Computer underground Digest Mon, Feb 17, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 07 Editors: Jim Thomas and

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Computer underground Digest Mon, Feb 17, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 07 Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Associate Editor: Etaion Shrdlu CONTENTS, #4.07 ( Feb 17, 1992) File 1--Craig Neidorf's Status File 2--Sheldon Zenner's opening statement in the Neidorf Trial Issues of CuD can be found in the Usenet news group, on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL0 and DL12 of TELECOM, on Genie, on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210, and by anonymous ftp from (,, and To use the U. of Chicago email server, send mail with the subject "help" (without the quotes) to NOTE: THE WIDENER SITE IS TEMPORARILY RE-ORGANIZING AND IS CURRENTLY DIFFICULT TO ACCESS. FTP-ERS SHOULD USE THE ALTERNATE FTP SITES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 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 do copyright their material, and they 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. Digest contributors assume all responsibility for ensuring that articles submitted do not violate copyright protections. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sun, 16 Feb 92 19:54:59 PST From: Moderators ( Subject: File 1--Craig Neidorf's Status When Federal prosecutor Bill Cook dropped felony charges against Craig Neidorf in June, 1990, because the government had no case, many considered it a victory for Craig. For new-comers unfamiliar with the case, Craig was co-editor of PHRACK magazine, and published documents that BellSouth and the Secret Service initially claimed were stolen, worth in excess of $78,000, and were part of a national Legion of Doom conspiracy that included a scheme to tamper with the E-911 system. The charges were without substance, and when it became obvious that the alleged stolen proprietary documents were available to the general public for under $14, the case was dropped before the prosecution completed presenting its case. It appeared that Craig had won. "The system works," some claimed. It was a Pyrrhic victory. Craig was absolved legally, but the costs of defending himself were catastrophic. We argued then (and nothing has changed our minds) that the system did not work. Craig should never have gone to trial in the first place, and the methods used by the government were considered inappropriate, federal and private participants involved in that case are defendants in litigation challenging their procedures in a related case, and the costs of Craig's defense to himself and his family, including defense fees, a disrupted life, and the agony of being stigmatized and demeaned on national television by Geraldo Rivera and Don Ingraham last year are part of the costs of the government's actions. Ironically, if the principle of honor were not so important, Craig arguably would have been better off to plead guilty rather than defend his honor. It would have saved him time, money, and bother. When the costs of pleading guilty to crimes of which one is innocent becomes the best way of avoiding devastating consequences, we cannot agree that they system "works." Craig continues to face the consequences of Bill Cook's action. Bill Cook, whose actions strike us as less than honorable and many judge as the mark of either an incompetent or a mean-spirited cynic, has been "rewarded" with a position in private practice (Willian, Brinks, Olds, Hofer, Gilson & Lione, Ltd., in Chicago). Craig will eventually graduate from law school, and his experiences should make him a fine, competent attorney. Unfortunately, the expenses incurred in his defense, over $100,000, are far beyond his ability to easily repay. The Electronic Frontier Foundation helped defray some of the expenses and also provided some legal assistance that kept the legal bills lower. Unfortunately, there is the perception that EFF paid for Craig's defense. Although their contributions were generous and invaluable, Craig was left with a massive bill, not readily repaid by a 22 year old young man who is trying to continue his education. Craig's situation is not simply his own personal problem. He took considerable risks, for which he incurred massive debt, to defend the principles in which many of us believe. We are all indebted to him for his courage, for his concern for justice instead of expediency, and for the way in which he helped focus the Constitutional and other issues of cyberspace. Craig needs our help in defraying the costs of a battle from which we all benefited. Even $5 would help. Just a 29 cent stamp and a $5 check. That strikes us as a very small gesture on our part to demonstrate recognition of his sacrifice. And the 3 minutes it would take to address the check and send it to his attorney: Katten, Muchin, & Zavis 525 West Monroe Street Suite 1600 Chicago, Illinois 60606-3693 And do not forget to write Craig's name in the memo section or enclose a letter explaining what the check is for. If you neglect to do that, KMZ will not credit his account for the amount of the check. We printed Bill Cook's opening statement to Craig's June, 1990, trial. As promised, here is Sheldon Zenner's opening comments. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 16 Feb 92 19:54:59 PST From: Moderators ( Subject: File 2--Sheldon Zenner's opening statement in the Neidorf Trial ((Opening comments of Sheldon Zenner in U.S. v. Neidorf, June, 1990)) _OPENING STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT_ MR ZENNER: What I would have written on there if I could is something I got in a fortune cookie that said: "To remember is to understand". I have never forgotten that. To remember what it was to be a struggling lawyer makes a good judge. To remember what it was to be a student makes a good teacher. To remember what it was to be a child makes a good parent. Every night when I get home from work, if I get home early enough, I take my son for a walk. He puts his hand in mine. We take a walk to a place called Lighthouse Park. And in Lighthouse Park, he looks at all the things, and he asks questions. He asks questions about everything. He wants to know what everything means, what it does. If it's dark, he wants to know how a lightning bug makes light. He wants to know how you get up to the lighthouse. He's inquisitive. It's a wonderful trait. It's a trait we lose as we grow up, I'm afraid. It's a trait we should value. And it's a trait that being a parent brings back. You get to watch life through the eyes of a child. And kids love adventure, especially young boys. They call them "bad guys". They have a fascination for bad guys and adventure. When I tell my son a "good-night" story, it's got to be cowboys, or pirates, or, nowadays, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They're adventuresome. And sometimes I tell him about when I was a boy and when I grew up, some of the heroes I had, not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but maybe, you know, Superman, Magnificent Seven, or something like that. And he looks at me...he can't believe that I was a kid once. (Laughter) And I tell him about the bag (sic) guys, bad guys on my block, the cool guys, guys who might break into a garage without permission to ride somebody's bike and then put it back. Or who might climb over a locked fence to get apples off somebody's tree. I remember those guys. I thought that what they were doing was pretty cool. When you're a kid, that's how you think. I ended up not doing that stuff, probably because my parents had conveyed a strong sense of right and wrong, and a strong sense of property and, "Somebody else's property isn't your property". My father also conveyed a strong sense of a strap that he used occasionally. That helped me remember right >from wrong. (Laughter) But I still thought that what those other guys on the block did was pretty cool. And sometimes I'd even say that I had done them, "Yeh, I climbed over, and I got something last night, too. You weren't around". It wasn't true. They knew it; I knew it. But I wanted to be one of them. I wasn't. And I tell my son those stories, and he can't believe it. His eyes, you know, get big. And this was all brought back to me a number of months ago when another father walked into my office with the hand of his son clasped for support and protection. His son had a terrible problem. His son is Craig Neidorf. And they came to me for legal representation. They needed help, and they had decided to put his life in my hands. And now, ladies and gentlemen, Craig and I have made a similar serious choice. We have put it in your hands...not at your request I know. Mr. Cook has told you that this case involves 911 systems, and computer technology, and ESS switches, and all of that stuff. And he's not wrong. He's right about that. You are going to hear a lot of testimony about that stuff. But what this case is really about is this young man, and what he did, and what he knew, and what he believed. Because at the end of this trial, you're not going to go back into the jury room and talk about whether the ESS system is guilty or not guilty, or whether the computer system runs this way, or a bulletin board is that. You have got to decide HIS future. That's what the case is about. Let me tell you what I expect the evidence to show about what Craig Neidorf did and did not do. If you listened carefully to what Mr. Cook said, you probably realized that Craig Neidorf did not steal the E911 text file. Mr. Riggs did that. Mr. Riggs is the government's witness in this case. He has cut a deal with the government. It is as if Mr. Riggs is sitting at the counsel table. MR. COOK: Objection, your Honor. THE COURT: That objection will be sustained. Leave that argument for the final argument. MR. ZENNER: Certainly, your honor. Mr. Riggs will be one of the witnesses testifying on behalf of the government. You will also learn that Mr. Neidorf never broke into any computer system. He never stole any file. He never profited in any way >from any of this. What Mr. Neidorf did was publish a computer newsletter called PHRACK. If you listened carefully, and I know you did, to Mr. Cook, you may have noticed that Mr. Cook said that the three hacker witnesses the government will be calling were members of an organization called the Legion of Doom. Actually, it comes from a Saturday morning cartoon. I think they're the counterpart to the Superheroes if I've got it right, 7:30 Saturday morning. They're the bad guys. You might have heard if you listened carefully, that Mr Cook did not say that Mr. Neidorf is a member of the Legion of Doom because the evidence will show that he is not. He never was. They wouldn't even let him in if he wanted to get in. He wasn't a hacker. He didn't break into systems. He wasn't a computer guy in fact. He was a publisher of a newsletter called PHRACK, often a juvenile newsletter, often a newsletter that contained articles that you may well not like, and I don't like. But that's all he was. That is what the evidence will show in this case. What you will learn is about Craig Neidorf and what he did. And I've got the job of telling you about it. Let me reintroduce myself. My name is Sheldon Zenner. I represent Craig. Craig grew up in St. Louis with his mother, and father and sister. He went to public schools. He did well in school, played sports. At around fourth grade, he had a friend named Randy Tischler. You will hear that name again and again. They've been friends for a long time. Randy's parents got him a computer. Craig used to run over to Randy's house to play with the computer. He and Randy knew this was an Atari videogame. They played videogames. He got pretty good at it, and liked the computer and kept using it. High school comes. Around his freshman year, Craig's parents had a divorce. It was a little bit ugly, as most divorces are. And his mom gets Craig a computer, too, to give him something to latch onto in a hard time. He starts using the computer. He gets pretty good at it. Not long thereafter, he gets what is called a modem. You have heard this already. A lot of you people understand computers a little better than I do. I have learned that a modem is something that connects computers. It's a telephone line. It allows computers to talk. If you are sitting at your little terminal, you can put something on the screen, it goes over a telephone line like a phone call, comes down, goes up, and it is rally just a kind of computer phone call. You don't hear the voices. It is not voice activated. It is just there at the terminal. So he got a modem, and he learned how to use it. He learned how to communicate. He learned about the billboard which you will hear about. He learned another thing. He learned that one of the cool things about using these computers and the modem is that a lot of people on them, especially kids, use nicknames, cool nicknames. Craig picked up a nickname. He became Knight Lightning. K-n-i-g-h-t. He was 14 when he became Knight Lightning. He picked it up from the cartoon. Oh, there was a TV show, Knight Rider. You might remember it. I think it talked, as I remember. It had a big computer. That was the "knight" part I think. And what was so wonderful about that as a 14-year old is you could sit there and you could be whoever you wanted to be on the computer. Nobody knows what you look like. They don't know if you're fat or short, or acne'd or scared to talk to girls. You are whoever you put down there. Craig became Knight Lightning at 14. And he used his name, Knight Lightning, when he used the computer. That's all Knight Lightning is. At 16, he started a computer newsletter called PHRACK. You are going to hear a lot about PHRACK. PHRACK, spelled P-h-r-a-c-k. Why the "p-h"? In the mind of a 16-year old, because it was supposed to deal with phone freaks and hackers, phone freaks being people who are interested in electronic communication, and hackers being defined a little differently than Mr. Cook and probably most of his Bell witnesses will define it, but the way you will see the dictionary defines it is: "People interested in computers. People with a strong interest in computers and seeing how they work". So you take people interested in telephone communications, and hackers are interested in computers, put the names together, "phone freaks" and "hackers" and you have PHRACK. Not ingenious, but 16. And he started PHRACK, and it was a publication that targeted those kinds of people. And PHRACK, just so you understand when I say "publication", PHRACK never shows up on paper like the magazines that the judge asked you about before. It's just all computer generated. He sits at his little computer terminal. Somebody sends him an article, or file, or something. He types it up. Puts PHRACK on the heading of it. Puts the person's hacker handle, which is the phrase these guys used for their, you know, names, like Knight Lightning, on the file, and he transmits it through E-mail, as it is called, electronic mail, which is just computer mail, to whoever is on the mailing list. That's PHRACK. That is what it was, a computer newsletter. Craig and his old friend, Randy, were the coeditors. They went off to college together. They become college roommates. They continued to edit PHRACK. They were budding computer journalists, not hackers, computer journalists. And they were proud of what they were doing, maybe wrongly, but they were. And PHRACK began to develop a reputation. Well, it developed a reputation of like, I don't know if you remember back to those, if you are old enough, in the '60s, underground newspapers. There were a lot of underground newspapers. Some of them became full-blown real newspapers years later. Like ROLLING STONE Magazine started out as an underground newspaper. REAL CUTTING EDGE, some very rude stuff in it. The READER Magazine here in Chicago used to be an underground newspaper. That is what PHRACK was to the computer newsletter world. It was like an underground computer newsletter. And so it had a lot of the same characteristics that the underground press had. First of all, nobody is charged. It is free. You don't have to pay to get an issue of PHRACK. It is just going out free. Nobody gets paid to write any articles in PHRACK. If you have an article, you send it in. Everything is free. Everything is done on a shoestring. they don't come out, first of all, every month. They come out when anybody sends any articles in. When somebody sends an article in, there's an issue of PHRACK. That is how it worked. Written primarily by kids with views that were pretty juvenile, much of it terrible, downright offensive. Much of the time, those articles he didn't write, but he was the publisher, or coeditor, or something. So he is being held in the prosecution responsible for what other people wrote. You'll see that. The one thing that this newsletter PHRACK had in common with all the other newsletters I'm talking about is this: Craig believed that it was protected by the First Amendment, perhaps wrongly, maybe, indeed, wrong, but that was his belief. That is no different than any other publication. In fact, Craig knew from classes he took in college a fair amount about the First Amendment because as I told you Craig was not a computer-computer-computer guy. His classes weren't: Introduction to Computers, Secondary Introduction to Computers, and Introduction to the Computer Investigators. No offense to those who took those classes. He was a Political Science major. He still is. In pre-law. So he took classes in American Government and Politics. He took classes in Constitutional Law. He took a class in Civil Rights. He took a class in Civil Liberties. He took a class in The Sixties. He even thought of teaching the class. But those were the kinds of classes that he was taking. That was his interest. He was a a budding journalist. His goal was the free exchange of information, not a budding hacker. And you will learn that within the hacker community, that is, within the community of the kinds of people that the government is going to call to the stand, Mr. Riggs, Mr. Darden, and Mr. Grant, Craig was never accepted as one of the group because he wasn't a hacker. He was a journalist. In fact, what he was, he was a guy who wrote about hackers. I have got to show you something. It will just take me a second. I apologize. (Chart) I don't know if you can see this. I hope you can. Robert Riggs is going to be their witness. He is the guy who broke in and got the 911. In July of 1989, the Secret Service went to Robert Riggs and confronted him about what he had done, and obtained >from him a fully statement about his illegal activities. They asked Mr. Riggs about all the hackers he knew, what they had done, who he had traded passwords and information with, and he told them. He had been deeply involved. He told them how he traded passwords with Grant and Darden, the other guys. He gave them lots of information for hours. At the end of his debriefing by the Secret Service, the agents asked him about Knight Lightning. That's what he said about Knight Lightning: "Knight Lightning is a guy who wrote PHRACK World News. His name is Craig, but he doesn't do any hacking." That's all he had to say about him. And it's true. What he said that first time was exactly right. That's who Craig was. Within PHRACK, the part of PHRACK that was Craig--other people might send files or articles and he published them under those other people's names or handles--Craig's thing was something called PHRACK World News which was to write about all the things that were happening in the electronic communication and hacker community. He would get clippings from people, and he would put them in and tell people what was going on across the country in that community. That was PHRACK World News. It had nothing to do with passing off access codes, or passwords, or anything like that. But one of the things that was going on in that community around this time was the emergence of illegal hackers, okay, the kinds of hackers that Mr. Cook was referring to, people who had no respect for property lines, people who broke into other systems or computers and copied things or took things, like the guys on my block who would break into a garage to ride a bike that somebody else had and then put it back. And those hackers, their interest was as much in kind of showing the world how good they were, how tough they were, how much they could show up the establishment system, show that they could get through security, and things like that. But they had become big news. Police were starting to arrest some of them. Undercover security people had begun to infiltrate some of those organizations. And Craig, who was not a hacker, but a publisher, wrote about it. It was his beat, and he wrote about it from the perspective of his readers, the computer kids primarily who make up the hacking community. Those weren't the only ones who were his readers, but they were a lot of them. In around the summer of '87, because of some of the arrests, that group drew inward and kind of disbanded, and PHRACK disbanded. There was another reason. Craig was going off to college in '87, and he wanted to get ready for it. So for a year between the summer of 1987 and the summer of 1988, no PHRACK. No great loss to the world. Journalism did not weep bitter tears because PHRACK was down for a year. But there was no PHRACK until the summer of the next year because even though maybe the world at large didn't weep for PHRACK, it had become part of Craig's identity. It made him important. It made him different. It gave him another world to be a part of. He wasn't just one of thousands of college students at the University of Missouri. He was special. He was somebody when he was Knight Lightning. So he decided to bring back PHRACK. The way he did it was he put out an announcement: "PHRACK...return. Compiled by Knight Lightning. Written by Knight Lightning. Edited by Knight Lightning." Knight Lightning was coming back big time into the journalism world of PHRACK. He announced it in his computer newsletter of July of '87. (Chart) And what's interesting, kind of, about that is that that announcement is the first charge against Craig. In Count One here, Craig is not a defendant. It's Riggs who is a defendant. Count Two is the first one where Craig is a defendant. He announced in his newsletter his return. And to hype it, which is what he wanted to do, because he wanted to be important again, he announced a summer convention and called it: "SummerCon '88". He decided to hold it in St. Louis because that's where he lived, and to try to hype it some more and to get people interested in it, he gave a name to all of this. He called it: "The Phoenix Project". taken from "Lethal Weapon", one point in the movie. Two main characters talk about things that happened back in Vietnam when they were there. One says to the other: "Were you in the Phoenix Project?" "Yeah". That's where the name comes from. And all that the Phoenix Project is, and you will see it because you will see that issue of PHRACK, is an announcement of a summer convention. The return of Knight Lightning. The return of Phrack. And the announcement of a summer convention. And let me read to you and quote what was said in that. This is the Phoenix Project. "The new age is here, and with the use of every LEGAL..." and "legal was all caps. "...means available, the youth of today will be able to teach the youth of tomorrow. SummerCon '88 is a celebration of a new beginning. No one is directly excluded from the festivities. The practice of passing illegal information is not..." and I will repeat "not". "...a part of this convention. "Any security consultants or members of law enforcement agencies who wish to attend should contact the organizing committee as soon as possible to obtain an invitation to the actual convention itself." And what is most remarkable is that that statement, that announcement, requiring and demanding only legal acts at that convention, the government says that's a crime. That's what Count Two is. They say that's a crime. Let me change the scene. July '88, SummerCon going on in St. Louis. So hundreds of miles away in Atlanta, Georgia, months before SummerCon, before the announcement of the Phoenix Project, Robert Riggs has decided to nose around in BellSouth's computer. And, again, he's just sitting in his room at his terminal. He doesn't physically go to BellSouth's computer. He noses around their files looking for access codes and looking for passwords that he can share with his Legion of Doomster friends, because that's who he shares that stuff with, certainly not with Craig. Craig doesn't do any hacking. He just does PHRACK World News. As he is wandering through the files of BellSouth, he sees this 911 text file which is fancy terminology for a document. It's a document. He sees it. And he decides, "Well, it could be interesting". So he what is called downloads, which just means he gets a copy. Mr. Cook refers to stealing it. There is an important distinction. He doesn't steal it. BellSouth still has it. They have it to this day. They have had it for the last two years. He didn't "take" it from BellSouth. He copied it...without permission...and downloaded it. Because once he looked at it and realized, "Well, this isn't a password, this isn't an access code. This isn't something good that my Legion of Doom guys would like. This is just some bureaucratic document", he throws it, in effect, into a storage facility. What I mean by that is that he shoots it to a computer bulletin board that he was on called Jolnet as Mr. Cook has described to you, and he stores it, in effect, on his account at the computer bulletin board in Jolnet. He just throws it there. And it is there on the bulletin board open, available, accessible by others. Anybody can read it. And it's there. And it's there for a long time before he bothers to do anything with it. In fact, Bell Security finds out that it's there. Bell Security finds out it's there before Craig ever finds out about it, before Craig ever receives it. Bell Security knew where it was, had a copy of it. And it was so meaningless, it was so innocuous, it was so "not secret" and so nondangerous that they just let it sit there. MR. COOK: I object, your Honor. This is an argument instead of an opening statement. THE COURT: Yes, only what you expect the evidence to show in the case. Leave the final argument for the proper time. MR. ZENNER: Thank you, Judge. THE COURT: Thank you. MR. ZENNER: That is what I expect the evidence to show, and you will have a few witnesses and you will see the documents to prove it. You will se that it sat there unattended for months, and that Bell let it sit there. When Riggs finally got around to it, he thought, "Well, I've got nothing better to do with this thing, so I'll send it to Craig, and maybe he can put it in PHRACK". And that is what he does. He sends it to Craig. And Craig edits it, and he puts it in PHRACK. Now, this document that Mr. Cook just referred to as a road map to a life line, you're going to see this document. Let me read you this document so you see how dangerous it is. "When a contract for an E911 system has been signed, it is the responsibility of Network Marketing to establish an implementation/cutover committee..." MR. COOK: Objection. Objection. This is an argument again. The jury is going to have the document in its entirety. THE COURT: Is this document going in evidence? MR. COOK: The document will be going in evidence. THE COURT: You may proceed, Mr. Zenner. MR. ZENNER: Thank you. " establish and implementation/cutover committee which should include a representative from the SSC/MAC. Duties of the E911 implementation team include coordination of all phases of the E911 system deployment and the formation of an ongoing E911 maintenance subcommittee. "In accordance with the basic SSC/MAC strategy for provisioning, the SSC/MAC will be over-all control office for all Node to PSAP circuits and other services for this customer. "Training must be scheduled for all SSC/MAC involved personnel during the preservice stage of the project". I could go on. You will have the document. If you read it in its entirety without falling asleep, I will be surprised. It is a bureaucratic document about administrative procedures. That's all it is. When Rober Riggs breaks into the computer in BellSouth and copies the document without permission, Craig Neidorf knows nothing about it. He participates in no way in the theft, and not a single witness from the government will tell you otherwise. In September or so of 1988, Robert Riggs, who is the coschemer supposedly with Craig--and, by the way, Craig Neidorf has never met him in person. Craig has never seen Robert Riggs, wouldn't know him if he were sitting her in this courtroom--Robert Riggs starts communicating with Craig. They had been on a bulletin board together back a couple of years earlier when they were in high school. Riggs started communicating with him, asking questions. And Craig is trying to build a network of people again who could be subscribers or on the mailing list of PHRACK, people in the hacking community. And they exchange names of people and they exchange information. Craig tells Riggs, "I'm in college". And, you know, you get that E-mail communication. Those are crimes. Count Three, Count Four. The government says those are crimes. And then when Riggs shoots the 911 article to Craig through the Jolnet system, Craig never having seen it, not knowing what's in it, not knowing whether it has a proprietary tag or not, when Craig opens his mail, in effect, and sees it, that's a crime. And it's a crime, the way they have charged it here, not to Riggs, who stole it and sent it, they've charged Craig with the crime. He received it; he opened his mail. The reason that it's sent to Craig is that Craig and PHRACK can only exist if people send him articles. And if nobody sends him anything, then there's no PHRACK. So he is constantly bugging people to send him something, send him articles, "Send me articles," Send me articles," Send me something," because if people don't send him articles, no PHRACK; no PHRACK, no Knight Lightning, just one of thousands of faceless college students. So, "Send me stuff". And he is constantly asking most everybody to send him stuff, and he bugs Riggs to send him stuff too. But I suggest to you ladies and gentlemen, the evidence will show, and Mr. Riggs, I suspect, will testify, that Craig Neidorf never told him to steal anything, never asked him to steal anything, never suggested to him to him (sic) to break into a computer. All Craig did was say, "Send me an article," "Send me something". "If you got a file, send me an article". Okay? "I want to put our PHRACK". That's it. The budding publisher was looking for articles. When he saw the 911 article, it had a stamp, the stamp that Mr. Cook refers to as a proprietary stamp. I'm not sure that's entirely right. What it said was: "This document should not be disseminated outside of BellSouth without the written permission of BellSouth." Okay. So maybe BellSouth employees have got to get written permission if they want to disseminate it. He wasn't a BellSouth employee. He had gotten it for publication in his newsletter. And it reminded im of another article that he had put in PHRACK, which was, again, just a bell document that he had gotten when he took a tour of Southwestern Bell's Telephone facilities with Randy Tischler and Randy's dad, and they had given him a document about how those switching systems worked or how one of the things worked. Craig published that in PHRACK. Now, that didn't have a stamp, but it read like the same kind of document that he was seeing here. And he thinks, "Oh, this is probably the same kind of Bell document here," and it had "Southern Bell" all over it, so he knew it was from Southern Bell. But he thinks, "Perhaps maybe they didn't take the stamp off that. Maybe they should have". And when he sends it back to Riggs to show him how he had edited it, he leaves the proprietary part in it. He leaves that, you know: "Don't distribute it outside BellSouth without written permission". He leaves that in there. He could have just deleted it, you know, hit the delete button on the computer, and it's gone. He leaves it in. He thinks there is nothing wrong with it. And that's when he puts: "(Whoops!)" in parentheses, as if to say, "Ah, they forgot to take that out, those Bell people". No big deal. He sends it to Riggs. Riggs looks at it and says, "No, take that out". Craig decides, "Okay, I'll edit it. I'll take it out". He edits the thing, and he publishes it in PHRACK. And that's that. That's the crime. That's why we're here. Ten counts...eleven counts. Ho many have we got? Ten against him. The first one is against riggs. That's all it is...publication in PHRACK. Not much happens a long time later...except remember Mr. Cook told you about this AT&T source code Trojan horse thing? It sounded like a serious thing. Craig got that. Somebody sent it to him. Again, somebody shoots him an article, a guy named Len Rose. He sends him this AT&T thing. But in contrast to the E911 document, this AT&T thing has a copyright stamp, not just on the front, but on every page or thereabouts, "Copyright". Okay? And then some serious language--I don't have it memorized--showing that this is a serious document, okay, all that. Now, what does Craig do with that one? He sends a message to a guy at Bellcore, somebody in security at Bell, and says, "What should I do about this? It has got a 'copyright' on it, and it was submitted to me to publish in PHRACK. You know, can I publish it or can't I? Give me some legal advice". What's wrong with that? And he never did publish it, and that is what the evidence will show. Time passes...lots of time. All the time, Bell knows about this 911 article sitting around. Finally, in January, 1990, almost a year since it has been sitting there with Bell knowing about it, they do something. They contact the Secret Service or Secret Service contacts them or whatever. They decide, "We had better do something about this secret document being available to the public." They go after Craig. They go to his frat dorm at the University of Missouri. Two Secret Service agents, a Southwestern Bell police officer and a security officer from the University of Missouri converge upon Craig in his dorm, and for four hours they interrogate him...four hours. They start asking him questions about this publication of his. And they read him his rights. They do all of the right things. And he talked to them. He's a guy who's taken Constitutional Law, and he's taken Judicial Process, he's taken American Government and Politics. He knows he has got a right to a lawyer. He knows he doesn't have to say anything. He talks to them and he explains. And they say: "Do you publish PHRACK?" He said: "Yes." They say: "Did you publish this article?" and show him the article? He said: "Yes." "Who did you get it from?" and he tells them: "The Prophet" which is the name that Riggs goes by. He tells them. They have questions...he answers. They ask for documents: "Show me. Have you got copies of PHRACK?"" He goes up to his room and brings back file folders. Okay. Nice organized three-ring file folders of PHRACK. "Here, take them. Take them, Mr. Agent. What else to you want? "We want a phone list. We want a mailing list of all your people on your mailing list." "No problem." And he goes to his room and gets the mailing list. "What else do you want? Whatever they asked for, he gave them. For four hours, he talked to them. And for four hours, or thereabouts, he kept denying that he knew that this thing was stolen when he had gotten it, the 911. And the agents kept pushing him on it. That seemed to be their point: To get him to agree with them that he knew it was stolen. And they pushed him on it. But, eventually, at the end, eventually, he thought, "Well, I don't know that there is anything wrong with what I've done". MR. COOK: I'm going to object, Judge. He's going into the area of argument again. I object on that basis. THE COURT: You expect the evidence to show that? MR. ZENNER: I expect the evidence to show that at the conclusion of that time, the agents had Mr. Neidorf write a statement, and it is part his words and part the agents' words, but they have it done in Mr. Neidorf's handwriting, in Craig's handwriting. And here's what they get him to write: "In the back of my mind, I guess I knew the file was stolen and probably shouldn't be in my possession. I just never really thought about it and never once believed the information could be used to hurt anyone. I thought it was a Freedom of Information situation, and by deleting enough of the file, no one could use what was left to bring forth any harm or damage. "Randy and I never meant to hurt anyone or cause them trouble. We always believed the newsletter was legal and covered under Freedom of Information. "I am willing to cooperate." and cooperate he did. He gave them everything they asked for. Then they wanted him to place a call to Randy, his oldest friend, to tell Randy that they were there, and to have him come over and cooperate, too. And he agreed to do that. He called Randy. Randy wasn't home. Not his fault. And finally the agents leave. He hadn't broken into any system. He hadn't stolen anything. He hadn't profited from the publication in anyway. He wasn't even a hacker, the evidence will show. He was just the publisher of PHRACK. And he believed that the First Amendment, or, as he put it, Freedom of Information protected publishers of information. He didn't think he had done anything wrong. He didn't think he had deceived anybody. But it wasn't enough. Inspite of his offers to cooperate, the Secret Service came back the next day with a search warrant this time, went through all his drawers, went through is closets, looking for something, looking for passwords or something. They never found any. Craig again cooperated. They take more stuff. He thinks, "It's over". It's not. They tell him when they leave his room, the Secret Service agents tell him, this is a Friday afternoon, they tell him: "Craig, either you will call Assistant United States Attorney William Cook on Monday or you're getting indicted on Tuesday." Well, he gets himself a lawyer in St. Louis, a guy named Arthur Margoulis, a former FBI agent. And they decide, "We'll send Craig to meet with this Mr. Cook and to meet with the Secret Service and try to explain all of this." And, indeed, on Monday, the following Monday, up Craig comes. No immunity letters, nothing. He just comes up, and for hours, he answers questions posed to him by the Secret Service. They ask him about other publications. They ask him about subscribers. They ask him about everything in the world they can think of to ask him for hours and hours, and he answers their questions. They never asked him that Monday about the 911 file. They never asked him about what the Phoenix Project is. They never asked him any of that stuff. But he answers their questions. And he goes home and he thinks, "I've done it. I have at least explained this, and maybe this nightmare will end". A week later he is indicted. That's how we got here. The government said they would get back to him, and they did...they indicted him. And that's where Craig stands today...indicted, on trial, with his fate in your hands. The evidence will show, ladies and gentlemen, he didn't steal the 911 article, he didn't break into any computer system, he didn't "screw around" with any computers. He was not a member of the Legion of Doom. He was not a trespasser. He was not even a hacker. He was a publisher of a juvenile computer newsletter named PHRACK, and he believed in the First Amendment. Nineteen-year old Craig Neidorf did nothing wrong. He believed he had done nothing illegal. He published a document. He opened his mail. He believed in the First Amendment. The only crime on that list of the government was on Count One, crime committed by Robert Riggs who broke into the computer system, who will be testifying on behalf of the government. That's the only crime you'll hear about. To remember is to understand. To remember what it's like to be 14, or 15, or 16, or 17, or 18, or 19. To remember what it's like to do some stupid things. But stupid things, doing stupid things isn't illegal...and a good thing for all of us, I suspect. People make mistakes. It is possible that Craig Neidorf made a mistake about the First Amendment and its protection of him if he had stolen information in PHRACK. In fact, I expect the judge will instruct you at the appropriate time that the First Amendment does not protect that kind of conduct. And Craig was wrong about that. He made a mistake. What you will learn through this case is that lots of people make mistakes. You will learn that Mr. Foley trying to do his job, trying to do the best job he can, has made a number of mistakes. You will learn that the Bell employees, trying to do the best job they can, have made a number of mistakes. Take a look at this (chart). Neidorf, N-e-i-d-o-r-f. Niedorf, N-i-e-d-o-r-f. N-i-e-d-o-r-f. He spells it N-e-i-d-o-r-f. He pronounces it "Ny-dorf", not "Ne-dorf". They made mistakes. Big deal! It doesn't make the chart wrong. But they made mistakes. When Mr. Cook makes a mistake, it's okay. When Mr. Foley makes a mistake, it's okay. And when Bell people make a mistake and let the thing sit there for a year unattended, it's okay. But when this young man makes a mistake, he's indicted, he's on trial today before you, and it's not funny. Mr. Cook told you riddles. I have no stomach for riddles. I have no stomach for jokes about this. This is a serious thing, as serious a thing as can happen to anyone. At the end of this case, we can only pray that you will find that the things that Craig Neidorf did were no crime. And when you hear the evidence and you go back to the jury room, you will return a verdict. When you come back here and the foreperson, whoever it is who delivers that verdict, says the words, they will be the most important words that young man has ever heard in his life or is likely to ever hear again. God willing, when the foreperson says those words, he will be able to leave this courtroom with his hand in his parent's hand. Thank you. THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Zenner. Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to break for lunch. I will ask you to return at one o'clock. Have a nice luncheon, and see you back here then. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #4.07 ************************************


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