|MediaFilter on Mon, 12 Oct 1998 21:45:20 +0200 (MET DST)|
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|<nettime.free> 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). http://info.war/uncensored # distributed via nettime.free : no commercial use without permission # <nettime.free> is an open mailinglist for net criticism, # collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets # more info: email@example.com and "info nettime.free" in the msg body # To subscribe: firstname.lastname@example.org with # "subscribe nettime.free" in the msg body # Speak freely or unsubscribe!