TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: elimbbs.txt

Censorship, BBS's, Compuserve, and the Telephone Company

Censorship, BBS's, Compuserve, and the Telephone Company 
       by Mad Phoneman and the (716 Strike Force
How would you feel if one day you found out that the government was opening 
your mail and reading it without a warrant? How bout if it was the phone
company instead, or your boss at work perhaps? Well, undoubtedly you'd be
mighty pissed and might even file a lawsuit against them for violation of your
constitutional rights.
How would you feel, if you were prohibited from receiving any sort of news
or information from any source except those approved by the government?
How would you feel if you found that government agents were building a dossier
on you, determining how much money you made, your health, your credit
worthiness and then manipulating it to make you look bad?
I doubt that under any of the above circumstances, all hell would break loose
you'd run to the press detailing the violations and alerting the public to 
these civil rights violations....
Well would it surprise you that this is happening NOW, in 1990 by various
agencies as I write this....
History of Telecommunications Censorship
During time of war, the government has routinely censored news and information
for reasons pertaining to troop safety, avoidance of giving the enemy 
intelligence to be used against our forces, and in some cases like during the 
Nixon & Reagan years to conceal government wrongdoing and protect the guilty.
Current Policy
Today, forces of evil inside the government, realize that bright people with
computer skills have access to a far greater range of information than the
government would like to see us have. Recent court cases suggest that the 
government along with the telephone company, data service suppliers like
compuserve and telenet have sat down and come up with a rather sinister plan
to deprive us of this information, and to severely punish those that dare to
seek out the truth. Remember, what's truth to us, is incriminating to them.
 The government has had for years, FBI agents working within the phone
companies as deep cover agents. They are routinely hired by the telcos as 
security people after retiring from the FBI, either from age or in disgrace.
Undoubtedly, a similar agreement now extends to the SS, the CIA, and the NSA, 
as more and more of these people appear on the payrolls of such telcos as NYNEX,
PACBELL, Southwestern Bell, and Chesapeake and Potomac. 
The Law and Email
Since by far the most popular method of information exchange and communications
in the info-age is the computer BBS, it has been singled out as a prime source
of intelligence. EMAIL sent on a computer DOES NOT have the protection that is
afforded to postal mail. It is routinely read, copied, and disseminated by law
enforcement agencies that raid computer hackers bbs's, even if there is no 
prosecution in the case. The SS, the FBI and the Military domestic spying 
agencies use this information to prosecute, harass, and damage reputations of 
individuals whom may never know the source of the harassment. This is all done
without a warrant, or any judicial supervision. They only let out information
they get secondhand, without revealing the original source, usually claiming
a reliable "informant" was the source of info used to garner a warrant. This
is and has been a standard law enforcement practice since day one however, long
before the first computer was built.
Conspiracy raises its head
Along about the time the government decided that there was more danger to its
self serving plans from dope smokers than S&L embezzlers, the gestapo hatched a
plan, of enormous consequence. A full scale plan to destabilize the computer
underground was formulated. The high poobahs of Government said that the 
justice dept should stop prosecuting white collar crime, and instead focus on
"them hackers" and "them Druggies". Enormous amounts of resources are being
setup to do the prime objectives of the plan, which are....
1) Limit access to interstate communications to computer enthusiasts
2) Confiscate as much hardware as possible, to impose economic damage
3) Put BBS's out of business as much as possible, and make "pay" modeming
   the only authorized means of communications between users. (They already
   have your name and address and your signature on the canceled checks, so
   they know where to find you.)
4) And most importantly, Strike Terror into the hearts of other computer users.
   Make them inform on their brethren. Make them FEAR the government reprisals.
Now this is/will be not an easy task. There are around 300,000 bbs's running
in the USA alone, to raise the ire of all these modem users at once will result
in tremendous backlash and pro-bbs legislation to be adopted. After all, they
ARE afraid their plan may be circumvented by legislation. Protection of Email
by statute is to be avoided for as long as possible. 
The Plan
First, we go to our "friends" at the telcos, and get them to adopt tough 
polices with regard to phreaking, and modem usage. Note: Regulations permit
telephone companies to monitor and "tap" your phoneline to see if there is 
modem activity, under the guise of "service checking". A stiff fee for modem
usage, (the commonly heard $6.00 per hour figure should sound familiar) and
the worst part, making sysops BUY overpriced DATA lines from the telco at
enormously inflated prices instead of regular phone lines. Now anyone in the 
phone business will tell you, as I'm doing, that data lines up to 9600 baud are
nothing but overpriced residential lines. Once you are paying for a data line,
your automatically monitored by the gestapo, internally at the telco, to watch
for "service impairments" and to provide whatever other information on 
activities on that pair. Judging from information released during the LOD 
trials, there is plenty to worry about, and the gestapo has means to monitor
every bit on any line, for whatever purpose they want. This obviously would 
mean, checking to see that NO pirated or copyrighted material passes over the 
lines, if it IS detected a raid and confiscation follow.
Non-Prosecution Methods
Finally, there's the huge costs involved with prosecuting any and everyone who
the government wants to put out of business in the modem world. Prosecuting 
even 30% of the existing BBS's would be 100,000 cases, dwarfing the size of 
S&L ripoff by a light year,(making their numbers look smaller incidentally too)
trials would cost billions, and the fear induced into the modem community
would be awesome. But instead of prosecuting every case, they will audit
selected spectacular cases for publicity purposes and the others get a fate
similar to this.
An offender is identified by agents of the gestapo, he is raided, and his 
equipment stolen from him. Since he is a small fish, the gestapo starts
dossier warfare with him, looking up his credit history, his medical records
his employment history and and his criminal records. A "package" is assembled
and placed in a place in the computer annals for prospective employers,
insurers, lenders, and law enforcement personnel to obtain easily. Details
of arrests, with NO indication of disposition of the case, allegations made
by employers of drug use, (some real allegations, some fabricated by the
gestapo) motor vehicle and tax records, (he's accident prone, crashes his car
a lot, no mention of fault however) audits by tax agents are made, looking
for the slightest discrepancy in income claimed, mysteriously his insurance
is canceled for no reason, house, car and medical. His credit records are
confused with some deadbeat from East Farmer's Buttfuck, Mississippi.
I think you see the idea....
Well, what is the bottom line....?
They have declared war on the users of modems, they want to be the sole source
of government approved information. they want not only to watch us, but to make
us pay for it. Any deviation from this policy will result in prosecution,
defamation or any host of other atrocities to be committed against the 
All of this  under the guise of Law Enforcement, to better harass, 
identify and prosecute "hackers" and such. (Nazi Surveillance tactics come
to mind here)
Write to your representatives, let them know of this travesty, encourage them
to pass protection of E-Mail and computer users rights. Pressure your state
Public utility Commissions to adopt similar measures! (Note: In states like
NY with strong Public Service Commissions, the telcos have stated that they
will NOT try and impose the data line rules, fearing a PSC negative reaction
come rate increase time. 
Think about it and ACT! this is 1990, and 1984 is here and in a big way!
1990 (c) Mad Phoneman Productions
Permission Granted to reproduce this article in its entirety
In fact it's encouraged..../x

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