Saturday, October 28, 2006

Legal Defense Fund

I'm still waiting for callbacks from potential pro-bono lawyers.

However, this could very well turn out to be an extremely expensive experience. I'm a grad student, and the university has been very straight forward about the fact that they won't cover my legal bills, or protect me themselves.

Thus, I've thrown together a Legal Defense Fund via Paypal. Any money donated will go towards my legal costs - and if for some reason, I come out of this unscathed and with remaining funds in the account - It'll donate it all to the EFF, or some other pro privacy/freedom group.

(Broken paypal link fixed. Thanks for the feedback!)

Also: There's now a "Keep Chris out of Jail" facebook group.












28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you'd find your requests for help would get more response if you were more forthcoming about the nature of your trouble.

Have you been charged with a crime? If so, what? Is this only about your website your boarding pass generator prank? If so, how? What's going on?

Anonymous said...

The donate button seems to lead to an error screen at paypal. At least for me (using FF)

Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

So now you want money? Why not be a man and take the consequences of your irresponsible behavior?

Hopefully they will hold you responsible for people gaining access to that area and doing what they will want to do.

People like you just don't get it.

JT Olds said...
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JT Olds said...
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Brad Green said...

Anonymous people just dont get it. He didnt actually try to use this system to do anything, just designed it to force security improvement. If anything he is going to enhance airport security, and do a service to the nation. Sometimes idiots like you hiding behind the screen on anonymity just dont get it.

PS: Dont go with paypal if possible, they can freeze your account just because they want to, and since you are fighting the feds, the thought might cross their minds.

jtolds said...
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Anonymous said...

To the folks who say I don't get it (1st comment):

I do. This fellow made a boarding pass generator to publicise some well known flaws in the security at US airports. And now, he is in unspecified legal trouble, and wants donations.

What kind of legal trouble? Is he charged with a crime? Is there a civil case against him? Is he just fighting an injunction to prohibit him posting the board pass generator? These are all really quite different things. If he's going to ask for money to fight something, I think Chris should step up and say specificly what he needs money to fight!

That's not "not getting it," and it's not being complacent about the US becoming a "police state." If Chris is being unjustly charged with a crime, that's very bad. If he's being stopped from posting the boarding pass generator, but not from widely publicising the flaw it illustrated, well, that's another thing, isn't it?

Maybe both deserve help. I'd like to know which it is. My question, jt olds, is why you don't?

some /.er said...

JT Olds

I'm not sure you know what the real definition of a police state is. Look it up.

"Security state" would be a more apt description.

And I'm with Brad Green, Don't use Paypal if you don't have to. If you do, pull any donations out of Paypal frequently.

David Molnar said...

Anonymous #3: Chris hasn't used a fradulent boarding pass himself. Are you seriously suggesting that he should be arrested, but that Sen. Schumer, Bruce Schneier, and the others who pointed out the flaw should not be? or do you think he should be arrested for just writing the script? if so, what law did he violate?

Anonymous#1: From what I can tell, Chris does not yet know what the nature of his trouble is. Whatever it is, if the FBI have confiscated his computers (see the blog entry following this one), that sounds like he will need a lawyer. I'm sure he will let us know more details as he can, but right now it sounds like he just doesn't know.

Super_chris said...

I could understand how you would receive flack from the feds for doing this. But senators calling for your arrest and search warrants are too far. This was obviously done with the nations safety and security in mind, not with malicious intentions.

I donated the last $10 in my account to you. If you do manage to get a pro-bono lawyer I'd love to see it hit EFF as you previously stated.

Anonymous said...

I made a donation and E-mailed congressman Markey.

I can see how the feds would be upset at the ticket generator. But their knee-jerk reaction makes me somewhat sad..

Hope it turns out okay.

- Paul

K. Pratt said...

$15.00 to the Legal fund.

As a fellow poor grad student with conference deadlines, I know how much this has got to suck for you.

That, and last christmas when I realized Southwest's boarding passes were HTML, I printed and went to the airport with passes for me, my dog, a banana, and one O. bin Laden. Any one with two braincells to rub together can see the security hole anyone in the world can waltz through.... and its the people that talk about it that get in trouble? Wtf?

Best of luck with the legal shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

I gave $250 to the EFF yesterday and asked them to look into your case. Good luck. Please continue to solicit help from the public. People will show up if you ask them to.

jtolds said...
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Anonymous said...

If he wanted to help improve security, there are a lot smarter choices he could have made than this one. Where's the line? Someone going to go help the terrorists aquire chemical weapons and claim he was just helping to improve security?

If he's going to be prosecuted for something, it wont be anything outlandish. If the feds want the charges to stick they have to charge him with real crimes related to what he did. If no crime has been committed, they'll return his stuff. If he did violate a law, then he should pay the consequences.

I'm sorry but you have to think before you do things. This soceity has gotten out of control with people like this disregarding personal accoutability. To do something like this and be surprised that the FBI took notice is naive at best.

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for legal defense, contact the EFF or ACLU.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys are not very smart.

This guy is a criminal, he made something that criminals can use to kill people, and he is trying to use the excuse of "well someone else did X which is in some way related to Y and got away with it, so I should be allowed to get away with it." So by that logic I can go rob a liquor store, and then use the excuse "well I know joe schmoe robbed a liquor store once and didn't get caught, so I should not get in trouble for it"

As to ... "I have never ran this script to generate a boarding pass, etc etc etc." That HAS to be a lie. An out and out lie. Even simple scripts are tested. You'd hate to forget a $ and the thing not work and post it on the internet. You'd look like a retard. Now all of you look like retards because you belive a criminal when he says he never once ran the script he wrote.

Criminal support of criminals is just freaking funny.

Anonymous said...

Can you possibly provide a mailing address for checks? I imagine there might be more than 1 person who's unwilling to use paypal (for several reasons).

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure what he meant was that he never used one in an airport.

The only ones that come off looking like idiots are the trailer park republicans like you who just dont get it.

Do yourself a favor and go read the constitution.

English - do you speak it?

Anonymous said...

You go to IU?
http://www.indiana.edu/~sls/

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you guys are not very smart."

This must be true. I'm having trouble following your arguments.

"This guy is a criminal."

Not by any reasonable interpretation of reasonable laws, and not yet even by unreasonable interpretation of unreasonable laws? (Or are you one of those very unreasonable people that doesn't even believe in "innocent until proven guilty?")

"He made something that criminals can use to kill people"

I'm not sure exactly how you kill people with a boarding pass. I know there are some talented people who are lethal with playing cards, however. Should we have the government steal all the assets of the Bicycle Playing Card company as well?

"and he is trying to use the excuse of "well someone else did X which is in some way related to Y and got away with it, so I should be allowed to get away with it."

This is not an excuse, and I don't think he was even the one who made the observation. But the observation stands -- if a congressman can point out the same flaw without being harrassed by the government, why start harrassing people for making the same observation now?

"So by that logic I can go rob a liquor store, and then use the excuse "well I know joe schmoe robbed a liquor store once and didn't get caught, so I should not get in trouble for it""

Ignoring the obvious fallacy that this is not at all the same sort of behavior as robbing a liquor store, I think that you COULD, in fact reasonably make this argument, IF it was common knowledge that Joe Schmoe DID rob a liquor store, if he had information up on his webpage about robbing the liquor store, and if he never lied when questioned about robbing the liquor store. If all these things were true, and Joe never got in trouble for robbing that store, a reasonable man could conclude that robbing a liquor store was not a crime the government cared about.

But we don't even have to go there. Pointing out a security flaw does not wrongfully enrich the security researcher at the expense of others, is not a violent crime, and is behavior that is probably fully protected by the first amendment of the Constitution, even if there are ill-conceived and illegal "laws" on the books that can be used to harrass the security researcher.

"As to ... "I have never ran this script to generate a boarding pass, etc etc etc." That HAS to be a lie. An out and out lie. Even simple scripts are tested."

I can test a script by looking at output on the screen without printing it out. Have I generated a boarding pass? No. Have I run the script? Yes. Have I tested it? Yes. Are you really this agressive and obtuse? Apparently.

But I have to thank you. I could not decide whether to donate to the gentleman's defense fund or to wait until the dust settles a little. The existence of idiots like you makes me realize that the poor schmuck needs all the help he can get, so his lawyer can articulate the relevant arguments in words a pre-schooler can understand.

Alex Martin said...

Anonymous said...
"This guy is a criminal, he made something that criminals can use to kill people...."
Yea I bet because terrorists don't know how to work photoshop or edit HTML cause terrorists are all dumbasses and only have enough braincells to move.

No wonder you post anonymous.

Johnny Cache said...

I just sent you a 20 via paypal. People didn't listen to Patton either and we got a long cold war because of it and somehow he got hit by a truck........Stay out of the way of trucks and keep up the good fight.

Anonymous said...

Check out http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2006/10/fbi_raids_board.html
for his troubles.

david kirchenbaum said...

Irresponsible is leaving millions of flyers at risk. This guy is a hero.

"If he wanted to help improve security, there are a lot smarter choices he could have made than this one."

Sure, there are lots of ways to approach our broken and braindead congress, but I think Chris's stunt is one of the few potentially effective ways to do it. Schumer got nada. Contact your congressman about this issue and post the form letter you get in reply here . The system is broken, so no, there are not better ways to accomplish what Chris did.
I emailed Herr Markey also. If we worked to improve the world and not dominate it, we would not be having this blog...
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Is it time to reconsider imperialism disguised as democracy yet, or do we have to crash?

Dan said...

Donated. Thanks for your contribution to our nations security awareness. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget, the SOLE reason for requiring boarding passes at the security checkpoints was to avoid long lines of well-wishers. Any terrorist with a ticket can get a boarding pass. The TSA is run by nitwits. The entire Bush adminsistration is run by nitwits. G.W. Bush is an habitual drunk draft-dodger; he ought to be impeached and tried for war crimes.