ANNOUNCEMENT: PatrickPretty.com Blog To Share Data On ‘unclefesta26’ With Law Enforcement; Blog Also Will Share Data On ‘joe’
DECEMBER 12, 2009, 12:03 P.M. ET (U.S.A.). The PatrickPretty.com Blog announced today that it has made an arrangement to share data about cyberstalkers “unclefesta26” and “joe” on its own initiative with law-enforcement and, at the Blog’s discretion, with the operators of certain websites.
The Blog’s decision to share a limited amount of information with authorities voluntarily will not affect the privacy of other PatrickPretty.com readers and posters. PatrickPretty.com has the capability of segmenting information on individual readers and posters. No user information beyond data associated with “unclefesta26” and “joe” will be shared.
“unclefesta26” also is known by the handles “Pistol” and “Pistol’s Pal.” He operates a cyberstalking and hate site on YouTube and uses crude sexual references and vulgarities in headlines to promote his site, which includes an image of the federal judge presiding over the forfeiture elements of the AdSurfDaily Ponzi scheme cases.
On his YouTube site, “unclefesta26” employs technology to put words in the mouth of the judge, causing the image of the judge to recite the name of an AdSurfDaily participant, make a disparaging remark about the participant, make a phone call to a “psychiatric hospital” and suggest that “men in white coats” bring a “straitjacket and some leg irons” to detain the participant against her will.
“joe” also is known as “Mr. Wonderful”; “joejoe”; “joe the magnificent (and good looking”); and “Joseph the phallicly gifted,” among other user identities. “joe” regularly uses vulgarities and crude sexual references or crude references to sexual organs in his various harassing communications to the Blog. ‘joe” has sent dozens of illegitimate communications to the Blog over the Internet since September.
“We are taking this action because ‘unclefesta26’ and ‘joe’ are stalking the Blog and creating an untenable situation for PatrickPretty.com and its readers,” PatrickPretty.com said. “unclefesta26” uses material from the Blog to make harassing videos on a cyberstalking and hate site he maintains on YouTube. He has delighted in sending us harassing messages to ‘Enjoy!’ his work and harassing messages with links to new videos that subject the Blog and some of its readers to harassment, while attempting to poison the brand identity of the Blog. He has licensed himself repeatedly to use the Blog’s branding materials to disparage the Blog, and recently published a video is which he captured the intellectual property of Amazon.com that appeared on the Blog, used an Amazon.com flash movie outside its intended purpose and superimposed images owned by Amazon.com to create a video designed to harass the Blog.
“unclefesta26” is diluting the value of the Blog’s intellectual property, creating confusion among members of the public, engaging in repeated acts of cyberpiracy and affecting the goodwill PatrickPretty.com has built up among readers. Readers and targets of the videos have complained to the Blog about the YouTube site. PatrickPretty.com has filed three complaints with YouTube, which has not responded to the complaints.
“Meanwhile, ‘joe’ has sought to disrupt the Blog’s operations for months by sending a steady stream of harassing communications,” PatrickPretty.com said.Â “Among other things, ‘joe’ has threatened to start ‘fires’ to divert and strain our resources, and also has claimed to have access to insecure wireless networks to mask his IP address and escape detection.”
“unclefesta26” and “joe” are believed to be separate individuals. “unclefesta26” purports to detest Ponzi schemes; “joe” purports to advocate for them. “joe” now suggests that he, like “unclefesta26,” is capable of posting videos on YouTube, which the Blog views as an escalation of his threats.
PatrickPretty.com’s Editorial Mission
Along with its reports on Ponzi schemes, PatrickPretty.com publishes commentary from posters who oppose Ponzi schemes. It also publishes commentary from posters who advocate for Ponzi schemes. The Blog believes that the advocacy for Ponzi schemes, though puzzling, misguided and dangerous, is an important part of the Ponzi story.
Some of our readers have expressed shock and outrage that an entire subculture of people — people who actually advocate for Ponzi schemes despite their criminality and obvious danger –Â exists. Ponzi advocates typically argue that the government has no right to limit commerce. They often view autosurf Ponzi schemes, for example, as a lawful business because there is a contract between buyer and seller and because “rebates aren’t guaranteed” under the terms of the contract. They frequently deny they are selling unregistered securities as investment contracts, even though the U.S. government has never lost an autosurf Ponzi prosecution brought under securities laws. Despite claiming they are breaking no securities laws, they typically stress that new companies they are representing (after predecessor companies based on U.S. soil were prosecuted successfully under securities laws) are based “offshore” and thus beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement and securities regulators. Ponzi promoters’ messages often are impossibly at odds with themselves
Other Ponzi advocates hold views that are even more extreme, insisting they are “sovereign” beings answerable to no government authority. Some extremist Ponzi scheme promoters have declared their own nation-states on U.S. soil, arguing they have diplomatic immunity from U.S. law.Â Still others claim government has no moral authority to regulate Ponzi schemes or enforce laws because it permits things such as gambling, smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol. Some Ponzi scheme advocates identify themselves as “Christians” or members of a particular religious faith, thus adding an element of affinity fraud to the Ponzi schemes they promote.
The Genesis Of Our Decision To Share A Limited Amount Of Information On ‘unclefesta26’ and ‘joe’ With Law Enforcement
Despite rumors spread by some Ponzi scheme advocates that PatrickPretty.com is a government entity and strange suggestions that the Blog is part of a government conspiracy to undermine free enterprise, PatrickPretty.com is not an agent for the government or part of any government entity or law-enforcement mission.
PatrickPretty.com is a privately owned publishing venture. The Blog conducts research and produces articles, essays and editorials for a general audience interested in the highly newsworthy topic of Ponzi schemes. Readers and posters of all stripes — from news junkies, online entrepreneurs and journalists to Ponzi scheme victims, members of law-enforcement agencies and employees of regulatory bodies — have equal access to the pages and the reporting of PatrickPretty.com.
Self-described Ponzi advocate “joe” is straining this Blog’s limited resources by playing a relentless game of “ring and run,” using multiple user identities, multiple email addresses and multiple IP addresses to harass the Blog. He says he will not stop, defining himself as a “bad penny.”
Beyond his harassing behavior here, “joe” started a hectoring campaign against the Blog on Scam.com, which subsequently banned him for inappropriate behavior and creating multiple user identities to send illegitimate and nuisance communications. PatrickPretty.com views “joe’s” actions as evidence of intent to dilute the value of the Blog’s brand, affect its goodwill with readers and confuse the public on multiple websites.
“joe” asserts a nonexistent right to to hector the Blog, leech off unprotected communications networks to harass the Blog and set the editorial standards by which PatrickPretty.com operates. In short, “joe” wants to dictate the terms under which we grant a voice to readers, insisting he won’t go away until we submit to his demands.
â€œI feel some satisfaction that you seem to be intimidated by me,â€ joe said. â€œYou can deny all you want but itâ€™s true even though [sexual reference/poster’s name deleted] is right, Iâ€™m harmless. Now if youâ€™re a good boy and post this unedited we can consider this my final retirement. I donâ€™t really want to keep coming on here but I just wasnâ€™t going to be unceremoniously tossed like a bad penny and you know what they say about bad pennies.â€
We believe “joe” will not stop his resource-draining hectoring campaign, absent proactive steps by the Blog to protect its operations. During the late evening and early morning hours of Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, we received eight harassing communications from “joe” in a period of about four hours, including six within 18 minutes.
“unclefesta26” also has been banned from multiple websites for sending inappropriate and harassing communications. PatrickPretty.com believes the multiple identities created after he has been banned from various sites for misconduct constitute evidence of intent to commit a crime and to tax resources. His harassing messages prompting us to “Enjoy!” his chronic pestering and submission of links to announce new YouTube video creations also constitute evidence of intent to commit a crime, and we view his behavior as a form of extortion.
If one doesn’t play “unclefesta26’s” game, one gets pilloried on YouTube. If one does not accommodate the full license he grants himself to invade a space, one gets pilloried on YouTube.
We believe at least one major provider of free hosting space on the Internet already has taken action to prevent “unclefesta26” from engaging in cyberstalking. His YouTube site, however, remains.
An Impossible Condition
We believe the behavior of “unclefesta’26” on YouTube is consistent with the behavior of an extortionist. The site cannot be construed as legitimate satire, parody, journalism, consumer advocacy or a “fair use” of intellectual property because of his history of stalking behavior and extortive conduct.
“unclefesta26” creates an impossible condition that is inconsistent with satire, parody, journalism, consumer advocacy andÂ “fair use.”Â He relentlessly harasses the objects of his supposed satire by deliberately making obnoxious posts in spaces they control, gets blocked or banned from forums because of his obnoxious behavior and then retaliates for the condition he created by cyberstalking and exacting a penalty on his cyberstalking targets by skewering them on YouTube.
There is a “cause” and “effect,” we believe, to what “unclefesta26” does. Any attempts to reason with him “cause” an escalation in his outrageous conduct and, finally, a YouTube video to be created. These videos have the “effect” of exacting a penalty and harming individuals and entities. At the same time, they cause a chilling effect on speech. We believe that some readers no longer are posting here or have curtailed their postingÂ because they believe “unclefesta26” will stalk them and subject them to ridicule on his YouTube hate site.
In general, “unclefesta26” creates an impossible condition for forum operators and participants by insisting he is permitted to behave in any fashion he sees fit, however unwelcome and objectionable by the standards of common courtesy and common human decency that most people observe. If a forum operator attempts to assert ownership rights or disagrees with “unclefesta26” even civilly, “unclefesta26” reacts by escalating his obnoxious behavior, which further drains resources and creates maintenance problems — and ultimately results in the retaliation he carries out on YouTube. He is not using YouTube to educate, enlighten and inform. He is using it to harass.
His behavior chills speech. It puts people in fear of caustic, often vulgar reprisal,Â and it is consistent with an agenda of ravaging human beings. His YouTube headlines include, but are not limited to:
It is for these reasons that the PatrickPretty.com is segmenting the information on “unclefesta26” and “joe” and sharing it with law enforcement voluntarily.
In the coming hours we will publish a post that revisits some of these issues and explains our point of view on the perils of publishing online during an era in which advertising revenues are plunging, publications large and small are failing, thieves and pirates are leeching off the hard work of others and cyberstalkers are on the prowl looking for ways to subject people and businesses to harm.
Our grandmother could not have imagined this era — and the incivility and criminality it has brought front and center.
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