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The Whistleblower - Sandpit warning

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The Whistleblower - Sandpit warning

Old 5th Jun 2011, 11:30
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The Whistleblower - Sandpit warning

Ladies & Gentlemen, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is a current situation which the great majority of you need to be aware of, as it has significant implications for most of us. Someone needs to blow the whistle. Just over two weeks ago Etihad instructed a law firm, Nabarro who filed subpoenas in both London and Los Angeles against the owners of PPRuNe demanding the identity of members that Etihad view as miscreants and subversive.

What not a lot of you know is that Danny sold this website to an American company a good few years back; he's remained as a figurehead caretaker but it's no longer his company. These subpoena's have been delivered to the American parent company and legal letters have started hitting some key people associated with this website.

Earlier this week, personnel working for the American owners of this website released personal details (all that they have - registration email addresses, IP addresses, records of postings ) to Nabarro, of at least 20 members of this site, whose user-names had been identified by Nabarro as libelous in the nature of their posts regarding Etihad. It appears that the final straw that started this process was the thread relating to Etihad's grooming guide.

Now, if you were in the US this would be bad news as you may be subject to some legal action but here in the Sandpit you are looking at losing your job, legal action and some severe disruption of your current lifestyle. Once the floodgates open, any company or entity that has the means of employing a firm of attorneys capable of issuing subpoenas will be taking advantage of this facility.

Never did I think it would come to the point where this site would cave in and destroy the very fundamentals of what we've always stood for; the freedom to express oneself regarding our industry, to best serve ourselves in the common discussion of mutual concerns without the ability of the companies or authorities concerned to remove such debate, their sole recourse being to enter into the debate. Which has hardly ever occurred.

That, my friends has changed. Effective immediately you are afforded no anonymity by this site. If you cross an entity or your employer by posting contentious issues here they have the immediate recourse of subpoenaing the owners, who have demonstrated that they have no hesitation in immediately providing the means to identify the source of such issue.

I suspect that this thread/post is going to last as long as it takes for the owners/ administrators or moderators to close it down. If this warning is suppressed then do the great majority of the members a favor and repopulate this warning on as many forums and in as many threads as you can please. Print it and put it on the notice board.

Because careers are at stake; previously assumed anonymity is no longer available. This, in my book, is serious stuff. I feel for those whose identities have already been divulged. It appears that some or all of those mentioned above have received subpoenas in the past few days. Don't get caught up in this watershed moment which I view as the beginning of the end of this site, which will still be a place for the lurkers and journos to come to debate their hypothesis on the next accident but has, in my opinion, forever lost its place as a discussion forum for professional pilots to air their views.

I am seriously concerned that the civil rights of those who have had their identities unknowingly divulged have been compromised and I am compelled to provide this warning.

The Whistle Blower
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 12:11
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Alternatively inlet , you yourself could be Etihad management. Your post an attempt to scaremonger any potential posters. Not saying so for sure , but one needs to consider this a real possibility. If this is in fact true , I think we will be hearing a lot about this and it would be the beginning of th end of Prune if they were to release such info. So lets see if the moderators can shed any more light as to whether this is fact or scaremongering.

I hope you are sincere in your whisleblower warning , but you could have an entirely diffrent agenda that needs to be considered.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 12:14
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Would a Mod like to comment on this? If true then its just another example as to why the ME is such a bloody mess, if not true then it should be put to bed ASAP and retractions/ apologies issued.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 12:43
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Good Intel

Thinking that nobody will never know who you are when posting something on the web is a pure illusion! Using anonymous nick names will never really hide your identity. Some organizations use genious geek to search on-line the real identity behind a nick, even before offering you a job ... do you think it would be so difficult to brake PPrune walls without Danny's authorization? Don't get me wrong, Danny is a genius but also geniuses have limits!

PPrune is and will remains a very important network tool for a lot of professionals, without any doubt.

Internet Brands is not Danny and we all noticed that! But Pprune is us posters with our ups & downs and moody characters. Sometimes is better not to post under the influence of any drugs.
Having said that ... insulting is really not helpful although it might be still useful piece of information for readers ... constructive criticisms should be use more often ... and/or we can create our own posting code using for example the famous Fibonacci Sequence (just to name one).

But I am also pretty sure is not the first time someone felt offended by somebody else posts and started legal actions against Pprune owner.

Last edited by Brian Cohen; 5th Jun 2011 at 12:54.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 14:35
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Snoop Sounds like a wind up . . .

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Old 5th Jun 2011, 15:00
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This is a warning you would be ill advised to ignore. I hav a fiend in the states who makes big bucks pursuing internet cases involving libel, bullying, slander etc etc. The internet laws are simple. If you make a statement that could cause a third party to have a negative opinion of the 'subject', then should the subject decide to take it further then they will almost certainly win. The problem for most of us is expense.

The first thing that occurs is a lawyer will send a letter demanding all information, IP addresses and posts etc that the site owner has. IF the site owner refuses to provide the information then the company wanting to file the class action can then take the site owners to court and hold them responsible. It doesn't really matter who the site owners are, whether it is internet brands or Danny, they will capitulate in the end (and knowing this they then tend to capitulate immediately), as why should they take the rap (and it would be mind blowingly expensive) for someone else's libelous comments. It will have cost Etihad anywhere between 10-20K to get the information and get it all tracked to source. It's the way the world is now. There is no anonymous forum out there that is safe from a determined and financially minted entity or individual. You can do it yourself if you wish. If someone on here publishes a comment about you, and you are known to many people by your real name, if the comment can be shown to affect your business or private life then a letter from a lawyer will secure the release of all the data on the offender. If the comments made by the etihad staff are true then it is unlikely a case for libel would be successful, but the problem is that in the ME, employment law is still 100 years old, and the people concerned could just find themselves out of a job overnight. It would have been nice to have been pm'd to advise you that a request for information had been made and had to be satisfied. Good luck those concerned if this is true. If it's not true everything I have just written is accurate anyway.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 15:46
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There have been plenty of well documented legal attempts by Ryanair in the recent past, to get details of posters on this website, needless to say all were rebuffed. In fact I would be amazed if many weeks go by where lawyer's letters aren't received at PPRuNe towers from some p!ssed off airline or another ... can't see why this one should be any different even if it's true
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 16:18
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I don't doubt you, I am just very interested. Can you point me in the right direction of these failed attempts by RyanaIr to get info from PPRuNe. Thanks.
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 16:21
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There was a case in the D+G forum where one poster, who was a victim of a smear campaign by another poster successfully sued and had the perpetrator's identity revealed through legal action. Turned out the accused was a woman from the ATC regulatory authority!! She then posted a public apology and was faced with a hefty legal bill. Must be a link to it somewhere…….
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 16:35
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Some Protection


I feel for you guys, this really S*&^.

I recommend a VPN such as the one offered at Reliable Hosting .com.

That will mask your IP address. I always use one when in the MENA area of operations. Many governments block traffic to sites they don't like. A VPN will connect you directly to a US server, and from there you can go anywhere.

The other blinding glimpse of the obvious is to not trash the company too much here. Stick to facts, and save serious talk for the bar, unless management has bought the bartender as well.


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Old 5th Jun 2011, 17:51
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Smacks o' bull**** to me. Speak with any international criminal lawyer and they well tell you that

- libel laws are notoriously difficult to prosecute - EY would have to demonstrate that they had been harmed in some sort of material way, not just irked;
- it is very difficult to compel records from ISP's unless the targets are truly bad, ie plotting terrorist activities, trafficking in kiddie porn, and the like. Making disparaging comments about your company's uniform policies doesn't usually meet the test! lol

IP's are not anonymous, but neither are they identities. It's akin to learning an address, not a name. Attempting to positively link them to a person who doesn't want them to be linked is nigh impossible. And the US legal system where this is purportedly happening, still requires positive identification of a plaintiff before prosecuting (unlike certain more medieval systems).

But perhaps this "warning" is an attempt to try to elicit discussion about the methods employed in leaving a dead end? I would suggest anyone who actually feels threatened by this "news" take the time to educate themselves about the issues involved as they cross technology, law, and also the culture of attempted intimidation (read: bullying) that is the real culprit here. Do not take everything you read at face value.

Calling a spade a spade may upset an employer but the truth isn't a "smear campaign".
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 19:16
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can confirm this, I am one of the people who can expect jail time in UAE. Got one of the letters yesterday
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 19:34
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Now I know what I want to do when I grow up! An Internet International Lawyer ...
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Old 5th Jun 2011, 23:04
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A First for everyone in the US

1. Plead the 1st . If you're not protected by the US Constitutional Bill of Rights.. then by all means..

2. Drink a 5th..

3. Purchase Witopia and create a Gmail account.

4. Contact " someone" if you need US email account holders who couldn't care less what you post under their accounts ( don't forget to do option 3 first)

5. Charge up all your credit cards and take out as many personal loans as you can and take a night flight outta there to destinations unknown

6. Whatever you do, don't kill yourself. That is mandatory jail time in the UAE.

7. Plead the 5th.. or drink one

8. Call your mother. She's probably the only one who really cares.

9. If she doesn't ? Try option 6 and make sure you're successful.

10. Send a very dirty message to Sheikhmyarse and GLF. If you're going down brother.. go down good !

Best of luck
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Old 6th Jun 2011, 01:19
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I lost my job at EY for both Whistleblowing and posting on Pprune so this is not a surprise at all.

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Old 6th Jun 2011, 03:30
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More importantly, who's putting it about that Danny is a genius?
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Old 6th Jun 2011, 03:41
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Oh, the "internet police" will find you? Really?

So why can't 98% of the world's spammers, hackers, paedophiles, phishers, con artists, and criminals be found...?

Oh,... but you are telling us that EY will magically find you.

You have to be dreaming to believe it.

[They will find you if you are dumb or stupid, or if someone who knows your screen name will roll over on you].
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Old 6th Jun 2011, 04:07
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I recommend Tor for anonymity.
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Old 6th Jun 2011, 04:08
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Originally Posted by roadrunner21
can confirm this, I am one of the people who can expect jail time in UAE. Got one of the letters yesterday
What kind of letter? Saying what?
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Old 6th Jun 2011, 05:47
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I lost my job at EY for both Whistleblowing and posting on Pprune so this is not a surprise at all.
... just for posting or because of the content of the posts?
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