MediaFilter on Mon, 12 Oct 1998 21:45:20 +0200 (MET DST)

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<> The Disappearance of Michael Donovan

    The descriptions contained in the following text
    are based on accounts of actual events.  They do
    not constitute sworn statements of any kind.
    Some of the factual information is subject to
    verification.  This text does not constitute an
    indictment of any parties, but represents an opinion
    based on information and belief regarding the events
    and persons described herein.


     The Disappearance of Michael Donovan

    Whether it was severe illness, fatigue, mental
    breakdown or cooptation by virtue of psychological
    operations (PsyOps) conducted against him, The
    former attorney for Name.Space Michael Donovan
    disappeared without prior warning in January,
    1998.  His last communications with me before
    he disappeared indicated to me that he was ready
    to file a motion before the Court in the pgMedia/
    Name.Space Antitrust/Free Speech action waged
    against Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and the US
    Government through its agent the National
    Science Foundation (NSF).

    Instead of filing the motion, Mr. Donovan had
    fled New York with his two dogs and everything
    that he could fit into his Jeep.  An encrypted
    email that I received from him apparently from
    his laptop via his mobile phone spoke of a need
    to withdraw from the case due to serious medical
    illness.  The note was extremely formal and legal-
    istic with a personal note attatched explaining
    that he would tell me details in a following
    message.  The second message arrived after a
    long delay, encrypted.  The text formatting
    was broken and the crypto software could not
    decrypt the message.  My feeling was that it
    had been intentionally corrupted to disinform
    and maintain deniability.

    On the 30th of January, 1998, the US Government
    Agency, the NTIA (National Telecommunications
    and Infrastructure Agency) issued a report known
    as the "Green Paper"  The "Green Paper" was a
    unilateral proposal by the United States to
    impose a regulatory structure on the Domain Name
    System (DNS) of the Internet.

    This was the second move by the US Government to
    intervene in the disputes over who controls the
    Global Name Space.  I wrote a message to a person
    who had been "consulting" Michael Donovan, a Mr.
    CENSORED CENSORED, an administrative attorney who
    is a long-time internet veteran and once the
    head of the International Telecom Union (ITU)
    and the Internet Society (ISOC),  asking his
    opinion on the "Green Paper" whether he believed
    that the US Government had the authority to
    unilaterally determine the management of the
    Global Name Space.  His reply was that he had
    spent too much time on the issue and that it was
    in the government's hands now.

    I didn't really know CENSORED CENSORED besides
    what Michael Donovan told me (CENSORED had been retained
    to write a brief on why the US Government does NOT
    have the authority to unilaterally determine the
    contents of the root of the internet) and the
    very brief encounters in DC at the hearings before
    the House Subcommittee on Science in September,
    1997, including a lunch after the second hearing
    where he was present at my meeting with Glenn
    Manishin (a prominent telecoms and antitrust
    attorney who believed in the importance of the
    Name.Space claims of Antitrust and Censorship
    against NSI and the US Government).

    Mr. CENSORED's position had, in my view, had
    flipped 180 degrees.  From one day to the next,
    just as Michael Donovan disappeared without
    notice.  I wondered if CENSORED's purpose was to derail
    the Name.Space legal action by removing the
    prosecuting attorney from the picture so the
    US Government could railroad through their plan
    to regulate an unregulated market while dividing
    the spoils amongst a hand-picked cabal of Defense
    and Intelligence contractors and Government
    retirees and cronies while their public relations
    campaigns kept the public ignorant and confused,
    and convinced that an open and democratic process
    was in the works.  Mission Accomplished?

    Not so fast.  There is much more than meets the
    eye.  In September, just before the hearings in
    DC, Michael Donovan sent me a series of encrypted
    messages and a hard copy memo, hand delivered,
    describing a telephone conversation he had with
    CENSORED CENSORED basically informing him to
    "watch his back" and that everything that Michael
    said on the phone, did in his apartment, or sent
    through the internet, was totally known citing
    small details which were unlikely to be publicly
    known and could have only been derived from up
    close and pervasive surveillance.

    A copy of Michael Donovan's confidential memo
    will be published on the web soon (UNCENSORED).


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