Fake Emails - Not A Good Sign (update)

Keith's 31 March update: Someone sent another fraudulent email under my name to my Congressman, Rep. Moran (apparently and incorrectly) expressing my supposed disagreement with the new space policy. One NASA Watch reader noted today that

"[Rep.] Anna Eshoo has been getting about 1 email per week "from me" and when I got them to send me the text of the email, I Googled it and found it to be from Go Boldly, but it was from a Facebook page attributed to them."

Sending emails out under someone else's name without their permission is actionable fraud, plain and simple. What goes around comes around, folks. These tactics are bound to backfire. It certainly looks like the JSC pro-Constellation/Anti-Obama Space policy Go Boldy folks have a broken system in place. They need to fix this ASAP.

The domain for this organization is registered to Gary McNeel. According to this video and a phone call to me, Nick Gardner is one of the leaders of this effort.

I *DO NOT* like people sending emails using my name - and I will respond accordingly.

Earlier posts and text of the emails I have gotten are below.

Keith's original 16 March note: Wow. Neat trick. People are sending emails to members of Congress from Virginia in my name, using my email address, making statements that are not mine. This is sort of pointless given that I make my views rather public on NASAWatch. So far Rep. Moran and Sen. Warner have sent me emails that thank me for contacting them about my concerns regarding NASA's FY 2011 budget. Moran is my Congressman and Warner is one of my Senators. Alas, I never contacted either of them - about anything. Yet these emails arrive one day apart.

You little geniuses who are behind this do know that these emails can be traced - regardless as to how you sent them - even if you think that you have outsmarted the system. You might want to check laws covering such things here in Virginia. Looks like Obama space policy opponents will now stoop to outright (and actionable) fraud and misrepresentation. Not a good sign.

Keith's 16 March update: Based on the comments from NASA Watch readers I am not alone. Someone has been sending emails under other people's names - using their email addresses - to members of Congress regarding the Obama space policy. Moreover, the people behind this seem to be checking to see where we all live and who our Congressional representatives are. This is not only fraud and but borders on cyber stalking and identity theft.

Keith's 17 March update: I got a call from one of the guys at GoBoldly and they think that their system may have something to do with all of this. Stay tuned. If it was them then it was unintentional. But I am not certain that they are responsible.

The emails I have gotten (thus far) are shown below:

Received 17 March 2010

Dear Mr. Cowing,

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for NASA in the fiscal year 2011 federal budget. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter.

On February 1, 2010, President Obama released his fiscal year 2011 federal budget, which can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb. The President's budget outlines several spending cuts intended to reduce the current deficit, while still investing in education and clean energy initiatives that will allow the United States to remain globally competitive in developing industries. In addition, the President's budget is projected to decrease the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

I believe the greatest challenge we now face as a nation is the need to balance our spending priorities with principles of fiscal discipline. I also believe that no one party can or will make the hard choices on its own to get federal spending and deficits under control. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that, if current laws and policies continue unchanged, the federal budget deficit will reach $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010.

This is why I co-sponsored bipartisan legislation (S.2853) proposed by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) to create an 18-member task force to address our nation's long-term budget crisis. The task force would be charged with making sweeping budget and revenue recommendations to be presented to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote, with no amendments allowed. On January 26, 2010, the Senate voted on S.2853 as an amendment to H.J.RES.45, a bill to increase the statutory limit on the public debt. This amendment did not receive the 60 votes necessary for passage, with the final vote count standing at 53-46. It is regrettable that a number of Senators who traditionally had co-sponsored this legislation suddenly reversed their original position and voted against the bipartisan proposal.

I am pleased that the President recognized the value of this proposal and has issued an Executive Order to create a bipartisan debt commission that will report deficit-reduction proposals to Congress by the end of this year. I look forward to reviewing the commission's suggestions and working with other members of Congress to address long-term budget concerns.

In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives and the Senate Budget Committees will review the President's budget and present their own budget resolutions to be voted upon in Congress. As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I will work with my colleagues to craft a resolution that reflects the policies and priorities important to all Americans.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please stay in touch.

United States Senator

Received 16 March 2010

Thank you for contacting my office. Your opinions and thoughts are important to me and I appreciate your taking the time to write.

Please know that through http://www.moran.house.gov you can access information regarding how my office can be of assistance, including:

Capitol and White House Tour Requests
Flag Requests
Intern Applications
Academy Nominations
Information regarding upcoming events
And a link to sign up for the Moran (http://moran.house.gov/signup.shtml)

If your correspondence is regarding a personal casework issue you are having with the federal government, please contact my district office by phone at (703) 971-4700.

Thank you again for contacting me.

James P. Moran

March 31, 2010 5:57:28 PM EDT
Dear Mr. Cowing:

Thank you for contacting me concerning the future of NASA's human spaceflight program.

As you know, President Obama's fiscal year 2011 budget calls for the cancellation of the Constellation program that began in 2005 with the goal of developing rocket and crew capsule technology capable of returning humans to the Moon and eventually to Mars. The Administration proposes using the savings from shuttering Constellation to fund increased research and development efforts, a more diverse and extensive set of international collaborations, and the development of commercial operated crew vehicles. In addition, NASA will now be able to ensure that the international space station remains functional at least through 2020, an important commitment to our international partners. Overall, President Obama's budget invests an additional $6 billion in NASA over the next five years - an overall $100 billion commitment to the agency.

As you may know, an outside panel, known as the Augustine Commission, convened last year to make recommendations on the future of manned spaceflight. The commission's report highlighted the inadequacy of NASA's budget to fulfill its current human spaceflight mission and suggested some program cancellations. The decision to end the entire Constellation program, however, was unexpected. As Congress considers the Administration's proposal, I believe it is important to keep an open mind as to the best way to maximize our nation's investment in space exploration. It is equally important, however, to ensure that in the potential absence of Constellation's Moon to Mars goal, NASA has well-defined objectives for human spaceflight so that resources are invested wisely.

As a strong supporter of federally-funded research and technology programs, I believe that a robust NASA is essential for our country. The list of NASA-derived technologies that have been utilized in commercial applications is extensive, and no other federal agency has a greater ability to attract young students into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) occupations. It is important that the future of NASA's human spaceflight program receives a full and honest debate in Congress. Please be assured I will keep your thoughts in mind during this process.

Thank you again for writing to me about this important issue.

James P. Moran

P.S. I invite you to visit my website at www.moran.house.gov that contains information on many topics of interest and allows you to sign up for the Moran e-News.


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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on April 1, 2010 12:25 AM.

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