Here is my frustrations trying to stop criminals using my BBS (the MIDI-Exchange BBS) on my PC ...

 

 

TO: Greg Lyon or whom it may concern at KRON Channel 4 the San Francisco NBC affiliate

 

From a May 16, 1994 magazine column (Network Curmudgeon) in INFOWORLD page 45 by David Strom titled; "Who owns your E-mail messages? 'Netequette' for business"

 

I do not agree with the article that email copyrights are an open issue.

 

As I understand it, the copyright law gives the original author of a written piece exclusive copyright to that written piece. The copyright law does not specify the written piece be on paper, stone, nor electronic form, just that the written piece is tangible.

 

Defining tangible may be another problem. I looked up the word in two different dictionaries and got basically the same result as one of the definitions;

 

"Discernible by the touch; capable of being touched; palpable."

"Capable of being understood or realized"

"Capable of being valued monetarily"

 

As I understand these theories, touching characters on a piece of paper isn't going to be much different than touching characters on a computer monitor display - both can feel very smooth.

 

I am sure the intention of the law is very clear on this, and I am as sure that if I write an email to somebody, I am the sole owner of that information unless I specify otherwise.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

However, after declaring copyrights to email, I will now attempt to explain my concerns about when a persons copyright is violated and when a person would lose their copyrights.

 

I feel, as I am sure how many honest people feel, that the minute somebody begins planning and plotting any criminal activities to act upon, or to be acted upon, those people give up their civil rights, and any copyrights to materials used in their crime development.

 

What I am alluding to is a real world example I incurred. I run a small computer bulletin board system (BBS) aimed at MIDI Music, MultiMedia, and Virtual Reality. The purpose of the BBS is to give people with similar interests in these areas a simple and affordable common ground for discussions, information, and provide a library of programs and data files for the related subjects.

 

 

Typically, when I am walking near the PC running the BBS and see activity lights on the modem and hard disc drive, I will turn on the monitor to peer in to see who's on line and see where their interests are focused at. Recently when I did this I noticed a user reading his email discussing selling stolen credit cards.

 

I immediately contacted the local police and informed them of what I was seeing on the screen, and that they should investigate this and stop this criminal action. About three or more hours later, two officers came by my apartment and I showed them the email I had seen between these two users. The police requested a print-out of the email for evidence. I gave them a print-out of the emails, and also the user information I had on the two users engaged in the illegal activity.

 

I explained to the police the user information I had may not be legitimate, and that I was reasonably sure the user information would be fake as is typical of so many users on BBSís. Generally, on a BBS like mine, users don't give their real names, but use alias'. I didn't expect that anybody who is involved in criminal activities would ever give their real name, address, and phone number for verification or registration either.

 

After a few day's I was again walking past the BBS system when I again turned on the monitor to see who and what was happening again out of my basic couriosity. I again saw one of the previous users having discussions via email with another user concerning payments for stolen credit cards, pagers, and even about robbing somebody's house. I again called the police, after about thirty minutes a single officer came by, I showed him what I had, told the officer about the previous police visit.

 

This officer made a report, called the report in, got a case number assigned, and told me the case would be assigned to the fraud unit. He also told me to contact the fraud unit and keep them continually informed so that they might follow-up on this case.

 

After a few day's of collecting email's as the users kept posting back 'n forth. I called the local police fraud unit to give them further information and see what can be done.

 

The officer who answered the phone had me speak to another inspector. The following is the actual data transmissions of this case no. 940592272 from me to the officers who were investigating.

 

As you will see, justice plays a blind hand using civil rights as an excuse to permit crime and not get involved ...

 

Dear Mr. Ralph Curtis,

 

I was asked to send this FAX by the Duty Agent today.

 

I need help to either get a telephone tap on my computer BBS line, or Caller ID so I can help catch two or more criminals who seem to be two kids using my BBS as a Email drop for criminal activity negotiations and conspiracy.

 

The following pages are intercepted Emailís from a computer bulletin board system (BBS) that I run here in San Francisco.

 

I first noticed the activity last Thursday April. 28, 1994 about 6pm. Typically, when I see activity on my BBS I will turn on the monitor to see who and what is going on the BBS. Last Thursday night I had noticed somebody reading their Email referring to stolen credit cards.

 

I promptly called the local San Francisco police and explained to the dispatcher what was happening. The dispatcher said she would send somebody out to take a look. About four hours later two officers (Mitchell Lang #509 and Leon ???) I showed them what I had seen in the Email and they asked for a print-out as evidence.

 

I gave them the print-out including the personal data I had for each of the two perpatrators that was left on my BBS. I donít know if the personal data is accurate or not, but a phone trace could prove either way, and be easy to pin-down the two kids anyway.

 

Next I again saw similar Emails between these two on May 4, 1994 early in the moring when I was getting ready for work about 6am. I called the police again and a single officer (S.Osborne #1152) came by, I gave him a print-out of the current Email, he called in and gave me a case no. 940592272 and told me to contact the fraud deptartment at 553-1521.

 

Next I saw the continuation of Emails last night May 5, 1994 about 6:30pm. As I watched the user (The Macdaddy #625) writing his Email, I noticed he was even talking about a plot to burglerize somebodyís (named Peter) home. I immediately called the police again to report this new current action. I was asked to call back in the morning, and was unable to get any interest to try and catch the culprit on line.

 

By this time I am capturing all the Emails I can from these two users. I made some print-outs to keep for pick-up by the police and my own records to try and track whatís going on.

 

Then I called the F.B.I. today, asked what they could do. I was told to contact the Secret Service because stolen credit cards is an issue the Secret Service can handle. After talking to the local San Francisco Police (Inspector Earl Wisner of fraud division) I was informed that it is difficult for local police to get telephone line taps and traps. I was also informed that it was easier for federal agencies can get telephone taps and traps much more easily.

 

That is why I am writing this letter now. So that perhaps the Secret Service can work with the local police, and perhaps even the F.B.I. to catch these two kids, perhaps others they refer to in their Emails and stop some crime.

 

I want a telephone tap/trap on my BBS telephone line (415/771-1788) and perhaps even get me caller-ID so I can better protect my BBS from other jerks who try to screw-up the system.

 

R,D,Q,<space>

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: Alright

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Wed May 04 06:32:28 1994

 

RE: Bogus

 

Well give me back the card, I will TRY to get you a mastercard (I thought all

credit cards had a limit) Did they take the card? you should of snatch the

card and ran. Did you keep the card? well give me back the card. I am gonna

give it back to my friend and tell him that the card sucked, well, I will TRY

to get you another card, no garuntees, in the meantime try to get me my money,

from your pals..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: yeah.

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Thu May 05 17:47:07 1994

 

RE: sure

 

Alright...here's the problem. Getting cash is a problem. Getting the

merchandise is not. What I can do for you is get you the merchandise and then

you can sell it or keep it or do whatever you want. If you sell it, it will

be better for you cuz then you might be able to sell it at a higher price than

what I can. That's the only thing. The only way for me to get cash is to

sell the merchandise and that's pretty hard when you try to sell something hot

and most people don't carry arounda lot of money, unless it's car stuff.

Well, tell me what kind of merchandise you want. If you don't want clothes,

then that's cool. Just tell me what you want, and I will see if any of my

friends work at a store that sells it. I don't have your money, because my

friends havne't sold it yet. I asked my friends when they are gonna do

peter's house, and they said soon. They will eventually do it, and you will

get your share. It will be worth the wait. Cuz they want to clean it totally

out.

 

Oh yeah...just because the pager is supercomm, doesn't mean that it's pagenet.

They also have pactel, metromedia comm, pagemart, and a whole mess of others.

And if they pagers's locked by the store(that happened once), then I have to

pay the guy $20 to get it unlocked. All this stuff complicates it, but the

absolute best and very least it will cost, will be $7/mo. or $21 for three

months. You can't get two months. It has to be either $21 for three or $6.50

times 12 for one year. If it's locked, you can add $20, or if it's not

pagenet, then same thing. It has to be one or the other. NEVER both.

 

But wait about the house. i keep on bugging my friends about it everyday, and

they're pretty pissed at me. So, just wait and they will tell me and I will

tell you when everything is done.

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: damn

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Fri May 06 05:57:55 1994

 

RE: yeah

 

dont worry I aint gonna ever hook them up, I am just gonna sell them.. Dont

worry about it...

then what can you get me? just get me unhooked pagers, I could sell those..

I could sell those hella quick. OR maybe you could get me the genesis system

in stead of just the games..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: FOB

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Fri May 06 06:00:10 1994

 

RE: oh yeah

 

He likes FOB stuff, you know what I mean. I will ask him. HE will get it soon

dont worry just worry about getting me all the shit, man this is the last time

if you dont get him anything he says he is not gonna give you any more credit

cards. I cant tell you where he got it this time cause I dont know.

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

Dear Mr. Ralph Curtis;

Hereís some more from my BBS I just captured.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: ok

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Fri May 06 17:50:33 1994

 

RE: FOB

 

He likes fob stuff? Cool. I will just try and get it for you. But does he

want anything else, just in case I can't get anything? If I really do him up

good with a whole mess of deals, how many more can he get me? Well, Tell me

other stuff that he might want just in case I can't use it at Oaktree. I can

use it at Aeropostel for SURE 100%, because I already made a deal with my

friend who works there to hook me up with all the clothes.

/

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: How about this?

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Fri May 06 17:47:56 1994

 

RE: damn

 

Ok...I will give you the genesis system. That sounds really good. Do you

want me to give it to my brother to give it to you on Monday? Tell me if you

want me too. I can't get you unhooked phones. They won't sell it to me. I

can't get unhooked pagers either. It's really way to hard to get caught with

that.

 

 

CASE No. 940592272

Attention: Insp. Earl Wisner - Fraud

More evidence taken from my BBS Email. I have also contacted the Secret Service and talked to a Mr. Ralph Curtis whom I am giving copies of this to. He may be able to help facilitate a telephone tap/trap to best identify these two jerks and we may be able to prevent some serious crime in the future.

Walt Perko

================================================================

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: well

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Fri May 06 19:22:19 1994

 

RE: ok

 

what is Aeropostel stuff?? I wanna know what kind of clothes do they have

there? (Give me a brand name) I dont know what they have there cause I have

never been there..

can you get him electronical stuff?? why not??

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

--------------------------------------------------

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: Cool

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Fri May 06 19:20:11 1994

 

RE: How about this?

 

Okay bring it, what other games do you have? Well how about giving me a

SUPERNES, I know you have one.. Are you just going to give me the system or

are you going to give me the system and games. If you just give me the system

can I just have your superNES instead?

 

Tell me when you rob Pete

house, cause I wanna know, I will tell you what I want..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

SFPD CASE No. 940592272

Attention: Insp. Earl Wisner

cc. Mr. Ralph Curtis

 

More evidence taken from my BBS Email.

Walt Perko (415) 885-6218

 

================================================================

940508:0430WKP:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: welll

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Sat May 07 23:38:55 1994

 

RE: well

 

Well Aeropostel stuff is like I dunno....Their brand name is Aeropostel. It's

expensive clothing and my friend says it's like Oaktree. I haven't been in

there yet or seen anything. But stuff is pretty new and getting pretty

popular. I've seen it around a lot lately. Shirts that is....

 

Electronics stuff is a little hard. Maybe I can, if you can get me the id or

inside info on the person, but kind of hard. But maybe I can. I will try.

So, when can you get me the card?

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

--------------------------------------------------

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: ok

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Sat May 07 23:36:37 1994

 

RE: Cool

 

Alright...I will just give you the genesis system and a few games. Don't have

much. But I didn' get the SNES because it was broken and didn't have room for

it in the car. Just the genesis.

 

I will tell you when my friends do up peter's house. Will be soon. I can't

ask but they will tell me when, and I will tell you when.

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

================================================================

940508:0920wkp:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: dont know I think by tuesday

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Sun May 08 08:34:16 1994

 

RE: welll

 

I think I will get it by tuesday, I dont know hwat kind of shit is at

aeropostel? If they look like fob jackets and shit then take them, You know

how fob jackets look like... you could probably get them some shirts, just

make sure it aint GHETTo Clothes or Grunge type of clothers...

 

 

I will try to tell him to get me the card...

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: okay, I want something in petes house..

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Sun May 08 08:31:07 1994

 

RE: ok

 

alright bring the Genesisi on MOnday and I will get it, is it small like the

SNES?? well I will tell you what I want in Pete's house.. The SNES wasn't

Broken, and you could of just put it on your lap... When you go to do peter's

house you gotsa like bring a truck or van.. well When you go to Petes house

they got a super NES and I want it, so can you give it to me?? I dont want any

other shit from his house.. Here is a helpful hint if you look a little deeper

like under the beds and shit, you might just find more stuff..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

================================================================

 SFPD CASE No. 940592272

Attention: Mr. Ralph Curtis

 

More evidence taken from my BBS Email.

Walt Perko (415) 885-6218

 

Name: The Macdaddy #625

RN : Roger Sohn

Strt: 39 San Anselmo

City: San Francisco, CA 94127 (USA)

PH : 415-731-1393

Datp: 415-731-1393

Age : 17 M (05/13/76)

Comp: Apple Mac

PW : SUCKA

Last: 05/09/94 10/31/93

Msgs: P=0 E=27 F=1 W=2

Log : 29 1 I=0

UpDn: U=0-0k D=1-55k

Baud: 14400

SL : 20 DSL=20

AR : B

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

RN : jack stone

Strt: 1875 25th aave

City: san francisco, CA 94116-0000 (USA)

PH : 415-517-0312

Datp: 415-564-1468

Age : 14 M (02/11/80)

Comp: IBM PC (8088)

PW : WANNA"BE

Last: 05/09/94 04/26/94

Msgs: P=0 E=31 F=5 W=0

Log : 42 1 I=0

UpDn: U=0-0k D=0-0k

Baud: 1200

SL : 20 DSL=1

AR : B

 

 

================================================================

940508:2100WKP:

 

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: ok

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Sun May 08 00:17:50 1994

 

RE: dont know I think by tuesday

 

Alright...hopefully by tuesday. That will be cool. And see if you can find

out for sure what the limit and everything is. Preferably find out the SS#

and mother's maiden name and stuff. I will see what I can get.

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

To : Techno Anarchist #978

Title: ok

Name: The Macdaddy #625

Date: Sun May 08 00:16:36 1994

 

RE: okay, I want something in petes house..

 

Ok....I will give you the GEnesis on Monday. And when my friends do pete's

house I will try to get you the SNes.... no problem. Does he have a garage?

Are you sure you can't get any more of his cards?

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

================================================================

940509:0705WKP:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: credit card

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Mon May 09 06:49:16 1994

 

RE: ok

 

mothers maiden name? Social Security number? I thnk thats is going to be hard

to get. well I will ask my friend to try. For the size of the clothes. If it

fits phil it fits him...

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

--------------------------------------------------

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: pete

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Mon May 09 06:47:22 1994

 

RE: ok

 

He doesnt have a garage, and you wouldnt want his car either its is like 10

years old and he bought it used 10 years ago. his camera is worth more then

his car.. I cant get anymore of his card. But I am planning on getting this

dudes card, he is a construction worker so his card has at least 5,000 dollar

limit cause I saw him buy something that much before.

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

SFPD CASE No. 940592272

Attention: Ralph Curtis,

 

More evidence taken from my BBS Email.

Walt Perko (415) 885-6218

=====================================================

940509:2030WKP:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: what about the games?

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Mon May 09 18:56:50 1994

 

what about the games? I cant sell genisis without the games.. I only got

someone to pay $25 for that shit, if you give me just the system I want SUPER NES instead, give me the games so I can atleast get some more money for it, you only got one controller?

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

=====================================================

940510:0650WKP:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: games

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Tue May 10 06:00:57 1994

 

RE: yeah...

 

I hope he gets me the card today. I should know when though, well I dont care if the games are weak just give them all to me..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

=====================================================

940510:2000WKP:

 

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: SO!.......

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Tue May 10 18:01:29 1994

 

So you did Alfred's house eh? well Who broke into his house, your friend? How many of them? only 2? And they said they will never go into that house again?

 

DAMN, I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU WOULD NEVER GO INTO THAT HOUSE AGAIN, AFTER HOW MANY TIMES? LETS SAY YOU BROKE INTO THAT HOUSE 3 (YES THREE TIME) TIMES. i

THOUGHT HIS SNES DOESNT WORK? SO WHY DID YOU TAKE IT? 3 TIMES, SO YOU BREAK INTO A HOUSE 3 TIMES..

 

wait let me see, your friend did it and didnt tell you right? nope nope nope

thats not it, You didnt even do it? right? nope thats not it, you are a sleep

walker and at night you broke into his house and took all his stuff for 3

times...

Shit I want those Genesis games..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

 

SFPD CASE No. 940592272

Attention: Ralph Curtis,

 

More evidence taken from my BBS Email.

Walt Perko (415) 885-6218

 

=====================================================

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: Games

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Wed May 11 06:50:35 1994

 

where are my games? I want my games for Genesis, I dont just want the system cause I can sell that for jack, shit give me some GAMES...

 

R,D,Q,<space> : Q

 

=====================================================

I returned the call to Ralph Curtiss today. He will contact Mr. Sohn in the next couple of dayís and discuss these activities to see if this is where the problem is and perhaps put a stop to it all.

=====================================================

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: GAMES

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Wed May 11 18:35:46 1994

 

RE: dude...

 

Where are my GAMES?? where the hell are they?? huh. WHere the hell are they??

I want my GAMES. I can only sell my stupid jack shit Genesis for $25, and that

aint worth is..

^^^ I meant IT..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

=====================================================

R,D,Q,<space> : R

 

To : The Macdaddy #625

Title: welp

Name: Techno Anarchist #978

Date: Thu May 12 06:04:00 1994

 

I cant call you up voice cuz when I aint busy you are. so just like write me a

letter and give it to your brother and then tell him to give it to me..

 

R,D,Q,<space> :

 

=====================================================

It looks like Ralph Curtis talked to someone's dad... they kill'd (K) their Email, checked their user stat's (Y) and log'd out. Now they'll find a new unknown place to exchange Email.

-------------------------------------

Todayís activity LOG 940512:

 

30095: The Macdaddy #625 20:02:15 05/12/94 14400/MNP - 1

", ?, M, K, K, ?, Y, ?, S, O

Read: 0 Time on: 2

 

30096: Techno Anarchist #978 20:13:00 05/12/94 1200 - 2

Y, M, R, K, /O

Read: 0 Time on: 0

 

 -------------------------------------

Yeah, that's it ... the crime planning has moved to another BBS or other system ... The local San Francisco police didn't do anything to stop or investigate it nor did the F.B.I. nor the Secret Service. Nobody did anything except me trying to get law enforcement to protect innocent people ... And so why not arm ourselves? I don't think they leave a choice!