So I am at the Internet 2013 conference held by OSCE in Vienna now, and it is one of those painful multistakeholder mashups. KGB officials responsible for reining in social media mix with both real civil society people and those seminar-ians and resolution-aries among the GONGOS who pontificate about self-regulation, justifying strange media laws and speaking of the need for an "international regime to regulate the Internet" and the "selfcleansing organ of the Internet". That stuff is all predictable, but what is unfortunate is how much of an inroad the Electronic Frontier Foundation has made into the rights world -- all the while exploiting the human rights lexicon and paradigm to cloak the hackers´ revolution.
The revolutionary approach as we know from decades of experience in this very region is one where the ends justify the means, and the self selected elite tribe gets to rule with a high quotient of legal nihilism without the rule of law. It is the opposite of the human rights approach stressing the rule of law. These people never met a law related to the Internet they liked. They have invaded every keynote, panel, workshop etc with this perspective as all the panels are onesided.
How does it happen that an OSCE conference has a speaker making claims like "Comcast censored Occupy Wall Street" or that numerous journalists were deliberately targeted for arrest and retaliation for their legitimate practice of journalism on OWS and so on, or people claiming that Net Neutrality is a free speech issue? (This is all from Tim Carr, Campaign Director from Free Press)
Its because in Europe, the socialist governments gravitate towards this sort of thing happily, and because OSCE itself as a process has never really established private property and property rights as a concept and value to withstand the collectivism that still remains everywhere in the old Soviet bloc and to a large extent in Old Europe.
In any event, I have told everyone I meet, official or NGO, about the virulent attacks on me from Anonymous and the wild campaign of hatred I´ve seen from JusticeSec Anon accounts on Twitter, including doxing, heckling, hacking attemps on my accounts everywhere, etc. It's important for people to understand what era we are living in. Some still have not heard of Anonymous or do not know what doxing is.
So as I affirmed this and tweeted this out with the conference hashtags, the accounts heckling and harassing me kicked up speed -- and just before I left, I discovered a funny coincidence - the GrumpyCatFitz account formed back in December 2012 by one of the people at Registan like Nathan Hamm or perhaps even Joshua Foust himself (it´s anonymous so you can#t tell) was the exact same person (as he let us know by announcing the update of the account) as OpCatzHunt. Of course, this sort of thing is very creepy. So how does that work, the defense contractors who don't like my blog critical of their positions on Central Asia uses the open-sóurce griefing kit that Anonymous online constitute to further harass me, or they are in Anonymous themselves. Creepz!
And the heckling themes are those already repeated by an earlier generation of Anonymous in Second Life:
o I have made a journalist ill with AIDS commit suicide
This is about a guy who griefed with a racist and homophobic group in Second Life named Deadlz Codec who ran the Patriotic Nigras, a group whose lovely name implies everything u need to know. He and his pals crashed sims and still do using the rhetoric of Westboro -- God will rain down brimstone, etc. and also using AIDS and racist textures and themes in particle spams.
So THAT guy, a coder and sometimes freelance contributor to a shopper (not a journalist, a blogger really for a shopper), who had a notorious history in an online community, suddenly claimed he was reforming, and then a few months later suddenly claimed he had AIDS, and people had trouble believing him as Internet histrionics and Munchausen by proxy is very common there.
I did basic journalistic research and tried to find proof that these events were as he claimed. When it was discovered first that a journalism student claimed he died when he had not died, I kept checking. I called the funeral parlour to check the story, as journalists do. Checking a story is not being unfeeling -- it is checking the story. This avatar had the name Deadly Codec and had a history of racist and anti-gay attacks: therefore it was okay to check this story.
o I have heckled and harassed this AIDs-stricken journalist's grieving mom
Nonsense. Reporting a story and probing for the facts about the life and death of a very PUBLIC figure is not harassment or bullzing. It is journalism and critical blogging. It is legitimate.
I have no way of knowing if the real mother came on my blog or a fake, with Internet hysteria. In any event, not believing the story of her son, a notorious griefer named DEADLY who claimed he was now DYING in real life is merely appropriate and healthy skepticism. That he turned out to be really dying now and no longer bluffing does not change this equation. In any, nobody not even the griefing mom, who could be fake, claims I killed him as he died of AIDS.
o OpCatzHunt also claims I am racist, merely the latest in many smear tactics. How am I racist? By writing about the racial profiling implicit in the New York City school districts banning of hoodies and dew rags and other headgear to break up gang insignia capacities. So just for describing this policy, which is not mine, but theirs and in effect, all of a sudden I'm the racist.
If that´s racism, then a critical discussion about how rapes are handled by the media and society when either whites or blacks are involved, which I had with a black SL friend on my blog will also strike this heckler as "racism" as will my reporting on and discussion of the essential racialist profiling in the Obama demographics business as the NYT reported, as 99% of blacks voted for Obama. Therefore, my comment reporting that this means Obama voters now have race markers, and that means Romney had a hard time finding people to do his IT work as all the digital analytic shops were filled with Democratic voters. I said by using Al Gore's dev and shops full of Obama voters, as well as Obama's 2008 analytics guy, no wonder they couldn't expect these people to have their hearts in the work.
Does this mean that Republicans should never hire minorities, of course not. Does it means minorities cannot do a good coding job. Of course not. It means that when Obama wanted the absolute top drawer work on his IT side and digital social media etc analytics, he did NOT hire people from yesteryear's Republican campaigns, he did not hire Republican voters, he hired a team of pasty white geek guys who shared his sentiments. Full stop.
But the ops and the grumps have not found this story yet which drew thousands of hate comments from Ars Technica and other top sites where I was vilified and ridiculed, and deluged with hate traffic. They just are not up to speed.
o That I 'bullied' Shava Nerad because I vigorously debated the G+ nym wars with her, and she made truly wild and hideous accusations against me that 'got lib tech shut down'. Huh? The mom silenced Shava for a time, he didn#t shut the list down.
o Fake claims that I don't care about rape victims in general or gay people in general, blah blah. Of course I care about such victims, have spent my life advocating for human rights including gay rights and women's rights -- all that is happening here is the typical Saul Alinsky method to discredit someone by making it seem as if they have done something in violation of their own principles. Nonsense.
What I do not accept as true, barring validation, is claims by ANONYMOUS accounts that they are rape victims as they harass me, not all rape victims. I don't find that real rape victims with pseudonyms online don't harass and heckle me in JusticeSec - only Anon does.
At the Internet 2013 Liz Henry gave a very good and compelling presentation on a panel about social media and journalism and the Gay Girl in Damascus hoax.
She made a number of excellent observations - that it took collaboration by both journalists turning skeptical like Andy Carvin and bloggers reaching him through back channels to disrupt the fake hoax of the gay girl in Syria - it was a man in Scotland.
She talked about sock puppets, online personas, and such and cited the examples the left cites as this phenomenon:
o Hillary supporters mad at Obama winning nomination in 2008 - she thought it was a largely astroturfed and contrived, although conceded maybe there were those with these sentiments. Of course there were - I was one of them, and knew many friends and colleagues who felt this way. Hard leftists and 'progressives' harassed and heckled and ridiculed Hillary and supporters to get their way, Samantha Power even called her a 'monster' in the media, then later got a job at the NSC. This is typical of how the progs roll, vilification, harassment, and bullying to get their waz, instead of tolerance of pluralism and consensus.
o Others she could tell were hoaxes because they didn't seem right, those Moms with three children, who just happen to be deaf and therefore can't talk on Skype.
Precisely because she was so thoughtful and smart about making this presentation, I went up to Liz Henry and asked her to tell me her opinion of Steubenville and Anonymous vigilantism. She basically just sort of stalled on it though and never really made an assessment of Anonymous. It was hard to tell whether she just hadn't followed it, although every feminist in America has followed it. I kept explaining my concerns about the re-traumatization of the victim. Despite repeated claims from Anonzyous that Jane Doe, the rape victims, support them AND their methods, I'm not seeing it...
I've encountered people like this on the left who are steeped in the leftist culture to the extent they don't see it or feel it. They feel they are at the moral center and others like Walmart shoppers or gun owners are at the fringe. There is a constant normalization of the left as if it were normative and the standard bearers and not often sectarians engaged in awful political warfare that brooks no dissent.
Somehow I still had the hope that if only she looked at the facts - the bizarre stories in Steubenville of people being doxed and harassed and then not turning out to be relevant to the case; the harassment and doxing of me and others such as Lee Stranahan of Breitbart. Now, you can have a kneejerk reaction to the affiliations of Breitbart and Stranahan, which I don't share, or you can understand the principles here, as anyone criticizing vigilantism is being attacked.
I would like to think that Liz Henry, if enabled to make a goodfaith examination of the Anonzmous Steubenville story would give it a fair and credible assessment.
After all, she purports to have principles (which I share) that:
o there should be 'nothing about us without us' as in the old credo for union negotiations or negotiations about Baltic independence
o those purporting to represent 'victims voices' need a second look as they may be pursuing their own selfish agenda
o people coming up and claiming to have three children who can't speak on Skype because they are deaf (or I could add the SL equivalent, can't speak on Voice because they need tongue surgery) need a second look.
So how about taking those beautiful and worthy principles and applying them to the people of Steubenville?
Those families of the football players, the boys themselves, other townspeople, cannot face their accusers under due process with the rule of law. They cannot decide how justice will be served. Instead, anonymous vigilantes without accountability are doxing, hacking, harassing, vilifyzing, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, and not really interested in justice so much as making havoc of the justice system.
So that Anon foulmouth claiming to have 4 kids, or JusticeSec's anonloverz who staged the operation against me, claiming to have had a cousin who committed suicide at the age of 13, a story he conveniently just remembered after months of campaigning on the issue of bullying, why don't they deserve to be doubted and questioned, especially when what they are doing is harassing and doxing those who question them?
I wanted to believe Liz Henry of all people would be capable of a good-faith and serious examination of the Steubenville Anonymous chaos and deception.
Of course, there are feminists writing that while vigilantism is troubling, justice would never have been served if not for JusticeSec, so their perverse theory goes. But surely Liz knows better. And we don't have to give up our commitment to the victim, commitment to women's rights, committment to justice, merely because we question Anonymous, which is up to no good here, mainly reputational laundering.
So it was disappointing to see Liz tweet later that she was indulging in the ignoble pasttime of laughing at the GrumpyCatFitz account.
I saw her go out with a clump of the EFF types from Jillian Yorke to Carr to others always in the same ideological cluster. Still, I had hoped for better.
Still, I have faith that she will come to see this, because it's not about me. These are principles as she herself outlined in her talk. And she herself will find that all these mothers of three who are rape victims, or was it that the tried suicide, or are they in fact boys in high school just don't pass the sniff test, the narratives keep mutating just as she said, and no, they never admit that. And I will be irrelevant to this process.
But to the extent that she can ridicule a fellow woman made the target of a hideous and obscene intimidation campaign by Anonymous to stop her legitimate criticism of defense contractors and then the anarchist movement itself-- well, it's why all our rights are vulnerable.