Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Overstock CEO Expounds on the Joys of Cyberstalking

Over the long weekend, while normal people relaxed, Overstock.com stalker-in-residence Judd Bagley and his out-of-control boss Patrick Byrne dug themselves deeper into the cyberstalking scandal that they have created for themselves and their shareholders.

Bagley boasted about spying on Internet critics (also see this post and this one), and Byrne yanked closely the umbilical chord that binds him with Bagley's stalking-and-lying site, antisocialmedia.net. Here Bagley pretty much confesses to have sent a spyware-infected private message to Internet sleuth "ScipioAfricanus." Nice work, Judd!

More on Bagley's links to spyware-infected Internet messaging can be found in this neat bit of sleuthing. It is now increasingly obvious that the planting of invisible spyware codes in message board posts, which I described a few days ago, was carried out by Bagley.

Byrne's revelations came in two waves. First came his "cyberstalking is citizen journalism and journalists are evil corporations" rant on Jan. 13. When that was found to contain a real whopper of a contradiction, Byrne came back with a post on Jan. 14.

Blabbermouth that he is, Byrne did a nice job of confirming that Bagley's job is to run antisocialmedia:

Does Judd Bagley primarily work from Overstock.com facilities? STRANGE GUY, KEEPS HIS OWN HOURS, COMES IN SOME NIGHTS, STAYS AWAY FOR DAYS.
I would love to be a fly on the wall at the deposition sessions that I am sure are in his future. More evidence that Overstock.com's antisocialmedia.net smear site is Bagley's full-time job can be found here.

Byrne then ducked and weaved and contradicted what he had said in the past. The Aug. 8 reference is particularly damning, as "ipfrelee" was an Internet handle Bagley cringed behind earlier in the year. So, what have we here? Byrne spoke to Bagley about his cyberstalking on Aug. 8, hired the same cyberstalker to be a vice president a few days later, and (to quote what he said on Dec. 23) didn't "technically" know who ran antisocialmedia!

(Aside to the SEC: As Byrne would say, "Is this bad?")

Byrne also promised to send email spams to Overstock's hapless customers about an upcoming TV sound bite.

The same Internet sleuth who did all the great work linked above, "ScipioAfricanus," has found disturbing evidence tying Bagley's spyware-planting to Provo Labs of Utah, whose CEO Paul Allen is widely known in the Utah biz community. Provo Labs bought Bagley's "Big Idea" PR firm early in 2006.

In his Jan. 14 IV post, Byrne went out of his way to say that he has never even heard of Provo Labs! I'm convinced. Aren't you? Provo Labs has absolutely, positively nothing to do with Bagley's corporate-blessed critic-stalking, even though one of the spyware-infected message board postings linked directly to a Provo Labs blog.

Last but not least, Bagley posted a message on my blog (not published, of course, but preserved for posterity), reciting lies that he was imminently posting about my wife and then saying: "I again invite you to open a dialog that will allow us to settle our differences. This is getting pretty silly, I trust you'll agree. Judd."

In other words, "shut the f--- up, Weiss, or we'll post more lies about you and we won't stop at you. We'll go after your family."

I'd say Bagley has been watching The Godfather one too many times.

Note the resemblance to an anonymous threat that I posted about a few months ago, as well as an extortionate post by Bagley on a Yahoo message board in December. The message has been nuked by Yahoo, which has no tolerance for cyberstalking, but was replicated here:

"But the fact remains: his bad behavior needs to stop, and at some point, fire must be fought with fire...So, prior to the publication of Part Two on 12/20, we again ask Gary Weiss to engage us in a meaningful dialog. Please contact me at: antisocialmedia@gmail.com"
"Bad behavior" meaning, of course, criticism of Bagley's employer, Patrick Byrne.

It just keep going on and on and on and on..... Every time they open their big mouths, they blurt out something incriminating. Watching Byrne and Bagley dig themselves in deeper is like the fat lady at the carnival: it would almost be amusing if it wasn't so ugly.

Food for thought: this is a hobby blog, one that I write for my own amusement and as a diversion from real work. As you can see, it has driven Byrne over the edge. How is he going to react when the real investigators get on his case? And here's still more to consider.

UPDATE: Later in the day, Bagley made an appearance in the comments section of Dealbreaker.com, and brought his big mouth with him:
Gary's blog is now about me, leaving Bob O'Brien and Patrick Byrne to skip along undistracted. Hell, I'll take one or two for the team, and keep on feeding them the same rope they'll soon find themselves even more profoundly tangled up in. [emphasis added]
In other words, all the stuff about antisocialmedia being separate and apart from Overstock is what it appears to be, which is total bull. Bagley acted in concert with others, Patrick Byrne and Phil Saunders a/k/a "Bob O'Brien," in pursuit of his criminal cyberstalking and harassment enterprise.

Correction: In an early version of this item I inaccurately referred to Bagley as a "vice president" of Overstock.com. He is not. I apologize to all the people holding the title "vice president" in corporate America

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.


Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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