**Biased Journalism**V2no10 Bad Day at Cult Rock

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May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
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**Biased Journalism** : a net magazine designed to compensate for
the shortcomings of the professional news media.

Copyright 1996 Shelley Thomson; all rights reserved.

Mail, articles and comment may be directed to <stho...@netcom.com>.
Netiquette will be observed with all communication, except for the
following: harassing or threatening mail will be posted to the
net immediately.


**Biased Journalism** Volume 2, issue 10 May 14, 1996.

Contents: NOTS Bombshell; Henson Deposition; Mike Godwin (EFF) interview;
Georgia Chops Anonymous Posters; Rodent Report (a gossip column); Flame
of the Week.

Read at your own risk. This is **Biased Journalism**!

1. Bad Day at Cult Rock

Readers of alt.religion.scientology were astonished to notice
a large collection of alleged secret, copyrighted and trade
secret protected documents of the church of scientology posted
anonymously over the weekend of May 5. An expert source known to
**Biased Journalism** verified the documents as authentic.

The posts were quickly expunged by forged cancellations, only to
be posted again by different means. The anonymous remailer originally
used, hactic.nl.net, has closed. Netizens are currently being treated
to the spectacle of the cancelbunny pursuing NOTS all over the net.

At a cursory inspection, the documents are unexciting. They
appear to consist largely of lists of auditing errors and
instructions for repair. They involve statements of the type "hit
an implant that said [reader's choice of improbable statement]" or "a
BT or a cluster tried to blow but hit [reader's choice of solid
object]." There are some mildly interesting digressions, but by and
large the only reason these documents have received any public notice
is the bizarre behavior of the church.

The publication of NOTS on the net would seem to threaten, if not
expunge, their claim to trade secret status. We understand that the
question of whether publication on the net constitutes publication,
as in a public revelation of hithterto secret information, will be
argued before Judge Whyte in May.

Meanwhile Grady Ward has already asked that his Temporary
Restraining Order be vacated, on the grounds that the publication of
NOTS renders the order moot. Keith Henson is widely expected to
follow suit.

---------

2. The Perilous Seat: Henson Deposition

The full transcript of the May 8 deposition is a very long
file. The following is a commented and condensed version. We ask
forgiveness for any errors which may occur. We hope the following
will convey the flavor of the proceedings. The full transcript can
be seen at ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/hk/hkhenson/deposition.transcript.

Keith Henson's deposition was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
in the eleventh floor office of Thomas Hogan, in San Jose. Our
observer arrived to find netizen Grady Ward already installed in
a small conference room with a glass wall. Eric Lieberman, counsel
for the Religious Technology Center, was there too. We introduced
ourselves and Mr. Lieberman promptly informed us that no journalists
would be allowed in the deposition. Ward remarked diffidently that
Magistrate Judge Infante could be asked to make the decision; we
asked for his telephone number and to our surprise the RTC attorneys
refused to give it to us.

Then Keith Henson arrived, wearing a bright yellow t shirt
with "SAVE a.r.s." on the front and a large red "SP" on the back.
He declared that we were his person of choice--his witness as
explicitly permitted by Judge Whyte--and unless we were allowed to
attend he would not proceed with the deposition.

The RTC lawyers fixed us with the Death Stare and scurried
off to confer. Warren McShane [president of RTC] went with
them.

The huddle didn't take long at all. The attorneys decided to
proceed. Tom Hogan introduced himself, shook our hand, and found us a
comfortable chair. (Hogan wore the same gray pinstripe suit that
reminded us in a previous hearing of a passage from Alice in
Wonderland. This time he had a bright tie with a floral motif that
would not have looked out of place in Alice. It had a faintly
psychedelic air: 'I'm a lawyer,' it seemed to say,'but I like to do
wild, crazy things away from the office.')

The deposition room was small, perhaps 12' x 15'. It housed
a rectangular conference table in dark oak sparingly inlaid with light
oak and a number of chairs. The table was designed to seat eight. At
one end there was a large black video camera on a studio swivel mount
and a technician from the taping company.

At the other end was a red plush armchair. Keith Henson sat
down in it, folding his hands over a copy of Playboy Magazine. RTC
attorneys Hogan, Lieberman and Kobrin arranged themselves along the
left side of the table; the right side was occupied by the court
reporter, Grady Ward and the observer.

There was a reason for this arrangement. Henson had announced
his intention to have Grady Ward present at the deposition. On
Tuesday afternoon he received notice that the plaintiffs were opposed.
Henson spent Tuesday afternoon arguing the matter with Judge Infante,
and received permission for Ward to be present as long as Ward and
Henson did not confer during the deposition. [This requirement was
scrupulously observed.] Ward brought his laptop and sound recording
equipment. He planned to convert the Henson deposition into an audio
file so that it could be posted to the net.

A bodyguard watched the conference room alertly. He was
aapparently attached to Warren McShane, and followed McShane around
throughout the day. He wore black pants and a white shirt, no jacket.
By his feet there was piece of luggage the size of an airport carry-
on. [The observer wondered what was in it. A change of clothes for
McShane? A cellular telephone? An uzi?]

The deposition was conducted by Eric Lieberman, a big, blocky
man with glasses. We compared it with the previous deposition of
Grady Ward by Tom Hogan. Lieberman's style was relaxed. He made no
obvious attempt to intimidate or overawe Henson. Earlier in the day
he had taken great pains to make sure that the microphone clip would
not crush his blue paisley silk tie. Looking at his beautifully tailored
dark navy suit, we wondered whether Lieberman was the kind of man who
bought $200 ties and wore them *once*.

Henson upstaged Lieberman at the outset by insisting that
Warren McShane, seated in a back corner, be identified for the
record. Then Lieberman began by asking whether Henson had been
deposed before (he had) and reviewing the procedure.

I understand that I can ask myself questions and introduce
exhibits, Henson stated. Lieberman remarks that he has only seen
this in comedies. "Well, that's a good desription of what we're
doing-" Henson begins, and Lieberman quickly cuts him off. "Mr.
Henson, one thing you're going to have to do is wait until I finish.
You should understand that right now. If there are statements you
wish to make at the end of my questioning, you may make them
provided that they are pertinent to the proceedings. I then get the
opportunity to further cross-examine you about those. Okay."

Consulting a binder and a stack of prepared notes, Lieberman
grills Henson about his educational background and work history.
Henson admits to an engineering degree, employment in hardware and
software consulting, a divorce, four children and soforth.

"Are you a regular participant in newsgroups on the Internet?"
Yes. "For how long?" Maybe eight years. "Which newsgroups?" Henson
reels off a list of groups: space, libertarian, EFF, cypherpunks,
nanotech, cryonics... (he goes on for a bit)

Lieberman: alt.religion scientology?

Henson: yes.

Lieberman asks if Henson spends a fair amount of time each
week on the Internet. "Far less time there than most people spend
watching television," Henson retorts. He estimates he invests
perhaps 45 minutes per day; less in recent times. [he has had to
devote time to the lawsuit]

When did Henson first post to ars? Henson tries to remember
and guesses his first post as around January 10-11, 1995. Full
archives are maintained by several people: if you really care about
this you can probably find out just by posting this as a question on
the newsgroup.

Lieberman is not looking for helpful suggestions about how he
can do his job. He presses on, and it is established that what got
Henson involved in alt.religion.scientology was the rmgroup message.

Much could be said about this message, and was, later on;
but Lieberman switches directions, asking Henson if he had been
involved in lawsuits before. It transpires that Henson had once sued
the FBI, and had also participated in the ECPA case against the County
of Riverside.

"Were you pro per in the FBI lawsuit?" Lieberman wants to
know. Yes, Henson says. "And in Riverside?" No, in that case
Henson was represented by Chris Ashworth. Lieberman remarks that
the FBI suit was dismissed. Henson replies, yes, but the responses
were extremely helpful in the ECPA case. [Apparently the FBI was
sued to extract information needed for the ECPA suit against
Riverside.]

[We surmised that Lieberman was collecting information
related to Henson's experience as a litigant. Perhaps the church
will later argue that Judge Whyte should not be forgiving of
any procedural errors committed by Henson.]

Next, Lieberman asks Henson whether he had any prior
knowledge of the church of scientology. Henson replies that he
only knew what anyone might know from casual reading; he had
never been a member of the church of scientology or participated
in services. Under questioning, Henson admits that he might
have read some science fiction by L. Ron Hubbard, and still owns
a vintage Hubbard novel dating from the 1940's or 50's.
Dissatisfied, Lieberman wants to know if Henson read anything
by Hubbard about scientology (before getting involved in ars).
No, Henson says cheerfully.

[Helena Kobrin leans over to whisper in Lieberman's ear.
She is wearing a red jacket, charcoal gray blouse and checkered
skirt. She looks sad, and studiously avoids eye contact with the
netizens. In this deposition she is apparently acting merely as a
handmaid.]

Lieberman shuffles papers for a moment, consults his binder,
and hands Henson a document. [Plaintiff's Exhibit #1.]

Lieberman: Just take a look at that. I'm just going
to ask you to identify it if you can.

"This looks like something that I produced," Henson affirms.
"Is this a copy of the complaint that you filed against the FBI?"
Lieberman inquires. Henson says that it seems to be. He is asked
whether he drafted the complaint himself, and he says that he did.

Henson is then asked to identify Thomas Donaldson and
Roger Gregory; the question apparently relates to the FBI lawsuit.
Henson describes Donaldson as a mathematician and Gregory as the
author of an hypertext program. Lieberman asks whether they were
also involved in the ECPA v. Riverside suit [it is obvious that he
already knows this answer]. Henson says he believes they were.

Lieberman returns to a previous question. Can't Henson
recall exactly when he first started posting to a.r.s.? Again
Henson says he cannot. He thinks it was in mid-January of 1995.

Lieberman produces a document. [Exhibit no. 2] Tilting his
head as though he has a little trouble reading the print (a mannerism
that says "I'm harmless"), he announces that it is a post to a.r.s.
from hkhenson with a subject line: Writ of Seizure Against Erlich;
dated 21 Feb 1995. He hands Henson a copy; Henson examines it
doubtfully.

Lieberman: Do you recognize this posting, sir?

(Henson frowns thoughtfully at the document.)

Henson: "It looks like something that I probably put out,
but I certainly couldn't tell you for sure.

Lieberman (being very reasonable): It does have your name on
it, correct?

Henson: Yes, it does have my name on it, but that's no
problem. I can put anybody's name on something.

Lieberman: There's nothing on the face of this document
that suggests that it's anything other than something that -- copy of
something you posted, is it?

Henson: I can't tell. I posted thousands -- about 1,200
of these things. I can't tell whether this is something I posted or
not. [He remebers it is consistent with some things he recalls doing ]
at the time.] This is is a list of stuff that was found in the
paperwork that was filed in the Erlich case, and I will definitely
admit to having gone down to the courthouse, copied a bunch of that
paperwork and typed some of it in. Whether this is the one that I did
or not is anybody's guess.

Lieberman: Well, it does have your name on it and it was
posted to a.r.s.; is that right?

Henson: That's what it says on the face of it, but whether it
means that or not, there's no way I could tell.

Lieberman: You have no memory whatsoever of whether or not
you posted this; is that your -- is that your statement?

Henson: I don't know whether this is the actual thing that I
posted or not.

Lieberman: When I first showed this to you you said, "Oh,
yes," did you not?

Henson: Oh, I was referring to the date on it as to that, and
it's consistent with the dates that would have been involved.

Lieberman : When you said, "Oh, yes," did that suggest some
recognition of you that you'd seen this document before, sir?

Henson: This particular one?

Lieberman: Yes.

Henson: I don't know.

Lieberman: Why did you say, "Oh, yes"?

Henson: Because I was referring to the date on it. Because
we'd just been talking about when it was that I first posted to a.r.s.

Lieberman reads a choice statement from the post: "I sort
of got the impression that the judge was in over his head." He
spends a few minutes trying to make Henson identify with these words
and/or claim authorship of the post. Henson settles into a groove:
if it actually is his post he might have had similar thoughts at the
time; he has no way to tell whether the document in his hands is
actually his post.

Lieberman: do you remember posting a list of seized items
to the Internet?

Henson: yes, and this might be that post, but I couldn't
swear to it.

[A little color has come into Lieberman's face. In a subtle way he
exudes anger. The issue being debated is important. Our observer is
informed, and on that basis believes, that Internet postings do not
qualify as evidence under federal rules. They must be authenticated
by an author before they can be used as evidence. Henson has just
refused to claim authorship of a post merely because it bears his
name. This cuts RTC off at the knees.]

The next series of questions concerns Dennis Erlich. Henson
admits meeting Erlich and having some communication with him.
Lieberman wants to know what was said. "Did you ever discuss either
you or he posting additional materials to the Internet?" "No, I
never discussed that with Mr. Erlich," Henson says firmly.

A new exhibit [#3] is produced. Henson laughs, reading it.
"Well again I can't be sure it's what I posted, but it's certainly
characteristic. Nettled, Lieberman wants to know why. "It has
a sense of humor in it," Henson says.

Lieberman references a subject line: The Right To Be Evil.
The author of the post is hkhe...@cup.portal.com. The origin is
the portal system. What is that?

It is the name of an isp, Henson says. One of the ones that I
use.

Lieberman: You made a number of postings critical or taunting
of the church. How many? [He plainly expects another indefinite
answer.]

Henson: 1228.

Lieberman blinks in surprise. [That's a *lot* of posts. And
where did Henson get this number?] "But all of them weren't of this
nature?" No, Henson replies. It [the number] comes from a counter.

Lieberman turns to the attack. No one sued you for those (over
1220) postings to a.r.s., did they? [You made] critical and derogatory
posts, and you were never sued.

I was threatened once, Henson says. By Helena.

Lieberman: but she never sent you a letter threatening you
for making fun of the church of scientology, did she?

Henson responds that he thinks the six lines [apparently the
occasion for Ms. Kobrin's letter] were fair use. He refers to threats
by Milne, Vera Wallace and several others.

An argument ensues. Were you threatened by Helena Kobrin or
RTC? Lieberman demands. Henson: I was threatened more than once by
representatives of the church of scientology: Andrew Milne, Vera
Wallace, Chris Miller. Lieberman proceeds to hassle Henson,
insisting that he recount the threats word for word and state who
sent them.

Henson: I don't remember. God sakes, do you remember
crap that you read a year ago?

Lieberman: Well, if somebody threatened me with a lawsuit,
I might remember it, sir. If you don't remember being threatened
with a lawsuit, say so. If you do, then tell me who threatened you
and what they said. Who authored them and when.

Henson says he can't remember, but will get the details and
send them to Lieberman.

Now Lieberman proceeds to the next exhibit. [It occurs to
our observer that this sequence was staged. Lieberman wanted to get
some things into the record, namely, his client's claim that Henson
was only bothered in connection with his posting of the alleged
copyrighted sacred scriptures. He also wanted to make Henson
say "I don't know" a lot of times, in response to questions about the
precise date and wording of the threats.]

Henson wants to introduce something [into evidence] while
Lieberman is fishing in his various papers, but this is not allowed.
He is told he can do this afterward. Warren McShane takes notes
on a notepad. He is left handed, the observer notices. A shopping
list? Letter to his girl friend? No way to know.]

A new exhibit [#4] is brought out, and the dance resumes about
whether Henson will claim it as his post. Lieberman is noticeably
less cordial, but Henson is immovable. He won't acknowledge the
post as his, but "assuming it's my posting, it's a good posting."

Lieberman: but you did make numerous posts of this type.

Henson: yes.

Lieberman: your view is that under the First Amendment you
have the right to make such comments about the Church of Scientology
or people involved with it; is that right?

Henson: I have the right to make comments like this about
anybody.

Lieberman: Right. And people have the right to make
insulting comments about you back, right?

Henson: It depends on how far they go in the threats.

Lieberman: How about how far you go, sir? Does that depend
on that, too?

Henson: I don't believe I've ever stepped over the line.
It's a fairly well understood usenet culture phenomena as to how far
you can go without getting in trouble.

Lieberman: Now, did you make this posting, sir?

Henson: This one?

Lieberman: Yeah.

Henson: I can't swear to it.

Liebrman: Does it seem familiar to you?

Henson: Not particularly.

Lieberman: Okay.

Henson: I do, however, recognize Standup.

Lieberman: There's no question pending about Standup, sir.

[There is more to this exchange, but the observer is distracted with
the thought that Henson has won a point here. The linkage between
RTC and the Church has received a boost.]

It is time for another document. Lieberman produces a post
dated March 14, 1995: subject: Just The Facts Ma'am. He peers at
the paper as if he is having trouble making out the letters. 'I'm
the new kid on the block,' this seems to say. 'Please help me out.'
[quoting post] "David, I don't expect you to believe it, but Grady
Ward is a respected person over a considerable stretch of the net."

Henson identifies with the subject matter but once again
declines to authenticate the post.

Lieberman (frustrated): is there anything on the face of
this document that suggests [it isn't yours]?

Henson (reasonably): I can't say one way or the other.

Henson goes on to say that for a while there were a couple of
scientologists on the net who actually had some respect. Ken Long
and Elisabeth McCoy. They soon left [leaving Milne and his ilk
to represent the church].

Lieberman wants to change the subject. "Don't the rules of
most service providers include rules against copyright infringement?"

Henson declines to make general statements about the rules of
service providers. The discussion is really about what can be posted
and what cannot be; Lieberman tries to talk about the terms of service
of an isp, and Henson explains the difference between rules and
customs. "Now, understand that there's a difference between legalized
rules and customs. I mean, for example, there's no law against pissing
in the potted plant out in the lobby, but it's definitely against
custom."

Lieberman has no luck in getting Henson to discuss the terms
of service of his service providers. Henson doesn't remember even
seeing the rules. If he did it was years ago, anyway. "It wasn't
something you were interested in finding out?" Lieberman says in
disbelief. Henson shrugs the question off. [This lawyer thinks that
people read the manuals?] He takes up several expensive minutes
explaining netiquette to the attorneys.

Lieberman: So according to the custom of netiquette, if
you're sufficiently motivated --

Henson: No, if there is sufficiently good reason --

Lieberman: You can violate somebody's copyrights?

Henson: Happens every day.

Lieberman: And is the same thing true with misappropriating
their trade secrets? If you have a sufficient motivation, then it's
okay to do that.

Henson: Not motivation. If there is sufficient -- like
public interest and so forth.

Lieberman: And who determines this?

Henson: You take the risk yourself.

Lieberman: Okay. And if you're wrong, you get sued, right?

Henson: It looks that way.

Lieberman: If the Court thinks you're wrong, you're found
liable; isn't that right?

Henson: That may well be.

Lieberman: But you think that under the rules of netiquette
it's up to each individual to make that determination for themselves
in the first instance; is that right?

Henson: Yes.

Lieberman: And that's what you've done, isn't it?

[Phweet! Foul! Henson spots it. He has really been asked
a series of nested questions. A single yes answer might be applied
to all of them regardless of his intention.]

Henson: Repeat that.

Lieberman: 'And that's what you've done; isn't it?'

Henson: I don't exactly understand why you're asking --
or even what the question is exactly here.

Lieberman: You made the determination that there's
sufficient reason to infringe on RTC's copyrights by posting its
materials on the net, haven't you?

Henson: No.

Lieberman: You haven't made that determination.

Henson: No. I don't consider that infringement on their
copyrights at all.

[So much for that idea. Lieberman proceeds to the
question of whom Henson consulted before he posted the six lines
and NOTS.]

Lieberman (with an aha! gotcha! air): whom did you consult
with before posting NOTS?

Henson: Judge Whyte. Or at least I tried to.

Lieberman: he doesn't consider that you consulted with him.
Did you talk to Dennis Erlich? Grady Ward?

Henson says no to Ward and Erlich. He may have consulted
with other people; he isn't sure. In a brief exchange, Henson
maintains that the document he posted is instruction in a criminal
activity; Lieberman retorts that Henson came to this interpretation
on his own, didn't he? Yes, Henson says.

Lieberman complains that Henson posted the document twice, or
it showed up twice. Henson replies that they cancelled it once.
Lieberman: well, that means it showed up. Henson: I went looking
for it next day and it wasn't there, so I put it back.

Lieberman: what is the basis for asserting that the church
of scientology cancelled it?

Henson: that's a good point. I need to investigate.

Lieberman: you have no basis.

Henson: it is an assumption based on long standing patterns
of behavior by the church.

[Helena Kobrin, who has been silent in the background, handing
documents to Lieberman and acting as his self-effacing assistant,
whispers in his ear.]

Lieberman: do you have any facts?

Henson: that I have personal knowledge of? No.

Lieberman: that's the question.

Henson: But I'll go to the trouble to get it.

Now they take up the copyright question again. Lieberman
produces a new document. "When you posted NOTS 34 you knew it was
copyrighted? "By someone, yes. Stuff is born copyrighted," Henson
says. He looks stubborn.

Lieberman: You knew that RTC claimed the copyright to
NOTs 34, didn't you? Yes or no.

Henson: Try that again.

Lieberman: You knew that the Church of Scientology through
RTC claimed the copyright, asserted a copyright, in NOTs 34. Yes or
no.

Henson: It was on the list of material that was in the
TRO that was issued against Grady Ward. That's the best I can do.
I don't know what they assert on it or how well it would hold up in
court.

Lieberman: But you knew that it was asserted, right? In
fact, you also knew that it was part of the Erlich case, didn't you?

Henson: No.

Lieberman: Didn't you go and obtain a whole list of materials
that were at issue in the Erlich case and didn't you post those to the
internet?

Henson: You think that I could remember that list of
numbers? No way.

"You didn't bother to check whether it was part of the
injunction in the Erlich case?" Lieberman asks incredulously. [He
seems to be working hard to link Henson to the Erlich and Ward cases,
for reasons unclear to the observer.] Henson affirms that he did not
check.

Henson: I knew it was part of the injunction in the --
in the Ward case because that's how I found it. In fact, would you
like a description of how I found it?

Lieberman: No, I'll get to that. But you didn't bother to
check whether it was part of the injunction in the Erlich case; is
that your testimony?

Henson: That's my testimony. Was it?

Lieberman: Yes.

[Lieberman and Kobrin confer in whispers.]

Lieberman: have you ever used anonymous remailers?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: do you know if Mr. Ward has? Henson says he
has no idea. Lieberman asks what motive anyone would have for using
an anonymous remailer.

"To avoid the kind of trouble I'm in," Henson replies
forthrightly.

Lieberman: did you ever advise people how to use anonymous
remailers?

Henson: not that I recall. He goes on to explain that he is
not an expert in the field. If asked, he would just tell people
where to look for the information. Lieberman wants more details.
In response to questions, Henson says that if you are going to use
anonymous remailers, you should never use the same one twice as the
final link. If the final remailer is compromised the information
might be trapped, he explains. The general rule is that if you are
going to send stuff you should never use less than three or four
remailers. If you are going to do that kind of thing, youwant to do
a good job.

Lieberman wants to know where he could get a list of all the
remailers. [Aha, the observer thought, he really does plan to issue
subpoenas.] Henson tells him about cypherpunks. He has to explain
the concept to Lieberman.

Henson says that he had wanted to bring one of the cypherpunks
to the deposition.

A little dance ensues. Henson says that the cypherpunks have
a list. Lieberman could get the information (about remailers) from
the list.

Lieberman: who maintains the list?

Henson: majordomo.

Lieberman: majordomo is an individual?

Henson: he's a bot.

Lieberman: what's a bot?

Henson: a robot.

Lieberman: well, where it is kept?

Henson: hoptoad. What you do is, send a message that says
"subscribe cypherpunks" to cyphe...@hoptoad.com.

Lieberman: well, who is involved in cypherpunks?

Henson references an article in Wired magazine and tries to
remember the date.

Lieberman then wants to know whom Henson talked to on the
cypherpunk list. [During this discussion Henson mentioned that he
had invited the cypherpunks to the deposition. Apparently he sent
a blanket invititation to the list, but got few replies.] Lieberman
is insistent, demanding names from Henson, who finally says he might
have talked to someone named doughboy, but isn't sure.

Lieberman: you knew the identity of the person you wanted to
bring [to the deposition]. [This person declined to come when it was
made clear that RTC would insist on having his name.] Lieberman
insists on the name, and Henson becomes mutinously stubborn. He
says he does not believe he is required to answer the question with
regard to hypothetical people he might have brought with him.

Lieberman says he is going to insist, and the matter is
shelved pending a discussion with Judge Infante in the afternoon.
[This discussion apparently never took place.] Now he wants Henson
to name everyone he knows on cypherpunks.

Henson names some people. Phil Zimmerman. Eric Hughes.
There are some people from the east coast who post from panix.
(He spells this for the reporter.) Henson is not on the list now:
it's too big. There are 700 to 1000 people.

Lieberman: But the people who you are refusing to
identify are identified or connected with Cypherpunks?

Henson: They're on the list of somewhere between 700 and
a thousand people.

Lieberman: You understand the reason I am asking you for
the identity is not because they would or would not come to this
deposition, but because they are connected with Cypherpunks. That's
the reason for the question. [It was not the reason for the
question a few minutes ago, the observer notes.]

Henson: If you want a list of Cypherpunks, just ask for
it. [he means, from the list]

Lieberman: I'm asking, do you still refuse to identify the
names of those people, given what I just stated to you?

Henson: I had some people in mind that I would have asked,
but on the basis of having to be identified I know none of them would
be interested in coming.

Lieberman: Okay. And you're refusing to state who they
are?

Henson: Well, you can get the whole list if you want.

Lieberman: That's not my question.

Henson: Yeah, I refuse to state it. I mean, this is
highly hypothetical, but, I mean, the Cypherpunks people would
obviously be interested in this kind of thing. It's sort of like an
arms manufacturer being interested in reports from the battle front.

Lieberman: you still refuse to identify people whom you
were considering bringing along?

Henson: yes. I refuse.

Lieberman brings out a new document. [#6] This (he says) is
a post to a.r.s. from hkhenson dated 5th of April 1995, regarding a
message Gerald Armstrong sent to a.r.s.. Do you recall this? Henson
says he thinks he does.

Lieberman: did you try to make it to a court hearing for
Armstrong?

Henson: I thought about it.

Lieberman: have you ever been to a court hearing for Gerald
Armstrong?

Henson: no. As they say, I have a life.

Lieberman: (dryly) glad to hear it.

Once again Henson won't claim the post as his. There is not
enough content to identify the (original) post, he says. And once
again Lieberman says, but your name is on it. I can type one with
anyone's name in it, Henson replies; do you want me to generate one
with your name in it? [The smiles of both men look a lot like bared
teeth, the observer notes.]

Lieberman next tries to get Henson to characterize Grady
Ward's posts. Henson won't do it. He remarks with indignation that
he barely knows Grady and met him for the first time at the picket
of the San Francisco org.

Now Lieberman asks Henson whether he has ever discussed with
Grady Ward posting materials on the internet, by phone or email.
And whether he has ever discussed with Grady Ward the identity of
SCAMIZDAT. To these questions Henson replies "no, I did not."

Lieberman: are you SCAMIZDAT?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: do you know who is?

Henson: no. He offers to speculate, but the attorney cuts
him off.

LIeberman: and you quite definitely are not [SCAMIZDAT]?

Henson, being very reasonable, explains that the assumption is
that SCAMIZDAT has access to hard copy. He, Henson, has never seen
any hard copy of OT materials or NOTS.

Lieberman: do you know who Patrick J. Volk is?

Henson: to the best of my knowledge I've never heard of this
person.

Lieberman explains that Volk is apparently communicating from
some educational institution in Pittsburgh. Henson still doesn't
recognize the name. Lieberman hands Henson a document.

Henson: (cracks up) this is a great troll.

Lieberman: (acidly) you find this amusing?

Henson: yes. It's an in joke.

Lieberman quotes from the Volk post: "screw the courts" and
also says that he has an ftp site for all the OT materials. "Mr.
Henson is laughing hysterically about this posting for reasons that
I suppose he understands--" Henson offers to explain.

Lieberman: What's an ftp site?

Henson explains that ftp means file transfer protocol. You
can use almost any machine on the Internet to access a file on almost
any other machine, that has been placed in an ftp directory, he says
with relish. [He goes on at length about how this is done.]

Lieberman: Okay. "So when he said 'I have an ftp site for
all the OT materials,' he is saying he has all the OT materials on
a site which people can access." Was Henson aware of Patrick
Volk's ftp site? Does this refresh your recollection? he demands.

Henson: well, you see right after the colon, it says
ftp:127.0.0.1?

Lieberman: yes.

Henson: that's a loopback address.

Lieberman wants to pursue the question of the site with the
OT materials. Was Henson aware of Patrick Volk's ftp site?

Henson: (patiently) It's at 127.0.0.1. This is a loop back
address. This is a troll.

Lieberman: what's a troll?

Henson: it comes from the fishing where you troll a
bait along in the water and a fish will jump and bite the thing,
and the idea of it is that the internet is a very humorous place
and it's especially good to troll people who don't have any sense
of humor at all, and this is a troll because an ftp site of 127.0.0.1
doesn't go anywhere. It loops right back around into your own
machine.

Lieberman [not getting it]: So the idea here was to make the
church think that this person had an ftp site and to take action
against him and, in fact, he didn't have it; is that your point?

Henson: Oh, it's really humorous, and I picked up on it
and instantly added something to extend the troll. Extending the
trolls like this is an art form of the highest order.

Lieberman (acidly): I see. So this is part of your art
form where you say, "don't you expect the 'ho to blow a gasket?"

Henson: yes.

Lieberman (starting to lose his temper): so you do remember
this posting apparently?

Henson (helpfully): I can't remember for certain that I
did this one, and certainly I could not swear to any of the material
on here being letter perfect on it (but he goes on to say that it
is such a good one that he would be happy to take credit for it).

Lieberman: You find this whole thing kind of amusing, don't
you?

Henson: Oh, this is screamingly funny.

Lieberman (no more Mr. Nice Guy): You find it amusing to
make Helena Kobrin and the church go after you or other people for
this sort of thing, whether you have the materials or not; is that
right?

Henson: It's a great game.

Lieberman: It is a great game. You really find it amusing,
don't you?

Henson: It's an extremely amusing thing.

Lieberman: All right. You find it amusing when you receive
these letters from Ms. Kobrin, the cease and desist letters? It's
part of the game; isn't it? [This goes on for awhile as Lieberman
hammers at the point. Henson reiterates that he is amused, and
wants to talk about the SP levels.]

Lieberman: You find it an amusing part of the game when you
receive these cease and desist letters, right?

Henson: No, no. It's not amusing, it's a major increment in
status.

Lieberman: I see. You feel this increases your status,
right? On the internet, on a.r.s. (To which Henson says yes,
absolutely.)

Lieberman: All right. And it's all part of this game,
right?

Henson: Absolutely.

Lieberman: It's all part of the troll, right?

Henson (waving exhibit): This is a great troll.
I mean, anybody in the computer business instantly would have spotted
this, ftp:127. In fact, it even says trolls in here (indicating).
In fact, this was cross-posted from --

Lieberman has heard more than enough about trolls. "There is
no question pending. You can hold your comments.

Lieberman (with an air of getting into the bizarre nature of
the situation): why did you think this would cause Ms. Kobrin to
blow a gasket?

Henson: this wasn't addressed to Helena. He goes on to
explain that the message is a loop back. If it worked at all it would
be a loopback to your own machine. If you tried it you'd discover
it's a troll. The 127 is the loopback address! It's a joke, but
the lawyer isn't getting it.

[The observer notices that the RTC lawyer has connected "the
'ho" with Ms. Kobrin. Evidently the nickname has made transit to
the solid world. Ms. Kobrin is stuck with it for life.]

Lieberman: Ed Sobocinski. Do you know who he is?

Henson: No.

Lieberman: April 7, 1995. Re: good stuff from one that's
been there.

This initiates an interesting discussion in which Henson
states that it is within the bounds of Internet etiquette to post
obscene or threatening mail immediately to the net. Lieberman is very
intent on getting this into the record. Henson obligingly affirms
the practice. Henson had asked Sobocinski to post the obscene and
threatening mail he said he got from anti-scientologists. Sobocinski
did not post anything, however.

It is now 10:54. The deposition has been going on for about
two hours. Lieberman asks for a short break. [To empty his spleen?
the observer wondered unfairly.]

During the break Lieberman takes Henson into a separate room,
where they have an animated discussion. Lieberman is louder than
Henson; we can hear some of his half. "That's why we brought this
suit," he says plaintively. He wants Henson to do something. Henson
comes out looking ruffled and obstinate. Ward and the observer chat
with the court reporter, a friendly woman in a long flowered dress.

At 11:08 it begins again.

Liebermann inquires about a.r.s. archives. Henson replies
that at least one person tries to download everything that is posted
on a.r.s.. In addition to the Church of Scientology, of course. He
just posts a message asking who's got them. He thinks it's a woman,
might be a lawyer.

[Helena Kobrin whispers to Lieberman]

Lieberman: Deana Holmes?

Henson: maybe.

Lieberman establishes that this person, Deana Holmes or anyone
else, has an archive, but Henson says that it may not be complete.
There are some things that nobody kept. Now how do you determine the
number of posts? Lieberman asks.

Henson: the counter in tin. [They natter briefly about this.]

Lieberman: do you know who Homer is?

Henson: the creator of alt.clearing.technology. A place
where freezoners hang out.

Lieberman wants to know if they [freezoners] exchange things
like NOTS and the OT levels. Henson replies that he doesn't know,
but Ken Long argued that BTs have mass.

Lieberman: is Ken Long a freezoner?

Henson: I don't know.

Lieberman is fascinated with the freezoners. Do they believe
in the tech? Yes, but they squirrel it, Henson replies. A lot of
thir posts are loony. He has a lot of them in his killfile. A
killfile, Henson explains, deletes all specified authors and topics.

Lieberman: is Homer in your killfile?

Henson: I'm not sure whether he is killfiled in [both]
portal and Netcom.

Lieberman: have you ever met with Aron Mason?

Henson: yes. very early [e.g. some time ago], right after
the CPF conference. There was an EFF meeting after the conference.
Mason and Jeff Quiros both showed up there.

Lieberman: your impressions?

Henson (emphatically): *wierd people.* It was one of my
first experiences with TR-L, people who've been trained in lying.
(Henson explains that prior to this conference he had just read the
Tabayoyon declaration.) He says he was very impressed with the
straignt-faced deadpan lying. Tabayoyon a backhoe driver? They
[Quiros and Mason] did a good job. Well trained.

Lieberman brings out exhibit #9.

Henson: is this my account of that meeting?

Lieberman: take a look.

Henson again refuses to verify that this is actually what he
posted.

The document is a post containing a dialogue with Rick
Sherwood and an account of the meeting with Quiros and Mason. "Down
at the bottom of that page, you see where you say, "Do you have any
idea of how wide our circle of friends is"? Who did you mean?.

Henson: the Internet. 30 million people. I'm known by
probably 10,000 people. Ron Newman, Grady Ward, Jeff Jacobsen are
people with huge net presences.

Lieberman: "do you have the slightest idea of who you are
threatening?" What threat are you referring to in this particular
dialogue or trialogue or whatever it is?

Henson: Probably "The Scientologists fight back. I know
you don't like this. But they persist,", which was Woody's
statement.

Lieberman: Okay. So that's what you meant by a threat.

Henson: Yeah, in the context of the previous sentence,
which is "Henson, be careful, here. Others don't have your bias and
you might lose some credibility if you try to make" out -- "make it
out for what it was not." And I -- my comment on that was "I" can't
"figure out which part of my posting" you're "referring to," and
then went on down, "If" you're "referring to the Ms. Bloody/Tom K./
-AB- extended episode, I clearly stated that it" made "no sense to
me." I went on to say, "It is just about the weirdest story" I've
"ever heard, and if you or anyone else in or out of CoS can explain
it, I'd be nothing short of delighted. If you are referring to my
reporting of the EFF meeting, my bias in these matters is fully on
the record."

Lieberman: what is your bias?

Henson: in favor of freedom of expression and I'm,
of course, opposed to the kind of brainwashing and other sorts of
abuse that the Church of Scientology is well-known for doing.

Lieberman: Approximately when did you post the 6-7 lines
of OT VII? Henson can't remember. Lieberman wants to know where he
got the material. "I was responding to someone else's posting,"
Henson says. He explains how followups work.

Lieberman: asks if Henson ever obtained electronic or
disk copies of the item. Did you download it?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: was it in any computer memory?

Henson: yes. The video ram of my terminal emulator and the
machine on either portal or Netcom. He helps Lieberman count the >s
on the post. There are six of them. Nettled, Lieberman quotes the
information: to a.r.s. July 21, 1995. Subject: Kobrin threatens yet
another lawsuit. At the bottom, a posting of several lines of OT 7,
blocked out for deposition record. Response to a post by Tom Betz.
Do you know who he is?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: quoting Hillel quoting you? He has to have
followups explained again. "Can you remember who posted before
you?" He sounds frustrated. Henson cannot remember. [Lieberman
clearly does not understand followups. It is an unforseen glitch
in his plans.]

Henson: Some machines -- mine uses colons. In
fact, you can tell that, but I apparently cut this out of some other
posting and stuck it there.

Lieberman: So --

Henson (recovers the fumble): If this was my posting.

Lieberman: But you did post these six or seven lines of OT
VII, we already established that, right?

Henson: Six lines.

Lieberman: Yeah. Okay.

Henson (making sure): Well, presumptively I did, but I don't
know that this is the posting where I did it.

Lieberman: But you did. Okay. Now --

Henson: I --

Lieberman: Did you --

Henson: I can't even tell you that it's OT VII, to be
truthful about it. I've never seen the originals.

Lieberman: Did -- did you receive a cease and desist letter
from Helena Kobrin as a result of this?

Henson (pleasantly): As a result of something.

Lieberman: As a result of posting six lines of OT VII?

Henson: As a result of something. Of posting probably
the six lines. I don't know what actually caused it.

Lieberman: Well, what did the letter say caused it?

Henson: I don't remember. I gave you guys a copy of it.
Whatever's in the letter.

Lieberman: But you don't remember what the letter said?

Henson: No. Heaven's sakes, it was three pages or
something.

When you received this letter, did this increase
your status?

Henson: Oh, yes.

[The exchange peters out, no score, and Lieberman is back to square
one.]

[There is a brief break to load a new tape. Hogan and
Lieberman go out, followed by McShane and Kobrin. Henson spends the
interval cheerily chatting with the court reporter. He explains how
to spell the acronyms.]

Lieberman returns to exhibit #11, subject: Helena Kobrin
threatens yet another lawsuit. He quotes Dave Barron quoting
Zeltar wondering why the six lines were so upsetting to the
church: "Dave, I'm going to be really pissed if you get a letter from
ms. magenta lips and I don't."

Henson refuses to affirm the post as his. Lieberman again
wants to know whether Henson enjoys getting cease and desist letters.

Henson agrees that letters are status symbols. Lieberman
wants to know if "ms. magenta lips" refers to Ms. Kobrin? Henson
says "maybe." He politely thanks Kobrin for the letter, and says
he posted it to the cork board at work. People were laughing
all week.

Finally, Henson explains, Kobrin gave up on sending letters
to everyone who posted the six lines. People started using them in
their .sig lines.

Lieberman: what's a sig line? Henson explains. Does
this mean the six lines are in a computer's memory? Lieberman
inquires, and Henson says that it does.

Lieberman produces the next document, [#12] and Henson
recoils. "This isn't mine." (Apparently it is a letter from Helena
Kobrin.) Lieberman wants Henson to state whether it is the one he
received or not; Henson can't be sure. "I think the one I got was
longer. I'm not sure this was it." (They do another little dance
in which he declines to authenticate the letter.)

Lieberman then wants to know if Henson got any communication
from his sysop with respect to copyright infringement. Henson says
he can't recall seeing anything at all, from either Netcom or portal.

Lieberman: did you post the cease and desist letter from
Helena Kobrin to ars? Henson can't remember.

Finally Lieberman consents to talk about the SP levels.
Henson explains that he wanted to be helpful and had brought it with
him: RFD: SP levels; Organization: ARSCC . RFD means request
for discussion, he explains.

Lieberman: what is ARSCC?

Henson: alt.religion.scientology central committee or
coordinating committee.

Lieberman (suspiciously): who's on it?

Henson: I don't know. It's mythical.

Lieberman: somebody must be responsible.

Henson: it's a troll.

Lieberman: who [has been trolling]?

Henson: lots of people. Oh, I've trolled on it. Especially
when somebody makes some kind of a statement about the thing, I'll
make some minor correction, you know, like I'll say I looked it up in
this book and cite some seven digit policy letter number.

Lieberman: what is a troll?

Henson explains. A troll is a joke, a put-on.

Lieberman: this posting purports to be the ARSCC SP levels
FAQ. What's a FAQ?

Henson: a FAQ is a list of frequently asked questions. This
FAQ (he said helpfully) is kept at a site called RTFM@(something).edu.

[A brief silence falls while the netizens in the room hope
that the lawyer will ask what RTFM means.]

Lieberman: so the SP levels refer to action against the
church?

Henson: mostly to actions by the church against them.

Lieberman (reading): well, you clearly qualify as SP1. SP2,
receiving an acknowledgment of your message. You qualify. SP3,
message cancelled by-- you suspect but don't know you qualify there.
SP 4, receiving a legal threat from the church. This is something
you aspired to achieve? [The forgeoing is a summary. Lieberman
and Henson have gone through some efficient Q & A as the lawyer
determines Henson's SP level.]

[SP level verified by a church lawyer? The observer thinks this is
clearly better than SP5.]

Lieberman (switching subject): have you met Arnie Lerma?
Henson says no. "Have you spoken to him on the phone?" Henson says
he has talked to Lerma only once, just after the search and seizure at
his house. Henson found out about it on the net and called to offer
support and find out what was going on.

Lieberman wants to know what they talked about. Henson says
that Lerma was "very distraught." As anybody would be who had just
had his house torn up by a bunch of people under color of law. He
can't recall the substance of the conversation. Did you discuss any
plans to post material yourself? Lieberman asks. No, Henson replies.
Did you discuss SCAMIZDAT? No. Henson says he was surprised when
Lerma posted the scientology materials.

Now Lieberman wants to know if Henson has information on
whether Lerma sent or mailed any materials to Grady Ward. Henson
says he has no information.

Lieberman: have you had any direct communication with
Arnie Lerma since then?

Henson: yes. He sent me his letter to Brinkema so I could
give it to Judge Whyte. [Lerma believes that an agent of the church
placed LSD on his toothbrush during the raid. The letter describes
this incident.

Lieberman: did you discuss the incident?

Henson: yes. It was discussed [first] on IRC [at a session
Henson did not attend]. He launches into a description of the
toothbrush incident. The description is interlaced with comments
by Lieberman, in a stylistically interesting exchange:

Lieberman: Did you ever inquire of Arnie Lerma why
he used the toothbrush if he thought it was laced with LSD?

Henson: Well, he didn't know it until after he used it.

Lieberman: Did you read his letter?

Henson: Yes.

Lieberman: And he says in the letter that he suspected it
before he used it.

Henson: No, he doesn't. At least, I don't remember
having read that. Maybe he does. He certainly suspected it
afterwards. He says it was only because he ran it under hot water for
a considerable time that he got a relatively small dose of it.

Lieberman: Why did he run it under water for a long time?

Henson: Because he was too cheap to buy a new
toothbrush. Or actually too poor.

Lieberman: But why was he running it under hot water to
begin with?

Henson: To loosen it up so that the mechanism would
work. It's an electric toothbrush.

Lieberman: I see. Didn't he say he was running it under
hot water to get rid of the LSD?

Henson: No, he ran it under hot water so that it would
loosen it up and run it and that just happens to have washed off most
of the LSD. This isn't the first time that people have accused the
Church of Scientology of doing this trick.

Helena Kobrin cuts him off in a cold, clear voice. It is
the first time she has spoken in this deposition. Kobrin: There's
no question pending, Mr. Henson.

Henson: I notice where they're sensitive.

TIME: 12:04.

Lieberman pulls out another exhibit. It is dated April 8,
1995; subject: LSD. What does LSD have to do with this posting?

Henson: Haven't got a clue. That's what's called topic
drift, and what often happens is that people will make a cascade of
things replying to other people's messages without changing the
subject line on it, and eventually the subject line has nothing
whatsoever to do with whatever's in the posting.

Lieberman: I see.

Henson (apologetically): Happens all the time. Sorry.

[For the first time Lieberman has omitted the ritual of asking Henson
to authenticate the post.]

The next document [#14] is a post dated August 13, 1995 [date
of Lerma raid] subject: international noose is loosening fast on scn.
This is a milne post with a reply from hkhenson.

And you state here (Lieberman says to Henson) "I have never
signed any silly billion year contracts, or agreed to keep the OT
tripe secret." You were aware that people who had been in the
church would sign confidentiality agreements, were you not?

Henson (thinking): Well, again, I can't swear to this
being a posting of mine, but --

Lieberman: Putting that aside you were aware of that?
Yes or no.

Henson: Putting that aside, I have -- I have no direct
knowledge of that, but it is -- I suppose it would be considered to
be general knowledge that people in the church sign all sorts of
strange stuff.

Lieberman: Well, you're aware that Erlich signed a
confidentiality agreement, aren't you?

Henson: No.

Lieberman: Weren't you aware that Lerma signed a
confidentiality agreement?

Henson: I haven't the slightest notion. That's well outside
my knowledge of this.

Lieberman: You didn't follow those cases very closely?

Henson: There's -- you're dealing with stuff that's the
size of several phone books thick. I don't know what they did, and
besides that, it's stuff that happened, you know, decades ago.

Lieberman: are you not aware that scientologists who
participate are required to sign confidentiality agreements?

Henson: it is alleged.

[Now Lieberman tries to extract the admission he needs by
main force, and a duel ensues.]

Lieberman: I'm just asking you whether you followed those
cases very closely or not.

Henson: It is alleged, anyway -- at least I think I have
heard that it was alleged that they signed confidentiality
agreements, but as to whether this is actually true or not, I haven't
the foggiest notion.

Lieberman: But you've made a point on several occasions
that you haven't signed a confidentiality agreement in clear
distinction to others; haven't you?

Henson: I don't know clear distinction to others, but I
certainly have never signed anything with the Church of Scientology.

Lieberman: Right. And you've indicated that you've
emphasized that point in distinguishing yourself from
others, haven't you or not?

Henson: I don't know that it distinguishes me from
others, but it certainly is true.

Lieberman: In fact, you've made that distinction in this
very case, haven't you?

Henson: I don't think it's a distinction, it's just a
statement of fact.

Lieberman: have you read the Vien decision?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: are you aware that a court entered an injunction
against Enid Vien?

Henson: yes, but I have no idea what it was.

Lieberman: are you aware that the court ordered damages
against Edith Vien?

Henson: no.

[At this point a one hour lunch recess was declared.
Everybody looks tired.]
FOOD

[After lunch everyone looks refreshed. Tom Hogan seems more
alert and has color in his face. McShane and his bodyguard are gone.]

Another exhibit (#15) is produced. This is a posting to
a.r.s., subject: flash: Arnie Lerma raided. In the body of the
message it says "just got word. Clams are inside Arnie's house with
another federal seizure warrant."

Henson once again can't state that it is all his, but it seems
truthful. He can't remember how he learned of the raid. He works in
the remark that Helena was participating in the raid at the same time
she was posting from her account at Netcom.

Lieberman: did you communicate with Mr. Wollersheim or Penny
by email?

Henson: I don't remember ever doing so.

Lieberman: You've never met them. Who have you met?

Henson: Grady Ward. Dennis Erlich.

Lieberman: at the time of the search and seizure at Lerma's
house were you aware that anyone besides Lerma had posted OT material
to the net? No, Henson said.

Lieberman: were you aware that Grady Ward had?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: Did you believe he had?

Henson: I couldn't even form an opinion on that. I
don't think so.

Lieberman: Right. Did you think that Grady Ward might be
the subject of a similar search and seizure as Mr. Lerma had been?

Henson: Because of his outspokenness against the --
against the Church of Scientology, I would rather imagine. I would
imagine that that was speculated on, and I don't know whether I did
any of the speculating or not.

[Now Lieberman must take time to repair the record. He cannot let
the suggestion stand, that the church raids people for being
outspoken.]

Lieberman: But the only people who had been subjected to a
search and seizure were people who actually had posted, right?
Posted materials, not people who had merely criticized; isn't that
right?

Henson (unhelpfully): That's asking me for speculation that
I don't really know.

Lieberman: Okay. Well, you knew the only people who had
been subjected to a search and seizure at the time had been Mr. Erlich
and Mr. Lerma, right?

Henson: I don't really know. I don't remember how the
FactNet -- what timing the FactNet raid hit. I don't remember whether
that was before or after Arnie Lerma.

Lieberman: It was after. It was several weeks after.

Henson: Well, you have more of a handle on the time line
than I do.

[No Sale, the observer notes. Once again Lieberman has
wasted his time.]

Lieberman returns to Grady Ward. When Ward posted his
messages taunting the church [about SCAMIZDAT], "you assumed it was a
troll?"

Henson: Seemed awful likely to me.

Lieberman: Why would that be?

Henson: Well, because the people who really are doing
that kind of thing aren't going to be twitting them that hard.

Lieberman: Mr. Lerma did.

Henson: Lerma was pretty silly. But then so was I.

Lieberman: Ultimately so was Mr. Ward, wasn't he?

Henson: Oh, I don't know. I think this is -- this is
being enjoyed by all parties.

Lieberman: oh, really. you are enjoying it.

Henson: well it comes off the recreation budget. [He is
making fun of this expensive lawyer, and it's getting Lieberman's
goat.] This is training for the big action, Henson says. Lieberman
takes the bait: What's that? Henson: when some major government
finally decides to really sit down hard on free speech on the net.

Lieberman spends a few minutes in a halfhearted attempt to
get Henson to say something seditious, but gives up quickly. Perhaps
it occurs to him that he is being trolled.

Lieberman: so you welcome this [lawsuit] as a training
exercise?

Henson: I didn't expect it to happen, but when it did I
decided I'd enjoy it.

Next Lieberman asks another question about Henson's past
litigation experience. In the suit involving the Moon treaty, did
he have an attorney?

Henson: Dickstein, Shapiro (et al.). Mr. Leigh Ratiner.

The name Ratiner seems to bring a slight chill into the
room. Lieberman quickly moves on. He has another exhibit, a post
to ars dated 19 September 1995; subject: scientology is dumb. This
is a response to Richard Smol. Do you know him?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: you took the position that the top people in the
church believe in scientology.

Henson: they are true believers in the sense described by
Eric Hoffer.

Lieberman: do you believe in it?

Henson: no. I don't believe in the Easter Bunny either.

Lieberman: do you believe in the Resurrection?

Henson: no, I'm sorry, I don't.

[The observer is startled by Lieberman's question. What is
the Resurrection doing in a scientology case? Is this, perhaps, one
of Lieberman's collection of no-win questions to ask in front of trial
juries? If yes, the witness is a fundamentalist wacko. If no, he
is an atheist & communist. If he hesitates, he's a liar.]

Henson brings up memetics, a discipline in which he is very
interested. [A meme is a self-replicating body of information that
passes itself from host to host. Henson frequents the newsgroup
alt.memetics and has written articles on the subject. He regards
scientology as a meme.] He states that when the case comes to
trial he will call himself as an expert witness in the field.

Lieberman (bares teeth): I'm glad we have advance notice of
that.

Henson (grinning): try to find another.

Lieberman brings out the next document. [#17] This is a
response to an Erlich post, re: Whyte has ruled and vacated writ of
seizure. "Way to go, Dennis. Hot dog. I presume we can see all
these when they are scanned in. I live in San Jose and have access to
a scanner." Did you do that [get Erlich's documents, scan and post
them]?

Henson: no. I didn't scan anything until Grady got raided.
He says he typed in some of the Erlich documents.

Lieberman asks about upper level materials. Henson says he
has never seen any upper level materials in hard copy.

Lieberman: Whyte's ruling: did you ever look at it?

Henson: I think someone else scanned it in.

Lieberman: did you ever use the scanner to scan in any of
RTC's proprietary materials? NOTS 34? OT VII?

Henson: no.

Lieberman starts to spell NOTS for the court reporter. "I
already told her," Henson says.

Lieberman: you stated you posted NOTS 34 twice to the net.

Henson: what purported on the face to be NOTS 34.

Lieberman: where did you get it?

Henson: Netcom. File user/spool/news/alt/religion/scientology.

Lieberman: you downloaded it, didn't you?

Henson: no. It's on Netcom. He explains that when he made
the copies he copied directly from the disk. He didn't download.

Lieberman (concerned about access to the file): no one else
can get in?

Henson: any of 50 or 100 people at Netcom with root privileges.

He reflects on how he created the letter to Judge Whyte. He ran
a program called grep and he edited and downloaded the file.

Lieberman: following the post [of the letter to Whyte] did
you receive email from Ms. Kobrin? Yes, says Henson; he posted it.

Lieberman (acidly): did you consider this would increase your
status?

Henson: no. It isn't enough. [everybody has been getting
these letters. and furthermore-] He disuptes the notification. The
Kobrin account has been in use when Ms. Kobrin was elsewhere.

Lieberman wants to know if Henson has ever had hard copy.
Only the letter to Judge Whyte, Henson replies. Lieberman then
reads part of a post in which (purportedly) Henson solicits copies
of NOTS showing criminal activities. Did Henson receive any?

Henson replies that he did not; but over the previous weekend
[May 3-4] someone posted all of the remaining NOTS to the net.
Henson received a message naming three of the NOTS as discussing
the illegal practice of medicine without a license. NOTS 26 and
two others. Lieberman wants to know who sent the message,
and Henson says he cannot recall. Does Henson still have the
message? Maybe.

Henson: On the other hand, it is private e-mail, so it
falls under the ECPA, but I tell you what, I will tell you what
numbers they were if you want to look them up.

Lieberman: No, I want to know the name of the person who
sent you that notice.

Henson: I'm not going to give it to you, not unless you
get a court order to do it because it's electronic communications
privacy material.

Lieberman: Electronic communications are no more private
than postal communications and you're still required to identify in
the lawsuit who you received commun --relevant communications from.

Henson (coolly): I don't believe that that's the case.
Besides that, why is this relevant?

Lieberman (nastily): Because it may indicate who is working
to illegally post this material, and perhaps it may indicate who's
working with you.

Henson's polite expression does not change, but he radiates
a subtle kind of gamester satisfaction. He has enturbulated
Lieberman.

Lieberman: until we can get a court order, I'm asking
you not to destroy that communication or any identification of who
sent it with you.

[So much for the theory that the ECPA protects only institutional
mail, and not private mail on private machines.]

Lieberman produces a new document. [#18] After initial
fencing, he says with a trace of sarcasm, "This appears to be
pretty much what you've recently posted on ars. Is that right?"

Henson: for purposes of discussion, I would tentatively
allow you to consider it if you want to discuss parts of it.

Lieberman: Good. Thank you.

Henson (deadpan): subject, of course, to verification
that it matches Judge Whyte's copy.

Lieberman cuts to the chase. He reads "It is my position
that the public interest in this matter should override all
commercial copyright concerns" and gets Henson to agree to this
view. Then "you go on to say, 'the entire corpus of material
the Church of Scientology is trying to keep from public view
is so at odds with what cult victims are told then whey are
suckered into it as to constitute fraud thinly disguised as
religion.'" Lieberman wants to know if Henson means that
he considers the entire corpus of RTC materials fraudulent
and subject to posting.

Henson replies that he can see how Lieberman read it
that way but that wasn't his intention. He considers much of
the RTC material boring rather than criminal.

Well, you go beyond criminal. You also talk about
fraudulent, Lieberman complains. He proceeds to insist that
Henson offer an opinion about whether the material as a
whole is fraudulent. Henson demurs in favor of Judge Whyte,
but Lieberman insists on an answer. Henson finally says that,
taken as a whole, he thinks so.

Lieberman: By the way, do you think the Bible
is fraudulent?

Henson: is that a relevant sort of a question?

Lieberman: Yes. Now you can answer it. I think it's
relevant. (He wants a yes or no, but Henson digresses at
length: when the Bible was assembled they picked and chose
among the stuff largely on literary merit. Religious mimesets
are things which evolve, and the Bible has had a lot of the
rough edges filed off of it in the passage of time.)

Lieberman: You consider Scientology also to be a
religious mimeset, don't you?

Henson: yes. Among other things.

TIME: 2:12.


The discussion moves on to Henson's posting of the letter
from Helena Kobrin to the Internet. Henson again notes that he
cannot verify that Lieberman's copy is what he posted. But
you treated the letter as having come from Ms. Kobrin, didn't
you? Lieberman says.

Henson: well, I knew it came from somebody at hkk.

[This little discussion may serve a minor useful purpose, but by now
the observer is used to Lieberman's style. He invariably leads
his major attacks with misdirection.]

Lieberman: At the end of that posting where you responded
paragraph by paragraph to Helena Kobrin, you once again solicited
NOTs materials, legal -- legally or illegally obtained, for the same
purposes you previously had solicited them, did you not?

Henson: Right, for the exposure of criminal activity.

Lieberman: Well, it went further than that didn't
it? It also said, "or to show the fraudulent bait and switch nature
of Scientology," didn't it?

Henson: I don't know. You've got it in front of you.

[The train has been derailed. We surmise that Lieberman had intended
to lead Henson step by step down a carefully planned path, at the end
of which he would have to agree that he, Henson, intended to post any
RTC materials that came into his hands.]

Lieberman: No, I'm asking you what your memory of something
you posted just a few weeks ago is. Do you remember saying that?

Henson: Could have been.

Lieberman: Okay.

Henson: Again, it shouldn't be something which is
subject to any real argument because I gave Judge Whyte a copy of it.

Lieberman: I'm not asking you for an argument, I'm just
asking you to identify what you said.

Henson: Well, anything that's been out of my hands and
isn't PGP signed or something similar, I am not going to count on
without a character by character comparison.

Lieberman drops it and proceeds to exhibit #19. Without
vouching for a character by character analysis, does this appear
to be the document we were just discussing?

Henson: it might be.

Lieberman: does it appear to you to be?

Henson (graciously): it probably even is.

Lieberman (reading from exhibit): "Well, Helena, I'm going to
put it a little nicer than Grady would, but you can take your demand,
fold it until it is all corners, and put it somewhere the sun don't
shine." [This passage fascinates the church. Apparently Lieberman
wants to put it in the record one more time. During this reading
Helena Kobrin studiously avoids eye contact with anyone. She is the
picture of offended dignity.]

The post solicits documents which describe criminal acts,
consist of criminal instruction manuals or "describe fraudulent bait
and switch tactics." Nevertheless Lieberman dwells on the language.
In a followup, a poster modified the subject line to "Origami
Butt-plug."

"You find it amusing?" Lieberman demands.

Henson (unrepentant): I nearly died laughing.

Lieberman (abruptly): who's Mike Godwin?

Henson: chief counsel for EFF.

Lieberman: did you have any discussions with him?

Henson: yes.

Lieberman: about Grady Ward's case?

Henson: no.

Lieberman: about what?

Henson says he sent email to Mike Godwin and Shari Steele;
he sent them a "heads up" that the cos might be going after the EFF.

Lieberman: think hard. You said (referring to a post) that
you quoted AT [Advanced Technology] materials in email to individuals?

Henson explains that he might have sent mail discussing the AT
materials, but to the best of his knowledge he has never quoted any AT
materials in private email to any individual.

Lieberman takes out the List and proceeds to ask Henson about
each person on it. [The List is the list of people whose AT-related
communication with Henson was demanded in the discovery request for
documents and things.]

The first few names are passed over quickly. Alex DeJoode?
no; Dennis Erlich, already discussed; Steven Fishman, some email but
they have never discussed the AT materials.

The famous anonymous remailer anon.penet.fi is of special
interest to Lieberman. He is very intent as he asks whether Henson
has ever had any communication with Johan Helsingius.

Henson: Johan runs the anonymous remailer in Finland which
was attacked and broken into by the Scientologists in the very
earliest days of this thing.

Lieberman: Okay, but they didn't break into his offices or
anything, did they?

Henson: Oh, yeah. They came to the door with the police --
who later admitted they had been scammed entirely.

Lieberman: I don't know who they admitted it to, sir.

Henson: They posted it on the net. I can get you the
postings for it.

Lieberman wants to move on. Has Henson ever had any
communication with Helsingius? What was it?

Henson: I don't believe that I've had any communications
with Johan since my involvement with Scientology started. I may have.
It's been a very long time ago when the -AB-/Ms. Bloody Butt affair
was going on, was being analyzed on the net.

Lieberman (suppressively): that has noting to do with this
issue.

Henson: yes it does. It's all scientology.

Henson says he has not met Klemesrud, but they have exchanged
email. The Tom Klemesrud/Linda Woolard incident will make a major
movie.

Lieberman: Is that a troll?

Henson: No. Hemorrhoid blood five feet up on a wall has
just got to be a case to go on television.

Lieberman (recoils): Is that another troll?

Henson: No.

Lieberman (disconcerted): Mr. Klemesrud -- have you had any
-- excuse me, any communication with Mr. Klemesrud about the advanced
technology materials, about the contents of them or the posting of them?

Henson: As far as I can remember, no. (He goes on to say
that he has no information about whether Mr. Klemesrud may have posted
any of the materials.)

They pass quickly through Lerma, Mante (Henson doesn't know
who he is), Ron Newman. [Kobrin and Lieberman whisper awhile over
Newman.] Henson says he has never met him, but they have talked in
IRC.

Lieberman: what's that?

Henson describes IRC as realtime email communication.
Lieberman does not understand what this means. Henson explains how
IRC differs from email, but the observer intuits that Lieberman's
buffer is full. He isn't listening.

Lieberman: all on the list except Ms. Thomson?

Henson: Robert Penny, I know who he is. I've never met
him, never exchanged an e-mail. I've read a few of his postings.
Felipe Rodriquez, I believe, is from the Netherlands, but I'm not
sure. I've exchanged e-mail with Karin Spaink, mostly about her
legal case against the Church of Scientology in the Netherlands.
Shelley [Thomson], of course -- I've talked with Shelley since
she's a reporter on this kind of thing. David Touretzky, I think
he's on -- somewhere on the East Coast, and I believe he at one
point had -- had the Fishman declaration on his machine, but I may
have the wrong person there. And Larry Wollersheim -- well, he's
the famous guy who's been trying to collect his money for 15 years
or whatever it is from Scientology. Ron "Neuman" is wrong, is
misspelled, it's N-E-W-M-A-N.

Lieberman: Okay. Put that aside.

[So much for the List.]

[The reporter changed paper. Everyone got to breathe freely
for a few minutes. The deposition resumed at 2:39 p.m.]

Lieberman: have you ever donated money to FactNet and
received from FactNet in exchange any CD roms?

Henson: no.

[McShane has returned.]

Lieberman produces a new document dated 16th April 1996, [#21]
subject: following Vaclav Havel." In the middle paragraph it says
"This may change but to date the actions of the c of s against me
have afforded me nothing but amusement." That's your language,
isn't it?

Henson: Given the usual disclaimers on this, it
certainly looks like it.

Lieberman: Yeah, and I think you've already indicated that
that, in fact, is precisely your attitude, right?

Henson: Oh, yeah.

Next, on April 17, "I've got mine." [presumably referring to
a letter from Helena Kobrin]

Lieberman: Who is Steve A.?

Henson: I'm not sure. Author of the ars SP levels?

Lieberman: Uh-huh. And it begins by discussing whether
or not your motion to recuse should have been called a motion to
recuse or a motion to dismiss. You recall that? [Again he
prefaces a point by a false start in another direction.]

Henson proceeds to discuss the reason he titled his motion
as he did. He had doubts, but decided to use the form specified in
Benders Federal Forms. "The Complaint here was about what he
referred to as a cheap shot, but I wasn't upset."

Lieberman: You didn't think it was a cheap shot, did you?

Henson: Well, no, I thought it was a cheap shot, but I
wasn't upset about it. I mean, lawyers are good for cheap shots.

[So much for the diversion. Lieberman is tempted to make
something out of the remark, but decides to move on.]

Lieberman: Anyway, the point -- what I wanted to direct
your attention to was down at the bottom where you say, "Defending
Constitutional right may be a high moral purpose, but it is also a
lot of fun. Compared to my other past and present hobbies, it fits
right in." This is your language, too, isn't it?

Henson: Along with my usual disclaimers on the thing, it
sounds like it.

Lieberman: And it's consistent with your view that -- that
this litigation a lot of fun for you?

Henson: Well, isn't it to you? Or do you hate your work?

Lieberman: Answer yes or no, please.

Henson: Well, so far I've had a lot of fun.

[Henson and Lieberman grin at each other with teeth bared in
a feral display. The observer sneaks a look at McShane. He looks
haunted. Hogan merely looks bored. Grady Ward looks amused. Helena
Kobrin, eyes focused on her papers, looks furious.]

The tape is changed, and discussion proceeds to Henson's
objections. Helena Kobrin frowns expressively over the document.[#23]
This is Henson's objections and responses to request for the production
of documents, filed April 29, 1996.

On page 2 Henson admits that prior to the TRO he may
have given out a few hard copies of his March 26 letter
[containing NOTS 34] or the post that contained that letter,
but does not recall doing so. Lieberman goes over that
again, and asks if he would have distributed copies by hand
or in the mail. By hand, Henson says.

On page 3, Henson says he found that he has what
might be a compressed copy of some of the SCAMIZDAT
postings, which he downloaded from a scientology-
associated site, theta.com, to his ftp site in October
1995.

Lieberman wants to know what theta.com is.

Henson: I don't really know except that it's a
Scientology-associated site. TO a further question, he says:
It's got all sorts of L. Ron Hubbard works on it. Before they put up
their own site, it was the only place on the net that had any
Scientology stuff that seemed to be, if not official, at least
semi-official.

Under further questioning, Henson admits he doesn't have
proof that theta.com is an official church site. He has merely
assumed. Henson says he will have to find out who runs theta.com
and depose them.

Lieberman demands to know why the church would maintain
SCAMIZDAT on a site it sponsors. Henson says he doesn't know.
Well, what SCAMZIDAT postings did Henson download? Henson
says he has no idea. He never looked at them.]

Lieberman: Why did you download them?

Henson: I thought it was really funny to do it from a
church site.

Lieberman, plainly not amused, wants to know who else
would have enjoyed the joke. Who else knew about this? --All
of a.r.s., Henson replies. He had posted extensively about his
find, and twitted the church about it, but the church never
responded. He offers to find the posts and show them to
Lieberman.

Lieberman: And you have no idea what was in there [the
SCAMIZDAT]?

Henson: No. I never decompressed them. Did you guys
get them apart? I mean, you've had them for better part of a week.

Lieberman (frostily): Well, I'm not the deponent.

Henson: Well -- sorry, I was just curious. I have no
idea what they actually were. I should ask at this point though, can
I delete them?

Lieberman: We'll get back to you on that.

There is further discussion about SCAMIZDAT, which exists in
two pieces in Henson's home directory at Netcom. Lieberman wants to
know if Henson will maintain his objection to RTC getting a copy of
Henson's customer service agreements with Netcom and Portal. Henson
says that he will maintain it. Lieberman patiently tries to argue him
into changing his mind: it's a public document, why do you care? We
only want it to see if it says anything about copyright infringement.
Henson replies that since it is a public document why don't they just
phone the company and ask for one? -Well, if it's a public document,
why don't you drop your objection? Henson refuses to give in.

Lieberman asks if Henson ever heard anything from Netcom
about copyright violations. Henson says no. Did Henson
receive any documents in response to his solicitation? No.

Lieberman: Did you anticipate that you would be sued as a
result of this trolling?

Henson: I figured there was a fair probability of it.

Lieberman: And you considered that it was okay to do that
and to -- to induce the church into --

Henson: I actually didn't figure that they would find a
judge who would be willing to do it.

Lieberman moves on to Number 12, which says "Any and all
documents relating to postings made by you," et cetera, putting
aside any documents relating to postings having nothing to do with
Scientology.

Henson replies that he doesn't keep posts. He provided a
pointer to his articles on mimetics.

Lieberman: Look at number 19. I know you have deposited an
objection to producing these documents. What I want to know is
whether any exist with respect to each of these individuals.
[Apparently he is talking about the List.] Henson replies that he
has saved nothing from any of these people, prior to being sued.
Afterward? Lieberman asks.

Henson reminds Lieberman that he will have to get a court
order to see any email, and that he would object to it.

Lieberman: I understand that. I want to know if we have to
do that, what the scope of -- of the objection is, which I'm entitled
to have. When you make an objection on the basis of privilege, such
as this, you're entitled to maintain that objection until the court
rules on it, but you're also required to delineate what documents
were -- are at issue.

Henson replies that he doesn't think he has saved any email
from these people. Lieberman wants him to check on it, and he agrees
to.

Discussion now proceeds to Henson's Counterclaim. Lieberman
almost gives Henson their only copy, but the mistake is discovered
and a short break is called so that more copies can be made.

Henson and Ward help the court reporter catch up on her
spelling. What about OT7? Helena Kobrin leans over the table.
"Capital O Capital T space Roman seven." She gives the netizens a
dirty look. "You're a better explainer than I am," Henson says
cordially. "I noticed," Kobrin replies.

Back on the record, Lieberman refers to Henson's answer and
counterclaims. [#24] Did he draft it himself? Henson says he used
Grady Ward's document as a pattern.

Lieberman: on page 2 line 13, you say "avers that
plaintiff's e-mail complaint was intended to intimidate lawful
criticism." What e-mail complaint are you referring to?
Henson answers that it is the cease and desist letter from
Ms. Kobrin.

Lieberman: you say, "This answering defendant is
informed and believes." The word informed suggests that you have been
informed of this by somebody; is that correct?

Henson replies that he means self-informed. Should he
change the document to say that? Lieberman says no.

Lieberman: Page 6, I probably shouldn't do this, but
I'm going to ask you what Extropian magazine is.

Henson explains about the Extropians, "people who are into
nanotechnology, uploading themselves into computers or robot bushes,
into the study of many aspects of highly transhuman metamorphosis."
In response to questioning, he states that the magazine is published
regularly, on a quarterly basis; it is a slick magazine. He is not
paid but his name appears on the masthead. He does not get paid for
articles he writes for this magazine, but does for others.

Lieberman: Okay. By the way, a little while ago you said
that you had affixed to the bulletin board at work the latest cease
and desist letter you received. (Henson corrects him. It is the
one he received in July.)

Lieberman: Oh, okay. Where -- what work site did you do
this in?

Hensen: One of my consulting jobs.

[Lieberman does not ask the name of the company.] He goes on
to ask about XOC. Hensen has described himself as the president and
CEO.

XOC is Xanadu Operating Company, one of the originators of
hypertext, Henson replies. A week ago there was a front page article
about it on the Wall Street Journal. Lieberman asks if it is
presently operating, and Henson says yes, barely. They discuss a
few more details about the company. Lieberman wants to know if
Henson is getting paid and if the stock is worth much. Henson
says he is in the process of swapping 10 percent of it for
$900,000 worth of someone else's work.

Lieberman takes a quick pass through Alcor Life Extension
Foundation, where Henson is on the board. This is the cryonics
foundation. Apparently it was through his activities with ALCOR
that Hensen became knowledgeable about the ECPA. Yes,
Henson says.

Lieberman immediately proceeds to the rmgroup message. Now,
paragraph 9, you say, "Keith Henson has been informed and on that
basis believes that on January 11th, 1995, attorney for the plaintiff,
Helena Kobrin, executed or caused to be executed a special computer
command called a RMGROUP to automatically destroy the internet
discussion group designated alt.religion.scientology."

After a little discussion in which Henson states that it was
this event the caused him to take an interest in a.r.s., Lieberman
decides to split hairs: But I thought you said that, in fact, the
event that triggered your becoming interested in it was when you
learned of this alleged act; isn't that right?

Henson: I'm actually not certain whether it was that one
or something which occurred very close to that time, which was the
raid on the pin net server. I honestly can't answer you on that.
However, somebody managed to get a letter that Helena wrote, if I
remember correctly, and posted it to the internet, and, of course,
this particular event was a major event. It was discussed all over
the net.

Lieberman: Now, how does this command -- how is this
command supposed to automatically destroy a discussion group?

Henson explains. All of the postings of a newsgroup go into
a multilevel directory, and the effect of RMGROUP causes the operating
system of the news server to delete all the contents of that directory
and then to remove the entire directory itself.

Lieberman: So is all anybody in the world needs to do to
destroy a discussion group is just put RM on some header and send it
out and the news group will just be destroyed?

Henson: right.

Lieberman: But it didn't happen, did it?

Henson: Well, it didn't happen because people immediately
reinstated it.

They discuss this point for a bit. Are you saying that
it was destroyed and then it was reinstated? Lieberman asks, and
Henson says yes, but it was destroyed on thousands of sites.

Lieberman: Isn't it true, sir, that almost all access
providers do not have their system set up so that somebody can
automatically remove a group from it, that it has to go through
human control and discretion?

Henson disagrees. By the numbers, many more people have
it turned on than turned off. The larger providers have it go
through a human editing stage, but most of the smaller providers
don't. He doesn't know how in how many places the
alt.religion.scientology files were deleted, but it was a
substantial number.

Lieberman: And why would anyplace set up their system so
that anybody in the world could just destroy a news group on it?

Henson: It used to be that people were more trusted in
this business.

Having dealt with the mechanics, Lieberman now asks if
Henson has any proof that Ms. Kobrin sent the rmgroup message.

Henson replies that he does not, but he has seen the rmgroup
message.

Lieberman: in the Comment field, it said, "Please remove
this news group," didn't it?

Henson: It wasn't please remove, it was directed to
bots, electronic automated machinery all over the net that destroyed
things.

Lieberman: And didn't the message say, "We request that you
remove the a.r.s. news group from your site. Please confirm that you
have done so." You don't recall seeing that?

Henson says that it sounds very similar to what he remembers
seeing.

Lieberman: So that's a request, isn't it, sir?

Henson: Well, for some sites, yeah, some sites where
people actually read it, but I know that as a control message, it
doesn't necessarily go through human hands. Like I say, if they had
the news --the system which loads news into the directories, if it's
set up the default way, it just deletes it. Gone.

Lieberman: That's up to the individuals who run those
systems, isn't it, as to how they want to set up their system? As
you said, many systems are set up -- the major systems are set up so
that there is somebody who reviews such requests, isn't there? Isn't
that right?

Henson: That's -- that may be -- that is to the best of
my knowledge true. It may or may not -- I don't know whether it's
true in all of the major systems, and I don't know at what size you
cut off major systems.

Lieberman: A system can choose to set itself up so that
there is human control over that; isn't that correct?

Henson: That is true.

Lieberman: Now, do you have any evidence as to the actual
destruction of sites? What evidence do you have of that?

Henson: Oh, there were people complaining about it for weeks.

Lieberman wants to know if Henson has any hard evidence that
anything actually happened. Henson says no, but he'll get it.

The next order of business is the telephone call by an
investigator to Henson's ex-wife. Under questioning, Henson says he
was notified of the event by email. He does not have a copy because
he deletes all email. She might have a copy. Lieberman asks for the
email (Henson offers to get an affidavit, but Lieberman declines).

Did she identify the person? No. Did she say what the
person had said to her? Henson cannot remember exactly what was
said.

Lieberman: So is all she said is he tried to obtain
information which might be damaging to you, but she wouldn't say what
information that was?

[Phweet! Phweet! The observer calls a foul.]

Henson: No.

Lieberman: Did you call her to find out?

[This goes on for awhile.] Henson sent his ex-wife an email
in which he warned that there might be other attempts to contact her,
and that tape from a telephone conversation can be re-spliced.

This is followed by more meticulous cross-examination by
Lieberman. Did she say anything about her reaction? When did you
last communicate with her? Does Henson have children? Was it a
hostile divorce?

Finally they come to Eugene Ingram (paragraph 19 of Henson's
countersuit). Lieberman addresses the Florida felony warrant.
"Did it have anything to do with you?" No, Henson replies.

You then go on to say, "It would not be a surprise to find
blackmail of state officials was involved." Which state officials
do you think were blackmailed?

Henson: Jay Pruner.

Lieberman: Do you have any evidence of that?

Henson: An extreme change of heart over a period of a few
days.

Lieberman: That's it?

Henson: Yes, that's it.

Lieberman then moves on to allegations of intimidation
through defamation. Henson names Vera Wallace as a typical
example. Lieberman asks him what she said; Henson cannot repeat
it word for word. Okay, but sitting here today, you can't tell me
what the defamation was? Henson says he can't, but will dig it
up for Lieberman.

Lieberman: Threats of barratry -- what's barratry by the
way?

Henson: It's what Helena got fined for last year. [All the
RTC attorneys flinch. Kobrin stiffens in outrage.]

Lieberman: What barratry has been -- threats of barratry and
barratry have been engaged in against you?

Henson: This case.

Lieberman: This case in which a preliminary injunction has
been issued against you is barratry; that's your testimony?

Henson: That's my opinion.

Lieberman: Okay. So that's what this is based -- this
allegation is based upon this very case?

Henson: and others

Lieberman: So you're suing for damages for cases that were
filed against other people or just against you?

Henson: Good thought. I ought to make it a class action.

They go over this issue a few more times. Henson's
allegation of barratry refers to other people as well as himself.
He says he will take Lieberman's advice and reword the complaint.

[Kobrin whispers urgently to Lieberman]

Lieberman: By threats of barratry, you mean threats of
lawsuits; is that your concept?

Henson: Threats of unjustified lawsuits. Barratry is an
unjustified lawsuit, among other things.

Lieberman: And you believe this lawsuit is unjustified?

Henson: Yes, I do.

Lieberman returns to defamation. Once again he requires
Henson to admit he cannot repeat the posts by Vera Wallace which
he believes are defamatory. Henson takes the time to compare
scientology with the LaRouchians, whom he does not take
seriously.

Lieberman (quickly): So you didn't take it very seriously?

Henson: Well, the truth of it is you really can't take
defamation from Scientologists very seriously. I could have sued the
LaRouchians, on that matter, except that nobody would have believed
anything they said. I've been defamed by people before.

Leiberman reminds him that this did not stop him from
participating in ars, or having fun. He was having fun, right?
Henson retorts that this doesn't mean he can't claim defamation.

[Kobrin and Lieberman whisper together, and a short recess
is called. The lawyers go out for a huddle.]

Lieberman now gets to the exhibits Henson filed with his reply
to the second declaration of Warren McShane. Exhibit A is a document
authored by Margery Wakefield. Exhibit B is a collection of
documents; it is this that Lieberman wants to discuss. Exhibit B
is duly marked as plaintiff's exhibit #25.

Exhibit B consists of a collection of reprints of HCO
bulletins. In response to questions Henson says that someone emailed
them to him.

Henson: Is this part of AT? [Advanced Technology]

Lieberman: I don't think we're claiming that it is.

In answer to followup question, Henson says that he does not
remember who sent him the material. It arrived a few days before he
filed the document; he stripped the headers, and out pieces as needed
for his exhibits. He paid no attention to who sent the email and
cannot remember that now.

Lieberman specifically asks if he got it from Lawrence
Wollersheim or Bob Penny. Henson says no: he would have
remembered those names.

Lieberman: Are you aware that these documents are also
copyrighted?

Henson (economically): Fair use.

Lieberman: Your idea of fair use is it's okay to republish
them in their entirety?

Henson replies that he has not published the documents in
their entirety. He has filed an abbreviated version.

Lieberman: Are you aware that they've been copyrighted?

Henson: Oh, everything's copyrighted. Stuff is born
copyrighted. Everything that you guys have duplicated
here of my material is copyrighted.

Lieberman then says he is finished, reserving the right to
ask for further questioning in case facts requiring it develop later.

Now it is Henson's turn to introduce exhibits, if he wants
to. All eyes go to the Playboy Magazine. Is he serious? He is.
This is Playboy for June 1996.

Lieberman: You're not really going to introduce a Playboy
into this?

Henson: Why not? It's applicable. One of the arguments is
that this material has been very carefully maintained, and I can show
in the 2 million people who've seen this piece of the thing, Travolta
-- short paragraph, [Dave Touretzsky's letter, which Henson reads
with relish] "Travolta credits Scientology for his mental stability.
As a graduate of some of the most advanced levels of Scientology
training, Travolta is required to believe that he is possessed by the
spirits of murdered space aliens. Does this sound like mental
stability to you?"

Lieberman does not object to Playboy.

Henson's next exhibit is a news article on the Vosper case.

[A copy break is called. Henson spends the time entertaining
Lieberman with his adventures against Lyndon Larouche. At the time
Henson was involved in L5 (a society devoted to space exploration)
LaRouche operatives infiltrated L5, charging that the society
provided "psychosexual gratification" to members. Everyone laughs.]

When business resumes, Lieberman objects to the Vosper
exhibit because there is no identification of where it came from. He
remarks that it is also irrelevant, but he will reserve relevance.

Henson's next exhibit is an article by Wayne Whitney that
was posted to the net. Lieberman objects to this: no foundation,
no identification.

Henson next introduces an opinion from the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals, the Religious Technology Center versus Robin Scott,
et al. And this is where I believe that my contention of estoppel
with respect to trade secrets has been established by the Ninth
Circuit.

Lieberman: Objection on a variety of grounds. Ninth Circuit
opinion is not for publication, which means it can't be used in any
other case.

Henson's next exhibit produces interesting consequences.
Before it can be introduced Lieberman states that he objects because
it contains identification of upper level processes, the very titles
of which in some instances are trade secrets. Henson may choose
not to introduce it [the observer feels that Lieberman favors this
option] or may introduce it sealed.

Henson: Well, I tell you what, rather than submit it here
today kind of thing, I'll just let you have all the copies and you
guys can shred them and if I decide to introduce it, I'll seal it
and give it to the court directly.

[From the dismay of the RTC attorneys, the observer infers that
the mystery exhibit has something to do with the recently posted
NOTS.]

Henson : However, I should go ahead and tell you where that
came from.

Lieberman: Yes, because I was going to ask you.

Henson: Well, I have no problem telling you where it came
from. It was spammed all over the net Sunday night, I believe, and
was on altavista and dejanews, and it's still on Netcom in an
HTML version.

Lieberman: And you downloaded it?

Henson: I downloaded the index. Just as -- to establish
that whatever trade secrets these things had, they -- if exposing
stuff ruins a trade secret status of the thing, it's -- it's ruined.

Lieberman: Are you through? I have just one or two
questions. Do you know -- have any information as to who posted this?

Henson: The stuff is signed Valar or Volar or something
like that.

Lieberman: Do you know who Volar is?

Henson: Nope.


[Whereupon the deposition ended. It was 4:24 p.m.]

COMMENT

A major factor in the deposition was Henson's refusal
to authenticate the plaintiff's posts. He was willing to say, at
most, that a post resembled something he might have written or seemed
familiar. This conservative stance frustrated Lieberman and
slammed the door on any number of future strategies by the church
attorneys.

Every important question was asked at least twice. Plaintiff
repeatedly asked if Henson had acquired or downloaded NOTS or other
AT materials. Henson was asked if he was SCAMIZDAT. He was
asked whether he had discussed publishing AT materials with a
lengthy list of individuals. All of these questions went to
possession of material and transfer of material.

Henson's answers were uniformly negative. The apparent
purpose behind these questions was an effort to discover *who is
conspiring against the church.* Lieberman came up empty handed.

What will the church make of Henson's answers? We surmise that
RTC will ask to have Henson's countersuit thrown out, on the grounds
that he is merely having fun at the court's expense. Further
discovery efforts will be undertaken: subpoenas against remailers,
archivists and, perhaps, the cypherpunks.

There is no doubt that the rmgroup message, in hindsight,
was a mistake. It was tactically ineffective and created a long-term
legal liability. Lieberman spent quite a bit of time laying the
groundwork to dispute his client's connection with the message.

Miscellaneous observations:

Lieberman committed 2 fouls, noted in the commentary. Readers
are invited to submit additional claims. Henson was a good witness
and adhered to his strategy with remarkable consistency. Lieberman
is a skilled attorney with excellent trial instincts and the ability to
make anyone look bad (temporarily) in front of a jury. Helena Kobrin
was incongruously cast as a handmaid during this deposition; the
observer felt that she would have preferred a more influential role.
H. Keith Henson had his SP level confirmed by a church attorney,
a rare privilege, and will probably receive some extra recognition
from the ARSCC.

---------

3. Interview with Mike Godwin of the EFF: (week of April 22)

bj: How do you feel about finding your name on the enemies list?

[note: H. Keith Henson was sued by RTC, an arm of the church of
scientology. He was ordered to produce correspondence with a
list of persons; this list included several prominent posters
to alt.religion.scientology, and was quickly dubbed the Enemies
List. Mike Godwin, chief attorney for the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, was on the list.

MG: Godwin does not want to call Keith Henson's document demand list
the "enemies list." This said, the EFF attorney said he found it
"disconcerting to think that Helena Kobrin thinks anything I
might have said to Keith Henson is of interest to her church."
He was surprised and a little annoyed.

bj: is this typical of lawsuits?

MG: Well, it seems to be a fishing expedition. I can't imagine that
anything I or Keith Henson have ever said publicly could give a
reasonable basis for thinking we have ever discussed anything
that would be relevant to the concerns of the church of
scientology."

[Godwin, in a pleasant fluent style, makes these laywerly
statements effortlessly.]

I have been critical of the church at times, but I have
never violated their copyrights, or crossed the line separating
criticism from infringement of their intellectual-property
rights.

bj: do you think it is likely you will be subpoenaed?

MG: I have no reason to think that will happen. If it did I would
have to review my files to see what fell within the attorney-
client privilege. Not that Keith Henson has ever been a client,
but other people have sometimes contacted me for legal advice and
I have given it to them. This is privileged communication.

bj: The offices of the EFF are in the [San Francisco] Bay Area,
aren't they?

MG: yes.

bj: How do you feel about the possibility that the church might get
a search and seizure order against the EFF?

Godwin immediately discounted the possibility. "I think that's
very unlikely," he said. So far the church has only gotten the
search and seizure orders on the basis of copyright infringement.
[With regard to the Eff] there is no probable cause.

bj: would a seizure order have to go through Judge Whyte?

MG: I don't know. It would have to go through some court.

[by now he has had a minute to think about it]
If they did that [the seizure] they would be awfully surprised at
how nasty things would get. No organization is as cognizant of
their rights regarding computers and electronic media as the EFF.
We helped to define some of the law in this area.

But it is not a serious risk. He goes on to say that the
church has applied its most heavy handed tactics to former
members. The expansion of the conflict to non-members Grady Ward
and Keith Henson is discussed.

MG: I have talked on the phone with the church attorneys. Even
though we have had disagreements it has never escalated to more
than statements of disagreement. I have no reason to believe
that this [his name on the list] signals an escalation.

bj: how high does the church of scientology rank in the concerns of
EFF?

MG: not very high.

bj: what is EFF's major concern?

MG: that service providers not be held responsible for the actions
of their users--not have to play a policing role. He goes on to
explain that service providers want limits on liability, rather
than common carrier status. Common carriers are regulated by
the PUC and must carry whatever traffic they are given. Service
providers need some editorial control; for example, if someone
wants to run a Disney channel with no offcolor language, he
should be able to do that. The only reason we ever came into
opposition with the church was the church's efforts to use the
courts to impose editorial duties on service providers.

He has a few remarks about the idea of requiring isps to
remove any post when notified that it is a copyright violation.
"You could shut anyone up this way." The isp has no means of
making the judgment. If the posts were removed simply on the
basis of notification, anyone could be silenced. Further, the
practice might spread, and might become used by persons with
no copyright interests at stake. [there is a momentary
pause while BJ and Godwin both contemplate the ensuing
chaos]

bj: what about searching people's homes and taking their
computers and files?

MG: well, the law was designed for commercial copyright
infringement. Its use against individuals who were not making
commercial uses [of copyrighted material] is an inappropriate
use of the legal remedies involved.

bj: do you know where the church will go next?

MG: I have no idea. But then I didn't expect them to come after
me.

bj: what do you think of the possibility of a RICO suit?

MG: against whom?

bj: all the critics.

Godwin quickly discounts the idea. I doubt that will happen, he says
confidently.
---------

4. Rodent Report

"Ron Newman has found romance," a field mouse confided. The
sheriff of ars apparently hides a warm heart beneath his stern
facade. The sheriff was spotted consorting with a certain high-
spirited lady from ars. After a passionate courtship in email,
rnewman persuaded the lady to make a visit IRL. Some data should
be uploaded in person. Neither party is talking, but we are reliably
informed that the lady had an enjoyable weekend and would be willing to
continue the acquaintance. This speaks well for the sheriff, who
blushed and refused to discuss the matter.

"The church would never raid the EFF," a rat said recently in
our hearing. "They wouldn't dare." Perhaps the rat is right; on the
other hand, each time the church has lost a round in the netwar it
has raised the ante. The rat's words evoked an unsettling sense of
deja vu.

The deepest fears of the church of scientology, of a top
level defection, may soon be realized according to a church mouse.
"Scientologists believe that someone who fails to carry out an order
is a traitor," the mouse explained. A top exec. was made a scapegoat
for some bad decisions by superiors. He is being denied auditing,
ostracized and humiliated. The publication of NOTS was the last straw.
"They'll ratchet up the pressure until he bails," the mouse prophesied.
"It's not if but when."

--Arlene Fortiori

---------

5. GEORGIA: Say What?

GUILLOTINE PROPOSED AS MEANS OF EXECUTION IN GEORGIA

Georgia lawmaker Doug Teper (Democrat) has proposed a bill to replace
the state's electric chair with the guillotine. Teper's reasoning? It
would allow for death-row inmates as organ donors, he says, since the
"Blade makes a clean cut and leaves vital organs intact."

In 1995, a move to replace the electric chair with lethal injection
(poisoning) failed in Georgia's assembly because legislators feared
that prisoners could argue for a new sentencing hearing if the state
changed the law.

The Guillotine, invented by the French Dr. Guillotine, was mainly used
in the 18th and 19th century and chops off a person's head. It hasn't
been used for decades in any country in the world.

[From: Bob Witanek <bwit...@igc.apc.org>
Posted dorn...@rz.uni-leipzig.de Mon Mar 4 05:33:09 1996]
----*----

We are not aware of the fate of the Teper proposal. We assume that
it, or something similar, will soon pass. If the state were serious
about organ donation, the organs would be removed before death.
Apparently the real motivation for this law is a desire for better
public entertainment. Perhaps the executions will be syndicated for
television as a followup to the popular police action shows.

Meanwhile, in another effort to be in the forefront of modern
legislative action, the Georgia legislature passed a bill
prohibiting a vast number of usernames and links on the internet.
(The bill is called HB 1630 and concerns transmitting
misleading data over a computer or telephone network.)
An exception was thoughtfully included allowing the members of
the General Assembly to use the Georgia State Seal on their own
posts. The bill was quickly signed into law and will take effect
on July 1.

The Georgia bill says:

> (a) It shall be unlawful for any person, any organization,
> or any representative of any organization knowingly to
> transmit any data through a computer network or over the
> transmission facilities or through the network facilities
> of a local telephone network for the purpose of setting
> up, maintaining, operating, or exchanging data with an
> electronic mailbox, home page, or any other electronic
> information storage bank or point of access to electronic
> information if such data uses any individual name, trade
> name, registered trademark, logo, legal or official seal,
> or copyrighted symbol to falsely identify the person,
> organization, or representative transmitting such data
> or
> which would falsely state or imply that such person,
> organization, or representative has permission or is
> legally authorized to use such trade name, registered
> trademark, logo, legal or official seal, or copyrighted
> symbol for such purpose when such permission or
> authorization has not been obtained; provided, however,
> that no telecommunications company or Internet access
> provider shall violate this Code section solely as a
> result of carrying or transmitting such data for its
> customers.
>


We are not a lawyer, but the wording troubled us. The bill was
rightfully criticized on the net for its threat to the links which
connect web sites with one another. We do not know whether the
Georgia legislators intended to saw the state out of the web, but
this may be the practical effect.

Now does this bill say that false or misleading usernames are
criminal in themselves? We had difficulty keeping track of the "ors."
The bill appears to say that individual names which falsely identify
the user are prohibited, and that even true names which happen to
be trademarked or copyrighted by some other party are forbidden.
This interpretation rests upon a specific "or," which we have
placed on a separate line for the reader's convenience.

Does the Georgia legislature have jurisdiction over the internet? An
observant netizen remarked that this attempt to regulate interstate
(international?) commerce invades a domain currently occupied by
the federal government.

A similar bill is pending in California. Can states regulate the
sign-on names of users? If the answer is yes, wonderful frontiers
of speech control and revenue enhancement beckon to hungry
legislators.

Both Georgia and California bills prohibit the use of any sign-on
or domain name which is currently in use as a trademark, or is
copyrighted. We can't help feeling sorry for persons named
McDonald, Ford, Crocker, Hoover, Johnson, Smith, Alice [preempted
by the city of Alice, Texas], and (of course) Georgia.

The irony of a legislature enacting a law forbidding the dissemination
of misleading data left us nonplussed. We can only wish that the law
would be applied to their own pre-election promises and campaign finance
statements.

---------

6. Flame of the Week

The previous issue of **Biased Journalism** evoked some warmly
appreciated supporting posts and a small number of hostile messages.
We considered reprinting the best effort in this category, which
said something to the effect of "the church will get you real soon!"
However, the following message made our day:

>
> On Sun, 21 Apr 1996, [name deleted] wrote:
>
> > Thought I would never find you, huh? Your hacking days are over
> > f****r, you're dead s*** now. You thought you were a tough guy
> > screwing with our systems at Networks On-Line. I personally
> > caught you red handed digging into our customer's CREDIT CARD
> > records. I have your entire session logged and I even traced
> > it back to your dialin terminal.
> >
> > You don't f*** around with me, pussy. I'm a Texan man, and you
> > don't f*** with Texas. I'm contacting your administrators voice
> > tomorrow morning. Wait until the s*** hits the fan. The police
> > will probably be involved.
> >
> > Have fun. You will regret ever f***ing with NOL.NET.
> >

We immediately wrote to the sysop whose name was signed to this
message, thanking him for his contribution to **Biased Journalism**
and wanting to know what he said to Netcom and how long he was kept
on hold before he delivered his message. How, exactly, did he
discover us?

Our hopes for more funny messages were squelched, alas. We
received a quick reply. The letter was a hoax, perpetrated by a
disgruntled user. *Many* people received these letters.

**Biased Journalism** an abode of demonic hackers? We felt
better already.

The End

[**Biased Journalism** is composing a mailing list. If you would like
to be on it, let us know. Checks and hot tips should go to our solid
mail address: c/o S. Thomson, 236 Stanford S/C, Suite 142, Palo Alto,
California 94304.]

Keith Henson

unread,
May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

*Very* minor correction to Shelley Thomson's fine reporting of this
"interesting day."


> Discussion now proceeds to Henson's Counterclaim. Lieberman
>almost gives Henson their only copy, but the mistake is discovered
>and a short break is called so that more copies can be made.

Nope. You missed what actually happened. They had copies, but when
Helena started paging through it, she came upon the famous 6 lines.
*Panic time!* They rushed out and made copies with the six lines
blanked out and introduced that as an exhibit. Keith Henson

Rev. Dennis L Erlich

unread,
May 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/16/96
to

Mike Godwin of EFF:

"Well, the law was designed for commercial copyright infringement.


Its use against individuals who were not making commercial uses [of
copyrighted material] is an inappropriate use of the legal remedies
involved."

Rev. Dennis L Erlich * * the inFormer * *
<dennis....@support.com>
<inF...@primenet.com>

Dave Touretzky

unread,
May 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/17/96
to

Lieberman asked Keith Henson if he had any evidence that Helena Kobrin was
the source of the rmgroup message for ARS. This suggests that Lieberman
disputes that she was in fact the source. Why would he dispute it?

Keith should have told him that the evidence is Helena's own admission that
she issued the rmgroup. (She now says it was a mistake, but she was new to
the net at the time and didn't understand the customs.) This info appeared
in an article on the CoS vs. The Net war; I'm not sure which publication,
but it's almost certainly archived somewhere on Ron Newman's site.

Perhaps Lieberman wwanted to see if Keith had any *other* evidence that
Helena was behind the rmgroup. Oh well; another fishing attempt ends in
disappointment for the cult.

-- Dave Touretzky, KoX (SP4+): currently reading the public NOTs pack on the
Steinberg Hall Macintosh server (still there!!) and making detailed notes.

Curtis R. Anderson

unread,
May 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/17/96
to

In article <319b8755...@news.primenet.com>, inF...@primenet.com
(Rev. Dennis L Erlich) decided to enlighten us with:

>Mike Godwin of EFF:

>"Well, the law was designed for commercial copyright infringement.


>Its use against individuals who were not making commercial uses [of
>copyrighted material] is an inappropriate use of the legal remedies
>involved."

Well, no wonder Mike Godwin was a name on the deposition request of
Grady and Keith.

It seems Those Kooky Klammies don't like his attitude too much.

[posted and mailed]
--
Curtis R. Anderson, "Official Chicken Breeder of Hill 10", SP 2.5?, KoX
URLs: http://www.servtech.com/public/cra/ mailto:c...@servtech.com
ftp://ftp.servtech.com/pub/users/cra/
Opinions mine (not Service Tech's!) unless marked otherwise!!!


Zane Thomas

unread,
May 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/17/96
to

ds...@cs.cmu.edu (Dave Touretzky) wrote:

>
>Lieberman asked Keith Henson if he had any evidence that Helena Kobrin was
>the source of the rmgroup message for ARS. This suggests that Lieberman
>disputes that she was in fact the source. Why would he dispute it?
>

[snip]


>
>Perhaps Lieberman wwanted to see if Keith had any *other* evidence that
>Helena was behind the rmgroup. Oh well; another fishing attempt ends in
>disappointment for the cult.
>

But also Lieberman was laying down an "excuse". The idea is that
whoever issued the rmgroup (presumably hkk or someone using her
account and carrying out actions at her direction) didn't know that
various bots would automatically remove the newsgroup. Of course that
attempt would seem to fall apart when considering that anyone who knew
about cancel messages would know better, and given the cultie
attorney's profound stupidity when it comes to net.things (I'm still
laughing over the "individual Major Domo" and "127.0.0.1"), it would
seem almost certain that hkk had a computer person working under her
(no, not like THAT you preverts <g>).

Zane


Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

In article <319cd8fa...@snews.zippo.com>, Zane Thomas
<zth...@activexpert.com> writes

>>
>>Perhaps Lieberman wwanted to see if Keith had any *other* evidence that
>>Helena was behind the rmgroup. Oh well; another fishing attempt ends in
>>disappointment for the cult.
>>
>
>But also Lieberman was laying down an "excuse". The idea is that
>whoever issued the rmgroup (presumably hkk or someone using her
>account and carrying out actions at her direction) didn't know that
>various bots would automatically remove the newsgroup. Of course that
>attempt would seem to fall apart when considering that anyone who knew
>about cancel messages would know better, and given the cultie
>attorney's profound stupidity when it comes to net.things (I'm still
>laughing over the "individual Major Domo" and "127.0.0.1"), it would
>seem almost certain that hkk had a computer person working under her
>(no, not like THAT you preverts <g>).

The FBI should be looking now at action on a complaint from Keith
that (under the statute Pope Charles keeps quoting) stored computer
files under his control were improperly deleted by a cancelbunny.
Oh, and, by the way, what about this earlier attempt at
unauthorised deletion of a whole lot more files admitted in
print by this dodgy attorney........ Go for it, I say.



--Regards, Woof Woof, Glug Glug--
X E M U * Who Drowned theJUDGe's Dog ?
s p 4 \ |\ answers on (alt.religion.scientology!
/~~~~~~~ @----, ++++++++++++(/x/clam/faq/woofglug.html
-;'^';,_,-;^; : : : :http://www.demon.net/castle/x/clam/index.html


Ron Newman

unread,
May 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/19/96
to

In article <4ngtav$5...@casaba.srv.cs.cmu.edu>,

Dave Touretzky <ds...@cs.cmu.edu> wrote:
>
>Lieberman asked Keith Henson if he had any evidence that Helena Kobrin was
>the source of the rmgroup message for ARS. This suggests that Lieberman
>disputes that she was in fact the source. Why would he dispute it?
>
>Keith should have told him that the evidence is Helena's own admission that
>she issued the rmgroup. (She now says it was a mistake, but she was new to
>the net at the time and didn't understand the customs.) This info appeared
>in an article on the CoS vs. The Net war; I'm not sure which publication,
>but it's almost certainly archived somewhere on Ron Newman's site.

That's from the article, "Making Law, Making Enemies"
by Alison Frankel, published in The American Lawyer of March 1996.
See http://www.counsel.com/spotlight/scien2.html

The relevant quote follows:

--- BEGIN FAIR USE QUOTE ---

In January 1995 Kobrin tried another route to squelch the problem,
sending out a message to servers providing access to the Usenet, where
the alt.religion.scientology discussion group is located. Kobrin
informed servers that the group was started by someone with a forged
message; that it violated Scientology's intellectual property rights
to the very word "Scientology"; and that it was a haven for
Scientology critics. She requested that Usenet servers cancel the
newsgroup.

"We were not, at the time, sophisticated about the Internet," says
Kobrin. "Somebody said, 'If there's a group, you can shut it down.'
The group was started through forgery . . . and since the group was
improperly formed, we thought we could cancel it. Obviously we didn't
accomplish that."

--- END FAIR USE QUOTE ---
--
Ron Newman rne...@cybercom.net
Web: http://www.cybercom.net/~rnewman/home.html

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

In article <4noiao$i...@kalypso.cybercom.net>, Ron Newman
<rne...@kalypso.cybercom.net> writes

>
>"We were not, at the time, sophisticated about the Internet," says
>Kobrin. "Somebody said, 'If there's a group, you can shut it down.'
>The group was started through forgery . . . and since the group was
>improperly formed, we thought we could cancel it. Obviously we didn't
>accomplish that."

I still think the current cancelbunny should be pursued for
a felony for deleting one communications file that did not
belong to him. Logically, then, this attempt to delete a
whole NEWSGROUP of files was a far worse offence, and it is
still not too late to prosecute. I don't think any court
would have much time for Kobrin's excuse that she was
totally clueless; if you don't KNOW the consequences then
any reasonable person would have taken the time to FIND OUT
the consequences. This is called acting ''reckless'' of
the obvious consequences e.g. if you gave someone a haymaker
with a baseball bat and never thought it would kill them,
this is still an offence whther you killed them deliberately
or recklessly, and an offence of no less degree. One more time:


Title 18, United States Code, Section 2701

# 2701. Unlawful access to stored communications

(a) Offense. - Except as provided in subsection (c) of this
section whoever -
(1) intentionally accesses without authorization a
facility through which an electronic communication
service is provided; or
(2) intentionally exceeds an authorization to access that
facility; and thereby obtains, alters, or prevents
authorized access to a wire or electronic communication
while it is in electronic storage in such system shall be
punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.

Zane Thomas

unread,
May 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/20/96
to

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine <da...@xemu.demon.co.uk> wrote:

[snip]

>The FBI should be looking now at action on a complaint from Keith
>that (under the statute Pope Charles keeps quoting) stored computer
>files under his control were improperly deleted by a cancelbunny.

And that they were. I hope the FBI jumps on them hard.

>Oh, and, by the way, what about this earlier attempt at
>unauthorised deletion of a whole lot more files admitted in
>print by this dodgy attorney........ Go for it, I say.

Given the numerous cancels I don't believe an "Ooops, that was a
mistake" is going to fly. But what can they do, they stepped in it,
their feet stink, it's stuck on them now --- like a BT (Body Turd).

Zane

Bill Stewart-Cole

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In article <kaLd7fD7...@xemu.demon.co.uk>, Dave Bird---St Hippo of
Augustine <da...@xemu.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>The FBI should be looking now at action on a complaint from Keith
>that (under the statute Pope Charles keeps quoting) stored computer
>files under his control were improperly deleted by a cancelbunny.

>Oh, and, by the way, what about this earlier attempt at
>unauthorised deletion of a whole lot more files admitted in
>print by this dodgy attorney........ Go for it, I say.

Don't get your hopes up.

With all due respect to His Slackness, he's quite possibly wrong on this
reading of the law. Ever since the Kaiwan bunny was silenced, and for most
bunny-cancels before the Kaiwan streak, the cancels have been done in such
a fashion as to make it quite simple for any good newsadmin to ignore tham
as forgeries. The most common news server (INN) has a configurable setting
for how closely to check cancels for matches to the original messages, and
the recent string of Netcom-based bunnies have formed their cancels in
ways that INN would reject them if configured to verify cancels at all. A
similar and even more widely known feature of ALL news server software is
the ability to configure how group control messages are handled.

The effect of this is that anyone with standing to sue over most of the
cancels would have to admit that they HAD a simple defense from cancels
and rmgroups that they CHOSE not to use. This also leaves the bunnies a
defense that they only intended to cancel messages or remove a.r.s. from
servers configured to accept their control messages. By definition all
control messages are advisory, and and a server configured to
automatically honor all contol messages is comparable to the news admin
choosing to act on every piece of advice he recieves. Incompetence by a
news admin is not likely to be a convincing argument.

Beyond that, it would be a Bad Thing for Usenet (tm) if a precedent was
set making 3rd-party cancels criminal or setting in law a standard for who
may issue group controls in alt. Well-forged 3rd-party cancels, carrying
added information and header content which makes the real sender apparent
and makes specific ignoring of them easy, are issued by the hundreds
daily.

--
Bill Stewart-Cole
I stand accused of being part of the Usenet cabal
There is no cabal!
That should settle the issue. I'm in.

Nico Garcia

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article <bill-21059...@sc1.scconsult.com> bi...@scconsult.com (Bill Stewart-Cole) writes:

With all due respect to His Slackness, he's quite possibly wrong on this
reading of the law. Ever since the Kaiwan bunny was silenced, and for most
bunny-cancels before the Kaiwan streak, the cancels have been done in such
a fashion as to make it quite simple for any good newsadmin to ignore tham
as forgeries. The most common news server (INN) has a configurable setting

If we're willing to waste the time figuring it out.

for how closely to check cancels for matches to the original messages, and
the recent string of Netcom-based bunnies have formed their cancels in
ways that INN would reject them if configured to verify cancels at all. A
similar and even more widely known feature of ALL news server software is
the ability to configure how group control messages are handled.

Not everybody runs INN. I'd guess far less than half the news sites do.

The effect of this is that anyone with standing to sue over most of the
cancels would have to admit that they HAD a simple defense from cancels
and rmgroups that they CHOSE not to use. This also leaves the bunnies a

The cancelbunny has evolved to avoid such defenses. If such defenses
ever work, the bunny will evolve again.

servers configured to accept their control messages. By definition all
control messages are advisory, and and a server configured to
automatically honor all contol messages is comparable to the news admin
choosing to act on every piece of advice he recieves. Incompetence by a
news admin is not likely to be a convincing argument.

No. The response is *automatic* for most systems. Between the
necessary forgery, the failure to use the $alz or cyberspam
conventions, and the indiscriminate removal of *all* copies, it's a
violation of the ECPA, at least according to the FBI guy I asked (Hugh
MacLean, nc...@fbi.gov).

Beyond that, it would be a Bad Thing for Usenet (tm) if a precedent was
set making 3rd-party cancels criminal or setting in law a standard for who
may issue group controls in alt. Well-forged 3rd-party cancels, carrying
added information and header content which makes the real sender apparent
and makes specific ignoring of them easy, are issued by the hundreds
daily.

Yeah. The Cancelmoose and the latest versions, clewis and JEM, are quite
acceptable *because* they use cyberspam, they notify the user and the
postmaster, and they forward a copy to the news.admin groups.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: 2.6
Comment: Processed by Mailcrypt 3.4, an Emacs/PGP interface

iQCVAwUBMaIDIn7Cg0E0WGE5AQE2pgP8C29MBQPTgkkJA4Wk9/+glMjv+b9yr5VQ
UgDA+O7vlGGZzvyBmSiLBXsa2IObyNJnXgQtbJO3pmKpXb/oLPlwO87SbKoONazj
j9pQ893+WhlRoAMP4Zio4GcGaDkQOhfM2KTh4ILgptBk9nb9j7jQUWOrGNSx6gpw
vROlwj9w0og=
=PQ0W
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
--
Nico Garcia
ra...@tiac.net
<PGP is obviously a good idea: look at who objects to it.>

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine

unread,
May 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/21/96
to

In <bill-21059...@sc1.scconsult.com>, Bill Stewart-Cole writes:

In <kaLd7fD7...@xemu.demon.co.uk>, Dave Bird---St Hippo of wrote:

>>The FBI should be looking now at action on a complaint from Keith
>>that (under the statute Pope Charles keeps quoting) stored computer
>>files under his control were improperly deleted by a cancelbunny.
>>Oh, and, by the way, what about this earlier attempt at
>>unauthorised deletion of a whole lot more files admitted in
>>print by this dodgy attorney........ Go for it, I say.
>
>Don't get your hopes up.

>With all due respect to His Slackness, he's quite possibly wrong on this
>reading of the law.

Quite possibly: I don't say it's certain, I say it should be attempted.
We don't know how it would go until it's tested in court.

IANAL but my analysis is....the original statute was designed
straightforwardly to deal with a situation where is file is being
sent from DivsionA to DivisionB of BellSouth, which belongs to
BellSouth, and someone else reads or deletes it without authority.

Now the situation if A_U...@netcom.com initiates a news article
which goes onto the BloggsCo.com newsserver, and someone cancels
it there. Who was ''authorised'' to interfere with the message?
It seems to me that JoeBloggs, sysop of BloggsCo, has
entered into an arrangement with other sysops that he will subject
to his discretion etcetera forward their news articles. Nectom.com
is one of the sysops party to this and, given this arrangement,
contracts to share part of its facilities with A_User. Under
this arrangement, A_User can cancel his files wherever they have
propagated to. Probably Netcom can do so as well [at most if A_User
is upset with this he sues them for breaking their contract with him].
Likewise JoeBloggs of BloggsCo can exercise his discretion that he does
not want particular files on his NewsSpool. Also it seems to me
that if these parties have expressly or impliedly **CONSENTED** to
other persons issuing cancellations on their behalf and with their
authority, then that is kosher too: it could be argued that
both Netcom and BloggsCo [by taking part in the discussions about
spam cancellation and agreeing to take the cancels] authorised
spam cancelling, and A_User knew or should have known this was part of
what he was contracting to. <phew>.

Notice we are not talking about
suing for a civil wrong, where the defendant can say ''well your
carelessness allowed the harm I did to take place, so this weakens
or removes your case against you. No, what is required is permission.
**** ''ALLOWING'' SOMETHING TO HAPPEN BY TECHNICAL SLACKNESS
DOES NOT HACK IT. **** This is like the burglar arguing that you had
a flimsy door with a very simple lock, so you encouraged him to break
in. Not so. It was a matter of him not having PERMISSION, and
the technical ease or difficulty of him committing the CRIMINAL act
does not excuse his action. The technical ease of cancelling does
not come into it: noone should be issuing those cancels who has not
the express or implied consent of those sysops, by discussing it
with them, that such cancels are wellcome. Once again, physically
possible without permission =/= having discussed and consented to it.
Was there a discussion in which it was agreed HKK, or people generally,
could issue cancels whenever they alledged their copyrights were
being infringed? No? Then such cancels are unauthorised. Simple
as that.


I think the above analysis shows that technical ease of committing
the offence is no defense, and that third party cancels with
express or implied CONSENT are not threatened by this law.
Just my 2c worth. What does everyone else think?

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine

unread,
May 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/22/96
to

In article <RAOUL.96M...@sunspot.tiac.net>, Nico Garcia
<ra...@sunspot.tiac.net> writes

>No. The response is *automatic* for most systems. Between the
>necessary forgery, the failure to use the $alz or cyberspam
>conventions, and the indiscriminate removal of *all* copies, it's a
>violation of the ECPA, at least according to the FBI guy I asked (Hugh
>MacLean, nc...@fbi.gov).
>
> Beyond that, it would be a Bad Thing for Usenet (tm) if a precedent was
> set making 3rd-party cancels criminal or setting in law a standard for who
> may issue group controls in alt. Well-forged 3rd-party cancels, carrying
> added information and header content which makes the real sender apparent
> and makes specific ignoring of them easy, are issued by the hundreds
> daily.
>
>Yeah. The Cancelmoose and the latest versions, clewis and JEM, are quite
>acceptable *because* they use cyberspam, they notify the user and the
>postmaster, and they forward a copy to the news.admin groups.

The Tech issue is not the real issue, because what we have is
not (i) the ISP (ii) bringing a civil suit for a financial loss,
to which their alledged ''carelessness'' may have opened the way:
it is the message sender, complaining about a felony,
and the excuse that ''well he asked for it by having flimsy locks''
will not wash. It's a matter of CONSENT, not physical PREVENTION.

And the user has contracted into his ISPs arrangement with other ISPs,
including where they have discussed and consented to (authorised)
specific persons to cancel sepcific spammed materials in specific
circumstances. Not for any bugger to cancel someone else's message
on self-chosen grounds of alledged tort, bad taste, or whatever.
That is unauthorised interference!

Bill Stewart-Cole

unread,
May 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/25/96
to

In article <De$y+KCWx...@xemu.demon.co.uk>, Dave Bird---St Hippo of
Augustine <da...@xemu.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>In <bill-21059...@sc1.scconsult.com>, Bill Stewart-Cole writes:
>In <kaLd7fD7...@xemu.demon.co.uk>, Dave Bird---St Hippo of wrote:
>
>>>The FBI should be looking now at action on a complaint from Keith
>>>that (under the statute Pope Charles keeps quoting) stored computer
>>>files under his control were improperly deleted by a cancelbunny.
>>>Oh, and, by the way, what about this earlier attempt at
>>>unauthorised deletion of a whole lot more files admitted in
>>>print by this dodgy attorney........ Go for it, I say.
>>
>>Don't get your hopes up.
>>With all due respect to His Slackness, he's quite possibly wrong on this
>>reading of the law.
>
>Quite possibly: I don't say it's certain, I say it should be attempted.
>We don't know how it would go until it's tested in court.
>
>IANAL but my analysis is....the original statute was designed
>straightforwardly to deal with a situation where is file is being
>sent from DivsionA to DivisionB of BellSouth, which belongs to
>BellSouth, and someone else reads or deletes it without authority.

right.

[...]


>Notice we are not talking about
>suing for a civil wrong, where the defendant can say ''well your
>carelessness allowed the harm I did to take place, so this weakens
>or removes your case against you. No, what is required is permission.
>**** ''ALLOWING'' SOMETHING TO HAPPEN BY TECHNICAL SLACKNESS
>DOES NOT HACK IT. **** This is like the burglar arguing that you had
>a flimsy door with a very simple lock, so you encouraged him to break
>in. Not so. It was a matter of him not having PERMISSION, and
>the technical ease or difficulty of him committing the CRIMINAL act
>does not excuse his action. The technical ease of cancelling does
>not come into it: noone should be issuing those cancels who has not
>the express or implied consent of those sysops, by discussing it
>with them, that such cancels are wellcome. Once again, physically
>possible without permission =/= having discussed and consented to it.
>Was there a discussion in which it was agreed HKK, or people generally,
>could issue cancels whenever they alledged their copyrights were
>being infringed? No? Then such cancels are unauthorised. Simple
>as that.

There is certainly a gray area. Hoever when you set up INN (the most
common news server) you have yo make a myriad of configuration choices,
and one of them is whether to check the sources of cancels against the
original messages. It is not particularly challenging to set up the server
to do the check (i.e. you need not write the code, you just set one of the
many flags used to set various modes of behavior. If you can get INN to
run, you can get it to run in cancel-checking mode) As a result, a news
admin (the party able to give/deny permission to cancel on his system)
chooses to either allow or deny cancels that are clearly not from the
sender of the message they cancel. It would be very hard to argue that
this choice was made in ignorance without attesting to professional
incompetence.

>I think the above analysis shows that technical ease of committing
>the offence is no defense, and that third party cancels with
>express or implied CONSENT are not threatened by this law.
>Just my 2c worth. What does everyone else think?

Agreed.
Forging cancels to GET PAST the INN check is actually quite easy. Such
cancels are much more likely to be illegal unless they also use some of
the conventions used by the respected spam-cancellers. The cancels issued
by the Kaiwan Bunny were designed to get past the checks and used no such
conventions, and it would be rather easier to argue that HIS cancels were
in fact criminal because they could not be ignored by any common means,
and were intentionally formed in a deceptive manner to evade verification
and even tracing. The cancels since then have been done in a much less
technically competent manner, have been ignored by servers that verify
cancels, and clearly point back at their sources. That they have been so
effective is an indictment of the aggregate competence of news admins.

--
Bill Stewart-Cole

Jeffrey L. Bell

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

In article <sthomsonD...@netcom.com>,
shelley thomson <stho...@netcom.com> wrote:

> Henson: well, you see right after the colon, it says
>ftp:127.0.0.1?


With all the talk about being liable for inducing someone to sue you,
one thing to keep in mind is that the discussion of NOTS on an FTP
site was between Henson, Volk and a Newbie (I forget who). If he had
mailed claims of having the NOTS to CoST in an attempt to induce a law
suit, I could maybe see their point, but that is not the case.

It's kind of like a third party filing charges that you violated the
hunting season because you sent someone on a snipe hunt.

-Jeff Bell

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine

unread,
May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
to

In article <4ofq41$5...@news.eecs.umich.edu>, "Jeffrey L. Bell"
<jlb...@presto.eecs.umich.edu> writes

>In article <sthomsonD...@netcom.com>,
>shelley thomson <stho...@netcom.com> wrote:
>
>> Henson: well, you see right after the colon, it says
>>ftp:127.0.0.1?
>
>
>With all the talk about being liable for inducing someone to sue you,
>one thing to keep in mind is that the discussion of NOTS on an FTP
>site was between Henson, Volk and a Newbie (I forget who). If he had
>mailed claims of having the NOTS to CoST in an attempt to induce a law
>suit, I could maybe see their point, but that is not the case.
>
>It's kind of like a third party filing charges that you violated the
>hunting season because you sent someone on a snipe hunt.

You're quite right. What the Clams are trying to ALLEDGE was
happening was that Henson had knowingly joined onto Volk's idea
of maliciously inducing them to sue a third party, who they
would then find out was nonexistent, and..... Oh, it makes
my head spin. The other line they will try is that Grady taunted
them with statements falsely implying he was SCAMIZDAT to induce
them to sue.

I don't think any of this will fly. I think they were just using
deposition as a fishing exposition, to try out various ways of
impugning the defendants' character [Lanham Act, mocking attitude
to the law, attacks the christian religion just as much...] and
see of they could get any damaging admissions. Those lines which
were unpromising they will simply drop.



--Regards, Woof Woof, Glug Glug--
X E M U * Who Drowned theJUDGe's Dog ?
s p 4 \ |\ answers on (alt.religion.scientology!

/~~~~~~~ @----, and on page (/x/clam/faq/woofglug.html

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"They're drowning my Doggie in the poo-ul, those Clams with the..."

Steve A

unread,
May 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/30/96
to

jlb...@presto.eecs.umich.edu (Jeffrey L. Bell) wrote:

>In article <sthomsonD...@netcom.com>,
>shelley thomson <stho...@netcom.com> wrote:
>

>> Henson: well, you see right after the colon, it says
>>ftp:127.0.0.1?
>
>

>With all the talk about being liable for inducing someone to sue you,
>one thing to keep in mind is that the discussion of NOTS on an FTP
>site was between Henson, Volk and a Newbie (I forget who). If he had
>mailed claims of having the NOTS to CoST in an attempt to induce a law
>suit, I could maybe see their point, but that is not the case.
>
>It's kind of like a third party filing charges that you violated the
>hunting season because you sent someone on a snipe hunt.

Good point. I missed that one.

-------------------------------------------------------------------
____ ! ste...@castlsys.demon.co.uk
(\__/) .~ ~. )) !
/o o ./ .' ! My opinions may not be those of Castle
{__, \ { ! Systems, especially where remuneration
/ . . ) \ ! is concerned.
|NUTS-| \ } !-----------------------------------------
.( _( )_.' ! Remember, cultists: The secret word for
'---.~_ _ _& ! the CCRD is 'I mock up my reactive mind';
A Mayett's Mutt ! try it at your next auditing session!
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