==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 months. 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 only. 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 molestation. 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 investigation. 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 him. 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 intolerable. 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 bitterly. 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 checkups. 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 fine. 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 lessons. 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 --------- APPENDIX A [From cert-clippings] Date: Sat, 10 Mar 90 00:22:22 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org (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.