Sunday, November 30, 2014

Browser Hijackers and digital DNA

I would like to bring the dangers of browser hijackers and dangers of the Internet to people’s attention. Browser hijackers may redirect Internet users to border criminal web sites against their will. They may also write questionable links to Internet browser favorites. Very often they redirect users to porn web sites.
In the year 2004 there was an article published in Wired News.

The name of this article was ‘Browser Hijackers Ruining lives’ and the topic was computer spyware and how dangerous it may be. Some parts of this article were written from an interview with me. The article described Browser Hijackers as some type of spyware written by computer criminals. Also article in Wired News described individual sent in jail because of Browser Hijacker.
Recently there were 2 very serious articles published, one in the Homeland Security Wire web site and another from Fox News web site. They have links to the article in Wired News ‘Browser Hijackers Ruining lives’ written in 2004. They describe again the same criminal case of porn possession, 8 years later.
You can read in article “Digital DNA the new DNA” in the Homeland Security Wire web site:

‘With the increasing ubiquity of computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices comes a torrent of “digital DNA,” which can be used to record an individual’s every move and even convict them of a crime. In one case from 2002, an individual was sent to jail after police found pornographic images on his computer, but security experts later said law enforcement officials had mishandled the digital evidence.’
I think Homeland Security Wire is a very serious web site, and this is a very serious “mishandling the digital evidence” accusation.
The experts explained that a “browser hijacker” could have been used to remotely plant the pornographic images on the suspect’s computer without their knowledge.
There was also an article in Fox News ‘Fighting crime with digital DNA’. There is also a link to the Wired article ‘Browser Hijackers Ruining lives’
Fox News Editor Jeremy Kaplan wrote,
‘Attorneys are very good at taking digital evidence out of context and then convincing a jury of the guilt of someone based on it. In 2002, “Jack” was sent to jail after police found pornographic images on his home computer. Security experts later told Wired News that the digital data had been mishandled: They suggested it could have been put on his computer remotely through what’s called a “browser hijacker” — a malicious bit of software that changes browser settings and can easily be built to store data on a PC’
You may understand that this is all very serious. Minnesota Hennepin County Law Enforcements mishandled digital evidence in 2002-2004. And you may remember who was District Attorney in this county from 2002 to 2004: Amy Klobuchar, now a US Senator. I do not understand why they published this 8 years later. I may tell you that I am still surprised to what degree law enforcements did not care about any evidence from 2002 to 2004. They just wanted to convict people. I just think if the Fox News and Homeland Security Wire web sites wrote about this 8 years later, many others may be interested. In 2004 article ‘Browser Hijackers ruining lives’ was read by many millions of people in different countries. Too many people remember this.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ban the box law in Minnesota

Here is recent article in Star Tribune after interview with me. I do not think it will have effect, but I still unemployed for 12 years, and my chances to find any job is zero. So much for my past as a refugee on human rights.
While the new law enjoyed wide support, at least one ex-con who lives in Minnetonka said it hasn’t made it easier for him to get a job. The 55-year-old, who asked to be identified only by his nickname, Fima, said he came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee.
Fima said he worked for Mitsubishi until he was fired in 2002 when the company found pornography on his laptop. Court documents show there were more than 1,000 images of minors on the hard drive. He disputes how the images got there but out of fear of losing at trial pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of pornographic work involving a minor. He said he hasn’t been able to get a job since.
Box still there
Recently, Fima did an informal Skype interview with Robert Half Technology, which then sent him an e-mail with two attachments. One was an employment application with the box on it, although instructions state not to answer the question if applying in Hawaii, Indiana, Newark N.J., Massachusetts or Philadelphia.
Also attached was a one-page form for Minnesota with the question. The form makes clear that when applicants complete their interview, they’ll be asked about prior criminal convictions, but it says not to fill out the form until after an in-person interview or submitting an application.
Robert Half spokeswoman Jamie Carpen said the application was outdated and should have listed Minnesota as one of the no-box states. Carpen said she doesn’t think the application was sent to anyone else and called it a “clerical error.”
Fima said that to him the message was clear: Despite a delay in questions about his conviction, he would continue to be hobbled by his past. “I feel that I’m worthless,” he said.

Bertelson Law Office: New 'Ban the Box' law tripping up Minnesota employ...

Bertelson Law Office: New 'Ban the Box' law tripping up Minnesota employ...: Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS  Star Tribune, November 17, 2014 “Ban the box” sounded like a simple concept. Companies can no longer ...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Discrimination of Soviet Jews and hysteria around Sex Offenders in USA

As a former Soviet citizen and Soviet Jew, I experienced a huge
discrimination in the USSR. All Soviet citizens had passports with a record of nationality in them. Some people had Russian nationality, some Ukranian nationality, and some, like me, had a Jewish record on the first page. We needed to show a passport when applying for jobs, getting housing, or entering University.
And when you had a Jewish record it was like being a registered sex offender in the US today.
Jews were pariahs in the USSR. You should not tell anybody you were a Jew. Some Russian people would beat you. Silently, the Soviet government supported this. When I was a child, some neighbors knew we were Jews, so they sent their kids to fight with me. I was beaten many times, just because of the Jewish Scarlett Letter. 
The Soviet Police were responsible for maintaining the passport system, and
putting the Scarlett Jewish ID there. This looks just like the situation for sex offenders in many states today. When their neighbors learn a sex offender family has moved next door, the sex offenders and their families are hassled, possibly their houses attacked, and some sex offenders have even been killed.

After graduating from high school I was going to Leningrad University. A University worker asked for my passport. He made a note about nationality, and told me there are too many
Jews here. As a result I got an F on my first test, and could not enter University. I was an A+ student in high school. When I tried to go to a technical college, they again noted my Jewish record.
As a result I got C's and B's on tests, but they allowed me in. I was
all A student in college. 

Jewish people were not allowed to go for PhD, so after graduation I was going to try to work in a Military Industry plant. When I came to Human Resources, the first thing they asked me was, 'Are you a Jew?' And then they did not want to give me a job, but finally had to give me the worst position. Each time I was looking for job, HR asked for a passport, and looked for the Jewish record.
This is very similar to the employment situation for sex offenders
in the USA. Human Resources will look for a sex offender record, and then you will not be hired, or you will be kicked out if you already have been hired.
What was the difference between  Jewish pariah status in USSR and US sex offender pariah status? 
In 1996 I thought I had enough in the former USSR. I had relatives in the US, and sent them an application for entering the US. The US embassy invited my family for an interview in Moscow. I explained to
them all the discrimination I had experienced. I remembered that one of the US officers interviewing me asked me if I could practice my religion. My answer was: 'Synagogue¨ here is a very bad, illegal word, so what are you talking about?'

I got refugee status based on human rights´ violations in the former USSR. My family moved to the US. But in the US I did not escape the Scarlet Letter, I got another one! I was branded ¨sex offender.¨ There are many articles about how this happened to me. 
As you can see from this article, the situation for Jews in the USSR was exactly the same as the situation for sex offenders in the year 2008 in the USA!
All governments in all ages need enemies! They try to create a class of pariahs to blame for everything, and divert people attention from the real problems.
I should clarify some terms. Some people told me that Jews were hated for what they were, and "sex offenders" are hated for what they did. This is not true. Here is article The Protocols of the Elders of Zion
You can read
'The libels that the Jews used blood of Christian children for the Feast of Passover, poisoned the wells and spread the plague were pretexts for the wholesale destruction of Jewish communities throughout Europe. Tales were circulated among the masses of secret rabbinical conferences whose aim was to subjugate and exterminate the Christians, and motifs like these are found in early antisemitic literature.'
Jews were accused with the same thing as Modern America Sex Offenders - harming kids.

What ordinary US citizen can think when he hear these 2 terrible words: Sex Offender.
He may only think about child murder, as our press and TV report every day.
In fact most American Sex Offenders never did such terrible crimes, and I think are a victims of social order to create a group similar with Jews to blame, because there are no more group to do such thing in US.

I consider my situation in the democratic USA much worse and even more dangerous than my situation had been in the former USSR. More dangerous, because, although I suffered discrimination, the Soviet government never used their Criminal Justice system as an instrument of repression against me.

Mitsubishi abandons employee

 By Brian Rothery

Mitsubishi Electric Automation abandons employee

Jack is a US citizen and former refugee from Eastern Europe, whose
English is not yet proficient enough for him to deal with US police
and lawyers. He is a highly qualified engineer and worked in the US
for Mitsubishi. Ironically, he tested hard drives.

Mitsubishi gave him a Toshiba laptop, over which he used to dial up
connect to the company server using an 800 number, and Microsoft
Outlook for emails. He also had a connection with an SAP database to
track problems, and create notifications. His dial up password was
simply 'password' and he believes that everybody could use it and
pointed this out many times to his supervisor and after a year and a
half he was allowed a new password. When not with customers, he worked
out of his home office. His work laptop was connected to the company
server all the time. He also had a home PC and a home laptop.
Mitsubishi called him into the Chicago head office with his laptop.
When invited out of the room, they seized the laptop, and told him he
was fired, and to get out quick as they were calling the police. Two
weeks later, returning home from job searching, the police were
waiting with a
search warrant. They found no child porn, as he says 'not even
Playboy', in his home, but on the second personal laptop that he had
bought secondhand through eBay, they found 12 small pictures in
unallocated clusters on its hard drive. He did not recognize them when
they were
shown to him by his lawyer, and says that forensic specialists could
not provide the name of files or the time of the files creation. It
looked to him like they were deleted pics from the Temporary Internet
folder, possibly from a previous owner.

Returning to the company laptop, it transpired that a Mitsubishi Human
Resources staff member had copied some of the images she found on it
onto her own floppy and printed out 20 other images. The laptop was
locked into a secure room for four weeks, and then after a row with
over his unemployment benefits, she or others gave the floppy, the
print out and the hard drive to the police. The police did not ask
where the laptop had been for the four weeks, or who worked with it.
They have now claimed to have found 1,000 pictures, but sent the
lawyer only 60.

The lawyer sent a list of witnesses to the DA, including Jack's son
who was prepared to say in court that he had experienced some pop up
porn windows after trying to close computer games, and Jack's friend
who knew that he had ordered the laptop from eBay, but Jack says,
"Nobody gave me a chance to explain."

On December 4 he pleaded guilty to the possession of child porn,
saying, "I could not fight against those charges, because in the US
there is no case when somebody can escape conviction. I was told by
judge and prosecutor that I will get years in prison if I go to trial.
After negotiations through my lawyer I got 180 days in an adult
correctional facility. I was imprisoned for 20 days
and then released under the Electronic Home Monitoring scheme. I
cannot have a computer at home, so I send these emails from the local
library. I am allowed only 4 hours a week to go outside, so I do not
have a lot of time to tell all my story. Also the court ordered me to
register as a predatory sex offender for 10 years."

He received a sentence of 3 years felony probation, so has a felony
sex criminal record. "With this kind of record I will not find a job
for the rest of my life. I paid my lawyer $15,000, so I do not have
any money now. I think I did not have a good defense."

He believes that the company made statements to the unemployment
department and he has not been able to get assistance. He also did
well in a recent job interview before they changed their minds, which
he assumes was because they had checked with Mitsubishi.

Initial editorial opinion

Jack turned down an offer from us to contact and try to stimulate his
lawyer on the basis that he had no more faith in him. Regardless of
whether or not Jack allowed child porn images to appear on his screen,
the case has serious implications for anyone with a PC. He or his son
and friends may have experienced a Trojan Horse intrusion when surfing
porn sites. The teenagers may have looked at CP out of curiosity. It
seems clear that he should have had a defense of unknowing possession.

It is also clear that the evidence was badly contaminated because of
the length of time the laptop was held and because others could have
had access to it.

There are two issues here. First that of justice for one man, second,
the danger to millions of others. How many of us would want to be in a
position where our main defense is that our sons and their friends may
have knowingly or accidentally looked at what the state decides is
child porn? And as a result be trapped into a plea bargain to protect
our children? And how safe are our PCs and laptops in a corporate

How many readers are aware that deleting files containing images
merely flags that space as available for overwriting as required and
that the image remains there in that space until it is required?

Response from our UK expert

On the matter of a US defense of unintentional download, the US mostly
has a common law tradition, which means that any substantial criminal
offence requires mens rea, that is, the intent of committing that

Who had control of the laptop between his leaving head office and the
police arresting him? Not only did many people have access to the
laptop, anyone with a grudge against him could place anything on the

How were the images found by the company sent to the police? How do we
KNOW they were found on the laptop? Never mind how we can be sure that
he downloaded them.

It certainly does not sound like the 'sealed system' that one would
need to produce viable forensic evidence.

(On the subject of the performance of his lawyer) It's easy for his
lawyer just to try to negotiate. Computers further muddy the water –
the issues become quite difficult to understand, and to fight with or
against computer-based evidence requires a lawyer with a lot of
determination and the understanding to be able to extract the correct
meaning from the evidence and then explain it to the jury.

(The dial up service) What did this dial up service provide? Did it
allow him to connect to the Internet from his home? Or was it simply
access to the company's internal network? Was the password set to
'password' by default by the IT department whenever they created a
dial-in account for any user? Could some other person have just used
his login and entered the 'password' and have had access to the
dial-up account? Could he try the same thing for any other
login? Was his login different from the login of every other user? Was
it something like Login: Jack, Password: password. Or was it Login:
login, Password: password? It sounds like his company acted as his
gateway to the Internet. Did the company operate Caller Line
Identification on the dial-in connections? If someone dialed in with
his login and password, could the company verify that it was him or

If the login and password were widely known (or could be easily
guessed) and the company could not prove that he (or someone from his
home) was the one initiating the dial-in, they cannot say that they
intercepted him downloading porn from the Internet.

As noted above, American law requires mens rea just like English law
does – this just means that you have to deliberately perform an act
before you can be held responsible for it under criminal law. So yes,
if his computer had porn on it as a result of pop-ups containing
illegal material, he has a defense.

(On the seizure of the laptop by Mitsubishi) This is important. To be
valid as evidence, it would have to be proved that the computer was as
he left it. That no one else had access to the machine. That it was
unused and unchanged since he last had access to it.

(The unallocated clusters) If they cannot prove that the files were
created after he took ownership of the laptop, then the images cannot
be linked to him.

(The images sent to the police by Mitsubishi) Where did they get these
pictures from?

(The hard drive they removed for the police) Did anything happen to
that hard drive after it left his computer? Was it swapped with
another laptop? Did someone place it in another computer? All of these
things are possible. Are they unlikely? Who knows. The prosecution
should have
to prove that none of them DID happen. If the computer was left freely
accessible to all, they cannot prove that.

(On the HR person copying pictures onto her floppy) Where did the
pictures come from? If the police had to recover the images from the
unallocated clusters on his computer, where did the HR person get them
from to copy to floppy? Could someone have download them from the
Internet, then saved them on his hard drive, then deleted them?
(Further question from Editor– was her action in accessing, copying
and printing them not illegal anyway in the sense of the legislation
concerning 'making' or accessing images?)

(On the security of the laptop after its seizure by Mitsubishi) How
secure? Could his managers get access to the machine? Why did they
wait 4 weeks to contact the police? Why did she take the laptop? Did
she know there was porn on it? Why did she not inform the police? It
would be much better to inform the police THEN and let the police deal
with obtaining a search warrant and taking his laptop away from him.

(On establishing that the only pictures found were in the unallocated
clusters) Why then were the only pictures found on his hard drive
found in the unallocated clusters? This alone is sufficient evidence
to cast doubt on the reliability of the evidence against him. If he
was in the UK, I would advise him to appeal. It seems that the
evidence against him is flimsy to say the least. I would say that his
conviction is unsafe.

But what should he do now? He needs to find some organization that is
experienced with dealing with miscarriages of justice, and explain the
situation to them and let them advise him what to do next.

Other actions now underway

We are seeking expert advice on whether forensic analyses is able to
indicate the dates the images were downloaded, and this could also
have great implications for secondhand machines? We are also
contacting his local Congressman and the Chicago newspapers.

(The name Jack is a pseudonym to protect the employee from media harassment)

Letter to Mitsubishi - unanswered -

Copy to Jack's supervisor.

Dear Mitsubishi,

I am an Irish writer/journalist and I edit the web site Inquisition
21st century at This web site represents 14
international writers who are engaged in fighting what we perceive to
be injustices caused by the current sex abuse and child pornography
absolutism. The work of a few of these writers has helped to bring
about some high profile reversals in miscarriages of justice.

I am now writing to you about one of your former employees whose case
has been brought to my attention. To protect him from media and
possible further adverse reactions against him, I will use the
pseudonym 'Jack' to describe him, but you can establish his real name
from his former supervisor, (name deleted), whom I am copying.

I know that for now I have only Jack's side of the story, but I have
circulated it to several of my writer friends and we believe that a
miscarriage of justice may have occurred in his case. I am asking you
in the first instance if you would consider taking over and paying for
his legal defense, in particular for an appeal, as he is your employee
and he is now both broke and unemployed. He was not happy with the
legal defense that he received, and we would like to put a number of
questions and suggestions to a new lawyer.

If you could see your way to reviewing Jack's situation, and offering
him legal support, there would be little else that I would need to do
at this time except to pass on the questions and advise that I have
from myself and others to the new lawyer.

I am hoping that you will help with this.

My notes on Jack's case are below.

Brian Rothery

Further developments in Jack's case

A second UK expert has begun to help with advice on Jacks case. First,
however, the non-developments. Congressman Martin Olav Sabo has so far
ignored an appeal for assistance and Mitsubishi continues to ignore

Our two UK experts have now helped to establish the following. The
arrest warrant used to raid Jack's house contained a list of nudist
web sites, mainly Russian and Eastern European, none of the models
from which were engaged in sex acts. There was a separate single image
of a sex act in which the girl had small breasts, which was the only
basis for assuming that she was under 18. These images on the search
were not however used as a basis for the charges and conviction.
Before leaving them, however, readers might be interested to know that
our UK expert recognized many of the nudist URLs as those being used
in arrests and convictions in the UK, so these naturist sites, while
not the reason for Jack's conviction, are being used in the UK for
arrest and conviction.

In Jack's criminal complaint report the police used 60 pictures from
unallocated clusters. Twelve of these were recovered from his personal
laptop, bought secondhand from Ebay, and forty-eight were recovered
from the Mitsubishi laptop. Some of them were tiny. The prosecutors
said that there were twelve images from a well-known child porn
series, created before computer generated porn was possible.
Apparently, sixty images were from 1940s porn magazines, scanned into
a computer, none full size. Interestingly, the main proof used that
the Mitsubishi laptop was his was his job resume found on the hard

Returning to the URLs in the search warrant, some warnings. Some
images, such as those in the Russian naturist site 'Holy Nature' are
also in books available on Amazon, so what may appear legal in a book
may not be deemed legal if accessed over the Internet. The other URLs
had 'lolita' or 'preteen' or 'angels' or similar in the titles. Some
also had indications that they were Eastern European or Russian. What
may be dangerous for viewers is that all of the sites in question had
a disclaimer saying that they are legal under Federal Code 18. One of
our UK experts expressed the opinion that on the face of it this
appeared to be entirely reasonable, given the wholesome nature of the
images, but these were both on Jack's warrant and are being used for
prosecution in the UK, where it seems that nudity now equals

As was suggested earlier in the story, Jack was reluctant for us to
contact his lawyer, but the more we see of this evidence the more we
wonder at what his lawyer did for him.

Another implication for liberty and justice

As we carried out this unpaid work, Jack's lawyer was not seeing any
of it, as he had no further interest in the case, Jack being unable to
pay him any more. We were close to being able to come up with
definitive evidence which could have cleared Jack, but we were obliged
by UK, US and Irish law not to access the contents of the URLs on the
warrant and elsewhere in the charges as they contained material that
could be considered by the authorities to be indecent. What does this
say about the nature of the inquisition we now live under?

A similar case

Since the above was written, a similar case has come to light. In
April 2004, the Minnesota Department of Transportation apologized to
an engineer it had fired, re-hired and promoted him, and paid him and
his lawyers $800,000, on the basis that they had violated his privacy
rights in the course of investigating a complaint that he had
pornography on his laptop computer.

We could read Jack as in the Mitsubishi story above for Adeel Lari,
58, in the MnDOT, as the circumstances are so similar. An exemplary
employee for 20 years until in 2002 one or more fellow employee
computer technicians 'discovered' pornography on two laptops he used
for work in 2002. He denied any knowledge of the images. In his
defense and subsequent attack, Lari charged that his privacy rights
under the Minnesota Data Practices Act were violated by leaks to the
media, and that he was unjustly defamed.

The April 2004 judgement was revealing, as, after he was cleared of
all charges, the MnDOT settled 'as a consequence of mediation' and 'to
avoid litigation and to acknowledge certain past misconduct on the
part of a Mn/DOT employee'.

This raises the specter discussed in the related article on 'Loss of
trust' under 'Latest news' and elsewhere on this web site, of child
porn allegations being used for reasons of malice or profit. MnDOT
manager Douglas Differt issued a public apology as part of the
settlement, saying, "I apologize for the conduct of our employees
during the investigative process affecting you in 2002. Contrary to
the accounts that appeared in early news reports and in our internal
investigation, we now know that the actions you were accused of and
the manner in which you were portrayed were not accurate. The
employees' disclosure of nonpublic 'data' occurred before the facts
were known, the investigator drew unfounded conclusions, and it was
subsequently proven that you did not violate either MnDOT's sexual
harassment policy or the MnDOT Code of Ethics."

Unlike Adeel Lari, all Jack's money has been spent on a lawyer that
does not seem to have done much for him, and so we hope to see
Mitsubishi following the good example of the MnDOT.

Wired takes up Jack's story

Our story about Jack (Mitsubishi abandons its employee) has been taken
up by Wired, under a title of 'Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives'.
Journalist Michelle Delio summarizes thus: "Malicious programs called
browser hijackers install a lot of nasty stuff on people's computers
-- primarily hard-core, borderline-illegal pornography. Some victims
are facing firings, divorces and even criminal prosecution."

She quotes one security expert as saying "Some of the images were
found in unallocated file space, and would have to have been placed
there deliberately since cached images from browsing sessions wouldn't
have been stored in unallocated space." But our original UK expert
disagrees – "Cached images that had been deleted, either by the cache
being cleared automatically or manually could definitely have been
found in unallocated space. There is nothing magical about the cache -
it is just a special folder with a size limit on it."

The Register followed with the story.

Related stories and developments

A formal complaint has been made about Jack's lawyer to the Office of
Lawyers Professional Responsibility in the US and we will follow up on
that as reaction if any emerges. This is such a common problem that we
hope to come up with a methodology for dealing with it.

In a separate development, we have a man ruined by malicious
neighbours and the police who seized his PC while the whole town
looked on. They found nothing and he is now prepared to fight back, so
that story should be very revealing.

We are also getting information on what goes on in some of the US sex
offenders programs, and will publish it when ready.

Jack's story is now one of basic liberty

Brian Rothery

Our story about Jack and Mitsubishi appears to have become the most
widely read account of possible browser hijack that results in images
of child pornography being found on a hard drive, but it is now
becoming a story about the difficulty in obtaining justice in the US.
It was taken up by Wired, the Register, Security Focus and numerous
discussion lists, and then recently spilled over into the mainstream
US press.

Meanwhile some of the most knowledgeable people in the business have
been reading it and giving us their opinions. The overwhelming view is
that, whether or not Jack was fully squeaky-clean, his browser could
have been hijacked, and the evidence sent to the police by Mitsubishi,
who sacked and abandoned him, was seriously contaminated.

At this stage, the main issue in Jack's story appears to be one of
obtaining the basic liberty to be able to point out miscarriages of

Let me try to spell it out. Jack was an immigrant with poor English.
He was bullied into plea bargaining with a guilty plea, the threats
used being that a far harsher sentence would result if he tried to
plead innocence through accidental or unknowing possession of child
porn. In addition, if he did not take the guilty rap he could
implicate his teenaged son who had also used the laptop. His lawyer
showed no interest in, or awareness of, any of the many issues,
including the possibility of browser hijack and evidence contamination
that we have uncovered with the help of other helpful people. That
lawyer's attitude appears to have been that "We all know what child
porn is, so now let's get on with the plea bargaining."

Amongst the advice that we have since received, the most devastating
has been that once you plead guilty in the US, you cannot withdraw it.
What makes this all the worse is that we have had an offer of free
expert advice from a UK company prepared to examine the hard drive,
but we cannot get a US lawyer to activate it. Jack would need a free
lawyer, as he spent all of his remaining money on the one who has
already 'acted for him'.

A complaint about this lawyer has been sent to the US Office of
Lawyers' Responsibility, and their incredible reply is below. We also
contacted his local Congressman Martin Olav Sabo.

Congressman Sabo replies

Within days of this being published, Jack's mother received a reply
from Congressman Martin Olav Sabo. Here it is

Dear (Jack's mother):

Thank you for contacting me to share the frustration you and your son,
(Jack's real name), are facing with his lawyer. I appreciate hearing
from you

If you have not done so already, you may wish to contact the Minnesota
Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board to file a complaint against
(Jack's) lawyer. The board, which administers and conducts oversight
of Minnesota Lawyer Discipline System, may be reached at: (Address).

In addition, the Minnesota Bar Association (MBA) offers a free
attorney referral service with participating private attorneys
providing an initial consultation for a nominal fee. For more
information or to receive a referral, please call the MBA at

Thank you again for contacting me. I hope this information is useful.


Martin Olav Sabo
Member of Congress

But Jack and his mother had already received a reply from the Office
of Lawyers Responsibility on June 4, 2004. Here it is.

In the matter of the Complaint of
(Jack's mother)
(Her address)
against (the named lawyer)
a Minnesota attorney

After reviewing the documents submitted by the complainant, the
Director has determined not to investigate this complaint pursuant to
Rule 8(d)(1), Rules on Lawyers Professional Responsibility. The
reasons for the Director's decision not to investigate this complaint
are as follows:

Complaint Summary

Complainant raises several concerns and specific issues with respect
to respondent's representation of complainant's son in his criminal
matter. Complainant asserts that several individuals have reviewed
respondent's representation and found it to be ineffective.

Reasons for Decision Not to Investigate

This complaint basically alleges that the attorney did not adequately
represent a criminal defendant. Ineffective assistance of counsel
claims are best raised in a post-conviction proceeding, as provided
under Minn. Stat. $$590.01-.06, or by appeal, or through the federal
courts, or through other post conviction remedies. Courts presume that
attorneys' conduct falls within "the wide range of reasonable
professional assistance." Strickland v. Washington, 104S.Ct.
2052(1984). The Minnesota Supreme Court, to which this office is
accountable, in 1986 adopted the recommendation of its Advisory
Committee that this office should not normally be involved in
post-conviction claims of ineffective assistance of counsel unless a
court first finds impropriety.

The director's office is limited to investigating complaints of
unprofessional conduct and prosecuting disciplinary actions against
attorneys. It cannot represent complainants in any legal matter or
give legal advice. Complainant must retain an attorney if either legal
advice or representation is desired.

Notice of Complainant's right to appeal

If the complainant is not satisfied with the director's determination
not to investigate this complaint, an appeal may be made by notifying
the director in a letter postmarked no later than 14 days after the
date of this notice. The letter of appeal should state the reason(s)
why the complainant believes the matter should be investigated. A
Lawyers Professional responsibility Board member will review the

Editorial comment

Congressman Martin Olav Sabo appears to agree that Jack's lawyer needs
to be complained about and supplies a potentially useful piece of
information that we can do this through the Minnesota Lawyers
Professional Responsibility Board, which we are now asking Jack to do.

Don't know whether to laugh or cry at the response from the Office of
Lawyers Responsibility. They cannot get involved in post-conviction
claims of ineffective assistance of counsel unless a court first finds
impropriety. "The director's office is limited to investigating
complaints of unprofessional conduct and prosecuting disciplinary
actions against attorneys. It cannot represent complainants in any
legal matter or give legal advice."

But this is a beauty: "Complainant must retain an attorney if either
legal advice or representation is desired." We thought we were
complaining about an attorney.

The time may have come when we will ask the lawyer if we can name him
– so much publicity is now surrounding his performance, or lack of

Another independent expert opinion

This is a US woman who manages a web site dedicated to fighting
spyware and hijacking.

"One of my most interesting research discoveries was SpyWiper, which
revealed the technology behind browser hijacking. It's so advanced
that it operates with hidden code and merely visiting a site is all it
takes to download the code, unknowingly. It's even time delayed so you
can't figure out where it came from when you're finally hijacked by
it. If technology this advanced exists, then people like Jack could be
easily accused of anything.

"I was a victim of this very same code. I sat dumbfounded as my
browser was taken over by some unseen force, my screen was flooded
with popups, including pornographic ones, my computer going nuts with
the CD Rom drive door opening and closing on its own. Afterwards,
trying to clean up the mess, I discovered programs I had never
downloaded (adware) and strange files with pornographic icons. I have
never visited a porn site.

"Also, a couple years ago, my relatively low-spam email address
suddenly started receiving some pretty awful child porn invitation
emails. I was shocked beyond belief and had no idea how my email
address became their target. I tracked down the sender email address
and it came from a world-wide highly respectable IT company. I
contacted them by phone and forward them the emails. They were being
spoofed through one of their employee's company email addresses. The
company was horrified that their business email addresses were being
used as relays to promote child porn.

"In a world of high-tech savvy, anything is possible. I don't think
any court of law has any right to condemn anyone based on what they
see as evidence unless it's been backed up by true computer
professionals who can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the party
is really guilty. No one can assume that I visit porn sites even if
the files exist on my computer after a hijack. No one can assume that
I have anything to do with child porn even if there are emails
promoting it coming to my email account. No one can assume a reputable
world-wide business is associated with child porn even if their
company email addresses are being used to promote it with invitations.

"People come to us every day in email or in the forum, with sad tales
of jobs endangered, marriages endangered, angry accusations at family
members, begging for help and understanding. Wives don't understand
when the computer is suddenly full of porn files. Neither do bosses.
But we do and we know it's not always the user's fault. I don't see
how in the world Jack could have been convicted based on deleted file
images on the hard drive. My own hard drive has born records of
deleted porn, deleted child porn emails, yet I'm innocent. I would
think the only true conviction could come from actual credit card
records of purchases. The courts are doing far more harm than good
with cases like Jack's. It's a message to the true perpetrators that
someone else will take the fall for their crimes.

"The government doesn't need to control the Internet. They're not
qualified. They need to stay in the real world, with real
documentation. If I purchase it online, then I'm probably guilty. If
it's on my computer, it could be due to anything. Maybe I looked at
it, maybe it was spyware that downloaded it, maybe a hijack placed it
there. But I should be given the benefit of the doubt if it can't be
proved in a concrete manner. I am innocent until proven guilty and in
the high-tech internet world, that's a very grey area.

"I believe that Jack is innocent, not because I know the workings of
spyware and drive-by downloads, or even because of his purchasing the
computer on eBay only 4 weeks prior. My belief in his innocence comes
from my studies of pedophiles. I did long, lengthy research on this
when I assisted the FBI in capturing someone involved in this. There
is a profile and I know the profile, and Jack doesn't fit it by a long

Message to Congressman Martin Sabo – June 30 2004

This is an edited version of Jack's latest message to Congressman Sabo

Hello Martin,

I know that there is discussion of a new law in Congress, the Spyware
law about the legality of using Spyware and browser hijackers on the
Internet. Would you like to deliver my message to the sponsors of this

This is my message:

I would like to send you some links to publications about my criminal
case. Would you like to review the materials and give your opinion on
what it is possible for me to do now? The consequences of this are
that it is hard now for me to live. But my case is getting public
attention as an example of a miscarriage of justice. I could not
defend myself, because I did not have enough money for a computer

Now I have competent computer experts willing to work on a pro bono
basis, who are defeating 75% of the cases they are involved in. This
case may become high profile case. (Editor's note – the possible
retrial. His story is already very widely known.) I was forced to
confess to the possession of child porn. My browser was hijacked while
I was browsing the web. I was redirected to illegal sites against my
will. Some illegal pictures were found on my hard drive, recovering in
unallocated clusters, without dates of file creation/download.

I do not know how courts can widely press these charges on people to
convict them, while the whole Internet is a mess.

My story and the subject involved can be seen in Wired news.

In The Register.

There is an article in the Washington Times, May 22, 2004 - The
Washington Times.

In the The Globe and Mail.

My full story is at Inquisition 21st century.

Surprises from a nudist site

To Jack's surprise and to ours, it has transpired that many of the
images that were on both his criminal complaint and search warrant are
available on an existing nudist web site. To protect both readers and
ourselves we will not publish the specific URL, but we understand it
belongs to a well-known naturist related organization operating under
a  xxxxxxxx

Jack contacted them to tell them that some of their images were used
to convict him, saying, "Almost all the pictures in the search warrant
application were from sites like yours. If police find these kinds of
pictures on your computer, you are dead. My case is getting public
attention now as an example of a miscarriage of justice. I could not
defend myself, because I did not have enough money for a computer
expert. Now I have a computer expert willing to work on a pro bono
basis. I was forced to confess to the possession of child porn. I got
browser hijacked while browsing the web, and I was redirected to
illegal sites against my will. Some illegal pictures were found on my
hard drive only after being recovered in unallocated clusters, without
dates of file creation/download.

"Is your site illegal? What happens if somebody orders one of your
videos? A felony conviction?"

And they replied.

"Thank you for your e-mail. We have first class attorneys who are very
familiar with this area of the law. Would you consider e-mailing or
mailing a copy of the case? If so, we will see if we can help in
gaining an appeal.

"Best wishes, Gary."

After receiving Jack's response, he wrote:

"Thank you for your reply. In reading the article (from this site), it
does seem that you had a strong case. It is very common for people to
plead bargain only to learn that the prosecution really had no case.

"I am sending a copy of your e-mail to an affiliate to see what ideas
he has. Our attorneys are:

(He names three attorneys with addresses and emails)

"These are high end attorneys and charge $300 - $600 per hour. Without
seeing the charges myself, I can't offer my assistance. However, you
will find both of the above attorneys to be highly competent (though
they are very busy and may not be able to take the case).

"All images at xxxxxx are legal everywhere in the United
States. They have been reviewed by the above attorneys and several
others, including prosecuting attorneys. xxxxx does not use pop ads,
banners, adware, etc on any of its sites. We would certainly never
have any link to anything pornographic.

"Very Best Wishes, Gary."

Jack responded:


"Can you connect me with your attorney, so I can explain my case
details? Attorney can decide if it is now possible to do something.
(This bit deleted as it relates to Mitsubishi Electric).
All the information about my case you can find at (our URL).
"I live in (The town and State). I can send your attorney the case
number. I also have the search warrant application. The police put
about 20 pictures into the search warrant application. I do not think
these were illegal pictures."

Jack then wrote to one of xxxxxx lawyers.

"Hello (Name)

"I received this email from Gary, . Would you like to review
all the information about my criminal case of possession of child
pornography? There has been publicity in some publications of very
high level media, like Wired news, Globe and Mail, Washington Times,
The Register. Also I now have a computer expert from the UK. His reply
is attached below. Please tell me what you think. My opinion is we
have a huge black hole in the law now. Nobody can fight charges of
child porn possession. We are all in danger in this modern situation
of demonization of sex crimes. Nobody is immune. Computer images
possession has become the favourite cases for law enforcement because
of easy convictions. Normal law procedures do not work in court, only
hysteria and emotions. Once charged, you are guilty, especially if
there is not enough money for the experts. The government must stop
this. This practice is too far from the protection of children. I hope
to hear from you. In case you do not have time, please send this
information to somebody."

We are now seeking permission to publish the reply from the attorney.

Editorial note: this is an extraordinary development. The owners of
the web site from which most of the images that resulted in Jack's
sacking, imprisonment and ruin came from a web site whose owners say
that they are legal and that they can be legally accessed in the US.
They appear also to be offering help from their lawyers.

Help us with Jack's Law

(Some repeats here as this plea is being published separately - please
copy to friends with URL -

We need a Jack's Law, and we need it badly now. Jack is down but not
out, ruined at least for now after serving time for child porn
possession, probably acquired by browser hijack. An immigrant to the
US with less than perfect English, he was bullied through plea
bargaining to accept a guilty plea. Abandoned by his employer
Mitsubishi, who contributed to the almost certain contamination of the
evidence used against him, and who informed the police on him, and
neglected by what appears to have been a less than enthusiastic
defence lawyer, he has fought back and is now helping others in a
similar plight. Jack's story may have broken all records for news of
browser hijack and inadvertent possession resulting in illegal images
or traces of them being on hard drives. We have lost track of the list
of publications that recently ran the story.

The overwhelming message from the responses to Jack's story was that
whether or not his acquisition of the images found in unallocated
clusters of his hard drive were there through accident or his own
actions, no case could be made for certain against him or anyone else
in the same situation, especially if they had used Windows IE. We are
calling it Jack's Law for now, but this is what it should achieve at
the very least:

1. Unless there is credit card or other clear evidence that a person
has accessed or distributed illegal images, the laws should state that
no charges should be brought against, or PC and files seized, on the
basis alone of images or their traces being found on a hard drive, so
real is the possibility of hijack or inadvertent acquisition. We would
prefer the law to state that possession and viewing alone not be a
crime, such has been the extortion made possible by this legislation,
but let us achieve the first step for now.

2. The child pornography laws should contain exceptions for bona fide
research, including the investigation of real crimes against children,
artistic and literary expression, and, above all, investigations of
the concept of child pornography itself, of the legislation and its
administration, and of the police and the various censors who manage
it (including the current practice of stings and related extortion
rackets). In Ireland and in a few other countries there is a defence
of bona fide research, but it has never been tested and it is merely a
'defence' where one is still guilty until proven innocent and liable
to ruin from the publicity generated by police leaks to the media.

We need experts in lobbying. We need a petition system, and above all
we need to rally a huge number of people behind this cause. At stake
is not just the issue of innocent people being ruined by false
accusations of child porn possession, or all of us being afraid of
what our computers may contain, but the exposure of the demagogues who
are seeking power, and the future of both the Internet and our human

Please begin by copying this widely, especially to newspapers,
magazines and online media. If you think you can help with a more
organized campaign, please use the Contact in the menu on the left.

Jack regrets his plea bargain

This is how Jack describes his reluctant agreement to plea bargain.

"I think the problem with my confession of guilty was that the
prosecutors had pushed case to trial without any thoughts about the
possibility that computer experts might be used to establish whether I
might have suffered hijack or other intrusion. When we did try to
raise that possibility the judge answered NO to all requests. The
prosecutor promised me a couple of years in prison, and then my lawyer
came to me and said "You must decide in the next 5 minutes, because
after that they call the jurors for trial'. It is 100% that you will
get a conviction, be in no doubt about that.

"That meant that I would go to prison for couple years. This was the
opinion of my experienced lawyer. If I went to prison with a child sex
conviction, there the possibilities of being raped, bitten, or even
killed. These were real, very real. So the pressure on me was like
criminals pressing on their victims, a kind of extortion or blackmail.
Do this or else! I am a political refugee from East Germany, and in my
understanding, there are no differences between prosecution, court,
police and criminals.

"So I need to find a good lawyer who wants to make a noise. If you
know this kind lawyer, please let me know. People are silent in this
country because being charged with any crime is very easy, but defence
costs huge money. Most people do not have $15,000 for lawyer, which is
all I paid, but this is not enough. I think $200,000 is not enough to
defend yourself. So the police and prosecution enjoy abuse of power,
like masters over slaves.

"Some people do not understand why I agreed to plea bargaining. They
asking questions like why admit something you are not guilty of. Josef
Stalin's victims admitted to any crime just in exchange for an easy
death. Also you probably read Orwell '1984'.

"I came here to the US as political refugee from the former East
Germany, and, now like many other people in the US, I feel shame that
all of this can happen in the US – supposed to be the greatest
democracy in the world."

See one US attorney's views on Plea bargaining.

Jack's prosecutor is arrested

Hennepin County prosecutor and attorney for the city of Minneapolis,
Julius Nolen and his wife, were arrested at their Minneapolis home
Friday night on suspicion of using narcotics. Julius Nolen worked for
Hennepin County for eighteen years on child abuse cases. Wife, Laura
Nolen, has been employed as an assistant city attorney for more than
ten years. She works as a community attorney in the Second Police
Precinct and serves as a liaison between the community and city
attorney's office. Three other people were also arrested at their
South Minneapolis house.

Nolen began the flawed case that let to Jack's conviction and near
ruin. In a grand irony, the Nolens were also held on suspicion of
child endangerment, which is common when children are in a home where
a drug arrest has been made. These are the people empowered by the
state and our new puritans to judge the morality of all of us.

Jack's story, which we first published here, may have set new records
in publicizing the dangers of browser hijack or accidental acquisition
of child porn images. Badly advised and penniless, he also naively
plea bargained and was briefly imprisoned and branded a sex offender.

Help for the falsely accused – only $100- $150,000

On 11 May 2005, Jack, who is still struggling to clear his name and
prove that child porn images could have been planted on his laptop
when he worked for Mitsubishi, wrote to Dean Tong, Forensic Consultant
in Florida, complaining that he would have needed $200,000 to defend

He received the following reassuring message from defence champion Dean Tong:

"I consult on these cases for a living (here he gives his URL) and I
could have handled your case for no more than $100K - $150K everything
included. Now, it would cost you at least $40K - $50K to try and
retain a false confessions expert, excellent post-conviction lawyer to
file Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, et al, myself, et al.

Dean Tong, Forensic Consultant
10246 Hunters Haven Blvd.
Riverview, FL 33569
813-671-4190, Ph/Fax
813-417-5362, Cell
813-278-8356, National Pager
1-800-854-0735, Books/Interviews, E-Mail, Website

Let us try to translate this. Dean Tong, who is not an attorney and
says this in a disclaimer at the bottom of his email, is offering
forensic consultancy. He could have handled Jack's case 'for no more
than' $100K - $150K, but it would be part of a case in which (somewhat
vaguely) Jack would have to 'try and retain' a false confessions
expert (what is that?) and an 'excellent post-conviction lawyer' (whom
Jack has singularly failed to find anywhere), who would then retain
Dean Tong.

If Jack had a headache after trying to read this, who could blame him?
On a more positive note, Jack, who has received no personal justice
has probably now done more for other victims who innocently acquired
illegal images than any other person in the world through his
continuing campaigning.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives

Browser Hijackers Ruining Lives
By: Michelle Delio
May 11, 2004
Browser hijackers are doing more than just changing homepages. They are also changing some peoples’ lives for the worse.
Browser hijackers are malicious programs that change browser settings, usually altering designated default start and search pages. But some, such as CWS, also produce pop-up ads for pornography, add dozens of bookmarks — some for extremely hard-core pornography websites — to Internet Explorer’s Favorites folder, and can redirect users to porn websites when they mistype URLs.

Traces of browsed sites can remain on computers, and it’s difficult to tell from those traces whether a user willingly or mistakenly viewed a website. When those traces connect to borderline-criminal websites, people may have a hard time believing that their employee or significant other hasn’t been spending an awful lot of time cruising adult sites.

In response to a recent Wired News story about the CWS browser hijacker, famed for peddling porn, several dozen readers sent e-mails in which they claimed to have lost or almost lost jobs, relationships and their good reputations when their computers were found to harbor traces of pornography that they insist were placed on their computers by a browser hijacker.

In one case a man claims that a browser hijacker sent him to jail after compromising images of children were found on his work computer by an employer, who then reported him to law enforcement authorities.

“The police raided my house on Sept. 17, 2002,” said “Jack,” who came to the United States from the former Soviet Union as a political refugee, and has requested that his name not be published. “Nobody gave me a chance to explain. I was told by judge and prosecutor that I will get years in prison if I go to trial. After negotiations through my lawyer I got 180 days in an adult correctional facility. I was imprisoned for 20 days and then released under the Electronic Home Monitoring scheme. I now have a felony sex-criminal record, and the court ordered me to register as a predatory sex offender for 10 years.”

Continue here