Fascist Cyberthuggery

Letter to RoadRunner Security

[This letter is been slightly modified in two ways: One security issue has been removed. The URL's for online documents have been added and the copy modified to reflect this. -- tallpaul]

Mr. Greg Powell
Head of Security
Time Warner Cable / RoadRunner New York

Dear Mr. Powell:

I am writing to you concerning the state of my cable service from Time Warner Cable / RoadRunner New York (TWC/RR-NY) and the history of my service from this company.

When we spoke on 15 October 2001, I informed you that I would send you material documenting the recent cyberstalking with which neo-Nazis had targeted me. I also told you I would send you Internet documents concerning permissible behavior of people on the net, particularly as they involve the phenomenon known as "spam." At a minimum, this information was to include a summary of the specifics of the cyberstalking; the people involved in the cyberstalking; the account names and nyms of the cyberstalkers; testimony sworn under oath by other victims of these cyberstalkers; the document "Cyberstalking: A New Challenge for Law Enforcement and Industry--A Report from the Attorney General to the Vice President;" the document "Request For Comments 1036b: News Article Format and Transmission" by Henry Spencer; the document "FAQ: Current Usenet spam thresholds and guidelines;" and the document "Cancel Message FAQ" maintained by Tim Skirvin. (Because of the length of these documents I have made them available on my web site rather then sending them directly to you. You can read them via two pages at anti-fascism.org devoted to learning about usenet and the special issue of cyberstalking.

When we spoke you stated that you were not familiar with the Breidbart Index that defines "spam" nor had you any familiarity with the documents that reflected net thinking on when it was permissible to cancel messages posted to Usenet. I found it unusual in the extreme that the head of security for a major Internet Service Provider lacked familiarity with these documents, particularly when his company had acted against one customer (me) in the very area of behavior covered by these documents. I also informed you that ... I ... would send you the information when I returned home that evening.

You disconnected my TWC/RR-NY service that evening.... You told me that the order for this cutoff was made by the head of national RoadRunner security and passed on to you as the regional head of security at TWC/RR-NY. (The fact that TWC/RR-NY acted as the agent for national RoadRunner is also of importance. Some reports indicate that RoadRunner likes to pass on complaints instead of acting on them, claiming that the complaint is directed to National RoadRunner instead of a local RoadRunner or that the complaint was directed to a local RoadRunner powerless to respond. National RoadRunner's use of TWC/RR-NY to enforce its policy eliminates the possibility that either RoadRunner Nationally or RoadRunner New York can claim they lack jurisdiction to solve any problems.)

Not only was TWC/RR-NY ignorant of fundamental issues of proper net usage, TWC/RR-NY chose to remain ignorant of those things, killing my Internet service knowing that I would not be able to send TWC/RR-NY the documents. Let me give you some material on my technical background.

I first used a computer in 1969. I have over 300 paid publications in the computer press. I had routinely written for "Computer Underground Digest" that had an estimated readership of 500,000. I served as the liaison between the National Lawyers Guild and "2600" magazine's second conference "Hackers On Planet Earth" ("Beyond HOPE"). I edit and publish an on-line journal that has been published twice a week for over five years. I also maintain on a web site a huge collection of documents relating to the Usenet news groups, available at the URL addresses listed above.

Moreover, I assisted TWC/RR-NY security in their efforts to eliminate the "nimda" virus that had infected its system. On my home computer I run the security program called "BlackIce Defender" in full "paranoid" mode with all log files turned on. This means that my security system keeps track of all improper attempts to penetrate my system and endeavors to stop them. I have sent these log files to TWC/RR-NY security since they record the IP addresses of systems attempting to penetrate mine. This permitted your security department to track the virus as it infected the computers of TWC/RR-NY's customers. I was doing more in this area to defend security for customers of TWC/RR-NY than was the company itself. (However, I stopped assisting TWC/RR-NY after the company informed me that I should edit the files I sent, removing all references to hacking attempts that did not originate with RoadRunner. In other words, TWC/RR-NY was too lazy to do their own investigations of the virus in this area, too lazy to edit files sent them without cost, and wanted people helping them to devote more work to TWC/RR-NY that the company would not do for itself!) All of this demonstrates my considerable knowledge of the Internet.

The difficulties I'm writing to you about started on or about 24 August 2001 when my service from TWC/RR-NY suddenly stopped. I immediately contacted TWC/RR-NY's technical support department. They did not provide any assistance and claimed that there was nothing wrong with my service. I than ran a series of diagnostic tests on my home computer to determine if the service interruption originated from my end. It did not. I again contacted TWC/RR-NY technical support and they again reported that they did not see anything wrong. Only when I asked to speak to a supervisor was I informed that my service had been disconnected because of a direct order to do so from yourself as the head of TWC/RR-NY's Security department.

I made some twenty calls to TWC/RR-NY to resolve the dispute. This number was necessary since TWC/RR-NY required me to describe the problem to its lowest level of employee before I could speak to a more knowledgeable employee. The vagaries of TWC/RR-NY's telephone support technology also produced frequent disconnections, directions to non-functioning or non-existent voice mailboxes, and the like.

I was informed that TWC/RR-NY had previously sent me a detailed written explanation of TWC/RR-NY's concern over my ostensible improper behavior and that this documented all of the factual issues. This was, TWC/RR-NY informed me, sent me via "Airmail Express." I asked the employee why TWC/RR-NY would use airmail within the confines of New York City. She didn't know. I asked how one sent airmail within the city. She also didn't know. I asked when the letter had ostensibly been sent to me. She didn't know. I asked her to read the information off the same computer screen that ostensibly informed her that the letter had been sent via "Airmail Express." She could not.

When I latter spoke to another employee I was informed of the erroneous nature of the reports that the ostensible letter had been sent via "Airmail Express." The letter had, I was now informed, been sent me via a "messenger service." I asked to get the ticket number indicating who delivered the letter and when it was delivered. Your employee did not know. I asked for the simple delivery time. He didn't know. I asked for the name of the messenger service. He didn't know. I asked how "messenger service" became "Airmail Express." He didn't know. I asked how TWC/RR-NY could accidentally claim the letter was made via "Airmail Express." He didn't know. I asked where "Airmail Express" was listed in the TWC/RR-NY database. He didn't know. To this day none of these questions have been answered by any TWC/RR-NY employee.

None of my numerous calls resulted in the restoration of my service.

Throughout this entire period I pointed out to TWC/RR-NY that I was contractually entitled to technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I was also repeatedly told that you had personally flagged the account and instructed the entire TWC/RR-NY corporate entity that you and only you could take action to restore it. I was then informed that you were out of town for several days. I then requested to speak to somebody else in the security department to have them contact you. I was then informed that TWC/RR-NY's entire security department was similarly out of town. I then requested that TWC/RR-NY's technical support department contact the people responsible, even if they are "out of town." TWC/RR-NY refused.

I was also informed that I was not entitled to any technical support. I was told that I ceased to be a customer of TWC/RR-NY as soon as you disabled my account, that only customers were entitled to technical support, and therefore I had no entitlement of any kind from TWC/RR-NY.

This argument ignored the fact that I was still a customer of TWC/RR-NY, and it did not get me the service that TWC/RR-NY were obligated to provide me. These improper actions by TWC/RR-NY had numerous deleterious effects on my life. These are listed below.

Ultimately you returned to New York City and we spoke on the phone.

You referred to earlier letters TWC/RR-NY sent me about complaints made to TWC/RR-NY. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) send such letters as a convenience to their customers, simply informing then that complaints have been made. I took TWC/RR-NY's earlier communications as such a convenience to me (although other ISPs normally send their customers copies of the complaints.) This seemed the only reasonable alternative, given the lack of details in the letters. Any other interpretation of TWC/RR-NY's actions would have resembled a letter from one's local police stating "You were accused of a crime; we investigated and determined that you did it; you are advised not to do it again." In short, the letters lacked any explicit statement of improper behavior on my part, did not indicate who complained, and did not indicate when or where the alleged improper behavior occurred. This initial lack of documentation was to mark TWC/RR-NY's behavior to the present time. I pointed out to you that it was impossible for anybody to change their behavior based on the letters. I asked you for detailed information, promising I would review it, and -- should any improper behavior on my part be documented -- immediately cease all such objectionable behavior.

You promised that you would send me this information. You failed to do so.

I also told you that any failure of TWC/RR-NY to provide the documentation necessary for me to review my ostensibly improper behavior would inevitably result in TWC/RR-NY again finding fault with my actions. Again you agreed.

I have also repeatedly asked TWC/RR-NY employees to list a single part of the "Customer Agreement" that I have been accused of violating. Nobody from TWC/RR-NY, including yourself, has done so. They did not do so when my service was first interrupted; they did not do so afterward; they did not do so when my service was interrupted a second time; they have not done so since.

When we spoke I indicated to you that neo-Nazis were accusing their opponents of posting messages that were "off topic" to the particular usenet news groups that the neo-Nazis used. The newsgroup I mentioned to you was alt.flame.jesus-christ. I mentioned this news group because it figured prominently in some neo-Nazi infowar on the net. At this point, and only at this point, you stated that the issue of "off topic" posts "seemed to be" one of the problems. First, TWC/RR-NY has no business -- literally no business -- in determining what is and is not off-topic for Usenet news groups. TWC/RR-NY is in the business of providing service to customers.

Second, TWC/RR-NY has no basis for unilaterally intervening in any political discussion on Usenet to support or hinder any side in the political dispute.

Third, TWC/RR-NY has no basis censoring anybody solely on the basis of the political content of their posts to Usenet.

Fourth, none of this is of concern to TWC/RR-NY's security department. Political posts to Usenet news groups do not challenge TWC/RR-NY's physical infrastructure, do not threaten TWC/RR-NY's software, do not focus on TWC/RR-NY employees, and do not deal with hacking TWC/RR-NY's system. In short, they should be of no concern to TWC/RR-NY's security.

But TWC/RR-NY engaged in a massively improper action, made a secret decision about the propriety of posts in a political matter, and violated its customer's rights by killing the customer's account in support of TWC/RR-NY's political decision to intervene in a Usenet discussion.

Since you did this, let me explain then the politics TWC/RR-NY decided to support, however indirectly. Fascists have embraced the Internet as a new and highly important outlet for their propaganda. No less a fascist figure than David Duke has written "The Coming White Revolution: Born On the Internet."

William Pierce's National Alliance, identified by the Anti-Defamation League as the largest neo-Nazi group in the U.S., also uses the Internet. It has developed a tactic of utilizing Usenet news groups in particular. Milton John Kleim, jr., who once headed the Alliance's Internet "cybercell," wrote a tactical document for the group titled "On Tactics and Strategy for Usenet."

I am known personally to the leaders of the National Alliance, if only via the actions of one-time Alliance members Milton Kleim, Ray Hourigan, and Les Griswold (all three of whom left the group, in part, because of the leading role I played in opposition to their organizing).

But others supportive of the Alliance's politics are still active on Usenet. These include Scot Bradbury and another person identified as Brandon Orr. All use a multitude of aliases and accounts in order to conduct their pro-fascist cyberwar.

As Pennsylvania Attorney Yale Edeiken stated in sworn legal documents concerning these matters: "Defendant [Scot Bradbury] is also a follower of William Pierce (the successor to George Lincoln Rockwell) who he describes as 'doing God's work' and advocates an anti-Semitic program identical to that followed by Adolf Hitler after his rise to power in Germany. ... As well as being a purveyor of anti-Semitic propaganda, Defendant Bradbury is a member of a group of terrorists who harass and threaten others in an effort to, in their own words, 'drive them off the Internet.' The attacks on their victims, as with the attack on the Plaintiff herein, is a two pronged effort consisting of defamation in widely distributed publications and a campaign of criminal harassment directed against both their victims and their families. The campaign conducted against the Plaintiff is, by no means unique. He is just one of a number of people who has been subjected to the vicious and actionable attacks of Defendant Bradbury and his accomplices."

The dispute on alt.flame.jesus-christ around which you indicated TWC/RR-NY security had problems, occurred when Orr started posting to Usenet. Orr originally published openly fascistic views, presenting both an ultra-racism and ultra-homophobia, all within "law and order," "pro-family," and "patriotic" guises as those terms are misused by the extreme right.

Then Orr, under a series of different accounts, presented the ostensible beliefs of another persona. This was of an ostensibly ultra-leftwing communist and sexual psychopath. Orr's persona was ostensibly a male waiting for a sex-change operation while claiming to be a "transgendered woman." Orr's web site presented a series of his/her ostensible sexual turnons, including a photo of a woman literally consuming feces. The web site also featured articles favorable to mass murderers and provided direct links to information featuring cannibalistic practices, including articles on how to butcher the female carcass and how to cook various parts of the female body for human consumption.

Moreover, Orr defended pedophilia as a sexual practice.

Orr also presented himself as reflecting an incredibly hostile view toward religions as part of his provocative pretense of an ultra-left communist. As one later post put it:


"From:        Brandon Orr (mythbreaker@totalmail.com)
"Subject:     My Work as an Agent Provocateur
"Newsgroups:  alt.revisionism
"Date:        2001-08-26 13:50:28 PST
 
"My Work as an Agent Provocateur
 
"This admission may reverse some of the good I've accomplished through my 
activities of provocation. Nonetheless, my cover has been completely blown. 
After my true identity had been uncovered by enemies, this admission had to 
come sooner or later.
 
"I coordinated these activities of provocation with certain figures and 
organizations in the White racialist movement. The mission was three-fold. 
First, I worked to further discredit the political left by attempting to 
link it to child molestation and other abhorrent behaviors. (This was not 
hard to do; many leftist groups, such as NAMBLA, openly advocate child 
molestation). Second, I worked to propagate Holocaust Revisionism -- 
cloaked in leftist phraseology -- throughout the far left. This would raise 
discussion of the Jewish question to an even more fevered pitch (it has 
long been a divisive topic among certain leftists). It would also work to 
steer a few leftists sharply to the right. I worked to open eyes up to 
revisionism, anti-Zionism and similar hotbutton topics. Third, I worked to 
create dissent and strife within the ranks of the left, especially the far 
left. This would serve to breed weakness and uncertainty among members of 
the political left.
 
"To these ends, I was moderately successful. Many of my accomplishments as 
a provocateur cannot be undone by this simple admission.
 
"So what are my real politics? I agree with the politics of the National 
Alliance and World Church of the Creator; indeed, I am in the process of 
joining the latter. Thus a political analyst might characterize me as 'the 
far-right of the far-right.' For example, I believe that homosexuality and 
feminism should be rooted out; I feel that child molestation should be a 
capital offense, and I advocate the survival, expansion and advancement of 
the White Race.
 
"Were my activities of provocation worth it? In retrospect, I would 
probably say yes. I certainly was effective at what I set out to do.
 
"Hail Victory!
"Brandon Vance Orr"

Orr's behaviors, so accurately described in the post above, produced a dispute that involved the Usenet news group alt.flame.jesus-christ. A more extreme interpretation of "freedom of speech" may allow Orr et al the right to post pro-pedophillic material and anti-religious rants as part of their provocations as pretend "communists," cannibals, sexual psychopaths, and pedophiles.

The same interpretation lets others challenge them.

But this was not TWC/RR-NY's position. TWC/RR-NY censored one side of the dispute. TWC/RR-NY chose to censor people like me who opposed the ultra-anti-religious rants and pro-pedophillic politic.

One might claim -- as do many non-fascist conservatives -- that the public interest compels us to censor messages that threaten the sexuality of minors or that are anti-religions. But no group makes any claim that any interpretation of "public interest" permits the censorship of messages that oppose such things.

Orr might post to alt.flame.jesus-christ as part of a campaign of fascist provocation. An absolute interpretation of free speech permits Orr to dishonesty present himself as a sexual-pychopath and psychotically anti-religious figure. The same interpretation then permits Orr and his associates to adopt other accounts and point to their original messages as the "type of thing that neo-Nazis" have to fight. But others can expose these actions by Orr and other, and in doing so, are very much on-topic for the news group. One wonders, given the nature of cyberwar as practiced by supporters of the National Alliance, exactly who TWC/RR-NY believes was complaining of "off topic" posts.

The National Alliance's net actions are normally conducted via a large number of different accounts and different names. Bradbury has used over 50 names to post; Orr has used at least 35 accounts.

They can post an attack on an opponent under one account, use a second account to forge in the name of their opponent an admission of that attack, use a third account to urge that somebody's ISP be contacted about the ostensible wrongdoing of their opponent, complain to the ISP under their fourth, fifth, and sixth accounts, then via a seventh account announce that all of the posts under the first six accounts were forged to make them look bad, and, in a eighth account accuse the opponents of trying to censor political discourse by complaining to ISPs to have accounts pulled.

I strongly suspect that TWC/RR-NY security's improper intervention into political discussions on Usenet was taken in response to complaints by the very neo-Nazis who started posting and whose actions were revealed.

Here, the neo-Nazis complained not because the messages were off-topic but rather because they were very much on-topic. The neo-Nazis tried a stunt and were stopped. They expressed their "freedom of speech" and ran into the same freedom by others. Only then did they complain when they were being defeated in an open political discussion. And TWC/RR-NY intervened in that discussion, at the behest of the neo-Nazis, in support of the neo-Nazis.

Ultimately, TWC/RR-NY restored my account. But TWC/RR-NY failed to keep its promises to send me full documentary details on the earlier complaints against me, the results of TWC/RR-NY's investigations, and TWC/RR-NY's conclusions. This was made all the worse by our common recognition that without such documentary material I would be absolutely unable to alter my behavior as TWC/RR-NY wished and that the problem would thus inevitably continue. When TWC/RR-NY failed to provide the promised documents it made additional problems inevitable.

Shortly thereafter I became the latest victim of a neo-Nazi cyberstalking campaign.

This campaign was new only in its intensity; neo-Nazis directed similar types of cyberstalking against other opponents like Yale Eideken, Sara Saltzman, and Susan Cohen. Details of these actions, including sworn court documents are available. The cyberstalking against me took a specific form that involved forging hundreds of messages, ostensibly from me, with two specific types of contents. The first form consisted of forged messages with a salacious content. The second form consisted of publishing pro-fascist material with my name forged as the publisher.

The fascist forgeries presented false confessions to crimes, such as pedophilia and solicitation of young boys as models for "kiddie porn." They also contained ostensible admissions of homosexual incest. The general tone, under definitions by the U.S. Supreme Court, gave them an obscene nature, since they appealed to prurient interest, offended community standards, and were utterly without redeeming social importance. Some of these posts involved similar defamation against others presented as if it originated with me.

The style and sexual content of these forgeries followed the earlier pattern used by Bradbury, Orr, and others against their opponents on the Usenet news groups. Only the intensity of the forgeries directed at me was significantly increased.

The forgers also published material by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce under my signature and published advertisements for openly violent terrorist neo-Nazi groups as if I published those advertisements.

The hundreds of forged posts also meant that the cyberstalking constituted spam.

The Internet's view of spam is clear: users and ISPs oppose it.

Specifically, these people and groups all agree that spam may be canceled as may other messages that meet specific criteria.

The document entitled "Cancel Messages: Frequently Asked Questions" states that "In general terms, the only people that are always authorized to issue cancels for a message are the original author of the message and the postmaster at the site the message was posted from. However, there are rules that allow third-party cancels in specific circumstances, such as ... spam and ... article forgeries...."

It goes on to state that "Third person cancels are generally frowned upon, unless they are made based on one of the following criteria: ... Spam or EMP, a message posted to Usenet separately multiple times, is generally accepted as a major threat to Usenet. Therefore, anything posted too many times is automatically cancelled, with no regard to the content of the post. Currently, the cancellation threshold is 20 posts; for more information, see the 'Spam Thresholds FAQ'." It also states that another permissible basis for cancels are Forgeries in the user's name: "It has become more and more common for people to post messages with false attribution lines. If a message is attributed to a user, they may cancel it or authorize others to cancel it as if they has posted it themselves." All of this is in keeping with Henry Spencer's "News Article Format and Transmission: Request For Comments 1036b" that the "Cancel Messages FAQ states "is the most 'authoritative' list of valid reasons for cancel messages...."

Spencer wrote "it is highly desirable to permit authorities other than the author to cancel articles, to allow for cases in which the author is unavailable, uncooperative, or malicious, and in which damage and/or legal problems may be minimized by prompt cancellation." Spencer went on to write "The assumption that forgeries will be recognized as such is also not to be taken for granted; readers are notoriously prone to blindly assuming authenticity."

The posts in question could be canceled for multiple reasons all in accord with the "Cancel Message: FAQ" and RFC 1036b, since they were spammed, composed as forgeries falsely attributed to me, and were given a clearly malicious character by the original hidden author who was both unavailable and uncooperative.

The nature of abuse of the net has caused people to establish a series of moderated Usenet news groups in the hierarchy called news.admin.net-abuse.* or "n-a-n-a." The established norm is for people to report abuse of the net like spam to the group news.admin.net-abuse.sightings.

I did this repeatedly. I reported thirteen political spams by neo-Nazis, all in the form required by the n-a-n-a.sightings moderator. I also published the documentation for these posts. I later published a synopsis of these reports of neo-Nazi spam to the n-a-n-a-policy new group . The established net norm uses the Breidbart Index (BI) as a quantified, content-neutral definition of spam. Spam is formally defined as posts having a Breidbart Index of at least 20 when measured over a 45 day period. In October 10, 2001, the neo-Nazi spam in question generated by Brandon Orr et al had a BI of 227, some eleven times the BI definition!

The definitions of spam do not require the measured messages to be "absolutely identical" but rather "functionally identical."

The basic function of all of the spammed forgeries was to mislead the average reader about my views, my political and non-political beliefs, my desires, my actions, and my past postings. It was, as sworn testimony by others demonstrates, intended to bully into silence and to drive off the net. The spam took several different forms in the forgers' actions to accomplish this. First, it took a sexual form, where various announcements of sexual desire were forged under my names. This also took the form of fake confessions to criminal actions, as where the forger had me confessing to pedophilia and producing "kiddie porn." Some of these forgeries furthered neo-Nazi libels against others; the forgers would libel a second person, charging them with some form of sexual misbehavior, and then present that libel under my forged name.

Another form the spammers used was to forge advertisements for terrorist organizations under my signature.

Yet another form used by name as the ostensible source for the publication of William Pierce's writings in support of his neo-Nazi National Alliance. The authors of these forgeries could easily have published pro-terrorist and neo-Nazi material under their own names. They chose to publish it under mine. That is a second proof that the function of the messages was to mislead, and that all of the messages -- without regard to other content -- were "functionally identical."

Net norms permit these messages, with a collective BI over 220, to be canceled as spam. That's established in the "Cancel Messages: Frequently Asked Questions" document, in the definitions of the Breidbart Index, and in "The Net Abuse FAQ."

Moreover, Spencer's norms defined in RFC 1036b, provide additional reasons why they may properly be canceled.

Spencer wrote of permissible cancels where "the author is unavailable, uncooperative, or malicious, and in which damage and/or legal problems may be minimized by prompt cancellation."

The author of the spam was "unavailable," often using anonymous remailers or the semi-anonymity of dozens of free accounts.

The author of the spam was "uncooperative," indeed the hostile nature of the posts showed the author to be negatively cooperative.

The author of the spam was "malicious" as shown by the author's forged confessions of crimes.

I can think of no greater example of Spencer's reasoning than canceling confessions of crimes based on RFC 1036b's permission when "damage and/or legal problems may be minimized by prompt cancellation."

One can hardly claim freedom of speech to forge false confessions of pedophilia, solicitations for "kiddie porn," or advertisements for terrorist organizations.

But then there is TWC/RR-NY's action in this matter.

You stated, when last we talked, that TWC/RR-NY opposed all cancellations save those by moderators of Usenet news groups. There are two problems with this.

The first is that this anti-cancellation policy by TWC/RR-NY is nowhere announced by TWC/RR-NY, either in the customer agreement or in any of TWC/RR-NY's on-line statements.

The second is that TWC/RR-NY has no such anti-cancellation policy. Thus the statement that they do is false and a rationalization that seeks to provide an after-the-fact de jure justification for TWC/RR-NY's improper action in my case.

TWC/RR-NY's own Customer Agreement claims it has the right to cancel posts for almost any reason at all, including having no reason.

I strongly doubt that TWC/RR-NY has pulled its printed copies of this agreement and distributed a new one announcing TWC/RR-NY's ostensible anti-cancel policy. I believe that TWC/RR-NY continues to distribute copies of this agreement to today's customers that announces a policy quite the opposite of the one TWC/RR-NY claimed it has in my case. Nor has TWC/RR-NY taken actions on its system to ignore cancel messages. The TWC/RR-NY system is set to process and obey cancel messages, not to ignore them. One can tell this because the TWC/RR-NY system would be flooded with spam if TWC/RR-NY did not honor the cancel messages that TWC/RR-NY claims in my case it does not honor, does not agree with, and does not permit.

TWC/RR-NY has now moved to a new policy to deny me my rights. This one is built around the famed "plausible denial."

Some three weeks ago you claimed that TWC/RR-NY's security department had restored my service; the same day -- by coincidence no doubt! -- TWC/RR-NY's technical support department determined that some mysterious trouble developed on the cable immediately outside my apartment. This ostensible trouble kept me from using TWC/RR-NY's service. The technical support department made a delayed repair appointment for 30 October, keeping me off TWC/RR-NY for additional time.

Then, after the service technician had come and pronounced my cables in fine shape, TWC/RR-NY's technical support department ostensibly discovered that they had accidentally diagnosed the wrong type of cable problem and thus accidentally sent out the wrong type of technician with the wrong type of equipment. I then received another visit from the same technician to repair the diagnosed problem with the signal modulation. The technician again reported that there was nothing wrong with my signal and that this problem, like the earlier one, was accidentally misdiagnosed. However, he was accidentally sent out without the necessary equipment to diagnose a modulation problem, despite the fact that the appointment had been made to do precisely that. TWC/RR-NY then diagnosed a problem with my cable modem. This diagnosis was also accidentally mistaken because a technician replaced my cable modem, found that it did not correct the problem, and replaced the original modem. TWC/RR-NY then diagnosed a problem with my ethernet card that connects my computer to the cable modem. This diagnosis was also accidentally mistaken because the problem continued when I replaced the card.

TWC/RR-NY then diagnosed a problem with my computer and scheduled an appointment with a TWC/RR-NY technician who would bring a laptop computer known to be working in order to test the cable system.

The technician showed up accidentally without the needed computer, because the service information accidentally neglected to indicate that a computer was needed. When the technician was finally able to examine my computer he found that there were no problems and the diagnosis was again, accidentally mistaken. At this point the technician again diagnosed the problem with signal strength and with the modem.

I made another appointment for a repair technician.

The technician replaced the ethernet card, the modem, and the cord connecting the two.

The problem remained.

A second technician again checked the signal strength and found that it was within the normal limits.

The technician also checked and found that seven customers in my building have TWC/RR-NY service that is functioning properly. On this basis both technicians concluded the problem is not in the cables in the building.

Nor, according to the tests run by the technicians, is the problem in my computer, the cable modem, the ethernet card, the connecting cord, the software in my computer, or the cables within my apartment. Nor is the problem with either the strength or modulation of the signal that TWC/RR-NY provides me.

TWC/RR-NY's various diagnostic departments claim that the problem exists in RoadRunner hardware that exists outside my building. But the technicians on the spot now all say -- and I agree -- that the problem originated with TWC/RR-NY's security department and continues to originate there.

TWC/RR-NY has moved from one improper disruption of my service for reasons TWC/RR-NY failed to justify to another openly announced disruption, also for reasons that TWC/RR-NY has failed to document.

Now TWC/RR-NY has moved to a deniable and dishonest disruption of my service, hidden behind endless diagnoses of technical problems that do not exist and never existed. TWC/RR-NY's dishonesty has added to the damages done me, requiring me in the past to make dozens of phone calls to TWC/RR-NY's customer support, technical support, and repair departments. TWC/RR-NY's current dishonesty has forced me to spend four days at home waiting for service visits that were never required.

TWC/RR-NY's various improper policies and actions toward me have had enormous additional consequences. These include:

interference and disruption of my ability to research and document the cyberstalking;

interference and disruption of my ability to properly inform the F.B.I. of the factual details of the cyberstalking;

interference and disruption of my ability to make money as a technical writer;

interference and disruption of my ability to seek new work in the computer field;

interference and disruption of my ability to defend myself against forged confessions that I am a pedophile;

an enormous increase in the damages to my reputation I've suffered as the result of that forgery;

interference and disruption of my ability to defend myself against forged confessions that I am seeking models for "kiddie porn;"

an enormous increase in the damages to my reputation I've suffered as the result of that forgery;

an enormous increase in the damages to my ability to work as a photojournalist I've suffered as the result of that forgery;

interference and disruption of the publication of my newsletter "The Internet Anti-Fascist;"

interference and disruption of my other net services at New York Connect, causing my mailbox to fill up, messages to bounce, and subscriptions of mailing lists to be cancelled;

interference and disruption of my ability to defend myself against advertisements for terrorist organizations forged in my name;

an enormous increase in the damages to my reputation I've suffered as the result of that forgery;

interference and disruption of my ability to defend myself against publications of neo-Nazi organizations forged in my name;

an enormous increase in the damages to my reputation I've suffered as the result of that forgery.

These last matters are especially important after the September 11th bombing of the World Trade Center.

This is especially true since I am a New York City resident.

The "New York Post's" Brad Hunter revealed the moral degradation of the neo-Nazis in his 3 October article when he wrote "American neo-Nazis are praising Osama bin Laden in the wake of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. On Web sites and in interviews with The Post, some fringe groups are expressing sympathy -- and even support -- for the terrorists who snuffed out the lives of some 6,000 Americans." Hunter went to specify William Pierce's National Alliance as one such neo-Nazi group: "Billy Roper, of the National Alliance, echoes Kreis' rhetoric. In an e-mail to NA members, which he said was pirated by the anti-racist Southern Poverty Law Center, Roper wrote: 'The enemy of our enemy is, for now at least, our friend'."

It is enormously defaming for neo-Nazis to then publish Pierce's writings over my signature as if this material originated from me in New York City. TWC/RR-NY's decision to improperly cripple my ability to respond has been enormously damaging.

TWC/RR-NY's policy in this matter is made all the more improper given RoadRunner's past indifference to real abuse of the net by neo-Nazis with TWC/RR-NY accounts or forging material as if they originated from TWC/RR-NY accounts. See, for example "Neo-Nazi Forgeries From RoadRunner Accounts", "Neo-Nazi Forgeries to RoadRunner News Groups, Ostensibly from RoadRunner Accounts" and, for present forgeries "More Neo-Nazi Forgeries From RoadRunner Accounts."

Neo-Nazis spammed their views to news groups like alt.fan.roadrunner and forged TWC/RR-NY addresses on the spam. TWC/RR-NY did nothing about the complaints.

Neo-Nazis spammed from their RoadRunner accounts. RoadRunner did nothing about the complaints.

Anti-fascist activists had their TWC/RR-NY IP addresses spoofed. TWC/RR-NY did nothing about the complaints.

TWC/RR-NY's actions towards me have been especially troublesome and damaging given the recent murderous anthrax attacks on citizens of New York City. Numerous reports indicate that these attacks came from the same far-right political forces that have attacked me. The neo-Nazis had already posted home addresses and threats of violence against me before the anthrax attacks. Now, I have been informed, they are posting the question "Is Paul Kneisel A Dead Man?"

Let me summarize the issues.

The most important issue here is based on your statement to me that TWC/RR-NY does not "want bad publicity."

This goes to the very heart of the matter. It is not about security; it is not about abuse of the Internet; it is not about any improper action on my part; it is not about any documented impropriety; it is not about any formal and thorough TWC/RR-NY investigation. It is about the "bad publicity" for RoadRunner that the corporation believes it is getting from neo-Nazi complaints.

You stated that the "problem would go away" if I stopped challenging the neo-Nazis. It might indeed. But the problem that was to "go away" was RoadRunner's publicity problem from neo-Nazis, not my problem with neo-Nazi cyberstalking, defamation, and death threats.

I publish a semi-weekly anti-fascist journal and I will not cease five years of publication for the sole benefit of RoadRunner. Nor does TWC/RR-NY security have any business intervening in a political discussion on the Internet. This is especially true where TWC/RR-NY is wrong politically, historically, and ethically. Auschwitz was not one of Hitler's attention-seeking devices; Black people did not produce the Ku Klux Klan; gay people do not produce gaybashers. And anti-fascists do not produce neo-Nazi cyberstalking.

Nor was TWC/RR-NY any more accurate with the view that it was my personal presence that produced the illegal neo-Nazi actions.

Similar actions occurred against other anti-fascists before I posted to Usenet new groups. The neo-Nazis who complained falsely of my abuse of the net now complain of others in my absence, and urge that additional ISPs be contacted to kill the service of the new ostensible abusers. And even my absence from the Usenet news groups does not stop the attacks on me.

Two recent posts demonstrate this.


"From:         Doc Tavish� 
               [sic: Scot Bradbury]
"Newsgroups:   alt.revisionism
"Subject:      Re: NOTICE TO WEBMASTER OF ALT REVISIONISM
"Organization: McTavish Informational Services (Non-Profit)
"Message-ID:   
"Date:         3 Nov 2001 07:24:01 GMT
 
"... You need to write to each and every abuse department of each and every ISP
bastard Shiff has hijacked and advise them that the kike is criminally stealing
their service and criminally denying service to many people by his over 84,000
random word non-sense post flood. I have written each and every ISP. ...
 
"Don't count on the Aussies stopping the Kike Shiff-- they didn't do squat
against the 'Krema Fodder' when he was using their server to issues thousands of
forged cancels. People have yet to understand why many other people and nations
have always hated KIKES and have sought to either drive them out or just kill
them outright! I now understand what drove people to do to them what they did!
I.E. all the weeping stories about guards cracking their heads open with lead
pipes, giving them swats with a paddle and not stopping until their buttocks
bled which was an alleged favorite of Wilhelm Borger etc. Century after century,
nation after nation- people have gotten fed up with Kikes. Let us hope America
tires of them soon too!"
 
In addition, RoadRunner should prepare for more complaints by neo-Nazis about my improper behavior. While I have been off of Usenet, the neo-Nazis are complaining that they are the victims of spam in newsgroups with a neo-Nazi focus. Predictably, I am now accused of that new spam, as one wrote:

 
"From:        'P3�' 
"Newsgroups:  alt.revisionism
"Subject:     Re: WHO IS THE SPAMMER?
"Date:        Wed, 7 Nov 2001 08:43:12 -0500
"Message-ID:  <9sbdpr$r3g$1@suaar1ab.prod.compuserve.com>
 
"actually, the person doing this is running off a 24/7 connection.
 
"Two names come to mind, Jeffrey G. Brown and Paul Kneisel.
 
"And although I think Brown is full of shit nearly all the time, this isn't
his MO so Brown is off the hook.
 
"However spamming and flooding the group is the MO of Paul Kneisel and he did
leave here with his tail between his legs.
 
"So he is the leading suspect as I guess the Nizkorphiles who have the
hipcrime program probably gave it to Outerbridge/Kneisel.
 
"--P3
 
"http://members.truepath.com/christianpolitics/"

Let's look at TWC/RR-NY's's history of claims, actions, and performances:

TWC/RR-NY claimed that:
At an unknown time;
on an unknown date;
in an unknown post;
to an unknown location;
with an unknown content
I posted a unknown thing
that produced an unknown protest
from an unknown person
with an unknown content
made at an unknown time
on an unknown date
that led TWC/RR-NY to conduct
an unknown investigation
with unknown people
of unknown material
on unknown dates
that led TWC/RR-NY to conclude
that I committed an unknown infraction
of an unknown rule.
TWC/RR-NY did, however, claim that they informed me of this
in an unknown letter
with an unknown content
sent on an unknown date
by unknown persons.
TWC/RR-NY claimed
that this unknown and unreceived letter
was sent me via "Airmail Express"
for unknown reasons
and with an unknown ability of how "airmail" functions within the confines of New York City.
TWC/RR-NY then claimed that this letter
was also sent to me via a messenger service
for unknown reasons
and with an unknown mailing date
and with an unknown delivery date
and with an unknown content
and with an unknown messenger company
and with an unknown messenger
and with an unknown shipping number
and with an unknown delivery number.
TWC/RR-NY also promised that they would again send the material they had ostensibly sent earlier and that it would contain the complete details of all of TWC/RR-NY's allegations about my improper behavior.

RoadRunner has never sent anything.

Later, I came under intense cyberstalking by people who had earlier expressed their political support for the National Alliance, listed by the Anti-Defamation League as the largest neo-Nazi group in the U.S.

After informing you on 15 October 2001 of this cyberstalking, TWC/RR-NY again disconnected my service along lines similar to those listed above.

Then you announced that my TWC/RR-NY service had been fully restored.

Then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as one of signal strength

and then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as one of signal modulation
and then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as with my cable modem
and then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as with the line connecting my cable modem to my computer

and then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as with my ethernet/NIC card

and then
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY falsely diagnosed my problem as with my computer

and then, despite the earlier misdiagnosis
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY again falsely diagnosed my problem as one of signal strength

and then, despite the earlier misdiagnosis
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY again falsely diagnosed my problem as one of signal modulation

and then, despite the earlier misdiagnosis
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY again falsely diagnosed my problem as with my cable modem

and then, despite the earlier misdiagnosis
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY again falsely diagnosed my problem as with the line connecting my cable modem to my computer

and then, despite the earlier misdiagnosis
for unknown reasons
and in an unknown way
TWC/RR-NY again falsely diagnosed my problem as with my ethernet/NIC card.
Now the technicians who visited my home, checked my computer, replaced the modem, NIC, and cords, all believe the problem lies with TWC/RR-NY's security department.

Without regard to any other action I may take, and without prejudice to any future action, I demand that TWC/RR-NY:

1) issue a public apology to me and post this apology to all of the Usenet news groups to which I've posted in the past;

2) assure me in writing that it will not take any action against me in the future for repeating any of my past actions, the impropriety of which, TWC/RR-NY has repeatedly failed to document; and

3) most importantly at this present moment, do what TWC/RR-NY claimed they did three weeks ago: restore my TWC/RR-NY forthwith!

When we last spoke you told me that you had been "asleep at the switch" and had not performed the actions you should have, included those related to earlier restoring my service and maintaining it without interruption.

I wonder if this is the case. Have all of the improper actions at RoadRunner occured because security, technical support, and customer service been "asleep at the switch" in this case? Or have these RoadRunner departments all functioned with a common dishonesty to a common end of improperly denying me the RoadRunner service I pay for and which RoadRunner is obligated to provide?

Sincerely,

Paul Kneisel
tallpaul@nyct.net
Editor: The Internet Anti-Fascist