Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 80 ISSN 1004-042X Editors: J

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Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 11, 1995 Volume 7 : Issue 80 ISSN 1004-042X 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 Ian Dickinson Cu Digest Homepage: CONTENTS, #7.80 (Wed, Oct 11, 1995) File 1--Charges against Lorne Shantz dropped. File 2--Am Action BBS (Rob't Thomas) appeal in 6th Circuit File 3--Telecommunications Act Re-write list and WWW site File 4--Re: Minnesota Law (#1) File 5--Re: "Emperor's Virtual Clothes" File 6--File 1--Minnesota A.G. Erects Electronic Wall Around State File 7--The Computer Law Report #11 (9/29/94) (fwd) File 8--New Web site on government censorship File 9--New Jersey BBS Sting (excerpts) File 10--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: Sun, 1 Oct 1995 22:17:08 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith Subject: File 1--Charges against Lorne Shantz dropped. The following article is excerpted from CompuNotes. I've included the header information and the article about Lorne Shantz, who is the Arizona DPS officer initially indicted for distributing obscene material online. David Smith * Next EFF-Austin appearance : Armadillocon * Panel discussion : "Crypto-Cyberporn on the President, EFF-Austin * Planet Newt" -- October 6, 4:00 to 5:00 Board of Directors, CTCLU * ---------- Forwarded message ---------- 9/26/95 CompuNotes Issue #21 Patrick Grote, Publisher and Editor CompuNotes is a weekly publication available through an email distribution list and many fine on-line networks! We feature reviews, interviews and commentary concerning the PC industry. This Week's Contents: ===================== PATRICK'S VIEWS =============== -=> Why Buy Windows 95 <=- -=> Review Response <=- NEWS ==== -=> Microsoft Money for Free <=- -=> Taking Classes on the Net? <=- REVIEWS ======= -=> CloseUp 6.1 for LANs Reviewed by Patrick Grote <=- -=> Alien Logic Reviewed by Doug Reed <=- WEB SITE OF THE WEEK ==================== -=> EPUB Web Is Amazing <=- FTP FILE OF THE WEEK ==================== -=> Darn! <=- INTERVIEW ========= -=> Lorne Shantz Update <=- To subscribe, send a message to with subscribe in body. To unsubscribe, send a message to with unsubscribe in body. Comments should be sent to Voice: (314) 984-9691 BBS : (314) 984-8387 FAX : (314) 984-9981 All old copies available from anonymous FTP at CD-ROM Online Magazine is another good resource. You can subscribe free by sending an email message to with the word subscribe in the body of the text! ------------------------------------------------------------------------ [deleted rest of issue] ------------------------------------------------------------------------ INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK | Interesting people you should know about . . . ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Many of you will remember our interview with Lorne when he was going through the legal battle after his BBS was shut down. Well, there is justice in the world! Read on . . . Wishbook BBS Charges Dropped Monday, September 18, 1995 This morning all criminal charges against Lorne E. Shantz, Sysop of The Wishbook BBS, were ordered dismissed by the court. The dismissal was ordered to be "with prejudice," meaning that criminal charges can never again be filed against Lorne in this matter. The Court also signed orders allowing for the release of information pertaining to Grand Jury actions in the case. Because of these orders it is now possible to discuss some of the heretofore secret aspects of this case. Lorne E. Shantz was the subject of a search warrant in November, 1995 during which, his BBS equipment and software were seized by police authorities upon an allegation that the BBS was distributing obscene material. Although Lorne had maintained a strict, public policy against the uploading of material depicting beastiality, excrement, and child pornography and had personally screened all uploads to physically eliminate this type of material, certain .gifs contained on name-brand CD-Roms were alleged to have contained examples. Lorne maintained, from the beginning that he bought the CD-Rom disks openly and based upon their national advertising in mainstream computer publications and in reliance upon their representation as being "BBS-Ready." Because of this representation, the wide-spread use of these CD-Rom disks on other BBS systems and because of the sheer size and number of images, Lorne did not screen every image. In January, 1995 Lorne's BBS equipment was returned to him with the exception of all of his CD-Rom disks (even those not alleged to contain contraband material) and other equipment relating to the CD-Rom system. In March, 1995, a Grand Jury considered the filing of criminal charges against Shantz. Pursuant to the Criminal Rules, the Prosecutor was notified that Lorne would agree to waive his privilege against self-incrimination and would testify before the Grand Jury. The Prosecutor claimed to have forgotten this formal offer and proceeded to obtain an Indictment without notifying the Grand Jury. The Prosecutor then offered Lorne the opportunity to address the Grand Jury but did not inform Lorne or myself that the Grand Jury had already indicted him. Lorne was charged, criminally, with 20 counts of distributing obscene material. When the Defense learned of these Grand Jury improprieties, it filed a Motion challenging the indictment and asking that the matter be remanded to another, impartial Grand Jury panel. The Court agreed and ordered the matter remanded. In July, 1995 Lorne appeared before another Grand Jury panel. Because Court rules do not allow a Defense Attorney to address the Grand Jury, Lorne was required to solely address that body. Lorne was superb at that proceeding, calmly but firmly telling the Grand Jury that he had no idea of the existence of the material on his BBS and defending his reputation both as a Sysop and Police Officer. At the conclusion of those proceedings, this Grand Jury did not vote an Indictment and chose, instead to end their inquiry. The Prosecution chose not to proceed to alternative methods of charging Shantz, but instead offered to dismiss all criminal charges. The State requested that Lorne agree to promise that he would not offer the .gif images named in the Indictment on his BBS in the future. Since Lorne had publicly testified, under oath, that he never intended to offer such images, he was perfectly willing to so agree. The agreement was accepted by the court this morning and, accordingly, all criminal charges were ordered dismissed. Still undetermined is the status of Lorne's job as a State Trooper. On the date that the Indictment was made public, Lorne was fired from the position he held for approximately 14 years and all accrued benefits, including his pension, were forfeited. That firing is presently under administrative appeal. Lorne will still have to repair a broken life and a new marriage that, unfortunately, has not yet seen peaceful times. My personal feelings of gratification for today's events is exceeded only by my profound sense of gratitude for all of the friends who have supported Lorne in the Nets and especially on the RIME conferences. In the early days, friends were few and very timid, but the folks on RIME were among the first supporters and certainly the most enthusiastic! Momentum slowly gathered and by July, support had become wide-spread and open. Lorne's victory today is certainly a victory for all of his loyal friends and supporters. I truly hope that each of you will share our pride and happiness today. ------------------------------ From: hkhenson@CUP.PORTAL.COM Subject: File 2--Am Action BBS (Rob't Thomas) appeal in 6th Circuit Date: Mon, 2 Oct 95 01:01:46 PDT Robert Thomas (sysop of AABBS) called me this weekend to report that the appeal is on his case is being heard Oct. 11. Robert is hopefull that he will be let out of the Federal prison at Springfield pending the decision of the Sixth Circuit appeals court. The AABSS case, for those who were not here last year, was one where a postal inspector downloaded adult .gifs from a BBS near San Jose, California to Memphis, Tennessee. He then had the owners indited in Memphis and tried there by a jury--none of whom had a computer or knew the slightest thing about cyberspace. Robert was given 37 months, his wife about six months less. Keith Henson ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 09 Oct 1995 10:14:18 -0400 From: "W. K. (Bill) Gorman" writes regarding Minnesota laws: > Minnesota's general criminal jurisdiction statute provides as >follows: Most states have the same laws, btw. Here are the famous examples that explain why: > A person may be convicted and sentenced under the > law of this State if the person: > > (1) Commits an offense in whole or in part within > this state; or I shoot and kill someone in the state of Minnesota. > (2) Being without the state, causes, aids or abets > another to commit a crime within the state; or I throw a gun over the state line to an accomplice in Minnesota who shoots and kills someone. > (3) Being without the state, intentionally causes a > result within the state prohibited by the criminal laws > of this state. I shoot a bullet over the state line and kill someone (don't laugh, this has happened!) > It is not a defense that the defendant's conduct is > also a criminal offense under the laws of another state > or of the United States or of another country. >If we go after AT&T and the US P.S., then maybe the Minnesota >judges will recognize limits to this law. Well now, common carriers are strange beasts, because they don't know the content (or at least, they aren't supposed to know) of what they carry. Thus if person A used AT&T to surf the web and commit some crime, AT&T would not be liable. Person A's internet provider probably would be in the clear, assuming the provider had no knowledge of A's intent. >As to the web, if I'm outside of minnesota, and someone inside of >minnesota gets my page and reads it, then isn't the crime caused >when they pull my page to them? The question becomes, who committed what crime? In the case of the Internet, and high-tech in general, this is an unsettled question, mostly because now we have agents (computers) that can do things automatically on our behalf. Eventually the law will evolve some reasonable guidelines; particular juris- dictions will have a responsibility for publishing what is and is not acceptable, and providers will have a responsibility to attempt to abide by these rules (if technical means exist), in return for which they will be shielded. >. Whatever happened to the concept of individual >responsibility in the law? Why am I responsible for every one else? You are responsible for your own actions. The problem is that in today's society, your actions (like publishing a web page) can have global repercussions. The law is struggling to deal with those issues, and it isn't easy. And yes, people are going to get caught in the middle along the way. We are, as the chinese curse goes, living in Interesting Times. ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 17:40:46 -0400 (EDT) From: Ofer Inbar Subject: File 5--Re: "Emperor's Virtual Clothes" In "The Emperor's Virtual Clothes", Alan Janesch writes, > Through his research, Moore found that the Internet, more than > anything else, mirrors human existence in all its various forms > -- the good as well as the bad and the ugly. [...] > That means that while you can indeed find "flames" (insulting > language), "cybersex" (basically, talking dirty via real-time > electronic mail) and pornography on the Internet, Moore says, you can > also find intelligent, thoughtful people who care about ideas and > issues and who also care about the people in their Internet communities. Lumping "cybersex" and "pornography" in with "the bad and the ugly", as contrasted with "thoughtful people who care...", is just feeding the anti-sex propoganda which is at the heart of Internet censorship attempts. There are many people who "care about ideas and issues" who talk about sex on the Internet, and indeed some of the earliest Internet communities were formed around sexual issues or interests. The lack of censorship on the net very early on made it a good place for gays, lesbians, people interested in BDSM, polyamory, and so on. Many of these are topics that would-be censors consider "inappropriate for children", and censorship attempts are aimed directly at these Internet communities. Janesch's (Moore's?) defense of "people who care about the people in their Internet communities" is quite ironic. ------------------------------ From: Tim Scanlon Date: Thu, 28 Sep 95 20:29:22 -0400 Subject: File 6--File 1--Minnesota A.G. Erects Electronic Wall Around State My most immidate response to this is that if the State of Minnisota is seeking to criminalize the behavior of individuals and service providers for activities that take place outside of the state, and are not illigal outside of the state, then it would behoove all parties concerned with being prosecuted under Minnisota's interpretation of justice to avoid sending packets to Minnisota. Perhaps the easiest way for that to occur would be for organizations who are affected by this broad legal brush to minimize their risk profile legaly, and stop routing packets to Minnisota. Service providers it seems will suffer a double edeged vulnetability under these provisions in that they will be open to prosecution from Minnisota, and from individuals charged under Minnisota's statutes for having transported the packets TO the state. I know that I certainly do not want ~my~ packets sent there, and would hold any transportation party that operated inside the state liable for doing so. In short, connectivity is a two edged sword. Perhaps they, and everyone else, would be better off without Minnisota having it. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 1 Oct 1995 22:53:10 -0500 (CDT) From: David Smith Subject: File 7--The Computer Law Report #11 (9/29/94) (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date-- Fri, 29 Sep 1995 13--51--39 -0400 *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ THE COMPUTER LAW REPORT *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ September 29, 1995 [#11] ===================================== NEWS FLASH: The Computer Law Report will now be distributed weekly and will contain a single article in each distribution. This more frequent distribution will assist in keeping current on late-breaking developments. ===================================== GENERAL INFO: The Computer Law Report is distributed weekly for free and is prepared by William S. Galkin, Esq. The Report is designed specifically for the non-lawyer. To subscribe, send e-mail to All information contained in The Computer Law Report is for the benefit of the recipients, and should not be relied on or considered as legal advice. Copyright 1995 by William S. Galkin. ===================================== ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mr. Galkin is an attorney in private practice in Owings Mills, Maryland (which is a suburb of Baltimore), and he is also an adjunct professor of Computer Law at the University of Maryland School of Law. Mr. Galkin has concentrated his private practice in the Computer Law area since 1986. He represents small startup, midsized and large companies, across the U.S. and internationally, dealing with a wide range of legal issues associated with computers and technology, such as developing, marketing and protecting software, purchasing and selling complex computer systems, and launching and operating a variety of online business ventures. He also enjoys writing about computer law issues! Mr. Galkin is available for consultation with individuals and companies, wherever located, and can be reached as follows: E-MAIL: 410-356-8853/FAX: 410-356-8804/MAIL: 10451 Mill Run Circle, Suite 400, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117 ^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^ Articles in The Report are available to be published as columns in both print and electronic publications. Please contact Mr. Galkin for the terms of such usage. ^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^ *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ STOPPING THE ALTRUISTIC INFRINGER *+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+ This is the first of a series of articles discussing recommendations made in the report issued September 5, 1995 by President Clinton's Information Infrastructure Task Force. The report is entitled "Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure," and is commonly referred to as the White Paper. At the end of the article there is information on how to get print and electronic copies of the White Paper. The White Paper reviews and interprets current U.S. intellectual property law and makes various recommendations for changes to facilitate the development of the national information infrastructure (NII). These recommendations take the form of new proposed legislative changes as well as lending support to currently pending legislation. This article discusses recommendations relating to criminal penalties imposed for certain copyright offenses perpetrated over the Internet. A 1994 case in Massachusetts is one example given in the White Paper of why criminal laws need to be strengthened. In U.S. v. LaMacchia, a university student established several bulletin board systems (BBS) that were accessible via the Internet. The purpose of these BBS systems was to allow users to download (pirate) commercially produced software for free. The keyword here is "free." The student's objective was "altruistic" and did not seek to make a profit on these unlawful transfers of software. The court found that, without a profit motive, the student could not be convicted of criminal violations under the U.S. Copyright Act, and his actions did not amount to wire fraud. The indictment claimed that over a period of six weeks the copyright owners lost over $1,000,000. It is important to keep in mind that civil remedies would nevertheless be available in such a case. These include damages, preliminary injunctions to prevent or restrain infringement, permanent injunctions where liability is established and there is a threat of continuing infringement, and impounding or destruction of all copies. Why would anyone distribute software for free on such a large scale? First of all, there is little cost involved in setting up a BBS or other system for this purpose. Secondly, the White Paper points out that there are those who have the philosophical belief that Cyberspace should be a free realm and will create such systems to promote this concept. The court in LaMacchia stated that it believed that the actions committed should be criminal, but said that it was up to the legislature to restructure the statutes to make it so: "Criminal as well as civil penalties should probably attach to willful, multiple infringements of copyrighted software even absent a commercial motive on the part of the infringer. One could envision ways that the copyright law could be modified to permit such prosecution. But, "[i]t is the legislature, not the Court which is to define a crime, and ordain its punishment."" To rectify this problem, Senate Bill 1122, endorsed in the White Paper, was introduced in the 104th Congress by Senators Leahy and Feingold. This Bill would make it a criminal act under the copyright laws to willfully reproduce or distribute copyrighted material which has a retail value of more than $5,000. The prohibition includes assisting someone to do the same. Because of this "assisting" provision, online system providers will need to take specific precautions where users can freely upload materials which are then made available to all users. The drafters of the Bill believe that it is drafted in such a way that unintentional or careless acts of infringement will not fall under the criminal provisions. For this conclusion they rely on the "wilful" requirement and the $5,000 threshold to distinguish between the criminals and the inadvertent infringers. However, criminal liability is probably easier to arise than they suspect. Most people would agree that it should be criminal for LaMacchia to distribute software in the manner he did, thereby robbing the copyright owners of potential profits. However, this criminal liability will also apply to many text transfers that are currently occurring where there is no criminal intent. Whether such acts are deemed criminal will depend upon how a court interprets "wilful." Prior to the U.S. joining the Berne Convention on March 1, 1989, a work distributed without a copyright notice would pass into the public domain. Therefore, a person could claim that since the work did not have a notice, they thought it was in the public domain. However, under the Berne Convention, this is no longer the case. Works do not need any notice to maintain their copyright. Therefore, it can no longer be assumed that if there is no copyright notice that the work is in the public domain. The presumption would be, rather, that the work is not in the public domain. Therefore, transfers of documents, where it cannot be demonstrated were reasonably believed to be in the public domain, though they had the appearance of public domain documents, may often be deemed wilful. Additionally, while the $5,000 amount may sound like a lot of copying, on the Internet documents available for downloading on web pages or otherwise may be downloaded hundreds or thousands of times. Therefore, a report for which the owner might charge $50, if downloaded one hundred times, would be a criminal act. It is important to remember that the requirement under the copyright law for criminal sanctions that the infringement be "willful" applies to the act of reproducing or distributing and does not mean that the infringer "willfully" intended to reproduce or distribute material he or she knew was worth $5,000. Indemnifications from users might provide some limited protection for online systems, but these would probably not go over well from a marketing standpoint - unless universally required by all similar services. A result of this legislation, if it passes (which is likely), will be that vendors of information must make greater efforts to verify the right to distribute materials. Or at least establish that the materials are probably in the public domain. As competition between commercial interests increases, and as scrutiny of activities by government entities also increases, vendors must develop vigilant procedures to clear ownership issues, or face the consequences. [HOW TO GET THE WHITE PAPER: Print copies of the White Paper may be obtained for free by sending a written request to: "Intellectual Property and the NII" c/o Terri A. Southwick, Attorney-Advisor Office of Legislative and International Affairs U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Box 4 Washington, D.C. 20231. Copies are also available from the IITF Bulletin Board, which can be accessed through the Internet by pointing the Gopher Client to or by telnet to (log in as gopher).] ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 14:55:40 -0400 From: Andy Oram Subject: File 8--New Web site on government censorship The Web sites I've seen on Exon etc. seem to be getting out of date, or just focus on one or two details. So, with help from Cyber-Rights members (a CPSR working group) and some other people, I wrote a new Web page to present the main issues in a punchy, direct way. The title is "Government Censorship Threatens the Information Infrastructure." It refers to other Web pages for details. Please let everyone who might be interested know about this URL. Thanks to everybody who contributed information and ideas, particularly Craig Johnson. ------------------------------ Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 17:14:05 -0500 (CDT) From: Subject: File 9--New Jersey BBS Sting (excerpts) From: NYTIMES SEPT 12,1995 By CLIFFORD J. LEVY c.1995 N.Y. Times News Service NEW YORK - It was a classic sting operation, the kind of undercover gambit that has nabbed bad guys for decades: federal agents disguised as big-time thieves set up shop and put the word out on the street that they were eager for business. Soon shifty characters were stopping by, officials said, peddling stolen goods that were worth millions of dollars. But as the agents revealed Monday, the meeting place for this subterfuge was not some shady storefront. It was a computer bulletin board that the U.S. Secret Service had rigged together to troll for people who are illegally trafficking in the codes that program cellular phones. ..................... According to the criminal complaint in the case, a Secret Service agent used the Internet, the global computer network, to announce that the bulletin board catered to those involved in breaking into computers and in cellular-phone and credit-card fraud. ..................... After buying hundreds of the stolen phone codes, the Secret Service conducted raids in several states late last week, arresting the six people and seizing more than 20 computer systems, as well as equipment for making cellular phones operate with stolen codes, said the United States Attorney in Newark, Faith S. Hochberg. Officials said that of those arrested, two of them, Richard Lacap of Katy, Texas, and Kevin Watkins of Houston, were particularly sophisticated because they actually broke into the computer systems of cellular phone companies to obtain the codes. ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1995 22:51:01 CDT From: CuD Moderators Subject: File 10--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 19 Apr, 1995) Cu-Digest is a weekly electronic journal/newsletter. Subscriptions are available at no cost electronically. CuD is available as a Usenet newsgroup: Or, to subscribe, send a one-line message: SUB CUDIGEST your name Send it to LISTSERV@VMD.CSO.UIUC.EDU The editors may be contacted by voice (815-753-0303), fax (815-753-6302) or U.S. mail at: Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, NIU, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA. 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