* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *

LoU STRIKE OUT WITH INTERNATIONAL COALITION OF HACKERS: A JOINT STATEMENT BY 2600, THE CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB, THE CULT OF THE DEADCOW, !HISPAHACK, L0PHT HEAVY INDUSTRIES, PHRACK AND PULHAS

Date: 07-Jan-1999

Press Contacts:2600: Emmanuel Goldstein, +1 516 751 2600, extension 0Chaos Computer Club: Frank Rieger, frank@ccc.deCult of the Dead Cow: press@cultdeadcow.com !Hispahack: mentesinquietas@iname.com L0pht Heavy Industries: press@l0pht.comPhrack: route@infonexus.com Pulhas: monolith@p.ulh.as 

An international coalition of hackers strongly condemns the Legion ofthe Underground's (LoU) recent "declaration of war" against thegovernments of Iraq and the People's Republic of China. Citing humanrights violations and other repressive measures the LoU declared theirintention to disrupt and disable Internet infrastructures in Iraq andChina. In a decision that was more rash than wise, the LoU will dolittle to alter existing conditions and much to endanger the rights ofhackers around the world.

We - the undersigned - strongly oppose any attempt to use the power ofhacking to threaten or destroy the information infrastructure of acountry, for any reason. Declaring "war" against a country is the mostirresponsible thing a hacker group could do. This has nothing to do withhacktivism or hacker ethics and is nothing a hacker could be proud of.

Frank Rieger of the CCC said, "Many hacker groups don't have a problemwith Web hacks that raise public awareness about human rightsviolations. But we are very sensitive to people damaging networks andcritical systems in repressive regimes or anywhere else. The police andintelligence communities regard hacking as seditious. It is quitepossible now that hackers - not only in totalitarian states - could be jailed or executed as 'cyberterrorists' for the slightest infraction of the law."

"It is shortsighted and potentially counterproductive," added ReidFleming of the cDc. "One cannot legitimately hope to improve a nation'sfree access to information by working to disable its data networks."

"Though we may agree with LoU that the atrocities in China and Iraq havegot to stop, we do not agree with the methods they are advocating," saidSpace Rogue of the L0pht.

Emmanuel Goldstein of 2600 said: "This kind of threat, even if madeidly, can only serve to further alienate hackers from mainstreamsociety and help to spread the misperceptions we're constantlybattling. And what happens when someone in another country decidesthat the United States needs to be punished for its human rightsrecord? This is one door that will be very hard to close if we allowit to be opened."

Governments worldwide are seeking to establish cyberspace as a newbattleground for their artificial conflicts. The LoU has inadvertentlylegitimized this alarmist propoganda. With its dramatic announcement theLoU played into the hands of policy makers who want complete controlover the Internet and are looking for reasons to seize it. If hackerssolicit recognition as paramilitary factions then hacking in generalwill be seen as an act of war. Ergo, hackers will be viewed aslegitimate targets of warring states.

Strategic combat planning in the United States and among other nationshas reached the point where real-world cases are needed to justifyassigned budgets. The LoU is providing this real-world case now. Webelieve that the LoU should carefully investigate the idea of declaring"war" against China and Iraq. Was it planted with them by someone withdifferent interests in mind other than advancing human rightsconsiderations?

The signatories to this statement are asking hackers to reject allactions that seek to damage the information infrastructure of anycountry. DO NOT support any acts of "Cyberwar." Keep the networks ofcommunication alive. They are the nervous system for human progress.

Signed (07-Jan-1999):

2600http://www.2600.com/
Chaos Computer Clubhttp://www.ccc.de/
Cult of the Dead Cowhttp://www.cultdeadcow.com/
!Hispahackhttp://hispahack.ccc.de/
L0phthttp://www.l0pht.com/
Phrackhttp://www.phrack.com/
Pulhashttp://p.ulh.as/
Toxynhttp://www.toxyn.org/
Several members of the
Dutch Hackers Community
(contact Rop Gonggrijp,rop@xs4all.nl)

Supporting documents:

Chaos Computer ClubCult of the Dead CowPulhas
2600: The Hacker QuarterlyL0pht Heavy Industries
Toxyn Technologies, Inc.Phrack Magazine!Hispahack