Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 10: the software records posts not log-ins

We have been considering the allegation that CHRC investigator Dean Stacey (who registered at several sites using the handle "jadewarr") visited Stormfront, a white supremacist site, by hacking the wifi of Nellie Hechme, an Ottawa woman. The allegation, as we have seen, is dubious.

It has already been amply demonstrated (e.g., by BCL) that the alleged hacking is technically unlikely: the wifi in question was password protected; it was too far from the CHRC offices for the signal to be reachable, with buildings blocking the line-of-site; CHRC computers are not wifi-enabled; Steacy is legally blind.

What do we know?

We know from court testimony that this IP was assigned to Hechme for 27 hours on Dec. 7-8 (here, p. 5646): that is what a Bell technician testified. The technician did not say, however, that this IP was used to visit Stormfront.

We also know that Jadewarr logged into Stormfront on Dec. 8. The question is what IP did Jadewarr use on that day? The short answer is that we don't know and probably never will.

We know, however, that on Sept. 15, 2006 Jadewar made his one and only post to Stormfront (here) he had the same IP as Hechme had on Dec. 8.

The whole allegation, then, is the result of a simple mistake: was an IP that had been asssigned to jadewarr, but on the wrong date.

That this is indeed what happened is furthered confirmed if we consider this from the software side: Stormfront runs on vBulletin, a commercial software for running Internet forums. How does one check the IP of any user? Here is a screen cap of vBulletin's user manual for checking IP addresses (here), with my highlighting of the important sections:

According to the manual, when you ask for the IPs that users have used, vBulletin gives you "what IPs a user has posted with".

Performing this function on the Jadewarr account will have produced the IP that jadewarr used to make his only post on the Stormfront board, which was on September 15 (here).

In short, then, all available evidence suggests that jadewarr had this Bell IP on one day in September, and Hechme had it on another in December. Any suggestion that jadewarr had it again in December enters tin-foil hat territory.

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

Blogging suspended for move…

There will probably be little or nothing to be read here for a few weeks. I am in the middle of a major job change that involves a change of city, etc.

Keep well.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 7: the right IP on the wrong date

This series has been examining allegations that CHRC investigator Dean Steacy had hacked the IP of an Ottawa woman to visit Stormfront, a white supremacist site.

The IP in question was and the date of the alleged hacking is Dec. 8, 2006. But as far as I can see, there is no evidence that Steacy had that IP on that date. We know that he had that IP on Sept. 15: a Stormfront moderator said so (see here). And we know that jadewarr visited Stormfront on Dec. 8 (see here), but by then the IP had been assigned to an Ottawa woman named Nelly Hechme. We have no evidence, however, that the Dec. 8th post used this IP.

Yes, Don Black, founder of Stormfront, had apparently informed Marc Lemire that jadewarr had used this IP. Here is the relevant section of Lemire's motion for the Bell subpoena (I've added the numbering; for the whole motion, see here):
To judge from this, however, Black didn't specify which date (see paragraph 5). Nor is there anything here to suggest that Lemire had asked Black about December specifically (see esp. #4). Indeed, given the context, we wouldn't expect him to ask for a specific date: he wanted as much information as possible.

Now, it is clear that we have incomplete information. But we have as much as the court that awarded the subpoena did, since the court gave that subpoena on the basis of this motion. And this motion does not say that jadewarr used on Dec. 8.

Nor did the Bell technician. He said that Nelly Hechme had that IP on that date.

To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

postcard from Munich

Greetings to all my friends back home in Canada.  My output will be a little slower over the weekend because I'm traveling a bit.  

Here is a picture of buckets with a bucket of brew.

Keep well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 6: what did Lemire ask Black about jadewarr?

In a series of posts we have been examining the allegations that Human Rights investigator Dean Steacy had hacked the IP of an Ottawa woman to visit Stormfront, a white supremacist site. The visit took place on Dec. 8, 2006, during a time when (according to a Bell technician subpoenaed to provide the information) the IP had been assigned to Nelly Hechme.

But how do we know that was jadewarr's IP on that day? We have already seen that according to one Stormfront official, this IP was used by jadewarr in September, not December 8. (See here.)

The date of Dec. 8th comes from information supplied by Don Black, and given the contradiction about the date, we should look especially closely at this. Unfortunately, he has not himself commented publicly on this matter. What he said comes via Marc Lemire, who reported Black's information in his motion to subpoena Bell. This motion has been archived for easier consultation in part 5 of this series, here. Here is the section in which he discusses Black's information:
According to paragraph 4, Lemire asked Black for the "email address, IP-address, hostname, and access" of the jadewarr account.

But email address, IP, and hostname when? The motion doesn't say. And "when" is the fundamental question here, since according to the Bell technician's testimony Hechme only had this IP for a single day. Indeed, one wonders whether Lemire asked for a specific date at all. If he didn't, and Black gave him the IP that jadewarr had posted from on Sept. 15, then there is no contradiction between the reports of Black and OdinPatrick.

To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 5: Lemire's motion for jadewarr's IP

Here is Marc Lemire's motion* for a subpoena to require Bell to provide information about an IP address that had been used by "jadewarr" (a pseudonym used by Dean Steacy of the CHRC to visit Stormfront).
      (*The original version of this motion was posted at Lemire's own site: here.)
To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 4: theoretical possibilities

In our last post, we saw that there are at least two versions out there about when Steacy/jadewarr had the IP and what he did with it. The versions differ from one another in two key ways: they report different actions on the part of jadewarr, and they report different dates for those actions.

Here are the two versions in tabular form:
    Black (via Lemire)OdinPatrick
    Actionvisit Stormfrontpost to Stormfront
    Date Dec. 8, 2006 Sept. 15, 2006
    IP ownerHechme* (unknown)
    *From the Bell technician's testimony
If Black and OdinPatrick were both telling the truth, one of these four scenarios would have to be true:
  1. Hecme had the same IP for the entire period and Steacy hacked her wifi twice (once to post to Stormfront and once to visit there).
  2. Steacy had the IP for the whole time and he used it twice (once to post to Stormfront and once to visit there).
  3. The IP belonged to Steacy personally in September, but Hechme in December, and the wifi that he hacked in December by coincidence had the same IP as the one he had used in September.
  4. The IP belonged to some unknown person in September, and to Hechme in December, and Steacy hacked both wifis, which coincidentally happened to have the same IP.
In fact, however, none of these can be true. Scenarios #3 and #4 may be theoretically possible, but the chances of either of these happening are infinitismal: they can be rejected out of hand. And #1 and #2 contradict the testimony of the Bell Technician, who testified that Hechme had this IP from 18:36, Dec. 7, until 21:35, Dec. 8 (T1073/5405, vol. 26, p. 5646, lines 9-10): thus Hechme could not have had the IP in September (ruling out no. 1) and Steacy could not have had this IP in December (ruling out no. 2)

Clearly one of Black and OdinPatrick must be wrong.

To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 3: when exactly did Steacy/jadewarr have

We have examining the allegation that Dean Steacy of the Canadian Human Rights Commission had hacked an Ottawa woman's wifi and used her IP to visit Stormfront in December 2006.

Stacey, as you'll recall, had used a pseudonym named "jadewarr" in his investigations.

In Part One we saw two things. First, Marc Lemire produced evidence from Stormfront founder, Don Black, that during jadewarr's visit to Stormfront on December 8, 2006, he used IP Second, that a Bell technician has testified that on that date belonged to Ottawa resident Nelly Hechme.

Part two also showed that another Stormfront moderator, OdinPatrick, reported that Jadewarr had used to post to Stormfront. Second, that jadewarr's only post to Stormfront was made on September 15, 2006.

In tabular form the two versions are:
    Black (via Lemire)OdinPatrick
    Actionvisit Stormfrontpost to Stormfront
    Date Dec. 8, 2006 Sept. 15, 2006
    IP ownerHechme* (unknown)
    *From the Bell technician's testimony
So, when exactly did jadewarr/Steacy use this IP?

To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

Monday, June 09, 2008

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 2: someone else notices Jadewarr

In my first post in this series, we reviewed the background to a recent allegation that Dean Steacy, an investigator with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, had hacked the wifi of an Ottawa woman and used her IP to visit Stormfront, a white supremacist website.

The allegation depended on a chain of evidence:
  • on the testimony of Bell technician that the IP belonged to Nelly Hechme on December 6, 2006;
  • on Don Black, founder and webmaster of Stormfront, who informed Marc Lemire that was the IP of Steacy's pseudonym "jadewarr";
  • on a reporter who contacted Hechme and reported that she had not been involved;
  • and on internet pundits, who concluded that the details could only be explained if Steacy had hacked the wifi.

But in all the discussion about this allegation, people have overlooked an important piece of evidence: that another Stormfront administrator had already noticed the link between Steacy and Jadewarr.

We have already seen jadewarr's member profile from Stormfront, the relevant part of which is reposted to the right. It shows that jadewarr only posted once at that site, and that post is worth visiting.

On September 3, 2006, Marc Lemire had started a new thread denouncing the unfairness of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, which had recently rejected his complaints against the hate crimes unit of the Edmonton RCMP. (You can find the thread in Google-cache here, or click through from there to the Stormfront site.) Several other Stormfront members responded, all agreeing with Lemire.

The fifth post to that thread, made Sept. 15, was contributed by Jadewarr. You can read it yourself here:
Following this post, the thread went quiet, and no-one added to it for a long time.

A year-and-a-half later, however -- long after jadewarr's post and the jadewarr-Steacy connection had been made public -- a moderator of Stormfront's Canadian section by the name of "OdinPatrick" noticed jadewarr's solitary post and responded to it.
As you can see, OdinPatrick had unkind words for jadewarr, and more abuse followed that doesn't need to be repeated here. Towards the end of his post, OdinPatrick added this:
OdinPatrick cites two IPs here: one used to register, and one used to post. The second is identical to the IP that Black had given to Lemire:

Jadewarr had only ever posted one message to Stormfront, on Sept. 15, 2006, that would have been his IP on that date, according to OdinPatrick's statement.

To be continued…

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

The spy who didn't shag my wifi 1: background

Those who have been following the Marc Lemire case before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal have seen some weird twists and turns — and a bizarre series of allegations that have been made about the Commission and its employees. One allegation was that human rights activist Richard Warman (who had initiated the complaint against Lemire) had himself posted a racist attack against senator Anne Cools, and allegation that was ultimately proven false. Another weird allegation was that Warman had leaked confidential commission documents related to the Demigorgona case. Again false.

Today we turn our attention to another allegation that Commission employee, Dean Steacy, who is legally blind, had hacked an Ottawa woman's wifi to visit a racist website in December 2006. The details are scattered and complicated, but a fresh look at them will show that there is plenty of room for doubt, and that in fact the evidence suggests that there was no wifi hackery, just a simple miscommunication of facts.

First, some background. In his position at the Commission, Steacy is involved in investigations of websites accused of spreading hate. In these investigations, Steacy has occasionally actually registered in the sites in question -- some sites have areas that are limited to registered members only; others only allow members to view other members' profiles or use the site's search engines.

JadewarrProfileStormFrontPosteSuch was the case with White Supremacist site, Stormfront, where Steacy registered the pseudonym "jadewarr". To the right is Jadewarr's member-profile there. (He was member number 58160, if you want to go there to look for yourself -- but in order to access the member profiles, you will have to become a member) He joined, as you can see, in February 2005 (note the left hand column, right under "Forum Info").

The wifi controversy arose with regards to a visit made to Stormfront on December 8th, 2006. On that date, Steacy had logged into the Jadewarr account in order to find a specific posting related to a hearing before the tribunal. (Stormfront's own search engine is only available to logged-in members.) He then printed the posting, but without logging-out, which meant that "jadewarr" was included on the print out. When the print-out was submitted as evidence, his pseudonym was exposed.

As I said, Lemire is himself a respondent before the Tribunal, and his defense strategy seems to be to delay, distract, and deflect. Spurious complaints are filed with the CHRC against opponents; allegations are made about CHRC unfairness, incompetence, or corruption. The exposure of Steacy's pseudonym gave him an opportunity to make new allegations. Indeed, given the information available, it should be possible to learn Steacy's IP, and once his IP was known, his actions on other sites might be examined.

Marc Lemire himself, however, had no access to that information -- Stormfont is based in the United States, having been founded by former KKK Grand Wizard, Don Black (who has a fairly nasty history of his own). Lemire, however, was (and is) a long-time member there: indeed, his profile (to the right), shows not only that he is a sustaining member, but also proclaims him to be a "Friend of Stormfront". Presumably it was on this basis that Black supplied him with an IP and hostname: and

We know all this from an affidavit that Lemire filed with the Tribunal in May 2007, requesting that Bell be subpoenaed to supply the name, address, and phone records associated with that IP address (here). The subpoena was granted, and on March 25, 2008, a Bell technician appeared in court to provide the information that he was asked for.

What the Bell technician reported, however, was a surprise to everyone: on Dec. 8, 2006, the IP was assigned to someone with no apparent connection to Steacy, the Commission, or Stormfront. It was a woman named Nelly Hechme who lived in an apartment building in Ottawa not far from the CHRC offices. Once her name was made public, a reporter contacted her to ask whether she knew how and why her email might be involved in this affair, and the only available explanation was that someone had accessed her wifi. But since her wifi was secured with a pass-word, the usual suspects accused Steacy of having hacked it.

To be continued ....

Other posts relevant to this controversy:

Archaeology of a smear (summary thread)

(In progress)

Archaeology of a smear, part 5: who is this letter really to?

We have been looking at the letter of apology written by "Demi" in July, 2004. It was sent to someone c/o the Canadian Human Rights Commission, and it apologized fully for her postings at Stormfront and elsewhere.

As is often the case, however, the document reveals more than it means to. And in this case, it is fairly clear that Demi's apology was meant not only for the mystery addressee. Note the repeated references to her upbringing and family, and the values they had taught her that her racism had betrayed.

It is surely obvious to any sensitive reader of texts that this letter was also meant for Demi's parents and was an expression to them of her regret at the pain her racism had caused them.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Lies, damn lies, or statistics: how reliable are Steyn's numbers?

In 2005, Steyn wrote an article for the Jewish World Review with the title ("U.S. can sit back and watch Europe implode"), which adumbrated the argument of his book, America Alone, that Europe was in the process of being overrun by Muslims. Money quote:
    "By some projections, the EU's population will be 40 percent Muslim by 2025. "
Whose projections? That has been not easy to determine. This post by blogger The Crossed Pond may have found the answers:
    There was an NIC report released in December 2004, a couple of months before the article was written, where four ‘fictional scenarios’ were considered; one of them ... is ‘A New Caliphate’ in which the moslem population of Europe is projected to go as high as between 22 and 37 million; that is not the same thing, of course, as heading towards 40 percent. Could he have made that mistake? It doesn’t seem reasonable that he could have, but maybe he did, and in company; there is a Scotsman article at about the same time ... where it is projected that the moslem population will climb to 22 to 37% instead of the 22-37 million in the report. So it seems that the Scotsman author, at least, did make the mistake of switching percent in for millions. ...

    At the beginning of 2004, the population of the EU was 456 million. 40% of that figure is 182 million. Where are they going to come from in twenty years, assuming anything close to a constant EU population, from a 2005 muslim EU population of 15 million or so? Even if the population drops as the babyboomers do, there’s still going to be, ballpark, over a hundred million new moslems needed to make that figure true.
Islam in France
There is, of course, a big difference between 40 of 456 million (and if that was a round up) and 40% of 456 million.

But how many Muslims are in Europe? This study reports a French poll that asked the French what religion they identified with. 3% of those polled "identified most" with Islam. The map to the right is instructive. There are larger communities of self-identifying Muslim in Paris, Lyons, and Strassbourg. Elsewhere, not so much.

Catholicism in France
For comparision, look at those self-identifying as Catholics (below and to the right).

So, what of Steyn's thesis that Europe will eventually become Islamic? Not for a long, long time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Archaeology of a smear, part 4: some documentary forensics

So far in this series, we have seen how the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC)-- a white-supremacist organization with a history of racist violence (see see part 1)--was brought to Canada by a young woman who used the pseudonym "Demigorgona" in the autumn of 2002 (see part 2). Her actions prompted a complaint to the Canadian Human RIghts Commission by activist Richard Warman.

Sometime during the following year, however, "Demi" seems to have seen the error of her ways. She repented of her racism and wrote a letter of apology.

To whom, exactly, however, did she write the letter? Paragraph 41 of the Fournier's statement of defense (here; read the whole thing here) describes the letter as having been "sent to the CHRC". If you look at the address on the letter itself, however, it is clear that it was sent not to the Human Rights Commission, but C/O the Commission. And "c/o", as everyone knows, is an (abbreviation for "care of").

"C/O" should mean that the Commision was not the intended recipient, but was to act as an intermediary and deliver the letter to the addressee. But the addressee's name is missing.

It has been removed, as a a close look at the image of the letter confirms. If you look at the images to right, you'll see a close-up of the letter's inside address. The top one is "au natural", and the bottom one has its contrast heightened and brightness lowered. in it you can see that there used to be something in the line between the date (July 31) and the line beginning "C/O".

Clearly the addressee's name has been removed -- or, rather, covered over. At first I thought that this was white-out. But in the darker of the two shots, you can see the outlines of a piece of scotch-tape that is affixing a small piece of paper over the addressee's name.

Now, I don't see any way of determining on the present evidence who the letter was addressed to, but I want to hazard a guess in my next post about who it was written for. As we shall see, they need not be the same.

To be continued…

Monday, June 02, 2008

Archaeology of a smear, part 3: "Demi" repents

In the first two parts of this series, we saw that the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) was a white-supremacist organization with a commitment to (and history of) racist violence (see see part 1), and that "Demigorgona" and others had opened new chapters Canada in the autumn of 2002 (see part 2). This had soon attracted the attention of human rights activist Richard Warman, who is known for bringing cases of hate speech before the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC), especially against those who used the internet to promulgate hatred. And by mid-2003, he had filed a complaint against the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) and its leaders. They were not hard to find: "Demigorgona "(a fraction of whose writings we reviewed in part 2) signed her real name to many of her essays. (I will refer to her by her pseudonym in these posts and redact her real name from any documents I produce here: she has apparently left the racist movement and no doubt would prefer that this be left in her past.)

From that point, the Commission began its work. Unlike most of those confronted by the CHRC, "Demi" saw the error of her ways. She sent a letter to commission apologizing (a copy of which is to the right; you can see an un-redacted copy at Ezra Levant's site). In it she renounced her earlier racism, which she recognized was inconsistent with her upbringing. She had, she says, abandoned the racist sites where she had posted so many messages. Her letter dates from 31 July, 2004, and sometime in the months following she entered mediation through the CHRC. The case is listed at the Tribunal website as settled in 2005 (here).

Demi's letter, however, resurfaced some months after that, and has become controversial recently. I will discuss that controversy in a future post. In the meantime, however, there is some documentary analysis to be done with this text.

To be continued…