Re: Fw: Mitnick Muzzled (Hacker Hamstrung?)

Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 15:00:09 MDT

CNet has an interview with Kevin Mitnick at
Here, an important new piece of information comes out which suggests
that the actions to restrict Mitnick's speaking engagements is in fact
based on terms which he agreed to for his probation:

   Q: Why do you think they've given you this prohibition?
   A: The conditions of my probation are that I couldn't act as computer
   consultant or advisor, and the probation department is interpreting
   that to be that I'm not allowed to speak or write about technology.

Earlier the only provision mentioned from his agreement was that he could
not use computer technology, and it was hard to see how making money
speaking about computers would fall under that prohibition. But if
Mitnick also agreed not to act as a computer consultant or advisor,
then I think it is very reasonable to interpret that to preclude his
speaking about computer issues for a fee.

My guess is that the purpose of this provision is to restrict Mitnick
from profiting due to his notoriety as a hacker. Otherwise there is
danger that he could become a role model, which might encourage others
to try to emulate his celebrity by commiting computer crimes of their own.

Mitnick's probation lasts for three years. After that he has all the
rights and privileges of any other convicted felon. But until then he
is under close judicial supervision. Probation is granted in place of
jail time. It's sort of a halfway condition. Even though Mitnick is
walking around freely, he doesn't have the rights of a free man.


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