A cryptic internet tale of 'online reputation management' and corrupt politicians in Venezuela

Steven Bodzin, a reporter in South America, has blogged an interesting story about the intersection between political corruption, hackers, money, and "online reputation management" firms that serve South American clients (and might also attack foes there, with online smear campaigns).

To sum up, we have a reputation-management company sharing a domain registration e-mail with a whole bunch of reputation-management websites. Most of those sites appear to exist to protect people who have appeared in news articles about possible scandals. Critics of those same people have faced an on-line defamation campaign and at least two denial-of-service attacks. The person who runs the reputation management company is a convicted hacker who claims to have changed his ways. He declines to explain why he entrusted his company's domain to someone he had never met. He also declines to explain why similar reputation-management websites are registered to Eduardo Aponte, a rare enough last name to make it a remarkable coincidence that it's also his last name.

Read: "Who protects reputation for the Bolibourgeoisie?"

(HT: Guido D. Núñez-Mujica)