<< 1988 1989 1990 >>
February 25, 1989
Taran King and Knight Lightning publish PHRACK Issue #24. This issue contains an artice, "Control Office Administration Of Enhanced 911 Service by The Eavesdropper", which leads to an indictment of Knight Lightning early the following year.

August 14, 1989
Daniel T. Depew and Dean Ashley Lambey of Richmond Virginia are arrested on charges of plotting to kidnap, molest and kill a boy in a videotape. The pair initially contact undercover agents via a computer bulletin board service, bringing further attention to the case and considered to be one of the first nationwide computer bulletin board entrapment cases. Ultimately, Depew is sentenced to 33 years in prison and Lambey to 30. While the BBS angle is slight, it is played up significantly in the media, to the point that some papers indicate the pair were pre-selling the snuff film on local computer bulletin boards.

Source August 22, 1989, Washington Post, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Orange County Register

August 24, 1989
Fidocon '89 is held in San Jose, CA from the 24th to the 27th of August.

September 4, 1989
Thom Henderson, chairman of the International FidoNet Association, announces that a FidoNet-wide referendum will be presented to all FidoNet sysops over whether to pass control of FidoNet to the IFNA.

     Thom Henderson
     Chairman of the Board (?!?!)
     International FidoNet Association

                              IFNA: Do or Die

     I just got back from  FidoCon'89  late  last  night  (early  this
     morning),  and  right  off the bat the very first thing I want to
     say is that it was a great convention!  Let's  have  a  round  of
     applause  for the gang in the Bay Area for doing such a wonderful
     job!  (clap,  clap,  cheers  from  the  sidelines,  whistles,  et

     There were a lot of good seminars with good speakers, somewhat to
     my  surprise  there  was  a very good after dinner speech by John
     Dvorak after the banquet,  and there were  scads  of  interesting
     people (i.e. sysops) to meet and talk with.  One rather odd thing
     did happen,  though.  Somehow I wound up as Chairman of the Board
     of IFNA.  I'm still not quite sure how/why that happened,  but it
     made  for some interesting experiences (and I'm sure it'll keep a
     couple of echomail conferences from getting too dull in the  next
     few months).

     So what am I going to do as Chairman of the Board?  Not much, and
     mostly it's already done.  A Chairman doesn't do much of anything
     except chair the board meeting (just like the  title  says),  and
     that's  over  (more  on  that in a minute).  The chairman doesn't
     make motions and can't even vote (except to break a tie).

     While I'm on this subject,  let me mention a few  things  that  I
     most  certainly WON'T do.  There were a lot of rumors and a large
     measure of loose talk and fairly brainless gum-flapping going  on
     in a couple of suites about What I'm Going To Do that ought to be

      *  I'm not going to outlaw Wazoo.

      *  I'm not going to mandate that GroupMail replace echomail.

      *  I'm not going to charge people to be in the node list.

      *  I'm not going to "use my position to commercialize the net"
         (whatever THAT means).

     Let's get real, people.  Even assuming I wanted to do any of that
     (which I don't),  none of it is anything that a chairman  of  the
     board  can  do.  For  that  matter,  none  of it is anything that
     anyone could do if the sysops don't want  it  done.  Anybody  who
     thinks they are going to make 4,000 sysops (or even one sysop) do
     anything  they  don't  want  should  have his head examined.  The
     FidoNet sysops are going to continue to do as  they  damned  well

     So what *AM* I  going  to  do?  Like  I  said,  chair  the  board
     meeting,  which  is  over.  If you don't mind,  I'd really rather
     talk about that.

     It  was  a  heck of a board meeting!  The best I've ever seen.  I
     guess an advantage of me being the chair is that it got a lot  of
     people  involved.  The first board meeting was Friday night,  and
     it was pretty much restricted to a few officer elections.  Me  as
     chairman,  Kris  Veitch as secretary/treasurer,  and John Knox as
     acting secretary.  Everything else was postponed  until  Saturday
     night.  Then  all  day  Saturday  right up to (and even into) the
     board meeting phone calls went all over the place, locating every
     board member who wasn't there and obtaining a proxy  for  someone
     who  WAS  there.  The  only  one who couldn't be reached was Henk
     Wevers,  who is on vacation.  The two vacancies on the board were
     both filled as soon as the board resumed session,  so as a result
     23 out of 24 board seats were  represented  during  the  session.
     That's the highest percentage we've ever had!

     And John Knox did a great job of keeping track of everything that
     happened  (I'll  say he did an outstanding job if I get a copy of
     the minutes later this week [*grin*]).  Full minutes should be in
     the next issue of FidoNews. (If they aren't, then my own somewhat
     less complete notes will be in the following issue and I'll be on
     a plane to Oklahoma to visit John [*wider grin*].) The full  list
     of  everyone who served on the board will be in the minutes,  but
     here's my own slightly sketchy list:

         Stephen Barnes
         Bill Bird
         Phil Buonomo
         Randy Bush
         Jim Cannell
         Don Daniels
         Tony Davis
         Fabian Gordon
         Bob Hartman
         Thom Henderson
         Tom Jennings
         Steve Jordan
         Joe Keenan
         John Knox
         John Lamb
         Rob Lerman
         Vince Perriello
         Mort Sternheim
         Matt Whelan

         My apologies to anyone I left out.  Lest I forget, the new
         officers are:

              President:               Les Kooyman
              Vice President           Fabian Gordon
              Vice President/TC:       Bill Bolton
              Secretary/Treasurer:     Kris Veitch

     As  you  can  see,   we  had  a  pretty   high-powered   meeting.
     Surprisingly,  it  went  very smoothly (aside from the occasional
     curmudgeon in need of sitting-on).  There was a  lot  of  serious
     discussion, but it never got heated.  We were never even close to
     having a shouting match.

     A  lot  of  the  attendees had very definite goals they wanted to
     accomplish.  Said goals weren't always compatible,  but a plan of
     action  was  hammered  out that is going to make major changes in
     what IFNA is and how it works.  To sum it up in a  nutshell,  one
     of two things is going to happen:

      1) IFNA is going to become what it was meant to be, the
         democratic voice of the sysops in network management.

      2) Or, IFNA is going to be dissolved.

     The choice, of course,  is yours.  You'll be hearing soon (if you
     haven't  heard  already)  that  there is a referendum coming that
     will be asking YOU which of the  above  you  would  like  to  see

     By  "you"  I  don't mean "you who paid $25 to join IFNA",  I mean
     "you the sysop of a public BBS in FidoNet".  One  of  the  things
     that happened was that the IFNA bylaws were amended to make every
     sysop in FidoNet a full voting member of IFNA -- no dues or  fees
     required.   IFNA  is  now  where  it  belongs,   in  your  hands.
     Furthermore,  if the majority of *ALL* FidoNet sysops don't  vote
     in  favor  of  rebuilding IFNA,  then IFNA will be dissolved.  No
     hanky panky,  no hedging,  no waffling about what the lack  of  a
     vote means.  If IFNA does not receive a solid "YES" vote from the
     majority of all sysops, it's history.  If a sysop cares so little
     that he does not bother to cast a vote, then that will be exactly
     the same as voting against IFNA.

     Furthermore,  the referendum is mandated to be completed no later
     than  1 December 1989.  As far as I'm concerned,  that means that
     if it isn't,  then IFNA will be dissolved.  Granted that  a  net-
     wide  referendum is a fairly major undertaking involving a lot of
     cooperation  from  a  lot  of  people (including,  I'm sure,  the
     existing *C structure).  But if IFNA  is  unable  to  garner  the
     support or the manpower  to  coordinate  the  vote,  then  in  my
     opinion it is not worthy to be trusted with network management.

     It goes even beyond that.  If  passed,  the  referendum  mandates
     that  IFNA  must  submit  a  new  set of bylaws and a new network
     policy document to the  sysops  for  approval  no  later  than  1
     February 1990.  This means that before the February board meeting
     IFNA must:

      1) Run a net-wide vote of all sysops asking if IFNA should
         manage FidoNet.

      2) Win the vote by a clear majority of all sysops.

      3) Draft new bylaws and a new policy document.

      4) Run another vote for approval/disapproval of the proposed
         bylaws and policy.

      5) Have the proposed bylaws and policy approved by the
         membership (i.e. the sysops).

     Anything  less  than  100% and IFNA will be history.  If it can't
     get the support and/or can't do the work,  then it's high time we
     quit wasting time on it.

     We'll  soon  know  if IFNA can handle the job.  Even sooner we'll
     know if YOU want it to try.

     Closing notes:

      *  My thanks to Randy Bush, who was instrumental in developing
         the wording of the referendum.  I'm looking forward to seeing
         him again at the February board meeting.

      *  My special thanks to Phil Buonomo, who through months of
         seemingly endless devotion, persuasion, legwork, and sheer
         drive is the man who really made all this happen.


December 4, 1989
FidoNews Editor Vince Perriello announces that the referendum on the passage of control of FidoNet to the IFNA has closed, and the votes will be tabulated. He calls for everyone involved on both sides to bury the hatchet.

     I'm really pleased to mark the end of the Great IFNA Election
     Campaign. Friday, December 1, was the final voting deadline.
     From what I have seen thus far, an awful lot more people, both in
     terms of raw numbers and percentage of the net as a whole, voted
     in this election than in the original one, a few years back.

     This is probably due mostly to the fact that the FidoNet
     Coordinators were so heavily involved in conducting the election,
     and that ballots were cast using electronic mail rather than
     "real" mail. Last time, not enough people felt strongly enough to
     buy a stamp. This time, there certainly were strong feelings. I
     feel that these emotions also contributed to the final turnout.

     Now we have to get on with things. Whether IFNA gets its fifty
     percent or not, it's time to bury the hatchet, folks. And not in
     each other. Let's clean up the burst bubbles and useless confetti
     and good intentions and bad karma and get back to the business at
     hand. It's time to get back to promoting the free exchange of
     information.That's the underlying reason for FidoNet anyway,
     isn't it?

     Try something novel. The next time you wade through your
     conference mail (of whatever flavor) and you come upon some
     postings from somebody you've really pegged as useless -- give
     that person a break for once. Try to reverse your roles. Look
     past the rhetoric and really do your best to see things from
     their perspective. Even if you find that you can't, try to be
     tolerant of their views. Ask questions of them. Maybe you're just
     missing one strand in the entire fabric.

     We're all in this boat together. Let's all work the oars instead
     of arguing over who needs to be tossed overboard.


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