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.:: My Bust (Part II) ::.

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Current issue : #43 | Release date : 1993-07-01 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
IntroductionDatastream Cowboy
Phrack Loopback Part IPhrack Staff
Phrack Loopback Part II / EditorialPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IIPhrack Staff
Phrack Pro-Phile on Doctor WhoDoctor Who
Conference News Part Ivarious
Conference News Part IIvarious
How To Hack Blackjack (Part I)Lex Luthor
How To Hack Blackjack (Part II)Lex Luthor
Help for Verifying Novell SecurityPhrack Staff
My Bust (Part I)Robert Clark
My Bust (Part II)Robert Clark
Playing Hide and Seek, Unix StylePhrack Accident
Physical Access and Theft of PBX SystemsCodec
Guide to the 5ESSFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Cellular InfoMadjus
LODCOM BBS Archive Informationunknown
LODCOM Sample Messagesunknown
Step By Step Guide To Stealing a CamaroSpy Ace
Acronyms Part IFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IIFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IIIFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IVFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part VFirm G.R.A.S.P.
International Scenevarious
Phrack World NewsDatastream Cowboy
Title : My Bust (Part II)
Author : Robert Clark
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Four, Issue Forty-Three, File 13 of 27

                              [My Bust Continued]

IX.  Consultations

Dale and I began to consider options in our battle against this senseless
investigation.  We spent many nights pondering the issue, and arrived at a
number of conclusions.

Since we had already talked to the police, and were rapidly realizing
what a vast error that had been, we wondered how it was possible
to sidestep, avoid or derail the investigation.  We hoped that Ron
Gere and others would not be held accountable for my actions, a wish
that was to be denied.

A great deal of resentment existed toward me in those whose
lives were affected, and I would be either an idiot or a liar to deny
that my actions affected many people, in many places, some of whom I
had never even met in person.  However, I was unable to do anything
for many of these people, so I concentrated largely on my own survival
and that of those near me.

Dale and I decided, eventually, that the only person who could claim
any real damage was Dhamir Mannai, and we arranged an
appointment with him to discuss what had happened.

We met in his book-lined office in the Electrical Engineering Office,
and shook hands before beginning a discussion.  I explained what
I had done, and why I had done it, and apologized for any damages that
had occurred.  Dale, similarly, excused my actions, and while he had
nothing to do with them, noted that he was under investigation as well.

We offered to help repair the /etc/groups file which I had damaged,
but due to the circumstances, it is understandable that he politely
declined our offer.

Dhamir was surprisingly sympathetic, though justifiably angered.  However,
after about a half hour of discussion, he warmed from suspicion to
friendliness, and after two hours of discussion he offered to testify
for us against the police, noting that he had been forced on two previous
occasions to testify against police.  He held a very dim
view of the investigation, and noted that "The police have bungled the case
very badly."  Dhamir, in fact, was so annoyed by the investigation that he
called Wayne that night to object to it.  He made it clear that he
intended to oppose the police.

The next night, as Dale and I were entering the Music Building, a police
cruiser came to a sudden stop in the parking lot and Wayne walked up to
us with a perturbed expression.

Without pausing for greetings, he informed us that he was now
considering filing additional charges against us for "Tampering with
Witnesses," without identifying the witness.  In his eyes, the legality
of restraining our actions and speech based on hypothetical and unfiled
charges was not relevant; and he was angry that a primary witness had
been rendered useless to him.

Finally, we talked more informally.  Genuinely curious about his
motivations, we asked him about the investigation and what turns
could be expected in the future.  Realizing that the investigation
had entered a quiescent stage and we would not likely meet again
until court, we talked with him.

Dale said "So let me get this straight.  They saddled the older,
more experienced cop with the recruit?"

Wayne didn't answer, but nodded glumly.

"What's this like for you?" I asked.

"Well, I have to admit, in my twenty-three years on the force,
this case is the biggest hassle I've ever had."

"I can see why," said Dale.

"I almost wish you had been in charge of this case, instead of that
goof Jeff," I said.

"Yes, he's too jumpy," said Dale.  "Like an Irish Setter with a gun."

"Well, if I'd been in charge of this case," Wayne said, "it would have
been down the pike a long time ago."

After more discussion of this sort, Wayne's walkie-talkie burst into
cop chatter.

"We have three men, throwing another man, into a dumpster, behind
Willard," the voice said.

"I guess this means you have to leave, Wayne," said Dale.

Wayne looked embarrassed.  We exchanged farewells.

Another very helpful person was Professor Richard Devon,
of the Science, Technology and Science department of Penn State.  We
read an article he wrote on the computer underground which, while
hardly condoning malicious hacking, certainly objected to the prevailing
witch-hunt mentality.  We contacted him to discuss the case.

He offered to provide testimony in our behalf, and informed us
of the prevailing attitudes of computer security professionals at
Penn State and elsewhere.  He corroborated our belief that the
vendetta against us was largely due to the fact that we had embarrassed
Penn State, and that the intensity of the investigation was also largely
due to fallout from the Morris Worm incident.

The fact that he was on the board of directors for the Engineering Computer
Lab increased the value of his testimony.  We were expecting damaging
testimony from Bryan Jensen of ECL.

He was friendly and personable, and we talked for several hours.

While there was nothing he could do until the time came to give testimony,
it was very gratifying to find two friends and allies in what we had
thought was a hostile camp.

Our feeling of isolation and paranoia began to dwindle, and we began to
feel more confident about the possible outcome of the investigation.

X.  Going Upstairs

With a new-found confidence, we decided to see if it were possible to
end this investigation entirely before charges were filed and it
became a criminal prosecution.

Dale called the Director of Police Services with the slim hope that
he had no knowledge of this investigation and might intervene to stop
it.  No dice.

Dale and I composed a letter to the district attorney objecting to
the investigation, also in the hopes of avoiding the prosecution of
the case.  I include the letter:

    Dear Mr. Gricar:

    We are writing to you because of our concerns regarding an investigation
    being conducted by the Pennsylvania State University Department of
    University Safety with respect to violations of Pa.C.S.A. tilde 3933
    (Unlawful Use of Computer) alleged to us.  We have enclosed a copy of
    this statute for your convenience.

    Despite recommendations from NASA security officials and concerned members
    of the professional and academic computing community that we file suit
    against the Pennsylvania State Universities, we have tried earnestly to
    accommodate this investigation.

    We have cooperated fully with Police Services Officers Wayne Weaver
    and Jeffrey Jones at every opportunity in this unnecessary eight-week
    investigation.   However, rather than arranging for direct communication
    between the complaining parties and us to make it possible to make clear
    the nature of our activities, the University Police have chosen to siphon
    information to these parties in an easily-misinterpreted and secondhand
    manner.  This has served only to obscure the truth of the matter and create
    confusion, misunderstanding and inconvenience to all involved.

    The keen disappointment of the University Police in finding that we have
    not been involved in espionage, electronic funds transfer or computer
    terrorism appears to have finally manifested itself in an effort to
    indict us for practices customary and routine among faculty and students
    alike. While we have come to realize that activities such as using a
    personal account with the permission of the authorized user may constitute
    a violation of an obscure and little-known University policy, we find it
    irregular and unusual that such activities might even be considered a
    criminal offense.

    The minimal and inferential evidence which either will
    or has already been brought before you is part of a preposterous attempt to
    shoehorn our alleged actions into the jurisdiction of a law which lacks
    relevance to a situation of this nature.

    We have found this whole affair to be capricious and arbitrary, and despite
    our reasonable requests to demonstrate and display our activities in the
    presence of computer-literate parties and with an actual computer, they
    have, for whatever reasons, denied direct lines of communication which
    could have enabled an expeditious resolution to this problem.

    This investigation has proceeded in a slipshod manner, rife with inordinate
    delays and intimidation well beyond that justified by an honest desire to
    discern the truth.  While certain evidence may appear to warrant scrutiny,
    this evidence is easily clarified; and should the District Attorney's
    office desire, we would be pleased to provide a full and complete
    accounting of all our activities at your convenience and under oath.

    In view of the judicial system being already overtaxed by an excess of
    important and pressing criminal cases, we would like to apologize for
    this matter even having encroached on your time.

                                      Sincerely yours,

                                      Dale Garrison
                                      Robert W. F. Clark

This letter had about as much effect as might be imagined, that is to
say, none whatever.

My advice from this experience is that it is very likely that you will
be able to find advice in what you might think to be a hostile quarter.
To talk to the complaining party and apologize for any damage you might
have caused is an excellent idea, and has a possibility of getting the
charges reduced or perhaps dropped entirely.

Simply because the police list a person as a complaining party does not
necessarily mean that the person necessarily approves of, or even has
knowledge of, the police proceedings.  In all likelihood, the complaining
parties have never met you, and have no knowledge of what your
motivations were in doing what you did.  With no knowledge of your motives,
they are likely to attribute your actions to malice.

If there are no demonstrable damages, and the person is sympathetic, you
may find an ally in the enemy camp.  Even if you have damaged a machine,
you are in a unique position to help repair it, and prevent further
intrusion into their system.

Regardless of the end result, it can't hurt to get some idea of what
the complaining parties think.  If you soften outright hostility and
outrage even to a grudging tolerance, you have improved the chance
of a positive outcome.

While the police may object to this in very strong terms, and make dire
and ambiguous threats, without a restraining order of some kind there
is very little they can do unless you have bribed or otherwise
offered a consideration for testimony.

Talking to the police, on the other hand, is a very bad idea, and
will result in disaster.  Regardless of any threats and intimidation they
use, there is absolutely nothing they can do to you if you do not
talk to them.  Any deal they offer you is bogus, a flat-out lie.  They
do not have the authority to offer you a deal.  These two facts can not
be stressed enough.  This may seem common knowledge, the sort even an
idiot would know.  I knew it myself.

However, from inexperience and arrogance I thought myself immune
to the rules.  I assumed that talking to them could damage nothing,
since I had done nothing wrong but make a mistake.  Certainly
this was just a misunderstanding, and I could easily clear it up.

The police will encourage you to believe this, and before you realize it
you will have told them everything they want to know.

Simply, if you are not under arrest, walk away.  If you are
under arrest, request an attorney.

Realize that I, a confirmed paranoid, knowing and having heard this
warning from other people, still fell into the trap of believing myself
able to talk my way out of prosecution.  Don't do the same thing
yourself, either from fear or arrogance.

Don't tell them anything.  They'll find out more than enough without
your help.

XI.  Interlude

Finally, after what had seemed nearly two weeks of furious activity,
constant harassment and disasters, the investigation entered a more
or less quiescent state.  It was to remain in this state for several

This is not to say that the harassment ceased, or that matters improved.
The investigation seemed to exist in a state of suspended animation, from
our viewpoint.  Matters ceased getting worse exponentially.
Now, they merely got worse arithmetically.

My parents ejected me from home for the second time due to my
grades.  They did not know about the police investigation.  I
was in no hurry to tell them about it.  I could have went to live
with my father, but instead I returned to State College by bus, with no
money, no prospects and no place to live.  I blamed the police
investigation for my grades, which was not entirely correct.  I
doubt, however, that I would have failed as spectacularly as I had
if the police had not entered my life.

Over the Christmas break, when the campus was mostly vacant, Dale
noticed a new set of booted footprints in the new-fallen snow every
night, by the window to the Electronic Music Lab, and by that window

A few times, I heard static and odd clicks on the telephone at
the Lab, but whether this was poor telephone service or some
clumsy attempt at a wiretap I can not say with assurance.

I discovered that my food card was still valid, so
I had a source of free food for a while.  I had switched to a
nocturnal sleep cycle, so I slept during the day in the Student Union
Building, rose for a shower in the Athletics Building at about midnight,
and hung out in the Electronic Music Lab at night.  Being homeless is not as
difficult as might be imagined, especially in a university environment,
as long as one does not look homeless.  Even if one does look scruffy,
this will raise few eyebrows on a campus.

Around this time, I switched my main interest from computer hacking to
reading and writing poetry, being perhaps the thousandth neophyte poet
to use Baudelaire as a model.  I suppose that I was striving to create
perfection from imperfect materials, also my motivation for hacking.

Eventually, Dale offered to let me split the rent with him on a room.
The police had 'suggested' that WPSX-TV3 fire him from his job as an
audio technician.  Regardless of the legality of this skullduggery,
WPSX-TV3, a public television station, reprehensibly fired him.
This is another aspect of the law-enforcement mentality which bears
close examination.

While claiming a high moral ground, as protectors of the community,
they will rationalize a vendetta as somehow protecting some vague and
undefined 'public good.'  With the zeal of vigilantes, they
will eschew the notion of due process for their convenience.  Considering
the law beneath them, and impatient at the rare refusal of judges and
juries to be a rubber-stamp for police privilege, they will take
punishment into their own hands, and use any means necessary to destroy
the lives of those who get in their way.

According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language
(Unabridged Edition):

    Police state:  a nation in which the police, especially a
    secret police, suppresses any act by an individual or group
    that conflicts with governmental policy or principle.

Since undisclosed members of CERT, an organization directly
funded by Air Force Intelligence, are authorized to make anonymous
accusations of malfeasance without disclosing their identity, they
can be called nothing but secret police.

The spooks at the CIA and NSA also hold this unusual privilege, even if
one does not consider their 'special' operations.  What can these
organizations be called if not secret police?

It can not be denied, even by those myopic enough to believe that such
organizations are necessary, that these organizations comprise a vast
and secret government which is not elected and not subject to legal
restraint.  Only in the most egregious cases of wrongdoing are these
organizations even censured; and even in these cases, it is only the
flunkies that receive even a token punishment; the principals, almost
without exception, are exonerated and even honored.  Those few
who are too disgraced to continue work even as politicians ascend to
the rank of elder statesmen, and write their memoirs free from

When your job, your property and your reputation can be destroyed
or stolen without recompense and with impunity, what can our
nation be called but a police state?  When the police are even free
to beat you senseless without provocation, on videotape, and still
elude justice, what can this nation be called but a police state?

Such were my thoughts during the months when the investigation
seemed dormant, as my anger began, gradually, to overcome
my fear.  This is the time that I considered trashing
the Penn State data network, the Internet, anything I could.
Punishment, to me, has always seemed merely a goad to future
vengeance.  However, I saw the uselessness of taking revenge on
innocent parties for the police's actions.

I contacted the ACLU, who showed a remarkable lack of interest in
the case.  As charges had not been filed, there was little they
could do.  They told me, however, to contact them in the event
that a trial date was set.

"If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."
This is, perhaps, the biggest lie in the litany of lies
known as the Miranda rights.  It is the court which prosecutes
you that decides whether you can afford an attorney, and the same
court selects that attorney.

Without the formal filing of charges, you can not receive the assistance
of a public defender.  This is what I was told by the public defender's
office.  Merely being investigated apparently does not entail the right
to counsel, regardless of the level of harassment involved in the

We remained in intermittent contact with the police, and called
every week or so to ask what was happening.  We learned nothing new.
The only information of any importance I did learn was at a
party.  Between hand-rolled cigarettes of a sort never sold by
the R. J. Reynolds' Tobacco Company, I discussed my case.

This might not be the sort of thing one would normally do at a party,
but if you are busted you will find that the investigation takes a
central role in your life.  When you are not talking about it, you
are thinking about it.  When you are not thinking about it, you are
trying the best you can not to think about it.  It is a cherished belief
of mine that anyone who survives a police investigation ought to receive
at least an Associate's degree in Criminal Law; you will learn more about
the law than you ever wished to know.

The person on my right, when I said that Jeffery Jones was in charge
of the case, immediately started.  "He was in my high school class,"
said the man, who sported a handlebar mustache.

"What?  Really?  What's he like?  Is he as much of an asshole in person?"
I asked.

"He was kind of a weird kid."

"How?  What's he done?  Have you kept in touch?"

"Well, all I really know about him is that he went out to be a cop in
Austin, but he couldn't take it, had a breakdown or something, and came
back here."

"I can see that.  He's a fucking psycho."

I gloated over this tidbit of information, and decided that I would
use it the next time I met the police.

This was to be several weeks.  Though we had given the police our work
schedules, phone numbers at home, work and play; and informed them when
they might be likely to locate us at any particular place, we had apparently
underestimated the nearly limitless incompetence of Penn State's elite
computer cops.

As he was walking to work one day, Dale saw Jeffery Jones driving
very slowly and craning his neck in all directions, apparently looking
for someone.  However, he failed to note the presence of Dale, the only
person on the street.  Dale wondered whether Jeffery had been looking for

The next night at the Lab, the telephone rang.  With a series of typical,
frenzied accusations Jeffery Jones initiated the conversation.  He believed
that we had been attempting to escape or evade him in some manner.  Wayne
was on another line, and Dale and I talked from different phones.

"You've been trying to avoid us, haven't you?" Jeffery shouted.

"Where have you been?" asked Wayne.

"We told you where we'd be.  You said you'd be in touch,"  I said.

"We haven't been able to find you," said Wayne.

"Look, you have our goddamn work schedule, our address, our phone
numbers, and where we usually are.  What the hell else do you need?"
asked Dale.

"We went to your address.  The guy we talked to didn't know where
you were,"  said Wayne.

As we discovered later that night, the police had been at our apartment,
and had knocked on the wrong door, that of our downstairs neighbor,
a mental patient who had been kicked out of the hospital after Reagan's
generous revision of the mental health code.  His main activity was
shouting and threatening to kill people who weren't there, so the
consternation of the police was not surprising.

"So we weren't there.  You could have called," said Dale.

"I just hope you don't decide to leave the area.  We're going to
arrest you in a couple of days," said Wayne.

"You've been saying that for the last three months," I said.
"What's taking so long?"

"The secretary's sick," said Jeffery.

"You ought to get this secretary to a doctor.  She must be
really goddamn sick, if she can't type up an arrest warrant
in three months," said Dale.

"Hell, I'll come down and type up the damn thing myself, if
it's too tough for the people you have down there," I offered.

"No, that won't be necessary," said Wayne.

"Look, when you want to arrest us, just give us a call and we'll
come down.  Don't pull some dumb cop routine like kicking in the
door," said Dale.

"Okay," Wayne said.  "Your cooperation will be noted."

"By the way, Jeff, I heard you couldn't hack it in Austin," I said.

Silence followed.

After an awkward silence, Wayne said:  "We'll be in touch."

We said our goodbyes, except for Jeffery, and hung up the phones.

I somewhat regretted the last remark, but was still happy with its
reception.  It is probably unwise to play Scare-the-Cops, but by
then I no longer gave a damn.  He was probably dead certain that I
had found this information, and other tidbits of information I had
casually mentioned, in some sort of computer database.  His mind
was too limited to consider the possibility that I had met an old
high-school chum of his and pumped him for information.

By this time, our fear of the police had diminished, and both of
us were sick to death of the whole business.  We just hoped that
whatever was to happen would happen more quickly.

When the police first started threatening to arrest us within days,
it would send a tremor down my spine.  However, after three months of
obfuscation, excuses, continued harassment of this nature, my only
response to this threat was anger and boredom.

At least, upon arrest, we would enter a domain where there were some
rules of conduct and some certainty.  The Kafkaesque uncertainty and
arbitrarily redefined rules inherent in a police investigation were

After another month of delay, the police called us again,
and we agreed to come in to be arrested at nine o'clock the
next morning.

It was possible that the police would jail us, but it seemed unlikely.
Two prominent faculty members had strongly condemned the behavior of
the police.  The case was also politically-charged, and jailing us
would likely have resulted in howls of outrage, and perhaps even in
a civil or criminal suit against Penn State.

Wayne told us that we would have to go to the District Magistrate
for a preliminary hearing.  Dale said that we would go, but demanded a ride
there and back.  The police complied.

We were more relieved than worried.  Finally, something was happening.

XII.  The Arrest

On a cold and sunny morning we walked into the police station to be
arrested.  I was curious as to the fingerprinting procedure.  The cops
were to make three copies of my fingerprints, one for the local police,
one for the state police, and one for the FBI.

Jeffery was unable to fingerprint me on the first two attempts.
When he finally succeeded in fingerprinting me, he had to do it again.
He had incorrectly filled out the form.  Finally, with help
from Wayne, he was able to fingerprint me.

Dale was more difficult.  Jeffery objected to the softness of Dale's
fingers, and said that would make it difficult.  The fact that Dale's
fingers were soft, as he is a pianist more accustomed to smooth
ivory than plastic, would seem to exonerate him from any charge of
computer hacking.  However, such a thought never troubled the idyllic
vacancy of Jeffery's mind.  He was too busy bungling through
the process of fingerprinting.  Wayne had to help him again.

There was soap and water for washing the ink from our
fingers.  However, it left the faintest trace of ink on the pads
of my fingers, and I looked at the marks with awe, realizing that
I had been, in a way, permanently stigmatized.

However, as poorly as the soap had cleaned my fingers, I thought
with grim amusement that Jeffery would have much more difficulty
cleaning the ink from his clothes.

Jeffery did not take the mug shots.  A photographer took them.
Therefore, it went smoothly.

Finally, Wayne presented me with an arrest warrant affidavit, evidently
written by Jeffery Jones.  A paragon of incompetence, incapable of
performing the simplest task without assistance, Jeff had written an
eighteen-page arrest warrant affidavit which was a marvel of incoherence
and inaccuracy.  This document, with a list of corrections and emendations,
will appear in a separate article.

While reading the first five pages of this astounding document, I attempted
to maintain an air of solemnity.  However, by the sixth page, I was stifling
giggles.  By the seventh, I was chuckling out loud.  By the eighth page I
was laughing.  By the ninth page I was laughing loudly, and I finished the
rest of the document in gales of mirth.  Everyone in the room stared at me
as if I were insane.  This didn't bother me.  Most of my statements to the
police resulted in this sort of blank stare.  Even Dale looked as if
he thought I had cracked, but he understood when he saw his arrest
warrant affidavit, nearly identical to mine.

I simply was unable to take seriously that I had spent months worrying
about what kind of a case they had, when their best effort was this
farrago of absurdities.

They took us to Clifford Yorks, the District Magistrate, in separate
cars.  This time, we rode in the front seat, and two young recruits
were our chauffeurs.  Dale asked his driver if he could turn on the
siren.  The cop was not amused.

The only thing which struck me about Clifford Yorks was
that he had a remarkably large head.  It appeared as if it
had been inflated like a beach ball.

The magistrate briefly examined the arrest warrant affidavits,
nodded his vast head, and released us on our own recognizance,
in lieu of ten thousand dollars bail.  He seemed somewhat preoccupied.
We signed the papers and left.  The police offered to give
us a ride right to our house, but we said we'd settle for being
dropped off in town.

Being over a month in arrears for rent, we did not like the idea
of our landlord seeing us arrive in separate police cars; also,
our address was rather notorious, and other residents would be
greatly suspicious if they saw us with cops.

An arraignment was scheduled for a date months in the future.
The waiting game was to resume.

XIII.  Legal Counsel

Having been arrested, we were at last eligible for legal counsel.
We went to the yellow pages and started dialing.  We started with
the attorneys with colored half-page ads.  Even from those advertising
"Reasonable Rates," we received figures I will not quote for fear
of violating obscenity statutes.

Going to the quarter-page ads, then the red-lettered names, then the
schmucks with nothing but names, we received the same sort of numbers.
Finally talking to the _pro bono_ attorneys, we found that we were
entitled to a reduction in rates of almost fifty per cent.

This generosity brought the best price down to around three thousand
dollars, which was three thousand dollars more than we could afford.

So we contacted the public defender's office.

Friends told me that a five thousand dollar attorney is worse, even,
than a public defender; and that it takes at least twenty thousand
to retain an attorney with capable of winning anything but the most
open-and-shut criminal case.

After a certain amount of bureaucratic runaround, we were assigned two
attorneys.  One, Deborah Lux, was the Assistant Chief Public Defender;
the other, Dale's attorney, was Bradley Lunsford, a sharp, young
attorney who seemed too good to be true.

We discussed the case with our new attorneys, and were told that the
best action we could take to defend ourselves was to do nothing.

This is true.  Anything we had attempted in our own defense, with
the exception of contacting the complaining party, had been harmful
to our case.  Any discussions we had with the police were taped and
examined for anything incriminating.  A letter to the district
attorney was ignored entirely.

Do absolutely nothing without legal counsel.  Most legal counsel will
advise you to do nothing.  Legal counsel has more leverage than you do,
and can make binding deals with the police.  You can't.

We discussed possible defenses.

As none of the systems into which I had intruded had any sort of warning
against unauthorized access, this was considered a plausible defense.

The almost exclusive use of 'guest' accounts was also beneficial.

A more technical issue is the Best Evidence rule.  We wondered whether
a court would allow hardcopy as evidence, when the original document was
electronic.  As it happens, hardcopy is often admissible due to
loopholes in this rule, even though hardcopy is highly susceptible to
falsification by the police; and most electronic mail has no
built-in authentication to prove identity.

Still, without anything more damaging than electronic mail, a case
would be very difficult to prosecute.  However, with what almost
amounted to a taped confession, the chance of a conviction
was increased.

We went over the arrest warrant affidavit, and my corrections to it,
with a mixture of amusement and consternation.

"So what do you think of this?" asked Dale.

After a moment of thought, Deb Lux said:  "This is gibberish."

"I just had a case where a guy pumped four bullets into his brother-in-law,
just because he didn't like him, and the arrest warrant for that was two
pages long.  One and a half, really," said Brad.

"Does this help us, at all, that this arrest warrant is just demonstrably
false, that it literally has over a hundred mistakes in it?" I asked.

"Yeah, that could help," said Brad.

We agreed to meet at the arraignment.

XIV.  The Stairwells of Justice

The arraignment was a simple procedure, and was over in five minutes.
Prior to our arraignment, five other people were arraigned on charges
of varying severity, mainly such heinous crimes as smoking marijuana
or vandalism.

Dale stepped in front of the desk first.  He was informed of the charges
against him, asked if he understood them, and that was it.

I stepped up, but when the judge asked me whether I understood the charges,
I answered that I didn't, and that the charges were incomprehensible
to a sane human being.  I had hoped for some sort of response, but
that was it for me, too.

A trial date was set, once again months in advance.

A week before the date arrived, it was once again postponed.

During this week, we were informed that Dale's too good to be true
attorney, Brad Lunsford, had went over to the District Attorney's
office.  He was replaced by Dave Crowley, the Chief District Attorney,
a perpetually bitter, pock-faced older man with the demeanor and
bearing of an angry accountant.

Crowley refused to consider any of the strategies we had discussed
at length with Brad and Deb.  Dale was understandably irate at the
sudden change, as was I, for when Deb and I were attempting to discuss
the case he would interject rude comments.

Finally, after some particularly snide remark, I told him to fuck
off, or something similarly pleasant, and left.  Dale and I tried to
limit our dealings to Deb, and it was Deb who handled both of our
cases to the end, for which I thank God.

The day arrived.

We dressed quite sharply, Dale in new wool slacks and jacket.  I dressed
in a new suit as well, and inserted a carnation in my buttonhole as
a gesture of contempt for the proceedings.

Dale looked so sharp that he was mistaken for an attorney twice.  I
did not share this distinction, but I looked sharp enough.  I had
shaved my beard a month previously after an error in trimming,
so I looked presentable.

We realized that judges base their decisions as much on your appearance
as on what you say.  We did not intend to say anything, so
appearance was of utmost importance.

We arrived at about the same time as at least thirty assorted computer
security professionals, police, witnesses and ancillary court personnel.
Dhamir Mannai and Richard Devon were there as well, and we exchanged
greetings.  Richard Devon was optimistic about the outcome, as was
Dhamir Mannai.  The computer security people gathered into a tight,
paranoid knot, and Richard Devon and Dhamir Mannai stood about ten
feet away from them, closer to us than to them.  Robert Owens,
Angela Thomas, Bryan Jensen, and Dan Ehrlich were there, among others.
They seemed nervous and ill-at-ease in their attempt at formal dress.
Occasionally, one or another would glare at us, or at Devon and Mannai.
I smiled and waved.

A discussion of some sort erupted among the computer security people,
and a bailiff emerged and requested that they be quiet.  The second time this
was necessary, he simply told them to shut up, and told them to take
their discussion to the stairwells.  Dale and I had known of the noise
policy for some time, and took all attorney-client conferences to the
stairwells, which were filled at all times with similar conferences.
It seemed that all the hearings and motions were just ceremonies without
meaning; all the decisions had been made, hours before, in the stairwells
of justice.

Finally Deb Lux arrived, with a sheaf of documents, and immediately left,
saying that she would return shortly.  A little over twenty minutes later,
she returned to announce that she had struck a deal with Eileen Tucker,
the Assistant District Attorney.

In light of the garbled nature of the police testimony, the spuriousness
of the arrest warrant affidavit, the hostility of their main witness,
Dhamir Mannai, and the difficulty of prosecuting a highly technical case,
the Office of the District Attorney was understandably reluctant to
prosecute us.

I was glad not to have to deal with Eileen Tucker, a woman affectionately
nicknamed by other court officials "The Wicked Witch of the West."
With her pallid skin, and her face drawn tightly over her skull as
if she had far too much plastic surgery, this seemed an adequately
descriptive name, both as to appearance and personality.

The deal was Advanced Rehabilitative Disposition, a pre-trial diversion in
which you effectively receive probation and a fine, and charges are dismissed,
leaving you with no criminal record.  This is what first-time
drunk drivers usually receive.

It is essentially a bribe to get the cops off your back.

The fines were approximately two thousand dollars apiece, with Dale
arbitrarily receiving a fine two hundred dollars greater than mine.

After a moment of thought, we decided that the fines were too large.
We turned down the deal, and asked her if she could get anything
better than that.

After a much shorter conference she returned, announcing
that the fines had been dropped by about a third.  Still unsatisfied,
but realizing that the proceedings, trial, jury selection, delays,
sentencing, motions of discovery and almost limitless writs and
affidavits and appeals would take several more months, we agreed
to the deal.  It was preferable to more hellish legal proceedings.

We discussed the deal outside with Richard Devon; Dhamir Mannai had left,
having pressing engagements both before and after his testimony had
been scheduled.  We agreed that a trial would probably have resulted
in an eventual victory, but at what unaffordable cost?  We had no
resources or time for a prolonged legal battle, and no acceptable
alternative to a plea-bargain.

XV.  The End?  Of Course Not; There Is No End

This, we assumed incorrectly, was the end.  There was still a date
for sentencing, and papers to be signed.

Nevertheless, this was all a formality, and weeks distant.  There
was time to prepare for these proceedings.  The hounds of spring
were on winter's traces.  Dale and I hoped to return to what was
left of our lives, and to enjoy the summer.

This hope was not to be fulfilled.

For, while entering the Electronic Music Lab one fine spring night,
Andy Ericson [*], a locally-renowned musician, was halted by the
University Police outside the window, as he prepared to enter.
We quickly explained that we were authorized to be present, and
immediately presented appropriate keys, IDs and other evidence that
we were authorized to be in the Lab.

Nevertheless, more quickly than could be imagined, the cops grabbed
Andy and slammed him against a cruiser, frisking him for
weapons.  They claimed that a person had been sighted carrying a
firearm on campus, and that they were investigating a call.

No weapons were discovered.  However, a small amount of marijuana
and a tiny pipe were found on him.  Interestingly, the police log
in the paper the following day noted the paraphernalia bust, but
there was no mention of any person carrying a firearm on campus.

Andy, a mathematician pursuing a Master's Degree, was performing
research in a building classified Secret, and thus required a security
clearance to enter the area where he performed his research.

His supervisor immediately yanked his security clearance, and
this greatly jeopardized his chances of completing his thesis.

This is, as with my suspicions of wiretapping, an incident in which
circumstantial evidence seems to justify my belief that the
police were, even then, continuing surveillance on my friends and
on me.  However, as with my wiretapping suspicions, there is
a maddening lack of substantial evidence to confirm my belief
beyond a reasonable doubt.

Still, the police continued their series of visits to the Lab, under
one ruse or another.  Jeffery Jones, one night, threatened to arrest
Dale for being in the Electronic Music Lab, though he had been informed
repeatedly that Dale's access was authorized by the School of Music.  Dale
turned over his keys to Police Services the following day, resenting it

This, however, was not to be a victory for the cops, but a crushing
embarrassment.  While their previous actions had remained at least
within the letter of the law and of university policy, this was
egregious and obvious harassment, and was very quickly quashed.

Bob Wilkins, the supervisor of the Electronic Music Lab; Burt Fenner,
head of the Electronic Music division; and the Dean of the College of
Arts and Architecture immediately drafted letters to the University
Police objecting to this illegal action; as it is the professors and
heads of departments who authorize keys, and not the University
Police.  The keys were returned within three days.

However, Jeffery was to vent his impotent rage in repeated visits to
the Lab at late hours.  On a subsequent occasion, he again threatened
to arrest Dale, without providing any reason or justification for it.

The police, Jeffery and others, always had some pretext for these visits,
but the fact that these visits only occurred when Dale was
present in the Lab, and that they visited no one else, seems to be
solid circumstantial evidence that they were more than routine

Once the authorities become interested in you, the file is never
closed.  Perhaps it will sit in a computer for ten or twenty years.
Perhaps it will never be accessed again.  However, perhaps some
day in the distant future the police will be investigating some
unrelated incident, and will once again note your name.  You were
in the wrong building, or talked to the wrong person.  Suddenly,
their long-dormant interest in you has reawakened.  Suddenly, they
once again want you for questioning.  Suddenly, once again, they
pull your life out from under you.

This is the way democracies die, not by revolution or coups d'etat,
not by the flowing of blood in the streets like water, as historical
novelists so quaintly write.  Democracies die by innumerable papercuts.
Democracies die by the petty actions of petty bureaucrats who, like
mosquitoes, each drain their little drop of life's blood until none
is left.

XVI.  Lightning Always Strikes the Same Place Twice

One day, Dale received in the mail a subpoena, which informed him that
his testimony was required in the upcoming trial of Ron Gere, who
had moved to Florida.  The cops had charged him with criminal
conspiracy in the creation of the Huang account at the Engineering
Computer Lab.

Now, not only was I guilty of being used as a weapon against a
friend, but also guilty of this further complication, that the
police were to use a friend of mine as a weapon against yet
another friend.

It is interesting to note the manner in which the police use
betrayal, deceit and infamous methods to prosecute crime.

It is especially interesting to note the increased use of
such methods in the prosecution of crimes with no apparent victim.
Indeed, in this specific case, the only victim with a demonstrable
loss testified against the police and for the accused.

Dale resolved to plead the Fifth to any question regarding Ron,
and to risk contempt of court by doing so, rather than be used
in this manner.

This was not necessary.  As it happened, Ron was to drive well over
two thousand miles simply to sign a paper and receive ARD.  The three
of us commiserated, and then Ron was on his way back to Florida.

XVII.  Sentencing

Dale and I reported to the appropriate courtroom for sentencing.  In
the hall, a young man, shackled and restrained by two police officers,
was yelling:  "I'm eighteen, and I'm having a very bad day!"  The cops
didn't bat an eye as they dragged him to the adjoining prison.

We sat.

The presiding judge, the Hon. David C. Grine, surveyed with evident
disdain a room full of criminals like us.  Deborah Lux was there, once
again serving as counsel.  David Crowley was mercifully absent.

The judge briefly examined each case before him.  For each case, he announced
the amount of the fine, the time of probation, and banged his gavel.
Immediately before he arrived at our case, he looked at a man directly to
our left.  Instead of delivering the usual ARD sentence, he flashed a
sadistic grin and said:  "Two years jail."  Dealing marijuana was the crime.
The man's attorney objected.  The judge said:  "Okay, two years, one
suspended."  The attorney, another flunky from the public defender's
office, sat down again.  Two cops immediately dragged the man from the
courtroom to take him to jail.

I noted that practically everyone in the room was poor,
and those with whom I spoke were all uneducated.  DUI was the
most common offense.

Judge Grine came to our case, announced the expected sentence,
and we reported upstairs to be assigned probation officers.  I was
disgusted with myself for having agreed to this arrangement, and
perhaps this was why I was surly with the probation officer, Thomas
Harmon.  This earned me a visit to a court-appointed psychiatrist,
to determine if I were mentally disturbed or on drugs.

That I was neither was satisfied by a single interview, and no
drug-testing was necessary; for which I am grateful, for I would
have refused any such testing.  Exercising this Fifth Amendment-
guaranteed right is, of course, in this day considered to be
an admission of guilt.  The slow destruction of this right began
with the government policy of "implied consent," by which one
signs over one's Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination
by having a driver's license, allowing a police officer to pull
you over and test your breath for any reason or for no reason
at all.

I later apologized to Thomas Harmon for my rudeness, as he had
done me no disservice; indeed, a probation officer is, at least,
in the business of keeping people out of jail instead of putting
them there; and his behavior was less objectionable than that of
any other police officer involved in my case.

Very shortly thereafter, realizing that I knew a large number
of the local police on a first-name basis, I left the area, with the
stated destination of Indiana.  I spent the next two years travelling,
with such waypoints as New Orleans, Denver, Seattle and Casper, Wyoming;
and did not touch a computer for three years, almost having a horror
of them.

I did not pay my fine in the monthly installments the court demanded.
I ignored virtually every provision of my probation.  I did not remain
in touch with my probation officer, almost determined that my absence
should be noticed.  I did a lot of drugs, determined to obliterate all
memory of my previous life.  In Seattle, heroin was a drug of choice,
so I did that for a while.

Finally, I arrived at my stated destination, Indiana, with only about
three months remaining in my probation, and none of my fines paid.  Dale,
without my knowledge, called my parents and convinced them to pay the

It took me a few days of thought to decide whether or not to accept
their generous offer; I had not thought of asking them to pay the fine,
sure that they would not.  Perhaps I had done them a disservice in so
assuming, but now I had to decide whether to accept their help.

If my fines were not paid, my ARD would be revoked, and a new trial
date would be set.  I was half determined to return and fight this
case, still ashamed of having agreed to such a deal under duress.
However, after discussing it at exhaustive length with everyone I
knew, I came to the conclusion that to do so would be foolish and quixotic.
Hell, I thought, Thoreau did the same thing in a similar circumstance;
why shouldn't I?

I accepted my parents' offer.  Three months later, I received a letter in
the mail announcing that the case had been dismissed and my records
expunged, with an annotation to the effect that records would be
retained only to determine eligibility for any future ARD.  I believe
this to the same degree in which I believe that the NSA never
performs surveillance on civilians.  I have my doubts that the FBI
eliminated all mention of me from their files.  I shall decide after
I file a Freedom of Information Act request and receive a reply.

I now have a legitimate Internet account and due to my experiences
with weak encryption am a committed cypherpunk and Clipper Chip
proposal opponent.

What is the moral to this story?

Even now, when I have had several years to gain distance and perspective,
there does not seem to be a clear moral; only several pragmatic

I became enamored of my own brilliance, and arrogantly sure that
my intelligence was invulnerability.  I assumed my own immortality,
and took a fall.  This was not due to the intelligence of my
adversaries, for the stupidity of the police was marvellous to
behold.  It was due to my own belief that I was somehow infallible.

Good intentions are only as good as the precautions taken to ensure
their effectiveness.

There is always a Public Enemy Number One.  As the public's fickle
attention strays from the perceived menace of drug use, it will latch
on to whatever new demon first appears on television.  With the
growing prevalence of hatchet jobs on hackers in the public media,
it appears that hackers are to be the new witches.

It is advisable, then, that we avoid behavior which would tend to
confirm the stereotypes.  For every Emmanuel Goldstein or R. U.
Sirius in the public eye, there are a dozen Mitnicks and Hesses;
and, alas, it is the Mitnicks and Hesses who gain the most attention.
Those who work for the betterment of society are much less interesting
to the media than malicious vandals or spies.

In addition, it is best to avoid even the appearance of dishonesty
in hacking, eschewing all personal gain.

Phreaking or hacking for personal gain at the expense of others is
entirely unacceptable.  Possibly bankrupting a small company through
excessive telephone fraud is not only morally repugnant, but also puts
money into the coffers of the monopolistic phone companies that we despise.

The goal of hacking is, and always has been, the desire for full
disclosure of that information which is unethically and illegally
hidden by governments and corporations; add to that a dash of
healthy curiosity and a hint of rage, and you have a solvent capable
of dissolving the thickest veils of secrecy.  If destructive means
are necessary, by all means use them; but be sure that you are not
acting from hatred, but from love.

The desire to destroy is understandable, and I sympathize with it;
anyone who can not think of a dozen government bodies which would be
significantly improved by their destruction is probably too
dumb to hack in the first place.  However, if that destruction merely
leads to disproportionate government reprisals, then it is not only
inappropriate but counterproductive.

The secrecy and hoarding of information so common in the hacker
community mirrors, in many respects, the secrecy and hoarding of
information by the very government we resist.  The desired result
is full disclosure.  Thus, the immediate, anonymous broadband
distribution of material substantiating government and corporate
wrongdoing is a mandate.

Instead of merely collecting information and distributing it
privately for personal amusement, it must be sent to newspapers,
television, electronic media, and any other means of communication
to ensure both that this information can not be immediately
suppressed by the confiscation of a few bulletin board systems
and that our true motives may be discerned from our public and
visible actions.

Our actions are not, in the wake of Operation Sun-Devil and the
Clipper Chip proposal, entirely free.  The government has declared
war on numerous subsections of its own population, and thus has
defined the terms of the conflict.  The War on Drugs is a notable
example, and we must ask what sort of a government declares war
on its own citizens, and act accordingly.

Those of us who stand for liberty must act while we still can.

It is later than we think.

             "In Germany they first came for the Communists and
              I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
              Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up
              because I wasn't a Jew.  Then they came for the
              trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I
              wasn't a trade unionist.  Then they came for the
              Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a
              Protestant.  Then they came for me--and by that
              time no one was left to speak up."  Martin Niemoeller

              "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain
               a litle temporary safety deserver neither
               liberty nor safety."  Benjamin Franklin


[From cert-clippings]

Date: Sat, 10 Mar 90 00:22:22 GMT
From: thomas@shire.cs.psu.edu (Angela Marie Thomas)
Subject: PSU Hackers thwarted

The Daily Collegian  Wednesday, 21 Feb 1990

Unlawful computer use leads to arrests
ALEX H. LIEBER, Collegian Staff Writer

Two men face charges of unlawful computer use, theft of services in a
preliminary hearing scheduled for this morning at the Centre County Court of
Common Pleas in Bellefonte.  Dale Garrison, 111 S. Smith St., and Robert W.
Clark, 201 Twin Lake Drive, Gettysburg, were arrested Friday in connection with
illegal use of the University computer system, according to court records.
Garrison, 36, is charged with the theft of service, unlawful computer use
and criminal conspiracy.  Clark, 20, is charged with multiple counts of
unlawful computer use and theft of service.  [...]

Clark, who faces the more serious felony charges, allegedly used two computer
accounts without authorization from the Center of Academic Computing or the
Computer Science Department and, while creating two files, erased a file from
the system.  [...]  When interviewed by University Police Services, Clark
stated in the police report that the file deleted contained lists of various
groups under the name of "ETZGREEK."  Clark said the erasure was accidental,
resulting from an override in the file when he tried to copy it over onto a
blank file.  According to records, Clark is accused of running up more than
$1000 in his use of the computer account.  Garrison is accused of running up
more than $800 of computer time.

Police began to investigate allegations of illegal computer use in November
when Joe Lambert, head of the university's computer department, told police a
group of people was accessing University computer accounts and then using those
accounts to gain access to other computer systems.  Among the systems accessed
was Internet, a series of computers hooked to computer systems in industry,
education and the military, according to records.

The alleged illegal use of the accounts was originally investigated by a
Computer Emergency Response Team at Carnegie-Mellon University, which assists
other worldwide computer systems in investigating improper computer use.

Matt Crawford, technical contact in the University of Chicago computer
department discovered someone had been using a computer account from Penn State
to access the University of Chicago computer system.

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