Computer Underground Digest Volume 1, Issue #1.21 (July 8, 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 #1.21 (July 8, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------- File 1: Moderators' Comments File 2: From the Mailbag File 3: On the Problems of Evidence in Computer Investigation File 4: Response to Mitch Kapors Critics (E. Goldstein) File 5: The CU in the News: Excerpts from Computerworld article -------------------------------------------------------------------- *************************************************************** *** CuD #1.21, File 1 of 5: Moderators' Comments *** *************************************************************** ---------- In this file: 1) The CU and Freedom of Speech 2) CuD's readership (and survey request) 3) New archive policy ----------------------------- FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND THE CU ----------------------------- The moderators and most contributors have consistently criticized federal agents' investigation and prosecution of the computer underground because of its chilling effect on free speech and what we see as dangerous and unacceptable encroachments on the First Amendment. We find any constraints on the freedom to express ideas (including art, information sharing, or political views) improper. It is not without some irony that we sense another barrier to free exchange of ideas. The author a file below (File 3) requested anonymity because s/he has experienced harassment in the past from those who object to the content of those ideas. In this case, the harassment included disruptive early morning phone calls and other breaches that exceeded the bounds of even prankish incivility. If the author's experiences were isolated, they would require little comment. Unfortunately, those of us who identify with the CU can be an aggressive and self-righteous lot, and we receive a number of complaints by CU critics of a variety of intrusions on their life that, if the positions were reversed, we would enrage us. The climate of fear that limits exchange of information and ideas seems to be a two-edged sword. Both critics and advocates seem unwilling to express themselves openly for fear of retalation. When a single voice is silenced through fear, we all suffer. Most CU types recognize this, but, if lines between "them" and "us" (whoever constitutes each side) become sharper, if passions increase without a productive outlet, and as we come to feel more threatened by each other, we begin to re-create the conditions that most of us are struggling to eliminate. Freedom of speech simply cannot exist in a climate of distrust. We recognize the the bulk of the readers of CuD are professionals and would not themselves intentionally stifle the right of another to speak. But, perhaps we are not doing enough to remove the barriers that seem to exist between various groups. As young computerists enter the modem/CU culture, the more experienced among us can continually remind users through message logs, hotline communiques, papers, articles, and other forums, that retaliation for simply voicing unpopular ideas is wrong. Flamez are one thing, but accessing accounts, phone threats, actions that disrupt family life, and similar reactions cannot be tolerated. We find it sad that we feel it necessary to take a position on this, but the comments of would-be contributors indicate that there is a problem, and we should be sure our own house is in order if we intend to maintain credibility. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ------------------------------- WHO READS CuD? (IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ) ------------------------------- Some readers indicate that one reason they do not submit articles to us is because of the impression that CuD's readers are hackers, young, and perhaps irresponsible, and the message would be lost. These people are surprised when we give them a sense of the demographics. We do not keep records (other than the mailing list and back issues), but over the months we have gather a rough profile of subscribers from mailing addresses and responses. We assume here that the characteristics of those who do not respond or others give no cue of who they are or what they think are randomly distributed. **NOW--HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART**: Bob Krause, who helps with many of the CuD duties, would like to do a survey of the readership. But, before sending out a survey to the readers, we would like some feedback. If people find e-mail surveys offensive, they can simply delete them. We are more concerned with what people think of the propriety of it. It would be short (3 minutes to complete), and we agree with Bob that the information could be helpful. Bob is a computer applications programmer in upstate New York, and is also a graduate student interested in computer security. We feel bob has several good reasons that justify his project. 1. His primary reason is to establish some floor-base figures, from CuD and other sources, to examine the demographics of the "computer underground." It would be useful to show the readers who "they" are on the list and also display that those on the list are not all criminally insane teenagers lead by a dangerous 60's-type moderator. 2. A survey limited to CuD readers would give us a better sense of the readership so we can assure ambivalent readers that they are in the majority. 3. Bob's goal is to eventually gather sufficient data for a paper on the composition of the CU that would be appropriate for the National Computer Security Conference in 1991. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ------------- ARCHIVES ------------- With regret, we are NO LONGER ABLE to send archives from the TK0JUT2@NIU site, and we request that readers obtain them FTP or from Bob Krause. We are under no pressure of any kind to stop, nor is our decision the result of the "chilling effect." The problem is time: JT is getting nasty "why isn't your book" finished notes from the publisher, and GM's commute between Chicago and the suburbs leaves little spare time. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** CuD #1.21, File 2 of 5: From the Mailbag *** *************************************************************** In this file: 1) Dorothy Denning's paper on hackers 2) Legal info on the ECPA from Mike Godwin -------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 25 Jun 1990 1021-PDT (Monday) To: Cc: denning, Subject: Paper on Hackers The following is the title and abstract of a paper that I will be presenting at the 13th National Computer Security Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 1-4, 1990. A copy of the full paper can be obtained from me or the CuD archives. Concerning Hackers Who Break into Computer Systems A diffuse group of people often called ``hackers'' has been characterized as unethical, irresponsible, and a serious danger to society for actions related to breaking into computer systems. This paper attempts to construct a picture of hackers, their concerns, and the discourse in which hacking takes place. My initial findings suggest that hackers are learners and explorers who want to help rather than cause damage, and who often have very high standards of behavior. My findings also suggest that the discourse surrounding hacking belongs at the very least to the gray areas between larger conflicts that we are experiencing at every level of society and business in an information age where many are not computer literate. These conflicts are between the idea that information cannot be owned and the idea that it can, and between law enforcement and the First and Fourth Amendments. Hackers have raised serious issues about values and practices in an information society. Based on my findings, I recommend that we work closely with hackers, and suggest several actions that might be taken. Dorothy Denning, Digital Equipment Corp., ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Date: Fri, 6 Jul 90 15:09:33 -0500 From: Godwin) Subject: The Electronic Communications Privacy Act John, you asked whether 18 USC 1343 comprised all or part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. I've already sent you one reply, but I meant to add that the Act you're asking about is set out in 18 USC 2701 et seq. The first thing I noticed (which is to say, the first thing I looked for) was the penalties subsection, which lists penalties that are generally much less than those available under the wire-fraud statute, 18 USC 1343. So, one wonders, why isn't the government prosecuting the Legion of Doom under Secs. 2701 et seq. rather than under 1343? I have some speculations on this issue: a) The ECPA protects explicitly protects "communications," which probably excludes source code and which arguably excludes the E911 "help file" (since it wasn't written to be communicated via e-mail). So, the feds have a colorable argument that these statutes weren't intended to deal with "hacking" at all. b) By characterizing the LoD activities as theft and fraud rather than merely as invasion of privacy, the government gets to threaten far more serious penalties, making the whole sting operation more media-worthy. The more media coverage of a major show trial, the more deterrent effect on hackers, the feds may think. c) Prosecution for more serious crimes is politically necessary for the government to justify the resources it devoted to the Legion of Doom sting and other investigations/prosecutions. Only four arrests as of John Schwartz's last NEWSWEEK article. FYI, the first-offense penalties for unauthorized access to "stored communications" under 18 USC 2701 are a maximum of one year in prison and $250,000 in fines if the access was sought for commercial or destructive purposes, and a maximum of six months in prison and $5000 in fines "in any other case." --Mike =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** CuD #1.21, File 3 of 5: On the Problems of Evidence *** *************************************************************** Please post this without attribution to me (anonymously). I've gotten too much hate mail and nuisance phone calls from hackers to want more, and from the postings I've seen here, that type of person may be the majority of your audience. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Following are various random thoughts and reactions of a retired semi-hacker to things that have appeared in the digest of late: 1) Quoting the maximum possible penalty for various crimes is not "fair" in the sense that those maximum sentences are seldom imposed. Saying that the LoD folks, with no prior record, and (apparently) minimal or no damage caused, are going to face 50 years in prison, is an attempt to incite the reader. Most of those laws specify a range of penalties that reflect the severity of the crime. For instance, Robert Morris (who did more damage than the LoD folks, as near as I can tell) only got a token fine and a probated sentence. If the LoD folks even get convicted (doubtful, I would guess), then their sentence cannot possibly be the maximum. Federal sentencing guidelines would not allow it, and no judicial review would uphold it. The extreme penalties are in place for extreme crimes. If someone mucked about with a computer and caused multiple deaths, or crashed the FedWire computers for a half day -- that would be more deserving of a major sentence. The law is written to cover a range. Let's try to be more realistic about this aspect of things, okay? 2) Confiscation of equipment during search warrants. Well, how would YOU do it? Pretend you are a Federal agent. Figure that you have to search for evidence of wrong-doing on the computer system of someone who you (rightly or wrongly) suspect has been involved in illegal computer activity. Let's leave behind the question of whether the search warrants of late are justified or not, or whether the agents involved have been overzealous. It doesn't matter for this little exercise. Instead, put yourself in the role of the person who has sufficient reason so suspect someone of a crime that it is your duty to investigate. You need to be thorough, and find the evidence if it is there. You are a Fed with a valid, fair search warrant. Consider some of the problems: * There may be gigabytes of information on disks, tapes, and optical media that has to be searched, file by file. * You also have to search the "free list" where files may have been deleted, because sometimes evidence is found there. You need to do this on every disk, using something like Norton Utilities. * You may have to try to decrypt some files, or figure out what format they use. * Some evidence may be hidden in other ways on the machine (use your imagination a little here -- I'm sure you can think of some ways to do it). You have to search it out. You've only got one or two people to search the machine, but those persons are also assigned to a dozen other cases. Could you do a comprehensive search in a few days? A week? To do an effective search of that much material would probably take many, many weeks. And remember, the person whose equipment you are searching is somewhat (or very) knowledgeable, and has probably tried to hide the information in some way, so you have to work extra hard to search. Sure they're bitching and moaning about how they can't continue their business without their equipment, but what can *you* do about it if you are going to do your job right? Then there are other problems: * The machine you are searching may have non-standard hardware and software. You can't just transfer the disks to another machine and read them. If nothing else, the heads may be out of alignment on the suspect's machine, making the disks unreadable anywhere else. * The machines you are searching may require special peripherals to print/run/read data. Your system doesn't have an optical disk, or 8mm tape unit, or maybe even a 3.25 disk drive. * You have a small budget for equipment and don't have anything big enough or fast enough to search the data created by complex machines being searched. * You don't have the budget or time to make copies of all the data and take the data with you (even in bulk quantities and high speed, how much would it take for you to copy 500Mb onto floppies?) * Because of chain of custody requirements for the search, you have to be able to certify that the evidence was under the control of responsible people the whole time from the execution of the warrant up until the introduction of trial. That means you can't go home for the night, then come back the next day. * You can't ask the suspect to help -- he may have function keys, booby-traps, or other things in place to erase or alter the evidence you're after. You can't let him near the system, or even near anything that might signal to the system. How do you address these issues? By taking the whole set of equipment involved in the search and using it to do the searching and printing. You know it is compatible with the data you are searching, and it probably has sufficient capacity to do the search. Suppose you find incriminating evidence, or at least material that needs to be presented as evidence. What do you do? Well, you can't just print it out or make a floppy copy and then hand the machine back. There is a concept of "best evidence" involved that means you probably need the original form. Plus, naive jurors have a hard time relating the data, the original computer, and copies of the data; defense lawyers like to capitalize on that. Take a copy into court, and an ignorant judge might rule that it can't be used in evidence. How to address the problem? Keep the machine and storage until after the trial. It is very easy for people to criticize the law enforcement personnel for their searches. Perhaps they *should* be criticized for their selection of suspects and their flair for dramatics, in some (many?) cases. But if you are going to criticize, then come up with a *reasonable* alternative that can be used. I originally thought that seizure of the equipment was too extreme, but the more I thought about the problem, the more I realized that in many cases the authorities have no choice if they are to do a thorough and useful search. I know that if someone wanted to search my systems, it would take them weeks. Heck, I have so much stuff on disk and tape, it sometimes takes me more than a day to find what I want, and I'm the one who organized it all! 3) Prosecution, etc. Suppose you have evidence that someone had broken into the computers at Bank XYZ and made copies of a few harmless files. What do you do? Well, one thing is for certain. You don't believe them if they say they were only looking around. If you did, then *everyone* caught trespassing or committing larceny would use the same line. Everybody "casing" the system for a later. major theft would make the same claim -- they were just looking. How do you prove otherwise? So, do you wait for them to get back on and steal something important or cause major damage? No, that has obvious drawbacks, too. If you have the evidence that a crime has been committed, then you prosecute it before a larger crime is committed. It may look petty, but you don't take chances with other people's property or lives. I'm not going to start a debate on whether or not charges in a certain case are too extreme, or whether the law provides too harsh a penalty for some transgressions. Besides, we might all agree on that. :-) However, from a standpoint of security, you never want to allow unauthorized people to snoop on your system, whether they are causing harm or not; from a law enforcement view, you don't wait for people to commit repeated major felonies if you can nail them on what they've already done. Because people steal and lie, it makes it impossible to give the benefit of the doubt to the majority who really don't mean much harm. My machine has been broken into and sabotaged; as such, I will never again believe anyone who claims they were "just looking" and I will prosecute trespassers if I can. That's too bad for the harmless hacker, but the harmless hacker had better realize that assholes have spoiled the environment we all once enjoyed. The more people keep breaking into systems, or worse, the more the lawmakers and law enforcement types are going to press back and make noise about the problems. Think it's bad now? Then just keep hacking into systems and provide ammunition to the know-nothings who may start suggesting laws like registration of modems or licensing people to have PCs. 4) Definitions, the law, etc. First of all, I'm not surprised that you have so little comment in this list from law enforcement types and others of their mind-set. Part of that may be due to the fact that they don't have network access. Believe it or not, there are only a few dozen Fed agents with the computer expertise to know how to access the net. And the US Govt has not allocated much in the way of funds to build up computers and technology for law enforcement. Just because they're the govt doesn't mean they have lots of equipment, personnel, or training. Believe me, I speak from first-hand experience on this. There's another reason, too, and it's related to my request to post this anonymously. I believe myself to be fairly middle of the road on many of these legal issues, and what I've read so far in this digest is very extreme (and sometimes insulting) to people in law enforcement. I wonder if people on this list can be objective enough to try to see the other side of the issue -- is it worth my while to try to suggest even so much as balance here? Again, it is very easy to criticize, but I don't see anyone trying to think objectively about the underlying problems and try to suggest better solutions. The base problem isn't that there are "evil" law enforcement people out there trying to bash computer users. It's because there are irresponsible people breaking the law, and the law enforcement folks are unsophisticated and uneducated about what they're trying to stop. Yes, there is no question that there are abuses of the law and the system. Yes, there is no question that there are some problems with the system. Yes, there is no question that there are some stuck-up people in the legal system who enjoy bullying others. BUT There are also people breaking into systems they have no right to access...and it doesn't matter why they do it or whether they harm anything, it is wrong and illegal. There are people committing fraud against banks, credit card companies, and telecommunications companies -- against all of us. There are instances of industrial and political espionage going on. There are computer-run racist hate groups, kiddie porn rings, and conspiracies to commit all kinds of awful things. How would you write the laws so that illegal activity could be prosecuted appropriately without endangering the rights of the innocent? Instead of being critical, let's see some of you "authorities" apply your expertise to something constructive! Suggest how we can write good laws that work but can't be abused. This would be a good forum for that. If we come up with some good suggestions, I suspect we could even get them into more appropriate forums. But we have to have reasonable ideas, first, not simply cries of "foul" that fail to acknowledge that there are real criminals out there amongst the rest of us. =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** CuD #1.21, File 4 of 5: On Mitch Kapor's Critics *** *************************************************************** -------------- The following originally appeared in TELECOM Digest, #467. -------------- Date: Tue, 3 Jul 90 23:04:32 CDT From: TELECOM Moderator Subject: TELECOM Digest V10 #467 Date: Wed, 4 Jul 90 00:00:00 gmt From: dunike!isis!well!emmanuel (Emmanuel Goldstein) Subject: Mitch Kapor and "Sun Devil" It's real disturbing to read the comments that have been posted recently on TELECOM Digest concerning Operation Sun Devil and Mitch Kapor's involvement. While I think the moderator has been chastised sufficiently, there are still a few remarks I want to make. First of all, I understand the point he was trying to get across. But I think he shot from the hip without rationalizing his point first, thereby leaving many of us in a kind of stunned silence. If I understand it correctly, the argument is: Kapor says he wants to help people that the Moderator believes are thieves. Therefore, using that logic, it's okay to steal from Kapor. Well, I don't agree. Obviously, Kapor DOESN'T believe these people are criminals. Even if one or two of them ARE criminals, he is concerned with all of the innocent bystanders that are being victimized here. And make no mistake about that - there are many innocent bystanders here. I've spoken to quite a few of them. Steve Jackson, Craig Neidorf, the friends and families of people who've had armed agents of the federal government storm into their homes and offices. It's a very frightening scenario - one that I've been through myself. And when it happens there are permanent scars and a fear that never quite leaves. For drug dealers, murderers, hardened criminals, it's an acceptable price in my view. But a 14 year old kid who doesn't know when to stop exploring a computer system? Let's get real. Do we really want to mess up someone's life just to send a message? I've been a hacker for a good part of my life. Years ago, I was what you would call an "active" hacker, that is, I wandered about on computer systems and explored. Throughout it all, I knew it would be wrong to mess up data or do something that would cause harm to a system. I was taught to respect tangible objects; extending that to encompass intangible objects was not very hard to do. And most, if not all, of the people I explored with felt the same way. Nobody sold their knowledge. The only profit we got was an education that far surpassed any computer class or manual. Eventually, though, I was caught. But fortunately for me, the witch-hunt mentality hadn't caught on yet. I cooperated with the authorities, explained how the systems I used were flawed, and proved that there was no harm done. I had to pay for the computer time I used and if I stayed out of trouble, I would have no criminal record. They didn't crush my spirit. And the computers I used became more secure. Except for the fear and intimidation that occurred during my series of raids, I think I was dealt with fairly. Now I publish a hacker magazine. And in a way, it's an extension of that experience. The hackers are able to learn all about many different computer and phone systems. And those running the systems, IF THEY ARE SMART, listen to what is being said and learn valuable lessons before it's too late. Because sooner or later, someone will figure out a way to get in. And you'd better hope it's a hacker who can help you figure out ways to improve the system and not an ex-employee with a monumental grudge. In all fairness, I've been hacked myself. Someone figured out a way to break the code for my answering machine once. Sure, I was angry -- at the company. They had no conception of what security was. I bought a new machine from a different company, but not before letting a lot of people know EXACTLY what happened. And I've had people figure out my calling card numbers. This gave me firsthand knowledge of the ineptitude of the phone companies. And I used to think they understood their own field! My point is: you're only a victim if you refuse to learn. If I do something stupid like empty my china cabinet on the front lawn and leave it there for three weeks, I don't think many people will feel sympathetic if it doesn't quite work out. And I don't think we should be sympathetic towards companies and organizations that obviously don't know the first thing about security and very often are entrusted with important data. The oldest hacker analogy is the walking-in-through-the-front-door-and-rummaging-through-my-personal-belongings one. I believe the Moderator recently asked a critic if he would leave his door unlocked so he could drop in and rummage. The one fact that always seems to be missed with this analogy is that an individual's belongings are just not interesting to someone who simply wants to learn. But they ARE interesting to someone who wants to steal. A big corporation's computer system is not interesting to someone who wants to steal, UNLESS they have very specific knowledge as to how to do this (which eliminates the hacker aspect). But that system is a treasure trove for those interested in LEARNING. To those that insist on using this old analogy, I say at least be consistent. You wouldn't threaten somebody with 30 years in jail for taking something from a house. What's especially ironic is that your personal belongings are probably much more secure than the data in the nation's largest computer systems! When you refer to hacking as "burglary and theft", as the Moderator frequently does, it becomes easy to think of these people as hardened criminals. But it's just not the case. I don't know any burglars or thieves, yet I hang out with an awful lot of hackers. It serves a definite purpose to blur the distinction, just as pro-democracy demonstrators are referred to as rioters by nervous leaders. Those who have staked a claim in the industry fear that the hackers will reveal vulnerabilities in their systems that they would just as soon forget about. It would have been very easy for Mitch Kapor to join the bandwagon on this. The fact that he didn't tells me something about his character. And he's not the only one. Since we published what was, to the best of my knowledge, the first pro-hacker article on all of these raids, we've been startled by the intensity of the feedback we've gotten. A lot of people are angry, upset, and frightened by what the Secret Service is doing. They're speaking out and communicating their outrage to other people who we could never have reached. And they've apparently had these feelings for some time. Is this the anti-government bias our Moderator accused another writer of harboring? Hardly. This is America at its finest. Emmanuel Goldstein Editor, 2600 Magazine - The Hacker Quarterly po box 752, middle island, ny 11953 =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END THIS FILE + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+= *************************************************************** *** CuD #1.21, File 5 of 5: Excerpts from Computerworld *** *************************************************************** Date: Sun, 01 Jul 90 15:59:43 EDT From: Michael Rosen Subject: Re: articles To: Computer Underground Digest --------------- {The following was excerpted from: Computerworld, 6/25/90 (pp. 1,6). The author is Michael Alexander (CW Staff).} --------------- "...civil libertarians asserted last week that authorities have crossed the bounds of the Constitution in carrying out searches.. ..Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. and On Technology, Inc., and John Barlow an author and lyricist for the Grateful Dead, will announce the official launch of a computer hacker defense team "within a few weeks," as a result of the government's crackdown on computer crime, Kapor said last week. Two Law firms, Rabinowitz Boudin Standard Krinsky & Lieberman in New York and Silverglate Gertner Fine & Good in Boston, are the other members of the planned hacker defense team. ..Government agents have intimidated some hackers who sought legal counsel and stampeded over their constitutional rights to free speech by illegally seizing computers used to operate bulletin-board systems, said Terry Gross, an attorney at Rabinowitz Boudin Standard Krinsky & Lieberman. The firm is noted for its expertise in handling cases that it believes are deliberate attacks on constitutional rights. For example, it defended Daniel Ellsberg in the celebrated Pentagon Papers case. Computerworld learned last week that Rabinowitz Boudin Standard Krinsky & Lieberman is already providing legal assistance in the defence of Craig Neidorf, a 20-year-old hacker and newsletter editor who has been indicted in Chicago in a scheme to steal Bellsouth Corp. documentation for an enhanced 911 emergency telephone system. "I personally asked the attorneys to provide some informal advice in these matters, and that is obviously a logical precursor to more formal involvment," Kapor said in an interview. The defense team is in the midst of setting up a formal structure and strategy for the organization, Kapor said. Asked if the group will provide funds to pay legal fees for computer hackers, Kapor replied: "I contemplate doing that very strongly, but none of these decisions are final or public." .."The government is overreacting," said Sheldon Zenner, Neidorf's attorney and a member of the katten Muchin & Zavis law firm in Chicago. "They are grappling with legitimate concerns of computer crime but are trampling constitutional rights at the same time." Zenner said that he will file First Amendment motions this week on his client's behalf. Neidorf was slated to go to trial in federal district court in Chicago last week, but the trial was rescheduled for next month to allow the defense to file new motions. "Craig is a 20-year-old nebish, so they don't mind going after him," Zenner said. "They didn't think that it would raise the same issues as if they went after _The New York Times_ or _The Wall Street Journal_." Neidorf, who recently completed his junior year at the University of Missouri, is a co-editor of "Phrack," a newsletter for computer hackers. He has admitted to publishing an edited version of 911 documentation but contended that he did not know the information had been stolen. Federal and state law enforcers have maintained that it is necessary to seize a computer to evaluate its contents for evidence of a crime, not to block publication of any information on a bulletin board. "I don't see this as a First Amendment issue," said Kirk Tabbey, a Michigan assistant prosecuting attorney and coordinating legal counsel to the Michigan Computer Crime Task Force. "It is an intrusion only as far as we need to prove the crime," Tabbey said. "You try to take only what you need because you have to comply with the Fourth Amendment, which limits illegal searches and seizures." Steve Jackson, founder of Steve Jackson Games in Austin, Texas, said he thinks otherwise. In March, the Secret Service raided his office and the home of an employee and seized computers that it said contained a "handbok on computer crime," Jackson said. The handbook was in fact a game, he said." =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ + END CuD, 1.21 + +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+===+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=


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