Court docs in Salgado/"Smak" case

Greg Broiles gbroiles at
Sun Aug 31 16:15:31 PDT 1997

I was over at the federal courthouse in SF on Friday, and copied documents
from the court's file in _US v. Salgado_, the case which got national
front-page coverage last week in which the defendant, a 30-something
resident of Daly City, was able to gain access to many credit card numbers
through security holes at some un-named ISP's. 

The documents (complaint + affidavit, indictment, pretrial release memo,
and motion to seal record) are online at <>,
and also available at <>. The files were graciously
and skillfully transferred from paper to digital/HTML format by John Young
(thanks, John).

I found this file interesting for two reasons:

1.	Salgado used an unspecified crypto app/algorithm to encrypt his
communications with his co-conspirator, an informant working for the FBI.
(Details found in the affidavit accompanying the complaint). This case, a
high-profile and high-value credit card/access fraud case, was brought
quickly to a favorable conclusion for law enforcement, despite the use of
crypto - there's no indication that crypto use hindered law enforcement at

2.	The government has filed a motion to seal the transcripts of Salgado's
guilty plea, because in the course of pleading guilty, he revealed the
identity of some of his victims; the government would prefer that the
public not learn which ISP's had security inadequate enough to protect
their customers' and customers' customers credit cards. (Criminal
defendants, as part of a guilty plea, are required to tell the court in
their own words what it is that they did that constituted the crime - this
is intended to help prevent defendants into being tricked/coerced into
guilty pleas to crimes they don't understand.) The government's motion was
filed on 8/25/97; no opposition was filed, and I don't believe it has been
granted (yet). 

Greg Broiles                | US crypto export control policy in a nutshell:
gbroiles at         | | Export jobs, not crypto.

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