Is Skeptical Science Planning to Sue Me?

A few days ago I received a rather strange e-mail, and I'm not sure what to make of it so I thought I'd share it and my response:

The author of the e-mail is apparently Rob Honeycutt, a member of the Skeptical Science group. I don't know why he'd send an e-mail like this, and honestly, I didn't know what he was referring to. In the past, the Skeptical Science group has accused me of hacking into their servers simply because I followed publicly accessible links provided by their own server. They even threatened me with legal action, going so far as to say they'd sue me if I showed anyone the threatening letter they sent. They're not the brightest bunch, and a lot of what they say just isn't true.

But I did get a follow up e-mail which might shed a little light on the matter. I responded to it in the hopes of sorting things out privately, but since haven't heard anything back in a couple days I guess this is the end of the exchange:

The cited law is about wiretapping, and it can potentially come up in some cases of computer hacking. That said, I don't know what the point of these e-mails could be. A formal notification like this seems intended to be only makes sense if it's used as part of some proceeding against me, like a lawsuit or criminal complaint. If that was the purpose though, the notification was legally deficient. Moreover, any lawsuit filed against me would be dismissed immediately for about nine different reasons.

Maybe he's going to try to file a criminal complaint? If so, I can't imagine anyone will take it seriously. Maybe he'll try to get my server's host company to do something? If so, they won't care about the ravings of some random guy off the internet. I don't know. This really makes no sense to me. This couldn't even work as an intimidation tactic since he didn't try to get me to do anything. I am confused.

2 comments

  1. Those emails only contain the link to part 1 of Skeptical Science's series. I had to use the alleged hacking technique of changing the '1' in the URL to '2' in order to read part two.

  2. Yup. That's one of many reasons the e-mails wouldn't qualify as a "notification" for any legal purposes. The link doesn't direct one to a source which gives any reason to believe the material was obtained via hacking other than, "Well it sort of says so." I think it took them something like four different articles on the topic before they actually provided anything of substance on that issue. And even then half of what they said was dumb enough it was clear the people had no idea what they were doing.

    Oh well. I haven't heard anything more on this topic so I'm guessing it was just empty bluster.

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