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RealTime IT News

Mafiaboy Witch Hunt

So, I hear the Feds have ordered convicted hacker Kevin Mitnick to keep a lid on the lecture circuit or risk a return to prison. He was cut loose from the big house at the turn of the millennium after a five-year stint behind bars.

Under the terms of his probation, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer already put the clamps on PCs, cell phones, TVs, toasters and blenders. She purred that McGyver should get used to flipping burgers at Mickey-Ds.

But in order to put food on the table, Kevin picked up a handful of summer speaking engagements that netted him about twenty grand. Not bad work if you can get it. He was making the rounds dropping advice on how individuals could protect themselves against cyber-attackers.

Now the Feds are trying to put the wraps on the First Amendment as well, saying Mitnick is out of order. Somehow this heavy-handed approach from these clowns doesn't surprise me a bit. Mitnick was unlucky enough to get singled out in 1995 as the most infamous cyber-scapegoat this country has ever laid eyes on. He's more than paid his dues on a sentence more befitting a homicide.

The Fed goons just don't know when to quit, but at least their Keystone Cops rendition is consistent. Take Mafiaboy's recent witch-hunt. After Canadian authorities couldn't muster a shred of credible evidence against the decidedly ordinary 15-year-old boy, they cuffed the so-called hacker anyhow.

Janet Reno didn't waste any time parading the poster child's apprehension before a media circus far too eager to put the denial-of-service brouhaha to bed. Reno pined, "I think it's important first of all that we look at what we've seen and let young people know that they are not going to be able to get away with something like this scot-free. There's got to be a remedy, there's got to be a penalty."

Sounds fair enough, except they've got the wrong suspect. But when they finally drop the trumped up charges against the unsuspecting teen, it'll hardly merit front-page news. To avoid omelet on their faces, the Feds will quietly slap the teen with some ridiculous fine for having an unregistered copy of Microsoft Word on his hard drive. But you and I will hardly hear about it. Some justice.

If you really want to protect U.S. citizens from the cyber-terrorists, replace Madeleine Albright's laptop with an Etch-a-Sketch. Apparently the US Secretary of State couldn't remember where she misplaced her portable that contained code-word data, classified even higher than top secret.

As expected, two low-level scapegoats lost their jobs over the snafu, and the public wasn't informed of the missing appliance until two months after it went missing. So somewhere in the beltway, there's a laptop with nuclear secrets parked in a Guns & Ammo Pawn Shop.

Sleep tight.



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