Daniel the anarchist

While doing a little Egosurfing last week (Egosurf means to look on the Web for references to your own pages) I found this web page:

Anybody who knows absolutely anything about HTML can spot straight off that it’s an extremely badly constructed page – in fact if you go to the page, it will look better if you view the source code in your Web browser, because all they’ve done is to take a normal text file and put a few HTML tags around it.

Anyway, this page is part of a report called the Electronic Intrusion Threat Report, a report about possible security intrusions into various computer networks. It was prepared by the US Government’s National Communications System in 1994.

The page is Appendix A of the report, a list of "known computer intrusion-related electronic newsletters". And to my surprise, in a section labelled "inactive publications" it describes the very publication you are reading thus:

"Toxic Custard Workshop … Hacker/Phreaker/Anarchy Newsletter"

So, the big question is… why? I have no idea. I’m not an anarchist. I don’t have the right clothes! I’ve never phreaked a phone – though I did refuse once to pay my phone bill because it was on a disconnected service and because it was for three cents.

As for hacking…! Erm.. well, okay, maybe I did guess my friends’ passwords a few times at uni, but I sure as hell never wrote about it here!

Searching through the archives of what I’ve written, hacking only gets one mention by name, in a spoof of television computer shows. Phones get a few mentions, but never in that kind of context. Anarchy gets a handful of joking mentions, once from the mouth of Mrs Irene Busybody (remember her?)

So, I will be writing to the National Communications System to ask them why they think Toxic Custard is about hacking, phreaking and anarchy. In the mean time, if you have any suggestions, e-mail me!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.