I thought we had free speech, damn it!

So today I get an email from Kxx Hxxxxx (apparently I'm not allowed to use his/her name on this site). It reads something like this:

Hi Ben

i suggest that you lose the use of my name on your website.

Unless you would like to see your student loan go through the roof...you get it??????

cheers kxx

Right. I am not a lawyer so I'm unsure of how this whole suing thing works. Is what I was doing illegal? If you know more about this than I do please email me, the address is at the bottom of this page. Anyway, I replied with this:


Firstly, thank you for your email and the visit to my website. I appreciate all my fans, such as yourself, emailing me.

I'm not entirely sure under which jurisdiction you can sanction the actions you request of me. I am not slandering you, simply pointing out some of the products you have bought on TradeMe. This information is publicly available to anyone with a TradeMe memebership.

Perhaps if you feel so morally wrong about buying such products you shouldn't purchase them, however given your spamming, scamming and false advertising history perhaps morals aren't your strong point.

Ben Shaw

So there you have it. More updates will be posted here as we correspond more. If you have legal knowledge and know that I am in the right, please please email me. Until then I have removed Kxx's name, just to be on the safe side.

(Also, it might just be me but I think Kxx is just mad that he's being out-smarted by a "kid".)

Kxx Replies

Ben, so what if I buy or sell porn on trademe,its legal. You've clearly got nothing better to do with your time than to piss people off and to be nosing through other peoples profiles....get a life and grow up.
As for putting my name on your website...its not legal unless I give you my permission,which I don't! Either you get my name off your website or you'll find yourself sued.

Sigh. Surely other people have heard of argumentum ad hominem? That is, attacking a person instead of their actions. I'm sick of people telling me I waste my time, at least I don't waste it trying to screw others out of their money. Anyway, my lengthy reply to Kxx with websites to back up my cause:


Under what grounds would you sue me? New Zealand's Freedom of Speech laws are pretty clear on the matter:

"The New Zealand High Court says freedom of expression guarantees ‘everyone [the right] to express their thoughts, opinions and beliefs however unpopular, distasteful or contrary to the general opinion or to the particular opinion of others in the community.’"

Quoted from http://www.hrc.co.nz/report/chapters/chapter08/expression01.html

and from http://www.teara.govt.nz/1966/F/FreedomOfSpeech/FreedomOfSpeech/en

"There is no statute or positive rule of the common law recognising and protecting freedom of speech and expression in New Zealand. The principle is that anyone may say and publish what he chooses without prior licence or approval (film censorship affords an exception), but he is liable to be punished if he infringes the law."

I am not breaking any laws by publishing this information (as I have said before, this is not defamation on the ground that it is true). From http://www.e-government.govt.nz/docs/web-guidelines-v2/chapter5.html

"There is no definition of defamation in statute. Case law has it that defamatory material will

* be false
* tend to lower a person in the estimation of right-thinking people
* be without justification, calculated to injure a person's reputation."

You may, however, be interested in what the Fair Trading Act has to say. From http://www.consumer.org.nz/topic.asp?category=Legal%20Rights&subcategory=&docid=103&topic=Fair%20Trading%20Act&title=Introduction&contenttype=summary&bhcp=1

"The Fair Trading Act 1986 is one of the cornerstones of our consumer protection law. It protects you against being misled or treated unfairly by traders or shops by prohibiting what is called "misleading or deceptive conduct, false representations and unfair practices"."

It makes me very angry that people like you are able to screw others out of their money by giving them misleading information about a product.

So again, under what grounds are you planning on suing me?

Ben Shaw

Kxx emails others

A few days back Jeff emails Kxx notifying him of an auction I started on TradMe selling a "Cell Phone Wave Neutraliser"' similar to the one Kxx was selling, with one important difference: mine actually works. Kxx's reply was:

Hi Jeff

gee good to see that your mate ben hasn't learnt anything at varsity or is he at kindergarten like yourself?Now can you tell me why you would even use trademe?...You've been a member since 2003...Can you not understand the term trademe-you buy & sell goods don't you?so why are you wasting your so called brain power on a site you don't use!!!!!!!!!

You should combine your IQ with your mate ben to get 1.If you achieve this you might not get your brain waves fried from your cell phone.

But you should be in the to hard basket to help by the sounds of you.

cheers kxx

Sigh. Again. Argumentum ad hominem again? May as well jump on the bandwagon:

  1. Final line should read "too hard basket" .
  2. How can someone with the IQ of an amoeba be able to cohesively write anything, much as I am now? Behold, for I am typing!
  3. Generally, intelligence is inversely proportional to the number of exclamation points used to end a sentence.

However for a more serious response, please read Jeff's amazingly well crafted reply:


Both Ben and I are Electrical Engineers. That makes us far more qualified than yourself, who in your own words said "I dont have a formal degree on the communication area". We have spoken to numerous professors here at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and have not had a single one agree in any way with what you have been claiming your device can do. Any one person can publish information in both books and on the internet, even if it has no basis as fact. I believe you need to remember this when reading material from your ìworld renound scientistsî. I would like you to point me to any articles they have published in any industry recognised journals or publications.

The benefits of having a Trademe account include the ability to ask questions in auctions, add items to a watchlist, and enhance the general Trademe experience. You are also making an assumption based on the 0 feedback I have. This is by no means accurate, as it is not compulsory to leave feedback. For all you know I have been requesting that sellers do not place feedback to respect my privacy.

As a professional engineer, I do feel both ethically and morally obliged to warn others when it seems they are being mislead. This includes warning about the opinions you are stating as fact. The statement "These chips neutralise the waves keeping you safe" could well be interpreted as fact, though there is no reliable supporting evidence whatsoever to back up this claim. This is known as a False Representation under the New Zealand Fair Trading Act. I firmly believe you are selling a device that simply does not work, and that could even cause a handset to increase broadcast power to overcome the possible signal damping caused by your device. I am simply trying to warn people of this to allow them to make an informed decision, as your auction obviously provides a biased opinion.

Article 15 of the International Radio Regulations also states that manufacturers should "take all practicable and necessary steps" to ensure that they do not cause harmful interference to radio communication services. If your device worked as stated, it would be in violation of this regulation. Have you a statement of conformity from the Ministry of Economic Development? Has it been tested by an accredited test facility?

The above regulation is similar to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. This states that for a device to operate, it must adhere to the following:

(1) This device may not cause harmful interference, and
(2) This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

It also states that even for a device that is purely a receiver operation is subject to the condition that this device does not cause harmful interference.

In the interests of full disclosure, I would like to inform you that I am employed by a telecommunications company in New Zealand.

Looking forward to a well written, grammatically checked response,

Jeff Bridges

Hey take a gander up yonder shit creek, is that Kxx? Too bad he left his paddle here.

Email me: ben AT <OH SHIT PLEASE DON'T SPAM ME KXX> beneboy DOT com (remove the "<OH SHIT PLEASE DON'T SPAM ME KXX>" and rewrite AT and DOT using symbols to construct my real email address. It's really not that difficult, unless you're a moron spammer like Kxx.

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