Guest Post from Rick Buchanan

(Editor’s Note: I received the following from Rick on Tuesday evening, with a note asking if I might consider posting it on his behalf. Originally planned as a comment, we agreed that it deserves its own space. I have made a couple of minor proofreading edits, but it is Rick’s material in all substance and particulars. -PK)

An Open Letter to Bill Schmalfeldt on the True History of Doxxing

Bill,

Your recent ham-handed attempt at net sleuthing has bothered me enough that I just have to tell you a few things.

Do you know anything about the history of ‘doxxing?’ It started out on Usenet in the mid ’90s. There had been earlier occasions where someone or other had their identity revealed. There was one particular flame war in alt.culture.computers where folks on both sides were outed, but this bore little resemblance to what we now know as doxxing.

Then one day I saw an article working over an anonymous net vandal. It was from SPUTUM (“Subgenius Police, Usenet Tactical Unit, Mobile” – an activist bunch of SubGs with whom I had worked). They started from one morsel of info about this troll and produced a tour de force – listing his name, school attended with GPA, hobbies, car make, model and plate #, family and relationship data, employer and home phone numbers and addresses – with Mapquest directions! And they did it before Google.

This was the progenitor of the modern dox. I was impressed and – after I cleaned the coffee of my CRT – I set about to emulate them. I’ve always been careful to note that I didn’t invent the art form, but over the 35 or so takedowns I proceeded to write, it’s a simple fact that I’m the one who popularized it and brought it to a wider audience. For a while I was getting nearly a hundred fan emails a day about them.

Simply put – I feel responsible for what it’s become. I feel like YOU are my fault!

My targets were spammers, who were raping the shared resource of Usenet for personal profit, scammers with their chain letters and Nigerian uncles, and assorted miscreants like scientologists trying to use DOS attacks to stifle conversations. These were people attacking the community, and laughing behind the anonymity that they thought was impenetrable. Well, they thought wrong.

In other words, I considered myself one of the GOOD GUYS!

Anonymity itself was never a problem. I fully support the right to protect your identity. In fact, while I know who a few SPUTUM ‘units’ (agents) are, the real life identities of most (including Unit 0) are a complete mystery to me, which is as it should be.

I took pride in my work, and achieved a perfect accuracy record – over 35 doxxes without an error. In cases where there was any doubt whatsoever, I didn’t post. In fact I had decided that if I ever DID make a mistake, I would retire in shame.

So what has become of that ‘art form,’ which I was partly responsible for bringing to public awareness?

You. That’s how far it has fallen.

Let’s set aside your competence for a moment, and discuss your choice of targets. Two in particular really piss me off.

First, there is Patrick Grady. I saw the comment he left on your blog that set you off. It was a mildly negative, gentle suggestion that you might be feeling too sorry for yourself. I’d give it a 0.02 on the 1 – 10 flame scale. Real weak tea.

You went APESHIT. You doxxed him, his wife, his disabled kid and you actually tried to get the guy fired! In the history of overreaction, this one makes the Hall of Fame!

But Monday you outdid even that. You attempted to interrogate (with your insufferable attitude of entitlement) a guy whose only ‘crime’ was reading your tripe without using a proxy! You threatened a man’s family and their jobs because you didn’t like who this guy read and followed.

I would say you should be ashamed of both these cases. But I know you lack the capacity to feel that emotion.

No letter about your ‘doxxing’ activities would be complete without at least mentioning your skill level. In this review, recall that I’m speaking as an expert on the subject.

You suck. You suck so bad that people who just suck at an average level complained about being categorized with you and requested we find a new term just for you. You have no talent for the work and lack the technical skills required to be even mediocre. You are a drone doing Google lookups and drawing unfounded conclusions from ordinary inevitable coincidences. Your misunderstanding of simple logic is exceeded only by your laughable lack of facility with flowcharts.

But instead of recognizing your staggering incompetence and going away, you persist in your empty threats, misguided bluffs and childish insults.

Stop. Just stop. Breathing would be a top-end get, but failing that, stalking is what I’m specifically asking you to stop.

Stop making me ashamed of something I used to be proud of.

— Rick

Note: it is unfortunate that when Google acquired the Usenet archive from Deja News, much was lost. This includes practically all the spammer takedowns (doxxings) I did. But in case anyone wishes to verify the claims I made, one of the later ones – a ‘Make Money Fast’ chain letter spammer workover (from ’99) survives. It can be found at this link.

It’s not really typical, since I was getting bored with it by then.

Another example of actual net detective work uncovering anonymous spammers is archived
here and has become something of a tutorial on tracking spammers.

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Author: Paul Krendler

The Thinking Man's Zombie

49 thoughts on “Guest Post from Rick Buchanan”

  1. LOL gets abused these days and has become cliché and passé, but is literally true with this post.

    Golden.

    I forgot that term for referring to him was to differentiate him from merely normal suckage (I like to think I coined it but could be wrong).

    oh, PS Dumbass, I'm still not that guy in Tampa.

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    1. Kyle, remember the days when Professor Faildox used to try insulting you by calling you a wussy comic book reading Dungeons&Dragons nerd? Then he finds the other KK's info and *poof* you are a hardened ex-con career criminal.

      And he made the transition with no explanation of the inconsistency and apparently no consciousness of its absurdity.

      *smh*

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      1. In the same vein, for years he insisted that Operation Burn Notice was really burning petitions, and that he "took their website away from them." Then, poof! With no explanation at all, on his liberaland page a few weeks ago, he says that the whole thing was a hoax. A complete 180 with no explanation, no admission of having been taken in, nothing. "Journamalism" at its best.

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      2. Ah the good old days.

        He was actually closer than he knew to my real persona which made me harden the abyss between us/me/him.

        That was where I really came to view him as Dumbass, when he amateurishly mocked me for a blog comment that I was quite pleased with from a turn of phrase standpoint (and my turns of phrase do not require a shower afterward unlike some people we know)

        TAFKAD! that's it! The Asshole Formerly Known As Dumbass.

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    1. This. What jem said.

      "Stop making me ashamed of something I used to be proud of."

      And, please, Rick... do not consider for even a moment allowing this deranged, cyberstalking freakshow to in any way rob you of the pride you have in your accomplishments.

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      1. Yes, what Grace wrote. Don't let the freakshow take away metaphorically defile anything by taking an interest in it himself.

        Also what jem wrote above - Rick, we all know your Parkinson's makes writing difficult and painful. Thank you for doing this.

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  2. He's been "after" me for nearly three years. Every nugget he THINKS (term used loosely) he has is a nugget I LAID for him.

    He is indeed, a joke. And people on the inside derive great pleasure from mocking him.

    Keep trying Inspector Jiggles. You've never even SNIFFED my ID.

    Give my best to Matt and Chester.

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    1. Just the idea that he's been following you around for three years, picking up "nuggets" that you have "dropped" just for him, makes me "giggle" and "shoot coffee out my nose."

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  3. Well Done, Rick!!

    Brought back memories of a group of EQ peeps Doxxing the crap out of a scum sucking Fundie douchenozzle "Reverend" who interjected himself into an EQ message board telling everyone they were going to hell. He was quite upset at the satellite pics of house posted among other things. I still chuckle at that kerfluffel! 🙂

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    1. Everquest is where I met my beautiful wife! We were the two top tanks in our guild, and hit it off over raiding. We were only a few states apart, so I visited. And the rest, as they say, is 10+ years of wedded bliss. (All corny cliches aside, she IS pretty wonderful....)

      (....and a damn good tank!)

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      1. Congrats, Dude!

        EQ actually ENDED my marriage (but it was a blessing... because she was a @#$@! and I definitely traded up on this wife)! LOL! I was on the Innoruuk server playing a Dark Elf Necro. Met a LOT of great peeps who are still my friends to this day.

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  4. Let's not forget he also uses Spokeo to get inaccurate information on folks. Well according to him that's where he gets it. And keep in mind how inaccurate some of their records are. But he's not after accuracy, he's after whatever reinforces his preconceived conclusion.

    Science at it's best. Come to a conclusion, then make the 'facts' fit.

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  5. I guess my takeaway from this excellent post is that in the "good ol' days," doxxing was being used as a tactic against legitimate bad actors. Nowadays, as Bwilly so aptly demonstrates, it seems to be most frequently employed as an intimidation tactic to silence opponents.

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    1. That just about sums it up. It's devolved to the point that even attempting it is automatically self-discrediting. If you succeed, you're a mean-hearted invader of someone's privacy. If you fail, like you-know-who, you look the same, but feeble and incompetent at it.

      I'm certainly not trying to bring the practice back. It had its place back in the dark ages. I just wish it had simply gone away, instead of becoming what HE and his ilk have made of it.

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    1. Doesnt he have a blog that no one reads?

      Cant he make comedy CDs that no one will listen to?

      Couldn't he get a piece of cardboard and a Sharpie, make a sign, and go sit by the side of the road scaring drivers and passersby?

      Christ Almighty, do I have to do ALL the thinking around here??

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      1. "If you insult me do I not CD?"
        "If you ignore me do I not faildox?"
        "If you prosecute me do I not suffer a sudden and life threatening resurgence of my curiously convenient Parkinson's?"

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      2. Good time to remind everyone that all he has to do is ANSWER YOUR ONE QUESTION, and you will allow him to comment here.

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      3. "vaj jIHvaD tIch SoH jIjatlhpu' cd qar'a'?"

        "vaj jIHvaD buSHa' SoH faildox wej jIjatlhpu'?"

        "vaj jIHvaD DabIvpu'be' SoH DataHmeH jImoDHa'taHvIS net wej nuq'e' jIH 'ej yIn chaH Pahr-keen-suuns qaSHa' buQ?"

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    1. Howard, update for you - I'm almost done reading the second draft. Looks a lot tighter than the first one. I mean, Chrissie. Oh, wait, Jerry. Robin.

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  6. I guess twitter executed his cease contact order....

    Its funny me, john, paul, howard, we still all have our original accounts....

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    1. "I guess twitter executed his cease contact order..... "

      This make me chuckle out loud.

      Twitter, once again, tells Blob to "Shut the f*uck up, and stop harassing people."

      Cue a new harassing/stalking/faild0xing/angry Twitter account in 3... 2... 1.

      Or, yet another account will emerge ONCE AGAIN declaring (in Pig Latin) he's over all of it, and is moving on for good this time. *yawn*

      Here's to hoping he permanently lost the "liberalgrouchcd" @ handle. Per always... Blob's business acumen is outstandingly awful.

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    1. Hey doxydoodle, here's us scrambling to get you banned again *pulls out lawn chair, makes popcorn, watches the trainwreck of his pitiful, empty, unsold life

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      1. you know, if he'd quit tweeting and @mentioning people who have told him repeatedly to cease and desist, as he demands they do to him (when they aren't in the first place mostly) maybe he wouldn't get suspended so often..

        yeah, and maybe pigs will fly out of his ass too...

        O.o

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  7. Off topic but,

    My husband(Rick) never said anyone was faking Parkinson's. He did say he noticed serious gait disturbance and other symptoms that did not seem to be too far advanced at the time. A far cry from 'I'm dying any day now!'.

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    1. I noticed he took liberties with that. But if there is one thing everyone should realize about Bill Schmalfeldt by now it's that he doesn't have an honest bone in his body.

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