Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 20 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 82 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji

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

Skeptic Tank!

Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 20 1993 Volume 5 : Issue 82 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 Ian Dickinson Copy Ediort: Etaoin Shrdlu, III CONTENTS, #5.82 (Oct 20 1993) File 1--Fair Info Practices with Comp. Supported Coop Work File 2--LA Times does cyphertech; odds & ends File 3--IGC Wins Social Responsibility Award File 4--Full Description of Proposed "Hacker" Documentary" Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically from The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115. Issues of CuD can also be found in the Usenet news group; on CompuServe in DL0 and DL4 of the IBMBBS SIG, DL1 of LAWSIG, and DL1 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 Delphi in the General Discussion database of the Internet SIG; on the PC-EXEC BBS at (414) 789-4210; and on: Rune Stone BBS (IIRG WHQ) (203) 832-8441 NUP:Conspiracy; RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020 CuD is also available via Fidonet File Request from 1:11/70; unlisted nodes and points welcome. EUROPE: from the ComNet in LUXEMBOURG BBS (++352) 466893; In ITALY: Bits against the Empire BBS: +39-461-980493 ANONYMOUS FTP SITES: AUSTRALIA: ( in /pub/text/CuD. EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud. (Finland) UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/eff/cud ( in /pub/CuD/cud ( in /pub/cud in /pub/mirror/cud in pub/cud (United Kingdom) 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. Authors hold a presumptive copyright, 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. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: File 1--Fair Info Practices with Comp. Supported Coop Work Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 09:54:21 -0700 From: Rob Kling Fair Information Practices with Computer Supported Cooperative Work Rob Kling Department of Information & Computer Science and Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA 92717, USA May 12, 1993 (v. 3.2) Based on a paper which appears in SIGOIS Bulletin, July 1993 +++++++++++++ The term "CSCW" was publicly launched in the early 1980s. Like other important computing terms, such as artificial intelligence, it was coined as a galvanizing catch-phrase, and given substance through a lively stream of research. Interest quickly formed around the research programs, and conferences identified with the term advanced prototype systems, studies of their use, key theories, and debates about them. CSCW offers special excitement: new concepts and possibilities in computer support for work. CSCW refers to both special products (groupware), and to a social movement by computer scientists who want to provide better computer support for people, primarily professionals, to enhance the ease of collaborating. Researchers disagree about the definition of CSCW, but the current definitions focus on technology. I see CSCW as a conjunction of certain kinds of technologies, certain kinds of users (usually small self-directed professional teams), and a worldview which emphasizes convivial work relations. These three elements, taken together, differentiate CSCW from other related forms of computerization, such as information systems and office automation which differ as much in their typical users and the worldview describing the role of technology in work, as on the technology itself (Kling, 1991). CSCW is the product of a particular computer-based social movement rather than simply a family of technologies (Kling and Iacono, 1990). The common technologies that are central to CSCW often record fine grained aspects of people activities in workplaces, such as typed messages, notes, personal calendar entries, and videotapes of personal activity. Electronic mail is the most popular of the CSCW technologies (Bullen and Bennett, 1991) and is a useful vehicle for examining some of the privacy issues in CSCW. Many electronic mail messages contain personal communications which include opinions and information which many senders would prefer not to be public information. However, most electronic mail system users I have spoken to are ignorant of the conditions under which their transmissions will be maintained as private communications by their own organizations. (They often assume that their electronic communications will be treated as private by their organizations. Others are extremely sensitive to the possible lack of privacy/security of email transmissions.) Discussions of computerization and privacy are highly developed with respect to personal record systems which contain information about banking, credit, health, police, schooling, employment, insurance, etc. (Kling and Dunlop, 1991:Section V). Definitions of personal privacy have been examined in extensive literature about personal privacy and record-keeping systems. Analysts have been careful to distinguish security issues (e.g., lock and keys for authorized access) from privacy issues -- those which involve people's control over personal information. There has also been significant discussion of the interplay between privacy and other competing social values. The privacy issues in CSCW both have important similarities and differences when compared with the issues of personal record systems. We can gain helpful insights by building on this body of sustain thinking about privacy and record systems to advance our understanding of privacy issues in CSCW. Another related and helpful set of inquiries examines the surveillance of workers in measuring activities related to quality of service and individual productivity (Attewell, 1991; Kling and Dunlop, 1993). Some of the most intensive fine grained electronic monitoring involves listening to the phone calls of service workers such as reservationists, and fine-grained productivity counts, such as the number of transactions that a worker completes in a small time period. While all managers have ways of assessing their subordinates' performance, clerks are most subject to these fine grained forms of electronic surveillance. The CSCW community has focussed on professionals as the key groups to use groupware and meeting support systems. Consequently, electronic monitoring has seemed to be implausible. The computing community is beginning to be collectively aware of the possible privacy issues in CSCW applications. Professionals who use CSCW can lose privacy under quite different conditions than clerks who have little control over the use of electronic performance monitoring systems. And personal communications, like electronic mail or systems like gIBIS which supports debates, record personally sensitive information under very different conditions than do information systems for regulatory control such as systems of motor vehicle, health and tax records. The use of email raises interesting privacy issues. In the case of email, privacy issues arise when people lose control over the dissemination of their mail messages. When should managers be allowed to read the email of their subordinates? One can readily conjure instances where managers would seek access to email files. These can range from curiosity (such as when a manager wonders about subordinates' gossip, and requests messages which include his name in the message body), through situations in which a legal agency subpoenas mail files as part of a formal investigation. A different, but related set of issues can occur when a manager seeks mail profiles: lists of people who send more than N messages a day, lists of people who read a specific bulletin board or the membership of a specific mailing list. CSCW systems differ in many ways that pertain to informational control. For example, systems such as email and conferencing systems retain electronic information which can be reused indefinitely with little control by the people who were writing with the system. One can imagine cases in which managers may wish to review transcripts of key meetings held by computer conferencing to learn the bases of specific decisions, who took various positions on controversial issues, or to gain insight into their subordinate's interactional styles. Other systems, such as voice and video links, are often designed not to store information. But they can raise questions about who is tuning in, and the extent to which participants are aware that their communication systems is "on." In the literature about computerization and privacy, similar questions have been closely examined -- regulating the duration of records storage, the conditions under which people should be informed that a third party is seeking their records, and conditions under which individuals may have administrative or legal standing in blocking access to their records (See Dunlop and Kling, 1991, Section V). One of the peculiarities of CSCW in contrast with traditional record keeping systems is the nature of the social settings in which systems are being developed and explored. Most personal record systems are developed in relatively traditional control-oriented organizations. In contrast, most CSCW applications have been developed in academic and industrial research labs. These settings are protective of freedom of speech and thought and less authoritarian than many organizations which ultimately use CSCW applications. In fact, relatively few CSCW applications, other than email and Lotus Notes, are used by the thousands of people in traditional organizations (Bullen and Bennett, 1991). Further, CSCW systems are primarily designed to be used by professionals rather than technicians and clerks. Professionals generally have more autonomy than clerks, who are most subject to computerized monitoring (Attewell, 1991). As a consequence, many CSCW developers don't face problems of personal privacy that may be more commonplace when prototype systems are commercialized and widely used. These contrasts between R&D with CSCW and the likely contexts of application should not impede us from working hard to understand the privacy issues of these new technologies. CSCW applications are able to record more fine grained information about peoples' thoughts, feelings, and social relationships than traditional record keeping systems. They can be relatively unobtrusive. The subject may be unaware of any scrutiny. In R&D labs, we often have norms of reciprocity in social behavior: monitoring can be reciprocal. However, in certain organizations, monitoring may follow a formal hierarchy of social relations. For example, supervisors can monitor the phone conversations of travel reservationists and telephone operators, but the operators cannot monitor their supervisors. The primary (publicized) appropriations of "private email" have been in military organizations, NASA, and commercial firms like Epson, rather than in university and industrial laboratories. CSCW creates a new electronic frontier in which people's rights and obligations about access and control over personally sensitive information have not been systematically articulated. I believe that we need to better understand the nature of information practices with regard to different CSCW applications that balance fairness to individuals and to their organizations. It is remarkable how vague the information practices regulating the use of the few commonplace CSCW applications are. Yet we are designing and building the information infrastructures for recording significant amounts of information about people thoughts and feelings which are essentially private and not for arbitrary circulation, without the guidelines to safeguard them. People who use computer and telecommunications applications need to have a basic understanding about which information is being recorded, how long it is retained (even if they "delete" information from their local files, who can access information about them, and when they can have some control over restricting access to their information. In the late 1970s the U.S. Privacy Protection Study Commission developed a set of recommendations for Fair Information Practices pertinent to personal record keeping systems (PPSC, 1977:17-19). A concern of Commission members was to maximize the extent to which record systems would be managed so that people would not be unfairly affected by decisions which relied upon records which were inaccurate, incomplete, irrelevant or not timely. Commission members believed that record keeping systems in different institutional settings should be regulated by different laws. For example, people should have more control over the disclosure of their current financial records than over the disclosure of their current police records. On the other hand, the Commission proposed that each institutional arena should be governed with an explicit set of Fair Information Practices. In a similar way, different families of CSCW applications or different institutional settings may be most appropriately organized with different Fair Information Practices. In the case of CSCW applications, fairness may have different meanings than in the case of decisions based upon personal records systems. We need fearless and vigorous exploratory research to shed clear light on these issues. This rather modest position contrasts strongly with that taken by Andy Hopper of Olivetti, one of the panelists at this plenary session on CSCW'92. He was enthusiastic about the use of "active badges" (Want, Hopper, Falcao, and Gibbons, 1992) and insisted on discussing only their virtues. He argued that one can imagine many scenarios in which people are harmed by some uses of a particular technology, but that discussing such scenarios is usually pointless. Hopper's 1992 co-authored article about active badges examines some of the privacy threats their use can foster. But on the plenary panel he was critical of people who asked serious questions about the risks, as well as the benefits of new CSCW technologies. In this way, he took a position similar to that taken by spokespeople of many industries, including such as automobiles, who have delayed serious inquiries and regulatory protections for environmental and safety risks by insisting on unambiguous evidence of harm before investigating plausible problems. The active badge systems which Hopper described seem to be regulated by Fair Information Practices in his own research laboratory (e.g., no long term storage of data about people's locations, reciprocity of use, discretion in use). These sorts of Fair Information Practices may be required to help insure that active badges are a convenient technology which do not degrade people's working lives. Other kinds of information practices, such as those in which location monitoring is non-reciprocal, and non-discretionary may help transform some workplaces into electronic cages. Hopper and his colleagues briefly mention such possibilities in their 1992 ACM TOIS article about active badges. And their article deserves some applause for at least identifying some of the pertinent privacy problems which active badges facilitate. However they are very careful to characterize fine grained aspects of the technological architecture of active badges, while they are far from being comparably careful in identifying the workplace information practices which can make active badges either primarily a convenience or primarily invasive. I believe that CSCW researchers should be paying careful attention to social practices as well as to technologies. Richard Harper's (1992) ethnographic study of the use of active badges in two research labs illustrates the kind of nuanced analyses which we need, although Harper also glosses the particular information practices which accompanied the use of active badges in the two labs. Unfortunately, delays in understanding some risks of emerging technologies have led the public to underestimate the initial magnitude of problems, and to make collective choices which proved difficult alter. Our design of metropolitan areas making individually operated cars a virtual necessity is an example. In the early stages of use, the risks of a new family of technologies are often hard to discern (See Dunlop and Kling, 1991, Part VI). When major problems develop to the point that they are undeniable, amelioration may also be difficult. I characterized CSCW, in part, as a social movement (Kling and Iacono, 1990). Most of us who study, develop, or write about CSCW enthusiastically, (and sometimes evangelistically) encourage the widespread use of these new technologies. However, as responsible computer scientists, we should temper our enthusiasms with appropriate professional responsibility. CSCW applications open important organizational opportunities, but also opens privacy issues which we don't understand very well. The new ACM Ethical Code (ACM, 1993) also has several provisions which bear on privacy issues in CSCW. These include provisions which require ACM members to respect the privacy of others (Section 1.7), to improve public understanding of computing and its consequences (Section 2.7), and to design and build information systems which enhance the quality of working life (Section 3.2). The ACM's code is rather general and does not give much specific guidance to practitioners. The CSCW research community is well positioned to conduct the kinds of research into the social practices for using these technologies which could shape meaningful professional guidelines for their use in diverse organizations. Will we take a leadership role in helping to keep CSCW safe for users and their organizations? ================================= Note: I appreciate discussions with Jonathan Allen, Paul Forester, Beki Grinter, and Jonathan Grudin which helped clarify some of my key points. REFERENCES 1. Association of Computing Machinery. 1993. "ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct." Communications of the ACM. 36(2)(Feb.):99-103. 2. Attewell, Paul. "Big Brother and the Sweatshop: Computer Surveillance in the Automated Office" in Dunlop and Kling 1991. 3. Bullen, Christine and John Bennett. 1991. Groupware in Practice: An Interpretation of Work Experience" in Dunlop and Kling 1991. 4. Dunlop, Charles and Rob Kling (Ed). 1991. Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social Choices. Boston: Academic Press. 5. Harper, Richard H.R. "Looking at Ourselves: An Examination of the Social Organization of Two Research Laboratories" Proc. CSCW '92: 330-337. 6. Kling, Rob. 1991. "Cooperation, Coordination and Control in Computer-Supported Work." Communications of the ACM 34(12)(December):83-88. 7. Kling, Rob and Charles Dunlop. 1993. "Controversies About Computerization and the Character of White Collar Worklife." The Information Society. 9(1) (Jan-Feb:1-29. 8. Kling, Rob and Suzanne Iacono. 1990. "Computerization Movements" Chapter 19, pp 213-236 Computers, Ethics and Society, David Ermann, Mary Williams & Claudio Guitierrez (ed.) New York, Oxford University Press. 9. Privacy Protection Study Commission. 1977. Personal Privacy in an Information Society, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. (briefly excerpted in Dunlop and Kling, 1991.) 10.Want, Roy, Andy Hopper, Veronica Falcao and Jonathan Gibbons. 1992. "The Active Badge Location System" ACM Transactions on Information Systems. 10(1)(January): 91-102. ------------------------------ Date: 05 Oct 93 03:09:50 EDT From: Urnst Kouch <70743.1711@COMPUSERVE.COM> Subject: File 2--LA Times does Cyphertech; odds & ends (MODERATORS' NOTE: Urnst Kouch is editor of Cyrpt Newsletter, a 'Zine specializing in techno-political commentary, satire, and virus information)). CuD readers might want to look for the October 3 and 4 issues of The L.A. Times. In a two-part series, the paper's "Column One" was devoted to privacy/cryptography issues. "Demanding the Ability to Snoop: Afraid new technology may foil eavesdropping efforts, U.S. officials want phone and computer users to adopt the same privacy code. The government would hold the only key" was the title and subhead of Robert Lee Hotz's 60+ inch piece. Hotz focused on the Clipper/Skipjack end of the story, in part, because Mykotronx, Inc., the manufacturer of the chip for the National Security Agency, is based in Torrance, Los Angeles County. The newspiece did not delve into any of the recent events surrounding Pretty Good Privacy and Phil Zimmerman. Pretty Good Privacy was referred to as "one of the best codes . . . free and [it] can be downloaded from computer network libraries around the world"; the people who make up the citizen-supported cryptography movement as "ragtag computerzoids." The L.A. Times series also included statistics documenting the steady rise in court-ordered wiretapping from 1985 to 1992 and the almost 100% increase in phones monitored by pen registers - which record outgoing numbers - from 1,682 (1987) to 3,145 in 1992. These numbers do not include monitoring by such as the NSA and said so. Whitford Diffie earned a boxed-out quote, too. "Recent years have seen technological developments that diminish the privacy available to the individual. Cameras watch us in the stores, X-ray machines search us at the airport, magnetometers look to see that we are not stealing from the merchants, and databases record our actions and transactions." The October 3 installment wrapped up with this succint bit from Diffie: "Cryptography is perhaps alone in its promise to give us more privacy rather than less." Moving on from The L.A. Times, readers could find interesting the following hodgepodge of facts, which taken together, lend some historical perspective to the continuing conflict between privately developed cryptography and the government. For example, in reference to the Clipper chip, take the old story of Carl Nicolai and the Phasorphone. In 1977 Nicolai had applied for a patent for the Phasorphone telephone scrambler, which he figured he could sell for $100 - easily within the reach of John Q. Public. For that, the NSA slapped a secrecy order on him in 1978. Nicolai subsequently popped a nut, took his plight to the media, and charged in Science magazine that "it appears part of a general plan by the NSA to limit the freedom of the American people . . . They've been bugging people's telephones for years and now someone comes along with a device that makes this a little harder to do and they oppose this under the guise of national security." The media went berserk on the issue and the NSA's Bobby Ray Inman revoked the Phasorphone secrecy order. If the cypherpunks have a spiritual Godfather, or need a likeness to put on a T-shirt, Carl Nicolai and his Phasorphone could certainly be candidates. About the same time, Dr. George Davida of the University of Wisconsin was also served with a NSA secrecy order, in response to a patent application on a ciphering device which incorporated some advanced mathematical techniques. Werner Raum, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin's Milwaukee campus, promptly denounced the NSA for messing with faculty academic freedom. The Agency backed off. Both setbacks only made the NSA more determined to exert ultimate control over cryptography. In an interview in Science magazine the same year, Bobby Inman stated that he would like to see the NSA receive the same authority over cryptology that the Department of Energy reserved for research which could be applied to atomic weapons, according to James Bamford's "The Puzzle Palace." "Such authority would grant to NSA absolute 'born classified' control over all research in any way related to cryptology," reads his book. Readers have also seen the acronym ITAR - for International Traffic in Arms Regulation - used a lot in reference to the government's interest in controlling private cryptography. ITAR springs from the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, in which "The President is authorized to designate those items which shall be considered as defense articles and defense services." ITAR contains the U.S. Munitions List, the Commodity Control List and the Nuclear Referral List which cover, respectively, munitions, industrial and nuclear-related items. Cryptographic technology falls into the Munitions List which is administered by the Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Defense. In this case, the NSA controls most of the decision making. The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) exists _primarily_ to restrict the acquisition of biological organisms, missile technology, chemical weapons and any items of use in production of nuclear bombs to embargoed nations or countries thought inimical to the interests of the United States. (Examples: South Africa, North Korea, Libya, Iran, Iraq, etc.) That the AECA is used as a tool to control the development of private cryptography in the US is secondary to its original aim, but is a logical consequence of four considerations which the ITAR lists as determinators of whether a technological development is a defense item. These are: 1. Whether the item is "inherently military in nature." 2. Whether the item "has a predominantly military application." 3. Whether an item has military and civil uses "does not in and of itself determine" whether it is a defense item. 4. "Intended use . . . is also not relevant," for the item's classification. If you're brain hasn't seized yet - often, this is what the government counts on - you may have the gut feeling that the determinators are sufficiently strong and vague to allow for the inclusion of just about anything in the U.S. Munitions List or related lists of lists. That would be about right. Which is basically what Grady Ward has been yelling about, only he doesn't kill you with jargon, bureaucrat-ese or Orwell-speak, God bless him. [Yes, you too can be an armchair expert on the topic using acronyms, insider terms, secret handshakes and obscure facts and references to go toe-to-toe with the best in this controversy. Just take advantage of this little reading list: 1. Bamford, James. 1982. "The Puzzle Palace: Inside The National Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization" Penguin Books. Nota Bene: The NSA really hated James Bamford, so much so that it attempted to classify _him_, all 150,000 published copies of "The Puzzle Palace," his notes and all materials he had gained under the Freedom of Information Act. Of this, NSA director Lincoln D. Faurer said, "Just because information has been published doesn't mean it shouldn't be classified." 2. Foerstal, Herbert N. 1993. "Secret Science: Federal Control of American Science and Technology" Praeger Publishers. 3. "Encyclopedia of the US Military", edited by William M. Arkin, Joshua M. Handler, Julia A. Morrissey and Jacquelyn M. Walsh. 1990. Harper & Row/Ballinger. 4. "The US and Multilateral Export Control Regimes," in "Finding Common Ground" 1991. National Academy of Sciences, National Academy Press. ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1993 21:02:30 EDT From: Nikki Draper Subject: File 3--IGC Wins Social Responsibility Award BAY AREA COMPUTER NETWORK ORGANIZATION WINS PRIZE FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Palo Alto, Calif., September 15, 1993 - Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), the national public interest organization based in Palo Alto, announced today that the Institute for Global Communications (IGC) has been named the winner of the 1993 Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility. Beginning in 1986, CPSR has presented this award each year to a distinguished individual who, through personal example, demonstrated a deep commitment to the socially responsible use of computing technology. In 1992, the CPSR Board expanded the nominations to include organizations. IGC is the first organizational recipient of this prestigious award. "The award is particularly appropriate this year because of the enormous interest in computer networks generated by the debate over the proposed National Information Infrastructure (NII)," said Stanford professor and CPSR Board president Eric Roberts. "IGC has worked diligently to use network technology to empower previously disenfranchised individuals and groups working for progressive change. CPSR has a strong commitment to making sure that everyone has access to the resources and empowerment that networks provide. IGC has been providing such access ever since it was founded in 1986." "We're honored to be recognized by CPSR and to be the Norbert Wiener Award recipient," says Geoff Sears, IGC's Executive Director. "Of course, this award honors not just IGC, but the efforts and accomplishments of all our network members, our entire network community." Sears will accept the Wiener award at CPSR's annual meeting banquet in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, October 16th. This year's annual meeting is a two-day conference entitled "Envisioning the Future: A National Forum on the National Information Infrastructure (NII)" that will bring together local, regional, and national decision makers to take a critical look at the social implications of the NII. The keynote speaker will be Bruce McConnell, Chief of Information Policy at the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), who will present his views on the major NII issues now facing the administration. Other highlights of the meeting include Kit Galloway of Electronic Cafe International in Santa Monica, California, as the featured speaker at the banquet. Using videotapes and a live demonstration with CPSR chapters, Kit will present an innovative approach to electronic communication and discuss how the Electronic Cafe concept has been used. The Institute for Global Communications is a nonprofit computer networking organization dedicated to providing low-cost worldwide communication and information exchange pertaining to environmental preservation, human rights, sustainable development, peace, and social justice issues. IGC operates the PeaceNet, EcoNet, ConflictNet, and LaborNet computer networks. With a combined membership of 10,000 individuals and organizations ranging in size and scope from United Nations Commissions to local elementary schools, IGC members contribute to more than 1200 conferences covering virtually every environmental and human rights topic. The Wiener Award was established in 1987 in memory of Norbert Wiener, the originator of the field of cybernetics and a pioneer in looking at the social and political consequences of computing. Author of the book, The Human Use of Human Beings, Wiener began pointing out the dangers of nuclear war and the role of scientists in developing more powerful weapons shortly after Hiroshima. Past recipients of the Wiener Award have been: Dave Parnas, 1987, in recognition of his courageous actions opposing the Strategic Defense Initiative; Joe Weizenbaum, 1988, for his pioneering work emphasizing the social context of computer science; Daniel McCracken, 1989, for his work organizing computer scientists against the Anti Ballistic Missiles deployment during the 1960s; Kristen Nygaard of Norway, 1990, for his work in participatory design; Severo Ornstein and Laura Gould, 1991, in recognition of their tireless energy guiding CPSR through its early years; and Barbara Simons, 1992, for her work on human rights, military funding, and the U.C. Berkeley reentry program for women and minorities. Founded in 1981, CPSR is a national, nonprofit, public-interest organization of computer scientists and other professionals concerned with the impact of computer technology on society. With offices in Palo Alto, California, and Washington, D.C., CPSR challenges the assumption that technology alone can solve political and social problems. For more information about CPSR, the annual meeting, or the awards banquet, call 415-322-3778 or send email to . For more information about IGC, contact Sarah Hutchison, 415-442-0220 x117, or send email to . ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 16 Oct 93 17:44:16 PDT From: annaliza@NETCOM.COM(Annaliza T. Orquamada) Subject: File 4--Full Description of Proposed "Hacker" Documentary" ((MODERATORS' NOTE: In CuD 5.82, we ran a short description of a proposed documentary film on "Hackers," which intends to be an antidote to conventional media depictions of the topic. We asked for a more lengthy description of the project and received the following summary. We combined two files after a long day of teaching, and hope we have not omitted or re-edited inappropriately. Any errors or omissions are the result of our editing, and not necessarily gaps in the original posts. We have long-argued that conventional media depictions of "hacking" are flawed. The more we learn about the proposed documentary, the more encouraged we are that there exist film makers with both the talent and the knowledge to produce antidotes to Forbes Magazines "Hackers in the Hood," Geraldo's "Mad Hacker's Tea-party," and Datelines' modem hysteria, to name just a few of the more egregious examples of media madness. Annaliza's group may or may not tell the "hacker story" in a way that will please everybody, but we remain impressed with her meticulous research and her open-mindedness. She is about to begin a cross-country jaunt to interview/film those willing to talk with her, so if you have a story to tell, think about letting her know)). ===================================== TREATMENT FOR DOCUMENTARY: UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS ONLY 16, October, 1993 Lately the media have widely publicized the on-going dilemmas of computer security experts whose job it is to stop systems crackers (what the media have labelled as hackers) from breaking into secure systems. There have been accounts of teenagers being sentenced for stealing information, running up phone bills of thousands of dollars and even espionage. What is the real threat? Who are these people who break into computer systems? Why do they do it? Since the computer was first put on line and hooked up to a phone, there has always been a risk to security. Breaking into computers is viewed by many hackers as a mental game of chess. Often computer professionals tolerate such break-ins as nothing more than inquisitive minds trying to see if they can outwit the security experts. Most hackers, when caught show no remorse. In fact, they rarely view themselves as criminals. They even hold conventions in various global locations, often inviting their prosecutors to join them. so why is hacking such a threat? How does it affect the computer community? Who are these hackers and what are their objectives? Is there any positive side to hacking? The focus of this documentary will be to follow the hackers and see what motivates them. It will be to show how they feel about the underground computer community, and their own place within it. What are their stories and their explanations? Do they have a political agenda, or are they just joyriding through computer systems? How do they feel about the media and its sensationalized attitude towards computer cracking and the "outlaw cyberpunk"? What do they think is the future of the computer underground? The hacker scene is fractionalized. There are many types of hackers. Some work in solitude, others in groups. Some use cellular, others are interested in programming. Some hackers obtain passwords and codes through the underground or by "social engineering" company employees or by using electronic scanners to listen in on phone conversations. Some hackers know computer systems so well that they don't need passwords but can log on to the computer directly by using various security holes. In most countries hacking is now illegal, so everyone who does hack risks major penalties, even prison. Some groups have a political agenda, or at least some unwritten moral code concerning the right to information. There are various interests in the hacker scene depending on the individual. Some use hacking for personal gain. Kevin Poulsen, a hacker from Los Angeles, used his knowledge of the phone system to block phone lines to a radio station to win a new porsche (Littman, 1993). Some hackers are into military systems. One case in particular was comprised of a group of hackers in Germany who sold computer software programs to the KGB. Though the software given to the Russians was freely available in the West, the group faced espionage charges. The hackers who sold the software displeased many in the W. German Hacker Underground who believed it to be morally wrong to hack for monetary gain. The project itself was allegedly started to bring the Soviet's military computer software standard to a grade matching the Americans. It was called "Project Equalizer" (Hafner and Markoff, 1991; Stoll, 1989). The documentary will aim to find out more about what the political premise of the hackers is presently and what its role will be in the future. Are hackers using their skills for political reasons? Will individual hackers play a major role in influencing the radical left or the radical right in the future? Are hackers being used as government or corporate spies? How do the hackers feel about computer politics? How do hacker politics vary according to the nationalities of the hackers themselves? To date, the media have concentrated on systems crackers as the entirety of the hacker community. Even though the community is fractionalized, each sections interacts with the other. The documentary will explore other parts of the underground. Mark Ludwig, author of "The Little Black Book of Computer Viruses", recently unleashed one of his latest virus programs at Def Con 1, a hacker convention that was held in Las Vegas in July of 1993. The virus infects the computer hard drive encrypting everything automatically. The only way to recover the data is to know the secret password. This sent a buzz through the conference. The ramifications being that any information stored on the hackers hard drive would be impossible to retrieve should the Secret Service come bursting through the door simply by rebooting the computer. Some hackers see themselves as artists. These hackers are always offended when one confuses them with systems crackers. They see themselves as more of an intellectual elite and are very condescending towards systems crackers. One such hacker was able to penetrate a NASA satellite probe. When the satellite was launched into space a peace sign appeared on it's monitor. The hacking community is growing. Every year conventions are held in the United States, Germany, France and Holland, as well as through out the world. SummerCon, HoHoCon, Def Con, and The Hacking at the End of the Universe Conference are some of the best known. In August of 1993, The Hacking at the End of the Universe Conference was reported as having over 600 attendees. This particular global conference, put on by Hactic, was held outside of Amerstam in Holland. The speakers ranged from hackers to security experts to Police Agents. The press was everywhere. A spread even appeared in Newsweek Magazine (July 26, 1993: 58). Though most Cons are places for exchanging information, meeting electronic friends, and generally having a good time, sometimes there are problems. Last year at PumpCon arrests were made. At Def Con, Gail Thackeray, a woman who spends much of her time prosecuting hackers, started her speech by saying she wasn't there to bust anyone. Another speaker, Dark Druid, was unable to talk about his planned topic because his persecutor happened to be sitting in the audience. More and more hackers are breaking headlines in the news. The AT&T crash of 1990, (though caused by a wrongly written line of code in a the switching software program), led to speculation among some media stories and law enforcement officials that hackers might have been responsible. So why are hackers such a threat??? What does a hacker do that could affect the average person?? One of the objectives of the documentary will be to explore the technology available to the hacker. Hackers are experts on the phone systems, they have to be in order to hack systems without being traced. The really good hackers are able to dial into the phone systems and trick the phone computers into believing that they are part of the system, or even that they are the controller of the system. So how do the hackers do it? Where do they obtain their information? How do they get onto systems? How do they get out without being traced? What can they do with their hacking abilities? Kevin Poulsen, in the instance of the KIIS FM radio contest was able to use his knowledge of the phone system to take control of the phone lines and wait until 119 calls had been placed. On the 120st he simply blocked all of the incoming lines to make sure that only his call got through. A prank by another hacker involved taking control of the phone system and then using it to reroute the calls of a certain probation officer. When someone called up the probation officers's office, the caller would be connected to a phone sex service (Sterling, 1992: 98-99). Some European hackers broke into South African computer systems during the boycott against the Apartheid system. The hackers deleted files in South Africa to disrupt the political system and also were able to monitor which companies were breaking the boycott by monitoring computer systems. A serious case that was to initiate Operation Sundevil and lead to many arrests was to involve a document called E-911. This document (though later found to be obtainable through legal channels for about $13.95) was obtained by a hacker on one of his jaunts through the phone system computers. The document was kept by the hacker as a souvenir. He sent the document to a friend who published it in an electronic magazine called Phrack (an electronic hacker magazine available on the internet). The phone company was furious that their supposedly secure system had been breached and that proprietary information was being spread throughout the hacker community. Not only was this stolen/private property, the document contained information pertaining to the 911 emergency services. Although the document had been edited so that no harmful information was published, the phone company was furious. Once a hacker has gained root or super-user privileges at a phone company switching station there is always the potential threat that they could do some very real damage (intentionally or unintentionally). If a hacker could re-route a judge's phone calls or have an enemies phone disconnected or make free calls globally, what is to stop them from cutting off the 911 emergency systems??? This is why the U.S. Secret U.S. Service (the branch of the government that is responsible for the prosecution of most electronic crime) went so far as to break down doors of 15 year olds with guns and haul them and all of their equipment away. One hacker was reportedly banned from even going within 100 yards of a computer terminal. Our documentary will also explore the ramifications of the hacker's actions. Many hackers have been arrested, imprisoned, had their computers as well as their software confiscated. Are these arrests always justified? Many innocent people have been questioned by the Secret Service and FBI purely through suspicion in connection with computer related crime. In fact, is was because of the FBI's investigation of the alleged "theft" of Apple proprietary source code and it's curious questioning of Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus 1-2-3, and John Perry Barlow, former Grateful Dead lyricist, that led to the forming of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (Sterling, 1992: 232-238). Phil Zimmerman, the creator of an electronic privacy encryption program called PGP has been subpoenaed by the U.S. government for creating a program that ensured legitimate privacy. Many people have had their equipment confiscated without ever being charged of a crime. Are fundamental human rights being broken because of the fear of the unknown? Is this fear really justified? If hackers can take control of local switching stations (and they can) why don't they wreak havoc. If there is such a threat to the general public then why don't hackers cause more serious damage? "Bellcore clearly believes that hackers are nothing short of terrorists. A security alert from November 1990 warns that "the potential for security incidents this holiday weekend is significantly higher than normal because of the recent sentencing of the three former Legion of Doom members. These incidents may include Social Engineering (gaining information by posing as a bellcore employee over the telephone), computer intrusion, as well as possible physical intrusion."'* But how do the hackers see themselves?? How do they justify breaking into Bellcore electronically or physically. If hackers are such a major threat then why do so many corporations using computers hooked up to outside connections leave their electronic doors wide open? As computers become more available and widespread throughout the community, so does hacking. This documentary hopes to address the real threats, as well as the hype. Is hacking "intellectual joyriding"? Or serious criminal behavior. By humanizing the hacker scene this documentary hopes to demystify the sinister mythos surrounding what has been deemed by the media as 'the outlaw hacker'. It is not the documentar's objective to make judgements, only to try to understand. The documentary will run approximately 30 minutes. Our objective will be to film at various hacker conventions and meeting places in the United States and Europe. We will be shooting on broadcast quality video. The documentary crew will be leaving Los Angeles at the beginning of December and going to wherever there are people who want to get involved in the project. Ultimately, we hope to show the film at conferences, festivals and perhaps on high quality t.v. (such as Channel 4 in England or PBS in the U.S.). It will also be suitable for classroom viewing and related educational purposes. This documentary is about the hacker community itself. We are looking for monetary donations from the underground or from people sympathetic to the underground. In this way, we will be able to make the documentary without corporate or film company control. Our group is comprised of film makers who are involved in the scene itself. We are looking also for any donation of services, i.e. Beta transfer time, an off-on line editing suite, sound equipment, videotape, etc... If anyone would like to get involved in the project in any capacity, whether it be to go in front of the camera, or relate a story or a hack anonymously to my e-mail address, or donate funds, or equipment or editing time, please get in touch. This documentary hopes to be an open forum for hackers to relate their stories and ideas about the past/present/future. We hope to be able to disseminate the hype from other sensationalized media who are only looking for a good story and don't really care about the ramifications of their actions. Anyone who is interested in any aspect of this project, please contact me Annaliza at * Taken from 2600 Magazine - The Hacker Quarterly - Volume Nine, Number Four - Winter 1992-93. BIBLIOGRAPHY Hafner, Katie, and John Markoff. 1991. _Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier._ New York: Simon and Schuster. Littman, Jonathan. 1993. "The Last Hacker." _The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine_. September 12: 18 ff. Sterling, Bruce. 1992. _The Hacker Crackdown_. New York: Bantam. Stoll, Cliff. 1989. _The Cuckoo's Egg. New York: Doubleday. ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #5.82 ************************************


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank