Hacked, but Stronger Now

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July 31, 2002 seemed to start as another normal day when I woke up around 5:00 a.m. and followed my normal routine. I made warm chocolate milk for my son and coffee for me. I then sat in front of my window to the world-my computer.

When I logged to the Internet, I was shocked to see hundreds of angry email messages sent to me from enraged fellow Americans, calling me extremely unkind and profane names, insulting Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, and Allah, the Arabic Muslim name for God-the same entity all monotheistic believers subscribe worship.

When I read these messages, I realized that some unidentified hacker (s) have spoofed all of my email addresses and sent to tens of thousands of email addresses a message under my name with the subject title “Down with the USA!”

The message contained rambling, Islamicist-sounding heated rhetoric that attacked Americans, Christians and Jews. What was worse is that the hacker (s) published the names, email addresses and telephone numbers of 16 equal rights activists active to various degrees in championing Palestinians rights. These 16 people were identified by the hacker (s) as contacts in the United States to be approached for assistance in anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Jewish activities.

Finally, the hackers signed my name at the bottom and published my telephone number and web site address www.MashneyLaw.com.

As I was driving to my office that day, I debated whether or not to contact the FBI. At the office, I decided to do so. As I was looking up the telephone number of the FBI, the phone rang and low and behold, it was the FBI calling me from Washington, DC!

The agent asked me if I sent the message in question which I denied. He then instructed me to call the FBI in Los Angeles for follow-up which I did. I eventually met with two FBI agents and answered all their relevant questions.

When I checked my answering machine, I found angry and profane messages from fellow Americans acting on their misguided perception that I was the one who sent that vile message. Later that day, the phone kept ringing and my staff and I fielded many angry telephone calls and explained to the callers that I was a victim and not a perpetrator.

I was heartened to notice that some recipients of the forged message realized it was a scam and called and emailed me expressing their support and sympathy.

It took me a few days but I wrote back to each person who emailed me explaining to them my innocence and my strong suspicion that Zionist private or public entities targeted me due to my outspokenness on the Internet in defense of Palestinian rights. I received many heartfelt apologies and made even more friends-an unintended result not contemplated by the Zionist hacker (s).

In the past few days, hacking has made a comeback and I now receiving more than 30,000 email messages per day from entities I never ever corresponded with before. My different ISPs keep sending me warnings that my accounts are above quota and that I may not be receiving all of my messages. The hacker (s) continue–to this minute–to wreak havoc in my internet accounts while the FBI appears to stand by. I was not made aware that any arrests were made. I also did not see any hooded suspects being led in shackles-a familiar scene these days.

As someone who co-managed a Yahoo! group by the name of eFreePalestine! (freepalestine@yahoogroups.com) since 1998, I have managed to make lots of friends as well as Zionist enemies. eFreePalestine is America’s secular wilderness voice for Palestine. Hundreds of meaningful people consider eFreePalestine! their home on the web.

I will be dishonest if I denied the obvious and said that hacking did not affect me. It did, both negatively and positively.

On the negative side, it is a tiring task to have to deal daily with thousands and thousands of errant messages. However, my predicament pales in comparison with the extreme hardships faced by Christian and Muslim Palestinians living now–as you read-under brutal Israeli military curfew and occupation for more than 54 years with no light at the end of the perpetual Zionist tunnel. This is so while our president blames President Arafat for the Palestinian endless suffering and calls the butcher Sharon “a man of peace.”

On the positive side, however, hacking has strengthened my resolve to continue to forge ahead until occupied Palestine has a secular government that considers all people equal just like our United States constitution mandates and until Zionism is eventually abolished as a racist exclusivist political ideology not structurally different from Nazism, the KKK, and Apartheid.

Also on the positive side, hacking is steering me away from the internet towards writing. I always wanted to write but never disciplined myself to do so. Hacking seems to be changing that as I sat here and wrote this article.

Furthermore, since I am spending less time on the internet these days, I am spending more time exercising and tending to my law practice. To me, it is a win-win situation–always. Zionist hackers will never win. Truth will prevail and Palestine will be free–a peaceful home for equal Christians, Muslims and Jews.

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