As our readers have learned before without much detail; a person working with the P2P Foundation; the Commons Strategies Group and others, has intercepted and blocked email communications; forged emails; and substituted himself on various occasions. Franz Nahrada has published a first short analysis of this theft of social capital; which we will publish separately.
In summary, the following has been documented:
* Franco Iacomella has forged letters purporting to be from the Right Livelyhood Award Foundation to make sure Bea Busaniche of Via Libre could not attend two events
* he actively blocked the skype communication of Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation (at least 7 people) and filtered 55 strategic relationships in the gmail account of Michel Bauwens
* he faked emails by Michel Bauwens to Shareable and Zumbara Time Bank to recommend himself falsely to advisory board foundations, and then proceeded to block email communications between the organisations and Michel Bauwens
* he intercepted lecture invitations to invite himself in the place of Michel Bauwens
* Internally; he would block communications between Michel Bauwens and perceived “rivals” to block the further growth of P2P-F activities.
* according to its director, he falsely claimed academic credentials at the FLACSO open university in Buenos Aires and used unauthorized signatures to obtain funding from CLACSO
This has beeng going on at least since April 2012 according to IP address traces but probably earlier. The charges and the proofs, which include a partial confession, written and oral, are documented on a Google Drive document accessible on demand.
The relational, reputational and financial damage has been substantial to the various parties involved and the story needs to be told and will be told. We need your solidarity and all kinds of assistance; such as forensic investigations. If you feel moved to support our work and help us to deal with the fallout; donations would be appreciated; here at http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/donate.
See here to know if your own communications have been affected!
The following statement has been signed by:
P2P Foundation: Michel Bauwens
Commons Strategies Group: Michel Bauwens, Silke Helfrich, David Bollier
Heinrich Böll Foundation: Heike Loeschmann
Vía Libre Foundation (Argentina): Beatriz Busaniche
FLACSO Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (Argentina): Miguel Lengyel (Director).
The official text:
“August 1, 2013
We write to share some urgent, distressing news.
It has been shocking for us to learn in recent weeks that someone who worked closely with many of us, Franco Iacomella, has systematically interfered with email correspondence from 50+ people; secretly altered Skype accounts; perpetrated a variety of digital impersonations; and misrepresented his professional credentials and affiliations. We do not make such accusations lightly; we have digital proof and a partial confession.
These actions have had serious consequences for our working relationships, projects, outreach and funding efforts and personal reputations. They have also sowed the seeds of distrust and hurt feelings amongst long-standing collaborators who were unaware of the manipulated nature of their communications. And so we wish to publicly declare that the Commons Strategies Group, P2P Foundation and Heinrich Boell Foundation will no longer be working with Franco Iacomella. We have severed all personal and professional relationships with him, and are exploring legal action as warranted.
The organizations directly affected by Iacomella’s manipulations and deceptions include the P2P Foundation, the Commons Strategies Group and FLACSO (Argentina) as well as a number of individuals, especially Beatriz Busaniche of Via Libre (Argentina) and Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation). The Heinrich Boll Foundation, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation and Vía Libre Foundation were all indirectly affected. Untold other individuals and groups may have been affected by these communications manipulations without even perceiving them.
If you have experienced unusual issues when dealings with the organizations or individuals named here (i.e., failures to respond; unusual emails; abrupt terminations of Skype contact links; etc.), we wish to apologize. We also wish to ask you to re-connect with these organizations and individuals, and resume ongoing relationships without the malicious interventions and impersonations that Iacomella perpetrated in an unknown number of cases from at least September 2012 until July 2013.
As one might imagine, Iacomella’s deceptions have had all sorts of insidious and subtle effects on our working relationships with each other, on dozens of colleagues with whom we work, and on the commons movement more generally. We now wish to refocus on rebuilding the interpersonal and social fabric that binds us together in shared purpose.”