Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 14, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 51 Editors: Jim Thomas and G

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

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 14, 1992 Volume 4 : Issue 51 Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow-Archivist: Dan Carosone Copy Editor: Etaion Jhrdleau, Sr. CONTENTS, #4.51 (Oct 14, 1992) File 1--House Judicial Comm. Report on INSLAW File 2--Trial Date Set In New York "Hacker" Case File 3--News Reports Of 911 Attacks Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost from The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-6430), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Issues of CuD can also 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 in the PF*NPC RT libraries; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; and by anonymous ftp from ( and Back issues also may be obtained from the mail server at European distributor: ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893. 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 for non-profit 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 computer culture and communication. 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: 8 Oct 92 22:04:31 From: Moderators ( Subject: File 1--House Judicial Comm. Report on INSLAW ((MODERATORS' COMMENT: The INSLAW case, in which the Department of Justice may be implicated in software piracy and its coverup, may gets its day in Congress. The House Committee on the Judiciary submitted its report entitled "The Inslaw Affair," which strongly advocated Congressional hearings on the case. Following is the Committee's summary (the entire report is about 430 K). We are indebted to (Bob Gonsalves) for the prodigious effort of scanning and editing the file. Bob has previously made other lengthy public documents available to the nets, and his contributions are invaluable. Bob's computer activities include consulting on advanced multimedia projects - design and implementation of video and audio signal processing systems and artworks that arise from the processes. He also offers computer assistance to political researchers. His next big project, which will take about a half year, is to scan in the House Select Committee on Assassinations report that was issued in the late 70's. He hopes to make it available, for non commercial purposes, to net. The entire document is available from the CuD ftp site ( +++++++++++++++++++++++ THE INSLAW AFFAIR SEPTEMBER 10, 1992.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed Mr. BROOKS, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the following INVESTIGATIVE REPORT together with DISSENTING AND SEPARATE DISSENTING VIEWS BASED ON A STUDY BY THE FULL COMMITTEE On August 11, 1992, the Committee on the Judiciary approved and adopted a report entitled, '"The INSLAW Affair." The chairman was directed to transmit a copy to the Speaker of the House. I. SUMMARY The Department of Justice has long recognized the need for a standardized management information system to assist law enforcement offices across the country in the recordkeeping and tracking of criminal cases. During the 1970's, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) funded the development by INSLAW1 of a computer software system called the Prosecutor's Management Information System or PROMIS. This system was designed to meet the criminal prosecutor workloads of large urban jurisdictions; and by 1980, several large U.S. attorneys offices were using the PROMIS software. At this time, INSLAW (formerly called the Institute for Law and Social Research) was a nonprofit corporation funded almost entirely through Government grants and contracts. When President Carter terminated the LEAA, INSLAW converted the company to a for- profit corporation in 1981 to commercially market PROMIS. The new corporation made several significant improvements to the original PROMIS software and the resulting product came to be known as INSLAW's proprietary Enhanced PROMIS. The original PROMIS was funded entirely with Government funds and was in the public domain. In March 1982, the Justice Department awarded INSLAW, Inc., a $10 million, 3-year contract to implement the public domain version of PROMIS at 94 U.S. attorneys' offices across the country and U.S. Territories. While the PROMIS software could have gone a long way toward correcting the Department's longstanding need for a standardized case management system, the contract between INSLAW and Justice quickly became embroiled in bitterness and controversy which has lasted for almost a decade. The conflict centers on the question of whether INSLAW has ownership of its privately funded "Enhanced PROMIS." This software was eventually installed at numerous U.S. attorneys' offices after a 1983 modification to the contract. While Justice officials at the time recognized INSLAW's proprietary rights to any privately funded enhancements to the original public domain version of PROMIS, the Department later claimed that it had unlimited rights to all software supplied under the contract. (See section of report entitled, "The Department Misappropriated INSLAW Software.'") INSLAW attempted to resolve the matter several times but was largely met with indifference or hostility by Department officials. Eventually, the Department canceled part of the contract and, by February 1985, had withheld at least $1.6 million in payments. As a result, the company was driven to the brink of insolvency and was threatened with dissolution under chapter 7 of the bankruptcy laws. Department officials have steadfastly claimed the INSLAW controversy is merely a contract dispute which has been blown out of proportion by the media. INSLAW's owners, William and Nancy Hamilton, however, have persisted in their belief that the Department's actions were Part of a high level conspiracy within Justice to steal the Enhanced PROMIS software. A. INSLAW ALLEGATIONS Based on their knowledge and belief, the Hamiltons have alleged that high level officials in the Department of Justice conspired to steal the Enhanced PROMIS software system. As an element of this theft, these officials, who included former Attorney General Edwin Meese and Deputy Attorney General Lowell Jensen, forced INSLAW into bankruptcy by intentionally creating a sham contract dispute over the terms and conditions of the contract which led to the withholding of payments due INSLAW by the Department. The Hamiltons maintain that, after driving the company into bankruptcy, Justice officials attempted to force the conversion of INSLAW's bankruptcy status from Chapter 11: Reorganization to Chapter 7: Liquidation. They assert that such a change in bankruptcy status would have resulted in the forced sale of INSLAW'S assets, including Enhanced PROMIS to a rival computer company called Hadron, Inc., which, at the time, was attempting to conduct a hostile buyout of INSLAW. Hadron, Inc., was controlled by the Biotech Capital Corporation, under the control of Dr. Earl Brian, who was president and chairman of the corporation. The Hamiltons assert that even though the attempt to change the status of INSLAW's bankruptcy was unsuccessful, the Enhanced PROMIS software system was eventually provided to Dr. Brian by individuals from the Department with the knowledge and concurrence of then Attorney General Meese who had previously worked with Dr. Brian in the cabinet of California Governor Ronald Reagan and later at the Reagan White House. According to the Hamiltons, the ultimate goal of the conspiracy was to position Hadron and the other companies owned or controlled by Dr. Brian to take advantage of the nearly 3 billion dollars, worth of automated data processing upgrade contracts planned to be awarded by the Department of Justice during the 1980's. Information obtained by the Hamiltons through sworn affidavits of several individuals, including Ari Ben- Menashe, a former Israeli Mossad officer, and Michael Riconosciuto, an individual who claims to have ties to the intelligence community, indicated that an element of this ongoing criminal enterprise by Mr. Meese, Dr. Brian and others included the modification of the Enhanced PROMIS software by individuals associated with the world of covert intelligence operations. The Hamiltons claim the modification of Enhanced PROMIS was an essential element of the enterprise, because the software was subsequently distributed by Dr. Brian to intelligence agencies internationally with a "back door" software routine, so that U.S. intelligence agencies could covertly break into the system when needed. The Hamiltons also presented information indicating that PROMIS had been distributed to several Federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and DEA. B. COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION Due to the complexity and breadth of the INSLAW allegations against the Department of Justice, the committee's investigation focused on two principal questions: (1) Did high level Department officials convert, steal or otherwise misappropriate INSLAW's PROMIS software and attempt to put the company out of business; and, (2) did high level Department of Justice officials, including Attorney General Edwin Meese and then Deputy Attorney General Lowell Jensen, and others conspire to sell, transfer, or in any way distribute INSLAW's Enhanced PROMIS to other Federal agencies and foreign governments? 1. DID THE DEPARTMENT CONVERT, STEAL OR MISAPPROPRIATE THE PROMIS SOFTWARE? With regard to the first question, there appears to be strong evidence, as indicated by the findings in two Federal court proceedings as well as by the committee investigation, that the Department of Justice "acted willfully and fraudulently"2 and "took, con- verted and stole"3 INSLAW's Enhanced PROMIS by "trickery, fraud and deceit."4 It appears that these actions against INSLAW were implemented through the project manager from the beginning of the contract and under the direction of high level Justice Department officials. Just 1 month after the contract was signed, Mr. C. Madison "Brick" Brewer, the PROMIS project manager, raised the possibility of canceling the INSLAW contract. During an April 14, 1982, meeting of the PROMIS Project Team, Mr. Brewer, and others discussed terminating the contract with INSLAW for convenience of the Government. Mr. Brewer did not recall the details of the meeting but said that if this recommendation was made, it was made "in jest."5 Based on notes taken at this meeting by Justice officials, Bankruptcy Court Judge George Bason found that Mr. Brewer's recommendation to terminate the INSLAW contract, "Iconstituted a smoking gun that clearly evidences Brewer's intense bias against INSLAW, his single-minded intent to drive INSLAW out of businessI."6 By his own admission, Mr. Brewer became upset when INSLAW claimed that it had made enhancements to the public domain version of PROMIS using private funds. In his view, under the contract all versions of PROMIS were the Government's property. It is clear from the record that Mr. Brewer and Mr. Videnieks (the PROMIS contracting officer), supported by high level Justice officials continued to confront INSLAW at every turn. As Senior District Court Judge Bryant stated in his ruling on the case: '"There was unending contention about payments under this contract and the rights of the respective parties." Over the life of the contract, INSLAW made several attempts to reach an agreement with the Department over its proprietary rights to the Enhanced PROMIS software. The Department, however, steadfastly refused to conduct any meaningful negotiations and exhibited little inclination to resolve the controversy. In the meantime, INSLAW was pushed to the brink of financial ruin because the Department withheld at least $1.6 million in critical contract payments on questionable grounds, and in February 1985 was forced to file for protection under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in order to stay economically viable. INSLAW at this time had installed PROMIS at the 20 largest U.S. attorneys' offices across the country as required by the contract.7 The Department had earlier canceled installation of PROMIS at the 74 smaller offices. While refusing to engage in good faith negotiations with INSLAW, Mr. Brewer and Mr. Videnieks, with the approval of high level Justice Department officials, proceeded to take actions to misappropriate the Enhanced PROMIS software. These officials knew that INSLAW had installed Enhanced PROMIS at the 20 sites. Yet, without notice, and certainly without permission, the Depart- ment of Justice illegally copied INSLAW's Enhanced PROMIS software and installed it eventually at 25 additional U.S. attorneys' offices. The Department reportedly also brought another 31 U.S. attorneys, offices "on-line" to Enhanced PROMIS systems via telecommunications. INSLAW first learned of these unauthorized actions in September 1985, and notified the Department that it must remove the Enhanced PROMIS software or arrange for license agreements. When the Department refused, INSLAW subsequently filed a claim against Justice in the Federal Bankruptcy Court which eventually led to the Bankruptcy's Court's finding that the Department's actions "Iwere done in bad faith, vexatiously, in wanton disregard of the law and the facts, and for oppressive reasons I to drive INSLAW out of business and to convert, by trickery, fraud and deceit, INSLAW's PROMIS software. When the case was appealed by the Department, Senior District Court Judge William Bryant concurred with the Bankruptcy Court and was very critical of the Department's handling of the case. In his ruling, at 49a, Judge Bryant stated: The Government accuses the bankruptcy court of looking beyond the bankruptcy proceeding to find culpability by the Government. What is strikingly apparent from the testimony and depositions of key witnesses and many documents is that INSLAW performed its contract in a hostile environment that extended from the higher echelons of the Justice Department to the officials who had the day-to-day responsibility for supervising its work. [Emphasis added.] Recently, the posture of some Department officials has been to attempt to exonerate the Department's handling of the INSLAW matter by citing the fact that the Court of Appeals has vacated the Bankruptcy and District Courts' judgment involving illegal misconduct of the Department including violations of the automatic stay provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. However, the D.C. Circuit's opinion was grounded primarily on jurisdictional questions and did not address the substantive merits of the findings of fact and conclusions of law of either the Bankruptcy Court or the ruling of the U.S. District Court. Based on the facts presented in court and the committee's review of Department records, it does indeed appear that Justice officials, including Mr. Brewer and Mr. Videnieks, never intended to fully honor the proprietary rights of INSLAW or bargain in good faith with the company. The Bankruptcy Court found that: I [The Department] engaged in an outrageous, deceitful, fraudulent game of cat and mouse, demonstrating contempt for both the law and any principle of fair dealing. [Finding No. 266 at 138.] As the Bankruptcy and District Courts found on the merits, it is very unlikely that Mr. Brewer and Mr. Videnieks acted alone to violate the proprietary rights of INSLAW in this matter. In explaining his own actions, Mr. Brewer, the project manager, has repeatedly stated that he was not acting out any personal vendetta against INSLAW and that high level Department officials including Lowell Jensen were aware of every decision he made with regard to the contract. Mr. Brewer stated, under oath that "Ithere was somebody in the Department at a higher level, looking over the shoulder of not just me but the people who worked for meI.''8 The PROMIS Oversight Committee, headed by Deputy Attorney General Lowell Jensen, kept a close watch over the administration of the contract and was involved in every major decision. Mr. Jensen, who worked with former Attorney General Edwin Meese in the Alameda County district attorneys' offices, stated under oath that he kept the Attorney General regularly informed of all aspects of the INSLAW contract. The PROMIS Oversight Committee readily agreed with Mr. Brewer's recommendation to cancel part of INSLAW's contract for default because of the controversy regarding the installation of PROMIS in word processing systems at the 74 smaller U.S. attorneys' offices. Mr. Brewer's proposal was ultimately rejected only because a Justice contracts attorney advised the oversight committee that the Department did not have the legal authority to do so. Curiously, the recommendation to find INSLAW in default occurred shortly after INSLAW and the Department signed a modification to the contract (Mod. 12), which was supposed to end the conflict over proprietary rights. Mr. Jensen, who is currently a Federal District Court judge in San Francisco, served at the Justice Department successively as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Associate Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General between 1981 and 1986. The Bankruptcy court found that he "had a previously developed negative attitude about PROMIS and INSLAW" from the beginning (Findings No. 307-309) because he had been associated with the development of a rival case management system while he was a district attorney in California, and that this experience, at the very least, affected his judgment throughout his oversight of the contract. During a sworn statement, Judge Jensen denied being biased against INSLAW, but averred that he did not have complete recollection of the events surrounding his involvement in the contract. However, based on the committee's own investigation it is clear that Judge Jensen was not particularly interested or active in pursuing INSLAW's claims that Department officials were biased against the company and had taken action to harm the company. Perhaps most disturbing, he remembered very few details of the PROMIS Oversight Committee meetings even though he had served as its chairman and was certainly one of its most influential members. He stated that after a meeting with former Attorney General Elliot Richardson (representing INSLAW) regarding the alleged Brewer bias, he commissioned his deputy, Mr. Jay Stephens, to conduct an investigation of the bias charges. Based on this investigation, Judge Jensen said he concluded that there were no bias problems associated with the Department's handling of the INSLAW contract. This assertion, however, contradicted Mr. Stephens, who testified during a sworn statement that he was never asked by Judge Jensen to conduct an investigation of the Brewer bias allegations raised by Mr. Richardson and others. Mr. Stephens, recollection of the events was sharp and complete in stark contrast to Judge Jensen's. As a result, many questions remain about the accuracy and completeness of Judge Jensen's recollections and statements. As for the PROMIS Oversight Committee, committee investigators were told that detailed minutes were not kept at any of the meetings, nor was there any record of specific discussions by its members affecting the INSLAW contract. The records that were available were inordinately sparse and often did not include any background of how and why decisions were made. To date, former Attorney General Meese denies having knowledge of any bias against INSLAW by the Department or any of its officials. He stated, under oath, that he had little, if any, involvement with the INSLAW controversy and that he recalls no specific discussion with anyone, including Department officials about INSLAW's contract with Justice regarding the use or misuse of the PROMIS software. This statement is in direct conflict with Judge Jensen's testimony, that he briefed Mr. Meese regularly on this issue and that Mr. Meese was very interested in the details of the contract and negotiations. One of the most damaging statements received by the committee is a sworn statement made by Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns to Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigators in 1988. In this statement, Mr. Burns stated that Department attorneys had already advised him (sometime in 1986) that INSLAW's claim of proprietary rights in the Enhanced PROMIS software was legitimate and that the Department had waived any rights in these enhancements. Mr. Burns was also told by Justice attorneys that the Department would probably lose the case in court on this issue. Accepting this statement, it is incredible that the Department, having made this determination, would continue to pursue its litigation of these matters. More than $1 million has been spent in litigation on this case by the Justice Department even though it knew in 1986 that it did not have a chance to win the case on merits. This clearly raises the specter that the Department actions taken against INSLAW in this matter represent an abuse of power of shameful proportions. 2. WAS THERE A HIGH LEVEL CONSPIRACY? The second phase of the committee's investigation concentrated on the allegations that high level officials at the Department of Justice conspired to drive INSLAW into insolvency and steal the PROMIS software so it could be used by Dr. Earl Brian, a former associate and friend of then Attorney General Edwin Meese. Dr. Brian is a businessman and entrepreneur who owns or controls several] businesses including Hadron, Inc., which has contracts with the Justice Department, CIA, and other agencies. The Hamiltons and others have asserted that Dr. Brian conspired with high level Justice officials to sell PROMIS to law enforcement and intelligence agencies worldwide. Former Attorney General Elliot Richardson, counsel to INSLAW, has alleged that the circumstances involving the theft of the PROMIS software system constitute a possible criminal conspiracy involving Mr. Meese, Judge Jensen, Dr. Brian, and several current and former officials at the Department of Justice. Mr. Richardson maintains that the individuals involved in the theft of the Enhanced PROMIS system have violated a plethora of Federal crimi- nal statutes, including but not limited to: (1) 18 U.S.C 654 (officer or employee of the United States converting the property of another); (2) 18 U.S.C 1001 (false statements); (3)18 U.S.C 1621 (perjury); (4) 18 U.S.C 1503 (obstruction of justice); (5) 18 U.S.C 1341 (mail fraud) and (6) 18 U.S.C. 371 (conspiracy to commit criminal offenses). Mr. Richardson further contends that the violations of Federal law associated in the theft of Enhanced PROMIS, the subsequent coverup and the illegal distribution of PROMIS fulfill the requirements for prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 1961 et seq. (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute). As discussed earlier, the committee's investigation largely supports the findings of two Federal courts that the Department "took, converted, stole INSLAW'S Enhanced PROMIS by "trickery, fraud and deceit'', and that this misappropriation involved officials at the highest levels of the Department of Justice. The recent ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals does nothing to vitiate those conclusions, the product of an extensive record compiled under oath by two Federal jurists. While the Department continues to attempt to explain away the INSLAW matter as a simple contract dispute, the committee's investigation has uncovered other information which plausibly could suggest a different conclusion if full access to documents and other witnesses were permitted. Several individuals have stated under oath that the Enhanced PROMIS software was stolen and distributed internationally in order to provide financial gain to Dr. Brian and to further intelligence and foreign policy objectives for the United States. While it should be acknowledged at the outset that some of the testimony comes from individuals whose past associations and enterprises are not commendable, corroborating evidence for a number of their claims made under oath has been found. It should be observed that these individuals provided testimony with the full knowledge that the Justice Department could-and would probably be strongly inclined to-prosecute them for perjury if they lied under oath. Moreover, we note that the Department is hardly in a position to negate summarily testimony offered by witnesses who have led less than an exemplary life in their choice of associations and activities. As indicated by the recent prosecution of Manuel Noriega, which involved the use of over 40 witnesses, the majority of whom were previously convicted drug traffickers, a witness, perceived credibility is not always indicative of the accuracy or usability in court of the information provided. Although the committee's investigation could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding a possible motive behind the misappropriation of the Enhanced PROMIS software, the disturbing questions raised, unexplained coincidences and peculiar events that have surfaced throughout the INSLAW case raises the need for further investigation. One area which requires further investigation is the allegations made by Mr. Michael Riconosciuto. Mr. Riconosciuto, a shady character allegedly tied to U.S. intelligence agencies and recently convicted on drug charges, alleges that Dr. Brian and Mr. Peter Videnieks secretly delivered INSLAW's Enhanced PROMIS software to the Cabazon Indian Reservation, located in California, for "refitting" for use by intelligence agencies in the United States and abroad.9 When Dr. Brian was questioned about his alleged involvement in the INSLAW case, he denied under oath that he had ever met Mr. Riconosciuto and stated that he had never heard of the Cabazon Indian Reservation. C. ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS Suspicions of a Department of Justice conspiracy to steal INSLAW's PROMIS were fueled when Danny Casolaro-an investigative writer inquiring into those issues-was found dead in a hotel room in Martinsburg, WV, where he was to meet a source that he claimed was critical to his investigation. Mr. Casolaro's body was found on August 10, 1991, with his wrists slashed numerous times. Following a brief preliminary investigation by local authorities, Mr. Casolaro's death was ruled a suicide. The investigation was reopened later as a result of numerous inquiries from Mr. Casolaro's brother and others regarding the suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. The Martinsburg Police investigation subsequently concluded in January 1992, that Mr. Casolaro's death was a suicide. Subsequently, Chairman Brooks directed committee investigators to obtain sworn statements from the FBI agent and two former Federal Organized Crime Strike Force prosecutors in Los Angeles who had information bearing on the Casolaro case. Sworn statements were obtained from former Federal prosecutors Richard Stavin and Marvin Rudnick on March 13 and 14, 1992. After initial resistance from the Bureau, a sworn statement was taken from FBI Special Agent Thomas Gates on March 25 and 26, 1992. Special Agent Gates stated that Mr. Casolaro claimed he had found a link between the INSLAW matter, the activities taking place at the Cabazon Indian Reservation, and a Federal investigation in which Special Agent Gates had been involved regarding organized crime influence in the entertainment industry. Special Agent Gates stated that Mr. Casolaro had several conversations with Mr. Robert Booth Nichols in the weeks preceding his death. Mr. Nichols, according to documents submitted to a Federal court by the FBI, has ties with organized crime and the world of covert intelligence operations. When he learned of Mr. Casolaro's death, Special Agent Gates contacted the Martinsburg, WV, Police Department to inform them of the information he had concerning Mr. Nichols and Mr. Casolaro. The Martinsburg Police have not commented on whether or not they eventually pursued the leads provided by Special Agent Gates. Based on the evidence collected by the committee, it appears that the path followed by Danny Casolaro in pursuing his investigation into the INSLAW matter brought him in contact with a number of dangerous individuals associated with organized crime and the world of covert intelligence operations. The suspicious circumstances surrounding his death have led some law enforcement professionals and others to believe that his death may not have been a suicide. As long as the possibility exists that Danny Casolaro died as a result of his investigation into the INSLAW matter, it is imperative that further investigation be conducted. D. EVIDENCE OF POSSIBLE COVERUP AND OBSTRUCTION One of the principal reasons the committee could not reach any definitive conclusion about INSLAW's allegations of a high criminal conspiracy at Justice was the lack of cooperation from the Department. Throughout the two INSLAW investigations, the Congress met with restrictions, delays and outright denials to requests for information and to unobstructed access to records and witnesses since 1988. The Department initially attempted to prevent the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations from conducting an investigation of the INSLAW affair. During this committee's investigation, Attorney General Thornburgh repeatedly reneged on agreements made with this committee to provide full and open access to information and witnesses. Although the day before a planned committee meeting to consider the issuance of a subpoena the Department promised full access to documents and witnesses, the committee was compelled to subpoena Attorney General Thornburgh to obtain documents needed to complete its investigation. Even then, the Department failed to provide all the documents subpoenaed, claiming that some of the documents held by the Department's chief attorney in charge of the INSLAW litigation had been misplaced or accidentally destroyed. The Department has not provided a complete accounting of the number of documents missing nor has it conducted an investigation to determine if the documents were stolen or illegally destroyed. Questions regarding the Department's willingness and objectivity to investigate the charges of possible misconduct of Justice employees remain. That Justice officials may have too readily concluded that witnesses supporting the Department's position were credible while those who did not were ignored or retaliated against was, perhaps, most painfully demonstrated with the firing of Anthony Pasciuto, the former Deputy Director, Executive Office of the U.S. Trustees. Mr. Pasciuto had informed the Hamiltons that soon after INSLAW filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1985, the Justice Department had planned to petition the court to force INSLAW into chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidate its assets including the PROMIS software. His source for this information was Judge Cornelius Blackshear who, at the time, was the U.S. Trustee for the Southern District of New York. Judge Blackshear subsequently provided INSLAW's attorneys with a sworn statement confirming what Mr. Pasciuto had told the Hamiltons. However, following a conversation with a Justice Department attorney who was representing the Department in the INSLAW case,10 Judge Blackshear recanted his earlier sworn statement. Moreover, Judge Blackshear, under oath, could not or would not provide committee investigators with a plausible explanation of why he had recanted his earlier statements to INSLAW, Mr. Pasciuto and others regarding the Justice Department's efforts to force INSLAW out of business. He did confirm an earlier statement attributed to him that his recantation was a result of "his desire to hurt the least number of people." However, he would not elaborate on this enigmatic statement. Similarly, Mr. Pasciuto, under strong pressure from senior Department officials, recanted his statement made to the Hamiltons regarding Judge Blackshear. It appears that Mr. Pasciuto may have been fired from his position with the Executive Office of U.S. Trustees because he had provided information to the Hamiltons and their attorneys which undercut the Department's litigating position before the Bankruptcy Court.11 This action was based on a recommendation made by the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). In a memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Burns, dated December 18, 1987, the OPR concluded that: In our view, but for Mr. Pasciuto's highly irresponsible actions, the department would be in a much better litigation posture than it presently finds itself. Mr. Pasciuto has wholly failed to comport himself in accordance with the standard of conduct expected of an official of his position. Mr. Pasciuto now states he regrets having allowed himself to be coerced by the Department into recanting and has stated under oath to committee investigators that he stands by his earlier statements made to the Hamiltons that Judge Blackshear had informed him that the Department wanted to force INSLAW out of business. Certainly, Mr. Pasciuto's treatment by the Department during his participation in the INSLAW litigation raises serious questions of how far the Department will go to protect its interests while defending itself in litigation. Not unexpectedly, Mr. Pasciuto's firing had a chilling effect on other potential Department witnesses who might have otherwise cooperated with the committee in this matter. Judge Blackshear, on the other hand, was not accused of wrongdoing by the Department even though he originally provided essentially the same information as had Mr. Pasciuto. Despite this series of obvious reversals, the Department, after limited investigation, has apparently satisfied itself that the sworn statements of its witnesses, including Judge Blackshear, have somehow been reconciled on key issues such that no false statements have been made by any of these individuals. This position is flatly in opposition to the Bankruptcy Court's finding that several Department officials may have perjured themselves which was never seriously investigated by the Department. In addition, there are serious conflicts and inconsistencies in sworn statements provided to the committee that have not been resolved. Equally important, the possibility that witnesses, testimony were manipulated by the Department in order to present a "united front" to the Congress and the public on the INSLAW case needs to be fully and honestly explored. The potential for a conflict of interest in the Department's carrying out such an inquiry is high, if not prudently manifest, and independent scrutiny is required. E. JUDGE BASON'S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE DEPARTMENT Judge Bason testified, under oath, before the Economic and Commercial Law Subcommittee that the Department's actions against its critics may have extended into blocking his reappointment as a bankruptcy judge in 1988 because of his ruling in INSLAW's case. Judge Bason was replaced by Martin Teel, Jr., who, prior to his appointment, was a Justice Department attorney heavily involved in the Department's litigation of the INSLAW case.12 The committee was unable to substantiate Judge Bason's charges. If such undue influence did occur, it was subtle and lost in the highly private manner in which judge selection procedures are conducted. While sworn statements were not taken, the committee investigators interviewed several of the judges involved in the selection process. The judges who agreed to provide interviews all stated that they had little firsthand knowledge in which to evaluate the candidates, including the incumbent judge. As a result, the members of the Judicial Council had to rely on the findings of the Merit Selection Panel headed by Judge Norma Johnson. The Merit Selection Panel's findings were provided to the Judicial Council by Judge Johnson whose oral presentation was instrumental in the final selection. Judge Johnson had previously worked at the Department of Justice with Stuart Schiffer, who led the Department's attempt to have the District Court remove Judge Bason from the INSLAW case. Mr. Schiffer is also the official who argued vociferously against the appointment of an independent counsel on the INSLAW case in a memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Arthur Burns. Judge Johnson also served in the D.C. Superior Court with Judge Tim Murphy from 1970 through 1980. Judge Murphy subsequently worked directly for Mr. Brewer on the PROMIS contract. The committee, however, has not at this date found any evidence that Judge Johnson had specific discussions with Mr. Schiffer or anyone else at the Department of Justice about Judge Bason, the INSLAW case or the bankruptcy judicial selection process. The committee's investigation revealed that the selection process was largely informal, undocumented and highly subjective. For example, several members of the Judicial Council indicated that one of the primary factors influencing the non-reappointment of Judge Bason, was the poor administrative condition of his court. These same members admitted that they had no firsthand knowledge of the administrative condition and based this opinion on the reports of the Merit Selection Panel and Judge Johnson. This was corroborated by the discovery of a confidential memorandum written by a member of the Merit Selection Panel which was highly critical of Judge Bason and the administrative condition of the Bankruptcy Court. While this memorandum had been seen by several judges during the selection process, committee investigators were unable to determine who authored it. The committee's investigation did not reveal any evidence to support the criticisms raised in the memorandum. Martin Bloom, Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court, indicated in his sworn statement to committee investigators that under Judge Bason, the administrative condition of the court vastly improved. These sentiments were echoed by Chief Judge Aubrey Robinson who consistently complimented Judge Bason on his efforts to improve the administrative condition of the Bankruptcy Court in his remarks to the Annual Judicial Conference. F. CONCLUSION The history of the Department's behavior in the INSLAW case dramatically igation and prosecution. As already documented and confirmed by two Federal judges, the Department's actions in the INSLAW case have greatly harmed the company and its owners. These actions, as they pertain to the dispute with INSLAW over the misappropriation of the PROMIS software, were taken with the full knowledge and support of high level Justice officials. The harm to the company was further perpetuated by succeeding high level officials, such as former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh, who not only failed to objectively investigate the serious charges raised by the Hamiltons and their attorney, former Attorney General Elliot Richardson, but also delayed and rebuffed effective and expeditious outside investigation of the matter by Congress. The Department of Justice is this nation's most visible guarantor of the notion that wrongdoing will be sought out and punished irrespective of the identity of the actors involved. Moreover, its mandate is to protect all private citizens from illegal activities that undermine the public trust. The Department's handling of the INSLAW case has seriously undermined its credibility and reputation in playing such a role. Congress and the executive must take immediate and forceful steps to restore public confidence and faith in our system of justice, which cannot be undermined by the very agent entrusted with enforcement of our laws and protections afforded every citizen. In view of the history surrounding the INSLAW affair and the serious implications of evidence presented by the Hamiltons, two court proceedings in the judicial branch and the committee's own investigation, there is a clear need for further investigation. The committee believes that the only way in which INSLAW's allegations can be adequately and fully investigated is by the appointment of an independent counsel. The committee is aware that on November 13, 1991, Attorney General Barr appointed Nicholas Bua, a retired Federal judge from Chicago, as his special counsel to investigate and advise him on the INSLAW controversy. The committee eagerly awaits Judge Bua's findings; however, as long as the investigation of wrongdoing by former and current high level Justice officials remains under the ultimate control of the Department itself, there will always be serious doubt about the objectivity and thoroughness of the inquiry. ------------------------------ Date: 6 Oct 92 18:11:11 From: Subject: File 2--Trial Date Set In New York "Hacker" Case NEW YORK, N.Y., U.S.A., 1992 Oct. 6 (NB) -- At a conference held in United States Federal Court, Southern District, Judge Richard Owen set April 12, 1993 as the date of the trial of five New York City "hackers" indicted on Wednesday, July 8th for various alleged telecommunications illegalities (in the initial indictment, the word "hacker" was defined as "someone who uses a computer or a telephone to obtain unauthorized access to other computers."). The accused, Mark Abene, also known as "Phiber Optik"; Julio Fernandez a/k/a "Outlaw"; Elias Lapodolous a/k/a "Acid Phreak"; John Lee a/k/a "Corrupt"; and Paul Stiva a/k/a "Scorpion", were charged at the original indictment with being part of a conspiracy intended to allow "the members of MOD (the name of the group) would gain access to and control of computer systems in order to enhance their image and prestige among other computer hackers; to harass and intimidate rival hackers and people they did not like; to obtain telephone, credit, information, and other services without paying for them; and to obtain. passwords, account numbers and other things of value which they could sell to others." Additionally,individuals of the group were charged with specific crimes including the illegal accessing of computers belonging to Southwestern Bell. Since the indictment, attorneys for the defendants have been reviewing evidence obtained by the Secret Service and the FBI through court-authorized wiretapping that is purported to substantiate the allegations. At the most recent court appearance, the attorneys requested an extended period of time for the discovery process because they had only recently been furnished diskettes containing information obtained through the inception of computer communications and, according to a defense attorney, the material "runs somewhere between 20 and 50 megabytes." When asked by Judge Owen for a definition of a megabyte, United States Assistant Attorney General Stephen Fishbein informed him that a megabyte is a million bytes and that a "byte is a piece of information." Owen then asked if Fishbein was really going to present all that information to a jury, saying "That would really byte the jury." Fishbein said that only that portion of the material that actually showed the existence of illegal activity would have to be shown but that the defense attorneys might wish to examine all of the intercepted material. Owen then scheduled January 3rd as the date for filing of defense motions, a date in February for government response and April 12th as the actual trial date. Marjorie Peerce, attorney for Paul Stira, told Newsbytes "I can't comment on the details of the case but Mr. Stira looks forward to the date he can tell his story in court." (Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/19921006) ------------------------------ Date: 13 Oct 92 18:11:11 From: Subject: File 3--News Reports Of 911 Attacks NEW YORK, NEW YORK, U.S.A., 1992 OCT 12(NB) -- United Press International and the Toronto Sun have reported arrests related to alleged "hacker" attacks on 911 systems. The law enforcement personnel quoted in the stories were not available for comment due to the observance of Columbus Day and the Canadian Thanksgiving, respectively. The UPI story reports the arrest of a 23 year-old Newark, New Jersey individual, identified only as "Maverick" for allegedly attempting to cause havoc through the disruption of 911 service. The story also said that arrests were expected to be forthcoming in two Maryland locations. The Toronto story, written by Kevin Hann, described the arrest of a 15 year old high school student accused of misdirecting emergency services crews and reporting false medical emergencies. He, according to quotes attributed to Toronto police officials, used a home computer to route calls through the United States back to Toronto in an attempt to confuse security systems. The New Jersey man arrested was said to be part of a loose network of computer "hackers" known as the Legion of Doom (LOD) which, according to the story, engages in telephone fraud by using corporate Private Branch Exchanges (PBX) systems to illegally place their calls It was alleged that the group made caused over $100,000 of charges to be incurred by a Minnesota company within a single month. The name Legion of Doom has been used repeatedly in recent years by both law enforcement personnel and others in the last few years. Robert Riggs, Adam Grant and Franklin Darden, convicted in 1990 for intrusion in to BellSouth's computer systems were identified by law enforcement officials as members of the Legion of Doom as was Len Rose, sentenced in 1991 for "receiving misappropriated UNIX source code." Additionally, other persons have identified themselves as members or ex-members of the Legion of Doom. In June 1991, Chris Goggans, Scott Chasin and Ken Shulman, announcing the formation of ComSec, a computer security firm, identified themselves as former LOD-ers "Erik Bloodaxe", "Doc Holiday", and "Malefactor" (the firm has since gone out of business). In January 1992, announcing the commercial bulletin board system Phantom Access, the system owners, Patrick Kroupa and Bruce Fancher, described themselves as "two former East-Coast Legion of Doom members" ("Lord Digital" and "Dead Lord"). Fancher told Newsbytes "The Legion of Doom is not and never was an organization with criminal intent. Any criminal activity that might have happened was the result of inadvertent actions while exploring. I never head of Maverick and doubt that he was a member of the group known as the Legion of Doom. I also doubt that anyone that I knew in the group would have considered malicious acts involving 911 systems." (Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/19921012) ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #4.51 ************************************


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank