Advice wanted on ISPs and usenet posts.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Hi kids,

    As most of you know, I'm currently with Actrix and have been very pleased
    with their service. To the extent that my neighbour and a couple others are
    now with Actrix.

    Anyway, in another group in a galaxy far, far away I've been debunking
    allegations by trolls and generally giving as good as I get, with a couple
    of exceptions: I don't post anonymously and have given out my RL details as
    I believe it's important to stand by what you say and secondly, I haven't
    accused anyone of anything that they didn't do. (Some may remember certain
    posts by these trolls about me in and maybe here, can't remember). I
    *have* expressed my opinion of people however.

    There's this one guy who used to post from his ISP but changed to an anon
    remailer a few years ago when he got *really* nasty. Myself and a few other
    regs have always known who he was and recently I got sick of the allegations
    about me (allegations that would most certainly be actionable) and "outed"
    him. He's complained to Actrix and they've given me my "first and only"
    warning as they say their abuse team have "researched" me and have found "a
    high level of volatility, abusive language and a confrontational approach
    towards other posters on some groups". Wow! How many actrix users stand to
    lose their connection if someone compains about them?

    It seems that I'm in contravention of their T&C. Namely:

    * Uploading or transferring any illegal or offensive material (including
    material that is injurious to others either through loss of dignity or
    physical harm);

    * To be a responsible citizen of the Internet. In particular, you agree to
    respect the privacy of other Internet users, and that any messages you post
    Internet forums (eg. newsgroups, IRC etc.) will be posted only to those
    which are within the topic of discussion. You will refrain from spamming or
    any form of bulk, unsolicited mail;

    Well <expletive deleted>, all I can say is watch out Actrix users! I think
    that this applies to any of their customers regardless of whether they use a
    different NNTP service (awaiting clarification).

    So, anyone posting from Actrix who writes a post that causes "loss of
    dignity" can have their account suspended or cancelled. "Loss of dignity"?
    How subjective can you get? I tell ya, if I lose my account, myself and
    several friends are going to be complaining about *any* post originating
    from Actrix that could possibly be construed as causing a loss of dignity.

    As for what Actrix will do for me, their side of the contract:

    "We may:
    Refuse your subscription to any of our products and services without giving
    a reason for such refusal;
    Suspend or terminate your subscription to any of our products and services,
    at our discretion."

    Hmm, that's fair. I've always paid my bill on time, even though it has
    places for amounts owing for 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days.

    What do people think of this? (Let he who is without sin cast the first
    stone... etc.) Also, I've informed "Actrix Abuse Officer" (any other
    correspondence from them and it's signed) of my intention to post here so I
    could be without an ISP soon. Anyone have recommenations of one with less
    draconian policies? As I say, I've been very happy with Actrix. However, I
    really don't want to be held at ransom by any fool who can write to them
    claiming a loss of dignity.

    Thoughts on a good ISP if I get kicked? I hate to be censored like this. Let
    the trolls win? I don't think so.

    Thanks folks.
    ~misfit~, Aug 20, 2007
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  2. ~misfit~

    Jerry Guest

    I think you had me in your bozo bin for a while, which of course caused
    me immense lose of dignity and personal trauma. I'll be filing a
    complaint forthwith! :p

    As I recall that issue was about Actrix not minding some of their
    customers spamming. they do seem to have some strange ideas in some areas.

    Loss of dignity in a newsgroup posting? The mind boggles! Good luck
    Jerry, Aug 20, 2007
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  3. Think you'll find those T&C pretty standard across pretty much all
    providers... all are going to want to be able to cover their asses.

    Guess it depends on what dastardly things you've been up to. <devils
    advocate>I don't think they'd bother sending you something if they
    didn't feel it was warranted.</devils advocate>

    Picking a few at random:


    Engaging in harassment, whether through language, frequency, or size
    of messages.

    disgruntled.viewer, Aug 20, 2007
  4. On Aug 20, 8:00 pm, wrote:

    Something pasted wrong :-/


    In a way which is offensive, abusive or is likely to be a nuisance to
    someone else.


    b) Post, store, send, transmit, or disseminate any information or
    material which could be deemed to be objec-
    tionable, offensive, indecent, pornographic, harassing, threatening,
    embarrassing, distressing, vulgar, hate-
    ful, racially or ethnically offensive, or otherwise inappropriate,
    regardless of whether this material or its
    dissemination is unlawful.


    not use the Internet services to publish or distribute any
    information, software or other material which is unlawful or which a
    reasonable person would consider offensive, abusive or defamatory
    disgruntled.viewer, Aug 20, 2007
  5. ~misfit~

    Gordon Guest


    Trolls can only win if one engages in a fight with them.
    Nevertheless people continue to feed the trolls.

    With freedom of speech comes resposibility. While PC speech is often not
    helpful in making progress, it should be clear that inciting people to do
    gross anti social behaviour is not acceptable either. The troll feeding
    soons turns into a all out bloody minded battle, then all out war.

    One sins a contract with ones ISP, thus one has agreed to it. Do not like it
    then exit. From the ISP's point of view; Do we need this customer who gives
    us so much grief?
    Gordon, Aug 20, 2007
  6. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    You might as well.
    It seems that way. I know this guy, he's called me on the phone. He blusters
    about lawyers and lawsuits but really, when you look for any harm, there is
    none. At least done by me. I merely told the group that this guy posting
    anonymously was the same one who had been harassing the group for a couple
    of years up until '04 when he went 'anon' and ratcheted it up a few notches.
    Quite a few people knew who he was anyway.
    Indeed! Almost an oxymoron.
    Thanks. Appreciated.
    ~misfit~, Aug 20, 2007
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I hate that.
    Yeah, I know that they all have these clauses but you'd think that they'd
    use a bit of common sense when enforcing them. They claim to have
    "researched" me. If so then they would have seen the posts calling me all
    sorts of scum and filth, using my real name. You'd think that they'd have
    discretionary powers right? They must have believed this clown when he
    threatened lawyers.
    ~misfit~, Aug 20, 2007
  8. ~misfit~

    thingy Guest

    I'd take the letter to a CAB and ask them for advice on replying to this
    in writing. ie I would not accept their in-competent research...and ask
    for an apology...

    I dont know if it will get you far least your objection to
    their warning is noted...not sure if they later dis-connect you if you
    could take them to the small claims court to recover any paid in advance
    fees etc....that might be the practical limitation of recovery....I
    would expect Actrix would have to justify its actions and then probably
    loose...provided you carefully document all this now....I also thin you
    are entitled to see the research that they claim to have done, I'd ask
    for that...


    thingy, Aug 20, 2007
  9. ~misfit~

    thingy Guest

    I would suggest you make copies of these incidents...burn them to
    CDr....I'd write back enclosing these examples and state that you are
    the abused party and that you expect an apology.

    If it was me, I would...


    thingy, Aug 20, 2007
  10. They can only act on the behaviour they see from you though, as you
    are the customer they are responsible for.

    If you're "giving as good as I get" and the posts about you are as bad
    as you say... then I'm guessing some of your posts could be construed
    as nasty (though i'm too lazy to search fwiw)
    <devilsadv>Perhaps that was the discretion, to warn you rather than
    outright disconnect.. </devilsadv>
    disgruntled.viewer, Aug 20, 2007
  11. What do people think of this? (Let he who is without sin cast the first
    stone... etc.) Also, I've informed "Actrix Abuse Officer" (any other
    correspondence from them and it's signed) of my intention to post here so I
    could be without an ISP soon. Anyone have recommenations of one with less
    draconian policies? As I say, I've been very happy with Actrix. However, I
    really don't want to be held at ransom by any fool who can write to them
    claiming a loss of dignity.

    Thoughts on a good ISP if I get kicked? I hate to be censored like this. Let
    the trolls win? I don't think so.[/QUOTE]

    As an actrix user I think this is outrageous and that you need to protest.
    Their 'research' appears to be wrong ... at least from the groups I read
    where you post.
    If you need a reference as to your general civility and lack of stupidity,
    I would be very happy to provide one :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Aug 21, 2007
  12. ~misfit~

    Greg House Guest

    What we need is a Independent ISP Advocate/Ombudsman, like the Banks and Insurance companies
    have, so people get a fair hearing of so called clamed wrong doings, Plus one law for all, and not
    just you got up the nose of a help desk operator when you asked about Usenet...

    I thought that the Ombudsman thing was on the cards..?
    Greg House, Aug 21, 2007
  13. ~misfit~

    Miguel Guest

    Hi Shaun...FWIW I'll second that.

    Let us know if Actrix mess you around. Much as I'd hate to I'd get the
    half dozen other Actrix'ers I've sent their way to change ISPs. Funnily
    enough they listen to what I say. Finding an ISP as good could be a bit
    tricky (Xnet possibly) but judging by what you originally posted Actrix
    seem to be doing a cop-out big time here.

    Miguel, Aug 21, 2007
  14. ~misfit~

    Mickey Mouse Guest

    Just why have you been spending so much time in alt.drugs.hard?
    Mickey Mouse, Aug 21, 2007
  15. ~misfit~

    Jerry Guest

    <tons snipped>

    They don't mind their customers sending political spam at all. When I
    complained to them about a group wanting waterfront races in Wellington
    sending me unsolicited mail they told me something like "it's not
    exactly viagra spam...."

    They aren't consistent in enforcement are they?
    Jerry, Aug 21, 2007
  16. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks heaps Miguel, I really appreciate the support. I'd hate to put you
    out though, this is my mess..

    ~misfit~, Aug 21, 2007
  17. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Thanks Thing, I have done that to a degree. They've written back to me
    quoting some of the things that I've said. True, they're fairly harsh in a
    non-contextual pair of quotation marks. However, when the general tone of
    the 'conversation' is taken into account it's not hard to see that I'm not
    the one instigating the abuse. In fact this whole thing started as a troll
    from a few years back stopped posting from his own ISP and then, after a
    break, reappeared using a remailer. (He was getting sloppy using his own
    ISP, he has an IT-related franchise that he could lose if he was exposed).
    However, he's been getting particularly nasty of late and, a few weeks ago I
    told him to pull his head in, (*I'm* the one trying to stop the fighting) as
    he wasn't as anon as he thought. I then called him by *part* of his name.
    I'd previously Googled using just that part and it in no way connected to
    him. The next morning I got woken by my flatmate, she was really upset, said
    there was a guy from Aussie who'd called and threatened me, said that he was
    going to do me for character assasination etc.

    This was the guy I knew was posting anon. He rang back 30 minutes later and
    claimed that a friend had seen the post and contacted him. It's all a crock
    of s#%t, he used to post under his own name. (and Google has the posts to
    prove it) He claimed on the phone that he'd never been near the group and
    that I was damaging his family by dragging him into this. His lawyer was "on
    the job". He posted to the group, a "cease and desist" post about mentioning
    his name in the group, which I laughed at, as he'd just mentioned his own
    name in the group. He's scared that even being connected to the group could
    cause him harm. It possibly could, the group is alt.drugs.hard, I found my
    way there last century via a cross post from a chronic pain support group
    and liked the place. There are (or were) a lot of knowledgable, caring folks
    there who can actually answer people's questions honestly without all the
    spin etc.

    The thing is, haters see the name of this group and think it's a good target
    for their bile. I know the good work that's done through the group I once
    got an email from a posters father (as did a couple other regs) thanksing me
    for saving his son's life, he was now in rehab instead of commiting suicide
    as he'd planned. The father (in his 60s) was going through the son's
    computer and found the posts to the group and emails. He said he felt
    humbled and wanted to thank a few of us and apologise for the attitude that
    he'd held all his life to people associated with drugs. He knew that if it
    wasn't for a few of us caring about his son that he'd be dead. (I was upset
    when I lost that email in a HDD crash. I know, backup backup backup)

    The point is, I think Actrix have the same attitude to anyone connected in
    any way to drugs. Even though I'm not a user of illegal drugs myself I've
    seen the value of that newsgroup in the past and have since tried to protect
    it from haters who get ttriggered by the very name of the group.

    Oh, the groups FAQ/homepage has been dropped by several free hosting sites
    in the past so I'm currently hosting it on my paid-for Actrix webspace. They
    don't like that either and want me to "reconsider my stand on it" even
    though they admit that it isn't in breach of their T&C. This smacks of
    prejudice to me (pun intended). In fact, I think that's what the whole thing
    is about.

    ~misfit~, Aug 21, 2007
  18. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    It would seem not, no. See one of my posts above, the group in question is
    alt.drugs.hard. Maybe they condone politics and lobbying but not drugs or
    sex? What happened to freedom of speech?
    ~misfit~, Aug 21, 2007
  19. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Hmmm. Their research is actually right to a degree, the stuff they quoted me
    in another email this morning. However, the group is alt.drugs.hard, not
    alt.ladies.knitting and, taken out of context, some of what I've posted is
    indeed rather unsavoury. However, it's far milder than what I'm getting
    aimed at me.
    Thanks heaps Bruce. I'd hate to drag anyone else into this though, I just
    wanted opinions and to let folks know what's happening.

    ~misfit~, Aug 21, 2007
  20. Interesting that you've posted this thread, and managed to get a lot
    of support with no actual knowledge by the "supporters" of the
    contents of what you had been posting... and seemingly no admission of
    you about just what you'd been posting.

    Following Mickey Mouse's lead and popping "group:alt.drugs.hard
    author:~misfit~" into a groups search on Google makes for some fairly
    unpleasant reading and puts some perspective on things.


    Don't quite seem to be as innocent as you're coming across as.
    disgruntled.viewer, Aug 21, 2007
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