To follow this post you'll need to be familiar with the fairly short one that sets the context - "BCSE Attempt More Spurious Legal Threats And Intimidation (Updated)". If, however, you want the big picture on the BCSE then you should skip over this post to see some of the previous research.
In the previous post, you'll remember that we saw two things:
- The BCSE's disastrous attempt to discredit me by inventing a new theory of copyright law hasn't put them off from trying again.
- The BCSE's new attempt is turning out to be equally disastrous. Without producing any evidence, they have accused me of "hacking" their web-site, making "hundreds" of attempts to crack passwords, and consuming "massive amounts of bandwidth". And they do some big talking about calling the police - to which I say, "bring it on!".
I think you'll want to read this new response down to the bottom - some of the more damning evidence of the BCSE's incompetence in how it was led to this new allegation is in the second part.
After I blogged my response and asked the BCSE to reproduce it on the forum, something interesting happened. You may remember that the BCSE's page on their website which seeks to discredit me (was at http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/Links#anderson; since deleted) says a couple of relevant things:
- I am "free to reply to our comments through [their] public forum". And they say I'm "scared" to do so.
- They throw in a bit of irrelevant stuff about other people (presumably because the material available to rebut BCSE-Revealed was a bit thin...). One of these criticisms is of William Dembski's blog over at www.uncommondescent.com . According to the BCSE, this is a "notoriously censored" blog - by which they presumably mean that comments are sometimes deleted.
Well, if you were to look at the BCSE's forum now, you'll see this:
In case you can't make that out, it says that there are no (0) replies to what Stanyard posted.
If, however, you were to have looked at the same page on Saturday evening, you'd see this...
Hmmm! Four replies! Where did they go?
Here's what happened:
- I asked the BCSE to publish my reply on their forum.
- They completely ignored this request. So much for all the waffle about being "free to reply", and too "scared" to do so. I sent them a reply, they refuse to publish it! Big words - but when challenged... (for more of which, see the footnote here).
- One poster suggested calling the police immediately. Though the intention was ostensibly malicious, I'm all for this. Big-talkers need their bluff to be called!
- However, Ian Lowe did instead post a reply, in which he stated: "he claims that he was "only" taking a complete copy of our website, including the forums, once a day, every day - as if that makes it okay!!!)"
Anybody who has read my e-mail, though, will know that Lowe was entirely fabricating - it says no such thing.
A little later, an apparently sympathetic poster, noting my desire to have my reply added to the forum, did so.
And just minutes after that... Lowe deleted it. Moreover, he e-mailed the poster to scold him for doing so. That poster apparently decided that enough BCSE hypocrisy was enough, and forwarded Lowe's comments to me. Here is what he said:
Just 13 minutes after I posted my message, I recived [sic] this message [Forum time 10.17pm, 16 Dec] from Ian Lowe, accompanied by a terse note: "Your post has been deleted":
"You clearly posted David Anderson's Blog post as an act of mischief. Please do not post this material to our forum again. If anyone wants to read David Anderson's lies, they can do it at his own damn website. Ian."
Remember, that though the BCSE has put all this effort into seeking to discredit me (including a series of private abusive e-mails from Lowe himself), they haven't yet documented any of my "lies". So much effort... still no substance.
And at some point after that, all the replies were removed - including the one which effectively called the BCSE's bluff in urging them to call the police.
Where does this leave all that fine sounding talk about the BCSE's desire to see me reply to their forum, I wonder? And how about that grand talk about "censorship" ? And all that complaining about being "smeared" with no right of reply?
Ho hum. It leaves it where we've left an awful lot of other subjects - with the BCSE's hypocrisy, bias and true agenda once again exposed for us all to see.
More Tricky Problems for the BCSE...
If the BCSE want to make the "Anderson is hacking our website and consuming all our bandwidth - we're thinking of calling the police!" line stick, then I've got a few more problems for them - some of which are pretty major.
- I'm only on a £9.99 per month bandwidth-limited account... please do tell, how have I managed to consume such massive amounts of bandwidth from your site? I must be a genius - especially with all the bandwidth I've used up this month downloading highlights of the Ashes... (sorry to mention the A-word.)
- Visiting http://www.whatismyip.co.uk/ shows that my IP address is 184.108.40.206 (oxfd-cache-1.server.ntli.net):
- My ISP is on the NTL backbone (the "NTL" in "ntli.net"), and as such, all of my web accesses come through the nearest NTL proxy - which is in Oxford (a 113 mile journey, according to Google). NTL appear to funnel all web traffic through their regional proxies.
NTL are one of the biggest backbones; I don't have the figures, but I'd guess that, say, a third of all domestic Internet traffic is routed through them. (A source from May 2005 states that they claimed to be the UK's largest consumer ISP).
It seems that the BCSE identified my IP address, and then jumped to the conclusion that every access from that address must be me. Or in other words, they attributed all visits to their website from NTL's Oxford cache to me. Obviously NTL's Oxford cache covers a huge area (it's a good 2 and a half hours in the car from here to Oxford).
...and so it's pretty obvious that whoever in the BCSE identified the whole of this traffic as being from me blundered pretty big. Just who is the BCSE's IT Manager, I wonder? It's Ian Lowe...
I wonder if now the other BCSE members are feeling pretty stupid that they took Ian's word for it. And that upon that word have made themselves look silly again?
Stanyard, wrote, in order to provide the damning evidence of my guilt:
->"In his blog this week he admitted that it was him - the same IP address which accessed our "AllRecentChanges" page attempted to log into the private areas of our website more than two hundred times in four days." (http://www.bcseweb.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3795#3795)
Stanyard, though, appears not to have been informed by Lowe that the very "same IP address" is shared by hundreds of thousands of households over an area of hundreds of square miles.... ooops. I wonder what he'll be saying to Lowe now.
Whilst I have downloaded a complete copy of the BCSE's website and forum, I'd love to see how the BCSE argue that this is illegal. If it's illegal to read to the pages on their website... then just why did they put them there anyway?
(By the way, a complete copy of the website takes up only 5.7Mb on disk - hardly "massive"... it's about the same size as a single MP3 download of one of my sermons).
More on the reliability of Lowe's testimony in general... let's bring out this quote again, in which Lowe explains what he aims to do in his campaigning with the BCSE:
It should be relatively easy to rally against the fundies.
Pick an obnoxious trait, focus on what that would mean for the public at large, exaggerate it, and demonise that trait to the point that no rational person would consider supporting them.
- see here
That's right, folks. For it's new attempt to discredit me, the BCSE is producing no evidence on its website that anyone independent can verify, but merely asking you to take the word of an incompetent IT manager who has already been exposed as stating that he deliberately intends to lie in order to help the BCSE's campaign ....
.... which is of course why I look forward to the BCSE calling the police so that we can see just how seriously they're taken. Come on guys! I'm calling your bluff! (Update 2007: The police never called).
The aim of "BCSE Revealed" is to show how the BCSE operate, and assess their level of competency and credibility. And that's what we've just done.