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   Amigas arrived. He told Mendax to get the hell out of the computer



   Mendax didn't want to leave the room. He wasn't under arrest and

   wanted to make sure the police didn't plant anything. So he looked at

   the cop and said, `This is my house and I want to stay in this room.

   Am I under arrest or not?'


   The cop snarled back at him, `Do you want to be under arrest?'


   Mendax acquiesced and Day, who was far more subtle in his approach,

   walked the hacker into another room for questioning. He turned to

   Mendax and asked, with a slight grin, `So, what's it like being

   busted? Is it like Nom told you?'


   Mendax froze.


   There were only two ways that Day could have known Nom had told Mendax

   about his bust. Nom might have told him, but this was highly unlikely.

   Nom's hacking case had not yet gone to court and Nom wasn't exactly on

   chummy terms with the police. The other alternative was that the AFP

   had been tapping telephones in Mendax's circle of hackers, which the

   IS trio had strongly suspected. Talking in a three-way phone

   conversation with Mendax and Trax, Nom had relayed the story of his

   bust. Mendax later relayed Nom's story to Prime Suspect--also on the

   phone. Harbouring suspicions is one thing. Having them confirmed by a

   senior AFP officer is quite another.


   Day pulled out a tape recorder, put it on the table, turned it on and

   began asking questions. When Mendax told Day he wouldn't answer him,

   Day turned the recorder off. `We can talk off the record if you want,'

   he told the hacker.


   Mendax nearly laughed out loud. Police were not journalists. There was

   no such thing as an off-the-record conversation between a suspect and

   a police officer.


   Mendax asked to speak to a lawyer. He said he wanted to call

   Alphaline, a free after-hours legal advice telephone service. Day

   agreed, but when he picked up the telephone to inspect it before

   handing it over to Mendax, something seemed amiss. The phone had an

   unusual, middle-pitched tone which Day didn't seem to recognise.

   Despite there being two Telecom employees and numerous police

   specialists in the house, Day appeared unable to determine the cause

   of the funny tone. He looked Mendax dead in the eye and said, `Is this

   a hijacked telephone line?'


   Hijacked? Day's comment took Mendax by surprise. What surprised him

   was not that Day suspected him of hijacking the line, but rather that

   he didn't know whether the line had been manipulated.


   `Well, don't you know?' he taunted Day.


   For the next half hour, Day and the other officers picked apart

   Mendax's telephone, trying to work out what sort of shenanigans the

   hacker had been up to. They made a series of calls to see if the

   long-haired youth had somehow rewired his telephone line, perhaps to

   make his calls untraceable.


   In fact, the dial tone on Mendax's telephone was the very normal sound