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Popular Irish Politics Discussion Board Offline- Hacking Suspected

category national | sci-tech | news report author Thursday March 06, 2008 16:16author by ANM Report this post to the editors

Politics.ie, the popular internet discussion chat board, has been taken offline in what is said to be a serious hacking incident. Users of the site complained that personal information and private messages had been hacked into earlier this week, and some also complained that their avatars (the colourful flag or party emblem they use to indentify each other) had been changed without their permission.

Yesterday at lunchtime the site stopped loading onto users' computers, with all requests timing out. People have speculated that productivity in certain government departments has since shot up.
politics.ie.jpg

It's even being claimed that partners of the predominantly male users of the site are receiving more attention than usual, although talk of a "politics.ie blackout baby boom" might somewhat premature.

The owner of the site, Mr. David Cochrane, runs it in a whimsical fashion, banning users and moderating according to his own views.

He is employed by the right-wing anti-Lisbon Treaty group Libertas, and has used the site as a platform to publicise anti-Treaty arguments. Cochrane was recently featured in an article in Phoenix Magazine.

The site is enormously popular, and has many devoted users. A recent real-world meet up in a bar in County Dublin attracted more than a hundred people. Some users, however, have been less than happy with the site, with many arguments raging about treatment of discussions on immigration issues, gay rights, the Mahon tribunal, etc. A longtime technical manager of politics.ie left recently, and there have been fierce rows about bullying and underhand tactics in moderation.

Many political parties (notably the Greens) use the site to leak information, and others use the anonymity of the bulletin board forum to plant rumours and smear opponents. A genuine hacking attempt may be a cause for concern among users who may not want their private details, such as personal email addresses etc, to be made public.

Other internet bulletin boards have seen "refugees" from Politics.ie joining and attempting to replicate the distinctive atmosphere of the board in new locations, with varying success.

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Politics.ie
author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This was at the top of the page whenever I googled 'www.politics.ie down' :

Politics.ie
Sorry Politics.ie is down for unscheduled maintanence. ... Since we have day jobs, it will be down until we get free time. It should be back by Monday 10th ...
www.politics.ie/ - 1k - Cached - Similar pages

The message is recent as the google cache page you can click on from it is up to date so it seems it is safe enough and I will be able to explain once more why Zionists are Nazis thus saving the world in the process.

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full message:

Sorry Politics.ie is down for unscheduled maintanence.

Politics.ie has been taken off-line for some essential maintanence. Since we have day jobs, it will be down until we get free time. It should be back by Monday 10th of March. If your bored, try Boards.ie or ThePropertyPin.com.

author by maintenancepublication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What the fuck is "unscheduled maintanence" (sic)?

author by cropbeyepublication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:37author address Cork City (Northside)author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey Staribuckfest

Immagine seeing yor here.

Ciao for now!

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ah just dropping in. Am glad that other site is down for a while I suppose because I won't maybe be distracted from doing some things I really need to do now, instead of banging my head against a brick wall called L'Chaim.

author by daily reader - none (and all)publication date Thu Mar 06, 2008 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

theres plenty to discuss right here, the top boards for reading besides here anyway, would be

Slugger O'Toole
http://sluggerotoole.com/

The IRBB
http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php

those two plus here and polly would be my almost daily reading for forums. so few good ones left and the republican oriented ones are too full of text speak of posturing to be taken seriously. ive noticed that the coment section of sertain blogs seems to have taken off as the new forum.

sp what else do you read besides indymedia? forums, blogs?

author by Pidgepublication date Fri Mar 07, 2008 01:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As far as I can work out, the "hacking" was someone who hadn't changed their email password, but I could be wrong.

As for moderation, it's quite good compared to, for example, the craziness on Boards.ie. The moderation is usually to stop spam or an endless focus of things not relevant to what would be considered the mainstream political discourse. I can appreciate that that could be annoying to many Indymedia users, but it helps keeps the site where it should be.

author by Arniepublication date Fri Mar 07, 2008 01:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pretty serious if just "not changing your email password" can be used to shut the site down without warning.

author by Pidgepublication date Fri Mar 07, 2008 11:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry Arnie, perhaps I wasn't clear. My point was that the supposed "hacking" was more than likely someone not changing their email password, and thus allowing someone to access their Politics.ie password.

The site being down is, as far as I understand, due to a software issue and not "hacking". The reason that it's down for so long is that there aren't any full time people working on the site. In other words, I think the alleged hacking is nothing to do with the site being down.

author by Walpublication date Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Politics.ie doesn't seem to have a great deal of regard for it's users. There's no proper explanation, no apology and if you don't like it f*** off to another site. Charming!

author by FutureTaoiseachpublication date Sat Mar 08, 2008 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't rule out a sinister reason, like politicians averse to criticism being in some way behind this.

author by theology studentpublication date Sat Mar 08, 2008 16:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

these things get unglued. I suppose UCC is still up? effin phone bill mounts in service denial you know.

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sat Mar 08, 2008 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If Indymedia will kindly allow me to inform those interested: a website for politics.ie refugees has been set up by E Votting Machine at http://silverpond.eu/refuge

author by Starkadderpublication date Sun Mar 09, 2008 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Cochrane was recently featured in an article in Phoenix Magazine".

And very uninsightful it was to. Phoenix isn't funny or informative,and never
publishes anything critical of Sinn Fein.

author by Rockypublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 01:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

On the issue of hacking two if not three members of YFG accounts were hacked into. Then one of these people started a new account with a different e-mail address which had different password and that was also hacked into, so clearly these people's e-mail accounts were not hacked into or at the very least it's more reasonable to believe that it's politics.ie that was hacked. It's also very strange that politics.ie has been down for such a long time just after that happened.

author by bad to worserpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The site is still down for they are calling " unscheduled maintanence"

author by dr. grammaticuspublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 14:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not only can't they spell, they don't know the difference between "you're" and "your"

"If your bored, try Boards.ie or ThePropertyPin.com."

author by Lespublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I used to dip into p.ie but I've now discovered
http://www.politicsforumpoliticalworld.com. That plus Indymedia is all I need.

author by Starkadderpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 18:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The usual P.ie heading is back...but it's still closed for maintainance .

author by Ard-Taoiseach - The Real Government of Irelandpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 19:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As Starkadder, Pidge and cropbeye would know, I'm a fairly heavy user of the wonder that is P.ie. However, my reaction to the untimely interruption of its highly entertaining and highly engaging discourse is mixed.

I think a good long break from P.ie was what I needed, but I was too addicted to leave it alone. This weekend let me get on with other projects and did indeed lead to a productivity increase in Government(perhaps I can post that on my threads lauding the Irish economy!).

On the other hand, P.ie is a great place, a place where I've seen more knowledge and awareness of history, science, politics, economics and legal niceties than anywhere else on the web. Its moderating policy is inspired and as a result, the exchanges on the site are the most high-minded I've come to enjoy in my career as an online discussor. It's been tough having to go without these for the past 3 days.

The site does indeed seem to be recovering(like the property market!) and let's hope DC and the gang will have the site up and running before the meds run out.

Is Mise
Ard-Taoiseach

author by beal na blaithpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

whats to stop those micheal collins loving terrorists in YFG trying something like this again. three days with out politics.ie is fine but they have to be shown the error of there way's.

the message for the site has changed.

author by bogwarriorpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cochrane says...
"If you're bored visit Boards.ie"
A bit like saying "Feeling horny? Check out Twink's MySpace.."
I actually paid a quick visit to Boards.ie, and within five minutes was reading about how one of the Mods feared giving Eirigi "the oxygen of publicity" and threatened to pull the thread.
Even quoted Thatcher verbatim with the "oxygen of publicity" bit.

author by Frankpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 21:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was also a suggestion that certain moderators had access to PM's.

author by Starkadderpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 21:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you're bored, try:

Watching "Heroes" or "That Mitchell and Webb Look".

Reading Mervyn Peake or Robert van Gulik

Playing soccer,hurling, camogie, etc...

Listening to the new Goldfrapp album

Watching "The Manchurian Candidate"(Sinatra version) on DVD

Playing Cards or Chess

Visiting The Cedar Lounge Revolution blogspot: http://cedarlounge.wordpress.com/

author by johnpublication date Mon Mar 10, 2008 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what. as in people were reading members private e-mails. hmm does that mean the site was not shut down for matanance but for an investigation of some sort?

author by jim hackerpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 14:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the site is still down, but now you can look at and click through on the ads, so someone is still making money...

Related Link: http://www.politics.ie/latest.php
author by Frankpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From what I can gather an accusation of this sort was made against a very regular poster/moderator which was technically denied but apparently information in this mods posts lent heavy credence to the original charge. Apparently it is widely used by party officials so no doubt there would be views on interest expressed in PM's to which certain people would like to be privy to.

author by Conorpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 20:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Moderators on politics.ie do not have access to private messages.

author by on the one roadpublication date Tue Mar 11, 2008 21:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i think he ment that a modorator hacked a member(S) account. ment to be up yesterday. obviously serious what ever happened.

author by Rockypublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 01:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah it's nearly been down a week now and I don't think it's ever been down this long. I'm beginning to have withdrawal symptoms. I wonder why it is down and if it is to do with the hacking that happened.

author by stevepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 09:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was one poster called sniffy who claimed to know the identities of other posters. Which obviously begged the question as to whether he had access to ip details. Apparently he was one of the inner circle so not beyond the bounds of possibility.

author by saoirsepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 09:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Having a users IP details means nothing other than the mods on P.ie know which posts came from which user.

IP details do not include personal information.

Hacking the PM's seems much more a likely problem which could have revealed all sorts of juicy info. P.ie is frequented by a lot of Politcos and some of influence within government circles. They can easily be identified as those who ardently defend Ahern on threads about the tribunals and corruption.

The site is constantly monitored by the Israelis too by the looks of things. Whenever a thread appears questioning Israeli actions towards Palestinians the thread is immediately flooded with extreme pro-israeli lunatics who really have to be read to be believed.

So was is the Special Branch under orders of FF or Mossad?? : )

author by ospublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 13:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've oftetn lurked there and while I agree that many of the posters themselves are top notch,there is a definite clique who are based on an association with the 'inner circle 'of P.ie. 'smiffy' is one . despite being an abusive troll, he is given a free hand. the whole 'cedar lodge revoltution' blog crowd all appear close to the clique . it means that his insider knowledge would have to be taken seriously. IP addresses do give infomation on users which could be dangerous for them. certain posters who tried to expose wrongdoing in high circles could easily be compromised.
all-in-all it makes it a risky set up.

author by Stevepublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry got his name wrong. Apparently he had something like 20,000 posts and a bit obsessive in his pursuit of particular individuals. Would be close to some of the moderators and regulalry claimed to know who other posters were. Apparently works in a Government Department too.

author by I-spypublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors


re: the possible hacking of Politics.ie .

ubiquitous posters = ubiquitous spooks?

the inner circle= intelligence circle?

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Enough of the conspiratastic lunacy please folks. There's no value in wild evidence-free speculation. If people have information about politics.ie, they are free to post it but speculation and grudges against posters there are not on.

[*this comment was brought to you by my CIA paymasters]

author by on the one roadpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

as a fan of conspiricy therories i have to say your's is poor, usualy there a base of substance and a direction of inueno unless of course it's a counter conspiricy theory which relies soley on inuendo and undermines the original conspiricy theory for it's lack of substance. i know what your up to and i for one won't stand for it.

by the sounds of things it was a FGers account that was hacked. who'd be interested in there information. has the state found a leek for the tribunals or is it more likey some personal dispute?

author by Conorpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is getting ridiculous.

"Sniffy" never claimed to know the identity of any other poster, nor did he ever have or claim to have access to users ip details.

Nor is he a spook.

Nor is the site under the control of FF, Special Branch, or Mossad.

Disappointing though it may be for some, there's really nothing to see here. Move along.

author by on the one roadpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 16:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i remember some discussion were smiffy was talking about ip address's i don't think he brought it up but kept repeating it once it was said. maybe thats were this is coming from.

author by I-spypublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 17:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Re:on the road

YFG mail address provides good cover and what better way to monitor than to set up or be connected to inner circle of a politics website? that way you can both know its weaknesses if you wish to attack it for censorship purposes and gather intelligence on its users

either way if ip addresses are shared then it is safe to say the site isn't secure people should be warned before they chose to post.

author by Frankpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its not so much that this smiffy claimed he had access to posters information the nature of his own posts strongly suggested it apparently. When challenged smiffy went to ground for a while, apparently.

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 18:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This stuff:

".... apparently ... [insert paranoia] .... or so I heard ... [insert spooks] ... apparently ... [insert wild extrapolation]"

Must stop.

author by Frankpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 18:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well it seems some of their regular posters have come here during the hiatus perhaps Mr/Mrs smiffy can come also and give us his/her version or take on matters.

author by kevin murphy - 32 csmpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 18:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the regular influx of fanatical zionist posters during discussions about palestine/lebanon etc is a result of echo software used by the zionist lobby , zionist student groups and no doubt the zionist military and intelligence services to alert them whenever a topic is being discussed on the internet . They then descend upon it to pump out propaganda quite ferociously . While the site may be a lot of things a front for Mossad doesnt seem likely .

author by Donpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is slander. There is no evidence that any YFG member hacked into the site. Infact it was YFG members that were had thier accounts hacked.

author by Conorpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where are you hearing this from? Nothing "in the nature" of any post by smiffy ever suggested that he ever had access any such information - and, for that matter, no other user on politics.ie ever suggested that he did.

Did you ever look at the site yourself?

I'm sure Mr/Ms Smiffy will explain him/herself the moment he/she considers him/herself answerable to you.

author by ON THE ONE ROADpublication date Wed Mar 12, 2008 21:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

nah by inner circle i think the previous poster ment people who socialise together or know each other in the real world. though it's not beyond belief that the state pay someone to moniter what's been said on irish based chat rooms (i think a story broke a year or two ago about civil servents being paid to read print media and look for stuff critical or favourable of government depts) rather than the state sending someone in undercover to so called inner circles, i think the norm is to turn someone who's already on the inside. less suspisious for there operative and they have a better change of existing long term.

author by croppyboypublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well I guess we can all empathise with Palestine now, Zionist counter conspiracy or not, we're all homeless that's for sure.. perhaps DC is enforcing a form of virtual self-flagellation on us all over the lenten season.. if you're bored my blog is better than boards anyway - and conspiracy theories welcome!

http://jameslawless.ie/2008/03/12/off-the-pie-for-lent/

author by Frankpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have looked at the site and concluded that the majority of its posters are cafe style politicos. There was an occasion when an accusation was made against this smiffy poster concerning what exactly he had access to. As far as I can recall there was swift denials and an absence of smiffy. It tied in nicely with the clique who are in favour with the sites ownership. If smiffy wants to call on me and clarify matters, no problem.

author by cactus flowerpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 17:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why no P.ie? and why without explanation? The site was down for two fairly prolonged periods in February. I pestered for an explanation on each occasion and eventually there was after several days got a reply that it was a hosting problem, and nothing to do with P.ie itself. I have the same host and had no problems with it at that time. It is interesting that Cochrane has no pink and fluffy feelings for the site or its users or he would not be adopting the irrational-god-beyond-question stance and would have provided an explanation. One mundane possibility is that Andrew's departure has left David Cochrane incapable of sustaining the site. Perhaps he has got bored with it. I have no knowledge of his politics first hand, but his reputation is of being close to Ganley, who is reputedly close to the US military, at least in business terms. If anyone is concerned about security, they should look at the size of the listening plant in the UK and North and assume that all political chat is monitored.

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Thu Mar 13, 2008 20:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm starting to lose hope in the site ever returning whatever has happened to it. Sure do miss her. And whatever has happened to her we'll find out in time for sure so no real point speculating.

As I usually posted links to my alternative news source on it to let people know when new ones have appeared (as the pictures are too big to be accepted by p.ie) I may as well post the latest here then if that's alright:

The Nursery Gazette
http://www.5wwwww5.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=105&mforum...lmoan

and a special edition report on the Paisley resignation:
http://www.5wwwww5.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=104&mforum...lmoan

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 08:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The dissident republican Easter proc:
http://www.5wwwww5.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=106&mforum...lmoan

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 08:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anyone any other info on what has really happened btw?

author by Code Twinklepublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Arghwheresitgone i needitback im dyinghere!

Re all this stuff about inside cliques etc, doesn't matter, it is/was a brilliant forum for discussion for pretty much anyone who has an opinion on a multitude of political topics.

Always found the moderation totally reasonable, and controversial moderation decisions were able to be freely discussed anyway. god DC bring it back!

author by Willpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The owner of a political website aligns himself with the No to Lisbon lobby.
His website is mysteriously closed down as the referendum date is announced.
Conspiracy? What conspiracy?

author by Marlboro Manpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

With all the depressing news on the economy and a predicted rise in suicides as doom-mongers follow Aherns sterling advice of late last year I would dearly love to be cheered up by Ard-Taoiseach or Freedomlovers zany spin on this.

It would certainly raise a smile amid the gloom.

author by Egbert - Splitterspublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Your clock seems to ahead of mine ( prev. comment)

author by Frankpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 13:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think this is more apt for Slartibuckfast.
I don't know what the Proclamation says because its inside.

Related Link: http://singlemailinglabel.com/images/photo_640x480_env_kraft_6x9.jpg
author by Refugeepublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have now established a new refugee camp in the uncharted wilds of the internet.

http://machinenation.forumakers.com/index.htm

Every day a few more straggling survivors of the great exodus wash up on their shores.

author by Caelpublication date Fri Mar 14, 2008 19:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Startibuckfast, you really seem to have nothing useful to do with your life. that proclamation is not funny, its just silly. If you want to see what Irish Republicans are really thinking i suggest you have a look at the Irish Republican Bulletin Board at the related link. Beir Bua a chara.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 09:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And I thought everyone who was involved with RSF had a sense of humour. Well, you'd need to have wouldn't you?

author by bogwarriorpublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't know, Slarti, the Proclamation thing didn't even raise a half smile with me. And I've no problem laughing at meself at times.
It seemed to be more spiteful nastiness than anything. You should've just wrote "Dissident Republicans are all cunts" and put a smiley on the end. I mean, thats basically the gist of the piece, isn't it.
On P.ie, is it coming back at all?

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well that's a happy coincidence, Bog, as most other people have no problem laughing at you either.

author by factualpublication date Sat Mar 15, 2008 15:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Slarti

You fail to amuse. The Republcan project is a serious matter. It is a struggle for equality and freedom. While humour has always its place, you should not be poking fun at things that republicans hold dear. And I think you target Sinn Féin in a particularly biased and not amusing way.

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 09:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I suppose I am at a dead end trying to parody the RIRA as they've moved so much beyond satire it actually is unreal. The Unreal IRA.

The Waste of Time Times.
http://www.5wwwww5.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=107&mforum...lmoan

Yep, I really do have nothing better to do. Maybe I should join the 32CSM or RSF who excell in having nothing better to do too.

author by factualpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 15:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I see you couldn't help but poke fun at Sinn Féin again in your humour-sheet.

Well it does seem that you have nothing better to do. Unlike Sinn Féin who are getting on running the six counties.

author by Rahoodpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How about we get this thread back on track....

Does anybody know just what happened to p.ie ?

author by Cael - Sinn Féinpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lets be reasonable Factual, its the British government that runs the occupied six counties. The Adamsites are just there for window dressing.

Related Link: http://admin2.7.forumer.com/index.php
author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 19:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all too funny to be true.

author by Joe Beazleypublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 20:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

that dissident proclamation attempt at piss take was just pathetic . I didnt find it remotely humourous , absolutely nil humor value and not even a hint of a slight chuckle . Im appalled that someone would go to such trouble and expend such time and energy on something so pointless . And then to submit it online for peer approval in the belief that others will find it amusing ? suggests to me that the author is dissociated from his surroundings and spends to much time persuing a pointless online existance perhaps in the belief that hes some sort of catholic Newton Emerson . The sooner the author comes to terms with the failure of his fantasy and accepts that Newton Emerson is talented , sharp witted , original and actually humourous , whilst he himself while moderately talented is simply not in the same league , the better for him . And us .
Watchuing an unfunny comedian dying on his feet on a regular basis isnt pretty , its tragic and painful . Please stop slartibuckfast , give it up . .

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pathetic...expend such time and energy on something so pointless...persuing (sic) pointless existance (sic)...can't come to terms with failure of humourous (sic) fantasy...dying on feet…tragic and painful

My god I’m good enough to be the next Coke OC. Where do I sign up?

author by Joe Beazlypublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 21:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

was that more humor ?

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 21:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who can find a war fought by hoax bomb warnings funny?

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Sun Mar 16, 2008 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Newton Emerson is talented , sharp witted , original and actually humourous"

He's still not as funny as your attempts to free Ireland, Merle.

author by alonso - nonepublication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ok just to get this back to P.ie, I'm a user of the site and while it's good to get a decent break from it outside of holidays etc. I find it slightly irksome that there is no explanation for its absence. A simple message on the site would be ok, or even a mail to users. i mean they can get a mail to everyone when there's an all nighter on in a Dun Laoghaire pub but not when the site is down for over a week.

While I rarely get deeply involved with other users, ie send PMs or require direct contact with mods or others, I contribute quite a lot to the site, I think, and believe that I deserve some sort of heads up from them. It seems to me that we will never see it again or we'll get a highly sanitised watered down useless continuity p.ie or something. So DC if you're readin' give us a shout sometime - I wouldn't write if I didn't care...

Bah

author by factualpublication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 18:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Slartibuckfast poses as a great wit with his weekly humour sheet.

Almost each week he takes a snipe at Sinn Féin.

At a time when republican unity is more important than ever it is sad and unhelpful that he opts to snipe at fellow republcans.

author by Georginapublication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 22:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Has anyone actually seen or heard from David Cochrane since the meltdown? Maybe he's in a Fine Gael re-education camp somewhere.

Come on P.IE users, David is in trouble- he needs our help!

author by Ard-Taoiseach - The Real Government of Irelandpublication date Mon Mar 17, 2008 23:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for your comments, Marlboro Man, it is annoying not having P.ie with which to hold forth on matters economic anymore. Anyway, to cheer you up, even hard core pessimists like Alan Ahearne of NUI Galway still thinks that the fundamentals of our economy are sound. He said himself on Marian Finucane that the problems in housing/construction are limited to 2-3 years and the basics underpinning the economy remain okay. The ESRI's reports have never been right since the turn of the century and have under-estimated Irish growth by 1-2 percentage points. On that basis, we can envisage a 3.5% growth rate for the Irish economy this year. Manpower did a survey of Irish business and 2.2 times more Irish businesses plan to hire rather than fire this year. Morgan Kelly admits he was just "spouting off" in that ridiculous Telegraph article. We face headwinds, but they are not of our own making, we continue to be the most dynamic economy of the western world.

On topic(in honour of P.ie :) ) Where oh where is the site? We have been cast into the wilderness and we don't even have a prophet! DC should get andrew back by any means necessary and sort out the problem. On the propertypin, the only people I would have regard for would be our own kerrynorth, mr_anderson and Dreaded_Estate. I've read enough flawed commentary by the rest of them to doubt their bona fides. Boards.ie is a stultifying suffusion of solipsism that is entirely beyone the pomoerium of my delectations. Bring back P.ie, I need moi gear!

PS: Lá fhéile Phádraig shona daoibh!

author by Slartibuckfastpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It is back! The site like.

Oh the horrors after yesterday. The horrors.

author by pie eyedpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hey guys,

Two weeks ago I received a call from one of the content team members, to point out to me that two users in one particular political grouping were unable to access their user accounts and that their avatar was changed. I immediately disabled access to these two user accounts, and could not establish any reason on Politics.ie's side that would result in this occuring. My first thought was that it was client(user)-side.

The following day, at lunchtime, another content team member contacted me to let me know that a number of other users accounts were being accessed, and someone posting from their accounts. I immediately suspected the worst, that Politics.ie had been hacked, and that someone had access to everything on the server. I immediately acted to close down the website, and ten minutes later, contacted our hosting company (hosting365) to get them to shut down the server.

Andrew and I have looked into the source of this occuring, it has been established that the users targetted were all from one political party (Fine Gael) and namely all from the youth wing (Young Fine Gael).

The reason the website was shut down was because I wanted to ensure that if a hack had taken place, that no further data could be taken.

I have spoken to the Gardai, and Andrew and I have reviewed all the data which has established that a hack did not take place, but what did happen, is that someone was using my admin account to login, change the passwords of some users, and then login as them.

To those who's accounts were intruded upon, I apologise personally profusely - it was never an intention of mine to allow this to happen, Andrew has in the past spent a huge amount of time making sure the server is secure from hacking, however someone did manage to get ahold of my login details, their hacking incident seems petty, however it's extremely serious in my view, and I'm sure in the views of others.

Politics.ie is back online now, and I've taken interim steps to ensure the security of everyone on Politics.ie - furthermore, I'll be invesitgating further steps at security features in the coming weeks.

For legal reasons, I'd ask that users of the site do not discuss the hacking incident here. If any user has a concern (or problem) please feel free to contact me by email: david@politics.ie

Thanks
Dave

author by Politcs, that ispublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors



There was a hacking incident. Those who claimed here and elsewhere that this article was incorrect should apologise.

Mr Cochrane is trying to stop people discussing the hacking incident, although he himself goes in to it in some detail.

This is obviously an effort to stop any but his own version of events being accepted, or even discussed.

What possible legal reasons can there be to stop politics.ie users talking about the hacking, but freely allowed to discuss contentious issues like British spies active in Sinn Fein, the Green Party's future, Tony Gregory's health problems etc?

None except that Cochrane is scared that people will lose confidence in his site.

author by Seanpublication date Tue Mar 18, 2008 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Anyone else note the irony in Dr. Grammaticus saying "Not only can't they spell, they don't know the difference between "you're" and "your""?

author by careful nowpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 01:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All discussions of trubunals and, remarkably, Bertie Ahern have now been banned on politics.ie. It is
bizarre that a political discussion website is now unable to openly discuss the taoiseach and his financial problems, which is the biggest political story in Ireland at the minute.

Here's the announcement from the front page of the website:

' On Thursday night a new user to the website posted a thread making allegations about a Tribunal witness and a firm of solictors, those comments were inaccurate, untrue and were malicious - I unreservedly apologise for those comments being posted.

At all times, I try to ensure that we maintain the idea of free speech, my moderation policy is very light, Don't Get Dave Sued, as in don't say anything that would get me into legal difficulty. Any time such comments are posted, they are always removed when pointed out to us, either by users of the site, or by solicitors acting on behalf of a client.

The letter sent to me is included below, it was not sent as confidential, so I am sharing it on the record.

Under no circumstances can I be in a position to disclose the identity of any user on this website, and I will not be doing so.

Until further notice, the Tribunal section of the forum is out-of-bounds, and no Tribunal discussion is allowed. Furthermore there can be no discussion with respect to the Tribunals or anything concerning Bertie Ahern.

I am asking all users to obey this request."

----------------

28th March 2008

VERY URGENT

Via Email info@politics.ie

news@politcs.ie

Mr. David Cochrane

Publisher

Politics.ie

Re: Your Website’s Discussion

“Grainne Carruth and Frank Ward”

Dear Sir,

This afternoon it was brought to our attention that your website is publishing under the above heading a number of comments from different contributors concerning this firm’s representation of Ms. Grainne Carruth at the Mahon Tribunal.

Such comments are entirely untrue and grossly defamatory of this firm and its Partners. We now call upon you to immediately remove such material from your website and we are writing in similar terms to hosting365 who appear to provide a technical support system to you.

We also now formally call upon you to identify, giving full name and address, of the following contributors who appear to go under these user names:-

1. saul of tarsus
2. droghedasouth
3. constable adams
4. JCSkinner
5. toxicavenger
6. the – analyst 2007

We find it extraordinary that such postings have remained on your website now for some twenty hours despite the fact that a number of contributors to the discussion clearly brought to your attention that defamatory matter had been published and specifically calling on your Moderators to delete the same. Clearly you are failing to supervise or monitor in any meaningful way the website for which you are responsible.

We await your response by return and you should note that this letter will be relied upon in any Court proceedings to be instituted against you and the other parties involved.

Yours faithfully,

__________________

Liam Guidera

Frank Ward & Company

author by eaglepublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 08:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The law on defamation exists to protect citizens against false comments on their character - to prevent character assassination. I imagine that the defamation and libel laws also apply to the blogosphere. Is the application of anti-defamation law 'censorship'? I can believe so-and-so is an out-and-out crook, but I don't have an immediate right to express that opinion in such a way as to bring so-and-so's public reputation (local or national) into the muck. If so-and-so sues for defamation I must either admit liability or offer a defence that says it was defamatory but the facts are true.

It seems that individuals can go to the tribunals and allege various facts about several people, offering circumstantial or documentary evidence. It seems that if these allegations are subsequently (i.e. after some years) shown to be false the original persons making the allegations can't be prosecuted, but the lies they uttered have already gained widespread currency and damaged the persons against whom false allegations were made.

Let us be clear that applying the law of defamation is not censorship. The law says that every citizen has a right to integrity of reputation unless wrong behaviour is proven beyond doubt. We are all innocent until proven guilty. That includes cutehoor public representatives.

author by snowmanpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems odd though, to try and run a discussion bulletin board about politics without allowing discussion of the top news item i.e. the Taoiseach's difficulties at the Mahon Tribunal. What's going to happen when Bertie Ahern makes a statement in the Dail next week- will politics.ie be able to mention it?

Libel and defamation are very important, and in some ways a person's reputation is even more important than their physical health, but the sort of discussions happening on politics.ie happen all over the internet, without anyone threatening to sue. It seems odd that the site is under legal attack, now after years of the same sort of stuff.

author by mouseatronpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is all getting rather ridiculous, the site is now down citing overload errors.

The site was hurting Ahern one could surmise so FF had it gagged.

Disgusting.

author by Bartpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fianna Fáil had nothing gagged, will you ever get over yourself ya paranoid nut.

author by mouseatronpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 13:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rubbish. Aherns Lawyers send a threatening e-mail to the site. The popularity of the site and strong attacks on Ahern where hurting him. The opinions posted there often transpire on news reels from the lips of opposition politicians.

Conspiracy nut? Please. This is as blatant an attempt at censorship as it gets. Read the thread, actually read it.

FF and Ahern need breathing space. A good oul solicitors letter for a few hundred euro seems to have done the trick.

author by Starkadderpublication date Sun Mar 30, 2008 17:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As of 17.41, the Politics.ie website seems to be down again.

There's a discussion of this controversy here:

http://skinflicks.blogspot.com/2008/03/aherns-solicitor....html

On it, Mr. Cochrane confirms it was a FF member (Sean Dorgan) who
drew the contentious comments to the solicitors' attention.

I'm not sure FF will take full legal action against P.ie.though-it would
make them look like they were trying to silence online discussion.

author by Minne Mousepublication date Fri May 09, 2008 09:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

P.ie's gone down again, I wonder who is hacking it now.

All that is coming up is a General error massage. Again no info, nothing to suggest the length of the outage, Nada

Mr . Cochran really should get his act together.

author by aztpublication date Tue Sep 30, 2008 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

no doubt in response to the points raised here, the current outage at politics.ie is being managed a bit differently. Funny cartoon at the top by the way.

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