Computer Virus Spreads Nazi Spam

A new computer virus is sending Nazi messages to people’s e-mail accounts. The Associated Press associates it with the “Right Wing,” a term they use to describe mainstream positions among American conservatives.

Computer Virus Spews Right-Wing Spam (AP)

A computer virus spewed neo-Nazi-tinged spam in English and German into inboxes over the weekend. The virus, first spotted on Thursday, sends out a blast of e-mail to addresses found on infected PCs.

Most of these messages contain links to news stories with content that “smells of right-wing political rhetoric,” said Vincent Gullotto, vice president of McAfee Inc.’s antivirus emergency response team. But a small percentage contain links to a Web site that tries to infect visiting machines with the virus, he said.

Among the many messages was one with the German subject line “60 Years of Freedom: Who’s Celebrating?” referencing the end of World War II. Another read: “Honorable Action” and contained a link to the Web site of the NPD, Germany’s right-wing nationalist political party. One in English carried the subject: “Dresden Bombing Is To Be Regretted Enormously,” referring to the Allied attack on the German city during World War II.

Ed Morrissey asks the rhetorical question,

[W]hat if the messages supported Joseph Stalin, or contained apologias and paeans to Soviet domination of eastern Europe and the days of the gulag? What if instead of neo-Nazi propaganda, the e-mail had articles about the social progress made during Mao’s Cultural Revolution? Would Yahoo! or the AP call it “liberal spam” or even “Leftist spam”? I rather doubt it; they would call it by the much more definitive description of “Communist propaganda”, which would be correct.

Technically, AP is correct in calling the Nazi/Fascist movement “Right Wing,” even though Nazi is a variant of “National Socialist.” The problem, though, is that they use the term indiscriminately to refer to conservatives, especially religious conservatives, who are well within the mainstream of American political thought. One can’t use that language interchangably.

FILED UNDER: General
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Anderson says:

    I actually did read the article titled “Dresden Bombing Is to Be Regretted Enormously,” and there’s nothing neo-Nazi about it. The title quotes an English historian, Frederick Taylor, whose book on Dresden’s bombing revises downward the casualty count & (apparently) refuses to condemn the bombing as a war crime.

    Not that neo-Nazis aren’t spreading the stuff, but that doesn’t make what they’re spreading neo-Nazi.

  2. anne on a mouse says:

    neither the Neo-Nazis or the GOP should be called “right”

  3. dw says:

    They’re not neo-Nazis, at least not in the “we love Hitler and he was right about the Jews” way. They’re more akin to the ultra-nationalists in Russia and the National Front in the UK.

    It’s Deustchland Uber Alles, but the problem isn’t the Jews, it’s the Turks and other immigrants. Most don’t deny the Holocaust or the necessary evil of WWII, but they do their best to obfuscate both with these “look what the Allies did to us!” rants. If you got the full array of e-mails they were sending out (and I did — one machine sent me 75+), you’d see their basic agenda.

    Are they “right-wing?” Yes — for Germany. Here, they’d be near the right wall of the right wing. Some of their views are espoused here by Malkin and Coulter and some “right-wing” bloggers, especially in the areas of immigration. If you transplanted the NPD to the US, though, they’d find more common cause with the John Birchers and the remaining militias than with the GOP.

    So, yes, despite some overlap in views, “right-wing” is the wrong press shorthand for the NPD. “Ultra-nationalist” might be better.

  4. The term “right wing” is like a lot of terms and definitions in the English language. It’s meaning has changed over time, and either directly or indirectly as a result of the liberal media’s hijacking, it is no longer correct to equate Nazi and “right wing.” Even though semantically you may be right, the term evokes a meaning that is not applicable to Nazism/Fascism anymore. If that were the case, I would not take the pride that I do take in calling myself a “right wing nut.”