Programmable devices emulating blue boxes

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Jul 23, 1986, 7:14:02 PM7/23/86
In article <860714230...@decwrl.DEC.COM>, cov...@COVERT.DEC.COM (John R. Covert) writes:
> >I think that the POSSESSION of a Blue Box or any device that can be used
> >as a blue box is illegal. I am really not sure if its POSSESSION or USE,
> >or perhaps even use with intent to defraud.
> As usual, it depends on the state. In some states, even the PLANS for a
> blue box (such as were published in the ham magazine 73 some years ago)
> are illegal to possess.

In New York State, possession of a ``blue box'' is only a crime if
the device is actually used for toll fraud, or attempted toll fraud. The
possession of a blue box is no different from other criminal possession
laws, such as "possession of burglar tools", "possession of a deadly weapon",
"possession of eavesdropping devices", etc. A common screwdriver can be
considered a "burglar tool" or even a "deadly weapon", provided that it
WAS USED AS SUCH. Possession of a screwdriver per se, is of course, not
illegal. A blue box is merely an electronic device which generates tones,
and is no different from a number of pieces of test equipment sold to
the electronics or telecommunications industry. In New York State, anyone can
possess such devices PROVIDED they are not used for unlawful purposes; i.e.,
unlawful possession can ONLY be charged IN CONJUNCTION WITH a charge for
unlawful use (or attempted unlawful use).
I would be awfully suprised if possession of "plans" for a blue box
were unlawful in any state, since such a situation would impinge on freedom
of speech issues. On the other hand, DISSEMINATION of "plans" for blue
boxes for the specific INTENT (with intent being clearly proven) of being
used to defraud may be unlawful in some states. However, neither possession
(per se) nor dissemination of plans for blue boxes are unlawful in New York

> If there's any truth to the stories that Novation was successfully sued,
> a civil suit? My guess is that Novation was simply unfortunate.

I would be awfully surprised if Novation were actually sued unless
they openly advertised the device for fraudulent purposes (which I find
improbable to believe). MF signaling has clearly entered the private
sector, as it has been available for several years in many areas from a
telephone company CO on DID trunks to customer-owned PABX's equipped with
direct inward dialing. Clearly customers owning and companies maintaining
such PABX's have a need to possess MF senders for test purposes. Northeast
Electronics (divsion of Northern Telcom) will be glad to sell anyone a TTS-59C
MF sender for about $ 1.5 K; this device will certainly make a "first class"
blue box. :-)

==> Larry Lippman @ Recognition Research Corp., Clarence, New York
==> UUCP: {allegra|decvax|rocksanne|rocksvax|watmath}!sunybcs!kitty!larry
==> VOICE: 716/688-1231 {hplabs|ihnp4|seismo}!/
==> FAX: 716/741-9635 {G1,G2,G3} "Have you hugged your cat today?"

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