Greek Police Arrest Programmer Because People He Met Got Spammed?

from the doesn't-sound-good dept

Sydney Phillips writes in about her husband, Rick Downes, a Swedish programmer who was apparently arrested in Greece after some people he met (in person) received some spam -- and accused him of sending it. Rick doesn't seem like the type to spam, as Phillips notes, he "was recently nominated to the caretakers board of ENISA, the new European Union taskforce for Internet Security to be based in Heraklion, Crete." The details are a bit muddled, and it would be great if there were more to back this story up, but, in the meantime, it seemed like it was worth mentioning. The story from Phillips is apparently that Rick met some people, who later all received nearly identical spam. They immediately assumed that since they had met Rick together, and they all received the same spam, it must be his fault. The police don't seem all that helpful, telling them first not to contact a lawyer, and then telling him he needed to sign a "statement" in Greek -- despite his lack of knowledge of the language. Also, it doesn't appear Rick's actually been told what he's being charged with, which makes the whole thing that much more confusing. It would be great if someone who had more details can provide them. Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard about the Greek legal system being positively baffled by technology.


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  1.  
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    dorpus, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 3:33am

    Should Chinese Police Arrest Ghosts?

    In Szechuan, schoolkids who stayed late for a study session experienced a power outage on their way out of class. Someone shouted "GHOST!!!", which caused the kids to panic and run down the stairs, running over each other, causing 12 of them to die.

    http://www.ocn.ne.jp/news/data/20051027/j051027X207.html

     

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  2.  
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    dorpus, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 3:37am

    Should Japanese Police Arrest Cats?

    A driver in Shizuoka, who swerved to avoid a cat on the road, ran into a group of kindergarteners walking single file on a field trip toward a museum, causing the road to turn into a sea of flying yellow hats, blue uniforms, and red body parts. 38 kids were sent to the hospital, and five of them are in critical condition. Many kids were trapped under the car, so adults on the scene braved the slippery road to pull out the pizza slices.

    http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1027/TKY200510270223.html

     

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    Luke, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 7:42am

    Clever Logic!

    Okay, so basically if I am in the presence of someone from now on, and then I get spam later. I can blame them and have them arrested?

     

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    Paul, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 9:29am

    Re: Clever Logic!

    I think we all see the illogic here, no need to spell it out for us...

     

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    Andrew, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 1:21pm

    Not surprised

    This being the nation who famously arrested a group of planespotters for 'spying' when they made notes of plane tail numbers and took photographs.

    Apparently, the Greeks still feel that there are secrets surrounding their air force (no native aircraft, and no designs less than a quarter-century old) that the Turks (with their airforce - funnily enough no native aircraft, and no designs less than a quarter-century old) are burning to learn.

    Yep, it's a brave new world in Athens....

     

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    Frank, Oct 27th, 2005 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Not surprised

    your comment is silly. I served in the US airforce in S.E. Europe for four years. Greece is a country which faces the most advanced and largest airforce n Europe, Turkey, and one which is on a very agressive footing with armed overflights etc.

    They both sport some of the latest generation F-16s (which in Turkey's case are built to Turkey).

    since 911, those planespoters would have been arested had they been in the US. And as was the case, if they were foreign nationals carrying notebooks logging large numbers of military fights, super high end photo equipment and trespassing on military bases, all of which was the case, they would have ended up with a more macabre legal oddysey than those arrested in Greece.

    Laslty if you understood how modern airforces work (and Greece and Turkey have the most advanced avionics, guidence, missile defence etc in all of Europe), you would not harp on designs less 25 years old. f16's basic airframes are 25 years old, nothing esle is. moreover about 98 of US airforce airframes in servce are on designs 25 years old, and 85% are on designs over 40 years old!

    lastly this case appears to be more related to drugs than to spam if you do some research. the issue is not spam per say but apparently people recieving a solicitation to buy drugs.

     

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    unknown, Oct 28th, 2005 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Not surprised

    None of your arguments negate the fact that Greece doesn't have a modern and solid set of laws relating to the Internet. And plane spotters are not arrested here in the US since 911 -- they may be questioned, but it's not a crime. Get your facts straight before your blither off.

     

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    Sydney, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 7:30am

    Too True

    Yes, the charges have been revealed - he's been charged with trafficking drugs.

    The 'evidence' used in his arrest and the seizure of his computer is solely that three people who personally met him later received spam offering prescription drugs for sale. No, the spams didn't even _appear_ to come from him.

    At least the plane spotters broke the law. Rick's 'crime' is apparently that he knows computers pretty well - so he _must_ be responsible if the crime involves computers in any way.

    Arthur C. Clark said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

     

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    Rick, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 10:04am

    Correct, Luke!

    Yes, if you meet someone on the street - or help a little old lady who's dropped something - they can arrest you.
    They don't even need that. Yes, there are laws, and yes, this is the EU - which made us feel secure - but the seamy side is they don't respect the EU and if the EU chastise them, they just ignore it.
    Greece was recently ranked as #46 amongst the most corrupt governments in the world. That doesn't sound high, but believe me: it's not low either.
    As 'evidence' the police had one letter I'd sent to a lady: this was genuinely my correspondence from a Yahoo! account.
    They had two other letters off the 'acnielsen.com' domain.
    There were no full headers; the police didn't even know what they were looking at and did not even understand the significance of the four fields for 'From', 'To', 'Subject', and 'Date'. They had no idea whatsoever what they were looking at.
    My letter was dated early February of this year. One of the spam letters was dated 12 October. We have not communicated with this lady in over four months.
    She took my genuine letter and set the spam letter from acnielsen.com beside it for the police and said 'see? he sent this to me'.
    I'm serious: that's how bizarre this is.

     

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  10.  
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    Rick, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 10:25am

    URL and Translation

    <http://www.haniotika-nea.gr/today/Images/topika6.pdf>
    This is the only way they publish the article. (Great web design, what?)

    The download is 150 KB; the article is in the middle; Sydney has a translation published at the following URL.

    <http://www.dotatdot.co.uk/clix/viewtopic.php?p=70>

     

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  11.  
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    Rick, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Not surprised

    Yes, it's about drugs, because that's a button to push, but it's about selling drugs through the Internet - with the kind of spam that goes out to millions of mailboxes every day. The kind of spam that can't be done from here with their total lack of infrastructure. Or how would you send out three million spam messages on a dial-up with an advertised 56 K where you're sometimes getting less than 1 K in peak periods and where the ISPs cap all outgoing messages to twenty recipients?
    In other words, this case is about neither. It's about gross incompetence, it's about breaking EU laws flagrantly, it's about wrongful prosecution, it's about harassment (insisting one does not need a lawyer, preventing a lawyer from being present, threatening with prison if one does not sign a statement one cannot read and is not allowed to get a translator to read), it's about having 'just cause' - and it's about getting that magical computer expert to look into these wild claims before people's lives are ruined.
    That's what it's about, and I should know: it's about Sydney and me.
    So please do not tell us of all people what and what not it's about. We know very little; you know significantly less. We admit we only know what we say we know; you do nothing of the sort.
    Thank you.

     

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    da truth, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Not surprised

    "lastly this case appears to be more related to drugs than to spam if you do some research. the issue is not spam per say but apparently people recieving a solicitation to buy drugs."

    Which Rick Downes fas NOTHING TO DO WITH!

     

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    da truth, Oct 29th, 2005 @ 8:45pm

    gross incompetence

    Rick,

    As an avid reader of Radsoft.net and Rixstep.com, I have to say how unbelievably angry I am with these events.

    None of this should ever have happened. You have every right to be furious!

    I have followed your career as an educator and advocate of SAFE computing, technology and security. Education that helps protect people from the dangers they are exposed to while connected to the Internet.

    Your story has opened yet more questions and issues surrounding the lack of understanding by governments and the general public in these matters.

    The Greek government has made a flagrant mistake here and showed us that they have no understanding of the technology involved.

    Living in the US I can tell you that the so-called evidence in question would have been quickly thrown out and Rick would never have had to deal with any of this.

    Those of us that understand technology and understand your positive role in this area know you are innocent. We will support you and fight this in every way we can.

    The Greek government owes you an apology and a dismissal of all charges.

     

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    Hank Roberts, Oct 30th, 2005 @ 7:51am

    Re: gross incompetence or worse

    Considering how little the police there know, and that they don't want to be educated -- could this be just a shakedown for a bribe, perhaps a purely routine one, and all they would understand is money?

    Do people who move into Greece, especially small towns, not get this sort of "tax" imposed if they don't routinely pay off the local police for protection? I'd kind of expect that, in any rural area of any country (although having grown up in parts of the USA where that's the norm, I could be too cynical). But, I do wonder.

    I would seriously wonder if moving into the town without finding out who you have to pay to be left alone is the underlying mistake here.

    When in Rome give unto Caesar ...

     

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    hank, Oct 30th, 2005 @ 9:29am

    but don't take that as a recommendation to bribe,

    As someone at your web thread commented wisely, even if the local police do supplement their income by shaking down foreigners for bribe money -- they can also take a bribe and treat it as an admission of actual guilt. It's a mess, and your lawyer's your guide.

    That's why the English came up with the idea of habeas corpus, and the USA adopted it -- as protection against police power. It was a good idea.

     

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    Aris, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 1:22am

    re: this whole Rick Downes story

    Also it would be much better if you did have the other side of the story, don't you think? Because from what I read this is the side of this person's girlfriend (or whatever). The greek police has been very successful lately in taking down electronic crimes, child pornography etc, and I do believe that if they have arrested him, there is probably a reason.

     

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  17.  
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    Ulf Bergström, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 7:36am

    Factual correction/Re: this whole Rick Downes stor

    Dear all,
    may I correct two things: Rick Downes has neither affiliation nor any links to ENISA. Secondly, there is no "caretaker board" or "task force", as various Internet sources write. The factual mistake in this also tells a little bit about the low level of correctness and source control for validation in this piece of news. Which is, in particular, important at Internet. Consequently, The Register has now taken away the part of the text refering to ENISA.
    Finally, ENISA is not involved in the alleged Greek judicial proceedings.
    Yours sincerly,
    Ulf Bergström
    Press and Communications Officer of ENISA.

     

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  18.  
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    da truth, Nov 4th, 2005 @ 10:08am

    Re: this whole Rick Downes story

    quotes from Aris...

    "Also it would be much better if you did have the other side of the story, don't you think? Because from what I read this is the side of this person's girlfriend (or whatever)."

    Please read further before posting. All you are doing is casting speculation and doubt with no facts to support your opinion. And we are trying to help an innocent man here.

    Rixstep.com is where you should go.

    As far as "the other side of the story"... this has clearly been covered. What Rick is dealing with is a local corrupt police group (similar to a small mafia-like faction) that has power with impunity to claim whatever they wish. Ask anyone that lives in this area of Greece and they will attest to this. The danger is real and citizens can be locked up for months with no proof or due process if that's what the local police want.

    "The greek police has been very successful lately in taking down electronic crimes, child pornography etc,"

    If you could provide proof for this claim I would be impressed.

    Even if this statement were true it still does not lend any credibility to the Greek police side of this story nor does it mean that Rick Downes is guilty.

    "I do believe that if they have arrested him, there is probably a reason."

    Yes, there is. And it has nothing to do with facts or proof. It is either about a payoff to the local police or a vendetta from another citizen against Rick and Sydney. In this part of the world, if you are "in with the police" you can cause serious trouble for someone else just by asking for it to be done.

    I certainly hope that you never have the opportunity to live in a "police state" but corruption and reason have little to do with justice and proof.

     

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  19.  
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    deep forest, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 5:59am

    Re: this whole Rick Downes story

    i give you another police's success:
    http://rhizome.org/thread.rhiz?thread=16472&page=1#31413
    or try this if the above doesnt work:
    http://www.fotiou.net/DWG_press.html

     

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  20.  
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    deep forest, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 6:19am

    Re: this whole Rick Downes story

    more info and links on greek police's success.

     

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  21.  
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    deep forest, Nov 5th, 2005 @ 6:20am

    Re: this whole Rick Downes story

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2005 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Factual correction

    I may perhaps add a bit of precision in that Mr. Bergström's correction seems to apply to (parts of) the article by The Register only. (Also he seems intent on conveying that more facts are presented wrongly ("...tells a little bit about the level of correctness..."), but does not make this explicit nor back it up, which I consider "a little bit" unprofessional, but that is my personal opinion.)

    I feel a little uneasy and needing to respond because the "factual correction" and the stipulation of some "low level of correctness" seems to deny the seriousness of the case in general, so here's what I'd like to have mentioned as well:
    Concerning "this whole story" in general, it seems the ZDNet article is more thorough in its "source control for verification" - they had many of the things (like the arrest indeed being one (and not a mistake of translation), the nature of the charge and the seizure of the computer) confirmed by a police spokesperson, and have backed up Downes' credibility by a couple of links, too. Only concerning the strength or weakness of the evidence (and concerning what has happened in the questioning/seizure) the police did of course not comment so here's where we have to rely on Downes' claim. Which I do readily.

    I think it is understandable that ENISA does not want to publicly state an opinion on the case, but my hope is that they see the scandal it would mean for their geographical, social and political context if what Downes claims is true after all, and that they make this a matter of their not-so-public-then concern as well.

     

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  23.  
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    Aris Routis, Nov 7th, 2005 @ 1:21am

    About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    You might want to update the info about this case : According to theRegister.com, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/02/rixstep_spam_case_probe/

    I quote
    "An earlier version of this article said Downes had been nominated to the caretaker board of EINSA, the new European taskforce for Internet security. While Downes was recommended to the board, he never formally applied, and therefore has no formal links with the organization. We are happy to clarify this point."

    As you may realise that is NOT the same info to the one you provide and is actually QUITE different. He never applied and therefore was rejected.

    Thank you.

     

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  24.  
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    Dave Bourke, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 11:06am

    Re: Factual correction/this whole Rick Downes stor

    How many different languages are there in the EU, Mr. Bergström? I would suggest that "Caretakers' Board" is a bad translation of "Permanent Stakeholders' Board," which DOES exist.
    And as regards the expression "task force," the following is quoted from the Daily Notebook of the European Parliament dated 19-11-2003:
    "The European Network and Information Security Agency has the task of contributing to a high level of network and information security within the Community and of developing a culture of network and information security for the benefit of citizens, consumers, businesses and public sector organisations in the European Union, thus contributing to the proper functioning of the internal market."
    That, in any language, makes ENISA a task force. Or don't you understand English?
    How did you get your PR job anyway? You certainly can't spell or do punctuation properly. You allow your own personal opinions to colour what should be a neutral post on behalf of your employer, an EU body ultimately responsible to EU taxpayers. And you certainly don't appear to know anything about ENISA's early days.
    I can see now why Mr. Downes was so unimpressed with what he found at ENISA that he declined to apply for the position for which he had been nominated.
    Kind regards.

     

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  25.  
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    Dave Bourke, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 11:20am

    Re: About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    I thought Greece was supposed to be the cradle of logic? How the mighty have fallen...

    Mr. Routis, it simply is not possible to be rejected for a job if you have not applied for it in the first place. For that would mean that you, Mr. Routis, have been rejected by every single company in the world to which you have never applied for a job.

    However, given your logic skills, I would not be at all surprised to learn that you have been rejected by every single company to which you HAVE applied.

    Kind regards.

     

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  26.  
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    Dave Bourke, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 12:37pm

    Re: About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    I wrote:

    "However, given your logic skills, I would not be at all surprised to learn that you have been rejected by every single company to which you HAVE applied."

    Actually, Mr. Routis, I have good news for you. There is one organisation where such a logic deficiency would not be any impediment at all - the Greek police force.

    Go for it!

    Kind regards.

     

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  27.  
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    da truth, Nov 8th, 2005 @ 4:33pm

    Re: About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    Quote from Aris Routis...

    "He never applied and therefore was rejected."

    Not only is your logic incorrect, but I also now question your intentions here.

    You cannot be rejected for something you never applied for. PERIOD.

    It appears that you are only trying to hurt Rick Downes by posting FUD.

    There are no positive reasons for any of your statements here and no facts to support them.

    Please stop.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2005 @ 1:39am

    Re: About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    I suppose Aris meant to say:

    "He never applied, and therefore THE RECOMMENDATION WAS IGNORED."
    (which is something quite different from Downes being rejected, true.)

    Let's use the "principle" of charity, tag it as translation error (like 'caretaker's board') and forget about it.
    (The point was that the clarification on this issue is not yet reflected in the initial posting. And there I'd say, it becomes clear from the rest of the discusion - no need to revise it (also in order not to distort the context of the former contributions.))

    Andreas

     

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  29.  
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    da truth, Nov 9th, 2005 @ 4:10pm

    Re: About Rick Downes Case and EINSA

    "Let's use the "principle" of charity, tag it as translation error (like 'caretaker's board') and forget about it."

    Agreed.

    Back on track.

     

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  30.  
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    Pelasgian, Nov 12th, 2005 @ 11:07am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    "That's why the English came up with the idea of habeas corpus"

    How come it has a LATIN name then?
    You know mate, while you PRETEND to be Romans, modern Greeks descent from them (Eastern Roman Empire - Byzantium) and our Legal system it is called "Roman Law".

    In our courts, not only you have the ability to object the decision of a court, you even have the ability to object a law on the grounds that it is non-constitutional. In this case the judge CAN examine THAT law and if he finds that it is indeed against the constitution, have it dismissed and relieve you. Which of course you can't do in the UK, because this patchwork you call a legal system does not derive from a PROPER constitution, is a product or royalty and not the people, so the laws are never questioned in court by the commons.

    So, next time you think that you came up with an idea, make sure that it is not older than your nation.

    Also, who are you to unload crap on the Greek police, when your police killed an innocent person just because they thought him to be a terrorist?

    You come and tell miserable things about a police that once they saw that the Public Attorney made a mistake and that Rick is disabled, they did not arrest him AS THEY WERE REQUIRED, but let him go?
    This is the GESTAPO? Look at your guys mate!

    That's the uncivilised country? Or this is the insecure country? I came to England for my graduation, and I travelled by car, because I was affraid of the trains. I travelled between TWO bomb runs who happened when you ANNOUNCED that you go for the Olympics. That's how you'll make the Olympics?

    We had the Olympics and not a single nose opened. So, go preach elsewhere. Eat your Heinz beans with your fried dead fish and the mad cow steak while running for shelter away from rampant bombers in this ever-grey, depressing drizzle hell you live and let us uncivilised people feel very bad we do not share your good fortune.

     

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  31.  
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    da truth, Nov 13th, 2005 @ 12:31am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    1st quote from Pelasgian...

    "You come and tell miserable things about a police that once they saw that the Public Attorney made a mistake and that Rick is disabled, they did not arrest him AS THEY WERE REQUIRED, but let him go?"

    it seems clear that you haven't followed this story and are only responding to a single post by hank in this thread.

    First of all if you want to complain and spout off about who did what to who between the UK and Greece, then go somewhere else. If you want to stay on track then read the story at rixstep.com come back and make a constructive comment.

    2nd quote from Pelasgian...

    "Also, who are you to unload crap on the Greek police, when your police killed an innocent person just because they thought him to be a terrorist?"

    I can't begin to tell you how ignorant your statement is here, but pointing fingers doesn't solve anything.

    The greek police deserve the crap they are getting here for their actions against Rick. What they did was wrong, PERIOD!

    Let's stay on track here.

     

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  32.  
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    pelasgian, Nov 13th, 2005 @ 5:40pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    Did they arrest him or not?

    Arrest = being handcuffed, taken to the police station, put to jail, stay there.
    Or the moment they saw him being disabled, they decided to "arrest and release" him on the spot?

    In order to be technically following the PA's orders for home search they HAD to take the computers. The thing is that they could have him "booked" too.

    Give me an explanation, which maintains your view for a barbaric police, why they did not arrest him. Can you?

    I mentioned the incident with the "terrorist" which was executed in the tube by the British Police, in order to demonstrate your double standards.

    It is apparent that a civil case in Greece *IS* the end of the world, while having people being shot in Britain is no big deal.

    And I mention these things, because indeed I watched the forum rixstep, and I found myself amused when somebody mentioned there "we could go in one of their stadiums with a stinger missile and nobody would notice".

    Well, it wasn't us that had two bombs in our capital, neither was it us that killed the wrong guy in the tube, nor do our trains jump off the rails, on the platforms killing people like flies.

     

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  33.  
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    Logic, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 1:17am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    Pelasgian-

    Are you saying that until every problem in one's home country is solved, one is not allowed to point out a problem in another country?
    That's what you seem to be saying, because whenever anyone points out a problem with Greece, you shout them down by pointing out a problem with their home country.
    I think the honored tradition of 'debate' discounts this tactic as a time-waster and inflamatory.
    Also, unless Greece is perfect, this rule means that you, Pelasgian, cannot point out any problems in other countries - and trust me, Greece is _NOT_ perfect.

     

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  34.  
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    na, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 8:16am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    i suppose pelasgian cannot understand the importance of this situation. definately yes, he is a patriot! but cannot understand that he is going to be the next victim of such a police.

    YOU pelasgian, maybe ME will be the next one that ll be questioned, maybe sent to court just like that.

    unless pelasgian comes from the other side, where all nicknames look like "Apollo" or "Hermes"...
    ...they are all cops! keep in mind!

    WHO ARE YOU pelasgian asking others "WHO THEY ARE"
    in such a Gestapo way?

    for all those who don t know.... the "WHO ARE YOU" question has been used as an ORDER during fasism in greece...

     

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  35.  
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    na, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 8:32am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    i saw their comments at adslgr.com http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24710&page=7

    now they are trying to shut down the rixstep site by informing (with LIES, ...ok, their opinions) the server. bad boys! there is NO decision by any court yet, but they have already got theirs. shall i wish you good luck patriot pelasgian?

    i am greek. shall i say everything is OK in greece in order not to disfame my country? shall i lie to allll others for a new police section where THERE IS NO COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WORKING or TAKING DECISSIONS?
    my answer in NO.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    da truth, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 12:36pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    pelasgian,

    all you are doing is trying to disguise judgment as your opinion.

    the great thing about people like you is that you are easy to understand. keep posting, keep showing us your true colors.

    you are in the company of intelligent, open-minded people here. i suggest you remember this.

    na and Logic,

    good rebuttals and points. I know that Rick really appreciates the support.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    na, Nov 15th, 2005 @ 8:56am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    the patriots located here: http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24710&page=7
    are about to e-mail this address: support@freeola.co.uk (abuse for rixstep)

    one asks for a complete list of evidence in order to inform embassies etc.

    how nice.
    an online public court, constituted by young greek patriots who have suddenly decided to defend and fight for their country online.

    only one question i have:
    don t you guys disfame greece with what you re doing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Aris, Nov 16th, 2005 @ 1:36pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    ---- quote ----
    how nice.
    an online public court, constituted by young greek patriots who have suddenly decided to defend and fight for their country online.

    only one question i have:
    don t you guys disfame greece with what you re doing?
    ---------------
    No, I actually think not.

    And I stand by Pelasgian's comments, I don't feel that all police is crooked or that there's nothing working in Greece. I don't believe that as some in those forum pages say there are no people with computer skills in Greece, infact some of the best scientists in the world are infact Greeks.

    Perhaps while angry one tends to say things that shouldn't be said. And no, by no means Greece is perfect, that doesn't mean that it is as ugly as some people want to present it, or as ugly as some people will present it given the chance.

    I will wish Mr. Downes good luck to his case, if he indeed is innocent he will be found innocent, he will have to present his case in a court of law tho, and by discrediting Greece, he will achieve nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    na, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 2:34am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    ---- quote ----
    infact some of the best scientists in the world are infact Greeks
    ---------------

    of course i agree with you Aris. but i will have to add that none of them lives in greece. they all live in abroad. tell me ONLY one fact where such a scientistic success came up in greece.

    ...and i say that because greece IS at its primitive stage in computer technology. see all things arround: no computers at schools, no internet (since its too expensive), fear by the police, statistics for greece's usage of internet (only 30% uses it) etc.(i could really write much more. we must admit that this IS the real situation)

    ...and believe me, if those scientists knew that Mr. Downes was arrested in greece, for spams that didin t appear to come from him, by people who weren t computer educated (since they had an explanation given but couldn t understand...), they would NEVER support a forum that has already decided to shut down web sites, inform embassies etc., just because it is a greek forum.

    research requires people to be open minded and not just patriots. one said (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20051031/0146231_F.shtml) that i disfame my country by writing here. appart form greek i am a man in this world. why should i lie?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Ulf Bergstrom, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 11:40am

    Re: Factual correction

    Dear all,

    sorry for not getting back to you before.

    Yes, I do indeed only correct those two things that touched upon ENISA and were wrong. They were consequently also corrected by the Register. Any other matters, right or wrong, is not in our scope. ENISA is not involved in any criminal justice affairs, so you are quite right about why we do not state an opinion on any (!) criminal case. It is very clear in our EU-regulation that criminal law is matter for national member states. So we have no reason and more importantly, no right to comment anything on that, regardless of where a IT-crime, committed or not, takes place in the EU. It is only up to the Member States.

    "The low level of correctness" referred only to the mentioned errors and that a journalist always should check facts from two sources. And you all know that the Internet has low barriers for facutal errors, so there is particular reasons to check with the original sources. In our case, we do exist on the web, so any journalist could easily find, contact us and checked out these factual errors out about the alleged affiliation. And also find out that what we do have is a "Management Board" and a "Permanent Stakeholders Group". No task force.

    Yours sincerly,
    Ulf Bergstrom

    Dear all,
    may I correct two things: Rick Downes has neither affiliation nor any links to ENISA. Secondly, there is no "caretaker board" or "task force", as various Internet sources write. The factual mistake in this also tells a little bit about the low level of correctness and source control for validation in this piece of news. Which is, in particular, important at Internet. Consequently, The Register has now taken away the part of the text refering to ENISA.
    Finally, ENISA is not involved in the alleged Greek judicial proceedings.
    Yours sincerly,
    Ulf Bergström
    Press and Communications Officer of ENISA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Ulf Bergstrom, Nov 17th, 2005 @ 11:57am

    Re: Factual correction/this whole Rick Downes stor

    Dear Mr Bourke,

    I believe there are 20 official languages of the EU, presently. So, of course, it is correct that there may be misunderstandings when translating in between languages. But this was written in English. So I can not see why is should be so difficult to get it right. And the Register, as others corrected it afterwards, as any media would correct a mistake.

    Moreover, I refer to an answer above in the replies:
    "that journalist always should check facts from two sources. In our case, we do exist on the web, so any journalist could easily find, contact us and checked out factual errors out about the alleged affiliation. And also find out that what we do have is a "Management Board" and a "Permanent Stakeholders Group". No task force."

    In my mind, you are quite wrong about the "task force". There is infact no task force. We're an Agency of the EU. Not a task force. If we were -well, we would have been called a Task Force. But we're called an Agency. We have tasks however.
    That's how I read it and that is what we are called.

    The point that I underline is:
    there are neither affiliation, nor any links to ENISA, and Mr Downes.

    As for my job, I applied for it and was found to be the most suitable one, in competition with many other candidates.

    English is not my native language, so I do not claim to master it fully. Consequently, please excuse any spelling or punctuation mistakes of mine.

    Yours sincerly,
    Ulf Bergstrom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Andreas Wagner (Ex-"Anon Coward"), Nov 17th, 2005 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Factual correction

    Dear Mr. Bergström,

    > sorry for not getting back to you before.

    Thank you for getting back at all. I for one wasn't sure this would be a ground where a communication with you could be established ;)


    > Yes, I do indeed only correct those two things that touched upon ENISA and were wrong. They were consequently also corrected by the Register.

    Good. It's better that this is corrected, and of course you've been right in doing so. Not that I would be in the position of a judge over this, but I can express my agreement with you there nonetheless I hope.


    > "The low level of correctness" referred only to the mentioned errors and that a journalist always should check facts from two sources. And you all know that the Internet has low barriers for facutal errors, so there is particular reasons to check with the original sources. In our case, we do exist on the web, so any journalist could easily find, contact us and checked out these factual errors out about the alleged affiliation.


    I agree with you there, I only want to point you to the fact that I *did* write to you on Oct 31st, two days before the Register article was published. This piece of news here at the top (TechDirt) was referenced in my mail, as was Mr. Downes' contact address. Okay, I'm not a journalist, but maybe you could have helped to avoid many misunderstandings if you had intervened earlier.

    Now, to the matter at hand, I don't go along too easily:


    > Any other matters, right or wrong, is not in our scope.
    > ENISA is not involved in any criminal justice affairs, so you are quite right about why we do not state an opinion on any (!) criminal case. It is very clear in our EU-regulation that criminal law is matter for national member states. So we have no reason and more importantly, no right to comment anything on that, regardless of where a IT-crime, committed or not, takes place in the EU. It is only up to the Member States.


    I agree to some extent. Namely insofar as public statements about ongoing investigations are concerned. These should of course not be expected.
    However, I think it is evident that "Network and Information Security" can not be dealt with if one keeps out of everything as soon as criminal investigations and forensics, or, in other words, matters of prosecution and trials come into play. There are other aspects of 'NIS' as well (like e.g. secure application/OS development or raising awareness, two of Mr. Downes pet subjects, BTW), but keeping away from IT crime amounts to crippling the agency's objectives.

    In a similar vein, see e.g. page 3 of ENISA's work programme 2005 at http://www.enisa.eu.int/doc/pdf/management_board/decisions/work_programme_2005.pdf:
    > However, securing modern networks is not
    limited to technical options. It involves legal and policy issues, requires awareness and promotion of best practices, and it is very much dependent on the improved cooperation and information exchange among all stakeholders: from public to private sector organisations, as well as from judicial to law enforcement agencies and services of the Members States.


    Of course, the autonomy of the respective national prosecution and jurisdiction must be respected, but this is taken care of in the way that ENISA's activities are projected anyway:

    From http://www.enisa.eu.int/about/context/index_en.htm:
    > The Agency was set up to enhance the capability of [...] the Member States [...] to prevent, address and respond to network and information security problems.

    Now, if either the allegations made to Mr. Downes (drug sales by unsolicited email) are true or false, there is the capability of the greek authorities to adress and respond to network and information security problems (in this case a suspected spammer/internet dealer operating from within their area of responsibility) at issue. Either the resp. state's capability is sufficient or it isn't - but it's an affair that is bound to deserve your attention, and even more so, since the person suspected of those crimes is an IT expert (which either way should present special challenges for the greek authorities' capabilites of addressing and responding etc.), even more so since this affair is taking place in a country which ... okay, let's try to play it cool ... is at least not represented in Interpol's "European Working Party on Information Technology Crime" (http://www.interpol.org/Public/TechnologyCrime/WorkingParties/Default.asp#europa), and since the case is handled in such a way that presently it seems (from what I've been told) that not even the involved police force knows much, if anything, about the "Athens computer lab" where the seized computer is supposedly being examined now, and finally even more so since it is all happening in front of your door!

    The mentioned ENISA page gives more detail on what ENISA could do:
    > the Agency’s tasks will be focused on:
    > - Advising and assisting [...] the Member States on information security [...]. [The work programme says assistance needs to be called for, advice doesn't. p.4]
    > - Collecting and analysing data on security incidents in Europe and emerging risks;
    > - [...]
    > - Awareness-raising and co-operation between different actors in the information security field, notably by developing public / private partnerships with industry in this field.

    Three out of four activities that ENISA says it's focusing on could be deployed in the present case, which isn't so bad, is it?
    (The work programme lists 6 operational functions, 4 of which would be applicable, but everyone will have to look these up him-/herself ;)


    So, I hope to have shown that the case in question falls in your scope and that you have means and activities projected which could by deployed in it.
    Of course, I know that ENISA is also still in the process of being consolidated itself and may have other priorities, but IMHO to decline from getting involved with it - when you're asked to get involved by or on behalf of a local, european IT SME - would require a more substantial consideration. You don't have to share it, but I think I am founded to expect you to effectuate such a consideration.


    ...And then, on my journey through the ENISA website, I saw this:
    From ENISA's What's New Page:
    > The Swedish Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is visiting ENISA’s premises in Crete 10 November.

    I'm not sure SEMA has been contacted in this case - not by me at any rate. But if they've been to your place and the disputed arrest of a Swedish citizen who is an IT expert just around the corner wasn't mentioned at all, then I would think this to be a dramatic failure of the involved parties. This would namely reinforce all the prejudices one might have about EU bodies and agencies being just parts of some bureaucracy and having cut off all roots to 'RL' - to 'R'eal 'L'ife, in this case of people literally next door having immense problems in an area where one is internationally showing off one's expertise.
    Again, I don't expect a statement on this, but I would expect "raised awareness" and attention.
    ... And sometimes it would be a good, meaning noble and diplomacy-wise non-suspicious, sign to just say - "Yes, it has our attention."


    best regards,
    Andreas Wagner

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2005 @ 12:09pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    -----quote-----
    they all live in abroad.
    ---------------

    I'd give you hundreds of examples, but this would dignify your hillarious opinion by imitating its puerile discussion manners.

    I just quote you for its humourous value, for the benefit of those who didn't identify this remarkable part of monty python farce, in this otherwise total waste of bandwidth and disk space that you call a LOGICAL reply.

    Emphasis on the *ALL*.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 19th, 2005 @ 12:47pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    -----quote-----
    for all those who don t know.... the "WHO ARE YOU" question has been used as an ORDER during fasism in greece...
    ---------------

    I didn't know about that, but I know for fact that people who make comments as the above, during times of fascism and democracy alike, were considered mentally challenged.

    The good news is that they could use their special circumstances in the process of a legal battle, in order to relieved from accusations.

    However, if comments of this fashion are ever made in the process of a trial Greece, I am absolutely sure that they will receive the sympathy of the Judge.

    Comments like: "are you under any heavy medication" (off the record of course) might not be entirely avoided though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Pelasgian, Nov 20th, 2005 @ 2:36am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    -----quote-----
    Are you saying that until every problem in one's home country is solved, one is not allowed to point out a problem in another country?
    ---------------

    Actually no, I don't.

    -----quote-----
    That's what you seem to be saying, because whenever anyone points out a problem with Greece, you shout them down by pointing out a problem with their home country.
    ---------------

    Read my messages again, and you will figure it out, eventually (I hope!)

    Hint: try the "double standards" part first.

    -----Quote-----
    Also, unless Greece is perfect, this rule means that you, Pelasgian, cannot point out any problems in other countries - and trust me, Greece is _NOT_ perfect.
    ---------------

    I never claimed that Greece is perfect, but neither is any country on the face of the Earth. This includes the country where "honour" was subjected to drastic cuts, i.e. being spelled as "honor", like "horror".

    Perfect does not exist! It is an idea within a platonic mindframe. So, I propose that some people here drop the "bossy", arrogant and pretentious "authoring" style, a style that implies that THEY live in a "perfect" society, and focus on the case ITSELF, without personal judgements on everything tangential to this case.

    Starting from one incident and demonstrating EMPATHY on everything related to Greece and Greeks in ways that spread fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) through a highly public medium will be answered though; here and elsewhere.

    Not because I am an ultra-nationalistic fascist "boy" as some people said here, but because this is unfair, illogical, unethical, illegal and it affects me personally.

    If you have a problem at home or at work, you don't kick cats and dogs on the street. And that's exactly the case here: somebody CLAIMED that he was harassed by the Greek authorities and started the hysterics about EVERYTHING Greek.

    Suddently a mob with tar and feathers was assembled and a group of people, who apparently have nothing more important to do, gathered and gave their "scientific" expertise on everything Greek, describing it with the darkest colours.

    The comments and the attitude here remind me of an old joke:

    While driving his car, a driver listens to the radio the breaking news: "caution to all drivers using Academias Avenue: a lunatic is driving the wrong way, i.e. left ;-), try to avoid him"

    And the guy thinks to himself "it's not one, it's thousands!".

    That's the case here. EVERYONE in Greece, according to a person who has trouble with the authorities, is corrupt: The police officers, the judges, the politicians, the neighbourghs, those who rent cars, those who let houses, the tavern keepers, ENISA, the Prime Minister, everything.

    And I wonder, how people that claim to be logical and reasonable, and politically corrent and whatever else (defenders of the crown, protectors of faith et.c) DO NOT SEE THAT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 20th, 2005 @ 2:57am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    -----quote-----
    all you are doing is trying to disguise judgment as your opinion.
    ---------------

    Still better than trying to disguise morronity as intellectual reasoning.


    -----quote-----
    the great thing about people like you is that you are easy to understand. keep posting, keep showing us your true colors.
    ---------------

    I knew that one way or another we would come to the "people like you" part. But of course, I AM the fascist so ...

    -----quote-----
    you are in the company of intelligent, open-minded people here. i suggest you remember this.
    ---------------

    How could one ever forget this!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Max (Flamingo), Nov 22nd, 2005 @ 12:52pm

    SUBJECT: OUR OLD FRIEND PELASGIAN

    FROM: Max (Flamingo)
    TO: All CIA, Surete, and MI6 agents in the field in the Athens area, in particular 'Robert', 'Antoine', 'Andre', and 'Graham'.
    AUTHENTICATE: Xyr2156 225ABAC RED ALPHA ALPHA BRAVO
    SUBJECT: OUR OLD FRIEND PELASGIAN

    ** MESSAGE BEGIN **

    ** MESSAGE LINE 1 ** PLEASE REOPEN YOUR DOSSIERS ON THIS INDIVIDUAL IMMEDIATELY.

    ** MESSAGE LINE 2 ** ALSO, OUR RECORDS SHOW HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR RELEASE FROM HIS PSYCHIATRIC SECURE FACILITY BEFORE DECEMBER 2007.

    ** MESSAGE LINE 3 ** PLEASE INVESTIGATE WHAT HAS HAPPENED, AND WHY AND HOW IT HAS HAPPENED.

    ** MESSAGE LINE 4 ** MAINTAIN CONTACT THROUGH THE USUAL CHANNELS.

    ** MESSAGE END **

    Max

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    na, Nov 22nd, 2005 @ 3:08pm

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    -----quote-----
    I AM the fascist so ...
    ---------------

    you re not!
    you re just living it. and maybe YOU will be the next victim.

    stand up and fight for the REAL case, don t get involved into any "go_greece or against_greece" discussion.

    you MUST understand!!! this is not about greece. if those people hated greece they wouldn t be living here. this is about f..ing old minds who decide for educated people's lives.


     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    na, Nov 24th, 2005 @ 4:44am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    i have recently viseted http://rixstep.com/ and realized that the blog is disappeared. Since i am familiar with the "greek spirit" i am thinking that this has happened due to one of the following options:

    1. the patriots located here: http://www.adslgr.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24710&page=7
    were about to e-mail this address: support@freeola.co.uk (abuse for rixstep)
    They may have had a success!

    2. the "right" people have approached Rick and/or Sydney and said:
    "put it down. Once the letter to Mr. Karamanlis is disappeared, we have a solution for you. Or else... " ;)

    3. police's threat:
    "put it down or else we !@##$@* you..."

    Does anyone knows what happened? Please post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Jsone, Dec 7th, 2005 @ 8:30am

    Re: but don't take that as a recommendation to bri

    Frankly, what happened to this man is ridiculous and a testament to the Greek police force's low education standards, but the way he has chosen to use this event in his blog and varius forums is a total travesty and a testament to his own ethics and education(or lack of).If you are wronged in a way by an EU country's police or judicial system, you file an official complaint and maybe take the case to the european court of justice.You don't embark on an internet quest to badmouth the country with facts that are 20% true and 80 % misconceptions or fabrications.

    And frankly, a man who, int he year 2005 posts this in his weblog :

    2005-11-30 17:34
    Sydney and I just discovered (yes) that you can put twelve hours MP3 music on a CD. Oh cool. Why waste a complete CD for a single 12 track collection? Exactly.

    is a bit funny when he tries to pass himself as a "computer security expert".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Jack, Sep 25th, 2006 @ 12:43pm

    Greek are for sure retardet

    I agree! The greeks are tthe dogs! They are EVIL, they thieve and they take the monye of all the balkans people!! Thee griks toady are bastart and not greek at all they are african black bastardise. The anciend Gtreek were civilisational but these are only dark and stupid and lying homos who thieve the money from the eu and balklans!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Nikos, Oct 15th, 2006 @ 12:05am

    How ridiculous

    One can bear anything, the plague, hunger, misery and death. But one cannot bear the English.

    One cannot bear these fish eyed oafs contemptously snorting at everything Greek. We cannot live while these grey-green slugs are alive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    ashley rodriques, Nov 13th, 2006 @ 11:48am

    helloooooooooooooooo

    this sucks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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