Whose Internet is it, anyway?
Powerfully, it belongs to no one. It
is available to anyone willing to pay for the access.
However, access is expensive, so Internet Service Providers have to
charge for it. What costs you $20 to $30 per month costs him on the order of
$2,000 a month to operate the $40,000 worth of hardware he paid for. There
are many advantages to a completely unregulated Net but also disadvantages,
and one drawback is that there is no officially recognized legal right to
access the Net. Thus your access is at the whim of your service.
Of course, this is America. Free enterprise rules. He wants your
money, but he does not want to lose more money by serving you.
When the Internet first started up it was populated by professionals
from government, industry, and academia. The tricks that could be played on
the Internet were jokes rather than malicious. If there were problems, the
system was self-policing. Times have changed.
There has always been the prankster, the eccentric egotist, the
wild-eyed do-gooder, the malicious juvenile in mind if not in body whom we
must put up with in life. However, another far more sinister type of
individual has emerged on the Internet of late. These are the people who
take it upon themselves to act as self-appointed “policemen” on the Net. The
problem is that they appropriate to themselves the right to decide what
should be “policed”, which what material and ideas may be put on the
Internet and which may not. They appoint themselves as judge, jury, and
executioner of the opinions and beliefs of others.
Their means of attack consist of fraud, harassment, and
intimidation. One of their main methods is “mail bombing” the person whom
they do not wish to speak on the Internet. They send e-mail “spams” to other
people, sometimes thousands at a time, which purport to come from the
targeted group or individual. Sometimes these e-mails are out-and-out
forgeries containing obscene, threatening, or obnoxious material. Sometimes
these people lodge bogus complaints with the targeted person’s ISP that they
have received such material themselves.
These people do not confine themselves to harassment on the
Internet. In recent months voice mail and telephone harassment, death
threats against the target and his family, vandalism, and attempts to get a
targeted individual dismissed from his employment have become common. If you
do not voluntarily cave in to this campaign, they generally switch to a
general attack on the Internet Service Provider itself, mounting repeated
virus and harassment attacks to make it uneconomical for him to continue to
provide you with service. If they succeed with one provider, they begin the
same campaign all over again with your new provider, using the fact that you
were dropped by your previous ISP as proof that you are hazardous to his
There is very strong circumstantial evidence that one of the main
offenders is a group of self-proclaimed “liberal humanitarians” operating
mostly out of British Columbia, Stanford University, and New York City.
Ostensibly formed for the purpose of conducting serious historical and
social debate, these people run several open newsgroups and a web site, but
appear to engage extensively in this kind of “black” operation as well. The
increasingly bizarre postings to the newsgroups run by this organization
give weight to the idea that they are involved in destructive and criminal
activity; many of their regular posters who support the group’s aims exhibit
signs of mental and emotional illness to the extent that they are clearly
capable of these acts, and at least one individual associated with this
organization is known to have access to the kind of hardware and equipment
necessary to carry out massive spams and e-mail forgeries. Realistically
speaking, because they adhere to the politically correct ideologies of the
current power structure and because of the virtual certainty that they have
powerful and well-connected backing, these people are effectively above the
law and they will continue to commit these crimes with impunity.
A responsible Internet service provider will take complaints
seriously and some, notably Netcom, never bother even to contact the
targeted group or individual to get their side of the story. Many web sites
and Internet accounts have simply been cancelled without notice, no time to
find another provider allowed, no forwarding address allowed, incoming
e-mail destroyed. Another problem is that when a targeted person tries to
tell his ISP about the people who are trying to drive him off the Net it
admittedly sounds paranoid. Well, paranoids have enemies too. Just because
you’re paranoid don’t mean they ain’t out to get you.
If you have been the victim of such an attack, you are not alone. If
you have a story to add please contact either of the authors above or visit
Matt Giwer’s web site at:
http://www2.combase.com/~mgiwer/ (page doesn’t exist)
We do not ask you to support what we believe in. But it is important
for you to know what is happening and to understand that a very serious
attack on freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and freedom of
conscience is being carried out, and YOU can be victimized. You may not like
what we believe, but try to understand that it would be extremely dangerous
TO YOU for these people to succeed in silencing dissent on the Net.
Unrestrained power always increases beyond its original aims and parameters.
When will these tactics be used to silence Republicans, or Democrats, or
others on the left wing of the political and social spectrum? When will they
be used to stifle all free speech on the Internet through the imposition of
Freedom of speech is my right to say what you don’t want to hear. IF
THEY CAN DO IT TO US, THEY CAN DO IT TO YOU! The only protection against
these vigilantes is to expose them and make sure that every ISP and every
Net user knows who they are and rejects their grotesque and criminal
behavior with the contempt it deserves.
“This destiny does not tire, nor can it be broken, and its mantle of
strength descends upon those in its service.” – Francis Parker Yockey, IMPERIUM
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 1996 17:02:29 -0700 (PDT)
To: [email protected]
Subject: Whose Internet?
by Matt Giwer ([email protected])
and Winston Smith, NSWPP