back to article Another eBay exec pleads guilty after couple stalked, harassed for daring to criticize the internet tat bazaar

The Feds have secured another guilty plea in the eBay cyberstalking case where former employees of the online auction house targeted and harassed a couple who were critical of the company in their ecommerce newsletter. Philip Cooke, 55, oversaw eBay’s security operations in Europe and Asia and was a former police captain in …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A little too far

      You're lacking a little empathy yourself. Where should I send the plague of boils?

    2. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: A little too far

      While I agree entirely with your evaluation of FleaBay, having been a seller, your comment isn't really related to TFA other than tangentially is it

    3. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: A little too far

      "on a daily basis I feel their anger"

      Feeling angry is reasonable, and perfectly legal.

      Their sustained & malicious response though, was neither of these things.

      </EndofPatronisingDadLecture>

      1. schmeckles65

        Re: A little too far

        I misread the article, I did not know it was eBay CEO's, withdrawn comment.

    4. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: A little too far

      You don't like eBay's decisions on customer support policy tradeoffs. Fine, I can understand that.

      And I am sure that if I said "so don't trade on eBay then" you would moan that you have to be on eBay to get the customers so have no option but to accept them.

      However, you seem to have missed, completely, that those tradeoffs are exactly the reason that eBay has all those customers available for you! If you want access to all those eBay users, you need to buy into eBay's policies. Those policies may be heavily biased towards the customers but that is the reason the customers are there in the marketplace!

      Sure, eBay could tighten up the policies and make them "fairer". Then a significant number of possible customers would no longer be comfortable using the platform and you would have a smaller market and lower auction prices.

      If you say that the problem is there is no alternative, that is clearly not the case. Amazon Marketplace is hardly a small competitor. Of course, it has a similar bias towards the customers for exactly the same reason.

    5. Martin

      Re: A little too far

      Don't want to pay for your item? Threaten negative feedback...

      They can't contact you except by ebay message. If they threaten negative feedback in a message if you don't refund, then you send it to eBay and ask them to investigate. If you have evidence in writing of their wrongdoing, it's going to be hard for them to follow it through in a meaningful manner.

      I've sold items on eBay for years. I've never had a single person threaten me with negative feedback if I don't refund.

      1. schmeckles65

        Re: A little too far

        I misread the article so I have withdrawn my comment.

        You sell a few items or 4000+ items a month like me? You need to remember that eBay has Service Metrics and when a dispute is opened your sales tank so that is why the seller is always obliged to suck up the loss from scammers.

        eBay do not investigate anything.

  2. sbt
    Devil

    I hope they throw the book at them.

    Preferably the hard-back, large print edition with brass corner protectors. There's probably one for sale on eBay.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope they throw the book at them.

      While I agree with the sentiment you get a downvote for the tedious cliché of including a joke about sourcing something from ebay in a story related to ebay.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope they throw the book at them.

        Is there a reference work of these tedious clichés? And a site where I could buy a second-hand copy cheaply?

        1. 96percentchimp

          Re: I hope they throw the book at them.

          Amazon?

        2. jelabarre59

          Re: I hope they throw the book at them.

          There's probably something on tvtropes.org, and the content is freely available. Just don't expect to leave the site for 2-3 hours.

      2. Kane Silver badge

        Re: I hope they throw the book at them.

        "While I agree with the sentiment you get a downvote for the tedious cliché of including a joke about sourcing something from ebay in a story related to ebay."

        It's a shame really, of all the things that are available on eBay, you were unable to find a sense of humour on there.

  3. Snake Silver badge

    Tactics

    I actually find the corporate malfeasance...disturbing. Corporations writing their own rules has become so prevalent that the execs now do it with the expectation of complete impunity. From Kenneth Lay to Dick Fuld, from Zuckerburg to this guy Cooke, they all think they get to do whatever they please and society will just sit and swallow it. And our society pretty much does, like one set of rule for the poor (Rockefeller laws) yet different for the rich (community service).

    Moral corruption to a T.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Tactics

      "Corporations writing their own rules..." Corporations? How about individual departments within an organization? Some department directors act like dictators instead of directors.

    2. 96percentchimp

      Re: Tactics

      Hasn't it always been thus? Today it's corporations, before them it was the monarchs and aristocrats. I'm sure someone once said something apposite about power corrupting and absolute power...etc etc

      A timely reminder of why we need independent press, regulators, judiciary, separation of powers, etc. And for every watchman, someone to watch them.

      1. Snake Silver badge

        Re: Tactics

        "A timely reminder of why we need independent press, regulators, judiciary, separation of powers, etc. And for every watchman, someone to watch them."

        Exactly, 100% right! Somehow, to the laissez-faire capitalists that we now must endure, government and laws are an 'impediment' to 'advancement'. Because in their world, somehow, everyone only acts well. I guess criminals never exist in the fantasy land of the neu economy...and I've grown sick of hearing that belief foisted on us by those who will benefit, to the detriment of everyone else.

        1. jelabarre59

          Re: Tactics

          Somehow, to the laissez-faire capitalists that we now must endure, government and laws are an 'impediment' to 'advancement'

          Far too many people are misunderstanding proper "laissez-faire". It's supposed to work in BOTH directions; a company is supposed to be able to run their company as they see fit, but they **ALSO** are not guaranteed a profit, or laws/regulations favouring them. If they can't survive on their own, tough luck, step aside and let someone ELSE do the job.

    3. adam 40 Silver badge

      Re: Tactics

      This is nothing new...

      The East India company had an army, back in 1750, and a navy too.

      They didn't have an air force, however...

  4. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Corporate derangement syndrome

    FFS you worked for a huge company. The nature of huge companies is that some people won't like your huge company. And they will say so on the interwebz. So I guess you have two options when you see this happening :

    1. Shrug, think "that's life" and forget about it.

    2. Organise a deranged, creepy campaign of harassment like a pyschopathic serial killer and get rightly jailed for many years.

    It's just a job folks. Get some damn perspective on life.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

      Is that a coincidence that two of the accused, among those in the most senior positions, are ex-police captains? Maybe years of believing to be above the law, or being the law has something to do with it

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

        And were they behaving this way when they were police captains with their departments doing the same as they have?

        Much as the thought amuses me - I don't think it was being employed by eBay which turned them in to evil shits.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

        "Maybe years of believing to be above the law, or being the law has something to do with it"

        Leaving aside the fact that being ex could be significant they might have hoped that their oppos in another force might have been - shall we say - sympathetic. If so that didn't work Being ex-police isn't going to be in their favour if they get sent down.

    2. sbt
      Terminator

      Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

      Straight out of the LRH playbook. The CoS really are the apotheosis of corporate derangement.

    3. Flightmode

      Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

      I know, right? It's one thing getting angry and making a shouty, all-caps forum post, but going from that to sending someone (amongst other things) a fetal pig and funeral wreath in the mail? I'd have thought that - at SOME point along the way - one of the seven(!) people involved would have said something like "Hang on guys, what the hell are we doing?".

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

        Sadly not all that surprising really. Sociopathy tends to be a personality trait of those who are, or aspire to be, corporate execs or upper management.

    4. chivo243 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

      I only have one upvote, wish I had 10 more for this comment.

      It's just a job folks. Get some damn perspective on life.

      Well said!

    5. jelabarre59

      Re: Corporate derangement syndrome

      in addition there could be:

      3: maybe the complaints have something to say that could be USEFUL to learn from, and maybe you could make a better company that would attract MORE customers.

      But implementing #3 usually takes more work than a lot of corporate execs want to do, or are even capable of doing.

  5. David Roberts

    Just checking from across the pond

    Are these Police Captains fully trained long term professionals, or are they an elected office?

    I tend to lose track of which is which.

    1. Nunyabiznes

      Re: Just checking from across the pond

      In my experience they are long term professionals who haven't had contact with day-to-day work in a long time. They tend to be politically astute within the confines of their department. Few of them are introspective - although there are exceptions, of course.

      Many of them were good cops in the beginning of their careers, which is why they got a chance to use their political skills to advance. After awhile they view citizens like many of us view users (true of most cops I deal with).

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Just checking from across the pond

      Police Captains are employees who make it up through the ranks. Training is questionable.

      Sheriffs are elected and they hire their deputies. Training is even more questionable.

  6. VE3ID

    Poetry now illegal in the USA?

    "Cooke, and the others who have admitted their rimes, face serious time. "

    1. Nunyabiznes
      Joke

      Re: Poetry now illegal in the USA?

      Only good poetry.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Poetry now illegal in the USA?

        This is true*. I’m in the USA, and the Constitution mandates daily William McGonagall readings.

        The Pledge of Allegiance now begins “Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!”

  7. Jim-234

    Let's hope somebody makes a deal

    I'm still holding out hope that one of the guilty makes a deal and agrees to fess up to the CEO being behind the whole thing.

    It's not enough of a smack down for the evil corporation to loose a few low lying executives.

    A CEO being arrested and charged, kind of makes them start thinking there may be personal consequences for their actions.

    1. jelabarre59

      Re: Let's hope somebody makes a deal

      I'm still holding out hope that one of the guilty makes a deal and agrees to fess up to the CEO being behind the whole thing.

      Would like to see Meg Whitman snared in this too.

      1. dinsdale54

        Re: Let's hope somebody makes a deal

        Having worked for a company run by Meg Whitman I can assure there's no chance whatsoever of her knowing anything that is going on in her company - ever.

  8. c1ue

    Will No One Rid Me Of This Troublesome Priest?

    It seems highly unlikely that the behavior documented just arose spontaneously...

  9. EnviableOne Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Streisand Effect

    Ok so who thinks that these actions over some critical comments of the company in an ecommerce newsletter, not even a popular one, have just gone and proved eBay are even worse than the comments?

    if theyed left it alone, no-one important would have cared

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Coat

    5 whole years?

    "serious time...a sentence of up to five years in prison"

    Considering the sorts of sentences often written about in these hallowed pages, 5 years sounds like being let off lightly. Isn't 125 years per offence, served consecutively more the going rate in the USA?

    Yes thanks, the white one with the long arms and leather straps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 5 whole years?

      Thats the difference between what you are threatened with if you claim innocence and what you get when you plead guilty (with bonus reductions if you implicate others).

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