Unauthorized Access Of A Computer [cr-95/9/22]


Pointer from moderator:

The following posting is long, so I have cut the major background
material (the part titled "The Jesse Hirsh Case").  However, the whole
document is on our ftp site in the Net-Suppression directory under the
name Anarchives-on-Arrest.  I encourage you to read it because it says
a lot about the rights of computer and Internet users.  The sender
also has a Web site at http://www.lglobal.com/TAO/.



Sender: The Anarchives <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Unauthorized Access Of A Computer

                "Freedom Isn't Given It's Taken"
The Anarchives                          Volume 2 Issue 8
        The Anarchives                  Published By
                The Anarchives          The Anarchy Organization
                        The Anarchives  •••@••.•••

                Send your e-mail address to get on the list
                Spread The Word Pass This On...

               --/--                   Unauthorized
             /  /                     Access Of
         ---|--/------|---             A Computer
             /      /
             /______/                 by Jesse Hirsh

In early march of 1995 I was arrested for "Unauthorized Use Of A Computer".

Three large, white, plain-clothes detectives from 52 division in downtown
toronto came to my house, promptly arrested me, took me to a holding
cell, and conducted a strip search (looking for codes I guess). I was
held in custody for four hours (7:30 pm to 11:30 pm), and released as a
result of substantial protest made by friends and family at the sergeants

I was being accused of breaking into the computer systems at the
University Of Toronto for the purpose of publishing "Anarchist

The sysadmin of ecf.utoronto.ca, one Professor Jack Gorrie
<•••@••.•••>, saw someone on his system publishing Anarchist
materials, assumed I was a malicious "hacker", turned over all records of
my email, news posts, key strokes, you name it, to the police at 52
division. The police realizing how dangerous these "hacker anarchist"
types are, had to come to my house to cuff me, bring me down, and strip
search me.

All because I was using my brother and his friends' account. I was new to
the Internet, and naively felt I had freedom of speech.

Turns out that freedom, like freedom in the real world, must be
authorized. Although my brother and his friend had no problem with my
using the account, they of course are not the recognized "authorities".
Only Jack Gorrie <•••@••.•••>, the system administrator, has
system authority. And good ole Jack, like many engineers, doens't like

Instantly I learned the total lack of privacy (without encryption that
is) on the Internet, and the simplicity of complete electronic surveillance.

All my actions were turned over to the police, a stack of papers six
inches thick. And of course this was their copy to keep. ;)

I was to face trial for a possible six months in prison, just for
exercising my democratic rights and responsibilities.

Of course the end result was that the charges were dropped, although this
was not until several months later (sept 7, 95), after several
appearances in court, and after my agreeing to pay $400 to the skule.

But nevertheless, this incident was indicative of a lot of emerging
trends in our so-called information-highway:

1. What right do Sysadmins have in turning our shit over to the cops?

2. If there are "authorities" on the Internet, then clearly it's not an
example of anarchy, which of course implies no authorities.

3. Where does the role of democracy fall within the practice of
electronic surveillance? Did I have any rights in the first place?

4. Who enforces University regulations; the University? or the cops?

I could have raised a lot of shit by dropping this publicly months ago
when it was all going on, but to be honest I was scared shitless.
I didn't want to be a guinea-pig for a law that had yet to make it to a
court of law.
My life had been thrusted into the public realm, and I was desperate to
get it back.

Fortunately I have good friends and family, who knew a good activist
lawyer who was dedicated to keeping my ass clean.

It's also worth noting that my brother, who at the time was completing
his master's degree at an amerikkkan engineering lab was investigated by
the FBI, upon prompting by the Toronto police. The FBI obviously found
nothing wrong, but again, hastle where it should not have been.

I could go on ranting about many of the other socio-political
implications of these actions, but the purpose of this piece is merely to

Included in this message is a legal-summary of the case etc., written by
friends of mine in LoGIC (Legal group for the Internet in Canada). Any
other enquiries or what have you can be directed to me at •••@••.•••

Any complaints, flames, or random rantings can be sent to
•••@••.••• ;)

* * * * * * * *             L o G I S T I C S           * * * * * * * *
Vol. 01  No. 01              September  1995            •••@••.•••
  A Publication of LoGIC: The Legal Group for the Internet in Canada
      LoGISTICS:                   •••@••.••• (Daniel Shap)
      LoGIC e-mail:                •••@••.••• (Dov Wisebrod)
      Mailing List:                •••@••.•••
      WWW (under construction):    http://www.io.org/~logic/
In This Issue:
2.  The Jesse Hirsh Case
3.  What YOU Can Do!

3.  What YOU Can Do!

LoGIC would like to prepare a cogent, persuasive and ultimately useful
commentary for the Canadian Department of Justice on several of the
provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada. As part of the commentary, we
would like to address some of the issues de alt with above concerning
sections 326 and 342.1. If you, or any paralegals, law students,
associates, partners or plain 'ol concerned citizens, would like to write
a paper on this (or any other) topic, please do! Then send it to LoGIC
c/o •••@••.••• or •••@••.•••.

If you don't want to write a paper (or even if you do) and you have some
extra research time on your hands :) please consider examining the
following points and writing to us with a brief description of your

1) Any cases which cite 326, 327, 342. 1 and 430 (re: data). To date we
know of the following:

    R. v. Brais (1972), 7 C.C.C. (2d) 301
    R. v. Renz (1974), 18 C.C.C. (2d) 492
    R. v. McLaughlin (1980), 53 C.C.C. (2d) 417
    R. v. Miller and Miller (1984), 12 C.C.C. (3d) 466
    R. v. Lefave (1984), 15 C.C.C. (3d) 287
    R. v. Fulop (1988), 46 C.C.C. (3d) 427
    R. v. Duck (1985) 21 C.C.C. (3d) 529

2) If anyone could provide us with digital versions of the above cited
cases for our collection, we would also be grateful.

3) A summary of the distinction between "obtaining" and "using" a
service, as set out in the case of R. v. Miller and Miller, cited above.

4) All Canadian cases dealing with the public forum doctrine. This
doctrine, which allows for protests in public places, may be applicable
to computer environments.

 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

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