Who In The World Is Benjamin Gifford?

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41 Responses

  1. Ken says:

    Exceptional investigative blogging, as usual, Patrick.

    It is inconceivable to me that anyone would willingly become involved with this company.

  2. Ezra says:

    How come they aren't suing us? I can only imagine the fun that would engender.. Remind me, once again, never to piss Patrick off.

  3. Ranilen says:

    2711 Centerville Rd in Wilmington is about 20 minutes from where I live – might have to go down there and see what's actually at that address…

  4. Dan says:

    Ranilen: Look hard; It may be unnoticeable. Or, there might be fugly Medieval models with most of their boobs exposed running around. Whichever.

  5. Patrick says:

    I wouldn't bother Ranilen. The address is just a "mail drop" for a company whose sole purpose is to accept legal notices, and they wouldn't tell you a thing about their principal.

  6. Sparkylong says:

    This is akin to searching for a single, partially-mutated leukocyte that is threatening to complete its metamorphosis into a full blown harbinger for Hairy Cell Leukemia. Unreal.

  7. Dave (ND) says:

    Brilliant.

  8. Dave says:

    I'd say beautiful, friend Dave.

  9. Ken says:

    I don't get how the twitter thing is happening.

  10. Patrick says:

    Bots skim google blogsearch for anything with Evony in the text. Then our friends Madison, Olivia, Jasmine, and others repost the opening text, with a link to something else. About five more nubile twitter users, all of whom have the last name "Blog" have posted the same damned thing, about Benjamin Gifford, since I performed that search. I'll bet that the twitter link goes to Evony's site, but I'll not find out because I'm never putting that in my address bar. I know it doesn't go to our site, because I used bit.ly to shorten the address on Twitter myself. But what the links DO accomplish is to take the text posted, whether it's criticism or praise of Evony, and redirect Google users searching for that text somewhere that it didn't originate.

    That, or it's too bad that I blog anonymously. I'll never get to meet any of these beautiful lady bloggers who follow Popehat with such devotion.

  11. Sparkylong says:

    Chances are, Patrick, that Madison, Olivia & Jasmine are men, with nothing beautiful, whatsoever, about them. Maybe that will make you feel like you're not missing out. 'Cheers.

  12. Mike says:

    Stares in awe.

  13. Bryan says:

    Of course, Mr. Everiss need not jet all over the world defending himself. A court
    must first be convinced that it has jurisdiction over Mr. Everiss before he is required to appear, no?

  14. TomH says:

    At least around here, the jurisdictional allegations will not be examined closely until Mr. Everiss disputes them.

  15. Patrick says:

    As I understand it, the United Kingdom recognizes Australian judgments. Mr. Everiss is wise to defend himself (as he is doing), before a judgment is entered.

    In every civil court of which I'm aware, it's much harder to get a default judgment (which is what happens to a defendant who fails to appear after being served with process) overturned than it is to avoid having a judgment entered in the first place, by defending oneself.

  16. Scott Jacobs says:

    I'll check that addy at school tomorrow, on a school system.

  17. Bruceongames says:

    Outstanding stuff, I have sent it to my solicitors.
    Maybe I should ask Benjamin if he wants to be a friend on Facebook!

  18. Clint says:

    Patrick, if you ever get tired of the lawyer thing you can start up your own data-mining company. Your ability to track people down via the tubes is quickly approaching legendary status. Excellent work.

  19. Martin says:

    I just went to the link using Google Chrome's "Incognito" browser. It's a link to a (very) short page at "thecomputer-games" {dot} "info" [obscured to fool the bots]

  20. Mr. Hashi says:

    The news on ASBS's site once read:

    23 May 2009 Assist Strategic Business Solutions Pty Limited is appointed for Strategic and Operational Solutions partnering with Hong Kong based Regan Mercantile Hong Kong Limited and global based Evony, LLC.

    (Google: "site:asbs.net.au regan mercantile" and view the cached version)

    Crikey! By removing that connection to Regan Mercantile Hong Kong, Evony no longer has a Chinese connection! Of course there is still a Regan Mercantile (US LLC, State of New York) that is -VERY- connected to Evony (see Evony terms and conditions/U.S. trademarks). The Hong Kong version? Never existed! Never connected to Evony! Just like UMGE and Civony – figments of your imagination!

  21. Patrick says:

    Interesting Mr. Hashi. We kept screenshots because we know that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

  22. MoriEndi says:

    I used to play Evony and I got so fed up with how they treated their players and their ridiculous ads, not to mention how they ripped off countless other games, that I quit. I have a request for media release from them (which I did no consent to due to them reserving the right to change or alter my photo or my words as they see fit into infinity) that shows that they are an American Company, but there was quite a delay in getting those papers sent out, perhaps because they were still setting up the shell corporation?

  23. Ken says:

    In addition to the Evony people, you've now drawn the ire of reddit-reading gamers who don't understand irony, satire, or wit.

  24. Patrick says:

    I woke up this morning wondering where the hell all this traffic was coming from and saw the Reddit comments.

    The only one I thought didn't get it was the Monocle guy. I suppose I should have pointed out that I've enjoyed games myself since the early 80s, when I played Hammurabi and Adventure (or whatever Zork was called before it was Zork) over a unix mainframe connection.

    Good times. I miss Infocom.

  25. Chris says:

    "While a military background in problem-solving may be as valued in the gaming industry as proficiency in, say, PERL or Visual Basic, most game industry job postings tend toward the second category. " I'm trying to figure out how many levels deep this was meant to go as a joke. Either way, well played.

  26. Guest says:

    I visited the twitter link. Apparently, it's a man-in-the-middle blogspam that takes the first paragraph from your site, then links to your post.

    It seems safe (wasn't tested with Javascript or plugins), but still…

  27. Grandy says:

    While a military background in problem-solving may be as valued in the gaming industry as proficiency in, say, PERL or Visual Basic, most game industry job postings tend toward the second category. ” I’m trying to figure out how many levels deep this was meant to go as a joke. Either way, well played.

    I've been wondering too. :P

  28. mojo says:

    "Hey, I'm not the pilot, genius! I mostly just hurt people and break things."

  29. Bruce says:

    Another mildly ironic twist. The Australian Alliance Party he links to is one of the groups protesting the possible establishment of our own version of the Great Firewall of China.

  30. Nic says:

    Mr Gifford, from his mugshot, looks like he indeed has background in both the military and logistics industries.
    I wonder if the Australian Army's Personnel division (I assume that was his military background – to the best of my knowledge, Australians, like Americans, are prohibited by law from serving as mercenaries abroad) would be prepared to comment on his record, rank, and postings?

    Also, my memory is failing in my dotage, so remind me: Logistics: It refers to moving heavy objects like boxes, right? (amongst other things of course)

    I am tempted to contact him to find out if he has any background in the criminal justice system, or the penal correction system area.
    He might be able to provide valuable services to me after all.

  31. Dave says:

    Logistics means he was a friggin pogue and about as dangerous as a packet of limp wet spaghetti….actually…it looks like he ate more than a few boxes of said limp pasta….

    Great investigative reporting, first time visitor but certainly not my last time here ;)

  32. Lee says:

    I am a student studying computer games design at uni and decided to investigate Evony.com.
    Just to see what some of these games are like etc. etc.
    The game is actually kind of cool (found myself addicted and even spent a little money on it).
    But I started to notice HUGE bandwidth use by the site as I played.
    I am not the only one either, there are comments on the evony forums about this.
    This is odd because all of the client info, the animations etc. are all downloaded in one big download at the start.
    There is no streaming media so I began to wonder what was going on.

    To cut a long story short I decided to break the law and reverse engineer Evony's client.
    Not to cheat. Not to rip them off or even to use even a scrap of the code.
    But just to poke about a bit and find out what was going on, maybe even offer them some ways to improve things.

    Aside from the fact that the whole thing is very poorly constructed (it is really very beginner coder level stuff. Reminds me of a lot of
    what the first year students produce for assignments) it contained some very interesting information.

    Included with the client are 2 peices of tracking software that monitor your web use and which applications you have open while the client is running.
    These do not install independently on the machine though due to the limitations of flash and do not actually damage anything.
    But they harvest massive volumes of information. My firewall was blocking a lot of outgoing transmissions and it turns out that these
    were the data trying to be sent out. So they know nothing about me. lol.
    However there is a LOT of data coming IN over the ports the client uses. In otherwords it is downloading something into my cache for use later.
    I have bandiwdth restriction which slows these types of tricks down and I completely clear my cache every couple of hours if I am heavily using the net.

    I also noticed that all the varanbles etc. are named Civony still and that there are multiple references to UMGE.
    Even a couple of folders are simply called UMGE, one of these folders contains one of the spyware programs.
    So I can only guess at where the data would end up if I didnt have a good firewall.

    There are also commented out sections in the code which contain references to UMGE and Lam himself, though low on details.

    Thank you for reading this.

    Lee

  33. Tim says:

    Evony is a fraud in all aspects.

    They "hire" people or websites to host their ads, don't pay the owners of said websites when time comes, they change IP addresses and owners (who don't even exist), plus they sue someone without revealing who they really are. This whole thing is stupid.

    I was dumb enough to host their ad on my website. Evony owes me $200 per month for the last 9 months which I will never see. I say they come to the USA and settle it in our supreme court. I know people who work for the companies that Evony stole gaming data from.

    When I find out who really owns Evony, I'll sue his ass for not paying me, lying, stealing, trying to hack my website (my protection software blocked 35 attempts already this month from the "current owners" IP address for Evony) and for all the same charges they are pressing on Bruce Everiss.

    As far as I am concerned anybody against me can take sides with Evony and get part of the punishment they deserve!

  34. Lu Lu says:

    There is a wonderful reference to his educational qualifications in this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/mar/31/evony-libel-case-bruce-everiss

    Evony's case began to break down during the second day when Gifford was cross-examined. He admitted that his claim to have BA and MBA degrees were not true.

  35. Bruce says:

    The answer to "what in the world is Ben Gifford" is: Lying Weasel.

    His court testimony is incredibly damning – you can see an extract here in an Ars Technica followup. He is thoroughly pwned by one of Australia's transnational litigation experts.


    Q. How do you say you are not an out and out liar when you have approved statements on the Internet that you hold a Bachelor of Arts, earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Business Administration?
    A. That was put there purely as a PR actually.

    Q. Mr Gifford, is that a serious answer?
    A. Yes.

    Q. It is a lie?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Do you currently have a problem with this, Mr Gifford?
    A. Yes.

    Q. When did you develop that problem, in the last ten seconds?
    A. Yes.

    Things went kind of downhill for Evony's case from there.

  36. Derrick says:

    FATALITY

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