TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: 2600dcr2.txt

Reports of the "Raid" on the 2600 Meeting in DC

Subject: Secret Service Role Questioned in "2600 Washington Raid" 11/10/92
From: newsbytes@clarinet.com
Date: 10 Nov 92 21:03:23 GMT
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 1992 NOV 10 (NB) -- In the aftermath of an
action on Friday, November 6th by members of the Pentagon City Mall
Police and police from Arlington County, VA in which those attending a
2600 meeting at the mall were ordered from the premises, conflicting
stories continue to appear.
Attendees at the meeting have contended to Newsbytes that members of 
the mall police told them that they were "acting on behalf of the 
Secret Service." They also maintain that the mall police confiscated 
material from knapsacks and took film from someone attempting to 
photograph the action and a list of the names of security officers 
that one attendee was attempting to compile.
Al Johnson, chief of security for the mall, denied these allegations 
to Newsbytes, saying, "No one said that we were acting on behalf of 
the Secret Service. We were merely enforcing our regulations. While 
the group was not disruptive, it had pulled tables together and was 
having a meeting in our food court area. The food court is for 
people eating and is not for meetings. We therefore asked the 
people to leave."
Johnson denied that security personnel took away any film or lists 
and further said: "We did not confiscate any material. The group
refused to own up to who owned material on the tables and in the
vicinity so we collected it as lost material. If it turns out
that anything did belong to any of those people, they are welcome
to come in and, after making proper identification, take the
In a conversation early on November 9th, Robert Rasor, Secret Service
agent-in-charge of computer crime investigations, told Newsbytes that
having mall security forces represent the Secret Service is not 
something that was done and, that to his knowledge, the Secret 
Service had no involvement with any Pentagon City mall actions 
on the previous Friday.
A Newsbytes call to the Arlington County police was returned by a
Detective Nuneville who said that her instructions were to refer all
questions concerning the matter to agent David Adams of the Secret
Service. She told Newsbytes that Adams would be providing all
information concerning the involvement of both the Arlington Police and
the Secret Service in the incident.
Adams told Newsbytes: "The mall police were not acting as agents
for the Secret Service. Beyond that, I can not confirm or deny
that there is an ongoing investigation."
Adams also told Newsbytes that: "While I cannot speak for the
Arlington police, I understand that their involvement was due to
an incident unrelated to the investigation."
Marc Rotenberg, director of the Washington office of Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), told Newsbytes
that "CPSR has reason to believe that the detention of people at
the Pentagon City Mall last Friday was undertaken at the behest
of the Secret Service, which is a federal agency."
"If that is the case, then there was an illegal search of people
at the mall. There was no warrant and no indication of probable
illegal activity. This raises constitutional issues. We have
undertaken the filing of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
request to determine the scope, involvement and purpose of the
Secret Service in this action," he said.
2600 meetings are held on the evening of the first Friday of each 
month in public places and malls in New York City, Washington, 
Philadelphia, Cambridge, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San 
Francisco. They are promoted by "2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly"
and are attended by a variety of persons interested in 
telecommunications and so-called "hacker issues." 
The New York meeting, the oldest of its kind, is regularly attended
by Eric Corley a/k/a Emmanuel Goldstein, editor and publisher of 2600,
hackers, journalists, corporate communications professionals and other
interested parties. It is known to have been the subject of 
surveillance at various times by law enforcement agencies conducting 
investigations into allegations of computer crime.
Corley told Newsbytes: "While I'm sure that meetings have been
observed by law enforcement agencies, this is the only time that
we have been harassed. It's definitely a freedom of speech
issue." Corley also that he plans to be at the December meeting
in Washington "to insure that it doesn't happen again."
(Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/19921110)

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