FC: Feds have not dropped charges; "Free Dmitry" website defacements

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Tue Jul 24 2001 - 08:26:26 PDT

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    Politech archive on U.S. v. Sklyarov:
        Sklyarov Release in Fed's Hands
        By Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
        2:00 a.m. July 24, 2001 PDT
        WASHINGTON -- America's geeks want Dmitry freed.
        Hundreds of hackers, programmers and system administrators decamped
        from their cubicles on Monday and took to the streets to argue, in
        dozens of different ways, that Dmitry Sklyarov should not be in jail
        for creating code-breaking software.
        Some geekavists, who turned out in at least 10 cities, targeted FBI
        and Justice Department offices. The largest crowd, with about 100
        demonstrators, marched on the San Jose headquarters of Adobe Systems,
        whose copy protection scheme Sklyarov has been charged with
        Adding additional drama to the day was a high-stakes meeting taking
        place inside Adobe's headquarters while protesters outside were
        chanting "Code is speech" and "Hey, hey, ho ho, DMCA has got to go."
        Board members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has taken
        up Sklyarov's cause, were meeting behind closed doors with Adobe to
        try to broker a deal that would let the 27-year-old Russian avoid a
        It seemed to work. After over two hours of tense talks that began at
        11 a.m. PDT, Adobe and EFF negotiators struck a deal: Adobe would
        agree to recommend Sklyarov's release.
        But what happens next is unclear -- and victory celebrations may be
        Since this is a criminal matter and not a civil suit, Adobe's abrupt
        reversal doesn't automatically get Sklyarov out of jail. That requires
        the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco, which filed charges
        against Sklyarov earlier this month, to abandon the prosecution.
        "The only thing I can tell you is that this is a criminal matter
        brought by the United States against the defendant, and Adobe is not a
        party to that action," says Matt Jacobs, an assistant U.S. attorney in
        the San Francisco office.
        "If they back off, it will not be because Adobe has changed its mind,"
        says Andrew Grosso, a former assistant U.S. attorney who's now a
        lawyer in private practice. "If they back off, it will be because
        politically the people in the U.S. Attorney's office who are handling
        this feel they are unacceptably exposed and therefore have decided not
        to go forward."
        Grosso is active in the Association for Computing Machinery and has
        criticized the DMCA. But he admits that federal prosecutors like to be
        the first to try cases under new laws, and proudly says that he was
        the first prosecutor to use money laundering laws to gain a conviction
        in a white-collar case.
    Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2001 08:38:55 -0600 (MDT)
    From: security curmudgeon <jerichoat_private>
    Subject: Unethical defacement of "ethics.org"
    On July 20, 2001, a (presumably) Russian defacer known as 'RyDen'
    compromised the machine hosting "ethics.org", the "Ethics Resource
    Given the unethical nature of defacing web pages, the act alone had a bit
    of irony to it. More interesting this time was the content of the
    defacement. Instead of the usual crap seen from most defacers, RyDen chose
    to replace their page with a "Free Dmitry" message, in reference to the
    recently jailed software programmer Dmitry Sklyarov, who was detained
    shortly before returning home after attending Defcon (www.defcon.org).
    More ironic is the ethical considerations of the set of events surrounding
    Sklyarov, Adobe and the FBI.
    Russian Adobe Hacker Busted
    FBI becomes Copyright '911'
    This defacement was part of a 'mass hack' in which RyDen defaced 18
    domains. A copy of the defacement can be seen courtesy of the SafeMode
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