Computer underground Digest Sun May 16 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 36
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET)
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Copy Editor: Etaoin Shrdlu, Senrio
CONTENTS, #5.36 (May 16 1993)
File 1--Yet Another "LOD" Pretender!
File 2--Building Bridges of Understanding in LE & Comp. Community
File 3--Crypto-Schemes/Mobile Digital Services in Australia
File 4--More on Free Speech & Cyberspace
File 5--Gene Spafford's Farewell
File 6--UPDATE #3-AB1624 Online Access to Legislation / ACT BY 5/13
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Date: Sat, 15 May 1993 12:12:22 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 1--Yet Another "LOD" Pretender!
After the "hacker crackdowns" in 1990, in which the LOD was brought to
national media attention, it seemed that the group became associated
with every major computer incident that hit the national press. A few
examples of unsubstantiated LOD involvement include: The claim by
federal prosecutors that Len Rose was the LOD mastermind; A logic bomb
defused in AT&T computers in 1990 that law enforcement suspected might
be LOD-inspired; An airforce "hacker" thought to be an LOD member in
1990; the juveniles busted with "Kyrie" for fraud were believed to be
associated with LOD; "Maverick's" 1992 claim that he was an LOD
"hacker;" and Michigan juveniles assumed to be LOD because of "text
files" associated with the group found in their possession. Although
the media seem less inclined to attribute LOD membership to any
computer delinquent found in possession of LOD/TJ #2 or Phrack, there
remain too many juveniles out there who believe that they can
appropriate the name for themselves.
We've been asked about the latest pretender, who has circulated the
following to several Usenet groups:
*** begin start of circulated document ***
Organization--The Zoo of Ids
Release Date: 4 May 16:07 EDT
READ AND DISTRIBUTE EVERYWHERE - READ AND DISTRIBUTE EVERYWHERE
Legion of Doom
No that has not been a mis-print ... the LOD has returned! The
world's greatest hacking group has formally been reinstated to bring
back dignity and respect to a scene that has rapidly deteriorated
since its departure.
*** end excerpt ***
The addressee has not responded to CuD inquiries, but there appears to
be no connection between the pretender and the original LOD. One
original LOD member submitted a strong criticism of the poster in
Telecom Digest (V13, #327), which reads in part:
Fromemail@example.com (The Marauder)
Subject--Legion of Doom! - The Real One
Date--13 May 1993 21:55:46 -0400
Let me set the record straight:
This "NEW" Legion of Doom, coming from "firstname.lastname@example.org" has
_NOTHING_ whatsoever to do with the Legion of Doom! group that
was formed approximately mid-1984, of which I was a member. The
"real" LoD continued as a group until somewhere around 1990.
Those of you really interested in the whole thing can read all
about it in the electronic publication called "Phrack", which is
available at the anon ftp site "ftp.eff.org", in the
I believe "Phrack" issue #31 contains "The History of The Legion
of Doom!" which was written by Lex Luthor (founder of the whole
thing), and edited by Erik Bloodaxe. The article contains a
brief history of us, and ALL them members of the real group, and
is the final word as to who was/was not in LoD. I think you will
find no mention of this (ahem) Lord Havoc character. I believe
"ftp.eff.org" also contains all the LOD Technical Journals in
"pub/cud/lod". The Legion of Doom! as a hack/phreak group DOES
NOT EXIST ANYMORE. These clowns running around the internet
calling themselves the "NEW" LoD are simply some all the LOD
Technical Journals in "pub/cud/lod". The Legion of Doom! as a
hack/phreak group DOES NOT EXIST ANYMORE. These clowns running
around the internet calling themselves the "NEW" LoD are simply
some kids having fun with you all, so relax, take a deep breath,
and forget the whole thing. I am quite convinced you'll not hear
much more from them ;).
Some members of the *original* LOD are currently compiling a
documentary history of the computer underground in the mid-1980s, and
from what we've seen, it promises to be a valuable contribution
to understanding that period. CuD will provide an extended review
of their material in the next week or two.
Date: Thu, 13 May 1993 22:51:01 EDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 2--Building Bridges of Understanding in LE & Comp. Community
Attempts to generate dialogue between the "computer culture" and law
enforcement have proceeded slowly over the past few years. The EFF's
early activities included attempts to make law enforcement personnel
aware of the civil liberties issues related to cyberspace;
Conferences, such as Computers, Freedom & Privacy, or the annual
"Hackers' Conference" have brought diverse groups together
face-to-face; and public access systems such as The Well in California
have had some success in bringing different groups into an on-line
The problem with many of these formats is that they tend to exclude
the average computer user or law enforcement agent. There's now an
alternative. Kim Clancy, a security specialist for the Dept. of
Treasury's Office of Public Debt, has begun the "round-table forum on
Mindvox to bring a variety of views into open dialogue. The intent is
to increase the understanding by the public of the legitimate tasks of
law enforcement, and to expand an awareness of the civil liberties
concerns of the computer public for investigators and others. Law
enforcement personnel are understandably hesitant to engage in such
discussions. But, from what I've seen, there is no ranting, the
discussions are generally of high quality (although an occasional
topic drift does occur), and those participating are sincere in their
attempts to stimulate discussion.
The obvious question, of course, is: Why should law enforcement
personnel bother discussing these issues with an audience that
includes "kids," law students, attorneys, professors, computer
specialists, and other LE agents? To us, the answer is simple: If the
goal is to minimize computer abuse rather than to simply "prosecute,"
then open dialogue is a cost-effective and efficient way of
educational outreach. It's in everybody's interests for law
enforcement personnel to encourage and participate in these dialogues.
Kim Clancy moderates the round-table forum with a gentle, but incisive
hand. She combines her experiences as a security specialist with her
belief in the value of dialogue and information-sharing as an
educational tool as a means of building bridges and promoting
understanding. We share her view that increased understanding is a
significant means of decreasing unacceptable accesses.
Kim's credentials for moderating this type of a forum are impressive.
In addition to her security and anti-virus skills, she set up the AIS
BBS, BBS run by Dept. of Treasury, Bureau of Public Debt. Run by
Computer Security Branch, AIS BBS is intended as a resource for
security specialists, scholars, or others seeking information about
the varieties of computer abuse and how to combat them. The files
range from CERT advisories, documents on viruses, and "underground"
files to simple public domain/shareware utilities, such as virus
checkers. For those lacking ftp access, AIS BBS is an excellent source
of information and a public service of value to a broad range of
computer professionals and researchers. The AIS number is currently
(304) 420-6083, in late may it will change to (304) 480-6083.
The following extracts from Mindvox's round-table forum illustrate the
goals and tenor of the discussions there:
+++ Begin Excerpts +++
Post: 8 of 296
Subject--what this is about
From--sbranch (Kim Clancy)
Date--Tue, 09 Mar 93 08:38:15 EST
I (and others) asked mindvox to start this forum to give LE and others
a place to meet and discuss topics. I have been getting folks
together for awhile and wanted to find a public place I could send
folks to meet instead of me taking all this time to run around and
patch folks together. there are numerous LE types that would like
this exchange to occur and I'll et them know its now open. I belong
to a private :) security forum with a bunch and will pass it on.
Probably one of the best areas I have seen set up for this was on
Gheps bbs. It was called Security and the Security Impaired (you
figure out who is whom). Anyway if there is anyone specific you would
like to see on, let me know and I will see what I can do. Btw, I'm
not an LE type, but manager a computer security unit for the Federal
Gov. but this is being done on my own and the gov. doesn't endorse my
actions...and other standard disclaimers...
>From what I have experienced, ignorance breeds fear, fear breeds
stupid behavior...like SJG games stuff (yea Mike btw on his work!)
If we can use this place ot chip away at the ignorance, it can't hurt.
It won't be a cure all but it won't hurt...will it?
Post--12 of 296
Subject--Re--what this is about
From--cudigest (Jim Thomas)
Date--Thu, 11 Mar 93 00:16:36 EST
In principle, it's a fantastic idea to get both sides talking. The
reality is that those who could most benefit are those least likely to
participate. The Secret Service is a prime example of a group that
seems unable and/or unwilling to learn by its mistakes. Local/regional
"computer-crime" enforcers seem enmeshed in the control mentality, and
have neither incentive nor willingness to understand the other side.
Nonetheless, any attempts at dialogue are worthwhile. Struggle's as
long as history, and change requires persistence. The trick is to get
the LE types on-line and, if not talking, at least reading. But, from
what I've seen from LE documents, what the read is more likely to turn
up in indictments rather than be the fodder for thought.
Two questions: What kinds of topics might LE be willing to discuss,
and what kinds of changes are likely to occur from the discussions?
Post--162 of 194
From: kcit (Ken Citarella)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 93 09:59:38 EST
I took a quick look at some postings since I was last here, and am
glad to see that not all LE people are perceived as evil despotic
lunatics. Neither are the phone companies. They spend a lot of money
to create their systems and they sell their services to earn a profit.
Some people may prefer a world where telephone, indeed all telecom
services are free to all, but that is not the American way, at least
not now. When the telecom infrastructure is paid for entirely out of
taxes (which none of us, or few, would be too happy about) and defined
by the courts or legislature as a free fundamental right of US
citizenship, then all services will be free (if you ignore the fact
that taxes pay to create, maintain, and operate the system). Reality
is that private companies pay to create, maintain, and install, and
that those systems, as any private property, is entitled to protection
as a matter of law. Changing whether or not those systems should be
for free or for higher is a political question, not a LE one. In the
current scheme of things, LE has an obligation to put all sorts of
computer abuse into the hopper with all the other crimes it pays
attention to and to give it the priority each given LE agency deems
Can LE be self improving? Sure, LE is made of people, as is
any other organization or industry. Moreover it is one which
frequently sees itself as the guardian who is unappreciated and abused
while trying to do a thankless job. But, any person or group changes
once the need to do so is perceived individually from within or
imposed upon from without. No different than the big shake up at IBM.
Everyone paying attention saw the collapse coming as their product
line became irrelevant. They saw it last, but eventually caught on.
But you can bet there were people on the inside of IBM who were crying
a lonely voice for years. The same is true for LE. There are voices
inside and outside to be listened to. Evolution comes, it always
does. It can be far better helped along by friendly approaches than
+++ END EXTRACTED POSTS +++
Mindvox, a public access system in New York, is accessible via telnet
at phantom.com or dialins at (212) 989-4141 (for 300-2400 baud) or
(212) 989-1550 for 9600+. Current users wishing to engage in the
round-table discussions can go to the discussion forums and join
round-table. New users may sign in as "guests" and look around.
Date: Thu, 13 May 1993 08:55:32 EDT
Subject: File 3--Crypto-Schemes/Mobile Digital Services in Australia
At CFP'93, there was considerable debate about whether cryptographic
schemes should be designed to be 'crackable' by national security and
law enforcement agencies. The Australian situation is that the
licences issued for mobile digital telephone services all require the
cryptography to be crackable. Now read on ...
The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 28 April, 1993
New digital phones on line despite objections
By BERNARD LAGAN
and ANNE DAVIES
CANBERRA: The Federal government has over-ridden the objections of law
enforcement agencies and allowed Telecom and Optus to start new
digital mobile phone networks which are so secure that conversations
can escape officially authorised telephone bugging.
While law enforcement agencies can still intercept calls from
mobile phones to an ordinary phone, calls from one digital mobile
phone to another cannot be tapped.
The Government agreed to waive the bugging requirement,
originally a condition of Telecom and Optus's mobile phone network
licences, late last week after strong pressure from both carriers to
begin their services without providing technology to allow law
enforcement agencies to listen into conversations.
The changes to the system to allow official bugging will take
up to two years to complete and will cost more than $25 million, a
cost which the Government has agreed to bear.
The Government's waiving of the bugging requirement was made
despite strong opposition from law enforcement agencies, who wanted
the start of the new digital mobile phone networks delayed until there
was technology available to allow conversations conducted on these
networks to be intercepted.
The law enforcement agencies argued that once criminals and
others who had reason to avoid officially authorised interceptions of
their telephone conversations became aware of the loopholes in the new
system, they would exploit it.
The exemption was given by the Minister for Communications, Mr
Beddall after talks held last week with the acting Attorney-General,
It enabled Telecom to launch the country's first digital
mobile phone network yesterday.
The Federal Government is reticent about the decision to let
the new network go ahead. A spokesman would only say that the
Attorney-General was "satisfied" with the operational aspects of the
A spokesman for Minister for Communications, Mr Beddall, said
that "the matter had been resolved", and any further queries should
be addressed to Telecom and Optus.
General manager of Telecom, MobileNet, Mr John Dearn, refused
to confirm or deny that calls made from the new GSM (General System
Mobile),mobile phones to other GSM mobile phones could not be
intercepted, or that an exemption had been sought from the Government
to allow the new GSM service to begin.
"We have an agreement with the Department of Communications
that we will not discuss the licence conditions," he said.
Referring to the fact that most mobile phone calls are to
fixed phones attached to the ordinary telephone network, Optus chief
operating officer, Mr Ian Boatman said that most calls carried on
Optus's GSM network would be interceptable by the security agencies.
Optus is understood to have met with the Attorney General last
Thursday, and has been given similar exemptions to its licence
A third licensed operator is Vodaphone. Managing director, Mr
Phillip Cornish, said: "These are Government and security matters and
Vodaphone had no comment". Vodaphone is not likely to begin its
service until late this year.
The three mobile licensees Telecom MobileNet, Optus and
Vodaphone Australia - are 'required by their licences to introduce the
new digital mobile system, or GSM, as soon as the standard is
However it became clear that the formula used to encode the
new service, known as the A5 algorithm, was so secure that not even
the police or security agencies could listen in.
The dilemma for the Government was that having insisted on the
the early introduction of GSM, it faced the prospect of substantial
delays if it did not waive the licence condition. Because the standard
was so secure, nobody anticipated the difficulty of re-coding and
re-encrypting the algorithm to give access to law enforcement
The Telecom system, costing in excess of $10O million to
establish, covers more than 55 per cent of Australian consumers in
Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, the Gold
Coast, Newcastle, Geelong and the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
Its high security - compared to the existing 018 mobile
telephone network - together with greater clarity is being used by
Telecom to attract new customers.
Under the 018 radio phone network, people using sophisticated
scanners could pick up private conversations. But the digital
technology ensures the telephone transmissions are scrambled and
cannot be understood by people with scanners.
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 10:10 EDT
From: "Gerry Santoro - CAC/PSU 814-863-7896"
Subject: File 4--More on Free Speech & Cyberspace
Wes Morgan wrote:
> Can you
>give an example of a free speech forum that does *NOT* have the po-
>tential to cause this fear and/or reticence?
All free speech forums have this potential, however there are some unique
features of CMC/cyberspace that make this especially frightening for
In particular, the archival capability of cyberspace makes it possible
that any person's posting will be stored and retrieved later for some
other use. I've seen some of my students posting in various Usenet NEWS
groups opinions that may well (and likely will) change as they get older,
yet there is the potential that those postings will resurface at some
point and haunt them in job searches, etc.
We are already feeling the 'chilling effect' of 'political correctness'
on many University/College campuses. As one of those who has steadfastly
fought for free speech I hate to see this happen because I view the squelching
of opinion as detrimental to education and enlightenment. This issue will
surely not go away. The way to change people is to educate them, not
to silence them.
When one posts in cyberspace they are in effect publishing themselves.
They likely do not know who the reader will be or to what use their
posting will be put. If one honestly states an opinion that may go against
the accepted 'norm' or establishment there is the potential for real
harm coming back to that person.
As an example, if one were to post in favor of decriminalizing drug use
would that brand that person as having an 'unpopular' view? Would the
information possibly be used against that person at later times, for example
being entered into a law enforcement data base? Could tenure, or a new
job, be denied that person partially because of the 'unfortunate' information?
Of course that could not be the 'official' reason, but I have seen people
denied tenure or promotions for lesser reasons, always couched in 'legal'
The potential for easy retrieval of such a posting raises such fears. Some
systems routinely keep track of which Usenet NEWS groups a person
reads -- this gives a powerful personal profile and can itself be chilling
without any posting involved.
Please don't forget that only 40 years ago we had the McCarthy hearings,
in which circumstantial evidence of communist affiliation was used to
harass people. Many people lost jobs, opportunities, and worse because
of this. It can happen here! Can anyone out there truly say that our
government is now above reproach and wouldn't do such a thing? Sorry,
only 3 years ago the FBI approach our library system wanting information about
who checked out certain materials. (The campus newspaper reported that
the requests were denied.)
The fact is that 'free speech' is an ideal that requires constant
protection and legal defense if it is to be realized. Limits have been
placed on free speech in cases of 'clear and present danger' (ie, yelling
'Fire' in a theater), or in cases of 'hate crimes' (look at the current
situation at U. of Penn for an example).
Until the legal system clearly defines and truly protects the right
to free and equal expression in cyberspace there will continue to be a
'chilling effect' and the notion of free speech in cyberspace will
continue to be a concept and not a reality. Those who exercise this
right may well have later regrets.
prof. gerry santoro
academic computing/speech communication
penn state university
Date: Sun, 9 May 93 13:39:23 EDT
From: Jerry Leichter
Subject: File 5--Gene Spafford's Farewell
((MODERATORS' NOTE: For readers without access to Usenet, Gene
Spafford, an associate professor computer science at Purdue
University, has been active on the nets for over a decade. His
leadership in an informal medium and his willingness to help others
made the cybercommunity more civilized. Although his opinions and
statements on occasion have provoked strong disagreement and debate,
his contributions to the net have strengthened it. The passing of
Azandi priests seems an appropriate farewell metaphor, and "THANKS,
Subject--That's all, folks
Date--30 Apr 93 00:01:12 GMT
[ I originally was going to post nothing on this topic. I'm burned
out, and I don't want my fatigue to appear like I'm posting
self-indulgent garbage. However, several people have argued with
me, and convinced me that maybe I should make a statement to "end an
era," and as a piece of net "history." At the least, even if it is
perceived as self-indulgent garbage, it will fit right in with the
rest of the net. ]
There is a Zen adage about how anything one cannot bear to give up is
not owned, but is in fact the owner. What follows relates how I am
owned by one less thing....
About a dozen years ago, when I was still a grad student at Georgia
Tech, we got our first Usenet connection (to allegra, then being run
by Peter Honeyman, I believe). I'd been using a few dial-in BBS
systems for a while, so it wasn't a huge transition for me. I quickly
got "hooked": I can claim to be someone who once read every newsgroup
on Usenet for weeks at a time!
After several months, I realized that it was difficult for a newcomer
to tell what newsgroups were available and what they covered. I made
a pass at putting together some information, combined it with a
similar list compiled by another netter, and began posting it for
others to use. Eventually, the list was joined by other documents
describing net history and information.
In April of 1982 (I believe it was -- I saved no record of the year,
but I know it was April), I began posting those lists regularly,
sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly; the longest break was for 4
months a few years ago when I was recovering from pneumonia and poor
personal time management. (Tellingly, only a few people noticed the
lack of postings, and almost all the mail was "When will they come
out?" rather than "Did something happen?") As time went on, people
began to attach far more significance to the posts than I really
intended. It was flattering for a very short time, and a burden for
most of the rest; there is no telling how much time I have devoted
over the last decade to answering questions, editing the postings, and
debating the role of newsgroup naming, to cite a few topics. I really
tired of being a "semi-definitive" voice.
Starting several years ago, at about the time people started pushing
for group names designed to offend or annoy others, or with a lack of
concern about the possible effects it might have on the net as a whole
(e.g., rec.drugs and comp.protocols.tcp-ip.eniac) I began to question
why I was doing the postings. I have had a growing sense of futility:
people on the net can't possibly find the postings useful, because
most of the advice in them is completely ignored. People don't seem
to think before posting, they are purposely rude, they blatantly
violate copyrights, they crosspost everywhere, use 20 line signature
files, and do basically every other thing the postings (and common
sense and common courtesy) advise not to. Regularly, there are postings
of questions that can be answered by the newusers articles, clearly
indicating that they aren't being read. "Sendsys" bombs and forgeries
abound. People rail about their "rights" without understanding that
every right carries responsibilities that need to be observed too, not
least of which is to respect others' rights as you would have them
respect your own. Reason, etiquette, accountability, and compromise
are strangers in far too many newsgroups these days.
I have finally concluded that my view of how things should be is too
far out-of-step with the users of the Usenet, and that my efforts are
not valued by enough people for me to invest any more of my energy in
the process. I am tired of the effort involved, and the meager --
nay, nonexistent -- return on my volunteer efforts.
This hasn't happened all at once, but it has happened. Rather than
bemoan it, I am acting on it: the set of "periodic postings" posted
earlier this week was my last. After 11 years, I'm hanging it up.
David Lawrence and Mark Moraes have generously (naively?) agreed to
take over the postings, for whatever good they may still do. David
will do the checkgroups, and lists of newsgroups and moderators
(news.lists), and Mark will handle the other informational postings
I'm not predicting the death of the Usenet -- it will continue without
me, with nary a hiccup, and six months from now most users will have
forgotten that I did the postings...those few who even know now, that
is. That is as it should be, I suspect. Nor am I leaving the
Usenet entirely. There are still a half-dozen groups that I read
sometimes (a few moderated and comp.* groups), and I will continue to
read them. That's about it, though. I've gone from reading all the
groups to reading less than ten. Funny, though, the total volume of
what I read has stayed almost constant over the years. :-)
My sincere thanks to everyone who has ever said a "thank you" or
contributed a suggestion for the postings. You few kept me going at
this longer than most sane people would consider wise. Please lend
your support to Mark and David if you believe their efforts are
valuable. Eventually they too will burn out, just as the Usenet has
consumed nearly everyone who has made significant contributions to its
history, but you can help make their burden seem worthwhile in
In closing, I'd like to repost my 3 axioms of Usenet. I originally
posted these in 1987 and 1988. In my opinion as a semi-pro
curmudgeon, I think they've aged well:
"The Usenet is not the real world. The Usenet usually does not even
resemble the real world."
"Attempts to change the real world by altering the structure
of the Usenet is an attempt to work sympathetic magic -- electronic
"Arguing about the significance of newsgroup names and their
relation to the way people really think is equivalent to arguing
whether it is better to read tea leaves or chicken entrails to
divine the future."
"Ability to type on a computer terminal is no guarantee of sanity,
intelligence, or common sense."
"An infinite number of monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards
could produce something like Usenet."
"They could do a better job of it."
"Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) applies to Usenet."
"In an unmoderated newsgroup, no one can agree on what constitutes
"Nothing guarantees that the 10% isn't crap, too."
Which of course ties in to the recent:
"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea --
massive, difficult to redirect, awe-inspiring, entertaining, and a
source of mind-boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect
it." --spaf (1992)
"Don't sweat it -- it's not real life. It's only ones and zeroes."
-- spaf (1988?)
Gene Spafford, COAST Project Director
Software Engineering Research Center & Dept. of Computer Sciences
Purdue University, W. Lafayette IN 47907-1398
Internet: email@example.com phone: (317) 494-7825
Date: Sun, 9 May 1993 14:08:23 -0700
From: Jim Warren
Subject: File 6--UPDATE #3-AB1624 Online Access to Legislation / ACT BY 5/13
[ For newcomers: California Assembly Bill 1624 would mandate that
already-computerized public legislative data be publicly accessible by
modem (by Bowen-D, Torrance). If the bill fails in any committee, the
issue cannot be re-introduced by any Assembly Member until 1995. ]
This update provides:
1. Emerging key questions
2. Needed [minimal] citizen action
3. Key legislative contacts
KEY QUESTIONS/ISSUES THAT APPEAR TO BE EMERGING
Should electronic public access to the California Legislature's
computerized public records be left unchanged?
The information -- already in computers for internal legislative use
-- is available to anyone for 50-cents/kilobyte on magtape in
Sacramento. Or, for about ten times more than current
citizen/consumer-oriented network services -- for example, $4,200 for
2,880 minutes in a 2-year period -- one can use a private
information-distributor that purchases the data and resells online
access. One distributor is owned by the politically-powerful
Sacramento Bee. Numerous state and local agencies currently pay tens
of thousands of tax-dollars to use these private distributors to
access public records.
Should the Legislature design, build, own, operate and control their
own proprietary, public-access computer system and statewide computer
network --disconnected from and inaccessible from the numerous
nonprofit public networks already used by a million or more
Californians at little or no cost?
What would be the server-system costs, network costs, operational
costs, long-distance communications costs, ability to serve
widely-diverse users, controls on access, possibility of monitoring
Should the Legislature at-the-least transmit copies of the public
records to host-computers on the largest, nonprofit, nonproprietary,
extensively-interconnected, cooperative public networks, to be
archived among other public files for free copying across the
networks? WITHOUT charging for it?
Operating expenses would be little more than the cost of a daily
local phone call -- so small that it couldn't practically be pro-rated
across the several million Californians who make free or low-cost use
of those networked computers. A file-server and network hardware
would cost $5K-$9K, and could be donated if their $25-million annual
computer budget can't cover it. Free sharing of thousands of public
files is pervasive and customary among about 1.5-million
inter-networked host-computers, including more than 20,000 BBSs that
share files via FidoNet and usually offer free access for all.
SHOULD the Legislature profit from libraries, local and state
agencies, nonprofit groups, researchers, schools, civic groups,
California businesses, etc., providing citizens with access to
electronic copies of public records?
They don't sell printed copies for more than the [partial] cost of
printing and distribution, nor charge when a lobbyist or corporation
makes many copies of a paper bill. Why should non-landfill copies be
CAN the Legislature make money by charging users of public records?
The two best-known information-distributors that appear to focus on
the California Legislature's public information appear to be limited
in size. A third competitor is rumored to be leaving the
Should The Legislature include the already-computerized state codes
(statutes) and Constitution in the information to be made publicly
Currently, they sell the codes and constitution for more than
$200,000 on magtape; one sale, so far. For comparison, the US GPO
sells the more voluminous federal codes on a CD ROM for $30.
NEEDED [MINIMAL] CITIZEN ACTION
The crucial Assembly Rules Committee chaired by San Francisco's John
Burton is currently expected to hear AB1624 on May 13th at 7:30 a.m.
Chairman Burton needs to hear from Californians, and each Committee
member needs to hear from constituents in their own Assembly
1. *Briefly* express support for AB1624 and state WHY.
2. Request their explicit commitment to support AB1624.
3. Explicitly request an explanation if they decline to commit to it.
KEY LEGISLATIVE CONTACTS
Please be SURE to send a copy to the bill's sponsor:
Hon. Debra Bowen, Assembly Member (D) [Venice/Marina Del Rey area]
State Capitol, Room 3126, Sacramento CA 95814, fax/916-327-2201
The Rules Committee members are (in the State Capitol, Sacramento CA 95814):
John L. Burton, Chair, Rules Committee (D-San Francisco) [KEY decision-maker]
916-445-8253; fax/916-324-4899; Room 3152
Ross Johnson, (R-Fullerton) 916-445-7448; fax/916-324-6870; Room 3151
Deirdre "Dede" Alpert (D-Coronado) 916-445-2112; fax/916-445-4001; Room 3173
Trice Harvey (R-Bakersfield) 916-445-8498; fax/916-324-4696; Room 4162
Barbara Lee (D-Oakland, Alameda) 916-445-7442; fax/916-327-1941; Room 2179
Richard L. Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) 916-445-7234; fax/818-445-3591?; Room 2175
Willard H. Murray, Jr. (D-Paramount) 916-445-7486; fax/916-447-3079; Room 3091
Patrick Nolan (R-Glendale) 916-445-8364; fax/916-322-4398; Room 4164
Richard Polanco (D-Los Angeles) 916-445-7587; fax/916-324-4657; Room 2188
The original bill-text and other postings on this subject are available
from cpsr.org by anonymous ftp, WAIS, Gopher, Veronica and LISTSERV access
in /cpsr/state/california, compliments of Al Whaley at Sunnyside Computing,
or by request from firstname.lastname@example.org .
Timely information about government is prerequisite for a free society.
End of Computer Underground Digest #5.36