Free Speech? What Free Speech?

I've had an interesting exchange of emails today. Interesting, educational, and highly entertaining.

It all started when the following message appeared in the "Telecom Digest", a mailing list I receive which is also available as a newsgroup via comp.dcom.telecom:

From: freespeechstore@aol.com (Freespeechstore)
Date: 08 Jul 2003 15:41:02 GMT
Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
Subject: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!


http://freespeechstore.com/public/223_How_Bell_Canada_Handles_Death_Threat
s_Through_Its_Server!.htm

You will have to cut and paste.

Well, that looked kinda interesting, I thought. Death threats? To whom? What's Bell Canada got to do with all of this? So, I cut-and-pasted the URL into my web browser - and got this:

To View any of the Speeches below in their entirety, you must first log on: (click here)

So I took a quick peek at the requirements to set up an account in order to log in, and discovered that the operators of this website wanted such nosy information as my name, email address, phone numbers, and other information. What I also noticed (but didn't mention in much of the following correspondence) was that there was a notification on the registration page informing me that new registrations were currently not being accepted due to a server upgrade.

This appeared to me to be nothing more than a troll. Somebody's trying to collect valid email addresses. Spammers maybe? The subsequent behaviour I was subjected to makes this theory seem more and more valid. What was really suspicious is that this guy (girl?) popped into a public forum with this, and asked us all to come visit his website - a website which will CHARGE YOU MONEY to read the entire story.

That makes his post to the Telecom Digest spam. Spam that he's sent with a throwaway @aol.com address, instead of using an email address associated with his own domain name (and for which MX records are set up).

Anyways, I decided to take issue with him and his post, and wrote the following message:

From:  "Joey Lindstrom" <joey@garynuman.info>
To:  freespeechstore@aol.com 
Date:  07/09/2003 10:43 AM 
Subject:  Your post to Telecom Digest 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Do us all a favour.  The next time you feel the need to post a link to 
a story on your website, either include a note saying that 
registration - including divulging your email address - is required, or 
else spare us from your post entirely.

Y'know, you collect an amazing amount of personal information for 
someone who claims to be interested in free speech.

I figured that would generate a reply of some sort. And it did, just a short time later:

From:  Freespeechstore@aol.com  
To:  joey@garynuman.info 
Date:  07/09/2003 10:48 AM 
Subject:  Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Keep your voice down, unless you want to be posted to...

http://freespeechstore.com/public/146_UPDATE_WALL_OF_SHAME.htm

Now, go whine to someome else Weasel...GOT IT! 

Oooh! Threats! Oh dear, I'm gonna be on the "wall of shame", whatever the fuck that is. Whatever will I do? How will I ever be able to win back the respect of my friends and family?

Anyways, here's what I sent him in reply:

From: "Joey Lindstrom" To: Freespeechstore@aol.com Date: 07/09/2003 10:51 AM Subject: Re: Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Go right ahead. Your lame attempt to intimidate me would be laughable, if it weren't so pathetic. Free speech indeed. For you, but not for anyone else... -----Original Message----- From: Freespeechstore@aol.com To: joey@garynuman.info Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 12:48:55 EDT Subject: Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest > Keep your voice down, unless you want to be posted to... > > <A > HREF="http://freespeechstore.com/public/146_UPDATE_WALL_OF_SHAME.htm" > >http://freespeechstore.com/public/146_UPDATE_WALL_OF_SHAME.htm</A> > > Now, go whine to someome else Weasel...GOT IT! >

Oooh. That got him mad.

From:  Freespeechstore@aol.com  
To:  joey@garynuman.info 
Date:  07/09/2003 10:54 AM 
Subject:  Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


What are whining about?  Have I curtailed your weasel drivel...no!
Now, bother me again, via email,  and I will post you and contact your ISP....GOT IT! 

Well, now I'm getting a little hot myself. He's gonna contact my ISP? About what? And this "GOT IT!" thing is really starting to piss me off. Who the fuck does this bully think he's trying to bully? First he's gonna "expose" me on the "wall of shame", and now he's gonna run crying to my ISP - and I ain't even done the crime yet. Y'know, before I allow somebody to fuck me, I usually expect a kiss first.

From:  "Joey Lindstrom" <joey@garynuman.info>  
To:  Freespeechstore@aol.com 
Date:  07/09/2003 11:08 AM 
Subject:  Re: Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


No, I ain't "got it".  You told me to shut up.  That's not free 
speech.  You also did not address my valid concerns about your post to 
the Telecom Digest.  All you've done is threaten and bully.

As for contacting my ISP, I say again: be my guest.  Don't make empty 
threats, sir.

-----Original Message-----
From: Freespeechstore@aol.com
To: joey@garynuman.info
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 12:54:01 EDT
Subject: Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest

> What are whining about?  Have I curtailed your weasel drivel...no! 
> Now, 
> bother me again, via email,  and I will post you and contact your
> ISP....GOT IT!
> 

Yes, I'm "daring" him to go ahead and "post" me (whatever the heck he means by that) and whine to my ISP. He's got no case whatsoever, so if he wants to embarrass himself, it's fine by me.

Embarrass himself he did:

From:  Freespeechstore@aol.com  
To:  abuse@nucleus.com 
Cc:  joey@garynuman.info 
Date:  07/09/2003 11:26 AM 
Subject:  CONTINUED EAMIL ABUSE FROM YOUR SERVER AND...joey@garynuman.info 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This person continues to harass me via emails and threatens libel through your server.
 If it continues, I will seek my legal remedies against them, as well as you.  This is a formal demand to cease & desist.

He has been posted at...
http://freespeechstore.com/public/227_Joey_Lindstrom__Martin_Purvis__Ross_Procter__and_The_Interocitor..htm

with keywords....Joey Lindstrom Martin Purvis Ross Procter Interocitor GARYNUMAN.INFO nucleus.com abuse
harass newsgroups telecom spam internet joey@garynuman.info gary numan

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Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 11:08:49 -0600
From: "Joey Lindstrom" <joey@garynuman.info>
To: Freespeechstore@aol.com
Subject: Re: Fwd: Your post to Telecom Digest
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WHOIS results for !NET-208-38-10-0-1



Generated by www.DNSstuff.com
status = "Getting WHOIS results...";Country: Unknown

Looking up !NET-208-38-10-0-1 at whois.arin.net.

NOTE: More information appears to be available at JH2239-ARIN.

Using cached answer (or, you can get fresh results).


OrgName:    Nucleus 
OrgID:      NUCL
Address:    1835 B 10 Ave S W
City:       Calgary
StateProv:  Alberta
PostalCode: T2C 0K2
Country:    CA

NetRange:   208.38.10.0 - 208.38.11.255 
CIDR:       208.38.10.0/23 
NetName:    NUCL-208-38-11
NetHandle:  NET-208-38-10-0-1
Parent:     NET-208-38-0-0-1
NetType:    Reallocated
NameServer: NS.NUCLEUS.COM
NameServer: NS1.NUCLEUS.COM
Comment:    
RegDate:    2000-12-12
Updated:    2002-04-16

TechHandle: JH2239-ARIN
TechName:   Hribnak, Jim 
TechPhone:  403-209-0000
TechEmail:  abuse@nucleus.com 

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2003-07-08 21:05
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN's WHOIS database.






WHOIS results for garynuman.info



Generated by www.DNSstuff.com
status = "Getting WHOIS results...";Found WHOIS server for .info: whois.afilias.info.  Looking up.




Domain ID:D1068798-LRMS
Domain Name:GARYNUMAN.INFO
Created On:09-Oct-2001 22:31:51 UTC
Last Updated On:14-Mar-2003 22:36:54 UTC
Expiration Date:09-Oct-2004 22:31:51 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R139-LRMS
Status:ACTIVE
Status:OK
Registrant ID:C2501513-LRMS
Registrant Name:Joey Lindstrom
Registrant Organization:The Interocitor
Registrant Street1:1723 47 Ave. S.W.
Registrant City:Calgary
Registrant State/Province:AB
Registrant Postal Code:T2T2S3
Registrant Country:CA
Registrant Phone:+1.4033135639
Registrant FAX:+1.4136430354
Registrant Email:joey@garynuman.info
Admin ID:C2501513-LRMS
Admin Name:Joey Lindstrom
Admin Organization:The Interocitor
Admin Street1:1723 47 Ave. S.W.
Admin City:Calgary
Admin State/Province:AB
Admin Postal Code:T2T2S3
Admin Country:CA
Admin Phone:+1.4033135639
Admin Email:joey@garynuman.info
Billing ID:C2501513-LRMS
Billing Name:Joey Lindstrom
Billing Organization:The Interocitor
Billing Street1:1723 47 Ave. S.W.
Billing City:Calgary
Billing State/Province:AB
Billing Postal Code:T2T2S3
Billing Country:CA
Billing Phone:+1.4033135639
Billing Email:joey@garynuman.info
Tech ID:C2501513-LRMS
Tech Name:Joey Lindstrom
Tech Organization:The Interocitor
Tech Street1:1723 47 Ave. S.W.
Tech City:Calgary
Tech State/Province:AB
Tech Postal Code:T2T2S3
Tech Country:CA
Tech Phone:+1.4033135639
Tech Email:joey@garynuman.info
Name Server:DNS1.GARYNUMAN.INFO
Name Server:DNS2.GARYNUMAN.INFO
Name Server:DNS6.GARYNUMAN.INFO

I'm shittin' myself laughing over here. This wannabe net-expert is trying to baffle us with bullshit. Oooooooh, he knows how to lookup WHOIS records! I guess we should be impressed: this guy is a real internet whizkid who's been around the block a few times! Too bad this "whizkid" never bothered to look at the headers of the emails I sent him, because then he'd know that, contrary to his assertion, at no time did I use Nucleus' mail server (or any server of any kind owned by Nucleus) in the transmission of my emails. I run my own mail server.

This guy has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to dealing with people and with legal issues. Nevertheless, now he's brought my ISP into the matter, so now I've gotta reply yet again:

From:  "Joey Lindstrom" <joey@garynuman.info>  
To:  abuse@nucleus.com 
Cc:  Freespeechstore@aol.com 
Date:  07/09/2003 11:54 AM 
Subject:  Response to complaint 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


In regards to the complaint (and laughable "formal demand") you 
received this morning, as quoted below, the following is my response.

1) I have not harassed this (unnamed) individual.  I responded, via 
email, to a posting he/she made to a public forum - specifically, 
the "Telecom Digest" (also comp.dcom.telecom).  If you wish, I can 
provide you with copies of his/her original post along with all 
additional correspondence.

Specifically, after my first email, I was told to shut up or he would 
file a complaint with my ISP.  I responded that he/she should go right 
ahead.  My first email was unsolicited - every subsequent one (a total 
of three) was in response to something he/she had said to me.

I cannot seem to locate Nucleus' AUP on www.nucleus.com after a very 
brief search, however I can't imagine that anything I've done here 
would be in violation of it.  We're dealing with a blowhard who is 
attempting to bully and intimidate, nothing more.  Oh, and he needs to 
brush up on his spelling skills as well.  :-)

2) I have not "threatened libel" in any way, shape, or form, and I have 
no idea what this person is talking about.  I will say for the record, 
however, that this statement made against me is itself libellous, and 
perhaps we should be taking this up with his internet service 
providers, specifically AOL and whoever is hosting his domain name at 
www.freespeechstore.com.

Incidentally, I cannot confirm that he has followed through on his 
threat to post all the details of our conversation on his website (as 
shown in his included link).  Apparently, registration is required to 
access this site (which in fact is what I was objecting to all along) 
and the registration page contains a notice that registrations are not 
currently being accepted due to a server upgrade.


As you know, I am a longtime customer of Nucleus, dating back to the 
BBS days in the early 1990's.  While I am using Nucleus' services to 
provide internet connectivity, I host my own mail server, my own DNS 
services, my own everything - other than the Nucleus TCP/IP pipe coming 
into my home.  Short of a court order directing Nucleus to take action 
against me, Nucleus can in no way be held responsible for my behaviour 
in private emails, and the threat of legal action against Nucleus is 
laughable.  If legal remedies are to be used, they will be used between 
the anonymous person at freespeechstore@aol.com and myself, with no 
involvement on the part of Nucleus.

I therefore request that Nucleus dismiss this complaint as being 
completely without merit.




-----Original Message-----
From: Freespeechstore@aol.com
To: abuse@nucleus.com
Cc: joey@garynuman.info
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 13:26:33 EDT
Subject: CONTINUED EAMIL ABUSE FROM YOUR SERVER 
AND...joey@garynuman.info

(I've snipped off the rest of this, as it only quotes back the entire previous message)

I found that my CC: copy to freespeechstore@aol.com was not delivered because he's now blocked joey@garynuman.info from sending to him. Gee, if he was that bent out of shape by reading my words, why didn't he do this in the first place instead of crying to the net police? :-)

freespeechstore@aol.com is a spammer in disguise, nothing more and nothing less. He can bitch and moan 'till he's blue in the face, and he can try to "shame" me all he wants. The above is the unvarnished and unadulterated truth, and is a complete record of all email communications(*) between us up until 1:32pm MDT on July 9th 2003. You can judge for yourself, but keep this in mind: why is somebody who represents the "free speech store" so intent on shutting somebody up?

(*) The privacy laws of the province of Alberta state that, as a party to these communications, I am at liberty to do with them as I please, including publishing them on the world wide web. So before anybody gets their back up and thinks about suing me, you might as well fuhgeddaboudit. :-)


Update!

Since posting the above page on this site, the following group of messages appeared in issue V22-588 of the Telecom Digest, confirming my suspicions about this guy:

From: 6212hgk{invert}@newsguy.com (John Bartley K7AAY (ex-KGH2126))
Subject: Re: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 18:11:13 GMT


Don't bother.

Why?

Requires login.

1. Upon registration and payment of $3.99, via a secured connection,
all Users are entitled to twenty-four (24) hours of unlimited access
to FreeSpeechStore.com, to include retrieval of speeches, data, etc.

2. Upon registration and payment of $40.00, via a secured connection,
all Users are entitled to one (1) year or three hundred sixty-five
(365) days of unlimited access to FreeSpeechStore.com, or the term of
Business for the FreeSpeechStore.com, whichever is shorter, to include
retrieval of speeches, data, etc.

On 08 Jul 2003 15:41:02 GMT, freespeechstore@aol.com (Freespeechstore)
wrote:

http://freespeechstore.com/public/223_How_Bell_Canada_Handles_Death_Threats_Through_Its_Server!.htm

> You will have to cut and paste.

Nobody but a fool goes into a federal counterrorism operation without
duct tape - Richard Preston, THE COBRA EVENT.

------------------------------

From: Joey Lindstrom <joey@telussucks.info>
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 13:48:56 -0600
Subject: Re: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!
Reply-To: joey@telussucks.info


On Tue, 8 Jul 2003 20:31:02 -0400 (EDT), freespeechstore@aol.com wrote:

http://freespeechstore.com/public/223_How_Bell_Canada_Handles_Death_Threats_Through_Its_Server!.htm

> You will have to cut and paste.

You will have to bite me, spammer.  Your site is a pay site, ergo your
post is spam.

Speaking of threats, I find it interesting that, like most spammers,
threats are your method of choice in dealing with those who might call
you on your behaviour.  I refer to our email conversation earlier
today, in which you threatened to report me to my ISP - and then
followed through on it, telling them that I "threaten libel".

If anyone is at all interested in seeing how this cretin operates, I
invite you to read a full transcript of those conversations, at:

http://www.interocitor.net/freespeechstore.html

(I won't charge you to access the site, nor will I require that you
answer a whack of nosy questions first).


-- Joey Lindstrom

------------------------------

Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2003 02:18:02 GMT
From: Name Withheld at Reader's Request
Subject: Re: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!


This is SPAM plain and simple. In order to read material on that web page,
you have to pay! You can post for free but pay to read. You can go to the
freespeechstore.com and see for yourself PAT. You know I've been on your
list for a number of years ...

Ugh!

> From: freespeechstore@aol.com (Freespeechstore)
> Date: 08 Jul 2003 15:41:02 GMT
> Organization: AOL http://www.aol.com
> Subject: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!

http://freespeechstore.com/public/223_How_Bell_Canada_Handles_Death_Threats_Through_Its_Server!.htm

> You will have to cut and paste.

------------------------------

From: Steven J. Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net>
Subject: Re: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 02:47:15 -0000
Organization: JustThe.net LLC


 From Freespeechstore (freespeechstore@aol.com):

http://freespeechstore.com/public/223_How_Bell_Canada_Handles_Death_Threats_Through_Its_Server!.htm

> You will have to cut and paste.

Please ignore this troll. He's been flooding
news.admin.net-abuse.email for days if not weeks now ... it's probably
the same kook who used to go by the name Jamie and complained whenever
someone posted something in that newsgroup that he didn't like.


Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge, JustThe.net 

"Microsoft must think they're a navy, they open so many ports."
    --Ben Scott on the ISP-TECH mailing list, 18 June 2003

And, I also received this private note via email. Note that this is the same person who posted under "Name Withheld at Reader's Request" above: I interpret this to mean that he would rather post his comments anonymously, and thus I am redacting his name and email address from this note.

From: redacted
Sender: redacted
Reply-to: redacted
To: joey@telussucks.info
Cc: redacted
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 12:21:00 est
Subject: Re: How Bell Canada Handles Death Threats!
Message-id: redacted
X-User-Info: redacted
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-MDRcpt-To: joey@telussucks.info
X-MDRemoteIP: redacted
X-Return-Path: redacted
X-MDaemon-Deliver-To: joey@telussucks.info
X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-1.1 required=5.0
	tests=BAYES_10,DATE_IN_PAST_03_06,INVALID_DATE,PAY_SITE,
	      SEE_FOR_YOURSELF
	version=2.54
X-Spam-Level: 
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.54 (1.174.2.17-2003-05-11-exp)
X-Spam-Report:   ---- Start SpamAssassin results
  -1.10 points, 5 required;
  Message preview:
  My anonymous replied followed yours in the digest. My history with this guy: I received SPAM to the email
address solely used for my domain name registry entry. It sounded interesting so I checked it out and signed
up with BS information and another sole-use email address in my domain. I look over the site and see that it
is payment-required and subsequently report the original email (and multiples after that to the original
address) via spamcop. [...] 
  Content analysis details:
  INVALID_DATE       (0.6 points)  Invalid Date: header (not RFC 2822)
  PAY_SITE           (2.2 points)  BODY: Possible porn - Pay Site
  SEE_FOR_YOURSELF   (0.5 points)  BODY: See for yourself
  BAYES_10           (-4.7 points) BODY: Bayesian classifier says spam probability is 10 to 20%
  [score: 0.1970]
  DATE_IN_PAST_03_06 (0.3 points)  Date: is 3 to 6 hours before Received: date
  ---- End SpamAssassin results
X-Spam-Processed: mx1.garynuman.info, Thu, 10 Jul 2003 10:21:28 -0600

My anonymous replied followed yours in the digest. My history with this guy:

I received SPAM to the email address solely used for my domain name registry
entry. It sounded interesting so I checked it out and signed up with BS information
and another sole-use email address in my domain. I look over the site and see
that it is payment-required and subsequently report the original email (and
multiples after that to the original address) via spamcop.

For my efforts, I get listed on his wall of shame along with complaints to me,
my ISP, and work (since I looked at his web site from there). His only valid
complaint was that I signed up with fake information (the email address worked
for validation but is not listed anywhere). I suffered no repercussions. He
listed my web page and every address he could find there in his web page entry.
I also reported his complaint to me as SPAM since it was not to my sign-up address
and required payment to read his complaint about me...

I received an email from a business in San Antonio that was also on their wall
of shame. They are a home-inspection business that caused the sale of a home
owned by the spammer to fall through! They are in contact with the local Police
and FBI because of various threats made.

The guy also complained about me to the spamcop owner who responded that *he*
had been spammed repeatedly himself and was standing by me.

I subsequently received a virus email to my sign-up address. Makes one wonder...