Computer underground Digest Tue Jan 26, 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 07 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Tue Jan 26, 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 07 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 Copy Editor: Etaion Shrdlu, Junior CONTENTS, #5.07 (Jan 26, 1993) File 1--Mark Carter Clears his Name... File 2--Reply to St.Catharine's "Porn" stories (RE: CuD 5.02) File 3--Legal Strategy on 2600 Nov. '92 Mall Harassment File 4--Re: "Explosive Data for Bombs" (CuD #5.05) File 5--Response to Prosecutor Citarella's Notes (CuD 5.06) 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, 22 Jan 93 00:57:30 -0500 From: carterm@SPARTAN.AC.BROCKU.CA(Mark Carter) Subject: File 1--Mark Carter Clears his Name... Response to "Response to Mark Carter in CuD #5.02 and #5.03", which appeared in CuD #5.05. In response to Kenneth Werneburg, Derek Borgford, and Rick Vanderzwaag, I would like to congratulate them on a fine article. However, I would like to correct a few wrong assumptions they made about my personal opinions. Clearing my name, as it were... Quick synopsis of what my opinions really are: 1. I do not have a pre-occupation with Fidonet. 2. I do not rank non-Fidonet boards below others. Nor do I have a negative prejudice towards boards not affiliated with Fidonet. 3. I'm no expert on Interzone, just based my comments on what few experiences I've had there. 4. I did not forward the Standard articles with the intention of shedding new light on the issue. Rather, as I understood it, Cud readers are interested in reading about how the media deals with computer issues. Thus, I sent the articles, with brief introductions to clear up some of the obvious errors and point out the bias of the article. There was no intention to submit an article of "substance". If there were, I would have written my own, instead of forwarding the Standard's articles. I feel it necessary to point out that in an otherwise excellent article, the negative criticism against me stemmed from a small paragraph of my introduction to the Standard article which appeared in Cud 5.03(Cud 5.02 had nothing objectionable), and from certain expectations(with no foundation) that I would be writing an enlightened accompaniment to the articles I forwarded. In relation to #1 and #2, above, I would like to note that rather than a prejudicial "pre-occupation" with Fidonet that "clouds my judgement", I simply regard it as a valuable feature on any BBS. International Echomail and Netmail can only be a bonus, in my opinion. For users interested primarily in on-line games or files, connection to a network is not necessary. The same can be said for users who are content to speak with frequent callers to a specific board. As for Interzone not having those terrible restrictions applied to echomail(polite language and common courtesy are encouraged; gosh, what a constraint!), any sysop can set up a message area on their board which is not connected to a mail network. Overall, I daresay my remarks were blown out of proportion. As for my stating that Interzone was "hardly a good example of local boards" this was not at all based on popularity. I might comment on how I feel certain other features should have been noted, but I would be opening myself up to criticism again(which I have undoubtedly already done). Nonetheless, I'll state that message areas(BBS specific or Fidonet, doesn't matter either way to me, despite what my detractors would have you believe) and other file offerings than .GIFS should have been noted. Perhaps my comments on Interzone were "uninformed", but in any case, I remain blissfully so. Those "uninformed" comments were taken far too seriously. As far as popularity goes, the "second most popular board in the region" figure is hardly verifiable. 600 callers per week is also not a very good indication of popularity, for obvious reasons. There are hundreds of boards in the Niagara region. Many are popular. Several have multiple lines. Since they mark letters to the editor as badges of honour, I'll note that I also wrote a letter to the editor, which was published. I haven't received any criticism about it yet(presumably because the three guys this response is to haven't seen it); to the contrary, several people have commented that it was an excellent submission. I leave you with this quote from the article which I respond to: "We fail to understand Mark Carter's implicated hierarchal delineation regarding the relative worth of BBSes in the Niagara region". Clearly, this exemplifies what I have maintained, that my brief words of introduction to a forwarded article were blown out of proportion, and misinterpreted by those who feel I have a pathological desire to merely imply what I would write plainly if I intended something to be my message. Regardless, rather than dismiss my critics' article, I will praise it. Once they got through slamming my character, they added some of the "substance" which they for some reason expected of myself. Indeed, had I attempted to provide "substance" it would have clouded the articles, which I felt Cud readers would be more interested in. Overall, though, Ken, Derek and Rick wrote a good article. ++++ Addendum: BTW, I apologize if anyone took offense at anything I said, in any article (this is a standing apology...). Interzone is a great local board, is popular, has lots of files, games, etc. The reason I meant that it wasn't a good example of a local board was because it doesn't really follow the standard of other boards in the region. Undoubtedly, this adds to it's popularity. L8r. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 25 Jan 1993 20:56:49 -0500 From: mckenzie@CHEZROB.PINETREE.ORG(Rob McKenzie) Subject: File 2--Reply to St.Catharine's "Porn" stories (RE: CuD 5.02) In the edition of CUD dated Sun Jan 10, 1992 Volume 5 : Issue 02, there was this article in the "CU IN THE NEWS" section regarding 3 newspaper articles from a St. Catharine Ontario news paper. Here is the letter that a friend and I have sent off to the Editor-in-Chief. ++++++++++++++++++++++ Robert McKenzie PO Box 70053 Ottawa, On K2P 2M3 Phone: 613/794-0911 January 25, 1993 The St. Catharine Standard 17 Queen St. St. Catharine, On L2R 5G5 ATTENTION: Paul Forsyth and Andrew Lundy I am writing in response to articles you wrote in _The Standard_ on July 25, 1992. I received the text of your articles from an electronic newsletter called the Computer Underground Digest. I must say after reading them, I am not surprised at what you have discovered. What shocks me, however, is that you seem to convey that this "electronic porn" is the norm in the on-line community. In my experience, it would seem that fewer than 20% of the systems would have "hard hard-core porn" on-line, and perhaps fewer than 20% of that group have GIF (pronounce JIFF) files that contain bestiality or scenes of rape and violence toward women." I do not deny that these atrocities exist, because they do; and I think the general public should be made aware of them. The Bulletin Board Systems (BBSes) that carry GIFs that contain scenes of bestiality, rape, and violence toward women should be boycotted and black-listed till they clean up their systems. I do not condone the distribution of such material in any way, and such material should be banned by law. I would like to share my views on your articles. Your original text will be enclosed in a set of "<< >> " characters, with my comments following your quoted text. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= KIDS CAN SEE HARD-CORE PORN AT TOUCH OF A BUTTON ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ by Paul Forsyth and Andrew Lundy (Standard Staff) << Some boards try to screen users accessing adult files, but Brandon found kids simply lied about their ages. Many system operators offer instant access to their programs with few age or identification checks. >> I have run my BBS for a little over 2 years now, and I have concluded that the best way to verify a user is to call on the telephone. You can normally spot kids who are filling out applications for access to the system by the answers they give to various questions. The biggest one I catch users on is when I ask for the birth date, then later on in the application ask for the age of the applicant. If two different ages are entered, I have my answer. Having mail-in applications that must be downloaded from the BBS, printed, and then mailed via regular mail (Canada Post) is another good way to rid your system of kids who only want pornography. I've not seen a kid yet who can find the patience to fill out and mail an application and wait for validation. << On a recent weekday, for example, two Standard reporters easily accessed a spate of adult files on local boards--images ranging from soft-core centrefolds to hard-core images pushing the legal limits of obscenity. Police say it is difficult to lay charges because most of the files--other than bestiality, child porn or dehumanizing, violent or degrading material--are legal under the Criminal Code. And federal law does not restrict kids' access to porn of any kind. >> May I ask how many systems you connected with and obtained this material from? What percentage of the total number of BBSes in the St. Catharines area does that represent? I believe that federal and provincial law prohibit the sale of and distribution of pornographic materials to people under the age of 18. << Police are hesitant to charge the thousands of board operators across the country, despite the fact many carry material clearly obscene under the Criminal Code. That is because it is difficult to nail down where the files-- many originating in the U.S.--come from, said Inspector Ray Johns, in charge of the vice unit of the Winnipeg police force. >> I think if the material on a system is in contravention of the Criminal Code, then the system operator (sysop) of that BBS should be charged; but as for not being able to nail down the origin of these files, this has little bearing on the issue. Look at the number of video stores that have been busted in the past year for the contravention of Canadian pornography laws. Very few -- if any -- of those videos, I suspect, actually originated in Canada, yet the store owners were charged and the tapes were confiscated. Why, then, could the police not charge a sysop for the distribution of the GIFs? << The rapid advancement of computer technology has caught police, lawmakers and anti-porn organizations off guard. Some women's groups which have taken hard-line stands against pornography are not even aware bulletin board porn exists. >> I hope articles such as yours will help to enlighten not only the women's groups, but also the police and the lawmakers, in the hope that they will help to clean up the on-line community (also known as CyberSpace, a buzzword for the 90s). I, for one, do not like to see CyberSpace tainted by articles such as yours which appear to be only showing the downside of the few systems that are not, shall I say par with the laws. << Fearful parents can forget about complaining to Bell Canada. The phone company has been told by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission that censorship won't be tolerated. >> I have to tip my hat to the C.R.T.C. for its decision with respect to censorship. I feel that the people of Canada are subjected to enough of that already. Bell should be applauded for its decision not to contest the decision of the C.R.T.C. << Problems like that prompt Towne Crier's Brandon to say legislation requiring boards to be licensed might be necessary to stem kids' access to porn. But Matthews of Project P said local computer owners could simply phone Texas or Australia or anywhere else in the world and download porn. "It can come from any place," he said. "This is getting to be a problem throughout North America and the world." >> I don't think BBSes should have to be licensed or even registered in any way, but I do think there should be a hot-line set up for people to call to report a BBS that carries illegal, pornographic material A committee could be set up to investigate these reports, and if they are confirmed then the sysop could have action taken against him/her. Punishing the many for the errors of the few is not the way to go. << "There's a whole lot of legal questions because of the computer. It's a grey area," said Johns, who is waiting for clarification on the issue in the courts. Don Adams, director of computing and information services at Brock, said universities are in a quandary about what to do with offensive files. "You can't really censor the damn network, but on the other hand you don't want to carry all this junk, either." >> Computers are a grey area in the law for only one reason: the lawmakers do not, cannot or will not understand computers. You can't pass a law on something you know nothing about. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- SEEING COMPUTER FILES EASY ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ by Paul Forsyth and Andrew Lundy (Standard Staff) << By running a program which displays text and graphics from other computers on the screen, users can become members of bulletin boards anywhere in the world. The boards are electronic meeting places where users can talk to other computer enthusiasts, play games and exchange messages or files. They are usually set up on home computers by hobbyists who spend hours a day maintaining the boards, updating files and enforcing whatever rules they have established--like no swearing, or racist jokes. >> This is the norm for the on-line community! In fact the woman I will be marrying this spring lives in the US, and I met her via the computer. We spent hours every day typing to each other in real-time before we met in person. This is one direction computers are going. << Practically every board--there are dozens in Niagara alone--has an area for graphics files, often labelled GIFs. The photos find their way into computers by anonymous hackers using scanners, an electronic device similar to a photocopier. But instead of paper, what's produced is an on-screen image that's often as vivid as the real thing. Accessing these files is as easy as typing a few instructions: telling the board what file you want, the way you want to transmit it--called downloading--then simply hitting the return key. >> Oh my! You have touched on a very soft spot now, and not just in me, but in anyone who has been around the on-line community for more than 8 or 9 years: that old buzzword of "hacker". I wish people who write about "hackers" would first learn the meaning of the word, then use the search and replace function of their word processors to replace it with something that is suitable for their story. Your connotation of the word "hacker" is a person who has nothing better to do with his/her time, or a person who commits acts that are morally questionable. Hmmmm, I must rebut this definition. My definition of a hacker is one who is proficient with computers, one who wants to use computers for the purpose of learning and excelling in a field. Webster's says: hack'er n. a talented amateur user of computers. Now, the word "amateur" is questionable by my definition, but nevertheless the above definition is how we computer enthusiasts like to think of ourselves. The people you refer to in your article are disobedient children or misguided adults. These people are not, and probably never will be, considered hackers by other real hackers. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- IMAGES SHOCK JUSTICE ASSISTANT ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ by Paul Forsyth and Andrew Lundy (Standard Staff << Rob Nicholson's face grew grim as the computer image flashed on the screen. Two words escaped from his mouth: "My God." >> Hehehe, that's probably all you could print in a publicly consumed newspaper, but we get the idea. << Two reporters dropped by yesterday to show him a cross-section of hundreds of porn files easily available on local computer bulletin boards--files even board operators admit are big draws for computer-literate young teens. >> I'm glad these reporters brought this situation to the attention of the officials. If the GIFs contain bestiality, scenes of rape and/or violence, they should be banned. Alas, as I said above, we are stuck with lawmakers from an older generation who don't understand computers and cannot pass laws on something they don't understand. << "I don't know what the ... solution is to this. It bothers me that we don't have a magic bullet. This wonderful new technology is being perverted. It scares me as a parent." >> You are correct in this statement. I think the wonderful world of computers and the concept of telecommunications is being polluted by a few bad apples. I would like to see articles similar to yours in all the major papers in Canada, but you can't just talk of the bad. It's more important to talk of the good that computers and CyberSpace, as we call it, can be to the world. Pornography is only 1/1000th of what is out there for people to experience, but by the same token, people need to be made aware of it. However, for the benefit of the on-line community and the positive reputation it has created for itself, please point out the bad in a way that doesn't distort the good! Sincerely Robert McKenzie Technical Advisor of pinetree.org Sysop of: Chez Rob's Int'l Mail Exchange Data: +1 613 230 5307 E-Mail: root@chezrob.pinetree.org Gorden Dewis Domain Coordinator of pinetree.org Sysop of: Gorden's Basement BBS Data: +1 613 526 5168 E-Mail: root@pinetree.org ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 20 JAN 93 17:09:54 GMT From: CAROLINA@VAX.LSE.AC.UK Subject: File 3--Legal Strategy on 2600 Nov. '92 Mall Harassment To the Editors of Computer Underground Digest: Attached, please find an article which relates to the November 1992 incident at the Washington 2600 meeting. I hope that you find it useful. Best regards, /s/Rob ROBERT A. CAROLINA carolina@vax.lse.ac.uk 15 York Terrace East, Flat 1B London NW1 4PT United Kingdom Tel: +44 71 935 2553 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ SCENES OF PASSIVE RESISTANCE AT A SHOPPING MALL by Robert A. Carolina, Esq. carolina@lse.ac.uk Sometimes lawyer, full-time student, and former rent-a-cop Copyright 1993 by Robert A. Carolina. All rights reserved. License is granted to distribute this document in its entirety for any purpose which is both non-commercial and non-profit, provided that this notice remains unaltered. +++++++ The incident at the November 1992 Washington 2600 meeting, where attendees encountered mall guards allegedly spurred on by the Secret Service, has been the cause of quite a bit of discussion and argument. I thought it might be helpful to put together a small information kit and rent-a-cop survival package. The strategy outlined below is liable to be controversial since it advocates non-action, but I encourage you to consider it. You may be able to fight city hall and win, but fighting with people in uniforms (even on a verbal level) is almost always a disaster. First, recognize that guards, cops, and other "uniforms" get really nervous around organized groups. The more inexperienced the uniform, the more nervous they get. Second, when a uniformed person starts a confrontation with anyone, he or she is trained to assert control over the situation as quickly as possible. Any perceived challenge to his authority, including "mouthing off", will produce a harmonic disturbance at least double in intensity to the perceived non-acquiescence. Another way to say this is that uniforms are programmed to give worse than they get - it is considered proper procedure. When you combine nervous uniforms (like under-trained mall rent-a-cops) together with volatile personalities (like hackers sporting anti-social nick-names) the result is usually a rapidly escalating level of disharmony. (At the far extreme, disharmony like this can produce four cops beating the hell out of Rodney King because he "just wouldn't lie still on the ground". The point is not to criticize Mr. King, but to make sure that you don't end up in the hospital. Money awarded by a court is a poor substitute for missing teeth.) Third, recognize that a mall IS private property and the mall operators can throw you out for little or no reason. Fourth, mall cops are not government agents, and as such, their conduct is (mostly) not governed by the Constitution. So what does this all mean? Basically, Ghandi was right. The ticket to dealing with obstreperous uniformed mall cops is polite, passive resistance. The key here is POLITE. At all times, assure the mall cop that you will obey all lawful instructions. Do not give the uniforms any reason whatsoever to escalate the scene. NOTE: This is not the time to start an argument about freedom of speech. That argument belongs in thirty letters to the mall management and local media delivered the day after. This is also not the time to demonstrate your newly-acquired handcuffs to your friends. Remember that you don't want to give the cops any reason at all to escalate the scene. If you are confronted by a group of threatening looking mall cops and they hassle you, ask if you are being ejected from the mall. If yes, then wish the officers a nice day and head for the nearest exit. If no, then wish the officers a nice day and head for the nearest exit. (Do you see a pattern emerging? Remember, you do not generally have a "right" to stay in a mall. Thus, your best defense from ignorant mall cops is to get the hell off of their turf.) If the mall cop tries to detain you, ask if you are under arrest. If the answer is "no" (as it will be 98% of the time), then politely ask to leave and SLOWLY start to walk for the nearest exit. If you are physically blocked from leaving (no scuffles please), OR if they have the guts to claim that you are under arrest, then YOU ask for the police on the grounds that you wish to file a criminal complaint for wrongful imprisonment. The strategy here is to escalate by demanding the presence of lawful authority. Most rent-a-cops are thrown off their stride when a "bad guy" asks for the police. More importantly, if the real cops actually do show up, you are once again fully protected by the Constitution. For this reason, real cops tend to be a little more cautious in these encounters and can often defuse problems like this. If the mall cop asks to search your bag, take a tip from Nancy Reagan and Just Say "No". Half-measures like pulling out the contents yourself don't accomplish very much. If you want bonus points, advise the mall cops that you "will submit to a VALID request for search issued by a police officer" and ask them to call the cops. If the mall cops look like they might get physical, tell them that anything silly on their part will draw a complaint of criminal assault, and will force your father, the lawyer, to sue everyone in sight. The more calmly you can say this, the more impact it will have. By the way, if the real cops DO show up, this does not mean that you have to roll over and play dead. If they ask "may I look in your bag", again just say no. But if they state "Let me see the bag", first make it clear that you protest the action, and then let them take it from you. The trick here is to make sure that you have not "consented" to the search -- however, you must give in to a claim of authority from a police officer. (And no, you do not get to argue the Fourth Amendment search and seizure issue right there on the spot. Your lawyer will do that later at your criminal trial when he argues that the widget in your possession was improperly seized and should not be allowed into evidence.) One way the real cops might try to stay out of the situation is by refusing to search your bag. A really smart cop might say to the guard, "I will not make the search, but I won't stop you if you search." Stand your ground at this point. Tell the real cop that you REFUSE to allow the search unless the real cop orders the search to take place. Even if that happens, make clear that you object to the search. Finally, if despite your best efforts (or because of your best efforts) you are actually arrested by the real cops, DON'T PANIC. More importantly, SHUT UP AND REMAIN SILENT! And in this instance, "silent" means absolute quiet. Since the cops are probably engaged in some baseless exercise, this is not the time to exclaim, "I guess you want to know about that widget I stole last week." (Yes, that really has happened more than once.) The only words you should utter after being arrested are "I want to speak with a lawyer." OK, I hear you asking, what about Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Speech? Isn't that guaranteed in the Constitution? Well, yes it is but there is a trick. The Bill of Rights protects you from action by the Government. Since the mall owners and guards are not the government, their actions are not normally subject to Constitutional constraints. That, by the way, is why the Krishnas get to bother you in airports (owned by government authorities) and they do not get to bother you in the grocery store (owned by private persons). And do not forget that even the government gets to set reasonable limits on Speech and Assembly (like requiring parade permits before 100 people meet in the middle of a street). The most disturbing thing about the Washington 2600 incident, is the alleged use of private individuals (mall rent-a-cops) to secretly further the goals of government agents. If it can be proved that government agents ordered this action, then Constitutional protections will apply. A side benefit of the strategy outlined above is that it forces the mall cops to bring the government (and thus Constitutional protection) clearly into the picture. The strategy may also be helpful, with a little modification, if you are dealing with real cops in the first instance. The important thing is to make clear that you OBJECT to a search. Everything else is basically sit & smile. Good luck. Disclaimer: The above strategy is based on general principles of US Constitutional law and my observations when I worked as a rent-a-cop about a hundred years ago. Use the strategy AT YOUR OWN RISK. This document is free, and worth every penny. If you want a real legal opinion, go out and pay for one. /s/Rob ROBERT A. CAROLINA Member, Illinois State Bar Association ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 21 Jan 93 12:07:46 EST From: morgan@ENGR.UKY.EDU(Wes Morgan) Subject: File 4--Re: "Explosive Data for Bombs" (CuD #5.05) >Subject--Explosive Data for Homemade Bombs > >Hartford Courant (Connecticut Newspaper) > > KEYBOARDING EXPLOSIVE DATA FOR HOMEMADE BOMBS > Bomb Recipes Just a Keystroke Away > By Tracy Gordon Fox, Courant Staff Writer I find it interesting that this article appears in the same CuD issue as a reasoned paper by a prosecutor. It's illustrative of the public 'technophobia' when faced with computing. Until the public can be informed (as a whole), law enforcement will continue to act upon situation such as these, with nothing but public ignorance to blame. >Teenagers learning how to manufacture bombs through home or school >computers have contributed to the nearly 50% increase in the number of >homemade explosives discovered last year by state police, authorities >said. > >In addition to the misguided computer hackers, I wonder if a university professor would be "misguided" if his research included demolitions and explosives.........more hyperbole/hysteria from the media, I guess.....Hey, wait a minute! My specialty during my military service was demolitions; hey guys, I'm "misguided"! >Making bombs is not a new phenomenon, but the computer age has brought >the recipes for the explosives to the fingertips of anyone with a >little computer knowledge and a modem. Ha! I can call the UK library and have the US Army Field Manual "Military Explosives" on my desk within 48 hours. I can drive less than one mile to an Army Surplus store that sells copies of the Army's "Improvised Munitions Handbook". I can pick up a copy of "Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials" from the Lexington Public Library and extract enough information to make bombs. Heck, the industry's standard laboratory safety guide says "don't mix X and Y; they'll explode". If I want to tell someone else, I can always drive to their house or call them on the telephone. Why don't we hear a hue and cry about these sources of information? >University of Connecticut police say they do not know if computers >were the source for a series of soda-bottle bombs that exploded >outside a dormitory last February. They don't know, but it was worth mentioning anyway? Why does the press bother to report these facts? More hysteria...... >Police have dubbed these explosives "MacGyver bombs" because they were >apparently made popular in the television detective show, "MacGyver." >Two-liter soda bottles are stuffed with volatile chemicals that cause >pressure to build until the plastic bursts. The bombs explode either >from internal pressure or on impact. So, broadcast television is also a distribution channel for these *nefarious* devices! Let's write a hysterical article about "Remote Controls Lead to Explosions"! >"There were a number of students involved in making the soda bottle >bombs. They knew what ingredients to mix," said Capt. Fred Silliman. >"They were throwing them out the dorm windows and they made a very >large boom, a loud explosion." Most high school chemistry students could do this independently; almost any university chemistry student should be able to do this in about 5 minutes. >Typically, they are loners, who are socially dysfunctional, excel in >mathematics and science, and are "over motivated in one area," he >said. Uh huh.....I'm getting rather tired of seeing the "socially dysfunctional" label applied to each and every person interested in computers. >"This shows the ability kids have," Goodrow said. Goodrow said he was >at first amazed when teenage suspects showed him the information they >could get by hooking on to computer bulletin boards. Had they taken him to the local library, would he have been amazed? If not, why should online resources be a source of amazement? I hope that the "legal eagles" particpating in CuD will take note of this article; we all have a long educational road ahead of us, if we want to eliminate/control ignorance such as this. ------------------------------ From: learn%igloo@DELTA.EECS.NWU.EDU Subject: File 5--Response to Prosecutor Citarella's Notes (CuD 5.06) Date: Mon Jan 25 22:08:52 1993 In CuD 5.05, Ken Citarella wrote: >In my personal experience, prosecutorial discretion has worked >just as well in computer crimes as it has regarding other criminal >behavior. Some complaints result in a prosecution; some are >investigated and no charges filed; some are not even entertained. Perhaps Mr. Citarella should check out the activities of Bill Cook, former Assistant United States Attorney (ASUA) in Chicago as regards computer related cases involving Neidorf, Andrews, Rose, Riggs, Darden, Grant, and Zinn as well as the Atlanta based ASUA who prosecuted Riggs, Darden and Grant. In particular, I urge Mr. Citarella to read the prosecutor's presentencing memorandum in the Atlanta cases, considering that the information presented to the judge as pertinent fact was known to be wrought from lies. And there's Bill Cook's use of discretionary powers in the Steve Jackson Games case, presently in civil litigation. The fact that neither of the two prosecutors is working for the government any longer is viewed by some as the system correcting itself. That's not much consolation to the people who were persecuted by these two ASUAs. Neidorf had legal expenses in excess of $ 100,000 and lost a semester of university time. Riggs, Darden, and Grant, youngsters in every context, served time in prison. Zinn, aged 16 at the time of his "crimes" was of age by the time he went to trial and served time in an adult prison for rubbing AT&T's nose in it. Further, I feel certain that the ACLU files are rife with cases where prosecutorial discretion in "other criminal" cases is less than exemplary. For example, my copy of "Proving Federal Crimes" uses hundreds of case examples in the chapter titled "Prosecutorial Misconduct and Vindictiveness." Not a small problem, obviously. Human passions flare in the face of injustice, and flared passions don't leave sentient discretionary skills intact in those involved. Also note that in the past two years, much play has been given on primetime television to prosecutorial misconduct. This means that the media woke up to the concept as a social problem worthy of play. And finally I cite the Rule of Law as standing in opposition to Mr. Citarella's contentions. It is mandate, in our justice system, that all the rules be established beforehand. It is important that all persons can determine, ahead of time, what coercive measures will be taken by the state in response to actions which are in violation of the written laws of the land When left simply to prosecutorial discretion, this extremely important principle is thwarted and replaced by personal power. To be bound by rules created by a man is the first definition of slavery. While I believe Mr. Citarella's intentions to be good, and suppose he wishes to improve the responsiveness and costs associated with the criminal justice system, I urge him to read the history of another well meaning individual named Zapata. Benevolent dictatorships aren't all they're cracked up to be. In the end, when the Constitution and the laws are filtered through the discretion of a prosecutor's personal judgement, one begins more and more to live in a state where collective prosecutorial religion reigns. After all, the state's primary business is the shaping of behavior. Prosecutorial discretion is a form of tyranny which has slowly been coming of age in this country. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.07 ************************************

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