligence Agency for the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act. His suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan was partially successful. According to the United States Department of Justice website: "partial Judgment for Plaintiff on Attorney's Fees and Costs (1985)". The website shows he was awarded $600.

In 1985 he apparently drew the attention of then President Ronald Reagan. The "WALLER, DAVID B: Files, 1981-1986 – REAGAN LIBRARY COLLECTIONS" contains an entry entitled: "Glen Roberts v. U. S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 08/01/1985". "The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is nothing new", noted Roberts.

His behavior also came to the attention of the FBI Director. In a SECRET memo dated in 1986, the DETROIT FBI office said, "GLEN ROBERTS, whose background is set forth in copies of his tabloid and the 'Ann Arbor News' newsclipping, interjected himself into the middle of this surveillance. He monitored and recorded the Agents' transmissions and apparently attempted to identify the subject under surveillance, undoubtedly to warn him of the surveillance."

In a September 1988 article Roberts wrote for Agenda he attacked the Michigan State Police and the FBI about their surveillance activities. About the State Police, he wrote: "This [a police booklet titled 'Equipment System Limitations in Surveillance Operations'] is an inside look at the methods and techniques the Michigan State Police use to pry into the private lives of those who become a surveillance target." With respect to the FBI he reported, "some of the FBI's activities include the questioning of people who travel to South America, and insinuating that the Weathermen and SDS were somehow involved in the Anti-Meese protest a few years ago, not to mention the collection of huge volumes of information to use against people in the future."


In 1991, Roberts published an article in his tabloid titled "Who's On The Line? Cellular Phone Interception at its Best". The article points out: "The 'Triggerfish' is a cellular telephone 'wiretapping' device manufactured and sold by Harris Corporation. The original Full Disclosure article on the NATIA conference and the 'Triggerfish' is reprinted above." The manufacturer of the Triggerfish, Harris Corporation, threatened Roberts with civil and criminal actions for his writing about their product: "The unapproved use of this advertisement constitutes a deceptive trade practice, which would potentially subject you and your newspaper to civil liability. Further, you have used our trademarks Harris and Triggerfish without permission" and "Lastly, you may have committed a felony under 18 USC 2512(1)(c)(i). This criminal statute prohibits the placement in a newspaper or magazine of an advertisement for an electronic product that is primarily useful for the purpose of surreptitiously intercepting electronic communications." Blockyouid has archived the text of Roberts' articles, Harris Corporations threats and his attorney's response. In their paper "Your Secret StingRay’s No Secret Anymore: The Vanishing Government Monopoly over Cell Phone Surveillance and its Impact on National Security and Consumer Privacy", Stephanie K. Pell of Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society and Christopher Soghoian of Yale University - Yale Information Society Project, note, based on Roberts' article, that "Despite their use since at least 1991, it was not until 1995 that a federal magistrate judge in California published the first decision analyzing a government application to use a digital analyzer."


An Ann Arbor News article dated Sept 10, 1985 covers some of Roberts' earlier years and his dropping out of high school, as well as his FOIA lawsuit against the CIA, requests with the Ann Arbor Police Department for information on surveillance devices. Then Police Chief William J. Corbett seemed to take a somewhat neutral view of Roberts: "while smarting over some of Roberts' persistent tactics, Ann Arbor Police Chief William J. Corbett defends the citizen's right to check police files. 'People like Glen Roberts can be valuable,' Corbett said." However, Washtenaw Circuit Judge Patrick Conlin presented a different viewpoint. In a court hearing on a case Roberts had filed against the Police Department the judge remarked, "I absolutely will not allow another citizen to gain information on me or all other citizens in the City of Ann Arbor for your own particular whim or reason". In response to Roberts' attorneys answer, the judge reiterated, "I, as a judge, would not allow you or anybody else in this courtroom or anybody else in this county to request the federal government give you all the information they have on me".


Beaver County Times, Nov 12, 1995: "Activist targets anti-snooping issues". The article, with a dateline of Oil City, PA (AP): "Glen Roberts publishes his newsletter for only 3,000 from a small printing shop in this quite, northwestern Pennsylvania town. But, the FBI, the Russian Embassy and the U.S. Secret Service are among the biggest names on his mailing list."

In the book "Cyberwars: Espionage on the Internet", the author, Jean Guisnel, wrote on page 65: "Glen Roberts has a similar story: his site and the domain were condemned. Clearly, moral order and free speech make bad bedfellow."

CNET, June 26, 1996: "Stalker's home page scares Banyan"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 21, 1997: "Glen Roberts has three computers, several e-email address, dozens of his own Web pages and 2,760 Social Security numbers from faculty members of Indiana University. No one much noticed the first three until he got the last." According to the article, "The university told him to delete the list. He received dozens of messages from angry members of the faculty. The FBI was reported to be considering an investigation. Roberts was unfazed."

According to the Post Gazette, "one of the more arresting sites on Roberts' Web site is something he has dubbed 'The Stalker's Home Page'. It lists scores of resources for finding information about people and the name has not endeared him to his ideological allies, not to mention his critics. 'Calling it The Stalker's Home Page' was a stupid idea,' said Shari Steele, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco based advocacy group. 'But it contains some very useful and helpful information.'"

The Daily Gazette, April 6, 1997: "Kids can find trouble on the net". By Reg Gale, Newsday: "A simple Web page run by Glen L. Roberts of Oil City, Pa. My boss, the managing editor, doesn't think we should put the name of this page in the newspaper, and the editor who sits next to me who has a couple of preadolescences of her own at home agrees wholeheartedly. But really, we know that any 14-year-old computer freak worth his salt will find it anyway, and relatively quicker than I did."

In their Naval Postgraduate School Master's Thesis, titled, "An Analysis of the Use of the Social Security Number as Veteran Identification as it Relates to Identity Theft; A Cost Benefit Analysis of Transitioning the Department of Defense and Veterans Administration to a Military Identification Number", George R. Opria and Donald G. Maraska wrote: "In 1997, a major breach of high ranking military officers occurred when identity thieves obtained the SSN’s of over 40 officers in the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy. The thieves used the SSN’s to create fraudulent credit card accounts. This case brought a lot of attention to the military regarding identity theft, because a privacy advocate, Glen L Roberts had obtained the names and SSN’s of over 4500 military officers from the publicly available congressional record and posted them on the internet."

Some of his actions resulted in critical comments in the media: Wall Street Journal, December 12, 1999: "Top officer's Social Security Numbers Public Information"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 4, 1999: "Web sites anger military"

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 9, 1999: "Venango Web site linked to defauding of military leaders"

"But members of the military... said Roberts was becoming a threat to national security."

"Roberts should be less concerned with privacy laws and more concerned 'with physical laws, especially what happens when a closed fist hits him upside the head,' the paper Wall Street Journal quoted retired Marine General Paul K. Van Riper as saying." The United States Marine Corps and The Pentagon declined comment.


The Titusville Herald reported on February 24, 2000, that Roberts had filed for business reorganization: "the filing under Chapter 11, which lists total incomes of $919,327 and debts over $140,000, will provide a court approved business plan to assure that Roberts' business continues in operation and state tax debts are paid in full." The article also noted that "the Michigan Economic Development Corporation issued a press release, also on Tuesday, stating that Roberts 'will lead a session regarding security and privacy at the second Information Technology Summit. The conference is in April and is hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Microsoft. The panel will also include Patrick Corbett, assistance attorney general, State of Michigan; and Claudia Rast, Dickinson Wright Law Firm."

The Titusville Herald again reported on February 26, 2000, in an article titled "Privacy Advocate Shares Information", that "a self described privacy advocate who puts other people's Social Security and tax information on the Internet is sharing some personal financial information of his own. Glen L. Roberts of Oil City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week in federal court and was required to list his debts and assets."

2010s broadcast an interview with Roberts covering the topics of Bitcoin and stateless people. He discussed how there was only one location he could use bitcoin locally, however, he said "Now, when I received a MasterCard I can fund with bitcoin, I am able to use bitcoin for almost all of my daily expenses. I hope in future it has a positive impact on the lives of stateless people." The report also indicated that "He sees the lack of government regulation as the main advantage of bitcoin."


Glen L. Roberts Wikipedia

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