Computer underground Digest Wed Oct 28, 1998 Volume 10 : Issue 53

Computer underground Digest    Wed  Oct 28, 1998   Volume 10 : Issue 53
                           ISSN  1004-042X

       Editor: Jim Thomas (
       News Editor: Gordon Meyer (
       Archivist: Brendan Kehoe
       Shadow Master: Stanton McCandlish
       Shadow-Archivists: Dan Carosone / Paul Southworth
                          Ralph Sims / Jyrki Kuoppala
                          Ian Dickinson
       Field Agent Extraordinaire:   David Smith
       Cu Digest Homepage:

CONTENTS, #10.53 (Wed, Oct 28, 1998)

File 1--Fwd: Two ISPs Seized Over Usenet Content
File 2--Dreamscape Responds to AG seizure of ISP equipment
File 3--Press Release: Sam Ramer, Carol Pub Co., Resist  Assimilation
File 4--The Swedigh Personal Register (Personal Information) Law
File 5--Spammer sued
File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)



Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 13:40:26 -0500
From: Robert A. Costner 
Subject: File 2--Dreamscape Responds to AG seizure of ISP equipment

Source -

Dreamscape ISP, illegally raided in connection with child porn on usenet
newsgroups, can be found at

---- forwarded message ------
From--Eric Cordian 
Subject--Dreamscape Responds
Date--Thu, 29 Oct 1998 12:50:14 -0600 (CST)

Dreamscape has posted a reponse to the antics of New York Attorney
General Dennis Vacco on its website.  It will be interesting to see if
any of the evidence from this illegal seizure is allowed in court.



On October 27th, the New York State Police, acting under the orders of
Attorney General Dennis Vacco, seized computer equipment used by
Dreamscape to provide its Internet subscribers with access to
thousands of newsgroups which are available through the Internet. The
seizure was purportedly for the purpose of gathering evidence of
illegal conduit by persons originating child pornography. Dreamscape
is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Dreamscape remains fully operational and continues to provide service
to its customers.

While Dreamscape supports the Attorney General's goal of preventing
harm to minors through the spread of child pornography, Dreamscape is
disappointed that the Attorney General has utilized unnecessary and
unlawful tactics which significantly interfere with the rights of all
Americans to utilize the Internet.

Dreamscape does not create the articles, pictures, or other
information available to persons using the Internet. Instead,
Dreamscape acts solely as a conduit allowing individual senders and
receivers to communicate with each other without review, supervision,
censorship, or interference by Dreamscape. In this manner, Dreamscape
acts in the same manner as a telephone company which merely completes
calls between senders and receivers, without monitoring those
communications in any way.

Dreamscape has, in the past, repeatedly cooperated with law
enforcement agencies in tracing the identity of persons who originate
pornographic materials. To the extent the Attorney General seeks to
protect children by stopping the exchange of pornographic materials,
that can and should be done by prosecuting the originators and
recipients of said material to the fullest extent of the law. The
remedy is not, however, to shut down and paralyze the Internet.

Dreamscape, and other Internet providers, cannot control the content
of material transmitted over the Internet. Dreamscape's subscribers
have access to over 30,000 newsgroups, to which they can transmit
messages and receive messages. It is not possible for Dreamscape or
any other Internet provider to screen, review, and censor the hundreds
of thousands of messages created, transmitted and received each day.

Federal law recognizes that an Internet provider is not liable for the
content of any messages, which the Internet provider simply transmits
through cyberspace. At least one Federal Court in New York State has
determined that any effort by state officials to restrict the
operation of the Internet is an unconstitutional violation of federal
rights and unlawful interference with interstate commerce.

Dreamscape remains ready and anxious to work with law enforcement
officials in identifying violators of State and Federal laws against
child pornography. However, Dreamscape also intends to actively oppose
overzealous and unlawful efforts which have the effect of destroying
the ability of its thousands of customers to legitimately utilize the


Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 02:28:38 +0100
From: Luca Sambucci 
Subject: File 3--Press Release: Sam Ramer, Carol Pub Co., Resist  Assimilation

Online Freedom Federation
October 27, 1998

For immediate release

Sam Ramer, Carol Publishing Company, Resist Assimilation

Author Sam Ramer and his publishing company have appealed the
federal court decision halting sales of his book The Joy of Trek.
In a joint brief filed with the federal appellate court in New
York City, Ramer and Carol Publishing Group advanced a number of
compelling legal arguments to establish that the district judge
abused his discretion and applied the wrong legal standard in
granting a preliminary injunction in favor of Paramount.

Earlier this summer, U.S. District Court Judge Samuel Conti
granted Paramount's request to ban the sale and distribution of
the book pending the outcome of a full-blown copyright
infringement trial in which the studio will seek over $22 million
in damages.  Ramer, a self-proclaimed loyal "Trekster" since the
age of 6, dedicated The Joy of Trek to his wife and intended it
as a humorous guide to help non-fans like her understand the
fierce devotion we fans hold for Star Trek in all its

The lower court found that the book, by "relating synopses of
individual episodes and encapsulations of the various characters
and alien species[,] . .  . copies the heart' of the Star Trek
properties."  Judge Conti decreed that the "fictitious history
[of Star Trek] is a story, created and owned by Paramount."  In
addition, he rejected the defense claim that the book was
protected by the doctrine of "fair use," as well as the argument
that Paramount has abandoned its right to pursue damages after
failing to bring legal action with regard to the hundreds of
other unauthorized books on Star Trek.

Obviously, if left unchallenged the ruling could deal a deadly
blow to fanfic and other forms of fandom by removing legal
hurdles and emboldening Paramount to renew its campaign against
websites and other fan media.

Despite the obstacles presented by the lower court's injunction,
Ramer and his publisher have demonstrated extraordinary ingenuity
and perserverance.  Indeed, in a bold tactical maneuver worthy of
a starfleet captain, Carol Publishing has countersued Paramount,
whose lawyers notified bookstores that they would be in contempt
of court for continuing to sell the book, even though the terms
of the injunction permit sales of existing inventory.  Carol
Publishing seeks unspecified damages for harm to its business
reputation and interference with its business relationships
caused by Paramount's actions.

Whether Carol Publishing has balanced the odds by capitalizing on
Paramount's apparent legal blunder remains to be seen. Meanwhile,
OFF continues to pledge its support to Sam Ramer, and encourages
its members to make themselves heard.  Ultimately, nothing less
than fandom itself is at stake.


The Online Freedom Federation  is a non-profit
organization dedicated to the preservation of freedom of speech on the
Internet. Its executive council can be reached at .


Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 10:53:49 -0600
From: cudigest@SUN.SOCI.NIU.EDU(Computer underground Digest)
Subject: File 4--The Swedigh Personal Register (Personal Information) Law


                                  THE SWEDISH

   A new Swedish law about handling of personal information in
   computers took effect on 24 October 1998. The law makes much of
   the publication of information about individual persons on the
   Internet illegal, such as criticism of named persons,
   publication of lists of references in scientific papers or the
   sending of e-mail messages outside of Europe.

Summary of the Swedish
Personal Register Law

   The object of the law is to protect against invasion of privacy
   through handling of personal information. The law defines "handling of
   personal information" as any handling of personal information,
   automatic or manual, like collection, registering, organizing,
   storing, treatment or change, retrieval, use or transmission,
   publication, collating, blocking or deleting. This law, however, only
   applies to handling of information which is wholly or partly automatic
   (for example by using computers), or which is contained in a
   structured collection of personal information available for search or
      Personal information is defined as any kind of information, which
   directly or indirectly refers to a living physical person.
      The law specifies exceptions where the law is not valid: Wholly
   private registers handled by a single person for his or her personal
   needs, registers published in newspapers, books or broadcast programs,
   registers used only by journalists, authors or artists.


   Personal information may only be handled for specified and justifiable
   goals. Collected information may only be used for the purpose, for
   which it was collected. Personal information must be correct and
   up-to-date and must not be kept longer time than needed for the
   purpose of the collection.
      Personal information may only be handled with permission from the
   person, whose information is handled, or for certain other justified


   It is not permitted to handled personal information which reveals race
   or ethnic origin, religious or political opinions, membership in trade
   unions and information about health or sexual behaviour. There are a
   few exceptions from this, a society may handle information who are its
   members, even though the organization is connected to a particular
   religious faith or political view, and medical organizations may
   handle medical information about their patients, researchers may
   handle information for research purposes and such information may also
   be handled or published with permission from the person, whose
   information is handled.


   Personal information may not be transmitted outside of Europe without
   permission from the person, whose information is handled, except with
   explicit permission from this person, to fulfill legal obligations or
   to protect vital interests.


   The upholding of the law is controlled by a special government agency,
   the Data Inspection Agency, and breaking the law may be punished
   through damages to the registered person, fines and prison up to two

Critique of the act


   If you interpret the act literally, it would mean that the following
   acts would be illegal:
     * Writing of an e-mail message to a recipient outside Europe without
       the prior permission of the recipient.
     * All Internet-based discussion forums (except those run by
       newspapers, since newspapers are excempt from the law) in which
       any information about a person is mentioned without the permission
       of that person.
     * Publication on the Internet of any scientific paper, which
       contains lists of references, unless each person in the list of
       reference has given permission in advance.
     * Any criticism of a named person, where that person does not give
       permission for the criticism. For example, criticism of
       politicians would not be allowed, a trade union would not be
       allowed to criticize named employers, etc.

   This does not agree very well with the Swedish constitution, which
   says that society should protect the rights of citizens to communicate
   with each other, especially communication about political and
   religious issues. However, the constitution contains a clause saying
   that the rights to communicate can be restricted in order to protect
   personal privacy, so the lawmakers claim that the law is not in
   contradiction to the constitution.


   The law has also been criticized for the exemption for authors,
   journalists and artists: Freedom of speech should be a right for
   everyone, not only for certain vocations.


   Criticism of the law has also said that the law is not needed, since
   there are other laws, like laws about racial agitation, defamation of
   character, etc. which are better ways than this law to regulate
   unwanted communication.


   The previous Data Act, which the new law replaces, also made most of
   the Internet illegal. However, this law has only been upheld by the
   government very irregularly. In one case, an online forum was
   forbidden to discuss political and religious issues, in another case,
   an author was forbidden to write his book using a computer. In the
   second case, however, this decision was revoked on appeal to the
   government. The new act, however, does not allow appeals to the
   government, only to courts of law, which can be expected to follow the
   words of the law. Local governments have been forbidden from
   publishing notes from their meetings on the Internet. In most cases,
   however, personal information has been published on the Internet
   without repressional acts from the government.
      Probably, the new law will also not be upheld, but the risk that
   the government can apply the law, when something is published, which
   they do not like, has been said to be an argument against the new law.
      The agency responsible for upholding the law, the Data Inspection
   Agency, says that it will strictly interpret the letter of the law,
   but that they may, because of limited time, not have time to act
   against uncontroversial information, like naming the nobel prize
   winners on the Internet.


   The law was passed by the Swedish parliament with only the small
   liberal party and a few stragglers from other parties voting against
   it. When asked why they passed a law which restricts freedom of speech
   in this way, they say that they had to pass this law, in order to
   fulfill a directive from the European Union.
      However, opponents of the law says that this directive was not
   meant to be applied to publication of personal information, it was
   only meant to be applied to structured collections of personal
   information. Also structured collections would however cause problems,
   for example a list of references in a scientific paper is obviously a
   structured collection and would thus be illegal, unless each of the
   authors of the papers in the reference list gave their permission, and
   to obtain such permission would often be very difficult.


   Because of the criticism, the government has asked the Data Inspection
   Agency to investigate, whether publication of local government
   protocols and some other publication might be exempted from the law.


Date: Fri, 23 Oct 1998 09:50:13 -0700
From: Don Smith 
Subject: File 5--Spammer sued

 In WA State, the AG's office filed it's first suit against a spammer.
in court.


                      IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF KING




    JASON HECKEL, doing business as


          MAIL ACT

               COMES NOW, plaintiff, State of Washington, by and through its
 attorneys Christine O.
          Gregoire, Attorney General; Sally Reed Gustafson, Senior Assistant
 Attorney General; and Paula
          Selis, Senior Counsel, and brings this action against defendant named
 herein.  The state alleges the
          following on information and belief:
                          I.  JURISDICTION AND VENUE
                                             1.1. This Complaint is filed and
 these proceedings are instituted under the provisions of
          RCW 19.86, the Unfair Business Practices--Consumer Protection Act, and
 RCW 19.190, the
          Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act.
               1.2. Jurisdiction of the Attorney General to commence this action
 is conferred by RCW
          19.86.080 and RCW 19.190.030(2).
               1.3. The violations alleged herein have been and are being
 committed in whole or in
          part in King County, in the State of Washington by defendant named
                                II.  DEFENDANT
                                             2.1. Defendant Jason Heckel is the
 sole proprietor of Natural Instincts.  Natural
          Instinct's  principal place of business is located at 4676 Commercial
 Street Southeast, Suite 201,
          Salem, Oregon 97302.
               2.2. Defendant Jason Heckel, doing business as Natural Instincts,
 conducts business in
          Washington through unsolicited commercial electronic mail transmitted
 over the Internet to
          Washington residents.
                       III. NATURE OF TRADE OR COMMERCE
                                             3.1. Since at least February 1996,
 defendant has sent unsolicited commercial electronic
          mail via the Internet.  In 1997, defendant developed an online 46-page
 booklet entitled "How to
          Profit From the Internet."  Defendant sells his booklet and associated
 pamphlets by using
          unsolicited electronic mail to solicit customers to purchase his
               3.2. Defendant sends electronic mail messages to individuals
 worldwide.  Many of
          those individuals are located in Washington.  A copy of a typical
 unsolicited electronic mail
          message received by a Washington consumer is appended as Exhibit A.
 The message states, in
          part, the following:

               "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" NOT A PROBLEM!
                    I am about to share with you a unique opportunity to start a
 very successful
                    business or take an existing one to new heights.  By taking
 advantage of the
                    following breakthrough knowledge in marketing trends, you
 will soon discover the
                    art of

                    "How to really make money on the Information Super Highway!"
                    3.3. The electronic mail message goes on to cite a number of
 testimonials from those
          who have already purchased defendant's product, and offers additional
 "free" incentives if the
          recipient makes a purchase.  These incentives include "free" software,
 a "free" calling card, "free"
          "bonus" reports, and "free" "How to Reports."  Defendant also offers
 as an incentive a "private
          list" of "50,000 e-mail addresses."  The cost of defendant's product
 package is $39.95.
               3.4. In order to send unsolicited electronic mail messages to
 thousands of individuals in
          an efficient manner, defendant utilizes a software program called
 "Extractor Pro."  Extractor Pro
          extracts or "mines" electronic mail addresses from various Internet
 sources and automatically
          sends out messages to those addresses upon defendant's entering the
 appropriate command.
          Using the Extractor Pro software, defendant sends between 100,000 and
 1,000,000 unsolicited
          commercial electronic mail messages per week.
               3.5. On average, defendant sells thirty to fifty of his product
 packages per month.
          Consumers purchase by filling out an order form which may be
 downloaded from the electronic
          mail message solicitation, and mail the form, along with payment, to
 defendant's address.
               3.6. Defendant knows or has reason to know that he sends
 unsolicited commercial
          electronic mail to Washington residents.
               3.7. Defendant is in competition with others in the State of
 Washington engaged in
          similar business.
                           IV. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
                                             4.1. Plaintiff realleges Paragraphs
 3.1 through 3.7 and incorporates them herein as if set
          forth in full.
               4.2. Computer users are alerted to the existence of electronic
 mail messages intended
          for their receipt by a display on their computer monitors.  The
 display will list the message by its
          purported sender and a brief subject line which generally describes
 the body of the message.  In
          order to read or "download" the entire message, the user usually must
 click a cursor on the text of
          the subject line, at which point the text of the message is displayed.
               4.3. The purpose of the subject line in an electronic mail
 message is to describe the
          message's text.  This enables a computer user to have discretion over
 whether and when to read
          the entire text of the message.  Emergency or personal messages may
 take precedence over
          commercial messages.  Similarly, work-related messages may take
 precedence over commercial
               4.4. Defendant's unsolicited electronic mail messages display
 various subject lines.
          Rather than accurately describing the content of the text, these
 subject lines mislead recipients as
          to the true nature of the message itself.  For example, defendant
 displays "Did I get the right e-
          mail address?" and "For your review--HANDS OFF!" as subject lines in
 his unsolicited electronic
          mail messages.  Neither of these subject lines accurately describes
 the content of the messages.
          Rather, they constitute an attempt to entice the recipient into
 downloading and reading the entire
          text of the message.  "Did I get the right e-mail address?" misleads
 the recipient into thinking that
          someone he or she knows is trying to make contact.  "For your
 review--HANDS OFF!" creates
          the misimpression that the text of the message contains classified
 information, specifically
          intended for the recipient.
               4.5. The use of false or misleading information in the subject
 line of a commercial
          electronic mail message violates RCW 19.190.030(1)(b).  Pursuant to
 RCW 19.190.030(2),
          defendant's violation of RCW 19.190.030(1)(b) constitutes a per se
 violation of the Consumer
          Protection Act, RCW 19.86.
               4.6. The conduct described above constitutes unfair or deceptive
 acts or practices in
          trade or commerce and unfair methods of competition in violation of
 RCW 19.86.020.
                          V.  SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
                                             5.1. Plaintiff realleges Paragraphs
 3.1 through 4.6 and incorporates them herein as if set
          forth in full.
          5.2. Electronic mail messages sent via the Internet contain a header,
 which tells the
          recipient the source of the original message, as well as any points of
 transmission on the
          message's path to the eventual recipient.  A typical header will show
 the path of computers which
          sent the electronic mail message to the ultimate recipient.  The
 specific  computers are identified
          by a series of computer and domain names, and Internet protocol
 address numbers.  Often there
          are several computers involved in transmitting the message to its
 final destination.  By examining
          the names and numbers which identify each computer along the
 transmission path, it is possible to
          determine who originally sent the message, and which Internet service
 providers transmitted it to
          its ultimate recipient.
               5.3. It is also possible for a sender to disguise or obscure the
 true routing of an
          electronic mail message by manipulating the transmission path
 information in the message's
          header.  Defendant engages in this practice.  He manipulates the
 information in his messages'
          headers to reflect that his solicitations originate at computers which
 are different from his.  For
          example, some of defendant's header information indicates that the
 originating computer is
          located at the domain name ""  See Exhibit A.  In fact,
 "" is a domain name
          assigned to someone other than defendant.  Defendant's messages do not
 originate from the
          "" domain.  Accordingly, defendant misrepresents the
 transmission path of his electronic
          mail messages by obscuring their true point of origin.
               5.4. It is a violation of RCW 19.190.030(1)(a) to misrepresent
 the transmission path of
          a commercial electronic mail message.  Pursuant to RCW 19.190.030(2),
 a violation of RCW
          19.190.030(1)(a) constitutes a per se violation of the Consumer
 Protection Act, RCW 19.86.
               5.5. The above-described conduct constitutes unfair and deceptive
 acts or practices in
          trade or commerce, and unfair methods of competition in violation of
 RCW 19.86.020.
                          VI.  THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
                                             6.1. Plaintiff realleges Paragraph
 3.1 through 5.5 above, and incorporates them herein
          as if set forth in full.
          6.2. Washington residents who receive unsolicited electronic mail
 messages from
          defendant often attempt to respond by clicking on their computer's
 "reply" icon in order to send
          defendant a message protesting the receipt of the original electronic
 mail message.  Those who
          attempt to contact defendant are often unsuccessful in doing so.  The
 message they attempt to
          send back using the "reply" icon comes back designated
 "undeliverable."  Often the reply message
          is undeliverable because defendant uses a return electronic mail
 return address that is invalid by
          the time the recipient attempts to respond.  The return address is
 rendered invalid either because
          (1) the Internet service provider who provides defendant's electronic
 mail account immediately
          cancels it upon discovering it is being used to send unsolicited bulk
 electronic mail without the
          service provider's approval or (2) the vast number of irate replies in
 response to defendant's
          messages overload the capacity of the return electronic mail address
 to receive more messages
          and result in the account's eventual shutdown.
               6.3. Despite the fact that defendant's electronic mail accounts
 are either immediately
          canceled by his Internet service provider or quickly lose their
 capacity to receive replies,
          defendant continues to send out unsolicited electronic mail.  Once an
 electronic mail account is
          canceled, defendant simply opens another account and sends out another
 bulk mailing.
          Additionally, defendant maintains several electronic mail accounts
 simultaneously, so that he will
          have a continuing means to send out his messages.
               6.4. Defendant bombards hundreds of thousands of electronic mail
 addresses weekly
          without affording his recipients the ability to respond to his
 solicitations.  Washington's law
          requires that a sender of unsolicited commercial electronic mail
 truthfully identify the originating
          electronic mail address of the transmission.  RCW 19.190.020(1)(a).
 This requirement affords the
          recipient the ability to reply to the sender directly whether it be to
 verify the validity of the source
          of the message, or to protest the receipt of the unsolicited message
 and request no further
          correspondence from the sender.
               6.5. Defendant fails to provide a valid return electronic mail
 address to recipients.
          Though the return electronic mail address accurately reflects the
 source of the original message at
          the moment the message is sent, its almost instantaneous invalidity
 renders it useless to recipients.
          By posting a seemingly valid return electronic mail address which, in
 fact, is impossible to respond
          to, defendant misrepresents the status of his electronic mail account.
               6.6. The conduct described above constitutes unfair or deceptive
 acts or practices in
          trade or commerce and unfair methods of competition in violation of
 RCW 19.86.020.
                                                             VII.  PRAYER  FOR
                                             WHEREFORE, plaintiff, STATE OF
 WASHINGTON, prays for relief as follows:
               7.1. That the Court adjudge and decree that defendant has engaged
 in the conduct complained
          of herein.
               7.2. That the Court adjudge and decree that the conduct
 complained of in Paragraphs 4.4 and
          5.3 constitutes violations of the Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act,
 Chapter 19.190 RCW, and pursuant to
          RCW 19.190.030(2) constitutes per se violations of the Consumer
 Protection Act, Chapter 19.86 RCW.
               7.3. That the Court adjudge and decree that the conduct
 complained of in Paragraphs 4.4, 5.3
          and 6.5 constitutes unfair or deceptive acts or practices and unfair
 methods of competition in violation of
          the Consumer Protection Act, Chapter 19.86 RCW.
               7.4. That the Court issue a permanent injunction enjoining and
 restraining defendant and his
          representatives, successors, assigns, officers, agents, servants,
 employees, and all other persons acting or
          claiming to act for, on behalf of, or in active concert or
 participation with defendant from continuing or
          engaging in the unlawful conduct complained of herein.
               7.5. That the Court assess civil penalties, pursuant to RCW
 19.86.140, of up to two thousand
          dollars ($2,000) per violation against defendant for each and every
 violation of RCW 19.86.020 caused
          by the conduct complained of herein.
               7.6. That the Court make such orders pursuant to RCW 19.86.080 as
 it deems appropriate to
          provide for restitution to consumers of money or property acquired by
 defendant as a result of the conduct
          complained of herein.
               7.7. That the Court make such orders pursuant to RCW 19.86.080 to
 provide that plaintiff,
          State of Washington, have and recover from defendant the costs of this
 action, including reasonable
          attorney's fees.
               7.8. That the Court order such other relief as it may deem just
 and proper to fully and
          effectively dissipate the effects of the conduct complained of herein,
 or which may otherwise seem proper
          to the Court.
               DATED this _____ day of ______________, 1998.

                                             CHRISTINE O. GREGOIRE
                                             Attorney General
                                             SALLY R. GUSTAFSON
                                             Senior Assistant Attorney General

                                             PAULA SELIS, WSBA #12823
                                             Senior Counsel
                                             Attorneys for Plaintiff
                                             State of Washington


Date: Thu, 25 Apr 1998 22:51:01 CST
From: CuD Moderators 
Subject: File 6--Cu Digest Header Info (unchanged since 25 Apr, 1998)

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