Errata: Shame

Shame Logo Almost 18 years ago, when Attrition created the Charlatans page, we hoped it would be done so that people could avoid the mistakes outlined and offer one avenue to help them improve. Even back then, there were 'open secrets' about predators in the industry who were alleged to have been guilty of sexual misconduct at the least, and perhaps worse. For a variety of reasons, these allegations remained as part of lower-key conversations and were occasionally lost in the noise of intentional smear campaigns. The accusations could not be documented in a meaningful way because they often consisted of conversations over dinner or drinks, there were opposing stories, and invariably, there were people too quick to defend their friend without considering the accusation(s).

In 2016 and 2017, the world witnessed a flood of news articles outing high-profile men in entertainment, news, media, and other industries with allegations of a range of sexual harassment and misconduct. Whether a coincidence or prompted by these articles, the Information Security industry began to see some of its participants outed with allegations of similar acts. Many of these people were long-known by some to have perpetrated these acts, and despite public outcry from victims, the accused continued to enjoy their life and career without repercussion.

A page such as this is long overdue, yet still difficult to maintain. Determining the criteria for inclusion can be challenging, and adding someone based on unfounded allegations is dangerous for everyone, including the accused. Ultimately, these incidents rely on the courage of the victims coming forward and their willingness to be public about their horrible experiences. Worse, the alleged victims often have to find a voice that will speak for them in a manner that carries it above any cries of 'smear campaign' or 'liar'. We have done our best to record those accused of not only sexual misconduct, but those who appear to have a long history of it. Further, we have done our best to present a fair representation of those people based on public sources, even when we may have additional information that we cannot publish at the time. This page will include those in the Information Security industry, as well as other tech sectors that overlap.

Why "Shame"? The name was chosen because of its nuanced meaning that speaks to all sides of the equation. For the accused who have been exposed, "the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc." is something for which the guilty should feel actual and true guilt. As an Errata project, this should be deserving of critical thought: Shaming means: "to cause to feel shame; make ashamed". As an industry, area, or whatever term you wish to call it, people should feel ashamed that victims have not been supported in the best manner possible, and that to this day, some still irrationally defend those who have carried out heinous acts and left a trail of victims behind them.

Additional Resource: the CREEP SHEET offers "the most complete list of public figures accused of sexual harassment or assault" and has a section for "Tech". [Link]

Shame (Abuse & Assault)

Jacob Appelbaum On May 25, 2016, multiple people published accounts of their interactions with Appelbaum that included descriptions of a wide variety of transgressions, including mental abuse, humiliation, intimidation, bullying, sexual misconduct, and rape. [More information]
Morgan Marquis-Boire On Oct 13, 2017, the first of multiple victims had their story heard in the media, about one of Marquis-Boire's multiple sexual assaults. Subsequently, the world found out that it was one of many, a fact he confessed to one of his victims. [More information]
John Draper On Nov 17, 2017, a mainstream article broke that the 'hacker hero' has been banned from multiple conferences after 'decades of inappropriate behavior'. Draper's activity has long been an 'open secret' within the community, but had not been called out like this before. [More information]
Thomas Mitchell In 2005, Mitchell was convicted on three counts of sodomy in the 1st degree, after non-consensual sex with a minor. After completing probation he moved out of the United States to live in Saipan. [More information]
Richard 'Rick' Hayes On September 12, 2016, Rick Hayes was arrested, charged with aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation. Since then, he has been held without bond in county jail and subsequently brought up on a total of 16 charges across three pending cases, before pleading guilty. [More information]
Richard Fleming Between 2001 and his arrest in 2007, Fleming was alleged to have traveled across state lines to have sex with a minor, created and possessed child pornography, received child pornography, and molested several children. He pleaded guilty to several charges and is serving over 30 years in federal prison. [More information]
Gurbaksh "G" Chahal On Aug 5, 2013, police responded to a domestic abuse call regarding Chahal. He faced 45 felony charges based on a CCTV video showing him beating and kicking his girlfriend 117 times in 30 minutes. He has since been alleged to have hit other women, discriminate against women in the workplace, and more. [More information]
Abhishek Gattani In 2013, Gattani was arrested for felony assault for the battering of his wife in public. Despite the serious nature of his crime, he was only sentenced to 13 days in jail for almost a decade of abuse. [More information]

Copyright 2017 by Permission is granted to quote, reprint or redistribute provided the text is not altered, and appropriate credit is given.

main page ATTRITION feedback