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Talk It Over With Captain Crunch 444

Posted by Roblimo
from the whistle-a-happy-tune dept.
John T. Draper is most famous as "Captain Crunch," the legendary phone phreak who taught others how to make illicit use of Ma Bell's facilities to call almost anywhere, almost any time, for free. But (as a glance at his personal page will show you), that is just about the least of Draper's accomplishments. Not only that, he's still going strong. This is your chance to talk directly to a man without whom the modern-day personal computer -- and modern hacking and many other things we take for granted -- might not exist at all, and certainly would not exist in their current forms. One question per post please, and try to avoid asking questions that could be answered with a little online research. We'll send 10 or 12 of the highest-moderated questions to Draper tomorrow, and run his answers as soon as he has time to reply.
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Talk It Over With Captain Crunch

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  • Cereal (Score:2, Funny)

    by limekiller4 (451497)
    How much Captain Crunch cereal do you eat these days? Would you say it has gone up or gone down since your now-infamous discovery?
  • lame ass question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fussman (607784) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:04AM (#5736457) Journal
    Has your view of computer security (in terms of effectiveness) changed as opposed to security 10 years ago?
    • Offtopic, I know, but direct reply to your sig.

      I personally don't care if people link to them or not. As soon as I see "NYTimes", I skip to the next article.

      Malachi
    • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:14PM (#5737142) Journal

      You know... it should be phrased more like "How has your view changed?"

      It assumes that it has changed, but everything changes, so it's a safe bet. The difference, though, is a detailed answer vs. a "Yes" or "No." Lately, I've seen interviews (william shatner, others) where the questions have promoted short answers that completely fulfilled the question.

  • by JamesSharman (91225) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:04AM (#5736462)
    Anyone who can call themselves a hacker (in the old sense of the world) will have lost sleep to a problem, that one that you absolutely must solve. In your formative years I expect phreaking or hacking problems grabbed you in this way, for each of us it's something different but it's the drive and focus we have in common. My question is, what grabs you like this now? Do you still get those moments when you just can't leave a problem alone?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:36AM (#5736803)
      My question for you is do you know the meaning of "run on sentence." Here is a translation of his post that would probably make a better question:

      Most hackers have lost sleep over an especially challenging problem at some point. When you were younger I expect that hacking and phreaking was one of these problems for you. Each of us has had different problems that have plagued us but it is the drive and focus that we have in common. Do you still have moments like this and if so, what type of problem grabs you now.
      • The grammar fascist's question to you is, "Do you know the meaning of grammar?" Here is a translation of the previous post that definitely makes more sense:

        Most hackers have lost sleep over an especially challenging problem at some point. When you were younger I expect that you lost sleep over hacking and phreaking. Each of us is plagued by different kinds of problems, but but it is the drive and focus that we have in common. Do you still have moments like this? If you do, what type of problem grabs y
    • by NixterAg (198468) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:56AM (#5737012)
      This is offtopic but the parent's question reminded me of a funny story.

      A few years ago Larry King was interviewing Stephen Hawking, one of the great minds of our time and the world's best known physicist, and he asked a similar question.

      "What problem do you think about the most? What problem plagues your mind the most?" queried King.

      After a short pause, Hawking's synthesizer replied succintly: "Women."
  • Crunchbox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Triumph The Insult C (586706) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:05AM (#5736468) Homepage Journal
    Will/Have you ever make/made any changes you've made to OpenBSD for your Crunchbox available to the OpenBSD group?
  • by levik (52444) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:05AM (#5736474) Homepage
    While many people who pirate software can claim that because the publisher suffers no physical loss of product, no actual theft has taken place, phone phreakers of old have no such defense. The global reach of the internet and the falling prices of Long Distance calls have made freaking a thing of the past, but it was quite widespread back in the late 80s and early 90s. Did you (meaning Phreakers in general) have any ethical qualms about stealing service not only from the big bell companies, but also sometimes from their customers who were later forced to pay for the phone charges that were run up?

    • Who Loses? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Threed (886)
      The main source of pain to the customers of the defrauded organization would be the practice of carding. No one could deny that running up a bill on someone else's tab isn't nice, even if you know the sap will never have to pay for it (insurance, whatever).

      But what if you merely tricked the phone company's representative (the computerized switchboard) into giving you the service for free? That's where the real gray area begins. Who really loses if that pair of wires was going to go to waste at that moment
  • Gone forever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RosCabezas (610805) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:06AM (#5736487) Homepage
    Are the phreaking times gone forever with the digital technology or it ain't interesting anymore since we have the internet?
    • Re:Gone forever? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Creepy (93888) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:56PM (#5737500) Journal
      since '83, phreaking hasn't been the same... it's more hacking and stealing now (but some people argue that's what it was then, as well). Before that, the phone company used tonal verification for coin drops into pay phones (which is what the whistle, and later black/red/orange/etc boxes spoof). Nowadays, phones mostly handle this internally.

      I remember some pirate/hacker (child/teen-hood) friends using different colored boxes for their long distance downloads and uploads, but that ended before I actually built one myself. I was even saving allowance money for parts when one of those guys told me they no longer worked.

      nowadays, I suspect it's easier and more common to steal phone and/or credit cards than to hack the phone company to steal long distance. After having credit cards stolen, myself, though, I definitely have a VERY negative view of this practice.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:06AM (#5736488)


    > One question per post please, and try to avoid asking questions that could be answered with a little online research.

    And don't read this article in Michigan.

  • Favorite story? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:07AM (#5736496) Homepage
    In "Revenge of the Nerds," Woz tells the story of phreaking his way to Vatican City and trying to get the pope on the line, claiming to be Kissinger (IIRC)
    Do you have a favorite story, either because of the people involved, the tech (high tech or low tech) used, or the problems solved along the way?

    --
    • by mekkab (133181) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:50AM (#5736934) Homepage Journal


      Its a good story too- they got nixon on the phone through their phone phreaking ways and told them of a crisis in Los Angeles- THEY WERE OUT OF TOILET PAPER!

      Nixon was not amused.
    • Re:Favorite story? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Tackhead (54550) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:42PM (#5737371)
      > In "Revenge of the Nerds," Woz tells the story of phreaking his way to Vatican City and trying to get the pope on the line, claiming to be Kissinger (IIRC)
      > Do you have a favorite story, either because of the people involved, the tech (high tech or low tech) used, or the problems solved along the way?

      Along those lines:

      What do you consider the most outrageous hack you *did* perform, and likewise, what's the most outlandish hack you *didn't* do, but the media falsely ascribed to you out of fear and ignorance?

      (For instance, Mitnick would probably list one of his many feats of social engineering as his "greatest hack", and his mythical ability to start World War III by whistling into a telephone as the most amazing ability falsely ascribed to him.)

      P.S. I was born too late to even think about getting into boxing, but you were still an inspiration. *waves soldering iron* Thanks for being one of the guys whose ideas got me started on my way to a great career in tech.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:08AM (#5736505)
    Dear Captain Crunch.

    Big fan of your work. But I was wondering, how come you couldn't rig up a couple of fancy grey boxes to fix your god damn slashdot problem?

    Love,

    Rizzizzle Rizzzzazzzat. Bizzat.
  • My question (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    d0 j00 pj33r t00k4n s4m?

    0r d4 k33b13r 3lf..

    1337 d00d
  • by derbs (563933) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:08AM (#5736512)
    Have you still got your original whistle? And if so, have you ever thought about putting it on eBay?
  • by TopShelf (92521) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:09AM (#5736520) Homepage Journal
    What is your outlook for the future of hacking high-tech consumer products? Given the increasingly hostile legal climate regarding these activities (DMCA et al) it appears that corporations have much stronger legal tools to go after hackers that in days gone by were seen as more of a not-well-understood nuisance factor. Are the good old days gone forever?
  • Gotta know (Score:5, Funny)

    by unicron (20286) <{ten.tencht} {ta} {norcinu}> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:09AM (#5736523) Homepage
    Mr. Crunch,

    Your campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?
    • Why are you so popular

      Yeah, I gotta agree. This is ridiculous. Look at the story post:

      This is your chance to talk directly to a man without whom the modern-day personal computer -- and modern hacking and many other things we take for granted -- might not exist at all, and certainly would not exist in their current forms.

      Don't get me wrong, lots of (new school) hackers have good technical knowledge, but they certainly don't have the kind of impact that greats like Monty, Carmack or Andreeson has. An
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will you please stop making that horrible "Peanut Butter Crunch?" The stuff tastes like ass. Please focus on those yummy Crunch Berries.
  • Two Questions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:10AM (#5736537)
    If you could go back and do it all over again, would you? Also, what do you consider to be the emerging playground (ie WiFi, etc) of phreaks today?
  • Hacking and the DMCA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mentorix (620009) <slashdot@benben.com> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:10AM (#5736538)
    Could you elaborate on your opinion of new laws like the DMCA in the US and the variants thereof that are being introduced in Europe and the rest of the world.

    What would have happened differently if laws like the DMCA were in force during your first phreaking sessions?
  • Unfair demonization? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SnakeEyes (123104) <ironsickel@in[ ]htbb.com ['sig' in gap]> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:11AM (#5736545)
    Mr. Draper,
    It is an honor to "speak" with you.

    Recently, in an information security class, I gave a presentation based mainly on your 1970's exploits and how you (and other's who have the fortunate distinction of not being made scapegoats by the government) helped lead to a more secure POTS system and stronger security in general, which is what most hackers want anyway.

    My professor later berated my choice of topics as (his words not mine) "he is an obvious lawless felon and is not worthy of this class's time". How do you respond to this unfair characterization by others?

    Also, it would seem that no lessons have been learned over the years since we still insist on punishing the messengers (hackers) rather than the cause (insecure systems). Is there any way you think we can change these perceptions?
    Thank you.

    • What "most hackers want anyway" is to brag to their friends about their exploits. Please. They are not freedom fighters making the world safer for others, and they are not "messengers" who should be praised for breaking into people's computer systems. Simply because something is insecure does not give one the "right" to break into it.

      I think this is obvious to most people, but there are those Slashbots who will instinctively disagree because they feel the need to glorify people who do this sort of thing
    • My professor later berated my choice of topics as (his words not mine) "he is an obvious lawless felon and is not worthy of this class's time". How do you respond to this unfair characterization by others?

      Or better:

      How do you respond to those who say you merely stumbled onto something (the whistle) that did something that was already known by EVERYONE (2600hz tones which was published in AT&T Manuals in PUBLIC Libraries), and exploited it for personal gain (free phone calls/publicity)?

    • by FatherOfONe (515801) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:44AM (#5736860)
      While I think your prof/teacher is a bit extreme about this issue, I kinda see his point.

      Forget technology for a moment. Let's say that someone finds a "flaw" in your locked door and then decides to use this knowledge to come in to your house during the day and watch TV. Then after months of doing this he tells the lock maker and you. Should you honor this person?

      I for one would fee lucky that he didn't steal anything, but what he did was wrong.

    • You may rest assured that your professor's judgement was correct. John Draper is indeed, a butt raper, as well as a nasty bum, ask anyone who ever came in contact with him.
  • Freedom (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rzbx (236929)
    Freedom on the internet is becoming increasingly threatened by corporate and government interests. What can a /. reader do to help prevent this?
  • Age and views (Score:5, Interesting)

    by binaryDigit (557647) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:13AM (#5736561)
    This is similar I'm sure to questions you get asked all the time, but with, I think, a slightly different twist.

    In what context do you put your activities of your youth now that you are older and, presumably, wiser. Have your views of hacking and the ethical implications changed over the years? Back then, if it were demonstrable to you that your activities were causing harm (presumably financial), would it have made any difference back then, does it make any differnce now?
  • by menasius (202515) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:14AM (#5736568)
    This is kinda like taking pop-shots at rare or endangered species:

    Tuesday April 15th:
    wake-up
    pay bills
    Slashdot a living legends homepage
    lunch ...

    -bart
  • My question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WinterSilence (171450) <wintersilence@winter s i l e n c e . dk> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:15AM (#5736578) Homepage
    Do you think your former actions in any way have affected the way big telecommunications providers look at themselves, their services and specially how their attitude and feeling of/behaving like they are always more right and migthier than the normal costumer ? And if so, what did you achive to change, even this was an uninteded side-effect of your former actions ?
  • by MadFarmAnimalz (460972) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:15AM (#5736579) Homepage
    Here. [webcrunchers.com]
  • what was it like? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iocat (572367) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:15AM (#5736585) Homepage Journal
    What was the mood or zeitgeist like in the early days of the Phreaker/Hacker world? I mean, how did it feel to go from nothing to suddenly learning how to control the phone system? The feeling of excitement, exploration, and power must have been really intense, and I'd love to hear more about that. Excellent site by the way!
  • by po8 (187055)

    As a legendary communications hacker and an expert on communications security, how does it feel to be /.ed and then asked for an interview?

  • OpenBSD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr.Intel (165870) <mrintel173 AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:16AM (#5736597) Homepage Journal

    What prompted you to use OpenBSD as the platform for the Crunch Box? Not intending to start a BSD flame war, I am interested in why you personally chose OpenBSD versus any other BSD or Linux or anything else.

    • i think thats a google question. linux isn't exactly known for its security. And being the product is a firewall, it makes sense to put it on a platform that was, not nessesarly designed for the job, but its the best selection of all the other os's. freebsd is good for general use, but its a bit bloated compared to the other 2 bsds. netbsd seems to be more about ports and embedded than security. linux is pretty much out of the question when compared to bsds. and windows....well, i dont think i'm going to ge
      • i think thats a google question.

        How exactly does google answer "Why did you personally choose OpenBSD"? As for your other explainations, induldge me. I don't inherently know anything about *BSD except that it is Unix-like. Why is it better for firewall applications? How is it better than Linux? What makes OpenBSD better than free or net?

        • I don't inherently know anything about *BSD except that it is Unix-like.

          That's why it's a google question.

          This [lemis.com] (somewhat out-of-date) paper may answer some of your questions.

          • That's why it's a google question.

            Maybe that part was. But maybe John has some other personal reasons he would like to pontificate on. Google would be no help there.

            I went the link provided and was able to link to the OpenBSD [openbsd.org] home page. Like most Unix based OS's the page was remarkably lacking in specifics. It makes claims like, "Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 7 years!" Great! Sounds secure, but some people think windows is secure... Reading their page on security [openbsd.org] I get a

  • by Hansele (579672) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:17AM (#5736605)
    I was curious what BBS's you frequented back in the day. I used to hang out on BBS's that ranged from Ripco in Chicago (very popular phreaker hangout) to USS Enterprise in Houston, TX, and of course, phreaking was the way that one tended to call BBS's. Nowdays computing is so much less "fun" than it used to be really. I remember using my trusty TI-99/4A to dial for codes with a program a friend and I wrote, wardialing, etc. All I can do is hang out on gamer sites and code sites like Naughtycodes [naughtycodes.com]
  • by ParadoxDruid (602583) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:19AM (#5736633) Homepage
    Many movies portray hackers and phreaks in various, mostly inaccurate ways, from the fun but fantasy of movies like "Hackers" to the more recent depictions like The Rat in the new movie "The Core", who uses a comb as a whistle to phreak someone's cell phone. My question is: How do you feel about these depictions of phreaks and hackers? Is it good that media largely glosses over the reality, and focuses on making them look hip, or is it vaguely insulting?
  • Little boys (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:19AM (#5736634)
    There have been rumours that you use your status within the 'hacker community' to lure young boys into having sex with you. Is that true, or would you like to refute those claims.

    I also hear that you're a big proponant of illicit drug use, has this been a life time habit, or something more recent, such as when you started going to raves.

    PS.. maybe its a troll, but if you've met him, you know the above it true.
    • Re:Little boys (Score:3, Informative)

      by EllF (205050)
      I have (briefly) met the Cap'n, at H2k. He was trying to get boys to come to his room for "massages"; I stayed away from him for the rest of the convention. Admirably good hacker != cool person. (Not sure whether I'd call John "admirably good" or not, but his propositions to people at H2k did strike me as a bit creepy. Of course, H2k also had an "orgy" that flopped -- or at least I assume it did since the organizers were selling T-Shirts the next day to recoup their losses -- and a stick of dynamite thrown
    • Re:Little boys (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I notice most of the posts concerning Draper's bizarre behavior have been modded down so I decided to add my own personal experience of meeting up with Captain Crunch.

      I way 19 when we met, around 3 years ago, at a security conference we were both invited to speak at.

      Let's get this out of the way: Draper is a very interesting, but also very weird, toothless drug user, but I'm not sure whether or not he's a sexual predator.

      However...

      1. He did invite me and a couple of other boys to his hotel room, and

  • by Dukeofshadows (607689) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:19AM (#5736635) Journal
    What sorts of changes (5-7 most important) do you think could be made to the DMCA that would provide reliable protection for intellectual property while minimally intruding on innovation?
    • I'm thinking change it to a pile of ash then scatter it to the wind.

      It can not be fixed. It's basic idea is flawed. Its basic idea being "don't let anyone do anything with any product that isn't explicily spelled, freedom be damned."

  • by SoupIsGood Food (1179) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:19AM (#5736637)
    What illicit technology offers the most fun and challenge today... where are the new frontiers for today's hackers to push the bleeding edge, and what interesting directions do you see them taking with it?

    SoupIsGood Food
  • by Laser JetSet (640103) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:24AM (#5736684)
    What books, websites, IRC sites, etc would you suggest for an aspiring security engineer? Do you think these have any useful information, or it impossible to learn the necessary skills from these sources?

  • by phrawzty (94423) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:26AM (#5736695) Journal
    Dear Sir,

    Having grown up (there's a scary thought) hearing about the pioneering work you did, i always wondered:

    If you could do it over again, would you do something differently? Anything you regret doing? Perhaps more importantly, anything you regret having not done?

    (In the context of your telecom / computer life, i don't mean to pry into your.. ah.. personal affairs :) ).
  • Steve Jobs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Gizzmonic (412910) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:27AM (#5736708) Homepage Journal
    Are you and Steve Jobs still friends? Is it true that your "blue box" design inspired the iMac?
  • by swordgeek (112599) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:27AM (#5736713) Journal
    In your day, phreakers et al were pretty much barely a blip on the radar screen. A few of you got charged with old laws, several were threatened or intimidated, and many many kids followed in your wake.

    Now we're watching a world get built where PhD thesis material might be illegal [securityfocus.com], writing code can get you arrested [eff.org] and charged, and even giving an academic presentation [princeton.edu] is threatened.

    How much responsibility, if any, do you think the early phreakers and hackers have for this rash of paranoid law?
  • by skillet-thief (622320) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:29AM (#5736726) Homepage Journal

    In comparing the security back in the day, and modern, much more complicated systems, how much of a factor is overall complexity in the way things have changed over the years? Does more complexity (and therefore obscurity) make things harder, or does it make things easier, since even the people doing the security don't understand what's going on?

    In other words, what's your take on obscurity/security?

  • by mikeraz (12065) <michael@@@michaelsnet...us> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:29AM (#5736729) Homepage
    OK, a large chunck of the world knows you for doing amazing things with cereal box toys. What would you like to be famous for doing? Actual or fantasy.
  • by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:31AM (#5736751) Homepage Journal
    You can get a good bio on the Captain on the Rotten Library [rotten.com]. Most interesting:
    His "handle" came from the inclusion of a plastic whistle in Captain Crunch cereal in the 1960's which could, with proper manipulation, send out a control tone that would affect telephone systems of the time. Of course, Draper didn't actually discover that fact (the honor goes to a blind phone phreak named Joe Engressia) but he was quite happy to not go out of his way to correct people when they claimed he had.
  • 2600 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shamanin (561998)
    Are you, or have you ever been, a member of or in anyway affiliated with the 2600 club of which they named themselves after the phone frequency that you used to gain free access to the network?
  • by Mikey-San (582838) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:33AM (#5736773) Homepage Journal
    Lately, there have been many instances of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act being used to prevent the publication of security issues found with various companies' products and services, or both.

    A recent story here on Slashdot covered university ID cards being flawed, and the DMCA being invoked to prevent discussion of the problem publicly.

    Given that your /dig,/ so to speak, is security, what is your take on such invocations of the Act?

    -/-
    Mikey-San
    http://www.mikey-san.net/
  • by dr_dank (472072)
    I saw your segment in the documentary "0wned" at H2K2 last summer (a blurb here [auschron.com]. Did showing how to make free phone calls earn you major respect amongst the inmates when you were incarcerated?
  • by The Jonas (623192) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:35AM (#5736798)
    and some of your exploits may have been absolved by certain Statutes of Limitations, when, if ever, did you have to stop and say, "I've gone too far with this particular phreak_job? I am soooo busted!" In other words, please allude to, or describe, a skeleton_of_choice that is in your closet.
  • Copyright Issue (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kenixkil (460602)
    I was curious if anyone group (lawyer, business, etc.) has tried to bring you up on charges from copyright infringment on your nick, and then going adding charges on top of that?
  • The others? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rastakid (648791) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:39AM (#5736826) Homepage Journal
    First of all, I would like to thank you for letting Slashdot do this great interview.

    As the stories about your life state on webcrunchers.com, you got into phone phreaking because of those blind kids, who showed you the cool stuff.
    Now you're being recognized as the world's master of phone phreaking, and many other sorts of hacking. But, what happened to the kids who got you into this? What is their current occupation? Did Dennie indeed became a DJ?
  • by Archeopteryx (4648) <benburch&pobox,com> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:49AM (#5736915) Homepage
    John,

    Seems to me that the current crop of "2600" folks are much less tech-savvy than we were in the 70s. There is a lack of original thought and a willingness to take actions that cost private individuals money through fraud and vandalism. What do you make of this trend, and do you see any indications that it will turn around?

    -Ben
  • by Alric (58756) <slashdot AT tenhundfeld DOT org> on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:51AM (#5736945) Homepage Journal
    It seems that every week brings some new bill or rider or regulation whose intended goal is strip away yet another sliver of our shrinking collection of privacy rights and individual liberties.

    Considering your unique set of experience and insight, what do you most fear in the impending struggle between the government's desire to have total information and the people's right to liberty? Or, in other words, against what do we need to be most vigilant?
  • by headjack (574809) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:55AM (#5736995)
    So, does the Crunchbox have a cereal interface?
  • by robslimo (587196) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @11:57AM (#5737023) Homepage Journal
    In the "olden days" (not so long ago), other than some of the physical kind, security was almost non existent at telcos. For many years, AT&T published all the technical details of their networks and switchgear in a tech journal that could be found at nearly any university library.

    In the mid-80's, I lived in an apartment that was right upstairs from a GTE Telenet point of presense... and all their dialup modem lines terminated in an unlocked punchblock box *in my bathroom*!!

    What is your assessment of the improvements in the quality of telco security, both physical and that which is more ephymeral, since those times?
  • One question per post please, and try to avoid asking questions that could be answered with a little online research.

    Yes, questions that could be answered with a little online research are more appropriate for Ask Slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Moderators, please read this message fully before you mod it down (or up).

    Mr. Draper, hasn't this charade gone on long enough? Slashdot is only the latest in an endless, decades-long set of press appearances in which you've made errored claims, false self-aggrandizement, and general harm to the very community you claim to be a part (and representative) of.

    Why do you continue to let people think you discovered the secret of the Captain Crunch whistle? It was Joe Engressia and other blind phone phreaks who
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did you really design a bluebox add-in card for the
    Apple ][? What could the board do? How did
    management react to it (I believe they had a
    panic attack and canceled your project??)
  • Effective Action (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CERonin (630207) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:15PM (#5737156) Journal
    What is the most effective thing a "Netizen" can do to protect themselves, and their freedoms (whatever's left, anyway), online?

    O.K., that's really two questions. 1.5 Questions? Is it permissible to have a fractal number of questions? Anyway, thanks in advance.

  • 2600 Groups (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oriumpor (446718) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:18PM (#5737173) Homepage Journal
    I had the opportunity to meet you briefly about 4 years ago at a 2600 gathering in San Jose, and you were talking about your "latest" (at the time) escapade to India, (or was it Pakistan, I don't remember) explaining that you frequented night clubs and danced the night away. (Of course all the while speaking about current tech issues etc.)

    With a moniker like "Captain Crunch" one can only assume you carry that spirit with you in everything you do. As your current project demands, do you get put infront of the gun frequently? How do you deal with it?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Great, we slashdotted Captain Crunch, we're all going to hell.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hi Captain,

    How do you imagine today's computer industry would be different had the DMCA been enacted during the industry's infancy?

  • by Anne_Nonymous (313852) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:23PM (#5737217) Homepage Journal
    questions about the "good old days". Tell us what the future holds in store IYHO (phreaking-wise, cracking-wise, or hacking-wise, that is).
  • Do you find telemarketers a problem? If no, how is it you've managed to deal with them?

  • by Nintendork (411169) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:42PM (#5737376) Homepage
    What can a hacker/phreaker expect living in prison? How do the other inmates react when they hear why you're locked up? Do they restrict your access to books on technology? Can you request books? Any fear of the "sisters"?

    -Lucas

  • by 0x0d0a (568518) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @12:49PM (#5737443) Journal
    Have you ever considered being a promotional figure for Cap'n Crunch cereal? *I* think it'd be a lot more interesting than the animated Captain...
  • coding style (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mboedick (543717) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @01:31PM (#5737813)

    I read somewhere (might have been Hackers by Steven Levy) that you have a highly idiosyncractic and paranoid coding style, checking and double-checking everything. Is this true? What can you tell us about it?

  • by gmplague (412185) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @01:38PM (#5737868) Homepage
    I saw you walking around naked (well, half-jogging, half-running really) at H2K (The Hackers On Planet Earth in 2000 Conference), with a few of New York City's finest police officers trailing about 50 feet behind you. My question is, what was that about? It has always peaked my curiousity. Was it more trouble with the law, or just a misunderstanding, or both? I appreciate your response.
  • Draper (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @01:48PM (#5737961) Homepage
    Is it true you're known as John "Butt Raper" Draper? Is it true you're an old, nasty troll who likes to hang around raves and drool on underage kids? Is it true you're just a homeless bum? Is it true you used to go to hacker cons just to try and get boys to go to your hotel room for a "massage"? Is it true you fucked Grayareas? Eww that bitch was nasty.

    Before anyone mods me down, these are real questions, ask anyone who came in contact with the creepy buttraper draper.

  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday April 15, 2003 @02:07PM (#5738107) Homepage
    Which long distance calling plan do you use?

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