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   MORALITY ALERT                  ((___))                   MORALITY ALERT
                                   [ x x ]
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                                    (' ')
 [San Francisco, August 6] Almost two thousand years ago St. Paul made an
 abrupt about face on the road to Damascus.  The CULT OF THE DEAD COW is not
 sure which road Microsoft is travelling, but they have just made a
 series of one hundred and eighty degree turns that would shock the
 apostle.  What could account for Redmond's rapid reversals, and more
 importantly, does it point towards some deeper problems?
 After releasing Back Orifice - our remote Windows 9x administration tool -
 the CULT OF THE DEAD COW was by turns publicly mocked or dismissed by
 Microsoft flunkies.  A useless tool, they droned, users have nothing to
 worry about, the constellations still spin around our mighty OS.  What a
 load.  But the point is, in the space of a few short days Microsoft is
 now puling that Back Orifice is a dangerous weapon.  And to add insult to
 injury, not only do they slam us in public, privately they're asking for
 our help to patch up _their_ mess.
 However, this does raise an interesting question.  Was releasing Back
 Orifice to the public immoral?  Microsoft would love for their customers
 to believe that we're the bad guys and that they - as vendors of a digital
 sieve - bear no responsibility whatever.  But questions of morality are
 more often relative than absolute.  So to make things easier, we'll frame
 our culture and actions against their's and let the public determine
 which one of us looks better in black.
 We'd like to ask Microsoft, or more to the point, we'd like to ask Bill
 Gates why he stood shoulder to shoulder in 1996 with China's president
 and head of the Communist Party to denounce any discussion of China's
 human rights record at the annual meeting of the United Nations
 Commission on Human Rights in Geneva?  Was the decision to cozy up to the
 world's largest totalitarian state based on some superior moral
 position, or was it just more convenient to trample human decency
 underfoot and go for even more money?  Call us crazy, but we think that
 Microsoft has about as much right to condescend to the CULT OF THE DEAD
 COW as Li Peng does to lecture anyone who raises the issue of human
 rights abuses in China - a point of view that Bill Gates shares.
 Now let's return to Back Orifice.  Would it be immoral to use this tool
 for untoward purposes on Windows networks?  Would it be immoral for Back
 Orifice to find its way to China and cause a lot of dry heaving in
 Microsoft's largest target market?  Should hacktivists use Back Orifice
 as a form of protest against multinationals who share Microsoft's position
 of dollars before dignity?
 It's a short life and we're all going to be judged by our actions.  So,
 whether or not we've done the right thing is a matter for history and
 human conscience to decide.  But if the gods want to curse us for
 bringing fire down from the mountain, we'll take a seat with Prometheus
 and deal with the heat.  At the end of the day, the CULT OF THE DEAD COW
 doesn't think that the world was meant to be a dark place.

 For background information on this whole damn kerfuffle, the public may
 consult the following documents:
 1) Our technical rebuttal to...
 2) Microsoft marketing's spin-control job on Back Orifice

 3) Back Orifice Press Release 
 4) BO homepage
 5) To learn more about cDc's stance on the PRC...
 For further details or lucrative film offers, please contact:
 The Deth Vegetable
 Minister of Propoganda
 The CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc) is the most influential group of hackers
 in the world. Formed in 1984, the cDc has done everything from publish the
 longest running e-zine on the Internet to diddling military networks
 around the globe. We could go on, but who's got the time. Journalists
 can check out the Medialist link on our Web site for more background
 information. Cheerio.
                  "cDc. It's alla'bout style, jackass."