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<a href="http://www.eff.org/">Home</a> &raquo; <a href="/legal/">Legal</a> &raquo;
<a href="/legal/cases/">Cases</a><span class="crumbspacer">&nbsp;</span>
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<img src="sjg_150.png" width="150" height="150" border="0" alt="SJG v. USSS"


title="SJG v. USSS" align="right" style="margin-left: 10px;" />

<h1>Steve Jackson Games v. Secret Service Case Archive</h1>

<p>
On March 1 1990, the offices of Steve Jackson Games, in Austin, Texas, were raided
by the U.S. Secret Service as part of a nationwide investigation of data piracy.
The initial news stories simply reported that the Secret Service had raided a
suspected ring of hackers. Gradually, the true story emerged.
</p>

<p>
More than three years later, a federal court awarded damages and attorneys' fees
to the game company, ruling that the raid had been careless, illegal, and
completely unjustified. Electronic civil-liberties advocates hailed the case as a
landmark. It was the first step toward establishing that online speech IS speech,
and entitled to Constitutional protection... and, specifically, that law-
enforcement agents can't seize and hold a BBS with impunity.
</p>

<p>
On the morning of March 1, without warning, a force of armed Secret Service agents
- accompanied by Austin police and at least one civilian &quot;expert&quot; from
the phone company - occupied the offices of Steve Jackson Games and began to
search for computer equipment. The home of Loyd Blankenship, the writer of GURPS
Cyberpunk, was also raided. A large amount of equipment was seized, including four
computers, two laser printers, some loose hard disks and a great deal of assorted
hardware. One of the computers was the one running the Illuminati BBS.
</p>

<p>
The only computers taken were those with GURPS Cyberpunk files; other systems were
left in place. In their diligent search for evidence, the agents also cut off
locks, forced open footlockers, tore up dozens of boxes in the warehouse, and bent
two of the office letter openers attempting to pick the lock on a file
cabinet...</p>

<p>
[Overview lifted from and continued on <a href="http://www.sjgames.com/SS/">Steve
Jackson Games' website</a>.]
</p>

<p>
<b>&raquo; This case resulted in the <a href="?f=eff_creation.html">creation of
the EFF</a>.</b>
</p>

<h2>Case Files</h2>

<DL>
<!--
<dt><a href="appeal.announce">appeal.announce</a>
<dd>announcement of SJG, et al. appealing the original
decision in SJG v. USSS, over the issue of &quot;interception&quot; of email.
This is a very important case, so stay tuned!
-->
<dt><a href="?f=background.sjg.html">background.sjg</a>
<dd>Shari Steele's background article on the original SJG case.
<!--
<dt><a href="complaint.sjg">complaint.sjg</a>
<dd>The original legal &quot;complaint&quot; filed by SJG and friends
against the USSS.
-->
<dt><a href="?f=crime_and_puzzlement.1.txt">crime_and_puzzlement.1</a>
<dd>John Perry Barlow, &quot;Crime and Puzzlement&quot;. A
brilliant and witty booklet detailing the background of the SJG
raid, the Phrack raid, and the larger &quot;Operation Sundevil&quot; they were
a
part of, as well as the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
in response to the gross civil rights abuses in these cases.
See also Barlow's <a
href="/Misc/Publications/John_Perry_Barlow/?f=decrypting_puzzle.palace.txt">Decryp
ting the Puzzle Palace</a>.

<dt><a href="?f=crime_and_puzzlement.2.txt">crime_and_puzzlement.2</a>
<dd>John Perry Barlow's update and commentary for
&quot;Crime and Puzzlement&quot;.
<!--
<dt><a href="decision.sjg">decision.sjg</a>
<dd>Final decision of Judge Sam Sparks in the SJG vs SS case.
On almost all charges, the judge found the defendants guilty. This case
however has been appealed by the plaintiff, in hopes of winning on the
remaining charges as well.
<dt><a href="factsheet.sjg">factsheet.sjg</a>
<dd>An &quot;legal factsheet&quot; article and announcement from EFFector
Online detailing the basic issues of the SJG case.
-->
<dt><a href="?f=gurps_labor_lost.article.txt">gurps_labor_lost.article</a>
<dd>Bruce Sterling's account of the US Secret Service
raid on Steve Jackson Games, and its aftermath.
<dt><a href="?f=media_errors.sjg.txt">media_errors.sjg</a>
<dd>The top ten media errors about the Steve Jackson Games
Raid (updated 2-12-92): As this story has developed, occasional errors
creep into news stories. There are a lot of those floating around . . .
but here are the Top Ten.
<dt><a href="?f=ripco_case_closed.article.txt">ripco_case_closed.article</a>
<dd>&quot;Operation Sundevil&quot; is finally over for Dr.
Ripco by Bruce Esquibel
<dt><a href="?f=sjg_neidorf_eff.summary.txt">sjg_neidorf_eff.summary</a>
<dd>Legal summary of Steve Jackson Games case and
United States v. Craig Neidorf.
<dt><a href="?f=ss_pays_sjg.announce.txt">ss_pays_sjg.announce</a>
<dd>SECRET SERVICE PAYS DAMAGES TO STEVE JACKSON GAMES
by Steve jackson
<dt><a href="?f=trial_report.sjg.txt">trial_report.sjg</a>
<dd>Day-by-day detailed report of the SJG v. SS trial, by
Joe Abernathy of the _Houston_Cronicle_.
<dt><a href="?f=victory.sjg.txt">victory.sjg</a>
<dd>announcement of the success of the plaintiffs in the
original SJG v. SS trial, and a short summary of the judge's decision.
</DL>

<h2>Steve Jackson Games v. Secret Service - 1994 Appeal</h2>

<DL>
<dt><a href="?f=appeal.announce">appeal.announce</a>
<dd>announcement of SJG, et al. appealing the original
decision in SJG v. USSS, over the issue of whether physically seizing
yet-to-be-received email legally qualifies as &quot;interception&quot; of
communications.
<dt><a href="?f=appeal.decision">appeal.decision</a>
<dd>full text of the court's decision on the appeal.
<dt><a href="?f=eff_appeal.brief">eff_appeal.brief</a>
<dd>full text of amicus curiae brief filed by EFF, SEA
and others in the SJG v. USSS appeal.
<dt><a href="?f=sjg_appeal.brief">sjg_appeal.brief</a>
<dd>text of the plaintiffs' court brief for SJG appeal.
<dt><a href="?f=sjg_reply.brief">sjg_reply.brief</a>
<dd>text of SJG reply brief in response to govt. denial
that reading and deleting a BBS's users' email before it has been
received constitutes an &quot;interception&quot; under ECPA. 04/25/94
<dt><a href="?f=sup_post-arg_sjg.brief">sup_post-arg_sjg.brief</a>
<dd>Plaintiff's supplemental post-argument letter brief;
Serves as a good summary of the heart of the issue.
<dt><a href="?f=usss_appeal.brief">usss_appeal.brief</a>
<dd>response of the Secret Service (defendants) to the SJG
appeal brief.
</DL>

<h2>SJG v. DoJ - Case Docket A</h2>

<DL>
<dt><a href="?f=complaint.attachments">complaint.attachments</a>
<dd>The application and affidavit for the search
warrant for Steve Jackson Games (Case #A-90-54m),
dated February 28, 1990, and signed by U.S. Magistrate
Stephen H. Capelle in Austin Texas and Special Agent
Timothy M. Foley of the U.S. Secret Service. The
application alleges violations of Title 18 USC
Sections 2314 and 1030 and was issued in the U.S.
District Court (Western District of Texas).
<dt><a href="?f=complaint.sjg">complaint.sjg</a>
<dd>Official complaint and demand for jury trial in the Steve
Jackson games case.
<dt><a href="?f=individuals.mtd">individuals.mtd</a>
<dd>Defendants William J. Cook, Timothy Foley, Barbara Golden
and Henry M. Kluepfel, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, hereby move to dismiss
plaintiffs' claims against them for lack of personal
jurisdiction.
<dt><a href="?f=individuals_mtd_exhibit.a">individuals_mtd_exhibit.a</a>
<dd>declaration of Timothy Foley in regards to
the dismisal of plaintiffs' claims against him
for lack of personal jurisdiction.
<dt><a href="?f=individuals_mtd_exhibit.b">individuals_mtd_exhibit.b</a>
<dd>declaration of William Cook in regards to
the dismisal of plaintiffs' claims against him
for lack of personal jurisdiction.
<dt><a href="?f=individuals_mtd_exhibit.c">individuals_mtd_exhibit.c</a>
<dd>declaration of Henry Kluepfel in regards to
the dismisal of plaintiffs' claims against him
for lack of personal jurisdiction.
<dt><a href="?f=individuals_mtd_exhibit.d">individuals_mtd_exhibit.d</a>
<dd>declaration of Barbara Golden in regards to
the dismisal of plaintiffs' claims against her
for lack of personal jurisdiction.
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.a">mtd_exhibit.a</a>
<dd>declaration of William Cook
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.b">mtd_exhibit.b</a>
<dd>declaration of Timothy Foley
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.c">mtd_exhibit.c</a>
<dd>Text of letter from K. Megahee to Bill Cook Jan 1990.
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.d">mtd_exhibit.d</a>
<dd>declaration of Barbara Golden
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.e">mtd_exhibit.e</a>
<dd>declaration of Laurence Boothby
<dt><a href="?f=mtd_exhibit.f">mtd_exhibit.f</a>
<dd>notice that Exhibit F contains a list of items seized
from Steve Jackson Games by the United States Secret Service
and proof that they were returned.
<dt><a href="?f=us.mtd">us.mtd</a>
<dd>THE UNITED STATES MOTION TO DISMISS OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT. (They didn't get it.)
</DL>

<h2>Legion of Doom/Jolnet Case - Docket B</h2>

<DL>
<dt><a href="?f=decision.sjg">decision.sjg</a>
<dd>the decision in the Steve Jackson Games Case
<dt><a href="?f=don_arburn.affidavit">don_arburn.affidavit</a>
<dd>Affidavit of don Arburn
<dt><a href="?f=elizabeth_mccoy.declaration">elizabeth_mccoy.declaration</a>
<dd>declaration of Elizabeth McCoy
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.1">exhibit.1</a>
<dd>The declaration of Tim Foley can be found in the file called
&quot;Complaint.Attachments&quot; in CaseDocketA.
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.2">exhibit.2</a>
<dd>Neidorf Transcripts
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.3">exhibit.3</a>
<dd>Information on Phrack V.2 Issue 24
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.5">exhibit.5</a>
<dd>Craig Neidorf's motion for expungement and sealing of his
indictment is granted . . .
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.6">exhibit.6</a>
<dd>Technical Reference regarding BellSouth E911 Service
Interfaces to Customer Premises Equipment at a Public Safety
Answering Point.
<dt><a href="?f=exhibit.7">exhibit.7</a>
<dd>Technical Reference related to E911 Public Safety Answering
Point:Interface Between a 1/1AESS Swtich and Customer Premises
Equipment
<dt><a
href="?f=further_response_to_individuals.mtd">further_response_to_individuals.mtd<
/a>
<dd>plaintiffs' further response and
memorandum in opposition to individual
defendant's motion to dismiss.
<dt><a href="?f=gia_barresi.declaration">gia_barresi.declaration</a>
<dd>declaration of Gia Barresi
<dt><a href="?f=opposition_support.memo">opposition_support.memo</a>
<dd>revised memorandum of law in support of
plaintiffs' opposition to the US motion to dismiss
or in alternative for summary judgement.
<dt><a href="?f=opposition_to_us.mtd">opposition_to_us.mtd</a>
<dd>plaintiffs' opposition to the US motion to dismiss
or in alternative for summary judgement.
<dt><a href="?f=reply_to.response">reply_to.response</a>
<dd>reply to opposition_support.memo
<dt><a href="?f=response_to_individuals.mtd">response_to_individuals.mtd</a>
<dd>
<dt><a href="?f=rule_56f.statement">rule_56f.statement</a>
<dd>plaintiffs' rule 56(f) statement and objection to
allowance of US' motion for summary judgement without
discovery.
<dt><a href="?f=walter_milliken.declaration">walter_milliken.declaration</a>
<dd>declaration of Walter Milliken
<dt><a href="?f=wayne_bell.declaration">wayne_bell.declaration</a>
<dd>declaration of Wayne Bell
</DL>

<h2>Operation Sundevil: Phrack, Neidorf, Riggs</h2>

<DL>
<dt><a href="?f=neidorf_riggs.indictment">neidorf_riggs.indictment</a>
<dd>text of the federal indictments of the Chicago
Jolnet members. Secret Service jurisdiction to
investigation these alleged computer-related
offenses comes from 18 USC 1030, the general
computer-fraud statute -- it's provided in section
(d) under this statute. March 1990 mike Godwin
<dt><a
href="?f=phrack_riggs_neidorf_godwin.article">phrack_riggs_neidorf_godwin.article<
/a>
<dd>&quot;When Copying Isn't Theft: How the
Government Stumbled in a 'Hacker' Case&quot; by Mike Godwin; _Internet_World_,
Feb. 1994. Article detailing the lesser-known side stories of the
Operation Sundevil fiasco - the raid on Phrack magazine, and the
trials of Robert Riggs and Craig &quot;Knight Lighning&quot; Neidorf. More
importantly, disucusses the implications and problems these cases
brought up, and highlights the limitations of intellectual property law.
<dt><a href="?f=riggs_amicus_brief.eff">riggs_amicus_brief.eff</a>
<dd>EFF Amicus Brief in U.S. v. Riggs challenging
computer-use prohibition in &quot;hacker&quot; defendant's
sentencing Archived/Published to the Net: May 23,
1991
<dt><a href="?f=sjg_neidorf_eff.summary">sjg_neidorf_eff.summary</a>
<dd>Legal summary of Steve Jackson Games case and
United States v. Craig Neidorf.
</DL>

<!--
<dt><a href="Legion_of_Doom_Jolnet/">Legion_of_Doom_Jolnet/</a>
<dd>directory regarding LOD Jolnet
<dt><a href="Old/">Old/</a>
<dd>directory containing outdated material (e.g. announcements.)
<dt><a href="FBI_v_Tucholka_Tri_Tac_Games/">FBI_v_Tucholka_Tri_Tac_Games/</a>
<dd>directory regarding FBI raid on Richard
Tucholka &amp; Tri Tac Games.
-->

<h2>Links to Related Off-Site Resources</h2>


<DL>
<DT><A HREF="http://www.sjgames.com/">Steve Jackson Games</A>
</DL>

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