t byfield on Tue, 31 Mar 1998 04:51:16 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> anon.penet.fi: case closed

[Headers edited. Please note that the PGP signature did *not* check out;
 almost certainly a Finnish<->US charset and/or UNIX<->Mac problem, but
 my apologies if it's a forgery or a fake. What with this and "Spamford"
 Wallace getting socked with a US$2M bill for spamming, this is a signi-
 ficant--and, amazingly, good--week. So far. As Danilo Kis put it in _A
 Tomb for Boris Davidovitch_: "So much for the past." Now onward... --T]

From: pjs@majakka.uwasa.fi (Peik J Str=1Amsholm)            <--ASCII 154
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,misc.legal,comp.org.eff.talk,
Subject: Anon.penet.fi case closed!
Followup-To: alt.religion.scientology
Date: 31 Mar 1998 01:17:41 +0300
Organization: University of Vaasa
Message-ID: <6fp5m5$69s@majakka.uwasa.fi>
NNTP-Posting-Host: majakka-be.uwasa.fi


     The criminal investigation into the reposting of Scamizdat #11
     through anon.penet.fi during March 1996 has been closed by the
     Helsinki Police Department. The case -- which involved secret
     Scientology "scriptures" -- was investigated as a minor copyright
     offence, with a statute of limitation of two years. Since they
     couldn't get enough evidence for an indictment in two years, the
     case is now closed. As a result of this the information from the
     investigation is now public.

     During the investigation, anon.penet.fi operator Johan "Julf"
     Helsingius was heard as a witness. He was asked to reveal the
     anon id's used, but refused. A legal battle followed. Finally
     Julf was ordered by the courts to reveal the accounts; the
     Supreme Court of Finland refused to hear his case and the
     decision of the Court of Appeals of Helsinki became final.

     According to a Helsinki PD document 3300/RTP/R/110659/96
     Helsingius gave the police the following information:

        an498608@anon.penet.fi  =3D  veno@alpha.c2.org

        an545430@anon.penet.fi  =3D helen@alpha.c2.org

     This information was sent by Helsingius to the Helsinki PD by fax
     from Amsterdam on November the 11th, 1997.

     The Helsinki PD sent the Finnish Scientology lawyer Jussi Savonen
     a letter dated 15.01.1998 with this information. In this letter,
     reference is made to earlier phone conversations between Mr.
     Savonen and police officer Harri Pulkkinen.

     According to the police investigation, Internic has showed that
     the contact info for alpha.c2.org in California is:

        Community Connexion (C5-DOM)
        1212 Broadway Suite 1400
        Oakland, CA 94612

     During brief discussions about this on the irc channel
     #scientology, it was suggested (after dejanews searches etc) that
     the accounts may have used a series of web systems that allowed
     posting anonymous material.

     The Finnish police has also sent an informal request for
     information to webmaster@utopia.hacktic.nl, "since similar
     material has been posted through this machine":

[this is typed from a printout of an email message, included in the
police record, sent 20.1.1998 to webmaster@utopia.hacktic.nl]

Helsinki 20.01.1998

I'm detective sergeant Kari Koskinen from the Criminal Investigation
Department of Helsinki, Finland.
I was asked to get info about two emails that have passed
remailer@utopia.hacktic.nl 15.2.1996 and 12.3.1996.

At this point all I need to know is if you have any logfile of that
period of time and who was the operater of this server at that
particular time.

I thank you for your time - and possible further co-operation?
If you care to respond, please use the email adress below


Kari Koskinen
Helsingin kihlakunnan poliisi/RTU
Pasilanraitio 13, 00240 Helsinki, Finland
tel. +358-9-1895163

     It would appear the hacktic remailer was contacted for the sole
     reason that similar material had been posted through that
     remailer. The police did not seem to have any evidence linking
     the Scamizdat #11 repost to the hacktic remailer. That's probably
     why they sent only an informal email request for information. It
     is possible that Scientology asked the police to investigate the
     hacktic connection, but there's no direct mention of this in the
     records I have seen. The police did not get any information from
     hacktic; included in the record are some printouts from the web
     relating to the closing of the remailer operated by the Hacktic

     The police had also prepared a formal request for help from the
     United States, regarding the accounts at alpha.c2.org. The
     document - in Finnish - is dated 19.2.1998. Such documents should
     be translated by the Finnish Ministry of Justice before being
     sent to a foreign country, and since the investigation was closed
     16.03.1998, it seems nothing came out of it.

     While this article contains the essentials of the situation, I
     have also posted most of the relevant documents in Finnish to the
     newsgroup sfnet.keskustelu.laki, article reference is

     More information about the police investigation may be obtained
     from police officer Harri Pulkkinen, phone
     +358-(0)9-189 5388, fax +358-(0)9-189 2824.

     This is probably the last stage of the legal proceedings
     regarding Scamizdat under Finnish law. Like many Scientology
     related cases, it has been very unusual.

     We can note that Scientology is well known for its abuse of the
     legal system. In this case the remailers and the legal resistance
     of Johan Helsingius made it impossible for Scientology to find
     out the reposter of Scamizdat #11 before the statute of
     limitations ended the investigation. If Helsingius had not
     appealed, the police could have found out some additional
     information about the remailer chain, although it's improbable
     that they could have broken the entire list. So once again the
     Internet made it impossible for Scientology to use the legal
     system to their advantage.

     Before this case about Scamizdat #11, the Helsinki PD was
     criticized on the Internet because they were once tricked by
     Scientology, when the Scientologists claimed that their
     scriptures had been "stolen". Helsingius was then forced to give
     out the name of some anon ids.

     After that it seems the police found out the truth about the
     allegations of Scientology. During the Scamizdat proceedings the
     Helsinki PD investigated the incident as a minor copyright
     offence instead of a theft or a copyright crime.

     Because of this the police couldn't get a search warrant for
     anon.penet.fi, and they had to start the proceedings about
     compelling Helsingius to testify. Accordingly, as it was such a
     minor offence, the statute of limitations was two years only,
     which ended the investigation without results after the various
     legal appeals by Helsingius. So one could say that by
     investigating the incident as a minor offence, the Helsinki PD
     sort of decided this case -- against Scientology.

     The police officer Kaj Malmberg, who handled this case earlier,
     was also very helpful and wrote about it on the Finnish legal
     newsgroup sfnet.keskustelu.laki. There's no doubt that the police
     did their job and investigated the copyright offence as required
     by law, but they were also very helpful with information for
     people like me who were interested in this unusual case.

     After the legal proceedings about anonymous remailers and because
     of his general net.presence, Johan Helsingius has been heard by
     the Finnish Committee for Reform of Free Speech Legislation (my
     translation of Sananvapaustoimikunnan mietint=1A 1997:3). The
     proceedings have also been discussed all around the world. It's
     obvious that this unusual case has been very important when it
     comes to the future of free speech on the Internet.

     [crossposted & mailed to a few individuals]

 pjs@uwasa.fi, Student of Theology & Law Student at the U of Helsinki
 Disclaimer: Speaking for myself only. Always using PGP to sign articles.
 "That which gives light must endure burning" (Unknown)

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