Twitter – Compliant With EU Data Protection Laws? They better be.
Midway through last year, Twitter moved data control for all non-EU citizens to Ireland in the EU. Twitter then declared its subsidiary, ‘Twitter International Company’ to be a data controller in the EU for all non-US citizens. This brought it under EU Data Protection law.
A few weeks ago on 30/01/2016, a French man won a case in a Paris appeals Court that he could sue Facebook for suspending him,
The Witchfinder comments on how users can use EU law to assert their rights on Twitter.
So last week I was suspended from Twitter. All of my accounts were simultaneously suspended. There was no explanation – no ‘you are a spammer / meanie / aggressive follower’. I assumed the most likely reason was my article criticising Motherboard Associate Editor Sarah Jeong for doxing a rape victim, although this later turned out to be incorrect when they finally did give reasons.
Peter Tatchell – contributed to the Book, a Betrayal of Youth, edited by former Vice-Chair of the Paedophile Information Exchange, Warren Middleton. Now someone is trying to hide it from Google Search results in Europe.
Thanks to EU legislation, search giant Google has been forced to censor awkward facts from its European search results. A few days ago I received a notice of de-linking of a page on this site and given the chilling implications, I thought it worth sharing.
In March 2014, with the help of amazing Sun journalist @LouiseMensch, I wrote an exposé of a British activist called Peter Tatchell. It is still on this site, entitled, “Peter Tatchell – Sex Brought ‘Great Joy’. To 9 Year Olds”. Tatchell is well known in Britain as a human rights activist but back in the mid 1980s he contributed to a book called “The Betrayal of Youth” (perhaps not coincidentally, “Betrayal of Youth”, stands for ‘Boy’). He had also written a letter to the Guardian newspaper (which they had published) in which he appeared to say that sex with adults had brought some nine-year-olds, ‘great joy’.
Several of the contributors to the book were avowed paedophiles. For example the editor of the book was Warren Middleton (also known as John Parratt), now a convicted paedophile (archive here). At his trial in 2011, the prosecutor told the court that Middleton was part of a group of paedophiles who would meet up to look at illegal images of underage boys. Found at the home Middleton shared with another paedophile were three discs containing over 5,000 images. Perhaps there may be some connection between Middleton’s interests and the title of the book.
The Witchfinder responds to serious allegations by former University of Minnesota Rochester, physics teaching specialist Marian Aanerud (@MAMelby), made in a bizarre online Twitter rant today connected with the loss of her job. Note that Aanerud states she is not anonymous and is open about her former employer and real name so this is not ‘doxing’. Please see her public, written, consent here (archive here). She also makes clear her (former) employer is not anonymous here (archive here). In accordance with her public requests on Twitter I have omitted her middle names.
Your author wishes to clarify that he has had no contact with Aanerud or her employer since May 2015. However, I am entitled to respond to her allegations. Also, there is a public interest in raising concern about her use of homophobic language online, her inappropriate comments about paedophilia and previous student criticism of the standard of her teaching and conduct.
Marian Aanerud received the 2nd lowest rating of 20 teachers at the University of Michigan, Flint. Click full size.
So last year, I wrote many articles about the Atheism+ Block Bot. As a brief recap, the Block Bot is a blocking tool like many others, which at the time had the added feature of a searchable database. The database contained many very serious and unpleasant allegations, as well as comments about protected characteristics like race or transgender status.
As a result, a number of celebrities supported the campaign, in particular this article which Richard Dawkins shared with his million + followers.
In response, the Block Bot team repeatedly accused me of stalking. Cambridge police found that this was not the case. This much, I have already shared. What I had not shared publicly until now was that afterwards the Block Bot team reported me to police again. This time the complaint was to Hampshire police.
The Witchfinder has noted the controversy over Rational Wiki (RW) and its highly tendentious articles about #GamerGate. Your author feels it is time they felt some scrutiny in return.
David Gerard, a model of reason and sanity. This parody looks better than the original (which had scary, cold, dead eyes) and also falls under s30A Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Earlier this year, Milo Yiannopoulos wrote scathingly of Rational Wiki (archive here), “RationalWiki entry for GamerGate says I’m guilty of “ethical violations.” The proof offered is… a link to Tumblr.”
The Witchfinder explains himself, answers baseless blackmail allegations and releases heartening (anonymised) information about some of Randi’s (former) subscribers.
I remember my first interaction with Randi Harper well. In fact I wrote an article about it. I had created, as obvious satire (literally labelled ‘parody’) a ‘Bot for Endangered Sealions’. A while later, I started to receive tweets. Lots of tweets. I tried to reply only to find the stranger who was sending them had blocked me. It was Randi Harper.
Randi Harper is very, very angry. She is also very, very dumb.
Soon after, a small group of her friends started trying to brigade me using discriminatory language. When I shared my article about her with supporters, one of them called it a ‘meltdown’. I laughed at them. Continue reading
The Witchfinder ponders the most morally appropriate way to handle the leaked list of extremist online bully and admitted drug abuser Randi Harper’s supporters.
Randi Harper admits to the leak of her donors on Twitter. Face blanked out for ethical reasons.
This is a brief trailer for a longer article. It is now well known that the complete list of Randi Harper’s donors has been leaked online by unknown third parties. Indeed it has been admitted by Harper herself (archive here). Your author in no way endorses hacking or other illegal activities and will not be publishing the whole list as this would be irresponsible.
Online leaks of the membership or supporters lists of extremists groups are nothing new. In 2009 the members list of British far right political party the ‘British National Party’ was leaked online and placed on WikiLeaks.
Given Harper’s extremist online behaviour, such as releasing people’s private contact details (doxing) and other forms of abuse, well documented by the journalists at Breitbart and blogger the Ralph Retort, many legitimate journalistic concerns may arise about those who support her – Continue reading
In a recent article I revealed that after being wrongly accused of sock-puppetry and backstabbing colleagues by Richard Symonds, a staffer at Wikimedia UK, British MP Grant Shapps had served a disclosure request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Shapps has had a response, of sorts. It makes grim reading.
The great thing about data protection requests? They are not litigation correspondence, they are not subject to the implied undertaking / CPR 31.22 and they do not usually engage a duty of confidentiality. Other parties may not ordinarily impose a duty of confidence on documents disclosed under a statutory duty. So we can start by sharing this little gem –
What sort of organisation fails to retain legally sensitive materials like allegations against Cabinet ministers?
According to Wikimedia UK Symonds has deleted his email to the Guardian ‘in the normal course of business’. This is a very concerning statement. Most organisations have clear data retention policies. Does Wikimedia have no such policy or does it not follow it? Does it really manage personal data so poorly? Another concern is that most organisations have email backups. Does Wikimedia or its provider not back up its email server? That is a serious governance concern.
Following recent ArbCom findings exonerating Grant Shapps the BBC has apologised over its lacklustre coverage. Furthermore, the Witchfinder can exclusively reveal that Shapps has now written to Wikipedia’s UK chapter, the charity Wikimedia United Kingdom (WMUK), formally demanding disclosure of documents and expressing concerns about the charity’s political involvement. At the same time, a number of other powerful institutions are expressing frustration over legitimate concerns about bias, harassment and ineptitude at the encylopaedia.
Ominous clouds are gathering around the embattled online encyclopaedia as powerful and aggrieved individuals and institutions queue up to vent their frustrations. Clouds picture via Dreamstime. Wikipedia logo via CC BY-SA 3.0 and Wikipedia Trademark Policy
The BBC, which spent a whole day on Grant Shapps’ alleged editing of Wikipedia, was curiously less forthcoming on apologising – leaving Shapps with legitimate complaint. It is a foolish move for an institution whose very existence is under threat to alienate its few allies. Shapps, now the Minister of State for International Development, is one of the minority of Conservatives who does not favour the BBC’s abolition.
Mr Shapps is also not the only public figure with grievances about the online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. He finds himself in company with left-wing journalist David Auerbach, right-wing media organisation Breitbart and the enormous consumer movement known as #GamerGate – one of whose forums KotakuInAction alone now boasts over 40,000 members and whose key figures like SargonOfAkkad have hundreds of thousands of followers.
Your author was actually going to issue Court proceedings today in the County Court for a Small Claim against James Billingham. I have no idea why he thinks I have dropped matters as I said the exact reverse. Before issuing the claim form I had contacted the police and offered the opportunity to object but they had not done so. In fact they have been very reasonable.
UPDATE – 11/04/2015 – So last night a DS from Hampshire phoned me. She said that Mr Billingham had never, in fact, made a statement – so his claims about an ongoing investigation and the police agreeing with him or whatever up until now are in fact factually incorrect. Mr Billingham has been invited to make a statement so the police can then investigate or alternatively, decide there is no case to answer.
But then … chasing the Information Commissioners Office … I discovered that the wheels of bureaucracy have been turning and the ICO have now allocated an officer to investigate 🙂 . I was able to get hold of them for a brief chat and to provide some further information.
We also briefly discussed the various defences advanced by the Block Bot. Obviously, the officer is quite rightly still forming a view but I can say I am very happy with what I was told and that they have moved other things aside to ensure this is looked into properly. So I think now things are moving I can wait a few weeks more. This, I suspect, will be amusing …
In the wake of recent humiliating revelations that the Block Bot has been blocking celebrities like Professor Richard Dawkins their team have been spinning desperately. The Witchfinder reviews and clarifies their claims as needed.
The Claim – Barack Obama is Not on the Block Bot
Obama is Not Blocked … Anymore.
True … now … but that has never been the allegation. The allegation in my article was that ‘Barack Obama was on at one point’, as this archive demonstrates. Barack Obama was listed in the Block Bot as Level 1 … the “Worst of the Worst”.
Barack Obama! Level 1 Troll. “The Worst of the Worst” … According to the Block Bot.