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Re: Timmy May's spam (Was: Re: CIA hacked)

Adam Back <[email protected]> writes:
> > > It would seem to me that the first insults were thrown by yourself,
> > > and that your strange habit of bouncing all the fallout to the list is
> > > perpetuating the problem.
> >
> > No. Let me remind you the sequence of events, in chronological order:
> >
> > 1. Timmy May (who picked up a few popular PKC buzzwords, doesn't know
> > anything about crypto, and isn't interested in learning) started spamming
> > this mailing list with political rants
> I don't think this at all fair; if you've read his cyphernomicon, you
> will see that he has a perfectly good understanding of crypto.  His

On the contrary. Timmy has only a passable understanding of some aspects of
public-key crypto. He knows nothing about symmetric crypto and conventional
attacks. He even argued that practitioners don't need to learn any crypto
outside of PKC. (One of the things I don't like about Americans in their
propensity to take pride in their ignorance and lack of education. :-)

> strong point as I see it however, is that he was one of the first to
> think deeply about the implications of strong crypto, and document
> this in a fairly comprehensive manner.  This is a central topic for
> cypherpunks, after all: cypherpunks are trying to achieve poltical
> ends via strong crypto, crypto isn't being discussed in isolation, as
> a purely scientific endeavour.  sci.crypt with its charter is more
> this.
> Also, I would point out that you yourself don't restrict yourself to
> purely crypto discussions (aside from this latest war), you for
> instance recently discussed driving licenses in NY.  Not that I am

Right - the discussion of drivers licences and other credentials is definitely
crypto-relevant. The discussion, e.g., of the ethics of mandatory insurance is
not. My notion of crypto-relevance is fairly broad. E.g. I find the
assassination politics discussion to be crypto-relevant and sometimes very
interesting, and I kicked the ass of Alan Olsen and a few other assholes who
tried to suppress it.

I am very much interesting not only in the technical discussion of crypto, but
also in the implication of its use, which would be off-topic for sci.crypt
(fwiw). There's a difference between discussing privacy and ranting about
unfair taxation of rich old farts like Timmy May.

> complaining, or think this is especially inappropriate, as the topic
> of Chaumian credentials, and the current state of state mandated
> credentials I consider on topic, but you are criticizing others for
> analysing politics.  The [NEWS] series, also (I've already said I
> consider these useful), are hardly pure discussion of crypto, if this
> were your only concern.

Really? I was trying to pull out only the stories which obvious crypto
relevance. I'd be curious to know some examples of what in these series you
consider not to be crypto-relevant. Perhaps I made a mistake somewhere. In
particular, I consider _any discussion of electronic cash or money laundering
to be crypto-relevant.

> > 2. Most people who used to discuss crypto work on this mailing list
> > have unsubscribed.
> True, and unfortunate.  coderpunks feels somewhat reminiscent of how
> cypherpunks used to be in this regard, try subscribing to that, if you
> are uninterested in political aspects, and have not already.  I
> subscribe to both, because I think politics is also important, as well
> as churning out code, and just read very selectively on cypherpunks.

I have been subscribed to coderpunks almost since its beginning. It has
some interesting discussion. Unfortunately most of the folks who left the
original cypherpunks have not re-subscribed to coderpunks.

> > 6. Recently it came to my attention that Tim's been contacting off-list
> > various people in the computer security field and "complaining" about
> > the politically incorrect things that I supposedly say on the Internet
> > - except that he made up most of the "things" he complained about.
> I don't think it's near as serious as you are worrying about, all I
> heard him say was something about not understanding the motive for the
> (spit) stuff.  Hardly complaining, more a passing comment on your
> posting style than a complaint of "political incorrectness".

I'm not "worried", since Timmy May has already earned the reputation of a
nutcase and a liar in these circles, and is hardly in a position to
"assassinate" anyone's character. However I am somewhat angry that several
people I respect approached me in a short period of time and said something to
the effect, "You know, Timmy May's been complaining to me about what you write
on the Internet." Subsequent investigation revealed that he's been complaining
not even about the things I did say (plenty of which are "politically
incorrect"), but about things Timmy May himself made up - see quotes below.

> > 8. Since that time, several friends of Tim May (or maybe Tim himself,
> > using multiple accounts) have been sending me harrassing e-mail, often
> > by quoting my own cypherpunks articles and adding an obscenity.
> It appears that Chris Adams <[email protected]> started this.  And
> others confused by the quoting, presumed it was you.  (Especially
> since the headers were yours, as you were forwarding them.)  Also the
> fact that you were forwarding these emails probably would get you
> complaints anyway, even if the quoting had made it clear what was
> going on.

How do you know that "Chris Adams" is a real person separate from Timmy? I
rather doubt that someone other than Timmy himself would go into trouble
"defending" Timmy, let alone three separate people.

> > 9. Tim himself continues flaming me and telling lies about me (see his
> > recent rant with the subject "death threats").
> I guess you mean the purely fictitious Valdimir G Nulis :-) A cross
> between Vladimir Z Nuri (who many consider to be Detweiller) and
> yourself.

I've corresponded with L.D. and he's a very bright and knowledgeable
person. Timmy May lies when he claims that VZNuri (who's an idiot) could
possibly be his "tentacle". You really should get to know L.D. better
before you repeat the lies Timmy May spreads about him.

> I don't really see what you're complaining about: it's really oblique,
> and tame compared to your recent perfectly direct, and somewhat crude
> insults to Tim.
> > And you see, Timmy May is an obsessive liar and a vindictive nutcase.
> I don't see the liar, nor the nutcase. I haven't noticed him say
> anything which I considered untrue, nor have any of his posts appeared
> nutty.

I suspect that you haven't been following this discussion for long. Here's
a recent quote from myself:

]Despite the name, there's practically no crypto discussions on the list. A few
]weeks ago someone mentioned elliptic curves, and there was an outcry of how
]it's "off-topic". Instead the mailing list is flooded with rants and personal
]attacks from Tim May, who knows next to nothing about cryptography, and whose
]long-winded diatribes in support of child pornography, drugs, and Harry Browne
]have absolutely no crypto relevance. Tim's off-topic spews have driven Eric
]Hughes, John Gilmore, Rich Salz, and many other former valuable contributors
]off the mailing list. Today's Cypherpunks don't write code - they write lies
]and personal attacks. I'll quote a couple of Tim May's unprovoked personal
]attacks against me to illustrate the kind of traffic found on the Cypherpunks
]mailing list (as opposed to cryptography discussions):
]>Message-Id: <[email protected][]>
]>To: [email protected] (Igor Chudov)
]>From: [email protected] (Timothy C. May)
]>Subject: Lying Purebred Sovok Tchurkas Write the History of the Net
]>Cc: [email protected]
]>At 4:17 AM 7/18/96, Igor Chudov @ home wrote:
]>>Knowing KGB habits as pertaining to releasing information to the public,
]>>I would expect 50% of the CDROM to be pure bullshit, 40% -- lies, and
]>>maybe 10% truth that was already publicly available.
]>>It is like buying a CDROM about the history of the Net from Dr. Grubor.
]>>Maybe it would be interesting and amusing, but not worth $120.
]>NOW you tell me! I just shelled out $42 for "The History of the Net," by
]>Dr. John Grubor and Dr. Dmitri Vulis, 1996.
]>And here I thought it was the real history of the Net, especially the part
]>about how "the dandruff-covered Peter Vorobieff (spit) conspired with the
]>purebred Sovok Valery Fabrikant (spit) to spread the lies of the Jew
]>cripples dying of AIDS in Sovok-controlled clinics."
]>When Grubor and Vulis speak of the Usenet Cabal being a Sovok (spit) plot,
]>I thought this was the actual truth. I guess not. Maybe Spafford is
]>actually Rabbi Ruthenberg.
]>--Tim May
]>(hint: this a satire, based on the writings of Vulis, who speaks of people
]>as "lying purebred Sovok Tchurkas" (whatever _they_ are), and attaches the
]>charming word "(spit)" after nearly every person he references.)
]I responded to Tom May stating that I've never called anybody a (t)churka (I'm
]not even quite sure who or what they are) and asked him to retract his false
]claims. Tim May never retracted, but continued to post more lies about me and
]to attribute to me various nonsense I never wrote. But Tim May's attempts at
]"character assassination" don't stop at the cypherpunks mailing list: recently
]three separate people whom I respect (unlike Tim May) and who work in the
]computer security field told me that Tim May has been complaining to them
]"off-list" about my submissions to the Cypherpunks mailing list.
]Here's another recent example of a personal attack Tim May posted to the list:
]>Message-Id: <[email protected][]>
]>Mime-Version: 1.0
]>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
]>To: [email protected]
]>From: [email protected] (Timothy C. May)
]>Subject: Reputation Systems in Action
]>Sender: [email protected]
]>Precedence: bulk
]>At 6:41 PM 9/11/96, [email protected] wrote:
]>>> [email protected] (Timothy C. May) writes:
]>>> > As to "tasteless and insulting," a matter of personal perspective. I find
]>>> > it helpful to call a spade a spade, and others apparently do as well.
]>>> >
]>>> Of course, Tim gets very uncomfortable when others call a spade a spade.
]>>This constant character assasination of Tim is getting rather boring,
]>>as far as I can see, and I read all of the posts on the list, he has
]>>done nothing more than ignore posts from these idiots, that is his
]>>choice and nothing to do with anyone else.
]>But this latest episode illustrates the role of reputations. Namely, my own
]>reputation is not being harmed by bizarre commentaries from the Vulis-bot.
]>As its reputation is (apparently) pretty low, and associated with Serdar
]>Ardic-style rants about "sovoks," "the cabal," and "spit," such an entity
]>can hardly "assassinate" my character.
]Again, Tim May is lying. I am not interested in "assassinating" his character.
]He is the one spreading lies about me and attributing to me various nonsense I
]never said. Tim May shows his true colors when he faults me for my defense of
]Serdar Argic's freedom of speech. Unfortunately, Serdar has been silent for
]over two years, but that doesn't stop censorous liars like Tim May from
]continuing their vendetta against those who defended free speech.
]>A few years ago Larry Detweiler, aka "vznuri" ("visionary"), aka "S.Boxx,"
]>aka "Pablo Escobar," aka several other alternate personalities, wrote
]>dozens of screeds denouncing me, Eric Hughes, Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, etc.
]>Did this have an effect on our reputations? Not to people I respected, of
]>course. And if Detweiler's rants affected my reputation with his peers,
]>including Dimitri Vulis, Ludwig Plutonium, Doctress Neutopia, Serdar Argic,
]>well, this is to the good.
]We keep catching Tim May in major lies:
]1. Tim May attributes to me things I never said.
]2. Tim May was caught lying about Kelly Goen.
]3. Tim May is lying about Detweiler. As far as I know, Detweiler never had any
]problems with Eric Hughes et al, and Hughes doesn't have a problem with
]Detweiler. The only person Detweiler has a problem with is Tim May. Detweiler
]is 100% correct in saying that Tim May is an ignorant liar and a crook.
]4. Sovok VZNuri is not Detweiler - even Tim May doesn't believe his own lies.
]5. Archimedes (former Ludwig) Plutonium and Doctress Libby Neutopia know a lot
]more about cryptography and are far more truthful than Timothy C. May.
]>In the mathematics of reputations, a negative reputation held by one whose
]>own reputation is negative is a positive.
]_If it's true, then my reputation benefits from being slandered by the proven
]liar Tim May.

Does this answer your questions about Timmy May's veracity?

> > > If reporting to the list is accurate, I hear you have a PhD with a
> > > subject related to crypto, so presumably you would have ample
> > > knowledge to contribute technical crypto related thoughts.  I'm sure
> > > people would be interested in anything along those lines you cared to
> > > contribute, and your reputation would benefit,
> >
> > I still hope to be able discuss crypto on this mailing list (yes, my Ph.D.
> > thesis was about crypto), but I see two problems:
> >
> > 1. A lot of people have already left this list, unwilling to be subjected
> > to Tim May's rants, lies, and personal attacks. If I post something crypto-
> > relevant to this mailing list, they won't see it.
> The decision to keep the list open was made for reasons I agree with,
> censoring people is not the way to promote open discussions.
> Censoring people is something cypherpunks are strongly against in
> other forums, so it would seem especially hypocritical for cypherpunks
> to censor the list itself.

No more hypocritical than to have a "cypherpunks meetings" with specific
persons excluded because someone doesn't like their political views.

Here's a threat I found in our 'orphan' mailbox:

]From [email protected]  Thu Sep 19 23:39:14 1996
]Received: by bwalk.dm.com (1.65/waf)
]	via UUCP; Fri, 20 Sep 96 01:23:58 EDT
]	for [email protected]
]Received: from disperse.demon.co.uk by uu.psi.com (5.65b/4.0.061193-PSI/PSINet) via SMTP;
]        id AA02597 for [email protected]; Thu, 19 Sep 96 23:39:14 -0400
]Received: from post.demon.co.uk ([(null)]) by relay-2.mail.demon.net  id ah16490;
]          19 Sep 96 17:22 BST
]Received: from fatmans.demon.co.uk ([]) by relay-3.mail.demon.net
]           id aa18174; 19 Sep 96 17:06 BST
]Received: from fatmans.demon.co.uk by fatmans.demon.co.uk with SMTP
]	id AA843059897 ; Wed, 18 Sep 96 15:18:17 +0000
]Comments: Authenticated sender is <[email protected]>
]From: [email protected]
]To: [email protected]
]Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 15:18:16 +0000
]Mime-Version: 1.0
]Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
]Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7BIT
]Subject: Re: A daily warning regarding Timothy C. May
]Priority: normal
]X-Mailer: Pegasus Mail for Windows (v2.31)
]Message-Id: <[email protected]>
]> Timothy C. May is a lying sack of shit.
]Look, that is enough, I`m going to move to have you removed from the
]list if you keep this up... get a life fuckhead, if you are going to
]flame at least do it from your real address so people can killfile
]you, or maybe you believe censorship is better?
]  Datacomms Technologies web authoring and data security
]     Paul Bradley, [email protected]
]       Http://www.fatmans.demon.co.uk/crypt/
]         "Don`t forget to mount a scratch monkey"
]Version: 2.6.3ia

(The idiot misspelled 'dvl' for 'dlv'.) Who could possibly be in the position
to threaten to "remove" people from this mailing list? (Hint: he rants a lot.)

> > 2. Here's an example of the net-abuse being perpetrated by Tim May and his
> > merry gang of mailbombers. I posted some crypto-relevant wire clippings
> > to this mailing list. Either Tim (using an alternate account) or some pal
> > of his e-mailed it back to me with an obscenity appended.
> >
> > ]From [email protected]  Thu Sep 19 00:00:57 1996
>         ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> why is this in part of your own headers?
> > ]Received: by bwalk.dm.com (1.65/waf)
> > ]	via UUCP; Thu, 19 Sep 96 00:49:21 EDT
> > ]From: Troy Varange <[email protected]>
> and this too?  Is this as a result of threading, or are you quoting
> part of another message?  Or is it a forgery?

I've _apparently received similar e-mail spam from the following addresses:
 [email protected]
 [email protected]
 [email protected]

The most recent incident involved about 20 identical mailbombs from the latter
one. Obviously no one can tell whether they're forged or whether the e-mail
really came from these addresses. I suspect that there's just one person
behind these very similar attacks, and that this person also posts stupid
rants from got.net.

You probably weren't around when Timmy May waged a flame war against L.D.
which involved Timmy setting up a legion of "artificial persons" designed to
show massive support for Timmy's side. This is nothing new.

> > ]Subject: Re: [NEWS] Crypto-relevant wire clippings
> > ]> [...]
> > ]> CIA-backed rebels in Nicaragua played in bringing crack cocaine and
> > ]> weapons to Los Angeles and other cities.
> > ]>
> > ]> Bachus told Waters the hearing wasn't motivated by politics and that he
> > ]>
> > ]> ---
> > ]>
> > ]> <a href="mailto:[email protected]">Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM</a>
> > ]Fuckhead.
> If it is more widespread than those two, perhaps you are being
> Detweilled?  He seems to enjoy that sort of thing.

Timmy May seems to enjoy thi sort of thing since he has no life and too much
free time on his hands. L.D. is a perfectly reasonable guy and he'd never do
such a thing to me. However I doubt that there are so many distinct people
involved in mailbombing me.

> People do pay attention when positive contributions are made, for
> instance I think I remember that you posted some time ago a way to
> have two plausible decryptions for one cyphertext, to enable things
> like duress keys, in terms of RSA.  The problem with this, however is
> that RSA is currently very slow to use in its pure form for messages.

I don't recall this one... My feeling about RSA is that one of these days there
will be a breakthrough allowing much faster factorization (either through a
better algorithm on a conventional computer, or by a practical quantum
computer) and then all the codes based on factorization will become essentially
plaintext. It's time to start looking for other hard problem to base PKC on.

E.g., does anyone know of any progress made on public-key cryptosystems based
on the word problem in semigroups, described in Neal Wagner and Marianne
Magyarik, _A public key cryptosystem based on the word problem_, Advances in
Cryptology: Proceedings of Crypto '84, G. R. Blakley and D. Chaum, eds.,
Lecture Notes in Computer Sciences #196, Springer Verlag, 1985, and also
mentioned in Wayne Patterson, _Mathematical Cryptology for Computer Scientists
and Mathematicians_, Rowman and Littlefield, 1987?

>From what I neard, NSA tried very hard to implement it and failed, and the
Soviets actually built a cryptosystem similar to what they described. I tried
to duplicate what the Soviets supposedly did, but without success.


<a href="mailto:[email protected]">Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM</a>
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps