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A call for disclosure

I would like to warmly invite anyone who has copies of any of the CS mailing lists, or has access to any of the “closed” groups to publish these copies here, on this site.

I feel that it’s time we started to take direct action to open up these channels of communication. I’m not suggesting we publish the information on this blog, I don’t think it’s the correct vehicle. I’ve started a discussion on how we might publish this information on the Google Groups mailing list. Please join the conversation.

29 Responses to “A call for disclosure”

  • so where is the first posting! someone go ahead and drop the bomb!
    oh wait, it already happened and the cs leadershit team sits it out.

  • This reminds me of another site called wikileaks dot org :) .
    global defense of sources and press freedoms, circa now—
    Have documents the world needs to see?

  • “Maybe that’s just the reality of the world that we live in,” Judge White said. “When this genie gets out of the bottle, that’s it.” from bits dot blogs dot

  • That said, a situation in December was considered serious enough that Rachel DiCerbo e-mailed 110,000 members to warn them of police reports received about a member accused of check fraud and credit card theft. It was the first time in the site’s three years of operation that a police report about a CouchSurfer had been received and the first time that the Collective had sent out that type of mass e-mail, she said.

    too bad she deleted the threads and hid all the information regarding the case (commcheck)

    • I helped file some of the cases against Jason Coulter(an alias) in Dec 2006-Jan 2007 in CA.It appears he was up to his tricks for a lot longer than that and it jeapordized Couchsurfing because no “open” information was posted.The thread below shows Laurie didnt post until March 2008. He was at that time trying to get out of the US to NZ by way of Hawaii and detectives there contacted through another couchsurfer who had been victimized. I occasinally check his name to keep tabs but as you mentioned threads were deleted and Laurie did what she thought was right to protect couchsurfers reputation. I have never felt safe after he took complete advantage of many of us.Financially for some a lot more to others. I am greatful that you have innitiated opencouchsurfing and wish you the best.

  • I wonder how Matthew twisted around the facts to allow donna (chico) to get the free 500$ to pay for her flight tickets to and from the collective in new zealand .And why donna :) .What did she contribute at the collective NOTHING.

    Air New Zealand Endorses CS Collective
    February 8th, 2007
    Air New Zealand has donated half the price of 14 tickets, approximately US $7,000, to help bring volunteer workers to the Collective in New Zealand. The remaining discounted tickets will be available to members meeting three criteria: a long history of active volunteer work for CouchSurfing, a financial need, and the availability to come to New Zealand on short notice. These are members who will be working hard at the Collective for the benefit of all members. As a requirement of the fare, members must be available to fly from San Francisco to Auckland and return to San Francisco. The cost of the tickets to anyone who fits this criteria will be only $500 USD, plus taxes.

  • This is an interesting article which angered “ambassador” Flavio, Rome, Italy for the cheap traveling idea.
    Cut travel costs by couchsurfing

  • RE: the newspaper article.
    I read the article and the letters by Flavio and Little Green Hobbit(Kalliope.) It would seem neither of them actually read the newspaper article before sending in their emails. Wonder how many Brownie points Emily Stott lost for being involved with that.

  • Charish Badzinski marketing and public relations
    Brainerd graduate to travel to Thailand

    Brainerd native and Brainerd High School graduate Charish (Balsley) Badzinski is preparing to share her marketing and public relations expertise with a nonprofit organization.

    This February and March, Badzinski will live in Pai, Thailand, with several other volunteers who will work on the CouchSurfing project.

  • Low On Cash? Crash On A Couch Connects Travelers With Hosts Offering Free Accommodations
    LA CROSSE, Wis., Feb. 11, 2008

    She recalls walking up to the first home in London with a can of pepper spray in her pocket.
    Hoffer said he believes the organization is safe, pointing to the 99.9 percent of CouchSurfers who report having positive experiences.

    CouchSurfing for a free place to stay across the country and the world

  • This post has been removed by an administrator.
    Deleted By Administrator – Reason: Safety

    looks like the safety team rachel and her drones are hard at work protecting the Safety of the thief!! :)

    kurt dierick was the thief!
    “Kurt Dierickx / Dierckx / Verstreaten /Verstraeten”
    26 years old
    Wherever I can find someone to deceive and rob,

    Kurt Canuck or whatever you call him :(

    ‘I lie and I cheat. My approach to you is to appear harmless, caring and in a time of some sort of grief. Certainly I’ll tell you one or the other friend (which I don’t really have btw) will be injured or has just died. Also, I will always stress the death of my parents and how much I loved them and how awfully terrible their loss was for me. When, to be honest, I don’t even have a clue who my father was! Sometimes I say he was an Aboriginal, other times I’ll tell you he comes from Congo. And well, my mother was a prostitute in Antwerp. But I thought that truth wouldn’t get enough sympathy from people to trust me as quickly as possible, so I couldn’t live on them/rob them as fast as I do now. And of course, in stead of telling the truth about the girlfriends I had, who all took so good care of me, felt compassion for me, were in one word amazing! I will tell you they cheated on me, commited suicide…or something else to cry about and pity me. But honestly, I exhausted them emotionally, completely sucked them out, robed them, lied in their faces, took all their trust away and then fucked off to the next one…’ via – canuckskurt – 26 – Männlich – Wherever I can find someone to deceive and rob –

  • Dear All,
    I’m Rachel, a couchsurfing ambassador from the New York City area. I?ve been a very active volunteer for the site for over a year now, and work on Safety and Member Disputes for Couchsurfing.

    Couchsurfing is nearing the 150,000-member mark, which is a threefold increase in the past year. We have had 50,000 friendships created, 35,000 surfings, and countless connections made all over the world ? what an accomplishment! This is a beautiful and unique way for people not just to travel, but also meet some of the most interesting people wherever they go. I personally love this community, and I know I am far from being the only person to say that it?s changed my life.

    While most members of this community are kind, generous, and perfectly safe, we are sometimes faced with an issue that affects our integrity and safety. We need to work together to keep Couchsurfing safe.

    I need to inform you about a recent safety issue. We recently received 2 police reports for check fraud and credit card theft involving one of our members, who went under the username REDXKING. He?s been accused by several Couchsurfers, as well as people not on the site, of writing fraudulent checks for thousands of dollars, and stealing credit cards, all within the United States. We are therefore warning all members of the couchsurfing family to avoid the user who had been known as REDXKING, who has been going under the various names and usernames: Jason Coulter, David Coulter, Jason Holdstein, and David Holdstein. Other known handles that he has used online are: westernbackpack, Motoguzziracer, ReDxKing, Mr_Liam, Being_David, and WallaWalla. We have included this photo of him for identification purposes, in case he attempts to create another account.

    If you have been the victim of a crime committed by another member, we urge you to file a report with your local police, and then write a factual negative reference on that member?s profile. Our referencing system is the most important security measure, which I would like to reiterate to our members: If you have a negative experience with another member of this site, it is your duty to leave an honest factual reference. Your reference could help to protect another member. Safety on couchsurfing is the responsibility of all of our members, not just a few!

    Here are some other ways you can protect yourself:

    Read through our safety tips.
    Reread our Terms of Use, which spell out your responsibilities to conduct yourself appropriately and to report others? misconduct.
    Be wary of lending money, and don?t ask your host for money.
    If you feel uncomfortable hosting or surfing with a member, it IS OK to ask them to leave or to go somewhere else if you are the one surfing.
    Remember that, although we care about you and will always do what we can to help, you are responsible for your own safety. Couchsurfing is not liable for the outcome of your surfer/host experience.
    Please contact us if you have a problem and are unsure of which steps to take. We have a security department in place, whose responsibility it is to check those messages and oversee member safety and help you to decide on the best course of action. But remember, you are still part of the ?real world? and your first recourse in case of an emergency or crime is the police.

    Fortunately, crimes among CS members are very rare. This community is caring and generous enough to open our homes and our hearts. It’s so rare that there is an incident of this caliber. Thank you to all the volunteers who spent hundreds of hours gathering and reporting information so that justice can be served. Couchsurfing is and will remain a safe place for all of us with your vigilance and dedication.

    Thank you,

  • About the myspace page, I heard that one of his victims managed to get into it and change it to write that lying and cheating data and then locked the profile so he can no longer access it. I dont remeber who told me, I was told, maybe i read it soewhere, when i remember i will let you know. may be just hearsay but i did hear it said, or maybe read it :D

  • So maybe he is not a thief!! :) . Protect the thief unless never proven guilty by the court of laws across the globe into ever couch he goes and shows his klepto skills !!

    • He is a thief. Unfortunately for me I hosted him and found out too late the truth. The people from CouchSurfing contacted me and told me that they suspected that this person was again on CS. They sent me a pic and told me the way he use to approach. He tells you a sad story, very convincing, needs money, shelter, blablabla. I was stupid enough to help him. Now I regret about it.
      You can find pictures of him. He is black, around 29 yo and this days he is saying he’s half asstralian (aborigin) half belgium.
      I am writing from Madrid.

  • Spyro I heard that one of his victims managed to get into it and change it to write that lying and cheating data and then locked the profile so he can no longer access it.

    This is a very serious allegation. A users compromised another users account on myspace.

    why was this not reported to myspace?
    How did the user compromise the other users account?
    did the user
    steal the password and user name?
    userd a keylogger ?
    Flash redirect?
    or was it like the Alicia Keys account?
    MySpace Accounts Compromised by Phishers

  • Deleting posts concerning a thief
    Location: The CouchSurfing Project >> Brainstorm – the old and original one….
    by the rachel from New York, United States

    I was directed to this thread, so if there are significant updates I am asking ULF to send me this thread via email again, because MDST will be focusing on actually doing research on this while we handle other CS complaints.

    There were significant concerns over libel in those group threads, and we were asked to take the threads down in order to protect members from potential libel suits.

    Looks like ULF is the messenger .

    I love the ways she justifies deletion of the thread by using the word “member” instead of “couchsurfing”.Looks at her old post where she was a newbie.

    Couchsurfing is not liable for the outcome of your surfer/host experience.

    What they could do is create a site not associated to couchsurfing where members can post their concerns. This was they can quite worrying about being liable to getting sued and really care about member safety.

  • All this erasing of any trace of security problems on CS is a VERY BAD idea.

    1. It gives a false impression that nothing ever goes wrong to the majority of the users. Unless you frequently visit the groups or OCS, you’ll never know what kind of things sometimes happen.
    2. Since CS doesn’t screen profiles, these guys will re-register again and again and … And again, since there are no pictures available (all removed), it’s impossible to protect yourself from these new fake identities.

    And, of course, there’s the American weasel word “liability”. Yuk. Is CS responsible for the safety of its members? Yes, of course. Is it responsible for illegal actions of its members? No. How about their speech? No. The LT has their entire thinking backwards.

  • Thomas, agreed.

    About liability: they seem to be looking at only one side of the coin. In fact, if they KNOW there is a dangerous person on the network, they will be liable if they know about this AND DO NOT warn people. I’ve had this convo with rachel to no avail..

    at this point i think it’s all about whitewashing to make CS look good for sale. therefore i start threads to try to document concerns… and scrapbook/save them. People can only protect themselves through KNOWLEDGE, not ignorance, and i think their lawyers and advice will prove ultimately, the downfall of the site.
    Sad but true.

  • Even if Rachel pretend to delete only single posts the whole threads disappear from the already very short list of recent posts at the group pages. But people are not stupid: if they know there was a thread about a thief (with a subject in CAPITAL LETTERS), they may wonder … this opens the door for all kind conspiracy theoryies. (But the “one who wasn’t here for a longer time and isn’t missed” will find a way to accuse OCS for being guilty for this as well.)

  • Would it be possible to provide a external web site that monitors abuse? On this web site people could add suspicious people. Or would this be risky as some people could claim defamation?

  • This is where we have our computer set up in Thailand

  • CS utilizes database-matching to take the information you give them and join it with outside databases. Check their “terms of use”. Think about it folks, this is a marketing machine first and foremost, gathering your most personal data. Sites like this make money two ways: 1. by selling information (not limited to your “personal data”, and 2. by selling out, and turning over EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE ON THE SITE to a new owner who will not share your altruism. Myspace sold out to Rupert Murdoch, the ultraconservitive darth vader of media, who makes George Bush look like Hillary Clinton by comparrison. Is that who you want to serve?

  • Watuluck,

    On you don’t have to give them your real personal data. You can give them maybe your first name, but no way I am going to give them my phone number and address.Some stupid people on this site post their address and phone number in their profile

  • adultfriendfinder
    adult friend finder does not work

  • You are my intake, I possess few web logs and infrequently run out from brand :) . “Actions lie louder than words.” by Carolyn Wells.

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