Technology

Ron Paul Spam: Cui Bono?

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Someone has been sending out spam messages with Ron Paul's name in the header and a link to Ron Paul YouTube videos. Fox News of course is blaming the campaign and accusing it of using a botnet. But that technique is, as this Wired post points out, a pretty good way to ensure that said video gets removed from YouTube–which has apparently happened. Further speculation on the Nolan Chart blog that the Paul campaign is being targeted by opponents to make it seem as if the campaign is spamming, but with the real goal of both getting people mad at the campaign and getting Ron Paul videos pulled from YouTube.

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  1. It’s the MexicanGovernment doing it because Paul is against IllegalImmigration, but would leave it ToTheStates and not enforce on a FederalLevel.

  2. Boy, foxnews sure is scared of Ron Paul. I think they’d rather have Hugo in the pantsuit as POTUS, as at least she still wants us to be a world cop.

  3. More evidence that the Republican party is collapsing at the fault lines.

    Paul might as well be a third party because he’s showing how divided everyone really is on the political parties we have. Although he remains in single digits in the polls, don’t be surprised if he comes out of New Hampshire with 1st or 2nd place and places above McCain in Iowa. This is gonna be one hell of an angry election.

  4. sage-

    The foxnews boys are afraid they will be exposed as the sniveling bedwetters they really are. They will kneel at Hillary’s feet and beg her to protect them from the boogeyman.

  5. I found the UAB report to be extremely disingenuous, to the point where I almost have to conclude that it was deliberately misleading.

    The fact that some teenager might have used a botnet to send spam email messages was presented to the public as if it had something to do with the presence of Paul supporters online in general.

    In other words, the cocksuckers who issued this report and the asslickers at Wired want you to believe that the fact that some spam email were sent proves that my post on this board now is somehow the product of a botnet that has triumphed over the Turing test and can post context-specific messages.

    When people deliberately conflate different issues in this misrepresentative a way, I really would like to hit them in the head with a bat. Even though that’s not very free-speechy of me.

  6. Bah! A Hillary victory would be the best thing to ever happen to FoxNews. Imagine all of that grist and FoxNews being the biggest mill in town.

  7. I suspect that the spam is from a pro-Paul source, and obviously not from the campaign itself. The Republican machine is devious, but their idea of indirect attack involves attacking Hillary so that the Democrats don’t nominate Obama. Spamming for Paul to get his YouTube videos yanked is far beyond their ken.

  8. Fluffy just hit the nail on the head. I have already had many of my posts removed from message boards under the guise of deleting spam. I have never posted Spam, and do not see how anything that I have wrtten on any message board could be construed that way.

    This is almost certainly another attack on the campaign.

  9. The idea that someone in the vast statist conspiracy is targeting Paul is intriguing. The great thing about the grass-roots nature of the Paul campaign is how it does an end run around the establishment controls. I can only contribute $2,300 to Ron Paul 2008. But what if I spend more on my own or with my MeetUp group? Maybe it’s legal maybe it’s prohibited. Who cares, Ron Paul’s hands are clean. They can’t stop it because they can’t hunt down 100,0000 individuals thumbing their nose at campaign finance regulations.

    On the other hand, the support for Paul is sometimes “off the reservation”. Like the 9/11 truthers, or the white supremacists, or possibly this SPAM.

  10. These attacks just go to show how terrified the dark forces are of the RON PAUL JUGGERNAUT. The enemies of freedom can see him closing in on 3% at the polls, and they’re shaking in their boots. Stand up to dirty tricks! Send more money to the Ron Paul campaign NOW!

  11. Wow, Edward. I’m disappointed. Your trolling seems to be weak today. Are you feeling well?

  12. “These attacks just go to show how terrified the dark forces are of the RON PAUL JUGGERNAUT. The enemies of freedom can see him closing in on 3% at the polls, and they’re shaking in their boots. Stand up to dirty tricks! Send more money to the Ron Paul campaign NOW!”

    Talk about SPAM!

  13. Taktix

    Don’t you find it a little odd that there isn’t a similar attempt to torpedo the Kucinich campaign?

  14. I hear and understand Edward’s snark, but even if Paul is marginal, those few percentage points matter to the other candidates. And I don’t think he’s quite as marginal as some would like to think. No, it’s likely some shenanigans are going on.

  15. Here read this one…
    http://www.salon.com/tech/htww/2007/10/31/ron_pauls_botnet/index.html

    Yeah… I have my home computer spam bot set to go off right at the moment the debates are over… it knows everything… when to post, where to post, how to post… now if I could just get her back into the kitchen to make dinner.

    The smear pieces are a joke!!

  16. No, Fluffy, it is actually very free-speechy of you. Just a violation of the non-aggression principle. Free speech is freedom from government coercion and interference in content and distribution, not freedom from the consequences and reactions that may evolve from private citizens consuming that speech/media. You sure would be guilty of assault, but be entirely consistent with the principles of freedom of speech. 😉

  17. “Don’t you find it a little odd that there isn’t a similar attempt to torpedo the Kucinich campaign?”

    He’s already torpedoing his own campaign with his UFO talk.

  18. I think Rimfax is probably more correct. I don’t think the NSA is targeting the Paul campaign, nor do I think Giuliani is orchestrating a takedown. I hate to say it, but Edward has a point. Paul is annoying to the other candidates, but I don’t think they see him as a threat just yet.

    (Unless they have access to polling data different and better than what is publicly available.)

    That said, it is possible that there’s some disgruntled nerd who doesn’t like Ron Paul for some reason and has decided on his own to do this thing. Botnets are powerful because a single person can coordinate thousands of machines simply and quickly. It is certainly not coming from the campaign, and while a Paul supporter certainly could believe that he’s doing The Good Work by getting Dr. Paul’s videos out, it’s doubtful. Supporters are constantly battling the “spammer” label. It would be counterintuitive to adopt such tactics.

    But some geek with an IRC botnet who’s sick of hearing about Ron Paul? Quite capable of causing a ruckus. He (it’s almost certainly a he) is probably not even political. He just has had enough of hearing about Ron Paul from his Internet buddies.

  19. Let’s not forget that most of the politically wise don’t take pre-primary polls and positions as seriously as the media and the general public do. Everything changes the moment votes start being cast. I expect some surprises after the first few states are done. Or I’m wrong, and Howard Dean is president.

  20. Just the facts, ma’ams.

  21. What’s amazing to me is that these spambots can also go around and erect signs along roadways and apply bumper stickers to cars as well. I wonder if we could get them to mow our lawns and wash our dishes too.

  22. Just a random thought from a convoluted mind –

    The Daily Kos kids may have grown up on the internet, but people my age (reasonoids?) designed and built the damned thing. Somewhere in the dark, twisted recesses of my mind, I’m detecting this in the RP campaign.

  23. Paging Bill O’Reilly.

  24. Edward | November 1, 2007, 10:32am | #
    Taktix

    Don’t you find it a little odd that there isn’t a similar attempt to torpedo the Kucinich campaign?

    You mean, apart from good ol’ Dennis himself? (or what Jake said)

  25. Paul is annoying to the other candidates, but I don’t think they see him as a threat just yet.

    His poll numbers may still be in the single digits. However, Paul raised $2,600,000 just in October! He’s got the cash, and the grass roots support to go the distance. He is most definitely a threat.

    As for who is responsible for the botnet, I wouldn’t give a plug nickel either way. Most likely it’s someone in their PJs. But I got to admit, it would be something if it can be traced back to someone in the establishment.

  26. That’s the difficulty about all this isn’t it? All it takes is one person. No coordinated movement or backroom plotting. Thus, it is pointless to speculate as to the person’s motive. The only thing that is actually clear is that there is no way this comes from the “official” Ron Paul campaign.

  27. This is the conspiracy theory for the conspiracy theorist who has everything. Maybe it’s designed to make the dopes who sent money feel they were robbed rather than duped. Cui bono indeed!

  28. Everything changes the moment votes start being cast. I expect some surprises after the first few states are done.

    Pro Libertate,

    The Iowa caucuses are two months away. If it were held tomorrow, Romney would win walking away with Huckabee second and Rudy third.

    The New Hampshire primary is 9 weeks away. If it were tomorrow, again Romney wins with Rudy and McCain trailing.

    Then comes South Carolina where Rudy and Thompson are in a dead heat.

    Rudy may not win a primary until Florida, and I’m not sure whether Florida gets to send any delegates to the conventions because they jumped the line.

    My scary post Halloween prediction: Romney vs. Clinton.

  29. “My scary post Halloween prediction: Romney vs. Clinton.”

    The contest of the flip-flops.

  30. My scary post Halloween prediction: Romney vs. Clinton

    Better than Rudy v Clinton.

  31. “This is the conspiracy theory for the conspiracy theorist who has everything. Maybe it’s designed to make the dopes who sent money feel they were robbed rather than duped. Cui bono indeed!”

    My conspiracy theory is that it was Edward or Dondero.

  32. My scary post Halloween prediction:

    Guiliani/Clinton vs. Clinton/Guiliani

  33. Maybe it was David Duke.

  34. CHECK THIS OUT
    just so you understand how it works!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5LgUiz2mBA

    About This Video
    Sarah Lai Stirland was paid by a Giuliani adviser to publish the Articles “‘Criminal’ Botnet Stumps for Ron Paul, Researchers Allege” & “More on Ron Paul Spam” to discredit Ron Paul. Just shows that the Media perhaps can or is already Bought. You can Check the articles for yourself @ http://www.wired.com/politics/securit
    http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007
    http://www.rudygiulianiforum.com/inde

  35. Boy, foxnews sure is scared of Ron Paul.

    Yesterday while I was treadmilling they had Fox News on, and for people who are scared of Ron Paul, they sure gave him a fat chunk of face time and a lot of respectful questions.

  36. Nah – it was Bo Duke. Maybe Luke. Definitely not Coy and Vance.

  37. Edward,

    Do you still favor Richardson? He appears to be the best of the Democrats, though he’s not campaigning as well as I expected. I’m suspecting that he’s playing nice with Hillary to leave open that VP spot. Still, he might do better than expected in the primaries.

  38. I’m not wasting my time by answering any questions from an Urkobold. Do what I’ve asked you fools to do, and I’ll consider it.

  39. Is it correct to interpret your silence and refusal to answer as a confirmation that you have teh GAY!!!!!11111oneoneone!!!!111!!lolz and that you’re Richard Curtis’s and Larry Craig’s functional equivalent of a Noam Chomsky Blow Up Doll?

    And would that benefit Ron Paul?

  40. I’m not wasting my time by answering any questions from an Urkobold. Do what I’ve asked you fools to do, and I’ll consider it.

    Edward,

    You know they have a new version of “the pills” that relieves some premenstrual cramping and bloating, etc.

    It might help you feel better 🙂

  41. But Edward, everyone here is an Urkobold, didn’t you know that?

  42. ProGLib:

    you are indeed correct. Just pretend they’re saying URKOBOLD hier, and that’s what it’s like!

  43. I suspect that professional spammers are starting to put “Ron Paul” in the subject line and body of their messages simply because “Ron Paul” is one of the most searched for terms on the Internet, just like bloggers and YouTubers are starting to put “Ron Paul” tags on their posts to get more traffic.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Ron Paul” stuff was just a front, to embed links to the spammers’ videos on YouTube that advertise for something else. The second Wired article mentioned a tinyurl link to a video that had been pulled. Maybe it was pulled because it was offensive, and not a Ron Paul video at all?

    I’ve also seen “press releases” about Ron Paul that have links to several legitimate Ron Paul articles, along with links to download viruses or trojans to the users’ PC.

    The stupidest part of the story though, is the non-logical leap from “someone is sending out Ron Paul labeled spam in October” to “that explains how he does so well in Fox News debate text message polls!”

  44. Paul passed the tanking Fred Thompson over at intrade this morning. Paul is now at 9% to get the Republican nomination, Thompson at 8.1%. Rudy is in 1st at 40.0%, Mitt 2nd at 25.3%. McCain 5th at 7.1%, Huckabee 6th at 4.5%.

    Wow, I did that in the most confusing way possible.

  45. I’m still hoping we can convince the preserved head of Richard Nixon to run.

  46. I agree with Graig. People are trying to ride Ron Paul’s internet popularity.
    I even have a small suspicion that Wired posted that story to boost their own registries. If you can’t beat him, then criticize him openly and recieve mass amounts of traffic. I have yet to see a smear article that is anywhere near accurate.

  47. “Don’t you find it a little odd that there isn’t a similar attempt to torpedo the Kucinich campaign?”

    Why would anyone need to “torpedo” the Kucinich campaign? No one is worried about Kucinich getting actual support.

    How to deal with SPAM: delete.

    Why is this an issue? I get spam all the time for penis pills yet no one seems to think there is a conspiracy behind it. This is likely just some kid thinking he (yes, he) is doing a good job for the Paul campaign. Being a member of a Paul Meetup group I am pretty aware of the the kinds of actions that are being sanctioned. We try to be very conscious of how our actions may be interpreted by “non-paulians” lest we reflect badly on the good doctor.

  48. Shame on Wired Magazine for trading on people’s ignorance.

    They know how insignificant this spam incident is–yet the piece has given the echo chamber “proof” that the post debate text polls were rigged by the mad computer geniuses behind working wizardry for Ron Paul.

  49. How to Whip This Ron Paul Character and All His Whacky Followers.

    Ron Paul can be defeated by ignorance. Ignore him if you can.
    By lies. Misrepresent his positions whenever possible.
    By word gaming. As Lenin advised, “First, confuse the vocabulary.”
    By contempt. Dismiss him as amusing and pathetic.
    By smearing his supporters. Find the worst and spotlight them. Call them a cult.
    By consensus. Dismiss him with peer-pressure ridicule.
    By false accusations. Spread them quickly and far.
    By never discussing his policies. Change the subject to his person.
    By the polls. Ask the right people the right questions and get the answer you want.
    By reporting his most unpopular votes. But don’t report his reasoning.
    By rudeness. Wreck any debate where his ideas are winning.
    With all these tools, he can be easily defeated. Use them generously.

    But Ron Paul cannot be defeated by refuting him in an honest and courteous technical debate. Avoid that.

    – Moderno Machiavelli

  50. I suspect that there are indeed some Ron Paul supporters doing some spamming. It’s not hard to find some threads on the various Ron Paul forums where people are suggesting spamming and other unethical methods. When you call them on it, they say they have to resort to cheating because “we have to get even.”

  51. Brandybuck you are ridiculous…. I have been all over the internet and never saw anyone suggest spamming.

    It’s not as if most of you would actually GET the spam, let alone likely to run out and use it as the basis for your SUPPORT for any candidate perceived as doing so!

    It’s too bizarre….do these people at USA Daily think we’re stupid?

  52. Rimfax wrote:
    “I suspect that the spam is from a pro-Paul source, and obviously not from the campaign itself. The Republican machine is devious, but their idea of indirect attack involves attacking Hillary so that the Democrats don’t nominate Obama. Spamming for Paul to get his YouTube videos yanked is far beyond their ken.”

    With all respect, have you never heard of Karl Rove? The man is an evil genius so diabolical, so devious, and so unprincipled that he should by all rights be in a Spiderman comic instead of the real world. Don’t you realize that his style of deceitful manipulation has been so lauded and successful that it has inspired a host of up and coming wannabes? Please, keep your mid-twentieth century political naivet? to yourself. I’ll accept the possibility that it could be some misguided Paul supporters if you can manage to accept the possibility that it’s not.

  53. Ron Paul’s supporters have been spamming his campaign with money, soon we will be spamming the ballot box with votes.

  54. disinter wrote

    “How to Whip This Ron Paul Character and All His Whacky Followers.

    Ron Paul can be defeated by ignorance. Ignore him if you can.
    By lies. Misrepresent his positions whenever possible.
    By word gaming. As Lenin advised, “First, confuse the vocabulary.”
    By contempt. Dismiss him as amusing and pathetic.
    By smearing his supporters. Find the worst and spotlight them. Call them a cult.
    By consensus. Dismiss him with peer-pressure ridicule.
    By false accusations. Spread them quickly and far.
    By never discussing his policies. Change the subject to his person.
    By the polls. Ask the right people the right questions and get the answer you want.
    By reporting his most unpopular votes. But don’t report his reasoning.
    By rudeness. Wreck any debate where his ideas are winning.
    With all these tools, he can be easily defeated. Use them generously.

    But Ron Paul cannot be defeated by refuting him in an honest and courteous technical debate. Avoid that.

    – Moderno Machiavelli

    i wish ALL americans were forced to read these “tactics” and forced to read Dr. Pauls Neo-Conned speech from 2003, wherein he points out in no uncertain terms, with historical references, how the tactics in question were used by a handful of Trotskyite Leftists, and Machiavellian worshipers, who took over the Republican party and took us to war. THESE ARE THE NEOCONS. Problem is i dont believe in force as a means of communication.

    it should be clear to all whats going on here…the Neo-cons will pull out all the stops. Problem is, this Revolution is unstoppable.

    great post disinter.

  55. Reading the comments, it seems there are no other Software Engineers here.

    Based on the content of the spam messages and the way they’re being sent, this is most likely the work of some script-kiddie who is pissed Ron Paul has been dominating the Digg front page lately. They probably didn’t even write the code themselves.

    When this method is used to really draw traffic to a website, there are many common methods used to prevent the originating site from being associated with the spam itself to protect the site from being shut down by their host or provider. These emails show the opposite. They are using hardcoded URL’s being pulled from a hashtable (or something similar) that are directly associated with the Paul campaign. This is someone who had a goal of associating the Paul campaign with spam. Because of the low level of sophistication, we can probably eliminate some type of government conspiracy but the media coverage is very peculiar (especially Wired since they probably have quite a few employees that could’ve explained this). Either the media thought this was such a big story, they didn’t bother to check any of it out or they have the same goal as this script-kiddie.

  56. Brandybuck you are ridiculous…. I have been all over the internet and never saw anyone suggest spamming.

    If you mean the legal definition of spam, unsolicited commercial email, then of course there isn’t. But if you haven’t found any calls to send unsolicited political emails, then you haven’t been hanging out on the RP forums.

    p.s. Frankly, I don’t blame you for not hanging out there. They are hives of extreme truther nuttery.

  57. I have another snarky post, but I need to get this horse semen stain out of my shirt first…back in a few…

  58. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

    – Barry Goldwater

  59. The dishonest thing about the Wired article is that it suggests that this gives creedence to the claims that polls are being manipulated by Paul’s supporters. However, the polls Paul has won are not email polls and include text message polls and in-person straw polls. So, either the author of the article is stupid or he’s intentionally trying to mislead.

  60. The Spam was sent by someone on Giuliani Forumn who then paid Sarah Lei Strihland to break the story. Fox was first to pick it up. Any coincidence? NO

    This is just about as much proof as you can get.
    youtube.com/watch?v=U5LgUiz2mBA

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