Fw: you have got to read this!!! (fwd)

Larry Holland lh33113 at SWT.EDU
Thu Nov 13 11:02:56 MST 1997

I am sending this with a great qualifier - I am not sure of its
authenticity.  Nonetheless, since I'm not writing a news article, and this
could be vital, I would rather spread this information just in case it's
true.  If enough people read this, than it will be explored.
        At the end of the forwards is a letter about the America Online
program due this winter.  "A former employee of America Online" that the
program will have the capability to allow someone to access deep into your
computer.  As it reads, this happens to some extent now, but this new
feature would make it much worse.
        I will expore it myself, and will not be convinced easily,
although I am inclined to believe it.  We've sort of lost the importance
of privacy lately, and I think it's important to think about the
possible consequences of that loss.
        The farthest back this chain of forwards goes is to 10/9/97 from a
JCasey1047.  Even that is not the source of the original message.  It
might be an idea to try to check out the earliest sources of this info, by
ironically using any internet resource you have to invade his privacy. :-)
        As I said, I do not know.  I would rather tell all of you, so you
can investigate it as I do.

Larry Holland
LH33113 at swt.edu

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 1997 21:38:28 -0600
From: lholland <lholland at terraworld.net>
To: RUSS HOLTI <RUSS at SINCOM.COM>, Robert Mullins <malenurz at microworld.net>,
    GINA HOLT <gina at terraworld.net>
Subject: Fw: you have got to read this!!!

> From: Paul McDonald <paul.ewog at mci2000.com>
> To: Jeff and Sylvia Reed (E-mail) <JSHI747 at aol.com>; Nader (AOL) (E-mail)
<thenader at aol.com>; Nader Elguindi (E-mail) <enader at bigfoot.com>; Rob
Douglass (E-mail) <RobHD2 at aol.com>; Ruben Garces (E-mail)
<mpeace at edge.net>; 'Anita Chang' <skeeter at aol.com>; 'Butch & Teda'
<grumpdad1 at aol.com>; 'Dan Burlile' <dannyboy at pixi.com>; 'Grandma'
<breadpudin at aol.com>; 'Mom & Dad' <Sandik101 at aol.com>; 'Pam & Chris'
<redpitbul at aol.com>
> Subject: FW: Hi
> Date: Monday, October 13, 1997 3:53 PM
>               Aloha everyone,
>       I'm sending this on faith. I really don't know how much truth there is
> it. If any of you caan shed more light on this subject, I would like to
> hear it. Hope to hear from ya soon......paul.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Whit352101 at aol.com [SMTP:Whit352101 at aol.com]
> Sent: Sunday, October 12, 1997 11:12 PM
> To:   RHunnic637 at aol.com; HAMESMR at aol.com; TORYGBP at aol.com;
> paul.ewog at mci2000.com; JSHI747 at aol.com
> Subject:      Fwd: Hi
> ---------------------
> Forwarded message:
> Subj:    Fwd: Hi
> Date:    97-10-10 23:13:12 EDT
> From:    EK9196
> To:      Whit352101,Greneyes36
> To:      OKIE-Dick at worldnet.att.net
> To:      Melnchad at swbell.net
> To:      Whiterosedj at intellistar.net
> To:      SeaQuestF1,BDavis1050
> To:      Keeth at qns.com,Sraytek,Jean Note
> To:      Alvis at iamerica.net,danc at kinkos.com
> ---------------------
> Forwarded message:
> Subj:    Hi
> Date:    97-10-09 19:04:39 EDT
> From:    JCasey1047
> To:      CCRENCH1
> Something sent to me I thought I'd pass on...
> rom a former AOL employee:
> I'll try and cut through the crap, and try to get to the point of this
> letter.  I used to work for America Online, and would like to remain
> anonymous for that reason.  I was laid off in early September, but I
> know exactly why I was laid off, which I will now explain:
> Since last December, I had been one of the many people assigned to
> design AOL 4.0 for Windows  (AOL 4.0 beta, codenamed Casablanca).  In
> the beginning, I was very proud of this task, until I found out the true
> cost of it.  Things were going fine until about mid-February, when me
> and 2 of my colleagues started to suspect a problem, an unexplainable
> 'Privacy Invasion', with the new version.  One of them, who is a master
> programmer, copied the finished portion of the new version (Then 'Build
> 52'), and took it home, and we spent nearly 2 weeks of sleepless nights
> examining and debugging the program, flipping it inside-out, and here is
> what we found.
> Unlike all previous versions of America Online, version 4.0 puts
> something in your hard drive called a 'cookie'.  (AOL members click <A
> HREF="a
> ol://4344:1047.g334.8411481.532897009">here</A> for a
> definition).  However, the cookie we found on Version 4.0 was far more
> treacherous than the simple internet cookie.  How would you like
> somebody looking at your entire hard drive, snooping through any (yes,
> any) piece of information on your hard drive.  It could also read your
> password and log in information and store it deep in the program code.
> Well, all previous versions, whether you like it or not, have done this
> to a certain extent, but only with files you downloaded.  As me and my
> colleagues discovered, with the new version, anytime you are signed on
> to AOL, any top aol executive, any aol worker, who has been sworn to
> secrecy regarding this feature, can go into your hard drive and retrieve
> any piece of information that they so desire.  Billing, download
> records, e-mail, directories, personal documents, programs, financial
> information, scanned images, etc ... Better start keeping all those
> pictures on a floppy disk!
> This is a totally disgusting violation of our rights, and your right to
> know as well.  Since this is undoubtably 'Top Secret' information that I
> am revealing, my life at AOL is pretty much over.  After discovering
> this information, we started to inform a few other workers at America
> Online, so that we could get a large enough crew to stop this from
> happening to the millions of unfortunate and unsuspecting America Online
> members.  This was in early August.  One month later, all three of us
> were unemployed.  We got together, and figured there was something we
> had to do to let the public know.
> Unemployed, with one of us going through a divorce (me) and another who
> is about to undergo treatment for Cancer, our combined financial
> situation is not currently enough to release any sort or article.  We
> attepted to create a web page on three different servers containing
> in-depth information on AOL 4.0, but all three were taken down within 2
> days.  We were running very low on time (4.0 is released early this
> winter), so we figured our last hope to reveal this madness before it
> effects the people was starting something similar to a chain letter,
> this letter you are reading.  Please do the following, to help us expose
> AOL for who they really are, and to help us and yourself recieve
> personal gratification for taking a stand for our freedom:
> 1.  Forward this letter to as many people as you can (not just friends
> and family, as many as you can!)
> 2.  Tell people who aren't on America Online in person, especially
> important people (Private Investigators, Government workers, City
> Council)
> 3.  If the information about the new version isn't exposed by the time
> aol is released early this winter, for your own protection, DON'T
> Thank you for reading and examining this information.  Me and my
> colleagues hope that you will help us do the right thing in this
> situation.  Enjoy America Online (just kidding!).
> Regards,
> A former AOL employee

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