http://www.forbes.com/2002/10/01/1001mitnick.html [As I send this off to the list, the current bid is at $9100.00 with a little more than four days to go. - WK] Arik Hesseldahl 10.01.02 As laptop computers go, it's old and antiquated by modern standards. It's a Toshiba Satellite T1960CS. It has an Intel 486 chip. And right now its available for auction on eBay . The bid as of mid-morning was $7,900. The laptop belongs to the infamous computer criminal Kevin Mitnick, and on Feb. 15, 1995, it was seized as evidence when he was arrested in North Carolina by the FBI. He was subsequently charged with stealing computer software. Companies like Motorola, Finland's Nokia, Novell, NEC, Sun Microsystems and Digital Equipment, now part of Hewlett-Packard, claimed that Mitnick had stolen the source code of software that had cost them millions to develop. Many a Web site--including the famous defacing of the New York Times' Web site in 1998 (see "We were long gone when he pulled the plug" )--over the years has been attacked by Mitnick's supporters protesting his incarceration. People will likely shell out some serious cash to own an artifact from the Mitnick case, in the same way they might pay for a gun that once belonged to Jesse James. During the course of the long legal battle that ensued, the data contained on the laptop became central to the case. Ultimately, Mitnick pleaded guilty to charges of computer fraud, wire fraud and intercepting communications in 1999, in return for a reduced sentence. At one point, Mitnick argued the computer contained certain encrypted data that could be helpful to his defense. Government lawyers maintained that if he was going to have access to any data at all, he would have to decrypt all of it and turn it over to them. The point went directly to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects people from self-incrimination. The judge decided to sidestep the issue, and the data remained encrypted and has since been wiped from the machine's hard drive, Mitnick says. The money raised from the sale will go to help pay legal bills, not for his criminal defense, but to pay a lawyer who has been helping Mitnick fight the Federal Communications Commission over the renewal of his amateur radio license. Is it legal for him to sell? His attorneys say it is, but his sentence forbids him from profiting from his story until 2007. That means no book or movie deals. He is also forbidden from using the Internet until next year -- friends of his are handling the mechanics of the eBay sale. "That laptop is mine, and I'm free to sell it," he says.  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2057697313  http://www.forbes.com/global/1998/1116/0117082a.html - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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