[RC5] Criminal Charges Settled In Distributed-Computing Case

TD - Sales International Holland B.V. td at salesint.com
Sun Aug 26 02:27:33 EDT 2001

On Friday 18 January 2002 11:42, you wrote:

I don't know where those bozo's get their bandwidth but if I were them I'd 
find a cheaper provider.... 59c a second for bandwidth? geez.... I can 
consume as much as I want a month long for like 45$ ?! (512kbit down 64up)

> >http://www.newsbytes.com/news/02/173751.html
> >
> >By Steven Bonisteel, Newsbytes
> >17 Jan 2002, 5:05 PM CST
> >
> >A computer technician at Georgia-run college who found himself facing
> >criminal charges after installing software for a volunteer
> >distributed-computing effort will face probation instead of prison.
> >
> >David McOwen, once a systems administrator at DeKalb Technical
> >College, faces a year of probation and a $2,100 fine for connecting a
> >number of DeKalb computers to Distributed.net so that the spare
> >computing cycles could assist in a communal code-breaking challenge.
> >
> >But McOwen's supporters, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation
> >(EFF), said today that an agreement reached with state prosecutors was
> >far better than the worst-case scenario: years in prison and hundreds
> >of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution.
> >
> >"David never should have been prosecuted in the first place, but we're
> >glad that the state decided to stop," said Lee Tien, a senior staff
> >attorney at the EFF. "He very likely could have won if the case had
> >gone to trial, but trials cost money and you never know what will
> >happen."
> >
> >Tien said McOwen, who was to face a criminal trial later this month,
> >will also have to perform 80 hours of community service "unrelated to
> >computers or technology." However McOwen will not end up with a felony
> >or misdemeanor record under Georgia's First Offender Act.
> >
> >The criminal charges stunned many participants in
> >distributed-computing efforts, who frequently are also denizens of
> >university or college computing departments.
> >
> >In early January 2000, when the San Diego Supercomputer Center of the
> >University of California was issuing press releases about its
> >number-crunching prowess via Distributed.net in an RC5-64
> >code-breaking challenge, DeKalb was suspending McOwen for
> >participating in the same event.
> >
> >A suspension wasn't all McOwen faced. This spring, long after he had
> >resigned from DeKalb in the wake of the suspension, McOwen learned
> >that he was being investigated by the state attorney general's office
> >as a result of his Distributed.net participation. This fall, he was
> >officially charged one count of computer theft and seven counts of
> >computer trespassing.
> >
> >Tien in a prepared statement said that the dispute centered on a on
> >whether McOwen had fair notice that the distributed-computing software
> >was prohibited at DeKalb.
> >
> >"From what I can tell, the state would have had a hard time proving
> >beyond a reasonable doubt that David knew he wasn't authorized to
> >install the software," Tien said. "I can't help but feel that this was
> >a face-saving deal for the state."
> >
> >Originally, the state had calculated that McOwen had drained hundreds
> >of thousands of dollars worth of DeKalb computing time since
> >installing the software early in 1999, arriving at its figure by
> >calculating that the software sapped 59 cents worth of bandwidth each
> >second.
> >
> >A pro-McOwen site is at http://www.freemcowen.com
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