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<nettime> weird letter sent to the NY SCP
SCP-New York on Sat, 20 Oct 2001 19:31:30 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> weird letter sent to the NY SCP



>Hello,
>
>It's great to see an organization that supports that ideas that I strongly
>believe in. It's frightening how people do not realize what a blatant
>violation of individual freedom surveillance and identification technology
>can
>become in the future. I think this issue is becoming more and more relevant
>with the advancement of technology and will soon become a major social issue.
>Becuase of this, I'd like to express my total support for the organization,
>and I recommend that you exclude any possible offensive or controversial
>material which your site currently contains, in order to reach a wider
>audience and not create the image of being a biased or radical group. So good
>luck to you!
>
>Best Regards,
>
>M. Monster
>

-- the context: the SCP/NOT BORED! site has always been routinely and
heavily monitored by DoD servers but things have not only picked up since
the 11 sept disaster, but they've also intensified: hits now coming from
FBI and British Police Network as well. From DoD to police is a worrisome
direction.

-- the internal evidence suggests that the letter is COINTELPRO or related:

1) it is a positive letter (or so it seems), while all the other letters
have been straight up hate mail; COINTELPRO is in part designed to confuse
and disorient; it's easier to confuse/disorient with an apparently positive
letter than it is with one that is negative. (Mind you, none of the
genuinely positive letters have this one's weird twists.)

2) it reads like a form letter. Note no specific references to the SCP or
NOT BORED!. All the references are to "an organization that supports the
ideas" or "the organization." You could send this same letter to any number
of anarchist or far-left websites. All you'd have to do is replace the
phrase in brackets below with a phrase that was appropriate for the
organization in question:

<form letter>

It's great to see an organization that supports that ideas that I strongly
believe in. It's frightening how people do not realize [what a blatant
violation of individual freedom surveillance and identification technology
can become in the future.] I think this issue is becoming more and more
relevant
with the advancement of technology and will soon become a major social issue.
Becuase of this, I'd like to express my total support for the organization,
and I recommend that you exclude any possible offensive or controversial
material which your site currently contains, in order to reach a wider
audience and not create the image of being a biased or radical group. So good
luck to you!

<end form letter>

3. the form letter doesn't make any sense, but it doesn't make sense in a
very interesting way.

On the one hand, the author has "total support for the organization", that
is, for an organization that explicitly defines itself as radical (even
anarchist) and that is obviously biased against surveillance cameras.

And yet, on the other hand -- and in the very same sentence (to makes
matters worse) -- the author "recommends" that certain things be done so
that I don't "create the image of being a biased or radical group."

You simply can't have total support for an organization that you want to
change completely -- unless, of course, you are totally opposed to the
organization and what to either ruin it or recuperate it.

4. Though the author wants me to take care to remove any "possible
offensive or controversial material which your site currently contains,"
the author doesn't specify what he or she thinks is offensive or
controversial. (Even after being e-mailed in response several times, the
author hasn't specified what he or she was refering to -- and for the
perfectly good reason that the author hasn't responded to any e-mails I've
sent.)

This is a trap. How I can remove something if I don't know what I'm looking
for? I can't, unless, of course, I remove everything.

5. There is an implied threat here as well. I'm totally dependent on the
author as to what should be removed. What if I don't remove anything at
all? What will happen?

Perhaps the author has seen that someone has already e-mailed me and
actually said, "If you don't stop [the whole website] I'll report you to
the security authority." (see bottom of http://www.notbored.org/91101.html
for exact wording.)

The M. Monster author is a subtler blackmailer, but a (potential)
blackmailer nevertheless. "Do what I say," both demand. The "Monster"
simply leaves out the "or else" part.


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