My name is Andrew D Kirch, I'm one of the founders of the AHBL, and served in that capacity until 2008. I've been harassed, extorted, sued, and defamed by a Mr. Richard Morton Scoville, a resident of San Antonio, Texas for a period of 7 years. During that time I have suffered nearly irreparable damage to my character, and public reputation. I've been questioned by police, and my customers, and I have incurred over $10,000 in legal costs defending myself in court against this person.
I'm using a lot of terminology below, and where I've used acronyms or terminology, I've gone to great length to ensure that the acronym or term is explained. I am more than happy to provide additional clarification as needed. All of these terms are industry standard, and use of the Google search engine will provide additional corroborative information. (I have written this for a person with no technical knowledge of information security, in an attempt to make this information accessible to anyone of any technical level)
I am 29 years of age, and a resident of Indianapolis, IN. I am a former DNS Blacklist (DNSBL) operator, having operated as a sole proprietorship from 2003-2008. During this time I also ran a small consulting company, D&K Consulting, as a sole proprietorship wherein I repaired computers for small office, and home office users in Indianapolis. DNS Blacklists research and identify locations of spam sources around the Internet. They do this under the "Good Samaritan" protections of 47 USC 230, and are utterly indemnified by federal law against legal action. These spam sources can be illegally compromised computers with Internet access, or Internet service providers who allow their customers to send spam.
Presently I am a 40% owner in Trance Communications Corporation, a C Corp which was incorporated in 2008 shortly after I left the AHBL. Trance Communications provides some Information Technology resources to Indianapolis companies, but our primary business is the deployment and maintenance of VoIP Telephony systems in apartment complexes.
I first ran across Richard M Scoville on the USENET newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.email (NANAE). This is a public access news group which discusses the topic of SMTP (Send Mail Transfer Protocol (e-mail)) abuse on the public Internet. Mr. Scoville had been listed in several DNSBL's for the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails advertising his website (variously named www.freespeechstore.com, and www.thefreespeechstore.com, which I will refer to as FSS).
Mr. Scoville got into an argument with an AHBL volunteer and many others on this newsgroup about the listing of FSS in a DNSBL which at the time was called SPEWS (SPEWS no longer exists, but was an acronym for Spam Prevention Early Warning System). Mr. Scoville wrote a "speech" on his website slandering the volunteer, and sent an unsolicited e-mail to myself, and several other volunteers, other anti-spammers, and CC'd (carbon copied) it to NANAE. Since anyone wishing to read the entirety of the speech has to pay Mr. Scoville for the privilege of doing so, this e-mail was identified as both Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail (UCE), and Unsolicited Bulk E-Mail (UBE) as it was sent to multiple uninterested parties. UCE and UBE are the two common criteria used by the DNSBL community to define spam.
The AHBL, based upon it's public listing policies, immediately added Mr. Scoville's SMTP server to our ban. Mr. Scoville responded with a legal threat in October 2003, which escalated his SMTP server to a different listing policy for spammers who use threats of violence or legal action. Due to the severity of such a threat, it was determined that Mr. Scoville would be escalated to our "Shoot on Sight" (SOS) listing policy. This means that when we can locate new IP space for the spammer we will list it BEFORE seeing spam samples from the spammer. It also allows escalation of the listing to cover the entire provider, and not just the source of spam. This in DNSBL terms is a collateral damage entry. The definition here is identical to the military concept.
Approximately 2 years later, Mr. Scoville was still threatening us, and had been kicked off half a dozen providers for sending spam. On December 14, 2005, Mr. Scoville filed suit in the Bexar County Court, San Antonio, Texas. Mr. Scoville alleged multiple different sources of damages, including computer hacking, economic damages, and restraint of trade. Mr. Scoville's suit was dismissed with prejudice on January 6th, 2006. In the time between December 14, and January 6, the AHBL ran up $10,279.42 in legal expenses. Despite the frivolous nature of Mr. Scoville's case, and it's lacking in even the basic requirements of a lawsuit, Texas law did not allow us to recover our expenses. Due to the Good Samaritan clause in 47 USC 230, I qualified for protection under SLAPP, however Scoville's case was thrown out too early in the process to bring SLAPP to bear.
In 2005/6, the AHBL was a sole proprietorship, and a large portion of the damages and expenses from being sued came out of my pocket. This required that I sell computer equipment used by the AHBL in the furtherance of it's efforts to stop spammers. I've been questioned about Mr. Scoville by past employers, and past and current customers of Trance Communications, I cannot accurately say what if any contracts, business opportunities, or relationships Trance Communications has lost due to Mr. Scoville's abuse.
During the interim period however, while I had no contact with Mr. Scoville, he, in violation of 47 USC 223, utilized methods of anonymous posting, and search engine optimization to increase the page rank of articles he's posted harassing me both on, and off his website. He continues to allege that I have, and continue to hack his webserver, and that he is dealing with state, local, federal law enforcement to put me in jail. In the past he has contacted the SAPD with these allegations and I have spoken with Detective Brian Padier (then of the SAPD cyber crime unit).
- Mr. Scoville used the same method of harassment Detective Padier via his website when his merit-less claims were followed up on, and once determined meritless, ignored.
- Mr. Scoville used the same method of harassment to harass the judge who dismissed his lawsuit, and with my legal counsel, repeatedly insinuating malpractice and malfeasance of various sorts.
- Mr. Scoville has since, in e-mails sent in May 2010 claimed that the purpose of the lawsuit was not to win it on it's merits, but to teach us a lesson, referring to me and others repeatedly as "punks".
He also continues to abuse anonymous e-mail accounts at Google's Gmail service to harass me. I have e-mails sent, containing commercial links to Mr. Scoville's website (as he's done since 2003), which I received on May 6 and May 13, 2010. This is the first direct contact I've had from Mr. Scoville since at least 2007. I have repeatedly requested that he cease contacting me which makes this a can-spam violation. I host my own e-mail server making me the provider of my e-mail service. Mr. Scoville posts to his website utilizing names other than his as "author". These names are often harassing, and are used to hide his direct involvement in the harassment (again a violation of 47 USC 230).
Mr. Scoville utilizes anonymous free e-mail accounts to send UCE/UBE (a violation of 15 USC 103 (The CAN SPAM act) as it advertises his website), and 47 USC 223(as amended) (as he is posting harassment anonymously via the Internet)).
When he sends these e-mails, and posts these stories, he includes a jumble of terms which poison search engines. I'm including an example below, and an explanation of how this works:
primus ad607@FreeNet.Carleton.CA frell.net email@example.com prime
frell usenetexchange.com schwarz nescio singh rogers RCMP ott.general
FreakSpeekSore firstname.lastname@example.org photographers kirch Bob idiot
Chairella Lowell pm email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sympatico
minister section rr cyberus.ca
email@example.com Greene dufus 8 trademark canada remailer cop
roadrunner regional bruns warner ex-convict firstname.lastname@example.org
harman usps ahbl.org Professional 2mbit.com richard forgery security
ahbl andrew unacceptable puke Bestiality brian speakeasy
While that jumble of nonsense appears to us as just that, to a search engine algorithm, it increases the "linkedness" of those terms, some are harmless, ahbl.org was my domain, my name (both first and last) are jumbled in there. The problem is that other terms, simple insults such as "idiot", lascivious terms such as "beastality", and criminal terms such as "Forgery" are linked to my name on the internet by this action.
Indeed, if you search google for "Andrew Kirch beastiality", the first link is my facebook page (because of facebook's high page rank, and it's inclusion of two of the three terms), the second link is:
(written by Richard Scoville, and from which I took the above block of text) If you search "Andrew Kirch" forgery (again a keyword used above)
Note that in this post, Mr. Scoville has acquired my linkedin resume, and has defaced it, reposting it publicly.
The often concerning thing with stalking behavior (and cyberstalking behavior) is that from the outside it rarely appears as nasty as it is when you are a direct victim. In 2003, cyberstalking was barely an issue on the public radar, but with the advent of social networking, cyberbulling and cyberstalking have become front page concerns. I've suffered Mr Scoville's abuse for the better part of a decade. I've ignored him, and attempted repeatedly to move on, however his continued escalation and harassment, even without any sort of response, has made this impossible. Mr. Scoville has cost me significantly; in time, finances, resources, and credibility, and his actions continue to do so. I am far from his only victim. His harassment and cyberstalking extends to dozens of victims at various times during the unfortunate history of his malicious website, it has ended marriages, it has cost people jobs, and it needs to end.
Mr. Scoville is, according to my attorney, judgment proof. I have no hope of recouping damages from him in a civil court, and therefore I have never filed a civil action against him, as it would accomplish nothing other than an additional increase in my legal costs. I just simply want him to go away and leave me alone. He has, by his own actions made this resolution impossible, and at this point criminal action is both manifestly just, and required.