By Elinor Mills
October 1, 2008
Since being released from prison eight years ago, Kevin Mitnick's
brushes with the law have consisted of a few parking tickets and a
citation for driving without a front license plate -- that is, until he
returned from a trip to Colombia two weeks ago.
After landing at the Atlanta airport for a security conference, Mitnick
was detained for four hours for reasons still not fully explained. To
make matters worse, while customs officials in Atlanta were busy
inspecting his cell phone, laptop, and luggage, police in Bogota were
ripping open a package he had mailed to his U.S. address on suspicion
that it contained cocaine.
The simultaneous incidents gave Mitnick deja vu of his days as a
fugitive pursued by the FBI for breaking into computer networks, only
this time, he hadn't broken any laws.
"There was uncertainty, fear, and panic because I didn't know what was
going on, and I didn't do anything wrong," he said in a recent telephone
interview with CNET News. "In my mind, I thought I was being set up for
Here's a rundown of what happened:
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