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Stand Up! with Pete Dominick

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Dec 30, 2021

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Kristofer Goldsmith is the CEO of Sparverius, a veteran-owned open-source intelligence firm specializing in the detection and disruption of today’s greatest threats against democracy: disinformation campaigns and domestic extremism.

Kris is the founder and president of High Ground Veterans Advocacy, a 501c3 not-for-profit, which partners with military and Veterans Service Organizations to train veterans to become grassroots advocates and leaders in their local communities. High Ground Veterans Advocacy was recognized in 2016 by HillVets as one of the nation’s top new veterans organizations.

Kris was born in New York and joined the Army to serve as a forward observer with the Army’s Third Infantry Division shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He deployed with Alpha Company of the Third Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for the year of 2005. Since separating from the Army with a General Discharge after surviving a PTSD-related suicide attempt, Kris has become an advocate for veterans with PTSD and those with less-than-honorable discharges. Twelve years after his separation from the military, the Army corrected his discharge characterization to Honorable.

As a disabled student veteran using the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation program, Kris found an opportunity both to recover from PTSD and to continue serving his fellow veterans. At Nassau Community College (NCC), he established a million-dollar veteran-resource facility, which serves as a center for hundreds of student veterans. After two years as president of NCC’s Student Veterans of America chapter, he transferred to Columbia University’s School of General Studies where he recently received a bachelor of arts in political science.

From 2016-2020, Kris worked on the policy and government affairs team at Vietnam Veteran of America, where he had the opportunity to develop and see implemented the congressional budgetary trick that removed the delimiting date for what became the "Forever GI Bill." As VVA's chief investigator, he wrote the definitive work on foreign entities that target troops, veterans, and their families online. He believes it is the responsibility of today’s young veterans to keep the motto of Vietnam Veterans of America alive: “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

Sparverius is a veteran-owned open-source intelligence firm specializing in the detection and disruption of today’s greatest threats against democracy: disinformation campaigns and domestic extremism.

Our adversaries are deliberate and persistent in their imitation and modernization of propaganda efforts engaged in by history’s most notorious nationalist and fascist political parties, harnessing the power of the internet and social media to create dangerous networks of radicalized individuals.

Online, they trade not only hateful rhetoric but instructions on how to avoid detection by law enforcement, effective recruiting practices, and combat training and preparedness. Offline, these domestic extremists plaster public property with propaganda and coordinate in-person rallies to intimidate minority communities and democratic institutions alike.  

We will not allow our country to live in a constant state of fear.

With service to our nation as a core tenet of our operations, we provide the research, monitoring, and critical reporting to empower our clients to counter domestic extremism in ways that even the most advanced automation cannot.

Our inspiration comes from the Falco Sparverius, one of the world’s smallest and most prolific predators. Known for its hunting prowess and an immense appetite for rodents, the sparverius is roughly the size of a songbird and targets its prey from great distances. 

Like this unassuming predator, we use our targeted understanding of threat actors to help partners develop a deeper understanding of these issues, giving them the tools to proactively undermine the efforts of our adversaries and force them into a defensive posture. 

We provide our clientele with comprehensive and customized digital investigations services and threat intelligence reports about current and forecasted extremist activity. We also provide research and training on how to identify both foreign and domestic influence operations, particularly those targeting military and veteran-affiliated communities. 

Sparverius partners with leading experts who share our values in the industries of threat detection and digital analysis. We work with organizations in the public and private sector to develop and deploy scalable defenses to protect vulnerable and frequently targeted communities online, including veterans, women, and minorities.

The tragic events of Charlottesville and at the U.S. Capitol were not spontaneous events. They were meticulously planned online, and therefore, preventable. While many of the individuals and groups responsible for encouraging these events have gone underground, we’re still watching.

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