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Glenn Greenwald’s IP Address Stolen

Last night, I posted of Rusty Shackleford’s coming under simultaneous assault from the Islamists and the Indian government. This morning, I learn that lefty blogger extraordinaire Glenn Greenwald–who is a famous constitutional scholar, has a bestselling book, is quoted by important Senators and media types alike, and has risen to the heights of blogitude in a mere nine months–has had his IP address stolen by at least three people. Thankfully, they have so far used it only to write blog comments praising Greenwald. But, surely, this could be used for ill, too.

Shawn, Patrick Frey, and Ace all have details.

UPDATE (Greg Tinti): More from Byran Preston at Hot Air, who quips, “Perhaps Mr. Greenwald just lives in a crowded house where everyone just happens to spend a lot of time on the internet praising Greenwald using very similar language. And they’re all deeply familiar with Greenwald’s career. Yeah, that must be it.”

UPDATE (Greg Tinti): Dan Riehl has found several comments on his blog from Greenwald’s “stolen” IP address as well.

UPDATE (Greg Tinti): Greenwald responds:

A new accusation is that I’ve been engaging in so-called “sock puppetry” by leaving comments in response to posts that attack me under other names., i.e., that I use multiple names to comment and the same comment was left at several blogs by the same IP address under different names.

Not frequently, I leave comments at blogs which criticize or respond to something I have written. I always, in every single instance, use my own name when doing so. I have never left a single comment at any other blog using any name other than my own, at least not since I began blogging. IP addresses signify the Internet account one uses, not any one individual. Those in the same household have the same IP address. In response to the personal attacks that have been oozing forth these last couple of weeks, others have left comments responding to them and correcting the factual inaccuracies, as have I. In each case when I did, I have used my own name.

UPDATE (Greg Tinti): For posperity’s sake, I took the liberty of emailing all the addresses used by the IP thief at all the sites in play so far. Here are the returns:

“Ellison” commenting at Ace Of Spades HQ:

“Thomas Ellers” commenting at QandO:

“Sam Matthews” commenting at The Riehl World:

“Ryan” commenting at The Riehl World:

But as for “Wilson” who commented at Goldstein’s site, I have received no rejection notice yet.

Perhaps the villian will respond shortly…

UPDATE (James Joyner): Greenwald‘s response is matter-of-fact enough in his denial of “sockpuppetry” although rather vague in terms of who precisely would be using Greenwald’s Internet connection to post comments under multiple names. Steven Taylor believes the jealous Brazilian lover theory the most likely explanation.

UPDATE (James Joyner): Kevin Aylward, who knows a heap more about this sort of thing than most, thinks the explanation is technical rather than nefarious:

My best guess is that Greenwald has a Wi-Fi enabled laptop and moves around the country on occasion, and the IP address published supposedly belonging to Glenn is the one assigned via DHCP to the wireless router in the house he stays at in Brazil. As with any setup like that the same address is shared by all computers behind the router, and on when the router is rebooted the ISP may (or may not) assign a different IP address to the router.

He also shares Taylor’s view that the Greenwald’s Brazilian partner is the likely “sock puppet.” Absent significant evidence to the contrary, this strikes me as the most plausible explanation, too.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Glenn Greenwald Has His Defenders When will they learn? This morning, I learn that lefty blogger extraordinaire Glenn Greenwald—who is a famous constitutional scholar, has a bestselling book, is quoted by important Senators and media types alike, and has risen to the heights of blogitude in a

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  2. Cold Fury says:

    to hide behind while doing it. The douchebag denies it, but as Patterico says…well, read the comments to his post. They’re hilarious. These phony blowhards never learn, do they? Update! And the hilarity continues: more, more, more, and more. Updated update! Boy, is Ace having fun with the punk-ass bitch: SOCK PUPPETRY. PREENING VANITY. THE MAKING OF AN INTERNET LAUGHINGSTOCK. SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED. Ace: that IP is the guy from my site,

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  3. URL Notice says:

    s something happening, just so I can put an interesting weather observation up on the blog. Sometimes it takes effort to keep the ol’ juices flowing, y’know? Since I’m not getting blocked by whole countries, or sock-puppeted by Glenn Greenwald’s schizophrenic “partner.” 1 yee-haw so far File under • Boreblogger Nirvana

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  4. Goldstein’s picking on me again!). Patterico and The Sky is Red are also looking into this curious matter. I’m sure that Mr. Greenwald will post an eminently reasonable explanation, but if I were him, I’d just go with James Joyner’s. Update! Goldstein attacks GG yet again and Iowa Voice presents IP 101.

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  5. It really is a damned shame when I have to interrupt my lunch to DENOUNCE bloggers who really ought to know better by now. Really, gentlemen… for shame. I have only one question. Just who is this Wilson dude anyway? Whatever.

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  6. INDCJournal says:

    Maybe Glenn Greenwald lives with his mom? Originally noted here. More here and here. UPDATE: Sharp-eyed AoS commenter Pablo spots a relevant bit of biographical information from Greenwald: The country in which I have now lived for a year, Brazil, is by far the largest and most populous country in South America, and Brazilians had,

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  7. donsurber says:

    LOL

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  8. Jon Henke says:

    That IP address showed up in our comments too, in the person of “Thomas Ellers”. Strikes me as pretty poor form.

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  9. If it weren’t for those darn kids……

    One would think that such an enormously intelligent and accomplished person would have heard the term, “IP Address”….

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  10. [...] Update: A fourth sock puppet? Pretty soon we’ll need a chart to keep track. [...]

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  11. Cassandra says:

    Thankfully, they have so far used it only to write blog comments praising Greenwald. But, surely, this could be used for ill, too.

    Have they no shame? Some things must not be tolerated in civil society.

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  12. Greg Tinti says:

    To quote George Costanza, “I’m busting, Jerry. I’m busting!”

    I’m going to enjoy this schadenfreude for awhile.

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  13. Beth says:

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!

    What a loser!

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  14. Controller Lot 49 says:

    Not for nothing, but there are a lot of allegations floating around with very little real facts, from an IT perspective that is. Screen captures, for starters, are easily manipulated in something as basic as MS Paint.

    Let’s assume though, that this is not the case.

    There are no less than half a dozen reliable ways to spoof an IP address.

    All one would need is an email from the person to be spoofed, or their IP address. (Both of which can be easily gained by a number of techniques.)

    Once the IP address is gained, it’s pretty easy to spoof.

    The MITM technique would be the easiest way actually. TCP/IP suite is vulnerable to this in a big way. It’s elementary hacking actually.

    A non-blind spoof would be another angle, but this would require the attacker being on the same subnet (in this case a .net in Brazil) as the victim. Not very likely, although possible.

    A blind spoof is also a likely candidate. All you would need is the sequence number of the victim, and a packet sniffer could discover this in a snap.

    These are all pretty old techniques actually, and more recent methods enable all kinds of interesting possibilities.

    Y’all are making an awful lot of assumptions based upon information that is extremely easy to manipulate and spoof.

    At your own peril.

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  15. capt joe says:

    Controller,

    Yes, a big conspiracy against poor widdle gwenn.

    Occam’s razor, Controller, occam’s razor.

    Being a computer security person myself, I find your argument unpersuasive. I think sock puppetry a far better explanation

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  16. Cannon Mouth says:

    Numberous responses from different names at the same IP address? What’s the big deal?

    Maybe he has roommates and they decided to defend him.

    Sheesh. This stuff is just stupid.

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  17. Controller Lot 49 says:

    “Yes, a big conspiracy against poor widdle gwenn”

    Who said anything about a “conspiracy”? I certainly did not. One person, with the will and the skill.

    Come on. If you are who you say you are, then you understand how EASY it is to do, right?

    “Ocham’s razor”

    Which is more plausible?

    A. That Greenwald would use his own IP address to post faked comment posts.

    B. That Greenwald has a home network and lives with others who posted those comments.

    C. That a h4x0r spoofed Greenwald’s IP and posted the comments.

    Clearly, B is the winner if one applies Ocham’s Razor.

    “Being a computer security person myself, I find your argument unpersuasive. I think sock puppetry a far better explanation”

    Sock puppetry is what you want to think. And, I have no doubt you will never change your mind, even if it were proved otherwise.

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  18. Matt says:

    This is hysterical. He won’t come out and say it, but he’s implying that there are either multiple people using the same computer or the same connection.

    I thought party lines went out a long time ago.

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  19. An Alternative Theory to Greenwald’s “Sockpuppetry”…

    I almost did not get involved in this, as it requires speculation about the semi-private affairs of an individual blogger. However, the issue here, to me, is sloppy thinking on the part of many, as well as public conclusions being drawn where evidenc…

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  20. Bithead says:

    A tie, here between OTB and ACE, both on the same subject, for Bit’s SNARK OF THE DAY

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  21. Bithead says:

    A tie on the same subject, between ACE and OTB for Bit’s Snark of the day….

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  22. Pablo says:

    I think A is far more likely than B. If it’s B, you then have to account for the partner having numerous sockpuppets, or you have to assume that there are several people living with him, all of whom go online and defend him on blogs. Not bloody likely.

    If it were one, then maybe. But it’s like 6 identities now. Occam’s razor leads you to A.

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  23. Does Glenn Greenwald like my poetry? Because if so, I'm flattered. After all, he's a NYT bestseller! And Russ Feingold reads him. All after only 9 months of writing measured, reasonable arguments of the sort lauded by conservatives Andr…

    In a post I did a last Wednesday taking Glenn Greenwald to task for being such a disingenuous hack, a chap named "Wilson" showed up and wrote the following in response to another commenter's curiosity about why so many "on the extre…

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  24. Iowa Voice says:

    Get Ready For The Latest Blog Dustup!…

    Heh. A little fancy detective work by some righty bloggers may have Glenn Greenwald looking a little silly.

    From Patterico:

    Boy, we sure do have a dedicated Glenn Greenwald fan there.

    Or should I say “fans”?

    Because these comments are,…

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  25. Greg Tinti says:

    Maybe it was the underpants gnomes.

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  26. Actually, B is the most logical: as I posted on my own site earlier, I find the writing in the comments to be not Greenwaldesque, shall we say, and why would a blogger and author, who is hardly shy about posting his opinions, engage in this kind of behavior? I am not saying it is impossible, but it is certainly unlikely.

    However, a romantic partner, who wouldn’t want to be dismissed out of hand because he was a partner, would have a motivation to use a pseudonym. Certainly our loved ones often take criticism of us more personally than we ourselves do (I know my wife does when people criticize me).

    If we look at motivations and known facts about Greenwald, it seems to me the Occam’s Razor points to the partner.

    Why is that so hard to believe?

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  27. Pablo,

    And why would multiple identies make it more likely that it was Greenwald and not his partner? There is no logical basis for that conclusion.

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  28. mckreck says:

    “Thankfully, they have so far used it only to write blog comments praising Greenwald. But, surely, this could be used for ill, too.”

    Pretty soon the rightwingnuts will get the word from Karl Rove to start hammering poor Glenn for using sock puppets, and then Greenwa…

    Wait minute! That’s what’s going on right now!

    Touche, Karl Rove, stealing an IP address all the way in Brazil to take down the great Glenn Greenwald. Touche. (or should that word start with a D?)

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  29. capt joe says:

    Actually, it is spelled both as Occam and Ockham. Your spelling (Ocham) is still wrong in either case.

    Well, here is a another list for you:

    A. Greenwald is a lawyer and nontechnical and is so vain that he desparately needs to bolster his point with 6 different online sockpuppets

    B. Greenwald has 6 different people all living at his house, all with the same writing style and word usage. (Multiplicity)

    C. Greenwald was p0wned by a 1337 h8x0r driven by the VRWC.

    Aah, I pick what’s behind door number A. “Occam/Ockham” s razor and all that.

    And, I have no doubt you will never change your mind, even if it were proved otherwise.

    back at you pal. ;)

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  30. Controller Lot 49 says:

    capt joe wrote: “Actually, it is spelled both as Occam and Ockham. Your spelling (Ocham) is still wrong in either case.”

    The correct spelling is OCKHAM. Actually, I cut and pasted your misspelled effort – OCCAM – and added the “h” and the “k”, but then removed the k because it looked wrong to me. o well. But, I was wrong once. You twice. If you want to get into a spelling war… sheesh.

    “Aah, I pick what�s behind door number A. �Occam/Ockham� s razor and all that.”

    Ockham’s razor…

    And, you prove my point.

    Steve Taylor is dead on with: “If we look at motivations and known facts about Greenwald, it seems to me the Occam�s Razor points to the partner.”

    Greenwald simply does not wish to name him specifically. But, that is clearly his implication. Not hard to fathom.

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  31. capt joe says:

    Controller, what the heck are you talking about. You made a mistake while I spelled it in one of the two correct ways.

    from the link.

    The term “Occam’s razor” first appeared in 1852 in the works of Sir William Rowan Hamilton

    jeez. learn to read, idiot.

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  32. Phil Smith says:

    They must have some solid ESL instructors in Brazil. All of Glenn’s supporters hailing from there speak English more better than I does.

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  33. Controller Lot 49 says:

    “eez. learn to read, idiot.”

    You are clearly a twat, since name calling seems to be all your good at… have at it fuckhead.

    Ockham’s razor is a methodological principle defined as �Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity.� and is part of a theory of nominalism by…

    William of Ockham (c. 1287-1347) All of his writings, including those on metaphysics in which the theories referred to as “Ockham’s razor” are dealt with are credited to OCKHAM.

    Get this fact and let it sink in: OCCAM is a MISSPELLING of OCKHAM. It is NOT correct. Just because the WIKI link you cite says so, does not make it CORRECT.

    Look it up in a fucking encyclopedia.

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  34. Controller Lot 49 says:

    “eez. learn to read, idiot.”

    You are clearly the idiot, since name calling seems to be all your good at… have at it.

    Ockham’s razor is a methodological principle defined as �Don’t multiply entities beyond necessity.� and is part of a theory of nominalism by…

    William of Ockham (c. 1287-1347) All of his writings, including those on metaphysics in which the theories referred to as “Ockham’s razor” are dealt with are credited to OCKHAM.

    Get this fact and let it sink in: OCCAM is a MISSPELLING of OCKHAM. It is NOT correct. Just because the WIKI link you cite says so, does not make it CORRECT.

    Look it up in an encyclopedia.

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  35. Passionada says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how fast and furious so many right wing dorks fall into the “I thought it thus it must be true.” abyss.

    And, the application of Ockham’s razor in this case is fairly obvious.

    Multiple users (one making up identities or more than one doing so) from a single IP.

    That said, there is another very plausible scenario…

    In Brazil (and throughout South America actually) internet connections are very expensive and hard to get. Most everyone shares a network at the local internet cafe or in an apartment complex. Some houses share amongst themselves in the same neighborhood. This is done in the Middle East and the Far East as well.

    It is indeed much like a party line. The backbone in these countries just can’t support single connections as we do in the US. (The pipe gets really small once you are outside the US.)

    Some of the networks, which share a single IP address, can be as large as 20 users.

    Most likely though, Greenwald’s partner or a friend is the culprit.

    There is absolutely no reason to think that Greenwald would need to pump himself up by posting his own CV himself. It makes no sense.
    He’s stated his credentials before without using a fake name.

    One or more people did it.

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  36. Tee hee…

    From James Joyner: This morning, I learn that lefty blogger extraordinaire Glenn Greenwald—who is a famous constitutional scholar, has a bestselling book, is quoted by important Senators and media types alike, and has risen to the heights of blogitud…

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  37. Professor Blather says:

    Jesus Wept.

    Occam is weeping, too. (And yes – both “Occam” and “Ockham” are accepted spellings)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_Razor

    Folks – he’s using sock puppets. Those who believe the “multiple roommate” theory or the “one dedicated roommates with his own sock puppets” are blazingly clueless.

    It is amazing how strong the Kool-Aid is for some of you.

    Newsflash: I’ve posted under plenty of names over the years. They were all me. If I ever suggest my wife, my child, or my dogs did it … just shoot me.

    And if anyone believes me, shoot THEM.

    This is wildly stupid. They’re Mr. Greenjeans. All of them. Sock puppets.

    Or does YOUR wife hop on the computer and come to the blogs and defend YOU? Anyone? Anyone? Does that happen to ANYONE, anywhere, ever?

    Occam is laughing.

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  38. You’d Think They’d Learn…

    One thing Patterico has shown time and time again is that he knows how to read his site IP logs. This talent has led to several exposures of sock-puppetry which have been thoroughly publicized (*cough* Hiltzik). Yet some people seem to either…

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  39. Scott says:

    Get this fact and let it sink in: OCCAM is a MISSPELLING of OCKHAM. It is NOT correct. Just because the WIKI link you cite says so, does not make it CORRECT.

    Look it up in an encyclopedia.

    Actually, why don’t you take your own advice and admit you are wrong, or is the Encyclopedia Brittanica also pulling it out of their butt (emphasis mine):

    “Ockham’s razor
    Encyclopædia Britannica Article

    Page 1 of 1

    Print PagePrint ArticleE-mail ArticleCite Article

    also spelled Occam’s razor, also called law of economy, or law of parsimony, principle stated by William of Ockham (1285�1347/49), a scholastic, that Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate; �Plurality should not be posited without necessity.� The principle gives precedence to simplicity; of two competing theories, the simplest explanation of an entity is to be preferred. The principle is also expressed �Entities are not to be multiplied beyond�

    Ockham’s razor… (75 of 252 words)”

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  40. Adam's Blog says:

    Defenders of Progress…

    Friends, Dave Screwtape again. I know IÂ’m read by some of the finest Democratic minds. IÂ’m read by the blogging gods who descend with Olympian wisdom….

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  41. Controller Lot 49 says:

    Yes, Scott, it is also spelled OCCAM. (Get it? As in MISSPELLED)

    God, you people are thick. Can’t you capitulate a simple fact without getting bogged down in rhetorical nonsense? “It’s also spelled THIS way so it MUST be correct.” No. Umm. A misspelled name is still misspelled, even if it gains popular usage.

    OCCAM is a (yes. widely used) misspelling of OCKHAM.

    There are those of us who know of Ockham by his many other writings… not just his (very much interpreted and not entirely accredited theory) of “Ockham’s razor”.

    He is called William of OCKHAM, because that is the town he is from. It still exists and it is STILL spelled OCKHAM. Anyone who spells it OCCAM or OCCHAM is spelling it WRONG.

    Yes, even the Encyclopedia Scott! But, note, they say “also spelled”, since “OCCAM” is the misspelling that became somewhat popular. Again, that does not mean it is correct.

    Got it? Sheesh.

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  42. spacemonkey says:

    Could be magick, too, everybody seems to be overlooking that.

    Multiple personality disorder could cause it.

    Or maybe clones. Think Multiplicity.

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  43. spacemonkey says:

    But Occerman’s Racer says otherwise.

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  44. [...] More here. And here. And here. And here. [...]

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  45. Greenwald = Sock Puppeteer?…

    James Joyner and his cobloggers round up the blogosphere kerfuffle over whether lefty blogger extraordinaire Glenn Greenwald—who is a famous constitutional scholar, has a bestselling book, is quoted by important Senators and media types alike, and ha…

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  46. Scott says:

    Yikes lookit those goalposts a-movin'; one minute it was “nevermind wikipedia, any reputable encyclopedia will back me up”, now that Encyclopedia Brittanica has failed to back you up, any alternate spelling magically transmutes into a “misspelling”.

    Following that logic, ancient romans are turning over in their graves every time you mutilate Latin with the debased slang you call “English”.

    Here’s a news flash for ya – just about every word in the English language is a “misspelling” of some previous version, that’s how so many of them start in one language like Latin, Greek or Old English and ultimately end up in Webster’s through a process called “accepted usage” wherein the new spelling is (officially, your efforts notwithstanding) considered “correct”.

    So if you want to go down that road, be my guest, just remember by your own “logic” that you are “misspelling” virtually every non-capitalized word you type.

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  47. VRWC says:

    Controller, you lose that one. Sorry.

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  48. sir gawain says:

    Ockham, Occcam, Sockem, Boppem!

    It smells like either the Green Knight socked his own puppets in some sort of frustration, or he pimped out his friends, his wives, his concubines, his pets, and/or his neighbors to stain the water clear for him. I don’t buy Chloe hacking through from CTU. Christ! Think of all the more tantalizing hacks out there, closer to Everest!!

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  49. Anderson says:

    Arguing vigorously over the correct spelling of the name of a nominalist is almost as funny as “Kantian nihilism.”

    But yeah, Controller, I hear ya on the IP stuff, but “Occam” is a perfectly respectable spelling.

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  50. Shahid says:

    A technical point regarding MITM attacks and IP spoofing. None of these are as trivial as Lot 49 would like to make it, particularly for protocols like TCP/IP (which HTTP uses) that require acknowledgement. In all cases, you’d pretty much have to be either on the endpoints, or reliably somewhere on the route or routes the connection takes. Modern switched networks makes this even tougher. Pretty much, the hacker would have had to hack into one of:

    1. All of the local networks that house the web servers that Mr. Greenwald’s defender posted on. Unlikely.

    2. An ISP/network switch that was reliably on route between Mr. Greenwald’s computer and all of those web servers. Does Mr. Greenwald have any friends at his ISP that secretly or otherwise use the Internet pretending to be him or his computer?

    3. The local network that Greenwald’s computer is on (or his computer). Though in this case, why bother?

    I’d go with either the sock puppet or the defensive partner. Funny either way.

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  51. Pixy Misa says:

    A jealous Brazilian lover who reads like a press release? Riiiiight.

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  52. Pixy Misa says:

    Oh, and:

    If that’s what jealous Brazilian lovers get up to these days, then standards have really slipped.

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  53. Herb says:

    Who in the hell is Greenwald ?

    And, Who really CARES ?

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  54. Pug says:

    The right wing is going nuts over this trivia. It’s amazing. A quick look at memeorandum shows every winger in existence is writing about this.

    Greenwald drives you guys nuts. Man, has he got your collective goat. He’s right up there with Joe Wilson and Jack Murtha now.

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  55. Captain Ted says:

    Heâ??s right up there with Joe Wilson and Jack Murtha now.

    He sure is…under the category Lying Dickwads.

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  56. [...] Heads huddled, notes were compared, and conclusions were drawn: Glenn Greenwald (say many) disguised himself under a variety of aliases to defend himself. He has engaged in sockpuppetry — and that’s the only thing that distinguishes this from the run-of-the-mill left v. right flame war. [...]

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  57. Could one of you who have dismissed the idea that puppetmaster is someone other than Greenwald who lives in or near his place in Brazil explain what makes this theory so obviously specious?

    The smell to me, as an (unfortunately) experienced sock-sniffer, is that the puppetmaster was trying to help Greenwald out, which was both unnecessary and foolish.

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  58. Glenn Greenwald, Sock Puppet?…

    I feel special, since the latest two blog two blog kerfuffles involved two people who have commented here, Deb Frisch and Glenn Greenwald. Given how few people comment here, I’m just pleased as punch that a couple of titans of……

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  59. [...] Some have argued that it is more likely that Greenwald’s boyfriend posted the sock-puppet comments, and not Greenwald. [...]

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  60. Wizbang says:

    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt…

    I’ve always loved that phrase. Much of the language that defines our country is amazingly elegant. This is one of those phrases. During the O.J. Simpson trial I had the misfortune of sharing an office with a guy who I……

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