Author Topic: What is LamaGate?  (Read 1640 times)

Offline Dharmakara

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What is LamaGate?
« on: November 04, 2014, 08:50:48 am »
LamaGate refers to the hacking scandal that surrounds the Dalai Lama's trip to the US in fall 2014. It centres around the Dalai Lama's most trusted US friend and confidant, Professor Robert Thurman, who allegedly tried to solicit members of Anonymous to engage in computer hacking on his behalf:

https://twitter.com/hashtag/lamagate

On 29th October 2014 Professor Thurman published a tweet (shown below) asking how to get the help of the Anonymous group to "get info out" about certain individuals he wished to target.



In and of itself this may seem like nothing more than a foolish and careless over-reaction on the part of Professor Thurman to the widespread media coverage the Shugden protests had been receiving. Yet when it was pointed out to him that such an action could be considered illegal in the US this didn't dissuade him from continuing down his chosen path of action.

In the following hours Thurman published a series of tweets identifying specific Twitter accounts to target. He identified each of them as, "key Anti HHDL Shugden Twitter Spam Accounts", and followed the account name with the tags #anon and #OpShugden.

#OpShugden was devised by another Twitter user (@OpTsampa) who appeared to be working alongside Thurman in his campaign. @OpTsampa also tweeted an offer of 50 BitCoins ($16,967) to anyone who could link the most accounts together that had been identified by Thurman.

Exactly what information Thurman wanted Anonymous members to "get out" of each of the identified accounts is uncertain, although it appears that he was trying to reveal the identities of the owners of the accounts. The only way to get this information would be to gain access to the users accounts without their consent, as such it appears that Thurman was soliciting computer hacking against each of the individually named Twitter accounts.


Why would Professor Thurman solicit hacking?

Throughout his fall tour of the US the Dalai Lama has faced an unprecedented level of media attention about allegations of human rights violations and religious discrimination, as anyone familiar with this site will know. Professor Thurman plays a key role in the dissemination of information against the protesters because of his academic standing and his close friendship with the Dalai Lama. They are so close in fact that the NY Times magazine referred to Thurman as, "the Dalai Lama's man in America".

Prior to 29th October, all of the Dalai Lama's attempts to avoid addressing the issues raised by the protesters had been unsuccessful with the US media. Everywhere the Dalai Lama spoke, protesters gathered and news agencies covered not just the protests, but the issues behind them.

As the time drew closer for the Dalai Lama to appear in New York City, where Thurman is based, the pressure had been increasing on Thurman to do something to counteract the effect of the protests. Under such increasing pressure it appears that he may have taken the highly unusual step of soliciting computer hacking in an attempt to reduce some of the exposure they were getting on Twitter.

It seems that Thurman believed several Twitter accounts were run by one or two individuals, and that by hacking those accounts he would be able to silence them.


What happens now?

Presently the Lamagate scandal is continuing to increase on a daily basis. On 30th October their website published a guide on how to indict Robert Thurman, which was followed on 31st October by an Indict-Storm on Twitter, calling for any users who felt violated by Professor Thurman's actions to report them to the authorities.

During 30th/31st October multiple reports were filed with the NYPD and the FBI asking for them to investigate the allegations against Thurman, specifically stating:

Quote
It is alleged that Professor Robert A. Thurman (@BobThurman) did knowingly solicit others to commit computer hacking and provided information to direct said computer hacking against several users of Twitter in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1030 (a) (2).

On October 29th 2014 it is alleged Professor Robert A. Thurman directed computer hackers associated with the 'Anonymous' group to hack Twitter’s computer servers and extract information about the following users: @tompotter1945, @TalkingTibet, @wisdomdakini2, and @Vajralight.

I am making a formal complaint about alleged criminal activity by Professor Robert A. Thurman and asking you to investigate whether any criminal activity has taken place."

Despite this Professor Thurman continues to maintain a public list of Twitter users which he refers to as, "Known Spammers". Members of this list continue to report suspicious activity on their Twitter accounts.



Who is involved?

Given Professor Thurman's close relationship with the Dalai Lama it is highly likely that he may have known about this course of action. As the management of the Dalai Lama's visit is also conducted with the US Office of Tibet, now based in Washington DC, it is also highly likely that they were aware of Thurman's decision to try and recruit Anonymous.

Despite the high profile of this scandal both the US Office of Tibet and the Dalai Lama have so far remained silent, refusing to comment or even acknowledge its existence.

Likewise Columbia University, Professor Thurman's employers, have refused to acknowledge or comment on the scandal.

Fortunately the Anonymous group are less afraid of speaking publicly on this issue. On 2nd November they issued the following public statement about the scandal addressed principally to Professor Thurman:

Quote
.@BobThurman we have no position on this currently but can tell you one of Anon's only central principles is NYPA: Not Your Personal Army


Offline moonbeam

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 02:04:08 pm »
Anonymous' slogan is "We don't forgive, we don't forget". I think it's unwise to try and get help from such a group. They drove people to hurt and kill themselves, also.

Offline hanuman38

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 12:34:46 am »
Sadly, Professor Thurman has been spreading hate and misinformation about this issue for many years.  It's not surprising that he'd stoop this low.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 03:14:47 am »
Truth be told, I was actually a bit surprised when I first heard about it, maybe even a bit skeptical because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn't be that foolish, where to say that it would have been "unwise" to contact Anonymous would be an understatement --- it was complete and utter recklessness on his part:

Quote
Evaluations of Anonymous' actions and effectiveness vary widely. In a widely shared post, blogger Patrick Gray wrote that private security firms "secretly love" the group for the way in which it publicizes cyber security threats. Anonymous is sometimes stated to have changed the nature of protesting, and in 2012, Time called it one of the "100 most influential people" in the world.

In 2012, Public Radio International reported that the US National Security Agency considered Anonymous a potential national security threat and had warned the president that it could develop the capability to disable parts of the US power grid. In contrast, CNN reported in the same year that "security industry experts generally don't consider Anonymous a major player in the world of cybercrime" due the group's reliance on DDoS attacks that briefly disabled websites rather than the more serious damage possible through hacking. One security consultant compared the group to "a jewelry thief that drives through a window, steal jewels, and rather than keep them, waves them around and tosses them out to a crowd ... They're very noisy, low-grade crimes." In its 2013 Threats Predictions report, McAfee wrote that the technical sophistication of Anonymous was in decline and that it was losing supporters due to "too many uncoordinated and unclear operations".

Graham Cluley, a security expert for Sophos, argued that Anonymous' actions against child porn websites hosted on a darknet could be counterproductive, commenting that while their intentions appear beneficial, the removal of illegal websites and sharing networks should be performed by the authorities, rather than Internet vigilantes. Some commentators also argued that the DDoS attacks by Anonymous following the January 2012 Stop Online Piracy Act protests had proved counterproductive. Molly Wood of CNET wrote that "if the SOPA/PIPA protests were the Web's moment of inspiring, non-violent, hand-holding civil disobedience, #OpMegaUpload feels like the unsettling wave of car-burning hooligans that sweep in and incite the riot portion of the play." Dwight Silverman of the Houston Chronicle concurred, stating that "Anonymous' actions hurt the movement to kill SOPA/PIPA by highlighting online lawlessness." The Oxford Internet Institute's Joss Wright wrote that "In one sense the actions of Anonymous are themselves, anonymously and unaccountably, censoring websites in response to positions with which they disagree."

Gabriella Coleman has compared the group to the trickster archetype and said that "they dramatize the importance of anonymity and privacy in an era when both are rapidly eroding. Given that vast databases track us, given the vast explosion of surveillance, there's something enchanting, mesmerizing and at a minimum thought-provoking about Anonymous' interventions". When asked what good Anonymous had done for the world, Parmy Olson replied:

In some cases, yes, I think it has in terms of some of the stuff they did in the Middle East supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators. But a lot of bad things too, unnecessarily harassing people -- I would class that as a bad thing. DDOSing the CIA website, stealing customer data and posting it online just for shits and giggles is not a good thing.

Quinn Norton of Wired wrote of the group in 2011:

"I will confess up front that I love Anonymous, but not because I think they're the heroes. Like Alan Moore's character V who inspired Anonymous to adopt the Guy Fawkes mask as an icon and fashion item, you're never quite sure if Anonymous is the hero or antihero. The trickster is attracted to change and the need for change, and that's where Anonymous goes. But they are not your personal army – that's Rule 44 – yes, there are rules. And when they do something, it never goes quite as planned. The internet has no neat endings."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group)#Analysis_of_group



Offline Caz

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 05:52:52 am »
Instead of having dialogue he'd prefer soliciting criminal actions...smart Bob :brick:
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Offline francis

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 12:36:32 am »
I think you will have to ask Professor Thurman to answer that one, the rest is speculation. 

However, is that tactic any worse than New Kadampa Tradition using Google ads to defame the Dalai Lama? (Tenpel 17/2/2014).  I don’t think so.

Tempel goes to say “Today someone sent me an email, that google.co.uk lists an ad to the NKT/WSS site falsedalailama.com when you type in the search word “Dalai Lama”. The site falsedalailama.com claims to “expose” “the dark side of the Dalai Lama”. It is anonymously (as always in NKT’s front organisations’ contexts) and it is hosted by enom.com.

I was thinking that the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and their front organisation, Western Shugden Society (WSS), settled their Character assassination attack against the Dalai Lama. It’s not so.

What about the NKT falsedalailama.com that promotes NKT’s renamed booklet – previously promoted under the title “A Great Deception” (which indeed was a fair title for the content of the booklet) – with the new title “The False Dalai Lama”. An anonymous review at GoodReads hits the nail on its head regarding its content and style:

Childishly written (“we wrote to the Dalai Lama for his side and he didn’t respond, so that proves he’s guilty” a paraphrase true to the book’s spirit), and mostly unsubstantiated “facts” (sometimes citations for works also produced by the same group as the book – notice the book doesn’t actually have an author.) I don’t think it is likely that EVERYTHING in the book is just made up, but it certainly can’t all be true either (the Dalai Lama, nor anyone else, could not possibly be Muslim, Communist AND Fascist as this volume breathlessly claims.)”

Pretty well sums up NKT.
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Offline Dharmakara

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2014, 02:02:16 am »
Francis, this is another example of what I was referring to in the other thread... first of all, no one here is crying "foul" because Thurman tried such a tactic, per se, but because he didn't think it through, where he didn't even take the time to consider the potential fallout of it back-firing, not only on him, but also on the Dalai Lama himself --- in other words, it was never Thurman's intent to harm or cast the DL in negative light, but that's exactly what his lack of judgment is going to cause.

I was thinking that the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and their front organisation, Western Shugden Society (WSS), settled their Character assassination attack against the Dalai Lama. It’s not so.

No, my friend, you're the only person who's been attempting to launch an assasination attempt on others here, having done so each and every time you've attempted to blame Caz and other members here for something they had no part in. Truth be told, you should actually consider yourself fortunate that they have shown restraint when it comes to your own attacks on them, where they have certainly shown more compassion for you then you have for them --- if any one of them had made a formal complaint against you, I would have been left with no choice other than to ban you... yes, fortunate and blessed.

 :om:

Offline francis

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2014, 04:45:32 am »
Francis, this is another example of what I was referring to in the other thread... first of all, no one here is crying "foul" because Thurman tried such a tactic, per se, but because he didn't think it through, where he didn't even take the time to consider the potential fallout of it back-firing, not only on him, but also on the Dalai Lama himself --- in other words, it was never Thurman's intent to harm or cast the DL in negative light, but that's exactly what his lack of judgment is going to cause.

I was thinking that the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and their front organisation, Western Shugden Society (WSS), settled their Character assassination attack against the Dalai Lama. It’s not so.

No, my friend, you're the only person who's been attempting to launch an assasination attempt on others here, having done so each and every time you've attempted to blame Caz and other members here for something they had no part in. Truth be told, you should actually consider yourself fortunate that they have shown restraint when it comes to your own attacks on them, where they have certainly shown more compassion for you then you have for them --- if any one of them had made a formal complaint against you, I would have been left with no choice other than to ban you... yes, fortunate and blessed.

 :om:

Apologies Dharmakara, I may not have been clear in my post, but that was a quote by Tempel, who went on to say etc ….

I don’t think it’s possible for NKT followers to dissociate themselves from NKT, given the world-wide attacks by NKT against His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama this year. I haven't heard any apologies for the appalling treatment of the Dalai Lama by NKT protesters, for example.

I think it’s reasonable to object when such attacks occur against Buddhism, and its important people to have the opportunity to see both sides. Especially see the Dalai Lama’s side, because NKT are well known for falsifying history to suite their own purpose and their propaganda machine which dominates social media, as demonstrated by tweets at #lamagate. Read all the mindful tweets at #lamagate, for example 

And what do you think of NKT’s new book, the The False Dalai Lama?

Apparently, "it explores the hidden, dark side of everyone’s favourite “celebrity monk”. This explosive book overturns the myth of the Dalai Lama, revealing the scheming political mind behind the media-friendly smiles and soundbites. Admired by many as one of the world’s leading advocates of peace and harmony, this thorough investigation exposes how the Dalai Lama is, in fact, lying. Prepare to meet the worst dictator in the modern world”.

Perhaps, it’s about time westerners showed compassion for Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and all he has been through in his life, and his teachings, and his leanings. After all he is the Dalai Lama. 

Is that not a reasonable request?


« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 05:32:33 am by francis »
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Offline Caz

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Re: What is LamaGate?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2014, 03:46:38 pm »
Francis, this is another example of what I was referring to in the other thread... first of all, no one here is crying "foul" because Thurman tried such a tactic, per se, but because he didn't think it through, where he didn't even take the time to consider the potential fallout of it back-firing, not only on him, but also on the Dalai Lama himself --- in other words, it was never Thurman's intent to harm or cast the DL in negative light, but that's exactly what his lack of judgment is going to cause.

I was thinking that the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT) and their front organisation, Western Shugden Society (WSS), settled their Character assassination attack against the Dalai Lama. It’s not so.

No, my friend, you're the only person who's been attempting to launch an assasination attempt on others here, having done so each and every time you've attempted to blame Caz and other members here for something they had no part in. Truth be told, you should actually consider yourself fortunate that they have shown restraint when it comes to your own attacks on them, where they have certainly shown more compassion for you then you have for them --- if any one of them had made a formal complaint against you, I would have been left with no choice other than to ban you... yes, fortunate and blessed.

 :om:

Apologies Dharmakara, I may not have been clear in my post, but that was a quote by Tempel, who went on to say etc ….

I don’t think it’s possible for NKT followers to dissociate themselves from NKT, given the world-wide attacks by NKT against His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama this year. I haven't heard any apologies for the appalling treatment of the Dalai Lama by NKT protesters, for example.

I think it’s reasonable to object when such attacks occur against Buddhism, and its important people to have the opportunity to see both sides. Especially see the Dalai Lama’s side, because NKT are well known for falsifying history to suite their own purpose and their propaganda machine which dominates social media, as demonstrated by tweets at #lamagate. Read all the mindful tweets at #lamagate, for example 

And what do you think of NKT’s new book, the The False Dalai Lama?

Apparently, "it explores the hidden, dark side of everyone’s favourite “celebrity monk”. This explosive book overturns the myth of the Dalai Lama, revealing the scheming political mind behind the media-friendly smiles and soundbites. Admired by many as one of the world’s leading advocates of peace and harmony, this thorough investigation exposes how the Dalai Lama is, in fact, lying. Prepare to meet the worst dictator in the modern world”.

Perhaps, it’s about time westerners showed compassion for Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and all he has been through in his life, and his teachings, and his leanings. After all he is the Dalai Lama. 

Is that not a reasonable request?

Quote
I haven't heard any apologies for the appalling treatment of the Dalai Lama by NKT protesters, for example.

Nor will you there is nothing to apologize for, Its the Dalai lama who has instigated this issue he has set family against family and helped segregate communities with his ridiculous prejudice. If he stops his injustices and asks his followers to treat shugden practitioners with the same respect as anyone else instead of forcing signature campaigns on the Tibetan community then this would be a rather good step towards ending public demonstrations against the Dalai lama.

 :teehee:

http://emodernbuddhism.com/

This eBook Modern Buddhism – The Path of Compassion and Wisdom, in three volumes, is being distributed freely at the request of the author Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. The author says: "Through reading and practicing the instructions given in this book, people can solve their daily problems and maintain a happy mind all the time." So that these benefits can pervade the whole world, Geshe Kelsang wishes to give this eBook freely to everyone.

We would like to request you to please respect this precious Dharma book, which functions to free living beings from suffering permanently. If you continually read and practice the advice in this book, eventually your problems caused by anger, attachment and ignorance will cease.

Please enjoy this special gift from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who dedicates: "May everyone who reads this book experience deep peace of mind, and accomplish the real meaning of human life."

 


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