[svlug] Victory is sweet...

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue Jul 24 22:24:01 PDT 2001

begin J C Lawrence quotation:

> More unfortunately the Adobe massacre appears a mostly false victory
> and specifically ineffective in getting Dmitry released.

Appointed President George-Bubba's "cybercrime" posse at least _was_ 
(as of four days ago) gettin' real excited-like about grabbin' that-thar
Ruskie varmint:


There's a New Cyber-Sheriff in Town
By Scott Harris
Jul 20 2001 04:34 PM PDT

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is forming 9 legal squads with their
sights set squarely on cleaning up computer crime.

Like a new sheriff bent on bringing law and order to the wilds of the
Internet, Attorney General John Ashcroft has announced plans to form
nine new specialized prosecutorial posses "dedicated to fighting crime
in cyberspace" and eradicating a perception of "lawlessness."

Coming on the heels of the FBI's arrest Monday of a Russian computer
programmer accused of violating digital copyright law, Ashcroft's
announcement Friday underscored a broader emphasis on enforcement of
computer crime - everything from economic espionage to the theft of
computer components - that cost companies billions of dollars in losses
each year.

No less damaging, Ashcroft said, is the specter that cyberspace is
beyond the reach of law. "The idea you can get away with it here is an
idea we must curtail," he declared. "There are no free passes in

Ashcroft's plans calls for the creation of Computer Hacking and
Intellectual Property (CHIP) units staffed by 77 personnel, including 48
lawyers. The units - which Ashcroft said will be modeled on an existing
unit created in 1999 in San Jose, Calif., by FBI Director nominee Robert
Mueller when Mueller served as U.S. attorney in San Francisco - will
work closely with FBI squads that specialize in computer crime, and will
be added to U.S. attorney's offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta,
Boston, Brooklyn and Manhattan, Dallas, Seattle and Alexandria, Va.
Mueller, whose nomination is expected to receive little opposition in
Congress, flanked Ashcroft during a press conference on Friday at
VeriSign headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

The San Jose CHIP unit is now handling the prosecution of Dmitry
Sklyarov, a 27-year-old computer programmer for Moscow-based ElcomSoft.
Sklyarov was arrested by the FBI after a giving a presentation at
hackers' confab in Las Vegas, for creating a program that circumvents
Adobe Systems' e-book security.

"Free Sklyarov!" has become an online rallying cry for members of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil libertarians who believe
that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act tramples on individual rights.
In an open letter to Ashcroft, EFF Executive Director Shari Steele
called Sklyarov's arrest "shameful and opportunistic actions against an
individual who was here simply to share his knowledge and expertise with
American scientists." Ashcroft refused to comment on the pending case.

The San Jose CHIP unit, Ashcroft said, has proven its value in a number
of cases, including that of a hacker now serving an 18-month sentence
for violating the computer systems of the Department of Defense, NASA
and other U.S. agencies. Another successful prosecution put eight
members of a robbery ring behind bars for terms ranging from 2.5 to 13
years. Another led to guilty pleas from individuals who were selling
copyrighted software over the Internet via a Web site called
"software-inc.com," and led to what is believed to be the first-ever
criminal forfeiture of a Web site in an intellectual-property case.

"When the site becomes the official property of the United States
government, prosecutors intend to keep it up on the Internet," Ashcroft
said. "Visitors will see a warning that the site has been seized by law
enforcement and get the clear message that cybercrime carries real
penalties for offenders."

Before the press conference, Ashcroft and Mueller met privately with
executives from 15 tech companies in a gathering arranged by lobbying
group TechNet. Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general, which was
hotly contested by liberals, received wide support among high-tech

"This is a step in the right direction," TechNet CEO Rick White said,
noting that the borderless nature of the Internet makes it important
that U.S. authorities take an aggressive approach to digital crime.
"We'll be a leader," White added. "I don't think we want to be the
world's policeman."

ClickAction CEO Gregory Slayton said strong enforcement "is exactly what
we need," noting that his company fends off denial-of-service attacks
and other intrusions on a daily basis. Slayton said he had taken his
complaints to the FBI last year "but they didn't seem interested."

Law enforcement officials also were pleased with Ashcroft's initiative.
Chris Woiwode, supervisory special agent of the FBI's high-tech squad in
Silicon Valley, said the pioneering CHIP unit represented a big
improvement from the past, when prosecutors juggled a wide variety of

Sgt. Lloyd Cardone, a San Jose police officer assigned to an interagency
task force on high-tech crime, said law enforcement had been "behind the
curve" in policing computer crimes. "Now," he said, "we're catching up
to digital crime."

Cheers,                        My pid is Inigo Montoya.  You kill -9    
Rick Moen                      my parent process.  Prepare to vi.
rick at linuxmafia.com

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