Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 4, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 45 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: Ji
Computer underground Digest Sun Jun 4, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 45
Editors: Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer (TK0JUT2@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Tibia Editor: Who built the Seven Towers of Thebes?
CONTENTS, #7.45 (Sun, Jun 4, 1995)
File 1--(fwd) Christian American article on Pornography Online
File 2--Ban Nothing, Question Everything (Eye Reprint)(fwd)
File 3--Some Questions for Canter and Siegel in re Their Book
File 4--Student Loses Scholarship. We All Lose A Little Freedom
File 5--Library of Congress Signs Nat'l Dig Library Fed Agreement
File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Fri, 19 May 1995 20:12:10 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Smith
Subject: File 1--(fwd) Christian American article on Pornography Online
TECHNO-PREDATORS Computer Porn Invades Homes
Editor's note: Pornography victimizes women and entices young people.
This article contains graphic information about the growing
availability of pornographic pictures via computer bulletin boards
and the Internet. Christian American hopes this information will be
useful to parents and others who wish to safeguard their computers
from this growing threat.
By Jeffrey M. Peyton
Youth pastor Tim McNabb used to love browsing through the Internet, a
world-wide computer network, in search of electronic "pen pals."
"I've had some of the most stimulating theological discussions ever
with some people on the net," he said. "But more and more, I was
having to wade through so much garbage to find someone who really
wanted to talk."
One day McNabb was having a theological conversation with a young
woman who kept trying to turn the conversation in a
sexually-suggestive direction. McNabb, who is married with children,
was shocked. "It turns out she was only 16," he said. "I couldn't
McNabb experienced a mild form of what some Internet veterans know as
cybersex, the electronic equivalent to talking dirty on the telephone.
Today McNabb, one of an estimated 30 million people dialing in from
his home computer, accesses Internet only when he has to, and his
communications software at home is password-protected.
Unfortunately, the experience that shocked McNabb is tame compared to
some material available on commercial dial-in bulletin boards and,
worse, free and easily through the Internet. Today, all anyone needs
to access hard-core pornographic photos is a computer, a modem and a
The technology revolution has led to a sudden explosion in illegal,
obscene pornography distribution - all right under the noses of law
enforcement and, in some cases, parents who unknowingly have given
their children the ability to access such information.
"Right now, people are operating in 'ignorant' mode," said Donna Rice
Hughes of Enough is Enough, a national organization dedicated to
stopping pornography. "They have no idea what's happening."
Increasingly, porn purveyors are re-distributing photographs through
"home pages" on Internet's world-wide web. This material is free for
anyone who knows where to look.
(Internet's public network is called a web because Internet forms an
electronic "web" connecting computers in cities around the world. If
one computer on the web is unavailable, information is re-routed
though another computer via the web. The home page, literally a
computer's address on the web, is the graphic equivalent to turning
the page of an electronic magazine.)
Some porno pages on the web deal mostly with pin-ups, along the lines
of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, but most offer images far more
disturbing. These photographs can be copied to computer disks or
printed on paper and permanently kept by the user or shared with
"Children can dial into the system and download anything," Hughes
said. "It's all available, subdivided into specific sections."
Illegal pornographic images are available to anyone with the right
computer equipment. Of particular concern to parents is the rampant
availability of legal pornography, since the law distinguishes between
pornography, which may be legal, and obscenity, which is illegal.
And, Special Agent Ken Lanning of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit
told the Associated Press, "as computers become less expensive, more
sophisticated and easier to operate, the potential for abuse
In order to test how easily accessible porn is to computer users, a
Christian American reporter accessed several menu selections arranged
by subject. Topics included bestiality (sex with animals),
torture/mutilation, snuff (killing a victim after sexually assaulting
her) and child pornography. Categories are sub-organized for
convenience - images under bestiality, for instance, are subdivided by
type of animal. Not all topics included photographs.
"This stuff would make a Hustler subscriber squirm," Hughes said.
"There are hundreds of options. They're all easy to get, and they're
all free for the taking."
Many parents feel better knowing their children are working on the
computer rather than watching television, but at least TV offers
control devices that can block objectionable channels. Now, with
Internet and other computer bulletin board systems, the same child who
is prohibited from watching MTV can see graphic sexual pictures on his
or her personal computer.
"You can see anything and talk to anybody," McNabb said.
Recent cybersmut incidents demonstrate that more law enforcement
patrols are needed on the information speedway.
The University of Michigan expelled a sophomore who posted email
messages - which he claims were pure fiction - that described the
rape, torture and murder of a classmate. The student, 20-year-old Jake
Baker, spent 29 days in jail after authorities charged him with
interstate transmission of a threat.
"Torture is foreplay," Baker wrote in the introduction to one of his
pieces. "Rape is romance, snuff is climax."
In Fresno, Calif., in 1993, Mark Forston was convicted of sodomizing a
16-year-old boy he had met and lured to his home via a computer
network. In Sacramento, William Steen was convicted on charges
stemming from sending pornographic computer files to two 14-year-olds.
National lawmakers are becoming aware of the growing need to regulate
computer porn and are struggling for realistic ways to do it.
Senators Jim Exon (D-NE) and Slade Gorton (R-WA) are sponsoring a bill
that would curtail transmission of obscene, indecent or harassing
telecommunications. Exon says the Baker case strengthens his belief
that a crackdown on a growing Internet "red-light district" is needed.
"When I see my 8-year-old granddaughter sitting at the computer back
in Nebraska, and I know stuff like what this student wrote is
available, I get upset. (Some Internet users) are trying to say
anything goes, and I think that is wrong."
Because no one "owns" the Internet - its very nature defies boundaries
- many users feel there should be no limitations on what is available
through the system. Their protests raise difficult questions about how
Internet can be effectively policed.
What community standard should apply to a forum that transcends state,
even national, boundaries? Do laws apply based on the location of the
server (usually a mainframe computer that provides Internet access to
hundreds of users) or the location of the individual downloading
For instance, in June 1994, Robert and Carleen Thomas, operators of an
"adult bulletin board service" in California, were convicted in U.S.
court in Memphis, Tenn., on obscenity charges because of images
downloaded in Tennessee.
Tens of thousands of Internet users have emailed petitions denouncing
the Exon bill to Capitol Hill and the White House, claiming that any
attempt to regulate the information super highway would be paramount
to regulating free speech.
Robert Knight, cultural studies director for the Family Research
Council, told the Washington Times that such doomsday wailing misses
"Obscene materials are not protected, no matter what the method of
transmission," Knight said. "The point is not to go after the
Internet, but to begin enforcing laws against obscene materials.
"If child pornography pictures are transmitted by Internet or by U.S.
mail, it shouldn't make any difference in terms of enforcement."
To encourage your senators to support the Exon-Gorton measure to curb
computer porn, write to them at the U.S. Senate, Washington D.C.
20510. Or call the Capitol switchboard and ask for your senator: (202)
For more information on computer pornography and what you can do to
safeguard your home, write to Enough is Enough! at P.O. Box 888,
Fairfax, Va. 22030, or call (703) 278-8343.
Copyright =A91995 by The Christian Coalition of this page and all
contents. All Rights Reserved.
Date: Fri, 26 May 1995 22:02:56 -0500 (CDT)
From: David Smith
Subject: File 2--Ban Nothing, Question Everything (Eye Reprint)(fwd)
eye WEEKLY May 25 1995
Toronto's arts newspaper .....free every Thursday
I was on CBC Newsworld's Faceoff two Tuesdays ago (May 16). Topic:
censorship on the net. My opponent was Bernie Farber of the Canadian
Jewish Congress. Take a wild guess which side I took ...
The forces of censorship are amassing and, I hate to say it, if Canada
maintains its traditions, we're doomed. The term net.cop will have a
more real meaning than it does today.
Our saving grace might be the U.S. If the U.S. abides by its own
tradition of banning very little speech, Canucks will always be able to
get an account in the U.S. and thus maintain our voices. While the
net.illiterate assholes on Parliament Hill play Emperor For A Day,
citizens will telnet across the border and publish whatever they want,
from American computers.
Here are the main three points I tried to make on the show:
DIGITAL BOOK BURNERS
Farber and his ilk are the moral descendants of book burners. But
because books and printed matter have much stronger legal protections,
The Modern Inquisition finds it easier to target CPUs and sysadmins.
Right now, the panic-mongers in government and the media blame just
about every social ill on the net. But the main theme today is bombs:
"You can learn how to make bombs from reading the net! This evil must
It's somewhat true. There is a file called The Terrorist's Handbook
which circulates cyberspace. (It has a real wanky "WareZ d00d" feel to
it and I wouldn't trust it for a second.) There's also The Anarchist's
Cookbook making the rounds, which details everything from blowing up
suspension bridges to cooking LSD in your kitchen. (Regard it with the
Sure enough, when I arrived at CBC studios, I saw that Farber had a
printout of one of these text files.
It was a good thing I had walked over to the World's Biggest Bookstore
on my lunch hour and bought a copy of The Anarchist's Cookbook for
$34.75. Information on bomb building. Right off the shelf.
"Ah, but that costs money," the pro-censorship forces would counter.
"You can copy it off the net for free.
Anticipating that objection, I strolled over to the Metro Reference
Library last Saturday. There, on the main floor, sat a horrible
collection of terrorist information: the Encyclopedia Britannica. I
grabbed volume 21 (right off the shelf), flipped to page 323 and read
the section on explosives. I photocopied it for about a buck and
strolled back out with the detailed description of how to make an
ammonium nitrate fuel oil bomb -- exactly like that used in the
Oklahoma City bombing.
I hope Allan Rock and the feds attend to this outrage immediately and
write legislation to regulate these damn libraries.
FIGHT SPEECH WITH SPEECH, NOT COPS
Farber kept suggesting that Nazis and hatemongers are using the net as
a propaganda tool. This is uninformed opinion of the first order. The
net is terrible as a "propaganda tool" because it's a two-way medium.
Newsgroups are interactive. Racists are forced to answer questions.
When Farber says, "Millions of people see what these people write,"
complete the image for him: "Millions of people see these people
ridiculed and humiliated in intellectual debate over and over again."
That is pretty ineffective propaganda.
In the finest of anarchist traditions, the net.community naturally
produces people who rebut every hate-mongering pamphlet that denies the
Holocaust happened. Canada's Ken McVay is one famous example. He's
built an enormous reservoir of historical documents that permanently
shred the revisionist pamphlets. Every time the same old pamphlets are
uploaded to cyberspace, someone quickly tags on the real story.
"And that's the beauty of the Internet: once it's refuted in an honest
and academic fashion, you can't run away from it," McVay says. "The
most intellectual among them (revisionists) are stupid and completely
inept when it comes to historical research. And, of course, they are
liars. That being the case, why on Earth would anyone want to shut them
up or force them underground? I want to know who I'm dealing with. I
want to know where they are. And I want to know how their minds work."
It's dramatic to watch. No need for Thought Cops. As Deborah Lipstadt
writes in Denying The Holocaust: "The main shortcoming of legal
restraints is that they transform the deniers into martyrs on the altar
of free speech."
CENSORSHIP SUPPORTS THE STATUS QUO
Throughout history, censorship has only worked to uphold the status
quo. It keeps the strong strong and the weak weak.
In 1871, Prussia's "personal honor" laws were intended to prevent
insults against groups, such as Jews. Not surprisingly, the courts
never upheld them for Jews, but rigorously used them to prevent
criticism of Prussians, clerics and the military -- the status quo.
At the turn of the century, France never charged the anti-Semitic
enemies of Captain Alfred Dreyfuss. Of course, when Emile Zola wrote
his famous tract "J'Accuse," he was charged with libel against the
clergy and had to flee to England.
In 1965, the British Race Relations Act was passed to combat racism.
The first people charged under it? Black Power leaders, labor leaders,
no-nuke activists. Britain's National Front thrives.
In 1974, Britain's National Union of Students passed a resolution
against "openly racist and fascist organizations." It was designed
specifically to prevent anti- Semitism. A year later, it was invoked to
prevent Israeli/Zionist speakers from touring. The National Front was
Think all this is ancient history? How about Canada's infamous 1992
Supreme Court decision in "Butler vs. the Queen"? It was hailed by
pro-censorship feminists like Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon as
being a great step forward for women in the "battle" against sexual
Two-and-a-half years later, we find that it has been used by the
authorities to seize and confiscate material from well over half of all
the feminist bookstores across the country. In fact, Customs actually
seized two of Dworkin's own books. It was also used against gays and
lesbians. "Traditional" sexual material was never touched.
When are people who work for change going to learn that when they
support censorship, they are building their own gallows? If they want
to change society, why are they working to transfer still greater
powers to the state? If they believe in change, they simply cannot
The Master's tools will never dismantle the Master's house.
Retransmit freely in cyberspace Author holds standard copyright
http://www.interlog.com/eye Mailing list available
eyeNET archive --> http://www.interlog.com/eye/News/Eyenet/Eyenet.html
firstname.lastname@example.org "...Break the Gutenberg Lock..." 416-971-8421
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 1995 21:13:56 CDT
From: Jim Thomas
Subject: File 3--Some Questions for Canter and Siegel in re Their Book
((MODERATORS' NOTE: Canter and Siegel are best known for "spamming the
nets" with the infamous 1994 "Green Card" advertisement that was sent to
thousands of newsgroups and mailing lists. Then, they wrote a book
lauding the spam practice, and claimed that fortunes were waiting to
be made on the Internet. CuD was the victim of their spam, although
the quick action of gatemeister Chip Rosenthal minimized the damage.
Within the next week, CuD will run a special issue on Canter and
Siegel, including a review of their "How to Make a Fortune on the
Information Superhighway," which is billed as a "Guerrilla Guide." The
book is a rather confusing mixture of self-serving commentary,
mean-spirited attacks on their critics, sloppy thinking, and gross
errors. Before completing the review, I thought I would provide
Canter and Siegel the opportunity to clarify a few questions I had
after reading it)).
2 June, 1995
TO: Laurence A. Canter and Martha S. Siegel
FROM: Jim Thomas
RE: Help me Understand Your Book
Please help me. I am doing a review of your book, _How to Make a
FORTUNE on the Information Superhighway: Everyone's Guerrilla Guide
to Marketing on the Internet and Other On-line Services_, which will
be part of a special issue on you both in Cu Digest within the next
week. To help me assure accuracy in writing my review, perhaps you
could answer some questions I have now that I've carefully read,
line-by-line, the full 234 pages of your tome. I have found so many
confusing and illogical passages, gross errors that suggest a
"fictional work adapted from a true story," and sloppy thinking and
writing, that I am wondering if it was intended as a Swiftian satire.
Here are a few examples that I found curious:
1. On page 190 of your volume, you strongly suggest that Michael
LaMacchia, an MIT student, was indicted for software piracy. You
"Still, one thing does seem to be typical of many hackers,
they don't care about breaking the law. The two most famous
examples of this are Craig Neidorf and Michael La Macchia.
Neidorf went down in the annals of hacker fame for stealing
a program that detailed the operations of Bell South's
emergency 911 telephone system. For this Neidorf was
arrested and convicted, although he received only a year's
probation as punishment."
It is not that you grossly err in identifying these two individuals as
"hackers" or as "famous examples" of cyber-criminals who "don't care
about breaking the law." This I attribute to simple ignorance and
cavalier indifference to fact. My concern is with your falsehoods.
Because you identify yourself as competent, credentialed, credible
professionals, and because you seem to pride yourself on "being
right," perhaps you could provide the source for the above claims.
Those who have read the the indictment in the LaMacchia case,
which as practicing attorneys I assume you would before making
your claims, are aware that LaMaccia was not indicted for
piracy. I wonder if you are also aware that the federal judge
dismissed the charges against LaMacchia. My question: On what
basis do you proclaim LaMacchia a "famous example" of law-breaking
when he was not so-judged by the court?
More serious are your allegations against Craig Neidorf. You
explicitly claim that "NEIDORF WENT DOWN IN THE ANNALS OF HACKER FAME
FOR STEALING A PROGRAM THAT DETAILED THE OPERATIONS OF BELL SOUTH'S
EMERGENCY E911 TELEPHONE SYSTEM ((emphasis added))." For this,
you say, HE WAS CONVICTED.
There are several fundamental errors in this short passage. First, a
"program" was not at issue in the case. Second, Neidorf was not
brought to trial for theft, as even a cursory review of his indictment
(or even media accounts) would reveal. Third, Neidorf was not only
NOT convicted, but the prosecution withdrew the charges even before it
concluded presenting its case. It had no case. Fourth, there was no
evidence adduced in court, nor am I aware of even anecdotal
information, to indicate that Neidorf was a "hacker." He published a
newsletter ABOUT hackers, a small, but hardly an inconsequential
detail, as a federal prosecutor learned in a humiliating experience
with a botched prosecution.
My questions: 1) Does such a statement, which publicly defames Craig
Neidorf, constitute an intentional lie, astonishing intellectual
sloppiness, or simply an indifference to truth? 2) Are you prepared
to publicly apologize to Craig Neidorf for this reckless comment that
some might argue is libelous? 3) Are you willing to publicly recant
that passage now that you have been corrected, or will you insist on
letting such a defamatory smear stand? If you wish to read the
indictments and other related legal documents and commentary, you can
find them in the back issues of Cu Digest.
2) In reading your book, I had the feeling that I was reading a
234 page match-book cover: "MAKE A FORTUNE IN YOUR SPARE TIME--tear
the cover off, send it in...."--Chapter headings and passages allude
ad nauseam to "making a fortune," "getting rich," and "making money."
My question: Are you as hopelessly driven by the mercenary spirit in
real life as the book suggests, or does the subtext of your book
reflect merely an ironic satire on shameless amoralism and the
disingenuousness of advertising and consumerism that you practice?
3) You seem not to like people on the net very much. Despite the
occasional caveat, your work (as the title would corroborate) seems an
indiscriminate assault on all those who inhabit "cyberspace." You make
sweeping generalizations about the "Net society," "Net participants,"
and the "Net community," in which your invective includes so many
pejorative terms that I stopped counting. Geeks is the mildest. My
question: Is it good business practice to offend the community in which
you're trying to make a buck?
4) Nowhere in your book did you demonstrate that you understood why
the response to your advertising gimmick, called "spamming,"
infuriated people. In fact, you seemed not only surprised, but angry
that people would react against indiscriminate flooding of Usenet,
Bitnet, and other Newsgroups, as well as mailboxes, with repititious
advertisements. Indeed, you seem proud to the point of boastful that
you spammed the net, and unless you were speaking in some primitive
code, it seemed clear that you were advocating to others that they do
likewise to make a fortune. Further, you conflate "spamming" and
"advertising," assuming that the ill-will you raised was soley due to
violation of an advertising taboo. Did I misread, or do you really not
understand the implications of flooding newsgroups and mailboxes with
millions of identical posts? Nowhere, not in a single line, did I
find even a hint that you saw such an action as--at the least--rude.
Quite the contrary--you write as if it's your right to be uncivil
boors, while criticizing your victims when they complain of your
predation. My question: Did you ever take an ethics course? If so,
did you pass?
5) I have tried to drop you a note (to the address listed in your book
and to the contact identified as "Laurence A. Canter" at
email@example.com on the information provided through Unix's
nslookup). Using a variety of Unix programs (mail, ping, nslookup,
whois, traceroute, and others), It appears that cyber.sell.com is down
or otherwise unreachable. Perhaps this is merely a momentary glitch,
perhaps not. My question: Do you have net access, or do you not? If
not, is it because your "spamming" strategy has so discredited you
that you are unable to find a reputable provider?
6) You claim that you are being "censored" by "cancelbots" which have
been designed to identify and cancel posts that are identical and that
are distributed to numerous newsgroups at once. As attorneys, I'm
surprised that you seem not to understand the meaning of the term
"censorship." You label those who engage in and support cancelbots as
"hypocrites" and worse. My questions: 1) Are you really unaware that
spamming is opposed by the overwhelming majority of the net? 2) Do you
really not know that those opposing spamming do so because spamming is
disruptive to systems and individual users? 3) Do you really not know
that most system administrators support cancelbots? 4) Are you really
unaware that cancelbots are not content-driven, but distribution
driven? 5) Are you being disingenuous or merely ignorant when you feel
that it is your "right" (as you repeatedly claim) to advertise as you
wish (as long as you violate no statutes), while simultaneously
complaining when others exercise their right of speech to communicate
to you their displeasure with your disruptive behavior?
7) You argue in your conclusion that you are pioneers and you believe
that you are paving the way for others. Paving the way for what?
Certainly not for net advertising or commercialism, which has long
been a fact of net life, and is recognized by most of us as a valuable
enrichment of the net. The homepages of the publishing and music
industry are just two examples of how information and commercialism
can be productively integrated. After reading your book with great
care, I can only conclude that your own "pioneer" effort has been the
advocacy of spamming. But, this is a minor issue. What troubles me is
that, while stating that you are pioneers, both the mood and the text
of your book suggest a different metaphor, that suggested in your
subtitle: "EVERYONE'S GUERRILLA GUIDE TO MARKETING." The term
"guerrilla" denotes small bands of militants who harass an enemy with
destructive acts for the purpose of driving the enemy from the field.
The term connotes a state of war in which the guerrilla aims to hurt
the adversary. My question: Do you honestly believe that "guerrilla
warfare" is a sound commercial strategy, or is this more satire by
which you poke fun at net-hucksters, unethical advertising tactics,
and destructive behavior?
8) Throughout your book, you demonstrate a disregard for common
courtesy and display what I interpret as a Nietzschean ethical
relativism. To your readers who might traverse the internet to
seek their fortune, you advise:
Along your journey, someone may try to tell you
that in order to be a good Net "citizen," you must
follow the rules of the cyberspace community. Don't
listen. The only laws and rules with which you
should concern yourself are those passed by the
country, state, and city in which you truly live.
The only ethics you should adopt as you pursue wealth on the
I-way are those dictated by the religious faith you have chosen
to follow and your own good conscience (p. 12).
You scoff at Usenet's (and other) "Netiquette rules" for posting, and
call it dogma (p. 200). You add:
Of the supposed moral issue, there is little left to be
said. Making money on the Internet in whatever way seems
best to you is not a moral question as long as you conduct
yourself with basic honesty and obey the law (p 207).
In all societies, there are norms of basic etiquette. Participating in
an electronic forum doesn't change normative expectations of
participants. You seem not to know that legality is not necessarily a
sufficient criterion for appropriate behavior in civilized society.
More to the point is the bald disingenuousness of your rather facile
rationalization for engaging in disruptive behavior. After decrying
electronic vandals, rudeness, and "crime," you seem to glorify and
advocate many of those same acts. For example, even while claiming
that one's mailbox is not a public forum, you defend junkmail,
comparing it to unsolicited advertising delivered by the postal
service. Do you not understand that, for those computer users who are
charged by the message, by the space used for file storage, or for
on-line time, that the costs of junk mail are passed on to the
consumer? Are you really so ignorant of how the web operates that you
believe that your spam is limited to Usenet news groups? Are you so
completely ignorant of the medium you profess to know that you are
unaware that much of spam winds up in others' mailboxes instead of
newsgroups? Do you really not know how much space can be wasted, how
disruptive your posts are to some systems, and how aggravating it is
especially for non-Usenet users when spamming occurs? It will
eventually be for the courts to determine whether such disruptive,
costly, and resource-draining behaviors such as yours are illegal. A
case could be made that you are nothing more than electronic "Vandals"
intent on sacking the net with admitted guerrilla tactics. However,
in your defense, I offer that perhaps your history education is
sufficiently incomplete that you confuse "pioneers" with "Vandals"."
>From my reading of your book, there is little to support your
identification with the former, and much with the latter.
But, a metaphoric quibble isn't my point. It's this: You claim on one
hand that you have not broken any laws. You also claim to find
"hacker" activity abhorrent. Yet, you arguably are as willing to
violate legal norms as those "hackers" you ridicule. Your spam didn't
simply flood Usenet newsgroups. You targeted academic groups as well,
and your indiscriminate posting, which you defend and glorify, flooded
some mailboxes. This is merely the behavior of a Vandal. To reach some
of those posters, you had to "hack" your way into private, moderated
lists. You had to circumvent established procedures to trespass where
you were neither wanted nor invited. In short, to reach some lists you
did more than post to a public forum---you crashed into private spaces
through trickery. It is not just that you trespassed into private
domains, it is that you defend this costly and disruptive practice and
then wonder why others are bothered by your behavior. My question is
this: Why are you so sure that your own behaviors and those you
advocate are within the law?
I look forward to your answers to these questions so that I may
complete my review of your work as objectively as possible. Of
course, because you do not know me, you may not with to respond. Let
me introduce myself:
My name is Jim Thomas. I am an academic who has been on the nets for
over a decade. I subscribe to several dozen Usenet groups, virtually
all of which were hit by your spam. These were deleted easily enough.
I subscribe to a dozen highly specialized academic Bitnet discussion
groups. These posts arrive in my personal mailbox. Your spam cluttered
my box and caused me delays and other consequences. I edit an
electronic, moderated, newsgroup, Cu Digest (or CuD). This group does
not accept public posts. Posts sent to the group do not go to the
group, but to me. In order to post to the group without permission,
one must "hack" the address. Three times in the past year, spam that
was publicly attributed to you--the Green Card, about which you brag,
a "get out of debt" spam that was identified from the return route as
originating from cyber.sell.com, and a recent health book
advertisement that the "clients" claim was initiated by "Canter and
Siegel who wrote that book"--was hacked into this group. That you
found a way to automate trespassing makes it no-less acceptable. Is
it illegal? Perhaps, perhaps not. But, if you are counselling your
clients to trespass in order to "make their fortune on the Internet,"
as both your words and deeds indicate, then I do have to wonder about
the private ethics that you hold up as the model of good conscience.
After reading your volume and being a victim of your actions, I am
saddened that, for me, the best single adjective that fits your
behavior and the intellectual tone of the volume is: dishonest.
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 1995 18:54:26 -0400
From: Matthew Saroff
Subject: File 4--Student Loses Scholarship. We All Lose A Little Freedom
(Originally from: comp-academic-freedom-talk@EFF.ORG
(comp-academic-freedom-talk mailing list)
Student Loses Scholarship. We All Lose A Little Freedom
by Jim Crawley, editor
Paul Kim may be the first person ever to have his own home page on the
World Wide Web censored. The 17-year-old high school senior lost his
National Merit scholarship, possibly admission to Harvard and his
satirical Web page.
Earlier this year, the Bellevue, Wash., student created an "Unofficial
Newport High School Home Page" on his home computer and posted it in a
public directory of his Internet provider, according to a recent
article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. He also submitted the page
to the Yahoo directory.
Included under a category about students' likes, Kim provided links to
three other servers that had a Playboy centerfold, an article about
masturbation and another about oral sex, the paper reported.
"I put a satire of the school on the Internet as a joke," Kim told a
The page was noticed by a staff member at another Bellevue school, who
reported it to Newport High officials. Their response was to withdraw
the school's endorsement of Kim's National Merit scholarship -- he has
a 3.88 grade point average and posted a near perfect score on the SAT.
He automatically lost the $2,000 scholarship. Then, the principal sent
faxes to the seven top-rank colleges that Kim applied to. Soon,
afterwards, Harvard rejected his application.
While Kim and attorneys from the ACLU are asking the school district
for $2,000 and a public explanation of the school officials'
"violation of Kim's free-speech rights," the school hasn't paid up nor
showed signs it will.
The scary part of this story -- other than it's true -- is that it's
only the beginning of a trend.
You don't need to be a soothsayer to predict that other schools,
Internet providers or companies will try to determine what is
appropriate content. It's already happened.
But, the Kim case is the first time a government entity has censured
(and censored) someone for publishing a Web page on a non-government
computer. And, if unchecked and uncorrected, it sets a horrific
impediment on the Web and its development.
While a person's home is their castle (please note the WEBster's
gender neutrality), a person's home page may not be safe. As the Web
grows into a full-fledged, powerful replacement for some forms of the
printed word, Web publishers must be assured that they are protected
by the First Amendment.
So far, freedom of the press doesn't cover publications that are based
entirely on recycled electrons. If that lapse continues much longer,
more and more bureaucrats, legislators and demagogues will try (and
succeed) to censor the Web.
And, then no one will be laughing.
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 95 16:37:41 EST
From: "Rhea Zimbar"
Subject: File 5--Library of Congress Signs Nat'l Dig Library Fed Agreement
May 24, 1995
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SIGNS
NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY FEDERATION AGREEMENT
The Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, the
Commission on Preservation and Access and officials from 14 other
research libraries and archives on May 1 signed the National
Digital Library Federation Agreement.
Recognizing "the important leadership role that the Library
of Congress has played in raising as a national issue the need
for such a national digital library," those institutions taking
part agreed to "bring together -- from across the nation and
beyond -- digitized materials that will be made accessible to
students, scholars and citizens everywhere."
"The Library of Congress is proud to be a member of the
National Digital Library Federation and to continue its
leadership role in building a collection of digitized materials
that will bring unique materials reflecting America's heritage
and culture to all," said Dr. Billington.
The Commission on Preservation and Access, whose president
is Deanna B. Marcum, is a private, nonprofit organization. Its
mission is to develop and support collaboration among libraries
and allied institutions to ensure access to and preservation of
resources in all formats.
At the signing, held at Harvard University, participants
agreed to establish a collaborative management structure, develop a
coordinated approach to fund-raising and formulate selection guidelines
that will "ensure conformance to the general theme of U.S. heritage and
culture." "The Library of Congress and the scholarly community will
benefit from participation in the National Digital Library
Federation, particularly by working with the federation members
to increase access to the nation's research collections in
libraries and archives both large and small," said Winston Tabb,
Associate Librarian for Collections Services.
In addition to the Library of Congress, and the Commission
on Preservation and Access, those institutions signing the
agreement are: Columbia University, Cornell University, Emory
University, Harvard University, National Archives and Records
Administration, New York Public Library, Pennsylvania State
University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University
of California at Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of
Southern California, and University of Tennessee and Yale
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT
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Subject: File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995)
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