1993-07-08 - Re: ANON: Steshenko usenet posting

Header Data

From: elee9sf@Menudo.UH.EDU
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 8b8802739ddcb6077f113c995ff4a0554211a085747bfda07b591940d22d4dfe
Message ID: <199307082230.AA06511@Menudo.UH.EDU>
Reply To: <Pine.3.05.9307081725.H18565-a100000@jupiter>
UTC Datetime: 1993-07-08 22:30:14 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 8 Jul 93 15:30:14 PDT

Raw message

From: elee9sf@Menudo.UH.EDU
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 93 15:30:14 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: ANON: Steshenko usenet posting
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.05.9307081725.H18565-a100000@jupiter>
Message-ID: <199307082230.AA06511@Menudo.UH.EDU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

> I'd like to see this...
It's attached to this message.
> A couple of points...  It looks like you were trying to stress test
> someones software.. I saw a --- BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE --- at the start
> of your message, but no matching signature block...  And it is kind of
> annoying to the rest of the group to request "let me know and I'll..." and
> then use an anonymous remailer to prevent replies...  Oh well...

Sorry, but I had a period on a line all by itself.  This caused
sendmail to truncate the rest of the message and my signature.  The
post sent through the phantom remailer should clear this up.

Here is the post:
Newsgroups: soc.rights.human,soc.human-rights,alt.comp.acad-freedom.talk,soc.culture.ukrainian,soc.culture.soviet,talk.politics.soviet
From: viznyuk@ohstpy.bitnet (Serge Viznyuk)
Subject: Politics, human rights, and Microsoft Corp.
Organization: J. Random Misconfigured Site
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 1993 02:17:26 GMT
X-Posted-From: avalon.mps.ohio-state.edu
NNTP-Posting-Host: sol.ctr.columbia.edu

  This letter has been sent to a number of UseNet
newsgroups, e-mail lists, newspapers and information
agencies. Carbon copy to administration of Microsoft Corp.

  It is a deplorable fact that in supposedly democratic
country USA considers itself there could be a cases
when someone not in government/public office is persecuted
and loses his/her job for expressing his/her political views.
It is even more deplorable given that it happened to a
person who has undergone persecution and imprisonment
for political motives in former USSR. Now one has to
admit that similar to that of former USSR atmosphere of
fear and oppression routinely exists in and is being
maintained by administration officials of some US companies,
in particular of Microsoft Corporation.

  Here is the case of Mr.Steshenko, Senior Software Engineer
who has been fired by administration of Microsoft Corp.
for participation in discussions on

Those are moderated e-mail lists devoted to discussions
on various political, social, economic, and cultural
topics concerning related countries. As everybody knows,
the disputes and even flames are necessary components
of discussions on these and similar e-mail lists, and
UseNet newsgroups. There are and will always be persons
whose views and opinions do not coincide, or are opposite
to each other. The tolerance to and respect for the
opinion of your opponent are the prerequisites any society
must satisfy to be considered civilized and democratic.
However these basics seem to be unknown to administration
of Microsoft Corp. whose reaction to complains filed by
some paranoiac and hysteric individuals on behalf of
Mr.Steshenko was unexpected and sweeping:

> From: gregory steshenko <72410.626@COMPUSERVE.COM>
> Today Microsoft Corp. dismissed me on the base of complaints
> of certain Ukrainian users about my posting on this network.
> I was told ( and even given writing ), that since my
> posting were considered as offensive by these users and
> since they complained to Microsoft about it, continuation of
> my work for that company may hurt Microsoft business.
>                                   Regards,
>                                           Gregory Steshenko.

> From: Gregory Steshenko <72410.626@COMPUSERVE.COM>
>   Dismissal note from administration of Microsoft Corp.
> "On June 21st and June 24th we received several complaints
> from UseNet subscribers regarding your comments to various
> Net news groups. The subscribers found your comments
> offensive and degrading to various ethnic and cultural
> groups and have complained to the Postmaster. In Employee
> Handbook, it clearly states that electronic bulletin boards
> should not be used to broadcast offensive material and
> should bear a disclaimer which indicates that the views of
> author do not represent Microsoft views. None of your
> messages carried this disclaimer and your comments
> expressed on the bulletin board were offensive. Your
> comments disparaging ethnic groups demonstrate your lack of
> discretion, judgement and professionalism. Therefore, your
> employment has been terminated effective June 29, 1993. "
>    Signed:   Glenn Noyama.

Mr.Steshenko has not been given neither any options,
nor prior warnings. This action of Microsoft constitutes
the case of persecution for political motives typical for
a totalitarian society, where anonymous reports and notes
from informers serve as a basis for oppressive actions.

Hopefully this letter might help urge Microsoft officials
to reconsider their practices. All concerned persons are
welcome to send a protest letters (some follow below) to:

          Mr. Bill Gates
          Microsoft Corp.
          One Microsoft Way
          Redmond, WA 98052

( billg@microsoft.com, postmaster@microsoft.com ).

> Subject: My extreme disappointment
> Dear Mr Gates,
> I am a subscriber to the newsgroup _Russia and her neighbors_,
> housed at arizvm1.  I was extremely disappointed to learn over
> that newsgroup yesterday that one of Microsoft's employees,
> Gregory Steshenko, was dismissed because of complaints to
> Microsoft's management that some of Mr Steshenko's posting
> in that newsgroup had been construed as insulting to Ukrainians.
> I am a graduate student in Slavic Languages.  In the course of
> my training, I have spent a good deal of time in the former
> Soviet Union and in other formerly Communist countries of Eastern
> Europe.  One of the things about those societies that most
> disturbed me was the role political denunciation could play
> in ruining someone's career.  I have had friends who lost
> their jobs and the ability to work in the profession for which
> they had been trained because of a carefully made, politically
> motivated denunciation.  I always took comfort in the knowledge
> that in our country it was not so easy to eliminate someone
> with whom you disagree.  Or so I thought.
> It disturbs me a great deal that this dismissal was carried
> out without making other options available to Mr Steshenko
> (such as instructions to post to the Eastern European-related
> newsgroups from another account, for example).  And it disturbs
> me most of all that he was dismissed on the basis of people who
> complained about him because they were unable to best him by
> using their own intellect.  We call this bullying in English.
> And I am extremely upset that as solid and successful an
> organization as Microsoft caved in to bullies on this occasion.
> I have been an enthusiastic user of Microsoft Word for the
> Macintosh for as long as I have been in graduate school and
> have had access to computers.  Over the past seven years, I
> have done my best to convince my friends and family, as they
> have become computer-literate, to use Word for their writing.
> I am in the process of writing my dissertation in Word.  But
> just as I do not buy Chinese-made goods, because of my objection
> to the Chinese government's exploitation of prison labor, so I
> will be forced to examine whether I can in good conscience buy
> and use the goods of an organization that is willing to yield
> so quickly and completely to the demands of bullies who seek to
> censor speech that they are not clever enough to combat by using
> free speech on their own.
>                                       Sincerely,
>                                       Frank McLellan
>                                       (st403231@brownvm.brown.edu)

> From: Jan Labanowski <jkl@OSC.EDU>
> After reading a note from  Gregory Steshenko that he will have to leave
> Microsoft Inc., as a result of denunciations from Russia & her neighbors
> list readers, I am really stunned.
> People who made this happen were well trained in the methods used in the
> Soviet Union. Congratulations to our Ukrainian friends! You have great
> future in the US !!! Now go after your neighbors, coworkers, etc.
> Beware only that while you can destroy people's lives this way, it will
> not bring you any personal gains. They hate informers here, and some day
> the favor will be returned.
> The Microsoft Inc. had to do what they had to do. Companies in this
> litigation driven society cannot risk defamation suits and have to
> be most careful not to endanger public relations.
> However, the fact that people resort to denunciations rather than
> discussion means only they do not need discussion. We all know that
> the most secure way to silence your opponent is to decapitate him/her.
> Some of us, however, do not think that this is an ethical solution.
> And whatever reasons are given (the "good name", "truth", "honor",
> "national pride"), if you want to hit somebody, it is always easy to
> find a reason. And the "national pride", "the absolute truth", "honor"
> were used by several charismatic leaders now and in the past to justify
> doing things which we still wonder how they could have happened.
> So congratulations again... As a result, this list may become
> a Politically Correct Forum for exchanging polite hiperbolas which do not
> hurt anybody's feelings, as they are contents free. BRAVO...
> Jan Labanowski
> Myself (but you can send your denunciations to my institution, if you
> so desire --- at some point in the game it becomes a second nature...).

> Has anybody who understands the disputed language written
> to Microsoft about all this? They are concerned about their
> image, but that image might be damaged more by responding in
> this way to that sort of pressure.
>          Peace, Cathy Flick  cathyf@yang.earlham.edu

This letter has been sent/posted to:



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