Computer underground Digest Mon Mar 18, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 21 ISSN 1004-042X Editor: Ji
Computer underground Digest Mon Mar 18, 1996 Volume 8 : Issue 21
Editor: Jim Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org)
News Editor: Gordon Meyer (email@example.com)
Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
Field Agent Extraordinaire: David Smith
Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
Cu Digest Homepage: http://www.soci.niu.edu/~cudigest
CONTENTS, #8.21 (Mon, Mar 18, 1996)
File 1--PGP and Human Rights, from Phil Zimmermann
File 2-- The Cryptography Control Act of 1995 (fwd)
File 3--John S. Quarterman article on the Communications Decency Act
File 4--2600 Releases "Secret" Information
File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 16 Dec, 1995)
CuD ADMINISTRATIVE, EDITORIAL, AND SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION APPEARS IN
THE CONCLUDING FILE AT THE END OF EACH ISSUE.
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 16:33:35 -0500 (EST)
From: "Declan B. McCullagh"
Subject: File 1--PGP and Human Rights, from Phil Zimmermann
---------- Forwarded message begins here ----------
Subject--PGP and Human Rights
Date--Mon, 18 Mar 1996 12:01:37 -0700 (MST)
Recently, I received the following letters by email from Central Europe.
The letters provides food for thought in our public debates over the role
of cryptography in the relationship between a government and its people.
With the sender's permission, I am releasing the letters to the public,
with the sender's name deleted, and some minor typos corrected.
This material may be reposted, unmodified, to any other Usenet newsgroups
that may be interested.
Date--Sat, 09 Mar 1996 19:33:00 +0000 (GMT)
>From--[name and email address deleted]
Subject--Thanks from Central Europe
This is a short note to say a very big thank you for all your work with
We are part of a network of not-for-profit agencies, working among other
things for human rights in the Balkans. Our various offices have been
raided by various police forces looking for evidence of spying or
subversive activities. Our mail has been regularly tampered with and our
office in Romania has a constant wiretap.
Last year in Zagreb, the security police raided our office and
confiscated our computers in the hope of retrieving information about the
identity of people who had complained about their activites.
In every instance PGP has allowed us to communicate and protect
our files from any attempt to gain access to our material as we PKZIP
all our files and then use PGP's conventional encryption facility to
protect all sensitive files.
Without PGP we would not be able to function and protect our client
group. Thanks to PGP I can sleep at night knowing that no amount of
prying will compromise our clients.
I have even had 13 days in prison for not revealing our PGP pass phrases,
but it was a very small price to pay for protecting our clients.
I have always meant to write and thank you, and now I am finally doing
it. PGP has a value beyond all words and my personal gratitude to you is
immense. Your work protects the innocent and the weak, and as such
promotes peace and justice, quite frankly you deserve the biggest medal
that can be found.
Please be encouraged that PGP is a considerable benefit people in need,
and your work is appreciated.
Could you please tell us where in Europe we can find someone who can
tell us more about using PGP and upgrades etc. If you can't tell us
these details because of the export restriction thing, can you point us
at someone who could tell us something without compromising you.
[ I sent him a response and asked him if I could disclose his inspiring
letter to the press, and also possibly use it in our ongoing
legislative debates regarding cryptography if the opportunity arises
to make arguments in front of a Congressional committee. I also
asked him to supply some real examples of how PGP is used to protect
human rights. He wrote back that I can use his letters if I delete
his organization's name "to protect the innocent". Then he sent me
the following letter. --PRZ ]
Date--Mon, 18 Mar 1996 15:32:00 +0000 (GMT)
>From--[name and email address deleted]
Subject--More News from [Central Europe]
I have been thinking of specific events that might be of use to your
Congressional presentation. I am concerned that our brushes with
Governments might be double-edged in that Congress might not like the
idea of Human Rights groups avoiding Police investigation, even if such
investigations violated Human Rights.
However we have one case where you could highlight the value of PGP to
"Good" citizens, we were working with a young woman who was being
pursued by Islamic extremists. She was an ethnic Muslim from Albania who
had converted to Christianity and as a result had been attacked, raped
and threatened persistently with further attack.
We were helping to protect her from further attack by hiding her in
Hungary, and eventually we helped her travel to Holland, while in
Holland she sought asylum, which was granted after the Dutch Government
acknowledged that she was directly threatened with rape, harrassment and
even death should her whereabouts be known to her persecutors.
Two weeks before she was granted asylum, two armed men raided our office
in Hungary looking for her, they tried to bring up files on our
computers but were prevented from accessing her files by PGP. They took
copies of the files that they believed related to her, so any simple
password or ordinary encryption would eventually have been overcome.
They were prepared to take the whole computer if necessary so the only
real line of defence was PGP.
Thanks to PGP her whereabouts and her life were protected. This incident
and the young woman's circumstances are well documented.
We have also had other incidents where PGP protected files and so
protected innocent people. If the US confirms the dubious precedent of
denying privacy in a cavalier fashion by trying to deny people PGP , it
will be used as a standard by which others will then engineer the
outlawing of any privacy. Partial privacy is no privacy. Our privacy
should not be by the grace and favour of any Government. Mediums that
ensured privacy in the past have been compromised by advances in
technology, so it is only fair that they should be replaced by other
secure methods of protecting our thoughts and ideas, as well as
I wish you well with your hearing.
Yours most sincerely
[end of quoted material]
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 1996 13:28:24 -0800
From: Bill Moore
Subject: File 2-- The Cryptography Control Act of 1995 (fwd)
Some of the FA lawyers/scholars may be interested in this moot
--------------------------- Original Message ---------------------------
The Cryptography Control Act of 1995
Whoever knowingly encodes information using an encryption
technique, device, or algorithm having a key in excess of 64 bits,
and which key has not been registered with an authorized key
escrow agency, shall be subject to a term of imprisonment of not
more than five years, a fine of not more than two hundred fifty
thousand dollars, or both.
Is this Act Constitutional?
On March 28, the Sixth Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy,
in co-sponsorship with the American Bar Association Criminal Justice
Section, will present a moot Court highlighting this question. The
format will be that of a Supreme Court argument. The issue will be
whether an individual, who has successfully used outlawed encryption
to hide his conversations while the target of a criminal
investigation, can be prosecuted and convicted for use of unauthorized
encryption. The arguments will be conducted before a distinguished
panel of federal appellate and district court judges.
The background for this session assumes that the defendent's
conviction was upheld 2-1 in an appeals court decision, whose majority
opinion and dissenting opinion set forth the central Constitutonal
arguments for upholding, or overturning, the prohibition of
unauthorized encryption. You can review the decisions on the web at
For more information on CFP96, and information on how to register, see
the CFP96 web page at
or send an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing you at CFP96.
Phone: (617) 253-5856 Fax: (617) 258-8682
MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory
545 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 1996 16:44:15 -0600 (CST)
From: David Smith
Subject: File 3--John S. Quarterman article on the Communications Decency Act
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Definitions and Decency
John S. Quarterman
Copyright 1996 by the author.
From *Matrix News*, 6(2), February 1996
+1-512-451-7602, fax: +1-512-452-0127
This article also appeared in *MicroTimes*.
It is freely redistributable. An HTML version appears in
A New Word
This column has been exonerated, to bring it in conformance with
the Exon Law.
n., to expurgate, to bowdlerize, to dumb down to the level
of the most sensitive child in the most repressive state.
Only a couple of months ago, this column reported ``Congress
Close to Internet Censorship.'' Well, it's happened. On 1
February 1996 both the House and the Senate passed the so-called
Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 by overwhelming margins.
This bill includes Internet censorship provisions even worse than
those that appeared in the first version that was co-sponsored by
Sen. James Exon (D-NE) one year to the day before.
President Clinton signed the bill into law 8 February 1996. In
anti-celebration, thousands of web pages turned black for 48 hours
as the Internet reacted. See for more
In that previous column we noted that ``The proposed CDA and the
Constitution are in conflict. If CDA becomes law, it will
certainly be challenged in the courts on that basis, if not
others.'' The ACLU filed suit immediately, as did various other
organizations. Two columnists for this magazine (MicroTimes:
Quarterman and Warren) are parties to one of those lawsuits. In
commemoration of Sen. Exon's role in producing this law, this
columnist will refer to it hereafter as the Exon Law.
Abortion and Indecency
It turns out Congress did provide another base for lawsuits, by
adding a prohibition against dissemination of information about
abortion. The ACLU suit is partially about that new issue.
Ironically enough, Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-CO), who insisted
on putting the term ``indecent'' back in the Exon Law after it
had briefly been removed in the House-Senate conference
committee, objected to the introduction of the prohibition
against discussion of abortion. This goes to show that one
person's definition of indecency isn't the same as another's.
She did succeed in getting verbal assurance from the sponsor of
the abortion prohibition, Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), that simple
discussion of abortion would not be prohibited, only commercial
dissemination of information on how to actually perform
abortions. He thus asks us to trust him that the letter of the
language he used (the Comstock Act) does not mean what it says,
or that previous judicial precedents have invalidated it (which
seems to be debatable). President Clinton, after signing the
Telecommunications Act into law, said that the abortion
provisions would not be enforced. Perhaps not under his
administration, but what about president Dole or president
Buchanan? Is this the way the rule of law is supposed to work?
Abortion, the Exon Law, and The Comstock Act
The abortion provision is based on the Comstock Act, which is a
nineteenth century law aimed at taming the Wild West by
prohibiting the use of the U.S. mail for such ``indecent''
practices as mail-order brides and abortion discussions. The
Comstock Act is supposedly no longer valid because of court
decisions against it. However, in the case of the abortion
provision, the court decision in question is *Roe v. Wade*, which
many people are actively working to overturn.
Note well that this law would prohibit not just actual abortions,
or literature on how to perform abortions, but also *discussion*
of the pros and cons of abortion. If you want to argue on the
Internet that abortion is evil because the Old Testament says so,
you'd better hope this law is repealed, unless you want to land
The relevant text is in Title 18, Section 1462 of the U.S. Code.
Here is the text of that section, with amendments to it by the
Exon Law marked in _boldface_.
Section 1462. *Importation or transportation of obscene
Whoever brings into the United States, or any place subject
to the jurisdiction thereof, or knowingly uses any express
company or other common carrier _or interactive computer
service (as defined in section 230(e)(2) of the
Communications Act of 1934)_, for carriage in interstate or
foreign commerce -
any drug, medicine, article, or thing designed, adapted, or
intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or
immoral use; or any written or printed card, letter,
circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any
kind giving information, directly or indirectly, where, how,
or of whom, or by what means any of such mentioned articles,
matters, or things may be obtained or made; or Whoever
knowingly takes _or receives_, from such express company or
other common carrier _or interactive computer service (as
defined in section 230(e)(2) of the Communications Act of
1934)_ any matter or thing the carriage _or importation_ of
which is herein made unlawful -
Shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more
than five years, or both, for the first such offense and
shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more
than ten years, or both, for each such offense thereafter.
Numbers 5:11-27 contains direct references to sexual intercourse,
menstruation, adultery, and indirect mention (by function, rather
than by name) of an herbal abortifacient. Put the Bible on the
Internet; go to jail.
The Bill of Rights
Let us repeat here the more basic issue:
Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition
the Government for a redress of grievances.
That is the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is part
of the Bill of Rights, which was appended to the Constitution
because many states refused to ratify the Constitution without
safeguards against just such heavy-handed government intervention
as this law.
The Bill of Rights and the First Amendment in particular were
worked out in painstaking compromise among multiple competing
political traditions in this country. They were worded to
accommodate diverse traditions without letting any one of them
repress the others. In the world then and now, this is not a
small thing. This country has for the most part managed to honor
the commitment made in at least the First Amendment through
almost two hundred years and such diverse administrations as
those of John Adams (proponent of the ordered liberties of New
England), Thomas Jefferson (protector of the reasoned liberties
of Virginia), Andy Jackson (advocate of the natural liberties of
the backcountry, and considered so radical in his day that his
predecessor John Quincy Adams left the Capital in disgust before
his inauguration), Franklin Roosevelt (of the New Deal), and
Ronald Reagan (who tried to dismantle the New Deal).
The Bill of Rights is under attack from all sides. The Fourth
Amendment, for example, says:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That Amendment deserves at least a decent funeral, since it has
been killed by the so-called War on Drugs. Nobody cares as long
as it is some drug dealer's house that is being broken into by
the SWAT team. And if it's the wrong house, well, they should
have known better than to live in that neighborhood!
Similarly, who cares if the First Amendment is violated on the
Internet. Everyone knows it's just a pornographic nest of child
Evidently the U.S. Congress doesn't care. Of course, when the
main proponent of this legislation, Sen. Exon, says on the floor
of the Senate that he doesn't even know how to program a VCR, and
in a letter to the editor of the *New York Times* equates the
Internet with the telephone, it perhaps shouldn't be surprising
that they don't care. Ignorance is certainly part of the
What is the Internet?
Is AOL part of the Internet? Are telephones? And what does this
have to do with a bad law?
Well, most AOL users are not part of the Internet, because they
do not use characteristic interactive Internet services such as
TELNET, FTP, or WWW. Sure, many of them use electronic mail, but
it's not electronic mail that's attracting so many people to the
Internet that it's growing faster longer than any other
technological phenomenon in history, and it's not electronic mail
that's causing people to abandon most other types of networking
in favor of the Internet. Most users of CompuServe and Prodigy
are not part of the Internet, either, for the same reason. They
will be pretty soon, but they aren't yet.
Yet 100 percent annual growth apparently isn't good enough for
some people, and the name ``the Internet'' has often been loosely
used to include people who only have electronic mail access.
Why does this matter? Well, every actual case of child
pornography I've ever heard of involving any kind of computer
network involved AOL, not the Internet. Why AOL? Because it has
a very inexpensive and relatively anonymous trial user policy
that lets basically anybody on with little or no accountability,
financial or otherwise.
So what? Well, many people think that all of AOL is part of, if
not synonymous with, the Internet. Sloppy definitions have given
an easy target to those who don't like the traditional freedom of
content of the Internet. The Internet in many people's minds is
now ``that sewer of child pornographers.''
What is Indecent?
If you don't want to spend two years in jail and pay $500,000 in
fines, don't ``make available'' any pictures or descriptions of
any sexual activity, discussion of abortion, gay rights, literary
criticism or actual text of Chaucer, Boccaccio, James Joyce, Mark
Twain, or J.D. Salinger, The first two dealt with all manner of
sexual and religious topics that are sure to be considered
``indecent'' by somebody somewhere; Twain dealt with race and
politics; and Salinger dared to say that people masturbate and
use curse words.
We're not even talking ``obscenity'' here. The law says
``indecent,'' which is a much more broad and vague term. How is
it defined in the law? It isn't. Definition is left to local
jurisdictions and vague legal precedents.
What does ``make available'' mean? Anything that might lead to a
child seeing it through a computer network, including posting it
on USENET, putting in a web page, or even sending it by personal
electronic mail (it's no excuse that somebody stole it and showed
it to the child).
Also remember not to post transcripts of any exon that Richard
Nixon said in the White House. Don't name Deep Exon, the
principal snitch against him. Don't refer to ``Give 'em Exon
Harry'' Truman by his popular epithet. Don't mention that John
Kennedy was given to exoning starlets. See how easily a
prohibition on ``indecency'' slides into a prohibition on
political free speech? Euphemisms don't give the true character
of the original language. For that matter, discussion of the
Exon Law itself on the Internet is apparently prohibited by that
same law, because it involves discussion of means of abortion.
Recently I was in France and was reading *Paris Match,* a
national magazine. On the cover was a picture of Gerard
Depardieu, the movie actor, holding his small son on his arm.
Something seemed strange, and it took me a while to figure it
out. The child was naked, and his genitals were clearly visible.
If that picture had been published in the United States,
Depardieu would have been arrested as a child molester, and the
photographer, reporter, editor would have been out of a job. If
you don't think it could happen, consider the case of Toni Marie
Angeli, who was choked, beaten, and arrested on 2 November 1995
at a photographic laboratory in Cambridge, Mass. for taking
``pornographic'' pictures of her son. The pictures actually
contained nothing of a sexual nature and she had taken them for a
class in photography at Harvard.
Meanwhile, in the France that once sheltered Khomeini, Moslem
girls are prohibited from wearing head scarfs to school. And in
the Iran that Khomeini fathered, girls and women can still be
harassed on the streets for letting one hair of their head show.
The same Iran that condemned Salman Rushdie to death for writing
a fantasy that by some Moslem interpretations defames the
Prophet, yet by the western literary tradition represents freedom
of the press.
The United States, being a nation of immigrants, as one of its
most loved and hated presidents (Franklin Roosevelt) remarked,
contains people who would defend Toni Angeli, and others who
would defend the police who choked her, and Khomeini, and Salman
Decency, sex, politics, and religion are very hard to define or
to separate. If there was a national consensus on what these
things were, the Exon Law might not be a problem. But the United
States has always been a collection of disparate communities,
cultures, and traditions. That is why the Founders tried to keep
the federal government out of these issues entirely.
The present Congress chose to forget that, and apparently never
knew or cared that the Internet is not a U.S. phenomenon,
extending as it does to more than 100 countries throughout the
Who Are They Protecting?
Only about 3 percent of the current Internet population is
children at all . The backers of
this law claim they are trying to make the Internet safe for
children to get on it. But filtering software is already
available, as are access providers that provide carefully
prepared subsets of online materials for children. As for child
pornography, there is very little of it in the first place, what
there is of it is mostly not on the Internet, and there are
plenty of laws already in place to handle it.
Example filtering packages include:
Cyber Patrol ,
Surf Watch , and
Net Nanny .
I haven't tried any of these, so you'll have to form your own opinions
as to their methods and effectiveness. It's a safe bet that none of
them can keep a clever child from rolling a local copy of TELNET or,
for that matter, from getting somebody to buy a copy of *Hustler* at
the corner store, but they have all been mentioned as providing
at least some degree of filtering.
Internet filtering mechanisms are not perfect. But you don't
board up all the windows in your house because your child might
see a dog exon on the sidewalk. Congress shouldn't attempt to
shut down the Internet as we know it because a child might
encounter something ``indecent'' on it.
What they have really accomplished with this law is to hinder the
development of the Internet as the astonishingly useful resource
it is for children and adults alike, to stunt the commercial
advantage of the U.S. in a field where it currently leads the
world, and to inflict costly damage on one of the cornerstones of
the U.S. political system.
The Internet and the Traditional Press
In these times when radio, television, and print media are
increasingly publishing part or all of their materials online, if
any of them think this law will not affect them, they are in for
a surprise. What would be perfectly acceptable in a medical
textbook can land you in jail if the same words are distributed
on the Internet.
The press is often irresponsible, hasty, short-sighted,
selective, opinionated, outright bigoted or just plain wrong.
Part of it even apparently has a death wish, since the Cyberporn
scare of 1995, led by *Time Magazine* and its 3 July 1995 story
based on incorrect arithmetic and apparently fraudulent research,
helped drum up the current legislation
. But Congress has
demonstrated with the Exon Law that even a bad press is still
better than a legislature that attempts to censor it.
Some traditional media barons may well be thinking that it is a
good thing to handicap the Internet and bring it down to
traditional media levels, thus making it easier for them to
compete in this new frontier. If so, they got more than they
wanted, and they will be bitten by their own creature.
The Historical Precedent
Somebody said that Sen. Exon is a barbarian, and he took offense
at that. Well, I think that was a poor choice of words.
Barbarians historically were unsettled tribes who were motivated
in their attacks on civilized nations by straightforward personal
motives: plunder, land, power. They had little to lose because
they had little history behind them.
Sen. Exon and the other Congress members who voted for the Exon
Law, and the president who signed it, are actually following up a
fine old American tradition. Here's a sample:
Salem Witch Trials.
Alien and Sedition Acts; Pres. Jefferson refuses to enforce
Early photography used in mailing pornography to troops.
Congress outlaws sending any ``obscene book, pamphlet,
picture, print, or other publication of vulgar and indecent
character'' through the U.S. mail.
Comstock Law outlaws using the U.S. mail to send any
``obscene, lewd, or lascivious book, pamphlet, picture,
paper, print, or other publication of an indecent
Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-communist ``crusade.''
``Indecent'' pictures on USENET and the Internet.
Exon Law of Internet Censorship, reviving the Comstock Law.
Large segments of the U.S. population have often wanted to
suppress entire categories of behavior or knowledge for the
populace as a whole, and governmental authorities have
periodically gone along with them.
The Comstock Law had teeth in its day, and with a different
Supreme Court could again. See the Cato Institute writeup on it
, which says in part:
Near the end of his life, Comstock wrote that he had
convicted ``enough people to fill a passenger train of
sixty-one coaches, with sixty of the coaches containing
sixty people each and the last one almost full.'' He said
that he had destroyed almost 160 tons of obscene literature
and 3,984,063 obscene pictures.(11) Comstock also zealously
pursued early feminists, such as Margaret Sanger, since his
law banned the mailing of information on contraception and
This is also the law that was used to ban works such as James
Joyce's *Ulysses*, which book ended up being the test case that
partially defanged the law.
Those who view the Internet as an electronic frontier and have
called for it to be ``civilized'' have gotten exactly what they
asked for: the very same law that was used to ``clean up'' the
Old West, worded in such a vague manner that its application will
be at the discretion of every federal marshall in the land.
This tradition goes back before the United States existed. Every
new technology and every new frontier has its ``indecent''
materials and its legal reactions. Two of the most popular uses
of the early printing press were pornography, such as Boccaccio's
*Decameron* and numerous less literary works, and vernacular
editions of the Bible. The pornographic works were considered
indecent for reasons that are still in vogue today on this side
of the Atlantic. The Bible editions were considered indecent
because they intervened in the practices and teachings of Mother
I haven't run across many examples where legislatures overturned
such legal reactions; seems it's almost always the executive or
the judiciary that has to do it, and the latter only happens
after people challenge the law.
Do note that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced a bill in
the Senate to do just that, and do please support him
, but don't hold your breath
until the Senate passes it. Those who think the Exon Law is
really about suppressing pornography would do well to read Sen.
Leahy's speech proposing his new bill, which makes it clear that
the victims of the Exon Law will mostly be you and me.
What Is To Be Done?
One can only hope that the authors of the Constitution wrought
well when they deliberately produced three branches of
government, and that the third branch will stop this law. Many
people, me among them, have already joined in lawsuits against
The press helped cause this problem, and the press can help solve
it. On the day of the signing of the Telecommunications Act,
almost no national news media mentioned the Internet censorship
provisions, except in passing. Such an all-out assault on the
First Amendment is not a minor issue, and it should be reported.
The press did start mentioning the issue after thousands of web
pages on the Internet turned black for 48 hours starting with the
signing. Users of the Internet have started speaking out, and
they need to continue to do so.
Members of Congress got there because we elected them. It would
be well to remember that in November. Maybe next time we can get
a Congress that knows what the Internet is. For who voted which
Meanwhile, there are three more basic reasons to hope that
Congress has just shot itself in some exonerated part of its
The Internet is not a U.S. national service. It connects
more than 100 countries worldwide. It's true that more than
half of just about everything on the Internet (hosts, users,
web servers, etc.) is in the U.S. But the rest is in
places with a wide array of different governments,
societies, and traditions. Not even the U.S. Congress can
exonerate the whole world. Expect data havens to open up
outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States,
just as Finland (privacy) and the Netherlands (encryption)
have already served that function for years.
The Internet is not a single entity. It is a collection of
tens of thousands of networks, millions of computers, and
tens of millions of people, and is run by some 50,000
different organizations. Not even the United States, with
more prisoners and prisons than any other country in the
world, has the facilities to lock up all of them. If it
makes a serious attempt to try, the true diversity and depth
of the Internet will become sufficiently evident that it
will become clear that the government is attacking a broad
spectrum of its own people. Not even NSA can monitor all
the traffic on the Internet, and if the U.S. government
tries to embargo incoming traffic, it will find it has a
hard row to hoe, especially when normally mild-mannered
trading partners in places like Japan and Europe start
If this year perhaps 7 percent of the U.S. population is on
the Internet, next year there will be 14 percent, and the
next year 28 percent, and so forth. The more people who
join the Internet, the more who will see what it really is,
and the less they will tolerate this sort of destructive
behavior by their elected officials. Many of those who are
concerned about their children will want them to have such a
powerful instrument of information as the Internet, and will
teach their children to make choices for themselves.
The state is not our brother's keeper. We are.
....John S. Quarterman
From: Emmanuel Goldstein
Subject: File 4--2600 Releases "Secret" Information
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 07:53:46 -0500 (EST)
March 7, 1996
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bob Hardy
HACKER PROSECUTION RESULTS IN EXPOSED "SECRETS"
2600 Magazine, a publication put out by computer hackers since 1984,
has released information on the United States Secret Service in response
to that organization's continued prosecution of one of its writers.
The information is accessible over the Internet through the World Wide Web.
"For the past year, the Secret Service has been engaged in a ruthless
attack on Ed Cummings (known in the hacker world as Bernie S.), one of
our most technically adept and knowledgeable writers," says 2600
Publisher Emmanuel Goldstein. "They have succeeded in imprisoning
him with some of the nation's most ruthless criminals for the mere
possession of hardware, software, and reading material."
Cummings has never been accused of committing illegal acts with these
items. Rather, the Secret Service has prosecuted him for having items
which "could be used" for illegal activity. It has been proven on
numerous occasions that there are many legitimate purposes for such
items and that possession of controversial reading material is by no
means an indication of criminal activity. Nevertheless, the Secret
Service has managed to keep Cummings locked away with no bail for
nearly a year as if he were a mastermind of terrorism.
2600 Magazine is making available to the public the same documents that
the Secret Service claims as proof that Ed Cummings is a danger to
society. This information includes the whereabouts of Secret Service
offices, their phone numbers, the radio frequencies used by the agency,
as well as photographs and codenames used for everything from the
President of the United States to buildings, agencies, and objects.
"We find it ironic that all of this information will now be accessible
to millions of people around the world," Goldstein says, "all because
the Secret Service thought one person having it was a threat."
The information, though never before as widely accessible as this, has
always been easy for anyone to obtain. There are no laws against its
possession. However, the adamance of the Secret Service's contentions
were enough to taint the credibility of Ed Cummings in the eyes of the
In addition to information about the Secret Service themselves, the
site contains full documentation on other cases that have involved
mistreatment by the Secret Service, including one in which the victim
won a lawsuit. Information on other cases can be submitted to the
site by emailing email@example.com.
Says Goldstein, "We don't consider the launching of this site to be
an act of retribution. Rather, it is an affirmation of our freedom
and a demonstration of our willingness to protect it."
The World Wide Web site can be reached at: http://www.2600.com
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 1995 22:51:01 CDT
From: CuD Moderators
Subject: File 5--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 16 Dec, 1995)
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E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank