Subject: Re: A Zundelsite-Gram Sent: 1/16/96 12:44 PM To: E. Zundel, email@example.com Ms. Rimland, >As you know, we >have had in the past several attempts by shadowy folks traipsing all over >the Zundelsite by using variations of the Zundel e-mail address. > >I wouldn't begin to understand what is involved here, but I think it is >telling that this morning's count shows three of them: > >firstname.lastname@example.org >ezundel@dialup763.Bloomington.mci.net >ezundel@dialup767.Bloomington.mci.net > >If there is a simple explanation for this, would you please let me know? It's actually very easy to "fake" a userid. Especially now with Netscape, one can simply type in "ezundel" as an email address, "Ernst Zundel" as a name, and write all the email one wants. That doesn't change your email server, though, so the numbers and names after the "@" will still be the same. In short, what you have here is either an mci.net customer whose name is E. Zundel, or you have an mci.net customer who for some reason wants to pretend his or her name is E. Zundel. (I don't know what machine 126.96.36.199 is, but it may be safe to assume it's one of MCI's.) If this is done to post Usenet news, then this is kind of a Usenet tradition along the lines of high-school senior pranks: not in the best taste, but tolerated. Forging email or articles is sort of Beavis'n'Butthead type humor. It's not hard to do, but fortunately for the net, most people grow out of the urge. Because it's quite easy to tell it's a prank (one just looks at the host name, after the "@"), it's generally considered to be quite harmless. It might catch one or two people unawares, and if the victim of such a prank is concerned about that, it's usual to post a followup message pointing out that the victim was not the actual poster. But most net-savvy people will already have realized that, especially (a) if the victim has never posted to the net before, and (b) if the style is an obvious mockery of the victim's. There are more-sophisticated forgeries that are identical to the real thing except to the trained eye. Again, this is usually not taken too seriously; the real person simply posts articles to clear the matter up. If the forger persists over a long period of time, well, then that's rather annoying, I suppose. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is part of the rich tapestry of the Internet. If you find the person doing it, let me know; I'll be glad to personally ask him or her to stop, because if it bothers Mr. Zuendel, then it's just one more thing to deal with that's _not_ the evidence concerning the Holocaust. But if I were Mr. Zuendel -- this is just my personal opinion, I don't want to appear presumptuous -- I wouldn't be too terribly concerned. This kind of thing happens on the net.
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