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How to Break the Law

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…presents…
How to Break the Law
by Anonymous

>>> a cDc publication…….1993
<<<
-cDc- CULT OF THE DEAD COW -cDc-
____ _ ____ _ ____ _ ____ _ ____

|____digital_media____digital_culture____digital_media____digital_culture____|

For a
fair number of readers, the day may come when the men in the funny
suits walk up to you, ask
if you are you, and then exercise their power of
arrest. For those without much experience in
getting arrested, let me tell you
what in general it will be like (details may vary).

But first let’s review arrest etiquette. Arrest etiquette can be
complicated for the
arresting officers but it is easy for the arrestee. There
are only two rules: 1) keep your
mouth shut and 2) cooperate physically with
the arrest. Following rule two will help preserve
your kidneys, limbs, and
skull but following rule one is the most important.

During the first two years after your arrest, there are only four words
that you should speak
to minions of the State in an official capacity:

"I want a lawyer"

Say nothing else. You gain NO benefits by saying things to the cops and
the prosecutors for
free. If your lawyer cuts a deal for you, you can talk in
exchange for something but once you
speak you can’t take the words back.
Lawyers are constantly amazed and entertained by the
things their clients tell
the cops. Don’t say anything. It’s stupid.

In _The
Hacker Crackdown – Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier_;
Bruce Sterling’s account of
the Legion of Doom/911 Document/Steve Jackson Games
busts of 1990, he reports that all the
busted hackers had no clue about how to
be arrested. They could reprogram telco switches with
ease but they didn’t
know the basic rules of how to hack the criminal justice system so watch
it.

Once you are placed under arrest, you will probably be handcuffed and

transported to a booking facility where you will be photographed,
fingerprinted, and perhaps
given a free set of clothing (these days, usually in
orange). Then you will be put in a
temporary holding cell with many other
interesting people. Your fellow residents will ask you
why you’ve been
arrested, and when you tell them that you’ve taken a fall for operating an
outlaw BBS, they’ll probably laugh. Eventually, you’ll be brought up before a
judge or
magistrate who will set your bail. If you don’t make bail you will be
sent to a longer term
facility, perhaps a city prison, to await trial.

While you’re waiting, you can review
all the things that you should have
done before breaking the law. Most free thinkers can come
up with a lot of
reasons for violating the law at one time or another. Just breathing is
often
sufficient. Like any other semi-hazardous activity, careful preparation is the

key. The purpose of this article is *not* to tell you how not to get caught –
such strategies
vary with the laws violated. No, this article is aimed at
providing you with an outline of how
to prepare for getting caught. No matter
how careful you are in the planning of your criminal
career, things can go
wrong. Thinking about the possibility of failure in advance may
encourage you
to improve your over-all strategy and at least will diminish the damage that
the authorities can do to you.

Psychological preparation is absolutely the most
vital task that you must
undertake. Before you decide to break the law you must have convinced
yourself
that the State is wrong and that, for you, the risk of punishment is less

significant than the benefits from violating the law. There often is a good
foundation for
this undertaking, as many people believe that most States are
without much moral justification
and amount to criminal gangs in themselves.
So, at least on a philosophical level, breaking
the law might be fairly easy
for some of us to do at one time or another. But it is important
to realize
that when you break the law you are playing it for real, and you might have to
face the music. So, while it is obviously better not to be apprehended in the
first place,
defending yourself psychologically if you do get caught will prove
significant, since if the
State cannot touch your soul, it gains little by
arresting you. With proper contemplation you
can build on this knowledge and
provide yourself with the best defense against State
aggression.

The philosophical advantage held by those of unconventional mind can be
contrasted with the situation of some conservative tax rebels whose radicalism
is undercut
by their belief in the basic legitimacy of the State. I’ve seen
conservatives break down when
the courts predictably tossed out their
constitutional arguments in tax cases and sentenced
them to prison. Their
background of basic support for the State apparatus lays a heavy layer
of guilt
on them once they are labeled criminals. If you intend to break the law be

sure, in advance, that you won’t be feeling guilty. There will be enough
people only too eager
to send you on a guilt trip over your activities, without
your adding to it.

On a
practical level there are many steps you can take to lessen the
ability of the State to punish
you effectively:

1) Learn something about the law. It helps to know, in advance if
you
can, when you are violating the law and a little about the court system and the

possible penalties. This is important for you, even if you don’t intend to
violate the law,
since there are enough laws around to allow the State to get
you almost any time it wants on
one charge or another.

There are loads of legal self-help books out there today.
Berkeley’s Nolo
Press and the ACLU have published books covering business and personal
legal
problems and the rights of various sorts of people (students, mental patients,

gays, etc.). If you have the time, energy, and money, going to law school
might be a good
idea. This is particularly true in California where loose
eligibility requirements for the
State Bar examination have encouraged the
proliferation of "free enterprise" law
schools and where it is fairly easy to
get a legal education in your spare time.

2) Protect your assets. Apart from imprisonment, violations of the law
may result in fines. In
addition, your activities may lead to civil penalties.
In tax law violations, your property is
obviously in jeopardy. In fact, with
many popular forms of "criminal" activity, your
money is in greater danger than
your liberty.

The recent expansion of the seizure
laws has filled the pages of USA Today
and the big-city dailies with page-long lists of bank
accounts and other
property seized by law enforcement agents. This represents a civil
liberties
problem of immense proportions, not to mention a practical problem for would-be
law violators.

The best way to protect your property from loss is to hide it where
the
State cannot find it. Secrecy is your greatest asset. What the State cannot
find, it
cannot confiscate. You should sell your major personal possessions.
If you own your own home
or an expensive late-model car, you risk losing these
possessions if you are convicted of a
crime. Transferring these assets to
friends or relatives is not usually good enough. If the
party trying to
collect money from you can prove that they were given away for less than
their
real value with intent to hide them from creditors, the transactions can be set

aside as fraudulent transfers.

Keep some of your wealth in some anonymous, easily
concealable form, such
as cash or gold and silver coins. If you feel that you must keep
bank
accounts, you must arrange it so that no one knows of their existence or can

connect them with you. In some cases, even Swiss Bank accounts can be attached
by the US
authorities if you are convicted of a crime. If you have interest
earning accounts in your
name in this country, the bank will report the
interest earned to the IRS every year (and thus
the existence of your account).

What you should do with any bank account in this
country is to set it up
under a nom de guerre. Even though this is harder than it used to be,
it is
still possible. However you choose to set up your account, you must arrange it
so
that statements are not sent to you at your ordinary address. You can
request that the bank
hold statements for you at the bank itself, or you can
use a mail drop of some sort. If you
let any evidence of the accounts
existence come to you through the mails, you may lose the
account if the
government opens your mail. The same problem is encountered with securities
or
other types of "paper" investments – they tend to generate a lot of mail. And
before you risk them, you should make some arrangements to cut off this paper
flow.

Of course, you may want to keep a small bank account to pay your day-to-
day expenses,
but you should only deposit an amount you can afford to lose if
the account is attached. But
be careful not to leave a paper trail connecting
this account with any others you might have.
It is probably safest not to keep
any significant assets in domestic banks at all. The risks
are great, and
thanks to the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Markets Committee, the benefit of
a
$US account in a US bank is slight. Foreign bank accounts in strong currencies
are
another matter. I refer you to Harry Brown’s _Complete Guide to Swiss
Banks_ for a good
discussion of bank secrecy in general and foreign bank
accounts in particular.

You must avoid investments, such as land, which are on public record and
are difficult to
hide. Highly liquid investments that are easy to hide are
better. Precious metals are a good
idea, and you may want to keep a little
cash around in case you decide to avoid arrest by
fleeing. You can think of
different ways of hiding these assets, but remember that the same
consid-
erations which apply to bank accounts apply to any safe deposit boxes in which

you might want to store valuables.

You should live in a rented dwelling. You don’t want
your home to be in
jeopardy while you are sparring with the government. Car leasing is easy
to
arrange these days. If you don’t own these major assets, the government cannot
take
them. You could also drive an older car. It won’t be worth seizing or
won’t be much of a loss
if it is.

Your random personal property is generally safe from attachment, but any
valuable collections of books or art will be in jeopardy. So you should
liquidate them or
take steps to protect them. You can discern the principle
involved from this brief outline.

Your major assets are either hidden in liquid form or safely in bank
accounts that
only you know about and that can not be traced to you. You
should not use substantial property
that is in your own name. Rent instead.
Each state has its own laws which set forth how much
and what type of property
is exempt from attachment by creditors. Be aware that *government*
creditors
have additional collection powers not available to private creditors.

Investigate the law in your state to find how much of the property in your
possession is safe.
It’s usually not very much, so plan accordingly.

This may seem like a radical change to
your life, but it is probably
better to change the nature of your property – even if the
change is
inconvenient – than to take the chance of losing it. Besides, cash, gold,

silver, or foreign bank accounts should probably be part of your investment
program
already.

3) Think about your job. If you have a conventional job with a

conventional employer you may lose it if you are arrested or convicted. You
may have an easier
time of it if you are self-employed or engaged in some
unconventional activity on a
professional basis. I am not saying that you have
to quit your job, but you should analyze the
effect that a run-in with the law
will have on your occupation. It will at least encourage you
to think about
alternative means of earning a living, one that will not suffer if you are
arrested.

It is through our jobs that we are controlled. Reluctance to change
jobs
keeps us in one place, when it might be safer to leave. Lots of social
regulation
has been piled on the employer/employee relationship. It is there
that most of the taxes we
pay are collected.

Studies of the effect of criminal conviction on income have shown
that the
average blue-collar worker regains the same wage earned before imprisonment

within one year after release. On the other hand, imprisonment dramatically
reduces the wages
of white-collar workers, whose jobs are more likely to
involve reputation and
"credentials". If you are self-employed, you will be in
better shape, because you
are unlikely to fire yourself for "criminal"
activity.

Fortunately,
there have been some major changes in employment arrangements
for employees as well. There are
numerous contract (temp) and consultant
positions available today for any type or level of job
experience. If you have
been the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, there are agencies that will be
happy to
place you as a temp CEO. Insurance professionals, lawyers, middle-managers,

engineers, secretaries, and waiters, all have temp employment agencies that
serve them. These
jobs can be obtained without background checks and other
invasive procedures (urinalysis).

4) Avoid involving others. While you are protecting your property, you
should be
sure that you are not entangling friends or relatives in your
activities. Each person should
be left to make her or his own decision in
regard to an illegal undertaking. You must separate
your property and your
actions from the property or activities of those close to you,
particularly
those with whom you have a sexual relationship. It is neither fair nor

particularly good for your relations with others to get them involved in your
arrest. If you
are living with other people it is a good idea to avoid
carrying on illegal activities in the
home. If you do your business elsewhere,
the cops will find it more difficult to charge those
living in your home with
accomplice liability based on their knowledge of your crimes. At no
time
should you have anyone who is not a completely informed co-conspirator sign any

documents which are involved in your illegal activities. Don’t slip your
spouse the 1040 to
sign after you’ve "plead the Fifth" on it and claimed Bill
Clinton as a
dependent.

You should also sever your financial ties with the uninvolved. The state
can grab the full balance of joint bank accounts, even if the "innocent"
partner
deposited most of the money. Other forms of joint property may be
safer, but the state can
still grab your half and convert the other owner into
a co-tenant with the government. Keep
your money and other property separate.
If you’ve followed the suggestions in Section 2 above,
you will already have
eliminated most entanglements with others, but such involvements are
something
to watch out for. As I also pointed about above, don’t transfer your property

to friends or relatives in anticipation of any criminal activities, since the
state can go
after it anyway, dragging others into court.

5) Develop at least a nodding acquaintance
with a lawyer (or someone with
as big a mouth). If you are arrested, it is very comforting to
have someone to
call. Someone on the outside can do more about getting bail together,

reporting your case to Amnesty International, and getting you out, than you can
do from
inside. You might like to get to know a sympathetic lawyer, if you
happen to have one in the
neighborhood. There are even anarchist lawyers. As
an anarchist law student once said when
asked by his friends how an he could be
a lawyer, "My father is a physician, but that
doesn’t mean that he believes in
disease." A philosophically-compatible lawyer should be
able to give you some
moral support since he should at least understand your attitude towards
the law
you violated.

6) Practice privacy in your daily life. Most of us are not
used to
keeping information about ourselves *to* ourselves. We regularly fill out
forms,
giving loads of personal information about yourself. Whenever people
ask us questions, we tell
them the truth. If you break these habits in advance
of need, you’ll be in good practice to
lie convincingly when you need it. I
can’t give you a full course in privacy techniques in
this article, but here
are a few pointers:

a) Have all your mail delivered to a
mail receiving service. There is no
need for anyone but your friends to know where you sleep.
"My Sister
Sam’s" Rebecca Schaefer might be alive today if a psycho fan hadn’t
looked
up her address in the files of the California DMV. Whenever anyone asks
your
address, give them the mail drop address, using the box number as an
apartment number.

b) Use a voice mailbox for receiving phone calls from strangers. These
computer-based
services are available for about $10/month almost every-
where in the US. You receive what
looks like a normal phone number. You
can record a greeting message. These services are almost
undistinguish-
able from a phone line with answering machine, but they can be obtained

without giving the voice mail company any information about you and, of
course, there is no
geographic link between you and the account.

c) Get your utility service in a phony or
borrowed name. Public Utilities
are legally required to give you service. They may require a
deposit if
they don’t know you, but that’s a small price to pay for privacy. You may

need some created ID to start service in bureaucratic places like
California, but it still can
be done.

d) Encrypt the personal files and records on your computer’s hard drive

and floppies. There are many high-quality, free encryption programs out
in the world today. So
you have no excuse. Don’t depend on the encrypt-
ion technologies built into programs like
Lotus 1-2-3 or PKZIP, because
they use easily-broken cipher techniques.

e)
Dispose of your paper records. Almost everyone who’s convicted of a
crime is convicted by
their own records.

f) Don’t give the government information about yourself.
Ninety-five
percent of what they know about you is based on things you’ve told them.

Even if you want to follow the letter of the law in these matters, watch
your bureaucratic
filings. Some of them are not required and others carry
no practical penalties. Few people
have done any hard time for census
resistance.

g) Avoid domestic credit cards.
Government investigators can do credit
checks on you by computer without a warrant. The less
information in your
credit reports the better. The best way to secure your financial
privacy
is to have an off-shore credit card. If you must use a domestic credit
card, use
a secured credit card that can be obtained without giving lots
of personal information.

If, after you have done everything you can to protect your mind and your
property from
the hazards of the criminal justice system, you are arrested
anyway, it’s not the end of the
world. At least you are receiving some
personal attention from an otherwise cold and distant
government. It is sort
of a compliment actually. Not everyone is worth arresting. Most of
those
arrested aren’t worth prosecuting. And most of those prosecuted and convicted

aren’t worth imprisoning either. In this era of limits, governments can only
afford to
prosecute and punish a limited number of people.

The government criminal justice
enterprise is much less efficient than
McDonalds, so chances are they will offer you some sort
of deal. They don’t
want to spend tons of dough to put you away and $60 to $100 thousand a
year to
keep you there. Watch those deals though. Michael Milkin pleaded guilty and
got
a sentence as long as he would have gotten if found guilty at trial.
Sometimes it’s better to
take the trial, particularly in political
prosecutions.

If you end up having to
spend an extended period of time as a guest of the
government, you should try to take as
relaxed an attitude as possible. It may
help to think of the prison experience as a
well-earned vacation. After all,
you’ll finally get the chance to read all those books you’ve
put off reading
over the years. You will also get thousands of dollars worth of services

yearly, including clothing, meals, lodging, entertainment, medical care (sort
of), and
education.

Most significantly of all, you will gain first-hand experiences that can
help your philosophical and literary development. Many famous writers made
good use of
their prison time. Also, you will have the opportunity to live in
a totalitarian socialist
state. In this day and age it’s becoming hard to find
living examples of totalitarian
socialist governments. A few years in prison
will encourage you to redouble your efforts to
fight such social systems.
_______
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.ooM |1993 cDc
communications by Anonymous 03/01/93-#214|
\_______/|All Rights Drooled Away. SIX GLORIOUS
YEARS of cDc|


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