The No Fun Allowed Corporation is pleased to announce its No Fun Person Of
The Year Award.
This year's recipient is so profoundly ahead of the whole pack of
competitors in promoting no fun that we didn't even wait for the end of the
year. No contest! The winner for 2001 is the very serious U.S. Attorney
General, John Ashcroft. Without a doubt, Mr. Ashcroft, with God given
humorlessness firmly in charge, is well on his way to transforming the
roudy and unruly Internet from a culturally toxic no-man's land of
jokesters and hoaxters, promoting totally uncontroled and dangerous fun and
amusement, into the kind of legitimate and thoroughly comfort conscious
shopping experience America relies on to maintain its primary role as
supreme leader in the world of consumer protection. Thank God someone with
real authority has finally stepped into the unlucrative swamp of Internet
activity to grab the venomous snake of economic anarchy and begin the
skinning and drying process that will lead to lovely snakeskin belts,
handbags, and wallets ready to sell in the plush and comfortable Internet
shops and boutiques which can only be soon to follow. And finally, security
guards on electronic patrol 24/7 to assure your electronic acquisition
experience matches the secure and reliable quality of all the fun
suppression you have come to depend on in the more civilized outside world
where we're all safely guaranteed to pay the correct person the correct
amount for everything and anything we get.
Those with money waiting to be spent can now begin to tread the polished
halls and plazas of the glittering Internet malls in complete confidence
that value will once again be tied to price, where it belongs, and that
whole confusing and perplexing sickness of sharing intellectual private
property for free will be safely trashed in the dumpster out in the parking
lot in back to await immediate pick-up by U.S. Government Dump employees.
No more wondering what something is worth! From now on, you'll be told
exactly what everything is worth by the people who produce it, just like
you want them to. We at NFAC look forward to a cleaned up, fully
dehumorized Internet under the penalty montivated control of reasonable,
responsible, and entirely serious operators who can sweep the smirking,
unaffiliated riff-raff out the big new double doors and eagerly welcome in
all America's safety conscious and respectable consumers at last. Finally,
the serious business of serious business can proceed in cyberspace as it
was always intended to do.
When contacted by NFAC for comment, Mr. Ashcroft said, "Well, um, I'm very
honored, and, um, I want to thank the...What is it? The NFAC? Thank you,
and belive me, I'll find a prominent spot in my office in Washington for
this... What's it supposed to be?" [Mr. Ashcroft is informed that the 15
inch platinum plated NFPOTY statue rather abstractly depicts a kneeling
plumber, plunger in hand and (appropriately enough!) a plumber's snake at
his feet, leaning over a stopped up toilet with little platinum chunks of
something strewn around the base.]
Mr. Ashcroft continued, " Yes, of course, well, um ,,, very nice, thank you!"
Dumbfounded by our unexpected attention, as most of our humble recipients
turn out to be, Mr. Ashcroft then backed off into his office waving and,
also appropriately, not smiling. But we're used to the
deer-in-the-headlights responses which our No Fun awards elicit from our
surprised recipients. After all, it's the closest most of them ever come to
having fun, and we're more than pleased to provide such an unusual
experience under the perfectly safe and controled conditions which our NFAC
presenting teams maintain at all times.
Once again, congratulations Mr. Ashcroft, and now, very seriously, GO GET
THE FUN MONGERS!
President and CEO
>There's a New Cyber-Sheriff in Town
>By Scott Harris
>Jul 20 2001 04:34 PM PDT
>U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is forming 9 legal squads with their
>set squarely on cleaning up computer crime.
>Like a new sheriff bent on bringing law and order to the wilds of the
>Attorney General John Ashcroft has announced plans to form nine new
>prosecutorial posses "dedicated to fighting crime in cyberspace" and
>eradicating a perception of "lawlessness."
>Coming on the heels of the FBI's arrest Monday of a Russian computer
>accused of violating digital copyright law, Ashcroft's announcement Friday
>underscored a broader emphasis on enforcement of computer crime ñ everything
>from economic espionage to the theft of computer components ñ that cost
>companies billions of dollars in losses each year.
>No less damaging, Ashcroft said, is the specter that cyberspace is beyond the
>reach of law. "The idea you can get away with it here is an idea we must
>curtail," he declared. "There are no free passes in cyberspace."
>Ashcroft's plans calls for the creation of Computer Hacking and Intellectual
>Property (CHIP) units staffed by 77 personnel, including 48 lawyers. The units
>ñ which Ashcroft said will be modeled on an existing unit created in 1999 in
>San Jose, Calif., by FBI Director nominee Robert Mueller when Mueller
>U.S. attorney in San Francisco ñ will work closely with FBI squads that
>specialize in computer crime, and will be added to U.S. attorney's offices in
>Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn and Manhattan, Dallas,
>Seattle and Alexandria, Va. Mueller, whose nomination is expected to receive
>little opposition in Congress, flanked Ashcroft during a press conference on
>Friday at VeriSign headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
>The San Jose CHIP unit is now handling the prosecution of Dmitry Sklyarov, a
>27-year-old computer programmer for Moscow-based ElcomSoft. Sklyarov was
>arrested by the FBI after a giving a presentation at hackers' confab in Las
>Vegas, for creating a program that circumvents Adobe Systems' e-book
>"Free Sklyarov!" has become an online rallying cry for members of the
>Electronic Frontier Foundation and other civil libertarians who believe that
>the Digital Millennium Copyright Act tramples on individual rights. In an open
>letter to Ashcroft, EFF Executive Director Shari Steele called Sklyarov's
>arrest "shameful and opportunistic actions against an individual who was here
>simply to share his knowledge and expertise with American scientists."
>refused to comment on the pending case.
>The San Jose CHIP unit, Ashcroft said, has proven its value in a number of
>cases, including that of a hacker now serving an 18-month sentence for
>violating the computer systems of the Department of Defense, NASA and other
>U.S. agencies. Another successful prosecution put eight members of a robbery
>ring behind bars for terms ranging from 2.5 to 13 years. Another led to guilty
>pleas from individuals who were selling copyrighted software over the Internet
>via a Web site called "software-inc.com," and led to what is believed to
>first-ever criminal forfeiture of a Web site in an intellectual-property
>"When the site becomes the official property of the United States government,
>prosecutors intend to keep it up on the Internet," Ashcroft said. "Visitors
>will see a warning that the site has been seized by law enforcement and
>clear message that cybercrime carries real penalties for offenders."
>Before the press conference, Ashcroft and Mueller met privately with
>from 15 tech companies in a gathering arranged by lobbying group TechNet.
>Ashcroft's nomination as attorney general, which was hotly contested by
>liberals, received wide support among high-tech interests.
>"This is a step in the right direction," TechNet CEO Rick White said, noting
>that the borderless nature of the Internet makes it important that U.S.
>authorities take an aggressive approach to digital crime. "We'll be a leader,"
>White added. "I don't think we want to be the world's policeman."
>ClickAction CEO Gregory Slayton said strong enforcement "is exactly what we
>need," noting that his company fends off denial-of-service attacks and other
>intrusions on a daily basis. Slayton said he had taken his complaints to the
>FBI last year "but they didn't seem interested."
>Law enforcement officials also were pleased with Ashcroft's initiative. Chris
>Woiwode, supervisory special agent of the FBI's high-tech squad in Silicon
>Valley, said the pioneering CHIP unit represented a big improvement from the
>past, when prosecutors juggled a wide variety of cases.
>Sgt. Lloyd Cardone, a San Jose police officer assigned to an interagency task
>force on high-tech crime, said law enforcement had been "behind the curve" in
>policing computer crimes. "Now," he said, "we're catching up to digital
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