Monday, December 21, 2009 problems! Security and privacy breached? Open letter from banned poster to David Cochrane owner, David Cochrane, is under pressure to explain his recent actions on his site. One of Ireland's most respected board members was banned this weekend along with dozens of other posters.
She has written to David Cochrane and I await his reply with interest.

“David Cochrane
Site Owner

Cc members

From Cactusflower


Re: Privacy and Intimidation Issues on

You recently invited members to contact you on any on-site issues. Some issues have come up recently in relation to privacy policy on and also in relation to threatening and intimidating behaviour on site. I have previously referred to these issues on your “Stop the Trolling” thread. operates as an open political forum in which members can opt to post anonymously. holds data provided by members (user names and associated email addresses) which is given solely for the purposes of registration, notifications and logging in. The forum is generally understood to offer an opportunity for open political discussion with members operating on equal terms.

Privacy on a discussion board can never be 100% guaranteed, as there’s always the possibility of hacking or leakage. There have been several incidences of “outings” on and there have been accidental releases of information from other discussion forums.

However, wilful, systemic or malicious breach of members privacy is another matter and would not in my opinion be acceptable. All websites that hold personal data are required to have a Privacy Statement. The absence of a Privacy Statement on in my opinion should be of concern to you and to all members.

Privacy controls on are unclear. In the last three weeks I have been told by more than one poster on that the name I used in registering my membership has been “bandied about” by a group or clique of site members (which included at least one moderator), in a hostile and physically threatening context.

In addition, a member of the same group used that same name in an abusive pm to me, clearly with the intention to intimidate and harrass. This same member has (I’m told) threatened violence against me in writing. I asked him several times on two threads how he obtained my registration name and he refused to reply.

It also appears possible (from a recent post) that a member of the same group, who is not a moderator, has had access to members’ private messages

Yet another member of the former user-group has recently claimed that one of this group is a Guard who knows the “real” identity of another site member. Questions about both Guard role and site privacy arise, if this is true. If untrue, it was an unacceptable untruth by the poster, intended to intimidate.


All of this information was provided on site and can be substantiated. I have kept screen grabs of the relevant posts for my records.

I also note that you propose in your recent “Stopping Trolls” Opening Post to involve “security” and the Gardai in the internal management and scrutiny of the website. While I support efforts to reduce trolling and don’t support any illegal behaviour, I would like to enquire if you believe this will be compatible with the privacy of members’ data.

The future (and present) of – Stopping the Trolls members, myself included, have supported, and continue to support, your efforts to overcome the various problems has been experiencing. I am sure that these issues can be solved if an open and serious effort is made to deal with them. I am requesting you to take steps to introduce a Privacy Statement and policy and to deal with the other issues I’ve raised here in relation to privacy and personal attacks.

As a precaution, I provided this message to a number of Site Members on the understanding that one of them will post it as an OP if I am banned.

Cactusflower 18 December 2009


I was banned on the evening of 18th December without explanation. I request an
explanation for the banning, the opportunity to respond to any alleged reason and reinstatement of my membership.

The pretext I believe may have been that I had read tweets of a member, dot. II would like to point out that twitter is an open medium ( unless privacy settings are selected) . dot advertises her blog on, has widely published her blogger identity as being dot and takes every opportunity to maximize the audience of her blogs. Imo any such complaint would be ludicrous beyond belief.

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access”



  1. I can confirm that I have received screen shots of an assertion by a user on that a "Garda" had found out the id of user redpath and shared with the group referred to above who have been bullying Cactusflower. David Cochrane was informed of this and rather than sorting out the wierd situation he banned redpath.

  2. Why don't you send the screenshots to someone like me? I'm a mod on, or will these screenshots only circulate amongst those making allegations?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Hi Daniel, I believe Dave already got the text of this from redpath.
    You have his email; address,
    dave also received samples of "the cabal" user groups conversations where they threatened Cactus flower with violence and sought ways to set up/out redpath amongst their small group.

    So I think it may be disingenuous to pretend the sites owner is not aware of the facts of that issue.

    Note that The Cabal group deleted their group to evade their planning being properly investigated.

    Also redpath reprots that a mod Corelli was involved with the group and a pm to this mod was posted on the closed forum The Cabal. When the Cabal deleted their forum redpath registered that group name on and the users cookiemonster etc all threatened to resign from,

    I also note that redpath has commented on false allegations

  5. So you won't let anyone see these screenshots?

  6. Is that what I said? I actualy said David Cochrane has the pertinent info, hgas chosen to ignore it in favour of a group of disruptive posters who I believe are still ruining that site as they were this time last year.

    David has my email and just in case you don't it is

    Why twist things King Kane?

  7. I'm not twisting anything. You've made claims but when asked to let someone like me, a mod see the supposed evidence you've refused. My mail address is on the blog I've linked to the ball is in your court. Interesting that you've submitted this to Digg given your lack of a willingness to provide any proof.

  8. Daniel what is unclear about this? The owner? of, David Cochrane, has the relevent info, and as the privacy statement on states he can read all private messages sent betweeen members etc,

    As repdath got the personal message from Liamfoley re Garda in a group on investigating and outing members to a select group David can read it, It is archived in the site according to David Cochranes own privacy staement. But he has already recieved its contents.

    therefore you KNOW that such a pm was sent and what it said and that it said what I state.

    Again:::: David has this info and the text that was sent.
    So having cleared up the fact that YOU ALREADY HAVE ACCESS to the INFO you are trying to claim I dont have, and that you know that what I am saying here is true etc WHY are you commenting here|???

    You have both people korps email and David Cochrane has redpath's

    any reason why you dont email?

    I predict that come the new year this sad saga in's history will come back with a bang and I welcome that.

    You in the meantime should try to sort out what anwsers you will give, as questions will arise.

    You may mod as Kingkane on, I did not note any action on your part re Alan Kennedy (Cookiemonster), and the other members of the far right cabal that actually govern the modding discisons on You should ask Corelli, he is a lawyer, about the activities of the group he was in on and why he as a mod posted private messages from redpath to a private group on
    etc etc ad nauseam

  9. what a bunch of children they are. what should be a great site is now ruined by childlike playground group bullying.

  10. if it is any help to those banned and driven off the site, it is now the most boring, back slapping site going. It has any the political debate that would be found at a cumann meeting, ie none. They all agree with each other and hate anyone that even slighly disagrees. is a perfect reflection of Irish politics, it does not do what it says on the tin and would dirve anyone to drink who tried to engage constructively with it.

  11. The best cure for for 2010 is simply to ignore it, dont visit it at all. It has very few good posters left and traffic is surely going down. Go elsewhere so that all shades of political opinion are tolerated.

  12. As a mod I do not have access to PMs, so these claims "So having cleared up the fact that YOU ALREADY HAVE ACCESS to the INFO you are trying to claim I dont have, and that you know that what I am saying here is true etc WHY are you commenting here|???" is incorrect. I've only read the image you've sent to me now and it does not support your claims at all.

    Your claiming as your main supporting text is a pm that says ":-) So the opposite to bully in your parallel universe is a sneak. But the new order world has you worked out and the Garda member of the Cabal knows your true identity. :-)"

    Are you genuinely seriously?

    This notion that there is some clandestine group that 'actually govern the modding discisons on' other than the mods is also pure nonsense and you've again made a claim without any proof to back it up. Mods do not have access to the pms between 3rd parties. If you are suggesting that Corelli has reproduced the text of pms sent to him amongst some group then what is the problem? The messages were sent directly to him, so it's not like there was any breach of security.

    So to sum up, I don't have access to the information that you're claiming I have, and what you've sent me doesn't support your claims. If you thought it did, you'd post it here. And to cover it up you're making more and more claims while offering no evidence for any of it other than to claim that someone else has it.

  13. You are being completely disengenous Dan, the one image I sent does indeed prove that someone close to the mod Corelli and the Libertas gang on did indeed assert that a Garda had been used to track down and out a member.

    It was their claim not mine, I merely reported it here and it has been proven to you.

    You work for David Cochrane , perhaps you should read his privacy statemnet, he asserts he does have access to private messages, you work with him so why not work through this with him?

    Your continuing efforts here at his behest are silly given that you and he known what I have stated is true.

    As to other screenshots I have re this debacle there is little point in sending them to you as I have already shared pertinent info with your leader David Cochrane.

    Furthermore I sent you a single screenshot by way of a new years gift, not as my only source of proof for my commentary on and its outrageous carry on.

    You are funny people

    FYI Corelli received and republished a pm he recieved from a member of The PM was sent to him in his role as a mod, not as a private personal communication, it was a private communication re his working for, so republishing it on a group which included fanatics like Dot, Cookiemonster, Bobert, MMRebel, Liam O reilly , CYP etc was essentially a complete violation of his modding role on

    He is a lawyer and should have known better methinks

  14. Surely PM stands for "private message".

    Is it legal to read "private messages"?

    Is it true others or even one other can read these?

    Yes or No?

  15. Well according to NEW for the First time Privcay statement on The below is among what they collect, it includes private messages. As to the legality of them reading private messages .................not sure. But is sure seems unethical.

    "We collect the following information: Information which you supply on registration or as part of your profile;

    Information which you provide in relation to any payment; Information which you post on; Information which you otherwise provide to us (for example by email or private message); and Information relating to your use of generally. This includes, for example, private messages, login and logout times, polls you’ve voted on, threads to which you have subscribed and posts you’ve thanked.

  16. Quite amazing. Prehaps these records are only kept in a form that would not allow third party viewing of them or as stats etc?

    I am trying to give the site the benefit of the doubt. Can anyone categorically state that the only people that can view a PM are the sender and reciever? What about other similar sites?

    I would imagine anyone who has information held by the site is legally entitled to see it under freedom of information law?

    Although I would not a fan of the way the site has behaved recently I would be amazed to think that private messaages are read and IP addresses used to track peoples IDs and locations etc. Surely the use of such information other than the very narrow reasons it is supplied is not allowed?

    It sounds more like something from east germany or modern china than a chat forum in the EU. It goes way beyond a game of name calling on the internet if people start that kind of thing. Posting on any website will quickly become very unpopular if these are the new ground rules.

    I would imagine the privacy statement is not worth the paper it is written on for anyone that posted before the privacy statement arrived. You cannot retrospectively change the rules. I also think any reasonable person would be entitled to consider private messages and information to be private regardless of what the fine print says.

    I would like to see the screen grabs etc if they could be put up on a website somewhere with a link?

    The reason I post anonymously on here is the total lack of trust I now have to even post under a pseudoname. I would even be careful where I posted from given the talk of IP addresses etc.

  17. I can only go by info I have re PMs being posted on internal private groups and

    the new privacy statement which seems to contain NO provisions for privacy at all but rather a list of the info they collect and can access
    "This includes, for example, private messages, "

    All websites generally can keep record IP addresses and even a blog like this can have code embedded that records IP address ( provides a free service for this).

    So essentially it IS possible give rather too much info to sites you visit about yourself.

    My advice is NEVER EVER use the same password on a site like as you do on your email account.

    ALWAYS use a seperate email address to the one you normally use with A DIFFERENT name to your real name to sign up to sites.

    On politics,ie NEVER divulge personal info on the board or in private messages.

    I know for a fact that certain paople on have had pms from other users that seemd to indicate a level of dissemination of private data among a small cadre on

    Knowing all this BEFORE you join such a site avoids leaving much for them to pick up

    You should also use proxy IPs that will mask your location or provide a false one to a site.

    I think using a sites that offer for a small fee access to various proxy IPs from different countries is a Must for using the internet these days.

    But none of this is new. However some people are very slow to protect themselves online as there is a silly amount of trust for sites.

    Though on sites like Twitter you can protect your tweets if you reply to a tweet from an unprotected tweeter the post WILL BE PUBLIC and in the public domain.

  18. Well I think that is effectively the end of the internet as a free place to talk then, certainly in Ireland. I could not be bothered with all of that 007 carry on.

    Good tip on the passwords, thanks, but I guessed that much from a purely paranoid point of view anyway quite a while ago.

    There must be a fair few people falsely pretending to be somebody other than whole they are on sites also and indeed maybe two or more having false "secret" conversations to lay false trails etc. Its gets more and more interesting really. Nothing really is as it appears.

    The silence from anyone saying you are wrong is striking in itself.

    The way you have this site set up is perfect really, no email etc and you check the content before it appears. Relatively safe and it does what is says on the the tin. All the username stuff and emails etc is just nonsense really.

  19. Or stick to harmless things like hobby boards,

    on the politics front some people get very hot and bothered in the furtherence of personal/party issues.

    I have definate prove that many people pretend to be members of political parties on to join private groups and see what is going on.

    Normally I publish all comments that arrive that are not spam or repetitive rubbish from Libertas cadre. (Though even most of that gets published here as it is a laugh)

    Be careful out there

  20. I could tell you a few stories of my own but I would have to shoot you.


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