On August 2, 2010, I did a little one-off political piece for another blogsite, The Rattington Post. The article got posted to Digg, and one of the comments came from Digguser Novenator, who writes for the NewsJunkiePost as Ole Ole Olsen. His response, found here, was as follows:
I replied “At your service, sir,” to let him know that, yes, this R.J. author was, indeed, on Digg. In fact, I was using the Digg ID of CaptCarrot, although my name wasn’t a closely guarded secret, seeing as how my profile page linked to this blog, The-Trades.com, and to the Amazon pages of my books. But somehow, on August 2, Novenator did not know who I was.
So what’s the point? I’ll get to that in a moment.
On August 3, 2010, the YTV (YouTube Vigilantes) posted a video on YouTube which painted me as a “cyberterrorist” who “stalks rape victims” and “urges suicidal teens” to “go through with it.” (The YTV hasn’t been too happy with me since the initial publication of my YouTube: Pedophile Playground article.) The video was titled “Who is RJ Carter (aka CaptCarrot on Digg).”
Less than a day later, the NewsJunkiePost published an anonymous article, embedding this same video with a few paragraphs of imprecatory text. I responded by retaining an attorney, who submitted a Cease and Desist letter to Dolores Bernal, the registered owner of the domain and co-founder with Gilbert Mercier. The response from the NewsJunkiePost was a follow-up article about how they respond to threats and intimidation. (On a comical note, I posted a comment to the article asking about the Cease and Desist letter, to which co-founder Gilbert Mercier replied, stating they had not received such a letter… so what, exactly, was this article a response to? But I digress.)
Yeah, yeah, another Internet libel case. They’re a dime a dozen. So what? Patience. I’m getting to that.
The next day, August 5, Ole Ole Olsen publishes his expose’ on a Yahoo Group, the DiggPatriots, of which I was — and still am — a member. His problem was that members of this conservative group of Digg users would not only ask for support for their own submissions, but would also draw attention to articles which the person felt deserved burying.
Olsen claimed the investigation had gone on for months. He listed me as what he considered one of the prime offenders.
Months of investigation. I was a prime offender. And just two days prior, he didn’t know who I was.
Something didn’t add up — because all of my messages to the DiggPatriots group were sent from my Gmail account — which is my name — and includes my automatic signature — also my name. There was no confusion at all that CaptCarrot was R.J. carter.
Olsen later began to minimize his role in the investigation, crediting others — including, by name, the YTV. He’s never made a claim as to exactly how long he was involved in the investigation himself. I would posit he was a part of it for three days. I believe that, shortly after asking his question, he was approached by the YTV with all the information on the DiggPatriots group, which would be given him in exchange for using the NewsJunkiePost to give their video traction.
Whatever the reason, Olsen’s first article was soon followed up, albeit it not at Alternet. The remaining articles went to the NewsJunkiePost. Eventually, it seemed necessary to write an article explaining how he had come by the information, after having reprinted many of the private email messages from the group. According to Olsen, and now Sam Pennington, who claimed credit for writing the original anonymous cyberterrorism article, an unnamed member of the DiggPatriots had become unhappy with the group, and decided to begin forwarding all the messages to the investigative team.
There’s only one problem with that story: In the article, they decided to produce screencaps of the membership list of the group — a list that could only be accessed by someone who was inside the group. Several sequential images followed, each of them trimmed down to show just the membership information.
Each of them… but one.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Apparently whoever was responsible for cropping the images got lazy, and one of the pages slipped past them — and suddenly it became very clear how Olsen and the YTV had acquired all their inside information on the DiggPatriots. They had compromised my Yahoo password and were using that access to download everything from the group. This image, published at the NewsJunkiePost, clearly showed a violation of U.S.C. §2701, Unlawful Access to Stored Communications, which states that anyone who… “intentionally accesses without authorization … an electronic communication service …and thereby obtains, alters, or prevents authorized access to a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage in such system shall be punished.”
Within 24 hours, the image was pulled and replaced with a cropped image removing the identifying information.
Of course, I’ve changed my passwords.
I’ve also filed a complaint with IC3, and have given all the information to my local FBI field office. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 is to follow this up vigorously.
Updates to come.
As Ole Ole Olsen has claimed that I have somehow altered the image showing the NewsJunkiePost having access to my Yahoo account, the image at left shows the screen in the context of the NJP article. This is a large image, and you will have to scroll down to the fourth page of DiggPatriots membership, where you will see the image of the uncropped Firefox browser with Tor IP-masking extensions.