Today I asked our UAB Cyber Intelligence team to give me some background on the Discover Channel eco-terrorist, James J. Lee. Heather McCalley, who supervises the team, provides the following "guest" blog entry. We'll be seeing more guest bloggers from my research team at UAB's Computer Forensics Research Lab in the future . . .
Discovery Channel shooter James Jay Lee not only ran the website www.savetheplanetprotest.com, he was also a frequent poster in the saveThePlanetProtest topic on a message board at Yuku.com: savetheplanetprotest.yuku.com
There he chatted as “misterfifteen” with other misguided people in January 2008 about the weeklong protest he was planning--although it sounds like it was more of a vigil--for Discovery Channel headquarters beginning the following February 15th. On this forum he wrote threateningly about his anger toward the educational TV channel: “They have to get on board with saving the planet and I'd better start seeing some REAL improvement in the news that things are changing.” (or, WHAT will happen, you ask?) He also wrote, “Discovery is the enemy.” But his protest fizzled out when nobody showed up, and he decided to quit paying people to hang around, like the homeless man below:
In order to create a "protest crowd", Lee began throwing thousands of dollars of cash into the air, as documented in this YouTube video Mad Money Dash in Silver Springs.
The police arrested him, and Lee notes in the forum that he was held for two weeks, including four days in the loony bin. I like the way one forum poster commented on Lee’s alias name on Yuku: “an obvious reference to the Fifteen Minutes of Fame he hopes to garnish from this fruitless exertion of time and energy.”
Shortly after his release he launched his new effort, an essay contest with a $200,000 first prize:
Well, Lee never quite went so far in his posts as to make outright threats of physical harm. But what if he had? Who monitors such incendiary internet sites? Don’t count on Yuku to take this down anytime soon; they describe themselves as “a social universe of communities united by people and their passions.”And, I suppose the 11-step rant on his website will stay up until he misses a few payments to IN2NET NETWORK, INC. Pete4Peace details his concerns, however, in a post about several encounters with Lee. He was concerned because Lee “talked about using violence” :
That blog post from today contains email exchanges from the past between the blogger and "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Inquiring 21st Century minds have already identified Lee’s old videos, photos, and MySpace page(already down)…heck, he even has a fan page now on Facebook! Although he had clearly been thinking about the Discovery Channel for a long time, he actually updated his manifesto on his website yesterday morning before heading over to the headquarters building. The time stamp for the HTML page is Wednesday, September 01, 2010 8:46:30 AM. Chilling. (His manifesto is at savetheplanetprotest.com, at least for now...(archived here just in case...)