Laurie Anderson's Oh Superman
Whenever I see some thread about this JLU saga, I can't help humming this old tune from 1981. Actually, I saw Laurie Anderson play it in concert, live, in New York. I remember how novel it seemed in those days, when answering machines were just coming into wide use. Everyone thought her song was very electronic and weird, and when she suddenly broke into the line "Hello, this is your Mother!" everyone burst out laughing at the contrast. But it wasn't her mother. It was The Hand. The Hand that takes away...the song was on the top of the charts in the UK in 1982, with its anti-American government hate-memes (mined again happily after 9/11), so beloved by a certain type of Britishy lefty, eh?
HACKER'S ASSUMED POSE OF INDIGNATION
Today's topic is Tux Winkler's thug life -- not so carefully cloaked but rather on display.
First, a bit of generic background. Perhaps you recall the story of the arrested hacker on Forbes. This was actually quite interesting because it revealed a very, very typical characteristic of the griefers we see in SL and their counterparts (typists?) in RL -- pretend indignation over lax computer security and furious justification of themselves as only helping to reinforce that lame security. This is the story of two hackers who vandalized AT&T and ipad and exposed lots of customers' emails and data, all the while presenting themselves as important do-gooders contacting law-enforcement defiantly:
The more vocal of those two young hackers, Andrew Auernheimer, has repeatedly claimed on his blog that the stunt was meant to raise awareness of a major security flaw in AT&T’s network, not to exploit the data for any malicious purpose. “AT&T needs to be held accountable for their insecure infrastructure as a public utility and we must defend the rights of consumers over the rights of shareholders,” Auernheimer wrote in a haughty open letter to U.S. attorney Lee Vartan in November.
The headline of this story lets us know that the FBI doesn't fall for griefer logic as much as Lindens do: FBI's Lesson to Alleged Ipad Hackers Dont Be a Troll.
Vicious Hatred of Your Victim For...Being a Victim
If you read the Wikipedia and blog on this character, you see the classic MO -- vicious hatred of people that he himself is in fact attacking, not helping. Pretense that his malicious hacking and damaging of their business is "helping". Yet...the FBI pointed out that he had never contacted AT&T to warn them first, as he claimed.
Indeed, it's often the hallmark of these types -- they have a visceral, obsessive, unreasonable hatred of security flaws -- it's a kind of hysterical pose -- and a faux indignation that this is somehow some outrage committed on "the public" that only they, righteous citizens crusading to do good -- supermen! -- can fix, with their superior hackers' knowledge by...not writing a letter to the company and informing them, but hacking and taking down their servers and stealing their customers' data. Right!
Yet in reality, they're like child abusers who sometimes exhibit an exaggerated concern for the welfare of the child they are actual harming, i.e. worrying if their hands are cold without their mittens even as they abduct them. It's a pattern that law-enforcers notice.
We've all seen it -- this haughty hatred of the company or website with some kind of SQYL flaw somewhere, which is all too common -- or The Wrong Hands, speaking about the JLU data base they hacked. They're no different.
Not a Griefer! Really!
Typical is a story Tux weaves on JLU. He went trawling and trolling for trouble to a science fiction event guarded by the JLU, dening that he was in fact deliberately looking for trouble, and pretending he was just some ordinary sci-fi fan who was indignant about how the event was run.
Although he loathes Kalel and heckles him at every turn, suddenly he pretends that he's there to to "help" and that someone should even hire him and his thug pals to see if their sim is "griefable" (sigh). While he is sitting there, "minding his own business," bitching about being tracked by JLU security, someone manages to rez a steel penis around Kalel to try to humiliate him. Now, the mask slips, and Tux stops pretending to be a civilian or indignant about poor security at sci-fi events and laughs maliciously at "the man of steel" and then publishes screenshots so that others can humiliate him, too. Hallmark of a griefer -- malicious enjoyment of another's misfortune (zloradost').
All along, he continues his faux outrage at being mistrusted. But in this story, one sees the classic markers of the griefer enabler with all their phony tics and memes. If you have people like this who form that enabling circle around the active grievers I've talked about, you have to ban them too. They may be touts or look-outs or coordinators or holders of inventory -- they do whatever it is they do. They may not technically rez a cube or execute a script, but they are part of the substrate.
They are what enable griefers to persist because they do two important jobs: a) legitimize griefing by not condemning it, or condemning it falsely (they love making groups like "Concerned Griefers of America") and b) shifting attention away from the crime of griefing itself to the supposed "real problem" of lax security and the ridiculous nature of wannabee vigilantes. Tux speaks of "wild accusations" and how he didn't grief " the security did it for themselves." But that's a lie. People shouldn't have to live on their sims with all the creative capacity of SL turned off or locked down simply to prevent humiliation by a giant steel penis. The real problem is the assholes who do this, and they are not numerous or legion or anonymous, they can be dealt with and found and the world kept free.
On Slun, Aldbaran Galicia asked Tux whether he knew beforehand whether the JLU would be providing security. Good question! He claims not, although he came on invitation of the griefer Ryokashi. If I were the Dr Who and Tardis people, quite frankly, I'd remove these people from their groups unless they stopped showing up simultaneously every where griefing occurs and pretending they know nothing. It's obvious to me what's up, but it may be less so to others. They might consider giving one warning, and then making it clear that they are indeed associated with guilt and they can end that association by...ending that association. That is indeed what is required.
Tux's Alt Abuse
Now, to come to today's dubious story and boasting claim. Tux Winkler claims again that Kalel Venkman was "caught red-handed" for what he did to the W-hat (apparently a reference to a claim that Kalel ran an alt that joined the W-hat group, somehow got officer status, and used it to remove everyone from the group -- the real question is why LL itself didn't disband the group for its dissembling as it engaged in under-the-radar griefing, its constant provision of R&R for the active griefers, its constant aiding and abetting, and its constant actual griefing itself. He claims that the only problem is that "LL hasn't acted" -- as if LL is -- once again, in the usual false concept of the griefer -- lax in its security, to blame for its own problems and the misery of its own customers from griefing.
Tux affects world-weariness with his own incessant tickets, and lets drop that he is now a premium member again. That means despite being permabanned on the name Tux Winkler and not being welcome in SL due to his recurring enabling of griefers and his having been caught somehow tracking or hacking the JLU, he has defiantly put some kind of payment form on file from something and using proxies or perhaps merely the same ISP, has reinstated himself casually, despite whatever hash bans the Lindens claim to put in place. There are ways of circumventing even those, and Tux is bragging that he has done this. And it may be a trivial matter if you work in some IT firm or run your own servers or whatever.
So far, Rodvik has indeed done nothing, nor his lieutenants deputized to handle this. That is, they did something, and got rid of the griefers, but they can't get rid of them completely (they should always try, anyway). What they didn't do is get rid of the JLU -- likely because there was no case. Even the Lindens need a case.
Rodvik's Curious Bearpony
Rodvik now gifts people with a curious Linden bear in the form of a pony -- just like the My Little Pony knockoffs called Bronies in SL that Tizzers and co. invaded. Mind-fucking British humour to let us know he's really one of them? Or a victory dance? Or maybe he just likes little pastel-coloured wide-eyed witless ponies.
Tux's Tea With Scotland Yard
And now for Tux's real big story -- this, um, law-abiding citizen who has just informed us he has evaded a permaban to essentially hack back into SL, this malicious griefer who enjoys humiliating Kalel. Today he "spoke to the MET (Scotland Yard) at length."
"I was spurred to do this because a potential customer asked me about Second Life," he tells us, Big Man on Campus, capable of bringing LL business -- or not -- at the crook of his little finger.
"Anyways," he says, in that give-away under-educated ungrammatical dialect of his. "They confirmed I am NOT under investigation. Although there has been allegations. They looked into these and found them to be false. Mostly to do with Anonymous."
Um, I'll bet. Or...sad, if true. You know, the way one could come to suspect that Tux is really in fact LulzSec/Anonymous is because he denies it so much -- unasked.
This casual remark is intended to accomplish two forms of psy-war -- 1) to let those who know that he really is Anonymous/LulzSec/a hacker of some kind that he has now become "untouchable 2) to let those who don't follow all this deeply and take him at face value and believe his bullshit that he is in fact exonerated by law-enforcers.
As for no. 1, I have no idea whether he is or is not one of these real-life hackers. He exhibits the same cultic philosophies (see above), the same fuck-you braggadacio. But I have no desire, tools, or means to track hackers, so I leave that problem for others to solve.
As for no. 2, I can speak to that issue. In real-life, real law-enforcers like the FBI or Interpol and I presume Scotland Yard, when asked to prove you are not under investigation or not one of their secret agents or not a criminal, they do not provide this for you. (That was a curious marker from CheerGirl's supposed communication from Concierge, which supposedly gave her a statement in writing that that account was not a subject of a disciplinary action -- I've never seen the Lindens do that, as their usual posture is to say that they do not reveal any aspect of the disciplinary process.) Perhaps Scotland Yard behaves differently, but I've never heard of any law-enforcement anywhere giving someone proof that they are "not a criminal" or "not a suspect" in this way, on demand, from someone that allegedly 10 minutes before that they were investigating on charges of having hacked a dbase. They might speak to the working press and say that someone is not a suspect or person of interest, but they aren't in the habit of issuing clean bills of health all day to miscreants trying to whitewash themselves.
But this legend, this story of exoneration, is a false flag that hackers wave as part of their whole bad-faith act.
So that's a marker for either a lie, or an exaggeration, or a worrisome indication that perhaps there are more corrupt forces in Scotland Yard than we knew just from the papers, about the ones being paid off to give people's cell phone data to unscrupulous reporters from the tabloid press.
Three Hours with the Bobbies
Then, untroubled by dropping this rather dubious claim, Tux persists in the story, telling us that he spoke for *three hours* to Scotland Yard. There's another marker of oddness -- again, law-enforcers have real crimes to pursue -- enormous numbers of them, and increasingly on the Internet. They don't have time to sit and chat all day about who rezzed the penis on KalEl and what meanie is calling Tux a member of Anonymous and getting him set up. Unless, of course, they *do* suspect him and *they* are on a fishing expedition -- but in this story, Tux portrays himself as the "superior intellect" able to manipulate everyone else at will.
He claims that not only did Scotland Yard exonerate him (!), and not only did they speak for hours on end (!!), they even provided extra helpful information, like the fact that people who operate in groups to stalk someone constitute a "conspiracy to commit crime" (a point I often make, in fact) and are an order of magnitude higher in criminality than a loner. That's in fact why the police should watch The Wrong Hands as a group and all their members, just as ostensibly they are watching the JLU if in fact anybody really has anything on them. Tux even explains in detail the lovely technical convo he had with this Scotland Yard officer, and that officer's hearty machismo and conspiratorial winking (supposedly):
"I also explained I was concerned because Kalel said he had proof I hacked them. And that I was concerned he had changed the apache logs to reflect this. He said they wouldn't use the apache logs anyway, unless Kalel can modify the ISP's logs and traffic logs of the internet, there is no way he could hide the truth. And any attempt to do this will show guilt.
I also told him that they have said they have deleted the information. He laughed and said, and he burned the ISP's backups? And managed to eliminate the leaked data? Then he assured me deleting the data will not prevent them in the duty."
If indeed the JLU has faked a hack and hoaxed Tux to remove him because they find him sinister and duplicitious -- no surprise there -- why, justice will prevail if Scotland Yard gets their man. We'll await developments.
Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In...
But...Tux has strained credulity on three points already -- 1) the claim that law-enforcement writes you good-health chits 2) the claim that law-enforcement spends 3 hours on your SL drama 3) the claim that law-enforcement suddenly converts a suspect permabanned from a platform and accused of stealing a wiki into a comrade to help catch the JLU.
Now he strains it further with a 4th twist of the knife:
"In truth I think he was quite interested in this. He sent me an email reminding me to send the information to him. He also said the problem with real life superheroes is that one day they are going to get hurt and it's their own fault for taking the law into their own hands."
Sigh. Yeah, I'll bet he said that lol. Oh, Superman! Oh, Judge! Again, RL law-enforcers don't gloat over your enemies with you. That is, even they are decent.
Dink. Dink. Dink. Dink. Dink. Dink. Dink.
Now, how do we know that a lot of this is largely fake -- or least, even if partially-true, insincere and sinister?
Because Tux goes on threatening me, and because I go on getting griefed inworld, that's how.