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Undergound. Go to Table of Contents.

   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

   had been duped by Gill, he retreated into a state of denial and

   depression. The PI community had trusted him. He entered his

   friendship with Gill a bright-eyed, innocent young man looking for

   adventure. He left the friendship betrayed and gun-shy.