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Re: <nettime> International Support Letter for Steven Kurtz / CAE
Carl Guderian on Thu, 3 Jun 2004 22:38:04 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> International Support Letter for Steven Kurtz / CAE

I saw some of the apparatus when Steve brought it to
Amsterdam for Next 5 Minutes (IIRC), so the fact he
could legally bring it in and out of the country could
his defense. 

The PATRIOT cops don't have a case, but want to save
face and/or win glory and scare potential
bio-terrorists ("this is how we treat innocent people;
just imagine how we'll treat the guilty"). The Joint
Task Force etc. have no doubt been grilling Kurtz
anyway, hoping to uncover accomplices, and they'll
want him to cop a plea so it won't have been a
complete waste of their time.

That's almost what happened in Operation Sun Devil,
the 1990 Secret Service anti-hacker operation that
almost bankrupted the innocent Steve Jackson Games.
Thanks to a lot of pro-bono work by sharp Texas
lawyers, Steve Jackson won damages and saw the judge
chew out the SS agent in charge. Bruce Sterling's "The
Hacker Crackdown" has the details. At least
boingboing.net and slashdot will remember it.

Like Operation Sun Devil, this is a landmark in the
young history of bio-hacking. Harmless but extremely
useful work like what the CAE are doing has to be
firmly established as legal and proper. Otherwise, the
future of biotech belongs to Monsanto.


--- Eugene Thacker <eugene.thacker {AT} lcc.gatech.edu>

> Hi all,
> Great idea Eric. It seems that word has been slow to
> get around. Perhaps Carla 
> Mendes, the CAE spokesperson, already has a letter
> of support, or is the 
> person to draft one?

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