Suelette dreyfus julian assange

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The US Attorney's Office in New York gave Richard Rosen, who had taken

the case on again, a real headache. They didn't play ball. They played

`Queen for a Day'.

The way they negotiated reminded Rosen of an old American television

game of that name. The show's host pulled some innocent soul off the

street, seated her on a garish throne, asked her questions and then

gave her prizes. The US Attorney's Office in New York wanted to seat

Par on a throne, of sorts, to ask him lots of questions. At the end of

the unfettered interrogation, they would hand out prizes. Prison

terms. Fines. Convictions. As they saw fit. No guaranteed sentences.

They would decide what leniency, if any, he would get at the end of

the game.

Par knew what they were looking for: evidence against the MOD boys. He

wasn't having a bar of that. The situation stank, so Par decided not to

fight the extradition to California. Anything had to be better than New

York, with its crazy jail inmates and arrogant federal prosecutors.

The officer from the Monterey sheriff's office picked Par up on 17

December 1991.

Par spent the next few weeks in jail in California, but this time he

wasn't in any sort of protective custody. He had to share a cell with

Mexican drug dealers and other mafia, but at least he knew his way

around these people. And unlike the some of the people at Rikers, they

weren't stark raving lunatics.

Richard Rosen took the case back, despite Par's having skipped town

the first time, which Par thought was pretty good of the lawyer. But

Par had no idea how good it would be for him until it came to his

court date.

Par called Rosen from the jail, to talk about the case. Rosen had some

big news for him.

`Plead guilty. You're going to plead guilty to everything,' he told


Par thought Rosen had lost his marbles.

`No. We can win this case if you plead guilty,' Rosen assured him.

Par sat dumbfounded at the other end of the phone.

`Trust me,' the lawyer said.

The meticulous Richard Rosen had found a devastating weapon.

On 23 December 1991, Par pleaded guilty to two charges in Monterey

County Juvenile Court. He admitted everything. The whole nine yards.

Yes, I am The Parmaster. Yes, I broke into computers. Yes, I took

thousands of credit card details from a Citibank machine. Yes, yes,


In some way, the experience was cathartic, but only because Par knew

Rosen had a brilliant ace up his sleeve.

Rosen had rushed the case to be sure it would be heard in juvenile

court, where Par would get a more lenient sentence. But just because

Rosen was in a hurry didn't mean he was sloppy. When he went through

Par's file with a fine-toothed comb he discovered the official papers

declared Par's birthday to be 15 January 1971. In fact, Par's birthday

was some days earlier, but the DA's office didn't know that.

Under California law, a juvenile court has jurisdiction over citizens

under the age of 21. You can only be tried and sentenced in a juvenile

court if you committed the crimes in question while under the age of

eighteen and you are still under the age of 21 when you plead and are


Par was due to be sentenced on 13 January but on 8 January Rosen

applied for the case to be thrown out. When Deputy DA David Schott

asked why, Rosen dropped his bomb.

Par had already turned 21 and the juvenile court had no authority to

pass sentence over him. Further, in California, a case cannot be moved

into an adult court if the defendant has already entered a plea in a

juvenile one. Because Par had already done that, his case couldn't be

moved. The matter was considered `dealt with' in the eyes of the law.

The Deputy DA was flabbergasted. He spluttered and spewed. The DA's

office had dropped the original charges from a felony to a

misdemeanour. They had come to the table. How could this happen? Par

was a fugitive. He had been on the run for more than two years from

the frigging Secret Service, for Christ's sake. There was no way--NO

WAY--he was going to walk out of that courtroom scot-free.

The court asked Par to prove his birthday. A quick driver's licence

search at the department of motor vehicles showed Par and his lawyer

were telling the truth. So Par walked free.

When he stepped outside the courthouse, Par turned his face toward the

sun. After almost two months in three different jails on two sides of

the continent, the sun felt magnificent. Walking around felt

wonderful. Just wandering down the street made him happy.

However, Par never really got over being on the run.

From the time he walked free from the County Jail in Salinas,

California, he continued to move around the country, picking up

temporary work here and there. But he found it hard to settle in one

place. Worst of all, strange things began happening to him. Well, they

had always happened to him, but they were getting stranger by the

month. His perception of reality was changing.

There was the incident in the motel room. As Par sat in the Las Vegas

Travelodge on one if his cross-country treks, he perceived someone

moving around in the room below his. Par strained to hear. It seemed

like the man was talking to him. What was the man trying to tell him?

Par couldn't quite catch the words, but the more he listened, the more

Par was sure he had a message for him which he didn't want anyone else

to hear. It was very frustrating. No matter how hard he tried, no

matter how he put his ear down to the floor or against the wall, Par

couldn't make it out.

The surreal experiences continued. As Par described it, on a trip down

to Mexico, he began feeling quite strange, so he went to the US

consulate late one afternoon to get some help. But everyone in the

consulate behaved bizarrely.

They asked him for some identification, and he gave them his wallet.

They took his Social Security card and his California identification

card and told him to wait. Par believed they were going to pull up

information about him on a computer out the back. While waiting, his

legs began to tremble and a continuous shiver rolled up and down his

spine. It wasn't a smooth, fluid shiver, it was jerky. He felt like he

was sitting at the epicentre of an earthquake and it frightened him.

The consulate staff just stared

at him.

Finally Par stopped shaking. The other staff member returned and asked

him to leave.

`No-one can help you here,' he told Par.

Why was the consular official talking to him like that? What did he

mean--Par had to leave? What was he really trying to say? Par couldn't

understand him. Another consular officer came around to Par, carrying

handcuffs. Why was everyone behaving in such a weird way? That

computer. Maybe they had found some special message next to his name

on that computer.

Par tried to explain the situation, but the consulate staff didn't

seem to understand. He told them about how he had been on the run from

the Secret Service for two and a half years, but that just got him

queer looks. Blank faces. No comprehende. The more he explained, the

blanker the faces became.

The consular officials told him that the office was closing for the

day. He would have to leave the building. But Par suspected that was

just an excuse. A few minutes later, a Mexican policeman showed up. He

talked with one of the consular officials, who subsequently handed him

what Par perceived to be a slip of paper wrapped around a wad of peso


Two more policemen came into the consulate. One of them turned to Par

and said, `Leave!' but Par didn't answer. So the Mexican police

grabbed Par by the arms and legs and carried him out of the consulate.

Par felt agitated and confused and, as they crossed the threshold out

of the consulate, he screamed.

They put him in a police car and took him to a jail, where they kept

him overnight.

The next day, they released Par and he wandered the city aimlessly

before ending up back at the US consulate. The same consular officer

came up to him and asked how he was feeling.

Par said, `OK.'

Then Par asked if the official could help him get back to the border,

and he said he could. A few minutes later a white van picked up Par

and took him to the border crossing. When they arrived, Par asked the

driver if he could have $2 so he could buy a ticket for the train. The

driver gave it to him.

Par boarded the train with no idea of where he was headed.

[ ]

Theorem visited Par in California twice in 1992 and the relationship

continued to blossom. Par tried to find work so he could pay her back

the $20000 she had lent him during his years on the run and during his

court case, but it was hard going. People didn't seem to want to hire


`You don't have any computer skills,' they told him. He calmly

explained that, yes, he did indeed have computer skills.

`Well, which university did you get your degree from?' they asked.

No, he hadn't got his skills at any university.

`Well, which companies did you get your work experience from?'

No, he hadn't learned his skills while working for a company.

`Well, what did you do from 1989 to 1992?' the temp agency staffer

inevitably asked in an exasperated voice.

`I ... ah ... travelled around the country.' What else was Par going

to say? How could he possibly answer that question?

If he was lucky, the agency might land him a data-entry job at $8 per

hour. If he was less fortunate, he might end up doing clerical work

for less than that.

By 1993, things had become a little rocky with Theorem. After four and

a half years together, they broke up. The distance was too great, in

every sense. Theorem wanted a more stable life--maybe not a

traditional Swiss family with three children and a pretty chalet in

the Alps, but something more than Par's transient life on the road.

The separation was excruciatingly painful for both of them.

Conversation was strained for weeks after the decision. Theorem kept

thinking she had made a mistake. She kept wanting to ask Par to come

back. But she didn't.

Par drowned himself in alcohol. Shots of tequila, one after the other.

Scull it. Slam the glass down. Fill it to the top. Throw back another.

After a while, he passed out. Then he was violently ill for days, but

somehow he didn't mind. It was cleansing to be so ill.

Somewhere along the way, Rosen managed to get Par's things returned

from the Secret Service raids. He passed the outdated computer and

other equipment back to Par, along with disks, print-outs and notes.

Par gathered up every shred of evidence from his case, along with a

bottle of Jack Daniels, and made a bonfire. He shredded print-outs,

doused them in lighter fluid and set them alight. He fed the disks

into the fire and watched them melt in the flames. He flipped through

the pages and pages of notes and official reports and let them pull

out particular memories. Then he crumpled up each one and tossed it in

the fire. He even sprinkled a little Jack Daniels across the top for

good measure.

As he pulled the pages from a Secret Service report, making them into

tight paper balls, something caught his eye and made him wonder. Many

hackers around the world had been busted in a series of raids

following the first Thanksgiving raid at Par's house back in 1988.

Erik Bloodaxe, the MOD boys, the LOD boys, The Atlanta Three, Pad and

Gandalf, the Australians--they had all been either busted or raided

during 1989, 1990 and 1991.

How were the raids connected? Were the law-enforcement agencies on

three different continents really organised enough to coordinate

worldwide attacks on hackers?

The Secret Service report gave him a clue. It said that in December

1988, two informants had called Secret Service special agents in

separate divisions with information about Par. The informants--both

hackers--told the Secret Service that Par was not the `Citibank

hacker' the agency was looking for. They said the real `Citibank

hacker' was named Phoenix.

Phoenix from Australia.

Chapter 5 -- The Holy Grail


So we came and conquered and found

riches of Commons and Kings

-- from `River Runs Red', on Blue Sky Mining by Midnight Oil

There it was, in black and white. Two articles by Helen Meredith in

The Australian in January 1989.2 The whole Australian computer

underground was buzzing with the news.

The first article appeared on 14 January:

Citibank hackers score $500,000

An elite group of Australian hackers has lifted more than

$US500,000 ($580,000) out of America's Citibank in one of the more

daring hacking crimes in Australia's history.

Australian federal authorities were reported late yesterday to be

working with American authorities to pin down the Australian

connection involving hackers in Melbourne and Sydney.

These are the elite `freekers' of white collar crime ...

The Australian connection is reported to have used a telephone in

the foyer of Telecom's headquarters at 199 William Street in

Melbourne to send a 2600-hertz signal giving them access to a trunk

line and ultimately to a managerial access code for Citibank.

Sources said last night the hackers had lifted $US563,000 from the

US bank and transferred it into several accounts. The money has now

been withdrawn ...

Meanwhile, Victorian police were reported yesterday to be

systematically searching the homes of dozens of suspects in a

crackdown on computer hackers ...

An informed source said Criminal Investigation Bureau officers

armed with search warrants were now searching through the

belongings of the hacking community and expected to find hundreds

of thousands of dollars of goods.

An informed source said Criminal Investigation Bureau officers

armed with search warrants were now searching through the

belongings of the hacking community and expected to find hundreds

of thousands of dollars of goods.

The second article was published ten days later:

Hackers list card hauls on boards

Authorities remain sceptical of the latest reports of an

international hacking and phreaking ring and its Australian


Yesterday, however, evidence continued to stream into the Melbourne

based bulletin boards under suspicion ...

In the latest round of bulletin board activity, a message from a

United States hacker known as Captain Cash provided the Australian

connection with the latest news on Australian credit cards,

provided by local hackers, and their illegal use by US hackers to

the value of $US362 018 ($416112).

The information was taken from a computer bulletin board system

known as Pacific Island and used actively by the Australian


The message read: `OK on the 5353 series which we are closing

today--Mastercard $109 400.50. On the 4564 series--Visa which I'll

leave open for a week

$209417.90. And on good old don't leave home without someone

else's: $43 200.

`Making a grand total of


`Let's hear it for our Aussie friends!

`I hear they are doing just as well!

`They are sending more numbers on the 23rd! Great!

`They will be getting 10%

as usual...a nice bonus of

$36 200.00!'

The bulletin board also contained advice for phreakers on using

telephones in Telecom's 199 William Street headquarters and the

green phones at Spencer Street Station in Melbourne--to make free

international calls ...

Phoenix, another local bulletin board user, listed prices for

`EXTC'- tablets ...

Late Friday, The Australian received evidence suggesting a break-in

of the US Citibank network by Australian hackers known as The Realm


The gang's US connection is believed to be based in Milwaukee and

Houston. US Federal authorities have already raided US hackers

involved in Citibank break-ins in the US.

A covert operation of the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence has had

the Australian connection under surveillance and last week took

delivery of six months' of evidence from the Pacific Island board

and associated boards going by the name of Zen and Megaworks ...

The Australian hackers include a number of Melbourne people, some

teenagers, suspected or already convicted of crimes including

fraud, drug use and car theft. Most are considered to be at the

least, digital voyeurs, at worst criminals with a possible big

crime connection.

The information received by The Australian amounts to a confession

on the part of the Australian hackers to involvement in the

break-in of the US Citibank network as well as advice on phreaking

... and bank access.

The following is taken directly from the bulletin board ... It was

stored in a private mailbox on the board and is from a hacker known

as Ivan Trotsky to one who uses the name Killer Tomato:

`OK this is what's been happening ...

`While back a Sysop had a call from the Feds, they wanted Force's,

Phoenix's, Nom's, Brett Macmillan's and my names in connection with

some hacking The Realm had done and also with some carding meant to

have been done too.

`Then in the last few days I get info passed to me that the Hack

that was done to the Citibank in the US which has led to arrests

over there also had connections to Force and Electron ...'

DPG monitoring service spokesman, Mr Stuart Gill, said he believed

the Pacific Island material was only the tip of the iceberg.

`They're far better organised than the police,' he said.

`Unless everyone gets their act together and we legislate against

it, we'll still be talking about the same things this time next


Yesterday, the South Australian police started an operation to put

bulletin boards operating in that state under surveillance.

And in Western Australia, both political parties agreed they would

proceed with an inquiry into computer hacking, whoever was in


The Victoria Police fraud squad last week announced it had set up a

computer crime squad that would investigate complaints of computer


The articles were painful reading for most in the computer


Who was this Captain Cash? Who was the Killer Tomato? Many believed

they were either Stuart Gill, or that Gill had forged messages by them

or others on Bowen's board. Was the underground rife with credit card

frauders? No. They formed only a very small part of that community.

Had the Melbourne hackers stolen half a million dollars from Citibank?

Absolutely not. A subsequent police investigation determined this

allegation to be a complete fabrication.

How had six months' worth of messages from PI and Zen found their way

into the hands of the Victoria Police Bureau of Criminal Intelligence?

Members of the underground had their suspicions.

To some, Stuart Gill's role in the underground appeared to be that of

an information trader. He would feed a police agency information, and

garner a little new material from it in exchange. He then amalgamated

the new and old material and delivered the new package to another

police agency, which provided him a little more material to add to the

pot. Gill appeared to play the same game in the underground.

A few members of the underground, particularly PI and Zen regulars

Mentat and Brett MacMillan, suspected chicanery and began fighting a

BBS-based war to prove their point. In early 1989, MacMillan posted a

message stating that Hackwatch was not registered as a business

trading name belonging to Stuart Gill at the Victorian Corporate

Affairs office. Further, he stated, DPG Monitoring Services did not

exist as an official registered business trading name either.

MacMillan then stunned the underground by announcing that he had

registered the name Hackwatch himself, presumably to stop Stuart

Gill's media appearances as a Hackwatch spokesman.

Many in the underground felt duped by Gill, but they weren't the only

ones. Soon some journalists and police would feel the same way. Stuart

Gill wasn't even his real name.

What Gill really wanted, some citizens in the underground came to

believe, was a public platform from which he could whip up hacker hype

and then demand the introduction of tough new anti-hacking laws. In

mid-1989, the Commonwealth Government did just that, enacting the

first federal computer crime laws.

It wasn't the journalists' fault. For example, in one case Helen

Meredith had asked Gill for verification and he had referred her to

Superintendent Tony Warren, of the Victoria Police, who had backed him

up. A reporter couldn't ask for better verification than that.

And why wouldn't Warren back Gill? A registered ISU informer, Gill

also acted as a consultant, adviser, confidant and friend to various

members of the Victoria Police. He was close to both Warren and,

later, to Inspector Chris Cosgriff. From 1985 to 1987, Warren had

worked at the Bureau of Criminal Intelligence (BCI). After that, he

was transferred to the Internal Investigations Department (IID), where

he worked with Cosgriff who joined IID in 1988.

Over a six-month period in 1992, Tony Warren received more than 200

phone calls from Stuart Gill--45 of them to his home number. Over an

eighteen-month period in 1991-92, Chris Cosgriff made at least 76

personal visits to Gill's home address and recorded 316 phone calls

with him.3

The Internal Security Unit (ISU) investigated corruption within the

police force. If you had access to ISU, you knew everything that the

Victoria Police officially knew about corruption within its ranks. Its

information was highly sensitive, particularly since it could involve

one police officer dobbing in another. However, a 1993 Victorian

Ombudsman's report concluded that Cosgriff leaked a large amount of

confidential ISU material to Gill, and that Warren's relationship with

Gill was inappropriate.4

When Craig Bowen (aka Thunderbird1) came to believe in 1989 that he

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