Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service

Steve Jackson Games, Inc. V. United States Secret Service

Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service

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Steve Jackson Games, Inc. v. United States Secret Service, 816 F.Supp. 432 (W.D.Tex., 1993), is a legal case that resulted from a raid by the United States Secret Service on the Austin headquarters of Steve Jackson Games in 1990. Along with Operation Sundevil, the Steve Jackson Raid was one of a series of independent law-enforcement operations that were influential in the foundation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Raid

Steve Jackson Games was raided ostensibly because Loyd Blankenship, who was writing the role playing game supplement GURPS Cyberpunk for the company, was a target of a crackdown. Blankenship, known in hacking circles as The Mentor, was a former member of the Legion of Doom hacker group. He had run a BBS from his home called The Phoenix Project, which had helped distribute the popular underground ezine Phrack. In 1989 it published the contents of a text file, stolen from BellSouth, containing information about the E911 emergency response system. The file only contained administrative contact information, and Bell South later had to admit in court that they sold copies to the public for $13. However, the government agents feared that the stolen document could be used to teach crackers how to compromise the E911 system (a claim that is disputed due to the non-technical nature of the document), and Bell South claimed that the dissemination of the data caused thousands of dollars in monetary damages.

Trial

In 1993, Steve Jackson......
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