back to article Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Celebrity programmer Eric S. Raymond has aired a theory that feminist activists are trying to find a way to lay false sexual assault claims against male leaders of the open source community. Raymond is best known for his seminal tract The Cathedral and the Bazaar, and remains active in the world of open source, which he has …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

    > It's not just the press though, all it takes is the "victim" to post on Facebook or Tweet and the poor sod who did something or other to piss her off starts getting abuse

    Yup, fair point. To tell the truth, I can count on one hand the number of times I've abused someone online, with no possibility of a face to face conversation.

    Regardless of the purported reasons or how strongly you feel about whatever, I find that vice, pusillanimity, of the utmost contempt. One should not insult someone unless you are prepared, willing, and able to do so face to face, the person is of comparable standing to you, and can retort fairly.

  2. Bitbeisser

    Re: Teacher accusations

    >Re: Teacher accusations

    >> About 1 in 5 teachers at schools and colleges in the UK have been the subject of a false allegation by a student,

    >So 4 out of 5 allegations were true?

    >[ Sorry, my sense of humour is not working very well today. :-/ ]


  3. Tom 13

    Re: half decent amount of money/property/assets

    Doesn't even have to be real assets. It can be as simple as perceived power within an organizational structure especially in NPOs that really don't have employees.

  4. Tom 13

    Re: In the current climate, everyone has to be careful

    Not even that limited. I recall being told that long before things degenerated to the point they have today, Billy Graham would NOT council a woman with his office door closed and would not be alone in his office with his secretary. Given I was a teenager at the time and have now joined the ranks of the greybeards ...

  5. Tom 13

    Re: This is the world that we created. Aint we proud

    What mean 'um "we" paleface?

  6. TeeCee Gold badge


    I can't help thinking that Linus' response to a blackmail threat would be something like; "Fuck off, shithead", making him a less than ideal target.

    Also, if there are any feminists thinking of adopting these tactics, they'd do well to look up the meaning of the phrase "Two-faced cow" first....

  7. Efros

    Re: Really?

    His outbursts while usually pretty colorfully abusive are pretty gender neutral IIRC.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    Anyone trying to entrap me in a honeytrap scam will forever be accused of having *very* bad taste indeed :).

    As for the child abuse thing, that's worse than you think. All an assailant needs is to make sure there are some images on hardware that someone owns via the many, many routes available (Windows hacking, virus infection, WiFi injection, "borrowing" their mobile phone) and they're in business, because UK police NEVER checks how you got it - their job is to show possession so the moment they get tipped off you're screwed. It does not matter if you're Mother Teresa herself, UK plod will get you in front of a judge and you WILL be convicted. Don't expect any help from the police finding out who did this either, they are aggressively not interested as it would prove their convictions to be unsafe.

    I have seen this happen to someone who is now not even allowed near his own children and when I looked at the evidence there was no sign that this man even knew what was hiding in the backup file of a phone he didn't own, nor was there evidence the police had put any effort in checking his statements. They had possession and thus a conviction, end of story and pretty much end of life for this family because it screws over the children too.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    > because UK police NEVER checks how you got it

    That's because kiddie porn is a strict liability thing. In this case, it is the politicians being arses (no, seriously!) because of the way they wrote the law.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    That's because kiddie porn is a strict liability thing. In this case, it is the politicians being arses (no, seriously!) because of the way they wrote the law.

    To be honest, the way this law has been written and implemented it can only ever have had entrapment as a goal exactly because of the glaring nature of the deficiencies. Even the most inept politician would have spotted the problems, so this cannot be an accident. As far as I can tell, this is merely a device to comprehensively shut people down when they get too dangerous or get too close too sensitive knowledge, because the victim will become toxic to even the most ardent freedom fighter.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    " It does not matter if you're Mother Teresa herself, UK plod will get you in front of a judge and you WILL be convicted. "

    In all fairness - the judicial system does sometimes act in the accused's interests.

    A case a few years ago ended up with two naturists arrested over pictures found in their homes after an anonymous phone call to the police about child abuse. The allegation in the phone call was found to be false - but by then the police had spent a lot of effort on the case. The CPS prosecuted them for some of their pictures of naturist activities.

    In one case a Crown Court judge reprimanded the police's expert witness several times for not sticking to facts. The jury saw the pictures and returned a "not guilty" verdict.

    In the second case the person was finally advised by ill-informed solicitors to plead guilty to a "technical" offence. That would mean probation - but they said that losing the case with a biassed jury would mean a prison sentence. The Crown Court judge duly passed a probationary sentence - but apologised to the defendant for the minimum sentence rules. He also criticised the police in that their only piece of "evidence" was from a video. The judge said he would not have noticed the few frames that constituted the evidence if the police had not highlighted them.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    "To be honest, the way this law has been written and implemented it can only ever have had entrapment as a goal exactly because of the glaring nature of the deficiencies."

    What was to be the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (England and Wales) was published for public consultation with many clauses that appeared to have extremely low thresholds of evidence. The justification was that the police and single-issue campaigners who had guided those clauses felt that there weren't currently enough successful prosecutions.

    Some of the more egregious clauses were eventually improved after informed criticism from various quarters. However - the overall tone still remained draconian. The loose drafting - like so many criminal laws in modern times - left it to the Appeal Courts to refine the awkward details later by establishing (expensive) case law precedents.

    It is full of subjective judgements - yet the principle of English Law is that it should be clear what is illegal. This gives the police and CPS plenty of room to push the boundaries of what they purport to be illegal. The public have become understandably paranoid.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Really?

    The public have become understandably justifiably paranoid.


  14. Tom 13

    Re: Really?

    While El Reg hasn't covered it in any great detail, this is actually the primary focus of #gamergate. The SJW types had setup effective control of the gaming press and were using it to shut out anyone who didn't agree with their agenda.

    I follow it mostly on Breitbart where the primary commentator about #gamergate happens to be a gay flamer, so the articles can be quite amusing to read.

  15. Tom 13

    Re: politicians being arses (no, seriously!)

    No, it's down to the PEOPLE who put the politicians being arses. Politicians only write those kinds of laws in response to mass hysteria.

    I saw this in the persecution of Joe Paterno over here. It turned out the long time head coach of the Penn State football team was a peodo. It was convenient for the university to throw him under the bus as the NCAA was coming down hard on the uni. The history was long and convoluted. Early on there had been an accusation which was investigated by police, but the accuser withdrew the accusation. A number of years later there was another report to Paterno instead of the campus police. Paterno reported it up the chain for investigation. There doesn't seem to have been a vigorous investigation after he reported it up, and some years later an AG found sufficient evidence and prosecuted the case. My brother was vehement that in solely on the basis of a questionable report, Paterno should have been at the head of the torches and pitchforks squad because "you should do ANYTHING necessary to protect children."

    I cite this case because it shows both parts of a very real problem. There are real peodos out there and they are damn hard to find and prosecute. But zealotry to get at them throws innocent people under the bus.

  16. Panicnow

    History proves

    Look at Clinton, Straus Khan, Assange, and 20 other high profile people who were taken down through this mechanism. Add in the attempts and the ones that folded before its made public. No tin hat needed here, this one is true.

    Now Facebook knows your whereabouts every second and can correlate your secret second phone to you. expect Facebook to be untouchable by politicians. ( Oh they already are)

  17. SolidSquid

    Re: History proves

    Wait what? Clinton wasn't taken down through a honeytrap, he was taken down due to perjury in front of a Congressional committee ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman" and all that), and the Straus Khan case fell apart because he *did* get due process, which Raymond claims men don't get any more. Or are you claiming the later charges against him in France were part of some massive international conspiracy spanning several years?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: History proves

    The male of the species is Guilty until they can prove 1,000,000% that they are innocent. blame our ancestors for behaving like sex starved fields for a lot of that attitude.

    Unless you have very, very, very deep pockets you won't get a decent brief to argue on your behalf.

    Whereas the other person gets it all done for them for free.

    That is the sad fact of life today.

    Justice is all about how much you can afford to pay. The more you can cough up the better the class of justice you get.

    bitter? Moi? You bet.

  19. Panicnow

    Re: History proves

    You miss my point, With Clinton it was tried, and with Straus Khan it succeeded in removing him from his job. Funny how these things occur when the person "in-play" is seen as a problem, but left alone when they are toeing the line!

  20. Tim Jenkins

    ...he was taken down due to perjury...

    Not even that; Slick Willie was acquitted by the Senate (failure to reach the 2/3 vote necessary to remove an incumbent President), and served out his full two terms in office.

    (he was, however, responsible for the introduction to mainstream America of the often repeated phrase 'semen-stained dress', so kudos for that...)

  21. Mephistro Silver badge

    Re: ...he was taken down due to perjury...

    "...often repeated phrase 'semen-stained dress' "

    " Hey my little intern girl

    don't you guess, better be burning that semen-stained dress

    semen-stained dress, semen-stained dress

    better be burning that semen-stained dress "

    Ho hum... Sorry.

  22. Voland's right hand Silver badge



    Linus... "sexually" doing whatever to someone? I would really not like to be in his place coming back home after that. Tove Torwalds was like only 6? times Finland karate champion?

    ESR should shut up and do some code. He has not produced any code since the early days of fetchmail. And Wesnoth script is not code (if you look at his more recent contributions, you are more likely to find them in the wesnoth 10.0 data folder). He has been producing conspiracy theories by the bucket though.

    In any case, ever since Sarah quit the USB 3.0 subsystem has finally stabilized (including backports and fixes to older stable kernels used by distros). I now can finally plug a device into the USB 3.0 socket on my Linux desktop without one of the other devices deciding to stop running... just... because. She has failed in her job as a maintainer by allowing crap code to be merged in. Now, how she was made to leave was not nice, but frankly, she should have taken the hint that things are not working and left earlier.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    Unfortunately, sleeping with nunchucks under your pillow can't protect you from accusations. Maybe the 75TB of data stored on one drive was some open sourcerers using the eye of Sauron to keep a video backup of their lives, for just such an eventuality... Bwahahahaha!!!!!

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    > ESR should shut up and do some code

    In the spirit of "let's tell other people what they should do", you should be more informed of what esr gets up to these days before telling him what to do (in any case, although he occasionally reads this blog, you'd be better off emailing him directly. His address is well known).

  25. Bloakey1

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    Ahhh, so he has prior history of excessive use of his chopper.

    They will bang him up and throw away the key.

    At this point may I state that the people in the picture look like right mingers [1.].

    1. Standing up for my right to be politically incorrect.

  26. Inflex

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    Well now, that finally answers a question that's been idling in the back of my mind for a long time, why plugging in my USB3 dock would drop my eSATA dock, thank you (I moved everything to eSATA after that but it was still gnawing at me).

  27. Ben Liddicott

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    I want to vote down and up. ESR does gpsd and works on the time service, and repository conversion as well.

    But well said on Linus.

  28. PaulFrederick

    Re: Bwahahahaha

    I know from following ESR on G+ that he is currently rewriting NTP. He also maintains several projects too. That is work also, you know? We discussed all of this on G+ a week ago. That was fun, It mostly consisted of shooting down one phony SJW. But I might dig up that post and link to this article there. Then ESR himself may wade in? If he has a Reg account. OK done the faithful should arrive soon.

  29. Danny 2 Silver badge
    Coat happens

    [First two disclosures:

    1) I once commented nicely to ESR on his site and he threatened to shoot me - over the internet?! I knew he was a good programmer but still...

    2) I've loved two women who made false rape accusations, against other men, for no sane reason. It happens, just far less often than actual rape goes unreported. ]

    Julian Assange is still locked up in an embassy for being silly.

    Charlotte Proudman got a Guardian column for being silly.

    Celibacy and internet porn is the only sensible path for today. I'm sure you all already know that...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re ESR shooting you over the internet

    DAMN; I want that to know how to get that; does it have a standard API?

  31. SolidSquid

    Re: happens

    Julian Assange is trying to avoid charges being brought against him for criminal conduct and jumped bail in the process, Charlotte Proudman made a kind of daft comment about an interaction with a colleague online, it's not exactly comparing like for like is it?

  32. Michael Strorm

    [SA]HatfulOfHollow's classic comment that keeps on giving...

    "I once commented nicely to ESR on his site and he threatened to shoot me - over the internet?!"

    Brilliant! Sounds like he was getting a little ahead of himself there, we haven't even figured out how to stab people in the face over the Internet yet. :-)

  33. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Re: happens

    I was contrasting, not comparing, two different type of 'honeypot' type situations. Neither require any actual conspiracy, though both may have been. Both could have been avoided if the guy had been less horny, hence my lighthearted recommendation of celibacy plus porn.

    Personally in both cases my sympathies lie with the male. I'm a male so you may think I'm biased but I also consider myself a feminist. Assange should have known that if you make an enemy of the security services then you can expect a little 'zersetzung', whether or not that is the case. Carter-Silk should have known it is safer today to insult a woman's looks than to praise them. Silly boys both, but they have my sympathies.

  34. nijam Silver badge

    Re: happens

    > ... It happens, just far less often than actual rape goes unreported.

    I'm intrigued. How do you know how often it goes unreported (unless you're the one committing it, which I surmise is not the case)?

  35. People's Poet

    Re: happens

    As pointed out earlier the thread "Even with these precautions you need to be prepared for well intended people to leap to the defence of shit stirrers without bothering to investigate facts." Clearly you've not actually read the details behind Assange's case and how these "sexual assaults" are classified. It's more a case under Swedish law of sexual co-ercion because he slept with 2 women and didn't use protection with either and didn't tell them about each other. Amazingly both women went into police stations at the same time in Cities 200 miles apart and made reports. Now I don't know about you but to me this smacks of some sort of manipulation, originally Swedish prosecutors threw it out but then suddenly had a change of heart. There's a lot more detail but that's it in a nutshell.

  36. Mephistro Silver badge

    Re: [SA]HatfulOfHollow's classic comment that keeps on giving...

    "...we haven't even figured out how to stab people in the face over the Internet yet. "

    The hard part is convincing the potential victims to purchase the terminal. A big "IT'S FREE" neon sign may help here, a trick that many tech companies know already. ;-)

  37. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    Re: Celibacy and internet porn is the only sensible path for today.

    a) Celibacy

    How's that going to protect you from false accusations?

    b) Internet porn

    Ms. May has the goods on you, you're going to see your perfectly legal life go up in flames when they publish the list of sites you've visit. You haven't broken the law of the land, but you've broken the unwritten on. Your life is at an end

  38. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Re: Re ESR shooting you over the internet

    "does it have a standard API?"

    Yes. But the language support leaves something to be desired.

  39. Tom 13

    Re: some sort of manipulation

    Sure there was. The two women found out about each other, talked about it, and decided to file charges. The KISS principle still applies. No need for any shady conspiracy theories. Yes I know. It does also perfectly fit in the ESR's blog. So I guess where you stand on the issue depends on whether you are with #SJW or #gamergate. Sad state of affairs when the only thing that ought to matter is standing with #justthefactsma'am.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst among equals

    Sarah Sharp or ESR, don't make me choose :-(

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Worst among equals

    Sarah Sharp or working USB3, is that even a choice?

  42. tony2heads


    If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

  43. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Re: Honeypot??

    Everyone has different tastes. Just because someone doesn't appeal to you doesn't mean that they don't appeal to someone else.

    Also, it's pretty shallow to judge a person just by one picture.


  44. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Re: Honeypot??

    I mean, look at the man on the right before criticising the woman on the left. I'll be getting my internet-bullet proof jacket...

  45. LucreLout Silver badge

    Re: Honeypot??


    If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

    What? Even after 6 pints? You Sir have my admiration. Beer may only kill the old and weak brain cells, but the trouble is the rest of mine go into a day of feckin' mourning, and the little head starts doing all the thinking.

    Thankfully my wife has me house trained now...

  46. LucreLout Silver badge

    Re: Honeypot??

    Also, it's pretty shallow to judge a person just by one picture.

    It is, but then, I've never seen a picture of Claudia Schiffer where I've thought "No thanks"... Since we're talking honey-trap and not deep & meaningful life long partnership, what else matters?

    I say this as a bloke who on his best day, with the right stylist, could be Johnny Vegas stunt double. My face already looks like the bus hit it. Twice.

  47. Bloakey1

    Re: Honeypot??

    How about a tar pit?

    Personally I thought they both looked awful we are geared as humans to take first impressions and make conclusions based on that.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Honeypot??

    > If the female on the left of the photo is an example, I think I could resist the temptation.

    That's a female????

    * takes another look *

    Jesus, you're right.

  49. tony2heads

    Re: Honeypot??

    Ah, you have to also consider that after 6 pints of stout it is not only the brain that becomes non-functional - there also also organs that become somewhat non-functional also.

    Sign of my age.. see icon.

  50. MacroRodent Silver badge


    Not sure how much esr is a celebrity programmer, rather than just a celebrity. His fame rests largely on two literary works: editing the "Jargon File" into book form, and writing the "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" (I have bought copies of both). At one point he tried to get the Linux kernel devs to replace their build scripts with his supposedly superior build system, was miffed when they did go along, and apparently collected his marbles and went away as far as Linux kernel is concerned. His page lists various small pieces of open source software, but he does not appear to now participate in any of the larger ones.


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