FC: Scarfo pleads guilty, ends legal battle over PGP spying tech

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Mar 01 2002 - 08:32:59 PST

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    Politech archive on U.S. v. Scarfo:
    Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2002 10:10:29 -0500
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    From: David Sobel <sobelat_private>
    Subject: Scarfo Plea Bargain
    Posted on Fri, Mar. 01, 2002
    Scarfo's high-tech case ends with plea
    The FBI had fought a bid by the mob boss' son for details on the
    top-secret device used to monitor his computer.
    By George Anastasia
    Inquirer Staff Writer
    NEWARK, N.J. - The son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo
    "Little Nicky" Scarfo pleaded guilty to a bookmaking charge here
    yesterday, quietly ending a run-of-the-mill underworld gambling case
    that had taken on national significance because of the top-secret
    technology the FBI used to gather evidence against him.
    Throughout a two-year pretrial debate, authorities vigorously opposed
    defense lawyers' attempts to get detailed information about a computer
    monitoring device, a so-called keystroke recorder, that was used to
    break a coded computer file where the younger Scarfo allegedly stored
    gambling records. Prosecutors contended that to disclose how the
    technology worked would have jeopardized national security.
    Nicodemo S. Scarfo, 36, entered the guilty plea during a brief hearing
    before U.S. District Judge Joel Pisano. Scarfo admitted supervising a
    gambling operation in North Jersey for about a year, beginning in the
    summer of 1998.
       Plea turns legal heat off PC surveillance
       By Reuters 
       February 28, 2002, 2:50 PM PT
       Reputed mobster Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. pleaded guilty to illegal gambling
       Thursday in a New Jersey federal court, ending the case that
       inadvertently produced the first ruling supporting the government's
       right to spy on personal computers. 
       According to the plea agreement, Scarfo, 36, of Belleville, N.J.,
       agreed to serve a minimum 33 months in prison and not to contest a
       longer term that may be imposed when he is sentenced June 10 by U.S.
       District Court Judge Joel Pisano.
       Scarfo, who remains under house arrest until the sentencing, also
       agreed to two to three years of supervised release following the jail
       term. He may also be fined as much as $250,000, or twice the gross
       proceeds from the illegal bookmaking operation he admitted he ran
       between 1998 and 1999 from his Belleville office.
       The case began as a commonplace bookmaking case until defense
       attorneys demanded disclosure of FBI secret surveillance of the office
       computer Scarfo used to keep track of bets. Then, as the first such
       case in federal courts, it drew national attention to the issue of
       computer privacy rights vs. law enforcement's right to use secret
       computer technology.
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