News Mailing List is Down
"Akin Gump Bombs Pearl Harbor"
vs. Narco News
Knock Out Our E-Mail
Volunteers To Our Readers: HELP!
The Narco News Bulletin
Name of Our Country is América"
To Our Readers:
To the International Press:
To the People of América
and the World:
Just as our publisher left the NarcoNewsroom and headed
into the Mexican Southeast in late November to cover the historic
events underway in our hemisphere, this publication has suffered
a series of cyber-attacks of suspicious origin.
We are the volunteers
who answer the mail and help out in the NarcoNewsroom. We have
confirmed that least 113 of those attacks -- attacks that disabled
our e-mail account at Hotmail for a number of days -- came from
the Washington lawyer-lobbyist firm of Akin Gump.
What is Akin Gump?
The full name of this
lawyer-lobbyist firm is Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld,
In 1999, a United States
Congressman, on the floor of the US House, defined this giant
and powerful company as "narco-lobbyists."
The Congressman defined
them as "narco-lobbyists" because of the efforts of
Akin Gump and other paid lobbyist corporations on behalf interests
Mansur Family of
the Caribbean island of Aruba in the Dutch Antilles, and also
Mexican transportation industries, to weaken legislation on Capitol
Hill to go after white-collar drug trafficking industries.
In 2000, the powerful
Akin Gump firm -- which has counted Democratic Party operatives
Robert Strauss and Vernon Jordan, and Republican Party operative
Michael Madigan, among its roster of lawyer-lobbyists -- represented the Colombian Government before Congress.
There, according to US
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Akin Gump
lobbied for passage of the $1.3 billion "Plan Colombia"
that has been the subject of so much of our reporting in recent
Akin Gump, in a case litigated
by lawyer Tom McLish, also, according to the New York Times,
hired private investigators to conduct espionage against ABC News reporters in the
late 1990s. (Again, we find the timing of Akin Gump's cyber-attack
very curious, given their penchant for espionage against journalists).
Now comes Akin Gump with
its latest client, BANAMEX, the former National Bank of Mexico
that was privatized and granted to cocaine
trafficker Roberto Hernández Ramírez, host
to President Bill Clinton and Ambassador Jeffrey Davidow in Mexico, making threats of lawsuits against
Narco News and its publisher.
Banamex owner Roberto
Hernández Ramírez has already used the Mexican
government, under the now-fallen PRI party, to persecute and
seek the imprisonment of journalists at the daily Por Esto!
in Mérida, Yucatán and the great Mexican journalist
Mario Menéndez Rodríguez.
Our publisher will address
the latest threats against him and Narco News in a future communiqué
once he is back from the road and our technological capacity
Our publisher, Al Giordano,
has been out of the Narco Newsroom all week, doing his job, reporting
on the drug war from Latin America, sending in his reports from
the road. And that is precisely the work that this orchestrated
campaign of harassment and sabotage attempts to stop: the practice
of Authentic Journalism.
We, the Narco Newsroom
volunteers, wonder about the timing of this attack. Because Akin
Gump's client BANAMEX had already used an espionage firm,
DSFX, to spy on our publisher and other journalists.
When our publisher went
into the field to do his job as a journalist, away from the full
technology he needs to respond to these attacks, this was precisely
the moment when Akin Gump began its cyber-attack upon our installations.
How did they know?
Strike: Attack on our E-mail Account
Beginning on December
4th, according to emails
received at firstname.lastname@example.org -- the address through which we
make ourselves available for your comments and tips -- various
operatives of the Akin Gump firm flooded our mailbox with more
than 113 emails that appear identical in content.
Akin Gump, which markets
itself as expert in "New Media Law", sent these nearly
identical emails that were illegible in English, Spanish, or
any language that is spoken in our América.
Among a sampling of the
emails that we were able to review from Akin Gump operative Salvatore
Mancuso -- "Salvatore" <email@example.com> -- they were each exactly
60k in size, and the message inside each of them looked like
That is a verbatim quote
from Mr. Sal Mancuso. In other words, gibberish, as if a young
child, and not a mercenary lawyer-lobbyist firm, had tapped upon
the keypad. This, from self-proclaimed legal experts in cyberspace
and New Media. These 113 messages went on for yards and yards,
each filling 60k (60,000 bytes of storage space) and seemed identical
At the same time, we received
a message from Hotmail, informing us that our email account had
exceeded capacity and Hotmail would begin deleting messages randomly
from our account on December 10, 2000. Hotmail allows each account
to use only 2,000k of storage space, and we have always strived
to keep the account under that limit.
The total sum of Akin
Gump messages, including some others that contained sizeable
documents of up to 800k of storage space apiece that could not
be opened with our limited computer programs, to our mailbox
added up to more than five times that limit, to more than 10,000k.
Those emails were also received from:
These are the individuals
who mail-bombed Narco News with more than 113 unsolicited messages,
sabotaging our email account.
Meanwhile, for days, readers
who tried to reach Narco News through our public address on Hotmail
report that their e-mail messages were bounced back to them;
an apparent consequence of our mailbox over-using its capacity,
a situation imposed upon us by Akin Gump's cyber attack. Thus,
Akin Gump, through its harassment and Cyber-War against us, temporarily
cut our communications from the rest of the world.
In seven months of publication,
we have never experienced this problem before. Nobody has ever
sent us 113 emails at the same time as Akin Gump did this week.
This is harassment meant to sabotage our freedom to communicate.
At the same time, two
other technical problems have besieged Narco News. We do not
know whether they are coincidences or not.
Two: Our Mailing List is Down
The second hit came in the same week, when egroups,
the Yahoo-owned free e-mailing list service upon which we send
alerts to our subscribers, suddenly denied access to our firstname.lastname@example.org account.
This has disabled us,
since Thursday, from sending alerts to our subscribers.
When we tried to access
our egroups account on Thursday, we received a message that said
"ACCESS DENIED", that instructed us to disable our
"auto-respond" program and to send an e-mail to email@example.com in order to reinstate our account.
On Thursday, we checked
our Hotmail account. It was not on "auto-respond" and
in fact does not even offer the option of "auto-response"
(a technology offered by some e-mail providers to automatically
send a message to anyone who sends an e-mail to that address).
We contacted firstname.lastname@example.org to inform them that our address
was not on "auto-respond" and to please reinstate our
account, so that we may continue providing our subscribers with
Today is Saturday, two
days later, and we have received no response from egroups.
Yesterday afternoon, from
the road in the Mexican Southeast, our publisher tried to call
customer support at egroups at Yahoo's offices in San José,
California. He spoke with four different support representatives,
each of whom put him on hold until his phone card ran out of
We then contacted former
Los Angeles police investigator Michael C. Ruppert, publisher
to investigate the situation.
Ruppert, an internationally
respected investigator whose newsletter counts as subscribers
the US House and Senate Intelligence Committees and other members
of the same Congress that Akin Gump lobbies, called Yahoo on
Friday afternoon, upon returning from a lecture he gave at the
University of Southern California (USC). This is his report:
"I just got home
from USC. I called Yahoo immediately. The tech knew who you were.
He knew there was a problem. He said that all records of your
account have disappeared and that the entire e-groups staff had
gone home till Monday. This was unusual because when an account
is cancelled for non-payment or something there is usually a
computer record. Nothing can be done about the problem until
-- Michael C.
Three: Narco News Hit Counter is Down
At the precise moment when Narco News was about to receive
its 700,000th visit to our pages in our first seven months of
publication, our hit counter is down.
We have received no statistics
on our site since November 30, 2000, when more than 685,000 visits
had been recorded to Narco News.
We have asked our service
provider to investigate this problem. The company that has provided
these statistics to us is located in Europe. Our provider and
others have launched an investigation.
Coincidence? Or Net-War?
Our investigators are on the trail and we will inform you, our
readers, of each development.
to Our Readers for Action to Defend Narco News and Freedom of
It is now clear to us that there are certain vulnerabilities
in our communications systems that we must fix.
We are also analyzing
and anticipating what other types of cyber-attacks could come
We need your help, kind
readers, and we need it fast if The Narco News Bulletin
is going to continue to publish the facts and the truth about
the drug war from Latin America.
We ask you for the following
1. Create a
"Mirror Site" for Narco News
If they are trying to
knock out our e-mail communications it is possible that they
might also try to sabotage our web site.
As an insurance against
this possibility, we ask knowledgeable readers throughout the
world, in different countries, to create a "mirror site"
for Narco News. That is, a web site from a different location
that provides alternate access to all of our hundreds of reports
and stories and automatically updates itself each time we post
a new report.
Once you have created
the mirror site, please send us an e-mail stating that fact,
the URL address of the site, and your agreement that:
A. No advertising or additional
content will be added to the pages.
B. None of the reports
will be changed or censored.
C. All of our reports
will appear there exactly as written and designed.
Those "mirror sites"
that abide by this policy will be linked to and listed on the
front page of Narco News, and made available from other points
in cyberspace around the hemisphere and the world.
2. Narco News
Seeks a New Host for Our Subscribers List
The lack of timely response
from egroups at Yahoo in fixing this technical problem has made
us aware that we must seek alternate routes.
If you own a listserve
and can donate access to Narco News, please inform us immediately.
3. Narco News
Seeks a New E-Mail Address, More Storage Capacity
This solution would prevent
future cyber-attacks from disabling our ability to receive your
comments, criticism, reports, information and tips.
Here at Narco News, we
practice participatory journalism: Authentic Journalism that
has always involved the readers and the citizenry.
If you know of an e-mail
address where we could carry out our work without being vulnerable
to Cyber-Attacks by Akin Gump or other powerful interests that
seek to silence us, please help us.
Again, this might simply
be a technical problem. Be polite, but tell them that you want
the moderator of the narconews group
On Monday morning (California
Time) you can also call them at (408) 731-3300. You will be channeled
through a voice mail system. The quickest way to get through
is to then dial "0", and when the receptionist answers,
ask for "customer support at egroups." It's a bureaucracy.
Be patient and cordial.
Remember to say "please"
and "thank you." The people answering the phones in
customer service only work there.
If you are a subscriber
of the Narconews list at egroups, tell them that you want the
moderator to have access so you can keep receiving reports.
If you have just subscribed
to the narconews list at egroups and are awaiting approval from
the moderator, explain to them that until the moderator's account
is reinstated you cannot be approved.
AND DESIST ORDER TO AKIN GUMP:
The Narco News Bulletin,
with the moral authority vested in us by our readers and the
truth that we tell, orders the powerful narco-lobbyist firm of
Akin Gump to CEASE AND DESIST its cyber-harassment of our e-mail
address which has already cost us lost time and resources, and
interfered with our First Amendment right to communicate with
our readers and receive their messages.
We may be small. But we
will not surrender to the powerful forces that seek to silence,
intimidate and harass us. The white collar narco-traffickers,
the money launderers, the forces behind Plan Colombia, the corrupt
government of the United States, its shared interests and revolving-door
system with the narco-lobbyists at Akin Gump, will not succeed
in their sleazy and unethical efforts to sabotage our Authentic
We say unto them: We will
continue with our investigations. We will continue to publish.
We will not be slowed nor detained in our mission. There is not
a narco-lobbyist on earth that will stop the facts and the truth
about the atrocity of the drug war in América from reaching
From somewhere in a country
The Narco News Bulletin
to Us At:
Narco News is still publishing
We Shall Overcome