Page 176

Undergound. Go to Table of Contents.

   This behaviour did not endear him to either the police or the DPP.


   On 5 May 1992, the DPP filed a final indictment with 40 charges

   against Phoenix in the County Court. The charges, in conjunction with

   those against Electron and Nom, formed part of a joint indictment

   totalling 58 counts.


   Electron worried about being sent to prison. Around the world, hackers

   were under siege--Par, Pengo, LOD and Erik Bloodaxe, MOD, The Realm

   hackers, Pad and Gandalf and, most recently, the International

   Subversives. Somebody seemed to be trying to make a point.

   Furthermore, Electron's charges had changed considerably--for the

   worse--from the original ones documented in April 1990.


   The DPP's final indictment bore little resemblance to the original

   charge sheet handed to the young hacker when he left the police

   station the day he was raided. The final indictment read like a

   veritable Who's Who of prestigious institutions around the world.

   Lawrence Livermore Labs, California. Two different computers at the US

   Naval Research Laboratories, Washington DC. Rutgers University, New

   Jersey. Tampere University of Technology, Finland. The University of

   Illinios. Three different computers at the University of Melbourne.

   Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. The University of New

   York. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia. CSIRO, Carlton,



   The charges which worried Electron most related to the

   US Naval Research Labs, CSIRO, Lawrence Livermore Labs

   and NASA. The last three weren't full hacking charges. The

   DPP alleged Electron had been `knowingly concerned' with Phoenix's

   access of these sites.


   Electron looked at the thirteen-page joint indictment and didn't know

   whether to laugh or cry. He had been a lot more than `knowingly

   concerned' with accessing those sites. In many cases, he had given

   Phoenix access to those computers in the first place. But Electron

   tried to tread quietly, carefully, through most systems, while Phoenix

   had noisily stomped around with all the grace of a buffalo--and left

   just as many footprints. Electron hardly wanted to face full charges

   for those or any other sites. He had broken into thousands of sites on

   the X.25 network, but he hadn't been charged with any of them. He

   couldn't help feeling a little like the gangster Al Capone being done

   for tax evasion.


   The proceedings were attracting considerable media attention. Electron

   suspected the AFP or the DPP were alerting the media to upcoming court

   appearances, perhaps in part to prove to the Americans that `something

   was being done'.


   This case had American pressure written all over it. Electron's

   barrister, Boris Kayser, said he suspected that `the

   Americans'--American institutions, companies or government

   agencies--were indirectly funding some of the prosecution's case by

   offering to pay for US witnesses to attend the trial. The Americans

   wanted to see the Australian hackers go down, and they were throwing

   all their best resources at the case to make sure it happened.


   There was one other thing--in some ways the most disturbing matter of

   all. In the course of the legal to-ing and fro-ing, Electron was told

   that it was the US Secret Service back in 1988 which had triggered the