Luckily, we know a lot about this way of doing things, which has been studied and written about by Lumen Database and other groups over the past few years. It was clear that the copyright takedown notice that NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber sent to Google was fake, especially since the so-called “original article” was made only to trick Google’s employees.
Our review of NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber is therefore very critical because it makes NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber an entity of suspicious character, stupid enough to commit perjury, impersonation, and fraud to manage their (sic) reputation, or lack thereof.
NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber attempts fraudulent copyright takedown
A thousand years of reputation can be built (or, in this case, lost) on the actions of a single moment. NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber appears to be concerned about sensitive information being posted online and has decided to take action. In this article, I’ll look into what happened, including how I decided that the takedown requests were fake, what the likely reason was for abusing the DMCA process, and what the possible effects of organized takedown attempts could be.
|Date||September 9, 2019|
|Original Link Targeted||https://mg.co.za/article/2019-06-21-00-fraudster-named-in-sas-oil-deal/|
|Lumen Database Record||https://www.lumendatabase.org/notices/19183427|
Since the past few years, I have been investigating fake DMCA notices sent to Google, analyzing evidence of misuse of the DMCA process. As part of this investigation, I found almost 700 notices that are likely part of a plan to use the DMCA notice and takedown process in a way that violates the law in order to get real news articles and other important information taken down from the internet.
Money laundering, impersonation of a United States congressman and fraud — these are some of the allegations against a top lawyer who was chosen to be part of the multibillion-rand South Sudan oil deal South Africa signed earlier this year.
Despite committing the country to a long-term R14.5-billion deal to exploit oil resources in South Sudan, it has been shrouded in mystery. The Sunday Times reported in March that then energy minister Jeff Radebe had jetted to South Sudan to sign the deal, and that the state had already spent R20-million pursuing it.
The Mail & Guardian can now reveal that Njock Ajuk Eyong, also named as NJ Ayuk and Njoy Ayuk Eyong, is one of the people who was part of the deal. This will see South Africa’s Strategic Fuel Fund and oil-rich South Sudan explore petroleum resources in the war-ravaged country.
When the deal was signed, South Sudan’s former minister of petroleum, Ezekiel Gatkuoth, said his country has great potential, yet remained vastly underexplored.
This week he did not respond to questions about Eyong’s role in the deal, or the cost of the deal.
Official court records — which include an indictment, Eyong’s signed plea, and the judgment obtained by the M&G from the district court for the District of Columbia in the US — fill in some of Eyong’s story. These reveal that, in 2007, Eyong was found guilty of impersonating congressman Donald Payne so that he could issue visas to at least nine people who were then living in Cameroon.
Eyong, born in Cameroon, was an intern for the congressman at the time and his duties included mailing letters and filing correspondence. But in 2003 he started fraudulently writing letters with the signature of Payne to ensure the issuance of visas. The records say: “It was the purpose of the scheme that the defendant would provide false documentation to cause consular officials in various embassies of the United States around the world to issue visas permitting non-US citizens to enter the United States, who would not otherwise have been eligible for [the] issuance of a visa.”
Another court record states that, without the knowledge of the congressman, Eyong sent a fax to Germany stating that a Francis Valery Donfack, a citizen of Cameroon, was invited to the US to attend the annual meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
“Among other false claims, the letter indicated that [Donfack’s] travel, room and board and other miscellaneous expenses would be paid for by the Congressional Black Caucus … Defendant Eyong then personally called the US embassy and told consular [officials] that the congressman had requested that the visas be issued for this applicant. The consular officials refused.”
Eyong is now the chief executive of Centurion Law Group, one of the top law firms on the continent. Headquartered in Equatorial Guinea, it focuses on structuring deals in the energy sector as well as brokering deals with governments across Africa and the world.
The notices I found use the “back-dated article” technique. With this technique, the wrongful notice sender (or copier) creates a copy of a ‘true original’ article and back-dates it, creating a ‘fake original’ article (an article that is a copy of the true original) that at first glance appears to have been published prior to the true original.
Then, based on the claim that this backdated article is the “original,” the copiers send a DMCA to the relevant online service providers, alleging that the true original is the copied or ‘infringing’ article and that the copied article is the “original,” requesting the takedown of the true original article. After sending the DMCA request, the person who sent the wrong notice takes down the fake original URL, likely to make sure that the article doesn’t stay online in any way. If the takedown notice is successful, this means the disappearance from the internet of information that is most likely to be legitimate speech.
Before we proceed any further, please note the following points which may come in handy as you scroll down and read the rest of the investigation –
- The original article was published on mg.co.za.
- The DMCAs were clearly filed by an imposter, as evident in the Lumen Database records (listed above), as well as seen on the Google Transparency Reports.
- We are taking suo-moto action and are in the process to file a counter notice and have the original web-page restored on Google Search. NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber could have sought legal counsel if the complainant believed that the content on the target web-page was indeed ‘defamatory’, or if www.ucnews.in was liable for damages for any copyright infringements. NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber took no action.
NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber, whether knowingly or unknowingly, committed several crimes. Even if NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber hired an agency to “remove the damaging webpage from Google,” ignorance is not an excuse. Exactly what was NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber expecting the agency to do to deliver the results? Magic?
Crimes Committed by NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber
Cyber Crime, Impersonation, Perjury and Fraud
We recently found out through the Google Transparency Report that a negative review of NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber had been removed from the Google Search Index or tried to be removed after a fake DMCA notice was sent to Google.
The common elements are typically as follows:
- A takedown notice seeking the removal of some online content, usually but not always a DMCA notice, is sent to either that content’s host or to a search engine such as Google.
- The content in question that the notice seeks to have taken down or de-listed is the original version of the material.
- The online content that the notice claims is the original is actually the copy, and of course, was placed online after the original material.
- Sometimes the copier goes as far as creating a fictitious website to host their copy, one that looks like a newspaper or magazine or other online publication. But of course, the domain of such a site will have a dubious provenance.
- Needless to say, the sender of the takedown notice in question doesn’t have the copyright in the material at issue, or any rights to it at all. The sender’s actual motivations vary, but may include both financial gain and censorship.
Lumen did some pilot research and wrote about this a few years ago, and we’re now looking into it again, in the hopes of both learning more about the phenomenon generally, and developing some ways in which to better recognize this type of notice earlier on, possibly even somewhat automatically, and without a lot of labor-intensive detective work on when domains were registered, when pages were created, and so on.
Exposing NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber and fake DMCAs
Businesses use multiple approaches to removing unwanted material from review sites, as well as Google’s search results. Thanks to protections put in place to allow for freedom of speech in the United States, there are very few ways to go about this in a legal manner. Without a legitimate claim of defamation, copyright infringement, or some other clear violation of the law, businesses are limited in their abilities to remove negative reviews and the search results linking to them.
Faced with these limitations, some companies like NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber have gone to extreme lengths to fraudulently claim copyright ownership over a negative review in the hopes of taking it down.
All of the articles for which fake DMCA notices have been sent talk about criminal allegations like corruption, child abuse, sexual harassment, human trafficking, and financial fraud against US, Russian, and Khazakstani bureaucrats, people who allegedly belong to the Russian mafia, and people with very high net worth. Some high-profile bureaucrats are mentioned in most, if not all, of the material. Materials at the URLs in question show how a powerful group of people are connected and how they work together. They also suggest ways that this power is abused.
Is NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber involved in a scam?
What is NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber trying to hide?
Who filed the fake copyright notice to benefit NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber?
Where was the fake content planted by NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber?
Potential Consequences for NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber
How serious is impersonation and perjury
Under Florida Statute 831.01, the crime of Forgery is committed when a person falsifies, alters, counterfeits, or forges a document that carries “legal efficacy” with the intent to injure or defraud another person or entity.
Forging a document is considered a white-collar crime. It involves altering, changing, or modifying a document for the purpose of deceiving another person. It can also involve the passing along of copies of documents that are known to be false. In many states, including Florida, falsifying a document is a crime punishable as a felony.
Additionally, under Florida law, “fraud on the court” is where “a party has sentiently set in motion some unconscionable scheme calculated to interfere with the judicial system’s ability impartially to adjudicate a matter by improperly influencing the trier of fact or unfairly hampering the presentation of the opposing party’s claim or defense.” Cox v. Burke, 706 So. 2d 43, 46 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998) (quoting Aoude v. Mobil Oil Corp., 892 F.2d 1115, 1118 (1st Cir. 1989)).
The crime of Forgery is a Third Degree Felony in Florida and is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
– Reputation Management, or Internet Conspiracy
– Fraudsters are abusing Google with fake copyright complaints, and it’s getting worse
– Exposed documents reveal how the powerful clean up their digital past using a reputation laundering firm
– Over thirty thousand DMCA notices reveal an organized attempt to abuse copyright law
– Companies Use Fake Websites and Backdated Articles to Censor Google’s Search Results
– Bad Reviews: How Companies Are Using Fake Websites to Censor Content
– How Companies Abuse the DMCA to Silence Negative Criticism
What happens now?
Someone needs to be held responsible
Business(men) like NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber invest a lot into their Online Reputation Management, and for good reason. And it works wonders for then. However, when they fail to mitigate a critical review, unpopular opinion or a damaging public information, it hurts their ego. And for someone as ‘rich’ and ‘powerful’ as NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber, it’s all about their ego.
Gripeo.com will in our own capacity, do all we can to hold someone responsible for this incident. Here is what are we preparing for –
- Inform Google that a fraud has been committed against them by NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber.
- Share our findings and evidences with journalists, media houses and other bloggers.
- Informing Lumen Database.
- Filing counter notice on behalf of the victims of this scam.
- Informing Google Support to retract their decision on removing the original URL on Google Search.
- Ensuring that the critical articles and reviews get more exposure and awareness.
- Seeking legal counsel if we decide to pursue a lawsuit against NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber.
- Expand our investigation and identify similar fake DMCAs based on common factors.
Since NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber made such efforts to hide something online, it seems fit to ensure that this article, as well as other critical information on NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber, including but not limited to user contributions, remains a permanent record online for anyone who is interested in NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber.
A case perfect for the Streisand effect…
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Our Verdict on NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber
NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber Rating and Review
Based on the data available online, including but not limited to the alleged criminal actions of NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber, here is our estimated rating on NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber. Our users can contribute their own assessments of NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber below.
NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber seems to be involved in alleged fraud, forgery and impersonation. The fake DMCAs raise questions over NJ Ayuk Africa Energy Chamber’s ethics, intelligence, judgement, or lack thereof.
- Allegedly committed perjury
- Allegedly assisted Fraud
- Has something to hide