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More what to do if you are busted...

   N. SUMMARY 

What a long strange trip it's been. I have a great deal of mixed emotions about my whole ordeal. I can however, say that I HAVE benefitted from my incarceration. However, it certainly was not on the behalf of how I was handled by the government. No , despite their efforts to kick me when I was down, use me, turn their backs after I had assisted them, and in general, just violate my rights, I was still able to emerge better educated than when I went in. But frankly, my release from prison was just in the nick of time. The long term effects of incarceration and stress were creeping up on me, and I could see prison conditions were worsening.

(Carolyn's note: After he got out, but was still on probation, Agent Steal was unable to make enough money to pay court-ordered restitution. When it looked like he was about to get put back behind bars, he fled. He was recaptured and returned to prison.)

It's hard to express the poignancy of the situation but the majority of those incarcerated feel that if drastic changes are not made America is due for some serious turmoil, perhaps even a civil war. Yes, the criminal justice system is that screwed up. The Nation's thirst for vengeance on criminals is leading us into a vicious feedback loop of crime and punishment, and once again crime. Quite simply, the system is not working. My purpose in writing this article was not to send any kind of message. I'm not telling you how not to get caught and I'm not telling you to stop hacking. I wrote this simply because I feel l ike I owe it to whomever might get use of it. For some strange reason I am oddly compelled to tell you what happened to me. Perhaps this is some kind or therapy, perhaps it's just my ego, perhaps I just want to help some poor 18-year-old hacker who really doesn't know what he is getting himself in to. Whatever the reason, I just sat down one day and started writing. 

If there is a central theme to this article it would be how ugly your world can become. Once you get grabbed by the law, sucked into their vacuum, and they shine the spotlight on you, there will be little you can do to protect yourself. The vultures and predators will try to pick what they can off of you. It's open season for the U.S. Attorneys, your attorney, other inmates, and prison officials. You become fair game. Defending yourself from all of these forces will require all of your wits, all of your resources, and occasionally your fists. 

Furthering the humiliation, the press, as a general rule, will not be concerned with presenting the truth. They will print what suits them and often omit many relevant facts. If you have read any of the 5 books I am covered in you will no doubt have a rather jaded opinion of me. Let me assure you that if you met me today you would quickly see that I am quite likable and not the villain many (especially Jon Littman) have made me out to be. You may not agree with how I lived my life, but you wouldn't have any trouble understanding why I chose to live it that way. Granted I've made my mistakes, growing up has been a long road for me. Nevertheless, I have no shortage of good friends. Friends that I am immensely loyal to. But if you believe everything you read you'd have the impression that Mitnick is a vindictive loser, Poulsen a furtive stalker, and I a two faced rat. All of those assessments would be incorrect. 

So much for first impressions. I just hope I was able to enlighten you and in some way to help you make the right choice. Whether it's protecting yourself from what could be a traumatic life altering experience, or compelling you to focus your computer skills on other avenues, it's important for you to know the program, the language, and the rules. 

See you in the movies 

Agent Steal 
1997

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