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Current issue : #46 | Release date : 1994-09-20 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
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Title : Legal Info by Szechuan Death
Author : Szechuan Death
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Five, Issue Forty-Six, File 9 of 28


                           Legal Info
                        by Szechuan Death

     OK.  This document applies only to United States citizens: if
you are a citizen of some other fascist country, don't come whining
to me when this doesn't work..... :)

     Make no mistake:  I'm not a lawyer.  I've merely paid
attention and picked up some facts that might be useful to me along
the way.  There are three subjects that it pays to have a knowledge
of handy:  prescription drugs, medical procedures, and legal facts.
While these may all be boring as hell, they can certainly pull your
ass out of the fire in a pinch.

     Standard disclaimer:  I make no claims about this document or
facts contained therein.  I also make no claims about their legal
authenticity:  if you want to be 100% sure, there's a library in
damn near every town, LOOK IT UP!

     One more thing:  This document is useful for virtually
ANYTHING.  It's effectiveness stretches far beyond computer hacking
(although it's worn a bit thin for serious crimes, as every cretin
on Death Row has tried it already.....:)

     OK.  Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that you've
decided to take a walk along the wild side and do something
illegal.  For our purposes, let's say computer hacking (imagine
that).  There are many things you can do cover your legal ass,
should your activities come to the attention of any of our various
friendly law-enforcement agencies nationwide.

--  Part 1:  Police Mentality

     You must understand the police, if you ever want to be able to
thwart them and keep your freedom.  Most police, to survive in
their jobs, have developed an "Us vs. Them" attitude, which we
should tolerate (up to a point).  They use this attitude to justify
their fascist tactics.  "Us" is the police, a brotherhood that
keeps the peace, always does right, and never snitches on each
other, no matter what the cause.  "Them" is the rest of the
population.  If "They" are not guilty of a specific crime, they
must have done something else, and they're doing their damndest to
avoid getting caught.  In addition, many police have cultivated an
attitude similar to that of a 15-year-old high school punk:  "I'm
bad, I'm bad, I'm SOOOOO bad, I Am Cop, Hear Me ROAR," etc.
Unfortunately, these people have weapons and the authority to
support that attitude.  Therefore, if the police come to your
house, be EXTREMELY polite and subservient; now is not the time to
start spouting your opinion about the police state in America
adding a charge of "Resisting Arrest" and/or "Assaulting an
Officer", it can get very dangerous.  The police have been trained
in a number of suspect-control techniques, most of which involve
twisting body parts at unnatural angles.  As if this weren't
enough, almost all police carry guns.  Start fighting and you'll
get a couple broken bones, torn ligaments, or worse, a few bullet
wounds (possibly fatal).  So remember, be very meek.  Show them
that you are cowed by their force and their blustering presence,
and this will save you a black eye or two on the way down to the
station (from tripping and falling, of course).

--  Part 2:  Hacker's Security

     CARDINAL RULE #1:  Get rid of the evidence.  No evidence = no
case for the prosecutor.  The Novice Hacker's Guide from LOD has an
excellent way to put this:

VIII. Don't be afraid to be paranoid.  Remember, you *are* breaking the law.
      It doesn't hurt to store everything encrypted on your hard disk, or
      keep your notes buried in the backyard or in the trunk of your car.  You
      may feel a little funny, but you'll feel a lot funnier when you when you
      meet Bruno, your transvestite cellmate who axed his family to death.

Basic hints:
Hide all your essential printouts, or burn them if they're trash
(remember:  police need no warrant to search your trash).  Encrypt
the files on your hard drive with something nasty, like PGP or RSA.
Use a file-wiper, NOT delete, to get rid of them when you're done.
And WIPE, don't FORMAT, your floppies and other magnetic media
(better still, degauss them).  With a little common sense and a bit
of effort, a great deal of legal headaches can be avoided.

--  Part 3A:  Polite Entry

     Next part.  You and your friends are enjoying an evening of
trying to polevault the firewall on whitehouse.com, when suddenly
you hear a knock at the door.  Opening the door, you find a member
of the local police force standing outside, asking if he can come
in and ask you some questions.  Now, here's where you start to piss
your pants.  If you were smart, you'll have arranged something
beforehand where your friends (or, if there ARE no friends present,
an automatic script) are getting rid of the evidence as shown in
part 2.  If you have no handy means of destroying the data
(printouts, floppies, tapes, etc.), throw the whole mess into
the bathtub, soak it in lighter fluid, and torch it.  It's a
helluva mess to clean up, but nothing compared to latrine duty at
your nearest federal prison.

     While the evidence is being destroyed, you're stalling the
police.  Ask to see their search warrant and IDs.  Mull over each
and every one of them for at least 5 minutes.  If they have none,
start screaming about your 4th Amendment rights.  Most importantly:
DON'T INVITE THEM IN.  They're like vampires:  if you let them in,
you're fucked.  If they see anything even REMOTELY incriminating,
that constitutes probable cause for a search and they'll be
swarming all over your house like flies on shit.  (And guess what!
It's legal, because YOU LET THEM IN!)  Now, be aware that this
won't stall them forever:  they can simply wait outside the house
and radio in a request for a search warrant, which will probably be
signed by the judge on duty at that time.  Remember:  "If you're
not willing to be searched, you MUST have something to hide!"  If
there are no friends assisting you, as shown above, USE THIS TIME
EFFECTIVELY.  When they get the warrant signed, that will be too
late, because you'll have erased/shredded/burned/hidden/etc. all
the incriminating evidence.

--  Part 3B:  And Suddenly, The Door Burst In

     Now, if the police already have a search warrant, they don't
need to knock on the door.  They can simply kick the door down and
waltz in.  If you're there at the time, you CAN try and stall them
as shown above, by asking to see their search warrant and IDs.
This may not work now, because they have you cold, hard, and dead
to rights.  And, if anything incriminating is in a place where they
can find it, you're fucked, because it WILL be used as evidence.
But this won't happen to you, because you've already put everything
you're not using right at the moment in a safe, HIDDEN, place.

     This leaves the computer.  If you hear them kicking the door
in, keep calm, and run a script you've set up beforehand to low-
level-format the drive, wipe all hacking files, encrypt the whole
thing, etc.  If there's any printouts or media hanging out, try and
hide them (probably worthless anyway, but worth a try).  The name
of the game now is to minimize the damage that can be done to you.
The less hard evidence linking you to the "crime", the less of a
case the prosecutor will have and the better off you'll be.

--  Part 4:  The Arrest

     Now is the time to kick all your senses into hyper-record
mode.  For you to get processed through the system without a hitch,
the arrest has to go perfectly, by the numbers.  One small slip and
you're out through a loophole.  Now, the police are aware of this
and will be doing their best to see that doesn't happen, but you
may get lucky all the same.  First of all:  According to the
Miranda Act, the police are REQUIRED BY LAW to read you your rights
and make sure you understand them.  Remember EVERY WORD THEY SAY TO
YOU.  If they don't say it correctly, you may be able to get off on
a technicality.

     CARDINAL RULE #2:  You have the right to remain silent.
EXERCISE IT.  This cannot be stressed enough.  If you need a
reminder, listen to the first part of the Miranda Warning:

     "You have the right to remain silent.  If you give up that

     Nice ring to it, hmm?  The only words coming out of your mouth
at this point should be "I'd like to speak to my attorney, please"
and, if applicable in your area, "I'd like to make a phone call,
please"  (remember the "please's," see part #1 above)  Nothing
else.  There are tape recorders, video cameras, PLUS the word of a
dozen police officers to back it all up.  How's that for an array
of damning evidence against you?

     Then, after the ride downtown, you'll be booked and probably
asked a few questions.  Say nothing.  You're probably pissing your
pants with fear at this point, and may be tempted to roll over on
everyone you ever shook hands with in your whole life, but keep
your calm, and KEEP QUIET.  Keep asking for your attorney and/or a
phone call, no matter WHAT threats/deals/etc. they make to you.
Remember, they can't legally interrogate you without your attorney
present.  You may also be tempted to show your mettle at this
point, and give them false information, but remember one thing:  If
you lie to them, you can be convicted of perjury (a nasty offense
itself).  The best policy here is NSA:  Never Say Anything.
Remember, you never have to keep track of what you've said, or have
to worry about having it used against you, if you've said NOTHING.

--  Part 5:  The Trial

     Here, we'll assume you've been arrested, booked, let out on
bail, indicted on X counts of so-and-so, etc.  You're now in the
system.  CARDINAL RULE #3:  Get the best criminal defense attorney
you can afford, preferably one with some background in the crime
you've committed.  No, scratch that:  make that the best criminal
defense attorney, PERIOD.  It's a helluva lot better to spend 5
years working at McDonald's 12 hours a day to pay back your legal
fee, than it is to spend 5 years in the slammer getting pimped out
nightly for a pack of menthols.  Also, pay attention during the
trial.  Remember, the defense attorney is working for YOU:  it's
YOUR life they're deciding, so give him every bit of information
and help you can.  You're paying him to sort it out for you, but
you should still keep an eye on things:  if, in the middle of a
trial, something happens (you get a killer idea, or want to jump up
and scream "BULLSHIT!"), TELL HIM!  It very well might be useful!
Also, have him nitpick every single thing for loopholes,
technicalities, civil rights violations, etc.  It's worth it if it
pays off.

     Another important thing is to look good.  Image is everything.
Although you might prefer to wear heavily stained rock-band T-
shirts, leather jackets, ratty jeans, etc. in real life, that will
be EXTREMELY damning in the eyes of the judge/jury.  They say that
clothes make the man, and in this case it's REALLY true:  get a
suit, comb/cut your hair, shave, etc.  Make yourself look like a
"positively respectable darling" in the eyes of the court!  It'll
pay off for you. (hey, it worked for Eric and Lyle Menendez)

--  Part 8:  The Prison

     If you're here, you're totally fucked.  Unless, by divine
intervention, your conviction is overturned on appeal, you'd better
clear up the next 5 years on your calendar.  Apparently, you didn't
read closely enough, so read this every day during your long stay
in prison, and you'll be better equipped next time (assuming there
IS a next time..... :)

     Remember the cardinal rules:  1)  Don't leave evidence around
to be found.  2)  KEEP CALM AND KEEP QUIET.  3)  Get the best
attorney available.  If you remember these, and exercise some common
sense and a lot of caution, you should have no problem handling any
legal problems that come up.

     Note:  This is intended to be used as a handbook for defense
from minor crimes ONLY (hacking, DWI, etc.)  If you're a career
criminal, or you've murdered or raped somebody, you're scum, and at
least have the grace to plead "guilty".  Don't waste the tax-
payers' time and money with fancy legal footwork.

     Please feel free to add anything or correct this document.
However, if you DO add or correct something, PLEASE make sure it's
true, and PLEASE email me the changes so I can include them in the next
revision of the document.  My address is pstlb@acad3.alaska.edu.  Happy
hacking to all, and if this helps you avoid getting caught, so much the
better.  :)
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