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Lest we forget...

Whilst checking references for a post elsewhere, I discovered the most thorough archive on the Steve Jackson Games Massacree In Four Part Harmony (I really do have to write that someday) I've ever seen, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. At the time I spent a lot of time scooping up new info from WWIVnet and tossing it onto FIDOnet, via the BBS Nicolai ran at the time, StormGate Aerie. I just checked and I've still got my own archives; the EFF, however, has a lot more of them. I am particularly fond of the Judge's comments to the Secret Service guys as duly reported by Joe Abernathy of the Houston Chronicle. (See the third article down; this is the full trial reportage.)

And I quote:

from "Steve Jackson Games/Secret Service wrapup"
"How long would it have taken you, Mr. Foley, to find out what Steve Jackson Games did, what it was?" asked Sparks. "An hour?

"Was there any reason why, on March 2, you could not return to Steve Jackson Games a copy, in floppy disk form, of everything taken?

"Did you read the article in Business Week magazine where it had a picture of Steve Jackson -- a law-abiding, tax-paying citizen -- saying he was a computer crime suspect?

"Did it ever occur to you, Mr. Foley, that seizing this material could harm Steve Jackson economically?"

Foley replied, "No, sir," but the judge offered his own answer.

"You actually did, you just had no idea anybody would actually go out and hire a lawyer and sue you."
By JOE ABERNATHY Copyright 1993, Houston Chronicle

My, the things our tax dollars get up to sometimes...



Apr. 7th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)

Best to read the book The Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling to get the full story.

Still as relevant as it was when it came out.
Apr. 7th, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
No doubt. I believe there's a reference to the book in the EFF files. Also note that this case is the REASON that the EFF came into existance, and that there were far more folks caught in this idiocy than SJ Games.

As the saying goes, it ain't what you don't know, it's what you know that ain't so. As this whole sordid story shows both is even worse.
Apr. 7th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
Considering the book is about the founding of the EFF and operation sundevil I expect it became part of the case itself.
Apr. 8th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
What infuriates me the most about this is the SS isn't qualified to do any investigation. They're Treasury, established to prevent counterfeiting. Someone at the FBI should have at least been consulted on the legalities of the raids.

And the sheer nerve that the SS thinks it isn't accountable for its actions. This is the kind of Big Brother actions Libertarians warn us against.
Apr. 8th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
DUMB, scary, and injured a lot of people. In fact you couldn't predict which way they'd move next which is one reason folks like me were so quick about picking up what info they could and pasting it all over the various nets.

Leastwise they did illustrate how important it was for someone to be on the lookout, hence the EFF. I've still got some of their earlier newsletters in the old Aerie files. (Heck, while it's offline for good, I've got the whole Aerie still sitting in document directories on each computer I have, as it takes up less than 2M.)
Apr. 9th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Any chance of you bringing the Aerie back, if there were a way?
Apr. 9th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
Frankly I don't see any reason to do so. Fidonet echoes are available via the internet, FILK moved over to Usenet as rec.music.filk where it's still going strong, the FurNet echoes had pretty much died out in favor of the various furrynet newsgroups by the time it closed down, let alone the stuff that came after. Furry's all over the internet these days. If I want to put files up for people I have my own website to do that on. I could even get my own server I suppose, though I'd rather not, and Hare Link is proving a good host.

Meanwhile, thanks for bringing this up - I REALLY needed to update my page on FidoNet. A number of links were dead or had moved, and it would appear that while the FidoNews page is still there, the last update was posted in 2003 so I've pulled that link entirely.

Edited at 2009-04-09 09:01 pm (UTC)

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