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Politech members reply to Fleishman-Hillard PR firm's threats



[I'm amazed and impressed by the outpouring of support that my previous 
message on the Fleishman-Hillard PR firm generated 
(http://www.politechbot.com/p-03367.html). Thanks, everyone. One note: It 
is true that network admin Chuck Magner <magnerc@fleishman.com> is, 
charitably, a twit. And it is ironic that a puportedly tech-savvy PR firm 
("word of mouth makes the difference!") would display such a dazzling lack 
of clue. But it is not fair to condemn everyone at Fleishman-Hillard for 
Chuck's we-will-blackhole-you threat. --Declan]

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Subject: RE: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, Politech
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 16:26:35 -0500
From: "Paul Higgins" <pahiggins@lrca.com>
To: <declan@well.com>
Cc: <magnerc@fleishman.com>, <mcclurem@fleishman.com>

Declan:

Nice one about Jimmy Fallon.  Here's two little words I always like to
pass on to weenies who think they can push their weight around because
they work at "the leading" anything: "Bite me."

I think those two little words aptly express my sentiments towards
Fleishman-Hillard, and specifically the pond-scum you tangled with,
quite nicely.  Just think how I'm going to feel the next time something
produced by Fleishman-Hillard crosses my desk.  Can you say, "I don't
care who you are, if FH produced it we don't want it?"  Sure you can.

Sheesh, you'd think employees at a public relations firm, of all things,
would know better ...

Paul Higgins
Madison, Wisconsin

---

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 13:10:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ben Polen <benpolen@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from 
well.com,  Politech
To: declan@well.com
Cc: magnerc@fleishman.com, mcclurem@fleishman.com, cravenl@fleishman.com,
         Mcclurem2@fleishman.com, boudream@fleishman.com, mooneyr@fleishman.com

Declan,

As a fellow journalist, I am shocked (but, sadly, not
surprised) that in this information age a PR rep would
actually want to cut themself off from the wonderful
technology news resource that is Politech! How sad! How
self-destructive! How stupid!

Spam is unrequested bulk email. Politech is explicitly
requested email and easily unsubscribed from. I mean, yeah
changing your email address can come back to bite you but
thats part of the trade-off. So Politech is not spam. I'm
sure even the Net.Fuzz will agree on this one!

I shouldn't even mention the emails I get from random
flacks--but I will! I mean, all I have to do is give my
email to one pr rep at one trade show and I know I am going
to be spammed from here to eternity. And I end up on other
lists--likely the same PR firm plugging for other tech
clients (popping my name on their general tech contact
list, no doubt) telling me about product announcements,
offering interviews, etc... And all this so that some
executive could email me a quote or a letter within the
next few hours.

So, having been the receipient of many PR spams, I think it
is quite laughable that a PR firm is on the other end! (Or,
at least, perceivably so!)

Prediction: Chuck (if he truly is blocking Politech from
going to all of the firms' email accounts) will be fired
before the week is over, and Politech will flow freely for
all flacks!

<joke>Chuck, I didn't realize spam left such a bitter
taste!</joke>

-Ben Polen

---

From: "Mark Northern" <mnorthern@nh-chatt.com>
To: <declan@well.com>
Subject: F-H website
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 16:07:52 -0400
Organization: New Horizons -- Chattanooga

Declan:

Have you looked at the Fleishman-Hillard website lately?

"Grassroots marketing"

"Word-of-mouth makes the difference"

A pompous geek wanna-be in their IT department has greatly diminished
their "brand" with his moronic actions. Not... smart. Word-of-mouth made the
difference. As a former journalist who "sold out" into PR and then
transitioned
into the IT arena, I find this both sad and strangely comical.

Best Regards,

Mark

_______________________________
Mark Northern
Host
"Hard Drive" -- WGOW-FM -- Chattanooga
423.892.3085 x114

---

From: "Geoff Gariepy" <geoff_gariepy@hotmail.com>
To: <magnerc@fleishman.com>
Subject: Politech
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 16:06:28 -0400

Jeez, buy a clue.  Declan's email list isn't hardly spam.  In fact, it's
probably one of the top 3 technical listservs on the planet.  Maybe if you
read it you wouldn't just be a frustrated sysadmin.  There's gotta be 1000s
of IT professionals on his list, plus government policy makers, Wired
magazine subscribers, etc.

I hope you get your head out of the sand--and soon.  Otherwise, you're going
to be the laughingstock of the net.spam cops.  Not to mention everyone else.

I'd start by apologizing to Declan now, if I were you.

--Geoff

---

To: declan@well.com
cc: politech@politechbot.com
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech
In-reply-to: <5.1.0.14.0.20020409232314.00a69050@mail.well.com>
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 15:25:40 -0700
From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>

I'd offer you congratulations, Declan, except that you haven't
actually been thrown off the Internet yet by the anti-spammers.  They
came for me.  You'll complain when they come for you, but nobody will
be able to hear you.

	John
	RIP http://www.toad.com, censored by virulent Verio anti-spammers

---

From: "Jones, Greg"
To: "'declan@well.com'" <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, Poli
	tech
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 15:46:52 -0400

I will be very interested to see how many other F-H employees respond to
protest the embargo of Politech.

One is tempted to wonder at such virulence from "the 'leading' public
relations consultancy in the U.S.".  How many Politechnicals got to enjoy
this tirade?  This can't be good PR for F-H.

While Chuck is considering "it an honor and privilige to use all the
technology tools available", he might consider starting with spell-check.

Please withhold my e-mail address from any repost -- I fear to suffer the
wrath of Chuck.  You are made of much sterner stuff than I.

Greg.

---

Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 13:45:09 -0600
From: Kevin Rasmussen <kevin@churn.org>
To: declan@well.com
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from 
well.com,  Politech

That is hilarious.  You'd think a PR firm would be more careful when 
communicating with the media.  Right on their home page they tout 
"Word-of-mouth makes the difference".  Perhaps you should have also copied 
Bill Pendergast (pendergb@fleishman.com), the Chairman of their 
Corporate/Reputation Management group...

Thanks for an informative and (occasionally) very entertaining list.

Cheers,
Kevin

---

From: tbetz@pobox.com
To: declan@well.com, magnerc@fleishman.com, mcclurem@fleishman.com,
         cravenl@fleishman.com, Mcclurem2@fleishman.com, 
boudream@fleishman.com,
         mooneyr@fleishman.com, politech@politechbot.com
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 15:36:27 -0400
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech

On 9 Apr 2002 at 23:33, Declan McCullagh wrote:

 > [On second reading, it's not entirely clear whether Chuck is blocking all
 > mail from the Well and Politech himself or just encouraging everyone at
 > Fleishman-Hillard to do so. In any case, it's a sad case of self-appointed,
 > anti-spam vigilantes run amok... --Declan]

No it isn't, Declan;  it's just a case of idiots being idiots.

No surprise to me that they work for a PR firm...

Unfortunately for them, the people who run those blacklists are
NOT idiots. They will recognize that these fools are idiots, and
will /dev/null their complaints.

---

From: "D McOwen" <dmcowen@bellsouth.net>
To: <declan@well.com>, <politech@politechbot.com>
Cc: <magnerc@fleishman.com>, <mcclurem@fleishman.com>, <cravenl@fleishman.com>,
         <Mcclurem2@fleishman.com>, <boudream@fleishman.com>,
         <mooneyr@fleishman.com>
Subject: RE: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com,  Politech
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 17:24:55 -0400

Go get em Declan,

Interesting propaganda on their part. If their IT Dept created filters to
specifically block inbound Politech e-mails, then she shouldn't be getting
the so called "junk" through to her e-mail inbox to ever see anyway. What
kind of "IT" Dept are they running there?

---

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 16:57:46 -0400
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk@firemountain.net>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech

On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 11:33:13PM -0700, Declan McCullagh wrote:
 > [ In any case, it's a sad case of self-appointed,
 > anti-spam vigilantes run amok... --Declan]

Please, no.  These aren't anti-spam vigilantes of any stripe.

I've forwarded this exchange to the *real* anti-spam folks, who tend to
take a dim view of bogus, whiny complaints from people who are either
too stupid or too lazy to unsubscribe themselves from mailing lists that
they themselves signed up for at some point in the past.  I think perhaps
fleishman.com should worry less about blocking well.com and more about
how many sites are going to block *them* after reading this idiocy.

---Rsk

---

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 15:45:55 -0500
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech
From: harmoney@dodds.net (Patty L Langasek)

On Tue, Apr 09, 2002 at 11:33:13PM -0700, Declan McCullagh wrote:
 > >Cc: "Mcclure, Marna" <mcclurem@fleishman.com>, "Craven, Liz"
 > ><cravenl@fleishman.com>

 > >At 12:51 PM 4/9/2002 -0500, Magner, Chuck wrote:

 > >>Considering your inability to comprehend the amount of inconvenience you
 > >>cause not only our users at the desktop by having to spend valuable work
 > >>time deleting your unsolicited emails, but also our IT department by
 > >>having to create filters to eliminate your junk. I have advised Ms
 > >>Mcclure and everybody else in our company to report all unsolicted emails
 > >>from you and those originating from well.com to;


I get the feeling that Mister Magner didn't take the time to actually
*research* what this list is, how one gets messages from this list, or
possibly has even looked at any of the messages sent to 'Ms Mcclure'. I also
get the feeling that 'Ms Mcclure' isn't exactly the kind of person who knows
how to make responsible use of Internet resources (such as actually
*reading* a webpage or attempting to get information before running to
someone she views as a guru and whining at them to 'make it work' - gah,
users annoy me).

Though, you know. I have to express amusement at their website 'Grassroots
Marketing - Word-of-mouth makes the difference', and further into their
site: 'Observing the highest ethical and professional standards' (Overview
page, link is off the homepage). I don't consider Ms. Magner's
correspondence in the least professional, but, perhaps this is how Fleishman
Hillard (which I'm sure is trademarked, for the record) treats and defines
professionalism.

[snip - long, unncessary list of anti-spam sites]

 > >>We will be notifying the business manager at Well: bizmgr@WELL.COM and
 > >>the technical contact dns@SALON.COM of your unsolicited spam activities.
 > >>As well as sending snail mail to their address at;


Ooooh. He can do a 'whois'. Impressive. I still wonder if he bothered
looking at Ms McClure's email before taking this rather abrasive approach.

 > >> I consider it an honor and privilige to use all the technology tools
 > >>available at making you go away, I will be contacting you personally as
 > >>soon as possible.

Dear lord. This guy is sounding like the reverse of Bernard Shifman (let me
know if hardcore anti-spam activists *coughcoughCHUCKcoughcough* are ignorant
enough to not have heard of this spamming issue, or requires a lesson in how
to use Google).

As always, I appreciate all information I get from Politech (since, well, I
*did* subscribe to the list personally) and all the hardwork you put into
this list.

---------------------------------------------------------

Patty Langasek
harmoney@dodds.net

---

X-What: Goes Around Comes Around
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 15:47:46 -0700
To: Mcclurem2@fleishman.com, Mcclurem@fleishman.com, postmaster@fleishman.com,
         abuse@fleishman.com, administrator@fleishman.com, thamk@fleishman.com,
         lichar@fleishman.com
From: "Postmaster@Immune.Com" <Postmaster@Immune.Com>
Subject: NOTICE: fleishman.com BANNED from IMMUNE.COM and EMISSARY.NET
Cc: "Postmaster@Emissary.Net" <Postmaster@Emissary.Net>,
         Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>

To Whom It May Concern,

In reference to "Mcclure, Marna" and the
abuse and mis-characterization by
fleishman.com employees of the opt-in,
confirmed, superb mailing list Politech:

Because of the ignorant and arrogant way
that fleishman.com staff fail to handle their
own clerical work (closing that which they
opened and confirmed), no accounts are
now accepted from fleishman.com for any
self-serve resources or services available
from both

IMMUNE.COM

and

EMISSARY.NET

A written, formal apology to Declan McCullagh
is appropriate, if fleishman.com wishes to be
un banned.

-- "Postmaster@Immune.Com" <Postmaster@Immune.Com>

---

Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2002 18:06:35 -0400
From: "SIXIT Consulting" <no.spam@sixit.com>
To: declan@well.com
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech

Feel free to post this Declan.

Robert~

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********
 >>At 12:51 PM 4/9/2002 -0500, Magner, Chuck wrote:
 >>
 >>>Considering your inability to comprehend the amount of inconvenience you
 >>>cause

Hola Chuck,

Methinks it is an even bigger inconvenience to Declan, who receives 
probably in the neighborhood of several HUNDRED emails a day *AND* has a 
full-time career as a journalist, who then has to stop whatever important 
thing he's currently doing and answer an email from someone who can't 
remember a simple address change!  You are obviously good at looking at 
email headers, so what was the difficulty in determining which address of 
Ms. McClure's was receiving the email?  This should have been child's play 
for you.


 >time deleting your unsolicited emails, but also our IT department by
 >having to create filters to eliminate your junk. I have advised Ms
 >Mcclure and everybody else in our company to report all unsolicted emails
 >from you and those originating from well.com to;

Erm, unsolicited means, in essence, *unrequested*.  However, the ONLY way 
to get these emails is to *request* them.  Please Chuck, explain to us 
through logical conclusions how requested email is unsolicited?


 >nofalsenegatives.stopspam.samspade.org blacklist
 >http://mail-abuse.org
 >Dorkslayers Zero Tolerance List  http://www.dorkslayers.com/
 >Spam Prevention Early Warning System   http://www.spews.org/
 >Spamhaus Block List  http://www.spamhaus.org/

Except these folks are well aware (or should be) of Declan's stance on 
spam, freedom, and privacy.  Your complaints will likely be greeted with 
amusement.  Your reputation, unfortunately, will be the ultimate victim of 
your rampage.  It's likely the folks at these good institutions will 
classify you as an uninformed newbie picking the wrong battles with the 
wrong weapons.  So much for your credence after that.


 >We will be notifying the business manager at Well: bizmgr@WELL.COM and [snip]

I'm sure the appropriate persons at well.com and salon.com will also 
appreciate your logical explanation on how requested email is unsolicited.

You know Chuck, I *love* killing spammers too.  However, you need to 
realize that sometimes to resolve a conflict a little diplomacy is required 
and not the whole 7th fleet.  Perhaps you will learn this soon....

Sincerely,
Robert Reese~

---

From: Charlie Oriez <coriez@oriez.org>
Organization: Lumber Cartel [tinlc]
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>, politech@politechbot.com
Subject: Re: FC: Fleishman-Hillard PR firm blocks all mail from well.com, 
Politech
Date: Tue, 9 Apr 2002 15:25:57 -0600
Cc: magnerc@fleishman.com

On Wednesday 10 April 2002 00:33, Declan McCullagh gave up the right
to remain silent by saying:

(cc's snipped)

 > >> to eliminate your junk. I have advised Ms Mcclure and everybody
 > >> else in our company to report all unsolicted emails from you and
 > >> those originating from well.com to;
 > >>
 > >>spamcop.net

Actually, any spam should be reported to spamcop as the easy way to
do it.  Of course, if someone reports something as spam that isn't
spam, they get their account terminated and lose access to the
service.  Why just politech and well though?  And does fleishman
actually use spamcop as a dnsbl?  216.110.36.217 shows no spam
reported dating back to early Feb.

 > >>
 > >>nofalsenegatives.stopspam.samspade.org blacklist

Interesting.  According to Steve at blighty.com, who runs Sam Spade,
that isnt a blacklist and is not used to bounce mail.  It's a query
tool for checking other lists.

 > >>
 > >>http://mail-abuse.org

Requires a carefully documented nomination, including documentation
of direct contact.  Documentation that politechbot is confirmed
optin, which it is, will end the issue.

 > >>
 > >>Dorkslayers Zero Tolerance List  http://www.dorkslayers.com/

"It is our intention to never list IP addresses which have any of the
following characteristics:

    a physical location within the United States of America (USA)
    a mailserver that has been secured against third-party email relay
    contained within a netblock from our spite list"

hmm. Dorkslayers is an open relay database.  An accusation that
216.110.36.217 is an open relay located in a foreign country should
be backed up by evidence.  I just ran the 17 standard relay tests
available at abuse.net:

Relay test result

All tests performed, no relays accepted.

In other words, complaints to Dorkslayers would be without merit.


 > >>
 > >>Spam Prevention Early Warning System   http://www.spews.org/

They dont take nominations, nor are there publicly available email
addresses to send nominations to.  If you send mail to spews, the
person sending the mail is assumed to be the spammer, and gets
listed, if anyone does.  But first you have to find their spam trap
addresses in order to communicate with them, and that is easier said
than done.  Postmaster and the other obvious role addresses won't
work <Obdisclaimer>I am not SPEWS, don't know who is, and think
Irkutsk is way too cold for me to take the job if offered. I'd buy
them a beer if I knew who they were though.</Obdisclaimer>

 > >>
 > >>Spamhaus Block List  http://www.spamhaus.org/

Spamhaus exists solely to maintain a Spam Support Services Tracking
Database.  I hope they can back up the accusation that you're running
spam support services (eg - selling spamware).  This is a fairly
egregious accusation, and listing spamhaus as a suitable place to
complain qualifies as such an accusation.  I'd want to blackhole you
myself if it is true.  Of course, if they make that claim without it
being true, we're again in the mode of wondering how honest other
communcations from FH are.

 > >>
 > >>We will be notifying the business manager at Well:
 > >> bizmgr@WELL.COM and the technical contact dns@SALON.COM of your
 > >> unsolicited spam activities. As well as sending snail mail to
 > >> their address at;
 > >>
 > >>  22 Fourth Street, 16th Floor
 > >>  San Francisco, CA 94103


but not their abuse addresses. Interesting.

 > >>
 > >>
 > >>  I consider it an honor and privilige to use all the technology
 > >> tools available at making you go away, I will be contacting you
 > >> personally as soon as possible.
 > >>

As in:

# kooks
:0D
* ^From:.*fleishman.com
       /dev/null

It took minutes if not seconds to create.

So two issues:

The fleishman admin has accused well of running an open relay
(dorkslayers) and has accused politech.com of providing spam support
services (spamhaus).  My tests say the open relay accusation is
false.  I saw no links on your site or other evidence indicating that
you offer spam support services.  He should produce evidence of both
or apologize, or his boss should for him.

Anyone can refuse any mail they want - it's their server.  Probably
wouldn't hurt to delete all FH addresses from your list, and of
course refuse all mail in your direction as well.  The bounce message
for their blocked mail can refer questions to the appropriate
internal person.

-- 
Charles Oriez     coriez@oriez.org
39  34' 34.4"N / 105 00' 06.3"W

--- 




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