Anti-Spam Researchers Find Paul Supporters Violating Spam Law

Spam from supporters of Ron Paul has become an annoyance in the blogosphere to the point where his supporters might be alienating more people than they are attracting. The problem includes spam email as well as spamming blogs with comments. Anti-spam researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) now report possible violations of laws intended to reduce the problem of spam.

Anti-spam researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) noted a new trend following Sunday’s Republican Candidates Presidential debate. Supporters of Ron Paul launched a spam campaign dedicated to proclaiming him victorious in the debate and extolling his virtues as the future president.

According to the CAN-SPAM Act, the primary law under which unwanted email can be prosecuted in the US, one of the factors that makes a message spam is deceptive sending practices. In the messages reviewed at UAB, emails were received from Brazil, El Salvador, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, and Nigeria already this morning. In each case it was clear that the computer sending the message did not belong to the person who was listed in the “From” address. Such as a Houston resident, whose email was sent from a computer in Italy, or a Silicon Valley computer worker, whose email was sent from Korea.

Gary Warner, UAB Director of Research in Computer Forensics, says “We’ve seen many previous emails reported as spam from other campaigns or parties, but when we’ve investigated them, they all were sent from the legitimate parties.” The important distinction between the new emails and previous emails, Warner says, is the fraudulent nature of the message. Legitimate messages tell who they are from, and provide a means of “unsubscribing” from future messages from the same source. The spam has not been tied directly to Paul’s campaign.

The spam email included titles such as:

The messages have headlines such as:
Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate!
Ron Paul Eliminates the IRS!
Ron Paul Stops Iraq War!
Vote Ron Paul 2008!
Iraq Scam Exposed, Ron Paul
Government Wasteful Spending Eliminated By Ron Paul

Update: True to form, the Paul cultists flock in to either deny what has been documented or claim it is a conspiracy against them. The Paul cultists sure love their conspiracy theories.

Update II: The responses from Paul supporters highlighs the absurdity of the Paul supporters as well as the campaign. It is well known that some Paul supporters are using abusive techniques on the internet, including sending put spam.

The reaction of some Paul supporters is to deny everything and attack those who report anything which might be negative about Paul. In this case it isn’t even a criticism of Paul himself as this is assumed to be the work of Paul supporters as opposed to the campaign itself. It would be far smarter to admit that some Paul supporters are abusive. Of course the problem here is that many Paul supporters who post on blogs do not even understand that their activities are abusive and reflect badly on the campaign.

It would be smarter for the Paul supporters to attempt to police their own and for the Paul campaign to attempt to get his supporters to cease abusive activity. In 2003 we had similar problems from some of the Dean supporters. While the more responsible supporters and the campaign cannot put an end to all such activity, they can make an effort. When Joe Trippi and the more responsible Dean supporters made an effort to reduce abusive on line activities from their supporters it did reduce the problem.

If Paul supporters are going to resort to denials they should at least be smart enough to get their stories straight. So far here, and on some pro-Paul blogs, there have been a wide variety of denials, some of which are mutually exclusive. Denials include:

This never occurred
This occurred but there was nothing wrong with it
It occurred but was done by opponents of Paul to discredit him.

Be Sociable, Share!

13 Comments

  1. 1
    NH says:

    I have never once seen a piece of supposed RP spam…not once. Spam is email NOT blog comments. If you don’t want comments shut them off.

  2. 2
    Clarence Malcolm says:

    WARNING…WARNING…WARNING…My Partner, Ted Gunderson, a former FBI Division Chief, has informed me that this whole “RON PAUL SPAMMERS” complaint is—more likely than not—reverse-black-propanda campaigne by Dr. Paul’s adversaries (who are the one’s actually doing the spamming by posing as Ron Paul supporters). No doubt, spamming is occurring…but this is true of other Presidential candidates, as well. We now know for a fact that a lot of unscrupulous folks are unjustly perpetrating immoral and unjust acts against Dr. Paul. We know that the GOP leadership and the controlled mainstream press is censoring him—and more recently, perpetrating outright acts of fraud like the recent so-called “focus group” SET-UP by Fox to make it appear that Dr. Paul lacked any genuine support. Hence, it is Ted Gunderson has come forth with this very probable allegation that Dr. Paul is…again…a victim of a devious conspiracy to make him (and, his supporters) look like a bunch of villainous “nuts” (thosed crazed “spammers” are at it, again!). Ingenious reverse-black-propaganda at its best! In fact, Ted says the CIA may be behind this latest plot since this agency will be downsized or terminated should Dr. Paul become our next President. Wake up People: the “fix” is in!!!

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    NH,

    If you read the post before jumping in to defend Paul, you’d see that I did distinguish between spam email and blog comments. The two are related tactics from the Paul supporters.

    Clarence,

    When Paul spam blog comments by inventing defenses like this, it really only acts to discredit Paul supporters further. Paul and his supporters do a good enough job of looking like a bunch of nuts. There’s no need for anyone to plot against him like this.

  4. 4
    Kevin Houston says:

    I have gotten this wave of spam as well (I have a catch-all email server)

    It seems very likely to be a false-flag spamming.

    1) All of the emails are addressed to “Scott” even when the email is addressed to cody@mydomain

    2) The spelling and grammar is atrocious. Not at all what one has come to expect from the Paul camp.

    3) The formatting is horrible as well. It is painful to read, all bunched together, and without decent paragraph breaks

    4) The very first point is: “unless you want your children to have human implant RFID chips” Which really isn’t an issue that Dr. Paul is pushing.

    5) some of the earlier messages referenced a video (not youtube) that is no longer available. A real Ron Paul supporter would have referenced a youtube video – there are plenty of nice ones that truly highlight Dr. Paul’s accomplishments and qualifications.

    Later,
    Kevin Houston

  5. 5
    Jet Trego says:

    **one man’s report**

    No Ron Paul spam has ever appeared in my mailbox, as yet. And I get several hundred spam msgs per day @ my Yahoo address. But, not one of them have mentioned Ron Paul. (Ron Jeremy, maybe!) LOL

  6. 6
    Curtis says:

    What’s wrong with conspiracies? Friends conspire with each other to accomplish tasks every day, all across the world.

  7. 7
    John Howard says:

    Ah, the Anti-Paul crazies are out of the asylum again, confusing many supporters with a spammer. Spamming means one sender sending to many receivers, but now the Anti-Paul cult loonies have put on their tin-foil hats and declared that a lot of Ron Paul supporters sending to one nutcase blogger ads up to spam.

    Not a word of this silly blog is provable or worth proving. I do agree, though, that we Ron Paul supporters are a scary bunch. After all, there are so many of us.

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    Curtis,

    Conspiracies mean something quite different than friends getting together to accomplish something.

    As for what’s wrong–1) Voters expect their candidate to be sane. 2) People who do not appear sane generally do not help their candidate. Of course this is a bit of a different situation as the candidate appears to have the same problem.

    John Howard,

    It is rather risky for Paul supporters to call others crazies as it only reminds people of how crazy those in the Paul cult are.

    “Spamming means one sender sending to many receivers”

    And that is exactly what is under investigation

    “anti-Paul cult loonies have put on their tin-foil hats ”

    Again, bad move in using terms such as cult, loonies, or tin foil hats since it only reminds people of how much this applies to Ron Paul and his supporters.

    “sending to one nutcase blogger ads up to spam.”

    That is not what is being charged, but such denials are typical whenever anything comes up about Paul. Such claims may work in the echo chamber of Paul supporters, but they don’t fool anyone else.

    “Not a word of this silly blog is provable or worth proving.”

    Such denials of what has been demonstrated only further undermines the already limited credibility of Paul supporters.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    This whole incident also highlights the absurdity of the Paul supporters as well as the campaign. It is well known that some Paul supporters are using abusive techniques on the internet, including sending put spam.

    The reaction of Paul supporters is to deny everything and attack those who report anything which might be negative about Paul. In this case it isn’t even a criticism of Paul himself as this is assumed to be the work of Paul supporters as opposed to the campaign itself. It would be far smarter to admit that some Paul supporters are abusive. Of course the problem here is that many Paul supporters who post on blogs do not even understand that their activities are abusive and reflect badly on the campaign.

    It would be smarter for the Paul supporters to attempt to police their own and for the Paul campaign to attempt to get his supporters to cease abusive activity. In 2003 we had similar problems from some of the Dean supporters. While the more responsible supporters and the campaign cannot put an end to all such activity, they can make an effort. When Joe Trippi and the more responsible Dean supporters made an effort to reduce abusive on line activities from their supporters it did reduce the problem.

    If Paul supporters are going to resort to denials they should at least be smart enough to get their stories straight. So far here, and on some pro-Paul blogs, there have been a wide variety of denials, some of which are mutually exclusive. Denials include:

    This never occurred
    This occurred but there was nothing wrong with it
    It occurred but was done by opponents of Paul to discredit him.

  10. 10
    Bilby says:

    I know it’s annoying when these Ron Paul brats do this, but it’s pretty fascinating watching that as soon as people started posting about the UAB story, they started descending into all the comments sections reminding everyone what they do.

  11. 11
    Chris Copeland says:

    This is why I am going to try to write as many anti Ron Paul screeds as possible from now until he drops out. You just put it on digg.com and the crazies come flocking. It’s amazing to see how delusional they are.

  12. 12
    Ben Muniz says:

    I sent an email to several people at UAB noting some improper aspects of their press release:

    (1) there has been zero computer forensic evidence presented that the CNBC poll was hacked;

    (2) s/w used to send spam email is different than that which could be used to post comments to web blogs or to hack on-line polls. So the CNBC issue raised in the UAB press release is extraneous “red herring” data.

    As an engineer, I have been trained to consider facts in my analyses, not innuendo. Maybe that doesn’t apply at UAB.

    Gary Warner’s address bounced, but I got an “out of office’ reply from UAB president Carol Garrison. No reply yet from 4 people in PR dept. & one on UAB Conflict of Interest Review Board.

    As an aside, while I do not doubt that UAB’s spam filters have caught the email messages they discuss, of the 523 spam emails caught in my Yahoo account Inbox over the past 2 days, a grand total of zero mention Ron Paul.

  13. 13
    Ron Chusid says:

    Ben,

    When you ignore a university study but claim that spam caught in your personal spam filter has the slightest bit of relevance you contradict your claim that “As an engineer, I have been trained to consider facts in my analyses, not innuendo.” The denials by Paul supporters such as yourself are clearly based upon bias towards the candidate and not any consideration of facts.

1 Trackbacks

Leave a comment