Sunday, June 9, 2013

Anonymous - Freedom of Speech Or Duped By The No-Kill Movement

There's been been alot of chatter recently from the No-Kill movement with claims that Anonymous is going to come and fight their battles.  For those that don't know who Anonymous is, here is the Wikipedia description of the group.
Anonymous is a loosely associated network of hacktivists. A website associated with the group describes it as "an internet gathering" with "a very loose and decentralized command structure that operates on ideas rather than directives".[2] The group became known for a series of well-publicized hacks and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites. - Wikipedia
Even our own No-Kill Delaware seems to think animal advocacy should include encouraging hacktivism against another organization.  Below is a screenshot showing NKD cheerleading for action of this type, and as you can see in the first paragraph, she has knowledge of what Anonymous is involved in.  

Anyone who has watched the No-Kill movement knows the movement is a constant source of attacks against nearly every other nationally renowned animal charity in the US.  At any given point in time, their leader Nathan Winograd and his followers have attacked ASPCA, HSUS, PETA, Best Friends, and even local animal shelters across the country.

In fact, the No-Kill Advocacy Center even has a "A Guide for Legislators and Policy Makers" that is a synopsis of their hate campaign against the other organizations for followers to give to legislators as they try to sell their CAPA legislation in other states and localities.  I personally prefer organizations that show how they benefit society and have a positive contribution to make, but it doesn't surprise me that the No-Kill movement finds followers that love the bash and trash tactic, especially in our revolting new world of reality television where rude and backstabbing is popular.

PETA has been No-Kill's primary target in recent months.  At one point some the No-Kill Facebook pages showed anti-PETA posts to the point where 9 of the last 10 posts on a page were against PETA. It doesn't come as a surprise, because we've seen the same tactic against the other animal welfare organizations at different points in time, so this is pretty much the modus operandi of the No-Kill movement.

Anonymous vs. PETA ??

As No-Kill Delaware's screenshot above shows, there has been much touting by the No-Kill movement, and by some that claim to be Anonymous members, that this alleged partnership against PETA was born out of a need to protect freedom of speech due to a Notice of Petition that PETA filed requesting information on only 3 individuals out of the hundreds of people that made comments on one of Nathan Winograd's bash pieces on the Huffington Post against PETA.

Ingrid Newkirk of PETA had noted in a Huff Post article shortly after the Winograd piece that one of the people who made comments had made an enormous amount of anti-PETA comments.
"Yet on blogs and in their comment sections, people like Nancy and Carol are attacked as "butchers," "killers," and "psychos" who "poison" animals and have "blood on their hands" by detractors who sometimes not only make deriding good people a near-career, but hide, as bullies do, behind the anonymity of made-up names, such as that of a Peanuts cartoon character who posted 375 anti-PETA comments over a period of two weeks. These people even maliciously repeat damning "evidence" that has been disproved in court." - Ingrid Newkirk, Huffington Post
As the Notice of Petitions noted:
"The Requested Information is material and necessary to ascertain the true identities and locations of proper parties, locate those parties for service of process, preserve evidence and properly frame a complaint for defamation."
Despite claims by No-Kill that this action amounts to a lawsuit against the defendants, the petition may simply be as noted above, a means to serve notice with cease and desist letters and to preserve their right to litigate if the defamation continues. Freedom of speech is an important right in our country, but as important as that right is, it still doesn't provide a free pass to anyone to make defamatory statements about an individual or a company.

The Irony - Freedom of Speech Argument

The No-Kill proponents and the self proclaimed Anonymous members say that they are in this battle on the basis of Freedom of Speech, but the irony is that the Notice of Petition was filed on 5/23/13, while No-Kill has been posting Anonymous threats against people that disagree with their their movement's hateful tactics since 3 months earlier in mid February 2013.  

In fact, some of us called No-Kill out on this attempt to quash Freedom of Speech by threatening us that Anonymous was going to come after us and to "take heed".  Amusingly the posts were removed the following day, but fortunately we had screenshot a number of the pages before they disappeared.  

So the timeline is clear.  If No-Kill is to be believed, then some of the Anonymous members were working with the No-Kill movement 3 months before the Notice of Petition was even issued, and Anonymous is simply joining forces with No-Kill to help bash and trash the Big 3 animal welfare organizations.  So any claim that Anonymous is now making that they are attacking PETA to protect free speech is suspect at best.

And I would argue that by supporting the No-Kill movement, that Anonymous is in fact stepping all over Freedom of Speech, especially since No-Kill used the above Anonymous post to silence opposition, and the various No-Kill pages are infamous for deleting and blocking anyone that questions their methodology or tactics.

If Anonymous was not behind No-Kill before the May lawsuit, then it seems the No-Kill movement lobbied and duped Anonymous into No-Kill's battle against PETA, and made Anonymous look foolish.

No-Kill Leadership 

Nathan Winograd (No-Kill Advocacy Center) in the past has attempted to argue defamation against some that have looked into his background, or lack thereof.
"Winograd regularly criticizes anyone who does not swallow his no-kill philosophy — no matter how much experience they have in the world of animal control and welfare...
And in October 2008, a reporter for the Austin Chronicle was the first to shed light on his true capacity at the San Francisco SPCA. Reporter Patty Ruland checked with Winograd's former boss, Ed Sayres (now the head of the ASPCA), who explained that Winograd held the position of Director of Operations for a week and a half before resigning.
Ruland quickly learned what happens to those who dare ask questions about Winograd's claims: They are summarily scorned. Before Ruland's story ran, Winograd blasted her on his blog, accusing her of asking "inflammatory and defamatory" questions." - Houston Press
Debi Day, President of No-Kill Nation, has even setup a fund to "counteract libel", and has in fact entered litigation with 2 individuals/rescues in the past, so there is the additional irony that No-Kill feels their freedom of speech is protected, while that same freedom doesn't apply to others.

Lawsuit 1
Lawsuit 2

And per the discussion shown below, sadly it appears that Ms. Day feels she has the right to bully other individuals out of supporting the organization of their choice.  An individual in any democracy should have the right to support the charitable organization of their choice with their own money, without being concerned that people will do an email slam or make derogatory comments about a disability of his child's mother.  It's shameful that the President of an organization would think it's appropriate to post such a spectacle on a publicly open twitter page.

So I have to wonder what reasonable person would argue that No-Kill's freedom of speech is somehow more valid than everyone else's.

And considering the information above, I'm even more dumbfounded by the fact that Delaware legislators and our governor would want to be associated with a movement or pass a law like CAPA that was originally written by the No-Kill movement.  This is a movement that is actively lobbying for a hacktivist organization to assist them in harming another charitable organization, so I find it amazing that any public official would want to be associated with them.  And lastly, that our state government would support a movement that has shown that their intent is to harm the real animal welfare organizations like PETA, ASPCA and; HSUS, that so many Delawareans across the state support.