Middle East Professors Say They Are Under Email Seige: Update

News Archives

On October 23 HNN reported that Juan Cole and opther professors targeted by Daniel Pipes's website, Campus Watch, had been inundated with spam.

We have received the following update from Mr. Cole:

The Internet Technology Divisions at most of the universities where the"Campus Watch 8" were targeted have largely managed to block the massive spam attacks that targetted their email services. These attacks came from an open relay at Verizon and appeared to come from an account in Southern California. However, the real identity of the spammers has not been tracked down.

Aside from the professors singled out by Mr. Pipes, many other professors and organizations have been targetted by the spammers, including liberal Israeli academics at Hebrew University. One of these recently cancelled his account at Hebrew University because of the incessant spamming and has virtually been driven out of cyberspace, and can only be contacted at a private email account he shared with close friends. The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee has also been a victim of the massive spam.

Judging by their targets and the nature of their messages, the spammers are on the far right of Israeli or Zionist politics.

The same Verizon open relay was employed in late September to counterfeit or"spoof" the address of a pro-Palestinian student organization (which has both Arab-American and Jewish American members) at the University of Michigan, and to send offensive anti-Semitic messages under their name to hundreds of University of Michigan professors and students. The University of Michigan Internet Technology Division was able to demonstrate that the message was not from any University of Michigan account, and the student organization, SAFE, was formally cleared. But the tactic left lingering suspicions in the minds of many on campus about SAFE, which was the goal of the spammers. This willingness of far-right Zionists to use counterfeit anti-Semitic messages to smear their ideological enemies is chilling in the extreme.

Just today, these or related spammers began sending out hundreds of messages to targeted email addresses, counterfeiting the email identity of the Campus Watch 8. Many of these messages quoted the History News Network article on the spamming. For a nice touch, the spammers appear to have commandeered an open relay at George Mason University for the purpose. So HNN has now been"hacked" along with the rest of us.

For more on the hacking of HNN click here.

comments powered by Disqus