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Aufheben riots article discussion

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Steven.'s picture
Steven.
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Nov 16 2011 23:12

avantiultras did not just use the same Internet connection once, they have only ever used the same Internet connection. avantiultras has only ever used the same IP address as Dr Faustus, which is in Greece, including when he was claiming to be in Verona, claiming to be in the Verona ultras (who as has been pointed out are notoriously fascist) and threatening J with violence.

admin note, despite a final warning not to derail the thread further lines posted two further off topic comments on his personal vendetta and so is being temporarily banned for 72 hours

dr.faustus
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Nov 17 2011 01:18

Our friend avantiultras (who sometimes, along with other people, shares the same IP address with us) managed to make a scoop. With his usual laconic style, in a post of just ten sentences, he killed two birds with one stone. On the one hand, and with the great help of lines’ comments, he exposed JD’s multiple identity games to ridicule and from his language he concluded that he is the real author of the supposed “Intake” Aufheben article. This particular JD/“Trevor Brooking”/Aufheben game may not be as dangerous as JD’s collaboration with the police (as proven from the established facts presented by us and others and which have not been refuted with any conclusive evidence) but nevertheless it is indicative of the cop consultant’s and his defenders’ duplicity. On the other hand, and this is much more serious, avanti’s insolence and brutal jokes provoked the Libcom admins into revealing their police informing potentialities. In their haste to “prove” that we play the same multiple identity games like their cop consultant friend, they revealed their cop-like methods, i.e. that they keep files on all Libcom visitors.

This is an aspect of the whole “Aufhebengate” issue which is really important and extremely dangerous for all members of Libcom. As Libcom admin Ed wrote: “avantiultras shares an IP address with dr.faustus whose sole activity on Libcom appears to be TPTG-related”. This brought to our attention the fact that Libcom “tracks all visits with log files”. For those who are not knowledgeable on the technical details, this means that the IP address of every person who visits Libcom is logged for an indefinite period of time in the logs (and surely for more than one month since our last visit occurred on 13/10/2011). According to Wikipedia, “an Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: ‘A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there.” In other words, the emergency services for which their cop collaborator friend works can utilize this address to determine the exact physical location of the residence, the workplace or the social space where the computer which was used by any member of Libcom in order to post an article, to post a comment or just to visit the site resides! This is obviously an extremely dangerous practice. For example, Athens Indymedia stores such logs only for 2 hours in order to protect the people who contribute to or just visit their site. The only reason why they keep such logs for 2 hours is to block spammers, malicious posters and trolls. In the case of UK Indymedia, things get even clearer: “Indymedia has in the past attracted the attention of authorities, that have occasionally tried to request logs of whom is accessing the web site and have in one occasion seized without any explanation our server. We believe in the right to anonymous political speech and therefore we do not keep logs that could provide any such information. Still, we advise indymedia readers that are concerned about the privacy of their reading and posting habits to hide them by using anonymizing services, like Tor or using SSL encrypted connections.” (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/security.html, the emphasis is ours)

The justification given by Libcom about the practice they follow (http://libcom.org/notes/legal-notes) looks odd and suspicious: “Libcom.org respects our users privacy and will not release any information on users under regular circumstances. We track visits with log files. Libcom.org uses this information only to determine which pages are the most popular and least popular, and to detect any problems with the site. Libcom.org will not pass on any information collected from our users to a third party”. First of all, we really wonder what is meant with the term “regular circumstances”. Is “Aufhebengate” an “irregular circumstance” that would permit the release of information collected from us to the cop consultant? What are the measures taken by the Libcom group in order to prevent police authorities (and people so closely connected to these authorities like JD) to acquire these really sensitive data? How can they assure that “Libcom.org will not pass any information collected from [their] users to a third party”, when they have been proven to be fervent admirers of cop consultants and they have a “don’t worry, be happy” attitude towards the graded policing guidelines of JD & Co. (which include use of intelligence, the kettling of ‘trouble-makers’ in demos etc. etc.) ? What will they do if they receive a search warrant?

What looks even more suspicious is the explanation given for the retention of these data: “Libcom.org uses this information only to determine which pages are the most popular and least popular, and to detect any problems with the site”. Anyone who has the slightest technical expertise knows very well that the logging of IP addresses is completely useless for keeping statistics on the popularity of the pages and for the “detection of problems with the site”. Statistics could be easily kept after discarding all relevant identifying information such as the IP address. Further, it’s totally clear for any IT professional that the detection of technical problems with the site has no relation whatsoever with the logging of the IP addresses. The error/debugging messages generated by the software platform (Drupal, SQL, etc.) would completely suffice after the discarding of all identifying (and incriminating) information.

Therefore, we would advise all users of Libcom to be extra cautious when using this totally irresponsible, to say the least, web site and forum. As far as our group is concerned, when we decided to expose JD & Co’s activities to the international revolutionary milieu we knew that we were doing something risky, that JD’s friends in the British security services might try to search into our IP addresses in order to protect him. What we could not imagine was that some “revolutionaries” in Libcom would rally to his support earlier than his friends in the authorities. We regret nothing: we know that sometimes there can be too high a price for a few hours of truth.

TPTG

Samotnaf
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Nov 17 2011 07:37
Quote:
our users don't use the site to claim responsibility for terrorist attacks

Are you seriously only capable of conceiving claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks as being the only reason why someone might not want their IP address retained? After the jailing for four years of someone advocating a riot on Facebook that never took place? Whilst I'm all in favour of a mass collective "I am Spartacus" advocacy of riots, strikes, occupations sabotage, anything else that might clog the courts and force a very clear wide publicity of a fundamental critique of capital (something you lot in admin have so far been clearly incapable of), that's a bit different from pointing the finger and saying "He or She is Spartacus!"

PS I don't think Trevor B is J, but it really doesn't matter one way or the other.

Mike Harman
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Nov 17 2011 05:07

Drupal stores these by default. I have considered writing a module to scrub them after a few days but have not found time to do it (nor found a contrib module that does it although last time I looked was about a year or go or so).

A big reason I've not found time to do it is that the two main issues this site has with personal security are 1. People posting up personal information about others 2. People being lax with their own internet identities, and using usernames or leaving other information in comments which has allowed employers or journalists to trace them.

This often means a lot of manual changing of usernames, mass find/replace of personal information etc. (at one point we had several requests per week). Since those are immediate issues (which in a couple of cases people have come extremely close to losing their jobs etc.), they usually take priority over long term planning around the server being seized (which is not impossible, but far less likely than people exposing themselves or others doing it for them on the site itself with anyone being able to figure it out from google, no security services required).

While dr.faustus' post is completely overboard, we should definitely scrub IP addresses after a day or so (although I have no qualms about outing sockpuppet accounts if lots and lots of new accounts register around the same time to agree with each other). I'll open a new thread in feedback to discuss doing that.

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robot
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Nov 17 2011 06:35

Activists using their internet access without TOR, JAR or other proxies for all those accesses where the want to reduce the risk of beeing tracked, should better leave their computers off. This is the first and basic lesson from chapter A.1 of the virtual “activists computer security manual”.

On the other hand libcom should at least try to avoid Drupal logging. But propably this will be of no use, as long as the web server itsself does logging. Turning web server logging off is a 5 minute operation if you have access to its configuration and the permission to restart it. I don't know about the legal situation in Britain, but unless you are not legally forced to do tracking, you should not do so. And if you are forced you should move your server to a country, where there is no such legislation (such as Island for instance).

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 17 2011 08:01
Quote:
Therefore, we would advise all users of Libcom to be extra cautious when using this totally irresponsible, to say the least, web site and forum. As far as our group is concerned, when we decided to expose JD & Co’s activities to the international revolutionary milieu we knew that we were doing something risky, that JD’s friends in the British security services might try to search into our IP addresses in order to protect him. What we could not imagine was that some “revolutionaries” in Libcom would rally to his support earlier than his friends in the authorities. We regret nothing: we know that sometimes there can be too high a price for a few hours of truth.

Jim, I don't think "batshit crazy" captures it, this is David Icke level craziness!

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Ed
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Nov 17 2011 08:41

I'm sorry but this is just bonkers.. TPTG (who until this spat I've always had a lot of respect for) have been outed as having a member register an account for the sole purpose of agreeing with a smear of another communist (even quoting their own sockpuppet in an article uploaded to this site by the sockpuppet's puppetmaster!).. and then have the balls to turn around and accuse us of dishonesty..

Really this is just ridiculous now..

no1
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Nov 17 2011 12:26

So a witch hunt and denunciation campaign ends in ridiculous paranoia - who'd have thought?

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 17 2011 12:42

TPTG are caught red handed, lying and pretending to be a football hooligan in Verona (who they've cited in their open letters), so they respond with a collective statement accusing a couple of people in a different city of being J in Brighton (with no evidence), and accusing J of links to the security services (snitchjacketing, with no evidence). What a massive, massive waste of everyone's time.

rata
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Nov 17 2011 15:11
Joseph Kay wrote:
lines wrote:
As it seems impossible to contact Aufheben or get a reply, wouldn't it just be easier for Joseph Kay, for example, to pass on here how Aufheben regards this article.

I've got enough on my plate without being the personal secretary of random people off the internet. Two people had email problems, which have now been resolved. And there's no mystery here at all.

I was one of those persons. JK was nice enough to transfer my request to Aufheben (as he himself proposed to do that), as it seamed that they are not receiving my emails, and 10 days ago I have received mail from them, in which they promised to send me their response ASAP. 10 days have passed and I have not received any response yet.

I will point out that persons requesting additional information about the case, on different threads, were forwarded by libcom people to Aufheben, claiming that additional information that is making them sure that there is no problem with J and his work will be received upon a request. I am not sure if anybody else, except libcom guys, have seen that response.

Anyhow, I am still willing to accept that there is some technical errors that are preventing the guys to respond to me, and will wait for some more time, while urging all other interested persons to contact Aufheben and request their lengthy responses too, as it seams that it is used as an argument quite often in discussing this issue. Also, I would like to ask comrades who have a working link with Aufheben guys to ask them to send promised response to me.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 17 2011 15:19
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10 days have passed and I have not received any response yet.

I was told they replied last weekend confused

bootsy
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Nov 17 2011 17:37

I received a response too saying Aufheben had not received my inititial email, but that they would respond to my latest email ASAP. Likewise 10 days have passed since that first response from Aufheben (which itself contained no information).

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Steven.
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Nov 17 2011 17:51

The silliest thing about all this is that we have done a lot of work posting up TPTG texts and trying to promote them in the English-speaking scene. It's a shame to now have ridiculous accusations from Dr Faustus, especially advising our users to be cautious. To be honest, most of our users don't create additional accounts pretending to be in fascist football hooligan firms to physically threaten other users. And so people doing that only need to be "cautious" that we will tell people this!

Android
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Nov 17 2011 18:24

This whole debate seems to have gotten out of control. I would appeal to people on both sides to show restraint when posting, and to be honest isn't it about time this whole debate ended. Both sides have had their say at length and it is now pretty much a pure set-piece forum war. I don't see what is to be achieved from further discussion.

For what it is worth too - I tend to fall down on the side that sees there being something problematic with 'JD' academic work, even with the explanations given by JK are taken at face value, which I do. So I am not trying to suppress debate or telling people to be quiet, by saying this whole thing should be bought to close. It is just a complete waste of time - Aufheben et al are adamant that 'JD' done nothing wrong and he is being smeared, likewise TPTG, Samonaf et al are adamant he has crossed a line.

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Steven.
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Nov 17 2011 19:28

Android, Aufheben aren't saying that J didn't do anything wrong, he acknowledges that allowing him self to be credited on articles he didn't agree with was a mistake. Similarly, the research work he did 10 years ago related to protest movements, he stopped doing shortly after and since then has done work on mass emergencies instead

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robot
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Nov 18 2011 05:46

Just one question following this sometimes bizarre discussion and its affluents. For a small number of people in the UK it may be of interest whether Avantiultras, Dr. Faustus and TPKG are one and the same person. Or weather or not someone –and if so who– from “Aufheben” magazine did academic research potentially or in fact useful for the public unsecurity authorities.

But having read this thread and others I did not find the one discussing the underlying question. To what extent is our waged labour serving the reproduction of the system we are fighting against? Where are the limits, when does someone cross the line? Is it the anarcho-syndicalist mason that errects the building for the dole agency? The left-commi cabin crew member that serves the soldiers on their flight to Afghanistan? The anarcho-communist guy in the advertising agency that pre-presses the latest NIKE ad? Or the teacher whos jobs is to prepare the next generation for exploitation? (I did not add social “scientists” because I think their business is generally just waste of time and ressources).

Maybe I just got stucked in the multiplicity of threads concerning “Aufhebengate”. Did I miss such a discussion? Or has the question not been raised so far (in the midst of all that factional in-fighting?)

Spassmaschine
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Nov 18 2011 06:18

Post from Internationalist Perspective asking the same questions robot does above: http://internationalist-perspective.org/blog/2011/11/15/response-to-the-tptg/

Mike Harman
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Nov 18 2011 06:21

@robot there is http://libcom.org/forums/theory/pro-revolutionaries-academia-15102011

There have also been a lot of threads about class analysis (are there three classes, or two, or both two and three classes etc.) which really boil down to that kind of discussion.

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robot
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Nov 18 2011 06:35

Thanks for Mike and Spaßmaschine for the links. I saw the latter, but thought it would only be about people earning their wage in academia and thus a domain I am not very interested in.

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Joseph Kay
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Nov 18 2011 11:44

As robot indicates the number of threads on this is confusing. This one was split from the article discussion because lines and others went off on a multi-page tangent about the authorship. That seems to have run its course, so thread locked. Article discussion here, and general Aufheben thread here.

Topic locked