“We’re Like Sitting Ducks Here!”

Many of you know, from the experience, that the members of the Asian American Association received a rather heinous e-mail message on Thursday, January 30, 1997. The message, from the header reading “Bad-Ass-Mother-Fucker,” stated the following:

“All you fucking chinks, japs, gooks and other fucking overbreeding, country takeovering asshole, complaining foreigners…get the fuck out of this country before we deport your ass!”

Immediately following this incident, AAA initiated some security measures that would impede future incidents, as such. Thus, with the exception of those who read the IDS story on Friday, February 28, by Linda Yung, you had no idea that AAA received two more e-mail messages following. And since you are members of AAA, BTG is going to give you the inside scoop!

On February 3rd, AAA received an e-mail that was sent directly to the “aaa@indiana.edu” account. This message was a forwarded message of the original, with some “alterations.” That message read:

All you fucking chinks, japs, gooks and other fucking overbreeding, country takeovering asshole, complaining foreigners…you are invited to a candle light dinner on February 9th at 10:00 pm. Dress formally.
P.S. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Sincerely, Bad-Ass Mother Fucker

This message seemed completely ambiguous and stylistically different than the first. But apparently, AAA later found out that this second e-mail message was in fact someone’s “idea” of a joke. We did not laugh! (The identity of the sender of the second e-mail will not be revealed.)

And then, there was the most recent and third message (with the same header as the first) which read:

I am still here and so are you. Didn’t you understand my last message or do you just not understand english.

Now this sounded like the same dirt-bag we were used to dealing with. The header of the sender read “Bad-Ass Mother Fucker” as did the first, both instances seemed to be “hi-jack situations,” and the message was sent directly to the mass distribution list, which, unlike the second message, was not sent directly to the aaa-account. By this point, IUPD finally got around to contacting AAA to give us the revelation that “we just don’t know. Do you know–we don’t know.”

So what can we defer about this “culprit” whose throwing some threatening blows over this new “wave of technology” we call the internet? Should we take it seriously–is it as detrimental as some say it is? Does the accessibility of fiberoptic communications present challenges that we are not capable of dealing with or ultimately devising a solution for i.e. security of technology and “freedom of speech” in cyberspace.

Well, to to sum up the sordid reality of the situation–there is nothing you can do! In essence, the only security you have is your ability to not be absentminded when closing your e-mail account. And even that is not safe-guarded from “hackers.” Furthermore, whenever you get a harassing e-mail message, the sender can deny ever sending it. He/she can simply state that their e-mail account was broken in to, and UCS and IUPD have to leave it at that. A grim outlook, I know–but that’s the price we pay for freedom of speech.

The Asian American Association will continue to follow its leads on the story, but the question is — even if we do catch the culprit, what can we “really” do?

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