Friday, February 09, 2007

Vulnerability

So, I was going to jump on the bandwagon and get into all this nonsense about John Edwards and his new female blogging buddies. No point to it, since it's already been covered so well elsewhere. But I was going to get into it a little, because, hey, I've got like three readers over here, and I'm sure you're all dying to hear what I have to say on the subject.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the webshell.

I stopped off briefly at this little corner search engine I frequent sometimes... not often, and certainly not when the little woman is with me, c'mon, it's a guy thing, sometimes you just need a little sum'pin-sum'pin. I hit the place up for a quick ego search... you know, typing in my real name with the quotes on either end, just to take a fast glance at what total strangers might be saying about me on this h'yar Interweb thingie.

And I was amazed to see, about six down on the results list, a web page I'd never heard of, that was, apparently, titled with my name.

So I went there, and was even more amazed to see that in addition to my name right at the top of the page, in big bold letters, this page showed my complete current address right underneath my name, also in big bold letters. I mean, my WHOLE address, right down to apartment number and zip code.

The rest of the page consisted of a few carefully culled quotes from past blog posts, one where I was bitching about my job, the other where I was bitching about some literary agent deciding he didn't want to rep my work. There were also a few comments by the carefully anonymous person who set up this page, basically advising that I was a helluva guy, wasn't I? These comments were, in my opinion, both badly composed and startling in their ignorance (they attributed my post about a literary agent as being a post about a publisher who wouldn't work with me, despite the fact that the text they pulled specifically said otherwise), but, well, given the kind of childish, petulant, spiteful mental processes behind this sort of thing, I wouldn't expect any great intellectual prowess to be displayed.

Anyway, while this is obviously meant to be the sort of sneaky, cowardly backstabbing ambush that is completely deniable by whichever spineless weasel initiates it, a simple process of logical analysis as to which parties have access to all this information, along with the necessarily vicious disposition to use it in this fashion, narrows down the suspect list pretty quickly. Obviously, whoever did it needs to know (a) my real name, (b) where my blogs are, and (c) my current, full address. That's a pretty small list right there. Eliminate from it all the reasonable adults, and you're pretty much left with the obvious perpetrators -- my fiancee's ex husband, and his current (psychobitch) girlfriend.

When questioned on this subject by my fiancee last night, her ex had this to say (over and over again): "Uh... I'm not at liberty to discuss that right now."

Not no I didn't do it, don't be ridiculous.

Not Absolutely not, don't know a thing about it, sorry.

Certainly not Oh my god, I'm going to find whoever put my kids' address out there on the Internet and kill them.

Instead: "Uh... I'm not at liberty to discuss that right now."

Ooooooo KAY then.

Here's the thing, though. While I'm sure this whole miserable, wretched, nasty subadolescent "Ha ha I'm taking a crap in your back yard and you don't even know about it" move was designed as a pissy little bit of payback for the way I completely bitchslapped said psychobitch on my other blog a while back, and I'm equally certain that the consequences she envisioned occurring to me were nothing worse than, maybe, me losing my current job, still... even setting aside the sheer inherent viciousness of setting out to get someone fired from their job just because you're mad at them... well, here's what whoever set that web page up didn't think about...

...three kids live at that address, too.

I've lodged a complaint with the site vendor, and this morning, they took the page down. Of course, there's no way to know how many people saw the information before it was taken down, and, of course, for at least the next few days or weeks, that page will still be available in the caches of most search engines.

It's an odd feeling, to be cruising the net idly and suddenly see your real name, and your current address, displayed for anyone who cares to punch said name into a search engine. I've always been careful to keep my phone numbers and such unlisted just to avoid such things; it's an unfortunate necessity, when you're a person with controversial opinions who writes a lot of crap and publishes it on the Internet.

I mean, I'd like to think that all the stupid-ass, slopebrowed, slackjawed, spittle-chinned dimwits out there at the various different bulletin boards and sites and threads who openly revile and deplore me (and, sometimes, my mother) for things I've written and viewpoints I have stated about various comic book writers and artists which they all like and I do not, are all harmless windbags who are just venting their violent fantasies futilely, and, hopefully, therapeutically, into their fiber optic cables. I mean, I'd be willing to bet that at the very least most of them are. I'm a geek, too, and geeks dwell in violent imaginary worlds and we have violent fantasies and sometimes we write about them. I, personally, am the least violent person in the world (and a great disappointment, I have no doubt, to all my asskicking ancestors) and still, I've written some pretty violent stuff myself, on occasion.

So I'd like to think this is all just fun and games for them, but, you know, I don't know. One of these guys could be Rod fucking Ferrell. And if he is, some crazy dimbulb just gave him my kids' address.

Not on purpose or anything, of course. I'm sure whoever it is, was just trying to get me fired from my job.

Ooops.

You get a chill when you know there are people out there who have described in print (albeit from the sanctuary of a long distance connection and an adolescent web-pseud) various violences they would like to see visited upon you, and now, those same people can find your home address any time they want to, because your beloved's ex, and/or the dipshit skank he is currently drilling, don't work or play well with others.

But that chill is nothing compared to the shudder that goes through you when you realize that someone like that might show up at your door... and your kids might be home at the time.

I wonder if there are any laws pertaining to this sort of thing.

I think I will find out.

But wait, there's more::

So, today we had to take the kids back over to the Bio-Dad's for his week of custody. Never a fun occasion. On this particular one, however, Bio-Dad startled the shit out of me by inviting me to come along with him and SuperFiancee to the basement for a chat. Generally, when he has to talk to SuperFiancee about something (which is pretty much always related to the SuperKids, as otherwise, the two of them have nothing to say to each other these days), he never wants to include me, as it causes him palpitations when he even vaguely contemplates my involvement in the parenting of the SuperKids.

But, anyway, today he asks us both to come down to the basement to talk, and once we're down there, he lays it on us: he posted the webpage that spilled my Personal Identification Information for the world to see. It was all him. His psychobitch girlfriend had nothing to do with it. In fact, she's looking into filing a slander suit against me, or something, in response to this particular blog page.

During the discussion that followed, he advised us that the webpage had actually been up for quite some little time -- since last summer, was what he said, when we had a dust-up with him and the psychobitch as regards some behavior between her kids and our kids while they were all on vacation together. (Regular readers of my other blog will recollect the psychobitch essentially responding to a complaint from one of our girls as to the behavior of one of her boys by pretty much advising us that Super Adorable Kid was a goddamned liar and Super Dependable Teen was pretty much a ho, while her kids, of course, were perfect little angels. Which I, personally, did not cotten to at all.)

So that was when, according to Bio-Dad, he decided to put his little PII-bomb into play. He was, he added, rather surprised I hadn't found it before. It had been so long ago, he further advised, that he had forgotten all about it until it had come up again this week.

Anyway, that was the gist. He did it, the psychobitch had nothing to do with it, he was coming clean and didn't want us to blame her in any way. Posting my name, home address, and some stuff clearly intentioned to lose me my job on the Internet hadn't been a vindictive reaction on the part of the psychobitch for the way I had utterly pwned her saggy, wrinkled ass on my other blog back in December when she'd decided to try to stir up some shit in my comment threads, no, no. It had been all about Bio-Dad himself, getting pissy with me over that fracas we had with psychobitch last summer.

In response to SuperFiancee asking if he'd put the page up from his home computer, Bio-Dad almost sheepishly admitted he'd done it while he was over at the psychobitch's house. (But she hadn't had anything to do with it, or, as he said, "she wasn't standing behind [him] when [he] did it, and didn't encourage [him] to do it in any way".)

So then we asked him, okay, why did you say you didn't have anything to do with it, but you weren't at liberty to discuss who might have done it, night before last, when SuperFiancee asked you directly?

Uh. Well. It seems he didn't want to answer the question at a time and a place of our choosing. He wanted to pick his spot to discuss it.

So, here's the World According to Bio-Dad: We asked him Thursday night if he put up the webpage. He said "no". Flatly. No hesitation, no equivocation. "No". We asked him if he knew anything about it, and he said "Uh, I'm not at liberty to discuss that at the moment." Saturday morning, he tells us it's all him, nobody else, and especially, it wasn't the psychobitch -- you know, the one who was screaming at me on my blog last month, and who was threatening SuperFiancee with untold consequences if she were to in any way misuse the knowledge of her parents' home address... which, I don't know, seems kind of familiar to me in this context, for some reason.

Now, according to Bio-Dad, he did post the page while he was over at the psychobitch's house, so, you know, when we get the ISP information back from the webhost, it's going to show us the page was put up from her personal computer. But, still, it was all him, and she had absolutely nothing to do with it, and it's very important to him that we understand that. And he did it months and months ago, and he's surprised I only stumbled across it recently, and honestly, given that I do ego searches about once a month on the average, so am I.

All of which means, assuming we are to believe what he's telling us now, that he straight up lied to us Thursday night.

Yet he can't understand why we might have doubts as to his veracity, or wonder if it's possible he might be lying to protect someone else who was equally, or more, involved in setting up that particular webpage than he was.

When we advised him that we didn't find him to be entirely trustworthy, he blustered that, well, he doesn't trust SuperFiancee, either. So I asked him to name even one specific time he could recall, in the twenty plus years he's known SuperFiancee very intimately, when she's lied to him. He couldn't. Not one occasion. Didn't surprise me; SuperFiancee is fanatical about personal honesty. On the other hand, she can rattle off several dozen times he's lied to her, and, well, the latest one that he admits to is last Thursday. Or, maybe, earlier today, depending on which one of his stories you want to believe at the moment.

He did apologize to me. I guess the potential threat of a criminal prosecution and/or a civil suit moved him that far. When I asked him exactly what it was he'd been trying to accomplish, he had no answer. Was he trying to get me fired? Was that the point of the whole thing? He didn't know. He'd read something on one of my blogs and it had gotten him mad and he'd done this without thinking about the possible consquences to his kids. He was sorry. It was a silly thing to do. He wouldn't do anything like that again. He PROMised. Cross his heart and hope to die.

He's still going to keep reading our blogs, though. He is very insistent, to the point of truculent defiance, on that point. We post our stuff on the Internet. These are public documents. And we have to understand that, when you say mean things about people on the Internet, well, there are consequences to that. Things can happen.

Whether I believe him or not doesn't matter, and at this point, I'm putting it aside. Obviously, we have no reason to trust him, but it's moot at the moment. At some point in the near future, the webhost will provide us with details as to when the site was put up, and what the originating ISP was, and any pages that may have linked to the site, and the ISPs of any visitors the site may have had... and, well, right now, we already have one person who has admitted to us that he was involved, and that he used another person's computer to do it. So that's certainly enough to be moving forward with.

I am reluctant to take legal action against my children's biological father. They love him. He's important to them. I do not want them to have to see him sitting in a courtroom; I do not want them to feel like they ever have to choose sides between him and me.

But he's trying to get me fired from my job, or, at least, he's covering for the person who did that. Trying to cause someone to lose their job over a personal vendetta is just a loathsome, contemptible, despicable act, and one that, if it had had the desired result, would impact our kids' lives in a significantly negative way.

Beyond that, he's carrying out stupid, mean, petty, childish, vicious acts of harassment that put real people in real physical danger without ever considering that when my home address gets posted on the Internet so any random psycho can drop by for a visit, his kids might be home at the time... or, he's covering for the person who did.

Either way, this shit has to stop. And "I'm sorry, it won't happen again, but I'm going to keep reading your blogs and, y'know, if you keep saying mean stuff about people on the Internet bad things can happen" just isn't going to cut it.

This shit has to stop.

8 Comments:

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Always Esteemed Scott said...

Jesus.
I mean, I know that SF's ex and his girlfriend are pretty nuts, just from what you and SF have said publicly, but this is so completely beyond the pale I can't get my head around how crazy it is.

Not to mention stupid and unbelievably irresponsible. Does this qualify as cyber-stalking? I find myself hoping there is some law against this kind of thing, just so you can charge them with something.

Good luck.

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger SuperFiancee said...

Worse, darling, putting that information out there makes it available for people who don't have any history with you either. It doesn't have to be someone who is angry with you that finds that information.

It could be anyone.

Anywhere.

I can't believe someone would be so careless and stupid with the safety of the children they profess to love, even if they don't care about what happens to us.

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Tony Collett said...

I just checked on Google, and my Blogger profiles are the first two that come up, leaping ahead of my blog.
Should I be concerned?

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger MJ Norton said...

Geez... well, I see that you two have been having your hands full, too.

I have more to say, but don't want to say it on even this level of public forum.

As Scott said, good luck.

Tony: You seem to be fine, based on what I can saw.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger AaA said...

That's got to at very least count as endangering the welfare of a child, three counts. Get a lawyer sure, but call the cops while you're at it. The ISP will have a copy of that website, and exact records of how long it was up and how many hits it got.

This is definitely an action that was taken with the intent to harm you. No jury would question that even slightly. That this action would also pose a credible threat to your (soon-to-be) wife and her children is also without question. That's reckless endangerment. Four counts. Not sure if the deliberate, intended action counts as assault, or is just a fifth count of reckless endangerment, but sure as shit it's a crime too.

All of these crimes could result in death or serious injury, or any number of lesser consequences. No less than eight criminal offences have been committed here, and I think some of them may be felonies. Have that crazy-ass bitch arrested. And if he attempts to obstruct, that's a crime too.

Get the lawyer to work subpoenaing that information from the ISP in question, ASAP.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Opus P. Penguin said...

Holy crap, Batman! "Freakin' unmedicated psycho" doesn't even begin to cover it!

I hope there's a law.

And I'm so sorry you have to go through this crap.

And yeah, what Nate said.

 
At 10:34 PM, Blogger AaA said...

FUCKING JULY?!?!

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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I even bought the film Avatar for a SMS to http://rsskino.ru/kinofilm/avatar.html , the link was, but download fails, the system will boot quite strange cocoa something.
Men, advise where to normal as quickly download film avatar?

 

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