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03.17.08

Is Microsoft Manufacturing a Case Against Open Source Advocates?

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, SCO at 12:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you flee the rules, you will be caught. And it will cost you dearly,”

Neelie Kroes (about Microsoft), February 27th, 2008

The disturbing phenomenon known as “Microsoft Munchkins” was introduced in this Web site before. About 8 months ago, the European Commission it would address this problem and crack down on the culprits.

“A couple of years ago they mass-mailed colleagues, employers, a University President, ISPs and everyone else that can help in gagging me. I am not foolish enough to forget this, and I never will.”There is plenty of evidence to show that Microsoft Munchkins (paid PR people in disguise) continue to operate, to this date. But here I present a personal story, which developed over the past few days. I am adding supporting examples of similar stories that affected other people.

My unpleasant ‘affairs’ with Microsoft Munchkins go a long way back. A couple of years ago they mass-mailed colleagues, employers, a University President, ISPs and everyone else that can help in gagging me. I am not foolish enough to forget this, and I never will. There are many other tactics, including direct intimidation and widely-spread slander. I won’t go into this in depth, but it’s well recorded on the Web (and cannot be removed).

For several months the Microsoft Munchkins have said that my site served malware. They lied, but they spread this lie in many places and repeated the lie (c/f Big Lie).

A few months went by.

Now, someone did a ‘dirty job’, essentially hacking my site last week (the cause remains uncertain for the time being). This happened after many months of extremely high activity, with unsuccessful hacking attempts ranging from common probes around PHP-Nuke to other CMSs. It’s a case of scanning for vulnerabilities. I noticed these attempts, but said nothing in public. Some people refuse to speak about such things, despite inquiries.

<Take with a grain of salt>
The Munchkins, whose history is too telling, noticed last week’s hack almost immediately (within hours and before anybody else, including myself), which is suspicious.

In public, I get accused of knowing about this for months, which is a lie (see the paragraphs above once again). They repeatedly make this lie in various forums (and not just in USENET), then back/mod each other up (pseudo validation/audience). I could go into specifics and produce more evidence to show this. It would be time consuming.

Scott Douglas, a Munchkin, already makes accusations in public, under various pseudonyms. He claims bogus ‘damages’. More libelous claims are made about this having gone on for months, which is a lie easy enough to disprove.

Gary Stewart, another Munchkin who has gone by the name “flatfish” for over a decade (as well as literally hundreds of other pseudonyms), says a case legal is made against me. It’s possibly just an intimidation tactic, which I mentioned yesterday.

To sum up in simple terms the situation described above, I am suggesting that false accusations were made in order to be used later and make a legal case.
</Take with a grain of salt>

Does any of this ring a bell? To me it does.

The above should be taken with a grain of salt, but there is a lot of evidence to show it. Anonymous/pseudonymous characters will soon shout out “paranoia!” to bury or deplete from the messages, but if it’s true, it means that Microsoft is unable to find dirt, so it’s making some ‘dirt’ up. I already have at least one person spying on all my activities (digging up dirt, followed by publication) and it’s somewhat reminiscent of this old report.

Microsoft Critics Assigned PR “Spooks”

San Jose Mercury technology reporter Dan Gilmore recently discovered he’s been assigned a special “owner” at one of Microsoft’s public relations firms, Waggener-Edstrom. These spin-masters are attached to troublesome journalists like Gilmore who have the temerity to write uncomplimentary articles about the company or its products.

The really irksome reporters, according to documents spirited from the Waggener-Edstrom offices, are also assigned “buddies” at Microsoft itself. John Dodge, the editor of PC Week, has a special buddy at Microsoft, and Mary Jo Foley at Smart Reseller, is the subject of a “Mary Jo six month plan.”

These “owners” and “buddies” are just there to “help” the journalists, of course. How dare we think otherwise?

Mary Jo Foley sort of confirmed with me yesterday that Microsoft’s ‘personal treatment’ does exist and I’m appending some references below, including this more recent one about Dan Gilmore.

Microsoft Sends Secret Dossier on Reporter, to Reporter

[...]

It also was strange to see just how many resources are aligned against me when I write a story about Microsoft.

This also has some shades of the attacks on Groklaw. Remember the MYTHICAL DDOS attacks against sys-con, which sys-con formally confirmed was a LIE? Or other lies about IBM, which had SCO give legal harassment to its opposition (using media placements as manufactured ‘evidence’)? By the way, the ‘spy agent’, Maureen O’Gara, is back at sys-con (mysteriously enough because she was embargoed after misbehavior). She too wrote an article claiming that PJ was “paranoid”. The apple hardly falls far from the tree and the same strategic patterns seem to recur.

To repeat a story that was mentioned quite recently, Tim Bray too was bullied by Microsoft.

Netscape hired me to represent their interests, and when I announced this, controversy ensued. Which is a nice way of saying that Microsoft went berserk; tried unsuccessfully to get me fired as co-editor, and then launched a vicious, deeply personal extended attack in which they tried to destroy my career and took lethal action against a small struggling company because my wife worked there. It was a sideshow of a sideshow of the great campaign to bury Netscape and I’m sure the executives have forgotten; but I haven’t.

Also recall the Massachusetts story, which is broad and utterly shocking once you look closely enough. To repeat some quotes of interest about Microsoft’s fight against CIOs who supported ODF.

As CIO of Massachusetts from February to November last year, Louis Gutierrez had to endure most of the brunt of Microsoft Corp.’s political wrath over a state policy calling for the adoption of the Open Document Format for Office Applications, or ODF — a rival to the software vendor’s Office Open XML file format.

Who could ever forget Peter Quinn?

Quinn: Almost to a person, to anybody involved or who knows about the ODF issue, they attributed the story to Microsoft, right, wrong or otherwise. Senator Pacheco may be a bully but I do not believe he is disingenious and would stoop to such a tactic. Senator Pacheco and Secretary Galvin’s office remain very heavily influenced by the Microsoft money and its lobbyist machine, as witnessed by their playbook and words, in my opinion.

Looking at yesterday’s news and considering legal fights (or frivolous lawsuits), we find similar incidents. This one happens to involve not Microsoft but the RIAA. It talks about how Shareaza and open source were essentially bullied by lawyers and an RIAA front. From yesterday:

The hijacking of Shareaza.com is a complex story with many twists and turns. Here is the story of Shareaza from its open source GPL roots, to the hostile takeover and where the project is today, directly from those at the heart of the news – the real Shareaza community. The fight for Shareaza has only just begun.

[...]

The French (RIAA) Connection

[...]

A Dump for Ill-Gotten Gains

[...]

Threats of C&D

As you can imagine, the members of the Shareaza community were rather upset about all of this and set up a new website with user forums. After two users made some offhand remarks about a distributed denial of service attack…

[...]

A Tangled Web

[...]

Making The Takeover Official

[...]

The Danger Posed To Open Source Software

Unless we are able to prevent the trademark being granted and regain control of the domain, our project will die. It really is as simple as that.

Early comments on this story (in addition to the ones appended to the post above):

Lawyers and Fraud

Lawyers and Fraud ( Mar 16, 2008, 19:20:16 )
Lawyers and fraud. Nothing new there.

The courts are all messed up in Europe (and America) and have been since before the fall of Rome. The project may need to rename itself. It won’t be the first one that has had to do that. It wouldn’t be the last one either.

The lawyer claiming trademark in the US might be laying his client open to fraud charges, but you’d need a lot of money to pursue it.

Just another case of ‘Innocent Until Proven Broke’. Standard legal procedure. Happens all the time in the Corporate world.

Also this one:

disgusting ( Mar 16, 2008, 15:15:20 )

Dam Shameful and these are the people that are supposed to be championing Intellectual Property and copyright for the creators and artists, disgusting.

The world is far from perfect and the juridical system is open for misuse. In case Microsoft is trying to frame critics whom it want ‘immobilised’, I decided to post this here in this Web site. Remember Patent TrollTracker?

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16 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    March 17, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Gravatar

    I am starting to think these creatures are targeting ubuntu brainstorm, everyone in a while you see a brainstorm that’s utter non-sense “Support MS Silverlight” “Learn from MS’ GetTheFacts to fix Linux technical issues” , etc.

  2. Roy Bixler said,

    March 17, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Gravatar

    Unfortunately, the kind of attacks which happened to your Web site are to be expected. The script kiddies regularly launch their scripts which crawl Web sites for known vulnerabilities, so it’s essential to stay up-to-date on patches. So I don’t consider it suspicious in itself that your site got hacked, but of course it *is* suspicious that the “Muchkins” seemed to know about it so soon.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 17, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Gravatar

    I am starting to think these creatures are targeting ubuntu brainstorm, everyone in a while you see a brainstorm that’s utter non-sense “Support MS Silverlight” “Learn from MS’ GetTheFacts to fix Linux technical issues” , etc.

    See the remarks here, specifically:

    “Along similar lines, I spotted the other day one method how Microsoft boosters within GNOME are able to affect Ubuntu: They can camp on bug reports and mark them repeatedly ‘invalid’ that way the report never shows up in any RSS feeds or for that matter any normal or advanced searches. One has to specifically search for invalid bugs to find it and at that level of specificity one probably already has the URL and bug number.”

    “My general complaint about Google News falls into the same category. It’s not just a matter of Microsoft gaming the system, pro-ODF or anti-OOXML articles just don’t make it into Google News regardless of the publisher.”

  4. Victor Soliz said,

    March 23, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Gravatar

    I am starting to think these creatures are targeting ubuntu brainstorm

    Now I am sure about it.

    I spent enough time on brainstorm to notice a pattern. There’s an user name who is always either behind or supporting terrible brainstorm entries. If you find in a random entry you suddenly find a rant about how Linux fails, it is the ‘A’ guy. If you find a brainstorm about how ubuntu must read the whole GetTheFacts page to learn how to do OS correctly, the ‘A’ guy posted it.

    If you find a brainstorm about prematurely supporting Silverlight or OOXML, either ‘A’ is the author or a commenter saying “Yes, we need to stop lying to ourselves, we lost!”.

    It is ridiculous already, this ‘A’ dude keeps flooding that site, I have decided not to post his whole user name to avoid feeding him.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 24, 2008 at 12:08 am

    Gravatar

    Digg definitely has such characters, whose usernames make it clear that they are the same Munchkins from OS/2 days. No wonder the UNIX/Linux section in Digg got pretty much abandoned.

    Then there’s Slashdot. I no longer read that site, but E-mails I receive claim that this site is being ‘hijacked’ as well. Paranoia? Maybe when it happens a few times. When it becomes a widespread pattern and people openly admit being shills, that’s a separate thing altogether.

  6. twitter said,

    August 14, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Gravatar

    What happened to Peter Gutmann should be mentioned here. It’s is a lot like yours but worse. Gutmann pointed out that Vista’s DRM would make problems for anyone doing imaging or anything else. As he put it, “that trying to seal shut (portions of) the historically open PC architecture in the name of DRM is technically a really bad idea, and one that’s bound to fail.” For that he was repeatedly pounded by George Ou and Ed Bott of ZDNet using the whole weight of the M$ press. Google for Gutmann ZDNet and you find masses of libel. Here’s how Peter put it:

    It all started with an email from George Ou, who decided, without ever hearing my talk on content-protection issues or seeing the slides for the talk, that what I’d said in the slides was wrong. I offered to send them to him, but by then he’d gone ahead and posted his conclusions anyway, still without ever actually having seen the slides that he’s commenting on. Later he changed his story to claim quite emphatically that he wasn’t attacking the slides at all, which seems a bit contradictory since the material wasn’t present anywhere but the slides.
    whenever anyone anywhere posted something that happened to agree with his [Ou's] position, I’d immediately get a gleeful email from him crowing about it. I never even saw the articles, because George would beat me to them every time. It’s as if I had my own personal “news about George Ou” news-clipping service provided for me by ZDNet. He even went so far as to lodge a formal complaint about me with the University,
    posted his initial comments on a blog whose existence I wasn’t even aware of (and therefore had no way of responding to) and then summarily declared victory in a later blog posting based on the fact that I didn’t reply. The only communication I had from him in that time was a long lecture that he sent me about professionalism (!!).
    neither Ed nor George ever bothered contacting me to get the slides that they were attacking or to do any fact-checking whatsoever for the material they were posting to their blogs.

    All of that amounts to a very nasty attack on a professional.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 14, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Gravatar

    it seems like Peter got “Slogged”, to use Microsoft’s terminology.

  8. twitter said,

    October 25, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Gravatar

    Adding the case of Fred Vogelstein to the list.

    While reporting a story on Microsoft’s video blogging initiative – something called Channel 9 – the [5,500 word] dossier that Microsoft and its outside public relations agency Waggener Edstrom keeps on me accidentally ended up in my email inbox.
    It also was strange to see just how many resources are aligned against me when I write a story about Microsoft. … there were close to a dozen other people involved. Some transcribed the interviews I conducted; others kept notes on my every utterance for clues about what questions I might ask next and ultimately what my story would say; others briefed executives with questions I had asked and suggested good answers. Indeed, if you read the memo closely it’s clear that my experience with Microsoft on this story was their end game. For something like six months prior they had been plotting to get Wired to write a story about Channel 9 and had dispatched three executives to meet with editors at the magazine in hopes of setting their hook.

  9. bob said,

    October 25, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Please don’t confuse hacking with cracking. http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/rms-hack.html

  10. LandofWind said,

    October 25, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Please do not confuse a computer cracker with a computer hacker; they are two distinctly different things.
    http://www.stallman.org/articles/on-hacking.html http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/rms-hack.html

  11. twitter said,

    October 28, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Gravatar

    adding an attack on TechCrunch:

    Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft employee (apparently this person is the son of the President of Nigeria?) apparently didn’t like my post about Microsoft’s attempt to pay a blogger to make Wikipedia changes on their behalf, so he vandalizes the Wikipedia entry on TechCrunch
    We [recently] dared to disagree with something the Obasanjo had to say over on TechCrunchIT, which he immediately characterized as a personal attack. A few days later- zap! – he finds three posts that aren’t all roses and butterflies and makes a subtle accusation that suggests TechCrunch may be partly to blame for the hysteria in the market right now.

    Dare Obasanjo is supposedly a “high profile” M$ blogger. The above looks like typical M$ troll behavior except it was done under a real name rather than a Barkto. The comments section is filled with people standing up to Dare, but that kind of crap flood is common in these situations and may simply be Dare or a WE representative. It’s hard to imagine a ground swell of people defending M$ for any reason these days, much less a ground swell in support of Dare’s vandalism and insanity.
    M$ should repudiate it’s employee for this. They did not think twice about firing an employee who mentioned Apple use at M$ [2]. Dare’s actions are more damaging to what’s left of M$’s reputation than that was.

  12. twitter said,

    October 28, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Gravatar

    “standing up for” not “standing up to” above

  13. G. Michaels said,

    October 30, 2008 at 1:33 am

    Gravatar

    The word “devious” does not begin to describe the hypocrisy of this twitter guy and his outrage at whatever evil deeds munchkins, nymshifters and sockpuppets happen to inflict on the world:

    http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/214377

    But hey, it’s all for a good cause. All dirty tactics and systematic dishonesty are allowed. twitter is one of the good guys. The bad guys are terrorists and must be attacked at all costs, ethic$ and value$ be damned.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  14. twitter said,

    October 30, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Gravatar

    Thank you, G. Michaels for adding my own case to this list. Those interested can find more in the Troll Zoo. Now back to business.
    Groklaw mentions the M$ slurring of Matthew Holloway:

    an employee at Microsoft recently sent an email to one of the technical bodies advising an NB involved in the OOXML ISO process, smearing a man’s reputation, Matthew Holloway, apparently to undermine his technical input which was critical of OOXML. Standards New Zealand was took the claims so seriously that they responded to parties who received this email.

    Via The New Zealand Open Source Society.

  15. twitter said,

    December 2, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Peter Quinn, who tried to save his state a little money and a lot of troulbe with ODF.

    Attacks on a Video Game Reviewer who tried to bring his Xbox with him when he moved.

  16. G. Michaels said,

    December 2, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    Gravatar

    The above comment looks like typical FO$$ troll behavior except it was done under a Bartko rather than a real name. Or maybe 14 Bartkos, who knows.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

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