Official City of Melbourne IP address used for biased edits to Wikipedia page for Occupy Melbourne prior to local election


Someone using the City of Melbourne's IP block has been introducing biased edits to the Wikipedia page for Occupy Melbourne, attempting to erase the record of council's resolve to remove Occupy, and trying to smear the Occupy protest by removing the adjective "peaceful" from the page. The edits were made anonymously, but Wikipedia publishes IP addresses for anonymous contributors, and the IP address in question, 203.26.235.14, is registered to the city.

Proof of attacks on Occupy Melbourne Wikipedia page, attempts to change history and evidence in on-going federal court cases. More importantly the edits were made during the last week of MCC’s 2012 elections. A quick tidy up of MCC’s image just before the election. Anyone who didn’t think Melbourne City Council (MCC) was (and still is) opposed to Occupy Melbourne either has their head in the sand, is plainly lying or delusional.

The smoking gun, proof Melbourne City Council is behind the IP address 203.26.235.14 editing Occupy Melbourne Wikipedia page. The timing of this edit is far from coincidental. 21st October, the one year anniversary of the brutal city square eviction and just days before the 2012 Melbourne city council elections, where Robert Doyle sought and gained re-election.

Melbourne City Council cyber war against Occupy Melbourne (Thanks, Occupy Melbourne!)

Discuss

44 Responses to “Official City of Melbourne IP address used for biased edits to Wikipedia page for Occupy Melbourne prior to local election”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I am pretty much everyone’s complete lack of surprise.

  2. Doppel Frog says:

    Does anyone know what ‘Occupy Melbourne’ was actually protesting against?  Things aren’t so bad in Australia. (At least, compared to the US.)

    • Tynam says:

      Well, yes, but as a standard, “not bad compared to the US” is up there with “not quite as deep as the Marianas Trench”.  There’s still plenty of room left for bad.

    • EH says:

      I’d caution people to rethink using the US as a standard of excellence.

    • Kimmo says:

      Things aren’t so bad? Maybe, if you take an impoverished, short-sighted and selfish view of things.

      But the entire world is being fucked over by the global elite. Huge numbers of people lost swathes of their retirement funds to the banksters, and Murdoch’s empire continues to poison our national discourse and reduce the quality of debate to petty squabbling, manipulating public opinion to serve the interests of a very few.

      Also, Doyle is a fucking turd.

    • rationalthought says:

      Initially about the financial system the bank bailouts, but many different groups attempted to grind their own axes and take over, so it became a little unclear at times. Things weren’t as bad here then, but our house prices hadn’t dropped like they did in the USA. Our house prices are starting to drop now, so you might begin to see the relevance in retrospect.

    • Jonathan Schmidt says:

       Everything and nothing as far as I could tell. I was told it was the usual people that turn up to every protest.

  3. Christopher says:

    How long until this information is added to Occupy Melbourne’s Wikipedia page then removed again?

  4. Mr. Spocko says:

    I’ve worked with a great group called Levees.org that pointed out that the failure of the levees in New Orleans is because of errors of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). They wrote some pieces for the online newspaper NOLA. They got a number of nasty negative comments about the comments calling them liars. The comments from Levees were factually correct. They group suspected these comments were coming from inside USACE and were part of a coordinated attack organized by their outside PR firm and given the blessing of USACE.  They didn’t have proof until the NOLA editor in charge of the IP logs was fired. He then brought the proof to Leeves. org. 

    The employee was supposedly fired, but we couldn’t prove it was coordinated and “blessed” by USACE because we didn’t have further proof.

    This reading of  IP logs and taking advantage of the lack of knowledge of people posting is something I think more activists should use. Not everyone is smart enough to use a proxy. 

    The other thing that people should know when they are under attack by some of these government agencies (or private companies for that matter) is often there are laws or rules against what is being done to them. So if we had proof that the PR firm was behind them that would be an illegal use of the PR firm (because it is a military organization). 

    If you look at the employee guidelines and code of ethics you will often find that employees can be fired or reprimanded for what they do on company time with company resources.  

  5. Any chance that public libraries in Melbourne use the council’s IP block?

    • Flavio Martins Prado says:

         Maybe, but this only transfer the responsibility of identifiyng the source of atacks to the actual user. The fact is the ip logged at wikipedia is owned by someone, so this “one” have to deal with now.

         Some years ago, in my country, an university student sent an email to us president saying he will kill him. FBI politics was to investigate all menaces, so two agents land here… This guy was joking, but he felt none will be able to seek him, because he sent the email by one of the several free mail services that exist at time. Well, logs existed for this, and they track the mail to the university, and then the agents are “kindly” requesting information about that. But, Logs at the university exist too, of course, so the id of the student was discovered.
          Logs are also for this. In this case, maybe the city have nothing to do with it, but it have to deal with the responsibility that resources (computers, network, etc) was used to a not so cool intent. What if someone steal money using my mother’s computer? Laws in this subject are really a dangerous subject, as these tend to or not solve the problem or to threat people basic rights.

    • Glenn Peters says:

      Very possibly so. 

      I’m looking at an email I received from the Melbourne Library Service (a reminder on books due), from the IP address of 

      203.26.235.15 which is only one off 203.26.235.14 and has the same addresses, PO Box etc.Attached is image of details of the email I received.

      • Glenn Peters says:

        So if the changes were done from inside the Melbourne library by any one of the hundreds of daily visitors or staff, does this mean that this story is a hoax? 

        I mean, I want to believe it’s true because I don’t like how Doyle ejected the protesters but it’s also pertinent for Occupy to behave correctly.

        • kjh says:

           The library service is not one of the publicly available computers but part of the library office.  That is part of the Melbourne city council.

  6. Cowicide says:

    It’s a rampant problem, right now I’m trying to fight the Koch Industries lackeys on wikipedia.  Could definitely use some help.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet/comments/18o43e/til_the_koch_industries_wikipedia_page_is/c8gz4a4

  7. jansob1 says:

    This happened a lot during the election, on both sides. 

  8. rationalthought says:

    Occam’s razor applies here, simplest possible explanation is probably true.
     This would mesh well with the legal stand point of if you own the IP you are responsible, just like if you own the car you are liable for the offenses committed with it regardless of who was driving it (assuming you gave that person permission).
    That is why public internet computers are generally under video surveillance, to keep people honest and of course LIABLE.
    203.26.235.15 is not 203.26.235.14 and now the onus is on Melbourne City Council to establish the identity of the user to shift liability to a third party. Being that the public libraries (and everywhere else in Melbourne City) are blanketed with surveillance cameras it would be only a case of looking for session login time for that user on 203.26.235.14 and matching it up to video surveillance of the area. It would be difficult for even a WiFi user to slip through the net (pun intended) on this ID method.

    No proof of third party means no way to shift liability.

    The means and motive point very closely to Robert Doyle and Melbourne City Council also, very difficult to assume a third party.

    It’s poetic justice when the draconian internet laws come to bite the ‘government’ who try to be sneaky.

    Sorry Robert Doyle and Melbourne City Council, you are still liable, and you can’t edit this away either.

    • Glenn Peters says:

      Calm down. There’s no video surveillance on the street outside the East Melbourne library where you can get onto its wifi network. I know this because I live only two blocks away and I’m there often. I doubt there’s video cameras inside the library. But I’ll check today to humor you.

  9. Rowan Parker says:

    ” now the onus is on Melbourne City Council to establish the identity of the user to shift liability to a third party”

    Or more likely, they won’t care and won’t do anything about it.

    • rationalthought says:

      Until a lawsuit or investigation, like the ongoing federal court case. More fuel for the fire surrounding Robert Doyle right now. It’s only a matter of time before this story becomes bigger.

  10. LeonY says:

    The Occupy movement, specifically in Melbourne, WAS a violent, useless time waster for everyone involved! I live in Melbourne, and I love it here. The job market is great, and our financial system is doing well. The crowd at last years Occupy protest were people dressed in fashionable hippie like attire, dreadlocks, and the lack of a shower for at least a week. I’m all for free speech and peaceful prtest, but this was uncalled for in Melbourne. Also, yes the IP is probably from a public access wifi point or the state library.. there’s no conspiracy people!

    • rationalthought says:

       Where is your evidence of the protesters being violent? Overwhelming they were not. It’s the Police who were violent. Job market is great? In Australia 2 hours per week of work is counted as employed for statistical reporting purposes, a bit of a fudge don’t you think? If the job market is so good why are you posting here and not working, or is this your job?

      • LeonY says:

        >Where is your evidence of the protesters being violentLook on youtube, countless videos
        >In Australia 2 hours per week of work is counted as employed for statistical reporting purposes, a bit of a fudge don’t you think?
        I agree statistics are always used by the government to make stuff up
        >If the job market is so good why are you posting here and not working, or is this your job?
        I’m currently at work, and im given the freedom to voice my free speech in reply to you! I have had a job since i finished high school. I have never been unemployed!

        • rationalthought says:

          Just like the way you made up ‘countless videos’ on youtube and provided absolutely no evidence. Sort of ruins the rest of your arguments.
          P.S. being paid to troll don’t really count as ‘job’.

  11. adonai says:

    Completely not surprised. Mayor Robert Doyle is the epitome of privileged, born-with-silver-spoon-in-mouth politician who is diametrically opposed to pretty much everything the Occupy people support.
    Still, for someone who was consistently rejected by the electorate in state politics and really only became Mayor because he was the only candidate anyone had heard of, he’s doing a decent job of pissing the city off enough that maybe he won’t be around next term to mess with Wikipedia so much…

  12. LeonY says:

    Update: If you do a port scan on 203.26.235.14 which resolves to web.melbourne.vic.gov.au you will see HTTPS, BGMP, and ISAKMP open. If you browse to it via IE, you get to a logon page for Check Point Software…no idea what it is, but by the looks of it, its probably a login point to a WIFI network.(SEE PIC)

  13. Glenn Peters says:

    Besides, I voted in the council election last year and can tell you that Doyle’s handling of Occupy WAS NOT an election issue. Therefore, Doyle’s people had no interest in tampering with the wikipedia page. No leading candidate campaigned with Occupy as an issue. It was all planning and development issues. Oops, there were two far left candidates who did and they got a few hundred votes between them. Note: I didn’t vote for Doyle. His connections to big development and lack of action on pro-life protesters disturb me. But you can’t pin this on him if the evidence suggests otherwise. 

  14. rationalthought says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to do IP searches on posters in this discussion to see if they are coming from 203.26.235.x

  15. Bill S says:

    too bad no one’s editing SimEnc anymore: http://www.pbemplayers.com/articles/other-articles/the-wrong-direction-for-simenc

  16. Zhou Fang says:

    This is literally an ad hominem. You might as well ask, how many of the editors of that article are participants in Occupy? I mean, a light amount of googling suggests that user who reverted the contentious edits himself is a self described ‘death metal activist’, based in Melbourne, who has been in (sympathetic) twitter contact with the occupy melbourne in the past. Should we revert back his edits, therefore, including the ones he made to this article last year? But the truth is, this rabbit hole leads nowhere – it helps nobody to try to discredit random internet people. We might like Occupy. We might dislike the MCC. But wikipedia is not the place for that battleground. The strength of their edits is based solely on the content of that article. Who made it is irrelevant.

    The edits here are perfectly appropriate as per wikipedia guidelines – unsourced statements are unsourced statements, and it’s simply unjustified to claim that the protestors are peaceful when we don’t know whether they are or not. (It’d be similarly inappropriate to claim the protestors are violent). Indeed, that whole section has barely any citations. If people can provide a citation, then fine. I don’t see these as ‘biased edits’ at all. I see them as restoring an article closer to neutrality, though the quality is still quite poor.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Even if it was wrong for someone at the City Council to do it, those edits are in keeping with Wikipedia policy. The removal of “peacefully” is debatable, but the removal of “absurdity” is completely appropriate. The article is poorly cited and contains notable POV and weasel words.

      “Some saw this as an overreaction…”

      “Melbourne City Council removed any tents within minutes of their assembly, which the protesters used as a reason to pull pranks to further highlight the absurdity of having a 24 hour task force.”

      Although I sympathize with Occupy, the article is a propaganda piece.

      • rationalthought says:

        Absurdity, well Frederick Nietzsche was on several occasion given a written ‘Notice to Comply’ to remove his tent. Somehow the long dead Austrian philosopher was able to pack his tent away ahead of the council raids. I guess you should do some research into Occupy Melbourne and the ‘Mock and Awe’ tactics. There’s lots on YouTube. As for Bias and POV, there was almost no-one with any real knowledge of Occupy Melbourne without a bias, one way or the other.

    • Zhou Fang says:

      Yes, that is who I work for. You could have simply asked. Also, I editted the article on purely a private capacity.

      • rationalthought says:

        You should have used your own username and IP and not implicated your employers, otherwise they might become your former employers.

        Evidence has surfaced to refute your edits would you like to change them back to the way they were?

        Or do you have an agenda?

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