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FBI Illegally Tapped Phone Phreaks In 1969

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the nothing-new-under-the-sun dept.

Privacy 296

xmedar writes "In his talks about the history of Apple, Woz has often recounted how the 1971 Esquire article 'Secrets of the Little Blue Box' set him on the road to phone phreaking. Now someone has obtained the FBI file of one of the phreaks, Joe Engressia (who later changed his name to Joybubbles), via Freedom of Information requests. The file reveals that Engressia was illegally wiretapped by the FBI and the phone company back in 1969. J. Edgar Hoover considered the blind college student a national security risk and wrote a memo about him to John Ehrlichman."

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Oh, now it's time for the Nixon haters! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011151)

What are you people going to say? He's like Bush? A crook that can't be trusted? Don't talk about President Nixon that way!

Re:Oh, now it's time for the Nixon haters! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012053)

Of course not, he's dead. It's more like:

He was like Bush. A crook that couldn't be trusted.

Incoming republicans (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011155)

Claiming that illegal wiretapping must not be that bad if we've had it for 40 years without knowing.

Re:Incoming republicans (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011263)

The difference is that under the USA PATRIOT act, this could have been done legally, despite still being immoral and pointless.

whither now, 2nd amendment? (1)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011963)

The difference is that under the USA PATRIOT act, this could have been done legally, despite still being immoral and pointless.

Re:Incoming republicans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011751)

There have been 10's of thousands of wiretaps that have never been documented every year. This predates 9/11 by a long shot.

Re:Incoming republicans (-1, Redundant)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011761)

My God, ChimpyMcBushitler was in ripping up the constitution even when he was 23!!! Is there no limit to his evil?

            Brett

Re:Incoming republicans (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012067)

Just because Bush is worse than Nixon doesn't mean Nixon wasn't really bad. He was.

Re:Incoming republicans (1)

The FNP (1177715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012299)

I'll take Hunter S. Thompson's word on the matter, he was there, watching him, and being much more vocal on the matter of government corruption than teenage druggies give him credit for now.

--The FNP

illegal acts to find illegal acts? (4, Insightful)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012239)

Did anyone expect otherwise from the Nixon Administration? :)

Funny... "illegal wiretapping" of an illegal activity on the phone wires. There's an irony in here somewhere.

Re:illegal acts to find illegal acts? (3, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012409)

Yeah its sorta like how if the police break into your home and find drugs but forget the warrant... Its illegal and because they used illegal methods to get the evidence they cant throw you in jail forever even if you have a monsterous drug lab supplying the entire country with .

Same goes for wiretapping, if they dont get a warrant they cant use the evidence they obtain through that wiretap in a court of law which includes getting other warrants theoretically and even if they did once a lawyer dug up this they'd throw the case out.

Well... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011159)

Well I guess this proves it. Government's ideas of what is a "security risk" and illegal wiretapping happened before Bush.

Re:Well... (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011169)

of course! that makes it so much less egregious!

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011211)

"But... but... all the other world leaders are doing in!"
"If all the other world leaders jumped of a cliff, would you?"
/sulk

My Reply: (5, Funny)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011457)

Hopefully, yes.

Re:My Reply: (4, Funny)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011987)

If I was Control, you'd have jumped off the cliff.
If you were Control, you'd have jumped off the cliff.
Neither of us have jumped off the cliff, so obviously I'm not Control.

Re:Well... (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011931)

Can you see world's population assembling under that cliff, chanting "Jump! Jump!"?

Hell, I could see quite a few people giving them a nudge in the 'right' direction...

How about nudging a likely future leader on FISA? (2, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012471)

Can you see world's population assembling under that cliff, chanting "Jump! Jump!"?

Hell, I could see quite a few people giving them a nudge in the 'right' direction...

Here's your chance to nudge. In the primaries, Barack Obama said he'd fight giving the telecoms retroactive immunity for their illegal wiretaps over the last eight years. Now that he's got the nomination sewn up he's losing some of his spine.

But the fasted growing group on his social networking site was specifically set up to nudge him in the right direction. All you have to do to add to the momentum is sign up and join the group.

Putting a little fear of the voter's wrath in a politician's heart is a patriotic duty.

--MarkusQ

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011923)

This just in, governments afraid of people thinking outside of the box and applying this to means the government does not approve. Film at 11.

It's hardly news that governments, no matter of what time and day, are mostly absorbed with the will to retain power and don't really enjoy giving away any to its subjects. That's why most governments are actually so keen on retaining the "power monopoly", i.e. being the only ones able to tell what's "right" or "wrong". That's the business they're in.

Re:Well... (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012483)

It's hardly news that governments, no matter of what time and day, are mostly absorbed with the will to retain power and don't really enjoy giving away any to its subjects. That's why most governments are actually so keen on retaining the "power monopoly", i.e. being the only ones able to tell what's "right" or "wrong". That's the business they're in.

Though it dosn't always ensure that the government in question remains in power. See "German Democratic Republic"...

Is there a doctor in the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011173)

The angels have the phone box.

Re:Is there a doctor in the audience? (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011261)

Yes, and I have a message for you to deliver. I'm sorry, Billy, but it's going to take a very long time...

Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (5, Insightful)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011217)

The law works like this: If YOU break it, you BROKE it. If EVERYONE breaks it, it is BROKEN. If the GOVERNMENT breaks it, the government is BROKEN.

Just because the law has been broken for a long time does not mean it should be ignored now. Fix the government..

Start with voting against every single incumbent - except for the libertarian-leaning and third-party outsiders..

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011289)

In other words, except for YOUR guys eh? Sure, completely benevolent and not self serving advice there...

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011653)

You say that like the incumbent Democrat or Republican is your guy. Good luck with that.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011823)

Libertarian is the new fascism. They talk about shrink the government, but they follow that "charismatic" leader, the Fuhrer Ron Paul. The guy is a fascist, as the fascists were for the small state as well, with all the power to the "people" committees.
Pathetic loser geeks that live on a WoW alternate reality shouldn't be giving opinion about American politics. At least, not at this specific moment of American political life, where everybody got REAL (not metaphoric) automatic guns loaded and are ready to kill each other if they diverge opinions.
American democracy is dead, and we are on the verge of civil war bloodbath that will put all the other humankind bloodbaths on shame.
So, shut up, go home, and stop to play politics, as you don't know anything about it.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012365)

Funny, in American politics its the right wing conservatives that usually heil an "infallable" authority figure. The fictional hippy Fuhrer Jesus of Nazareath

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

wellingj (1030460) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012115)

Let's put it this way, since when has a libertarian ever wanted something from you or wanted you to give up a constitutional right? When was the last time a Republican wanted you to give up rights? When was the last time a Democrat wanted you to pay for something? These parties need slapped. We need to put the fear back into them. They need to know that they work for us, not the other way around. And we need to be slapped. We need to realize that it's government of the People, by the People, and for the People. That entails responsibility on behalf of the People, not complacency and blind trust.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (3, Insightful)

The FNP (1177715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012315)

Ok, then how's about people start voting for leaders who will _lead_ rather than the guy they'd most like to have a beer with. I really don't want to hang out with the chief executive of my country, I'd rather he was busy doing his DAMN JOB!

--The FNP

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

crontabminusell (995652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012171)

Well, these days, "kill 'em all and start over" doesn't seem to work. At least, not in the good ol' US of A.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (2, Insightful)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011325)

Actually, you are right. Only those that want to shrink government give a damn about the constitution. The rest want to use things as they are. Both main parties have seen it as ok to break the law as long as they win. It IS time to stop this. Unfortunately, the populace is not informed enough to change things this election. God himself only knows what evil will seep out of the whitehouse in the next four years. "It's evil, don't touch it" as was once said. There are days when I think an unexpected Nuke in D.C. would not really be a bad thing. Of course I don't mean that, but you get the gist. sigh

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011483)

The problem with government and large government is that it tends to feed itself upon the hard work of the populace, while not actually doing anything, claiming all the "good stuff" (we created 100k jobs last year ....) while denying any of the bad stuff.

Hence the "Crisis" crisis (tm). Everything is a "crisis".

Health Care ... CRISIS!
Environment ... CRISIS!
Energy/Oil ... CRISIS!
Republicans ... CRISIS!
Democrats ... CRISIS!
Terroism ... CRISIS!
Drugs ... CRISIS!
Immigration ... CRISIS!

Do I need to go on??? Every Crisis listed above (and all the others) somehow cry for government involvement as if government has solved any crisis.

And all the reasonable solutions tend to be dismissed by those who are crying CRISIS!!!!! at every turn.

The problem is, they don't have any good solutions besides "more government". More rules, More laws, more policy!

NO MORE! All the rules and laws haven't solved a single problem, and many have caused more problems than they solved.

Government is not the solution, it is the problem. Man barely (if at all) is able to rule himself, what make you think that some other man can rule you better than yourself????

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011943)

You're absolutely right, every solution that our politicians are offering is just "more government", even though it's never been shown to solve anything.

I was listening to some idiot on talk radio tonight, talking about how passing more laws would stop illegal aliens from coming into the country (never mind that they're already breaking one immigration law, why not two?) He seemed to think that requiring even more paperwork and proof of citizenship from new employees would accomplish something. I was struck by how far this country has come, when the concept of requiring huge amounts of papers to prove you have the right to a job is now a respectable enough position for people not to be shouted down over it instantly. Who in their right minds thinks that requiring (people claiming to be) citizens to produce evidence of their citizenship just to earn a living is a good thing?

People need to stop thinking government has the answers. It barely even understands what the questions are.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (4, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012049)

You're absolutely right, every solution that our politicians are offering is just "more government", even though it's never been shown to solve anything.

An election is a job interview. When you elect a lawmaker, you are picking somebody for the profession of making laws. Naturally, if a person is good at that profession, he will make as many laws as possible. Every two, four, or six years, he has to re-interview for his job, so he wants to be able to get in front of people and explain what a good job he did making laws.

Lawmakers offer "more government" because a careful (s)election process proved that the majority of people thought that person actually would be good at making more government. It's the whole point.

Of course, if I ever run for office, I'll pledge to be incompetant at the job.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

The FNP (1177715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012329)

Yeah, you and Chicken John. I don't think the zombie attacks helped him though.

--The FNP

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (5, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012405)

a) get a group of people who regularly go through the laws and remove the crap.
b) have most of your laws expire after a certain time unless manually renewed - the lifespan is linked to how many legislators required to pass that sort of law.
c) all of the above.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (0)

adolf (21054) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012601)

Personally, I'm still amazed that, in a nation so plentiful, owing so much of its good fortune to the diversity and quantity of people who just sort of showed up on a boat, so many people have a problem with free immigration.

Absurd and ironic come to mind, but the word which I think best describes this blighted mindset is "disappointing."

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011967)

For a long time, our laws were very ... "flexible". They were more like guidelines rather than exact definitions. Sure, there were things like "kill someone, go to jail 'til you die", but usually, laws required a judge to interpret them.

The good thing about this was that people didn't look for loopholes. Flexible laws have none. When you're tried, you end up in front of a judge and those people COULD definitly see through your plot. When they smelled you trying to tiptoe around some legal definition, they'd whip out some obscure legal detour to jail you. At the same time, they let you off the hook when they noticed that, yes, you broke the law, but it was accidental.

Our judges were actually quite good at sorting these things out. And behold, the jails were filled with crooks.

This changed somewhere in the last 20 years. Now our laws are written down without much leeway to a judge. So now we have a lot of people in jail that didn't really do anything wrong but literally being in the wrong spot at the wrong time, while at the same time we have crooks ripping you off while dancing around the loopholes those rigid laws created, without a judge being able to do anything against it.

Personally, I prefered the old version.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

slarrg (931336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012163)

Actually, I think the biggest change is that we've lost social norms. There used to be many rules and morals in society that people were expected to obey and people breaking these norms were admonished by others in society. Of course, these norms were often largely arbitrary, like a man shouldn't wear a hat indoors, but the act of society self-policing these behaviors helped to reinforce the following of society's rules. Today, however, political-correctness has made people stop criticizing people for these minor infractions so people stop worrying about morals and what fellow members of society might think and instead only judge themselves by what can be proven against them in court.

The concept of "legal but immoral" has largely disappeared in society. It was replaced with "what actually breaks the law" and was then followed by "how can I game the legal system to get away with doing what I want even though it's illegal." If people feel that the society does not watch what they do then they'll start breaking the laws in greater numbers. Our legal system was designed to complement a self-policing society that would immediately punish minor infractions, with a tongue-lashing or dirty-look, and then legal action was only required when more egregious infractions took place. Now, though, we no longer self-police so the first complaint is a legal one and is tried through the courts. Today there are even cases of parents who call the police to control their children because they aren't in control of their own households. Our legal system was not designed for the societal norms of today and it shows.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012251)

Also true to a point.

I usually point the blame at the media. Basically what I call the "cult of the loser" that's running rampart.

The examples are manifold. Let's start with afternoon talk shows. What do you get to see? Some washouts who sit there, telling you that they've been unemployed for years, living off wellfare and that it's all a great party. Message: Being unemployed and mooching off society isn't something to be ashamed of, it makes you a TV star.

Then we switch over to court TV. Here again, petty cases that are little more than neighborhood bickering. Message: Be a jerk and sue without any reason, and you are a celebrity.

We switch over to early evening shows and watch The Simpsons (as much as I love them, they broadcast the same message). A total and complete loser in a dead end job experiencing the most interesting adventures, simply by being a loudmouth and constant nuisance, his son being an elementary school soon-to-be-dropout and quite "successful" with his peers while Lisa, the brain in the family, usually gets the short end of the stick. Message: Be dumb and loud and you're successful in life.

Works just as well for everything else, from King of Queens to Home Improvement.

And finally the day culminates in American Idol, the show where it is carried to the extreme. Be loud, be a complete washout, have the intelligence of a doorknob and be a freak, as long as you can look cute and sing halfway decently (the latter is optional), you can become a huge teenage hero!

Do you need anything more?

People believe what they see on TV. They idolize the people they see there and they learn from them. Especially when it's "real" people (like in the first mentioned afternoon "reality" shows). They may not be heros, but they show you that it's ok to be a slob, that it's no shame to mooch off the rest of the country, that it's acceptable to be a nuisance to everyone around.

And far too often the message that sticks is: Why not be an annoying, mooching slob yourself, "everyone" does it.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012451)

So you are a fascist wishing to enforce your personal visions on others by changing laws to fit your warped world view. Quite fitting for a Paul supporter, refreshing to see one be honest about it for once.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

TreeLuvBurdpu (1288430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012433)

I like this guideline concept: "Officer I know I was doing 75 mph in a residential area, but I was only averaging 40." But I think the good old days you talk about had more arbitrary rulings. In LA you would have child murderers get 3 to 5 years for murdering a child because they had already sentenced 1000 people for similar crimes that day, while in Alabama some poor fool would get ten years for posession of a joint (marajuana) because it was really hot they day and they hadn't stuck it to anyone in a while. I think laws are like traffic lights. They are not there to slow us down, but to allow faster transport. And they should not be arbitrary.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012509)

AFAIK the UK style law thing (which we also have in my country) is "reasonable man".

So if a "reasonable man" would do what you did in those circumstances, the judge is to look more favorably at you, even if you did something illegal.

I've heard a high ranking US judge say that judges are to apply the law and not aim for justice.

If you have lots of judges like that then the US legal system is in big trouble.

There are lots of laws, many overlapping and applicable. If you do not aim for justice, what guides you as a judge? Expedience and convenience if you are a lazy judge. Money and power if you are a corrupt judge.

If judges are just to apply the law without aiming for justice, then some time in the _near_ future we would be better off sacking all of them and replacing them with computers.

It's just as bad as having doctors that just apply what's in the medical books without aiming to improve their patients welfare.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012607)

The good thing about this was that people didn't look for loopholes. Flexible laws have none. When you're tried, you end up in front of a judge and those people COULD definitly see through your plot. When they smelled you trying to tiptoe around some legal definition, they'd whip out some obscure legal detour to jail you. At the same time, they let you off the hook when they noticed that, yes, you broke the law, but it was accidental.

The bad thing being that if you're a black man, then you're just fucked. We still have flexible laws - you can get a DUI just because, and you can get your house legally stolen because somebody found a joint inside it.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011975)

Man can rule himself. It's easy! Just make a decision based on whatever you want, and do it. Whether the ruling is good or not, that's up to you. These issues you mentioned, though, are kinda beyond the scope of individuals. That's where the government is supposed to step in. For example, an individual's policy on immigration might be to pick up a gun and shoot whoever he deems to be out of place. A government's policy on immigration will usually coordinate reasonable restrictions, border patrols, diplomacy with other countries, etc. Get the difference?

I thought this much would be obvious, but I guess not.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (3, Funny)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012063)

Hence the "Crisis" crisis (tm). Everything is a "crisis".

Funny, I thought it was "FUCK YEAH!" (from Team America: World Police)

Health Care ... FUCK YEAH!
Environment ... FUCK YEAH!
Energy/Oil ... FUCK YEAH!
Republicans ... FUCK YEAH!
Democrats ... FUCK YEAH!
Terroism ... FUCK YEAH!
Drugs ... FUCK YEAH!
Immigration ... FUCK YEAH!

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012207)

Yeah but unfortunately the percentage of people who understand this is in the single digits at the most and this is why democracy sucks.

Anyone who has studied history knows that the masses can be easily swayed and what that means for the rest of us...

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011585)

Screw that, voting probably won't help.* Do what I'm doing:

I never got around to finishing my bachelor's because, frankly, I was too busy working. Now I'm doing it. And once that's done, I'm going to law school. Once I have a few years of experience with the law, I'm running for office, and I'm going to do everything I can to fix what's wrong with our government.

If every decent, respectable, person on Slashdot did the same thing, we could make some real changes in this country.

*I say this because we're not guaranteed of getting the right kind of people in office, unless we are those people. Don't wait for someone to fix all the problems we have, start being a part of the solution.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (4, Funny)

ph4s3 (634087) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011631)

Decent, respectable people on Slashdot?

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011913)

I didn't say there would be many of us. ;)

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (2, Funny)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011645)

Once I have a few years of experience with the law, I'm running for office, and I'm going to do everything I can to fix what's wrong with our government.


Mr. Corbettw Goes To Washington. Say, you're not the leader of the Boy Rangers are you?

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012283)

Riiiiight.

Fact of the matter is, every other politician started out with the same goals as you. But once you actually get into office, corruption will set in. You will find that lobbyists and special interest groups will be more influential than the voters, because they are both much easier to satisfy and you stand to receive much higher rewards as a result of choosing to cooperate. You will want to either continue the government's current state of affairs or expand upon it; to do otherwise would be a conflict of interest. To think that you are somehow immune from this when every other politician is not is just ridiculous. You are just as human and faulty as everyone else. The only question is how long it will take you to fall from your ideals and inevitably become what you were trying to fix and/or prevent in the first place.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011807)

The law works like this: If YOU break it, you BROKE it. If EVERYONE breaks it, it is BROKEN. If the GOVERNMENT breaks it, the government is BROKEN.

I tried to apply your logic to copyright, and it breaks!

So does illegal wiretapping prove that copyright fails ?

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011991)

Does anyone still need any kind of proof that copyright in its current form is broken beyond repair? While I do see copyright as a good thing, in its current form it is an abomination that has little in common with what copyright was supposed to be. Instead of protecting the rights of those that create, it protects the rights of those that distribute. Actually, it protects the rights of those that it should protect against, now how much more twisted can a law become? It's like laws against murder protecting murderers instead of their victims.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (2)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011897)

We instead ought to vote for the worst candidate instead of the best.

There's 300 million people in our country, more than enough to enact change if they cared. There's one way to make them care: make this country go in the shitter worse than africas countries. We can do this by voting the worst candidate in, regardless of democrat or republican.

I personally would go 8 yrs of repub and 4 years of dem just for the facts that repubs love wars, and dems love "feel good" laws, regardless of unintended consequences. And laws are almost never un-passed, so we have even more quagmire of laws and warmongering. Mix that with ever-lowering currency, sky rocketing fuel, and the ever looming disaster of social security bankruptcy, and we have a social revolt.

If we can get 100 mill, we could do real change, as in kick all the politicians in DC on their asses into the sea. A little House-cleaning would be a good thing.

Re:The American Revolution II (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012371)

How nice would be an American Revolution Part II, I mean, Like the French Revolution as actually America has great influence in the political world scene, I can say that Politics as we know it [The GW Bush Mod V2.0] get easily adopted outside American borders. If any third world leader is a narc, or a thug still White House tells the world that he's a God send gift for the democracy and popular interests and that the TW Country is doing fine when the true is that the county it's fucked up.

I know and hope that the next revolution will be there, I don't see it close as most of the people still numb, but when it happens, the conclusion will be that the political model will no longer be acceptable, I'll go for a multi representative government.. say 10 people that have the leadership 10 people with different backgrounds and insights. And special groups (Departments) of every socio economic aspect of the country administration: health, economy, education, kids etc..thats my 2cents

Re:The American Revolution II (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012497)

> How nice would be an American Revolution Part II, I mean, Like the French Revolution as actually America has great influence in the political world scene, I can say that Politics as we know it [The GW Bush Mod V2.0] get easily adopted outside American borders. If any third world leader is a narc, or a thug still White House tells the world that he's a God send gift for the democracy and popular interests and that the TW Country is doing fine when the true is that the county it's fucked up.

???

> I know and hope that the next revolution will be there, I don't see it close as most of the people still numb, but when it happens, the conclusion will be that the political model will no longer be acceptable, I'll go for a multi representative government.. say 10 people that have the leadership 10 people with different backgrounds and insights. And special groups (Departments) of every socio economic aspect of the country administration: health, economy, education, kids etc..thats my 2cents

You DO realize that if we have a Civil War II, other countries that dont like us will try to take over too. It wont just be a civil war, but a WWIII setting, where our country is the main landmass. Yuck.

Also, what type of government would allow game theory to promulgate multiple parties? From my understanding, all game theory leads to 2 actors, let alone 10.

And lastly, we do not need a national "education" administration, nor do we need economy, nor kids offices. How does a federal office walled in a violent city represent the whole country? It shouldnt under any circumstances. There's a reason why our Constitution granted powers to the people and the states, rather than in federal. Do you think having hundreds of departments full of unelected workers is going to do any good? If you do, go drive to the BMV in your state and tell me quality of service is top notch!

Federal first needs a good housecleaning. As in, we need to dismantle every department and office. We need a complete turnover of Congress and Senate, remove every judge including supremes, and replace the president with one that will protect and defend the Constitution. Political figures of power (Judicial, Executive, Congressional) should be placed under watch for extreme violations of the Constitution, in which their life should be forfeit after due process. Elected officials should be banned from office if they signed or authored a bill which is nullified by the Supreme Court, but also puts term limits on Judges at 1 term of 10 years. None of that noise of lifetime appointments.

There's ways to make the Constitution better, but damn, its pretty good already. It pretty much works today as it would have 200 years ago. Too bad the politicians dont follow it.

Re:Doesn't mean it should be fixed.. (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012533)

I thought you had democracy? You're already voting whatever candidates you want. I mean you guys are doing stuff like reelecting Bush. Of course it may well be that your elections are diebolded, but the last I checked, most people in the USA don't care.

Careful what you wish for, if the country goes to the shitter, you might get one of those african style revolutions.

Once you have a dictator on the top it's quite hard to get rid of them. You'll have to wait for them to get old and either die or willingly pass it to the next generation. And even then you'd have to wait for the next generation to let go of the reins. Fortunately the next generation tend to grip less tightly to power.

That's ok (5, Funny)

pngwen (72492) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011275)

The phreaks illegally tapped the FBI at the same time!

Re:That's ok (5, Interesting)

jgardner100 (559892) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011453)

I still love Rutger Hauer's quote in Blade Runner "Aren't you supposed to be the good guy?" It applies more and more to the behaviour of Western Governments these days. (Yes I know a lot of the other's are misbehaving, but that doesn't mean they should become the norm that we strive for.)

Re:That's ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011925)

Cereal Killer: "Snoop unto them..."
Lord Nikon: "...as they'd snoop unto us."

If you are illegally hacking phone systems (-1)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011323)

You don't really have much of a leg to stand on.

You feel the same way about tax cheats? (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011379)

It's every bit as illegal to cheat the US Gov't of every single penny they owe the IRS.

You want the IRS tapping your phone to see if you are earning any income on the side that you don't report to the IRS on your tax forms?

Re:You feel the same way about tax cheats? (1)

Domo-Sun (585730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012423)

Hey now, it's one thing to not report a small amount of money or a phone call. It's another thing entirely to have a secret swiss bank account or to be bouncing your calls all over the planet for free by hacking the entire phone system and selling free calls to your friends. If you're so doing that you'd better expect you're being spied on.

Of course, this is easy for me to say, being sighted and having never hacked the phone system. Although, when I was little, I do remember someone mentioning *69 and I tried *?? feeling all 1337, and I used to dial random 800 numbers to see what I'd get, so I guess with his knowledge it was probably tempting. But come on.

In some states it's illegal to record a phone call without informing that the call is being monitored and it seems you can't even record cops these days. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't record a call or a cop when they're doing something equally egregious. I just wouldn't tell anyone about it. In this instance I'm not really shocked that the phone company tried to track him without a warrant. I can't really blame them and I'm not sure it's even wrong, morally.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (5, Insightful)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011383)

You don't really have much of a leg to stand on.

That level of ignorance is dangerous. In short, two wrongs don't make a right. If he was breaking the law, there is a procedure in place to deal with it. Investigate, go to a judge and get a warrant, go to a grand jury and indict. It was wrong then, and it's wrong now.

As soon as they make "dangerous thoughts" illegal, some asshole will be saying the same thing about you when they are violating your rights.

LK

and there are procedures to deal with the fbi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011583)

when it commits illegal acts. so whats the big cerfukus all about

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (4, Informative)

fyoder (857358) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011677)

Not to mention that flagrant law breaking by law enforcement agencies may allow the bad guys to walk free. There's a fascinating documentary about the Weather Underground [wikipedia.org] wherein it is stated that many of the members got off simply with fines because the FBI routinely went way across the line in conducting their investigations. These were terrorists essentially, with a penchant for bombing public buildings.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011863)

As the link says, the group is the Weathermen. It's the documentary that's called The Weather Underground.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (1)

RaNdOm OuTpUt (928053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011985)

There's a fascinating documentary about the Weather Underground

No. There's a fascinating documentary about the Weathermen titled The Weather Underground.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012499)

Basicly if you ignore due process the judge really has no way to trust that you are not just going to break the rules about lying to the court so the case becomes a complete waste of time. It doesn't help if the organisation presenting the case is as overtly corrupt as Hoover's FBI (paticularly the protection money from illegal gambling). The corruption was apparently cleaned up but we still have the legacy from Hoover's day of pretending to have a mind reading machine.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (1)

Domo-Sun (585730) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012373)

This is not a two wrongs thing - if they had a warrant or not - it would have been totally justified to spy on him. Complaining about the lack of a warrant is just a technicality. He was in the wrong hacking the phone system and selling free calls to his friends. If you want to turn your phone into a toaster, go ahead, but he was hacking the phone network. Those two wrongs are like apples and oranges.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (1, Funny)

SillyNickName (1125565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011397)

You don't really have much of a leg to stand on.

I presume you're referring to the FBI.

Re:If you are illegally hacking phone systems (2, Funny)

shermo (1284310) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011433)

Indeed, and he should keep an eye out

Illegal wiretaps... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011333)

...an American tradition, going unpunished for __39__ years.

Sad story, focus is off (3, Interesting)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011387)

It's sad, this guy had an I.Q. of 170 and it sounds from the article like his extreme potential was completely ruined by sexual abuse.

To me, treating this guy like he's some hacker god is borderline mockery. He had a right to live his life unmolested, and he lost that. And instead of helping him, the government spied on him.

When I look at my old collection of hacker books, I can still feel much of the pain that I felt as a child (never as extreme as sexual abuse) and I feel disgusted that Hollywood tried to make me feel like a genius because I was different and quirky and creative. In fact, if anything, my emotional pain put me at risk of not being able to use my potential at all.

Re:Sad story, focus is off (2, Interesting)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011601)

Met him once. When I mentioned he made the NYT list of interesting obits for the year at a Mensa gathering in January I was surprised to discover that several people maintained contact with him and were very fond of him. There are worse ways to make friends than start the Church of the Eternal Child. He wasn't unloved.

Re:Sad story, focus is off (1)

Stellian (673475) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012435)

TFA:

His wish to remain an eternal child appears to be linked to the repeated sexual abuse he reported suffering from a nun at the school for the blind that he attended as a child...

Calm down, he obviously enjoyed it and wished to remain an eternal child. Hey, who doesn't have a thing for nuns ?

Well, the telcos were phreaking out (2, Insightful)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011393)

The network was inherently hackable *by design*.

Security by obscurity, it does not work.

Re:Well, the telcos were phreaking out (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011667)

Security by obscurity, it does not work.

It does, for the attacker.

Re:Well, the telcos were phreaking out (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012007)

Security by obscurity, it does not work.

Hush, you. Could you please stop telling them, hacking has become hard enough as it is!

So what files do they have on the other phreaks? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011429)

Seems way out of line, this kid could dial phones by whistling up 2600Hz, and this rates memos from Hoover (head of FBI) to Laird (head of DoD) to Ehrlichmann (WH Chief of Staff), in the middle of the Vietnam War?? Imagine the files they must have on the phreaks who could only whistle up to 2540Hz or so.

Hah (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011441)

Well.. At least it's ironic when phone phreaks get their own phones tapped. Turnabout being "fair play" and all.

Although.. If you tap a beige-box-er, who've you really tapped, then?

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012057)

Yes, lets justify it in terms of turning the tables on evil-doers. That makes it okay, doesn't it?

The FBI has got to be one of the most disliked (3, Insightful)

KozmoKramer (1117173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011459)

The FBI has got to be one of the most disliked agencies in America right now.





But at least they have been consistent in violating American's privacy for the past half century.

Re:The FBI has got to be one of the most disliked (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012027)

Well, it has powerful rivals in the NSA (competing for the hate of people in the US) and CIA (competing for the hate of everyone else on the planet) for that spot, so it won't be easy for them.

But they really try hard, I have to give you that.

Oh hey (1)

kjzk (1097265) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011463)

Illegal phone tapping is the norm here.

Informative. However- (3, Informative)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011597)

The current wiretapping scandal has to do with violating FISA which was not passed until 1978.

If it CAN be done, it WILL be done (5, Insightful)

ScottFree2600 (929714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011843)

If it CAN be done, it WILL be done. Back then "being paranoid" was standard for Phreaks and considered a good thing. Honestly, I think that things are FAR WORSE now, then under Nixon. If they want to get your for something, they will. We've had enough examples of "the law be damned" over the past dozen years or so that it should be clear to all. The things that you have to fear are getting caught up in the "justice system" at all. You'll be facing incompetent, sometimes evil, always political and usually aggressive investigators, lawyers and judges. Anybody who's ever done work with or for an attorney knows that they are the most technophobic people you'll ever meet, and while this can work in your favor, most often it doesn't. This won't get fixed because they don't recognize a problem. Be very afraid!

Re:If it CAN be done, it WILL be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24011881)

Honestly, I think that things are FAR WORSE now, then under Nixon.

I don't think we're that far gone yet. J. Edgar Hoover was like nothing the US has seen before or since.

The real sum of all fears is a Bush-like administration with a Hoover-like AG or FBI director and modern computing capabilities. Then no one will be safe. We'll all be Joybubbles then (or MLK, or John Lennon, or other public figures who crossed paths with old J. Edgar.)

No suprises there (3, Insightful)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011893)

Illegally taped phones are pretty minor compared to some of the other things they did back then. Google cointelpro, mk-ultra.

Joe was amazing! (5, Informative)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011905)

Though I never met him personally, I know that he had perfect pitch. In other words his ears WERE a frequency counter! Rumor was that he could whistle MF tones-he didn't need the blue box that the rest of us used.

My BB was made with 555 timers in a calculator box and keypad bought from Poly Paks (anyone remember them?). I used a simple 1N914 diode matrix on the back of the keypad (with all its traces hacked away so it was just a bunch of SPST pushbuttons) to apply power to the different 555's configured as astables. For example, pushing the #1 powered on the 700 and 900 Hz oscillators, etc. The astables were all summed by a 741 opamp and then fed an old telco earpiece with the clipping diode across the back removed. Though everything was square waves, the switching equipment didn't seem to care at all and the box worked GREAT! I'd simply acoustically couple it to a handset mouthpiece and call anywhere I wanted.

The display on the unit lit up: 'FUCH BELL' when the CE keypad button was pressed. I couldn't make a K with an 8 segment display :)

I came very close to being busted-a NET security person came to my apt. about 3 months after I left school. Apparently they had a pen tracer on our dorm telephone there and heard my name mentioned. I called his bluff by confronting him ("How did you HEAR my name if all you had a court order to do was use a pen tracer?") and he went away. That day I stopped MFing.

I never met Woz-though we had some common friends. John Draper (AKA: Captain Crunch-called that because he discovered that a small whistle that came with in some Captain Crunch cereal boxes whistled 2600 hz-the main frequency that the entire tandem long distance system ran on) did come to visit me for a few days-he was ok but socially inept. If they illegally wiretapped Joe, then I'd be sure there's also an illegal file on John D. as well-he was HUGE in the phreaking scene at the time.

Ahh, the good old days-today it's too not worth phreaking because VOIP and other technologies make things so cheap that it's not worth the risk any more.

Re:Joe was amazing! (-1, Troll)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012297)

Oh Yes, phreaking\hacking was\is so glamorous and elite. It is immoral\unethical\illegal (pick one). Thanks to the gentleman who started it all by whistling into the Gibson and making our government even more paranoid. They have helped set the stage to enact current laws that inflict us. And thank to all the kiddies who praise the good ol days and the patriots who periwinkle boxed into the man. My favorite is the token - But it was hackable! Well, Goodyear and Michelins are slashable, and they often are. Should I blame Firestone and his Vulcan madness? No, I blame the wrongdoers who do because they can. They are so smart.

I can hear those records now... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#24011969)

I'm sure our wonderful government assigned a 10-man crypto team from the NSA to decrypt the uncrackable messages hidden in JoyBubbles' "Stories and Stuff" recordings [blakeops.com] .


So I'm making it up, but I bet you that at least one point that idea was talked about in the meetings.

Personally I thought he was a great guy. He did what made him happy. Even if it only hid the pain that was burned into his memory. Dying satisfied with your life is a great thing. Especially for the "unenlightened" humanists like myself.

Joybubbles. WTF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24012029)

Joy Bubbles. what a faggot.

Oblig. quote (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012041)

Mustard: "Why is J. Edgar Hoover on your phone?"
Wadsworth: "I don't know. He's on everybody else's, so why shouldn't he be on mine!"

are things worse now? (4, Interesting)

Alibaba10100 (1296289) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012061)

I can't decide whether things are better or worse now. Back then, the FBI put wiretaps on whoever they damn well pleased without any legal justification. There was no public debate on whether warrantless wiretapping should be allowed. Law enforcement acted with impunity, but technological limitations kept the number of wiretaps small. Now, those technological limitations have evaporated. Wiretapping requires much less manpower. Law enforcement agencies would like to be able to wiretap anyone they want without a warrant, and they want to do it legally. If we pretend that no illegal wiretaps are placed, I wonder if its better to have a broad wiretapping program in public view or to have a small scale wiretapping operation with absolutely no public oversight.

Re:are things worse now? (1)

ScottFree2600 (929714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012117)

Do you REALLY think that it's worse now? They don't even have to run jumpers anymore! They just type in what they want or "scoop up" entire trunk groups at a time. Remember what I said "If it can be done, it will be done" and I'd bet money that it *IS* being done. Wake up!

I knew his work - Pioneer Press (3, Interesting)

BcNexus (826974) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012081)

Joybubbles was a frequent contributor to the Pioneer Press feature "Bulletin Board." His entries to this print-based forum were fun and insightful.

He lived the last 19 years of his life as a five year old. Crazy as that sounds, it seems like a nice way to live: free-spirited and fun loving.

I had no idea he was a phreaker. Small world, eh? Especially with Bruce Schneier living in the Twin Cities too!

8038's? (2, Interesting)

ScottFree2600 (929714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012103)

He was! Are you sure that it wasn't intersil 8038's? I'm familiar with that design. What area did you live in at that time? We may know a lot of the same people. :)

The Middle Way (2, Insightful)

larryau (983008) | more than 6 years ago | (#24012347)

It is a bad idea that government should be whittled down to almost nothing, so much so that it would cease to function. The idea that the democrat wants to turn the USA into a communist country is just plain propaganda. It is fear mongering.

The republican is just afraid that what they have might be taken away from them or be expected to play fair. And whatever tools are available are used to keep you in check. The republican is guilty of using the fear of socialism all the way to claiming it is a gods plan to push their agenda. It is ironic that many of the ideas that are spewed from these people end up being more socialist than what they accuse the other side of doing.

I agree the state should not be responsible for everyone's does and don'ts, but a measure of reason is in order. The state should be "not too much government and not too little either". The middle way.

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