Your Anon News – Truth and Reconciliation.
This document has been an effort in the service of the truth, and we hope it helps to bring about some reconciliation. We also want to thank the community for all the continued support.
In the months since a new team took over YourAnonNews, much work has been undertaken behind the scenes, though we have clearly failed in our ability to communicate that to you. For this we deeply apologize.
As many of you are aware, a fundraiser was mounted last year by JackalAnon, the founder and former admin of YourAnonNews, with an inital goal of just $2,000.00, which was intended to fund a server for a website he hoped to build. However, the Indiegogo campaign far exceeded expectations, and an unexpected $54,668 was ultimately raised – though Jackal received less than this after Indiegogo service fees (approx 4%) and credit card fees (approx 3%) were deducted [specific deductions as yet unknown].
After the funds were transferred from Indiegogo to Jackal, all the merchandise was produced and paid for. Other expenses were also incurred to support the intended goal of the fundraising drive. Though we are awaiting final numbers, the items below are among the expenses paid for in full by Jackal.
$8,775.00 - T Shirts & Hoodies
$1,087.44 - Mugs
$ 200.00 - Button & Stickers [Approx]
$2,071.27 - MacBook Pro [Given to one of YAN's Colorado team members for video work]
$2,000.00 - Dell Laptop [Approx amount - bought with BTC prior to the campaign for a member of the Colorado YAN team]
$3,564.00 - Sprout Social [Approx - 8 months of fees for the YAN social media team].
$1,350.00 - Black Lotus [Approx - 2 months of server costs]
$ 912.00 - 1 year of DSL service
Despite the fact that all the merchandise was produced and paid for, it became apparent that very little of it had actually been mailed out. After several months without further progress, which prompted questions from YourAnonNews contributors, those who had placed orders, and the wider community, it became obvious that something had gone awry.
Wanting to protect and preserve this invaluable resource for the benefit of Anonymous and the wider activist community who support us and rely on us as to amplify their voices, a rescue plan was put in place by a collective that came together from various corners of our hive. We approached Jackal, who was under considerable duress, and offered to solve the mailout – and by extension credibility issue – on condition that he would relinquish control of the Twitter feed to a suitable protected entity. The password was subsequently passed on to DellCam and Emmi, after which Dell changed the password and had the only access.
A private round of fundraising was undertaken in October and November, and thanks to an incredible effort by YAN's Denver crew, all the merchandise was packed and shipped before Christmas.
Having patched the immediate hole in our vessel, we wanted to find it a safe harbor. We felt that since so many members of our community across America and around the world – both free and incarcerated – had contributed to YAN, that it should never again be entrusted to a single individual. We therefore decided the best course of action was to form a non-profit that would hold all that is tangibly YAN essentially in trust.
After the non-profit had been formed in January of this year, it became apparent that we needed to negotiate a settlement for a longstanding intellectual property dispute in order to fully secure YourAnonNews' future development beyond the Twitter feed. After a complex serious of negotiations, we were ultimately able to do this, though it took a considerable amount of time and effort.
In January and February of this year (2014) we also started working on the design and construction of the long awaited website. In addition, we created a style guide for our Twitter team to establish sound practices and build a framework whereby contributors were bound by a code of conduct that would strictly limit the potential for abuse of privilege -- laying out guidelines so the Twitter feed could not be used for personal gain or efame.
Members of our team were then distracted by certain real world events in March of this year that were also core to our mission for a more just world (and which resulted in an appeals court victory and the freedom of a beloved/reviled friend/adversary/troll).
We regrouped and refocused in April of this year and shifted our focus to our next very necessary bit of housekeeping: We needed to get a long awaited transparency statement to you – a process that had begun in the background, but had taken a back seat, as other challenges came to the forefront.
Jackal naturally approached this process with some fear and trepidation, so it didn't go as smoothly or as quickly as we'd hoped. Frustrated by our lack of progress, at a board meeting earlier this month, we made a unanimous resolution to make a last ditch attempt to get the outstanding information we required from Jackal for a full transparency statement. At the same time we hoped to get Jackal to formally sign over the intellectual property and online assets that had previously been transferred from his possession. After the motion passed, a request for information was made, but unfortunately Jackal wasn't forthcoming.
Sadly, time wasn't on our side and it became very apparent that our community was quite rightly becoming restless. With not enough solid information with regards to the sum actually accounted to Jackal from Indiegogo, a full and complete list of expenses, and a more exact idea of the sum that was missing, our board quite rightly felt that it needed to sever the last tie to Jackal – his contributor access to the feed. This was particularly distressing for one of our team, who had known Jackal personally for some years, so with one abstention a vote was passed to remove him.
However, at the same time as this, and without being aware of that second vote, Jackal approached us and indicated that he was finally at a point where he was willing to fully cooperate and sign a document relinquishing any claim to the intellectual and online property he had previously transferred to the non-profit. The parameters were being discussed in an amicable and fruitful way, so our lawyer felt that it was prudent to explore the idea of continuing on this course rather than immediately actioning the previous board motion, which might have opened us up to acrimony, legal action, and considerable legal expense at a later date.
Not wanting to jeopardize a possible settlement, a team member added additional team members to our gouptweet system as per a previous and unanimous board request, but didn't do so in a way that would terminate access for Jackal. She confirmed that she was going to do this in advance with two other board members, and didn't think it was a huge issue given that access could easily be revoked at a later date.
The next day our lawyer had arranged to meet two other New York board members to further discuss the settlement, which had already been floated online and discussed with them over the phone. They rejected it out of hand, and, frustrated that Jackal hadn't already been removed, also requested the removal of the board member who had added team members but had failed to remove him. Since this was an informal meeting, and not a full meeting of the board, our lawyer requested that no action be taken until the weekend, when greater discussion and, if necessary, a full board meeting could be arranged. Everyone agreed not to act on anything until further discussion.
However, that night, three of the board members decided to take action into their own hands, and removed both Jackal and Nicole Powers – an action that resulted in a temporary loss of access for the rest of the non-root contributor team.
After approx 36 hours without any formal notice from the other members of the board, the non-profit's lawyer and board member, Tor Ekeland, and two other board members, Nicole Powers and Gregg Housh resigned.
After controlling the feed for much of Friday morning, the two remaining board members, Dell Cameron and Dan Stuckey, decided to hand the password and control of other social media streams to our AnarchoAnon colleagues in Denver. We believe this is the current state of play.
We'd like to say here, that we bear no ill will to our colleagues. This has been an exhausting and highly stressful process, and we understand that tempers got frayed. We're not sure where we'll go from here. But, given that our intention was always to be merely custodians of a ship that will always be of and for Anonymous, we hope that you'll help us decide.
The seas may be rough at times, but when you jump on board, you can't help but enjoy the ride.
With L0ve & Lulz,
A battered, fractured,
But very dedicated,
Your Anon News cr3w
BREAKING: In related news, sales of pOpcOrn have jumped over 9000%. More at 11.
Ps. We'll never forget the lulz, if you forget the fuckn mugz.
PPs. Also cOcks.
This paste is in response to Dell's (aka @dellcam on twitter) pastebin that he released through @an0nyc. This write-up is intended to shed light on the situation, to clear up misconceptions, and to set the record straight on the events. For reference, here is the original paste: Dell's letter, untouched: http://pastebin.com/ZnVbhTQn