[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: MIB Subponeas

At 8:36 AM -0800 10/27/98, Duncan Frissell wrote:

>The beauty is that the authorities have created this requirement and it can
>be used against them.  Previous techniques such as claiming lack of money
>can be satisfied with government travel tickets but ID requirements will be
>a tougher nut to crack.  Maybe they'll tell you to take Amtrak or the Grey

Here on the West Coast, they could perhaps suggest one take the Green
Tortoise, a hippie-type bus that runs up and down the coast.

However, one might then set off the drug-sniffing detectors/dogs at the

Duncan gave us an interesting list, but I suspect at least half of them
would result in the judge saying, "Fine. Think about in your cell. I find
you in contempt."

I have a couple of questions about the subpoena process, though:

* Is travel paid for? How?  By spending hours completing forms in
quadruplicate, or do they just cut a check for some per diem sort of

* What if one has pressing engagements? (Travel out of the country, an
anniversary party, washing the dog?)

* What if one shows up with no records and claims not to have them?

* What about lawyer expenses? I know the line about "If you cannot afford
one, one will be appointed for you," but I've never understood what test of
"afford" is being used. If called before a grand jury, will they pay for a
lawyer? (E.g., if I decide I can't "afford" to pay some shyster to
interpret their legalese into ordinary English.)  (I asssume there is some
nonsense about indigence, but can they force someone to prove he has no
money? What if he money, but he needs that $5000 for school tuition more
than he needs to give it to Johnny Cockroach for a day's worth of

More soberly, this kind of subpoena could well nuke the Cypherpunks list,
even the distributed node instance. If Igor Chudov, Lance Cottrell, and Jim
Choate all have to fly to Seattle and face scrutiny, implied threats, and
possible jail time for failing to jump when the Feds say jump, they may
decide to stop acting as Fed magnets.

Oh, and what if one shows up at the Federal Courthouse without any I.D.? As
there are no mandatory I.D. laws, what can they do? (I had planned to test
this one the last time I almost got called for jury duty. My planned retort
was to be, "But I'm not driving a car here in the courthouse, so why would
I need a driver's license? And, last I checked, this is still the United
States, so why would I need a passport?")

"I'm Tim May, and you can believe it or not. Maybe I'm a bum hired by Tim
for a bottle of Ripple, maybe I'm some other Tim, maybe I'm an astrally
projected Tim. Take your pick."

--Tim May

Y2K: A good chance to reformat America's hard drive and empty the trash.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   831-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Licensed Ontologist         | black markets, collapse of governments.