Computer underground Digest Sun May 29, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 46 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J
Computer underground Digest Sun May 29, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 46
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@NIU.BITNET)
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Retiring Shadow Archivist: Stanton McCandlish
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Covey Editors: D. Bannaducci & S. Jones
CONTENTS, #6.46 (May 29, 1994)
File 1--Re: CuD 6.45 (Response to Review of Anti-Virus Book)
File 2--Re: CuD 6.45 - Response to Skulason
File 3--Re: Response to London Police "Net Harassment" (CuD #6.45)
File 4--Reign of Fear in London, Ontario (fwd)
File 5--Ontario Gov't Computers: Prudes Veto Vulgarity in Cyberspace
File 6--Michigan Man charged with Stalking by E-Mail
File 7--New (Free) E-'Zine--REFRACTIONS
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Date: 26 May 94 10:41:41 GMT
From: frisk@COMPLEX.IS(Fridrik Skulason)
Subject: File 1--Re: CuD 6.45 (Response to Review of Anti-Virus Book)
In CuD 6.45, a poster wrote:
>Not in the English language it's not; it's still nonsense.
ah, sorry...English is not my primary (or even second) language...I
didn't really look at the "learing curve" part of the text...all I was
saying was that the description of the situation (virus analysis that
would have taken me days some years ago now take a few minutes) was
correct, and that becoming an expert today is much more difficult than
it used to be.
>If the advance is not so great,
That is a more accurate description of the situation. There have been
significant developments: stealth, tunnelling, polymorphic,
multi-partite, linking (etc...) viruses, but the fundamentals are
>then a newcomer, having climbed the original learning curve,
Ah, but that is exactly the problem....anybody having the same
knovledge about viruses today as the "experts" had five years ago
would not be considered an expert today...and as I said, it would take
much, much longer to become one today...simply because there is so
much more to learn. Today's "experts" have been able to accumulate
that knowledge over several years ... anybody could start today, and
do the same, but the question is how long it would take for him to
accumulate that knowledge.
>It has been suggested that one of the purposes such public virus
>repositories provide is one of education;
That is generally used as an excuse, yes. The question is whether the
people running the distribution are able to distinguish between those
merely interested in learning, and those just interested in obtaining
viruses for malicious purposes....or maybe they just don't care.....
>Ah; it's an oligopoly, then. A small number of putative competitors
>restrict information to themselves as a barrier to competition. If the
>conspiracy theorists are correct, that small number of competitors
>also create and distribute enough "new" viruses to keep the learning
>curve high for someone not already a member of the club. This is, of
>course, merely a conspiracy theory; I do not assert that this is so.
Two problems with that theory. It is not a small number of companies
that co-operate, but the majority of the companies with legitimate
products in the field (although there are a few well-known ones that
are not represented). Actually, to be exact, CARO is not an
organization of companies, but individuals...many (but not all) of
which just happen to be working for anti-virus companies.
Second, the theory the anti-virus companies should actually be
developing the viruses is a bit silly...considering the backlog the
companies have. I would be happy to see no new viruses for a few
months, myself....I have over 200 viruses from different sources
awaiting analysis on my desk...no urgent need for more, thank you :-)
Actually, if suddenly no more new viruses were being written, the
anti-virus companies would certainly not go out of business....the old
viruses would still be around for a few years....I mean, my customers
are still encountering Cascade.1701, and that virus is older than my
own product, which has only been around for 5 years or so.
Now, this does not mean that no anti-virus company has ever written or
distributed viruses.....I could name a few examples - outside CARO,
that is... "no production or distribution of viruses" is one of the
requirements for joining.
Fridrik Skulason Frisk Software International phone: +354-1-617273
Author of F-PROT E-mail: email@example.com fax: +354-1-617274
Date: 26 May 94 11:16:45 GMT
From: frisk@COMPLEX.IS(Fridrik Skulason)
Subject: File 2--Re: CuD 6.45 - Response to Skulason
In CuD #6.45, a poster writes:
>In the absence of new "virus experts," how will new anti-virus products
>appear at all?
Let's say I did not have an anti-virus product, and decided to produce
one. Now, I could decide to create a scanner-type product, but for
that I obviously need viruses. I could ask around...many people keep
copies of the viruses that hit them, and I could relatively easily get
say 10-20 viruses.
(as a side note, that is exactly what I did back in '89....the big
difference is of course that the 20 viruses I got were a very
significant fraction of the total number of viruses that existed
On the other hand, some other types of anti-virus products - integrity
checkers in particular don't really require virus samples....you just
need to know several details about their operation, and those details
are explained in books.
Next I would systematically learn all there was to learn about
viruses...and contrary to populer belief, one needs not actually to
look at the viruses... reading papers, conference reports and books
would give a very good basis. Of course, I would subscribe to the
Virus Bulletin, and follow the discussion on VIRUS-L/comp.virus.
The next step would be to establish contacts...contact other virus
researchers, go to conferences and publish papers. Unless I did that,
I would not be taken seriously....and this step doesn't require
analysing viruses...you can become a semi-expert in some sub-field
without ever seeing a single virus..
The next, and most important step is to get some good, unique
ideas...the market is crowded today, and if a new product is going to
be successful, it would need to be better in some way than the
I would implement a program using my method...even if it was only able
to deal with the 10-20 viruses I had....but at least they would be a
real "in the wild" problem...and I would have an useful, if limited
I would then contact my contacts obtained in the step avove,
demonstrate the product, and explain the difficulty I have with
obtaining viruses. If I had established myself, even just as a
semi-expert in some limited area, the chances are good that I would
get the help/samples I needed.
Don't think this is easy...several years of 100-hour work-weeks should
do the trick, though.
>That may be true, but there is zero cooperation between the industry
>and interested parties out in the world.
No. There is cooperation. What is not is unlimited unrestricted
distribution of viruses.
>security groups. Everyone tells me, "go to conferences, publish papers,
>and things will open up to you."
I see...exactly the same recommendations I made above :-) ... Sorry,
but that is just the way things are. It is inconvenient, but it is
the only accebted way of establishing the minumum level of trust
>most of us; I don't have the money to go to conferences,
maybe not, but the original question was about new-antivirus
products...and nobody in his right mind would start development of an
today without sufficient financing...a million US$ should be enough to start
This was not the case 5 years ago...then one dedicated person could
produce an up-to-date program working part time....I know...that's
exactly what I did myself. However, today I have 10 people working
for me, doing the same thing as I did myself part time back then...
>and I don't have a prayer of publishing a paper until I can get my
>hands on research material.
No, you could easily publish papers. Let's see...here are some
"Comparing the usage of anti-virus products in 5 east-coast
"Why viruses are written: Interviews with four virus authors".
"Why integrity checkers are the only way to go"
"Why integrity checkers just don't work"
and so on and on....in fact, at the virus conferences, only a part of
the papers are about specific viruses and many of them would not
require any virus analyses.
Date: 28 May 1994 09:10:22 -0400
Subject: File 3--Re: Response to London Police "Net Harassment" (CuD #6.45)
File 9 contains a summary of the eye article on the London Police
harassment of a student over his use of the school computers. This isn't
a bad summary at all, but it contains two errors. First, the LPD is not
a branch of the OPP; second, "Lt Starbuck" was not interrogated at a
police station but rather at the university. I thank Prof. Leonard
Levine for forwarding eye WEEKLY this summary that I was thus alerted to
eye WEEKLY freely uploads its paper to the Internet every issue
(gopher.io.org or ftp.io.org). The articles can be redistributed in
cyberspace -- as the .sig of the following states. Here's the actual
eye WEEKLY May 19 1994
Toronto's arts newspaper ...free every Thursday
COVER STORY COVER STORY
POLICING THE NEW MEDIA --
INTERNET USERS HAVE THEIR LIBERTY THREATENED AS
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES BLUNDER ABOUT TRYING (AND FAILING)
TO ENFORCE THE HOMOLKA PRESS BAN
Karla Homolka was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter in the deaths
of two teenage girls. The ban on publishing details of her trial was
imposed to insure husband Paul Teale a fair trial. But Teale's lawyer
opposes the ban.
Homolka's trial has stopped being the story -- the story has become the
ban itself. There's been nothing new to report about the trial for
months, but the story keeps coming back because _the ban_ keeps making
headlines. Every time the ban causes a magazine to be dramatically
pulled from store shelves, every time the ban causes cops to barge into
a student's life with unfounded allegations, every time a university
censors or snoops out private information, the Homolka case is dragged
back into the headlines.
Once there, details are rehashed and new ban-breaking potential results.
It's a vicious circle from which the attorney-general's office is
desperately trying to extricate itself. It's no coincidence Teale's
trial was suddenly moved forward.
Indeed, the attorney-general seems ready to let police operate with a
free hand against Ontarians -- as one university student found out the
'ABDUL' SCREWS UP
It began with one of the all-time great gaffes in Internet history.
Late last Jan. 31, 21-year-old Toronto student "Abdul" (not his real
name) arrived home to his basement apartment from night classes. After
a quick bite, he checked his Internet account for e-mail.
To his delight, he found a copy of the revised Karla Homolka computer
file in his mailbox -- hot-off-the-CPU from a London, Ont., university
student. The file was due to be released the next day to the infamous
Internet newsgroup alt.fan.karla-homolka. Abdul, the uncrowned prince
of the Homolka-Internet underground, got an advance copy.
The file contains a whack of rumors and grisly details about Homolka's
secrecy-shrouded quickie-trial last July. Internet convention calls the
computer file an "FAQ" -- a collection of answers to "Frequently Asked
Questions" about a topic. This topic just happens to be the
oh-so-controversial Homolka murder trial and the ban surrounding it.
The Homolka FAQ is found wherever computers and Canadians interact. It
has undoubtedly been read by tens of thousands of citizens to date.
But none of those readers know the identities of the authors,
underground computer activists -- only their mysterious aliases: "Abdul,
the Electronic Gordon Domm" (firstname.lastname@example.org), "Lt Starbuck"
(email@example.com), and "Neal the Trial Ban-Breaker"
By 2 a.m., after four hours online, Abdul is ready for sleep. But not
before he sends the new FAQ to Toronto's major news outlets -- three
daily papers and three TV stations. He has e-mail addresses for each.
"I was trying to send the FAQ through an e-mail system in Finland that
lets the sender remain completely anonymous," Abdul now recalls. "But
it kept bouncing back to me unreceived." Eyes red, Abdul finally decided
to send the FAQ through a local fax service. "I sent it, and went to
bed. I didn't think anything of it."
Major mistake: Abdul, perhaps overtired, instructed the fax service to
send a copy to the six media outlets -- as well as a copy to Premier Bob
Rae and another to Attorney-General Marion Boyd.
Fatal mistake: Abdul left the real names of Lt Starbuck and himself on
Next morn, sleepy-eyed civil servants found the hefty document awaiting
them. The attorney-general's office refuses to comment on its reaction,
but suffice to say the shit began shunting through government plumbing
-- only to emerge three weeks later directly on the head of Lt Starbuck
at London's University of Western Ontario.
On Feb. 22, Starbuck, 25, came home from school to find a message
waiting: Western's computer and network security officer Reg Quinton
wanted him to call. Starbuck did. He was told his Internet account was
frozen. He was to meet with London police the next day.
Police?! Mind racing, Starbuck hurried to his home computer. He not
only deleted anything remotely related to Homolka from his hard drive
but "shredded" it via Norton computer utilities. It was an operation to
make any politician proud.
(Though Starbuck is known to the university and OPP, he requests eye not
use his real name, but rather his alias "Lt. Starbuck" -- his favorite
character from the TV show Battlestar Galactica.)
It seems the attorney-general had notified the OPP, who had passed a
copy of the FAQ with Starbuck's real name on it to Detective Sergeant
Sandy Wright of the London police. Wright approached Quinton.
"I asked what the police wanted done," Quinton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
told eye. "They wanted the student's account shut down and to meet with
him in person. Fine." Quinton called in colleague Dave Martin, who
administrates Starbuck's account. No warrant, no subpoena, no problem.
The next afternoon, Starbuck death-marched himself over to Quinton's
office in the Natural Science Centre. Quinton, Martin and Wright
awaited with grim faces.
"During the two-hour interrogation, the police showed me the document
Abdul sent the attorney-general," Starbuck recalls. "I stared at it in
disbelief, whispering to myself, 'Oh shit.' "
It was Game Over.
Worse still, the police seemed to think Starbuck himself had sent it
because of the way e-mail readers save mail. Not understanding what
they were looking at, authorities figured Starbuck had faxed it to them,
with his real name, in some moment of stratospheric chutzpah.
Cornered and terrified, Starbuck vowed to tell everything -- including
the real name of Abdul. Wright asked Starbuck to open his Internet
account. He complied -- nothing "incriminating" there anyway, his
strict policy was to keep no Homolka files in school accounts. Wright
said he'd have to inspect Starbuck's home computer. Starbuck explained
everything was gone, shredded, but Wright insisted he had to see for
himself. (Inexplicably, he set that appointment for the next day -- he
Wright informed Starbuck criminal charges still hung over his head. But
as long as he stayed clear of Homolka-mongering and remained
cooperative, charges would probably not be laid.
On Feb. 28, Starbuck had his university account restored. For the next
three weeks, he forwarded incoming private e-mail from Abdul to Quinton
-- including a list of about 50 people who received updates of the FAQ.
There were five more Western Internet addresses.
One was Wayne Smith (email@example.com). Smith would
publicly complain on Usenet about the whole Western-LPD investigation:
"What they are calling co-operation here is intimidation. It's like the
old police state mentality: if you have nothing to hide, why won't you
take this lie detector test when we ask?"
Starbuck says intimidation was a factor. "I cooperated with Quinton for
weeks after the event for the sole reason that I was very afraid I'd get
charged if I didn't."
Back in Toronto, Abdul was blissfully ignorant of the events in motion
in London. He noticed Starbuck didn't seem to answer his e-mail any
more. Ironically, it was Wayne Smith's public post just quoted above
that alerted him to the momumental gaffe he'd made. He quickly prepared
for the police. After all, he was far, far more active than Starbuck
had ever been on his best day.
But the knock never came on Abdul's door.
Which still bewilders Starbuck. "There's no rhyme nor reason to it at
all. If they're cracking down, why aren't they cracking down anywhere
else? Why me? I just edited a computer file. I got sucked into this
whole stupid affair and really feel bruised and battered by it."
Abdul believes Starbuck was targeted because Western computer
administrators were spineless: "When the police knocked on Quinton's
door, it's clear Quinton said, 'Come on in, guys!' "
Another source close to the case put it this way: "The LPD asked
Starbuck to bend over -- and Quinton applied the vaseline."
The police would definitely need a warrant to peek at Abdul's home
computer. And then the issue would erupt into the headlines again.
CHARGED WITH POSSESSION
On March 28, Quinton wrote an "open letter" to the Internet community --
which he says was on the "recommendation of the local police." This
letter, apparently carrying police sanction, claims mere possession of
the FAQ is a crime.
"My understanding is the LPD (and OPP and others) are of the opinion
that... to be in possession of such material is to be in violation of
the publication ban," Quinton wrote. And such a breach could result in
police getting a warrant and seizing entire computer systems.
When eye called the LPD's Wright, he repeated this official line, though
without the same righteous passion Quinton seems imbued with. Wright
said the OPP told him possession of the file constituted a breach of the
ban. But OPP Detective Inspector Frank Ryder told eye he doesn't know
for certain. He only passes information about possible breaches of the
trial ban along to local police departments. "It's their investigation,
there is no central OPP investigation," Ryder said.
So eye called the attorney-general. Spokeswoman Barbara Krever said she
couldn't comment on whether possession of the FAQ was a breach of the
In fact, the attorney-general has consistently refused to help Ontarians
understand exactly where the Internet fits within the ban. People are
left to operate in uncharted territory and law enforcement authorities
blunder about, unsure themselves. Meanwhile university students have
academic careers, if not their very liberty, threatened.
Criminal lawyer Eddie Greenspan has gone on record saying he does not
believe the Internet's Homolka-infotrade breaches the ban. He said
accessing Internet files defeats the purpose of the ban but doesn't
break the ban. "I don't see anything criminally wrong here," he told
Greenspan notes the confusion stems from people thinking the ban applies
to details of the trial. The ban concerns publishing that information.
Simply cruising out on the Internet and grabbing a copy of the Homolka
FAQ is not a breach of the ban; nor is holding it in a university
"If it comes between Greenspan and Boyd, Ontario's first non-lawyer
attorney-general, I'll take Eddie's opinion every time," Abdul says.
Abdul believes courts in the future are going to have to specifically
mention the Internet -- "or, if they clue in, they will realize bans are
obsolete, it's time to change the system to reflect technology." But how
many judges have ever confronted a login? Do they understand the raw
power of it? Do they understand how it circumvents all censorious power
Former Supreme Court judge William Estey said something similar in an
April 21 speech: bans in high-profile cases should cease because they
just don't work any more. Estey blamed the proximity of the U.S. news
media. The Internet compounds the problem exponentially. He said
jurors must be trusted to do their jobs -- that is, be exposed to
various information and not let it affect their legal judgment.
"The courts can't clamp information any more," Abdul says. "Judge
Kovacs stopped the mainstream press, but we aren't the mainstream press
-- we are the new media."
COVER STORY -- SIDEBAR 1 SIDEBAR 1 -- COVER STORY
UNIVERSITIES AND POLICE
University of Western Ontario's computer security officer Reg Quinton
told eye he isn't interested in discussing whether the Homolka FAQ is
legal or not -- if the police say it's illegal, that's good enough for
But Ontario authorities, from the attorney-general on down, are
painfully confused about how Karla, the ban and the Internet relate.
Yet here we have Western's security officer saying quite bluntly he
doesn't care. He will cooperate with police for fear his computers will
be confiscated if he doesn't.
Quinton's open letter of March 28 addresses Western students: "If you
think the University is going to protect your 'right' to break the law,
you are sadly mistaken. The law applies here just as much as elsewhere.
You don't have a right to violate the publication ban -- don't expect
any sympathy or support if you do."
Since no one knows how the law applies, Quinton's actually saying: "If
you think the University is going to protect you against the police,
regardless if they are right or wrong, you are sadly mistaken."
Carl M. Kadie (firstname.lastname@example.org), founder of the Internet's
Computers and Academic Freedom newsletter, thinks Quinton's position is
dangerous -- though he understands university computer staff confusion.
Computer administrators have no history of standing up to the police or
the state. Librarians, on the other hand, have decades of precedent in
demanding subpoenas and warrants when authority comes calling. Computer
administrators lack this training and tradition.
Karen Adams, executive director of the Canadian Library Association,
told eye a librarian would probably have demanded a warrant before
revealing if Lt. Starbuck even had an account at a library.
Kadie says that computer administrators desperately need to develop
similar ethics. "Just as a professional librarian would have been less
likely than the computer system administrators to turn over personal
information to the police, so professional reporters are less likely
than students under the gun to disclose sources to the authorities,"
Kadie told eye.
"The promise of the information superhighway is that we all become
librarians and reporters. The danger right now is most people don't
understand the responsibilities that come with their new roles."
COVER STORY -- SIDEBAR 2 SIDEBAR 2 -- COVER STORY
KARLA AND THE BOYS
Lt. Starbuck remains extremely reluctant about dealing with media.
When contacted by eye, after his opening shock at having been called at
home, his reaction was to refuse an interview. But he decided to talk
only so the story isn't told exclusively by "others."
"When I got caught with my pants down, my first worry was criminal
charges," he told eye. "My second worry was media coverage, with myself
being hailed as some sort of Martyr for Free Speech. What was done to
me may indeed be wrong and illegal, but I have no interest in becoming a
Gord Domm on the Internet -- besides, Abdul already is and he's still
very very active."
Starbuck and Abdul have never spoke directly, only through e-mail.
Abdul sighs at Starbuck's unbridled hatred for him now. "He has a
point. And I've apologized many times. Every time I write a public
letter, I apologize again. I know I screwed up and he's suffered."
"Abdul says it was an accident," Starbuck says. "I believe him. I also
believe he is an idiot."
Abdul is not Arabic, by the way -- he's Irish. He picked the alias
Abdul in honor of an underground comedy tape by a Hamilton individual
who used the named "Abdul" in making a series of crank calls to
"I was searching for an alias when it struck me the Homolka FAQ is like
the Abdul tape -- passed around from person to person, with absolutely
no official distribution."
Abdul says his activism issues from more than prurient interest. "At
some point, someone has to test how Internet will operate in Canada. If
we force the issue onto the public agenda now, the less chance do we
have of the Internet being censored and regulated out of existence."
His net address is email@example.com -- not to be confused with io.org, which
is Toronto's Internex Online. Io.com is Illuminati Online, in Austin,
Texas. It's a game company that was raided by the U.S. Secret Service
in its over-zealous war with "hackers," so the company is very aware of
the damage computer-illiterate cops may cause in its computer bungling.
Abdul was given an operational base in Texas. Many people believe he's
a Texan. But he lives in Toronto and only works on a Texas computer.
Let's just wait for the legal system to grapple with that -- the concept
of where one "is" when in cyberspace.
Retransmit freely in cyberspace Author holds standard copyright
Full issue of eye available in archive at gopher.io.org or ftp.io.org
firstname.lastname@example.org "Break the Gutenberg Lock..." 416-971-8421
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 17:25:10 EDT
From: nagap@PHANTOM.COM(Michael Roberts)
Subject: File 4--Reign of Fear in London, Ontario (fwd)
>From--[Anon of Ibid]
Date--Wed, 25 May 94 12:01:00 UTC
Subject--Reign of Fear!
I too, was "visited" by 2 Detective Sgt.'s of the London Police
Depatment some 6 weeks back and had no contact until I called my
Lawyer and had him contact one of the men, a Sgt. Reg Lozon. I had
explained that I suspected the visits had to do with my BBS ( now
closed to public ) and upon calling Lozon my lawyer was unable to
acertain what they wanted other than their desire that I "present"
myself for questioning.
I was running a free-wheeling BBS with many altenate knowledge files
in the areas of UFO's, Tesla, PGP type programs and radio scanning
data. I had had digital "visits" from police before acting in a
surepticious manner and test and file seaches were done looking for
banned "Homolka" material in my files and in the message bases.
One agent, calling with blocked Caller ID used the name "JIM BARNETT"
and had a passord of " 052TOR", which I imeeditely suspected as being
related to the main Toronto Police Division, 52 ... ala " 052TOR". I
watched this guy go through my local discussion of the Homolka case
and he searched for files with HOMOLKA elated keywords.
He also had an interest in the alt.sex area where the Homolka case had
been discussed before and had come upon a thread discussing the
RUKO.GIF kiddie porn GIF and he searched my file areas for this GIF.
As I had free Internet mail he , in another call, sent out email and
tried to import the Binary file of RUKO.GIF into my system via the
He did not succedd in this, but if he had have, and I hadn't noticed ,
the London Police Dept. ( now involved in the largest "Kiddie Porn"
investigation in Canadian History ) would have had grounds to arrest
me as part of the "Kiddie Porn" ring and size and close my BBS.
It should be pointed out that the Attorney General, Marion Boyd, is a
former "womens violence center" worker and is an alternate sexual
lifestyle type who last week introduce "same-sex" benefit legislation
and who has an Office in London East just 200 Ft. East of the Police
I can confirm that a "reign of terror" is existant in London and I
have taken my BBS private ( closed to ALL public ) since all this
occured in the last 5-6 weeks. I have had no other contact with the
London Police since my Lawyer contacted them and specifically inquired
if the matter had any connection to my BBS. My story is not unique.
Former Sysop in London, Ont.
DO NOT USE MY NAME IN ANY INTERNET POSTING OF THIS STORY.
Date: Wed, 25 May 1994 16:36:33 -0700
From: Tommy the Tourist
Subject: File 5--Ontario Gov't Computers: Prudes Veto Vulgarity in Cyberspace
Steven Cooper (who wishes not to disclose the identity of his institution)
This e-mail is being sent to you anonymously.
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Ontario Government Computers: Prudes Veto Vulgarity in Cyberspace
by Steven Cooper
Environmental dudes can now jack-in to a new electronic database, but
beware. These Ontario government computers know if you're been
naughty or nice! And they know where you live ...
As part of Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights, citizens can now
access environmental policies and other info in cyberspace. Just
point your modem at (416) 327-3000 (or 1-800-667-9979 outside
Toronto). If you're on Internet, telnet to 220.127.116.11 ... But mind
When you first connect, the interface seems pleasant enough:
Welcome, newcomer! You have logged on to the
Government of Ontario Information System.
Before going into that, though, let's get acquainted.
If you'll tell us a little bit about yourself, we'll create
an account for you.
It seems rather nosey, asking you for personal information like:
address, phone number, place of work, etc., but what the heck.
Then it asks for a "password" --- just a little digital secret between you
and this box of circuits in some government basement.
The computer warns that if you forget the password you'll be "up the creek"
-- so make sure it's memorable.
Faced with this predicament, I paused, pondering potential passwords,
while my pet pussy purred peacefully in my lap.
Hmmm, how about "pussy" -- that should be easy to remember.
Suddenly the government computer turns nasty on me!
Come on now, there's no need to be vulgar about it.
Please enter a more wholesome password.
Huh? After an awestruck moment, I laughed out loud.
Then, after a few more moments, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
The Ontario government has developed an official database it consults
to determine which words are "vulgar" and which words are "wholesome",
and this database is built into this government computer's software.
Ann Landers step aside! The Ontario Government has codified what is
proper etiquette on the information highway.
With the aid of a computer hacker, whose identity cannot be revealed,
this reporter has obtained "access" to the government's computer (a
486/66 PC) and its official "nasty words" list. In the electronic
world of 0's and 1's, this computer classifies all words as either
Vulgar or Wholesome -- there is no middle ground. My hacker companion
assured me that the same cybernetic censor that vetos vulgarity in
private passwords could easily be applied to the bits and bytes of
private electronic correspondence whizzing through the links in
Ontario government networks to automatically ensure politeness in
Ontario Government Quick Reference Table
orgasm, ejaculate masterbate, blueballs
shit, defecate poop
piss, urinate tinkle
scrotum testicle pouch
nipple tit, breast, boobs
clitoris, vulva labia, lips
The Ontario government has some quirky ideas about proper language.
For example, did you know that in polite company, computer hackers are
advised not to use fellatio or whore, but rather to use the more
wholesome terms blowjob and hooker. Apparently the government thinks
getting a hardon while surfing the net is a no-no. Be cool, be
flaccid. Still, I think the experts are a but confused. It is okay
to masterbate while on-line, as long as you don't have an orgasm or
ejaculate. I checked, yup, blue balls are wholesome.
For some reason, there is still not equality of the sexes. According
to the government's language experts, vaginas are more wholesome than
penises. On the other hand, cocks are in, cunts are out. ... and no
foreskins allowed. Circumcisions - yes. Ouch!
Some of it just seems childish. We can poop and tinkle in cyberspace.
But but shit or piss ? No can do. Even my doctor would be considered
rude. He couldn't use defecate or urinate. Even scrotum needs to be
replaced by the more wholesome "testicle pouch". One really gets the
impression the government's nerdish programmer's are more familiar
with barbie-doll boobs than real breasts. Tits are fine, as long as
they don't have nipples.
Although the Ontario government and its computers seem mostly obsessed
with words, even clinical terms, having to do with sex or genitalia,
there are some recent additions. Perhaps because of the new same-sex
marriage laws in Ontario, the term "faggot" is now considered vulgar.
Unfortunately, "nigger" is still on the wholesome list.
If you have any questions about the new environmental computer that
acts like a self-appointed expert on computer etiquette, just call
Michael Seto at (416) 323-5190. He helped install the new government
information system. Maybe he'll know why beavers are more wholesome
than pussies, according to this Ontario government computer.
Date: Thu, 28 May, 1994 22:21:18 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 6--Michigan Man charged with Stalking by E-Mail
According to an article in The Chicago Tribune ("Stalking in the '90s:
By Computer," May 27, 1994: Sect 1, p. 15) and a corresponding CNN
news story this past week, a Michigan man was arrested for "Stalking"
via computer. The basic facts in which Andy Archambeau, a 31-year old
graphic artist in Dearborn Heights, Michigan (near Detroit), was
charged with breaking Michigan's anti-stalking law are these:
1) An on-line flirtation led to phone conversations and a F2F meeting
at a "dating service party." Not sure what the on-line service
was, but CNN had aol.com in their background graphic
2) Archambeau claimed that the woman initially was pushing to get
"close." He reciprocated, but (according the woman): "I knew him
for five days before I told him to get lost."
3) Archambeau left a mesage on her answering machine indicating that
he had watched her leave work and that "you looked good." She filed
a police report.
4) The police told him to leave her alone, electronically and
5) He subsequently sent her an e-mail message (it's not clear how many
or what it said) and she again called the police
6) The police arrested him on May 4 under the stalking law
The Mich stalking law is broad, and in this case, there seem to be
three violations: 1) Appearing at her place of work; 2) Telephoning
(and answering machine message(s); 3) E-mail, which is covered
explicitly in the Michigan law.
The wording of the Mich law, including history and provisions,
indicates that no court order or previous police contact is necessary
for one to press charges. The law is sufficiently broad, it seems, to
allow for a range of normal actions such as those that might occur
when a couple is feuding and one attempts to communicate with the
In discussing the case on CNN, the woman did not indicate that there
were any threats, and from the gist of her complaint, it seems that
the guy did nothing more than unwise, and perhaps obnoxous, contact.
The key seems to be the e-mail message after the police advised him to
According to the Chicago Tribune coverage, the Michigan chapter of the
ACLU is involved because, according to Howard Simon, director of the
ACLU Michigan chapter, "If these charges aren't thrown out, then
there's something for e-mail users to worry about."
CNN reported that the ACLU was involved primarily because they judged
that this case was a misuse of the stalking law and would ultimately
Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 16:07:40 -0500 (EST)
Subject: File 7--New (Free) E-'Zine--REFRACTIONS
REFRACTIONS Weekly Magazine is the first ever REAL internet magazine.
It is distributed every Wednesdays and subscriptions are free! They
have a dedicated staff of writers and editors determined to make this
new form of entertainment both fun and informative each and every
week. The magazine is separated into seven sections, each with it's
own Section Editor and writers. _Top Stories_ is the first section
with articles "Right off the Bat [announcments from sysops and
administrators to their users]" and "Birth-Death-Marriages".
_Netformations_ is where such articles as "Compu-Test [reviews of the
latest products by the users who have bought them]" and "New to the
Net [new FTP sites, BBS's, Usenet groups]". _Entertainment_ is
dedicated to such topics as "Joke of the Week" and "Pen to Paper [one
original writing selected each week]" followed by _BBS'S_ with
seperate articles for seven major Internet BBS's. _Sports_ is one of
their most popular sections and is the only one with two Section
Editors who try to bring you the latest highlights on the important
sports each week. Nearing the end is _Emailbox_, where readers can
send letters to the editor with suggestions, complaints and
compliments, followed by _Classifieds_ with articles like "Pen Pals"
and "Buy/Sell/Trade/Wanted". They accept submissions for nearly every
article and enthusiastically listen to any suggestions they recieve.
For a free subscription to Refractions Weekly, send your email address
to email@example.com. It is available to anyone with an
accessable email address, including Compuserve, America Online,
MCImail, and Applelink users!
End of Computer Underground Digest #6.46
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank