Comin' Back at Ya- John Poindexter Gets Hacked by TIA Foes
By Glenn Weiser
Metroland, Dec 19, 2002

The TIA project was later scraped. - GW

Instant karma has caught up with Adm. John Poindexter, the convicted Iran-Contra felon who has stirred controversy recently with a proposed Pentagon antiterrorist computer system that would keep the American public under surveillance by gathering several kinds of citizens' personal records in a massive database ["O Big Brother, Where Art Thou?," Dec 5). 

Wired.com reported on Saturday that hackers have taken the lead from a San Francisco journalist and plastered Poindexter's phone number and address, photos of his house, and other personal information on more than 100 Web pages around the world.

According to Wired, Matt Smith-a writer for SF Weekly who feels "violated" by the aims and methods that Poindexter's Total Information Awareness Office has planned for detecting and tracking terrorists within the country-maintains that the information on Poindexter that he included in a recent piece is all publicly available.

"Optimistically, I dialed John and Linda Poindexter's number-(301) 424-6613-at their home at 10 Barrington Fare in Rockville, Md., hoping the good admiral and excused criminal might be able to offer some insight," Smith wrote two weeks ago. "Why, for example, is their $269,700 Rockville, Md., house covered with artificial siding, according to Maryland tax records? Shouldn't a Reagan conspirator be able to afford repainting every seven years? Is the Donald Douglas Poindexter listed in Maryland sex-offender records any relation to the good admiral? What do Tom Maxwell, at 8 Barrington Fare, and James Galvin, at 12 Barrington Fare, think of their spooky neighbor?"

Hackers quickly exploited the published information. Someone got into the Verizon computer system and found the details of the switch serving his house, and Cryptome, an online privacy site, published satellite photos of the Poindexter home after Smith urged that the admiral be made to feel the discomfort of the scrutiny to which he would be subjecting all of us.

Writing again on Tuesday on sfweekly.com, Smith quoted retired Sun Microsystems pioneer and cyberlibertarian John Gilmore, who has encouraged hackers to turn up the heat on Poindexter: "The question is, how to stop him? If he hears from enough people in his ordinary everyday life that he's a terrible person, he just might decide to stop. What if the guy who delivers milk to him says, 'You people are sons of bitches?' What if his phone service constantly gets turned off, because teenagers are turning it into a pay phone? Wouldn't it be great if his picture were up on posters all over Washington that said, "Don't speak to this man. Don't pick him up if you're a cabdriver.' "

List of Metroland Stories by Glenn Weiser                          2002 by Glenn Weiser. All rights reserved.

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