Monday, May 3, 2010

The Spin, The Spies, The Lies, - V-fluence - Astra Zeneca

The Spin - The Spies - The Lies - V-fluence - Astra Zeneca

As this coined "V-Gate" appears to be gaining some traction, The Big Pharma spin machine has been hard at work over the weekend preparing for this informational version and running of the Pharma "Kentucky Derby" this Monday morning.

Of course they own the track, the concessions related to this event, have the best jockey's under contract, have all the best training facilities, own all of the expansive breeding farms, and even own most every horse in this race.

Yet with that reality pretty much accepted by the hovering spectator masses; there appears to be this long shot little tiny pony dark horse nobody that has caused them to stand up, take notice, and even worry.

So with that overly simplified analogy being used, let me again respond to AZ's PR spin misters and Mr. Byrne.

Mr. Byrne has once more used deception and slander with the inquires and answers given to Ed Silverman @ Pharmalot in this mornings article.

QUOTE: "Byrne tells us that ‘Stan’ gained access to the site, not by merely clicking on readily available links, but entered through a data entry portal by repeatedly attempting to log in with passcodes and typing in code. “You can argue about the definition of hacking, but he didn’t just click on a link,”

OK, let's go through this again for everyone.

I just clicked and it opened Mr. Byrne.

Fact: I was not the only person to just click and open this link Mr. Byrne?

You have also stated in your former press release this was an isolated one time event.

Fact: Your v-fluence tracking site was left sitting wide open to anyone that might have stumbled upon it for well over a week.

Fact: I, as many other bloggers use a free limited "Active Meter" service to monitor our blogs stats. This is where the direct link to these v-fluence posted screen shots appeared for a simple click and view.

Fact: I have nothing to gain from posting your company actions, except for exposing your operations for the public's greater good, debate, & knowledge.

( Full Disclosure: I Stan do not receive, or do I gain any monetary or other related benefits from this site. I am simply an independent citizen and mental health advocate seeking "truth" )

Now since Mr Byrne, V-fluence, and your client **Astra Zeneca** (which you have also denied) In this interview where you have chosen to slander me with false criminal allegations yet again.


I will make you this open ended public offer that should set the record straight on any misconceptions anyone reading about V-fluence's embarrassing situation may have.

I will give up my computer to an independent forensic computer specialist for a through examination. And in return V-Fluence and Astra Zeneca will make available all documents/data they have gathered and used related to your snooping upon individuals, related social sharing media, and blogs to an independent body for evaluation. (How about Senator Grassley's office as one option)

People may have noticed this site is still up and running. If I was this "notorious hacker" as you have alleged Mr. Bryne, don't you think by now with your political V-influence and deep pockets that Google and Blogger would have had this blog shut down?

You would also think I would have had the FBI knocking on my door by now (and yes I called the FBI to let them know exactly the facts of this situation )

Again evidenced through your deafening silence related to the questions I have asked in a prior post. Mr. Byrne, once more the ball has been placed in your court.

Let me end this post by stating you're no where near the big horse that War Admiral was, and I humbly in turn would not deserve to be grazing in the same pasture as Seabiscuit.


From Pharmalot:

AstraZeneca PR Man, Bloggers And Hacking

By Ed Silverman // May 3rd, 2010 // 7:18 am

vfluenceOne of the more interesting exercises conducted by drugmakers involves monitoring what is written about their products on the Internet. This is no easy task, given the enormous volume of verbiage. To cope, assorted experts are retained, but the actual inner workings of such efforts rarely come to light. AstraZeneca, however, is encountering an embarassing moment. The drugmakedrugmaker appears to have hired vFluence Interactive, which uses proprietary data mining tools and analytics to keep tabs on “relevant and influential content.”

Late last week, vFluence posted an item claiming its site was hacked by an unnamed blogger (see this), which came in apparent response to a post on ‘Is Something Not Quite Right With Stan - A Mental Health Blog.’ This particular site accessed reports written by vFluence concerning AstraZeneca and its Seroquel antipsychotic, which is the subject of thousands of lawsuits charging the drugmaker with failing to disclose diabetes risks associated with the pill. AstraZeneca, by the way, just paid a $520 million fine for off-label marketing (see here).

The ‘Stan’ site, as you can see, contains a few summaries of what some blogs, such as PharmaGossip, have written about Seroquel. And the revelation has prompted a few bloggers to criticize AstraZeneca for monitoring various blogs. Meanwhile, ‘Stan’ denies any hacking: “They left their site door wide open to public viewing, and I simply peered in…” The link ‘Stan’ provides, however, is now disabled.

vFluence is run by Jay Byrne, who previously headed public affairs at Monsanto (see here) and worked for the US Agency for International Development. For his part, Byrne tells us that ‘Stan’ gained access to the site, not by merely clicking on readily available links, but entered through a data entry portal by repeatedly attempting to log in with passcodes and typing in code. “You can argue about the definition of hacking, but he didn’t just click on a link,” says Byrne, who declined to confirm that AstraZeneca is a client. “And it’s odd to me that people who say things in the public realm should take offense that anyone is paying attention. Everyone in health care should be aware and pay attention to what’s being said about them online. We’re not going after anyone’s personal information.”

Separately, Byrne also post an item in which he maintains drugmakers “seek to responsibly use (online) data to (sic) in best interests of the patient communities they serve.” An AstraZeneca spokesman declined to say anything specific about vFluence, but did write that “we believe it is important to read what is openly written about the business and our medicines to better understand issues that are important to journalists, bloggers and the public.”

In other words, having access to as much information as possible. This should not come as a surprise. Companies of all stripes regularly engage in what is called business intelligence, which includes tracking what is written on the Internet. Whether this episode involved hacking is another matter. Interestingly, though, the drugmaker’s desire to have an opportunity to review relevant information about its medicines sounds like something that has come up in the litigation.

Hat tip to Soulful Sepulcher and Bnet



Anonymous said...

If AZ is so above it all why the worries at all about "all the good they're doing"?

I loathe AZ and one day one of these people that have been medicated into madness are going to make the makers of AZ do some hard thinking.

Just the prophecy of a loon.


I've just wrote about Ed's article on my blog Stan. I've labelled this debacle 'Stangate.'

It's all highly entertaining that a bogger such as yourself can get a PR company into a spin.

For a PR company they are causing themselves much unwanted publicity over this issue. That suggests to me that they are not very good at what they do.


Anonymous said...

Peace be with you Stan

You rock!

love eternal

Borepatch said...

It's getting to the point that when you see "We wuz haX0Red" you should substitute "Someone put the data up on a server we didn't think was Internet-accessable, but was."

Especially when you see it from a PR flack.

"Hacking" used to mean something. It actually still happens (see Google and the Chinese gov't). But these companies should know better.

Stan, IANL, but you might have a cause of action for slander. The discovery process should be pretty interesting. Email me if you want a list of highly embarrassing security questions to ask.

Stan said...

Tad, Nice of you to stop by. Hope all is well with you.

Borepatch, thanks for the advice offer. Though I have no current plans to take any type of legal action; of course that may have to change considering how AZ and V react to this embarrassing situation with their "Billion Dollar Baby" A team attorney's.

They must be sitting behind their desk shaking their heads wondering when the next "shoe" will drop in unfolding story.

Do you think I should apply for a job @ a PR firm? LMAO

I don't know? I surely wouldn't want to have to soften my outdoor voice, or compromise time honored ethical principles after all.

Anonymous said...

Being accused of 'hacking' is defamation of character, and I would personally recommend a public apology and retraction of those accusations from the v-Fluence article as well as the B-net article.

The word "alleged" needed to be present on the B-net article for journalistic credibility, and the v-Fluence was an out right lie at your expense.

Defamation of character is simply inferring something, and this was blatent bold calling that name....

Remember the Atlanta 1996 Olympics? that guy's life was ruined for being accused of being the 'bomber'---was innocent.

The truth is, this company F'd-up, and they want a scapegoat.

Facts are what they are, they screwed up and AstraZeneca is pissed, not a good place to be for Jay Byrne.

Defamation of character!

Anonymous said...

Stan you are awesome. If they try to come at you legally for hacking put up a paypal and let's do this.

Pay attention! said...

This is about our government about to kick off a lot of SSDI recipients to loot their benefit money.

No one is paying attention. This is about to get ugly. AZ had better pay attention. If there's no SSDI no one can pay for their meds.

I hate AZ by the way so though I hate what the government is doing I'm going to love to watch AZ's stock drop.

Mark Krusen said...

It's good to see that your still stirring the pot.

Stan said...

Like wise Mr. Tiny Tim Krusen, you appear to still be sitting on it. lol....

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