by Pixeleen Mistral on 11/09/11 at 10:27 pm
Anti-vigilante war in Second Life escalates
I've known Cheergirl Allen for years, but never thought of her as particularly active in the Second Life political scene. However, that changed recently - a development that cannot be good news for Kalel Venkman and his Justice League Unlimited faction. Cheergirl's organizational skills and connections have never been in question. She leads the Bimbo Cheerleaders, a very successful 2000 member community, sells an extensive line of cheerleader uniforms, and is representative of the SL-is-for-fun contingent of Second Life players.
Kalel Venkman, on the other hand, leads the Justice League Unlimited, a 40-odd member group that since 2006 has been dedicated to compiling a secret database of dossiers on Second Life players his group believes are troublemakers and subjecting these players to various forms of harassment. Unfortunately, the JLU is congenitally unable to secure their wiki, and yet another security breach led to more damaging revelations of the JLU group's actions over the last few weeks.
Several players have been redacting personal information from the leaked wiki and publishing excerpts at http://trollmanual.com/wiki/2011_JLU_Leak and http://thelistsl.blogspot.com/. It is not pretty reading.
It seems the JLU delights in thwarting their enemies with group abuse report parties, black ops, faked chat logs, wildly inaccurate characterizations of players, and other questionable behavior such as the ghoulish stalking of a dieing AIDS patient, gloating over an ex-JLU member's suicide, and hiding behind a pseudonym while contacting real life schools/workplaces in attempts to stir up trouble for JLU enemies.
If you were designing a game called Dystopian Surveillance Life, including the JLU would be at the top of the list of game features.
Understandably, as word of the JLU's actions spread it seems most SL players would prefer to see the JLU gone and wonder why Linden Lab continues to tolerate them. This is the genesis of an unlikely coalition formed to expose and remove the JLU from Second Life. The anti-JLU coalition includes self-confessed griefers, respected long time players such as Artemis Fate, and now Cheergirl Allen.
Those following the conflict agree the JLU has suffered several damaging blows from the pink-clad pom-pom pep squad leader - and the JLU has characteristically responded in kind.
The first blow came when Cheergirl discovered a well-hidden unauthorized spy-prim owned by Kalel Venkman on her land, filed an abuse report against Kalel Venkman, and then watched as TJ Linden investigated and removed Venkman's surveillance device.
News of the spy prim incident sent the incredible virtual man - Prokofy Neva - into overdrive on the SLUniverse forums as Neva's self-replicating impenetrable walls of text formed a sort of profane gray goo leading forum participants to complain that Prokofy was "shitting up the thread".
Many believed that Neva was acting on behalf of the JLU faction and working to derail any sort of rational discussion after JLU member GreenLantern Excelsior had been suspended from the forums. Ultimately the SLUniverse forum moderator kicked Neva from the forum as well, and the discussion moved forward in a new thread.
We can assume that Prokofy will add this to his list of accomplishments. Like most griefers, Neva is known for bragging about the number of bans he has pulled down.
But the drama was far from over. As Artemis Fate has observed, the JLU love to create enemies so that they have something to do.
"...both groups (JLU/Various griefers) feed off each other. The griefers find the JLU a far too amusing target to grief, and the JLU need griefers to validate their need for power. You can tell that people like GLE, if they didn't have this, they'd have nothing, he's in like 3 different anti-griefing groups and is a volunteer cop, that is his life, and therefore he's invested in keeping griefing happening. Probably why their definition of "griefer" is so loose to include anyone who criticizes their group, so that they never run out of targets..."
- Artemis Fate in the SLUniverse forums
Criticizing the thin-skinned superhero group is enough to be named a griefer, which I discovered when I looked up Herald founder Urizenus Sklar's JLU profile page. Those interested in seeing JLU incident profile pages can look them up at http://bizarro.nexisonline.net/profile/
By not only criticizing the JLU, but also abuse reporting Kalel Venkman for his spy prims, Cheergirl was the obvious next target for the JLU.
JLU claims Cheergirl is responsible for security breach
The JLU response to Cheergirl came in the form of an update to their KryptonRadio blog that claimed Cheergirl was responsible for the latest leak of their secret wiki.
Was the information actually leaked by a disgruntled JLU member as they claim?
We had originally thought that the information was stolen from our systems by a hacker, who managed to compromise the account of a (now former) JLU member , which was then used to steal the connection credentials necessary to breach our database. Linden Lab notified us that a member account was breached, and that they had detected spyware placed by that account in our in-world headquarters. The chat spy devices (there were two) were active between August 3, 2011, when they was placed, and August 18, when they were removed (about fifteen days).
We now know that an alt of Cheergirl Allen, a Wrong Hands sympathizer, had managed to sneak a mole account into the League and had ready access to the BrainiacWiki over the span of about three month’s time. Our records indicate that this account was shared with others who had no legitimate right of access – once again, the content was not “liberated”, or “reported”, but simply stolen. Much of the information being “leaked” has been heavily modified from the original, and much has been simply fabricated from whole cloth. Enough of it matches what we have, though, to show us that a major break-in and theft has occurred.
Linden Lab did not violate anyone’s privacy in notifying us of this. The spyware detected was transmitting chat and other information to a server that LL has been monitoring relative to activity by previously banned griefers who were using alts to bypass their bans.
As is traditional with the JLU, evidence-based assertions are hard to come by, and Cheergirl filed a support ticket with Linden Lab:
Date Created 2011-09-09 16:19:47
Case Type Other Inworld Issues
Case Status Closed
It was brought to my attention today that an Avatar named Kalel Venkman has publicly stated on his website Krypton Radio that Linden Lab had informed him my SL account (CheerGirl Allen) was compromised by some other person in his group and used for mallicious Hacking Activities. As you can see for yourself here:
Truth and Lies – the League Response | KRYPTON RADIO
Also please see attached Photos and URL's supplied by various SL residents.
I would like to know if there is any truth to his claims that someone at Linden Lab told him my account had been used by someone else for hacking the website mentioned above. If so can you please tell me who it was that told Kalel Venkman this, as well who is the avatar that Hijacked my accout.
It goes with out saying I have no part in Internet hacking into websites and rumors that Linden Lab is passing this person personal and private information about my account is very troubbling to me, my SL friends, groups and Business.
TYVM for your time
The Lindens eventually responded, saying there was no sign of trouble on Cheergirl's account, that the Lab does not disclose account status to other players, and suggested contacting the KryptonRadio site's hosting company might be in order.
Hello CheerGirl Allen,
I don't see any signs of any governance activity on your account this year at all, and we never provide any personal information to other users, even the status of governance actions (in other words, even if someone puts in an abuse report on you, we will not comment on the status of the report). Since we cannot affect any websites not under our control, you may want to contact the hosting company for this site to ask them to take action on it.
***** Linden, Concierge Support
Meanwhile, further leaks show that the JLU was apparently planning an abuse report party in advance of an in-world player meeting last week. Apparently freedom of assembly is not something that the JLU believes in - but guilt by association is a concept the JLU is fine with.
No wonder Second Life concurrency keeps dropping.
What about Linden Lab?
The JLU's claims on the KryptonRadio site that Cheergirl is behind the compromise of their less-than secure wiki might be fabrications on the part of the JLU - if we can believe Linden Concierge support's response to Cheergirl.
Another possibility is that one or more Linden Lab staff are passing information on the the JLU - perhaps without the knowledge of Concierge support. This sort of situation - Lab staff getting very cozy with the JLU - is believed to have occurred in the past based on a previous set of JLU wiki leaks.
The most recent leaks include claims that Kalel Venkman has insider connections - a family friend who is a Linden staff member. Would this account for the Lab's inaction on the JLU issue - or is Kalel spinning fictions to enhance his position within the group?
It is hard to see how anything good for Linden Lab can come from this situation.
The anti-JLU faction is unlikely to go away anytime soon, and the image of the JLU as a creepy cult-like group that escalates harassment of Second Life players far beyond the game will be impossible to overcome. The JLU's PR nightmare has already cost the JLU several members who quit once the wiki leaks became public. How long until Linden inaction turns this into a Linden Lab PR nightmare?