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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: inditfsp.txt

Indictment against a guy who ran a pirate FSP site!




*--*  04-10-94  -  23:48:22  *--*

Article #5777 (6157 is last):
Newsgroups: comp.org.eff.talk,misc.legal,alt.wired,alt.2600
From: jgull@world.std.com (jason n gull)
Subject: Indictment of Sysop
Date: Thu Apr  7 21:09:47 1994


I thought this might be of interest to many. A federal grand jury
in Boston returned an indictment this afternoon, charging a
20-year-old MIT student and sysop with conspiracy.
The indictment alleges the student, David Lamacchia,
created and maintained a BBS/FSP site on the internet, on which
pirated software was exchanged.

-Jason
jgull@world.std.com



======================================================


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA        |       CRIMINAL NO. 94-10092RGS
                                |       VIOLATION:
        v.                      |       18 U.S.C. Sect. 371 -
                                |               Conspiracy
DAVID LAMACCHIA                 |


                                _INDICTMENT_

_COUNT ONE_:    18 U.S.C. S 371 - Conspiracy

The Grand Jury charges that:
1.      From on or about November 21, 1993, to on or about
January 5, 1994, at Cambridge, in the District of Massachusetts,
and elsewhere, DAVID LAMACCHIA defendant herein, did knowingly
and intentionally combine, conspire, confederate, and agree with
other persons unknown to the Grand Jury, to commit offenses against
the United States, that is, to devise and execute a scheme and artifice
to defraud, and, for the purpose of. executing and attempting to
execute such scheme, to transmit and cause to be transmitted in
interstate commerce, by wire communication, writings, signs, signals,
pictures, and sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme and
artifice, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1343.

                        _PERSONS AND ENTITIES_

2.      At all times material to this Indictment, the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was an educational
institution located on Memorial Drive, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

3.      At all times material to this Indictment, defendant
DAVID LAMACCHIA was a student enrolled in and resident at MIT.

4.      At all times material to this Indictment, MIT had a
connection to the Internet, an international collection of
electronic networks linking educational, military, and commercial
computers around the world.

                        _CONSPIRACY AND SCHEME TO DEFRAUD_

5.      It was part of the scheme and conspiracy that defendant
DAVID LAMACCHIA, using the computer aliases "JOHN GAUNT" and
"GRIMJACK," set up, participated in setting up, and, from on or
about November 21, 1993, to on or about December 21, 1993, and
from on or about January 3, 1994 to on or about January 5, 1994,
operated and participated in the operation of a computer bulletin
board system named "CYNOSURE" to permit and facilitate, on an
international scale, the illegal copying and distribution of
copyrighted software, without payment of software licensing fees
or the software purchase price to the manufacturers and vendors of
the copyrighted software

6.      It was further part of the conspiracy and scheme to
defraud that defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA operated, and 
participated
in the operation of, "CYNOSURE" on two computer work stations
owned and operated by MIT, located at Cambridge in the District of
Massachusetts.  The two work stations were designated "CYNOSURE I"
and "CYNOSURE II." In addition, a third MIT computer was utilized
for back-up files and other purposes associated with running
CYNOSURE.

7.      A computer bulletin board system ("BBS") consists
essentially of a personal computer on which is installed a
computer program which permits persons all over the world, using
their own computers and telephone lines, to obtain access to the
BBS computer.  Persons thereby obtaining access to the computer
BBS may post files and messages to the board ("upload"), and may
read and copy files and messages ("download") to their own
computer.  The messages that may be uploaded or downloaded can
consist of virtually any type of data or information, including
other software programs.  The CYNOSURE BBS was accessible
worldwide via the Internet.

8.      In using the MIT work stations for the purpose of
running a computer BBS to pirate and distribute copyrighted
software, LAMACCHIA exceeded his authority, as an MIT student, to
access and use the MIT computer system and its connection to the
Internet.

9.      It was further part of the conspiracy and scheme to
defraud that the defendant, using the computer aliases "JOHN
GAUNT" and "GRIMJACK," communicated to other persons the 
Internet
address (or "site") for the CYNOSURE BBS to permit them to send,
by means of interstate and foreign wire communication, files and
messages to the BBS and to avail themselves of the opportunity to
copy and cause to be transmitted by means of interstate and
foreign wire communication, computer files stored on the BBS.  The
users of the CYNOSURE BBS often hid their identities by using an
Internet address located in Finland which afforded an anonymous
forwarding service.

10.     It was further part of the conspiracy and scheme for
users to "upload" computer files into the CYNOSURE BBS in order to
create a library of software that could be accessible to other
users who, without paying a purchase price or licensing fee, could
unlawfully download copyrighted software to their own computer
systems.  Files downloaded to an anonymous Finnish Internet
address service would then be surreptitiously forwarded to the
user's own computer system.

11.     It was further part of the conspiracy and scheme to
defraud to circulate the CYNOSURE BBS address to a trusted network
of computer users in order to protect the BBS from detection, and
to communicate with BBS users by posting "README" files on the
BBS.  In these communications, which users would access through
interstate telephone communication between their computers and 
the
MIT server upon which the CYNOSURE BBS was resident, the
defendant: advised users to check the CYNOSURE I index before
uploading files so as not to duplicate existing files; requested
particular copyrighted software; and cautioned against
over-publication of the Internet site address for the bulletin
board in order to reduce the risk of detection by the "net.cops,"
i.e., systems administrators and network security personnel.

12.     In fact, however, as defendant knew, the site address
for the CYNOSURE BBS was disseminated widely and indiscriminately
over public electronic networks, and as defendant knew or
reasonably could have foreseen, traffic into and out of the
CYNOSURE BBS for the purpose of unlawfully copying copyrighted 
software quickly became enormous.  For example, approximately
180 computers
contacted the BBS over a single 16-hour period of time it was in 
operation,
downloading hundreds of computer software files containing 
copyrighted
commercial programs during that same period.

13.     As a result of the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, losses 
from the
illegal distribution of the pirated software are estimated to exceed 
one
million dollars during the period the CYNOSURE BBS was in operation.

14. On or about November 24, 1993, at Cambridge, in the District of
Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA created a "README"
file on the CYNOSURE BBS which stated,

        Welcome to the Cynosure FSP site.

        The site currently has about 150 megs of space, so go ahead
        and upload. Let's get this site going!

        New files should be uploaded in a new directory under
        /dos/files.

        -- GrimJack, your sysop.

        15.     On or about December 4, 1993, at Cambridge, in
the District of Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA
created, and participated in creating, a "README" file on the
CYNOSURE BBS which stated,

        Welcome to the Cynosure I FSP site.

        This site has a total of 193 megs of space.

        This is a download-only site.  If you want to upload (please
        do!) on Cynosure II at 18.187.0.75 port 2433.

        --      gJ (a.k.a. Gaunt,
                Mongoose
                Maintainers

"FSP" refers to "file service protocol." It is used to facilitate a large
volume of file activity without causing the system to "crash."

        16.     On or about December 9, 1993, at Cambridge, in the
District of Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA created
a "README" file on the CYNOSURE BBS which stated: "Use this
directory for sending private pgp-encoded
messages to other users. -- John Gaunt"

17.     On or about December 14, 1993, at Cambridge, in the District of
Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA created a file on the
CYNOSURE BBS called "reqs.from.gaunt" which stated:

        If anyone has this stuff, I'd appreciate it.
        Sim City 2000
        Excel 5.0 (Windoze)
        WordPerfect 6.0 (Windoze)
        And if you run a site, drop me a line in the to_sysop
        directory.  I'm also interested in cool sites people
        use, trading other info, etc. Thanks . . .
        
        -- John Gaunt, sysop.

        18. On or about December 21, 1993, at Cambridge, in the
District of Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA created a
"README" file on the CYNOSURE BBS which stated,

        Cynosure II is currently acting as the upload site, and we're
        periodically moving stuff to Cynosure I and deleting old stuff
        there.

        Before you upload, make sure you're not putting something
        up that's already on Cynosure I. Check there at 18.187.0.76
        port 2433 to make sure, or look at the Cynosure I index for a 
        possibly-out-of-date
        version.

        ***URGENT***

        This is the second time I've caught some luser
        publicizing the site address on #fsp over IRC.  And
        since I don't use it that much, I don't even want to
        think about how much of this goes on.  Think you guys: this
        is what leads to a site getting purged, especially when you go
        around spitting out site address to whomever (especially since
        I was warned that two of those
        online at the time might have been net.cops). If you're tempted
        to give out the site: DON'T DO IT.
        If this keeps happening that two things will happen (1) this 
        site will close and (2) its new incarnation will be private.  So
        think about it, ok?

        ***Flame off

        Writing is back on for the meantime.  It will probably go
        off sometime tonight, since I'll be out of town.  I "may" put
        it back on while I'm gone . . . I'll see how things work out.

        --      John Gaunt
                Mongoose
                Maintainers.

        "IRC" refers to the Internet Relay Chat, which functions like an
electronic CB radio over the Internet, permitting numerous users to 
"listen in"
to a "channel" simultaneously.

        19.     On or about January 4, 1994, at Cambridge, in the
District of Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA and
others whom he aided and abetted rebooted the CYNOSURE BBS,
i.e., reloaded the bulletin board software, to permit access over the
Internet.

20.     On or about January 4, 1994, at Cambridge, in the District of
Massachusetts, defendant DAVID LAMACCHIA created and 
participated in creating
a file on the CYNOSURE BBS, stating:

        Welcome to Cynosure I.

        Cynosure II is currently down.  Cynosure I is temporarily up.

        CYNOSURE IS MOVING!!! Read on. . . .

        Well, if you've waited this long we thank you for being a
        dedicated user throughout our hiatus.  While we were gone
        the site was wiped clean. Everything on this machine and all
        our off-line backups was lost.

        This is disappointing.  While it may not be the result
        of being found by the net.cops, I still believe the site
        was too public.  Lusers were distributing the address
        freely over IRC and to people they didn't trust. 
        Usually, the result of this for a site is for that site to
        move and go private, so it doesn't happen again.  I'm
        going to try something else.

        Cynosure is one of the last public sites, so I'm going
        to keep it that way: if we're forced to go down again
        because of lamers, I will probably have to go private.
        So, hopefully, with controlled distribution of the
        new address, this won't happen.

        The move will happen soon.  Distribution of the new
        address will be limited at first, unlike last time.
        Mongoose and I are currently hacking
        a new loction that will (1) be more secure and (2) handle
        a lot of the problems the site currently has (if you don't
        know about it, don't worry).

        Anyway, thanks again for sticking with us.  Again, I'm
        only leaving Cynosure I up while we move.  It's better than
        nothing.

        See you all on the net.

        --      John Gaunt
                Mongoose

                Maintainers

        All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.





                                A TRUE BILL

                                                _xxxxxsignedxxxxx_
                                                Foreman of the Grand Jury


Jeanne Kempthorne [signed]
Assistant United States Attorney


        DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS;      April 7, 1994, at 4:01 p.m.
Returned into the District Court by the Grand Jurors and filed.

                                                _xxxxxsignedxxxxx_
                                                Deputy Clerk
Enter Command:  


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