This page provides information on the background of my dispute with Duncan Campbell, an individual who has been proven to have lied in his journalism, who falsely accused me of "running a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign" and who has been consistently deceiving the public since 2018.
This page (and related pages) are intended to provide some background on the history of Campbell's campaign and document the various ways his efforts have been discredited, debunked and proven to be fraudulent.
In 2017, I adopted the name "Adam Carter" (for the purpose of mitigating harassment and to prevent unscrupulous propagandists from creating red herrings and distractions by attacking my character) and started investigating a dubious hacker persona that called itself "Guccifer 2.0".
In June 2017, I was fortunate enough to make acquaintances with a seasoned digital forensics expert (whom has since published details on many discoveries of verifiable evidence under the pseudonym "Forensicator").
In July, 2017, Forensicator published his first analysis on the Guccifer 2.0 operation. This was a study of an "NGP-VAN" archive that was released on Guccifer 2.0's behalf at a cyber security conference in London.
Forensicator found that the files in the archive had been written to disk at speeds highly consistent with a thumb drive transfer, and, following this, Guccifer 2.0 was archiving these files on a device that appears to have been configured for use in the Eastern US time zone.
In the months that followed the publication of this, third parties (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, The Nation, etc) published arguments that referred to what Forensicator had reported on but that went further than Forensicator's conclusions. (eg. Forensicator had said files appeared to have been transferred by thumb drive while others had argued that files had been exfiltrated via thumb drive.)
While straw man attacks obviously caused some headaches here, these were nothing compared to the journalistic fraudulence we were about to be subjected to.
In November 2017, it came to my attention that an individual named Duncan Campbell (not to be confused with the Guardian crime reporter of the same name) had embarked on a seriously misguided mission to undermine and discredit research into Guccifer 2.0.
Campbell initially teamed up with James Risen to write a piece for The Intercept that essentially used William Binney as a pivot to conflate Forensicator's research with theories about Seth Rich (a DNC staffer who was killed on July 10, 2016 by an unknown assailant or assailants.)
They made no mention of the fact that I had already publicly warned against this conflation several months prior to the publication of their article.
Campbell was then caught scandal-mongering and feeding false and misleading information to sources as part of his early efforts to construct a narrative. In December 2017, after an initial conversation in which Campbell had made various unsubstantiated allegations, Campbell was recorded having to backpedal on a series of false claims he had made (suggesting Russians were using one of my sites, suggesting this site was "reaching out to the CIA", claiming there were fabrications of evidence on this site, claiming there was "disinformation" and suggesting I was being "paid by the Russians", etc.)
This recording was promptly shared with Forensicator, members and associates of VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, who had become interested in Forensicator's work) and another journalist so that all sources and contacts were informed of Campbell's efforts to manipulate people with false information.
On December 28, 2017, a VIPS associate, who was privy to the recording referred to above, requested that Campbell substantiate his rumors and allegations with evidence.
Campbell failed to do this.
On January 21, 2018, the same VIPS associate called Campbell out in front of VIPS founders and three editors of a technology publication (that Campbell had hoped to have publish his nonsense.)
Campbell was asked explicitly to provide evidence of wrong doing and was reminded that he had already been asked to back up allegations (such as claiming that my site was "linked to follow-on operations supporting Russia") previously.
Again, Campbell was unable to do this and his first attempt at a hit-piece fell apart before it was published.
Unfortunately, though, later in 2018, Campbell discovered a publication that was amenable to disseminating unsubstantiated allegations, while neglecting to exercise due diligence in verifying the veracity of Campbell's assertions.
On July 31, 2018, an article by Campbell alleging that I had ran a "Pro-Kremlin Disinformation Campaign" was published by Computer Weekly. Despite the allegations made, the article failed to demonstrate what the headline alleged.
Campbell attributed theories and conclusions to people who did not argue for them, attacked researchers and reporters with irrelevant character attacks, pushed distortions, spewed logical fallacies and peddled various conspiracy theories (concerning Guccifer 2.0 and Seth Rich as well as Forensicator and myself).
This included attributing a claim to Forensicator (regarding the questionable premise of an exfiltration from the DNC on July 5, 2016) that Forensicator hadn't actually argued for and had publicly dissented against.
It was even shown that Campbell had known about Forensicator's dissent but kept this to himself, pushing false information out to the public instead.
If Campbell had sincerely wanted to debunk the premise of exfiltration by thumb drive from the DNC on July 5, 2016, he could have simply pointed to the fact that certain files had timestamps ending with an odd number of seconds (and so couldn't have been written to a FAT file system). However, debunking that assertion legitimately wouldn't have harmed the reputation of Campbell's primary targets.
Campbell's hit-piece also emphasized that Bill Binney (former intelligence analyst at the NSA and one of the founders of VIPS) had "changed his mind". However, Binney's change of mind was simply believing that Guccifer 2.0 had tampered with timestamps and this was heavily influenced by a tampering theory that Campbell had convinced Binney of (which didn't appear to be taking other relevant evidence of activity on July 5, 2016 into account and that introduced a chronological anomaly that wasn't in the original evidence).
Campbell also made it appear to readers as though Binney was accusing Forensicator and myself of fabrication. However, when Binney was subsequently interviewed and asked about this, he clarified that he was still skeptical of claims about Guccifer 2.0 being Russian and made clear that the only person he was accusing of fabrication was Guccifer 2.0.
Computer Weekly's William Goodwin was later contacted and asked to provide clarification on this to readers as it had become clear people were being misled by Campbell's insertion of misleading 'context' and were being led to falsely believe I had fabricated or manipulated files, however, Goodwin declined to do this and it has now become clear that this misconception fooled a Wikipedia editor called "Thenightaway" which has resulted in Bill Binney's Wikipedia page containing false information for almost four years.
(It should be noted that files on my site had matching MD5/SHA hashes to Guccifer 2.0's originals and were not manipulated by me in any way, and, the one Guccifer 2.0 file that Campbell hosted on his site is clearly not the original document and even has the name of Campbell's "IPTV" company in it's metadata. So, to the best of my knowledge, the only person who has actually done anything of this nature is Campbell.)
In subsequent recorded communications (on October 4th, 2018), Computer Weekly's editor-in-chief, Bryan Glick, conceded that he had not verified the "Pro-Kremlin" and "Disinformation campaign" allegations in their headline and stated that the allegations were based on "belief" and "opinion".
You can listen to the conversation below:
Glick, clearly unable to substantiate the allegations, was asked to make this clear to readers but failed to address this and chose to retain a headline he knew he couldn't substantiate.
In addition to this, several of Campbell's conspiracy theories were also discredited.
Computer Weekly editors should have retracted Campbell's article by the end of 2018 due to the lack of evidence supporting its main accusations, the presence of numerous falsehoods, an outright deception and the debunking of several of Campbell's theories.
In 2019, Campbell took to Twitter to allege a "scam" because "funny data with US timezone only appeared in one specially tampered document dump". Unfortunately for Campbell, further examples of evidence pointing at a US time zone for Guccifer 2.0 had already been reported on here, here, here, here, here and here, and there was other evidence suggesting a US origin aside from time zones.
In 2019, Campbell also started writing an article that we now know contained information he would have known to be false and fabricated other claims out of whole cloth. Campbell was hoping for CJR (Columbia Journalism Review) to publish this, however, this was subsequently rejected for publication (in 2020).
Undeterred by Campbell's efforts, I produced my final summary report on Guccifer 2.0 at the end of 2019, making it clear that my skepticism was built on a significant volume of verifiable evidence and that conspiracy theories and false information are only really required by my opponents.
In May 2020, I contacted editors at Computer Weekly, sending them a link to the evidence of Campbell's deception (that had been in the public domain since August 2018), however, instead of editors addressing the issue I was greeted by a wall of silence and nobody was willing to respond.
In December 2020, I asked editors to confirm receipt of the May 2020 email. They did not respond and their inaction also meant they were violating assurances given by the editor-in-chief (Glick) regarding correcting demonstrable falsehoods (as shown in the linked article).
I called William Goodwin (investigations editor of Computer Weekly and the editor who seems to have been directly involved in overseeing Campbell's contributions to the publication) to ask him to confirm receipt. Goodwin would not confirm this and made up excuses to terminate the call.
In January 2021, Computer Weekly commissioned a second hit-piece from Campbell (despite being sent links to evidence showing their author had previously lied to their readers).
Computer Weekly editors clearly had no interest in the truth about the substantial volume of evidence we had in our possession and clearly lacked the integrity to disclose that their author was shown to have disseminated false information through their publication in 2018.
To me, it seems incredibly irresponsible of these editor to commission a second hit-piece under such circumstances.
This, unfortunately, gave Campbell opportunity to exploit the topic of Seth Rich for propaganda purposes and to spread more misinformation. In doing so, Computer Weekly fed misleading statements about a libel case to their own readers.
Campbell tried to convince readers that I had provided "Forensicator data" (a weird way to frame what is actually just DNC email metadata) to "back up allegations" against Seth Rich for the defense in a libel case.
However, my communications with the defense don't show any exchange of evidence and only demonstrate that I warned people away from making allegations as I felt that the evidence didn't support an argument I knew they were potentially going to make.
While William Goodwin, the editor overseeing Campbell's contribution, was willing to engage me when I initially complained about this, he immediately stonewalled as soon as I produced evidence of these communications and he wouldn't respond to subsequent communications on the matter.
The publication falsely maintains that I do not dispute their characterisation of involvement in the libel case but I do, and, I've even provided evidence to support the dispute.
In 2022, Campbell tried again to get CJR to publish the article he started working on in 2019. His article was declined for publication again and he was unable to disseminate false information to CJR readers.
In February 2023, Byline Times published the article authored by Duncan Campbell that CJR had previously declined to publish twice. Campbell's article was promptly found to contain a lie that had been debunked publicly in 2018 (along with other nonsense Campbell has never been able to substantiate). Claims made in the article were known to be false for over four years yet Byline Times published them without doing their own fact-checking and resisted making corrections in spite of evidence.
The only "disinformation campaign" Campbell demonstrated the existence of was his own. Campbell concealed what he knew about Forensicator's dissent (omitting critical facts and evidence that proved Campbell's narrative to be nonsense). He distorted the arguments and positions of his targets and attributed theories and conclusions to those who hadn't argued for them (straw man style attacks). He misled the public by inserting misleading context into the testimony of third parties. He produced information in his journalism that he knew to be false, outright feeding lies to his readers. He has stubbornly maintained and persists in disseminating claims that were proven false over five years ago. He has been evading evidence and accountability ever since and has lacked the courage to face me.
On February 8, 2023, Campbell was formally requested to clarify his consistent deception of the public over a period of more than four years. Notable individuals such as Peter Jukes (Byline Times), Bryan Glick (Computer Weekly), William Goodwin (Computer Weekly), as well as organizations like the National Union of Journalists and the Independent Press Standards Organization, were all copied on this communication. Campbell's position is indefensible in light of these circumstances. His reluctance to address his own false allegations and his evasive behavior strongly imply that he is fully aware of the lack of credibility behind his actions.
Campbell's efforts were illegitimate from the outset and proved to be little more than a worthless distraction from the evidence discovered regarding Guccifer 2.0 by various independent researchers since 2017 (and my reporting on this).
While we continued to investigate, discover and report on a considerable volume of verifiable evidence relating to the Guccifer 2.0 operation, Campbell persisted with knowingly propagating the same discredited lie through multiple channels for several years.
I wish we could have resolved our differences in a more reasonable manner but Campbell's determination to lie about Forensicator, unwillingness to correct anything proven false and his unwillingness to discuss these issues with me has made this impossible.
This dispute ends with Campbell unable to demonstrate his "disinformation campaign" allegation (and various other allegations), proven to have lied to his readers consistently for over four years, avoiding correction of proven falsehoods in his journalistic output and persistently evading accountability over his production and dissemination of false information.
Byline Times Just Published Disinformation That Was Debunked In 2018
On February 4, 2023, Byline Times published an article by Duncan Campbell. It was immediately discovered that Campbell's article contains claims he had invented out of whole cloth and that he has known to be false since 2017.
We are now into year five of Campbell's campaign (if we go from the date Campbell was first caught spreading bogus McCarthyite rumors and slandering Forensicator and myself in late 2017).
Computer Weekly Editors Stonewall When Evidence Emerges
In August, I published an article discrediting Computer Weekly's latest hit-piece with new evidence.
The article shows that rumors and speculation from their author was wrong, reveals that statements I had made were concealed (and that Computer Weekly engaged in a deception through omission by claiming I hadn't responded) and that Computer Weekly's investigations editor (William Goodwin) continues to struggle with handling facts and evidence honestly, keeping Computer Weekly's readers in the dark when it comes to reality.
Since being presented with the new evidence, Goodwin has predictably returned to stonewalling once again.
The fact that editors Bryan Glick and William Goodwin commissioned another hit-piece from an author we had already legitimately discredited (and shown to have engaged in deceptions in the past) combined with the timing of this suggests the commissioning was motivated by malice.
It would seem Duncan Campbell, William Goodwin and Bryan Glick know they're in the wrong judging by the way they routinely hide from fair questions and stonewall when presented evidence discrediting their silly conspiracy fantasies.
Computer Weekly Push More Propaganda, Editors Now Directly Implicated In Deception
Computer Weekly has published false allegations about my communications with Couch and Butowsky's attorneys, about communications between myself and ComputerWeekly's William Goodwin, about my company's infrastructure, about the intentions of Forensicator and myself (and purpose of our efforts).
They've published claims the author knew to be false, have managed to muddle up evidence from two different incidents, have re-used frames that turn reality upside down (and that we have already discredited with evidence in the past) and have egregiouly misled the public once again.
Unfortunately, for ComputerWeekly, this adds to a list of problems we have in relation to their past publication of bogus conspiracy theories and disinformation.
The disinformation their author engaged in, the previous false allegations made and the fact that nobody at ComputerWeekly seems willing to accept evidence or be accountable is all documented here:
A detailed summary report on Guccifer 2.0 is published. It covers a lot of evidence and shows that this project, far from being a "disinformation campaign", was about the scrutiny and publication of evidence relating to Guccifer 2.0 that involved reporting on many significant discoveries of verifiable evidence that remained consistent with early discoveries (eg. American origin indicia).
At the end of July 2018, Duncan Campbell wrote a hit piece defaming several people (though primarily targeting myself). He promoted a conspiracy theory (that was soon debunked) and came up with a technical theory supposed to support a premise that Guccifer 2.0 had tampered with timestamps in the NGP-VAN archive.
Yesterday, scrutiny of Campbell's tampering theory was published:
September 10th, 2018
Smear Campaign Against G-2.Space, Forensicator, Disobedient Media & Others
Recently, Forensicator published "The Campbell Conspiracy", an article that debunks key aspects of the conspiracy theory Duncan Campbell has constructed as part of a hit piece targeting several individuals (and that was published by ComputerWeekly at the end of July).