Computer Underground Digest Volume 3, Issue #3.05 (February 9, 1991)

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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 3, Issue #3.05 (February 9, 1991) ** **************************************************************************** MODERATORS: Jim Thomas / Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.bitnet) ARCHIVISTS: Bob Krause / Alex Smith / Bob Kusumoto RESIDENT SYSTEM CRASH VICTIM:: Brendan Kehoe USENET readers can currently receive CuD as alt.society.cu-digest. Back issues are also available on Compuserve (in: DL0 of the IBMBBS sig), PC-EXEC BBS (414-789-4210), and at 1:100/345 for those on FIDOnet. Anonymous ftp sites: (1) ftp.cs.widener.edu (temporarily down); (2) cudarch@chsun1.uchicago.edu E-mail server: archive-server@chsun1.uchicago.edu. 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. Articles are preferred to short responses. Please avoid quoting previous posts unless absolutely necessary. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 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 THIS ISSUE: File 1: Moderators' Corner File 2: From the Mailbag File 3: Arrest of Phiber Optik File 4: The Dictator: My thoughts File 5: Chaos Computer Club Congress File 6: The Feds (In this case the FCC) hits Ham Packet BBS Ops. File 7: FCC Citation of Packet BBSs for Store-and-Forward Msg File 8: Book Review--Exporting the First Amendment ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05, File 1 of 8: Moderator's corner *** ******************************************************************** From: Moderators Subject: Moderators' Corner Date: February 7, 1991 ++++++++++ In this file: 1. RETALIATION IS NOT THE ANSWER 2. CONFERENCE ON COMPUTER INVESTIGATION CONFERENCE ++++++++++ +++++++++++++++++++ Retaliation is *not* the Answer +++++++++++++++++++ We've heard "rumors" about plans for retaliation against informants and others who have added to the victim list of law enforcement zealousness. We have been, and continue to be, unequivocal in our opposition to such behavior! Informants are a symptom of the problem and not its cause. Victims are created by abuse of power, by ignorance of agents, by inadequate Constitutional protections in a time of rapidly changing technology, and by a cultural mentality that sees witches to be hunted in anything mysterious. We are not required to like paid informants, especially when they appear responsible for creating victims rather than protecting society. Sometimes, in serious cases, they are necessary, but should be used with caution. But, they should be used with caution. Informants, by definition, betray, and the ethical issue for law enforcement is one of maintaining a balance between necessity and unethical practice. It is this balance that seems to be out of kilter in the RIPCO informant incident, and we view the problem as one of restoring the balance AND NOT retaliating against the paid informant. Informants must live with their conscience and with the stigma they earn. From all accounts, law enforcement agents respect informants as little as the rest of us; they only find them useful. So, there is little need to retaliate: Loss of status and the corresponding condemnation is sufficient response. An anonymous poster shares similar thoughts in file #4, below. +++++++++++ Conference on Computer Investigation Conference +++++++++++ The Criminal Justice Statistics Association will be holding a conference on INVESTIGATION COMPUTER CRIME (March 18-20) in Washington D.C. The blurb reads: Audience: Law enforcement and prosecutorial personnel assigned to the computer crimes cases Objectives: To train personnel in the technical and legal aspects of computer crimes. Covers issues such as computer crime methods and detection, crime scene search procedures and computer evidence preservation, the application of existing laws, interaction with techincal experts, and prevention education. A registration fee is $100 per class day and classes will be held in the Computer Center's facility at 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Suite 860, Washington DC. For more information, contact person is: Jim Zepp, Director NCJS (Suite 860) 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 (202-638-4155) ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** res;res on aca101;ct; uf file; ch'3.03' to'3.05';res ------------------------------ From: Various Subject: From the Mailbag Date: 9 Feb, 1991 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 2 of 8: From the Mailbag *** ******************************************************************** Subject: CuDs available in New Zealand From: patrick@SIDEWAYS.GEN.NZ(Pat Cain) Date: Sat, 02 Feb 91 01:53:55 NZD I run a bbs in New Zealand and archive CuD -- all the issues of CuD are here. Plus miscellaneous other telecoms related files. If you get any inquiries from New Zealand people then perhaps you could direct them here? e-mail: patrick@sideways.gen.nz bbs phone: +64 4 661231 (v21/v22/v22bis) (no fees, charges or donations reqd.) CuDs are located in: /public/telecoms/cud +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ From: BIFF@PHOENIX.COM(Biff) Subject: CuD #3.04, File 3 of 4: The Politics of the ECPA of 1986 Date: Wed, 30 Jan 91 20:11:11 EST Reprint from BMUG (Berkeley MacIntosh Users' Group) writes: ->A more ->emotional defense was made by John Stanton, Executive VP of McCaw ->Communications, who stated "The inhibition of the growth of cellular ->technology and paging technology, forced by the lack of privacy, is ->unfair." The commercial use of the public airwaves by cellular communications providers is unfair. The transmission of their signals through my body without my permission is unfair. Life is not fair, Mr. Stanton. There is no Constitutional guarantee of fairness, especially for corporations over citizens. ->For example, John ->Stanton of McCaw testified that "Encryption devices make it difficult to ->roam from system to system," generated scratchy sound, and required 30% ->more investment for the base unit, and 100% for the phone. Mr. Colgan's ->estimated high grade commercial encryption as costing $40 for the ->encryption chip (quantity one), plus associated circuitry . In either ->case, the net cost for several million subscribers was estimated in the ->tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Before anyone starts to feel sorry for the cost involved for the cellular folks to add encryption to the phones, consider the following facts: 1. The cellular industry is already switching to digital mode because they are running out of room. This digital mode is encrypted (to the casual listener) and privacy of the cellular user is protected. 2. The cost of the parts to add encryption to a cellular phone is hardly 100% of the cost of the phone. The estimates from non-cellular, and thus less opposed to adding the encryption devices, spokespeople are that encryption would add $5 to the cost. 3. There is no need for "high grade" encryption. Cellular users need no more than simple encryption, since the only people ANY encryption will stop are the casual listeners. A serious privacy invader will tap into the trunks leading out of the cellular switch and bypass all the nonsense. 4. Only poorly designed encryption systems would make it harder to roam. If the cellular industry can't design their systems properly, why should the rest of us be held to account for it? 5. There are already several encryption systems in use by law enforcement agencies, and one of those could easily be used by cellular providers. The technology is not new. 6. Anyone who wants you to believe that cellular manufacturers buy ANYTHING at single quantity prices is prevaricating through their orthodonture. 7. Scratchy sound for some is better than denying to ALL the rights to receive signals transmitted on the public airwaves. ->John Stanton of McCaw commented that if the U.S. ->passed the ECPA, then it would enjoy superior communications privacy to ->that available in Europe. This was, and probably still is, the view of the cellular industry. They feel that legislation guarantees privacy, and they are more than happy to tell cellular users that their calls are completely private. Instead of spending the money to MAKE the calls private, they spend the money to make listening illegal. ->This last point deserves elaboration. Under ECPA, monitoring of cordless ->phone frequencies is not prohibited, although it is hard to argue that the ->average individual's "expectation of privacy" is any different for a ->cordless phone than it would be for a cellular phone. Arguing that any prudent human would believe that cordless communications were private is beyond imagination. But even cordless phone manufacturers are playing the game by adding "security codes", which don't stop anyone from listening, just from dialing your phone. ->In contrast to the detailed arguments submitted by the parties discussed ->above, the one page letter submitted by The Source had a minor impact at ->best, suggesting that the ECPA, by not preempting state statutes, could ->expose the online service industry to an entangling web of federal and ->state statutes. The tangle has started. California has, according to reports I have seen, enacted a law prohibiting the reception of cordless phones and baby monitors. They have preempted the FCC and the US Congress in this matter. The IRS has ruled that IRS agents may monitor cordless phone conversations to gather evidence of wrongdoing. A judge in an eastern state has ruled the use of a scanner to monitor cordless phones and identify drug dealers, by the local sheriff's department, is legal. Sigh... Life is not fair, D00D. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Newsbytes (Barbara and John McMullen) Subject: Arrest of Phiber Optik Date: February 8, 1991 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 3 of 8: Arrest of Phiber Optik *** ******************************************************************** NEW YORK STATE POLICE ARREST "PHIBER OPTIK" 2/8/91 EAST FARMINGDALE, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 1991 FEB 8(NB) -- CORRECTION: The February 7th Newsbytes piece on this story said that the alleged illegal activity committed by 18 year-old Mark Abene, "Phiber Optic" took place on JULY 9, 1990. The date of the alleged incident was actually JANUARY 9th, 1990. The corrected story follows: Major Timothy Rabbett of the New York State Police has announced the arrest of Mark Abene, 18, of Queens, NY for allegedly tampering with a New York Telephone Computer Computer to provide free access for Abene and unnamed others to have unbilled access to a "900" telephone. The arrest, which was made by New York State Police Officers and a member of the United States Secret Service, came after a year's investigation by those two agencies. Abene, who is also known by the computer handle "Phiber Optik", is charged with felony counts of Computer Tampering, First Degree and Computer Trespass and a misdemeanor charge of theft of services. New York State Senior Investigator Donald Delaney told Newsbytes that each of the felony charges carries maximum sentences of from 1 to 4 years in prison. The charges allege that Abene, on January 9th, 1990, obtained access to a New York Telephone Company computer through the use of a stolen credit card number and, having gained access, activated an unassigned telephone number. According to the charges, he then arranged "call-forwarding" from the unassigned number to a "900" number, a procedure that allegedly allowed Abene and others to make free calls through the unassigned number to the "900" number. Search warrants relating to this investigation were executed on Abene and two others, known as "Acid Phreak" and "Scorpion", on January 24th, 1990 and computer equipment, diskettes, notebooks and other materials were taken into custody at that time. The arrest of Abene was said to have been the result of the year-long study of these materials in conjunction with materials received from various telephone companies. Newsbytes has learned that the other subjects of the search warrants and investigations will be charged under Federal statutes for allegations relating to the investigation. Abene, had he been charged under federal statues, would have been considered a minor at the time of the alleged acts; under New York state regulation, he is classified as an adult and is being charged as such. While Abene, on the advice of attorney, was not available for comment, Mrs. Gloria Abene, his mother, told Newsbytes that her son was "taken away with handcuffs on". Delaney told Newsbytes that this is standard procedure because "You cannot bring an un-handcuffed prisoner into a New York City police precinct for booking." Abene was taken into custody at 10:10 AM on February 5th and taken to the Queens County Detention Center where he was held until 11:30 PM on the same evening when he was released under his own recognizance. Delaney commented on the arrest to Newsbytes, saying "I hope that by arresting the people that have been committing these crimes and publicizing their arrests, we reduce the occurrence of these activities. There has been a recent reduction in computer crime and I think that it is due, in part, to the publicity that has surrounded similar arrests. (Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/19910207) ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Anonymous (from Ripco BBS) Subject: The Dictator: My thoughts Date: 02/08/91 ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 4 of 8: The Dictator--My Thoughts *** ******************************************************************** Well, since others have put up what they thought about the Dictator, I may as well add mine. I am not so mad at The Dictator (I'm not really mad at all 'cuz I don't know him, I don't hack systems/phreak, and I haven't seen black-and-white proof) as I am at the intrusion into the underground. It was one thing to bust hacks, phreaks, carders, etc. You play, you pay. Every hack/phreak/'rate knows and accepts that. The problem I have is that we were violated. Face it, we were raped. An outsider came in, got into some exclusive boards (and some non-exclusive ones, too, that were busted for no reason), made people trust him, and fucked them. We should be mad at ourselves. The guy went to SummerCon unnoticed! They videotaped shit, he called boards, etc. How could people who can bring networks down to their knees be duped by someone who probably thinks DTMF is "Dumb Tight Mother Fucker"? Social Engineering. Sound familiar? The guy hacked his way into the underground! What irony! This gives the story a little twist! WE got socially engineered for once. This is a "shoe is on the other foot" type scenario. He made a quality hack! He probably thought he was doing the cool 007 James Bond deal when he did whatever he did or didn't do. You know, infiltrating the enemy, behind the lines, all that stuff. At any rate, instead of blowing the guy up (he still might be innocent, you know), I think we should use hacker ethics to deal with this situation. You ask, what are hacker ethics in this situation? 1) A quality hack should not be punished. 2) A hack can show leaks in security, and is therefore beneficial in some respects. He did make a quality hack whether we want to admit it or not. It was immoral and everything, but it was a quality hack. Like when someone breaks into a system and grabs stuff, he doesn't feel he should be busted. Well, fair is fair. Let the courts bust him and whoever for illegal procedure or whatever. That's their place, not ours. He has shown leaks in security. What security? you ask. Exactly. There is no security. Security CAN be implemented. It doesn't have to be elitist, either. At any rate, IF (and it's a big if) The Dictator or anyone else did infiltrate the underground, wouldn't it be better to fix the holes than retaliate against some stooge? I don't blame The Dictator, or even the guys who are giving their kids a nice new Mac courtesy of Doc Ripco (tho he might). Personally I only hold the "brains" of the operation responsible like Gail (got a job yet?) Thackeray. Nice career move. Too bad it blew up like the Hindenburg. At was the people who instigated the investigation who should be blamed. And us for being such idiots. The Dictator was a mere cog in the machine. Let the guy live with whatever conscience he has. Some day he will realize that the SS used him and threw him away like a soiled condom. He got used like he used us. What is the SS doing for him now? Probably nothing. He's probably sitting at home, sweating, and shitting in his pants everytime he starts his car. Isn't that punishment enough? If the SS wants to play CIA, and it can get buffoons to play 007, then it will be sorry in the end. I think they should stick to counterfeiters instead. The FBI probably would have done a better job at busting the real criminals and leaving the amatures alone. The REAL feds, the FBI dudes, are probably laughing at this whole thing. The CIA probably knows more about us than anyone, but they're smart. They stick to their business rather than trying to get the glory. That's my opinion. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Bill Fischer Subject: Chaos Computer Club Congress Date: Mon, 28 Jan 91 10:00:13 CST ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 5 of 8: Chaos Computer Conference (Reprint) *** ******************************************************************** {Reprinted with permission from: Risks Digest, 10.80} ============================================================================= -Date: 24 Jan 91 14:19 GMT+0100 -From: Klaus Brunnstein -Subject: 7th Chaos Computer Congress, Hamburg, 27-29 Dec 1990 In its 7th year, the annual conference of Chaos Computer Club was held in Hamburg (Germany) in the last week of December. A broad spectrum of themes was offered, dominated by networking, but also covering legal aspects, ecological computing, freedom of information, female computer handling, psychology of hackers and others. Among the more than 300 participants, only few people from European countries (Netherland, Italy) and USA participated. The Congress newspaper (covering reports about most sessions, available as *.DOC or *.TXT files, see below) is only in German. Though the printed (DTP-ed) version of it looks more professionally, some essential discussions (e.g. female computer handling, computer viruses, the new German Information Security Agency, GISA) are missing; quality and readability of articles is rather mixed. As there were only few spectacular themes (phreaking, copying bank cards), public interest and coverage in newsmedia, as compared to CCC'89 (the year, when the KGB hack was published) was moderate. Among the spectacular themes, a group HACK-TIC from Netherland demonstrated a machine (about 1,500$) to copy credit and Eurocheque cards (EC); according to Wau Holland (co-founder of CCC), this was arranged "to demonstrate the insecurity of these plastique cards". While the speaker of Hamburg's saving bank (HASPA, which was the victim of CCC's famous "Btx/HASPA-attack") said that this is impossible, a journalist of BILD (a German boulevard newspaper) received a printout of his account with a copy of his card, but when trying to order money from a teller machine, his card was collected. The most spectacular event was a workshop on (phone) "Phreaking". Experiences and methods how "to call as far as possible with as many phreaks as possible at lowest possible price" were described in some detail (few of which were written). Tricks with German PTT's 130-number (and connection to US' 700/800 numbers) as well as with the (PTT-internal) test number 1177 to establish low-cost (at least for the phreaks) teleconferences and voice mailboxes were discussed. It is surprising to hear from a US phreak that the old tricks (2,600 MHz, red boxes to simulate the coins' click) even work today; some new experiences esp. tricks with Calling Cards (due to missing expiration date on some cards or delayed update of MCI databank) were added to "help fight the excessive telephone costs". Dutch phreaks informed about "use" of 008-numbers; a hotel reservation service at a large airport does not check the validity of credit cards (file: PHREAK.DOC). The workshop was not concerned with legal aspects of Phreaking. Several sessions were devoted to networking. Chaos Computer Club runs a network ("Zerberus") with gateways to international networks and a growing number of regional mailbox systems. Despite mixed (or even bad) experiences with new mailbox systems and gateways (the gateway group emailed invitation to this workshop; 50% of the invitations came back, essentially with "error-mail"; file NETWCHAoS.DOC), several sessions were devoted to introductions into networking (file WSI-NET.DOC covering a detailed INTERNET survey; several files on GATOR, a GATEway ORientation guide to regional and international communication and gateways). A special report was devoted to communication of graphic and sound data, where special standards, command languages and software are under development (file SCF.DOC). Special discussions were devoted to applications of mailboxes for ecological purposes (file UMWE-DFU.DOC) and as infrastructure for publications (file Med-DFU.DOC), as well as to aspects of (German) publication laws (file PRESRECH.DOC). One session was devoted to CCCs idea to aid the former GDR (now "5 new federal countries") in establishing a citizen computer network "DDRNET". Despite of significant aid by computer dealers (who spontaneously donated PCs, software and modems in significant numbers) and despite of the interest of local groups and parties (New Forum, essential force in the East-German revolution), tax and organization problems finally stopped the project when German reunification happened. The document (file: DDRNET.DOC) gives a lively example of good ideas and plans being killed by hostile bureaucracy. Following earlier CCC' discussions on sociological aspects of hacking, a student (Tommy) described his examination thesis (diplom work) relating Psychology and Computing (file PSYCHO.DOC, thesis in compacted form: PSYCH.LZH in 109kBytes). According to Tommy, hackers exhibit their self-consciousness as an elite by their techno-speak. "Ordinary" people of same age with no understanding of computing are rather suspicious about hackers, even more as computers appear as threats to their civil rithts and working places. In such controversies, hackers seems to flee reality, mostly unconsciously, and they live in simulated worlds such as Cyberspace ("not as dangerous as other drugs"). Anonymous or technically depersonalized communication (e.g. mailboxes) lowers the threshold of moral scruples, resulting in communication garbage and flames. Btw: as in previous years, a special workshop on Cyberspace demonstrated EEG-coupled graphical devices and software (file: CYBER.DOC); the sub-culture (as initiated by Gibson's book "Neuromancer") developing around this techno-drug has it's first European magazines (Decoder, Cyberpunk). A special discussion developed on computer "viruses". Two speakers working with Ralph Burger (author of the "Big Book of Computer Viruses", also publishing virus code in German, English and Russian) described his work to classify new viruses and to establish a databank of virus code. In their classification, the group starts with a specific model of virus mechanisms including self-encryption; this model is in some contradiction with other classification (e.g. as a virus in their model must always have an effect, parent viruses like DO NOTHING having no effect would not be a virus while their descendants are), and stealth mechanisms other than encryption are not foreseen. The speakers argued that information on virus details should be easily accessible to all relevant parties. A controversial discussion arose when the author of this report informed about the establishment of CARO (=Computer Antivirus Research Organisation, cofounded by V.Bonchev/Sofia, Ch.Fischer/Karlsruhe, F.Skulason/Rejkjavik, A.Solomon/UK, M.Swimmer/Hamburg, M.Weiner/Vienna and the author) to establish a database with virus specimen and procedures to quickly analyse new viruses and distribute the disassemblies for verification and antivirus development. As the number of viruses grows significantly (more than 400 MsDos viruses known, plus new developments visible in Soviet Union, Hungary etc) with advanced stealth methods and more sophisticated damage, restrictions in the access to such virus specimen based on concepts of "trusted persons" and "need to know" are presently discussed (also controversially). In contrast to such concepts, CCC'90 participants and the speakers expressed their view that such virus specimen should be accessible to any interested party. Summary: apart from the session on phone phreaking, Chaos Computer Club visibly demonstrated its distance to criminal activities which dominated the last conferences (e.g. KGB hack). In discussing themes of technical and related interests, they return to the list of items which were described in their foundation document (file THESEN.TXT, October 1981). Themes related to civil rights (e.g. "Freedom of Information") are visibly of more interest than classical hacking techniques. As CCC did not discuss any consequences of the KGB case (after the trial in March 1990) for its members or related persons, CCC omitted the opportunity to prepare for it's role in future hacks in it's environment. While their annual conference was less chaotically organized than last year, it's structure and future developments remain as the name indicates: chaotic and computer-minded, yet with a sense for new ideas and applications. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: Visualize Whirled Peas Subject: The Feds (In this case the FCC) hits Ham Packet BBS Ops. Date: Thu, 31 Jan 91 08:55:45 PST ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 6 of 8: The Feds hit Ham Packet BBS Ops. *** ******************************************************************** -Newsgroups: rec.ham-radio Subject: FCC Citation of Packet BBSs for Store-and-Forward Msg FCC CENSORS/CENSURES PACKET RADIO Tom Clark, W3IWI January 30, 1991 Today a number of packet BBSs on the east coast received citations from the FCC's Norfolk (actually Virginia Beach) Field Office which may well spell the end to much of amateur packet radio. According to Jim, WA4ONG the following packet BBSs (and perhaps others) are involved: N3LA, WA3TSW, KA3CNT, KA3T, WA3ZNW, W3IWI, WA4ONG, WB0TAX and N4HOG [my copy of the citation has not yet arrived in the mail -- the details in this message are taken from a copy WA4ONG faxed to me]. The letter dated January 25th from Mr. J. J. Freeman, Engineer in Charge at the Norfolk Office, to WA4ONG states: "I have received a report that indicates you may have operated your amateur radio station, call sign WA4ONG, in violation of Section 97.113(a) of the Commission's Rules. It appears that you used the Ama-teur Radio Service to facilitate the business activity of THE COALITION TO STOP U.SD. INTERVENTION IN THE MIDDLE EAST." "Specifically, on or about January 5, 1991 you received a packet radio message originated by amateur radio station WA3QNS. You then transmitted this packet radio message to another amateur radio station. The message was: { Here appears a copy of the message sent by WA3QNS@N3LA.PA originat-ed at 22:22z on Jan.5 with the BID #21035_N3LA, Subject: Call This Number ASAP. The message listed the business telephones and fax numbers for "The Coalition" as well as a 1-900-xxx-xxxx number to call to "register your voice" I won't repeat the bulletin here, because repeating the bulletin would make it illegal to send this message! } (Continued in Part 2) /EX SB URGENT@USA < W3IWI $38141_W3IWI FCC CITES BBSs FOR @USA MSG (Part 2/4) R:910131/0445z 38141@W3IWI.MD.USA.NOAM [Balto/Wash MD/DC] FCC CENSORS/CENSURES PACKET RADIO cont'd "This activity was a facilitation of the business affairs of the Coali-tion to Stop U.S. Intervention in the Middle East and therefor {sic} in violation of Section 97.113(a)." The FCC citation then contains the boilerplate demanding a response within 10 days explaining circumstances and correct actions, and then closing with a chilling "to determine what, if any, enforcement action is required to insure current and future rule compliance" and a state-ment that future transgressions will bring fines and/or license revoca-tion. That's the facts. I'll now discuss some of the implications and recommended actions. THE IMPLICATIONS The implications of the action by the FCC's Norfolk Field Office are absolutely appalling. What is implied is that each and every station in a store-and-forward network is responsible for the actual message CONTENT passing through each node. The BBSs were cited because their calls were in the message header "audit trail". The FCC's action states that each BBS SYSOP is personally responsible for the "correctness" of all messages merely passing through his system. Here, the W3IWI mail switch handles about 10,000 messages per month automatically. There is NO WAY that I can vouch for every bit that passes through! If the FCC had instead gleaned its information from on-the-air monitor-ing, then all the THENET/NETROM/ROSE/TCPIP/DIGIPEATER switches handling the message would have been equally culpable! The implication of the FCC action is that a node control operator must read all information and be prepared to shut the system down at the first hint of an "inappropriate" message. It's hard enough to watch the information passing on 1200 BPS links -- imagine the impossibility of "censoring" 56 kBPS or faster channels. (Continued in Part 3) /EX SB URGENT@USA < W3IWI $38142_W3IWI FCC CITES BBSs FOR @USA MSG (Part 3/4) R:910131/0445z 38142@W3IWI.MD.USA.NOAM [Balto/Wash MD/DC] THE IMPLICATIONS cont'd In future networks where redundant channels exist, it is quite possible that a given message will be fragmented and parts of it sent via several parallel paths. The message may exist as a complete entity only at the ends of a virtual path. It would be impossible to implement the censor-ship the FCC seems to be demanding with such a network, so the "legali-ty" will interfere with development of new technology. Consider another recent development: amateur packet radio satellites. PACSAT is licensed by the FCC with a US trustee and a cadre of US sy-sops. PACSAT is, in essence, a flying BBS with the sysops on the ground. In order to screen out "offensive" messages, a ground-based SYSOP has to use a radio channel to verify message CONTENT. But the FCC letter says that the very act of reading an "offensive" message on the radio is illegal. If the Norfolk FCC action is allowed to stand, the logical implication is that PACSATs must be turned off! A number of us have discussed such issues with responsible individuals at the FCC in Washington ever since the first fledgling days of packet radio. The signal that the FCC sent was that the sole responsibility for the CONTENT of a message lays with the ORIGINATOR. The actions of the Norfolk Office seem to indicate a new policy has been adopted which effectively kills packet radio. Or -- perhaps -- the Norfolk Engineer in Charge who issued the citations was offended by the particular message and chose to take out his frus-trations on all the "King's Messengers" who brought the message to him? W3IWI COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS It is ironic that the WA3QNS message that brought down the wrath of the FCC a number of the BBSs that "touched" his message brought a very vocal response from the packet community informing him that (1) 1-900-xxx-xxxx are in fact commercial ventures designed to raise money and that a call to the number would cost the caller. (2) The subject message was probably in violation of 97.113(a) and probably illegal (Continued in Part 4) /EX SB URGENT@USA < W3IWI $38143_W3IWI FCC CITES BBSs FOR @USA MSG (Part 4/4) R:910131/0445z 38143@W3IWI.MD.USA.NOAM [Balto/Wash MD/DC] W3IWI COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS cont'd Personally, I have been silent (but very frustrated) that about the 10% of bulletins addressed @USA (or @ALLUS, @ALLBBS, etc.) that are in poor taste. I have grown tired if blather about censorship, First Amendment Rights and the incredible volumes of hate mail. WA3QNS, by his statements and by the responses to his statements from other folks, has been one of the causes of this frustration. I have longed for the return to normalcy with messages on technical topics and personal communications. I have found it frustrating to pay the electric power bill and pay for the W3IWI hardware for others to engage in marginally offensive "Free Speech". I have wished that the (ab)users of @USA would have exercised more discretion with self-censorship. But I have gritted what teeth I have left and avoided being a censor. Now, the FCC's CENSURE has left me with no alternative than to be a CENSOR. Until the FCC tells me that I can do otherwise, I will only release @USA messages that I personally screen and am willing to stake my license on. The priority on my time is such that I don't expect to have time to screen @USA bulletins. Any complaints about my decision will be sent to /dev/null. For the vast majority of you who do not abuse the system, I'm sorry that this situation has come up and that your ability to "fan out" informa-tion will be hindered. Since there have been very few instances of "offensive" personal messages, I'll take the risk of keeping all other packet mail flowing here and I hope the other BBS SYSOPs do likewise. But PLEASE exercise self-policing. The BBS SYSOPs don't want to be held responsible for YOUR words. The ARRL has already been informed about the Norfolk citations. Because of the potentially devastating impact on all packet radio if the Norfolk situation is allowed to stand, I anticipate a lot of phone calls to be made in the next few days! 73 de Tom, W3IWI ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ From: "Michael E. Marotta" Subject: Book Review--Exporting the First Amendment Date: Sun, 27 Jan 91 09:11 EST ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 7 of 8: Review--Exporting the First Amndmnt *** ******************************************************************** BOOK REVIEW: Exporting the First Amendment: The Press-Government Crusade 1945-1952 by Margaret A. Blanchard, Longman Publishers, New York, 1986. This book was reviewed in the same issue (Vol. 39, No. 3. Oct 1987) of the Federal Communication Law Journal that contains the article "An Electronic Soapbox: Computer Bulletin Boards and the First Amendment." "Soapboax" was cited by The Electronic Frontier Foundation in the amicus curiae brief on behalf of Len Rose. EXPORTING THE FIRST AMENDMENT is the more telling tale. Time and again, Eleanor Roosevelt and her team mates from the United States were overpowered by compromisers who viewed "freedom of the press" as a necessary evil. To most of the delegates to the press conventions in Geneva and New York, RESTRICTING the press by adopting "principles of responsibility" was more important. Freedom of the press was for everyone EXCEPT... Except for issues of national security (all nations agreed with that). Except for when the press in one place insults the politicians in another place (Egypt's King Farouk enjoyed the Riveria and Monte Carlo). Except when materials are injurious to youth (Scandanavia and France feared American comic books and the communists hated the daily comics because in the background was all this luxury). Except when opinions are injurious to the reputation of natural and legal individuals (a "legal individual" is a corporation). And indeed, while Eleanor Roosevelt was insisting that the press should be free, the United States was chasing "communist" writers at home and abroad. Sadly, the author actually shares the views of the totalitarians. To Blanchard, the press is like religion or politics, it is an institution than cannot be superimposed on a culture. However, freedom of the press is merely a logical extension of the freedom to speak which comes from the freedom to think. Why it is that Islam and Christianity and atheism, socialism and communism and capitalism, hot dogs and tofu and tacos can be exported and imported but freedom of the press cannot? Recently, the National Science Foundation pressured a sysop into dropping "obscene" GIF files from his FTP directory. (The fate of publishers like Craig Neidorf and Steve Jackson has been well-documented.) To the extent that we compromise, we deliver to our enemies the weapons that are used against us. The failure of the "First Amendment Crusade" following World War II is still haunting us today. The threat to your right to think comes not from the fact that Egypt and Israel impose censorship, but that the United States imposes censorship. The key difference is that for them, it is the rule and for us, it is the exception. So be it. Very often in cyberspace, we come upon systems that ask us not to post "illegal" information on bombs or lockpicking or sex or credit cards. A sysop or moderator has a right to define what is appropriate on their system. But stop and think. There is nothing inherently ILLEGAL about publishing these facts. Security textbooks are one source. Mystery stories are another. If you don't know how cars or credit card numbers are stolen, you cannot PROTECT yourself and you become dependent upon the socialized police forces to inefficiently record your losses. And why is it wrong to write about SEX? What next, walking down the street? Freedom of the press comes from freedom to think. EXPORTING THE FIRST AMENDMENT is the sad story of what happened when these principles were compromised. ******************************************************************** >> END OF THIS FILE << *************************************************************************** ------------------------------ Subject: Michigan Bell Fends off BBS Complainant From: "Michael E. Marotta" Subject: News from Michigan Date: Tue, 29 Jan 91 15:24 EST ******************************************************************** *** CuD #3.05: File 8 of 8: The CU in the News *** ******************************************************************** From: GRID News. vol 2 nu 4. January 29, 1991. World GRID Association, P. O. Box 15061, Lansing, MI 48901 USA -----------------------------------------------------------------Michigan Bell Fends off BBS Complainant by Michael E. Marotta James R. Imhoff is the sysop of Variety and Spice BBS. In January of 1990, Michigan Bell began assessing him business rates. He filed a complaint with the Michigan Public Service Commission. MBT filed for and was granted a motion hearing. On January 18, 1991 at 10:00 am, a hearing was conducted by telephone. Judge Daniel Nickerson presided. Two MPSC staffers were present in person. Michigan Bell's Craig Anderson and Char Hoffman were connected and James R. Imhoff was connected. At that time, Michigan Bell asked for several "discoveries". As the defendants, they had a right to know what proofs and witnesses Imhoff intended to rely on. Judge Nickerson granted most of the eight requests. Docket U9725 James Imhoff vs Michigan Bell Telephone was heard on January 29, 1991. Present were Bruce Rainey, Tomasin Garcia, and Sam Khattar of the MPSC staff. Craig Anderson, Charlene Hoffman, Nancy M. Rhoads, and Amy Edwards of Michigan Bell. James Robert Imhoff appeared, also. Daniel Nickerson was the administrative law judge. We met in a pre-hearing at 9:00 am. The judge announced that the purpose of the pre-hearing was to define the issues of discovery. Craig Anderson, speaking for Bell, said that discovery was not resolved. The MPSC staff said that it did not see the complainant's reponses to the request for discovery until this morning. Craig Anderson said he had a motion. The judge said he would continue presently. Anderson's motion was heard. "I spoke to Imhoff and reminded him of the deadline," he said. That deadline was Friday, January 25, 1991 at 5:00 pm. According to Anderson, Imhoff delivered the responses to Bell on Monday at 12:10 pm. Speaking for the MPSC staff, Tomasin Garcia said she did not receive the response. Anderson said that Imhoff did not provide addresses or other materials as directed by the judge. MBT asked that Imhoff be precluded from calling witnesses as they did not have adequate time to prepare a defense or response. James Imhoff said that he delivered the materials to Bell's Michigan Avenue Detroit office at 4 pm on Friday, January 25, 1991, but that the guard was unconcerned. The guard did not know Craig Anderson. Imhoff said that three guards were present, two men chatting with women, a third woman chatting with another woman. Imhoff also said that he did not know he was to give materials to the MPSC staff, he thought he was to delivery them to MBT staff. Further, he does not know the addresses of his witnesses because they are all computer people whom he knows online only. He did not know who could and could not appear. Judge Nickerson asked Imhoff if he received a letter outlining his responsibilities. Imhoff replied that he did not know if he got the letter because he gets a lot of mail, some of it redundant. Some discussion transpired on the state of readiness of security at MBT and whether and when every package delivered is logged. After a recess to consider the arguments, Daniel Nickerson ruled. "Discovery is allowed," he said, calling it an important aspect of an efficient and fair hearing. "Therefore," he said,"I find that my order was not complied with. Both staff and respondent are prejudiced for not receiving the answers... The matter of dismissed without prejudice." James Imhoff said he would file again and take it up later. After the hearing, I spoke with the principals and the audience. Craig Anderson said that Michigan Bell is not interested in going after every BBS. He would not comment on two hypothetical cases. He would not say whether he would consider file uploads to be a value rendered and he did not feel he could say what this might mean in an information society. Anderson and his colleagues all agreed that these issues would have to be addressed in the future as we continue to wire our network nation. I also spoke with James Imhoff. "I do charge for access," Imhoff said. When a user sends him money, "they get time on my system... they get into the library." Imhoff feels he should not be charged business rates. "The last seven years I have run this system I have not made dime one on this system. I actually lose between $100 and $150 a month. It is a hobby for this reason. If I were charging by the minute like a Prodigy or a CompuServe, it would be a business. I just want to get close to break-even. According to the IRS, any time you lose money on a business for three years, that is a hobby. I make anywhere from $1000 to $1200 a year and it costs me about $800 a month. The cost of a man's toys do not determine whether his hobby is a business or a residence. Kevin Craft, sysop of Beam Rider noted that Imhoff seemed "not well prepared." Rick Wisckol, former sysop of Northern Point said that when faced with Michigan Bell, you "shouldn't wing it. ...Get someone who can work the ropes on the same level as Michigan Bell." Imhoff said that he was a target in a larger conspiracy. He said that there are 50 million registered home modems in American. If Bell can collect an extra $3 per month, he said, that will be an extra $150 million per month in income. "Going after me is just the first step." ******************************************************************** ------------------------------ **END OF CuD #3.05** ********************************************************************

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