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Santa Ana Orange County Register Newspaper Archives Jun 3 1990, Page 5

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Santa Ana Orange County Register (Newspaper) - June 3, 1990, Santa Ana, California Sunday june 3, 1990 the Orange county Register a5 crackdown on computer crime disturbs civil libertarians the new York times from los Angeles to Atlanta Federal and state Law enforcement agents have begun an intense Battle against computer operators who break into government and business data systems. The agents under mounting pressure from corporations and lawmakers say the crackdown is needed to halt a growing threat to Commerce research and National Security. But increasingly civil liberties experts and even some computer Industry executives say the crackdown is affecting computer users who Are not breaking the Law. These experts say such users Are being intimidated and Are suffering illegal searches and violations of their constitutional guarantees to free speech. In Many ways the computer crackdown parallels the Campaign against drugs with officials responding to an outcry Over a serious problem Only to confront another outcry Over assaults on civil rights. Quot it s a whole new Era quot said Stephen Mcnamee us attorney for Arizona who has been a Central figure in government efforts to counter computer crime. Quot computers Are providing a new Avenue for criminal activities. It is possible to transmit computer information for an illegal purpose in the blink of an but rep. Don Edwards a san Jose said the authorities have gone too far. Quot every time there is a perceived crisis Law enforcement agencies and legislators overreact and usually due process and civil liberties suffer quot Edwards said. Quot the fourth amendment provides strict limits on rummaging through people s the largest of several investigations under Way around the country is a 2-year-old Federal Effort called operation Sun Devil in which about 40 personal computer systems including 23,000 data disks have been seized from Homes and businesses. The seizures resulting from 28 search warrants in 14 cities halted the operations of some computer bulletin boards a Telephone linked services that permit users to Post and read messages. Little or any of the confiscated equipment has been returned. In All seven people have been arrested so far. One computer game maker who has not been charged says he is on the verge of going out of business since investigators seized his equipment. In related inquiries the secret service has surreptitiously eavesdropped on computer bulletin boards and Telephone conversations and in the process agents have entered these networks pos k it s a whole new Era. Computers Are providing a new Avenue for criminal activities. It is possible to transmit computer information for an illegal purpose in the blink of an Eye. 99stephen Mcnamee us attorney for Arizona k every time there is a perceived crisis Law enforcement agencies and legislators overreact and usually due process and civil liberties suffer. The fourth amendment provides strict limits on rummaging through people s property. 99rep. Don Edwards a san Jose ing As legitimate users and traded information. In an unrelated investigation of the theft of an important program from Apple computer inc. Last year dozens of experts and hobbyists have recently been interrogated by the Fri. Civil libertarians and some business executives have begun to organize defences. Among them is Mitchell d. Kapor creator of the nation s most popular software program the Lotus 1-2-3 spread Sheet who is planning to help finance a Legal defense fund of several Hundred thousand dollars for some of those accused. Harvey Silverglate a Massachusetts lawyer and civil liberties expert who is working with Kapor said quot you have innocent people who Are being terrorized As Well As investigations of people who have broken the he termed the government actions a quot typical american solution throw your Best and brightest in officials of the secret service which since 1984 has been the primary Federal enforcer of computer fraud Laws believe that an alarming number of Bright Young computer enthusiasts Are using computers illegally. Quot often a progression of criminal activity occurs which involves telecommunication fraud unauthorized Access to other computers credit card fraud and then moves on to other destructive activities like computer viruses quot said Gary m. Jenkins secret service assistant director. A 1986 Federal Law on computer fraud and abuse makes it a crime to enter computers or take information from them without authorization. But Kapor of Lotus said he believed the danger posed by the computer joyrides had been greatly exaggerated. Quot now that the communists Aren t our enemies anymore the american psyche has to end up inventing new ones quot he said. He and other experts Are also alarmed by new investigative tech factory direct Sale Yards of fun live. Swing sets we have the largest selection of 2x4 amp 4x4 swing amp play sets 20-year warranty full line of accessories installation available most areas the Galleon 4x4 expandable 3 position 4 position shown 18 x 8 x 9 All sets conform to atm safety standards. We can prove it. Free sude <599 expandable Captain s deck optional Junior Clipper 14 x8 x8 if you Are not satisfied within 10 Days of installation full refund will be honoured. Call for free color Catalon 1-800-348-5400 piques that employ computers. The Power of advanced machines multiplies the risk of search and seizure violations these experts say because they can perform so Many simultaneous tasks and absorb and Analyse so much information. Moreover civil liberties advocates say the perils Are greater because Legal precedents Are not Clear on How the first amendment protects speech and the fourth amendment protects against searches and seizures in the electronic world. In response to a court enforceable request under the Freedom of information act the secret service has acknowledged that it has monitored computer bulletin boards. Civil liberties specialists View such practices As potentially harmful. The government s operation Sun Devil was set up primarily to fight a Loose association of several dozen computer hobbyists including teen agers who referred to them selves As the legion of doom. Members in various cities stayed in touch through computer networks and bulletin boards and exchanged technical information on How to break into computer systems. In february a Federal grand jury in Chicago indicted two members Craig Neidorf 20, and Robert j. Riggs 21, for exchanging a six Page document describing the operation of the Southern Bell 911 emergency system. Computer Security experts say documents like the 911 description Are usually not taken for profit but rather for the Challenge of doing it. But Law enforcement officials do not see it As a game. Because modern society has come to depend on computers for so much of its government and commercial business officials View intrusions As threats not Only to private property but also to the very operations of the systems. In another part of the Sun Devil investigation secret service agents in March confiscated computers and other equipment from Steve Jackson games a Small Austin tex., company. Jackson the company s president said the agents were seeking a Rule Book for a fantasy game that deals with quot cyberpunk quot the science fiction world where High technology and outlaw society intersect. Jackson said he still did not know Why his company had been searched. He said secret service officials had promised three times to return his equipment and software but still had not done so. He said that he had been forced to Lay off eight of his 17 we Cany major name Brand Luggage and business cases at great discounts. Never pay full retail again. At California Luggage you la find the latest in Luggage and business cases at unheard of prices. Large selection of corporate gifts also in Stock. Endings with a twist Tiffany s classic knot designs in fourteen Karat Gold from our extensive collection of men s jewelry. Cuff links $795. Matching studs set of three $425. Tiffany amp co. Costa Mesa a South coast Plaza a 3333 Bristol Street a 92626 to order Call 714-540-5330 a it amp. 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