Monday, February 14, 2005

Orgs and Coms: Spamming and Identity Theft

Something interesting has happened. Let me start at the start.

This web site is called There are several parts to that. The "www" is just something to remind you that we're on the worldwide web, you could find our site without that, I think. The "teachthefacts" part means that we think the Montgomery County public schools should teach kids the facts about sex and sexuality, and about other things such as evolution and history.

And the "org" part means that we don't make any money doing this.

The most common extension for a URL is ".com." That usually means that somewhere behind the website there's a company doing business. (There's no law that says you have to use the correct extension, and nobody really checks, but that's what it's supposed to mean.) "Com" is short for "commercial." Sometimes it indicates that the site is hosted by a commercial company, even though the person who maintains the web page isn't in business, but generally, as the convention goes, .com is commercial, .edu is educational institutions, .gov is government ... pretty easy, there're a small number of them.

If they're not taken, these names are up for sale. There are web sites where you can put in a URL, and they'll tell you if the domain is available. And if it's available, you can usually register the name pretty cheap, maybe fifteen to thirty dollars. And then it's yours. You submit it to a service that tells the Internet where you are, and then the computers on the Internet can route any requests for your domain to a particular computer on the Internet, so if somebody enters "" into their browser, it knows where to find that address.

Well, guess what. Somebody bought, and linked it to another site.

The best word to describe this kind of action is: low.

It's like spamming. People buy up names that are close to famous ones, but a little different. Then if some innocent person accidentally types the name a little wrong, or forgets the exact URL, they end up at the wrong web site. Sometimes it's trying to sell you something, sometimes it's a site that has viruses or other malicious stuff, lots of times it's some kind of weird porn site or something with advertising, where they get money just for people visiting that web page.

And now somebody has re-routed to some junk site. Needed the attention, I guess.

So now this is important: if you're telling somebody about our web site, dedicated to supporting the MCPS school board's decisions regarding the new sex education curriculum, please be sure they get it right. The ending is "dot-org", not "dot-com". Say it with me: dot-org, dot-org, dot-org ... good.

If you want to look at that other site, maybe you should. Go ahead and click on the link, it won't hurt you, there's no porn or viruses, that I know of, just some weak thinking. Click on the link and get a feel for the self-righteous hysteria that makes it necessary for us to stand up for common sense. Look at the way they make stuff up, and exaggerate, to make it look like their families will fall apart if their kids ever find out that some people are gay. Look what they say about the curriculum, knowing that none of their readers will ever check their facts. See if you can understand why they have such a negative, judgmental, anti-life attitude. Go ahead, look at their views, observe how that kind of mind works. Just wash your hands afterwards, maybe take a shower.

Then, please, when you want to tell somebody about this site, remember: dot org.


Blogger andrea said...

Thanks for posting this. We all know that Chuck Floyd bought up web addresses using Chris Van Hollen's name- during Floyd's pathetic campaign for congress last year. Guess dirty tricks is all some people have.

February 14, 2005 2:41 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Well, sometimes this site, teachthefacts, just seems so ... obvious. OK, so sex is natural, gay people are people, teenagers have sex, condoms prevent pregnancy and disease -- so what?

It might benefit some of our readers to be reminded just how weird some people are about this stuff. Sex is bad, nasty, evil, especially anything sexual outside the marriage of a man and a woman. Bad, nasty, must not be mentioned. So perhaps the accidental link, the hijacked click, will shock some sensible people into realizing the need for action.

February 14, 2005 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I suppose it might if anything like "sex is bad" was on the website. As it is, I expect you just fear that people will realize the opposition is nothing like you intend them to be.

Oh, and if you do a simple WHOIS you'll see it's registered to someone in San Diego. Not likely someone with the MCPSCurriculum group.


February 14, 2005 4:27 PM  
Blogger War Diaries said...

Does it say when or where he is blogging from?
It's funny how you needed to play such a low blow to dispute such an obvious unethical move.
Yeah, that guy from San Diego...and some land in Florida for you, too.
On a separate note, we have NO problem showing people who the opposition is and what they think: we have tons of links to their website, we quote what they say, we allow comments on our website so you can dispute what we say, and we do not reroute their domain name to ours to get people confused...
In fact, that's the difference between us: we believe that knowledge, not ignorance will set us free.

February 14, 2005 5:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, dear Isabel, in AMERICA we say "the truth will set you free!". I've been to that website and I don't see ANYTHING there that would make me feel like I need to take a shower. Anti-life? Negative?
I don't think so. However after I read all your negative comments, that is EXACTLY what I need. I nice hot shower with disinfectant!


February 14, 2005 9:11 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

GE said: Oh, and if you do a simple WHOIS you'll see it's registered to someone in San Diego. Not likely someone with the MCPSCurriculum group.GE, the same kind of search will show you that is registered to the same San Diego "Domain Listing Agent" as "Not likely?" --Very likely.

It could be that two entirely different people hired the same agent to shield their identities in domain registration. Coincidence? I think not.

February 14, 2005 9:48 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I think it is interesting that someone(who writes without a name)says there is nothing negative at MCPScurriculum- some of their links are so negative about gay people. And why can't anyone respond on their site? I asked off-line for them to explain where Dr. Throckmorton "published" his article- because some of their members gave interviews saying this was a published article. I never got an answer. It seems to me that this "published" article- actually only posted on Dr. T's website- was commissioned by the Recall group to be handed out at an MCPS BOE meeting. Not likely then to be an unbiased, reviewed document- which one might expect if it was a "published" article.

February 15, 2005 11:58 AM  
Blogger War Diaries said...

Well, I guess our Anonymous MB believes that truth comes right out of ignorance, instead of knowledge.
By the way, MB, are you referring to John 8:32? Then, it was written in Greek, and it referred to a Jewish Carpenter who spoke Hebrew and Aramaic…That involves a bunch of people, and places. It does not look like America's property to me…No, it's not "in AMERICA" where we say that, it's all over the world. You couldn't help yourself to be the divider you are, could you?

February 15, 2005 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah. Point conceded, Jim. Looks like it was a proxy buy.

Now then. Where do you see that the MCPSCurriculum group says that sex is bad?

February 15, 2005 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the site is really good. Have you checked it out? They go point by point thought the resources and show the problems with them. I noticed you NEVER DEFEND any of those sources. All you do is condemn people. Could it be because those biased sources are INDEFENSIBLE?



February 18, 2005 7:38 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Interesting you would mention that.

The recall blog has been going through a letter that some of their members sent to the BOE last April when they realized that their materials were not going to be accepted into the curriculum. That's what all the "Approved" posts are, their just cut-n-pasting from that letter. At that time, I researched every criticism they had, and posted a really long critique on another blog.

Basically, their materials are junk, and their criticisms of the accepted resources range from misrepresentations to distortions. I guess I should go back and find that thing, and update it and post it again.


February 19, 2005 6:38 PM  

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