“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.
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.
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 ( 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?█