Computer underground Digest Sun May 29, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 46 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Sun May 29, 1994 Volume 6 : Issue 46 ISSN 1004-042X 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 Ian Dickinson 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 Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. 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EUROPE: from the ComNet in LUXEMBOURG BBS (++352) 466893; In ITALY: Bits against the Empire BBS: +39-461-980493 UNITED STATES: ( in /pub/CuD/ ( in /pub/Publications/CuD ( in /pub/eff/cud/ in /src/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /pub/wuarchive/doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ in /doc/EFF/Publications/CuD/ EUROPE: in pub/doc/cud/ (Finland) in pub/cud/ (United Kingdom) JAPAN: /mirror/ 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: 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 unchanged. >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 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. -frisk Fridrik Skulason Frisk Software International phone: +354-1-617273 Author of F-PROT E-mail: 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 back then). On the other hand, some other types of anti-virus products - integrity checkers in particular don't really require virus 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 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 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 existing products. 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 product. 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 required. >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 anti-virus program today without sufficient financing...a million US$ should be enough to start with. 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 are some titles: "Comparing the usage of anti-virus products in 5 east-coast universities" "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 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. -frisk ------------------------------ Date: 28 May 1994 09:10:22 -0400 From: zodiac@IO.ORG(Zodiac) 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 it. eye WEEKLY freely uploads its paper to the Internet every issue ( or The articles can be redistributed in cyberspace -- as the .sig of the following states. Here's the actual article. Ken. ============================================================ eye WEEKLY May 19 1994 Toronto's arts newspaper 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 by K.K. CAMPBELL 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 hard way. '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 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" (, "Lt Starbuck" (, 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 the document. 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. BATTLE STARBUCK 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 ( 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 found nothing.) WHY ME? 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 ( 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 ban. 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 eye. 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 computer account. "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 structures? 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 by K.K. CAMPBELL 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 him. 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 (, 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 by K.K. CAMPBELL 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 unsuspecting people. "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 -- not to be confused with, which is Toronto's Internex Online. 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 or "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 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 Internet mail. 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 Station. 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. Yours Sincerely, [name/address removed] 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. To reply, follow the instructions at the end of the message. --- 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 ... But mind your language! 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 digital discourse. Ontario Government Quick Reference Table vulgar wholesome ------ ---------- pussy kitten fellatio blowjob cunnilingus muffdiving whore hooker hardon flaccid orgasm, ejaculate masterbate, blueballs penis cock cunt vagina foreskin circumcision shit, defecate poop piss, urinate tinkle scrotum testicle pouch nipple tit, breast, boobs asshole anus fuck copulate clitoris, vulva labia, lips uterus womb whore hooker faggot nigger 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 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 otherwise. 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 other. 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 stop. 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 weaken it. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 27 May 1994 16:07:40 -0500 (EST) From: Refractions 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 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 ************************************


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