This site is dedicated to exposing the
great injustice that was being done to David McOwen.
It could happen to any of us!
Edit: This site is now re-dedicated to
all of those around the world that saved my life from
the tyranny of one State Government and to help prevent
or stop something like this from ever happening again
to anyone, anywhere in the world. Also to the cause of
Distributed Computing Technology that has the possibility
of doing many great things for all of mankind by the linking
together of every Computer in the world.
This was the first News airing about the
here to see this case discussed on TechTV's Silicon Spin
A Documentary story and interview was
aired on TechTV Tuesday June 25th at 9 PM EST
Here is the show
file digitized. Thanks Soni for Hosting the file
New 4-27-2004 Georgia
Tech launches Distributing Computing Project!
Of all places, this originates in Georgia.
Using NETI@home will make the Internet a better place!
(and hopefully a little faster)
Oh the Irony of this originating in Georgia. Roy Barnes
and all the other School Cronies that went after me must
be livid at Georgia Tech now:
to Examine Net's Strengths
Georgia Tech researchers want you -- and your computer.
They want to figure out how to make the Internet faster
and more reliable, but to do that they need to gather
data from tens of thousands of personal computers around
Currently, Internet performance research almost always
uses data gathered from various router points along the
Internet's backbone, the high-speed pipelines that keep
data moving around the globe. But George Riley, professor
of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech,
and graduate student Robby Simpson want to use data collected
directly from Internet users.
To do this they've developed an open-source software
application that gathers network performance statistics
such as average response time, average round-trip time,
connection times, download times and number of packets
sent and received.
Now they just need truckloads of volunteers to download
their NETI@home application, and allow the application
to send network performance information from the volunteers'
computers to a server at Georgia Tech, where it will be
analyzed and made available to anyone else who wants to
use it for their own Internet improvement projects.
Neti@home is named after the University of California
at Berkeley's SETI@home project, which uses volunteer
computing power to search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
"With NETI, we're searching for network intelligence
-- intelligence about the way the Internet works so we
can make it work better," said Simpson.
But the data that NETI will gather is far more personal
than that gathered by SETI. Riley and Simpson know that
people may be leery of having data on their network usage
tracked and transmitted, but promise to protect volunteers'
"NETI is not spyware, and in no way compromises
any of your private data," said Riley. "It is
nearly painless from a performance point of view, and
completely private if you opt to use our most restrictive
Simpson and Riley said they hope, however, that volunteers
will not choose the most restrictive privacy setting.
Less restrictive settings will allow them to gather more
useful data from participating computers.
Systems administrators can also use NETI to monitor performance
on their private networks. And since the NETI application
is open-source, Simpson and Riley also hope the development
community will come up with other interesting uses for
Georgia Tech plans to keep the NETI project going "theoretically
Tech Study to Gauge Internet Performance for Computer
End-Users - Georgia Tech Seeks Research Volunteers for
NETI@home: The Search for a Faster Internet
Atlanta - Ever notice your Internet connection seems
slow? Ever wonder what’s causing the slow down? You are
not alone. Millions of users bemoan sluggish downloads
and slow email but rarely know the cause of the delays.
Researchers at Georgia Tech have developed a technology
to find out the how the Internet is performing from the
“regular” end-users’ perspectives. With this information,
they can design and develop network solutions to relieve
these bottlenecks. To do this, they need volunteers for
the NETI@home project, which stands for “network intelligence.”
We were at at Dragon*Con
30 and 31
Panel on the case and a Co-panel with Randal Swartz
Labor Day Weekend 2003
2003 Atlanta Georgia
I don't know if the Star Wars Kid
wasthere but I
was there along with my now ex-wife Donna Saturday 8-30
in the Piedmont room at 2:30 pm
Also on Sunday evening at 7 PM same room.
Update 9-5-2003 DragonCon 2003 was great.
Donna and I did get to see Angela Cartright & Bill Mumy
(Penny & Will) as well as a lot of other great Actors
The Forum panels that I spoke at were
great. I only wish that I had finished the book I am still
looking to finish and would've had on hand for those that
attended the panels.
April 23, 2002
This is David McOwen.
I would like to thank Craig (The PCMAN)
for setting up this site during the ordeal where I was
under the attack of the State of Georgia. Craig just turned
over the site to me and I am now re-dedicating it as an
educational and informational site so that it has a chance
of preventing what happened to me from ever happening
to anyone anywhere in the world ever again.
September 25, 2002 Announcement
by Distributed.Net that RC5 project is completed and
Note: They started a new project RC5-72,
No, I will not be running that project. How can anyone
support a project where the President of that Company
does not support the people supporting and running your
project? This individual actually spoke out against me
on numerous occasions as seen in the News articles listed
here. Many people that were running that project and supporters
of me then stopped running that project and switched to
other Distributed Computing projects. I would like to
take this opportunity to thank Dr. David Anderson the
Director of the SETI@Home project. He spoke out against
what the State of Georgia was doing as was going to testify
on my behalf as well as on the behalf of the Distributed
Computing Technology which was obviously under attack
Frontier Foundation Media Release
For Immediate Release: January 17, 2002
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
+1 415 436-9333 x102 (office), +1 510 290-7131
Kenney & Solomon
+1 770 564-1600
Distributed Computing Prosecution Ends with
Whimper Not Bang
Georgia Man's Ordeal Ends
San Francisco - David McOwen can finally see
the light at the end of the tunnel. After
about two years of facing the prospect of
years in prison and more than $400,000 in
fines and restitution, the former DeKalb Technical
College systems administrator has accepted
an offer by the state of Georgia that will
bring his legal nightmare to an end.
Since February 2000, McOwen has been the target
of a "computer trespass" investigation
and then prosecution. His crime? In 1998,
he installed a distributed-computing client
(like the SETI@home screensaver) on the college's
PCs in order to participate in a distributed
decryption contest. In early 2000, the school
administrators threatened McOwen with criminal
charges and called in the Georgia Bureau of
Investigation. The threat of more than $400,000
in liability was based solely on the use of
the school computers, valued at 59 cents per
Under the terms of the deal, announced today,
McOwen will receive one year of probation
for each criminal count, to run concurrently,
make restitution of $2100, and perform 80
hours of community service unrelated to computers
or technology. McOwen will have no felony
or misdemeanor record under Georgia's First
"David never should have been prosecuted
in the first place, but we're glad that the
state decided to stop," said Senior Staff
Attorney Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF). "This is a very good
result for David. He very likely could have
won if the case had gone to trial, but trials
cost money and you never know what will happen."
Tien explained that much of the case against
McOwen turned on whether he had fair notice
that installing the
Distributed.net client software was prohibited.
Under the Georgia computer trespass statute,
criminal liability may
only be imposed if the person uses the computer
or network with knowledge that the use is
unauthorized. "From what I can tell,
the state would have had a hard time proving
beyond a reasonable doubt that David knew
he wasn't authorized to install the software,"
Tien said. "I can't help but feel that
this was a face-saving deal for the
"The state's claim of up to $815,000
for computer time seems to fit an old pattern
that we've seen before," Tien said. In
one of the first cases championed by EFF,
a man faced years in prison for obtaining
and publishing an internal BellSouth document
initially valued at almost $80,000. The case
was dropped after evidence was introduced
that it was publicly available for $13.
The issue raised by McOwen's prosecution isn't
an isolated one, Tien added. Distributed computing
is an important scientific tool that can harness
the spare cycles of numerous personal computers
into the virtual equivalent of a supercomputer.
The SETI@home screensaver, for instance, allows
computer users all over the world to aid in
the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Last year, however, the Tennessee Valley Authority
banned the SETI@home program from its computers,
declaring it a risk to computer security.
While McOwen's legal problems appear over,
they've taken a serious toll. He resigned
from his job at DeKalb soon after the school
threatened him. And he was fired from his
next job at Cingular Wireless last August
because of the bad publicity surrounding the
EFF wishes to praise and give special thanks
to David Joyner, McOwen's attorney at Kenney
& Solomon, for all of his hard work. Thanks
are also owed to McOwen's supporters at FreeMcOwen.com
and MachineThoughts.com for publicizing the
case and raising money for his legal fund.
Legal defense fund for the McOwen case:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the
liberties organization working to protect
rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively
challenges industry and government to support
expression, privacy, and openness in the information
society. EFF is a member-supported organization
maintains one of the most-linked-to websites
in the world at
If America's founding fathers had
anticipated the digital frontier, there would be
a clause in the Constitution protecting your rights
online, as well. Instead, a modern group of freedom
fighters was necessary to extend the original vision
into the digital world. That's where the Electronic
Frontier Foundation comes in. read
What's this all about?
The story began in 1999, when David McOwen
worked on the computer systems at DeKalb Technical College
in Georgia. Like many other geeks, David realized
that most of the machines on campus sat idle most of the
time - good computing power going to waste.
That very thought has led to the creation
of several companies looking to tap into that power. The
idea is to chop up large computer jobs into small portions,
and shoot these bits of work to individual computers over
One such outfit, Distributed.net,
has been testing the idea since 1997 by cracking encryption
systems - products that scramble data so that unauthorized
people can't read it. Interested techies can go to the
Web site and download software that runs when their machines
aren't doing something else. This software toils away
at cracking a code, a task that would take millions of
years for a single computer. But when chopped up and spread
across tens of thousands of machines, the work should
be finished in just a few years.
To improve their odds of winning, people
with access to lots of computers have installed the software
on many systems. That's what David did at his college.
The state of Georgia doesn't agree with
this use of computers. Under state law, they considered
it misuse of the state's computers - and in Georgia, that's
a felony. In a cry for help published on the Web site
Anandtech.com, David said the state wants $415,000 in
compensation for lost computing and network capacity.
And of course, there's always that possible prison sentence
of 120 years to consider.
Original Online Petition set up by Nate
Coffey, thanks Nate
The following is David McOwen's original story
and plea for help in his own words when he was first contacted
in late June 2001 by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation
told he was going to be charged with Felony Computer crimes.
This is David McOwen. I need
everyone's help that possibly can. I worked at a school
system 2 years ago that is part of the State of Georgia
and was the configurator of the computers. They are now
prosecuting me for Felony conviction with up to 120 yrs
in prison and wanting $ 415,000. They are saying the Dnet
client costs 59 cents per second for the Internet
transmissions! If you or you know anyone that can help
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beside my life and my family, the future of all that use
the Internet and computers is at stake. Don't let them
turn the good of computers into something so terrible.
If it was so terrible it should be taken away from the
world and not prosecuting one individual. People were
panicking about rumors of the Govt tacking on a 5 cent
surcharge to supplement the Postal service because E-mail
is taking away from their business and now the State of
Georgia is saying E-mail costs 59 cents per second
and this is not a rumor!
Also we need to know if
anyone in the United States or the world has been prosecuted
for this. We need to know for sure that they are setting
this dangerous precedent, making me an example and everyone
is next. They did not give me an opportunity to just turn
the client off, they also said that there was no harm
done after they turned it off. How can they call it a
felony then and looking for nearly half a million dollars!
Please help in any way that you can, whether by E-mails
or any other support.
Other Malicious Prosecutions cases
Georgia mother loses her 4 yr old son in hit and run
to drunk driver, Drunk driver gets 6 months while Georgia
prosecutor Barry Morgan charges her for Jaywalking for
U.S. falls to a new low, persecutes 6 year old boy scout
for bringing his new boy scout utensil to school for lunch
October 13 2009 is board meeting - Flood the E-mail boxes
of these lack of critical thinking adults that are supposed
to have the interests of the children first.
13 students facing Felony convictions for changing the
admin password on their school issued laptops
Chip Salzenburg !!!
These website Titles speak for themselves
Industry Vs The People
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