GLP Note: NaturalNews founder and editor Mike Adams recently wrote a blog post (archived version linked here, as Adams has sanitized his piece) calling for the killing of scientists and journalists who cover GMOs, stating that “it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.”
Soon after, a website MonsantoCollaborators.org appeared, with a list of names of journalists, scientists and publications. The website and Adams’ post has been promoted on anti-GMO activist websites, most prominently by its global star Vandana Shiva. [After the furor of the site broke, MonsantoCollaborators.org site was taken down, but an archived version can be accessed here.]
There has been strong backlash against Adams’ original post and MonsantoCollaborators from noted science blogs. The GLP has reported that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating Adams and MonsantoCollaborators: FBI turns up heat on Mike Adams as ‘Health Ranger’ fiasco widens, plus Adams’ archive. As of July 29, Shiva’s Navdanya site has taken its mirror of MonsantoCollaborators.org and its links to Adams’ piece but an archived version is available here.
Adams has added several updates and addenda to his original post trying to distance himself from MonsantoCollaborators. [Click here to view an archived version of the original post before it was sanitized, and here for the current version with a lengthy foreword by Adams.] However, a deep dive into internet code by Nick Price at This Week In Pseudo Science has shown that the two are closely linked, and there is ‘convincing’ evidence to show that Adams was the one behind MonsantoCollaborators, despite his claims to the contrary. Below are excerpts from Price’s analysis.
After doing a bit of digging, what I found has convinced me that Mike Adams published MonsantoCollaborators.org himself using an offshore hosting company and domain registrar to attempt to hide his identity, and then claimed it was from a third-party to shield himself from liability for posting a “hit list” on an article saying that his followers were morally obligated to kill these people. When there was too much public backlash and the authorities were contacted, he finally claimed it was a “false flag” attack against himself and his followers, whilst leaving the site online and further distancing himself from it, as well as his previous statements.
What I found was pretty convincing. I found that MonsantoCollaborators.org was registered hours before the article it was supposedly responding to was even put online. Furthermore, there are a number of similarities between NaturalNews and MonsantoCollaborators.org, from sharing entire files (which do not appear elsewhere on the internet), to shared graphics, to using the same proprietary fonts, to similar code structure, matching file naming conventions, and other code quirks.
The first thing I did was view the source for the two web pages. You can learn a lot from the source code of a web page, even as a layman. Developers tend to use the same tools to build a webpage, and tend to write their code in a certain way, leaving a sort of ‘digital fingerprint’ based upon their style and techniques. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to accomplish any task when building a website, so matching techniques (or ignored conventions) can be fairly telling. What this means is that by looking at the source of two web pages, it’s easy to tell whether or not it’s probable that the same person wrote them, similar to how you can look at handwriting on two documents and make the same determination.
Upon viewing the source for these web pages, you’ll notice a lot of duplication in the header. Even the first two lines are identical. The DOCTYPE and html opening tags and their attributes between both sites are duplicated, character for character. Not only are all these tags duplicated and shared, but the whole of them are all in the same order.
Going further through the code, things get a bit more interesting. It seems that their locally-linked files and DOM elements are named and referenced in the same peculiar way as well. Another interesting trait is that they chose not to indent the actual HTML on either site either, whereas code indentation is an extremely widely-adopted standard when building websites, as it makes it easier to read and edit your code, and there isn’t a decent reason not to do it.
After going through all this code, I was highly suspicious that the sites were created by the same person. It even appears that the font used in the header for the NaturalNews article is the same font used in the buttons at the top of MonsantoCollaborators.org (particularly the shape of the letters B, C, and P) but I was not convinced. Then, I looked at the domain registration for MonsantoCollaborators.org…
The domain registration information was pretty well obfuscated. It was registered through a company in the Bahamas, using a privacy protection service in Panama, and OrangeSite, the actual company that hosts the site, is located in Iceland. Whoever set up the site went through a lot of trouble to make sure that everything was done through different offshore businesses, to make it difficult for authorities to determine who was actually behind the site.
Domain Name:MONSANTOCOLLABORATORS.ORG Domain ID: D173370113-LROR Creation Date: 2014-07-21T16:21:05Z Updated Date: 2014-07-21T16:21:27Z Registry Expiry Date: 2015-07-21T16:21:05Z Sponsoring Registrar:Internet.bs Corp. (R1601-LROR) Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 814 WHOIS Server: Referral URL: Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited Domain Status: serverTransferProhibited Domain Status: addPeriod Registrant ID:INTEqwsyneohk05t Registrant Name:Domain Administrator Registrant Organization:Fundacion Private Whois Registrant Street: Attn: monsantocollaborators.org Registrant City:Panama Registrant State/Province: Registrant Postal Code:Zona 15 Registrant Country:PA Registrant Phone:+507.65967959
There is one thing that whoever set up this site wasn’t able to do; while he was able to register the domain overseas and make the actual owner private, he could not hide the date and time that the domain was originally registered. NaturalNews does not provide timestamps on their articles, so the best way to determine when something is published there is to see when they share it on a different site. The article was originally posted to Facebook at 23:05 GMT on July 21st, and the first comment on the article itself was at 23:15 GMT, but MonsantoCollaborators.org was registered at 16:21 GMT, over six and a half hours before the article went online. This could also be a coincidence, but I can find no evidence that this article was online prior to 23:05 GMT on the 21st of July, whereas the domain was registered at 16:21 GMT on the same date. Someone could’ve happened to register that domain name right before a relevant article was written and published on a highly-popular website, but combined with everything else that I’ve seen, the evidence leads me to believe that Mike Adams registered this domain name in preparation to put his NaturalNews article online, so that he could publish a “hit list” and claim that it was somebody else’s work, because he knew he would face a public backlash and legal retribution had he openly published it under his own name.
Read the full, original article: Mike Adams builds a NaturalNews Nazi time machine
- FBI turns up heat on Mike Adams as ‘Health Ranger’ fiasco widens, plus Adams’ archive, Genetic Literacy Project
- Mike Adams claims Monsanto set up “kill GMO supporters” website, as scientists, journalists face death threats, Knight Science Journalism Tracker
- Most ‘dangerous’ anti-science GMO critic? Meet Mike Adams–Conspiracy junkie runs alternative ‘health’ empire, Genetic Literacy Project