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bentllama
01-20-2004, 06:09 AM
From his blog: http://squeedlyspooch.com/blog/archives/000072.html

January 15, 2004
The whole surreal story
So at 6:30am on January 14th, I woke up to the doorbell buzzing. Not a short lived buzz. Someone had their thumb pressing the button and holding it there. "****ing drunkard" I thought, and rolled over, intent on ignoring it. It then started a rythmic *buzz* *buzz* *buzz* *buzz*, over and over again. After about 5 minutes battling to get back to sleep, I gave up and got up. Put my pants on, grabbed my sweatshirt, and stumbled off toward the door.

As I walked down the steps I heard them talking to the nextdoor neighbor, asking him where the landlord lived. I reach the door just as the neighbor's door closes. I compose myself to deal with whatever is behind the door, and open it.

Immediately there's a flashlight in my eyes. "Are you Chris Toshok?" "Uh, yes" "Mr. Toshok, we're with the FBI. We have a warrant to search the premises." I looked down out of the glare of the flashlight and saw the FBI badge of the long haired blonde woman standing in front of me. I also saw two people behind her, bodies turned sideways so as to present less of a target. Guns drawn? It was too hard to tell really with the glare of the flashlight, but I'm assuming yes.

I mumbled something about turning on the light so I could see the warrant (pages 1 2 3 4 5)they'd thrust into my hands and turned and groped on the wall for the switch. They all tensed. The light came on, and I looked over the warrant for a second.

"Please come out here Mr. Toshok," and a hand on my arm pulling me onto the porch. Once I was out on the porch several agents started up the stairs. I said that my roommate was still asleep in bed. They asked his name, I said "Peter". They continued up the steps, yelling his name. "Peter, this is the FBI." "PETER" "PETER, are you awake? this is the FBI"

I didn't watch it happen but apparently Peter awoke, naked, to a doorway full of FBI agents with guns out, yelling at him to get up. He asked if he could get some clothes on. They said yes. He asked if they could turn on the light so he could see. So Peter got to get dressed under the watchful gaze of government employees. Must have been fun.

They took Peter to the back of the house, and took me back upstairs to the front of the house, and proceeded to start going through everything in my room and the office.

I was questioned by the FBI agent in charge and a Secret Service agent at length about the Hungry Programmers, people I used to live with, whether particular people had the capacity/knowledge to do what they were investigating, etc. During the questioning she says "Now we're going to take all your computers." She sees the look on my face and says "Yeah, this is going to be hard for you." I said "uh, when will I get them back?" She said it depends, that they'd try to have them all back as soon as possible, but it depends on if they find anything suspicious on them. If they found contraband (kiddie porn, talk of drugs, or stuff they were actually looking for), that particular computer would never be coming home.

After the questioning I basically sat in the front room on a folded futon mattress, with at least one agent with me at all times. Sometimes two. At one point I said I really needed to brush my teeth and the SS agent assigned to me at the time walked with me back to the bathroom and stood behind me watching me in the mirror as I brushed my teeth. On my way back down the hall I looked into my room and saw 3 FBI agents rifling through my belongings. One looking at the condoms and stickers in my nightstand, one going through my underwear/sock drawer, and one looking through my books.

After a lot more sitting in silence in that room, interspersed with tidbits of conversation (an fbi agent asking me about the guitars, talking about the piano lessons in his youth, and how he was kicked in the chest by a horse.) I must say, the SS agents were a lot nicer than the FBI agents. One in particular was pretty cool - we joked a lot about just how absurd the whole thing was.. He asked how I was doing, I said I'd had better mornings, to which he responded "well you'll definitely have one unique experience more than most people." I definitely have to agree. I know of very few others that have been through something like this. The blonde FBI agent was nice (and annoying) enough to tell me repeatedly that the judge would go easier on me (and they could all go home earlier) if I would just tell them where the stuff was. If I had it, of course. But if I denied having it, they'd really throw the book at me *when* they found it.

After more waiting, the FBI agent in charge comes into the room and explains that they aren't actually pressing charges against me, so I'm not being detained. I can leave if I want, or walk around the house, etc. This is a relief. I go grab my shoes and socks (my feet were *freezing* by this time). After a few more minutes of listening to the bumbling idiots in the next room arguing over how to turn off my machines, I decide a walk might be nice. I say I'm leaving to go walk around, that I'll be back to look over the list of equipment they're seizing. I ask if they'll let me take my cell phone so they can call me if I need to be back, etc.. They said no. I wasn't to take any property off the premises. Luckily, I still had my car keys. I walked over to my car and drove off.

Drove around for a while, then decided I'd stop by Seth's house and tell him what was going on. Davel answered the door, bleary-eyed. I apologized for waking him up.. I said "I would have called, but the FBI wouldn't let me use my cell phone." He said "what???".. I handed him the search warrant. He said "ohhh, god, come in." and walked me up the stairs.

I broke the news to Seth and he looked as shocked as I felt when I opened the door at 6:30. Got on ICB and spread the word that the wolves were circling, and everyone pretty well freaked out.

I hung out with them for a while, then figured I'd better be getting back so I got back in the car and returned home. It was probably around 10am at this point. 3.5 hours into the raid. I got there as agents were walking laps up and down the outside steps, carrying full boxes of my possessions into their van. I was too late to go over the actual stuff they were confiscating. suck. I walked upstairs, and found the long haired blonde agent and the (admittedly very cute) asian evidence photographer still there, finishing up. Taking photos of the rooms in their condition post-raid, writing down which exposures corresponded to which room.

The blonde agent handed me the seizure receipt to look over and sign. It looked ok to me, but I really had no idea at the time that some items they'd taken weren't on the list.

We joked with the agents some before they left. Asked them for their business cards, which they declined to give us, saying they would likely be plastered all over the web. Wise women. We asked if we could get a picture of them or their badges, which they also denied us. Too bad. Peter walked them to the steps, and I walked into the office to assess the emptiness.

There were a few times in college when the computer labs would be closed during the day, due to a bomb threat or a gas leak or whatever. When this happened all the geeks would wander around outside, eyes squinting in the unaccustomed glare of the mid-day sun, looking like zombies. You could always spot a geek on such a day by the way they walked with a certain slowness in their step. Not a leisure slowness, a dead slowness.

Today was like that for me. I'd lost upwards of 9 machines, and lots of misc equipment besides. Machines that, according to most people familiar with this stuff, I may as well write off as gone regardless of whether or not they ever find anything on them. Thankfully there were many people around that were willing and able to find the humor in such a preposterous day. I've been running on laughter all day, unwilling to think about the fact that this all might end with me in court, or even in jail. I mean, I did nothing illegal, how can I end up in jail? Leila forced me to at least acknowledge the gravity of what was going on, but thankfully didn't force me to dwell on it. I'm hoping I can keep myself laughing about it all until I pass out. The drinking might start rather early tomorrow.

I don't think the word "surreal" ever described a day better for me.

TheGreenGiant
01-20-2004, 06:14 AM
good to hear that the FBI have greater fish to fry than the war on Terror. They must want to play Half-Life 2 bad.

:thumbsup: That's unreal but the news is a step forward in the right direction

Genesis
01-20-2004, 06:30 AM
I can't see this being real. I mean, they pulled guns on them? Sounds like fiction to me.

BiTMAP
01-20-2004, 06:40 AM
no thats not fiction... cops really do that when serving warrents (i've had my parents running complex's for most of my life. And often saw glimpses at complex's round my house that where being served.

MCronin
01-20-2004, 06:44 AM
That's the way things work. They have no idea what is on the otherside of the door, so they draw weapons. The guy might be armed, he might have a vicious dog , you never know how people will react to you pounding on their door at 6:30 AM. Same thing with the city police and state troopers. I've had police approach me with their guns drawn for moving violations.

shanesemler
01-20-2004, 08:41 AM
I read about the whole Valve thing, they were getting hacked for months and they knew it! I have to wonder, what the hell was Valve's IT department doing the entire time? I mean, if they knew the system was comprimised, why did they wait until it was too late to do anything about it?

BiTMAP
01-20-2004, 09:08 AM
why is it the name on the bottom of each of the afidavids odd to me? "marie gilliam" ... hmmm anyways other then that it could be a good or bad thing.

nobrain
01-20-2004, 03:49 PM
edit* - removed due to inconsistency with topic

rickmann
01-20-2004, 04:49 PM
yeah this is all true... once in my old complex that I was living in, I saw some sherriffs issuing a warrant for a guy that I was told had simply broke is probation, well long story short... he pulled a knife on them... and they shot him dead.

Can't we all just get along :)

FloydBishop
01-20-2004, 08:20 PM
...and the guy who mailed the Anthrax goes about his business...

BiTMAP
01-21-2004, 07:32 AM
naww.. I bet the antrax mailers been jailed already. They'd not wanna make THAT a public thing. They'd pass it through the system as quietly as possible (and knowing the government, it'd never even have "happend").

KolbyJukes
01-21-2004, 08:14 AM
BENT, when I first started reading this, I was so shocked, I thought the FBI suspected you of stealing the HL2 code...

So is this guy suspected as being 'the hacker' who stole half-life 2, or is he just a guy with a copy of the code...

Seems pretty ridiculous to me...from what I hear the code was pretty useless anyway, and I know there a lot of people with copies of the software (even weird playable versions of it)...

I'd rather not spoil it for myself, just wait till it comes out for real.

Sounds a bit extreme to me, I'm glad the guy took it in stride.

-Kol.

Jhavna
01-21-2004, 10:27 AM
There was even speculation that it was an inside job. That the guy who's email had been hacked knew about it. God knows his motive, but that's the web.. a big, international rumour mill....

Interesting read though :)

Also, HL2 is for sale now.. in Russia.. Apparently they are selling the ripped code on the streets..
while we still have to wait

quid
01-21-2004, 04:03 PM
I wonder how strong the FBI’s evidence was to grab up all of this guys stuff... I'm always the paranoid one, but I feel when I read such stories that the US resembles "1984". How can anyone accept such events as normal? Also how could they just get a court order to take all of your stuff and then atop of all of it not charge you with any offense??? What?? "Then why are you taking all of my stuff?" Guy with gun and black suit--"shutup you're one of them terrorist, aren't you?" Can I get me one of them orders to walk into Pixar and get me some equipment? It's really nuts. If this guy is innocent I hope that he is able to sue for damages, but I imagine he wouldn’t be able to. I suppose he is lucky that they didn’t strip him of his citizenship and send him off to Guantanamo Bay and not let him call anyone or read him his rights or notify anyone that they took him, but they wouldn’t do something like that now would they?

b.Schulz
01-21-2004, 05:46 PM
The guy lived close to my friend here, crazy story. Glad my tax dollars went to that good lead. =\ too bad he'll never see anything in his house that had a HD again. Suuuuuux.

matty429
01-21-2004, 06:11 PM
No one Stole the source...Valve gave it out..And said someone stole it..For one of the most elaborate free promotion schemes of all time...Cnn,FBI, makes some pretty good promotion...

Just at conspiracy theory...

ower
01-21-2004, 06:20 PM
This is cute, everyone cried when Valve said they had to delay HL 2 due to this.. and everyone shouted for blood. They follow up on a tip and everyone complains about the guys doing their job. :rolleyes:

mattregnier
01-21-2004, 07:28 PM
My personal take on the matter is that Valve did this as a way to get more time to actually finish HL2. I think they knew they'd never get it finished by their release date, so they staged a public "stealing" of their source, and then the flood the web with these stories, all the while their programmers are working to finish up HL2 before Doom 3 hits :)

I mean seriously why would the FBI even be out chasing people down because of incomplete leaked source code. Isn't this a complete waste of time and taxpayer money? Either that or it was just a totally slow day at the Department of National Security...I'll wait to hear more but this story sounds more and more or a joke...:rolleyes:

eevilmouse
01-21-2004, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by quid
I wonder how strong the FBI’s evidence was to grab up all of this guys stuff... I'm always the paranoid one, but I feel when I read such stories that the US resembles "1984". How can anyone accept such events as normal? Also how could they just get a court order to take all of your stuff and then atop of all of it not charge you with any offense??? What?? "Then why are you taking all of my stuff?" Guy with gun and black suit--"shutup you're one of them terrorist, aren't you?" Can I get me one of them orders to walk into Pixar and get me some equipment? It's really nuts. If this guy is innocent I hope that he is able to sue for damages, but I imagine he wouldn’t be able to. I suppose he is lucky that they didn’t strip him of his citizenship and send him off to Guantanamo Bay and not let him call anyone or read him his rights or notify anyone that they took him, but they wouldn’t do something like that now would they?

Ever Hear about kevin Mitnick?... The fact that (if this post is real) they still do this scares the hell out of me. I feel so much safer with the new Homeland security :)

Spankspeople
01-21-2004, 09:19 PM
I don't see the leak as something that Valve did purposely. Every time Vivendi would push the release date back, Valve apparently wouldn't hear about it until a few days later every time... and if they thought that it was ready for their September release, why would they do this for more time that they don't even think that they need?

leuey
01-21-2004, 10:39 PM
Oh come on and grow up. It was STOLEN. It's not like this hasn't been happening the last 20 years (I remember when the first Lucasfilm games were stolen prematurely).

Why would the FBI work on it? Because it's essentially corporate espionage and grand theft on the order of tens of millions of dollars. What, stealing code (and all the effort that went into it) doesn't count as a crime? It's a huge crime and it's disgusting.

What's with all the conspiracy theories? Good freaking crap on a stick - why would Valve commit a felony (getting the FBI involved on a fabricated crime) to excuse a missed ship date????? Do you think the people at Valve care about you getting your game in Sept. instead of March (or whenever) is more important than spending jailtime for themselves?????

what is wrong with you people.....

-Greg



Originally posted by mattregnier
My personal take on the matter is that Valve did this as a way to get more time to actually finish HL2. I think they knew they'd never get it finished by their release date, so they staged a public "stealing" of their source, and then the flood the web with these stories, all the while their programmers are working to finish up HL2 before Doom 3 hits :)

I mean seriously why would the FBI even be out chasing people down because of incomplete leaked source code. Isn't this a complete waste of time and taxpayer money? Either that or it was just a totally slow day at the Department of National Security...I'll wait to hear more but this story sounds more and more or a joke...:rolleyes:

Psyhke
01-21-2004, 11:28 PM
HAhaha! @ leuyey

Exactly. Well said. :applause:

KolbyJukes
01-22-2004, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by leuey
Good freaking crap on a stick - why would Valve commit a felony (getting the FBI involved on a fabricated crime) to excuse a missed ship date????? Do you think the people at Valve care about you getting your game in Sept. instead of March (or whenever) is more important than spending jailtime for themselves?????

what is wrong with you people.....

-Greg

Stranger things have happened....

-Kol.

BigBalla
01-22-2004, 01:37 AM
You know, being a victom of police abuse (and arrests :)) it doesn't suprise me that the cops treated him like dirt and pulled his guns on him right away. Also if that dude happens to read this he can petition for his unregested equipment back, and if they did take his posestions without signing them off he can get virtually all his charges droped for illegal search and seisure!

GRMac13
01-22-2004, 04:45 AM
Originally posted by BigBalla
You know, being a victom of police abuse (and arrests :)) it doesn't suprise me that the cops treated him like dirt and pulled his guns on him right away. Also if that dude happens to read this he can petition for his unregested equipment back, and if they did take his posestions without signing them off he can get virtually all his charges droped for illegal search and seisure!

First off, it's not "illegal search and seisure" because they had a (5 page) warrant! Secondly, as far as his blog says, the feds hardly treated him "like dirt."

One in particular was pretty cool - we joked a lot about just how absurd the whole thing was.. He asked how I was doing, I said I'd had better mornings, to which he responded "well you'll definitely have one unique experience more than most people." I definitely have to agree. I know of very few others that have been through something like this. The blonde FBI agent was nice

About the guns. The dude says...

Guns drawn? It was too hard to tell really with the glare of the flashlight, but I'm assuming yes.

So he's unsure about whether guns were drawn or not. Chances are they were, but so friggin what, dude? How about you volunteer to go around serving warrants to unknown individuals unarmed? We wouldn't want to offend or, *gasp* scare, the possible suspect would we? Gimme a break. It's standard procedure. These people are trained professionals, not gang members.

Originally posted by ower
This is cute, everyone cried when Valve said they had to delay HL 2 due to this.. and everyone shouted for blood. They follow up on a tip and everyone complains about the guys doing their job.

I agree 100%. Get a friggin grip, folks. What do you think would happen when they caught this fool? Pat him on the back and say, "Gee, thanks for showing us how weak Valve's firewall is! Would you like some milk and cookies?" :rolleyes:

A serious crime was committed here. I'd like to see if any of you were working at a developer whose content was stolen, forcing the company to shut down, and you to lose your job. All because of some punk hacker with a code-induced hard-on. Thankfully, the situation wasn't quite that bad for Valve, but it's not hard to imagine a smaller developer being crushed by such a theft. So give the BS conspiracy crap a rest, please. These agents did nothing wrong.

MaDSheeP
01-22-2004, 05:35 AM
I agree 100% Mac :)

chadtheartist
01-22-2004, 05:51 AM
Well, there are a few things that throw up red flags about his testimony of the events.

1. Why are there Secret Service Agents there? They don't mess with stolen property, not unless it involves our financial institutions.

2. Why wasn't he arrested? Wouldn't it be appropriate to arrest the thief whom stole the goods? That's like asking a purse snatcher to give the purse back to the nice lady, then letting him go. Pretty strange wouldn't you think?

3. Why did they let him leave the vicinity? If he was involved with a crime, wouldn't it have been in their best interest to watch him as closely as possible? I mean, they did draw guns on him right? Why trust him all of a sudden?

I don't doubt this guy might have had his machines confiscated. But to me the story is sensationalized to the point of it being unbelievable. :shrug:

kwshipman
01-22-2004, 06:04 AM
GRMac13 said everything perfectly. If my code that I had just invested millions of dollars and man hours into had been stolen, someone had better do something.

quid
01-22-2004, 07:55 AM
Of course the book should be absolutely thrown at people who steal source code and consequently untold amounts of money and hard work. It’s a no brainer. However, if this story is true and if they took all of his stuff and filed NO charges against him, then that is really, really messed up. Perhaps what is worse is that there are many posts by educated people in this thread who want to pat the FBI on their backs for doing such “good job… they’re just doing there jobs etc….” Since when is it ok for the FBI to just take all of your stuff and not charge you with anything? I agree 100% that criminals ought to be caught and punished for their actions, but I do not think that we should forfeit all of our rights so that these “evil-doers” can be locked up—that is called a police state.

mattregnier
01-22-2004, 04:40 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3414157.stm

kwshipman
01-22-2004, 04:41 PM
why did they take his stuff and not charge him? Simple, they are still in the process of collecting evidence. If they had enough of it to make them think that he could be involved, then they get a warrant to search his premises for more evidence that will either clear him or convict him. They collect anything that could be evidence, take it back to their lab for it to be analyzed by trained professionals in a controlled environment. If they find probable cause for an arrest from the evidence they collected, then they will go back and arrest him. Or they may find that there is nothing on his PC that directly convicts him, but instead points to someone else, so they will go to that person. When they don't have enough evidence to directly arrest someone, they get a warrant to get more evidence, its that simple. They need to find the source code, the tools used to hack into valve and other evidence that directly links him to the crime.


So I hope that you people actually know how the American laws work and understand what they are doing before you say they are not behaving properly.

chadtheartist
01-22-2004, 05:19 PM
Well, even then it doesn't explain why Secret Service Agents were involved. I could see the CIA being involved, or even Homeland Security if it involved foreigners, but I don't see why the Secret Service was there.

quid
01-22-2004, 08:32 PM
I know how American laws work and it seems like the FBI operated correctly under them. But does that legitimize the law—the mere fact that it exists? No. This “collecting evidence” part without having enough prior evidence to press charges violates our right to privacy, which given the country’s easy acceptance of the rather dubiously named PATRIOT act, it seems that nobody really cares much about their rights anyway. Now the government has broad sweeping powers to collect evidence on anyone it damn well pleases and a slew of other abilities that ought to freak out any citizen who knows about the bill of rights. The government has no right to go and mess up some guy’s life on the off hunch that he might have known something at some point about somebody who may have done something wrong to someone else. We have lost something dear when we accept such events as normal. There needs to be damn good proof that this guy did something wrong before they bust in with guns and haul off his computers—ie the proof should be sufficient enough to charge him with an offense.

Spankspeople
01-22-2004, 08:47 PM
So... they shouldn't be allowed to search for evidence unless they already have enough evidence to remove the point of finding more evidence in the first place? Zuh?

BiTMAP
01-22-2004, 09:05 PM
they did have enough evidence to execute a search warrent. So they're doing what they are supposed to do. For all we know the guy could be the hacker, and his blogging posts could just be him acting innocient.

BiTMAP
01-22-2004, 09:05 PM
they did have enough evidence to execute a search warrent. So they're doing what they are supposed to do. For all we know the guy could be the hacker, and his blogging posts could just be him acting innocient.

BigBalla
01-22-2004, 09:14 PM
EDITED

Don't do that again please.

nobrain
01-22-2004, 09:16 PM
@quid: thanx for the outside view. yes the patriot act, is elegant way of stripping people of most of their basic rights. However the government can't be blamed for this, because majority of people either approve of this or are too scared to get up say something against this. sad for everyone.

quid
01-22-2004, 09:18 PM
Spankspeople--close but not quite. In order to seize this man’s belongings there should be enough evidence to charge him with an offence and then they can gather all the additional evidence that they want to make a strong case in court. It is not to say that they need all of the evidence to pin the theft case on him to get the warrant, they just need some evidence of him doing something wrong before they mess with him. I don’t know if any of you reading this work for yourself or not, but if you do can you imagine the damages that this would cause if they came knocking at your door one day and grabbed up all of your hardware and software without a seriously justifiable cause and you’ve done nothing wrong aside from having a roommate at one point who may or may not have committed a crime? This case is really nothing though. You should all read up on the PATRIOT act and you may realize how much your rights have eroded in the past few years.

Errr… sorry for political tone of all this. :hmm:

Some things are too important to leave unsaid.

nobrain--yeah that is true to a very large extent however the government did pull the wool over most of the populations eyes on that one. Naming it the PATRIOT act thus implies if one apposes it, then you’re not a patriot. Also the language in that thing is nuts. It never clearly states what it is actually doing, rather it makes oblique references to word changes in separate documents. And this thing is so huge that it was clearly done before Sep 11 which is pretty odd in itself.

Bitmap--yes they did and it's legit under the law. I'm just saying that the law doesn't protect us enough and that if there was enough evidence he'd be locked up instead of blogging away.

kwshipman
01-23-2004, 12:35 AM
they cant just randomly snatch up peoples belongings with no justifiable reason. In order to get a warrant to search a person home and take their belongings, they have to get the permission of a Judge first, and that judge will want to see a reasonable explanation as to why this person may hold more evidence. That is where a warrant comes from a judge, at the courthouse. They don't have evidence to arrest him but they have evidence that says he may have more information and that information lies in his computer. You can be in possession of evidence with out having committed a crime. If someone you know comes into your house and attacks you with your own baseball bat, the police are going to take that bat, dust your house for prints, collect hair and fiber samples and take anything that may be evidence. Did you commit a crime, no. is your stuff being taken, yes. Same thing here, people that lived with him committed a crime, so they take stuff from his house that may have evidence.

All we have heard here is one side of the story, that of the person this happened too. Do you really think that after all this happened he would put on his blog that yeah he is really the one who did it and that he did something illegal? NO! He is obviously give a version of the story that makes him look more credible to those reading.

matty429
01-23-2004, 12:41 AM
Originally posted by BigBalla
EDITED


Democrats..Republicans...they're all the same...

Take your political propaganda somewhere else.

RobertoOrtiz
01-23-2004, 01:07 AM
Thanks matty429. You beat me to the post.

-R

peachstapler
01-23-2004, 01:10 AM
Even if this is pure fiction, it was still one of the best reads on CGTalk this week.

GRMac13
01-23-2004, 02:22 AM
Originally posted by kwshipman
they cant just randomly snatch up peoples belongings with no justifiable reason. In order to get a warrant to search a person home and take their belongings, they have to get the permission of a Judge first, and that judge will want to see a reasonable explanation as to why this person may hold more evidence. That is where a warrant comes from a judge, at the courthouse. They don't have evidence to arrest him but they have evidence that says he may have more information and that information lies in his computer. You can be in possession of evidence with out having committed a crime. If someone you know comes into your house and attacks you with your own baseball bat, the police are going to take that bat, dust your house for prints, collect hair and fiber samples and take anything that may be evidence. Did you commit a crime, no. is your stuff being taken, yes. Same thing here, people that lived with him committed a crime, so they take stuff from his house that may have evidence.

Well said. There had to be a damn good reason for a judge to issue a 5 page search warrant. This guy could possibly be innocent, but that's not to say he wasn't in possession of evidence that may help to convict the theif.

@quid: Please, give the political agenda a rest. Before the mods close this thread. ;)

from the CGTalk Policy page- Politics or political propaganda in any form: If you wish to discuss politics, kindly find an appropriate forum for such discussion. Topics of this nature resort in lengthy and unnecessary arguments that are nevertheless totally unrelated to the subject of computer graphics or visual effects.

quid
01-23-2004, 08:21 AM
GRMac13—yes I know. Things have an awful way of turning political and often degenerating from there. It’s not the place for it, I know. However anytime the original topic of a thread involves the law and the original topic is discussed beyond the mere reporting of events; it becomes political in nature and very, very difficult to discuss and to be interesting and lively and politically free at the same time.

Well in an effort to bring it back to CG, such a story could easily spawn an interesting animated short with lots of secret service guys interrogating a computer under a bright light throwing water on it and slapping it around and stuff.

nobrain
01-23-2004, 03:47 PM
Every post in this forum is political, its only when there is a difference opinion that it becomes evident.

really anything anyone has to say either leans towards one way or the other, and there's always gonna be those who lean the other way for sheer spite.

saying not to get political, is basically saying there is one side here, conform or die.

nobrain
01-23-2004, 03:47 PM
crap - double post:bowdown:

RobertoOrtiz
01-23-2004, 04:12 PM
Ok let me explain the no politics rule as I see it.

What we have here at Cg-Talk is an international forum. By that I mean that we have a wonderful place were people from all over the world come to talk, share, learn and show us what they are doing in the world of computer graphics.

The problem is that politics is as subjective as religion (another hot potato). What might a political absolute truth to you, might be political blasphemy to another person. Trust me, I did not grow up in America, so I have a different outlook about American politics.

Here in CG-Talk we have an open community were people from all creeds and religions come together to talk one topic, computer graphics. The www is vast and there are tons of forums to talk politics. Once any political creed starts sprouting their wares, it will destroy this forum.

-R

Chewey
01-23-2004, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by RobertoOrtiz

snip...

Trust me, I did not grow up in America, so I have a different outlook about American politics.

snip...



What precisely do you mean by "different outlook" and different from which outlook?

Why even make the comment if you're trying to make a point regarding eschewing political content etc.?

RobertoOrtiz
01-23-2004, 04:53 PM
Ok this is my last personal statement on the issue. I did not intent to comment again on this issue.

Where I come from (Puerto Rico) we eat drink and sleep local politics. We don’t even play soccer, because we find local politics so dawn engrossing. The sad part is that all that talk does squat for the benefit of the place (and lets leave that comment at that).

So when I moved here 11 years ago I was in for a rude awakening. The issues that I have been taught from birth that were the alpha and the omega, meant squat over here.
I guess I now see that your politics depend a lot on where you come from and what you are a taught to believe in. I guess now I have a lot of respect for the beliefs of others political or otherwise.


-R

Array
01-23-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by chadtheartist
Well, even then it doesn't explain why Secret Service Agents were involved. I could see the CIA being involved, or even Homeland Security if it involved foreigners, but I don't see why the Secret Service was there.

Computer related crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the secret service.

StevenR
01-23-2004, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by Array
Computer related crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the secret service. Exactly.

Secret Service website
The Secret Service was established as a law enforcement agency in 1865. While most people associate the Secret Service with Presidential protection, our original mandate was to investigate the counterfeiting of U.S. currency--which we still do. Today our primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of the counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations. Since 1984, our investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers, and money laundering as it relates to our core violations.The Secret Service only started protecting Presidents in 1901 after McKinley's assassination. Their main task still appears to be law enforcement.

nobrain
01-23-2004, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by Chewey
What precisely do you mean by "different outlook" and different from which outlook?


What do you think he mean't? Different means "not alike". Having a difference of opinion is allowed.

chadtheartist
01-23-2004, 08:12 PM
Secret Service website
The Secret Service was established as a law enforcement agency in 1865. While most people associate the Secret Service with Presidential protection, our original mandate was to investigate the counterfeiting of U.S. currency--which we still do. Today our primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of the counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations. Since 1984, our investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers, and money laundering as it relates to our core violations.


This still doesn't clearly state that anti-computer piracy is a part of the Secret Service agenda. The only thing that I can see that would fall under the Secret Service jurisdiction is "access device fraud" part of their mission statement. But to me, and I may be wrong about this, the Secret Service mainly protects finances, money, and anything to do with that. I don't see anywhere on there website where they also fight computer piracy for other companies, like Valve. If you can point that out to me, than I'd appreciate it, because I didn't find anything like that on their site.

Beastie
01-23-2004, 08:52 PM
Honestly I dont feel bad for the guy or am mad at him. The code being stolen has inconvieneced alot of peoples lives just like its inconviencing his now. If he didnt do anything against the law he doesnt have anything to worry about. I dont think the FBI likes to run around and get warrants just to bother computer geeks, im sure they had a good hunch he did something wrong.

I dont know why everyones crying because they hassled this guy when everyone was upset about this a few months ago. Sounds like people will take sides with any good written story. lol

quid
01-23-2004, 09:13 PM
I don't know about you, but if somebody took all of my computers it would sure screw my life up, or at least my work life. And then to think of maybe never getting them back and having no reasonable options of defense... that stinks. Remember one of the great things about the law in the US is that you're innocent until proven guilty. So as far as I see it right now this guy is innocent, heck as I said in every post almost now, he was not charged with anything. I know what I suggested earlier seems like it would cripple law enforcement, but if you’re to give the law all that it needs to function 100% efficiently (i.e. give them all of your rights), we’d have that dandy little police state that I mentioned earlier.

Damn I’m being political again, aren’t I? Sorry. You know even the discussion of what’s political can be political. Just out of curiosity, does anyone think it would be ok to discuss something which is obviously political in nature and cg (unfortunately there are no good examples I can think of… lets just say a CG film gets canned due to censorship) in a forum like this? My guess would be no and we'd have to stick to the tech aspect of it.

Beastie
01-23-2004, 09:35 PM
They had a warrant....You cant pick one of those things up at the 711 on the way to his apartment. They have to stand before a judge and display evidence like a mini trial just for the warrant. If he doesnt get his computers back and hes innocent then that sux. Maybe if he's completely innocent they can find the malicious fiends that framed him JUST so his computers would be confiscated lol.

eevilmouse
01-23-2004, 09:38 PM
Originally posted by quid
I know how American laws work and it seems like the FBI operated correctly under them. But does that legitimize the law—the mere fact that it exists? No. This “collecting evidence” part without having enough prior evidence to press charges violates our right to privacy, which given the country’s easy acceptance of the rather dubiously named PATRIOT act, it seems that nobody really cares much about their rights anyway. Now the government has broad sweeping powers to collect evidence on anyone it damn well pleases and a slew of other abilities that ought to freak out any citizen who knows about the bill of rights. The government has no right to go and mess up some guy’s life on the off hunch that he might have known something at some point about somebody who may have done something wrong to someone else. We have lost something dear when we accept such events as normal. There needs to be damn good proof that this guy did something wrong before they bust in with guns and haul off his computers—ie the proof should be sufficient enough to charge him with an offense.


WOW.. and it takes someone from FRANCE to state this... Sigh any Job openings over there?

Spankspeople
01-23-2004, 09:38 PM
This still doesn't clearly state that anti-computer piracy is a part of the Secret Service agenda. The only thing that I can see that would fall under the Secret Service jurisdiction is "access device fraud" part of their mission statement. But to me, and I may be wrong about this, the Secret Service mainly protects finances, money, and anything to do with that. I don't see anywhere on there website where they also fight computer piracy for other companies, like Valve. If you can point that out to me, than I'd appreciate it, because I didn't find anything like that on their site.

The Half-Life source theft wasn't just a simple case of piracy. Piracy, as far as software is concerned, is the illegal distribution of software available to the public. This was not a finished product, this was not released source code, this was a company secret, the theft of which could have crippled the company. This was not done by copying a CD and distributing it over the internet, it was done by hacking into their private servers.

This would have killed off a smaller company. They have no way to compete with this product already available for free, it puts a negative light on the company and any attempt to fix the problems that will now come from everyone having the source code before the game is even out will delay income from the product in question quite a bit. If they were to release it now, with the insecure code the game would be bombed by hackers and nobody would bother with it until after it was heavily patched months down the road, again disrupting their income on the game. If they weren't so big after the first Half-Life, they would be gone by now, and the game would probably not exist.

And if you try to give me the "Oh, but it happens all the time and nobody's done anything about it before" crap I'm going to hit you.

Beastie
01-23-2004, 09:54 PM
All I know is the FBI has never came to my apartment for a evidence sweep. Maybe its because I havent broke, came close to breaking, or kinda broke any FEDERAL laws. How do they convict criminals in France if they arent allowed collect evidence?

My point is that if a warrant is issued they ALREADY have evidence. Not charging him with anything is actually given him his freedom until he is brought to trial. If he were considered a threat or believed that he would escape, that would be a reason to arrest him. Considering he probably is neither, he should be allowed to go free until more evidence is collected for his trial.

quid
01-24-2004, 12:06 AM
You have the process a little wrong. The “giving him his freedom until he is brought to trial” is called posting bail after a bond hearing. And if it is deemed “he would escape” there would be no bail as he would not be awarded bond. But in any case it is moot, for he was not charged with anything and therefore he may not even see a trial.

If this guy is telling the truth then all you need to do to have your stuff taken is to have a roommate who’s a suspect. You don’t have to break the law yourself. And “…the FBI never came to [your] apartment for an evidence sweep…” are you so sure about that? You know they don’t even need a judicial review, a warrant, to tap your wires now and they can do a sneak and peak without serving you a warrant or even telling you that they entered your premises. They may even log this thread. Bummer, eh?:thumbsup:

GRMac13
01-24-2004, 02:29 AM
Originally posted by quid
If this guy is telling the truth then all you need to do to have your stuff taken is to have a roommate who’s a suspect. You don’t have to break the law yourself.

I don't see the problem with this at all. Innocent people are inconvienced all the time due to police investigations. If you are living with a suspected criminal, you bet your ass they are going to search your home and possibly confiscate some of your belongings. If this wasn't the case then someone like Jeffery Dahmer could hide body parts in his fridge, and never have to worry about them being discovered, as long as he was rooming with a law-abiding citizen who owned the fridge. That's madness.

chadtheartist
01-24-2004, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by Spankspeople


The Half-Life source theft wasn't just a simple case of piracy. Piracy, as far as software is concerned, is the illegal distribution of software available to the public. This was not a finished product, this was not released source code, this was a company secret, the theft of which could have crippled the company. This was not done by copying a CD and distributing it over the internet, it was done by hacking into their private servers.

This would have killed off a smaller company. They have no way to compete with this product already available for free, it puts a negative light on the company and any attempt to fix the problems that will now come from everyone having the source code before the game is even out will delay income from the product in question quite a bit. If they were to release it now, with the insecure code the game would be bombed by hackers and nobody would bother with it until after it was heavily patched months down the road, again disrupting their income on the game. If they weren't so big after the first Half-Life, they would be gone by now, and the game would probably not exist.

And if you try to give me the "Oh, but it happens all the time and nobody's done anything about it before" crap I'm going to hit you.

I'm not stupid, but I am ignorant of many things, and I don't feel I need to be patronized for asking a simple question. You can "hit me" for asking a legitimate question if you choose to, but I think that is a very childish way to discuss an issue. Reread my post, then reread the quote that I responded to.

Now to respond to your post.

I am not debating wether or not the theft of the source code for this game will affect their income. That much is apparent. But that has nothing to do with what my question was about. The Secret Service, from what I've seen on their website, focuses only on financial institutions, ie banks, and the fraud, theft, etc... that would involve them. What I could not find on the website for the Secret Service was wether or not their jurisdiction also covered other types of businesses, ie video game companies. So if someone can please explain to me why the "Secret Service" is supposed to be involved in this case, then please fill me in. Because it isn't apparent from the information that I have seen.

Thank you.

Chewey
01-24-2004, 04:22 AM
Originally posted by nobrain
What do you think he mean't? Different means "not alike". Having a difference of opinion is allowed.
:rolleyes:

WhiteRabbitObj
01-24-2004, 06:14 AM
I imagine the secret service got involved because of concerns over where this hacker could strike next. I have to assume, for the sake of sanity, that Valve wasn't complete retards and had some pretty hard core security on their server, since for some stupid reason it was hooked to the net. This hacker also wrote new and previously untracable keystroke-recording software in order to break in. I can only imagine that the government is concerned about getting hit themselves or stopping this fellow from hacking into a bank or defense contractor or whatever. So, send in the secret service as a preventative measure. That would just be my guess.

quid
01-24-2004, 12:32 PM
GRMac13--to use your Jeffery dahmer example: it would be easy to convict any of his roommates, that is if he had any, of a crime and legitimately seize their fridge or whatever… the first crime that comes to my mind is aiding and abiding murder. Why wasn’t this guy charged with aiding and abiding? My guess is the proof wasn’t strong enough. And of course giving law enforcement officers unimpeded access to all of your information will help them prosecute criminals, but your rights will be trampled in the process. You know what would really help the police, the FBI and etc… catch bad guys, would be that if every citizen would allow the government to take a sample of their DNA and a photograph of their face and develop a centralized database of the population. And then they could put millions of cameras everywhere all wired to use facial recognitions software and should anyone break the law and leave a piece of DNA behind, they could pinpoint who they are and where they’re at the very moment they stick their head outside. Well why not put the cameras inside homes too, so one doesn’t have to wait for them to go outdoors. And while one is at it, why not just log every keystroke that is sent over the internet and tap everyone’s telephone line to listen in to see if anyone is doing anything illegal. After all it would really help the police out, don’t you think? One of the smartest men in the past 500 years, Benjamin Franklin, said it best: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Please read your constitution and bill of rights for you own good.

This is my last post that responds to anything political. I don’t want this thread closed.

Eevilmouse—I forgot to respond to you in my last post. Unfortunately France does not have the best market for CG work. Although it was in on its real beginnings (the work done by BUF Campagnie for example) it has yet to gain the wide popularity that it enjoys in the US. As a result there are many very talented artists here who should and would rather be working on comercials and films, but are stuck doing web graphics and the like. That said, there are some companies out here who produce some absolutely beautiful and poetic work, like La Maison for example. But that’s a different topic all together. I see you’re in Denver. That’s a nice place too. You gotta love them mountains.

GRMac13
01-25-2004, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by quid
GRMac13--to use your Jeffery dahmer example: it would be easy to convict any of his roommates, that is if he had any, of a crime and legitimately seize their fridge or whatever… the first crime that comes to my mind is aiding and abiding murder. Why wasn’t this guy charged with aiding and abiding? My guess is the proof wasn’t strong enough. And of course giving law enforcement officers unimpeded access to all of your information will help them prosecute criminals, but your rights will be trampled in the process. You know what would really help the police, the FBI and etc… catch bad guys, would be that if every citizen would allow the government to take a sample of their DNA and a photograph of their face and develop a centralized database of the population. And then they could put millions of cameras everywhere all wired to use facial recognitions software and should anyone break the law and leave a piece of DNA behind, they could pinpoint who they are and where they’re at the very moment they stick their head outside. Well why not put the cameras inside homes too, so one doesn’t have to wait for them to go outdoors. And while one is at it, why not just log every keystroke that is sent over the internet and tap everyone’s telephone line to listen in to see if anyone is doing anything illegal. After all it would really help the police out, don’t you think? One of the smartest men in the past 500 years, Benjamin Franklin, said it best: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Talk about the old "slippery slope" trick; you're making a mountain out of a molehill. I was commenting on the statement you made that suggested it was wrong for police to collect evidence from a house where a suspect shares residence with a non-suspect. The gentleman in the Valve case could also be charged with aiding and abetting this theft if they find evidence on his computer. ATM, they have no evidence to implicate the man in the crime, but the mere fact that he shares living quarters with a prime suspect means that he may be in possession of that evidence. With your logic, the ficitional Dahmer situation wouldn't have been resolved because the authorities would not be permitted to inspect the property of the housemate, therefore the murderer could very well hide all of his evidence within his housemate's property. Of course, the housemate would be guilty of some crimes as well, but how could he possibly be convicted if the cops couldn't build a case by collecting evidence from his home?

quid
01-26-2004, 07:28 AM
I know that I said that I wouldn’t respond, but I just wanted to say that perhaps we are misunderstanding each other. It’s one of the difficulties about trying to discuss anything on a message board.
Talk about the old "slippery slope" trick; you're making a mountain out of a molehill. I was commenting on the statement you made that suggested it was wrong for police to collect evidence from a house where a suspect shares residence with a non-suspect.
I really never meant that.
I believe that the burden of proof needs to be higher for a search and seizure to take place. I am not coming from the moon when I say such things. There are many civil liberties groups in the US who are even more upset about such actions as well. Ironically in Canadian news a few days ago, the people were deeply upset with the actions of what they referred to be a “police state” when a similar case (albeit different with more severe stakes at risk for national security) involved a similar search and seizure. One would think that they would be glad to forfeit some of their rights for increased national security, but nope it doesn’t fly there. Perhaps their public libraries have one too many copies of 1984 in them… a nasty byproduct of not banning books or massive reductions of literacy in public schools.
I know it seems that I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, but it is a slippery slope. One allows such searches for cases that it seems ok (like the Valve one) and then soon enough it is applied to occasions where it is not. Do you know that right now there are naturalized citizens of the US being stripped of their citizenship and deported for drug offenses under new regulations that were designated for terrorists? This slippery slope has been evident for ages (see Brave New World, another banned favorite) and people have been able to make accurate social predictions and great books on the basis of this very predicable slope. The cameras and stuff I mentioned in my last post may all of a sudden seem very real should there be another event that makes citizens feel the need to fork over some more rights.
Ok, that’s it for real this time. I do apologize for the rant, but one is free to stop reading at any time! Have a nice day.
:wavey:

BiTMAP
01-26-2004, 07:35 AM
you mean they bann things like Brave new world and 1984?? oye!! (i have 1984 half read right next to my desk..)

quid
01-26-2004, 11:02 AM
Yeah, I'm not too sure about the exact dates; they vary from state to state. But it was widely banned in the US along with a ton of other books on and off again since it was written. It is freely available now, but I have a two teacher friends in the US who were recently forbidden by their respective departments from covering the book in their classrooms. I have several friends who teach in the US and all are very discouraged with the current situation and several are actively trying to get teaching jobs abroad.

noisewar
01-26-2004, 12:58 PM
wow...


good to see people here think that terrorists out in the rest of the world mean we should stop catching our own criminals first.

If they aren't busting people here, there would be no homeland to secure. Leave the cops alone for crissakes.

paulrus
01-26-2004, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by BiTMAP
you mean they bann things like Brave new world and 1984?? oye!! (i have 1984 half read right next to my desk..)

1984 is available as is Brave New World. Go to Amazon.com and buy a copy today.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0451524934/qid=1075123229//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/103-5491481-4517432?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

What does this have to do with computer graphics?

JooS-10
01-27-2004, 02:54 AM
Im sure everyone is already aware of this seeing as though I am behind in everything, but there are now multiple video cameras at road intersections. Once the light turns yellow it takes a picture, you can see the light blink when it does...

GRMac13
01-27-2004, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by JooS-10
Im sure everyone is already aware of this seeing as though I am behind in everything, but there are now multiple video cameras at road intersections. Once the light turns yellow it takes a picture, you can see the light blink when it does...

What's your point? The discussion is about the right to privacy in one's own home. You have no right to privacy when you're out in public, behind the controls of a several ton weapon. It's no different than placing a police officer at every street corner to ticket light jumpers. Besides, driving is a priviledge, not a right. If you have a problem with the cameras, take the bus.

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