Interview with Fuat Kircaali, CEO of Sys-Con

Interview with Fuat Kircaali, CEO of Sys-Con


Fuat Kircaali is the founder and CEO of SYS-CON Media, the company which publishes "Linux Business News" among its 16 i-technology titles.

UPDATE: Mr. Kircaali has indeed apologised to the free software/open source community, to his editors and to Ms. Jones for publishing the article on Pamela Jones. He also stated clearly that he agreed on the fact that the article did have ethical problems. See his message here. I (Tony Mobily) talked to him on the phone about this matter and yes, his apologies are genuine and he now understands the ethical issues about the article. Reading his answers (below), it is clear that his view on the matter has changed quite a lot, and that the interview doesn't portrait his current view on the episode.

You recently published an article about PJ, which caused a lot of heated debate. Can you please summarise your previous contact with her?

Our only contact was when we invited her for a SYS-CON.TV interview. I don’t know the extent of Maureen’s contact with her, if any.

You mentioned that you contacted her for an interview at some point…

Ms. Jones was one of the people we invited for a live streaming television interview at SYS-CON.TV along with numerous others from various segments of the industry when we launched SYS-CON.TV last December.

You had mentioned that at some point she didn’t come for an interview...

She kindly declined our invitation. So far she is the only person who was invited for a SYS-CON.TV program who decided not take advantage of this opportunity. That invitation is still open, as far as I’m concerned.

So she didn’t agree on coming...

She kindly declined our invitation explaining that she doesn’t do on–air interviews and we respect her decision but we are confident that she will change her mind and that we will be able to host her at one of our upcoming live broadcasts in the future.

OK. Now... you probably know Groklaw, and how successful it is... as well as the reception it had. Groklaw won awards, and has a lot of loyal readers. How do you feel about this, compared to the less–than–popular articles by Maureen O’Gara?

I have not had a chance yet to read a single story at Groklaw. I am aware of its very impressive popularity, and the numerous awards it won. A number of our readers and our LinuxWorld editors are also among the regular readers of Groklaw as well. I’m not sure but we might have given her some of those awards. This is an impressive achievement and I congratulate the author(s) and the contributors of Groklaw on their success.

Well, how do you compare the popularity of a blog to the job of a reporter? A reporter is not a blogger. The reporter’s job is to report news. The reporter’s focus should not be on winning a popularity contest but on making sure that they are reporting the facts and the news accurately. Some of the facts that you report may not be so popular, so you don’t report stories by measuring on the popularity scale.

**The article about Pamela Jones used words such as “elusive harridan”; it was anything but kind to her, and was basically about “finding Pamela Jones”, even though Pamela Jones clearly doesn’t want her private address and phone number available to the public. So, two questions: 1) Who decided to publish that article 2) Why was it published? **

The language of the story is in the typical style of Ms. O’Gara, generally entertaining and easy to read, and sometimes it could be regarded as offensive, depending on how you look at it. I decided to publish the article. It was published because it was an accurate news story.

What’s your view about the option of being anonymous in the internet? You don’t think that Pamela Jones as a journalist would have a right to keep her personal details private? What I mean is, OK, you can decide to print your own address, but you don’t feel that a journalist, or anybody, should be allowed to keep their personal details private for any reason. What’s your view about being anonymous? This is important in this particular context...

As a blogger you do whatever you feel like doing. There are no established rules or generally accepted practices in the blogging community today in its historically early stages. Would an established media organization such as SYS-CON declare that they chose to remain anonymous? I don’t think so and why? You can find every SYS-CON employee’s phone number and contact information, including mine, listed on our Web site.

But they are their business numbers, not their personal home numbers…

Did you read the story?

Yes I did...

There was no one’s personal home phone number published in this story. The phone number published in this story was a number which appeared at a company press release listed as the official company contact number. This phone number was published by this company, not by Ms. O’Gara. Are you suggesting that the reporters should not mention any company’s published phone numbers?

Besides, talking about personal home numbers, you can find my home number listed in the white pages and my home address is listed there as well. If a reporter wants to call me up at home or in my office, they can look up my phone number and address and show up at my door and ring my bell. I will come out and take a picture with the reporter if he or she wants to take my picture. Any reporter is welcome to my home as well as my office. We are not anonymous or private when it relates to our professional lives.

But Pamela Jones is not claiming she is a media company…

I’m not sure what Ms. Jones is claiming to be. I think the closest definition to her activity may be classified as blogging. I heard she describes herself as a journalist, I might be wrong.

But then why does there seem to be a need for your company to know who Pamela is? Maureen O’Gara acted on your behalf in this. If you accept someone’s decision not to be known, or not to be in the public eye, then why go and look for her like that?

We ran a story entitled “Who is Pamela Jones?” The facts in the story were accurate. There was nothing in the story we thought factually, professionally, ethically or legally wrong. We publish more than 10,000 news stories per month on the SYS-CON.com Web sites. Maureen does not act directly on behalf of SYS-CON or anyone else. She is the owner of her own company, G2 Computer Intelligence. She is not a staff reporter of SYS-CON. We have been syndicating her LinuxGram newsletter for more than three years. You can read her original content at Linuxgram including the story which is in discussion here. We do not make decisions on behalf of Ms. O’Gara. I’m not her boss. She stands by her story, and if there is anything that I’m not qualified to answer, you can contact Maureen directly. I’m sure she will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

**I sent her an email but I haven’t received an answer yet, I must admit... **

Here is the phone number for G2 Computer Intelligence, 516 759-7025. Most unknown emails go to spam boxes these days, at least in my case.

Anyhow, I want to talk about the article from an ethical point of view. I prepared the interview yesterday, when you were defending the article a bit more, so it’s a bit –

As I mentioned above, if we thought there was anything wrong with this story factually, professionally, ethically, or legally speaking, we would not have run it in the first place. The reason why we decided to pull it was that when the content, style and the language of the story was perceived as offensive by a group of the readers, a denial-of-service attack was launched against our entire company, interfering with all of our publications and all of our readers. We don’t want to be part of this debate, it can happen at websites that encourage it. But, I do apologize to people who were offended by it. (emphasis added - T.M.). I am not interested in offending our readers or in driving them away. I do wish that they had tried to work with me to find a solution before the fanatics out there launched DoS attacks for days even after we pulled the story. Our Web sites remained under constant attack from Monday through Wednesday, for three days. We lost thousands of dollars in revenues during the past three days. We are trying to recover from the biggest cyber attack in history any media company was ever subject to!

A group of individuals (mostly with anonymous emails) contacted all our customers. More than 200 companies who are among SYS-CON’s partner list received similar letters, sent from a variety of different emails addresses over and over again. Take a look at one of these emails which was sent to all our customers and advertising partners. Who are these people and what do they want? This particular individual (we don’t know who he is) started his “crusade” after sending us this email by contacting and threatening all our customers.

Let’s analyze the situation… This individual has a problem with Microsoft ads on our Web sites. We are the world’s leading i-technology magazine publisher. We are not crusaders of any particular religion. We publish LinuxWorld Magazine, Java Developer’s Journal, .NET Developer’s Journal, 16 leading i-technology titles. LinuxWorld is the world’s most influential publication dedicated to Linux and open source technologies and we publish articles from the world’s leading Linux and open source personalities.

How do you respond to these people? Will you shot down your .NET Developer’s Journal today and tomorrow there will be another crackpot who has a problem with SOA Web Services, and you have to shot down your Web Services Journal?

Now, how will this individual convince the Fortune 500 companies to widely implement and use Linux and open source technologies with these types of crusades? This can not be the public relations activity that Linux or the open source communities need. We did not get multiple DoS attacks for three days from the Java community which crippled our business when we launched our .NET Developer’s Journal. There were not hundreds of emails and threatening letters sent to Sun declaring us the traitors of the Java community. Sun Microsystems is an active advertising partner of SYS-CON today, so is Microsoft. Every leading Linux and open source company is an advertising partner of LinuxWorld. We believe what happened this week is not representative of the Linux and open source communities, but these communities need to do everything in their power to stop these self-destructing individuals whose activities will only cause delays or permanently damage to the open source movement.

(I have deleted the details of the email’s sender, as he didn’t respond to my email and may wish to remain anonymous - T.M.)

-----Message-----

Date: Tue, 10 May 2005 08:28:28 -0700

From: XXXX XXXX <XXXXX@XXXXXXXXX.com>

To: Fuat Kircaali <fkircaali@sys-con.com>,

XXXXX@lists.XXXXXXXX.com

Subject: Re: Linux community boycott of SYS-CON

You're on really thin ice. Thinner than thin.

You started with just running MS propaganda adds on your sites; for too long that's been leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Now you've really done it.

You better stop acting like moles and permanently stay that way because I'm one step from leading the crusade to run you out of town. I'll tell you one thing, this is the last day you get another cent from Microsoft. Your actions of your publications have been unconcienable. If you have any interest in reconciliation with this community and have a genuine interest in representing it as a printed publication you will have to make great strides to impress us.

If you were out to produce FUD your game has been had.

Or, maybe you should go back to Yachting. You seem to understand that community better.

Sincerely,

XXXX XXXX

President

XXXX XXXXXXX Inc.

----End of message---

And then we have this group of individuals who think that they are doing their share of the “crusade” to protect the interests of Linux and open source. This particular individual, who works for the world’s largest XXXXXX company (Detail deleted - T.M.), was among the handful who sent the following email to all or most of our customers. Since his phone number, in addition to his business address, was included in his email signature, I called him up and asked him “if the email he sent to all our customers reflected the opinions of his company and his chairman?” He told me he needed legal advice and hung up the phone. Since Monday, after the attacks started, we either took phone calls or returned phone calls to these individuals. Every time we asked them a simple question, they told us that they will need to seek legal counsel and hung up the phone on us. This week we managed to get single unanimous answer to all our simple questions. “I think I need legal advice.”

(I have deleted the headers from this email as requested by the email's author - T.M.)

-----Message-----

From: Brennan Hay

Sent: Monday, May 09, 2005 4:57 PM

Subject: A problem with your advertising + SYS-CON Media website

I would like to bring your attention to the following article appearing at

Linux Business News

Your company advertising was present on this piece of journalism .

Does this article reflect your company values and ideals?

What do the customers you are trying to reach think of this article?

Here is a hint: Slashdot

Regards,

Brennan Hay

----End of message---

Do you think that there is anything ethically unacceptable about going and looking inside someone else’s house, describing it to other people, and then going and harassing the person’s aged mother... do you think there ethical problems with this behaviour? Especially when the person has said before that she doesn’t wish do be known?

How do you describe a reporter knocking on your door, introducing herself or himself as a reporter and asking for an interview as harassment? Print and radio and TV journalists do it all the time. Why shouldn’t online journalists be allowed to do this? You have a choice to grant or decline an interview. What does ethics have anything to do with professional reporting and journalism? What is “unethical” is to report the facts knowingly wrong. That’s not professional journalism. It might be called irresponsible blogging. From what I read and decided (I checked the facts myself), there was nothing wrong with the story as long as it reported the facts.

Do you realise that there have been issues surrounding the court cases that Pamela Jones has been reporting about, and that there have been controversial “events” – let’s call them that – and due to these events she may have wanted to keep her identity secret for a good reason... Also, she wants to be able to be completely unbiased, and the people who are not on her side might start threatening her family. Now, do you see this a good reason not to have your address and your phone number known? If you thought that your wife, or your children could possibly be at risk in any way – financially, physically, etc., would you then want your address to be kept secret?

There may be a number of reasons why someone may want to remain secret. I can’t talk on behalf of anyone who wants to remain anonymous or secret. All I know is we, in the media, are not anonymous people with secret addresses and phone numbers. You can reach me anytime and anywhere you like.

Now, I don’t believe it is, but if the majority of Ms. Jones’ readers are the same people whom we dealt with this week, now I understand better why she may want to remain anonymous.

Sometimes, to avoid these threats, and to avoid these problems, you have to keep your information private, because-

You have all the right to do whatever you want to do about your life, that’s your business… As a media company who became a victim of perhaps the biggest cyber attack in history, “to avoid threats, and to avoid these problems” you don’t have the option to remain anonymous.

But if you were the person at risk, and somebody did what Maureen O’Gara did, do you feel that the person who did it should apologise for it?

What Ms. O’Gara did, is she reported a story, and in this case I can’t imagine that there aren’t another dozen reporters who wish that they reported this story before her. I don’t understand why a person would think that he or she is at risk for no apparent reason. I don’t know what Ms. Jones does for a living that she would think she is at risk. I don’t understand it. If I did, we would have respected her wishes and not run the article at “Linux Business News.”

There are, in my opinion, reasons why I would feel at risk, if I were Pamela Jones. So... I am not a paranoid person. There have been questionable events in this case and Pamela Jones has received threats. And to me that’s a good enough reason to be at least worried.

Well, there were several threats left in the story feedback column overnight against Ms. O’Gara as well. We removed those entries, but of course left up the rest, even the harshest criticisms. We decided then to pull the article from our “Linux Business News” Web site. Our site has been down for three days in a row, for most of the day, with multiple “denial of service” attacks. Now, we don’t know who is behind this criminal activity. You shut down the Web site of a media company with multiple DoS attacks for three days, because you don’t like a story you read there. I’m a proud American citizen. Where are my First Amendment rights? Where are Ms. O’Gara’s? Where is the freedom of press? Where in our constitution does it say a reporter does not have the right to contact you to request an interview? How do you expect me to find these criminals and bring them to justice in the anonymous world of the Internet? We had five simultaneous DoS attacks going on against our site on Tuesday which crippled our Web site and our business for the past three days.

Maureen O’Gara also reported how a “strange man” had gone to Pamela Jones’ house trying to get in, and yet in the article she accuses Pamela of being paranoid for putting a strong lock on her door. To me, that lock was necessary if anything!

Perhaps. We have an old saying. Keep your door locked and don’t accuse your neighbor of being a thief.

Somebody writing an article for your magazine did something that I strongly consider to be unethical. She went to look for Pamela Jones, she saw the inside of her house, she talked to people who live near her, she then – and that’s where the real problems start to me – reported her religious beliefs and talked to her mother in a way to me that looks like harassment... Now, this is a person who has received threats consistently for two years, and this is a person who chooses to be anonymous. How do you feel about this? Do you think you should apologise to her?

Because of the controversial interpretation as you beautifully described, we pulled this story. We are in the business of publishing top quality editorial content for our readers of all our magazines. SYS-CON is the world’s leading i-technology media company. We are not in the business of intentionally offending anyone or any group including the ones they describe themselves as “crusaders.” We did not pull the story because there was anything inaccurate in the report, we did it because it somehow led to the DoS attacks, which I repeat, I believe are criminal acts. The story is still published in its original Web site at LinuxGram. We decided to pull the syndicated copy of it from our Linux Business News Web site. We have no intentions of encouraging or hosting an ongoing meaningless and pointless debate at our Web site, which does not go anywhere or accomplish anything and which, frankly, most of our everyday readers don’t care for.

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Comments

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

From: Brennan Hay
Url: http://polaris.umuc.edu/~bhay/
Date: 2005-05-14
Subject: The truth about my conversation with Fuat Kircaali

Mr. Kircaali threatened to sue me. That is why I said he can talk to a lawyer then.

I did ask a question of his advertisers what their opinions were of the article (see my posted email). I did not make any statements (mis)representing the article content.

The advertisers decided that such an article was not in line with their interests.

~Brennan

_______________________________________________________

From: Blah
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: What a BlowHard

All of this, and he still can't figure out that he made the mistake of a lifetime letting that tabloid trash pose as news.

_______________________________________________________

From: Songfellow
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Move Along - No morals to be found here

I'm with you but "Blowhard" is too kind.

_______________________________________________________

From: Ron
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Interview with Fuat Kircaali, CEO of Sys-Con

This guy is a worm as much as MOG is. He does not answer the questions posed to him and is evasive. I still will never subscribe to his magazines, any of them, and will not recommend them to business partners. I hope the advertisers within his publications read his interview and make up thier own minds.

_______________________________________________________

From: Arbiter Becker
Url: None (Sorry)
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Interview with Fuat Kircaalli

Simply put, based on the comments of Mr Kircaalli, I see no reason to purchase, read or in any way reference the works he publishes. His moral code is obviously so far removed from the mainstream that he must have no idea of what the American Public thinks. And that simply put - why even bother trying to get him to understand.

When a person is blind - they are blind. It is not there fault, but there is also no point in trying to describe to them the color purple.

_______________________________________________________

From: DarkPaw
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: No remorse!

What a scumbag! I was thinking that maybe they do have some integrity after giving Maureen the flick, but there goes that idea. Thanks Mr Kircaali, for showing us that the only thing Sys-Con cares about is money.

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous Coward
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Unsatisfied

I've been wanting to read a statement reflecing SYS-CON's stance on the whole MOG fiasco, but I must confess I didn't like this author's approach nor questions. There were too many opinionated questions that were open to debunking and someone as smart as Mr. Kircaali did exactly that. Instead, I wised the interviewer had concentrated on the unquestionably unethical behavior (if any) that MOG displayed.

As for the DoS attacks on their website, I must say that I condemn such actions. Retaliation isn't the best response and should only be resorted to when all means to keep a perpetrator from repeating an offense has been taken. There are many means a person on the Internet could do this that are all legal.

Perhaps instead of DoS'ing their site, people should just show Fuat Kircaali exactly what they found offensive in the papers' actions. Simply gathering as much private information about the CEO and his family and publishing them on blogs all over the Internet should be sufficient reason. At least there'd be a reason to doing so (conveying an idea) as opposed to MOG's action of mentioning such irrelevant information as her religion.

If people can find out as much private information about Mr. Kircaali through legal means, perhaps we can convince him that merely being truthful is insufficient to publish information. I mean, if people published his credit card numbers, that would still be considered factual and accurate, but should they?

_______________________________________________________

From: Larry Vance
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Fuat Kircaali shows no ethical standards as SYS-CON exec

Fuat has demonstrated to me that he does not know what the word ethical means. What a slimey response! Personal attacks are never pleasant. I am sure that he will find out what it is like to be reviled by the responses he receives from his interview.

I wish Fuat all the luck in the world recovering from this faux paux.

_______________________________________________________

From: Russ
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: DoS? Really? Maybe just a million outraged readers?

I know Mr. Kircaali CALLS it a DoS attack, but was it really? Or was it instead the effect of people talking about what they felt was an attack of the personal life and religious views of someone they admire and respect, and in disbelief, going to see the site to prove to themselves that anyone would do that? I know that I went out to the site because I couldn't believe that any "journalist" would find Ms. Jones personal life, house, or religion at all worthy of writing about -- either her articles on Groklaw are factual or not, what does the neighborhood Ms. Jones lives in have anything to do with it? I thought surely someone had made up a hoax -- why would Ms. O'Gara think that article was worth writing? Surely other people went there en-masse with the same thought -- confirming that this article was not only written, but actually published on a commercial site? I was shocked to find out that indeed it was true.

I find it likely that this so-called "attack" was just "the /. (and freesoftwaremagazine.com, and groklaw, etc.) effect?" I've heard the /. effect called a DDoS before -- it's just a large number of people suddenly interested in the exact same content from the same servers at the same time. Sure, it has the effect of denying service to SOME people seeking the content, but a) that's not an "attack" -- it's just the result of being unprepared, and b) it's not some sinister conspiracy by the underground free software movement terrorists, and c) it's the natural result of putting something that everyone is interested in (in a good OR bad way) on your website. Unfortunately, this was something that people were outraged about, and those people (upon confirming the site DID INDEED have this string of ad hominem attacks against Ms. Jones on it) decided to not only ignore the advertisements, but to actively start boycotts against LinuxWorld supporters, well -- then it's an "attack" claims Mr. Kircaali. I'm sure if each of the people who actually read the content bought something from the site sponsors, Mr. Kircaali would NOT be calling it an "attack", he'd be too busy turning down new sponsors. So this "attack" is likely no more than Mr. Kircaali chosing his content in a manner that drives people to his website (good) but then away from his sponsors (bad). Sounds like a self inflicted wound.

_______________________________________________________

From: Gene Heskett
Url: na
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Fuat Kircaali interview

Here I am, 70 years old, and somewhat of a linux user.

Ms. OGara's opinions are well known, and its often surmised that there must be a connection, a plant if you will, for an M$ proponent. Just my personal opinion, but that makes her less than a 100% believable reporter.

PJ, OTOH, has expended considerable effort in obtaining and transcribing the various goings on in the vicinity of the Linden Utah courthouse. Data which plainly puts SCO and its current management in a less than favorable light.

If it were left up to the PR machine at SCO, none of this would be readily available in a common, publicly readable format, and many people might be influenced into making very bad business decisions if all they could read about it was what manages to get published, say in the WSJ.

PJ has done the planet an amazing amount of good, just by her efforts to let a bit of sunshine into the legal process

Now, your google advertisement is impinging on

my ability to see what it is that I'm typing, so

I'll close with a final comment.

It would be very nice if you would give credit

where credit is due instead of falling back on

your legal depts advice. But first, to appreciate

that, Mr. Kircaali would have to 'get it', and

I don't think he has managed to fully grok the

atmosphere of hate and distrust that seems to

surround Ms. OGara.

IMO, Mr. Kircaali owes PJ an apology.

_______________________________________________________

From: shayne
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: What a depressing interview.

I'm a journalist by training, and we have something called ethics, and we live by it.

Fuat needs to read this code his staff swear by. Its our bible.

Fuat should also ask his staff how they feel about there privacy. Its damn important to a journalist. What happens if Pamela down the track decides to take on the Mafia, or motorcycle gangs. Well she cant. Her anonymity is pretty much blown thanks to MOG.

Would you have your home phone number and photographs of your family up on a stalker article?

Sorry, Maureen should be disqualified from the industry. And you Fuat ought look hard in the mirror. You did this.

_______________________________________________________

From: Doug Hayden
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: Oouting Fuut Kircalli

Well, if it's all fair game, I suggest we give him a dose of Maureen O'Gara's medicine.

Home Phone, home address, cell phone, children's schools and grades, tax returns. Howsabout we get as much of these as we can legally obtain (after all, it's open season, right?) AND THEN post the collection in one easy-to-find location.

Then get some reporter to do a story on him that mentions the PJ article & the collected data, and has a link to the data. Get that onto FARK or some other such source, and he might change his tune, on the "Now it's happening to ME" platform.

Damn, but I'm vicious.

DH

_______________________________________________________

From: anonymous coward
Url: http://www.sys-con.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: What a joke...

OK, so the guy admits he has never read a single Groklaw article in his life, and so is completely ignorant of the matter at hand, but goes on to defend that he himself chose to publish it because it's an accurate story? How can he know?

This guy is very high minded about being the greatest i-technology whatever in the world, and defends publishing a character assassination which has naught to do with i-technology because there was (from his virginally ignorant point of view) nothing false in it.

It's increasingly clear that this "publisher" is just a press for hire, a hitman ready to publish whatever hit he's properly compensated for. There ought to be a law against calling any of this "news".

I'd like to say otherwise, but he deserves everything he got in terms of DoS. (not that I had any to do with it)

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: You didn't ask him about editors threatening to quit!

DoS attacks! Threats! Wackos! The real reason he pulled her article was the editors threatened to quit.

Did he fire her? If so, why, if she didn't do anything wrong?

I'm now boycotting SYS-CON because they are run by someone who has no ethics.

Good bye!

_______________________________________________________

From: anonymous
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Couldn't agree more

If Fuat can't see what was unethical about The article that caused all of this fuss, then I can no longer trust anything his sites have to say about anything. It that article wasn't unethical, then goodness knows how far you would have to go before Fuat thought the line had finally been crossed.

An author I respect posted a list of reasons stating exactly why the article was unethical at http://turner.linuxworld.com/read/1271241.htm which Fuat might find enlightening.

_______________________________________________________

From: The Mad Hatter
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Legal Advice

It sounds like Fuat has had legal advice - when there is the possibility of a lawsuit deny all wrong doing. Now it may be the best legal advice in the world, but from a moral standpoint I don't like it.

As to DDOS attacks being launched against the sites, I've not had any problems reaching LBN at all this week, so I'd tend to discount their severity (did anyone else have any problems reaching the sites?).

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous Coward
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: DDOS?

I seriously doubt that his site was DOS'd. I suspect he just got a good hard slashdotting.

I know that groklaw.net itself was unreachable during part of the time, or had response times measurable in geological terms, and PJ discovered the upper limit to her software's comment capacity the hard way. The first Slashdot story got around 500 comments of its own. Sites all over the net picked it up. Combine the Slashdot effect, the Groklaw effect, and the Google News effect, throw in a few tech blogs, and top with all the people emailing everyone they know to go take a look, and you don't need a DOS attack to take down a site. A million or so curious and/or outraged people who want to see the goods for themselves will do a more than adequate job of hammering the server.

Of course, it's much better for his purposes to make like a martyr and claim that a DDOS attack took them down, rather than a bunch of looky-loos who wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

As for the people contacting his advertisers: It happens all the time. People complain to advertisers on TV shows that they find offensive, in magazines they don't like, in any medium that they disagree with politically. That's the risk any advertiser takes, and when they decide that advertising on the Howard Stern Show, or Fox News, or Sys-Con, is alienating more customers than it's attracting, they'll advertise somewhere else.

_______________________________________________________

From: Fred Grott
Url: http://www.jroller.com/page/shareme/Weblog
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Sys-Con or SYSCON CONING ALL THE TIME

Fuat

drop the bullshit you pulled the articles becuase of being legally liable for Maureen;s actions..

Compared this to the recent minor absence of traceable sources and quatoes in Wried articles you really stink up the room with that bone head of expplanation..

Please understadn the person identified in the article was not PJones now than mr Fuat Kircaali are you going to apollogize to this person or doe sit take a lawsuit to get you be accountable?

In most courts in the USa its considered harrassment of publishing personal detials without permission..

Did you get permission from the individual whoise pheon number and addddress was publsihed by SYS-con by Maurren acting as a Sys-Con editor?

BTW, did sys-con turn over logs of the alledgfe DDOS attacks over to the FBI?

PS Even I as a humble blogger cannot post Fuat's home phone numb er and address withotu his persmission internet or in aprint article what makes Fuat think he is immune form that rule?

_______________________________________________________

From: DMF
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Good point!

A very good point. Several actually.

There are so many levels on which FK does not "get it", it's hard to know where to begin. Some observations:

1) FK's "ethics" are strictly situational. He pulled MoG's articles only due to public outcry. He says several times that he approved - and still does approve - their content.

2) He denies that he "fired" MoG; she doesn't work for him. He never says in the interview that he severed whatever business relationship they have.

3) There never was a DDOS attack, only a high volume (which for all that never inconvenienced my access to Sys-Con's sites even during the height of the supposed attack). If FK doesn't know the difference he's not qualified to be a web publisher.

4) FK redefines terms between paragraphs - sometimes between sentences. PJ is a blogger (but not a journalist) when it suits him, and vice versa. Bloggers are different because they can do "anything they want", but then defines his own supposed 'journalistic' mandate in mcuh the same terms when it suits him. All his positions are founded on a POV convenient to the situation, with nary a principle in sight.

5) For FK, the only unethical act is an one that comes between him and a dollar. The only ethical act is one that brings that dollar closer to him.

6) I remarked several times while reading the interview how like SCO-think is FK-think. Now we see where the sympathy comes from. Yes, Ralph Yarro has minions.

_______________________________________________________

From: DMF
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: Oops

This was supposed to be a reply to BL's, the next top-level post below, citing the code of journalistic ethics.

_______________________________________________________

From: BL
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: The fundamental question

Mr. Kircaali proved very adept at avoiding the central fundamental question, namely: "why is an 'article' about Pamela Jones considered newsworthy in a Linux Business magazine?"

The veracity of the article isn't the point. Let's presume for the point of argument that the facts mentioned are 100% accurate. What legitimate news purpose does the article serve? And I would add a related follow-up question: is the article consistent with the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics (SPJCE)? ( see http://www.spj.org/ethics_code.asp )

I believe that the reason Mr. Kircaali avoided these questions is because he wished to spare himself having to choke on the answers, which are:

(1) Even if the article were entirely factual, a recitation of facts is not news. The article serves no legitimate newsworthy purpose, especially for a Linux Business Journal.

(2) The article clearly violates so many clauses of the SPJCE that limited space here forbears listing them all. Since SYS-CON and Ms. O'Gara purport to be journalists, this is a reasonable standard to hold their work to. Using that standard, the article is unethical.

_______________________________________________________

From: Rafael Diaz
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: Excellent Points

As a systems admin and for the little its worth I will never again spend a minute of my time in any enterprise that is in any way related to SYS-CON. Regardless of any lame half baked apology.

How cowardly hiding behind the premise that an article being factualy correct was a news item. Someone please correct me but was MOG writing for some sleeze tabloid? Doubtful, even they show more journalistic integrity then has been shown by Fuat Kircaali.

Sad and pathetic.

_______________________________________________________

From: Jim S.
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: just a bunch of lame backpedalling

I get the impression Mr. Kircaali has been advised by legal counsel to deny that there was anything wrong with the O'Gara article to limit his liability. It was a creepy, garbage piece and he knows it. I also doubt there was DoS attack. I spent those days trying to pull up various SYS-CON sites and their responsiveness was typical of a slashdotting.

He did make me laugh when he suggested that a whole bunch of other reporters wished THEY had harassed someone's mom in her driveway.

And remember kids, complaining to SYS-CON's advertisers will have you stammering on the phone that you need legal representation.

_______________________________________________________

From: Gregory D
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: CEO

Ethics are under scrutiny here, something already tainted in public opinion by todays court cases against leading CEOs across the United States and exposure of deceptive journalists around the globe.

Mr. Kircaali has missed an opportunity, right here, for projecting an acceptable image of ethical behavior. I understand these are emotional times for him, and I hope he can find a peaceful mind and reconsider his stance. Protecting his business is important to him, this is obvious, but without an image of ethical behavior his business will not prosper.

Take a breath Mr. Kircaali. You personally should apologize for the offensive article. You may not currently see the forest for the trees, but it really is that simple.

This can end as fast as it started, and it boils down to ethics, or at the very least, a sensitivity to the readers perspective.

_______________________________________________________

From: Darth23
Url: www.darth23.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Biggest mistake.

The biggest mistake I can see that Mr. Kircaali made, apart from publishing MOG's stalkerazzi attack, was at the very end of the interview.

Mr. Kircaali said that he didn't pull the story because of any factual errors, he pulled it because publishing it resulted in DoS attacks.

Isn't that moral equivalent of giving in to terrorism? He's appears not to appreciate why many people found MOG's piece so creppy and offensive, which is bad, but even worse he's publicly admitting that the people who launched a DoS attack against his site were effective in doing so.

I don't see how that will do anything but encourage more attacks.

Another mistake he made is to attempt to lump together people who complained about MOG's article, people who are actively promoting F/OSS & Linux, and the people who launched the DoS attack against him.

Undoubtedly the groups share many members, but they're not the same group. Surely the founder of "the world�s leading i-technology magazine publisher" should realzie that.

Mr. Kircaali might have come across in a better light if he has cited some of the NON anonymous emails he received complaining about the tone and content if the article as being the main reason he pulled the article.

Or maybe some general sense of common decency.

_______________________________________________________

From: Mike Pinto
Url: none
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Interview with Fuat Kircaali

I don't think there was a DoS attack, and using this as an "excuse" to pull the article was just that, an excuse. If anything, he got slashdotted by an overwhelming number of people who wanted to see just what type of yellow journalism MOG had written. But rather than say that their servers weren't up to the unanticipated load, it sounds so much better to spin it as a DoS (personally, I never had any trouble connecting during the timeframe he claims they were D0S'ed).

Rather than do the right thing (as most people would do)and admit that he made a mistake by allowing the article to be published, and then apologising, he's trying to somehow justify it. This is amazing to me, because I've already read several editorials on other sites, all of them condeming the article. And these condemnations come from other journalists. And yet, Kircaali refuses to admit that it might have been a mistake to publish this trash. He should be in politics for his ability to talk all around a question without answering it, not to mention being able to somehow portray himself as the victim in all of this.

He calls SYS-CON "the world�s leading i-technology media company." I doubt this was ever true, but if it ever was, I feel sure that after this debacle, it's a thing of the past. SYS-CON has most definitely lost all credibility with the mainstream IT community after publishing this piece of tabloid trash.

From: Darth23
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Benefit of the doubt

I was giving him the benefit of the doubt with the whole DoS thing.

I wouldn't be surprise of they WERE Slashdotted. Maybe none of hsi sites have ever meent mentioned on /. before.

I redirected most of his sites to 127.0.0.1 in my host file pretty early on - so I know I'M not partially responsible for the heavy traffic.

_______________________________________________________

From: AMc
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Perhaps Mr. Kircaali is missing the message

His comments, while tactful, are showing that he 'just doesn't get it." I don't condone a DoS attack (although I suspect this was a case of the Slashdot effect), or anonymous malicious mailings to Sys-Con's clients.

However various posters have publically challenged the factual content of many of Mrs. O'Gara's articles. Several have suggested that she should seek a qualified legal opinion before submitting them. More importantly, several asked for Sys-Con to exercise good faith and get an opinion. Sys-Con failed to exercise responsible editorial control. And now, after failing completely to address the problem, Mrs. O'Gara crossed ethical lines.

This isn't about O'Gara vs Jones, this is about ethical writing and practices. Looking at the code of journalistic ethics taught at my university, only one of the two authors comes close. And it isn't Mrs. O'Gara. Further, I can tell you that our legal counsel finds the majority of Mrs. Jone's articles to be factual, despite her FOSS commentary. I can't say that any article of Mrs. O'Gara's has had that response. If anything, her efforts have focused attention on the problem of media ethics, paid authorship, and the increased lack of civic responsibility by journalists of all types.

The entire tone of Mr. Kircaali's response is that he finds Mrs. O'Gara's articles to be satirical humour. So it's logical I should find Sys-Con and it's publications to be nothing more than unfactual satire not to be taken into consideration when making purchasing decisions. As such, Mr. Kircaali can count my 'extremist' name among the cancellations and emails from concerned clients to several of your clients. As an administrator at a publically funded university, I wouldn't be acting responsibly if I maintained non-professional media subscriptions on the tax-payers' tab.

- message included in a direct email to Mr. Kircaali, however I suspect he doesn't have time to read those any more than to exercise any good civic character -

_______________________________________________________

From: Daniel R. Franklin
Url: http://ieee.uow.edu.au/~daniel
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Ethics in the media

Pathetic... obviously this so-called editor has no idea of concepts such as honesty, integrity or morality. Not only has he failed to read a single article on Groklaw, I suspect he has only read O'Gara's hatchet job after the fact, and is trying to justify his manifest failure in hindsight. He cares only for his advertising revenue, as he makes plain in the article. His `customers' are not the readership, but those who chose to advertise via this outlet. He would do well to remember that those advertisers will go elsewhere if the readership is offended (and disgusted).

Vicious, irrelevant, inaccurate, spiteful ad-hominem attacks are not journalism. They are clearly the product of a diseased mind, to wit one Maureen O'Gara. She will sink without trace, as should this grubby little tabloid. Sys-con indeed.

_______________________________________________________

From: Neo Neko
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: He's not thick but he is spinning like a top.

Why is it that "suspected" criminals appear to have more rights than the average citizen? Reputable reporters/journalists will not even give out personal information of "suspected" criminals. It is as I understand it, a very basic/core part of the journalistic code of ethics. And yet we can't afford this comfort to an "innocent" person. Someone who has so publically wished to remain anonymous? Especially in light that this is in relation to one of the most controvercial storries to ever hit the linux world?! To me this sets off red lights and klaxons all over the place. Aaaaaaaooooooga! Aaaaaaaooooooga!

I will make the assumption that Faut is not a stupid person by virtue of his employed post. I could be wrong. But I don't think so. Ms. O'Gara's stories were obviously biased and by virtue of this bias atracted alot of visitors. More visitors mean more ad revenue. Which in turn means more profit. And profit is what commecial entities are all about. Faut was more than happy to let O'Gara say what ever she wanted as long as visitors came. That is untill there started to be some nasty reprocussions. We will call this an example of "virtual rubberneckers" syndrome. Everyone likes to look at small auto accidents. Thinking how stupid the person must have been or simply "I wonder how it happened?". But if an accident is big enough or a particular intersection is dangerous enough public outcry will arrise. Demanding change etc. Ms. O'Gara's stories both by their number and seriousness envoke both conditions for outcry. Simply put O'Gara is an accident waiting to happen. A living, breathing, walking, paid disaster zone.

Faut was more than happy to push the envelope of both truth and ethics on O'Gara's behalf to get more visitors to his site. He under-estimated on that last one and got caught with his pants around his ankles in a "shit storm". In short removing the offending story from the site was really the least he could do. And his half hearted apology hiding behind the verracity of so called facts is more or less offensive in itself. One baby step forward one big step back. My future reading of any sys-con published site is still very much in question. When I go to a "business" site I want factual, accurate, concise, and most of all relevant analysis. O'Gara is anything but! So how does this speak about LINUXBUSINESSNEWS.COM and it's opperators?

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymouse
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: 'suspected criminals'

We tend to give "suspected" criminals the benefit of the doubt (innocent till guilty) and limiting public disclosure of their information is one way to minimize the collateral damage associated with criminal investigations.

Anyways, Its pretty obvious he's heeing and hawing to avoid saying anything MoG did was wrong. I think he's right that MoG didn't cross any journalistic lines. Most of us agree its distasteful what she did, but I'm sure the advertisers had much more to do with MoG getting yanked than the bad taste her article may or may not have left in managements mouth.

If MoG isn't your favorite person read this and hopefully you'll laugh: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=148847&cid=12478032

_______________________________________________________

From: Neo Neko
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Collateral Dammage.

On your point about collateral damage. My point still stands.

1. It was not about Linux.

2. It was not about Business.

3. It was not really News. Or at the very least news no one other than SCO or MOG for whatever reason wanted to know.

Basically PJ has suffered from collateral damage to the SCO case. If I put something, anything on the net. Does that give anyone the right or excuse to track me down and make my private life public simply because they don't concurr? No. Of course not. Responsible reporters don't go spouting the names and adresses of joe averages very often. Ok they don't do it very much at all. Or for anyone at all. Much less the joe averages. The ones that do are generally reffered to by the moniker "tabloid reporter". And even then it is still possible to go to far.

Because something is a fact or factual does not make it news worthy. If that were the case I could track you down and say some snide or seemingly slanderous remarks at your expense along with providing information on your private life. If you were to sick the lawyers on me I could alwyas just pull the coppout "Hey it was just news! Stop oppressing my 1st amendment rights!". That is rather what this whole case is like. You can say what you like. But people have a RIGHT TO PRIVACY.

What part of where PJ lives changes anything IBM, SCO, or the judge have said or filed? What part of who PJ is changes any of those facts? Are any of those facts religeously significant? If you take away all the legal filings etc from groklaw what do you have? Not much. A few bits of well founded fact based oppinion and a gaggle of transient visitor comments. What part of anything anywhere in this case justified the violation of a persons privacy?

____________________________________________________________

And another thought on one of Fuat's so called points.

"As a blogger you do whatever you feel like doing. There are no established rules or generally accepted practices in the blogging community today in its historically early stages."

That is such BS. I have been blogging since before it was called that. Going back to 1996 or so. Only then we didn't generally have such nice scripted or automated setups. I would edit the HTML file as text and then upload it to the server all manually. If someone wanted to leave a comment they could email it to me and if I wished I could tack it on manually later as well. The only difference today is that it has all been simplified and automated. And today it is as it was over a decade ago totally uncalled for to publish private information of a private individual just because they put up a geocities etc page you don't agree with. It is not kosher for the average joe and much less so for a "professional" reporter/publisher.

_______________________________________________________

From: Jason
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: 'American citizen'???

With a name like that, he surely is 'american'! Why does he even think that he can come to OUR country and tell US how we should live and what HE wants to do here??? Why don't he go back to his country and does whatever he wishes there? I'm sure his country would be delighted!

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Citizens of the world

Hello,

Now, this is a very unfair comment.

Fuat is American. He might well be "imported" (who knows?), but he is now part of the big "community" (or country) called "America".

I am sure there are plenty (and I mean: plenty) of Americans who were born in America, and who are much more extreme in their views than Mr. Fuat.

Surely, you don't have to look very far to have confirmation of this.

Merc.

_______________________________________________________

From: Richard Steven Hack
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Actually We Don't Know His Nationality or Citizenship

Just because he's running a company here doesn't mean he's a citizen, particularly. Or a long-time citizen in any event.

Not that it matters. An asshole is an asshole no matter where he comes from - or goes to.

He has made it clear that he considers himself blameless about the whole thing - a typical human response to being caught red-handed being stupid and unethical and then suffering problems because of it.

His response does entirely justify a boycott of the entire organization until HIS ass is kicked to the curb along with O'Gara's.

From: Anonymous Coward
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Do unto others?

While it would be clearly unethical to do it to someone else, it would only be playing by his rules if someone wrote up a similar hatchet job on Mr. Fuat Kircaali. He has himself said that any journalist is a public figure and should have no expectation of privacy, and that comments about someone's age, religion, interior decorating, etc., are not only newsworthy but BUSINESS news. So, he should have no objection to the publication of any such article, and in fact should be more than willing to volunteer the necessary information.

So, if you're reading this, Mr. Kircaali ... what is your age? Your religion? What kind of car do you drive? (please supply a photo) Where do you live? Where does your mother live? (please also supply a photo of her house) What do your neighbors think of you? Give us some contact information for them so we can ask them directly. What type of housing do you live in? (please supply photos so we can evaluate your interior decoration) What is your citizenship or immigration status? Are you married? Any kids? Are they adults? What business are they in?

As the owner of a "leading" Linux publication, the details and circumstances of Mr. Kircalli's personal life should be at least as much of a story as those of a private blogger. I'm looking forward to seeing Linux Business News publish them in the near future.

_______________________________________________________

From: shayne
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Jason,

Jason, shut the hell up. So what if he has a foreign sounding name.

Two wrongs dont make a right. He might be unethical and of low moral substance, but that doesnt give you the right to be a racist so and so.

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: He invited us to call him...

Kircaali, Fuat & Carmen

3001 NE 36 St

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, FL 33064

954-943-3281

I wonder if that's current though, because I don't find a listing in NJ or NY for him, and that's where the company is.

But he DID say, it was okay to call him and he's in the white pages.

_______________________________________________________

From: Jason
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Fuat Kircaali's phone and address

I guess, then, he wouldn't mind if someone posts it here:

Fuat & Carmen Kircaali

3001 NE 36th St

Lighthouse Point, FL 33064-8568

(954) 943-3281

It's perfectly fine, I guess, since it's available in White Pages...

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: His address

Hello,

That's exacty his argument - and that's why I published your comment.

As I told him over the phone, that's his choice - and at the same time he has to respect Pamela's choice of not have her address publicly available.

Bye,

Merc.

_______________________________________________________

From: Darth23
Url: www.darth23.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Florida

why did it have to be Florida?

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous Coward
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: Well, now you're just as bad...

You've just committed the same hack journalism that you're so angry about. I don't know whose address and phone number you just published (and neither do you, I'll wager) except that they happen to have the same name as FK. If they're NOT FK, then YOU have just subjected some perfectly innocent and bewildered couple to middle-of-the-night hate-filled phone calls and a mailbox stuffed with vitriolic letters and subscriptions to who-knows-what, and they don't even know why. Congratulations.

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: RE: Well, now you're just as bad...

Hi,

I personally know Fuat's address - he told me clearly when we talked. He also told me that he doesn't mind if it's public. I checked that the post above had the correct address before publishing it.

So yes, those are Mr. Fuat's details.

I don't really think I am just as bad after all.

Merc.

_______________________________________________________

From: Paul Crowley
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Unbelievable!

I suspect that if someone wanted to pursue it, they would find that contacting the advertising customers of a publisher to complain about an article constitutes tortous interference and is actionable. Hope all those emails were anonymous!

Giving in to terrorism is a mistake, and I see lots of Maureen O'Gara articles are posted at the SYS-CON web site. So, I guess their termination of the relationship that was "reported" didn't really happen.

There are two real issues here. One is that "anonymous" news generally isn't worth anything - it is too easy to display a total disregard for the truth when there are no consequences. Alternatively, a non-anonymous publisher has a lot to lose. While Paula Jones articles may be factual and true, trying (or succeeding) to hide one's identity degrades whatever credibility he or she might have. And, it fails to open the door to disclosing what possible conflicts of interest may exist.

The second issue here is that at some point *any* publisher or journalist becomes a public figure. Public figures in American society don't get much in the way of privacy - check out Barbara Strisand and Sean Penn for examples. Is Paula Jones a public figure? Maybe.

_______________________________________________________

From: Anonymous Coward
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: You're wrong on two counts

1. Contacting the advertisers in a publication, TV show, or any other medium, is not actionable. If it was, then every radical right and loony left group in the country would be up on charges. Many of them go much farther than telling advertisers that they are displeased with the media they are advertising in. They organize boycotts. The picket their places of business. They make speeches on their soapboxes or in their pulpits or on their radio or TV shows. There is still some shred of the right to free speech left in this country, and telling someone that you won't buy their product because you don't like where they advertise falls under that.

2. Groklaw is not about anonymous news. Groklaw is about making public (and understandable) the truckloads of paperwork that have come out of the IBM/SCO case. If Pamela (not Paula) Jones was fabricating that material, the way "real" journalists with names like Mike Barnacle and Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass did, then totally destroying her credibility would be a simple matter of posting the real documents on SCO's own site and pointing out the discrepancies. This has not happened. Groklaw isn't a news site in the sense that it seeks out news on its own. It's a fact site, a repository of all those legal documents and some comments on their meaning, and a lot of discussion of them by various visitors. The facts are a matter of public record and have never been challenged. PJ's opinions, and those of the people discussing the articles, are clearly just that, opinion, and are worth exactly whatever value you choose to put on them. But it's not about anyone's opinions. It's about the facts.

_______________________________________________________

From: Neo Neko
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Conflict of interest

The only possible conflict of interests are the small and rare bits of real oppinion she puts up with the factual documents. Because often times what she says is not that opinionated and rather well backed by fact.

For many of us it would not matter if she was on IBM's payrol public or otherwise. Why? Because it wouldn't change much if anything. Simply put O'Gara stooped this low because she gets shut down every time she lets the FUD flow. What do I care if a full time IBM staffer does it? If he provides ponient and factual documentation we can look past any association. That is exactly what "Pamela" does.

Paula? Does someone have Clinton on the brain? :P

_______________________________________________________

From: Ryan
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: I contacted them

I contacted some of the advertisers about this matter. I also CC'd my email to SYS-CON so they could see exactly what I said.

I don't see how me asking these companies (most of them OSS companies) if this was in-line with their views is actionable. I informed them that by their ads continueing to be placed right next to this trashy article, they were seen as supporting a stalker. I also said it would cause their companies to be looked upon in bad light. I also said that them removing their ads from Maureen O'Gara's articles might be in-line.

Actually, after reviewing the email in my Sent Folder, I didn't mention SYS-CON once.

Please explain to me how exactly I broke the law, by expressing concerns to the companies that were supporting this trashy article? Of course, from your point of view, I am a horrible person that interferes with the dealings of SYS-CON and Maureen O'Gara is a saint. I mean, all she did was post pictures of someone's house and give contact information and personal information about that person AND their family, right? Get Real.

Fuat Kircaali says that his contact information is available. I challenge him to post his Mother's contact information, pictures of his house, his religious affiliation, whether his house needs an interior decorator or not and his age.

_______________________________________________________

From: Mike
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: No tort involved

Religious groups regularly complain to advertisers about the content of the programs their spots appear on. I haven't heard of any of them being sued in return.

_______________________________________________________

From: Pharmboy
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: First Amendment

The right to complain to advertisers is EXACTLY what the First Amendment is about: Protection of political speech. Political doesn't just mean about elections, but about "policy", be it government or a company.

Every American has the right to write an advertiser and say "I disapprove of XYZ company (for whatever reason), and you advertise with them, thus I won't buy your products". Threaten violence, DDoS or cause any damage? No, that is not free speech. Threaten to picket, boycott, speak publicly, not buy their products, or to write your congressman? That is fine and is *absolutely* protected by the Constitution.

_______________________________________________________

From: Nick Fortune
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: "Any publisher or journalist becomes a public figure"

Interesting. I don't suppose you'd happen to have Rupert Murdoch's phone number to hand? I've got one for News International, but I can never get past his secretary...

Lest anyone take me seriously here, let me state that I have no iterest in contacting the proprietor of News International. Still, I expect that anyone pulishing his personal phone number without permission might face all sorts of interesting responses. If the information included details of the Great Man's family in a context of intimidation, well I expect that would turn out to be illegal for all sorts of reasons.

However if we accept the notion that a publisher or journalist is a public figure (arguable) and that therefore their contact details should be freely available (far less so) then why Mr. Murdoch's personal phone number not freely avaiable? The answer is, of course, that Murdoch chooses to mediate his contact with the outside world through his organisation and carefully controls the channels that can be used to communicate with him. Wisely so.

So how is this different from PJ? It isn't that she's "anonymous". I as much about who PJ is as well as I do about Maureen O'Gara, rather more if I'd cared to read the article that started this furore. She is also contactable, via email and via Groklaw.

One reason we look down on anonymous reportage is that it is irresponsable - it the literal sense of "unable to respond". If you have a problem with an anonymous publication. there is no way to contact the author or publisher to air your grievance, and no way for either of them to address your issue, since they may well not know of it. A second is that some unscrupulous writers will use anonymity as a shield when writing libel. The third is that for an anonymous author, there is no way to gague the presence of a hidden agenda.

In PJ's case, she has demonstrated her willingness to respond to criticism. Groklaw is about maintaing a factual record. I have never heard of any error being found groklaw that was not quickly corrected. In the second case, PJ would not seem libelous. If she were, then we could expect the famously litigous and publicity-seeking SCO to have taken action against her, and to have trumpetted the fact to the media. Nor do I believe that SCO needed MOG to find PJ's contact details.

As for a hidden agenda, PJ's agenda could not be more open. She supports FOSS and opposes FUD. She does both by publishing a factual database useful in fighting off legal challenges to open source software.

And that, really, is what the debate should be about, IMO. We should judge PJs journalism (blogging if you must) by the quality of her data. Indeed, this should be the acid test for any sort of reportage, from peer reviewed papers in dead tree journals to anonymous posts on USENET.

To try and cast doubt on PJ's work by discussing her personal circumstances is at the end of the day, just another ad hominem attack. This one at least is courteous in tone and lacks the elements of intrustion and intimidation. All the same, in the end it boils down the same thing.

_______________________________________________________

From: Richard Steven Hack
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: He Says Contact Information Is Available For Every Employee

I TRIED contacting their editorial department from their Web site contact page.

The link bombed with an error message - in IE and FireFox. Several of the links did the same, after which I gave up.

So this "Web media company" doesn't know how to put up a Web page with a mailto: link, apparently.

_______________________________________________________

From: Arker
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Can't agree

A DOS attack, if one happened, was over the line, so I can't agree with that part of your statement.

I'm going to have to concur, however, that it doesn't seem likely one ever happened. A slashdotting is what, maybe a 1Gig peak, if that? It runs for a day or two, with peaks and troughs, slowly diminishing. Most sites that are set up for heavy traffic can take it, although they will be stressed, and maybe inaccessible for a few minutes here and there. If they're on serious hosting (and surely sys-con is) then it's a matter of server strain, not of pipes being filled to overflowing. A real DDOS, on the other hand, would probably be 3gig or better, and it doesn't just strain the servers - it's aimed to fill the pipes completely so that traffic is blocked.

Now I, and many others, found sys-con sites up and available throughout the time of the claimed DDOS. I'm not certain they ever were inaccessible, but let's assume they were. It clearly was only briefly. For the vast majority of the period they were accessible to many. So, if it was a DDOS, it wasn't a very good one. But if it was just a slashdotting, the symptoms fit perfectly.

At any rate, if Mr. Kircaali believes there was a DDOS of his site, he should have evidence of it. The claim that he terminated MoG because of criminal acts by third parties is ludicrous. Were it true, it would be an incredibly bad business decision, very likely actionable, and certainly nothing a man of his astuteness would be admitting in public.

At any rate, beyond all that, other parts of this interview make it absolutely clear that he has not the slightest understanding of Linux or Free Software or the people that make it work. He's revealed as utterly incompetent for his position. He should resign, and find a position where he's not entirely out of his depth.

_______________________________________________________

From: Richard Steven Hack
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Another Question For This Guy

How is it that his company is running ads for OSS companies like SugarCRM next to these sorts of anti-OSS articles from an SCO shill when the company involved, SugarCRM, has NO KNOWLEDGE that their ad was placed there, as their contract was only for ads in LinuxWorld, not Linux Business News?

Or is Sys-Con in the business of inflating hit counts on ads without the knowledge of their advertisers so they can sell more ad space?

Personally I think a denial of service attack was exactly the correct response to this clown and his operation - that's assuming such a thing actually took place (I suspect he's lying through his teeth about that - nothing was mentioned in the press that I am aware about it.)

_______________________________________________________

From: Maud Harald
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Case number? Claiming a DDoS is the oldest trick in the book

If there was a DDoS, then Fuat Kircaali has for sure reported it to the authorities, hasen't he? So he for sure has a case number and the name of the investigating agent, hasen't he?

I would suggest to ask Mr. Kircaali about these details. I would not be surprised if Mr. Kircaali can't come up with anything. The simple truth might be that his niche web site is rather low-speced, and they were surprised by the traffic peek caused by his disgusting piece of "journalism".

He is now running a smear campaign, trying to paint his critics as wackos, trying to paint PJ as someone associated with wackos amd painting himself as a victim of wackos. This is really sad.

Lets make this absolutely clear here:

PJ is the victim, not SYS-CON, not Mr. Kircaali, not the MOG. Should PJ be harmed by the whole scandal in any way, then Mr. Kircaali is an accessory in this - maybe not in a legal sense, but in a moral sense.

No spin doctoring of SYS-CON or Mr. Kircaali can change this fact.

Mr. Kircaali seems to be rather fond of the MOG, and it sounded as he took PJ's rejection to do the TV interview personal. He also doesn't seem to like bloggers, because this is not journalism in his book (we have seen what constitutes journalism in his book). Could these things have clouded his judgement?

What we have seen is that one thing really works: Hitting people like Mr. Kircaali in the wallet. Contacting the advertisers seems to be the thing which made Mr. Kircaali really worried. Whatever Mr. Kircaali ethics and journalistic standards are, his love of money seems to be greater. I suspect money is the only driving fource behind the SYS-CON scandal.

_______________________________________________________

From: Robert Lazarski
Url: www.braziloutsource.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: clue by four

I read the nytimes, washingtonpost and several other top newspapers pratically everyday. As well as numerous periodical computer trade magazines as they come. And I have never seen elsewhere such a venemous personel attack, or even heard of one.

The sad nature of the comments relected by Fuat Kircaali indicate the lowest journalistic standards I'm aware of in any media form anywhere. I've never even seen blogs stoop so low. The weekly world news never gets personel, and neither do any blogs I've seen.

Sir Fuat Kircaali, congratulations. Though no small feat, you seem proud of being the lowest common denominator. The only way I could possibly respond is by simply ignoring your entire range of media. Once you've lost your credibility, what's the point?

Robert Lazarski,

Brazil Outsource CEO

_______________________________________________________

From: Sneaky McFerret
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: As bad as O'Gara

This guy is a major weasel, just as bad as O'Gara. He still doesn't see that anyone has behaved unethically.

All I can say is that there must be major Microsoft Moola floating around here for anyone to stick so doggedly to a career-killer position like this.

_______________________________________________________

From: Oli
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Two questions

I would have liked the interviewer to have asked two questions.

1. You say you have suffered a DDOS attack. Have you reported it to the authorities, and may I know where to inquire about the status of the investigation?

2. I notice that you call MOG a journalist. If I'm not mistaken this is usually called *tabloid* journalism. Do you mean that SYS-CON is a tabloid publication?

Well, you can always be clever an hour after the fact...

_______________________________________________________

From: Mark Alexander
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Simple journalistic ethics

Mr. Kircaali needs to read just one Groklaw article:

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050512132312302

Although I would have thought that a publisher of media claiming to be journalism should not have to have the Journalists' Code of Ethics pointed out. The fact that he never even considers the ethical issues in this interview speaks volumes about the integrity of Sys-Con Media.

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony McNamara
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Someone's beign economical with the truth ...

Quote from this article:

I [Mr Kircaali]am not interested in offending our readers or in driving them away. I do wish that they had tried to work with me to find a solution ...".

Are the now former senior editors of LinuxWorld such as Turner lying when they say they have spent six months trying to get O'Gara articles to be no longer accepted for publication?

Personally I doubt that they were lying. So Mr K should really be asked to 'Please explain'.

_______________________________________________________

From: Russ
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: To Mr. Kircaali

I LOVE that Mr. Kircaali says "what about our first ammendment rights?" To Mr. Kircaali I say this:

"Mr. Kircaali, if you're in the publishing business, you ought to know by now that you have the RIGHT to publish trash like that, but the public has a right to be outraged by it and to boycott your publications and your publications' sponsors. That is not denying your rights. That is just you publishing sensational personal attacks instead of real news, and getting burned. The first ammendment doesn't guarantee that people won't be outraged and turn away from garbage content, it doesn't guarantee you that people will subscribe to your increasingly tabloid-like content, it doesn't guarantee that those that visit your site will not contact your sponsors and notify them of a boycott. The first ammendment just says that the government won't stop you from publishing it. Your good sense is supposed to stop you from doing that.

In the slim homes that someone will bother to read your publication in the future, you will find it more useful to stick to attacking the factual material on Groklaw. Surely you have the resources to have someone investigate THAT instead of the living conditions, mode of transportation, or religious beliefs of the editor. Eventually the public may forgive you, and again turn to your site for news.

Good luck, sir."

_______________________________________________________

From: Jason J.
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Maureen o'gara address and phone

I'm sure she won't mind, since it's, again, all in White Pages:

[REMOVED]

I'm sure she will be delighted to hear from the readers.

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: RE: Maureen o'gara address and phone

Hi,

>I'm sure she won't mind, since it's, again, all in White

>Pages:

>Maureen Ogara

>XXXXX

>XXXXX NY XXXXX-XXXX

>(XXX) XXX-XXXX

>I'm sure she will be delighted to hear from the readers.

NO, no, no.

How can we compnain about ethics if then we break the most basic basic ethics rules?

Merc.

_______________________________________________________

From: Jason J.
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Ethics...

Well, first of all that's publicly available on White Pages: [REMOVED]

Second of all, I don't bash her, I simply quote the White Pages. As you must have noticed, I haven't said a single negative word about her :)

And I don't think it's fair to just remove my postings either.

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Re: Ethics...

Hi,

>Second of all, I don't bash her, I simply quote the White >Pages. As you must have noticed, I haven't said a single >negative word about her :)

>And I don't think it's fair to just remove my postings

> either.

1) The Maureen O'Gara you found might not be the "right one". An unrelated person *could* be harassed

2) Let's be ethical, eh :-)

Merc.

From: Jason J.
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: I just know where she lives.

If you don't believe me - just check where she lives and where her company is.

_______________________________________________________

From: Tsu Dho Nimh
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Not news! Not even tabloid gossip!

"I decided to publish the article. It was published because it was an accurate news story."

Mr. Kircaali ... that article was neither accurate nor news. It contained nothing germane to the issue of Groklaw's accuracy as a news site, nothing germane to the Linux community, nothing germane to the lawsuits SCO is embroiled in.

Had O'Gara actually discovered a BMW in the drive with a big red ribbon and a note saying "Thanks from IBM", that would have been news. However, when a writer starts by calling the subject of the article an "elusive harridan", sneeringly comments on the subject's neighborhood and decor, and continues by posting irrelevant information about the contents of what might or might not have been the subjects vehicle ... that's not news. It was malicious, petty, rude, thoughtless, and quite probably a career-ending move for Ms. O'gara. She has conclusively shown that she is not a journalist, she's several grades below a writer for the National Enquirer.

Your inability to see why it should not have been published calls your professional judgement into question ... if you think what O'Gara wrote about PJ was news, I can't trust that your magazines or websites will publish news.

If you truly think there was no damage done, that PJ is being hypersensitive about the disclosures - I challenge you to post the street addresses and towns of your own family on the web, with pictures of the entrances and buildings, and mention the make and color of their cars while you are at it.

Tsu Dho Nimh (yup, I use a pseudonym on the net)

_______________________________________________________

From: Gerard ter Beke
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Snake

So, Mr. Kircaali apologizes. Yet, in the article he claims there was nothing wrong with the story.

Which one of these two is it? Judging from the interview, he claims over and over again he did no wrong. Then why apologize?

He can't even be truthfull to himself. He's just pathetic.

The only thing he's trying is to control the damage. Avoid a lawsuit, avoid advertisers leaving, avoid readers turning away. He's a snake, speaking with two tongues.

I'm from Holland. We too have sayings:

If you burn your butt, you have to sit on the blisters.

I sincerely hope you have huge blisters.

_______________________________________________________

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: RE: Snake

Hi,

I clarified this in the "UPDATE". His views on the subject have changed. I know it because I spent quite a while on the phone with this week, from the beginning (when he hadn't read the story carefully and didn't seem to understand the gravity of it), through the middle of the storm (when he pulled the story) to the end (when the editors at LinuxWorld left and he actually "got it").

OK, maybe it was a big act. Maybe he only pretended to change his mind for damage control.

But MAYBE not - how do you know? As he pulled the story, and effectively sacked O'Gara, why not giving him the benefit of the doubt?

Merc.

P.S.

I am not on his side. I try not to be on anyone's side. I am just trying to treat him like I would like other people to treat me, that's all.

_______________________________________________________

From: Theodore Tso
Url: http://thunk.org/tytso
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: I wish you had specified when he made various comments

It would have helped if you had specified with clarity when Mr. Kircalli made certain statements. Was the interview conducted via e-mail or phone? Did Mir. Kircalli make all of these statements at the same time, or did he answer them of the course of the past week, while events were unfolding? If so, which responses were made at which times?

If as James Turner's blog says, he had an opporunity to review the entire transcript before you published it, when was he given such an change to review the interview?

The timing is important has it helps establish whether indeed his views did change over time, or whether he is a lying hypocrit who changes his story when it is convenient. For example, did he make the statements saying that there was nothing ethically worng with the article before or after the statement on Linux Business News appeared stating that "he agreed with the view of his editors" that O'Gara's articles had ethical problems?

For those of us who are following the story, and want to make a fair-minded judgement about whether or not Mr. Fuat Kircaali is a lying bastard or not, these details are critically important.

From: Tony Mobily
Url: http://www.mobily.com
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Comments

Hello,

The interview was a bit of a long process.

First, I had a prelimirary conversation with him. Then, 24 hours later, I interviewed him taping the interview.

I sent him the transcript, as we agreed.

He sent me the transcript back shortly afterwards. It was a bit of a rewrite, but it had the same essential structure ans ideas.

I must say that I've been talking to Mr. Fuat quite a lot for the last 4 days, and yes, his views have changed from quite-radical to not-so-radical and finally to well-actually-I-was-wrong...

Being "behind the story" makes you realise how limited printed paper (and web) is.

If you want first hand information... give him a call and see it yourself!

Merc.

From: Russ
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: If he has changed his mind, he CAN tell us!

You know, the man has access to quite a few forums in which to clarify and apologize for his earlier misunderstandings. While I will personally not be browsing his tabloids in the near future (based upon the lack of quality in recent content), I am sure that the word would get out quickly that he has clearly and unambiguously apologized for his earlier stance. Let me know when that URL is available. Until then, I hope you will understand why I take any claims that he has suddenly come down with a case of concience as unsubstantiated rumor. He might like to try telling his (now partially absent) LinuxWorld editorial staff. They seem to think he either has ethical shortcomings himself, or that he employs and supports those with ethical shortcomings (one might see that as an ethical shortcoming in and of itself), and it has driven a number of them to resign. I feel pretty confident that they must have discussed the problems with him before quitting, so I find it hard to believe he was ill-informed. Since they all worked there for a while and presumably got to know the man, I suspect it to be more likely that the set screw in his ethical compass is loose, and the arrow points which ever way is most convenient for him. It seemed OK to publish Ms. O'Gara's article full of ad hominem attacks until the consequences became clear (loss of sponsors, loss of revenue). Quick fix: tap the compass on the side and voila!

_______________________________________________________

From: anonymous, i hope
Url:
Date: 2005-05-16
Subject: just wanted to say ...

... I just unsubscribed from every sys-con publication i was receiving

_______________________________________________________

From: Jason Goemaat
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: What a liar

Quote:

Every time we asked them a simple question, they told us that they will need to seek legal counsel and hung up the phone on us. This week we managed to get single unanimous answer to all our simple questions. �I think I need legal advice.�

Quote:

Mr. Kircaali threatened to sue me. That is why I said he can talk to a lawyer then.

Fuat doesn't say tell us the fact that he threatened to sue them, he says he asked a simple question. Of course someone is going to say they need legal advice if they're getting threatened with a lawsuit. I don't see how a lawsuit will go anywhere in the US. The first amendment protects free speech. People have the right to make their opinions known. We also have the right not to listen to people or publications. Comunicating that to the site's advertisers is protected speech. Fuat will have a long way to go to prove interference with contract (tortuous interference):

http://www.commercial-litigation-lawyer.com/business_torts_litigation_07.php4

I think PJ would have a lot easier time with a suit about invasion of privacy:

http://www.commercial-litigation-lawyer.com/business_torts_litigation_10.php4

_______________________________________________________

From: Hop
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Why is this news, Fuat?

The article had no news per se, The article consisted of MOG giving adresses, phone numbers, and personal details about someone. How is that "news" in any context?

Sorry, Fuat, but you are absolutely in the wrong here. There is no justification for your behavior.

_______________________________________________________

From: WhiteFang
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Fuat Kircaali

As the interviewer (Mr. Mobily) said himself, Fuat went from 'quite radical' to 'not so radical' to 'well I was wrong'.

Anyone who changes their ethical position so radically in such a short period of time is not someone I will trust. Even more so when it appears that he is loosing or stands to loose his business due to advertisers potentially abandonning him in droves.

i.e. It becomes impossible to avoid questioning his sincerity.

I read the interview when it was first posted.

His about face and apology mean absolutely nothing because his own prior quotes and actions ruin any reputation he may have enjoyed for personal integrity.

As others have pointed out, how do you make right the injury the third parties in Mureen O'Gara's piece of yellow journalism have suffered? These people lives have been invaded by someone completely lacking in any ethics at all. Give them an apology? Sorry for harrassing you by mistake?

I don't care how sincere Mr Kircaali sounds now. It's people's initial off-the-cuff responses that give the best gauge of their ethics, morals and beliefs.

What's more, this isn't the first time Mr Kircali's been warned about O'Gara's lack of ethics and totally unprofessional approach to journalism.

Message to Mr Kircaali:

I haven't yet complained to any advertiser's about the shoddy quality of reporting and proven lack of ethics regarding Mz. O'Gara. I'm currently collecting info where to write the marketing departments of the advertisers and their respective ad agencies. Rest assured I will be writing letters of complaint and pointing out how the advertisers probably don't want their brands asssociated in any manner with SYS-CON.

It is my opnion that you should have done something about O'Gara back in October, 2004 when you first had a chance to. An apology in the face of your business' possible self destructing because of your self evident 'money is more important than ethics' is meaningless.

I ask you again. How do you make the invasion of privacy and harrassment of the people mentioned in O'Gara's article whole? Saying "sorry" _after_ your senior editors have quit and _after_ your readership has started complaining to your advertisers is meaningless. You, and only you, had the repsonsibility to take corrective action last year. You didn't do so then. You didn't do so now until the public ire of your readership forced you to.

"Sorry" is just where you _start_. It doesn't do anything to make things right.

If you want to try to sue me for writing the advertisers to complain. Go right ahead. You'll get nowhere with such a specious lawsuit as any competent laywer will tell you.

w.fangs a t gmail d o t com

_______________________________________________________

From: David Pastern
Url:
Date: 2005-05-15
Subject: Disgraceful

This gentlemen has absolutely no idea of morals, or ethical behaviour. He seems to only understand money, greed and getting as many hits on his websites as possible. Disgraceful.

Tell me sir - if I gave our your *private* phone number, went around to your wife and childrens place, banged on their door, started asking neighbours questions about your family and you, and then started tracking down car registration numbers etc and tracing them to different locations would you be offended?

I know I would, but it seems that my ethical and moral behaviour is exceedingly higher than yours.

You smack of double standards when you criticise those doing dDos attacks against your pathetic website, and having your freedom of speech etc etc impaired by it, but you're happy to behave in an unethical way elsewhere. I hope PJ sues you and the court bankrupts you and puts you in jail. For a long, long time.

Dave W Pastern

PS I never read any of the trash that your site did anyways. Cos it was trash.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

FK is a total sociopath. Believe me, I know. He should be in jail for many unethical things he has done. No one should buy or support any of his publications.

Anonymous visitor's picture
Submitted by Anonymous visitor (not verified) on

The link on the first page of the article, to www.linuxbusinessnews.com, no longer contains the message mentioned. However, the Internet Archive has made a copy. It is available here.

Author information

Tony Mobily's picture

Biography

Tony is the founder and the Editor In Chief of Free Software Magazine