Computer Underground Digest Volume 2, Issue #2.14 (November 30, 1990)

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Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

**************************************************************************** >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 2, Issue #2.14 (November 30, 1990) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet) ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith / Brendan Kehoe USENET readers can currently receive CuD as alt.society.cu-digest. COMPUTER UNDERGROUND DIGEST is an open forum dedicated to sharing information among computerists and to the presentation and debate of diverse views. CuD material may be reprinted as long as the source is cited. Some authors, however, do copyright their material, and those authors should be contacted for reprint permission. It is assumed that non-personal mail to the moderators may be reprinted unless otherwise specified. Readers are encouraged to submit reasoned articles relating to the Computer Underground. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 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' Corner File 2: Len Rose Indicted File 3: CPSR's FOIA request from the FBI File 4: International Information Retrieval Guild File 5: A Note on Censorship File 6: Two Comments on Prodigy File 7: Don't Talk to Cops File 8: Response to DEA/PBX News Story ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 1 of 8: Moderator's corner *** ******************************************************************** From: Moderators Subject: Moderators' Corner Date: November 30, 1990 ++++++++++ In this file: 1. FTP INFORMATION ++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++++ FTP Information +++++++++++++++++++++ We *DO NOT* maintain archives at NIU, and other than back issues of CuD, we cannot send out archival material. Back issues can be obtained from two ftp sites: 1. WIDENER: The *CORRECT* Widener ftp address is: %% ftp cs.widener.edu or%% ftp 192.55.239.132 On decompressing Zfiles: The archivist just put up a 16-bit uncompress utility for DOS that'll do the trick. Get pub/dos/uncom.exe first; then to uncompress anything with the .Z extension, do it thusly: C:\XFER >UNCOM FOO.Z > FOO (it'll appear on the standard output). He hasn't played with it much yet, so it may have a -o option or something to it. The site is available from 6 pm to 6 am. 2. BLAKE: The address and archive list is available to subscribers only. All files are Zfiles, and if you are using a unix system, use the "decompress +filename+" command. +++++++ We have added additional papers and other material to the archives. We are ESPECIALLY INTERESTED in receiving papers from lawyers or law students on CU-related topics. This can include summaries of recent law, bibliographies, or other material that would be of interest. We have added the computer crime statutes from Illinois (16D-3) and California (502, 502.7), the ECPA, and other material. We hope to compile a strong set of law-related articles and laws, so if you come across any related files, pass them along. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Moderators Subject: Len Rose Indicted Date: 29 November, 1990 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 2 of 8: Len Rose Indicted *** ******************************************************************** "Man is Charged in Computer Crime" By Joseph Sjostrom From: Chicago Tribune, 28 November, 1990: Section 2, p. 2 Du Page County prosecutors have indicted a Naperville resident in connection with an investigation into computer tampering. Leonard Rose, 31, of 799 Royal St. George St., Naperville, was charged by the Du Page County grand jury last week with violating the 1988 "computer tampering" law that prohibits unauthorized entry into a computer to copy, delete or damage programs or data contained in it. Rose, who lived in Baltimore until last September or October, is under federal indictment there for allegedly copying and disseminating a valuable computer program owned by AT&T. The Du Page indictment charges him with copying the same program from the computer of a Naperville software firm that employed him for a week in October. His alleged tampering with computers there was noticed by other employees, according to Naperville police. A search warrant was obtained for Rose's apartment last month, and two computers and a quantity of computer data storage discs were confiscated, police said. The Du Page County and federal indictments charge that Rose made unauthorized copies of the AT&T Unix Source Code, a so-called operating system that gives a computer its basic instructions on how to function. The federal indictment says Rose's illegal actions there were commited between May 1988 and January 1990. The Du Page County indictment alleges he tampered with the Naperville firm's computers on Oct. 17. (end article) ************************************* Although we have not yet seen the indictment, we have been told that charges were made under the following provisions of the Illinois Criminal Code: ************************************* From: SMITH-HURD ILLINOIS ANNOTATED STATUTES COPR. (c) WEST 1990 No Claim to Orig. Govt. Works CHAPTER 38. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE DIVISION I. CRIMINAL CODE OF 1961 TITLE III. SPECIFIC OFFENSES PART C. OFFENSES DIRECTED AGAINST PROPERTY ARTICLE 16D. COMPUTER CRIME 1990 Pocket Part Library References 16D-3. COMPUTER tampering s 16D-3. COMPUTER Tampering. (a) A person commits the offense of COMPUTER tampering when he knowingly and without the authorization of a COMPUTER'S owner, as defined in Section 15-2 of this Code, or in excess of the authority granted to him: (1) Accesses or causes to be accessed a COMPUTER or any part thereof, or a program or data; (2) Accesses or causes to be accessed a COMPUTER or any part thereof, or a program or data, and obtains data or services; (3) Accesses or causes to be accessed a COMPUTER or any part thereof, or a program or data, and damages or destroys the COMPUTER or alters, deletes or removes a COMPUTER program or data; (4) Inserts or attempts to insert a "program" into a COMPUTER or COMPUTER program knowing or having reason to believe that such "program" contains information or commands that will or may damage or destroy that COMPUTER, or any other COMPUTER subsequently accessing or being accessed by that COMPUTER, or that will or may alter, delete or remove a COMPUTER program or data from that COMPUTER, or any other COMPUTER program or data in a COMPUTER subsequently accessing or being accessed by that COMPUTER, or that will or may cause loss to the users of that COMPUTER or the users of a COMPUTER which accesses or which is accessed by such "program". (b) Sentence. (1) A person who commits the offense of COMPUTER tampering as set forth in subsection (a)(1) of this Section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. (2) A person who commits the offense of COMPUTER tampering as set forth in subsection (a)(2) of this Section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and a Class 4 felony for the second or subsequent offense. (3) A person who commits the offense of COMPUTER tampering as set forth in subsection (a)(3) or subsection (a)(4) of this Section shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony and a Class 3 felony for the second or subsequent offense. (c) Whoever suffers loss by reason of a violation of subsection (a)(4) of this Section may, in a civil action against the violator, obtain appropriate relief. In a civil action under this Section, the court may award to the prevailing party reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation expenses. (end Ill. Law) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Illinois employs determinate sentencing, which means that the judge is bound by sentencing guidelines established by law for particular kinds of offenses (See Illinois' Univied Code of Corrections, Chapter 38, Sections 1005-8-1, 1006-8-2, 1005-5-3.1, and 1005-3.2). Computer tampering carries either a Class 4 felony sentence, which can include prison time of from one to three years, or a Class A misdemeanor sentence. With determinate sentencing, the judge selects a number between this range (for example, two years), and this is the time to be served. With mandatory good time, a sentence can be reduced by half, and an additional 90 days may be taken off for "meritorious good time." Typical Class 4 felonies include reckless homicide, possession of a controlled substance, or unlawful carrying of a weapon. A Class A misdemeanor, the most serious, carries imprisonment of up to one year. Misdemeanants typically serve their time in jail, rather than prison. Ironically, under Illinois law, it is conceivable that if an offender were sentenced to prison for a year or two as a felon, he could be released sooner than if he were sentenced as a misdemeanant because of differences in calculation of good time. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Subject: CPSR's FOIA request from the FBI Date: Thu, 29 Nov 90 09:55:52 -0800 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 3 of 8: CPSR'S FOIA action with the FBI *** ******************************************************************** CPSR entered its first appearance today in federal district court in the case CPSR v. FBI. CPSR is seeking information from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act regarding the monitoring and surveillance of computer bulletin boards used by political and advocacy organizations. Judge Stanley Harris began the status call by indicating that the case would be transferred to the newest member of the Court, Judge Michael Boudin, son of the late civil rights attorney Leonard Boudin. He mentioned in passing that the decision to transfer the case was "made by a computer" and that he "had nothing to do with it." Judge Harris asked the parties to go ahead with their motions so that the proceeding would not be delayed. Assistant US Attorney Mark Nagle indicated that the FBI had located one document responsive to CPSR's request and that he expected the FBI would release this document shortly without any sections excised. He said that the government would then file by January 15 a motion for summary judgment. David Sobel, CPSR Counsel, and Marc Rotenberg, appearing as co-counsel, then indicated to the Court that CPSR would likely challenge the adequacy of the FBI's search for responsive documents. Marc Rotenberg CPSR Washington Office. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Subject: International Information Retrieval Guild Date: Wed, 28 Nov 90 21:18 EDT ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 4 of 8: Internt'l Info Retrieval Guild *** ******************************************************************** The following article describes the who and why of a computer group called The International Information Retrieval Guild. I asked this group if they would write an article for the readers of CuD in the hopes that other computer groups past or present would write similar articles. I hope this article will cast more light on what the "computer underground and hackers" are and I invite other groups to send me an article about themselves. My mail address is KRAUSER@SNYSYRV1.BITNET. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Who? What? When? Why? and Where? THE INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION RETRIEVAL GUILD =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= This article has been published to answer a few basic questions regarding The International Information Retrieval Guild. We hope that those who read these words will do so in an objective manner. The I.I.R.G. Yesterday..... The I.I.R.G. is not a new organization suddenly appearing on the scene. The I.I.R.G. was originally founded by the Mercenary in 1982. In the following six years the group grew to prominence in the Commodore 64 community and created numerous share-ware utilities as well as text files. The guild at this time was divided into two chapters, One would concentrate on the publishing of text files and share-ware, While the second would concentrate on the accumulation of data for the organization. At its peak in those 6 years the I.I.R.G. ran a network of six bulletin board systems spanning the East coast of the United States, as well as one system in South Africa. The group was comprised of individuals ranging from 17 to 42 years of age, all of those having a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. With the demise of the mainstream Commodore 64 community, (I know I'll catch some flack on that one), and the introduction of the much superior Amiga, the group was disbanded except for a small core of the founding members. Of the four surviving original members, their loyalty was divided. Two went with the graphics capabilities and multi-tasking of the Amiga, And Two went with the IBM. The I.I.R.G. Today... In early March of 1990, for the first time in over two years. The founding members reconvened and discussed reforming the guild as a Vocal organization. (It must be noted that in earlier days the I.I.R.G. was an invitation only organization) The sudden shift in attitudes was due to the negative publicity afforded hackers in the press and television. After a brief hiatus to Canada in April, Mercenary set about establishing the groups bulletin board system and contacting former members throughout the United States. Knighthack, another of the founding members, was contacted and set about the plans for publishing PHANTASY. Phantasy is to be the I.I.R.G.'s voice to the world, a forum for discussing topics of interest to the Computer Underground. At this point I'd like to have Mercenary discuss this. The I.I.R.G. was founded on the principal of exploration, The group as a whole does not advocate illegal activities. To us Hacking is an Artform to be nurtured and condoned. Phantasy will only publish legally obtainable information and is not intended to be a replacement for Phrack. (Although we do understand someone else will now be publishing Phrack, we wish them the best of luck..) The I.I.R.G. today is a small core of enthusiasts with a wide range of computer preferences (IBM,AMIGA,DEC,etc) and will no longer concentrate on one machine. I'd like to point out that freedom of speech is one of our constitutional rights, But it seems that certain members of the Law-enforcement establishment and certain politicians have forgotten this. It's high time that the media also remembered this and looked at things from our prospective. Techno Terrorists,high tech bandits, modern day robin-hoods, this is all I see appear in the media. What about Hacker cracks sex offender's security (Pete Leppik) or Hacker plugs multi-million dollar security hole? Let's see some positive articles folks... Now I know theres always a few bad apples in the bunch,and I don't dispute this, but for the most part a true hacker is driven by curiosity about the world. This is the same kid who took the family stereo apart when he was six not one of Yassar's boys. I hope I've made my point and have gotten the message across, As long as there are things to take apart,chinese restaurants open till 2am,and a computer.. There will be hackers.. Mercenary.... Phantasy may be obtained at the following Systems... 1. IIRG Headquarters- The Rune Stone BBS - 1200/2400 Baud 24 Hours Call for the Earliest possible releases of Phantasy and other IIRG files. Our system will be going private so call Now while you still can, at (203) 485-0088. 2. Lightning Systems- 24 hours - at (414) 363-4282 3. Sycamore Elite- 24 Hours - at (815) 895-5573 4. TAP's BBS at (502) 499-8933 ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Czar Donic (California) Subject: A Note on Censorship Date: Mon, 26 Nov 90 15:40:43 0800 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 5 of 8: A Note on Censorship *** ******************************************************************** The recent debate or discussion in the Computer Underground Digest concerning censorship is one more example of how technology has managed to outpace legislation. Naturally, the First Amendment covers freedom of expression in all of its manifestations, but exclusions have not yet been codified to the extent that we can point to a corpus of specific precedents to support restrictions thereon. It should be obvious to anyone that the term "no law" means "no law," but ever since the prohibition against saying "fire in a crowded theatre," people have been trying to modify the constitution, trying to read that part of the first ammendment as meaning "no law except . . ." or "no law but . . . ." It is one of the greatest ironies that those who consider themselves "strict constructionists" have the most difficulty with this ammendment. The issue seems to revolve around property rights vs. free speech rights. In the case of broadcast media, the airwaves are defined as belonging to the public and this allows the government, as OUR representative, to regulate the content of programming, even involving itself in the news to some extent. For example, a fine arts station in Chicago, WFMT, once elected to continue its classical music programming in the face of attack by other interests who wanted its frequency. The attacks took the form of complaints about its lack of news coverage, especially on "communism." The station owners issued a statement that went something like this: "WFMT serves a purpose that is not altered by temporary interruptions." The station eventually won, but only at the cost of deflection from its "purpose." The price was involvement in the political and legal arena. It seems to me that this is where we are right now in the issue of censorship in the computer network area. Who owns the network lines? Who owns the machines? Who decides what information and in what form is available to you? Finally, we have an even deeper question which is "who owns what information," which can be expressed as an even more philosophic one: "who owns information?" Obviously, the framers of the constitution did not have internet on their minds when when they were writing the constitution. They did, however, have an interest in the free flow of information. Once a government can restrict the information available to you, it can control every other aspect of your life. Avoiding or preventing such a situation was the entire premise of the first amendment. EDITING VS. CENSORSHIP It should be obvious that an attempt to censor an individual's right to freely express and distribute his ideas is contrary to common sense. To argue that publications such as Playboy and Penthouse must pay for contributions from evangelical christians would clearly be absurd. Equally absurd would be to require that every BIBLE come complete with a centerfold. What is not so clear is whether such publications should be forced to "air dissenting views." Already, equal time provisions force electronic journalists to make air time available in such cases. Once this crack in the rights of the "editor" is opened, all sorts of questions arise. Much debate is squandered over whether or not certain views are "mainstream" enough to be considered "worthy dissent." So the absurdity becomes compounded. On the one hand we recognize that dissenting opinions should be expressed. On the other, we make certain that those opinions do not dissent too much. To paraphrase Barry Goldwater, moderation in the defense of mediocrity is no virtue. If freedom of speech is to mean anything, it must mean that uncomfortable views be expressed. PRIVATE PROPERTY AND FREE SPEECH We now come to the issue of property rights vs. expression rights. It seems perfectly reasonable that someone who puts up his own computer, his own software, his own telephone line, his own electricity bills, should have complete control over any and all activity that transpires on his BBS. At the very least, he has the perogative of shutting it down or using an unlisted number. PUBLIC FUNDS AND FREE SPEECH The recent argument over whether NSF has the right to censor gif files is analogous to the recent controversy over NEA funding of what a few retrograde senators consider morally offensive. The recent flack over the Maplethorp exhibit is a fairly clear example of this mentality. Because of it, congress rushed to adopt the Jessie Helms agenda. Now, congress has backed off as a result of Joe Papp and other famous artists refusing grants and prominent reviewers resigning. WALMART AND 7-11 The "moral majority" threatened to boycott 7-11 if it didn't stop selling Playboy and Penthouse. 7-11 caved in. Walmart followed suit, but then proceeded to ban rock magazines (lot's of sex in those) but not hunting or gun magazines. Now Sam Walton is a bible thumper for the southern midwest and went into it with gusto. 7-11, on the other hand, simply bowed to pressure. Now it is bankrupt. People stopped going there. Now another group threatened Burger King and it turned around a wrote what seems to be like the loyalty oaths of the 50's promising to sponsor only programs that reflected "family values." What people like us have to do is let people like Burger King know that we will boycott them if they continue to knuckle under to extremists. SOLUTION Even though NSF has little choice but to try to exorcise the GIFS from their system, Americans interested in free speech should be as vocal as possible arguing for their continuance. The reason is that we want battles over free speech to be fought on the level or at the line of pornography. As long as we can keep these bigoted zealots busy reading pornography and worrying about it, they will be unable to attack more important and meaningful forms of free speech. Suppose there were no GIFS on the nets? Then they would go after anything else they could understand. What about personal notes from one person to another? Will we have to document that every syllable is of scientific import? Suppose someone still believes in the steady state theory of the universe rather than the big bang. Do we cut him off because his views are clearly invalid (so far as we know)? It could very well happen if we did not have the GIFS as a buffer. We can recognize that the GIFS are of no value whatsoever, that such material is available elsewhere, that they take up valuable disk or tape space, that they clog the lines that could be better used otherwise. So what? Their values remains as pawns in the game of censorship and they are the most valuable ones we have. Czar D. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Alex Gross and Steven W. Grabhorn Subject: Two Comments on Prodigy Date: November 29, 1990 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 6 of 8: More on Prodigy *** ******************************************************************** {Prodigy has been receiving considerable criticism in the past few weeks because of its policies on e-mail, alleged censorship, and other problems that some users identify. There has been a lively discussion in Pat Townson's TELECOM DIGEST (available from the internet or by dropping a note to: TELECOM@EECS.NWU.EDU). The following typify the kinds of issues underlying Prodigy's policies -- moderators} From: Alex Gross <71071.1520@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: more on prodigy and censorship Date: 27 Nov 90 01:05:43 EST Tales of censorship on Prodigy have been ringing a great big bell with me, and I think you'll see why from the following message which I wrote as an answer to a query about the French Minitele service two years ago. It was first posted on CompuServe's FLEFO (Foreign Language Education Forum) and then got its life prolonged by being included in a Minitele info file that is still posted there. I guess the point is that a lot of people everywhere are still quite frightened by the idea of free speech. Also, what about the free flow of information across boundaries (or even inside boundaries telecom was supposed to bring--how free is it really going to turn out to be, and for whom? It's really sounding like Prodigy is Minitele revisited. I've added translations of some of the French words into English, but otherwise it's as I wrote it then. "My own experiences with Minitele are limited to the CTL branch between Feb & June of 1988, & I don't know how applicable my observations will be to Minitele as a whole or to what may have happened since. But I fear the worst. First of all, it is expensive, $25 per hour from what I hear. This wasn't true with CTL at the beginning. For close to a year, it was absolutely free to North Americans--this was because they were trying to drum up sub- scribers over here. Another version went that they were running big ads in France to get people to sign up for the CTL branch there (they have competitive companies over there running pieces of it) on the premise that they would be able to "talk directly with America." I came in on the end of this & had about 6 weeks of free service which then went to $4 per hour to $10 & presumably to $25. I quit at the $4 level. "There really wasn't an awful lot to do on this branch. You could go into "Le Bar" & bavarder/taper (talk/type) 1 on 1 in real-time with the French. You cd engage in something very remotely resembling free public discussion on some- thing called Le Forum. Or you cd try some of the other "entertainments," mostly limited or dumb in one way or another. I'll take each of the three in order. "Conversations in "Le Bar" were I think on the whole worse than those you might have on a BBS here using the CHAT option. Let's compare it to going to a party where you really had no idea who the guests might be, and they all turned out to have little in common. I had one or two pleasant chats, but most of them were of the "Et quelle heure est-il a New York?" variety ("What time is it in NYC?"). Many of the US-niks spoke only English, & a lot of the French seemed happy to reply this way. I found at least 2 bilingual Parisian secretaries there. Some of the talk was sex-oriented. Many had "PSEUDOs" (handles) like Cuddles or Fondles or BIG-T*TS. Oh yes, we all had PSEUDO's--mine was FRANGLAIS, which was generally appreciated. (Franglais is the kind of French no one is supposed to speak, but almost everyone does--it is a combo of French with lots of English words, FRANcais & anGLAIS.) Some will no doubt call me a snob, but not too much really got said. "Oh yes, some of the French affect an abbreviated slang, a la Metal Hurlant, (Heavy Metal, originally a French mag) something like "k'veute feravekma, magoss?" which wd not be too helpful for language-learning. ("Whatchawanna doowidmebabee?") Also, some of them don't even like computers & seemed surprised when I told them Minitele counted as one--so user-friendly is the interface that they really think they're on a typewriter or a tele- phone. All conversations in Le Bar, by the way, are private between those in them. "So much for Le Bar. As for "Le Forum," that was simply terrible. They practised rigorous censorship, & msgs cd take as long as 10 days to appear on the Bd while someone performed "Validation des Textes" ("text accredita- tion," I guess, but it sounds worse in French). At that time many of the msgs posted in this "public" part were in English, but about a third were in French. There were repeated anti-american msgs such as "All Americans are stupid cowboys" or "Les americains sont tous des barbares" ("americains are all barbarians") & such ilk. I have French cousins & have been hearing this for 35 years, but I was sad to see it still going on. Also, some of them have convinced themselves that France now leads the world technologically, & I saw one msg claiming that the computer was invented by those two great Frenchmen Pascal & Babbage (!) (to many French, any name ending in "-age" can sound French.) The best thing we had from it all was a party of 30 NYC area minitelistes, & afterwards I posted a msg stating in French that our group had awarded the PRIX DERRIDA for total stupidity to the Babbagehead and the PRIX ETIEMBLE for some other sottise (stupidity). (Explanation: the French go for literary prizes with names like PRIX THIS & PRIX THAT--Derrida is the name of a virtually unreadable literary critic, Etiemble wrote the book first condemning the use of "Franglais." The message finally got posted. Where criticism is concerned, the French can dish it out, but they really can't take it. I also (FINALLY) provoked them into posting a msg complaining about the censorship, but even this was censored. Le Forum was the only part of of Minitele I saw remotely comparable to CIS forums like FLEFO. "As for the other services, how often do you need to know Air France times or read Agence France Presse bulletins or consult a French astrologer? And even if the real Minitele is more complete, do you really need to know the names & addresses of all the dry cleaners in Marseilles? Hope this helps. Salut! Alex" And like it said then, Greetings! Alex +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ From: "Steven W. Grabhorn" Subject: Prodigy "Protesters" Respond Date: 27 Nov 90 05:33:19 GMT I know we've seen quite a bit of discussion about Prodigy in the last several weeks, however, I'd like to pass along an article I received from some of the Prodigy members involved in the "protest." Prodigy certainly does own its own service and it seems like they can do what they see fit with it. However, I thought it might be a good idea to forward some thoughts from the other side of the fence. Although I use Prodigy occasionally, the thoughts below may or may not reflect my own feelings, and the usual disclaimers about myself and my employer apply. ----------Begin Article------------ NEW PRODIGY GUIDELINES RESTRICT USE OF PRIVATE E-MAIL FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, NOVEMBER 24, 1990: Prodigy Service, the IBM/Sears owned home computer service, has taken another unprecedented step in its clampdown on private electronic communication. In what appears to be a direct response to the growing strength and visibility of Prodigy members who are protesting Prodigy's abandonment of its much publicized "flat fee" billing structure and proposed e-mail charges, the service has very quietly issued a new set of "messaging guidelines" (see attached) [not included ?? -sg].] Imposition of these guidelines will restrict the private exchange of information on Prodigy in ways never before attempted on a commercial online service. Russ Singer, a protest coordinator remarks, "Obviously Prodigy feels an informed membership is not in their best interest." Six days after being issued, existence of the new regulations is unknown to most Prodigy users. The guidelines have not been announced on the "Highlights" screen members encounter when logging on to the service. Among the guidelines, which take effect immediately, are prohibitions on: Contacting Prodigy's online merchants and advertisers for any reason other than to "purchase goods and services" and to "communicate about specific orders placed online"; "A mailing with a request to recipients to continue distribution to others," which Prodigy describes as "chain letters". Use of "automated message distribution programs (other than those provided by Prodigy); and the threat of termination of users who fail to provide a credit card number but who continue to send a large number of messages . The guidelines are vague and raise disturbing questions about free speech and the sanctity of private communication. These issues have aroused the concern of the ACLU and other legislative and consumer groups. Although issued universally, the intent of the guidelines seems aimed at stemming the protest. Says Henry Niman, another protest coordinator, "These guidelines don't make sense from a monetary standpoint. If Prodigy goes ahead with e-mail charges, in only five weeks these rules will be unnecessary." Although $.25 per message would afford Prodigy a bloated profit margin, most users on the service would find the cost prohibitive. Adds Niman, "These regulations do nothing more than create confusion and intimidation. What purpose is served by requiring, under threat of termina- tion, a credit card number from members who have already established a billing arrangement with the service?" Should e-mail charges be imposed, Prodigy, which is believed to be 80% advertiser supported, will have created an electronic marketplace in which merchants cannot benefit from customer to customer referrals. With the addition of Prodigy's latest guidelines, merchants will be denied customer feedback on the condition of that marketplace. Many protesters are asking, "Don't advertisers have an interest in knowing what management is doing?" Singer adds, "If what Prodigy wants to be is a shopping mall then it should advertise itself that way, not as a flat rate interactive service. Restricting users to submitting posts to Prodigy's public bulletin boards makes Prodigy no more 'interactive' than a letter to the editor in a newspaper." Prodigy's campaign to silence dissent on the service began on October 30th when Prodigy expelled ten of the most visible members of the protest group (The Cooperative Defense Committee). An hour later discussion of e-mail charges was prohibited on the only PUBLIC forum provided for member feedback . Fifteen days later, Prodigy targeted four more protesters by sending them newly devised "warning" notices informing them that private "mass mailings" might be used as grounds for termination. If Prodigy's new "guidelines" applied universally, you would not be getting this FAX. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT: PENELOPE HAY (213) 472 0443 ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Reprint Subject: Don't Talk to Cops Date: November 27, 1990 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 7 of 8: Don't Talk to Cops *** ******************************************************************** [reposted from misc.legal K. Henson] ~ There have been a lot of recent discussions of police searches ~ in the electronic-publishing cases (invasions of businesses), ~ and in the Grateful Dead newsgroups (cars with friendly bumper ~ stickers being prime harassment targets.) ~ I just saw this leaflet that looked relevant, ~ so I'm asciifying it for your enjoyment. ~ Bill DON'T TALK TO COPS ------------------ By Robert W. Zeuner, Member of the New York State Bar "GOOD MORNING! My name is investigator Holmes. Do you mind answering a few simple questions?" If you open your door one day and are greeted with those words, STOP AND THINK! Whether it is the local police or the FBI at your door, you have certain legal rights of which you ought to be aware before you proceed any further. In the first place, when the law enforcement authorities come to see you, there are no "simple questions". Unless they are investigating a traffic accident, you can be sure they want information about somebody. And that somebody may be you! Rule Number One to remember when confronted by the authorities is that there is no law requiring you to talk with the police, the FBI, or the representative of any other investigative agency. Even the simplest questions may be loaded, and the seemingly harmless bits of information which you volunteer may later become vital links in a chain of circumstantial evidence against you or a friend. DO NOT INVITE THE INVESTIGATOR INTO YOUR HOME! Such an invitation not only gives him the opportunity to look around for clues to your lifestyle, frieds, reading material, etc., but also tends to prolong the conversation. And the longer the conversation, the more chance there is for a skilled investigator to find out what he wants to know. Many times a police officer will ask you to accompany him to the police station to answer a few questions. In that case, simply thank him for the invitation and indicate that you are not disposed to accept it at that time. Often the authorities simply want to photograph a person for identification purposes, a procedure which is easily accomplished by placing him in a private room with a two-way mirror at the station, asking him a few innocent questions, and then releasing him. If the investigator becomes angry at your failure to cooperate and threatens you with arrest, stand firm. He cannot legally place you under arrest or enter your home without a warrant signed by a judge. If he indicates that he has such a warrant, ask to see it. A person under arrest, or located on premises to be searched, generally must be shown a warrant if he requests it and must be given a chance to read it. Without a warrant, an officer depends solely on your helpfulness to obtain the information he wants. So, unless you are quite sure of yourself, don't be helpful. Probably the wisest approach to take to a persistent investigator is simply to say: "I'm quite busy now. If you have any questions that you feel I can answer, I'd be happy to listen to them in my lawyer's office. Goodbye!" Talk is cheap. But when that talk involves the law enforcement authorities, it may cost you, or someone close to you, dearly. ++++++ This leaflet has been printed as a public service by individuals concerned with the growing role of authoritarianism and police power in our society. Please feel free to copy or republish. Any typos are mine, as is the damage from squashing italics into UPPER-CASE. Thanks; Bill # Bill Stewart 908-949-0705 erebus.att.com!wcs AT&T Bell Labs 4M-312 Holmdel NJ Government is like an elephant on drugs: It's very confused, makes lots of noise, can't do anything well, stomps on anyone in its way, and it sure eats a lot. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Various Subject: Response to DEA/PBX News Story Date: November 29, 1990 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #2.14: File 8 of 8: Responses to DEA/PBX News story *** ******************************************************************** From: Defensor Vindex Subject: Response to Joe Abernathy's article in CuD 2.13 Date: Tue, 27 Nov 90 21:49:44 cst Mr. Abernathy: This response is to your column about the theft of telephone services, recently reprinted (with your permission, as I understand it) by the Computer Underground Digest. I agree that a major theft, including a theft of telephone services, is news. As such, it was entirely legitimate for you to write your story. What I find disturbing is your use of the generic term "hacker" for any criminal or alleged criminal that knows how to spell electron or technical. It inflames without informing. Unfortunately, it appears to sell papers. My complaint is probably useless, since language is constantly evolving, but it still disturbs me that a misunderstood part of our society is defamed needlessly. Sorta like Asimov (as Dr. X) wrote in "The Sensuous Dirty Old Man" a few years ago, wrote about the meaning of "gay": [ paraphrased with apologies ] "The dictionary says 'gay' means 'excited with merriment, lighthearted.' So you go up to an NFL linebacker who's just made his fourth sack of the day and is obviously 'excited with merriment, lighthearted,' and you say: 'You're gay, aren't you?' "Whether he is or he isn't, you'll almost certainly be surprised by the response." "Hacker", like "gay", is perhaps becoming redefined--no matter what its roots, it is acquiring a new meaning and life of its own, and true "hackers" may need to find a new label (unfortunately, it, too will likely be subverted), but I wish you wouldn't sensationalize ordinary theft in order to carry out a private crusade. Besides, those crooks weren't "hackers," no matter what they called themselves. At best they were "phone phreaks." And Joe, by now you ought to know the difference. ************************************* From: Jack Minard Subject: I have in my hand a list of hackers.... Date: Wed, 28 Nov 90 11:42:57 cst (Sigh!). Why does CuD print articles from Joe Abernathy? His articles on the Great Porno Netscam have hurt the entire electronic community, and he hasn't made many friends with this latest article. It's another scare story about hackers (and others?) and gives only one side of hackers. Here's what pisses me off about the article. No self-respecting hacker is going to rip-off, especially after Sun Devil. Technically, the people breaking into the DEA's pbx were fone phreaks, hardly the same as hackers. But does Tail-gunner Joe check? No, he just tosses out a label that the public finds sexy and convenient. Doesn't he realize how inaccurate and simplistic his story is? Maybe somebody originally hacked out the PBX number and gave it out, but once somebody gets the number there's no need to hack. It's a contradiction in terms, and ripping off a L-D company by carding just ain't hacking. Repeat: THAT AIN'T HACKING! Where does this $1.8 million cost come from? I think he just multiplied 18 months by the $100,000 figure that an "Arizona Prosecutor" game him. At about a quarter a minute, it would take 9.25 kids dialing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 18 months to run up this figure. Why didn't our hard-hitting investigative reporter start asking some obvious questions like either how can so much be done so long so often by so many or why couldn't the DEA figure out something was wrong if there was so much use? Dimes to donuts says the prosecutor he quoted was Gail Thakeray, always a good source for exaggeration when it comes to hacker hysteria. Why didn't he try to check out these figures? What do they mean? I think carders are scum, but I also think they are accused of trumped up charges. The disuse doctrine might be debated, but using ld lines isn't quite the same thing as stealing them. If the crime is so serious, why did it take 18 months to find it out, and then only incidentally during the investigation of another crime? Didn't our intrepid journalist think about asking these kinds of questions? The article is filled with quotes, stories, and comments by people who are anti-hacker. This may be fine in a story attacking hackers. But since the suspects don't seem to be hackers, and since the quotes are so one-sided, it seems like another hatchet job. If he has ins with all these unidentified hackers he mentions, you'd think he could at least try to either get his facts straight and present another side. If Joe had asked me, I'd say yeh, I'm a hacker, and so are my friends, and we, and people like us, don't rip off. You may like us or not, disagree with what we do or not, but most of us draw a line at that kind of ripoff and the line's not ambiguous. It's clear--carding is wrong and using a pbx isn't what hacking's all about. But from Joe's slanted article, you'd think that we're the world's greatest menace. Finally, he says that some of his info came from people identifying themselves as hackers in late night conference calls. Did these people trust Joe not to say anything they revealed to him? Why doesn't he tell us about his other sources of info and who initiated the calls? Most of us are still pissed about his stories about porn and the nets which were yellow journalism that sells papers and gets attention. It's great that the cud editors print all sides so let's see if they print this. ******************************* {Moderators note: We have not read the earlier stories to which this author alludes. As to why we printed the story, we encourage Joe to send his CU-related stories to us, and he sent that at our request. Whatever political or ideological differences may exist, in phone conversations and e-mail we have, without exception, found Joe to be decent and helpful. We learn by discussing issues, and we strongly encourage people to respond with substantive critiques. The term "hacker" is something worth debating, because, according to many of the indictments we have read, hacking is defined a priori as a criminal act. As a consequence, if one claims to be a hacker, this claim could conceivably be used as evidence in a trial. After all, if explaining Kermit is evidence of collusion, as it was to justify the raid on Steve Jackson Games, debates over what constitutes a hacker are not trivial -- moderators}. ******************************************************************** ------------------------------ **END OF CuD #2.14** ********************************************************************

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