Computer Underground Digest Volume 1, Issue #1.25 (July 28, 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 #1.25 (July 28, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet) ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith USENET readers can currently receive CuD as 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ CONTENTS: File 1: Moderators' Comments File 2: Neidorf Trial Over: CHARGES DROPPED (Moderators) File 3: Warning about Continued Harassment of BBSs (Keith Henson) File 4: League for Programming Freedom Protests Lotus Litigation ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.25, File 1 of 4: Moderators' Comments *** ******************************************************************** Date: 28 July, 1990 From: Moderators Subject: Moderators' Corner ++++++++++ In this file: 1) Disclaimer of Authorship 2) CuD Format +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DISCLAIMER OF AUTHORSHIP +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ We do not engage in "guessing games" about anonymous authors, nor will we reveal the identity. Often, we in fact do not know, because we tend to erase files to preserve space and have no way of retrieving such information. But, sometimes it is necessary to exclude those from the list of "possibilities" if there exists potential repercussions. The recent anonymous author of the Neidorf trial *WAS NOT* in any way involved with the trial as a participant, witness, or member of the the defense team. Those who have inquired can rest assured that no participant even remotely related to the case will contribute any article until a verdict is reached. +++++++++++++++++++++ CuD FORMAT +++++++++++++++++++++ Our format is changing slightly each issues as we try to find one that conforms to the basic conventions that will allow most systems to recognize and do their magic with digests. If anybody has suggestions, please pass them on. We're indebted to those who have responded with docs and other information to help us in this. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.25: File 2 of 4: Trial Over: Charges Dropped *** ******************************************************************** Date: 28 July, 1990 From: Moderators Subject: Neidorf Trial Over: Charges Dropped Less than halfway through the trial, and before it had presented its remaining witnesses, but government dropped all charges against Craig Neidorf Friday. Defense Attorney Sheldon Zenner said that Prosecutor Bill Cook's decision was "in line with the highest standards of good government and ethical conduct." Zenner said that the government could have continued to the last and let the jury decide, but did the honorable thing. One reason for the surprise decision, according to one inside source, was that, as the testimony and cross-examination proceeded, the government realized that BellSouth had not been forthcoming about the extent of availability of the document and its worth. The prosecution apparently relied on the good faith of BellSouth because of the previously good working relationship it had with it and other telecom companies. Craig Neidorf was ecstatic about the decision, and feels vindicated. He can now resume his studies, complete his degree, and seriously consider law school. He *WILL NOT* resume publication of PHRACK! Zenner praised Bill Cook's decision to drop all charges, and added he is not angry, but appreciative. Zenner also felt that the the efforts of EFF, CuD, and the many individuals who supported Craig were instrumental in creating credibility and visibility for the case, generating ideas and information for the defense, and facilitating enlisting some of the prospective defense witnesses to participate. There are those who have taken the Ed Meese line and assumed that Craig must have done *something* or the government wouldn't be prosecuting him. Others have not been as strident, but have put their faith in "The System," assuming that the process works, and as long as Craig's procedural rights were protected, we should "wait and see." Others on the extreme end have said that those of us who supported Craig would change our minds once all the evidence has come out, and we were criticized for raising issues unfairly when the government, so it was claimed, couldn't respond because it had to protect Craig's privacy and was required to sit in silence. One prosecutor even said that when all the evidence comes out, Craig's supporters would slink back under their rocks. There is little cause for Craig's supporters to gloat, because the emotional and financial toll on Craig and his family were substantial. Dropping the charges hardly means that the system works, because if it worked, there would have been no charges to begin with. From the beginning, Craig expressed his willingness to cooperate, but the government made this impossible with its persecution. Craig's supporters, from the beginning, have published the evidence, explained the issues, and we can still see no reason for his indictment. The evidence presented by the government in some cases could have been presented as well by the defense to show that *no* criminal acts occurred. When witnesses must be coached into how to present negative evidence, and when little, if any, can be adequately constructed, one would think that somebody in the prosecutor's office might realize there simply isn't a case there. The government had no case in the beginning, they could not construct one, and they had nothing at the end. So, dropping the charges does not indicate that the system works, but rather that sometimes a just outcome may result despite unjust actions of over-zealous agents. The prosecution not only lost the case, but reduced its credibility in all areas of computer enforcement. The claim that a recent Telecom Digest contributor made that the SS and others may intentionally overstep bounds to establish more clearly the lines of law may be true, but what about the costs to innocent victims of such Machiavellian tactics? Do we really live in such a cynical society that we find it acceptable to place lives, careers, and reputations at great risk? Now, however, it is time to move on and address the lessons learned from the experience. Some of the issues include how computerists can be protected from overzealousness, how law enforcement agents can perform their legitimate tasks of gathering evidence without violation rights, and how legislation can be written to reflect technological changes that protect us from predators while not subverting our rights with loose, broad, or inaccurate language. This has been the goal of Mitch and the EFF, and it is one on which we should *all* unite and focus our energy. Below is a summary of the days 2-4 of the trial (the first day, jury selection, appears in CuD 1.24): In the second day of Craig Neidorf's trial in Chicago, both sides presented their opening arguments. The prosecution wheeled in two shopping carts containing documents, presumably to be used as evidence. Bill Cook, the prosecutor, down-played the technical aspects of the case and tried to frame it as a simple one of theft and receiving/transporting stolen property. Sheldon Zenner's opening statements were described as "absolutely brilliant," and challenged the definitions and interpretations of the prosecution. More detail will follow as the trial progresses. DAY THREE OF CRAIG NEIDORF'S TRIAL (WEDS, JULY 25): The prosecution continued presenting its witnesses. The most damaging to the prosecution (from a spectators perspective) was the testimony of a Ms. Williams from BellSouth whose primary testimony was that the E911 documents in question were a) proprietary and b) not public information. Following a lunch break, defense attorney Sheldon Zenner methodically, but politely and gently, attacked both claims. The "proprietary" stamp was placed on *all* documents at the source without any special determination of contents and there is nothing necessarily special about any document with such a statement attached. It was established that it was a bureaucratic means of facilitating processing of documents. The proprietary claims were further damaged when it was demonstrated that not only was the content of E911 files available in other public documents, but that the public can call an 800 number and obtain the same information in a variety of documents, incuding information dramatically more detailed than any found in PHRACK. After considerable waffling by the witness, Zenner finally received her acknowledgement that the information found in the files presented as evidence could be obtained for a mere $13, the price of a singled document, by simply calling a public 800 number to BellCorp, which provided thousands of documents, "including many from BellSouth." If our arithmetic is correct, this is a little less than the original assessed value of $79,449 in the original indictment, and about $22,987 less than the revised value assessed in the second document. Ms. Williams often seemed hesitant and uncooperative in answering Zenner's questions, even simple ones that required only a "yes" or a "no." For example, part of Ms. Williams testimony was the claim that PHRACK'S E911 document was nearly identical to the original BellSouth document, and she noticed only four changes in the published text. Zenner identified other differences between the two versions. He then suggested that it was odd that she didn't notice that the original document was about 24 pages and the PHRACK document half of that, and wondered why she didn't notice that as a major change. She tried to avoid the question, and in exasperation, Zenner gently asked if she didn't think that to reduce 24 pages to about 13 indicated a major editing job: Doesn't that indicate that somebody did a good job of editing?" "I don't know what you mean." After a bit of banter in which Zenner tried to pin down the witness to acknowledge that a major editing had occured such that the PHRACK document was hardly a facsimile of the original, and several "I don't knows" from the witness, Zenner turned to her and said gently: "Editing. You know, that's when somebody takes a large document and reduces it." "I don't know," she repeated again. This seemed especially damaging to the prosecution, because they had claimed that the document was nearly identical. In challenging a motion to dismiss, the prosecution wrote: Neidorf received and edited the file and subsequently, on January 23, 1989, uploaded a "proof cop" of the edited text file onto Riggs' file area on the Lockport bulletin board for Riggs to review. (Counts 8 and 9). Riggs was to proofread Neidorf's version before Neidorf included it in an upcoming issue of "Phrack." The only differences between the original version posted by Riggs, and the edited version that Neidorf posted for return to Riggs, were that Neidorf's version was retyped and omitted all but one of the Bell South proprietary notices contained in the text file. Neidorf modified the one remaining Bell South warning notice by inserting the expression "whoops" at the end: NOTICE: NOT FOR USE OR DISCLOSURE OUTSIDE BELL SOUTH OR ANY OF ITS SUBSIDIARIES EXCEPT UNDER WRITTEN AGREEMENT. [WHOOPS] From an outsider's perspective, this witness was there to make a claim and not to present "truth." Even when confronted with public E911 information identical or similar to the PHRACK version, she seemed unwilling to give a direct answer indicating that passages were identical. Also in the afternoon session, Secret Service Special Agent Timothy Foley, in charge of the search of Craig Neidorf and others, related a detailed account of the search and what he found. A number of files from PHRACK and several additional e-mail documents were introduced as government exhibits. At this time, a number of documents were introduced as evidence. These included several e-mail messages between Craig and others. In addition to the E911 files, the following were introduced: PHRACK ISSUE FILE No. 21 3 22 1 23 1 23 3 24 1 24 11 25 2 (Some of these have been reprinted in CuD. A CuD index is available, and PHRACKS may be obtained from the archives). From a spectator's perspective, the most curious element of Agent Foley's testimony was his clear presentation of Craig as initially indicating a willingness to cooperate and his initial willingness to talk without a lawyer present. Given the nature of the case, one wonders why the government couldn't have dealt less aggressively with this case, since the testimony was explicit that, had it been handled differently, justice could have been served without such a waste of the taxpayers dollars. When Agent Foley read the PHRACK file describing summercon, one was also struck by what seemed to be little more than announcing a party in which there was explicit emphasis on informing readers that nothing illegal would occur, and that law enforcement agents were also invited. It was also curious that, in introducing the PHRACK/INC Hacking Directory, a list of over 1,300 addresses and handles, the prosecution seemed it important that LoD participants were on it, and made no mention of academics, security and law enforcement agents, and others. In some ways, it seemed that Bill Cook's strategy was to put HACKING (or his own rather limited definition of it) on trial, and then attempt to link Craig to hackers and establish guilt by association. It was also strange that, after several months of supposed familiarization with the case, that neither Bill Cook nor Agent Foley would pronounce his name correctly. Neidorf rhymes with eye-dorf. Foley pronounced it KNEEdorf and Cook insisted on NEDD-orf. Further, his name was spelled incorrectly on at least three charts introduced as evidence, but as Sheldon Zenner indicated, "we all make mistakes." Yeh, even Bill Cook. One can't but think that such an oversight is intentional, because a prosecutor as aware of detail as Bill Cook surely by now can be expected to know who he is prosecuting, even when corrected. Perhaps this is just part of a crude, arrogant style designed to intimidate, perhaps it is ignorance, or perhaps it is a simple mistake. But, we judge it an offense both to Craig and especially his family to sit in the courtroom and listen to the man prosecuting their son to continually and so obviously mispronounce their name. DAY FOUR OF THE TRIAL (THURSDAY, JULY 26): Special Agent Foley continued his testimony, continuing to describe the step by step procedure of the search, his conversation with Craig, what he found, and the value of the E911 files. On cross-examination, Agent Foley was asked how he obtained the original value of the files. The value is crucial, because of the claim that they are worth more than $5,000. Agent Foley indicated that he obtained the figure from BellSouth and didn't bother to verify it. Then, he was asked how he obtained the revised value of $23,000. Again, Agent Foley indicated that he didn't verify the worth. Because of the importance of the value in establishing applicability of Title 18, this seems a crucial, perhaps fatal, oversight. Next came the testimony of Robert Riggs (The Prophet), testifying presumably under immunity and, according to a report in the last issue of CuD, under the potential threat of a higher sentence if he did not cooperate. The diminutive Riggs said nothing that seemed harmful to Craig, and Zenner's skill elicited information that, to an observer, seemed quite beneficial. For example, Riggs indicated that he had no knowledge that Craig hacked, had no knowledge that Craig ever traded in or used passwords for accessing computers, and that Craig never asked him to steal anything for him. Riggs also indicated that he had been coached by the prosecution. The coaching even included having a member of the prosecution team play the role of Zenner to prepare him for cross-examination. It was also revealed that the prosecution asked Riggs to go over all the back issues of PHRACK to identify any articles that may have been helpful in his hacking career. Although it may damage the egos of some PHRACK writers, Riggs identified only one article from PHRACK 7 that MIGHT POSSIBLY be helpful. What are we to make of all this? So far, it seems that the bulk of the evidence against Craig is weak, exaggerated, and at times seems almost fabricated (such as the value of the E911 file and Craig's "evil" attempt to organize a league of "criminals." We have been told repeatedly be some law enforcement officials and others that we should wait, because evidence will come out that could not be discussed in public, and that this evidence would silence critics. Some have even said that those who have criticized law enforcement would "slink back under their rocks" when the evidence was presented. Perhaps. But, so far at least, there has been no smoking gun, no evidence that hasn't been discussed previously, and no indication of any heinous conspiracy to bring America to its knees by trashing the E911 system, robbing banks, or destroying the technological fabric of society. Perhaps a bombshell will be introduced before the prosecution winds up in a few days. But, even if Craig is ultimately found guilty on any of the counts, there is certainly nothing presented thus far that appears to justify the severity of the charges or the waste of state resources. To paraphrase that anonymous writer in the last issue of CuD, I can't help but wonder why we're all here! ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.25: File 3 of 4: Warning about BBS Harassment *** ******************************************************************** Date: Undated From: Keith Henson Subject: Warning about Continued BBS Harassment ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Keith Henson posted the following on Portal and sent it along to us. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ PORTAL MESSAGE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- One day you try to log in, and it's PORTAL OFFLINE. After a day or two, the word gets around on other systems that the Feds have "searched" Portal, carrying off all its computers, disk drives, modems, phones, manuals, paper files, printers, even a box of blank paper. Why? Sorry, the warrants are sealed, and you won't be able to even find out for six months or more. The guess (because of some simultaneous arrests) is that someone told the Secret Service of proprietary files being transferred through Portal. Portal's computers (and anything *you* have there) are now locked up as evidence in a case unlikely to come to trial for a year or more. Is this a paranoid fantasy? No, everything in the story, even the box of blank paper, has happened to someone in the last three years. Could it happen to Portal? All too possible. Even if the staff wanted to snoop on everything that goes through Portal, they couldn't; there is just too much. Is there anything we can do now to prevent these raids from cutting into our access to the net? John Little, the owner of Portal, thinks we can. That is why this is being posted. There is a law, passed in 1986, called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. This law requires warrants if law enforcement agents want to take electronic mail which is less than 180 days old. To get a warrant, a law enforcement agent must show a judge that there is "probable cause" of a crime before he permits the agents to violate the privacy of your email, or to deny access to it by confiscating the computer on which your email is stored. The legal question is: does a warrant for a computer automatically include all the electronic mail which might be found within it? (Kind of like getting a warrant to search a post office and using it to open and read all the mail found within the walls.) Or should law enforcement agents be required to get warrants for the each person's email before they can confiscate a computer? Truthfully, no one knows. Law is as much a hodgepodge of precedents as it is the statutes. And since 1986 (as far as I know) no precedent setting cases on this point have gone to trial. It is unlikely in the extreme that one law enforcement agency would go after another for violating the provisions of the ECPA, and generate the precedent. However, the act provides for civil action against those who violate its provisions. A civil win would be just as effective in setting precedent. Two and a half years ago there was an incident in which the email of 15 persons was taken by law enforcement agents with a warrant for the computer, but without a warrant for email. This happened on a small system used by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation (a non-profit cryonics organization). A suit against the law enforcement agents and agencies was filed early this year. Filings, motions, etc. are posted on Portal (go 9449.3.12). So far things are going well. The lawyers for the agents filed for dismissal; the judge told them we have a case. Originally Alcor was going to fund the suit, but an endowment they were counting on turned out to be about 1/4 of the expected size. The email case, though important, is one of the things which had to be pared from the budget. It has fallen to me, one of the plaintiffs, to raise money to fund the case, which could cost up to $75,000. None of the plaintiffs is wealthy, and the potential award from winning the case is only $1000 each. We have already spent around $15,000. (However, if we win, they have to pay our legal expenses.) What we are looking for is donations to help pay for the suit. John feels strongly enough about this matter to offer the use of the Portal billing system to collect small donations. (For large donations, contact me directly for details on how to make them tax deductible, or returnable if we win.) All you need to do is to send a note to CS, stating the amount you wish to donate and have added to your Portal account. And why should you part with your hard earned dollars? If net access, netnews, or email is important to you, consider it a small insurance policy. A win on the Alcor email case would make the story in the first paragraph much less likely to occur. If everyone on Portal gave a few dollars, it would go a *long* way in helping to pay for the suit. Of course, if you can afford more, it would be greatly appreciated. All donations will be acknowledged. If we win and get the legal fees back, anything donated through Portal will be returned to a Portal legal defense fund. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. Sincerely, H. Keith Henson (hkhenson) ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ ******************************************************************** *** CuD #1.25: File 4 of 4: LPF Protests Lotus Litigation *** ******************************************************************** Date: 25 Jul 90 00:34:39 GMT To: From: H. Tower Jr.) Subject: Fight "Look and feel" Lawsuits--March on Lotus August 2 [Please repost as widely as possible.] Sad to say, the bad guys seem to be winning---the courts are on their side. On June 28, Lotus won the lawsuit against Paperback Software, which had developed a spreadsheet with the same commands and menus as 1-2-3. Now they have sued SCO and Borland, claiming that their spreadsheets (including Quattro Pro) are illegal copies. This decision makes it more likely that Apple or Xerox will win their suits, and establish a monopoly on window systems. And who knows who will be the next to be sued by someone else. But the last battle is the battle for public opinion, and we can still win that. Therefore, on August 2, we will march on Lotus headquarters to protest their new lawsuits. This is a demonstration against look-and-feel copyright, sponsored by the League for Programming Freedom. We will rally at Tech Square at 12:30 pm (in the tree-filled central area), then march at 1 pm to the Lotus building next to the river at 55 Cambridge Parkway. Professor Patrick Winston, director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and Richard Stallman, president of the League for Programming Freedom, will speak once we arrive there. If you are late, come directly to Lotus. Don't be too late, since we will finish at 2 pm. We will be handing out the new League stickers, showing Liberty holding the disk and tape, with the slogan, "Stop Software Monopolies." (If you are a League member, we will mail you some in the next mailing.) Take them and post them where programmers will see them! If you can come get some and post them before the demonstration, so much the better. Please post copies of this announcement where you work, on bulletin boards and anywhere else appropriate. Also speak to your coworkers and friends about the demonstration; some of them may not read net news or bulletin boards. Then remind them again a few days before. Since not everyone will make a sign, it is very helpful if you do so. Here are some suggestions for slogans: SAY NO TO MONOPOLY KEEP YOUR LAWYERS OFF MY COMPUTER BOYCOTT LOTUS PROGRAMMERS ARE ANGRY USERS WANT COMPATIBLE SOFTWARE Use your imagination; the more variety, the better. Once we get to the Lotus building, please remember not to litter, not to block pedestrians and to stay out of the street. We want to behave as responsible citizens of a democratic society and be seen as such. It's a sure thing there will be lots of reporters covering this demonstration. (We'll make sure of it.) Our previous demonstration led to coverage in all the major computer newspapers, and many major dailies. This one promises to be even bigger and have a greater impact. If you have to be somewhere else at 2 pm, then come at least from 1 to 1:30. If you work in the suburbs, you can travel back and forth and attend the most important part of the demonstration in about two hours. That's a long lunch, but you can get away with it. Mark the date and don't let anything stop you from coming. We can win--but we must all pitch in. ******************************************************************** ------------------------------ **END OF CuD #1.25** ********************************************************************


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