Russian hacker nabbed by FBI now lost in federal prison system

From: Declan McCullagh (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 19:34:20 MDT

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From: Declan McCullagh <>
Subject: FC: Russian hacker nabbed by FBI now lost in federal prison system
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 21:25:30 -0400
X-URL: Politech is at
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   Russian Hacker Arrested by FBI Goes Missing
   posted by declan on Thursday July 19, @06:12PM
   from the where-is-dmitry-sklyarov dept.


   Dmitry Sklyarov is missing.
   The 27-year old Russian programmer and hacker who was arrested after
   Defcon was last spotted at 3 pm Monday, when he made a brief court
   appearance in Las Vegas. He's charged with violating the 1998 Digital
   Millennium Copyright Act.
   Now he's adrift inside the federal prison bureaucracy. A managing
   director of ElcomSoft, Sklyarov's employer, says he has no idea where
   his colleague is. Says ElcomSoft's Vladimir Katalov: "Of course they
   really worry about him, because FBI/police didn't allow Dmit to talk
   to his family."
   An informed source in the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco said
   that after Sklyarov's court visit on Monday he was turned over to the
   U.S. Marshals. The source said Sklyarov is likely out of contact since
   he's in transit to California. Typically prisoners are moved to a
   holding facility in Oklahoma until there's a scheduled transport to
   San Francisco, much as FedEx routes packages through central hubs.
   The government source said prosecutors receive almost no warning from
   the marshals when prisoners will appear -- sometimes they get a phone
   call, and sometimes the marshals simply take the prisoner to the court
   with no notice.
   The U.S. Marshals did not return phone calls. The U.S. Attorney's
   offices in San Francisco and Las Vegas said they did not know where
   Sklyarov was.
   An assistant U.S. Attorney in Las Vegas said that he wasn't familiar
   with the details of the case, but in general meeting with a detainee
   isn't a big deal: "Anyone can meet with a prisoner, you just head up
   to the prison and ask to see him." (That supposes that you know where
   he is.)
   Rene Valladares is an assistant federal public defender in Las Vegas
   who represented Sklyarov during the hearing on Monday. He said
   Sklyarov would arrive in California between now and two weeks from now
   (at the latest), at which point a judge will decide if he needs a
   public defender.
   As a side note, the chief of security for the Alexis Park Hotel --
   where the Defcon convention took place and where Sklyarov was arrested
   -- professed to know nothing. When asked about the arrest, he said: "I
   have no idea." When pressed about contact with the FBI, he admitted:
   "The FBI advises us if they are going to be on our property, but they
   don't tell us why. The FBI did advise us they would be on our property
   Monday morning."
   The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) says in section 1201 that:
   "No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or
   otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device,
   component, or part thereof" that has as its primary use (or is
   marketed as) circumventing copy protection. Sklyarov is charged with
   one count of trafficking in illegal circumvention software.
   Section 1203 of the DMCA includes civil remedies, which is what the
   movie studios are using against 2600 magazine. 2600 distributed DeCSS
   via its website at no charge.
   Section 1204 of the DMCA lists the criminal penalties -- up to a
   $500,000 fine and five years in federal prison. Those apply to "any
   person who violates section 1201 or 1202 willfully and for purposes of
   commercial advantage or private financial gain." This section took
   effect in October 2000. Because Dmitry's firm sold their software for
   "private financial gain," the Feds believe they can prosecute under
   the part of Sec. 1204 that would likely not have applied to 2600.
   A prediction: Because of the DMCA, U.S. conferences with cutting-edge
   technical content in this area likely will begin to move offshore or
   to Canada. If you present your paper at a U.S. conference and get paid
   to speak, you could be the next person nabbed by the FBI. Even if
   there's no "financial gain," you or the conference organizers could be
   sued civilly (see the threats against Ed Felten's abandoned
   presentation at the Information Hiding Workshop in April).
   Relevant links:
   Department of Justice press release (7/17/2001)
   free-sklyarov mailing list (7/18/2001) (7/18/2001)
   EFF notice on protests scheduled for July 23 (7/19/2001)
   PlanetEBook report on arrest (7/16/2001)
   Text of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
     _________________________________________________________________ photographs:
   Photos from of DMCA appeal (5/2001)
   Photos from of DMCA protest on Capitol Hill (4/2000)
   Photos from of DMCA trial (7/2000)
   Photos from of Defcon '00 (7/2000)
   Politech archives:
   Politech archive on U.S. v. Sklyarov
   Politech archive on DeCSS lawsuit against 2600 magazine
   Politech archive on Princeton University's Ed Felten's struggle with
   the recording industry
   Politech archive on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
   News articles: (newest first)

   Civil Liberties Group Blasts Adobe For Aiding FBI In Arrest
   Jul. 19, 2001 19:35 ET
   Russian busted for breaking ebook code
   Jul. 19, 2001 16:02 ET
   Russian computer programmer arrested at hacker conference
   Jul. 19, 2001 15:15 ET
   On the Net
   Jul. 19, 2001 14:14 ET
   Boycott Adobe campaign launches
   Jul. 19, 2001 12:35 ET
   Russian accused of ebook violation
   Jul. 19, 2001 06:57 ET
   Hacker Arrest Stirs Protest
   Jul. 19, 2001 06:45 ET,1283,45342,00.html
   Arrest in e-book fraud case
   Jul. 19, 2001 05:51 ET
   Arrest in e-book fraud case
   Jul. 19, 2001 05:50 ET
   FBI arrests software writer
   Jul. 19, 2001 05:45 ET
   U.S. Arrests Russian Cryptographer as Copyright Violator
   Jul. 19, 2001 03:35 ET
   Adobe Alerted Government To Russian Software Crack
   Jul. 18, 2001 19:35 ET
   Russian to face US hacking charges
   Jul. 18, 2001 19:14 ET
   Russian faces e-book copying charges
   Jul. 18, 2001 17:15 ET
   Russian Hacker Arrested After Las Vegas Convention
   Jul. 18, 2001 17:11 ET
   Arrest fuels Adobe copyright fight
   Jul. 18, 2001 11:10 ET,4586,2790369,00.html?chkpt=zdnn_nbs_
   FBI arrests software writer
   Jul. 18, 2001 05:45 ET
   Russian computer programmer arrested
   Jul. 18, 2001 05:45 ET
   DMCA bust at Def Con
   Jul. 18, 2001 04:59 ET
   FBI agents pounce on Defcon hacker
   Jul. 18, 2001 04:47 ET
   Russian Hacker Arrested After Las Vegas Convention
   Jul. 17, 2001 23:11 ET
   FBI nabs Russian expert at Def Con
   Jul. 17, 2001 21:10 ET,4586,5094266,00.html?chkpt=zdnn_nbs_hl
   FBI Arrests Russian Creator Of E-Book-Decoding Software
   Jul. 17, 2001 17:35 ET
   Russian hacker arrested after convention
   Jul. 17, 2001 15:40 ET
   eBook security debunker arrested by Feds
   Jul. 17, 2001 14:35 ET
   Russian Adobe Hacker Busted
   Jul. 17, 2001 12:45 ET,1283,45298,00.html

(Thanks to A.O. for contributing to the above.)

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