The dark Web … develops

There is a post on Doc Searls’ blog with an email from Alan Herrell who appeared to be the person behind many of the attacks on Kathy Sierra on the blog. It seems that the posts published under his name or credited to him were published by someone involved in stealing Herrell’s digital identity and posing as him. Here is an excerpt:

I am no longer me. My main machine despite my best efforts has been hacked, my accounts compromised including my email. and has been disconnected from the internet.

How did this happen? When did this happen? shit doc, i don’t have a fucking clue. I thought i was pretty sharp. I guess not.

just about every online account that i have has been compromised. Most importantly my digital identity and user/password for typepad and wordpress. I have been doing damage control, for my clients. How the fuck i got to be part of this mess is revolting.

The Kathy Sierra mess is horrific. I am not who ever used my identity and my picture!!

I am sick beyond words over this whole episode. Kathy Sierra may not be on my top 10 list , but nobody deserves this filthy character assaination.

Searls said he has known Herrell for years and believes him based on his relationship with him over the years. That being the case the attack on Kathy Sierra, Mayram Scoble and others becomes more and more insidious.

Carl commented on my last post on this topic, quoting from Joshua Porter on Bokardo:

“This is the Social Web. This is the point where the distinction between what’s going on offline and what’s going on online isn’t important anymore. Posting an anonymous comment is the same as yelling at someone across the street. The only difference is that its recorded for others to see.

And you know what? That might be a good thing. The silver lining is that this behavior is public, and the community is pushing back on itself. The right things are being said. “This is unacceptable.” “This is wrong.” “This is bullshit.” We won’t stand for this.”

Granted the Web resembles the offline world more and more and the distinction starts to fade and, yes, the online community is pushing back (and may be in an even stronger position to push back than ordinary citizens are offline for various reasons) but this is still horrendous. I think I agree with Porter and at the same time, I still feel ill. Maybe I am clinging to this notion of the Web as a happy place …

Update: Denise Howell has posted her thoughts on her ZDNet blog, Lawgarithms. Worth reading!

Update 2: Kathy Sierra and Christopher Locke have published statements about this incident in anticipation of a story which appeared on CNN yesterday (anyone see the segment on YouTube/Google Video by any chance? could you post the link in the comments? found it!). Kathy accepts that the three well-known bloggers she initially mentioned and who established the blog did not post the threats but she still feels they are responsible in some way for content published on that site.

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