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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ron Paul Spammers

From the UAB Media Relations we see a report today showing that the UAB Spam Team Spots First Presidential Campaign Spam.

Lo and behold, it is from... you got it... Ron Paul supporters.

Anyone surprised?

Anti-spam researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) noted a disturbing new trend following Sunday's Republican Candidates Presidential debate. One of the candidates has a new spam campaign dedicated to proclaiming him victorious in the debate and extolling his virtues as the future president.

There is no reason to believe the current spam campaign is actually endorsed by Ron Paul or his official campaign engine, according to Gary Warner, UAB Director of Research in Computer Forensics,

Ron Paul is popular with the Internet and some of the recent Web polls that were taken down because of Ron Paul Spammers include:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/21257762/site/14081545/

http://constitutionallyright.com/2007/10/12/cnbc-forced-to-take-down-pol l-because-of-ron-paul-spammers/

The new messages have headlines such as:

Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate!
Ron Paul Eliminates the IRS!
Ron Paul Stops Iraq War!
Vote Ron Paul 2008!
Iraq Scam Exposed, Ron Paul
Government Wasteful Spending Eliminated By Ron Paul


Warner says, "We've seen many previous emails reported as spam from other campaigns or parties, but when we've investigated them, they all were sent from the legitimate parties." The important distinction between the new emails and previous emails, Warner says, is the fraudulent nature of the message. Legitimate messages tell who they are from, and provide a means of "unsubscribing" from future messages from the same source.

According to the CAN-SPAM Act, the primary law under which unwanted email can be prosecuted in the US, one of the factors that makes a message spam is deceptive sending practices. In the messages reviewed at UAB, emails were received from Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Nigeria already this morning. In each case it was clear that the computer sending the message did not belong to the person who was listed in the "From" address. Such as a Houston resident, whose email was sent from a computer in Italy, or a Silicon Valley computer worker, whose email was sent from Korea.

"Messages such as these harm the online eco-system by casting doubt on the veracity of other online communications", Warner said.

FYI: The UAB Computer Forensics program is a partnership between the UAB Computer & Information Science Department and the UAB Department of Justice Science. Warner and his colleagues research spam, phishing, malware, identity theft, and related CyberCrime issues.


One of the polls that had to be removed was from CNBC and after the poll was removed the Managing Editor of CNBC.com, Allen Wastler , issued an open letter to the "Ron Paul faithful".

Dear folks,

You guys are good. Real good. You are truly a force on World Wide Web and I tip my hat to you.

That's based on my first hand experience of your work regarding our CNBC Republican candidate debate. After the debate, we put up a poll on our Web site asking who readers thought won the debate. You guys flooded it.

Now these Internet polls are admittedly unscientific and subject to hacking. In the end, they are really just a way to engage the reader and take a quick temperature reading of your audience. Nothing more and nothing less. The cyber equivalent of asking the room for a show of hands on a certain question.

So there was our after-debate poll. The numbers grew ... 7,000-plus votes after a couple of hours ... and Ron Paul was at 75%.

Now Paul is a fine gentleman with some substantial backing and, by the way, was a dynamic presence throughout the debate , but I haven't seen him pull those kind of numbers in any "legit" poll. Our poll was either hacked or the target of a campaign. So we took the poll down.

The next day, our email basket was flooded with Ron Paul support messages. And the computer logs showed the poll had been hit with traffic from Ron Paul chat sites. I learned other Internet polls that night had been hit in similar fashion. Congratulations. You folks are obviously well-organized and feel strongly about your candidate and I can't help but admire that.

But you also ruined the purpose of the poll. It was no longer an honest "show of hands" -- it suddenly was a platform for beating the Ron Paul drum. That certainly wasn't our intention and certainly doesn't serve our readers ... at least those who aren't already in the Ron Paul camp.

Some of you Ron Paul fans take issue with my decision to take the poll down. Fine. When a well-organized and committed "few" can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of "the many," I get a little worried. I'd take it down again.

Sincerely,

Allen Wastler
Managing Editor, CNBC.com

True Republican Ron Paul supporters should speak up loudly against this type of activity, such as the spamming emails and the deliberate attempt to skew results of online polls, because it is not doing the candidate any good at all.

We posted a piece the other day about Nick Griffin speaking at MSU and I added a side note there pointing out some of the supporters that Ron Paul seems to attract:

The reason I bring the side note up at this time is because by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, you see that Preston Wiginton (who was with Nick Griffin) has ties with Stromfront (white supremacists), Stormfront supports Ron Paul as donations from Don Black, founder of Stormfront to Paul shows, Ron Paul is connected with 9/11 Truthers, by money (Alex Jones), and the group that invited Nick Griffin to speak at Michigan State University (Young Americans for Freedom) are Ron Paul supporters as their site Spartan Spectator shows.

And people wonder why Ron Paul creeps me out? Just look at the people he attracts!!! End sidenote)


After having seen Ron Paul speak at the Republican debates, I have mentioned before that he simply sounds like a kook and it is understandable why he attracts many undesirables- (White Suprmacists and 9/11 Truthers).

Today we see reports of Ron Paul supporters also being spammers, which is something we have mentioned before and has even caused certain blogs to stop allowing those Ron Paul supporters from commenting at all, Red State being one such example.

Effective immediately, new users may *not* shill for Ron Paul in any way shape, form or fashion. Not in comments, not in diaries, nada. If your account is less than 6 months old, you can talk about something else, you can participate in the other threads and be your zany libertarian self all you want, but you cannot pimp Ron Paul. Those with accounts more than six months old may proceed as normal.

Now, I could offer a long-winded explanation for *why* this new policy is being instituted, but I'm guessing that most of you can probably guess. Unless you lack the self-awareness to understand just how annoying, time-consuming, and bandwidth-wasting responding to the same idiotic arguments from a bunch of liberals pretending to be Republicans can be. Which, judging by your comment history, you really don't understand, so allow me to offer an alternate explanation: we are a bunch of fascists and we're upset that you've discovered where we keep the black helicopters, so we're silencing you in an attempt to keep you from warning the rest of your brethren so we can round you all up and send you to re-education camps all at once.

Hey, we're sure *some* of Ron Paul's supporters really are Republicans. They can post at any one of a zillion Ron Paul online forums. Those who have *earned* our respect by contributing usefully for a substantial period of time will be listened to with appropriate respect. Those who have not will have to *earn* that respect by contributing usefully in the other threads... and not mentioning Ron Paul. Given a month of solid contributing, send one of us an email and we'll consider lifting the restriction on your account.

You may now resume your regularly scheduled RedState activities. Everyone but the Ron Paul spammers, that is. You can resume your regularly scheduled activities somewhere else.


There was quite a bit of discussion about Red State banning Ron Paul spammers, some blog owners publicly stated they didn't agree and others fully understood the nature of the Ron Paul spammers.

Myself, I believe that who ever owns the blog determines the rules....period.

They have that right because it is their hard work that goes into making their blog a success and only they are in the position of knowing what is good for their blog and what is bad for it.

Red State made that choice and deserves to have their final word respected on the topic.

Related:

Rasmussen poll comparing Paul numbers to Hillary Clinton numbers and an excellent analysis from Influence Peddler.

Interesting side point from the Rasmussen piece, found at the bottom shows that Ron Paul has yet to top the 4% level of support in the daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

Via Wake up America

.