<< 1985 1986 1987 >>
January 1, 1986
Wayne Bell Releases WWIV Version 3.0.

February 26, 1986
The "Phoenix Fortress" BBS issues warrants for the arrest and confiscation of the equpment of 7 local users in Fremont, CA. The Sysop turns out to be a local law enforcement agent and the "Phoenix Fortress" a "Sting BBS", a BBS created to catch hackers and pirates.

March 6, 1986

Computer Sting Nets 7 Teen Suspects

He calls himself the Revenger.  Others, like the Highwayman, Captain Hacker
and Dr. Bob, know him well.  Using computers, they've been giving him stolen
credit card numbers and other illegal information for more than four months. 
But the seven hackers arrested wednesday in fremont didn't know him well 
enough.  The Revenger is sgt. Dan pasquale, a fremont police officer who's
been operating what he says is the nation's first computer sting operation
based at a local law enforcement agency.  Since November, when he first 
tapped into a nationwide underground computer network, pasquale said, he 
has communicated regularly with about 130 computer thieves in at least seven

Of the seven hackers, or phreakers, arrested wednesday, three were 15 years
old; two were 16; one was 17; and one, 19.

A few of them, pasquale said, operate in a bay area hackers group called 
the nihilist order, based in fremont and sunnyvale.

The charges, mostly misdemeanors, range from trafficking in stolen long distance
service codes and stolen credit card numbers to possession of stolen property
and dangerous weapons (a martial arts weapon).  Conviction would mean forfeiture
of the computer equiptment, pasquale said.  

March 3, 1986
The FidoNet Nodelist (a weekly distributed file listing all nodes on the FidoNet network) is large enough that Ben Baker announces that it will now be distributed both in a whole form (NODELIST.XXX) and as a "Difference File" (NODEDIFF.XXX) which will only list the changes to the Nodelist. This radically cuts down the amount of time spent online distributing the nodelist between fidonet nodes.
                      New NODELIST Distribution Method
                         by Ben Baker, Fido 100/76

          Maybe you haven't noticed,  but  the  nodelist  is  becoming
     quite large.  If there is no satellite link,  it takes about four
     and a half minutes to transmit NODELIST.A59  at  2400  baud,  and
     nearly eight minutes at 1200 baud.  It took OVER eight minutes at
     2400 baud to send it via satellite to Hawaii!

          We  now  have about eight hundred nodes in the nodelist.  If
     we assume an average of six minutes transmission time  per  node,
     that's  about eighty hours a week to distribute a new nodelist to
     everybody!  If only ten per cent is long distance, that's still a
     non-trivial sum we're giving Ma  Bell  each  week!  In  order  to
     reduce  the  overhead  of nodelist distribution,  we are making a
     change to the distribution format.

          NODELIST.A73 will be a  particularly  fat  nodelist  archive
     file.  It  will contain some extra files which are very important
     to you.  The complete contents of the file are as follows:

               EDITNL.ARC    consisting of

          NODEDIFF.073 will be a file which represents the differences
     between NODELIST.066 and NODELIST.073 in a rather simplistic edit
     command  format.   EDITNL  is  the  program  which  can construct
     NODELIST.073 from NODELIST.066  and  NODEDIFF.073.   It  will  be
     instructive  to  compare  the  sizes of the NODELIST and NODEDIFF

Source http://www.textfiles.com/bbs/FIDONET/FIDONEWS/fido0309.nws

August 13, 1986
The International Fidonet Association (IFNA) Articles of Association are submitted to the State of Missouri, declaring it a non-profit organization.

Source http://riverbbs.net/fido/history/policy/articles.html

August 14, 1986
The Silicon Mountain Conference of the International Fido Net (Later called Fidocon '86 or The First International Fidonet Conference) is held from August 14th to 17th, 1986 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Fidocons continue into the 90's (and into the 21st century in Europe).

September, 1986
Bill Landreth, author of "Out of the Inner Circle", gets up from a computer he is using at a friend's house in Escondido, CA, walks out the door, is not heard of again until he is found in Seattle, WA in July of 1987.

The Cracker Cracks Up?                                        December 21, 1986
         "Computer 'Cracker' Is Missing -- Is He Dead Or Is He Alive"

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- Early one morning in late September, computer hacker Bill
Landreth pushed himself away from his IBM-PC computer -- its screen glowing
with an uncompleted sentence -- and walked out the front door of a friend's
home here.

He has not been seen or heard from since.

The authorities want him because he is the "Cracker", convicted in 1984 of
breaking into some of the most secure computer systems in the United States,
including GTE Telemail's electronic mail network, where he peeped at NASA
Department of Defense computer correspondence.

His literary agent wants him because he is Bill Landreth the author, who
already has cashed in on the successful publication of one book on computer
hacking and who is overdue with the manuscript of a second computer book.

The Institute of Internal Auditors wants him because he is Bill Landreth the
public speaker who was going to tell the group in a few months how to make
their computer systems safer from people like him.

The letter, typed into his computer, then printed out and left in his room for
someone to discover, touched on the evolution of mankind, prospects for man's
immortality and the defeat of the aging process, nuclear war, communism versus
capitalism, society's greed, the purpose of life, computers becoming more
creative than man and finally -- suicide.

The last page reads:

"As I am writing this as of the moment, I am obviously not dead.  I do,
however, plan on being dead before any other humans read this.  The idea is
that I will commit suicide sometime around my 22nd birthday..."

The note explained:

"I was bored in school, bored traveling around the country, bored getting
raided by the FBI, bored in prison, bored writing books, bored being bored.  I
will probably be bored dead, but this is my risk to take."

But then the note said:

"Since writing the above, my plans have changed slightly.... But the point is,
that I am going to take the money I have left in the bank (my liquid assets)
and make a final attempt at making life worthy.  It will be a short attempt,
and I do suspect that if it works out that none of my current friends will know
me then.  If it doesn't work out, the news of my death will probably get
around.  (I won't try to hide it.)"

Landreth's birthday is December 26 and his best friend is not counting on
seeing him again.

"We used to joke about what you could learn about life, especially since if you
don't believe in a God, then there's not much point to life," said Tom
Anderson, 16, a senior at San Pasqual High School in Escondido, about 30 miles
north of San Diego.  Anderson also has been convicted of computer hacking and
placed on probation.

Anderson was the last person to see Landreth.  It was around September 25 -- he
does not remember exactly.  Landreth had spent a week living in Anderson's home
so the two could share Landreth's computer.  Anderson's IBM-PC had been
confiscated by authorities, and he wanted to complete his own book.

Anderson said he and Landreth were also working on a proposal for a movie about
their exploits.

Apparently Landreth took only his house key, a passport, and the clothes on his

But concern grew by October 1, when Landreth failed to keep a speaking
engagement with a group of auditors in Ohio, for which he would have received
$1,000 plus expenses.  Landreth may have kept a messy room and poor financial
records, but he was reliable enough to keep a speaking engagement, said his
friends and literary agent, Bill Gladstone, noting that Landreth's second
manuscript was due in August and had not yet been delivered.

But, the manuscript never came and Landreth has not reappeared.

Steve Burnap, another close friend, said that during the summer Landreth had
grown lackadaisical toward life.  "He just didn't seem to care much about
anything anymore."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Landreth eventually turned up in Seattle, Washington around the third week of
July 1987.  Because of his breaking probation, he is back in jail finishing his

Source Sacramento Bee, December, 1986

Mustang Software is founded in Bakersfield, CA. They later become one of the "big five" BBS Software Producers with the "Wildcat!" BBS package. The founders are Jim Harrer and Rick Heming.

October 21, 1986
President Ronald Reagan signs the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. This act, intended to protect electronic mail and communication by carriers, is quickly assumed to also apply to BBS Sysops, who scramble through legal debates and discussions to determine their liabilities and requirements under the act.

Source http://www.digitalcentury.com/encyclo/update/ecpa.html

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