This page is dedicated to Thanking so many people.
It would literally take a lifetime and will forever be indebted to so many people both at home and people never have met, and may never get to meet but hope to somehow get to meet in person.
I'd like to thank my wife Donna who really put teeth into the meanings of the song "Stand By Your Man".
My Dad, who did everything he possibly can and more in support.
My sister Dawn, she sure wasn't go to sit by and let Georgia do what they were trying to do.
My Grandmother, she wanted to be here every moment she could. She said "Who did I kill, it's just a computer". Even at her age she sure gets it.
Our Friends Val and Joyce. Thank goodness Val went with Donna when DeKalb jail wasn;t going to let me out and Val kept me busy as much as possible to help me from going out of my mind.
Our friend Carla & Gene for their support, we were even going to stay at their house come trial time since they live so close by to the Couthouse down there.
Many of our neighbors such as Dave Bradford and Al Davis, they too did so much and all they could.
A new local friend, the first from the online Community we met in person. John Middleton and his wife Linda. John saw that we lived pretty close by and we have been close ever since.
Bob Mills in North Carolina, set up the website to catch the State breaking it's own laws.
Dan, more than a friend, a friend we have not met yet and hope to soon. Dan is like a brother by my side evven though he was thousands of miles away. Can never say enough of what Dan did.
Tom McFadden, another friend we hope to meet. He was the first from the online Community to step forward in a way of support that we didn't think was possible.
Micheal Potter and family, they too supported us so much it is hard to convey what they did.
The Anandtech.com online Community
JW Middleton & his wife Linda - He is on Anandtech and was first to come to our house and meet me in person and we have become best friends. He is known as BO (Boincer) on There.
The Netherlands Community (DPC Dutch Power Cows and SETI @ Netherlands)
David Anderson, Director of SETI@Home project
Lee Tien, Senior Staff Attorney at the EFF
Henry Oswald - Staff assistant for Lee Tien
Dave Farber - Chief Technologist to the President of the United States and Board Member of the EFF.
Dave Winer - Founder of Userland Web Blogs
Lisa Rein - Journalist, friend of Dave Winer, assistant at EFF, thank you for your encouragement and writings.
Hiawatha Bray - Journalist at Boston Globe
Ann Harrison - Journalist
Lisa Bowman - Journalist
Janet Brown - Journalist
This list will continue, this is just the the start
Georgia Vs McOwen - It's Over Folks
June 25th 2002 TechTV airs documentary of the State of Georgia Vs David McOwen ScreenSaver case
Attention State Of Georgia Citizens
Congratulations Georgians and the Country, you did it, you have voted out of Office many of the individuals that voted for political interests first and not the people first!!!
You did have a say in what politicians do like insane things like this above, it's called a vote
All three top positions involved in the above Tyranny are up for election this November
Senator Max Cleland (Gone)
Governor Roy Barnes (Gone)
State Attorney General Thurbert Baker
(Won his bid but will NOT have the power he had before)
Donna had received letters from the above Politicians that they support the prosecution led by the State Attorney General.
Do your duty - Do not vote for these Technology challenged individuals and get the word out for all your friends and family to do the same.
Senator Zell Miller remained neutral on the above matter.
From Anandtech 11/6/2002
Thread Title Anyone else got their eyes
on Georgia tonight?
Posted: 11/06/2002 12:49 AM
Posted By: osmo (Golden Member)
sure Dave's watching.
Posted: 11/06/2002 12:52 AM
Posted By: FoBoT (Diamond Member)
is the deal with Barnes? i thought he was popular?
Posted: 11/06/2002 12:59 AM
Posted By: osmo (Golden Member)
You can start here:
Posted: 11/06/2002 1:10 AM
Posted By: DanC (Elite Member)
Posted: 11/06/2002 1:24 AM
Posted By: Wolfie (Platinum Member)
least they are pegging them off one at a time...
It's almost as bad as Minnesota...
Posted: 11/06/2002 2:48 AM
Posted By: bot2600 (Golden Member)
to see it looks like thurbie won
Posted: 11/06/2002 3:57 AM
Posted By: JWMiddleton (Diamond Member)
Both my wife and I remember Dave when we voted today in GA! It is a shame that Ms. Goessling didn't campaign cause she basically gave it to Baker.
Curious about my Fleet?
Got spare cycles? Check out Team Anandtech Distributed Computing
Posted: 11/06/2002 8:00 AM
Posted By: dmcowen674 (Senior Member)
Dave was at the edge of the chair all night long...poor Donna everytime
she nodded off I prodded her back up with more and more good news as
the numbers rolled in after midnight.
This is a second Press Release from someone that was by my side from across the country;
The nightmare is over for David
McOwen and we have reached the conclusion of “The State of Georgia vs. David
Was it a magnanimous gesture on the part of the Georgia Attorney General's office? An edict from the Governor? Did they come to their senses and dismiss along with profuse apologies?
Of course not. When has anyone known the government to admit that they were wrong?
We would be remiss in pointing out that there are probably a lot of really good people in the organizations involved with this case. People that are upright, fair, and just about the way they go about their official duties. It’s debatable whether David encountered any of them in his sojourn through the justice system. That would probably be a matter of opinion.
From our perspective, this case was worthless from day one. It was an incredibly inept application of a lousy statute in some bizarre, Orwellian attempt to crucify a geek for some incomprehensible reason.
Officials apparently realized that violating their own law probably didn’t make them look like the sharpest pencils in the box either. There is also the matter of the GCSPA being taken up in the upcoming legislative session. Even the lawmakers had enough sense to see they screwed up.
David was offered, and accepted a plea agreement. You'll note we do not use the term "bargain", because in reality this is far from a bargain.
Under the provisions of the “first offender act”:
David will have to do 80 hours of community service. At David’s level of expertise, that’s roughly worth $7,000 give-or-take.
David will be given 8 one-year probationary periods – to run concurrently. David will have to report to a probation officer 1 time per month for the entire 12 month period
David will be made to pay $2,100 in “restitution.”
And don’t forget that this is on top of being fired from DeKalb Tech, and from Cingular Wireless. Add to that the legal fees, and harassment from a couple of real creeps. He’s certainly suffered plenty. As near as can be estimated, his costs exceed $25,000 – and climbing. Pretty stiff penalties for someone who did no damage.
On the bright side, Once this is all completed -- David will have no felony record. David will have no misdemeanor record. In other words - It's all over. And in fairness, at least this resolution will make the case "adjudicated." This is actually preferable to plain, old dismissal in that it can never be dredged up again, under the provisions prohibiting double jeopardy, but it falls far short of a dismissal with prejudice. The community service and fine are an entirely unnecessary slap in the face.
For whatever it’s worth – they came to the right conclusion. Our next plan was to involve FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) and make darned sure that not a single juror could be found that didn’t know that it was his/her absolute right to judge the law, complete with a critical analysis of the law and why it was unconstitutional.
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) had just tossed in its rather large, ominous hat into the ring, and points out that David would likely have won at trial. This is of course is one big reason he was cut any slack at all.
In the immortal words of Kenny Rogers in “The Gambler:” “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em...” The “Cyber-sting” and the EFF trump card hit the table at roughly the same time, and they folded at that point. Thanks Lee Tien, and all at the EFF. Your presence alone spoke volumes.
Is there a lesson in this? We’d think so. For our younger readers who may be swayed by the fluffy “love your government” messages coming across the airwaves...
To be a patriot – is to be true to oneself, and one’s brethren in the land you call home. It is important to remember that the Constitution was NOT written to protect government from the people. It was written to protect the people from government. When government ceases to reflect the attitudes and culture of the society it seeks to govern, it is not only your right, but your DUTY to correct them.
Let there be a lesson in this for both sides.
For the citizens:
You hold the highest office in the land. Everyone in government serves YOU. That’s the reason you pay taxes – to pay THEM. Use your voice, and use your VOTE. Let’s take a hard critical look at who we are appointing to act in our behalf.
Hold your elected officials to task. Tell them to start REPEALING laws instead of constantly adding new ones. Politics is about votes and money. If a knee-jerk reaction to some specific incident can get enough press to gain votes – they jump all over it, and write a new law. Those hastily-written edicts are often shoved through the process granting absolute prosecutorial discretion to the government.
This law is a glaring example of just that. Total discretion. That’s not a good thing, folks.
Get involved in your government locally. Ask the hard questions, hold them to task. This land belongs to citizens! If enough people are willing to speak up, things change.
Just say NO to stupid laws!
For the government:
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but a keyboard “rulez.”
So what did we learn in all this?
A. For God’s sake... Get permission in writing, signed in blood (DNA evidence will be conclusive enough to prove it REALLY was your boss that signed it) to conduct any activity at a place of higher learning that may involve unused resources – or anywhere else for that matter.
B. It’s O.K. to violate the law if you’re on the Board of Directors of an institution.
C. It’s O.K. to violate the law if you’re enforcing it.
D. An overzealous prosecutor can destroy a man at a whim, without even a hint of concern for whether it is "just" – and can just go right on his/her merry way.
E. The “justice system” appears to trample the law as a matter of course. exitus acta probat?
What do we hope “they” learned from this?
A. Anything. We wish them a speedy journey to enlightenment. It’s painfully apparent they are nowhere near the destination.
tier Foundation) and their campaign for Freedom online
Network administrator David
McOwen faced 120 year sentence for installing clients without permission. He
accepted a probation deal this week to 'stop this madness.'
By Ann Harrison
Jan 18 2002 12:48PM PT
A Georgia man who was accused of computer theft and trespass after installing a distributed computing client at work, has accepted a plea agreement that will bring an end to his two-year legal odyssey.
David McOwen had been facing up to 120 years in jail for downloading the Distributed.net client while working as a computer technician for the state-run DeKalb Technical College.
Under the terms of the deal offered by the Georgia attorney general's office, McOwen will be required to make restitution of $2,100 to cover the cost of removing the clients, and perform 80 hours of community service unrelated to computers or technology. He also receives one year of probation for each criminal count, which will run concurrently. McOwen will have no felony or misdemeanor record under Georgia's First Offender Act.
McOwen loaded the Distributed.net client on the college's machines and donated their unused computing power to the RC5-64 code breaking challenge. Prosecutors alleged that McOwen stood to gain financially from his actions and implied that the client may have created security holes.
McOwen denied these allegations, but acknowledged in an interview with SecurityFocus that the plea agreement gave him a chance to avoid the risk of a trial, while halting a dispute that's already put him thousands of dollars in debt.
"Anything can happen with juries of lay people," said McOwen. "And it would also cost tens of thousands of dollars that we don't have to try the case... It was also a face saving maneuver on the part of the state. It is obvious that they did not want to go to trial."
'This has brought out
the most important feature of distributed computing... coming together and
combining the power of people.'
-- David McOwen
Supporters Donated Cycles
Since February 2000, McOwen has been under investigation by Georgia state prosecutors who initially sought more than $415,000 in restitution for bandwidth charges calculated at 59 cents worth of bandwidth per second. The state later backed away from the $415,000 figure but McOwen lost two jobs as a result of the investigation.
McOwen was finally charged last October with eight violations of Georgia's computer crime law: one count of computer theft, and seven counts of computer trespass. Each felony count carried a $50,000 fine and a 15-year possible prison term, in the first case in which state prosecutors used an anti-hacking law to punish unauthorized downloading of third party software.
Senior staff attorney Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes McOwen would likely have won if the case had gone to trial. Much of the case rested on whether McOwen had fair notice that installing Distributed.net client software was prohibited. Prosecutors insisted that McOwen had violated a written agreement not to download third party software without authorization, but never produced the written policy. Prosecutors could not be reached for comment Friday.
Tien says that the Georgia legislature should take a look at its computer crime statue and curtail its language so that it cannot be used to prosecute cases like McOwen's.
"They wouldn't have put forward this kind of deal unless they either believed their case was weak, or there were no damages to support it," said Tien. "But you don't want to go through this process of losing your job, being attacked in the press and being in legal limbo, so you should get permission before installing distributed clients. I can only hope that companies and administrators set clear guidelines."
McOwen's case outraged supporters of distributed computing projects and became a worldwide cause. One group of supporters on the Anandtech Forums, www.anandtech.com, recently auctioned seven days of 150 gigahertz in donated computing power, raising $2,175 for McOwen's legal expenses. McOwen believes that the outspoken condemnation of the charges against him prompted the prosecutors to back down.
"This has brought out the most important feature of distributed computing which is not coming together and combining the power of machines, it is coming together and combining the power of people," said McOwen. "This shows that it is possible to stop this madness."
Thank you Ann Harrison for all your support and your writings.
I was being prosecuted by the State of Georgia for downloading and Installing a Screensaver Client from the Internet on school computers !
The State was seeking 8 Felony convictions, which carries a maximum up to 120 year prison sentence and $50,000 fine for each Felony count plus $ 415,000 in restitution and damages for a total of $815,000!
This can set a precedent for everyone that downloads anything off the Internet, not just Distributed Computing programs and projects but any Peer to Peer program such as Napster and Instant Message programs from AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo.
We must now begin and continue to educate Computers users, administrators and their Governments around the world the difference between good computing and bad computing so these types of things NEVER can happen again to anyone, anywhere.
This is the Georgia Computer Protection Act Law that they charged me under. http://www.clark.net/pub/rothman/gacode.htm This law needs completely new statutory reconstruction as well as education for those attempting to uphold these types of laws of the land.
So many thanks to be said to so many people around the world this is truly a miracle:
http://www.FreeMcOwen.com - Thanks to Craig Loop, webmaster email@example.com
http://www.machinethoughts.com Forum Website built and setup by Bob Mills of Charlotte North Carolina and a team of incredible supporters.
http://forums.anandtech.com Thank you Anand and all staff at Anandtech as well as all of the people around the world that visit the site and Forums and what they did I am only beginning to describe here, for your support.
Thanks go to Tristan McKerracher in Canada, he makes special home-made custom floppy computer cables. He was sending 1 dollar from the sale of every cable to my defense fund. If you need an extra long Drive cable for that special server or game machine or any kind of custom cable e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org BTW - He does website development too.
June 25th 2002 - TechTV airs documentary about the case on their Cybercrime show.
Here is the show : http://www.soni.dk/HostDownload.asp
Thanks Soni for Hosting the file of the show digitized.
Donna and I are slowly realizing our goal and dream to thank as many of our supporters out there in the world in person:
Friday July 26th we got to meet RaySun2Be (Dennis) on Anandtech.
Dennis & David Dennis & Donna
November 14, 2002 - Brian Martin (Thunder) was in Atlanta for a seminar. We got to meet and talk about old times at Anandtech.
Besides losing the State job I lost the job I was contracting for Cingular Wireless on August 2, 2001 because of this, an article came out in ZDnet Magazine mentioning that I worked there and they said they did not want negative publicity. I've put Resume link back up.
Donna and I thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts. With all your support we hope to make it through this nightmare.
Update - It is a true Miracle that we are awakening from that nightmare!
From: Donna McOwen
Date: December 7, 2001
Subject: Seasons Greetings and Thank you to all
I want to take this opportunity, to thank everyone who has supported us during this trying time in our lives. I was hoping that the end of this year, we could leave it with better news and have this nightmare over with, but we won't. We will stride on, though, and hope with the new year to come, we can face whatever will happen. We are still overwhelmed of all the supporters all over the world and has made my belief in people come true that there is still some good out there. With everything going on in the world today, you still pulled through for David and supported him and that means so much. This whole thing is so unnecessary and for people to continue to try and destroy our lives is unbelievable to us......you try and keep your nose clean and mind your own business, but some people just won't let you. We hope you have a Peaceful and Joyous Holiday Season. Life is tough for some of us right now, I know some of you are unemployed and going through things, but let us not forget that God has a plan for all of us........put your troubles and pains in his hands and he will take care of it for you. Ask him for guidance and to help you lead yourself in the right direction. All of you are very special people and wish you the best of the best for the New Year 2002 to come. God Bless You All!
FREE MCOWEN..........FREEDOM TO ALL!!!
This is a link to an E-mail that was forwarded recently. I'd like to dedicate it to fellow Team mates and Netizens at Team Anandtech.
Speaking of Anandtech, I keep this prayer on the wall next to the computer that Team member Networkman wrote October 12th 2001 after he read what Donna did to be sure that I got out when I was arrested at held longer than I was supposed to be at the DeKalb County Jail October 10th 2001.
/me prays: "Lord, when You do find it in Your wisdom to grant me a wife, may she be as dedicated and caring as David's wife is to him. Amen"
"Rod Serling didn't make up the Twilight Zone in his imagination, I know because I am in it."
Update - Oct 10, 2001 - Arrested, Booked and out on $5,000 bail. 8 Felony Counts, 1 Count Computer Theft, 7 Counts of Computer Trespass each carrying 15 year Maximum and $50,000 fine Totaling 120 Years and $815,000 with Fines, Restitution and damages they are seeking.
Update - December 5, 2001 - The original first Court Calendar Date of December 10th 2001 has been put off by a continuance granted by Judge Workman today. The State has not handed over Discovery evidence to the defense yet at this time. There is no firm date set yet with speculation that the date may be towards the end of January 2002.
Update - December 14, 2001 - The Discovery and evidence material has been turned over to my Attorney Mr. David Joyner
Update - December 18, 2001 - The new Court Calendar Date has been set for January 18th 2002 and the Trial Date has been set for January 28th 2002.