Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 17, 1992 Volume 5 : Issue 04 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Sun Jan 17, 1992 Volume 5 : Issue 04 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Coyp Editor: Etaion Shrdlu, Junior CONTENTS, #5.04 (Jan 17, 1992) File 1--Steve Jackson Games case trial postponed File 2--MAJOR CHANGES AT THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION File 3--Newsbytes on EFF Reorganization File 4--Some Questions & Comments on EFF Reorganization File 5--Transcript of Secret Service Press Conference in Lubbock Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost from tk0jut2@mvs.cso.niu.edu. 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 comp.society.cu-digest 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 and in the VIRUS/SECURITY library; from America Online in the PC Telecom forum under "computing newsletters;" on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; in Europe from the ComNet in Luxembourg BBS (++352) 466893; and using anonymous FTP on the Internet from ftp.eff.org (192.88.144.4) in /pub/cud, red.css.itd.umich.edu (141.211.182.91) in /cud, halcyon.com (192.135.191.2) in /pub/mirror/cud, and ftp.ee.mu.oz.au (128.250.77.2) in /pub/text/CuD. European readers can access the ftp site at: nic.funet.fi pub/doc/cud. Back issues also may be obtained from the mail server at mailserv@batpad.lgb.ca.us. 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: Fri, 15 Jan 1993 14:30:48 -0500 From: Christopher Davis Subject: File 1--Steve Jackson Games case trial postponed ((MODERATORS' NOTE: We won't be attending the trial, but hope to have on-the-spot coverage from a few astute observers, and will keep readers posted on the events)). +=========+=================================================+===========+ | F.Y.I. |Newsnote from the Electronic Frontier Foundation | 1/15/92 | +=========+=================================================+===========+ STEVE JACKSON GAMES TRIAL POSTPONED The clerk of the court in which the Steve Jackson Games trial will be held has just informed all parties that the SJG trial WILL NOT be heard next week as originally scheduled. Only the summary judgement argument will be heard next week and that is something for which witnesses are not needed. The clerk informs us that the *earliest* the case can expect to go to trial is the week of January 25th. A confirmation of this date is expected from the office of Judge Sparks at the beginning of next week. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 13 Jan 1993 11:44:20 -0500 From: Christopher Davis Subject: File 2--MAJOR CHANGES AT THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION MAJOR CHANGES AT THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION Cambridge, Massachusetts eff@eff.org Wednesday, January 13, 1993 The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in July, 1990 to assure freedom of expression in digital media, with a particular emphasis on applying the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to computer-based communication. EFF has met many of those challenges. We have defended civil liberties in court. We have shaped the policy debate on emerging communications infrastructure and regulation. We have increased awareness both on the Net and among those law enforcement officials, policy makers, and corporations whose insufficient understanding of the digital environment threatened the freedom of Cyberspace. But we've found that Cyberspace is huge. It extends not only beyond constitutional jurisdiction but to the very limits of imagination. To explore and understand all the new social and legal phenomena that computerized media make possible is a task which grows faster than it can be done. Maintaining an office in Cambridge and another in Washington DC, has been expensive, logistically difficult, and politically painful. Many functions were duplicated. The two offices began to diverge philosophically and culturally. We had more good ideas than efficient means for carrying them out. And an unreasonable share of leadership and work fell on one of our founders, Mitch Kapor. These kinds of problems are common among fast-growing technology startups in their early years, but we recognize that we have not always dealt with them gracefully. Further, we didn't respond convincingly to those who began to believe that EFF had lost sight of its founding vision. Against that background, the EFF Board met in Cambridge on January 7, 8, and 9 to revisit EFF's mission, set priorities for the Foundation's future activities, adopt a new structure and staff to carry them out, and clarify its relationship to others outside the organization. 1. EFF'S CAMBRIDGE OFFICE WILL CLOSE. We will be shutting down our original Cambridge office over the next six months, and moving all of EFF's staff functions to our office in Washington. 2. JERRY BERMAN HAS BEEN NAMED EFF'S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR In December, we announced that Mitch Kapor would be leaving the job of Executive Director. He wanted to devote more time and energy to specific EFF projects, such as The Open Platform Initiative, focusing less on administrative details and more on EFF's strategic vision. We also said that we would conduct a search for his replacement, appointing Jerry Berman as our Interim Director. Jerry's appointment is now permanent, and the search is terminated. 3. CLIFF FIGALLO WILL MAINTAIN EFF'S PRESENCE ON-LINE, AND WILL DIRECT THE TRANSITION PROCESS. Cambridge Office Director Cliff Figallo will manage the EFF transition process, working out of Cambridge. He is now considering a move to Washington for organizational functions yet to be defined. In the meantime, he will oversee our on-line presence and assure electronic accessibility. 4. STAFF COUNSEL MIKE GODWIN'S ROLE TO BE DETERMINED We recognize the enormous resource represented by Mike Godwin. He probably knows more about the forming Law of Cyberspace than anyone, but differences of style and agenda created an impasse which left us little choice but to remove him from his current position. EFF is committed to continuing the services he has provided. We will discuss with him a new relationship which would make it possible for him to continue providing them. 5. COMMUNICATIONS STAFFERS GERARD VAN DER LEUN AND RITA ROUVALIS WILL LEAVE EFF. Despite the departure of the Cambridge communications staff, we expect to continue publishing EFFector Online on schedule as well as maintaining our usual presence online. Both functions will be under the direction of Cliff Figallo, who will be assisted by members of the Board and Washington staff. 6. JOHN PERRY BARLOW WILL ASSUME A GREATER LEADERSHIP ROLE. John will replace Mitch Kapor as Chairman of EFF's Executive Committee, which works closely with the Executive Director to manage day to day operations. Mitch will remain as Board Chairman of EFF. All of the directors have committed themselves to a more active role in EFF so that decisions can be made responsively during this transition. 7. EFF WILL NOT SPONSOR LOCAL CHAPTERS, BUT WILL WORK CLOSELY WITH INDEPENDENT REGIONAL GROUPS. We have labored mightily and long over the whole concept of chapters, but, in the end, the Board has decided not to form EFF chapters. Instead, EFF will encourage the development of independent local organizations concerned with Electronic Frontier issues. Such groups will be free to use the phrase "Electronic Frontier" in their names (e.g., Omaha Electronic Frontier Outpost), with the understanding that no obligation, formal or informal, is implied in either direction between independent groups and EFF. While EFF and any local groups that proliferate will remain organizationally independent and autonomous, we hope to work closely with them in pursuit of shared goals. The EFF Board still plans to meet with representatives of regional groups in Atlanta next week to discuss ideas for future cooperation. 8. WE CLARIFIED EFF'S MISSION AND ACTIVITIES In undertaking these changes, the board is guided by the sense that our mission is to understand the opportunities and challenges of digital communications to foster openness, individual freedom, and community. We expect to carry out our mission through activities in the following areas: POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND ADVOCACY. EFF has been working to promote an open architecture for telecommunications by various means, including the Open Platform Initiative, the fight against the FBI's Digital Telephony wiretap proposal, and efforts to free robust encryption from NSA control. FOSTERING COMMUNITY. Much of the work we have done in the Cambridge office has been directed at fostering a sense of community in the online world. These efforts will continue. We have realized that we know far less about the conditions conducive to the formation of virtual communities than is necessary to be effective in creating them. Therefore, we will devote a large portion of our R & D resources to developing better understanding in this area. LEGAL SERVICES. We were born to defend the rights of computer users against over-zealous and uninformed law enforcement officials. This will continue to be an important focus of EFF's work. We expect to improve our legal archiving and dissemination while continuing to provide legal information to individuals who request it, and support for attorneys who are litigating. Both the board and staff will go on writing and speaking about these issues. Our continuing suit on behalf of Steve Jackson Games is unaffected by these changes. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT. We have started many projects over the years as their need became apparent. Going forward, EFF will allocate resources to investigating and initiating new projects. To ensure that our projects have the greatest impact and can reasonably be completed with the resources available, EFF will sharpen its selection and review process. IN CONCLUSION... We expect that the foregoing may not sit well with many on the Net. We may be accused of having "sold out" our bohemian birthright for a mess of Washingtonian pottage. It may be widely, and perhaps hotly, asserted that the "suits" have won and that EFF is about to become another handmaiden to the large corporate interests which support our work on telecommunications policy. However plausible, these conclusions are wrong. We made these choices with many of the same misgivings our members will feel. We have toiled for many months to restore harmony between our two offices. But in some cases, personal animosities had grown bitter. It seems clear that much of the difficulty was structural. We believe that our decisions will go far to focus EFF's work and make it more effective. The decision to locate our one office in Washington was unavoidable; our policy work can only be done effectively there. Given the choice to centralize in Washington, the decision to permanently appoint Jerry Berman as our Executive Director was natural. Jerry has, in a very short time, built an extremely effective team there, so our confidence in his managerial abilities is high. But we are also convinced of his commitment to and growing understanding of the EFF programs which extend beyond the policy establishment in Fortress Washington. We recognize that inside the Beltway there lies a very powerful reality distortion field, but we have a great deal of faith in the ability of the online world to keep us honest. We know that we can't succeed in insightful policy work without a deep and current understanding of the networks as they evolve -- technically, culturally, and personally. To those who believe that we've become too corporate, we can only say that we founded EFF because we didn't feel that large, formal organizations could be trusted with the future of Cyberspace. We have no intention of becoming one ourselves. Some will read between these lines and draw the conclusion that Mitch Kapor is withdrawing from EFF. That is absolutely not the case. Mitch remains thoroughly committed to serving EFF's agenda. We believe however, that his energies are better devoted to strategy and to developing a compelling vision of future human communications than in day to day management. The difficult decision to reject direct chapter affiliation was based on a belief that no organization which believes so strongly in self-determination should be giving orders or taking them. Nevertheless, we are eager to see the development of many outposts on the Electronic Frontier, whether or not they agree with us or one another on every particular. After all, EFF is about the preservation of diversity. This has been a hard passage. We have had to fire good friends, and this is personally painful to us. We are deeply concerned that, in moving to Washington, EFF is in peril for its soul. But we are also convinced that we have made the best decisions possible under the circumstances, and that EFF will be stronger as a result. Please cut us some slack during the transition. And please tell us (either collectively at eff@eff.org or individually at the addresses below) when we aren't meeting your expectations. In detail and with examples. We don't promise to fix everything, but we are interested in listening and working on the issues that affect us all. The Board of Directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation Mitch Kapor, mkapor@eff.org John Perry Barlow, barlow@eff.org John Gilmore, gnu@toad.com Stewart Brand, sbb@well.sf.ca.us Esther Dyson, edyson@mcimail.com Dave Farber, farber@cis.upenn.edu Jerry Berman, jberman@eff.org Cliff Figallo, fig@eff.org ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 14 Jan 93 22:00:18 EST From: mcmullen@MINDVOX.PHANTOM.COM(John F. McMullen) Subject: File 3--Newsbytes on EFF Reorganization The following will appear on Newsbytes. Newsbytes is a copyrighted commercial service and this article is distributed to the recipients with the express permission of the authors. Electronic Frontier Foundation Has Major Reorganization 1/15/93 CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, U.S.A., 1993 JAN 15 (NB) -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced major reorganization changes under which its Cambridge, MA office will close and several persons, including staff counsel Mike Godwin, will leave the organization. In the revised organization, Jerry Berman, director of EFF's Washington office and Interim EFF Executive Director will become permanent Executive Director. This move ends a search process for an Executive Director to replace EFF-founder Mitch Kapor, who stepped down as Executive Director in December 1992. The functions of the Cambridge office will be transferred to EFF's Washington office. The announcement of the changes also provided clarification on Kapor's role, saying "In December, we announced that Mitch Kapor would be leaving the job of Executive Director. He wanted to devote more time and energy to specific EFF projects, such as The Open Platform Initiative, focusing less on administrative details and more on EFF's strategic vision. Some will read between these lines and draw the conclusion that Mitch Kapor is withdrawing from EFF. That is absolutely not the case. Mitch remains thoroughly committed to serving EFF's agenda. We believe, however, that his energies are better devoted to strategy and to developing a compelling vision of future human communications than in day-to-day management." John Perry Barlow, co-founder of EFF, will also assume more day to day responsibilities and "will replace Mitch Kapor as Chairman of EFF's Executive Committee, which works closely with the Executive Director to manage day to day operations." Kapor will remain as chairman of EFF's Board of Directors. Barlow told Newsbytes "With the movement of the offices to Washington, we were concerned with the natural gravitational pull of the Beltway mentality. The board felt that my day-to-day involvement would counter this tendency. The bohemian credentials are pretty well established." Barlow continued "The board was faced with a constant pull within the organization between those who wanted to focus on an advocacy position and those who wanted to be a grass-roots driven group. While we want to have close ties to the grass-roots and learn from all groups using cyberspace, we are not a representative organization driven by a democratic process. We clearly would not be able to foster our view of free expression if we were bound by a majority-rule type of organization." Barlow also said "We also encountered the type of problems that any organization has with two policy making offices. There is always a tendency for dispute. We, therefore, decided to combine our functions into the Washington office. We have misgivings about these decisions; we on the board took what we felt was the best solution to keep the organization on track towards its goals. We now have to work at carrying out these objectives." Barlow's emphasis on a focus on the initial goals of the organization was mirrored in the phrasing of the EFF press release which begins "The Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded in July, 1990 to assure freedom of expression in digital media, with a particular emphasis on applying the principles embodied in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to computer-based communication." The same statement also enumerates details of the problems concerning the two locations alluded to by Barlow -- "Maintaining an office in Cambridge and another in Washington DC, has been expensive, logistically difficult, and politically painful. Many functions were duplicated. The two offices began to diverge philosophically and culturally. We had more good ideas than efficient means for carrying them out. " Barlow's comments to Newsbytes concerning the pull toward a grassroots "bottom-up" type of organization and the board's countering of that pull is reflected in the decision of the board not to continue along the path toward local chapters. EFF currently has a local chapter in Austin, Texas and others have been in formation in Berkeley, California and New York City. The EFF statement said "We have labored mightily and long over the whole concept of chapters, but, in the end, the Board has decided not to form EFF chapters. Instead, EFF will encourage the development of independent local organizations concerned with Electronic Frontier issues. Such groups will be free to use the phrase "Electronic Frontier" in their names (e.g., Omaha Electronic Frontier Outpost), with the understanding that no obligation, formal or informal, is implied in either direction between independent groups and EFF. While EFF and any local groups that proliferate will remain organizationally independent and autonomous, we hope to work closely with them in pursuit of shared goals. The EFF Board still plans to meet with representatives of regional groups in Atlanta next week to discuss ideas for future cooperation." >From the moment of the EFF announcement of the changes, there has been a flow of criticism on on-line services such as the WELL (Whole Earth "Lectronic Link) concerning both the centralization in Washington and the severing of EFF staff counsel Mike Godwin from the organization. Godwin has been, perhaps, after Kapor, the most visible member of EFF, representing EFF at conferences and user groups and providing a legal resource to members of the on-line community. The EFF statement on Godwin's position said "We recognize the enormous resource represented by Mike Godwin. He probably knows more about the forming Law of Cyberspace than anyone, but differences of style and agenda created an impasse which left us little choice but to remove him from his current position. EFF is committed to continuing the services he has provided. We will discuss with him a new relationship which would make it possible for him to continue providing them." Godwin told Newsbytes "I will still be working with EFF and will be representing EFF at the trial in the Steve Jackson Games case which begins next week. The EFF board had some difficult decisions to make and, while I might have made some different decisions, everyone who believes in EFF owes the board a chance to pursue its direction. The organization has all the potential that it ever had and, if I did not believe that, I would not be negotiating with it to continue an affiliation. I believe in EFF and will continue to support its activities." Also leaving EFF in the re-organization are Gerard VanDerLeun and Rita Rouvalis. VanDerLeun and Rouvalis have been responsible for the communications function of EFF's Cambridge office. Cliff Figallo, director of EFF's Cambridge office, repeated for Newsbytes a statement that he had posted on the WELL, saying "I will say that even though this is an outcome that I dreaded, having moved across the country at great sacrifice to serve the online constituency, I believe that the board (of which I am a member) acted responsibly, intelligently and bravely in making these decisions and taking these actions. There was no sense wimping around with half-solutions. Choose your course and Go Fer It. A good board does that. There were, and still are, doubts and reservations, but that's why there is diversity of viewpoint on a good board. You just take your best shot. For a long time the board tried to integrate two divergent agendas out of a desire to be careful and serve both agendas. It was killing the organization." Figallo, formerly the executive director of the WELL told Newsbytes that he will be remaining with EFF during the transition period and will continue to be the voice of grass roots to the EFF board. He also said that he is not yet certain as to his long term plans. Figallo will be attending the upcoming Atlanta meeting with the local groups that have been working with EFF. The board of directors of EFF is composed of Kapor, Barlow, Berman, Figallo, David Farber of the University of Pennsylvania, Stewart Brand of the Whole Earth Review, John Gilmore of Cygnus Support and Esther Dyson of EDventure Holdings. (Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/Press Contact: Christopher Davis, Electronic Frontier Foundation, ckd@eff.org/19930115) ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 17 Jan 93 23:29:54 CST From: Jim Thomas Subject: File 4--Some Questions & Comments on EFF Reorganization ((MODERATORS' NOTE: The following exchanges were taken from The Well's EFF conference and a Usenet post). ++++++ Topic 402: Major Changes for the Electronic Frontier Foundation # 75: jim thomas (jthomas) Thu, Jan 14, '93 (22:16) 28 lines Although I, too, recognize and appreciate the tough choices EFF has been forced to make, and respect their continued dedication to pursuing cyberrights, I am still a bit unclear about their direction and what it means for members. Among the concerns: 1) Who is now the constituency? 2) What is the primary source of revenue? While this is normally not particularly an important question, if the primary contributors are large corporations, what are the implications of this for the future? Does the reorganization symbolize a shift away from grassroots "democracy" (remember those discussions waaaay back in '90 when this conference started?) toward restricted access? 4) What issues previously addressed will now be scrapped? Mike (Godwin), in many ways, symbolized what EFF stood for: An aggressive libertarian organization attempting to balance the broad panoply of Constitutional rights with the legitimate needs of law enforcement. His visibility created positive awareness for EFF through his on-line and F2F interactions, and his energy in responding to questions and helping others was critical in giving EFF a positive image on all sides of the various issues. I suspect that EFF would be a very different organization without his participation at some level. I remain unwavering in my enthusiasm for EFF, but I am not yet certain of the implications of the changes or what it means for the members. +++++++++++++++++++++ FROM: John Perry Barlow (barlow@well.sf.ca.us) Jim... These are thoughtful questions. Let me see if I can answer them succinctly: 1) Who is now the constituency? Same as it ever was. Anyone who has an interest in the present and future openness of digital communications. This includes not only the online community....or rather, communities, of today, but all the people who will wake up to find themselves wired tomorrow. 2) What is the primary source of revenue? While this is normally not particularly an important question, if the primary contributors are large corporations, what are the implications of this for the future? To be perfectly honest, we get a lot more support now from large corporations than from individual donors. But I think I can honestly say that we have not been much influenced in our actions by this fact. We have some big jobs to do. None of this comes cheap. We take support where we can find it and don't accept it with strings attached (unless donations are given, as they sometime are, in support of specific programs). The best way to balance the funding weight of the large outfits is for individuals to be a bit more generous in their support. 3) Does the reorganization symbolize a shift away from grassroots "democracy" (remember those discussions waaaay back in '90 when this conference started?) toward restricted access? Please remember that there is a difference between democracy and freedom of expression. We support the latter and hope that the former will be a natural consequence. We believe in unrestricted access. 4) What issues previously addressed will now be scrapped? I think, if you read the statement carefully, you will find that we are scrapping less than we are fine-tuning. The overall agenda remains much the same. ++++++++++++ FROM: Mitchell Kapor (mkapor@well.sf.ca.us) 15, '93 (06:56) The FTP archive will continue to be actively maintained here in Cambridge and later in Washington, D.C. EFF will hire a net-savvy system administrator in the D.C. area to oversee tehcnical operations of eff.org. +++++++ FROM: Jim Thomas (cudigest@mindvox.phantom.com) John (Barlow)---thanks for the succinct (and re-assuring) comments. Growing pains are never easy, and the EFF reorganization becomes an occasion for others of us to critically question our own involvement, goals, and direction, which is usually a good thing. Perhaps the next few months will be an exciting time of growth and maturity for us all. Dialectic of existence, and all that..... I knew a kid who, in highschool biology, took the instructor's pet lizzard and cut off its tail, then its legs, and fed them to it. The lizzard's internal programming predisposed it to self-destructively feed upon itself, much as some of EFF's critics are doing. EFF's reorganization may or may not prove a wise or effective move. The new strategy may or may not be fiddling with the devil. The EFF's apparent direction certainly departs from my own preferences for a more aggressivly radical-populist approach. But, this misses the point. The EFF was formed to protect cyber-rights, and there is more than one "correct" way to do this. The board has chosen the way with which they feel the most comfortable and competent. Some of us may feel betrayed by that choice because, myopically, we feel EFF should be shaped in *OUR* image and deal with *OUR* issues. We forget that social action requires a variety of approaches. If we're not comfortable with EFF's current direction, we can wish them well, organize in alternative ways, and continue to work together in ways that we feel most comfortable for common goals. The primary forces behind EFF, John and Mitch, have been instrumental in helping others, both publicly and privately, for the past three years. Some of the criticisms against them (and EFF) are of the "yeh, but what have you done for us lately?" variety. Lizzards who feed on themselves may be satisfied for the nonce, but they still invariably self-destruct. We should recognize that the EFF's new direction is just one of the necessary steps involved in social action, and the rest of us should use it as the opportunity to reassess ways we can continue to organize and cooperate. We'll become stronger in the process. ------------------------------ Date: 16 Jan 93 24:01:51 PST From: Edward Cavazos Subject: File 5--Transcript of Secret Service Press Conference in Lubbock ((MODERATORS' NOTE: In December, the U.S. Secret Service raided a dorm room at Texas Tech U. in Lubbock Texas (see CuD #4.67, file 2 for the story). We thank all those involved for making available the following transcript of the incident)). For those of you who may be interested in following this case, I have received a transcription of the press conference held by the Secret Service after the bus in Lubbock. This is a case (one of the first to my knowledge) of the new federal felony copyright legislation being used to shut down a BBS. Trust me: the facts are nowhere near the way they are represented in this press conference..but that shouldn't surprise us, should it? ++++++++++++++ This is a transcript of a press conference held on December 15th at Secret Service offices in Lubbock, Texas. It was held by Agent David Freriks and is regarding the actions of the Secret Service at Texas Tech University on December 14 1992. The press conference was transcribed and attended by Tom Adams (AKA K}, SysOp of Kaptain's Korner BBS 806-762-5536, WWIVnet 1@8607) Publisher of CONNECT LUBBOCK BBS Newsletter. +++++++++++++++++ FRERIKS: Ok...yesterday December 14th, 1992, in cooperation with and working with the Texas Tech University police department and Academic Computing Services, the Secret Service and the University Police executed two search warrants for computer fraud and pirated bulletin board computers. One was on campus and one was off. This person off campus was a former student who had been, in the past, interviewed and disciplinary handled by the University for doing the same thing. No charges have been filed There will be a Federal Grand Jury in January, we are anticipating this case will be presented to them at that time. The former student was expelled from the University for misusing the VAX system on campus. The case essentially was misuse of those VAX accounts or the Academic Computing Services accounts. The students are advised when they open these accounts what the rules and regulations are and Margaret Simon (director of Texas Tech's news and publications department) will cite those here in a minute. We will go ahead and show you the stuff, at least one of them, and they are all three essentially the same. We have not set all three of them up, we've got one up and running so you guys can get an idea of what we're looking at. The one on campus was what we consider a pirate bulletin board, and a fairly sophisticated one. The one off campus was primarily, as were all of them, dealing in proprietary and copyrighted software, games, programs. Prior to this case this time, the former student admitted to at least $6000 worth of stuff that he got himself and that's probably not even close to the dollar amount that we are looking at now. We're just now beginning to amass the dollar amount. We're anticipating a substantial loss to the manufacturer. Questions? REPORTER: Exactly what does it mean.. a pirate bulletin board? I'm not familiar with that. FRERIKS: Well a pirate bulletin board is an electronic bulletin board that passes software, electronic games, computer games and programs, and pass them back and forth without consent of the manufacturer and sometimes they charge sometimes they don't normally there is no charge it's just you give me something I'll give you something, back and forth and the people end up with some tremendous computer programs out there without paying for them. REPORTER: So they're getting copies of these copyrighted disks FRERIKS: Right. REPORTER: For a substantial smaller price for the normally pay. FRERIKS: Or no price at all, just to swap for another equally as good program that someone else may have bought. The problems is they put them up on these electronic bulletin boards and anybody that can get into the bulletin board can get them back so you may have you know a thousand people getting this particular type program without paying for it. REPORTER: Can you explain to us how the investigation got started? REPORTER2: Yeah, how did you guys get alerted.. FRERIKS: Ok, the initial investigation began back in May when the, what they call CERT, C-E-R-T, it's the Computer Emergency Response Team from Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh. That is a industry sponsored group of computer experts that monitor numerous computer systems, Internet and other things throughout the country. They noticed some very highly unusual activity on Internet which is one of the computer systems you can access through VAX. Internet, they called the University among others several universities. They called Tech, and Academic Computing Services started checking and find out this guy was filling up disks, just this one operator was filling up a disk which is ..(asking another agent) oh how big would one of those disks be about a million? I don't know? OTHER AGENT: They're gigabytes. FRERIKS: Gigabyte disks were full, and the other students on campus couldn't do their own research that the VAX, the system was intended to be used for. And so they started checking into who was doing it and who's account code was being used and it just worked down from there and this former student was using one of the ..(asking Margaret Simon) what kind of association did you say it was or organization, campus organization, I mean just a campus organization? SIMON: Campus organization FRERIKS: They were using one of the campus organization's and I won't tell you which one , one of their sub accounts off one of there VAX account. REPORTER: Margaret a question to you, what do you guys, do you have any disciplinary action for these students? SIMON: Well the Texas Tech University has a policy that all of our computers are periodically and unannounced audited for security and any time there's a violation of the security of Texas Tech's computers then if a student is involved he's subject to University disciplinary action, but also he's subject to our turning over and referring any evidence for the case to a enforcement or an investigative agency outside of the University such as we have done in this case so we will proceed with disciplinary action in line with any law enforcement action outside the University that REPORTER: So what's it look like for them? SIMON: I can't say at this time. REPORTER: But they could face up to expulsion from the University? SIMON: Any students involved could face expulsion from the University yes. REPORTER: That is I guess the worst scenario then, expulsion. SIMON: Permanent expulsion, expulsion for certain period of years and that would be determined by the University Disciplinary Committee. REPORTER: And when will they be deciding on this, will they wait until SIMON: It is my understanding since students are..since the university goes on holiday next week and students are finished with this semester this week the Disciplinary Committee would not meet again until the middle of January in the spring semester. FRERIKS: Why don't you cite the pamphlet. SIMON: Yea I wanted to note... FRERIKS: Cause each one of these kids had this pamphlet with them yesterday. SIMON: Every student who takes a computer course at Texas Tech or uses the computers in the library or in any way has access to University computing facilities or property is given this policy statement, "Laws Polices and Computer use." Every instructor of computer science at Texas tech discusses this booklet with his students so that the students of Texas Tech University know that it is a violation of University policy, of state and federal law to pirate copyrighted software and they also know that they are responsible for anything that goes on in there individual computer account, and they read this book and in most classes they sign a document saying that they have read this book and understand it so we are attempting to educate students to what Federal and state law is and certainly to what University policy is concerning computer fraud REPORTER: Do like entering freshmen, I mean do you have to take a computer course in order to get one of these pamphlets or ...let's say I'm a entering freshman, and I have a computer I bring it into my dorm room I'm not gonna get this pamphlet? FRERIKS: You will if you want a VAX account. REPORTER: Oh I see. SIMON: In the vax accounts which are assigned though the APLC, the learning center in the library. If you went in and signed up for an account you would be given this booklet. REPORTER: What is the benefit for this VAX account, I'm not familiar with that. SIMON: If you wanted access to the University's mainframe computer. If you only used your computer in your room to do term papers and to print them out then you wouldn't be on the VAX system using University computing property in order to pirate software or to get on to a network. REPORTER: So legally they can patch into the University system through VAX? SIMON: Through opening an account. REPORTER: OK SIMON: And each of you can get a copy of this by the way or if you don't have time to stop by the office i'll fax you a copy. REPORTER: So basically these kids had an account, were using the mainframe to pirate other software through an electronic bulletin board? SIMON: Yes FRERIKS: Um hm. This is a major nation wide, world wide problem from an industry point of view with tremendous losses in funds tremendous losses of money. the VAX account at the University is a way to get into numerous other research accounts or Internet which is the ...you get onto Internet you can talk to anybody else who is on Internet anywhere in the world which these kids were talking to Belgium, and israel and Australia and they can do that just by this, thus avoiding long distance phone calls. But most of the people on Internet I mean on the VAX are there legitimately for research purposes they can go to Mayo and get a file if they're a med student and they also get one of these pamphlets if they get, like the Department of Engineering gives out an account number just for that semester,the professor would give it out so you can use the VAX well they also get one of those pamphlets that explains what the rules are and the instructor spends a good bit of time the first couple of classes going over computer etiquette, computer rules. REPORTER: Is this trail going to lead to any other schools out here in Texas? FRERIKS: Well there's several others that they were talking to but we don't have any comment, nationwide, we don't have any comment on say A&M. REPORTER: Would this be where the headquarters would have been of the operation? FRERIKS: No, no. REPORTER: Just merely one of the outlying areas? FRERIKS: This is just one of the fingers, the ends of one of the fingers out here. REPORTER: How long did your investigation been going on until this occurred yesterday? FRERIKS: Well as we started in May for us it essentially ended in July when the kid when we interviewed him the first time. University police processed him he was expelled from school and we thought that ya know give the kid a break. REPORTER: Can you comment where the main operation is? FRERIKS: No, no. There's so many of them. It's not like there's one He could be a mastermind, you could be a mastermind, he could electronic bulletin board, you're with the electronic bulletin boards here in town? ME: I'm with CONNECT LUBBOCK, I write a monthly newsletter...I'm just here to get information.. FRERIKS: If you really have any details on what a bulletin board is he'd be the guy who really could explain it to you. REPORTER: How many people were arrested? FRERIKS: Nobody was arrested. REPORTER: Nobody. FRERIKS: There were three individuals interviewed but we did not file any charges. REPORTER: Do you expect to? FRERIKS: There will be a Grand jury in January, Federal Grand Jury. REPORTER: What type of punishment do they face on the Federal level? FRERIKS: I believe it's a ten year, a ten year felony for the computer fraud, there's a copyright violation, infringements there's several numerous violations involved here but essentially a ten year felony. REPORTER: Is that per offence? FRERIKS: Per offence. REPORTER: Would each piece of software be considered an offence? FRERIKS: Probably not but that's a US Attorn decision, and when we go into the next room you'll see a hell of a lot of stuff and it's kind of small so why don't we just go in one at a time. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.04 ************************************

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank