Computer Underground Digest Volume 1, Issue #1.11 (May 29, 1990)

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**************************************************************************** >C O M P U T E R U N D E R G R O U N D< >D I G E S T< *** Volume 1, Issue #1.11 (May 29, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer REPLY TO: TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. -------------------------------------------------------------------- DISCLAIMER: The views represented herein do not necessarily represent the views of the moderators. Contributors assume all responsibility for assuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. -------------------------------------------------------------------- In This Issue: File 1: Moderators' Corner (news and notes) File 2: Media and the (witch)hunt for the Computer Underground File 3: BBS Stings (anonymously sent) File 4: Comment on Sun Devil Press Release and other related related views (numerous authors) -------------------------------------------------------------------- *************************************************************** *** Computer Underground Digest Issue #1.11 / File 1 of 4 *** *************************************************************** In this file: -- Apology to The Well users -- Archive Files Available --------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------- APOLOGY TO WELL USERS ------------------------------- In a recent issue of CuD we inadvertently reprinted the comments of some users of The Well. Through a misunderstanding, we thought we had obtained permission to reprint the entire file, but the permission was limited. We apologize for any embarrassment this might have caused. CuD policy is to obtain permission to reproduce files that have appeared elsewhere, and we do our best to uphold the norms of etiquette that guide e-mail, ambiguous as they may sometimes be. **************************************************************** ------------------------ ARCHIVE FILES AVAILABLE ------------------------ We currently have the following archival material available: NAME ISSUES APPROX SIZE **E-mail Magazines** --------------------- A.N.E. 1 -> 7 300 K total ATI 1 -> 48 10-15 K each CuD 1.00 -> 1.10 30 K each LoD Tech. Jrnl 1 -> 4 175 K each NARC 1 -> 7 5 K each P/Hun 1 -> 5 160 K each PHRACK 1 -> 30 150-300 K each PIRATE 1 -> 5 170 K each **Papers/articles** ------------------- "The Social Organization of the Computer Underground" (Master's thesis by Gordon Meyer) "The Baudy World of the Byte Bandit" (paper by G. Meyer and J. Thomas) "The Official Phreaker's Manual, 1.1 (1987)" "The State of the Hack" (LoD) --Transcriptions of documentaries --Misc. news stories We also have *numerous* individual files of newsletters/info sheets that were started but never got beyond the first issue or two, or were issued as single-file documents. Our goal is to preserve this short period of computerist activity in its documentary form for the benefit of students, scholars, and other computerists. We will provide E-mail copies at no charge, but hard copies will require a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Archived materials can be obtained by dropping a short note to: KRAUSER@SNYSYRV1.bitnet OR TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** Computer Underground Digest Issue #1.11 / File 2 of 4 *** *************************************************************** --------------------------- MEDIA AND THE (witch)HUNT FOR THE COMPUTER UNDERGROUND --------------------------- Witch hunts are about images and social control. There have been numerous discussions from both sides of the issue on the rhetoric depicting computer undergrounders as a DANGEROUS EVIL in the mass media. In our view, these depictions add to the "witch hunt" mentality by first labelling a group as dangerous, and then mobilizing enforcement agents to exorcise the alleged social evil. Being good sociology types, we call this process of naming a type of "degradation ceremony." A degradation ceremony is defined by Harold Garfinkel as a type of "communication work" in which someone's identity is publicly redefined and destroyed. This destruction then allows for the "forces of good" to denounce and attack those who are now seen as socially unacceptable. This is called SYMBOLIC transformation because those who are degraded are SYMBOLIZED in a new, and highly negative, way. Symbols are simply things that stand for, or indicate, something else. Words and names are examples of symbols that, when cleverly used, can created images of various kinds. For the computer underground, these images have been grossly distorted. By creating such negative imagery, it becomes easier to "sell" to the public the view that hackers, pirates, and others, are highly dangerous. Successful denunciations redefine the relationship between events or behaviors and their context through manipulation of symbols that provides new, derogatory meanings and creates moral distance between the perpetrator and the denouncer. The ritual ceremony of degradation symbolically redefines the computer underground and relegates them to a stigmatized--and criminally sanctionable--category. To save space, we have omitted the bibliography from which the following come, but it is available upon request. In an examination of the origins of a "crime wave" against the elderly, Fishman (1982) illustrates the media role in formatting common events in ways that impute to them an exaggerated regularity. The organization and selection of topics, the association of the events with dramatic discourse, the infusion of the events with new meanings, and subsequent self-reinforcing perpetuation of follow-up accounts organized around a given theme, belie the ideological character underlying the images. Hollinger and Lanza-Kaduce (1989) argue that the criminalization of computer abuse reflects a symbolic enterprise of education and socialization in extending new definitions of property and privacy in which the media played a dominant role. Media definitions of the CU continue to invoke the inaccurate and generalized metaphors of "conspiracies" and "criminal rings," (e.g., Camper, 1989; Zablit, 1989), "modem macho" evil-doers (Bloombecker, 1988), moral bankruptcy (E. Schwartz, 1988), "electronic trespassers" (Parker: 1983) or "electronic burglars" (Rosenblatt, 1989a: 1), "crazy kids dedicated to making mischief" (Sandza, 1984a: 17), "electronic vandals" (Bequai: 1987), a new or global "threat" (Markoff, 1990; Van, 1989). Others see hackers as saboteurs ("Computer Saboteur," 1988), monsters (Stoll, 1989: 323), secret societies of criminals (WMAQ, 1990), "Hi-tech street gangs" (Cook, 1988), "'malevolent, nasty, evil-doers' who 'fill the screens of amateur {computer} users with pornography'" (Minister of Parliament Emma Nicholson, cited in "Civil Liberties," 1990: 27), "varmits" and "bastards" (Stoll, 1989: 257), and "high-tech street gangs" ("Hacker, 18," 1989). Stoll (cited in J. Schwartz, 1990: 50) has even compared them to persons who put razorblades in the sand at beaches, a dramatic, but hardly accurate, analogy. A National Inquirer /(June 11, 1985: 28) reprint circulates on BBSs claiming that several hackers fraudulently ran up a phone bill of $175,000 to a woman in one billing period. While it is true telephone abuses may incur heavy costs, such dramatization illustrates the sensationalism of media depictions. It is unthinkable that a phone company would not notice such heavy activity on a private line. Further, it would require over two dozen callers calling 24 hours a day for 31 days to generate such a bill, and repeated attempts by BBSers to verify the story or locate the principles were unsuccessful. Once the degradation occurs, those degraded are more readily persecuted, and the persecution often assumes the character of a political witch hunt. By a witch hunt, we mean a form of repressive control and a ritualistic mobilization of the community in search of imaginary enemies: Political witch hunts are the ritual mechanisms that transform individuals, groups, organizations or cultural artifacts from things of this world into actors within a mythical universe. These rituals are the social "hooks" that keep sacred transcendent forces present in the lives of ordinary people and relevant for everyday institutional transactions (Berkeson, 1977: 223). Witch hunts possess a mythical and ritualistic character and, like all moral crusades, they function in part to symbolize somebodies view of a sacred order against the penetration of "profane" influences in a process of moral revitalization. The current sweeps against the CU can be seen as part of a broader fear of change and the reaction to it by returning to "old fashioned values." Other examples of this tendency toward enforcing the moral order through the criminal justice system include persecution of those showing the Robert Maplethorpe art exhibit, the prosecution of a female "adulteress" in Wisconsin, proposed laws against drinking that would make it a felony for a parent to serve their 20 year old offspring a drink in the privacy of their own home (in Illinois), the clients of prostitutes in Wisconsin potentially liable to face confiscation of their vehicle if they invite the prostitute into their car. . .the list goes on. The public in general does not understand computer technology and tends to rely on "experts" to identify villains. The media portrayal of the CU as "evil" not only degrades, but dangerously stigmatizes. Our point is that, under current law enforcement policies, the CU is being hunted not for the crimes it has committed for for the symbols participants bear. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** Computer Underground Digest Issue #1.11 / File 3 of 4 *** *************************************************************** Date: Thu, 25 May 90 21:15:01 cdt From: rampac@ecoville..edu(Rambo Pacifist) To: tk0jut2%niu.bitnet@uicvm.uic.edu Subject: Stings and such BEWARE OF STINGS: Law enforcement may be using stings, so be suspicious of new boards that seem too good to be true or that are run by sysops without references or a history of participation elsewhere. Here's a couple of things I thought readers might be interested in. I've stuck a few comments in parentheses and following each article. +*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*+ From: DEDICATED COMPUTER CRIME UNITS, by J. Thomas McEwen. Washington: U.S. Department of Justice. Appendix A, pp. 101-103, "Sting Operations." +*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*+ While most bulletin boards have been established for legitimate purposes, there are also "pirate" or "elite" boards that contain illegal information or have been established to advance an illegal activity. Security on these boards is tightly controlled by the owners. With these bulletin boards, users usually have to contact the owner directly to obtain a password for access to different levels of the system. A degree of trust must therefore be established before the owner will allow access to the board, and the owners develop "power" over who can use the system. (Comment: Gosh, never knew I was doing all this back when I was doing sysop! If I could only remember what I did with all that power! Guess the guy who wrote this hasn't been on a board since the original RBBS.) Pirate boards have been found with a variety of illegal information on them including the following: *Stolen credit card account numbers *Long distance telephone service codes *Telephone numbers to mainframe computers, including passwords and account numbers *Procedures for making illegal drugs *Procedures for making car bombs *Hacking programs *Tips on how to break into computer systems *Schematics for electronic boxes (e.g., black box) (Comment: What's with this shit about "pirate boards?" If these guys can't tell the diff between our boards, what makes them think they can figure out what goes on there? Who do they think they're kidding? Anybody ever seen codez posted on an elite pirate board? You can also find illegal information in letters in the post office, on short wave bands, and in libraries. Does that mean that these places should be shut down too?) These boards obviously are a threat to communities, and their existence has gained the attention of some police departments. STING OPERATIONS WITH BULLETIN BOARDS The experiences of the Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff's department and the Fremont, California, Police Department are very instructive on how local departments can establish their own bulletin boards and become part of the network with other boards. Members of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department were the first in the country to establish such a board. Their board resulted in over 50 arrests with the usual charge being telecommunications fraud. (Comment: Would this be entrapment? Think about it: Setting up a board to entice people to commit legal acts! And they call US unethical?) In September, 1985, the Fremont Police Department established a bulletin board for the primary purpose of gathering intelligence on hackers and phreakers in the area. The operation was partially funded by VISA, Inc., with additional support from Wells Fargo Bank, Western Union, Sprint, MCI, and ITT. After establishing their bulletin board, they advertised it on other boards as the newest "phreak board" in the area. Within the first four days, over 300 calls were received onthe board. During the next three months, the board logged over 2,500 calls from 130 regular users. Through the bulletin board, they persuaded these groups that they had stolen or hacked long-distance telephone service codes and credit card account numbers. They were readily accepted and were allowed access to pirate boards in the area. The board was operated for a total of three months. During that period, over 300 stolen credit card account numbers and long-distance telephone service codes were recovered. Passwords to many government, educational, and corporate computers were also discovered on other boards. The operation resulted in the apprehension of eight teenage in the area who were charged with trafficking in stolen credit card acconts, trafficking in stolen long-distance telephone service codes, and possession of stolen property. Within the next week, seven more teenagers in California and other states were arrrested based on information from this operation. It was estimated that this group had been illegally accessing between ten and fifteen businesses and institutions in California. They were regularly bypassing the security of these systems with stolen phone numbers and access codes. One victim company estimated that it intended to spend $10,000 to improve its security and data integrity procedures. Other victimized businesses were proceeding along the same lines. -->End of Article<-- ******************************************************************** We can't let this stuff pass without comment. Consider this: 1. They guy who wrote it doesn't know the difference between a pirate board and other kinds of boards. This is supposed to be an authoritative study? By calling any board he doesn't like a PIRATE board means that he's just assumed that pirates steal codez. Even the phedz ought to know better, especially if they've been investigating. Even the lamest of BBSers know that you hardly ever find codez on a real pirate board. This kind of ignorance is scary! 2. The list of stuff found on p/h boards may include all the stuff McEwen sees. But, except for carding, the rest of the stuff is rarely illegal. Possession of information is still a right, and it's generally not illegal to explain how to hack or run numbers. Even info on making drugs or bombs is not illegal. It's only illegal if you *DO IT!* 3. Claiming that these boards are "obviously a threat to communities" REALLY SUCK! How many hackers have bombed buildings? Have sold drugs made from info of a BBS? By making this claims, the police can start coming down on any board they don't like, just because some lamer said they're "dangerous." Sounds like the beginning of a police state. 4. How nice that a bunch of banks funded some stings. Hey, don't they have computers of their own they can set up? How much money does it take to set up a board? Sounds like those cops had a scam of their own going! 5. Setting up stings may not be legal entrapment (but it could be in some instances). In rare cases, a sting might be justified if something serious is going on. But to set up a board and collect info on users is a dangerous breach of privacy. Even on the best elite boards I've been on, only a fraction of the total users are involved in any illegal activity. GET THAT YOU NARC BASTARDS? DARN FEW ARE ENGAGED IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY!. Even in the Freemont sting, it sounds like only a handful (8 arrests out of 130 users?!) were doing indictable stuff. Even if twice, hey, even triple, that number were active, that's still darn few for a board that's supposed to attract "criminals." It means the other users are just filed away in police intelligence dossiers. Such casual use of sting operations is undemocratic. You don't have to support hackers to see when the cops have gone too far. Stings, raids, confiscation without due process all suck. Oh-here's a laugh! The phedz distinguish between "confiscation," a legal term that means you've a crook and you can have your property taken away, and stuff they take while searching for evidence. They say they don't confiscate stuff they take in a raid, because you get it back eventually. But unless I'm missing something, the pigs still went in and took your stuff, and you don't have, you can't get it, and you can't even get copies of crucial programs you may need. Call it what you want, they grab it! We're coming closer to a police state, NOT because there's a crackdown on hackers, but because the way it's being done is dangerous. They're treating anything they don't like about computer users like they do drug crimes, and even using drug laws. There's a good article in the New York Times (May 6, 1990: Section E, p. 5) on how the drug war is eroding our rights. Current police tactics won't lead to more respect for law, but to cynicism and growing disrespect. Agents claim that computer abuse is creating a new generation of immoral citizens. Maybe, but law enforcement abuse is creating a much larger population of suspicion of "rights" and disrespect for repressive law. Here's another pro-sting rap by Ken Rosenblatt, the long-time hard-ass prosecutor in San Jose: +*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*+ From: "Deterring Computer Crime," by Kenneth Rosenblatt. From the Department of Justice's Computer Crime Conference in September, 1989, pages 9-10. +*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*+ In addition to investigating computer trespass and thefts after they occur, local task forces would have the manpower and expertise to concentrate on "bulletin board infiltrations." Many legitimate computer users communicate with each other via "bulletin boards." Those boards consist of a single computer operated by an organization, such as a computer users group. Members access these boards by telephone with their own computers to exchange information. (Commercial databases are essentially large bulletin boards which charge members for access). Cyberpunks operate so-called "pirate" bulletin boards. Those boards frequently offer stolen information to a select gropu willing to contribute same. These boards can be treasure troves of stolen passwords, telephone access cards, credit card numbers, and illegally copied software. Although these "pirate" boards are usually open to the public, the illegal information can only be accessed by persons given special passwords by the operators of those boards. With patience, skilled police officers using their own computers can convince cyberpunks that they are similarly inclined toard mischief and gain their confidence and access to those "secret levels." Police then obtain search warrants for telephone records, obtain the operator's home address, and seize the computer containing the stolen credit card numbers. Task forces can run their own fake "pirate" boards, allowing "cyberpunks" to provide them with illegal information. Telephone traps reveal the source of the information and the criminal. Local task forces will become familiar with local boards. -->End of Article<-- +*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*++*+ Commentary: 1. This guy is totally out of touch with reality. Cyberpunks operate pirate boards? Hasn't he ever read Cyberpunk Magazine or been on a cyboard? Doesn't he know that you get passwords when you log on a system? Sure, a few boards may have pws to get you around, but usually access levels are determined in config settings. Maybe it seems petty, but this kind of blatant ignorance shows that this guy, one who's saying we should nail all us computer bad guys, doesn't have even the most basic info about what it is he's after. Does that scare anybody else besides me? 2. These so-called "treasure troves" of illegal information are usually more often false info, old info, or just something that's been made up by kids with phallic insecurity who want to show off. Yeh, yeh, I know; there's some really fine stuff out there. But not that much, and you can't go around busting boards just 'cause some bozos are gaming it up. 3. This stuff about setting up fake boards sounds like they're trying to create crime to justify having jobs that let them play with computers. There was a story, I think it was in Todd Gitlin's book about the sixties, when a bunch of lefties at at SDS conference set up a "how to bomb" session. All the other lefties knew it was a joke to see how many phedz would show up, so they stayed away. Sure 'nuff, a bunch of short haired, wing-tipped "hippies lookin' dudez" attended it. Maybe we ought to set up a few fake boards of our own and get these sting types hooked on hacking. Think about it! -->Commentary by Rambo Pacifist<-- =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** Computer Underground Digest Issue #1.09 / File 4 of 4 *** *************************************************************** ------------------------ At least five different people contributed to the following independently of each other. The moderators edited the comments and added a few transitions to turn them into a single file. ------------------------ Folksinger Woody Guthrie was once asked by the "Ladies' Auxiliary" to write a song about them and get the name of their group in as many times as he could. In sarcastic jest, he did, slipping it into almost every line. The Secret Service press release and the prepared statement by SS Assistant Director Garry M. Jenkins describing Operation Sun Devil (OSD) (they can't decide whether it's one or two words in their release) would have made Woody smile. Typical of self-serving witch hunting documents, the release extols the virtues of the Secret Service's vigilance against the social threat of the dreaded computer underground. Both make sure the public knows who is in charge, who is doing saving, and who is on the front line protecting rights. Typical of witch hunting documents, it alludes, without facts, to a serious harm of substantial magnitude. Both identify a general menace, computer crime, and then, through subtle twists of phrase, lump a variety of illegal activities into a broad category called COMPUTER CRIME. From there, it takes only minimal effort to depict a national threat from which the SS will save us: The Secret Service will continue to investigate aggressively those crimes which threaten to disrupt our nation's businesses and government services (Garry M. Jenkins, OSD prepared statement). There are clearly computer-related crimes that require vigorous investigation, prosecution, and punishment. However, judging from the knowledge of the CU displayed by prosecutors--as revealed in their press releases, public and other interviews, conference papers, and published articles--few law enforcement officials are sufficiently familiar with the CU to be able to distinguish between crime, abuse, and legitimate Constitutionally-protected communications. When even experienced prosecutors or researchers (e.g., Kenneth Rosenblatt's presentations to the NIJ Computer Crime Conference, 1989; McEwen's book, "Dedicated Computer Crime Units," NIJ, 1989) call ALL boards they dislike "pirate" boards and are unaware of the fundamental differences between CU groups (hackers, pirates, cyberpunks), how can we have *any* confidence in their scare tactics that raise images of computer demons running amok? These are not mere quibbles over semantics, but raise fundamental (and frightening) issues of the competency of these people to protect innocent parties or or identify real threats. The press release re-affirms the commitment of the SS and others to protect "private and governmental agencies which have been targeted by computer criminals." To the average citizen, this may sound re-assuring. Unfortunately, and the irony surely is lost on the SS, OSD indeed "exemplifies the commitment" of federal agencies, and it is a commitment quite unconcerned with individual rights. Crimes commited with computers are wrong. Period! But, there are existing laws against fraud, whether through illegal use of long distance access codes or credit cards. It is certainly dangerous to muck about in hospital records, and trashing others' computers or files is clearly potentially serious. However, few p/h types engage in such behavior, contrary to whatever "facts" in possession of the SS. Perhaps the targets of OSD have ripped off $50 million as some sources have reported. But when asked for concrete estimates of the losses or for the formula by which they calculated it, they remain silent. Clifford Stoll misleadingly links hackers and virus spreaders in THE CUCKOO'S EGG. Jenkins claims that some hackers move on to plant computer viruses. Sounds dangerous, right? But, by definition, creating and planting a virus requires knowledge of programming and computer entry, and to equate computer underground activity with viruses is like equating learning to drive a car with drunken driving. "Hey! Some drivers move on to other destructive activities, like bank robbery, so let's stamp out drivers!" Perhaps a hacker or two might plant a virus. But virus-spreaders are considered irresponsible, and they affect *ALL* members of the computer-using community, and virus planting is not something accepted among the computer underground, period! Perhaps they have arrested 9,000 computer abusers as implied by Jenkins' comments, but when asked, sources with I have spoken cannot give a figure and indicate they cannot even begin to estimate the number of "hackers" arrested. The SS assumes anybody involved in a computer crime is a computer undergrounder out to subvert democracy. Unfortunately, the only members they come in contact with are those whom they suspect of wrong-doing or who might possess evidence of it. This gives them an understandably distorted view. However, rather than critically examine their own views, they proceed as if ever is equally guilty, which feeds the media and public hysteria. Let's take an example. RipCo, a Chicago computer underground board, had 606 users when it was raided. A scan of RipCo's message logs over a six month period indicates at most, barely three percent of the callers could even remotely be classified as "illegal users," as defined by the posting of codez or other information of a questionable nature. Of these, about half of the message content was clearly erroneous or fraudulent, suggesting that the caller either made up the information or posted information so old as to be irrelevant. It is also possible that some of the postings were by law enforcement agents attempting to insinuate themselves into build credibility for themselves. On no-longer operative "hard-core" elite p/h boards, we have found that even on the higher access levels, a surprisingly small number of participants actually engaged in significant criminal activity of the type that would warrant an investigation. Yes, some CU types do commit illegal acts. And five years ago, perhaps more did. If the SS confined itself to prosecuting substantive crimes, we would not complain much. Currently, however, they are sweeping up the innocent by closing down boards, intimidating sysops of legitimate boards, creating a chilling effect for speech, and confiscating equipment of those unfortunate enough to be in the way. We are hardly romanticizing criminal behavior. Carding is wrong, violating the privacy of others is unethical, and obtaining goods or services fraudulently is illegal. But the SS is throwing out the baby with the bath water and irresponsibly fueling the fires of public hysteria with inflammatory rhetoric and inappropriate zealousness. What do we suggest be done about computer abuse? The following is hardly a complete list, but only a suggestive framework from which to begin thinking about alternatives. 1. There are already sufficient laws to prosecute fraud. We do not need more, as some prosecutors have called for. There is no sense in passing more laws or in strengthening existing laws relating to computer crime. The danger is the creation of more law so broad that misdemeanors can be prosecuted as felonies. We reject passing more laws because of the potential for infringing Constitutional rights. 2. Educate, don't inflame, the public. The best protection against computer invasion, whether by a hacker or virus spreader, is secure passwords, trustworthy diskettes, and backed up files. Computer literacy is a first line of defense. 3. Educate computer users early into the computer underground ethic of hackers and pirates. That ethic, which encourages respect for the property and privacy of others, has broken down in recent years. Too many in the new generation are coming into the culture with an "I want mine" attitude that is selfish and potentially destructive. 4. We agree with law enforcement officials who say that some of the younger abusers show early behavioral signs of potential abusive use. Parents should be made aware of these signs, but in a responsible manner, one that does not assume that any computer lover is necessarily a potential criminal. 5. Move away from criminalizing all forms of abuse as if they were alike. They are not. Even if a harm has occured, civil courts may, in at least some cases, be more appropriate for processing offenders. Both adults and juveniles should be channelled into diversion programs that includes community service or other productive sanctions. 6. Recognize that computer use *CAN* become obsessive. Although there is a fine line to tread here, the problem of "computer addiction" should be treated, not punished. 7. For minor offenses of juveniles, counselling with offender and parents may be more appropriate than punishment. 8. If criminal sanctions are imposed, community service could be more widely used rather than the harsh punishments some observers demand. These are just a few of the possible responses to computer abuse. One need not agree with all, or any, to recognize that it is possible to both appreciate the computer underground while not tolerating serious abuses. The computer underground should be recognized as symptomatic of social changes in ethics, technology, societal attitudes, and other factors, and not simply as a "crime" that can be eradicated by going after alleged culprits. Solutions to abuse require an examination of the entire social fabric, to include how we try to control those we don't like. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=

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