Computer Underground Digest Volume 3, Issue #3.02 (Janury 16, 1991) SPECIAL ISSUE: SEC

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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 3, Issue #3.02 (Janury 16, 1991) ** ** SPECIAL ISSUE: SECRET SERVICE STING BOARD AND INFORMANT ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas (this issues) (Gordon Meyer on temporary re-location hiatus) USENET readers can currently receive CuD as Anonymous ftp sites: (1) (2) E-mail server: 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. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ In Liam O'Flaherty's 1925 novel "The Informer," Gypo Nolan betrays a friend to the police for 20 pounds. Few of the characters are particularly noble or sympathetic, but O'Flaherty manages to show the complexity of human frailty, moral quandry, brutality and compassion, as Gypo ultimately dies a pathetic death seeking redemption for his betrayal. Only with sadness do we present this first of several special issues on federally created and rewarded betrayal, deceit, and informants in the CU. We draw here from several public documents, including the seizure warrant served on RIPCO BBS. We also use phone logs that we and others have collected, copies of telephone bills and logs that corroborate certain numbers, eye witness accounts, interviews, and other information that establishes beyond doubt that the U.S. Secret Service, in cooperation with the Arizona State's Attorney's Office, used a PAID INFORMANT to establish a sting board and to capture message logs from a variety of BBSs and turn them over to state and federal agents. The primary hard evidence for establishing both the existence and the identity of the informant was obtained by Glen Roberts, the publisher of FULL DISCLOSURE, an interesting hard-copy magazine, and Bill Vajk, a freelance writer and researcher who is active on the nets. The full text should be on the CuD archive/ftp sites in a few weeks. As those who have been following the Dr. RIPCO saga recall, the warrant authorizing the search and seizure of his equipment was sealed, and the best efforts of attorneys and others failed to obtain a copy by requesting it through official channels. Delays, denials, confusion, and apparent misinformation seemed to stymie all formal requests. So, Bill and Glen took the case number (90-M-187), trucked on down to the federal court on S. Dearborn in Chicago, and went to work. They requested several case files adjacent to the desired one (90-M-186, 90-M-188, etc) on the assumption that the precise one they sought was likely to be among them. It was. So, they plunked their coins into the zerox machine, duplicated the documents, and shared them with the world. For those who have not yet seen it, FULL DISCLOSURE is a newspaper that covers topics that are not regularly covered in detail in the general media. A significant focus is on privacy, electronic surveillance, and related topics. Articles include coverage of the National Technical Investigators Association annual conference, the latest in video surveillance equipment, the JBR tape recorder and much more. A sample issue is available free, or subscriptions are $18 for 12 issues. FULL DISCLOSURE, Box 903-C, Libertyville, Illinois 60048. In coming issues, FULL DISCLOSURE will include stories on the government's paranoia in the RIPCO case, as reflect in the seizure warrant (available ftp in about 7-10 days). CuD will focus primarily on the ethical, ideological, and other implications of creating a paid informant class for crimes that, while unacceptable, are arguably far "cleaner" than officially purchased deception. *************************************************************** ** TRACING THE STINGBOARD: THE DICTATOR AND THE DARK SIDE ** ************************************************ In piecing the public information available on the Secret Service documents together with other sources, the Secret Service STING BBS, if the number they provide is correct, accessed THE DARK SIDE in Phoenix, Arizona. A self-proclaimed "hacker" known as THE DICTATOR identified himself publicly as the sysop of the Dark Side. The Dictator introduced himself to others as {name deleted} or as "{deleted}," and responded to "{deleted}" in various forms of Electronic mail. The search affidavit signed by Special Agent G. Kirt Lawson of the Secret Service (header indicating Maricopa County) acknowledges several facts: 1. The U.S. Secret Service, in response to complaints of telephone fraud, initiated an investigation into access abuses. The investigation described in this document specified the rationale for searching/seizing RIPCO BBS. The raid occured on May 8, 1990 in concert with other raids across the country. The Secret Service announced to the media through press conferences and releases that it was OPERATION SUN DEVIL. 2. The Secret Service, working out of Phoenix, established an undercover BBS in Sept., 1988. The sysop was a "VOLUNTEER PAID CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT." 3. The informant was providing information *BOTH* to the Secret Service and the Arizona Attorney General's office at least in 1989 and 1990, and the Secret Service participated in STATE searchs. 4. The code number and address of the informant is provided, and he is linked directly to the number of the BBS identified in the document as the undercover sting board. 5. The Informant provided information taken from logs, conversations, and other sources to the Secret Service. The following sections of the affidavit detail this more fully: The CuD crew did not type in this version of the documents, and there may be typographical or other minor errors. We reproduce it here as we received it. +++++++++++++BEGIN SECTIONS OF AFFIDAVIT++++++++++++++++++++ BACKGROUND OF THE INVESTIGATION 14. Over the past several years, the U.S. Secret Service has received and increasing number of complaints from long distance carriers, credit card companies, credit reporting bureaus, and other victims of crimes committed by computer hackers, phone phreaks, and computer bulletin board users and operators (see Definitions section), which have resulted in substantial financial losses and business disruption to the victims. Because the persons committing these crimes use aliases or "handles", mail drops under false names, and other means to disguise themselves, they have been extremely difficult to catch. They also conspire with many others to exchange information such as stolen long distance carrier authorization codes, credit card numbers, and technical information relating to the unauthorized invasion of computer systems and voice mail messaging computers, often across state or national borders, making the investigation of a typical conspiracy extremely complex. Many of these persons are juveniles or young adults, associate electronically only with others they trust or who have "proven" themselves by committing crimes in order to gain the trust of the group, and use characteristic "hacker jargon." By storing and trading information through a network of BBS's, the hackers increase the number of individuals attacking or defrauding a particular victim, and therefore increase the financial loss suffered by the victim. 15. For all of the above reasons, the U.S. Secret Service established a computer crime investigation project in the Phoenix field office, utilizing an undercover computer bulletin board. The purpose of the undercover BBS was to provide a medium of communication for persons engaged in criminal offenses to exchange information with each other and with the sysop (CI 404-235) about their criminal activities. The bulletin board began operating on September 1, 1988 at 11:11 p.p., Mountain Standard Time, was located at 11459 No. 28th Drive, Apt. 2131, Phoenix, Arizona, and was accessed through telephone number (602) 789-9269. It was originally installed on a Commodore personal computer, but on January 13, 1989 was reconfigured to operate on an Amiga 2000 personal computer. 16. The system was operated by CI 404-235, a volunteer paid confidential informant to the U.S. Secret Service. CI 404-235 was facing no criminal charges. Over the past eighteen months, information by CI 404-235 (see paragraph 16) has consistently proved to be accurate and reliable. The Arizona Attorney General's office executed six search warrants related to affiant's investigation in 1989 and 1990 (affiant participated in three of these). Evidence obtained in those searches corroborated information previously given to affiant or to George Mehnert, Special Agent of the Arizona Attorney General's office by CI 404-235. In over a dozen instances, CI 404-235's information was verified through other independent sources, or in interviews with suspects, or by means of a dialed number recorder (pen register). One arrest in New York has been made as a result of CI 404-235's warning of planned burglary which did occur at a NYNEX (New York regional Bell operating company) office. Throughout this investigation, CI 404-235 has documented the information provided to the affiant by means of computer printouts obtained from the undercover BBS and from suspect systems, and consensual tape recordings of voice conversations or voice-mail messages. 17. Because many of the criminal bulletin board systems require that a new person seeking access to the telephone code or credit card sections contribute stolen card information to demonstrate "good faith," when asked to do so, CI 404-235 has "posted," (left on the system in a message) Sprint, MidAmerican or ComSystems authorization codes given to affiant by investigators at these companies for that purpose. +++++++++++++++++++END SECTIONS OF AFFIDAVIT+++++++++++++++++ Drawing from the above information, the following suggests that The Dark Side, The Dictator, and a person identifying as {name deleted} are the sting board, the sysop, and the informant, respectively. 1. We have obtained telephone billings and computer telephone logs for December, 1988 and through mid-1989 indicating that when one called (602) 789-9269, The Dark Side BBS was accessed. This suggests that the sting number and The Dark Side were one and the same. 2. A person identifying himself as "The Dictator" called a number of boards in 1988-1990 (among them The Central Office, The Phoenix Project, Hackers' Den, Ripco, and others) and through 1990 continued to call such boards as Atlantis, Ripco, Face-to-Face, BlitzKrieg, and others. In public and private messages on these boards, The Dictator would typically include in his signature both his name and his association with The Dark Side BBS: ++++ BEGIN EXAMPLE HERE +++++ >From ->THE DICTATOR (#156) Date ->01/12/90 11:08:00 PM Hey {name deleted}...whats up? Ask KL to give me a call and let me in on the details, (602-225-8581), or he can leave me mail on Jolnet. I'd rather him call me, instead of having that message pass through the Jolnet system. Any ways... Ifits in Louie again this year, Im sure I can make it...let him know..thanks. The Dictator The Dark Side BBS +++++++++++End Example ++++++++++++++ The reference to "Louie" is to summercon. The telephone number listed above was left on a public BBS (in a different message) in the general message section by The Dictator in a public request for another user to call him. It is also the number that others have given us independently as one he gave them for voice contact. Hence, the number appears directly and unequivocally linked to The Dictator. Attempts to contact him through that number, however, reach a machine, and the person who responds to that machine has, for several months, refused to return calls collect or otherwise. Even after allegations of his apparent role in the video tapes of Summercon '88 surfaced, the dictator made no effort to hide his connection to The Dark Side. He left the following in response to several callers bickering among themselves over a Chicago BBS also known as "The Dark Side." He makes it clear the two are separate entities: ++++ BEGIN EXAMPLE HERE +++++ {logged circa Sept 25, 1990} From: THE DICTATOR Read: 27 times [1 Reply] Subject: The Dark Side What area code is "The Dark Side BBS" that you two are refering to? That isnt the old "Dark Side Of The Moon" BBS is it? Just curious. I used to run The Dark Side in 602, and its just a bit odd seeing the name pop up with someone else as the SYSOP.. heheh The Dictator /s shit +++++++++++End Example ++++++++++++++ The Dictator of The Dark Side and the above messages as also linked to the Secret Service informant by the nature of the logs he provided to them. We will continue to provide details of the substance of the documents in coming issues. However, messages printed in the Secret Service document allude to private e-mail sent to "CI 404-235," and these can be traced to The Dictator as the recipient by examining existing e-mail logs retained or acquired by others. The Craig Neidorf trial led to the revelation that the Secret Service had video-taped parts of Summercon '88 in St. Louis surrepticiously. One participant at Summercon who also viewed the tapes indicated that the tape captured the events in The Dictator's room from an adjoining room. If true, it indicated that advance cooperation and preparation were necessary between the participant-informant and the tapers. Why is it necessary to reveal the identity of the informant? We value privacy and we have no wish to embarrass those who may be coerced into performing unnatural acts for the government. However, if the Secret Service are correct, their informant was a willing volunteer who was paid for his services. Those who find betraying alike the innocent and guilty indiscriminantly for monetary gain are as ethically bankrupt as those who buy the service. Our abridged dictionary doesn't contain the term for those who get paid for performing unnatural acts, but it will come to us eventually. The informant was on a number of boards, and because he reported *FOR MONETARY GAIN*, we cannot be sure how many innocent people had their logs passed on, how these logs may have been edited or interpreted by law enforcement, or what uses were made of the information once acquired. The strangely creative interpretations and cavalier disregard of "reality" by federal prosecutors and some Secret Service agents are too troublesome to allow presumption of good-faith use. We STRONGLY URGE all persons who have been or currently are on a board with The Dictator to search their logs and consider filing a Freedom of Information Act request (see concluding file). ******************************************************************** ** THE DARK SIDE BBS: A SNAPSHOT ** ******************************************************************** For those who wonder what kind of board The Dark Side was, it appears from reports and logs and other sources that it was not well maintained, had 8 message bases with few messages, and the discussion was fairly general: +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ From: Subject: The Dark Side BBS Log-In Screen Date: Sat, 12 Jan 91 14:19:25 EST Is this helpful? It was captured in March of '89. I think there were 8 message sections, but the only ones of any interest were 1 (general), 2 (security) and 3 (Da Elites). There were a couple of funny things about the board. It seemed to be up and down a lot, and the sysop never seemed to know how to run it. He was always having problems with the simplest things. He was defensive and always seemed worried about narcs. He didn't have many elite users and the ones listed didn't contribute. There weren't many new messages whenever I checked, and from the logs I'm sending, I only counted less than 10 posters over a two week period. Really lame. Guess the rest of us just logged on and logged off. There was a rumor he was busted in Arizona and turned informant and that he was living next to the secret service in summercon '88. Oh. I didn't edit anything out, so please take out the names if you use this. To make it official, I got this off The Dark Side BBS at telephone number 602-789-9269 in March of 1989. I swear it's all true and virgin and blah blah blah. ----begin Dark Side capture--- ** 300/1200/2400 Baud ** You are now connected to The Dark Side BBS The Information Capital Of The World! SYSOP - The Dictator Disclaimer : Any unauthorized access attempts may constitute a violation of 1986 federal computer crime laws, punishable by both civil and criminal remedies. The information made available on this BBS is for informational and educational uses only. I am not responsible for any misuse or criminal acts from this information. It is the responsibility solely by the user and we assume no liability for any actions of the user. With use of system password you hereby agree to the terms of this contract and shall be held liable for any misuse of said contained information and may expose you to both civil and criminal penalties under law. Any unauthorized or misuse of valid logon and passwords constitute both civil and criminal violations, punishable under law. Your name: xxxxxx Password: ##### You are caller #xxx Logged at xx:xx xx on xx-Mar-89 Last call : xx-xx-89 Access : xxxxxxxxxxxxx Privilege : 10 Time limit: 60 D/U ratio : Disabled High msg : xxx Calls : xx Messages : xx Downloads : x Uploads : xx Checking for messages... (identifying msgs deleted) These message(s) have been marked for your retrieval System contains xxx msgs (1-2xx) Remember: That the SYSOP, (Thats me), has the right to review everything on this system! I like the idea of covering my butt in all cases... If you dont agree with the idea of my reviewing everything then you should hang up now. If you do agree with this, then at the next prompt, type 'Y'. N:No; Hang up Y:I agree with the terms Do You Agree With The Terms Of The Disclaimer? y 13-Mar-89 02:01 AM Subj: PAY ATTENTION! From: Sysop To: All Ok guys and gals...listen up.. Ive been informed that there is a strong possiblility that The Sorcer (sp) who runs the code line is a narc. This has not been confirmed, but it has not been denied. Please beaware of it and be careful. There have been a few busts recently, so be aware of your surroundings and be careful of everything your doing..ok, guys? Perhaps you will respect my security measures here on the system. Id like to think that we can all trust each other here..if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, ect...let me know. Thanks guys. Take care. Let me know what you know so we can stay one step ahead of the competition. (grin) (REply Quit ?): ---End of intro to DARK SIDE BBS--- {moderators' comment: We agree there is a style to the sysop's participation that seems probing. It is always possible that his supervisors provided him with questions or other strategies to begin various types of discussions or to lead topics in a particular direction. As we obtain more logs, we will look for patterns. ****************************************************************** ** A RE-EXAMINATION OF THE SECRET SERVICE "STING BOARD" CLAIMS ** ****************************************************************** In CuD 1.18 (file 5), we reprinted the response from the Secret Service, signed by John R. Simpson, Director, to Rep. Don Edwards (Chair of the House Subcommitee on Civil and Constitutional Rights), dated April 30, 1990. Mr. Edwards submitted a list of questions to the SS asking about surveillance of BBSs. Parts of it seem especially relevant to the issue of informants. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE WASHINGTON, DC 20223 APR 30 1990 The Honorable Don Edwards Chairman Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter of April 3, 1990, concerning your committee's interest in computer fraud. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this issue with your committee and I hope the following responses adequately answer your questions. {First question and response omitted--see CuD 1.18 File #5} Question 2: Has the Secret Service ever monitored any computer bulletin boards or networks? Please describe the procedures for initiating such monitoring, and list those computer bulletin boards or networks monitored by the Secret Service since January 1988. Response: Yes, we have occasionally monitored computer bulletin boards. The monitoring occurred after we received complaints concerning criminal activity on a particular computer bulletin board. The computer bulletin boards were monitored as part of an official investigation and in accordance with the directives of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (Title 18 USC 2510) The procedures used to monitor computer bulletin boards during an official investigation have involved either the use of an informant (under the direct supervision of the investigating agent) or an agent operating in an undercover capacity. In either case, the informant or agent had received authorization from the computer bulletin board's owner/operator to access the system. We do not keep records of the bulletin boards which we have monitored but can provide information concerning a particular board if we are given the name of the board. {Question 3 omitted} Question 4: Has the Secret Service or someone acting under its direction ever created a computer bulletin board or network that was offered to the public? Please describe any such bulletin board or networks. Response: No, the U. S. Secret Service has not created a computer bulletin board nor a network which was offered to members of the public. We have created an undercover bulletin board which was offered to a select number of individuals who had demonstrated an interest in conducting criminal activities. This was done with the guidance of the U.S. Attorney's office and was consistent with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. {Question 5 omitted} (end Secret Service Response) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The SS response refers to only a single sting/undercover board, and because the identify of the Dark Side was revealed as a sting board by the SS, we conclude that the board referred to below and The Dark Side are the same. We also suggest that this response is less than forthcoming, perhaps even deceptive, for at least two reasons: 1. Prosecutors can nitpick over legal nuances of the meaning of the following: "The procedures used to monitor computer bulletin boards during an official investigation have involved either the use of an informant (under the direct supervision of the investigating agent) or an agent operating in an undercover capacity. In either case, the informant or agent had received authorization from the computer bulletin board's owner/operator to access the system." To mere layfolk unlettered in law, the language implies that the sysop of a surveilled system allowed access with knowledge that the surveillor was an agent or informant. If a sysop does not know that he/she has given access to a potential agitator or provocateur, then the spirit of the law seems compromised. According to Dr Ripco, some users in the past did identify themselves as affiliated with law enforcement. The Dictator was not one of these. A second claim in the SS response is less ambiguous. The Director writes: "No, the U. S. Secret Service has not created a computer bulletin board nor a network which was offered to members of the public. We have created an undercover bulletin board which was offered to a select number of individuals who had demonstrated an interest in conducting criminal activities. This was done with the guidance of the U.S. Attorney's office and was consistent with the Electronic Communications Privacy Act." Now, we could quibble about what constitutes the "general public." But this statement by The Director of the Secret Service does not correspond to several facts. First, and most offensive, is the claim that The Dark Side "AS OFFERED TO A SELECT GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS WHO HAD DEMONSTRATED AN INTEREST IN CONDUCTING CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES." This is simply not true! The Dark Side was explicitly advertised on other quasi-public boards, including The Central Office, and was found in the BBS lists of other boards. In PHRACK #20 (file 12), there is a two line advertisement reading: "The Dictator is looking for users to call his bulletin board," and it provides the number as (602) 789-9269. The Dictator also left the following message on The Phoenix Project (which, despite it's reputation was open and readily accessible): --Begin Phoenix Project Message--- > >13/100: the dark side >Name: The Dictator #115 >Date: 10:42 pm Fri Nov 04, 1988 > >attention: > the dark side bbs is up and running...any user that wishes to become >a part of history...please call..this is yet another hard working system >that wishes to make its mark in computer history. > > give us a call.. > > the dictator > >dark side bbs 602-789-9864 > >summer con '88 members given imddiate access The number given is different from the one later identified in SS documents as the sting board number. Perhaps it was typo, or perhaps it was and it was presumably changed shortly after this message was left. An anonymous sysop of a board in the Midwest told CuD that the Dictator personally left the number of The Dark Side on the BBS, and recalls at least one public message in which The Dictator left a public message requesting people call it. This BBS in question was a quasi-open board in that--as most boards, including public ones--after a preliminary log-in, virtually everybody who seemed "non-loony" was validated. The point is that The Dictator was ACTIVELY SOLICITING CALLERS OPENLY, and not simply inviting a "select few" to call the board who "demonstrated an interest in conducting criminal activities." One user who documents participation on The Dark Side from shortly after it's inception states that The Dictator encouraged him to tell his friends to call The Dark Side and, at one time shortly after it "went up after being down" actually "seemed desperate for new users." According to information from several DARK SIDE users and logs they have provided from The Dictator on his own system and on others, The Dictator took an active role in generating message topics. According to one source, The Dictator would rarely provide information, but would attempt to generate seemingly innocent topics that might, in retrospect, provide the kind of "documentary evidence" (especially if take out of context) that could lead to suspicion or to searches. The following were provided as examples of "typical" ways that a discussion topic might be generated. We observed from the responses to these notes (that we deleted), that the innocent question would elicit a technical or potentially incriminating answer of the type used prejudicially in the sentencing memorandum of the Atlanta Three, or of the type used to justify the raid on Steve Jackson Games. The lesson we take from the following is that the Secret Service, through the use of an informant, seems to have *ELICITED* statements that could be used as evidence. ++++ BEGIN SELECTED SYSOP QUOTES FROM 1989 +++++ Msg: #192 Sec: 7 - Security 24-Feb-89 10:13 PM Subj: ATTENTION From: Sysop To: All Ok guys...heres the scoop... Since the incarsaration of one AZ KID, The Dark Side BBS has engaged PARANIOA MODE.. If you didnt read in the previous post, the AZ KID was served with a search warrent a few days ago for some local and otherwise federal phreaking. This board will remain in paranioa mode until the developments of the AZ KID come into play. Lets just say that there are a few things that the AZ KID could suggest that would/could be hazardous to this boards health. SO, please keep the posts to a .... ahem .... legal sence. Thank you... As updates to this situation come into play, you will be updated. For those of you who may have experience in these circumstances, please leave me much info that I can gather in this pressing situation the more I can help my upcoming ulcer. Thanks Msg: #251 Sec: 1 - General 09-Mar-89 02:06 AM Subj: Ok Now what From: Sysop To: All Ok people... Suggestion time. Im looking for a few trustworthy people that want to help me out with the system to help it grow... I need as many suggestions as possible. We have really been growing in the past couple of weeks, and I am gaing multiple sources of info to boost the integrity of this system. Help me out here people, I cant do it on my own...Leave me E-Mail TD Msg: #248 Sec: 8 - Da Elites 09-Mar-89 01:53 AM Subj: #243 - divertors From: Sysop To: (Name Deleted) Interesting concept! However, I am not too familair with divertors...There are a lot of concepts I understand and what not, however...lemme see if I can put this into words... What about open divertors? It is true that divertors work like call forwarding, however, is it theoridcally (sp) possible to find an open divertor and have it dial your line? In high school just for the fun of it, we bought a DTMF chip from our local Rat Shack store and basically built a call forwarding system that we could attach to any ones line (if need be) to then have the DTMF chip call to any number needed. It worked well...primitive, but well... TD Msg: #247 Sec: 1 - General 09-Mar-89 01:48 AM Subj: #244 - alala From: Sysop To: (Name deleted) Who makes the most popular PBX system? The reason for asking is for curiosity sake. There are a lot of different features within a PBX..... , TD Msg: #235 Sec: 8 - Da Elites 06-Mar-89 05:18 PM Subj: Radius's (R) From: Sysop To: all What can anyone tell us about radius's? This is a subject area that I admitt I am no good at! TD Msg: #234 Sec: 8 - Da Elites 06-Mar-89 05:17 PM Subj: divertors (R) From: Sysop To: all What can any one tell us about diverters?? Discussion time! Reply(s) #243 Msg: #228 Sec: 7 - Security 06-Mar-89 12:36 AM Subj: Ummmmm From: Sysop To: All Ok guys...lemme ask a general question here that seems to have me a bit confused... About a week or so ago, AZ KID had a search warrent served on his house, and they took in possession several tapes, tape player, ect, ect.. However, he has not been arrested or charged with ANY kind of a crime. He still does not have his confiscated equipment back, so I am thinking that they think they have something on him... My question is, should he be charged by now?? Its got me a bit concerned. I thought usually they would have charged him with a crime, or let it go by now....Unless of course he "plea bargined"... I dont know..Ive talked to him, but he "doesnt know whats going on" So...What do you guys think,eh?? Msg: #227 Sec: 7 - Security 05-Mar-89 01:38 AM Subj: CNA (R) From: Sysop To: All We all know that CNA gives you the Customer Name and Address if you have the number, is there a department that has the Number if you have the Name, or address, or something of that sort??? TD Msg: #225 Sec: 1 - General 05-Mar-89 01:34 AM Subj: #211 - Text files From: Sysop To: (Name deleted) Any kind of text file that you see fit to better this system. Its the users that make the system. This BBS will work on a diplomatic system. (And Ill have thelast word..har har har) Once youve been voice validated, Im sure youll understand what text files will be benificail to this system TD +++ END SYSOP QUOTES +++ The tenor and content of these and other messages by the sysop suggest that the SS's operative was not passive or particularly selective, and may have generated the kinds of evidence for which he was being paid by his leading questions. If The Dictator was indeed operating under the "direct supervision" of a field investigator, then it would seem that the SS knew full well that the information it supplied to Rep. Edwards was, at best, misleading: Recruiting users was for The Dark Side was hardly "selective," but quite open, and those who called stood a chance of being drawn into discussion initiated by the sysop, a paid informant of the secret service, who turned the logged files over to them. It would seem that either the SS has little control over its operatives (which suggests incompetency) or that it knows full well what its operatives do and choses to redefine reality in self-serving ways. Either way, the responses by the SS to Rep. Edwards should be re-examined and those who were involved in the undercover investigation held accountable. ******************************************************** ** WHAT'S THE POINT? ** ******************************************************** When the federal government uses *paid* informants, nobody wins. Officially sanctioned deception and betrayal, as Gary Marx argued in his book "Undercover: Police Surveillance in America," is generally far more detrimental to public order in the long run than whatever "crimes" the deception targets. When federal agencies set up sting boards and use informants to gather, even generate, diverse information that is in turn given to agents as potential "evidence" of wrong doing, there can be problems. In the 1960s and 1970s, we have seen through various class action suits, congressional hearings, FOIA requests, and other inquiries, how abuse of information by those who collected it resulted in lost employment opportunities and other uncool consequences. In the past year, we have also seen the misuse of information in indictments, sentencing memorandums, and especially in several search affidavits and seizure warrants. Most of us are concerned if agencies collect information on us against our knowledge, because the potential for harm can be subtle. Many readers of CuD have called a variety of bulletin boards considerated to be "underground." When an agency such as the Secret Service sets up a STING board and PAYS an informant to capture logs, those of us who call these boards have reason to be concerned with how our **LEGAL, LEGITIMATE** posts may be interpreted and used by agents. When we recall that one sysop was liked to a fraud conspiracy because of a two line comment that kermit is a 7-bit protocol used primarily on mainframes, our confidence in agents' interpretive competence diminishes. Our intent has not been to embarrass The Dictator. If it were, we would include the name he uses when socializing with others. IT WOULD ALSO BE TOTALLY REPREHENSIBLE IF OTHERS WERE TO ENGAGE IN HARASSMENT OR OTHER RESPONSE AGAINST HIM! The CU has increasingly been united by principles of justice, and to engage in unjust acts because we feel others have done the same to us violates those principles we are working toward. Calls to the "voice number" The Dictator has left on at least one public post on a public board, and given to others, have gone not received a response. Messages left to him on BBSs have also not generated contact. We continue to invite him to contact us and give his side of the story. There are generally shades of grey in even the darkest images, and if he contacts us we promise either a fair and impartial story, or, he can write his own version and we will publish it unedited. We also remind readers that the issue IS NOT an individual. At stake in all this is the issue of privacy and police power as we enter the 21st century. When laws cannot keep up with technology, the consequences may be ill-considered strategies for monitoring and punishing alleged wrong-doers. As Gary Marx reminds us in his book "Undercover" (p. 233): In a democratic society, covert police tactics, along with many of the other surveillance techniques, offer us a queasy ethical and moral paradox. The choice between anarchy and repression is not a happy one, wherever the balance is struck. We are caught on the horns of a moral dilemma. In Machiavelli's words: {Never} let any state ever believe that it can always adopt safe policies...we never try to escape one difficulty without running into another; but prudence consists in knowing how to recognize the nature of the difficulties and how to choose the least bad as good." Sometimes undercover tactics will be the least bad. Used with great care, they may be a necessary evil. The challenge is to prevent them from becoming an intolerable one. ******************************************************************** **END OF CuD #3.02** ********************************************************************


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