I have written before of the campaign of harassment which has been waged against me in various forums, ever since I critically reviewed a pro-war book by the neo-con hedge-fund trading blogger Oliver Kamm in December 2005. The campaign has taken various forms, including the sending of malicious, pseudonymous emails to my commissioning editors, urging them to drop me as a columnist. One such email, written by a 'Mr George Courtenay', linked to defamatory allegations Oliver Kamm had made about me on his website and was also cced to Kamm. (Mr Courtenay's only footprints on cyber space was to defend Kamm after he had been criticised on a website). Investigations proved that, surprise, surprise 'George Courtenay' did not exist, and was merely an alias. Another aspect of the campaign was the malicious editing of my wikipedia page, which I have discussed here. One of the main culprits was a mysterious and highly obsessive individual named 'elena zam'. Zam showed interest in editing only two other wikipedia pages (this time favourably), those of Oliver Kamm and a translator named Anthea Bell. Anthea Bell is Oliver Kamm's mother. (elena zam has since sprung into action again on wikipedia as 'phildav 76' reveals in the comments section on another thread).
The campaign has also involved leaving defamatory comments about me in the comments section on websites where my articles appear. Now, prior to last October, the law offered little protection to those who had been defamed in this way: the terms of the Data Protection Act meant that newspapers were obliged to keep commenter's identities secret. But in a landmark ruling, the courts held that websites are liable to reveal the true identities of those who post libels under aliases.
Already the tide is turning against the internet cowards.
Mick Hall relates here the case of pro-Palestinian activist Tony Greenstein who was defamed on the website of Times columnist David Aaronovitch. Greenstein managed to force an apology out of both The Times and Aaronovitch as both played a part in an attempt to smear Tony as a racist and anti-semite when they allowed Aaronovitch’s Blog to be used as the vehicle for defamatory comments about Tony Greenstein.
Yet despite the changes in the law, and the fact that I have made it perfectly clear of my intention to make sure the individual/s concerned are bought before the police for their harassment of me, the sick and obsessive individual/s in question continues with their vendetta. The latest (incredibly pathetic) smear attempt was to leave defamatory comments about me (under the pseudonym 'green city girl' in the comments thread of a recent Guardian article I had written. Many of the commenters had written to say how much they liked and agreed with the article- it seems that Neil Clark receiving praise is far too much for my harasser to take. (Incredibly, the commenter's allegation involved editing of my wikipedia page- the very last topic I would have thought he would have been keen to draw attention to. )
Given the changes in the law, you really have to question the sanity of the individual/s in question. It seems that he is so overcome with bitterness towards me, that he is willing to jeopardise his liberty in order to try and smear me.
No longer can my mysterious harasser/s hide behind the cloak of pseudonymity. The person/s responsible will be named and shamed. And of course, they will be reported to the police.
This case has dragged on for far too long.