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Games Entertainment

eFront From Inside 200

Gridle writes: "In short, eFront was a company which bought out successful websites and turned them into cash cows by maximizing profit through different ways of banner and other advertising. Not a bad idea, except that their methods aren't exactly pretty ones. A disgruntled employee obtained some crucial ICQ logs (mirror), which show the true spirit behind eFront. It includes cheating on banner companies, cheating on top100 sites, talking about raping a female webmaster because she doesn't agree on some points, tax evasion, delaying payment to webmasters, literally harrassing sites out of existance and all kinds of other nasty stuff. Somebody put together a summary about how it concerns the emulation scene. Also notice OverClocked's comic about it and Tim Eckel's previous ventures against the emulation community, and Penny Arcade. And it's all over the place already. FuckedCompany, SomethingAwful, Lum the Mad (and their forums), Get High Forums, mame.dk support pages and Retrogames' General and Current Affairs boards. Somebody even found that their CEO has earlier been convicted."
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eFront From Inside

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  • I've worked for eFront less than two weeks. I started working for them so I could make sure their hosted sites would start getting paid again, and I could stand up for the webmasters (since it didn't seem like anybody was standing up for them). It is in my interests to do so, as I'm a webmaster myself and I don't like getting screwed by the people who host me. Perhaps you should take some reading comprehension classes (since you're still in college). I never whined about "not being able to my [my] website fulltime", I whined about how the ad market is shit and how advertisers fail to understand basic online advertising concepts.
  • It appears that Lowtax, web master of SomethingAwful and someone who constantly rags on how websites can't run on ad money, is now an employee of eFront.

    Seems odd for a person who was anti add networks, but I don't think his head was in the right place for having dual standards about anti ad networks but then whining about not being able to run his website full time.
  • How do you expect slashdot to stay afloat if VA doesnt cater to the horde of page viewing, banner clicking, l33t gaming crowd?

    (Let me save you the trouble, moderator, I am an insightfully informative troll who's never on topic except when flaming some comedian.)
  • Libel

    How is /. not a party to libel if the allegations prove untrue?

    You can't be liable for libel unless it can be proven that you knew what you were saying was false.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • sam 04/03/20 9:40 am we should redirect it to goatsc.cx or whatever

    Sam must read Slashdot.
  • Maybe in the UK, but not here in the US, in order to be gulty of libel, you need to know that what you are saying false. In order to be convicted, it needs to be proven that you knew it. If slashot dosn't already know wether or not these are valid, they arn't betting anything

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Regardless of what you think of the guy, he's now probably a few thousand richer with all the Slashdot hits to his site.
  • About the rape quote, grep rape from iBLAMEj00.txt. You'll find it easily. Perhaps it wasn't said with any intention to do it, but it still sticks at people's eyes and would be pretty much an open and shot case for this female webmaster's lawyers.

    An open and shut case of what, exactly? From the logs:

    iBLAMEj00 04/03/20 6:02 am F her.

    iBLAMEj00 04/03/20 6:03 am She wants to play hard ball, so give it to her.

    sam 04/03/20 6:03 am yeah rape her and spit on her

    sam 04/03/20 6:03 am oops

    sam 04/03/20 6:03 am err f her

    iBLAMEj00 04/03/20 6:03 am heh

    Seems pretty obvious that they're just talking trash, not that anybody plans to actually go rape her.


  • Taken from exile.txt:

    eXiLe 24/11/20 6:00 am what's root pw again?
    sam 24/11/20 6:01 am wereere

    guess if they have the password changed since then :)
  • Guilty of libel for posting a link? I certainly hope not.
    Get involved
  • Sure. Also a lot of people in the web biz could learn from Nazi Concentration Camps who to run your site efficiently. Will make a great business case studies. Cheers.
  • You sure? I thought they were thriving because their women are powered by silicone. ;)


  • Re:They are not inadmissable (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10,@07:44PM EST (#209)

    I was the first person to get the logs from the hacker (kebie) I have no idea what any of that mumbo jumbo means, especialy because I live in Canada. I originaly gave the logs out to webmasters, because I was so pissed off, #1 I hadnt been paid in 5months, and #2 my net was getting cut off.. Plus efront was trying to blackmail us into new contracts.. they wouldn't give backpay till we signed these new crazy contracts that gave us no rights at all.. Me being the webmaster who was owed next to no money ($421), took it upon myself to release the logs. If any of the other webmasters did they would liable to lose $30,000+ and their sites. The logs had only been through 1 person before me, from what I know.

    Ask CheshireCat instead of me, sounds like he has it together a lot better than I do, but I say they need to take it to their solicitors, you too if you haven't already. It sounds and reads like the people involved with this company do have a valid case.

  • If there is wrongdoing then taking this public before seeking legal counsel has fucked any case they might have. If they were not thinking of any sort of case then they should consider retaining an attorney. I would not want a six or seven figure a year business fighting me for its life, especially a disreputable one, without some sort of legal representation.

    Releasing these logs may win them public favor, but it could cost them any recourse they might have had. And the business they tried to expose can keep on doing the things it has always done ...

  • Case if the female webmaster wants her site back. Even if the rape "joke" comment is completely unrelated to the matter at hand, it will make a difference in the courtroom.
  • If EFront had a Slashdot like forum and was posting an artical about Andover they'd use the open source icon...
    eFront catters to the game community as Andover catters to the Open source community
  • I think any lawyers up against her would have a good chance of keeping that out of court, on the grounds that it's just inflammatory without having sufficient probative value. They'd probably let the "F her" part in just to show the intent, but the rape thing doesn't add anything.


  • Because there's nothing else to talk about... I answered all relevant questions and concerns. If somebody raises an issue, I'll deal with it, but I don't have the energy to sit around and refresh a topic all day, posting answers to questions nobody asked.
  • So, we gripe when people spy on employees, and complain when courts convict people on shaky computer evidence...

    But we have no problems with this person posting other people' logs, which are incredibly easy to fake?

    My mom is not a Karma whore!

  • The derogatory use of "lame", for instance, has long been divorced from its other meaning. But that isn't the case with "gay". Look at the page linked to in the post, actually. The person is called gay by insinuating that he has sex with men. That's hardly an innocent usage. I don't think it would all that hard to argue that that "degardes the gay community". And as long as usages like that remain widespread -- which they unquestionably are at the moment -- then ANY usage of "gay" will be associated with that.

    Yes, but don't forget that "lame" was once used in the same derogatory fashion that "gay" is still used in today.
    At one point, the lame were severely discriminated against due to their inability to perform manual labour with the same efficiency of the average worker. During the pre-industrial and early industrial era, this was a big deal.

    So, too, was "gay" a big deal in recent memory, although you'll notice that its original derogatory use is in decline (it is still prevalent, but I doubt it will be in 15 years time).

    As a society, our cohesiveness as a group depends on the exclusion, even hatred of those who are not in our group. There must always be "outsiders". This is human nature, and will not change since we must form groups in society in order to survive as a whole. The only way to end the hatred of a group is to include it into our own, and this takes time.

    Nothing brings people together like a good enemy.
  • He also says that he had taken steps to preserve his site, and is looking to relocate the site to a French server once he overcomes a small "money shortage".

    This fellow never trusted eFront 100% and covered his rear end by making backup plans in case the deal with them fell through.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    See the movie 'The Insider' . . . there are some cases where non-disclosure agreements and privacy run against the public good and a whistle-blower is not only justified, but REQUIRED. Also, check out ICQ's own documentation on the privacy of their system, essentially implying ICQ is a public forum and not guaranteeing any strong degree of security. Hopefully, that answers your questions.
  • "straight" implies that the person has sex with women! (or wants to)

    So straight women just want to have sex with woman? Is that what she told you? And you believed it?

    No wonder you're home Saturday evening posting on /.

  • IANAL, and it's been a few semesters since I took communications law, but that doesn't sound correct to me. Absence of malice only works for public figures. Whether or not eFront's CEO is a public figure might be debatable, but I know that I've never heard of him before now. For private citizens, all the you need to prove is negligence. That is to say, if Slashdot didn't take reasonable measures to check the validity of the story (do they ever?) then they're screwed if it's false. However, I am taking media ethics right now and, in my opinion, furthering gossip isn't wonderful, even if all signs point to this guy being a jerk.
  • by Chester K ( 145560 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @11:49AM (#371918) Homepage
    A few months ago, eFront contacted me about buying my website, in exchange for some crazy stock option plan. I'm not a lawyer, but even I could see how out of whack their contract was. I mean, give them ALL rights and ownership to the site in exchange for stock that has no value, and has no real prospect of ever having any value?

    But, I suppose enough people are just interested in the prospect of making phat cash that they'll sign anything stuck in front of their face. These people getting screwed over by eFront are getting screwed over because they leapt into it with a lot of unfounded faith. Someone once said (I think it was George Carlin), "Businessmen go into meetings thinking the other guy is going to fuck them over, so they race to fuck the other guy over first."

    This type of thing happens in boardrooms all across the country, every day. It really isn't surprising that eFront is conspiring to screw their webmasters over, what is surprising is that they were stupid enough to do it over ICQ.
  • yeah..true.. of course, we wont do anything
    to shoot ourselves in the foot.. evaluating
    them on a one by one basis

    like themeheaven has a 24x7 banner next to
    ours.. well u know his payment will be delayed

    Andy@home 18/01/20 2:59 pm Do you know how to print and ICQ log / History - I want to remind myself of some of the issues we discussed, so that I don't miss anything

    sam 18/01/20 2:59 pm history->saveas->notepad savedfile.txt->print

    I have a shotgun, a shovel and 30 acres behind the barn.

  • Tim? is that you??? Thought you could get away with it...you cheeky monkey!

  • Interesting. I just visited the Arcade@home site to check it out, and one thing that stuck out for me was that he has links which appear to be part of his site going to either the Top50 or to paying affiliate sites.

    In other words, if you click any of the links in the "Roms" sections, it sends you to the Emu Top 50 site. If you click on "Babes" on the left, it sends you to some celeb site, of course marking it as a clickthrough.

    Best I can tell, there's no content on the site itself. It's just one of those lame site with nothing but links.
  • Lotax why did you think that if you started working thair you would make any sort of difference? the only reason they wanted you was to get you to STFU and it worked. congradulation you were the only person sending out danger signs and you stoped just because they offered you a marginal paying job and some worthless stocks
  • yeah let's fake fucking 10 mb worth of ICQ logs THAT WON'T TAKE LONG AT ALL. Anyone who's frequented an eFront member site in the past couple months is well aware of what fucking bastards the eFront execs are.
  • I think you have some double standards here... Obviously there's a problem with my tax dollars being used to spy on me as opposed to someone expending their own resources, but is that your only gripe?
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • "I don't mean to sound harsh, but I really can't see anything but greed as a motivation for the sites that have been hit by this; that and a sense of entitlement thwarted. I mean, I love PA, I really do, but I could host it on my (pretty modest) salary, in my spare time. What entitles someone to it as their job?" When did it become bad form for an artist to get paid for the work he does? I have seen this same vibe from people before and I don't understand it. Why is the web different. You would never suggest to a person who runs their own flower shop that they just do it as a hobby. That person loves flowers and they have worked hard to make a living out of it. But as soon as someones passion leads them to the internet the value of their work seems to depreciate. I wonder, if PA ran in his Sunday paper would he still suggest that I just do it in my spare time? What entitles baseball players to play fucking baseball as their job? They play a game! I just get this vibe a lot from people and it makes no sense to me. Any answeres would be much appreciated.
  • Damdest thing - di you know "Eckel" is very similiar to the Swedish word "äckel" which means "disgusting person"?
  • I'd register it if I knew what nappy meant.

    Maybe you should ask dangifiknow.com [dangifiknow.com]. It always gives an answer.

    All your event [openschedule.org] are belong to us.

  • I totally agree with you that we don't need to be so hypersensitive, but there is a point of difference here. I don't think this has to do with 'degrading the gay community' or any such; nor any kind of PC whining. This is just a criticism of the gamer community (and a knock on their age) -- why would the gamer kids reserve 'gay' as their greatest insult, even as it has become a non-insult (in the population @large) over the last decade?

    Eckel tried to insult PA by calling them 'gay'. These days, that's not much of an insult. In my neighborhood in San Francisco, the response would be "yes, and??". Most other places outside of the Bible Belt seem to feel the same.

    So, are the warez doodz just under socialized? Do we need to take them to hot, hot, gay raves? How do we break through to them that the 80's are over?

    Okay, enough /.ting. Time to play some gamez!!

  • Note to self. Cross eFront off of the "Save CHV.net list".
  • Mod this up!

  • Aren't these the people that host slashdot ;)
  • Mod up message #209, not this message. Originally buried in the replies.

    Re:They are not inadmissable (Score:0)
    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10,@07:44PM EST (#209)

    I was the first person to get the logs from the hacker (kebie) I have no idea what any of that mumbo jumbo means, especialy because I live in Canada. I originaly gave the logs out to webmasters, because I was so pissed off, #1 I hadnt been paid in 5months, and #2 my net was getting cut off.. Plus efront was trying to blackmail us into new contracts.. they wouldn't give backpay till we signed these new crazy contracts that gave us no rights at all.. Me being the webmaster who was owed next to no money ($421), took it upon myself to release the logs. If any of the other webmasters did they would liable to lose $30,000+ and their sites. The logs had only been through 1 person before me, from what I know.

  • They also posted the interpretation of the link. I suspect you are probably correct though that intent could not be proven.

  • by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @11:15AM (#371934)
    The reason that a company can get away with this stuff, even for a little while, is because there's no community of webmasters/website owners. In the world or pornsites, if somebody does something shady, everybody knows abot it right away, and that person is usually blacklisted and forced out of business.

  • Sam Jain

    Cell: 714 227 5975

    ICQ: 33698360

    Email: sam@efront.com

    r. ghaffari
    (25/M/Baltimore, MD)

  • by Enahs ( 1606 )
    eFront From Inside

    Games [slashdot.org] | Posted by michael [mailto] on , @:

    Trying out some of the mythical Bender code or something?
  • Yeah, we can all learn something from pornsites. I'll tell my boss.
  • Eckel tried to insult PA by calling them 'gay'.

    Yeah, that was something I wanted to mention in my previous post -- he meant "gay" quite literally, as opposed to the more slangish version... And what's worse, this guy is in his early 30's with a wife and kids, but he comes off like some immature cocky rich 18 year old snot in the PA forums. That's so amazingly sad. *sigh*

  • I have a grip, I was just pointing out that someone who doesn't trust a log posted by actual people probably won't take an anonymous person's word that it's good.

    -David T. C.
  • Err, sorry buddy, I don't know what you think is worse than raping someone, but I sure don't hang out with people who talk like that.

    What kind of friends do you have?

    Apart from that though, the post may be a bit slanted, but thats what the discussion is here for. Who cares about whether you consider this post, news for nerds, stuff that matters. If it gets a discussion going that people are interested in and can contribute meaningfully to, then it has acheived it's purpose, and is a welcome addition to slashdot in my opinion

    And remember, if you don't like, don't read it, and don't bother posting to it

  • Maybe I should change my user information to reflect that I'm not in college...

    >I've worked for eFront less than two weeks.

    And what is your point? I made a simple little news update for people who cared to let them know that you are now an employee. And since you verify it then when why do you act like what I said was bad?

    >Perhaps you should take some reading >comprehension classes (since you're still in >college).

    This is why I don't read your site anymore, Lowtax. You insult your own fans. I once emailed you letting you know that I thought your quality was slippy, and I got a two word response: "Buh bye". And oh boy, has your quality slipped since then. This is all my opinion, obviously other people think you are funny.

    >I whined about how the ad market is shit and how >advertisers fail to understand basic online >advertising concepts.

    I can read between the lines, Lowtax. You whine about not getting paid, you whine about how ad networks don't work, but then you whine in February saying you're going to quit because you're not getting paid. How can you even write those articles about advertisers failing and then whine about quiting because you don't get paid?

    No one deserves 13k a month to do webpages, and you're insane to even start whining when you didn't receive it. No shit people didn't get money for websites when people were asking for money than I do after finishing Engineering school. I guess everyone likes Free Beer.
  • Let me get this straight. You're posting "ICQ logs" from a site called retardmagnet.com? Good luck winning that pulitzer.

    Journalistic integrity, meet slashdot. Slashdot, meet... hey, where'd it go?
  • by JoeGee ( 85189 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @11:58AM (#371943)

    ICQ History Log For:
    12345678 SchmuckBoy
    Started on Tue April 32 25:43:47 2004

    SchmuckBoy 04/32/04 02:43:47 nm Did you read on /. about all the ICQ "logs" that were posted?

    leetkid 04/32/04 02:44:48 nm No, was it 'leet?

    SchmuckBoy 04/32/04 02:49:03 nm It took me a few days to write them all, but /. reposted them. This will teach that lamer to mess with me.

    leetkid 04/32/04 02:50:04 nm Sec, viewing them ... You wrote these???!!!

    SchmuckBoy 04/32/04 02:54:28 nm Sure I did. The people at Slashdot are not journalists so they did not bother to verify the facts, and I get away with smearing lameass publically, harming him and his reputation, and /. helped me do it.

    leetkid 04/32/04 02:56:19 nm You ARE the 'leetest one of all!

    SchmuckBoy 04/32/04 02:58:43 nm I wouldn't be without the help of /.

    Exactly why should anyone trust logs posted to a web site? Especially when someone's reputation is involved? How is /. not a party to libel if the allegations prove untrue?
  • I put up another mirror (with all the logs in one big zip) at http://members.nbci.com/mduell52/chatlog.zip.delet ethis [nbci.com] (3.00MB). Of course, you have to delete the deletethis extension, because NBCi doesnt allow zips :(

    Mark Duell
  • And what, exactly, is "the homosexual lifestyle" ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2001 @05:07PM (#371947)
    Kristy 02/03/20 1:23 pm
    by the way.. you have open file sharing on your computer on

    Kristy 02/03/20 1:23 pm
    which means someone can delete your hd

    Kristy 02/03/20 1:23 pm
    at anytime..

    Kristy 02/03/20 1:23 pm
    you might want to change that :P

    Kristy 02/03/20 1:27 pm
    but im not supposed to tell you

    Kristy 02/03/20 1:27 pm
    so dont tell anyone :P
  • It seems to have evolved into more of a slang term rather than 'anti-homosexual'. I use the word "gay" all the time, but verbally the same way I'd say "lame" (which the dictionary describes as being "disabled so that movement, especially walking, is difficult or impossible", which also isn't really what I mean either).

    But, seems people don't want to see it that way. It's more fun, I guess, to run around crying about how people are "degrading the gay community" or some nonsense. It's more dramatic that way.


    Everyone else so TOTALLY forgot to get your take on vocabulary!

    OK, so when you say "that's so gay" you don't mean it in a negative way connoting unnaceptable, wrong, innapropriate; you just mean it in a nice, affirming, we're-all-in-this-together kinda way. Oh yeah, I can really see where you're coming from on this.

    How could everyone else have so grossly misunderstood you?

    So please, when I note that you're an ignorant clueless twit who simply thinks everyone else should forgive him for his offensive comments understand that I don't really mean those things and of course you should have no reason to be offended ('cause like, they shouldn't really bother anyone 'cause *I* don't see how they would) well, you'll understand.

  • Asking out of curiousity, have you donated to them?

    Yes, I have -- but less than 10 bucks. Assuming they keep their donation system up and running, I plan to donate about 25 dollars a year. I'd give it all at once (better for them) but I like the idea I can stop donating if I find the site starts sucking for some reason :-).

  • by jmegq ( 33169 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:02PM (#371956) Homepage
    The response to the eFront thing really amazes me. I'm not vindicating or defending them at all -- they did some nasty shit. But I do think someone has to raise the issue of the affiliate websites' participation.

    How on earth can you do business (and the ICQ log makes the excellent point that, once you bring money into the equation, it's no longer a hobby) - do business with another company and not know that their CEO has been convicted of fraud? Where's the due dilligence? ``What other companies are you working with? Can I talk to someone at some of your other affiliate sites?''

    How can someone host a site like mame.dk or somethingawful.com as anything but a hobby in their spare time? Pud seems to do just fine running FC that way (and appropriately makes fun of big companies that require 50 people to do the same thing). This isn't a troll - at least 50% of those reading this should know how easy it is to run a dynamic web site, and even to host it cheaply. But $24,000 a month!?

    If you're going to accept ad revenue as the way you pay rent, it seems like you need to be up on the ad industry and know what the CPM trends are. It also seems like you'd want a pretty good contract with your ad provider, so they can't just drop you if it's not working out. Especially after April, 2000.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but I really can't see anything but greed as a motivation for the sites that have been hit by this; that and a sense of entitlement thwarted. I mean, I love PA, I really do, but I could host it on my (pretty modest) salary, in my spare time. What entitles someone to it as their job?

    -1, Flamebait I guess... though I really think these are important issues.

  • > took it upon myself to release the logs

    Thanks for that. It would have been more fun/efficient if you released the logs slowly ("And tomorrow, as a guest star, lowtax, from SA fame...")

    Anyway, it is always nice when shit hits the fan that way...


  • by Gridle ( 17502 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:07PM (#371960)
    For a change, would you please read the links too? Who the hell would invest two months of constant typing to create 12 MB of forged logs with authentic information, passwords, people, phone numbers et cetera, and what for?

    I have no reason to suspect the logs aren't real. Draw your own conclusions though.

    Also, ICQ's license agreement pretty much states that since they can't guarantee privacy, it's essentially a public forum. I guess eFront just fucked themselves.

    About the rape quote, grep rape from iBLAMEj00.txt. You'll find it easily. Perhaps it wasn't said with any intention to do it, but it still sticks at people's eyes and would be pretty much an open and shot case for this female webmaster's lawyers.
  • Granted, but how much $ is that worth to you?

    Well, it's worth maybe ... 25 bucks a year. If PA were a monthly magazine, with everything it has in it, I would probably subscribe for that much. On the other hand, it works so much better as a web site.
    PA introduced me to CounterStrike [counter-strike.net]. Though this has largely been regarded as a poor move in my wife's mind, my friends and I are pretty happy about it. Not to mention Bejeweled [msn.com]! And this great comic [penny-arcade.com], which still elicits laughter.
    Heck, I used to pay 30 bucks a year for PC Gamer, and it sucked. And it was chock full of ads. At PA, there are no ads. It's just great content, seemingly tailor-made for my consumption.

    Should PA be their full time job?

    Why shouldn't it be? If they're good enough at what they do, and the economy can support them, why not?

  • But also mentioned is his pager email address, right here -> 7142275975@mobile.att.net

    Someone else (loraksus post #90) posted it but I think everyone should get a chance to tell him how they feel.
  • But have you used the homosexual key-word (complete give-away that whoever uses it is a raging homosexual desparately tring to keep under cover!)

    and "

    Remember - you heard it here first - your 100% accurate guide to spotting practicioners of "the homosexual lifestyle."

  • Do you still have a copy of the contract? Is it possible to post it to a site, so that people can read it?
  • by mav[LAG] ( 31387 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:13PM (#371983)
    OTOH there is now a large community of pissed-off web site owners, emulator coders and cartoonists with a single purpose. It amazes me that people still try to discredit, annoy or rip off people on the Net with technical abilities. Like it or not the law is actually quite secondary in these cases. The more common reaction for annoyed techies is to go for the quick expose along with incriminating evidence and character assassination.

    Just as I think any kind of community spirit on the Net is gone, some little slimeball pops up and proves me wrong with the reaction he provokes.

  • Well, a lot of people in the web biz could learn from pornsites how to make good money. A lot of these companies are thriving, in sharp contrast to "Which one will go bankrupt today?" gloom hanging over Linux companies.


  • by Illserve ( 56215 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:18PM (#371990)
    If you ask me which is more likely: that a company with a bad reputation is actually a sleazeball operation, or someone sat down forged megabytes of ascii text icq logs, I'll go with the sleazeball. It's occams razor, plain and simple. Hell, it would be less effort to forge a .jpg of Ted Eckel shooting heroin in a crack house than write all this.

    If you want clear and incontrovertible proof, you're going to have to develop some kind of clairsentient abilities, because all evidence can be forged at some level.
  • Actualy... * It's not signed by a person (but was sent by email? what was the email address in the relevant headers?) A lawyer would sign his/her name. or perhaps the current efront legal dept. consists of Sam in his boxers and a google search for cease and desist letters.

    I've read some of the excerpted logs, and that actualy isn't to far from the truth. One of the guys on ICQ, I think it was bryant or tim actualy did a search and found a sample C&D to send to the PA guys "fill in the relevent details, and put out lawers name on it."

    These guys acted like children.

    Rate me on Picture-rate.com [picture-rate.com]
  • Its clear from the logs that Efront are in some financial difficulty, it could be ironic that all this attention could give them the visitors to their sites to achieve their targets and make some money. However, according to those in the know they wont get nearly enough to save them, definetly not enough to clear the backpay. Those in the know are awaiting an investigation by the SEC for illegal trade of securities, though they seem more concerned with tying to keep the lid on it as this letter [fuckedcompany.com] at Fucked Company [fuckedcompany.com] shows.
  • by verbot ( 215901 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @06:37PM (#372001)

    First, check out: http://www.fuckedcompany.com/extras/efront_letter. cfm [fuckedcompany.com]

    As you can see, eFront's "legal department" is sending out cease and desist letters to anyone who is hosting or linking to the ICQ logs. Wonder if Slashdot will be hit by one?

    If you have read the logs, you'll know that in a previous situation, eFront simply copied a cease and desist template off a web page to send. Look's like they've done it here as well.

    I like this comment made [fuckedcompany.com] by bored2 on Pud's website. He says:

    regarding the letter:

    * It's not signed by a person (but was sent by email? what was the email address in the relevant headers?) A lawyer would sign his/her name. or perhaps the current efront legal dept. consists of Sam in his boxers and a google search for cease and desist letters.

    * It starts: "We are contacting you on behalf of eFront Media ("Company")." Umm, but I thought this letter was from eFront? Sam is obviously using a letter from a law firm writing on behalf of a client w/o having changed the relevant parts of the letter.

    * "The unauthorized break-in and continued distribution and dissemination of this data violates the Federal wiretapping ***statues***."

    With no citation to the relevant "statues".

    * "The FBI office of Orange County is currently investigating"

    There is a LA and San Diego division offices of the FBI; there is no office called the "Orange County Office." See: http://losangeles.fbi.gov/contact/fo/la/territory. htm

    The rest of the letter is just crap, especially: "In addition, we are requesting that you shut down the entire forum for Efront, due to the criminal investigation and the illegal actions that have been conducted with the reading and gathering of such materials."

    What is that last clause supposed to mean?

    How pathetic.
  • by cheshire_cqx ( 175259 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @02:45PM (#372002) Homepage

    I'm afraid you don't know what you're talking about. In a civil action, people don't "file charges." Only a government prosecutor can "file charges"--or more accurately seek an indictment by grand jury or by information with a preliminary hearing in front of a magistrate. Your points might apply if you were talking about ethical violations relating to prejudicial pretrial pubilicity by the government (state prosecutors or Fed. Assistant U.S. Attorneys). Similarly, innocent until proven guilty is a criminal concept; civil plaintiffs have the burden of proof/pursuasion (with a "more likely than not" standard).

    Re. defamation, remember that truth is a defense. Stated another way, you can only defame someone with false statements. Second, some matters of public interest are covered by a qualified, constitutional privilige established by the Spreme Court in New York Times v. Sullivan. With a public figure or matter of public controversy, a plaintiff must often prove "actual malice," meaning not "spite or ill will" but that the defendant had "knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for truth," but nevertheless published the statement(s). However, if the plaintiff is a private person and has not injected him/herself into a public controversy, then the plaintiff only needs to prove that the defendant was negligent in publishing the defamatory material.

    With a private person & private controversy, usually negligence means falling below what a reasonable person or reasonable publisher would have done under the same circumstances.

    There are other torts that might apply, however, like invasion of privacy.

    One interesting question is whether obtaining the logs violated the Electronic Communications Protection Act (ECPA), 18 U.S.C. 2510 et seq.

    Re. admissibility, pre-publication or not keeping something a secret has no bearing. All relevant evidence not otherwise inadmissible comes in. "Relevant" usually means "having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable". An easy standard. Some possible grounds for inadmissibility:

    • Authentication. Under Rule of Evidence 901, there must be authentication or identification of what the evidence is and that it's genuine. This can be, e.g., by a person with personal knowledge, by expert testimony, or that the method or process was accurate.
    • Heresay. Hearsay is not admissible except as provided by the rules. Heresay is a statement made out of court offered for the truth of the matter asserted. However, it is not heresay if the statement was made by a "party opponent," that is the person you are suing or being sued by. There are other qualifications and exclusions (see Fed. Rules of Evidence 801-806).

    In all, electronic records are viewed by the majority of courts to be no better and no worse than any other kind of evidence.

    In a hundred-mile march,

  • "I mean, I love PA, I really do, but I could host it on my (pretty modest) salary, in my spare time"

    You must have more spare time than I do. I go to sites like PA because I don't have the spare time to dig around the net and find the things they do.

  • Well, NBCi is being odd, so heres another link: http://members.nbci.com/mduell52/chatlog.zip.html [nbci.com] Its still the same 3MB zip file, with a new extension... (Remember, choose Save as... [I pity the fool who tries to open it with IE])

    Mark Duell
  • really, I would love to see you spend a couple of days typing up everything in there. Especially when there are real cell phone numbers, icq numbers, and root passwords, and logs that can be verified by all the other parties involved
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Here is a picture so you can match a face with the story. 0.htm []
  • One other point, if these allegations prove untrue, /. becomes guilty of libel ...

    If they wanna "bet the farm" on something like this, then I guess that's their business. For some reason I suspect this story was poorly considered. :)

  • I've been following this since yesterday, here are some relevant links & funny facts:

    FULL logs:

    Misc. logs & non-log information:
    http://babel.altavista.com/translate.dyn?urltext =h ttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.hebus.com%2Findex.html&lp=fr_en

    Fuckedcompany broke the story at:
    http://www.fuckedcompany.com/comments/index.cfm? ne wsID=9082447374

    There are 18 pages of commentary @ Fuckedcompany, some commentary is rather humorous - phone numbers for employees and the answering machine messages that say "I no longer work here, call Sam Jain", highlights from some of the logs, and misc. images from the web.

    If you go to http://www.efront.com, and then go to their "About Us" section, every link works.. except the Management link, most likely removed to prevent them from being spammed or contacted by news media. Of course, you can still get the information, because they didn't take down the German version of that page. Just click on the German flag.

    I suppose their site *would* have to be up for this to work, though.

    Thank goodness for GoogleCache!
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.efront. co m/management.php+efront+management&hl=en

    Also funny is that Sam Jain's cell phone (the number of which you can find in the logs) is "at the customer's request, no longer accepting incoming calls".

    That's all, folks


  • eFront also bought one website I worked on (PCMech.com) and offered to buy another that I owned.

    I warned the PCMech owner NOT to get associated with eF. All the other sites that eF bought (I knew a LOT of people in the webmaster community) were abused. Ads were put up (the popup kind), payments were late, and most of all the webmasters retained NO control. Strict guidelines were set up to stop them from seeing their OWN stats just so eF could make up their own numbers!

    Lowtax (webmaster of SomethingAwful) is now part of eF (and not just a siteowner). hE's trying to make things better. I sure hope he can, or a HUGE percentage of everyone's fav sites will be screwed (PA, SA, PCMech, etc etc). Wish him good luck.
  • by Argy ( 95352 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:56PM (#372019)
    The "in short" version seems a little too short, for those of us who have never heard of eFront. And the log files are many, many times the length of War and Peace. So I apologize for not having read the entire "article" before commenting. But the charges seem a little stupid to me...buying web sites to make more money back is not a crime! Do the log files actually state doing something illegal, or is this just whimpering from eFront's competitors?

    The "summary" link above is vaguely written, with nothing clearly stated to be illegal. It's more like it's written to *sound* illegal. "Screw the affiliates by lowering the CPM from $3 to $.75"...does that mean in actual breach of contract, or does it mean renegotiate the monthly pay rate? There's a big difference! Ad rates change all the time.

    Bragging about "tricking" people into clicking ads (in the summary link), sorry, that sucks, but within certain bounds, that's part of web advertising today. You see tricky banners on CNN and most other major web sites too, like "click the monkey to win" and so on.

    Bragging about "pop-ups and how he can do whatever he wants to his visitors," again, if this is just a gripe about unsolicited pop-up ads, they suck, but have become mainstream practice these days. I'd say most of the major media web sites I visit pop up ad consoles at different times.

    "He frequently berates his visitors, at one point calling them 'sheep', He brags about his own 'leetness.'" Yadda yadda yadda. I'm sorry, if the whole issue is that this guy is a ruthless profit-seeker you wouldn't want to be friends with, it just seems like a lot of personal griping. Okay, maybe he's an asshole, but so what?

    Again, I haven't read the 15 megabytes of log files, so I'm not saying for sure this is just a lot of name-calling, but if there are specific allegations of fraud, it would be interesting to have them summarized with more details and credibility than the "summary" link in the initial posting.
  • I'm pretty disgusted that Slashdot is posting this story as well for a number of reasons,

    1) Slashdot basically just linked this guys entire ICQ conversations with everyone for the past year. 90% of this stuff is irrelivant. So much for being pro-privacy, huh?

    2) Slashdot seems to be getting involved in a petty fight between a couple of emulation sites, who cares? How is this "News for News" or "Stuff that matters"? It's petty bullshit.

    3) The heavy slant in the story

    Michael, how would you like it if the log from every chat converastion you've ever had was posted to the web, including private business conversations (names, phone numbers, fianance numbers are discussed) and off color jokes you've made (raping someone? i'm sure we've all said worse when we're under the pretense that we're talking privately among friends).

    A story like this has no place on slashdot. I'm disgusted and lost what was left of my respect for this place.
  • by Fervent ( 178271 )
    What's with the games icon on this story?
  • He never said "make good money ethically" or "make good money without reducing yourself to scum of the earth".

    I would agree with everything you say about the pr0n folks. But you can't argue with the fact that they are making money.

    Now before you get all bent out of shape over that comment, I am not implying anything other than "they are making money".

  • by torpor ( 458 ) <ibisum@gm a i l . com> on Saturday March 10, 2001 @11:20AM (#372029) Homepage Journal
    Wow, seriously dangerous waters you guys at /. are venturing into.

    It could be argued, pretty easily, that this article is a competitive swipe against EFront, who seem to have a relatively similar business strategy to another "Buy-And-Milk" company, your very own Andover Networks.

    I hope this doesn't cause more fuss than it should. Be stupid to see /. get embroiled in the very things it purports to be rallying the community against ...
  • by Gridle ( 17502 )
    Wouldn't I love to know. I submitted it as 'news'.
  • ping arcade.com.tw
    ping www.arcade.com.tw
    ping www.arcadeathome.com
    ping arcadeathome.efront.com

    Spot the difference.

    Yes, folks, Tim is hosting the roms at his own site, not in Taiwan.
  • I just wrote a node on everything2.com so check it out and contribute to the lashing.
  • I don't know anything about this guy, and don't much give a shit. The fact that many of the people involved in game emulation (or vid gaming in general) are pathetic 15-year olds trapped in flabby 30something bodies is not a revelation (does gut check...lookin' good!).

    What really dismayed me was the bit at the end of that linked-to diatribe where some guy named "Gene" proves himself the owner of an equal number of mindzits by taking it out on this Timmah guy's wife, fer chrissakes. WTF did she do? If this guy is as bad as he sounds, doesn't she have enough problems being married to him? There might be validity in the previous paragraphs, but it's completely thrown away by that last crack.

    Honestly, the idea that you can insult someone by saying "oh yeah, your wife's ugly" is even lower than using "gay" as a pejorative. She's not a collectible, you dumb fuck, and she appears to have nothing to do with this pathetic tempest in a teapot. It'd be nice if we could go back to expecting a /. link to point to something other than a couple of pipsqueaks in a flame war that lacks even good namecalling.
  • by D'Arque Bishop ( 84624 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @03:07PM (#372042) Homepage
    See those ICQ logs that were posted? Don't you think that's a horrific invasion of privacy? What right have you to complain about Carnivore snooping on you if it's ok for other people to invade people's privacy, even if you don't like the victims?

    Well, I will be the first to admit that I haven't read some of the articles, so I have no idea how the logs were acquired, but based on what I know so far, the answer would be no.

    Why, you ask? It's quite simple: I take the attitude that anything transmitted via ICQ and logged is no longer private. AFAIK, ICQ themselves take that attitude. It's like when people complain about me posting IRC logs: stuff said is, IMHO, public domain, especially if on a channel itself.

    If the person whose logs were posted wants to complain, maybe he should consider that this could have been avoided had he used something that DIDN'T log his words. :p Or even better, not been such an ass in the first place...

  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @12:36PM (#372046)
    So Slashdot editors should censor topics based on that? I doubt it. Wouldn't MSNBC report on CBS News doing something illegal?
  • Anyone else notice the ever so small invasion of privacy issue?

    Ok I have noticed some strangeness at EFront... The whole banner ads deal has hit Keen[Spot/Space] Yahoo and so it seems EFront (Thank you VA Linux for buying out Andover..)
    EFront has overloaded the websites with ads lately in what appears to be an attempt to make money.
    They recently dumpped the non-proffitable "Hang and Catch Fire" on-line comic and didn't tell the artists. (one writer two cartoonists)

    So clearly something is up at EFront.
    How are we to know this isn't spoken by pure frantic. Yeah people say some pritty ranchy things when they are frightend and EFront has reason to be fearful.

    Yeah employees are gona get pissed on occasion. Hotheads exist. I'm talking about myself in part here I know what it is to lose my head with reguards to an employer. However the worst I have ever done was quit.

    On the other hand......
    Hay wouldn't it be funny if Andover bought out EFront....

    I think we might want to not use the ICQ logs becouse of the privacy issue. Keep this to the more public stuff such as the public insults and visable efforts to bring in proffits.

    This is a down turn for websites funded by banner ads.
    I suspect there are three issues behind this...
    1. People are buying less on-line due to the economy. So some are not inclined to throw money into Internet advertsing conserned that clicks no-longer turn into cash.
    2. The TV industry has been pushing Internet companys to advertise on TV. Internet companys traditionally advertise on-line where the target market is.
    3. Internet is still newish and many don't know what to make of them where as people know what to make of traditional advertising.
    During an economic downturn banner ads are seen as risky.

    On my end... banner ad prices are allready cheap.. Maybe some discounts exist... Time to go shopping.....

    Andover seems to be taking this in stride and premoting internally. Good market move.
    Andover builds up and EFront falls appart...
    Andover will be in a better position for it...
  • Seems that mame.dk has suffered the wrath of efront. Seems that they [www.mame.dk] are down.

    Course, it's possible that someone said that, but wasn't modded up, for which I apologize.

  • by sharkey ( 16670 ) on Sunday March 11, 2001 @09:37AM (#372067)
    I think I saw a large , bronze wire-spool outside the Federal building in Indy. Perhaps that's the statue they were violating?

  • by Lord Omlette ( 124579 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @11:38AM (#372068) Homepage
    See those ICQ logs that were posted? Don't you think that's a horrific invasion of privacy? What right have you to complain about Carnivore snooping on you if it's ok for other people to invade people's privacy, even if you don't like the victims? Fight fire with water, not fire people, please.
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • I wonder if the disgruntled employee is named "Jarod" and subsequently disappeared after the incident with someone named "Ms Parker" and "Broots" looking for him at the efront offices a short time later.
  • by drwiii ( 434 ) on Saturday March 10, 2001 @01:25PM (#372077)
    Looks like someone can't take criticism [cjb.net]..

    • Trying
      Connected to arcadeathome.efront.com.
      Escape character is '^]'.
      GET / HTTP/1.0
      Referer: http://mamedk.cjb.net/

      HTTP/1.1 302 Found
      Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 22:21:20 GMT
      Server: Apache/1.3.12
      X-Powered-By: PHP/4.0.3pl1
      Location: http://goatse.cx/
      Connection: close
      Content-Type: text/html
  • Yeah, but we already know that their servers are not that good. I am amazed that their servers crash often, they don't pay up, and people were still signing their contracts.... Glad I didn't.

    Freaky news, geeky reviews
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was the first person to get the logs from the hacker (kebie) I have no idea what any of that mumbo jumbo means, especialy because I live in Canada. I originaly gave the logs out to webmasters, because I was so pissed off, #1 I hadnt been paid in 5months, and #2 my net was getting cut off.. Plus efront was trying to blackmail us into new contracts.. they wouldn't give backpay till we signed these new crazy contracts that gave us no rights at all.. Me being the webmaster who was owed next to no money ($421), took it upon myself to release the logs. If any of the other webmasters did they would liable to lose $30,000+ and their sites. The logs had only been through 1 person before me, from what I know.
  • The rules of admissibility apply at such point in time as the evidence is put before a court. Because this information was gathered improperly before the investigation, but more importantly because these logs are electronic certain standards would likely be required by the court for any such records to be allowed into the case. Not to mention the potential argument of prejudice in releasing the logs publically before any charges were filed.

    Did the parties who made these allegations feel their case is so weak that they would rather the case be tried in public opinion instead of in a court of law? That is what this says to me.

    All legal arguments aside don't you feel it is unnecessarily risky of Slashdot to post these kkinds of allegations? The law DID say innocent until proven guilty, at least the last time I checked ...

    If the parties that are responsible for these logs being posted do not have these logs to back up their claims, then their case is shaky. If they lose their case, then Slashdot becomes party to libel in civil court.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    And I'm not quite referring to this individual, who seems to be quite questionable, but rather why slashdot has gotten involved. Personally I am not connected much with the emu/rom community and I don't know all the details and I would venture to say most slashdot users are not either. Sounds like this person is going to be getting a full scale character assinsation by the slashdot community who are not really involved or knowledgable in the subject at hand. This slashdot court of public opinion can be a little dangerous. Just a few thoughts.
  • I agree; that "summary" decreased in credibility as I read it, finally hitting rock bottom at the words:
    You can choke on my manrod and die. I have seen both you and your wife in person and I am far from impressed. In any other situation I would feel pity for you with that cow of a woman you have to lay down with.

    This kind of ad hominem venom is cheap and plentiful on usenet. As an outsider to this dispute, I tend to assume that if Gene, the author of the summary, had any specific concrete allegations of wrongdoing on Tim's part, he would have included them.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.