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Republican 1337
May 6, 2008 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I was a Teenage Wares Freak? San Diego Republican Party chairman Tony Krvaric may have been Strider, co-founder of Fairlight. via Slashdot
posted by Artw (57 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Warez.
posted by mikeh at 1:59 PM on May 6, 2008 [10 favorites]


Let's see the Republicans stand up and put their man in front of the law.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:02 PM on May 6, 2008


amazing.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:08 PM on May 6, 2008


He arrived in the United States in 1992 on an H1B visa, wanting to leave Swedish social democracy.

batshitinsane tag
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:11 PM on May 6, 2008 [8 favorites]


California.Governors.Office.v1.0-grAyDAViS.NUKE:recall.election.schwarzenegger.time
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:12 PM on May 6, 2008 [22 favorites]


ware.....ez.
posted by Dr-Baa at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I actually remember Strider from cracked C64 games back in the day. My, uh, friend was in possession of some of the contraband code.
posted by Mister_A at 2:13 PM on May 6, 2008


" In 1987, Strider and two buddies, using the names "Black Shadow" and "Gollum" founded Fairlight, devoted to "cracking" the copy protection on video games for the Commodore 64 and other early systems and redistributing them to acquaintances through electronic bulletin boards

ha- i probably downloaded some of his work.

Interesting story, although not sure how seriously i take it, when the only source uses classic tabloid-style sentences like "These allegations come as no surprise to RAW STORY, which has been researching Krvaric’s ties to Fairlight for some time."
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:16 PM on May 6, 2008


That's badass, I wish more political operatives were that cool. Of course he'll have to play the game and disown that part of his past, but we all know his heart beats in the right place.

|\/|cC41N o8 & 4 lyFe, yo
posted by Spacelegoman at 2:16 PM on May 6, 2008


My fellow Americans, do you know anything about hackers? Can you jam with the console cowboys in cyberspace? Never experienced the new wave? Next wave? Dream Wave? Or Cyberpunk?

I have, and that's why you should vote for me, Tony Krvaric. I'm more 31337 than you.
posted by Laen at 2:22 PM on May 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


"This was in the 80’s, on a computer that’s long since defunct!"

Yeah coz that's all the difference.

his motto was "Kill A Commie For Your Mommie."


Hope he still uses it, like on top of his letters or something, coz that would totally rock.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:23 PM on May 6, 2008


Curiosity was his only crime!

That and illegally copying shit.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow. And I thought Republicans weren't cool.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 2:27 PM on May 6, 2008


Wow. And I thought Republicans weren't cool.

yeah, 'cause secretly being a nazi is wayyy cool.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:29 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You wanted to know who I am, Zero Cool? Well, let me explain the New World Order. Governments and corporations need people like you and me. We are Samurai... the Keyboard Cowboys... and all those other people who have no idea what's going on are the cattle... Moooo.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on May 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


It sounds as if he never did anything the was explicitly illegal in the place and time he was doing it. If he was still involved in Fairlight into the 2000's then a case might be made for racketeering I suppose. But the RawStory article pretty much amounts to "dude was involved in some stuff that would be rather embarrassing these days and would prefer not to fess up." Which seems likely to me, but of all the crimes perpetrated by Republican party officials in the last 10 years, this one doesn't rank real high on my outrage detector.
posted by afflatus at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2008


Pale clammy skin? Check.

Introverted? Check.

Self-Aggrandizing? Check.

Thieving Bastard? Check.

Congratulations! You are ready for a career as a.) Leet haxor b.) Republican operative.
posted by wfrgms at 2:32 PM on May 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


oh sorry, i should have been more politically correct: hardcore european right winger. not nazi.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:33 PM on May 6, 2008


And for the record, this guy chose to become a San Diego Republican. There is no way you can be 1337 and a San Diego Republican. The Milquetoastiest of Wonder Bread down there.
posted by afflatus at 2:34 PM on May 6, 2008


He really is The Plague the old skool leet hacker who sold out and went over to slave for the man...

(oh and how come it's only 5.7 on IMDB... what is wrong with the world?)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:35 PM on May 6, 2008


I can only imagine what all jiffy bags full of those 3 ¼ inch disks going backwards and forwards from my house looked like back in the day, and how freaked out by that kind of thing if you did it now. (They were all demos, man, DEMOS!)
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on May 6, 2008


I bet he evilly rides a skateboard around his evil republican meeting room.
posted by Artw at 2:41 PM on May 6, 2008


He really needs to grow a goatee
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


So that's what happened to Crash Override. And we were all so sure he would end up hooking up with Acid Burn.

Oh well, I guess it's just the far more boring sequel: get old, become a Republican and leave the hot hacker chick (and the transparent Powerbook) behind.

At least he got to hack the Gibson.
posted by quin at 3:04 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


And on closer look, I see that fearfulsymmetry beat me with a better version of the reference by a good half hour.
posted by quin at 3:06 PM on May 6, 2008


Wow -- I remember Fairlight C64 cracks from back in my high school days. Weird how things turn out.
posted by Shepherd at 3:38 PM on May 6, 2008


This is kinda bullshit. Warez groups are "international crime rings"? This is the terminology of the 1980s hacker panic, making out bored teenagers to be elite criminal masterminds. The "warez scene" which spawned FLT was a game played mostly by teenagers. They formed "groups", which basically just meant a group of kids who had each other's phone numbers and access to the same BBSes. The groups would compete to "beat" each other on releases, i.e. have a game or application cracked and uploaded to the major warez trading BBSes before anyone else. Being first to release a highly anticipated title gave that group bragging rights, and there was a lot of bravado and posturing involved between members of different groups trying to prove they were the most elite.

There is no profit involved in this. In fact, there is often expenditure. The "suppliers" in groups were often rich kids who would just buy all the software to be cracked, or had a friend or relative who worked in a computer store who could obtain them, etc. The most criminal group was USA, whose founders would illegally use credit cards to buy computer equipment and sell it to obtain money to get software, and would even make up fake tax IDs for fake software stores to obtain software from distributors. They were busted on federal charges, but I don't think they ever did any time. They were by far the exception, though, and there was a lot of flak against them at the time for bringing down so much heat on "the scene" as a whole.

In short, warez groups, especially from FLT's time, were/are basically just a bunch of bored, smart kids playing a game with their computers. Modern groups are a bit shadier, but they're basically the same. Yeah, they distribute pirated software, which is illegal, but Russian or Chinese professional software pirates steal more in a day than every warez group put together since the days of the C64 has.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:39 PM on May 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


Illegal Juarez! I remember the bootloader screens of cracked C64 gamez, such fun.

If everyone who participated in distribution of illegal C64 warez were held accountable... me and my friends would be fucked
posted by porn in the woods at 3:42 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, um, since I'm not really all that hot on IP restrictions as they exist, I'm not gonna hate on this dude just because he's on the wrong team politically.

I still like the Ramones, y'know?
posted by klangklangston at 3:47 PM on May 6, 2008


Does this really bother anyone that much? I pretty much agree with DecemberBoy's post completely.
posted by crashlanding at 3:54 PM on May 6, 2008


yeah, 'cause secretly being a nazi is wayyy cool.

Oh yeah, that's totally what I was going for.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:00 PM on May 6, 2008


Warez groups are "international crime rings"?

Um, but... they are arn't they?
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on May 6, 2008


DecemberBoy writes "n short, warez groups, especially from FLT's time, were/are basically just a bunch of bored, smart kids playing a game with their computers."

Well, many of them were just that, and for many of them that's all they did. But this was not all those kids did:

"One of the hacker groups I was a member of eventually broke up because at that time, a certain credit agency had some interesting weaknesses, and various unnamed people were generating fake credit reports for companies that were really just mail drops -- they suddenly found themselves with hundred-thousand-dollar lines of credit at their disposal. But most of the fraud that went on could be summed up as the kind that took place over a telephone, with little or no physical contact at any point in the event, and a lot of stuff that sort of fell under the guise of playing games -- like winning radio contests, being able to get tickets for concerts because you could control a PBX or switch, being able to find out who was calling who, being able to listen to people's phone conversations, basically having the ability to kind of make most people's lives transparent and available for your perusal -- sort of playing god. Now, if you think about it, there is obviously the possibility to make huge sums of money that way, but mostly none of us really thought about it; it was just the rush of being able to play god more than any real benefit."

BTW, that quote is by Patrick Kroupa (aka Lord Digital of the Apple Mafia), a complete freak even these days, but an extraordinarily intelligent guy who is concentrating a lot of his recent efforts on ibogaine treatment for opiod addiction. In the old days, he was frequently visited by the FBI and Secret Service.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:08 PM on May 6, 2008


On the one hand, I hate Republicans, but on the other hand, I downloaded a shitload of Fairlight releases back in the day. I'm torn.
posted by empath at 4:20 PM on May 6, 2008


On the one hand, I hate Republicans, but on the other hand, I downloaded a shitload of Fairlight releases back in the day. I'm torn.

I know this is probably a joke but I'm tired of this shit from both sides. Either you have a problem with what this guy did or you don't. His political affiliation should have no impact on your opinion whatsoever.
posted by crashlanding at 4:24 PM on May 6, 2008


He arrived in the United States in 1992 on an H1B visa, wanting to leave Swedish social democracy.

batshitinsane tag


WTF?
posted by davidmsc at 4:27 PM on May 6, 2008


Mainly I just think it's kind of weird. All those warez freaks you used to know... they're all out there somewhere, many of them lawyers, doctors, teachers... even politicians. It;s liek a new and nerdy version of smoked pot/was in a punk rock band/whatever.
posted by Artw at 4:28 PM on May 6, 2008


many of them lawyers, doctors, teachers...even politicians

Well, pretty much most of the ones I knew ended up in the Tech sector somewhere.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:45 PM on May 6, 2008


Interesting to see how this pans out. Obviously, non-profit warez isn't a crime on the same level as assault, or even tax evasion, but the USA is ridiculously disproportionate in its punishment for this stuff.
For example, the Aussie guy currently doing jail time for running a warez ring in the 1990s:
http://www.metafilter.com/61009/Shipped-off-to-a-foreign-jail-for-warez
posted by bystander at 4:52 PM on May 6, 2008


BTW, that quote is by Patrick Kroupa (aka Lord Digital of the Apple Mafia), a complete freak even these days, but an extraordinarily intelligent guy who is concentrating a lot of his recent efforts on ibogaine treatment for opiod addiction. In the old days, he was frequently visited by the FBI and Secret Service.

Actually, Lord Digital of the Legion of Doom (Apple Mafia was a very early Apple II pirate group that was only notable for being one of the first and for its members becoming notorious high-profile hackers/phreaks later on), which was a hacker/phreak group that had nothing at all to do with the PC warez scene, predated the PC warez scene by several years, and was in fact involved in some shady criminal shit, but again was never the group of elite international cyber-terrorists the feds made them out to be. I mentioned the 80s hacker panic (Operation Sundevil, etc.), which arose from federal law enforcement officers looking at a culture of mostly-harmless smart kids with computers in terms of organized crime and not really understanding them at all, which is why the FBI and Secret Service visited them so often. These guys actually thought that Wargames could really happen.

The early 90s warez scene which spawned Fairlight and the mid-late 80s hack/phreak scene which spawned Legion of Doom have absolutely nothing to do with each other, and are really so different that the only thing they have in common is that they both involve kids with computers and modems. Since you even know who Kroupa is, I'd think you would know this.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:26 PM on May 6, 2008


I did stuff 15-20 years ago that I would be a bit embarrassed about, too. I don't find anything wrong with this, and agree that it's a smear job.
posted by mrbill at 5:58 PM on May 6, 2008


I did stuff 15-20 years ago that I would be a bit embarrassed about, too. I don't find anything wrong with this, and agree that it's a smear job.


copied and pasted from slashdot, but i thought it was relevant:

Copyright law? Get a clue. (Score:5, Interesting)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 06, @04:23PM (#23316594)
You all are missing the point.

This individual is involved in picking what voting machines are purchased for the district.

Electronic voting machines.

Hackable electronic voting machines.

If I was a Democratic party official I would be filing restraining orders against this guy having anything to do with e-voting systems... or even better, pushing hard for machines that produce voter-verified paper trails.


was going to say the same thing here, it isn't unimportant that this is his background.
posted by peppito at 6:34 PM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Peppito: So you think that the evil hacker genius may be involved in a conspiracy to take over the government of San Diego through large-scale electronic voting fraud so that he can subvert the entire city to his retrograde moderate Republican ends? Someone should alert the City Council!
posted by Slap Factory at 7:25 PM on May 6, 2008


Slap Factory: I agree it sounds absurd, why go to all the trouble for one city? Oooh conspiracies are only cool on a big scale. But in all reality, if it did turn out that he helped hack the machines and picked ones that are hackable just for that reason it would be fairly commonplace. People do stupid shit all the time just to be able to say to themselves "that was me."

It may not really mean anything to do it, it may not be ruling the world or conquering a kingdom but is accomplishing something. The sarcastic look at it you play doesn't ring true to me because I see people do meaningless stuff all day everyday, just to feel accomplished. It's human nature.

That being said, don't computer companies hire (ex)hackers to help secure their defenses? Or is that just hollywood? It would sort of make sense if he is a person capable of cracking code to hire him to help pick machines that can't be cracked or are difficult to crack.
posted by M Edward at 8:51 PM on May 6, 2008


Oh hey... so that's what Lord Digital is up to these days... I hadn't thought about him in more than a decade... thanks for reminding me, krinklyfig.
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 PM on May 6, 2008


DecemberBoy: That was true in the early days, but certainly not in the last decade. Without going into detail, certain ISO groups have had strong ties to organized crime.
posted by omarr at 10:16 PM on May 6, 2008


HE WILL NEVER LEAVE EURASIA ALIVE.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:02 PM on May 6, 2008


Tangentially relevant: Fairlight has also been making realtime computer graphics demos for close on 20 years now, for everything from the Commodore 64 through the latest graphics hardware. They've come up with some pretty neat stuff, including quite a few demos that compress graphics, music and effects into 64kb of code. (more here)
posted by teraflop at 1:11 AM on May 7, 2008


Warez.

All the cool kids are hangin' with 'Senor Juarez' these days.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:45 AM on May 7, 2008


hm. I'm always for self-serving smug republican lardies to get a little scandal served up for them but how is this really a big story? what's the difference between what he and shawn fanning did? or run dmc for that matter? some kid (or some band) sits in a basement, figures out there is a way to do something, gets called out/nailed for it and we have a new precedent. scandals require hypocricy. that's why spitzer was funny, that's why haggert was awesome. this is part of growing up. which, judging from his stance and writing, he hasn't exactly but that comes with being a san diego republican.
posted by krautland at 1:54 AM on May 7, 2008


If I was a Democratic party official I would be filing restraining orders against this guy having anything to do with e-voting systems... or even better, pushing hard for machines that produce voter-verified paper trails.


Yeah, I bet he hacked all those machines to let Bush in... they say hanging chads, we know better.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:10 AM on May 7, 2008


So this guy moved to America for political reasons, presumably because the Scandinavian social-democratic model with its high taxes and pervasive welfare went against his Ayn Randian belief in the sanctity of private property and the wrongness of freeloading off the labours of others, whilst happily helping people obtain commercial software without paying for it? Interesting belief system there.
posted by acb at 5:01 AM on May 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I traded lives with this guy! He came from Malmö, now I live in Malmö! I grew up in San Diego, now he lives there! I hope he's enjoying the slow residential cable connections, the horrible upstream bandwidth, having to drive everywhere, the high gas prices, the lack of public transport options, the nonexistence of street life, the bankrupt city, the expensive ballpark, the upcoming expensive football stadium, having to pay out the ass for education and, of course, the less attractive people.
posted by beerbajay at 5:20 AM on May 7, 2008 [3 favorites]


I traded lives with this guy!

Did you get his hair?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:54 AM on May 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


So this guy moved to America for political reasons, presumably because the Scandinavian social-democratic model with its high taxes and pervasive welfare went against his Ayn Randian belief in the sanctity of private property and the wrongness of freeloading off the labours of others, whilst happily helping people obtain commercial software without paying for it? Interesting belief system there.

Now, there you go again--expecting radical right-wingers to behave in ways that make sense or reflect some kind of coherent belief-system. Isn't ruthless self-interest and opportunism with no accompanying sense of shame or social responsibility enough for you?
posted by saulgoodman at 6:20 AM on May 7, 2008


So this guy moved to America for political reasons, presumably because the Scandinavian social-democratic model with its high taxes and pervasive welfare went against his Ayn Randian belief in the sanctity of private property and the wrongness of freeloading off the labours of others, whilst happily helping people obtain commercial software without paying for it? Interesting belief system there

That's basically it. The guy's either batshitinsane or just a petty criminal, like the rest of his Republican thug friends.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:24 AM on May 7, 2008


Wacky republican conspiracy theory? HA HA HA, certainly there's no history of anything like THAT ever happening (Watergate). You must have a pretty low opinion of the good ol' Republican Party to assume they'd do something so insane ( vast, inappropriate use of state secrets privilege) as to let cronies with a sketchy background into a position of importance in OUR wonderfully adequately informed democracy.
Besides, if he does anything illegal, he'll just get a pardon anyway, I'm sorry I mean they'll "commute his sentence." Not a big deal though, obviously.
posted by peppito at 7:15 PM on May 7, 2008


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