1997-10-04 - Re: Stronghold

Header Data

From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Message Hash: eca342a010d9f1ede719a66078e50550528228ac5f44b21e0a3fb001c4309a6f
Message ID: <Vi32De10w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
Reply To: <ed27d264358016b98eb8830bc6b4b0cb@anon.efga.org>
UTC Datetime: 1997-10-04 15:29:36 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 4 Oct 1997 23:29:36 +0800

Raw message

From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
Date: Sat, 4 Oct 1997 23:29:36 +0800
To: cypherpunks@cyberpass.net
Subject: Re: Stronghold
In-Reply-To: <ed27d264358016b98eb8830bc6b4b0cb@anon.efga.org>
Message-ID: <Vi32De10w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

This is the second chunk of the same.

Tim May described C2net's legal threats:

]Message-Id: <v03007809af21b7779b24@[]>
]In-Reply-To: <19970208043115.2364.qmail@anon.lcs.mit.edu>
]Date: Fri, 7 Feb 1997 21:46:10 -0800
]To: Against Moderation <antimod@nym.alias.net>, cypherpunks@toad.com
]From: "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net>
]Subject: Re: The Frightening Dangers of Moderation
]Cc: hugh@toad.com
]At 4:31 AM +0000 2/8/97, Against Moderation wrote:
]>Well, folks, tonight I have witnessed the frightening dangers of
]>moderation and censorship first-hand, and would like to tell you what
]>has happened.  I think there is an important lesson to be learned from
]>these incidents.
](long account of getting legal threats for quoting a message about CENSORED
]This is indeed an important incident. I hope we can discuss it. Many issues
]central to Cypherpunks are involved. To name a few:
]* the moderation/censorship issue itself (though we have probably beaten
]this one to death in the last few weeks).
]* the "libel" issue, especially as it involves Sandy, his company, and the
]machine the list is hosted from. The introduction of a censor has, as many
]of us predicted, raised serious libel and liability issues. (This is the
]best reason I can think of it to move to an "alt.cypherpunks" system, where
]bypassing of liability, libel, copyright violation, etc.,  laws is
]naturally handled by the globally decentralized and uncontrolled nature of
]* conflicts of interest issues. Apparently Sandy feels information
]deleterious to C2Net, having to do with a claimed CENSORED in the software
]product CENSORED, cannot be passed by him to _either_ of the two lists to
]which articles are supposed to be sent. (Sadly, he did not tell us of this
]meta-censorship when it happened. This made what he did deceptive as well
]as wrong.)
]* chilling of discussion. As "Against Moderation" notes, merely _quoting_
]the article of another caused Sandy to not only reject his article, but
]also to contact him and raise the threat of legal action. (This even though
]Against Moderation added all sorts of "obviously false" comments to what
]Vulis had written.)
]* even more threats. At the request of CENSORED today, I called CENSORED
]and had a verbal communication with him (a nice guy, by the way) about this
]situation. He averred that "you don't want to be pulled into this," and
]suggested that if I post certain things, even quoting the reports that a
]CENSORED exists in CENSORED, I could well be sued by the lawyers of his
]These are issues which remailers, decentralized servers, anonymity, data
]havens, and other Cypherpunks technologies make important issues for us to
]When did Cypherpunks start thinking about libel? (Obvious answer: when
]_their_ companies were the targets of criticism, lies, libel, whatever.)
]It's not as if insulting or even "libelous" (I'm not a lawyer) comments
]have not been made routinely on the list. Insulting companies and other
]institutions has been standard Cypherpunks fare since the beginning.
]Mykotronx has been accused of high crimes, RSADSI has been declared to be
]placing backdoors in code, Phil Zimmermann has been declared to be an NSA
]plant ("only trust the versions of PGP before he cut the deal to get his
]freedom"), and so on. Think about it. Just about any company with any
]product related to crypto has at one time or another had their motives
]questioned, their products slammed, etc.
]Unfortunately, our Late Censor is an employee of one of the companies so
]slammed, and he has reacted by rejecting one or more of these slams without
]bothering to tell the list that he has to do so. (Were it me, I would have
]"recused" myself from the decision, or at least told the list in general
]terms what was going on, or, more likely, resigned as censor. But then I
]would never have been a list.censor in the first place.)
]I understand that Sandy is stepping down as our Moderator. The Censor is
]Dead, Long Live Sandy! I expect to harbor no continuing resentment toward
]Sandy (though I expect things will be strained for a while, as might be
]The issues raised are ugly ones. Here's what scares me: the "precedent" may
]irretrievably be established that companies offended by words on the list
]will threaten legal action to recover their good name. I can imagine
]Mykotronx or even First Virtual citing the actions of C2Net as a precedent
](a cultural precedent, to the extent there is such a thing) for their own
]legal letters.
]As with the terrible precedent set by the "even Cypherpunks had to censor
]themselves" experiment, these companies may be able to say "But even a
]Cypherpunk-oriented company realized that the antidote for damaging speech
]was not rebutting speech. No, these Cypherpunks realized that some
]threatening letters and pulling the plug on the speaker was a better
]And we won't be able to easily argue that Mykotronx has no right to do this
]while C2Net does.
]Sandy, in his message a few hours ago to Against Moderation, even made the
]claim (and Sandy _is_ a lawyer, or at least once was) that John Gilmore
]could be held liable for speech on the Cypherpunks list. (I don't doubt the
]"could," but I hate like hell to see a Cypherpunkish company leading the
]Perhaps this is true. But the Censorship experiment, and the resulting
]threats of legal action by C2Net to stop mention of the alleged CENSORED in
]their product CENSORED, fuel the fire. Instead of denigrating such legal
]moves--as I'm sure most Cypherpunks would have done a few years ago if
]RSADSI were to try to sue people for making outrageous claims--we have a
]major company consisting of several leading Cypherpunks making just such
]I'm not a legal scholar, but is it really the case that merely _alluding_
]to the allegedly libelous comments of another is itself a libel? Is a
]reporter who writes that "Person X has alleged that Product Y has a Flaw Z"
]thus committing a libel? (I don't think so, as reporters frequently report
]such things. If merely quoting an alleged libel is also libel, then
]presumably a lot of reporters, and even court clerks reporting on cases,
]are libelers.)
](ObLisp reference: quoting an expression ought to have a different return
]value than evaluating an expression! That's what quotes are for.)
]My comments this past week have not been motivated by animosity toward
]Sandy, and certainly my comments today are not motivated by any animosity
]about C2Net or any of its employees (including CENSORED, whom I spoke with
]My comments started out as being a summary of why I had left Cypherpunks
]when the Great Hijacking was announced. Since last Sunday, when I issued my
]"Moderation" post, I've only responded to messages I was CC:ed on, or to
]messages on the Flames list, which I subscribed to temporarily to better
]see what Sandy was calling flames. The discovery that certain posts were
]not appearing on either the Main list or the Flames list triggered today's
]comments about Sandy and the alleged CENSOREDCENSOREDCENSORED (blah blah
]I hope we can declare this Censorship experiment a failure and move on.
]However,  it is almost certain that as a result of attempts to suppress
]certain views, that the move back to an unfiltered state will mean that
]some will use anonymous remailers and nym servers to post even _more_
]claims, however outrageous.
]This is a predictable effect. Cf. Psychology 101 for an explanation.
]Kicking Vulis off the list predictably produced a flood of Vulis
]workarounds, and a surge in insults via anonymous remailers. Instituting
]censorship of the list triggered a flood of comments critical of the
]experiment, and a predictable "testing" of the censorship limits. And,
]finally, now that C2Net is threatening legal action to stop
]discussion--even in quotes!!--of alleged CENSORED in CENSORED, expect a lot
]of repetition of these claims via remailers. And, I predict, claims about
]CENSORED will even be spread more widely, e.g., on the Usenet.
](Sadly, I half expect a letter from some lawyers or lawyer larvae saying I
]am "suborning libel," or somesuch nonsense. As Sandy would say, "piffle."
]Lawyers, take your best shot.)

]Message-Id: <v03007800af225b8581dd@[]>
]Date: Sat, 8 Feb 1997 09:22:08 -0800
]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]From: "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net>
]Subject: META: Censorship is Going Way too Far
]Fellow Cypherpunks (of the virtual community, even if not part of any
]particular version of the list(s)),
]I am about to drive over the Santa Cruz mountains for today's physical
]meeting at Stanford, and made my last check of the Singapore archive site
]to see if my last several messages to the CP list have appeared. (The
]Singapore site archives the main list every four hours; the latest update
]is 08:15 PST, local time.)
]They have _not_ appeared, on either of the two lists, the main list and
]filtered list. I don't know if they have appeared on the "unfiltered" list,
]as I don't have access to an archive site for that, and don't subscribe to
]it.  Some of these articles are now more than 18 hours old.
](I scanned the archive site carefully and did not see any of my articles.
]If I somehow missed them (all four?!), I apologize to the Moderator and
]will make an appointment with my eye doctor.)
]Further, messages dated _much_ later in time are now on the Singapore site,
]meaning they were "approved." (The latest such message I see is from J.
]Blatz, and is dated 2/8/97, 02:58 a.m., EST, which is fully 10 hours after
]the first of my messages which never appeared on either the main list or
]the flames list.)
]My articles are dated:
]* 2/7/97, 1:46 p.m. PST
]* 2/7/97, 1:59 p.m., PST
]* 2/7/97, 3:03 p.m., PST
]* 2/7/97, 9:46 p.m., PST
]I would normally give the message names here, but I suspect that even
]mention of the message titles would cause _this_ message to be filtered
]into the black hole  list. So, by avoiding even mention of the message
]titles, I should be safe. Nothing in this message can be considered flamish
](beyond normal criticism) or libelous.
](Many articles with dates later than these have already appeared on the
]main list, and some have already appeared on the Flames list. Why have none
]of my articles gone through as of this morning?)
]The subjects of my articles deal with the claims made by "Against
]Moderation" and Vulis that certain articles were filtered from the stream
]of articles without appearing on either the main list or the flames list,
]and with no mention by the Moderator of this significant change to the
]moderation policies.
]I surmise that my articles are similarly vanishing into a black hole,
]presumably because I have questioned the policies here. (Possibly my
]articles have been side-tracked for further review, or for review by a
]certain company's legal staff, or whatever. If so, this should be explained
]to the main list. And the implications of this, if it is happening, should
]be discussed on the main list.)
]By the way, I will deliberately make no mention of the details of my
]articles, or of those by Against Moderation, as I also surmise that any
]articles dealing with a certain product by a certain company will be
]filtered out completely.
](I carefully did not repeat the claims made against one of these products
]in my articles, so there is no way under the sun I can be charged in any
]court with "libel.")
]To paraphrase the Detweiler of a couple of years ago, "I am quite shocked
]by this situation." It is one thing to filter out posts which contain
]infantile, barnyard taunts and insults, it is quite another to filter out
]And it is even worse to not pass on these filtered comments to the "flames"
]list, which was putatively set up to contain such comments. Worse still
]that the list as a whole is not being told of this policy, and that posts
]which mention it are not going out.
](There has been some discussion of articles not going out, such as in Igor
]Chudov's recent articles, but I surmise from his article that Igor is
]unaware of the filtering I'm talking about here. I am copying Igor on this
]message, to ensure he knows at least part of what is going on here.)
]There is no justification in any of the stated moderation goals for
]blocking articles such as mine, or this one.
]As my posts yesterday did not contain flames or insults (beyond normal
]minor turns of phrase some might not like, just as _this_ post contains
]mildly flamish comments if one is so inclined to see _any_ criticism as
]flamish), they should have appeared on the main list. They have not, so
]far, even though articles generated many hours later have already appeared
]on the main list.
]And, as of minutes ago, they have not appeared on the Flames list, even if
]the Moderator decided they were flamish. (Even if _one_ was, arguably, not
]all of them were.)
]So, we are increasingly in a situation where:
]a. the moderation policies appear to be changing on a daily basis
]b. articles which are not even flamish are being dumped
]c. some of these dumped articles are not even appearing on the "Flames" list
]d. the appearance of a conflict of interest is increasing
]e. discussion is being squelched
]I am cc:ing this message to a handful of Cypherpunks to ensure that it gets
]some propagation before today's meeting.
]I find it very sad that things have come to this.
]--Tim May

I wrote:

]Subject: Re: META: Censorship is Going Way too Far
]From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
]Message-Id: <68qT2D82w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
]Date: Sat, 08 Feb 97 15:39:16 EST
]In-Reply-To: <199702081136.LAA26752@mailhub.amaranth.com>
]"William H. Geiger III" <whgiii@amaranth.com> writes:
]> In <v03007800af225b8581dd@[]>, on 02/08/97 at 11:22 AM,
]>    "Timothy C. May" <tcmay@got.net> said:
]> >They have _not_ appeared, on either of the two lists, the main list and
]> >filtered list. I don't know if they have appeared on the "unfiltered" list,
]> >I don't have access to an archive site for that, and don't subscribe to it.
]> >Some of these articles are now more than 18 hours old.
]> All 4 of your post made it to the unfiltered list.
]> I don't know what made it to the moderated/flam list as I had switched to the
]> unmoderated list yesterday morning.
]I'm monitoring all 3 lists... A whole batch of Tim's posts made it to the
]cypherpunks-unedited list, but to neither filtered list (he listed them in
]another article that appeared so far on the "unedited" list but not on
]either filtered list).
]Also a message on the taboo subject from John Young appeared on 'unedited'
]but not on either filtered list. Its headers were:
]]Message-Id: <>
]]Date: Fri, 07 Feb 1997 17:23:14 -0500
]]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]]From: John Young <jya@pipeline.com>
](I suppose Sandy can't stop JYA from placing it on his Web site, can he? :-)
]A whole lot of my articles over the last week didn't make it to either
]filtered list. This is nothing new... but the following is:
]My article, quoting the threatening letter that C2Net's lawyers had sent
]me, has not appeared even on cypherpunks-unedited! Its headers were:
]]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]]Cc: tcmay@got.net,antimod@nym.alias.net
]]From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM)
]]Message-ID: <ZyeT2D76w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
]]Date: Sat, 08 Feb 97 11:14:34 EST
]]In-Reply-To: <v03007803af21536e1a68@[]>
](i.e., in reply to Timmy May's article that appeared on the unedited list,
]but not on either filtered list.)
]I'd like to know whether the cc: recipients got it. Thanks.
]I'm also bcc'ing this article to a bunch of people, and encourage them
]to quote it to the list.
]I assume that suppressing my articles from appearing on the unedited
]list would require cooperation from John Gilmore.

Someone wrote:
]Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 06:33:13 -0800
]From: Cuckoo <cuckoo@cuckoo.com>
]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]Subject: Re: Who's Censoring Who?
]References: <> <32FF2971.6099@cuckoo.com>
]John Young wrote:
] > Sandy's e-mailed several of us who've sent messages about Vulis's
] > ploy to put Sandy in a conflict-of-interest bind
]   Did Sandy happen to mention how the evil Dr. Vulis managed to
] twist his impressionable young mind so that his only concern about
] libel is centered around his employer?
]   Did Sandy mention why his employer went nuclear over the mention
] of the 'b-d' word by an individual whom his employees on the list
] regularly label as a troublemaker and a nut case?
] (Methinks they doth protest _too_ much?)
]   Did Sandy mention that his employer is in the postion of owning
] the cypherpunks.com domain-name and is in a great postion to profit
] by controlling and/or destroying the cypherpunks list?
]   Did Sandy mention that when his own takeover of the list (by
] virtue of 'moving' the subscribers into a list filtered by himself)
] faltered, by becoming an open joke, that one of his fellow employees
] called for the "killing" of the list?
]   Did Sandy mention that the pecker-tracks of his employers minions
] leave a sordid trail across the whole face of this whole censorship
] farce?
]   Gee, John, I wish that I had crypto software to sell, and employees
] who were in control of the reputation capital of the cypherpunks list.
] I wish that I had a domain named cypherpunks.com waiting to capitalize
] on the cypherpunks name to sell my crypto software.
]   Of course, some asshole somewhere might regard this as a "ploy"
] to profit from creating misfortune for the cypherpunks. They might
] even think that I had a hand in that misfortune.
] > It's probably worth saving accusations of censorship for the real
]> thing
]   What fucking planet have you been living on, shit-for-brains?
]   We're not talking about "accusations," here. We're talking about
] posts by average list subscribers who are coming forward and speaking
] out about the facts surrounding the misappropriation of their posts
] in order to further the private interests of Sandy.
]   We're talking about the suppression of postings which Question
] Authority. We're talking about shit-canning postings without
] informing the list, because the actions are reprehensible. We're
] talking about censorship which, in the censor's own words, is not
] based on crypto-relevancy, but a changing morass of ill-defined
] 'Sandy rules' (or 'Sandy Rules!', if you prefer).
]   We're talking about robotic censorship where those who do not
] bend under the jackboots suppressing free speech on the cypherpunks
] list are auto-botted to cypherpunks-dontsaybadthingsaboutmyemployer.
]   Your posts are usually fairly intelligent, so I have no idea why
] you are wasting your own reputation capital attempting to defend
] an inept, lame-duck censor who is too cowardly to defend his own
] vile actions.
]   Instead, he declares that he has absolutely no interest in
] filtering out the "Make Money Fast" and "Penis-Picture" garbage
] for list members if he can't use his usurped-power to slam the
] jackboots down on any niggling detail that doesn't serve his
] own private interests.
] Cuckoo (<-- Dr. Vulis 'made' me use this name.)

Gilmore defends C2net's censorship:
]To: cypherpunks@toad.com, gnu@toad.com
]Subject: Moderation experiment almost over; "put up or shut up"
]Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 03:54:29 -0800
]From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>
]Sender: owner-cypherpunks@toad.com
]Sandy hit a pothole in the moderation experiment when Mr. Nemesis
]submitted a posting containing nothing but libelous statements about
]Sandy's employer.  He never anticipated that he wouldn't be able to
]follow his announced "post it to one list or the other" policy because
]to do so would make him legally liable (in his opinion; he's a lawyer,
]I'm not).  His gears jammed, and the whole machine came to a halt for
]a few days.

Dr. Adam Back's analysis is pretty accurate:
]Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 23:49:09 GMT
]Message-Id: <199702162349.XAA00536@server.test.net>
]From: Adam Back <aba@dcs.ex.ac.uk>
]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]Subject: Moderation experiment and moderator liability
]There appears to be a bit of a hush up surrounding the circumstances
]of the pause in the moderation experiment and subsequent change of
]moderation policy.
]To clear the air, I think it would be kind of nice if the full story
]were told, so I'll gather here a history as I understand it.
]Information from my archives (those I have), and from asking around in
]I realise that some of the actions that I am claiming of participants
]in this sequence of events seem hard to believe given their high
]reputation capital.  I was myself initially dubious on the strength of
]the reputation capital of those being critisized.
]However the below is the sequence of events as close as I can
]I welcome being proven wrong on any points.
]1. Dimitri Vulis posted a lot of off topic posts over a period of time
]2. Dimitri reposted a couple of 50k Serdar Argic revisionist articles
]3. Dimitri challenged John Gilmore to shut him up
]4. John unsubscribed Dimitri, and modified majordomo@toad.com to
]siltently ignore Dimitri's attempts to resubscribe.  Dimitri could
]still post, and presumably read cypherpunks with a different email
]address or via an archive.  It was a token unsubscription only.
]5. When Dimitri figured out what John had done, he made many posts
]denigrating John as a censor
]6. Much discussion ensued critisizing John for blocking Dimitri
]7. Over Christmas some joker subscribed cypherpunks@toad.com to a load
]of sports mailing lists, Hugh Daniels and John cleaned up the mess
]8. Followed a long thread on hardening lists against spam attacks
]9. John made a post to the list announcing that the list would be
]moderated for one month from Jan 11 as an experiment, and included
]Sandy Sandfort's proposed moderatation policy and offer to act as
]moderator.  It appeared that the moderation experiment was Sandy's
]suggestion, and that John had agreed to go along with it.
]10. Some discussion both pro and con of moderation, and the technical
], free speech, and legal aspects followed
]11. Moderation started Jan 19, the main list became the moderated list
]12. Lots of people complained about the moderation, some defended it
]Tim May quietly unsubscribed
]13. Some people complained about inconsistency in moderation -- some
]articles which went to flames were not flamish, but made by posters
]with low reputation capital, or were following up to posts which were
]14. After a while some people commented on Tim's absence, and sent him
]mail asking what happened.  Tim posted an article explaining that he
]had left because of the imposed moderation without discussion.
]15. John followed up with a post defending the moderation experiment,
]and arguing for it's popularity (he claimed as evidence the number of
]posters who had not taken the trouble to move to the unedited list).
]16. Dimitri posted an article where he claimed that there was a
]security flaw in Stronghold.  Stronghold is C2Nets commercial version
]of the freeware Apache SSL web server.  Sandy is employed by C2Net.
]17. Sandy dropped the posting entirely -- it went to neither
]cypherpunks (edited), nor cypherpunks-flames.  He considered that
]forwarding the posting would have made him legally liable.  Sandy is a
]lawyer by profession.  He did not explain this situation on the list.
]18. Tim May had by now subscribed to cypherpunks-flames, and posted
]several follow-ups to Dimitri's posting, discussing the issue of
]Dimitri's post being dropped, and stated that Dimitri's posting was
]not flamish, and should not have been dropped in his opinion.  Tim's
]postings were also silently dropped, going to neither of cypherpunks
](edited), and cypherpunks-flames.
]19. Sandy made an announcement that he was ending his participation in
]the moderation experiment.  Still no explanation of why posts were
]dropped, or even admission that they were.
]20. The two moderated cypherpunks lists (cypherpunks and
]cypherpunks-flames) went dead for some time.
]21. Tim received a warning from C2Net's lawyers that if he did not
]desist from mentioning that Dimitri had posted an article criticising
]a C2Net product that he would be sued!
]22. John posted a statement where he explained Sandy's sudden
]announcement of ending his particpation.  John explained that Sandy
]had "hit a pothole in the moderation experiment when Mr. Nemesis
]submitted a posting containing nothing but libelous statements about
]Sandy's employer".  Sandy did not drop Johns posting even though it
]covered the same topics that had resulted in Tim's posts being
]dropped, and resulted in Tim receiving legal threats from C2Net.  In
]the same post John said that he had come to the conclusion that he was
]no longer willing to host the cypherpunks list.  In this post John
]announced that Sandy had been persuaded to continue to moderate for
]the remainder of the moderation period, and gave the new policy.  The
]changes were that anything other than crypto discussion and discussion
]of forming a new cypherpunks list would go to flames, and anything
]that Sandy thought was libelous would be dropped silently.
]23. Sandy posted a statement affirming that he would continue to
]moderate, and that if any cypherpunks wished to discuss his prior
]moderation policy and performance as a moderator that they do it on
]new lists which they create themselves.
](If Sandy's current moderation criteria mean that he feels obliged to
]forward this post to cypherpunks-flames as off-topic, or even to
]silently drop it from both moderated lists, so be it.  I will simply
]repost it later, when the moderation experiment is over on one of the
]new lists.  In the event of myself receiving legal threats, I shall
]simply post it via a remailer, or rely on someone else to do so.  C2
]does not appear to be running any remailers at the moment, otherwise I
]would use a remailer hosted at c2.net as the exit node in the remailer
]The positive outcome of all this has been to make the cypherpunks list
]more resilient to legal attack.  The new distributed list seems to be
]progressing well, and will be less liable to attack.  Filtering
]services continue, as they should.  And alt.cypherpunks has been
]created as a forum ultimately resistant to legal attack.
]Also I should say that I would hope that no one holds any long term
]animosity towards any of the players in this episode, many of the
]people have been very prolific in their work to further online privacy
]and freedom, and I hope that we can all put this chapter behind us.

C2Net denied threatening to sue Tim May, so he refuted their lies:
]Message-Id: <199702170412.UAA18115@toad.com>
]Date: Sun, 16 Feb 1997 19:14:04 -0800
]From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
]To: cypherpunks@toad.com
]Newgroups: alt.cypherpunks, alt.privacy, comp.org.eff.talk
]Subject: Threats of Legal Action and C2Net/Stronghold Issue
](A copy of this message has also been posted to the following newsgroups:
]alt.cypherpunks,  alt.privacy, comp.org.eff.talk)
]At 6:07 PM -0800 2/16/97, Sandy Sandfort wrote:
]>Curiously, in a subsequent telephone conversation, Tim May
]>proposed almost that exact suggestion as an alternative form of
]>moderation that he said would have been acceptable to him.  Go
]The only phone conversation I had was with Doug Barnes, at the request of
]Doug that I urgently phone either him or Sameer. I called Doug as soon as I
]got the message. (Doug also said he was the only one in the room at the
]time, and that the call was *not* being recorded, so I have to surmise that
]Sandy got his version of things via a recap by Doug.)
]>> 21. Tim received a warning from C2Net's lawyers that if he did not
]>> desist from mentioning that Dimitri had posted an article criticising
]>> a C2Net product that he would be sued!
]>Absolutely false.
]What Doug told me was that Dimitri Vulis had already been served with a
]legal notice about his warnings about a security flaw in Stronghold, and
]that any repetition of Dimitri's claims by me or anyone else would result
]in similar legal action.
]Doug said that any repetition of the claims, even as part of a quote, would
]be seen as actionable by C2Net. "We'll vigorously defend our rights." (as
]best I can recall) He said he thought my messages, to the extent they
]merely _alluded_ to the claims were probably OK and that they would
]certainly go through to the list, as Sandy has already resigned from his
]role as moderator.
](For the record, these messages DID NOT GO THROUGH, and have not gone
]through as of tonight, 8-9 days later. However, I have forwarded them to
]several people who requested them.)
](I also did not have a recorder running, so I can't claim this is a
]verbatim summary of what was said. As to what I said about how the
]moderation thing might have been done differently, Doug and I chatted for a
]while about various alternatives. I raised the point I've made before, that
]having a "members only" policy, with some special provision for some amount
]of remailed messages, would probably best suit the notion of keeping the
]"community" running. What I told Doug was that my main objection was having
]Sandy sit in judgement to essays folks might have spent a long time
]composing, and I cited physical parties, where a host invites those he
]wants in attendance, but does not micromanage or screen conversations being
]held at the party. My sense was that Doug agreed, and agreed that the whole
]thing had been handled in a bad way...but Doug should comment to tell his
]view of things.)
]The next day, at the physical Cyperpunks meeting at Stanford, I briefly
]talked to Greg Broiles, working as a legal aide at C2Net. I told Greg he
]could "take his best shot," in terms of filing suit against me about my
]messages, as I'm prepared to fight C2Net in court on this matter, and have
]the financial resources to hire some pretty good lawyers. (I don't recall
]if Greg replied, or what his reply was.)
]In a message to Cypherpunks, I outlined my understanding of the Vulis
]report on security flaws in Stronghold, and put the claims  in the context
]of messages not appearing on either of the two main lists,  but none of my
]messages were sent to either the Main list or the Flames list.
](I also had communication with several members of the list, some known to
]me and some only pseudonyms. I have taken the precaution of erasing these
]messages and copying files to the disk on which they resided to head off
]any attempts by C2Net seize my computer and disks as part of some
]"discovery" process.)
]I find it unfortunate that C2Net is behaving in such a manner, and their
]actions are generating far more publicity about the claimed security flaws
]in Stronghold than the original Vulis message ever would have generated.
]Sunlight is the best disinfectant, as a Supreme Court justice averred. And
]suppression is a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria, fungi, and ugly
]growth, as a less articulate person said.

In conclusion, I want to thank Dale Thorn, Toto, and all other punks who
participated in the good fight against C2net's censorship.


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps