Many people inside and outside of the hacker world felt that Abene was made an example of, and was not judged according to earlier court standards. Abene had built up a significant reputation in the hacker sub-culture, for example regularly appearing on the radio show hosted by (a.k.a. Emmanuel Goldstein), debating and defending the morals and motivations of hackers in public forums and in interviews, and lecturing on the history of telecommunications technology at the night courses of several New York City universities. At the time of the indictment he was working at an early BBS/ISP founded by two New York LOD members, and subsequently a multi-user BBS and early ISP. ECHO users, ECHO management themselves and hackers around the nation expected Abene to get off with probation or at most a few months of jail time. Co-defendants and previous offenders charged with "hacking" offenses had received rather lenient punishments, and given his new-found enthusiasm for using his knowledge to constructive ends, the general feeling was optimistic prior to sentencing. A statement made by U.S. Attorney Otto Obermeier in conjunction with the indication, "The message that ought to be delivered with this indictment is that such conduct will not be tolerated, irrespective of the age of the particular accused or their ostensible purpose," was interpreted by Abene's supporters to mean that MOD was made an example of, to show that the authorities could handle the perceived "hacker threat". During sentencing, Judge Stanton said that "the defendant stands as a symbol here today," and that "hacking crimes constitute a real threat to the expanding reinforcing the view that a relatively harmless "teacher" was judged as a symbol for all hackers.
References[edit | edit source]
Dinesh Acharya[edit | edit source]
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