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TUCoPS :: Cyber Law :: 2600dcr3.txt

Reports of the "Raid" on the 2600 Meeting in DC




Subject: ****Conflicting Stories in 2600 Raid 11/11/92
From: newsbytes@clarinet.com
Date: 11 Nov 92 20:52:29 GMT
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., 1992 NOV 11 (NB) -- In the on-going 
investigation of possible Secret Service involvement in the Friday, 
November 6th ejection of attendees at a "2600 meeting" from the premises 
of the Pentagon City Mall, opposing statements have come from the 
same source.
 
Al Johnson, chief of security for the Pentagon City Mall, told 
Newsbytes on Monday, November 9th: "No one said that we were acting 
on behalf of the Secret Service. We were merely enforcing our 
regulations. While the group was not disruptive, it had pulled 
tables together and was having a meeting in our food court area. 
The food court is for people eating and is not for meetings. We 
therefore asked the people to leave."
 
On the same day, Johnson was quoted was quoted in a Communications 
Daily article by Brock Meeks as saying, "As far as I'm concerned, 
we're out of this. The Secret Service, the FBI, they're the ones 
that ramrodded this whole thing."
 
Newsbytes contacted Meeks to discuss the discrepancies in the stories and 
was informed that the conversation with Johnson had been taped and was 
available for review. This Newsbytes reporter listened to the tape (and 
reviewed a transcript). On the tape, Johnson was clearly heard to make the 
statement quoted by Meeks.
 
He also said, "maybe you ought to call the Secret Service. They're 
handling this whole thing. We, we were just here," and, in response 
to a Meeks question about a Secret Service contact, "Ah.. you know, 
I don't have a contact person. These people were working on their 
own, undercover, we never got any names, but they definitely, we saw 
identification, they were here."
 
Newsbytes contacted Johnson again on the morning of Wednesday, 
November 11 and asked him once again whether there was any Secret 
Service involvement in the action. Johnson said: "No, I told you that 
they were not involved." When it was mentioned that there was a 
story in Communications Daily, quoting him to the contrary, Johnson 
said, "I never told Meeks that. There was no Secret Service 
involvement."
 
Informed of the possible existence of a tape quoting him to the contrary,
Johnson said, "Meeks taped me? He can't do that. I'll show him that 
I'm not fooling around. I'll have him arrested."
 
Johnson also said, "He asked me if the Secret Service was involved; I just 
told him that, if he thought they were, he should call them and ask them."
 
Then Johnson again told Newsbytes that the incident was "just a mall 
problem. There were too many people congregating."
 
In a related matter, Marc Rotenberg, director of the Washington office of 
Computer Professionals For Social Responsibility (CPSR), has announced 
that CPSR has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the 
Secret Service asking for information concerning Secret Service 
involvement in the incident.
 
Rotenberg told Newsbytes that the Secret Service has 10 days to respond 
to the request. He also said that CPSR "is exploring other legal 
options in this matter."
 
The Secret Service, in earlier conversations with Newsbytes, has denied 
that the mall security was working on its behalf.
 
In the actual incident, a group attending the informal meeting was 
disbanded and, according to attendees, had property confiscated. 
They also contend that security guards took film from someone 
photographing the confiscation as well as a list that someone was 
making of the guard's names. 
 
In his November 9th conversation with Newsbytes, Johnson denied that 
security personnel took away any film or lists and further said, "We 
did not confiscate any material. The group refused to own up to 
who owned material on the tables and in the vicinity so we collected 
it as lost material. If it turns out that anything did belong to any 
of those people, they are welcome to come in and, after making proper 
identification, take the material."
 
2600 meetings are promoted by "2600 Magazine: The Hacker Quarterly" and 
are held on the evening of the first Friday of each month in public 
places and malls in New York City, Washington, Philadelphia, Cambridge, 
St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They are regularly 
attended by a variety of persons interested in telecommunications and 
so-called "hacker issues."
 
(Barbara E. McMullen & John F. McMullen/19921111)


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