November 16, 2003

David Burt (N2H2/SmartFilter) Is A Sore Loser

[Note 11/23/2006 - Welcome, readers from The Register. Note the following is a much better and more detailed essay:

"DMCA Exemptions Diary, a.k.a. more Why I Quit Censorware Research"


David Burt, censorware PR flack, err, I mean "a spokesman for Secure Computing, which purchased N2H2, a [censorware] company" (and publicly dubbed by one lawyer the censorware "Iraqi Information Minister"), is also a very sore loser.

Recall, David Burt was the point-person for censorware companies in opposing the censorware DMCA exemption, against me as the prime advocate for the exemption, and I won (note other people were involved in both sides - e.g. James Tyre testified for the censorware exemption, Steve Metalitz against it, but the bulk of the work was me vs. David Burt). And he was paid to do it, as his job, while I paid out of my own pocket (hundreds of dollars in travel expenses) to do it!

Now some, err, anonymous person, has been posting taunting comments to various obscure DMCA exemption stories. Such as, from GrepLaw, the gem

I'll take Fries with that Big Mac, Seth (Score:0)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 29, @10:36PM (#1346)

Yes Seth, but what are you going to do for a job? You've been unemployed now for about a year, and isn't your unemployement running out? Will you be taking a job at McDonalds? I notice on that there are over 50 job openings for web programmers. Why can't you even get one of these jobs in the now-booming tech sector? Is it because any prospective employer who googles sees what a psycho you are?

Or LISnews, the nugget

The clock's ticking, Seth... (Score:-1, Troll)
by Anonymous Patron on Friday November 14, @11:01PM (#1405)

...on that unemployment check. Bet those COBRA health insurance payments are eating into what you have left. How much time before you have to take a fast food job, eh, Seth?

Now, these are anonymous, right? But the style reminded me of, let's say, someone I knew. Well, it turns out, a little cross-correlating and tracking ... it might not hold up in court (just using that as a figure of speech), but, "HI DAVID!".

I'm not really complaining. These comments themselves don't bother me. And after all, I do take guilty pleasure in David Burt acquiring the nickname of "Iraqi Information Minister". In one sense, I'm doing this blog piece out of fun. It shows typical censorware company statistics :-). There are "over 50 job openings for web programmers" listed in the entire Boston area, covering nearly two months - the tech sector is not booming!

But more seriously, it does point up a key problem - no money in this volunteer free-speech work (still). I'm surviving now, with a little consulting, but the bubble-days aren't coming back any time soon. And that's much on my mind, as I've said, regarding censorware work being completely unsustainable. It's not my job, and no organization is funding me.

Remember, even given the big DMCA victory, I am no richer than I was previously. I still have to buy food and pay rent and get medical insurance, exactly as much!

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism , censorware | on November 16, 2003 11:32 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Do you have any more evidence to share? The fact that Burt once misdescribed the content of an article hardly seems to lead to the judgement that he would anonymously insult you on public message boards.

Posted by: Aaron Swartz at November 17, 2003 06:44 PM

You're not a plant, right? :-)

You really did ask me to give you evidence that David Burt would anonymously insult people? Heck, during his days running "Filtering Facts", he'd have no problem sending out an insulting press release

Here's some evidence for your amusement (note not just the willingness, but the style used):

But then based on the things you guys have said you both consider a
child viewing the moral equivalent of an adult getting spam.

Gee Mike, if you hadn't killfiled me, you know what my response was to
that. It strikes me as contradictory to sniff that you're not going
to respond to someone, then do so repeatedly. You just don't have the
guts to go one on one with me, big fat coward.

Altogether now, "Mikey is a chickenshit, Mikey is a chickenshit!"

Here, here. Never have I seen on the net a more gratuitous display of
ego and pettiness. And, like Seth, it astounds me that not only is
the fatboy not shunned by his peers, he actually has admirers. Kinda
reminds me of the college sophomore with low self-esteem who turn
herself into a doormat for the local coffeehouse guru.

I'll bet Judith "If you don't like bestiality don't look at it" Krug is
heading for the Maalox cabinet about now.

True. I know I will never forget Michael Sims' claim that site such
as " Analopolis- Anal Sex Chat", and "The Doghouse - Dogslaves and
their Owner/Trainers" were wrongly blocked for school children in
Utah. (I suppose Michael's reasoning was, "How else are kids supposed
to learn about dogsex"?)

"In conclusion, hard-core free speech absolutist and 60's refugee Chuck
Levendosky is suffering from a serious case of cognitive dissonance."

I wasn't launching an "ad hominem" attack, I was merely trying to
understand the world view and values of a man who thinks that a
pedophile drooling over photos of a child being raped in a public
place is the moral equivalent of a someone else sitting quietly
reading "Ulysses."

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at November 17, 2003 10:05 PM