Computer underground Digest Tue Apr 19, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 35 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Tue Apr 19, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 35 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET) Archivist: Brendan Kehoe Archivist Le Grande: Stanton McCandlish Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala Ian Dickinson Suspercollater: Shrdlu Nooseman CONTENTS, #6.35 (Apr 19, 1994) File 1--Re: AA BBS Bust (press release) File 2--Reply to Keith Henson's Letter (Amat. Action BBS News) File 3--Re: AA BBS Bust (reply to gov motion) File 4--CuD Source in Switzerland File 5--Dutch Government wants to ban encryption! File 6--Possible Skipjack algorithm leak File 7--Clipper Satire Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: Or, to subscribe, send a one-line message: SUB CUDIGEST your name Send it to LISTSERV@UIUCVMD.BITNET or LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU 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, USA. 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 RIPCO BBS (312) 528-5020 (and via Ripco on internet); and on Rune Stone BBS (IIRGWHQ) (203) 832-8441. 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 FTP: UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/CuD/ ( in /pub/eff/cud/ EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud/ (Finland) 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. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 22 Mar 94 10:35:26 PST From: (H Keith Henson) Subject: File 1--Re: AA BBS Bust (press release) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: For those who missed the Government Press release announcing the Amateur Action BBS bust, we reprint it below)) NEWS RELEASE S. F. NO. 94-11 OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR IN CHARGE February 3, 1994 United States Postal Inspection Service P.O. Box 88200 San Francisco, CA 94188-2000 415/550-5602 For Information Call Frank L. Ducar Postal Inspector 415/550-5707 Robert and Carleen Thomas of Milpitas California were arrested today by United States Postal Inspectors. The Thomas's were arrested for distribution of obscene material and receipt of child pornography. The Thomas's were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the Western District of Tennessee on January 25, 1994 on three counts of using a common carrier to transport from California to the Western District of Tennessee obscene video tapes in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1462. The Thomas's were also indicted on six counts of transporting obscene material, specifically computer generated images from California to the Western District of Tennessee in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1465. The Thomas's operated a computer bulletin board service specializing In pornographic material enabling other computer users throughout the country to receive pornographic material via their computer. Each count under these statutes, 18 USC 1465 and 18 USC 1462, carries a penalty of not more than five years in prison or up to a $250,000 fine or both. In addition, Robert Thomas was indicted for knowingly receiving child pornography through the United States Mall in violation of Title 18 United States Code 2252 (a)(1), Violation of this statute is punishable by not more than ten years in prison or up a $250,000 fine or both. ((I can't resist adding that the document the postal inspector filled out at the time of the search so he could get his kiddy porn back stated that the material had been sent "without his (Robert Thomas') knowledge." HKH] This investigation was conducted by Postal Inspectors in response to complaints from citizens in the Western District of Tennessee. The San Jose Police Department High Tech Crimes Detail provided assistance with the forensic examination of the Thomas computer system. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 7 Apr 94 21:57:55 PDT From: hkhenson@CUP.PORTAL.COM Subject: File 2--Reply to Keith Henson's Letter (Amat. Action BBS News) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: Keith Henson has been keeping on top of the Amateur Action BBS case, in which a sysop in Milpitas, Calif, was busted by U.S. Postal authorities and indicted in Memphis, Tenn., where alleged "kiddie porn" files were downloaded. The following are letters Keith exchanged with federal agencies regarding the incident)). H. Keith Henson 799 Coffey Ct. San Jose, CA 95123 408-972-1132 K. J. Hunter Chief Inspector--Postal Service 475 C'Enfant Plaza Washington, DC 20260-2100 January 26, 1994 Dear Mr. Hunter: I am writing to express my concern about one of your Postal Inspectors, David H. Dirmeyer, from Memphis TN. Inspector Dirmeyer made statements to me the morning of January 15th which caused me a great deal of alarm. In conversation in front of a San Jose Police officer, he stated that 1) sending unsolicited child pornography to a person who operates a computer bulletin board system and 2) executing a search warrant of questionably legality within minutes of its receipt is "normal investigative procedure." I have a hand written and signed statement from Inspector Dirmeyer in the form of a PERMISSION TO SEARCH document he filled out to get his child pornography back. In describing the property he wrote: "namely priority mail package from Lance White sent without his knowledge." A comparison of the handwriting on this form and "Lance White's" original application to sign up with the BBS involved created a near certainty in my mind that inspector Dirmeyer and the "Lance White" who sent the child pornography to the system operator were the same person. A day after I had reached this conclusion, I had opportunity to simply ask Inspector Dirmeyer if he was also "Lance White." He admitted it. I think a reasonable person presented with this information would conclude that the above statement by Dirmeyer/White constitutes a written admission of sending unsolicited child pornography through the mail--seeming just to terrify a law abiding recipient. I would like to know if this behavior on the part of Postal Inspectors really is "normal investigative procedure." Sincerely, H. Keith Henson cc Judge Thelton E. Henderson H. Keith Henson 799 Coffey Court San Jose, CA 95123-3920 408-972-1132 =========================================================== March 22, 1994 Mr. H. Keith Henson 799 Coffey Court San Jose, CA 95123-3920 Dear Mr. Henson: Your letter to Chief Inspector Hunter in which you expressed certain concerns regarding an investigation being conducted by Inspector David H. Dirmeyer, has been referred to my office for a response. On January 10, 1994, a federal search and seizure warrant, authorized by a United States Magistrate Court Judge based upon an investigation conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, was executed on the property belonging to Robert and Carleen Thomas, in Milipitas, California. On January 25, the Thomases were indicted by a federal grand jury in Memphis, Tennessee, on charges relating to the distribution of obscene matter. Robert Thomas was also charged with knowingly receiving child pornography through the mail. This case should be scheduled for trial in U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, at some time in the near future. Until this matter is adjudicated, it would be inappropriate and improper for me to comment any further on this case. It is my understanding the Thomases have retained legal counsel. Any specific concerns or issues regarding this investigation can be raised by their attorney in a court of law. Sincerely, A. F. Lamden Manager Fraud and Prohiibited Mailings Group ================================================================== April 5, 1994 A. F. Lamden, Manager Fraud and Prohibited Mailings Group Office of the Chief Postal Inspector Washington, DC 20260-2100 Dear Mr. Lamden: On March 22, 1994 you wrote in answer to my letter to Chief Inspector Hunter of January 26 in which I expressed my concern about the actions and statements of one of your postal inspectors. Incidentally, the letter took 8 days to get here. I understand that you have been given the thankless task of brushing me off. Your second paragraph is a nice condensation of the Postal Service's press release on the arrest. I will quote your third paragraph: "Until this matter is adjudicated, it would be inappropriate and improper for me to comment any further on this case. It is my understanding the Thomases have retained legal counsel. Any specific concerns or issues regarding this investigation can be raised by their attorney in a court of law." However, I was NOT asking a question about the case. I expressed a personal concern (shortened here): "Inspector Dirmeyer made statements to me the morning of January 15th which caused me a great deal of alarm. In conversation in front of a San Jose Police officer, he stated that sending unsolicited child pornography and executing a search warrant a few minutes after it was received to "find" the porn is "normal investigative procedure." And asked in my previous letter (again shortened): ******I want to know if this really is "normal investigative procedure."******* This question is not related to the case! It is a matter of Postal Service policy and you should be able to answer it with a yes or no. Sincerely, H. Keith Henson cc Usenet News groups (with readership in the 100,000 range) Office of the Chief Postal Inspector Washington, DC 20260-2100 ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 11 Mar 94 23:48:58 PST From: (H Keith Henson) Subject: File 3--Re: AA BBS Bust (reply to gov motion) ((MODERATORS' NOTE: Below is the motion filed by AA BBS's defense attorney in response to the incident)) RICHARD D. WILLIAMS, APC State Bar #92376 79 Divine St., Suite 101 San Jose, CA 95110 (408) 295-6336 Attorney for Defendants/Claimants IN THE UNITES STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA IN THE MATTER OF THE ) NO.: CR 3-94-30005 WDB SEARCH OF THE PREMISES ) KNOWN AS: ) RESPONSIVE SUPPLEMENTAL ) MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND 475 TRAMWAY DRIVE ) AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF MILPITAS, CA 95035 ) MOTION TO RETURN PROPERTY ) ______________________________)______________________________ Comes now Richard D. Williams, attorney for the claimants who responds to the United States' opposition to claimants' motions as follows: A. Jurisdiction 1. The US Attorney seems to argue that DiBella vs. United States discourages the use of 41(e) motions in the district of seizure. Dibella dealt mainly with the appealability of a ruling on a 41(e) motion and stated in dictum that such motions were "discouraged." The motion to return property is by rule, and I have seen no authority to suggest that it is improper to bring such a motion in the district where the property was seized pursuant to Rule 41(e). I note also that DiBella vs. U.S. is a 1962 case which was before Congress' revamping the rule in 1989. 2. Further, there exist no rule stating that a motion under 41(e) cannot be brought post indictment (although it does say that if brought post indictment in the trial court it shall be treated as a motion under Rule 12). 3. In the present case, the Thomas's are entitled to the return of their backup tapes, their UPS records (which are in danger of being tampered with by agent Dirmeyer as the could contain evidence of perjury by Agent Dirmeyer in his affidavit before Magistrate Brazil), and any copies of the AABBS system information made by Agent Dirmeyer and the San Jose "High Tech" unit. These were *not* requested on the search warrant and contain member's names, and passwords. They also contain all the electronic mail on the AABBS system at the time of the seizure. Members of AABBS have been complaining constantly since the seizure of unauthorized use of their accounts on the system. It is apparent that a massive release of member logon names and passwords has occurred, because someone (and Agent Dirmeyer is the only one other than claimants with member names and passwords) has been changing member's passwords. 4. The United States Attorney also argues that this motion is not timely since it was filed over thirty days after the seizure. I attempted to obtain access to the file within 48 hours of the seizure and was told that was no file because the U.S. Attorney had it. I was told this while standing next to a sign on the wall which states that it is a felony to remove files from the clerk's office. I made another 50 mile trip in an attempt to find out what was in the file about a week later, and at that point was told again, by the clerks that they did not know where the file was, though they thought the U.S. Attorney still had it. This time Judge Brazil's secretary told me that the affidavit was sealed, though in fact, U.S. Attorney's order sealed only the material alleged to be obscene. (This incident is detailed below.) 5. The affidavit was unsealed by Magistrate Brazil's order on January 27, one day after the indictment issued in Tennessee. Thus my client and I were improperly denied access to the affidavit which was essential to making a 41(e) motion. It was eventually pried out of the clerks office by a series of phone calls to Magistrate Brazil's office and a third 50 mile trip to the clerk's office about February 7th to pick it up. 6. To put a time line on these events, of the seven weeks from the search to the time this motion was filed, the US Attorney or those acting under his direction caused four weeks of the delay he is complaining about. This is not an isolated incident. I am filing a motion herewith to relate this case to several others before Judge Patel involving fraud and deception upon the court where, as here, the government has falsified evidence, hidden court files, manipulated judge's calendars in an effort to "Judge Shop." It is my feeling that no one should be allowed to profit from their wrong doing, and the U.S. Attorney's office should be subject to that maxim of jurisprudence as well. B. PRIVACY AND E-MAIL ISSUES 7. On page 9 of UNITED STATES' OPPOSITION MEMORANDUM at line 2, Assistant United States Attorney Andrew M. Scoble states: "The defendants here, in a warning to law enforcement officers posted on their computer bulletin board, claim that their board contained "work product material" and cite Section 2000aa. The government contends, however, that the material on the board is their pornographic inventory, which should be considered merely a type of documentary material as defined by the stature rather than an type of work product protected by the Act, since work product, as stated in the legislative history involves a creative, mental process which is not evident here." 8. I simply disagree with Mr. Scoble. To support this position, let us describe one of the processes whereby AABBS has electronically published over 20,000 GIFs. Robert Thomas employs models and takes photos of them, many of the not dissimilar to those found in Playboy or Penthouse. He scans in the film, edits the resultant image (much as Playboy airbrushes photographs) and adds the copyright information identifying AABBS. He then writes a description of the GIF, and then loads both the GIF and the related description into the data base available for his paying members. If this is not "a creative, mental process," we don't know how the U.S. Attorney would describe one. This information was available to Inspector Dirmeyer or if he had any doubts about the matter, he could have asked. Many of these GIFs are of humorous intent, which, like obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. 9. Arguing from Mr. Scobles' point of view, we could conceded that the dozen GIFs and tapes sought under the warrant might be considered obscene in Tennessee or other backwater parts of the United States, and therefore these particular items might not be under the protection of 2000aa in that location no matter how much artistry was involved in making them. The GIFs in question are considered silly or mildly amusing by most AABBS members. It should be noted (though this is not a defense) that very similar or even identical GIFs are common items in thousands or tens of thousands of computer systems, including virtually all universities and a number of adult BBSs in Tennessee. If Mr. Scoble considers the tapes obscene by San Francisco standards, I am certain he could be shown open sources of these tapes within a mile of the Federal building. 10. However, by numeric count there are less then one in a thousand were deemed obscene by inspector Dirmeyer. Does this negate the protection of everything (email included) within the computer or all (most of it legal even by his standards) creative work in process? 11. As the Affidavit itself states, the same BBS, content, and video tapes were examined image by image, and tape by tape for five weeks two years ago by the San Jose Police Department. The affidavit clearly states that the SJPD found no evidenced of a crime at that time. It is to be presumed that the police were judging what they looked at by local community standards, and thus the material involved (which has not changed one bit in character since that time) is protected under 2000aa in the Northern District of California if not elsewhere. 12. This does present an interesting problem for the courts! Material could be considered obscene and not protected in one District, and protected under 2000aa in another because of differing community standards. Had the BBS been located in Tennessee, a objection to the legality of the warrant because it violated 2000aa might not be valid, but the 2000aa violation occurred in the Northern District of California, and not in the Western District of Tennessee, and thus local community standards here must be used. It is apparent from the warrant itself (which reported on the search two years ago) that there was strong reason to believe that the BBS material was not obscene under local standards 13. The doctrine of "community standards" brings up another problem-- which community? Before electronic communications became so pervasive, community was describes as physically proximate neighbors. Nowadays, people properly speak of the global village. People well connected to the net are more likely to have a strong feeling of community with those they associate with electronically than they are of their next door neighbors. 14. If "community" is considered to be made up of the 3500 people who pay for memberships on AABSS, they certainly would not consider the material obscene and thus subject to censorship. The same could be said of those who read and download GIFs (which are at least as raunchy as any on AABBS) from the largest groups on the Internet,[.bondage, .homosexual, .bestiality, etc.] The net community, it should be noted, "interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." 15. It is hard to determine the reasons the Western District of Tennessee has reached out in an attempt to impose their standards on the Northern District of California. Perhaps it is the simple desire to obtain tens of thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment. Had they applied for a warrant to search an adult book store in San Francisco, they would have been laughed out of court. Is an electronic version of an adult book store *that* different? 16. If they really have a concern that their citizens need protection from the evils of either coast, they could have applied for an injunction to prevent AABBS from doing business with any citizen of Tennessee. In fact, a simple letter asking the AABBS sysop not to do business with residents of Tennessee, or asking that he limit what was available to them would have sufficed, since it would have cost him under ten customers out of 3,500. 17. Quoting Mr. Scoble on page 10 line 11 through page 10 line 1: "The defendants claim that the search and subsequent seizure of their computer bulletin board system violates the Electronic Communication Privacy Act (ECPA) Tile [sic] 18, United States Code Section 2701 at seq. No such violation occurred." 18. In the very next sentence he quotes the relevant part of what actions are required to violate the law, "or prevent the authorized access to electronic communications." It does not require a degree in computer science to see that authorized access to electronic communications on the BBS were prevented during the five days it was in the hands of agent Dirmeyer and the San Jose Police. 19. Mr. Scoble then describes the requirements to avoid being subject to section 2701, namely the requirement for warrants for mail which has been in the system for less than 180 days. No warrant for *any* email was sought, because, I suspect, no justification was available to intercept or interfere with any member's electronic mail. He goes on to describe how careful the agents were not to read the electronic mail while ignoring the undisputed fact that they prevented authorized access to electronic communications for all 3500 AABBS members for five days. It would be interesting to ask Inspector Dirmeyer's superiors how the Postal Service would react to someone taking a mailbox full of letters and keeping it for 5 days. It is an easy prediction that the Postal Service would consider taking a mailbox to be a violation of law, weather the person taking the mailbox steamed open the letters or not. 20. While interception in the fundamental sense of taking a mailbox full of letters may have occurred, U.S. Attorney Scoble may have such case as law as exists on his side in his claim on page 12 that an "Intercept" under the restricted meaning of Section 2510 may not have occurred. (Steve Jackson Games, Inc. vs. United States Secret Service, 816 F.Supp. 432 W.D.Tex, 1993). This case is also on point for 2000aa because it was found that the government agents should have used less intrusive methods (i.e., subpoenas). 21. A subpoena certainly would have sufficed in this case. Robert Thomas was willing, and stated so at the time of the search, to provide copies of any file the agents wanted. (Why not? Any member including Agent Dirmeyer could access the same GIFs from any place in the world, including any courtroom.) Even though this method was mentioned in the Affidavit as a desirable and less invasive alternative to the search, the agents made no mention of it at the time nor did not take Mr. Thomas up on his offer. It is my belief that they wanted illegal access to electronic mail as well as access to the membership base and the member's personal passwords for the purpose of entrapment. I consider this an example of bad faith on the part of Inspector Dirmeyer, along with the his threats against Robert Thomas not to reveal who "Lance White" was and his botched attempt to frame Robert Thomas on a child pornography charge. The last charge in the indictment is clearly bogus--because Agent Dirmeyer himself describes the package of child pornography as "sent without his knowledge" [referring to Thomas.] This level of lawlessness among those charged with upholding the law should be entirely unacceptable to the courts. 22. The warrant affidavit itself reports on the failed previous attempt to find child pornography on AABBS. Robert Thomas would never put child pornography on his BBS, and would not permit others to do so either. He has a widely known reputation for running a "tight ship" at AABBS. 23. In consideration of the forgoing, claimants pray that all fruits of this illegal search be returned to them, and the evidence suppressed. Respectfully submitted by Richard D. Williams Attorney for defendants/claimants ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 17 Apr 1994 19:38:24 +0200 From: Thomas_Ghezzi@INFORMABOX.INFORMACOM.CH(Thomas Ghezzi) Subject: File 4--CuD Source in Switzerland Here is another CuD source for European users in Switzerland: informabox BBS: ++41 (0)41 55 60 59 The informabox BBS is a non-profit BBS. BBS-Usersoftware: TeleFinder for Macintosh, Windows or Terminal-Emulation. When you need more information about the bbs, than write me. Have a nice time and I wait for the next CuD edition. Best regardsIII Thomas Ghezzi informabox % Rothenhalde 5 % 6015 Reussbuehl % Switzerland ++41 (0)41 55 60 59 (BBS) % informabox (Fido 2:301/xxx) ++41 (0)41 55 60 51 (Voice) % ++41 (0)41 55 60 51 (Telefax) % applelink informacom ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 17 Apr 1994 02:50:30 -0400 (EDT) From: Stanton McCandlish Subject: File 5--Dutch Government wants to ban encryption! A prime example of lousy US Administration policy setting "precedents" of decidely questionable merit internationally. Any more detailed info on this is welcome; pass it around, and cc it to if you would. Similar material from elsewhere is also welcome. This and anything else I find out will be archived at:, /pub/EFF/Legislation/Foreign_and_local/Netherlands/, 1/EFF/Legislation/Foreign_and_local/Netherlands gopher:// ______ begin fwd _____________ From: Date--28 Mar 94 15:30:21 MET Subject--Dutch Goverment wants to ban Encryption! A News Flash from Holland: The Dutch Department of Justice has pressed for legislation on encryption. A parlemantary commitee is currently working on a proposal that would effectively outlaw possesion, use, trade of encryption devices. The commitee is constructing a proposal which would tie a license to use of goverment approved encryption devices. The proposal is prepared in secrecy but some details have already leaked. Supposedly anyone who is caught using encryption on a telephone line is fined and loses his telephone connection for three ? days. Your worst nightmare is becoming our reality. And what makes it worse; the work of on the proposal has kept a low profile to avoid public discussions on the matter. A member of the press interviewed some members of parliament on the pre-proposal, one didn't know what it was about, the other one knew something but stated that it did not interest him! Here in Holland the public awareness concerning encryption is very low. Unlike in the United States the use of computers in the home is not that common. We will have a hard time convincing our parliament to thoroughly evaluate any proposal concerning encryption that might be introduced. Assisting the parliament with the technical expertise to get them to truly understand encryption and the implications of legislation wiil be our main goal. I hope that this information is of use, With Regards, Wim Sonnemans ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 12 Apr 94 15:20:10 EDT From: dlmgam@AOL.COM Subject: File 6--Possible Skipjack algorithm leak The following comes from: PC Week ('The National Newspaper of Corporate Computing') April 11, 1994, Volume 11, Number 14, page 162, article by Spencer F. Katt. I quote: "Spencer's Clipper chip paranoia tidbit of the week was provided by a Beltway gossiper claiming the Clinton administration is fearful that an upcoming spy trial may reveal that the Skipjack algorithm made its way to the U.S.S.R. (when there was such a place). The tipster claimed the administration was working hard to confirm either way." If this IS true, or even if this MAY be true, then WHY is the government still pushing the Clipper Chip? Are they next going to tell us that the Clipper Chip can not be reverse-engineered even WITH the Skipjack algorithm? Even if this is NOT true, I think it DOES bring up yet another reason why mandated encryption in conjunction with outlawing alternative encryption schemes is a Bad Idea (as if the Constitution and Bill of Rights were not already good enough reasons). Katt can be reached at: ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 18 Apr 94 22:04:13 -0700 From: tmp@NETCOM.COM Subject: File 7--Clipper Satire THE ROYAL CASTLE Office of the Imperial Secretary ____________________________________________________ For Immediate Release April 1, 1894 STATEMENT BY THE IMPERIAL SECRETARY Our Glorious Emperor today announced a new initiative that will bring the Imperial Government together with industry in an involuntary but nevertheless magnificent program to improve the security and privacy of restroom accommodations while meeting most of the critical needs of official government spies. The initiative will involve the creation of new products to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced and secure latrine networks and State sewage facilities. For too long there has been great whining, shrieking, agitation, even terrorism, sabotage -- and scurrilous insults upon His Honor! -- from heretical revolutionaries aimed at our hallowed institutions of imperial law enforcement, all desperate attempts to ridicule our meticulously crafted rhetoric about the grave tensions of plumbing entrepreneurialism threatening the holy, universally-accepted sanctity of government sewage surveillance (both foreign and domestic). Rather than use our grand imperial technology to accommodate the compatible interests of plumbing vitality, individual privacy, and State sewage inspections, recent events have pitted our Imperial Government against communist revolutionaries and evil madmen hellbent on evil destruction. Sophisticated plumbing technology has been used for years for freshwater transfer. It is now being used in newfangled -- and at times somewhat scary -- contraptions called "toilets" to convey wastewater to cleaning plants. While sound plumbing technology can help royal subjects protect their drinking water from contamination and leaks in the way of their official allotments, and effectively rid dirty household wastes from personal concern, it can also be used by terrorists, drug dealers, pedophiles and other criminals to conceal invariably damning evidence -- i.e. when they flush it down their toilets. A state-of-the-art apparatus called the "Crapper Sieve" has been developed by the most ingenious Imperial engineers. The device represents a New World Order in plumbing technology. It can be used in these new, relatively inexpensive plumbing devices ("toilets") that are attached to ordinary pipes. It filters wastewater using a sophisticated technique that is more powerful than many in use today (note that most people are not currently using any at all). This new technology will help individuals rid themselves of their everyday wastes and prevent the embarrassing unauthorized release of their personal bodily fluids. At the same time this technology preserves the ability of Imperial, state and local law enforcement agencies to intercept lawfully the characteristically damning refuse of criminals. A "key-escrow" system will be established to ensure that the "Crapper Sieve" protects the privacy of loyal imperial subjects and incriminates everyone else (erring of course on the side of ensuring the highest levels of purity). Each device is equipped with a trapdoor requiring two unique "keys" that will be used by authorized government spies to intercept any damning evidence recovered by the sieve. When the device is manufactured, the two keys will be deposited separately in two "key-escrow" piles, at locations designated by the Key Commissioner, to be disclosed at a future date, but guaranteed to lie on closely-guarded Imperial property and be at least two feet apart. Access to the piles will be strictly limited to government spies with legal authorization to conduct a toilet-tap. (Excessive bribes are explicitly prohibited.) The "Crapper Sieve" technology provides Imperial spies with absolutely no new authorities to access the content of the private sewage of Imperial subjects. It merely upholds the status quo and Imperial tradition of thorough, state-of-the-art waste monitoring programs. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this new technology, the Key Commissioner will soon purchase several thousand of the new devices and install them free of cost to the government in select areas (foreign embassies, crack houses, convention centers, and homes of private citizens with names starting with letters `Q-Z', with `X' exempt). In addition, acclaimed and celebrated experts seemingly independent from the government will be offered access to the confidential details of the sieve to assess its capabilities and publicly report their wholehearted approval and effusive commendations. The Sieve is an important step in addressing the problem of plumbing's dual-edge sword: plumbing helps to transport the waste of individuals and industry, but it also can shield criminals and terrorists. Clearly, we need the "Crapper Sieve" and other approaches that can both provide loyal subjects with access to the plumbing they need and prevent criminals from using it to hide their crimes against the State. In order to assess technology trends and explore new approaches (like the key-escrow system), Our Glorious Emperor has directed all Imperial agencies to develop a comprehensive policy on plumbing that addresses: -- the obsession of privacy among our citizens, including the need to employ plumbing for personal hygiene; -- the ability of authorized official spies to access private plumbing, under imperial edict or other equally impressive legal order, when necessary to protect loyal subjects and imprison the revolutionaries, troublemakers, and hooligans; -- the effective and timely use of the most modern technology to build the National Plumbing Infrastructure needed to maximize Imperial taxes, monitor the populace, and isolate us from enemy countries; -- the most expedient coercion on companies to manufacture what the government identifies as appropriate high technology plumbing. His Royal Highness has directed evasive and infrequent consultations with affected parties as policy options are developed to prevent state secrets from falling into the hands of the numerous enemy spies and traitors that have infiltrated the country and lurk everywhere among us. Since plumbing technology will no doubt play an increasingly important role in the National Plumbing Infrastructure, the Imperial Government is acting quickly to implement it steathily and covertly, and ruthlessly silence all dissent. His Splended Grandeur is committed to policies that protect all loyalists' access to state-sponsored sewage conveyance while also protecting them from the dangerous lunatics and traitors among us that question reason and sabotage the State via illicit sewage effluxes. Further information is provided in an accompanying fact sheet. For additional details, call Mat Heyman, National Institute of Standards and Technology, (301) 975-2758. ----------------------------------- QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE IMPERIAL ROYALTY'S "PLUMBING ESCROW" INITIATIVE Q: Does this approach expand the authority of government spies to tap sewage flows? A: No. "Crapper Sieve" technology provides law enforcement with no new authorities to access the content of the private sewage of loyal citizens. Imperial spies and police in our administration have always routinely intercepted illegal refuse. Rest assured that only disloyal citizens will ever be subject to inspections. Q: Who will run the key-escrow data banks? A: The two key-escrow data banks will be run by two independent entities, for example, His Royal Gloriousness and his current mistress, or trusted Imperial advisors while they are "busy". Q: How strong is the security in the device? How can I be sure how strong the security is? A: We are pleased to inform you that this system affords the state the highest level of security. While the device plans will remain secret to perpetuate Imperial authoritarianism and control over subjects, we are willing to invite an independent panel of plumbing experts to evaluate the scheme if they promise to assure all potential users that there are no vulnerabilities and compliment His Royal Emminence in some novel and pleasant way. Q: Whose decision was it to propose this product? A: Ours. Q: Who was consulted? A: Miscellaneous bureacrats at every level in the administration. Even His Highest Magnificence was even present on one occasion. Q: Will the government provide the hardware to manufacturers? A: Absolutely not! Manufacturers will be required to provide the hardware to the Imperial Royalty. Q: How do I buy one of these sieve devices? A: We are in the process of coercing all latrine manufacturers to incorporate the "Crapper Sieve" into their devices. Eventually you will pay through an invisible "Crapper Tax". Q: If the Imperial Administration were unable to find a technological solution like the one proposed, would the Royalty have to resort to more extreme measures, such as torture? A: The Royalty is not saying, "since private toilets threaten the public safety and effective government spying, we will prohibit them outright"; nor are we saying that "every citizen, as a matter of right, is entitled to unmonitored sewage." There is a false "tension" created in the assessment that this issue is an "either-or" proposition. Rather, both concerns can be, and in fact are, harmoniously balanced through a reasoned, balanced approach such as is proposed with the "Crapper Sieve". ------------------------------ End of Computer Underground Digest #6.35 ************************************


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