Is GCHQ Embedded in Wikipedia? 169


Once upon a time, being a leader writer for the Times implied Jupiter like vision and magisterial judgement, thundering out opinions that changed events across the globe. Astonishing that now it is done by the empty, bombastic Murdoch lickspittle Oliver Kamm.

On 7 February I published an article calling out Kamm for publishing a blatant and deliberate lie about me. The very next day, 8 February, my Wikipedia page came under obsessive attack from somebody called Philip Cross who made an astonishing 107 changes over the course of the next three days. Many were very minor, but the overall effect was undoubtedly derogatory. He even removed my photo on the extraordinary grounds that it was “not typical” of me. Edits to Wikipedia articles can be seen by clicking the “view history” tab top right. Here is just a sample of the record of “Philip Cross'” obsession with me.

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I don’t look at my own Wikipedia page, but was told about it yesterday. I therefore googled Philip Cross and was amazed to discover that he is allegedly an alias for Oliver Kamm attacking people online. Furthermore that Kamm has employed lawyers to threaten those who claim that he is Philip Cross, and by Kamm’s own account the Metropolitan Police have even warned off Neil Clark from saying Kamm is Cross. The Kamm/Cross affair was discussed on George Galloway’s show on Saturday. It starts 12mins 30s in.

It could of course be an extraordinary coincidence that Philip Cross, who has been named as Oliver Kamm, launched this massive attack on my Wikipedia entry the day after I outed Kamm as a liar on this blog.

But here is another extraordinary coincidence for you. On 6 August 2015 Philip Cross had launched an initial edit attack on my Wikipedia entry, with only about two dozen edits. What was my last blog post before that attack? The revelation that Murdoch lackeys at the Times had tens of thousands of fake twitter followers purchased for them. I have only criticised Murdoch’s Times operation twice in two years, and each one has been followed immediately by attacks on my Wikipedia entry from Philip Cross. I wonder if Mr Kamm’s lawyers would care to explain this?

I am not alone by any means. The magnificent Stephen Sizer has suffered fearful attacks for his stalwart stand against the oppression of Palestinians, at great risk to his livelihood in the new neo-con Welby Church of England. Sizer has been a constant target for Oliver Kamm. On 22 August 2015 Oliver Kamm published an attack on Stephen Sizer in the Jewish Chronicle describing him as “an insanitary crackpot.” Of course, something published in the Jewish Chronicle on 22 August will have been written a couple of days earlier – around 20 August 2015. On 20 August 2015 we find that “Philip Cross” made six edits to Stephen Sizer’s Wikipedia page. These coincidences really do build up, don’t they?

And just in case you are not convinced, in early February 2015 Kamm was launching a series of twitter insults at Stephen Sizer, including Kamm’s remarkable claim that Veterans Today – for which several of my ex-CIA friends write – is an “anti-Semitic website”.

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And lo and behold! Up pops “Philip Cross” on 9 February 2015 making 32 more edits on Sizer’s Wikipedia page.

Now I really do not care whether or not “Philip Cross” is actually Oliver Kamm or whether he is just Oliver Kamm’s bitch. For Oliver Kamm’s lawyers, my address is 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. I should love to see Kamm explain all this in court.

Kamm has for years exhibited an absolute obsession with attacking John Pilger, the great Australian journalist. Just google “Oliver Kamm John Pilger” to see. And who has hundreds of edits on Jon Pilger’s Wikipedia page? Philip Cross. Cross has apparently his own twitter account. Here it is obvious that he shares Kamm’s precise views. Zionism, and accusing pro-Palestinians of anti-Semitism, is the single most dominant element along with attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, Julian Assange and Kamm’s other targets. Cross retweets the Jewish Chronicle, for which Kamm is a columnist, and notably Joan Smith, leading anti-Assange campaigner and former partner of convicted expenses fiddler and Israeli lobbyist Dennis McShane.

I genuinely had no idea that Kamm had an established reputation for years for weird internet trolling. For example he published readers’ reviews on Amazon of 19 of Noam Chomsky’s books, giving every one of them one star. That link is very well worth reading, incidentally. Did you know that Kamm has written that the invasion of Iraq was “the most far-sighted and noble act of British foreign policy since the founding of NATO”?

There are some very serious points to all of this. It is not just personal flim-flam. The first serious point is that it really is the most appalling comment on what Murdoch has done to the Times, that its leader-writer should be such a low creature as Kamm. A man who has not only written that the Iraq invasion was “great”, that Noam Chomsky is an “idiot” and that John Pilger is a “fraud”, but who genuinely appears to hold those views.

The second is a very serious point indeed about Wikipedia. “Philip Cross” is not just anybody who can, like you and me, make edits on Wikipedia. he is a senior editor with special administrative privileges. He uses this access on a continued basis to repeatedly and in enormous detail denigrate any individuals who hold anti-establishment views. Equally sinister, he bigs up and protects the reputation of those who promote the corporate media agenda. “Philip Cross” has not just edited, but according to Wikipedia “predominantly written” the hagiographic entries of

James Harding, Former Editor of the Times, now Head of BBC News
Katherine Viner, Editor of the Guardian
Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail
Amol Rajan, Editor of the Independent
and numerous other corporate media journalists.

Philip Cross may be Oliver Kamm. Or he may be someone who shares his views closely and echoes them in a synchronised way. Or he may be an identity which cloaks the activities of a group of people. But it is absolutely plain that “Philip Cross” is used systematically to attack the Wikipedia entries of prominent anti-establishment figures, and simultaneously to bolster the image of the corporate media. The purpose of “Philip Cross” is to ensure that an anti-establishment narrative does not take hold on Wikipedia.

The burning question is this. “Philip Cross'” activities and purpose are blindingly obvious. Actions such as the hundred edits to my page and removal of my photo, or the continued war on John Piger’s entry, are completely unjustifiable. Why then does Wikipedia continue to tolerate “Philip Cross” and grant him administrator privileges?

Oliver Kamm briefly held an internet admin account in his won name. It is particularly noteworthy that Kamm was contacted by email on 28 June 2007 at 17.25 in this guise by “slim virgin”, another Wikipedia admin account that has been widely reported to be a security services front. It ostensibly belongs to Canadian Oxbridge graduate Linda Mack, but impossibly high levels of activity (including once editing straight for 26 hours) have led many to conclude that Slim Virgin is a team – she averaged 100 articles a day, seven days a week, for a year! Linda Mack was believed by ABC News to have been acting on behalf of MI5 in monitoring their Lockerbie investigation while working for their London bureau. The admin page on which “slim virgin” contacted Oliver Kamm is specifically about his attacks on Neil Clark, which is where we came in.

There are just far too many coincidences and linkages for any reasonable person to conclude that nothing murky is happening on Wikipedia. We know for certain from the Snowden revelations that the government does carry out internet operations to promote its narrative and to degrade the image and reach of known opponents on the web. I know from personal professional experience that the security services work with trusties in the media. We have plainly uncovered something at the edge of one of these operations here.

UPDATE I have received twitter messages from “Philip Cross” that he is a person, not part of GCHQ, and that his activity on Wikipedia is often sparked by things he has read, including by Oliver Kamm. He also points out that I had blogged that I did not like my photo on Wikipedia (this is true). He states that Oliver Kamm’s influence on his Wikipedia activity is “not as great as it seems”. I have replied to “Philip Cross” asking if he knows Oliver Kamm, and why Kamm has any influence at all on his Wikpedia activity. I shall keep you posted.

FURTHER UPDATE “Philip Cross” has now replied that “occasionally, it is one of OK’s tweets that reminds me. There is no conspiracy here and I am not a paid editor.” No reply to if he knows Oliver Kamm.

Hat-Tips to Node, Clark and Squonk


169 thoughts on “Is GCHQ Embedded in Wikipedia?

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  • Andy

    This type of informative article is one of the reasons I read your blog. Your relevent output to resources available ratio is shockingly good. Keep up the good work.

  • MJ

    Have you considered editing Oliver Kamm’s own page, drawing attention to all the “Philip Cross” allegations?

  • Kempe

    Veterans Today might not be full on in your face anti-semitic but it comes pretty close, regularly hosting articles supporting Holocaust denial along with the usual conspiracy nonsense about 9/11, Sandy Hook etc. Likewise I assume the “magnificent” Stephen Sizer is not the well known conspiracy loon of the same name who attended a Holocaust denial conference in Iran back in 2012?

    Craig, you really damage your credibility siding with the lunatic fringe like this.

  • MerkinScot

    Craig, are you really surprised by this?
    This blog is regualarly trolled by the likes of Habba and Kempe who try to divert from Israeli policy by accusing any critics of anti-semetism.

  • Neil

    Craig,

    I am a long-standing Wikipedia editor(*), and have watched Cross’s work for years. I am quite sure he is not Kamm, although they both share the same repulsive writing styles and attitudes, and tend to focus on the same topics.

    It is not true that Cross has “special administrative privileges”; in fact, technically, I have more of those than Cross does. You should correct that mistake in your post.

    I share share most of your views on the vile nature of most of Kamm’s work(**), but you should be careful to be accurate in what you write.

    (*) I write on Wikipedia as User:NSH001 (and NSH002 for very technical stuff), but state my real name on my user page.

    (**) See, for example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Nishidani#Kamm_again.2C_after_all_these_years

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Craig Murray
    15/03/2016 11:45am

    I’ve linked all Craig’s delightful Twitter pals to this posting, including Oliver Kamm, so they can all read about the shenanigans Kamm’s mate, or whatever he is, gets up to.

    Pretty rich for “Cross” to remove a photo from Wikipedia on the grounds it is not a good likeness. His own Twitter picture is not of him at all, if he in fact exists, but of the noted jazz musician and hellraiser Charles Mingus, of whom he is apparently a fan.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • craig Post author

    Neil

    Thank you. I am not familiar with Wikipedia’s precise terminology for different levels of access and do not feel constrained to use their own terms. I am just writing in English.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    RIP Umberto Eco, a man of integrity, great wit and sustainable foresight.
    Thanks for your explanatory words re Wikipedia, Neil, can you ask to be taken off it once you are on there, or is it a life sentence?…;)

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    I find Wikipedia a great resource for researching non-controversial subjects – types of glue, history of the sewing machine, whatever – but it is an instrument of propaganda in matters of politics and even history. Whether it was designed to be (probably) or was subverted later, it is now used along with Google and Facebook to control knowledge, and hence opinion and belief.

    An early fore-runner of Philip Cross was William Connolley. Whatever your beliefs about man-made climate warming, there can be no doubt that Connolley was using Wikipedia to propagandise rather than supply factual information.

    “Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia. Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site. He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling. On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period. In October, he turned his attention to the hockey stick graph. He rewrote articles on the politics of global warming and on the scientists who were skeptical of the band. Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer, two of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists, were among his early targets, followed by others that the band especially hated, such as Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, authorities on the Medieval Warm Period.

    All told, Connolley created or rewrote 5,428 unique Wikipedia articles. His control over Wikipedia was greater still, however, through the role he obtained at Wikipedia as a website administrator, which allowed him to act with virtual impunity. When Connolley didn’t like the subject of a certain article, he removed it — more than 500 articles of various descriptions disappeared at his hand. When he disapproved of the arguments that others were making, he often had them barred — over 2,000 Wikipedia contributors who ran afoul of him found themselves blocked from making further contributions. Acolytes whose writing conformed to Connolley’s global warming views, in contrast, were rewarded with Wikipedia’s blessings. In these ways, Connolley turned Wikipedia into the missionary wing of the global warming movement.
    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=62e1c98e-01ed-4c55-bf3d-5078af9cb409

  • Neil

    Craig,

    Another note on interpreting Wikipedia edits. Merely looking at the number and frequency of edits can be misleading. Cross makes lots of small edits, mostly trivial, or innocuous.

    There is a culture on Wikipedia that editors with a large number of edits are regarded with more respect. Partly as a reaction to this, I try (not very hard) to use as few edits as possible. I prefer to use my time researching topics as thoroughly as possible before editing.

    So it would be wrong to conclude, merely on the basis of numbers of edits that Cross is “obsessed” with your article. Nevertheless, Cross is definitely acting very unpleasantly, with the sheer volume of edits tending to conceal the nasty stuff. Wikipedia rules on “reliable sources” also tend to help the likes of Cross. Mainstream media are automatically regarded as “reliable sources”, so it is very easy to push the pro-war view on Wikipedia.

    To any potential Wikipedia editors out there, I strongly advise using books and peer-reviewed journals published by reputable academic presses, as they are much less biased than MSM; they are also generally regarded as the highest quality sources on which to base a Wikipedia article.

  • craig Post author

    Neil,

    Thank you. Yes I had noticed that the nasty stuff is hidden within a mound of innocuous stuff. Clever technique.

  • Neil

    Craig 1:52pm,

    Well yes, except that there are people out there who won’t read it like that. It’s more than just “levels of access”: roughly, a Wikipedia admin is the equivalent of a mod on this blog. He or she is able to block editors, delete pages, “protect” pages, and a lot more. If you do decide to leave it, just bear in mind that your detractors will use anything they can against you.

  • Jonathan

    Are you sure about Slim Virgin? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them edit topics that have nothing to do with journalism, government, politics or anything else related to the state.

  • Vronsky

    The Morag Kerr=MI5 equation occurred to me some time ago – can’t remember if I mentioned it to you at the time. I think a little textual analyis would be interesting. She is perfectly capable of writing well, but when confronted by a questioning of some sacred establishment text she switches instantly to the truncated vocabulary of the debunker. There is no attempt to engage or debate – you are a foaming, swivel-eyed, conspiraloon whack-job, and you just need to stop it. This is standard JREF fare.

    Why does a well-educated, intelligent and articulate woman suddenly lose all confidence in her position and switch to the abusive street jive of Larry From St Louis (remember him/it)?

  • Squonk

    Are you sure about Slim Virgin? I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them edit topics that have nothing to do with journalism, government, politics or anything else related to the state.

    If it is a controlled account it would be bloody foolish if it was made blindingly obvious would it not?

  • Clark

    Neil, 1:32 pm, good to meet you here. I’d often noticed your NSH001 edits, and just this morning I’d wondered about NSH002. I’m Clark42, of course.

  • Matt

    [mods: caught in spam filter. Timestamp updated from 13:50]

    Is there no correlation between the IP addresses used by Philip Cross and Oliver Kamm et al, or are they too clever for that?

  • Neil

    Clark 3:15,

    No need to wonder, both of my user pages each clearly link to the other.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    I have no idea quite how this process might work.
    i wonder however, if there is some kind of ‘intelligence’ (in the oxymoron sense) involvement, why would they not set it up a little less obviously. I guess i mean why do they just have Phillip Cross doing the s much editing and with such a biased position always denigrating anyone whose political positiopn is contradictory. It takes us all back to the playground of discourse.
    With all the resources at their disposal why not have numerous people editorialising.
    Can Phillip cross not be invited to show his face?
    As I said i am not at all sure how this all works but it further undermines the idea of any kind of information, acquired any way other than seeing and hearing for yourself as worthless. They are undermining all information, including their own.
    Openness is essential and as there is presumably no hiding place for Craig, and his observations at least gain some credibility from the vulnerable position he adopts. I am feeling rather nauseous at the squalid and malicious nature of what passes for discussion and exchange of ideas

  • Habbabkuk (for fact-based, polite, rational and obsession-free posting)

    What I fail to understand is the following.

    Craig’s post about Wikipedia is mostly about Oliver Kamm and Philip Cross.

    Why then is Craig’s post titled “Is GCHQ embedded in Wikipedia”?

    Is Craig claiming that there is a direct or indirect connection between Oliver Kamm, Philip Cross and GCHQ?

  • Vronsky

    “If it is a controlled account it would be bloody foolish if it was made blindingly obvious would it not?”

    Not at all. If you mentioned your guesswork, you would be a foaming, swivel-eyed, conspiraloon whack-job.

    Actually, I’m surprised they’re not here already, telling you that. (Joke – that’s one of their ploys – discrediting the response before it appears, so that it won’t appear).

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