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CONTENTS NOVEMBER 17, 2000

Click. CIA-backed wireless networking start-up gets new CEO.

Click. Israeli army plans offensive against US dotcom.

Click. PETITIONS TO RECALL MARIN COUNTY D.A. PAULA KAMENA SUBMITTED.


CIA-backed wireless networking start-up gets new CEO 
By: Linda Harrison in New York
THE REGISTER © 2000
Posted: 16/11/2000 at 17:48 GMT

CIA-backed start-up La Graviton has spotted its future leader in the form of ex-US West exec Sol Trujillo.

He is joining the small California-based outfit as CEO, president and chairman. The company is developing a wireless data networking technology that will have sensors to tip off users about information.

Graviton was one of the first companies to net cash from the CIA's new venture capital group In-Q-Tel (named after top spy 007 gadget man "Q").

Trujillo replaces Graviton founder Michael Nova, who will stay on as chief technical officer. The 48-year-old abandoned his post of CEO and chairman of US West -one of the former Baby Bells - this summer after the company's June merger with Qwest Communications.

"Graviton is pioneering an entirely new realm, one that we believe will become extraordinarily significant and pervasive over the next decade," said Turujillo in a statement. "Wireless sensor networks are destined to become, in effect, the nervous system of our engineered world."

The company is aiming flog its wireless sensor networks to businesses and consumers alike, with uses including gas leak alerts and tracking patients' health through remote monitoring devices. ®

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Israeli army plans offensive against US dotcom 
By: Linda Harrison in New York
THE REGISTER © 2000
Posted: 16/11/2000 at 20:27 GMT

The Israeli military machine has threatened to get heavy with a US dotcom after finding a bogus army site on one of its servers.

The homepage on israeldefenceforce.com looked almost identical to the genuine Israeli military site idf.il, even down to the "official site" proclamation. But its content has got the authorities' backs up.

The 'alternate' site has since been disabled, but was originally registered by Register.com. A whois query did not turn up any useful information on the registrant, which is hardly surprising.

The site differed dramatically from the original in certain content:

Under a picture of a woman lying on the floor next to a child and soldiers was the caption: "As you can see this Palestinian women looks very dangerous, we are not sure but she could of harmed us so we had to shoot her in the chest in front of her kid, however we have been generous enough to allow the kid who also seems to be some kind of a terrorist to go back to his father and the rest of his family."

Other headlines included: "We are happy to announce that we killed 5 new babies," and "We have successfully placed smoke and tear gas bombs in all Christian churches and Muslim mosques so the people cant pray because our Jewish settlers feel disturbed when a non-Jew prays."

You get the idea.

The Israeli army has put a warning up on its homepage about the bogus site, saying it has traced it to the US and plans to take action.

"We know the source of the Web site. It is a server in the United States," Lieutenant Jonathan Gutfarb told Reuters. "We intend to make a serious complaint to the US company that hosts this site on its server and ask for its immediate removal."

Gutfarb wouldn't reveal which US outfit should expect the complaint, and it hadn't succeeded in booting the fake site out of cyberspace by this afternoon. It was accessible and appeared to be running its own version of the warning on its homepage:

"Some Local party in Israel have set up a bogus Web site with extra fake information we believe the creators of that site are Arab Israelis or Palestinians attempting to post fake information. Our local government have been notified and they are searching for the creators of that Web site," it read today.

We were unable to determine at press time whether the host disabled the site in collaboration with Israeli government officials, or whether pro-Isreali hackers got to it first. ®

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DA RECALL PETITIONS SUBMITTED
11/17/00 Marin Independent Journal © 2000


RECALL DRIVE: Lynnette Shaw, head of Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, arrived at the registrar's office with 20,691 signatures calling for a recall election targeting District Attorney Paula Kamena. Standing next to her is Ron Mazzaferro.
Photo: Marian Little Utley
By Guy Ashley

Marin District Attorney Paula Kamena may face a recall vote next year after foes of her medical marijuana policies and her handling of an attempted child abduction case filed petitions yesterday containing far more signatures than required to force a vote.

A spirited contingent of recall supporters gathered outside the Marin Registrar of Voters offices in San Rafael yesterday as Lynnette Shaw, founding director of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, presented three boxes of petitions that she said contained 20,691 signatures in support of Kamena's recall.

If county officials verify that 13,756 of those sign-ees are registered Marin voters, a election will be called May 8 to ask if Kamena should be recalled.

This special election would cost the county an estimated $500,000 to hold, Marin Registrar of Voters Michael Smith said.

"This is for the little people, who have the right to take to the streets and demand change,'' Shaw said in filing the petitions yesterday.

Shaw blasted prosecution guidelines Kamena instituted in medical marijuana cases as ineffective and a green light to law enforcement officers to seize all marijuana they find - and ask questions about medical necessities later.

"Her guidelines cite federal law that says all marijuana is contraband and may be confiscated,'' Shaw said.

She said that statement gives officers license to seize the pot, despite Kamena's guidelines saying that persons can possess six mature pot plants and a half ounce of dried marijuana if they can show a legitimate medical need.

"Her so-called guidelines mean nothing, because they are considered only after an arrest, after a person's medicine has been seized and destroyed.''

Kamena says she is being unfairly targeted and that medical marijuana policies adopted by her office are among the most liberal in the state.

She also accused the recall campaign of misleading voters, by citing medical marijuana policies in urging people to sign petitions that fail to even mention medical pot.

Kamena said she was approached by a signature-gatherer at the Montecito Shopping Center in San Rafael two weeks ago, who told her that a recall was necessary because "dying AIDS patients are being prosecuted for medical marijuana.''

"There isn't a single case of an AIDS patient that I know of who has been prosecuted,'' she said. "So this guy was saying things that were untrue and asking me to sign a petition that didn't say anything about medical marijuana.''

Kamena also noted that her office has never taken the slightest action against Shaw's Fairfax-based distribution club for medical marijuana.

"Other counties send in their drug task force because they're selling (at the clubs)," Kamena said. Referring to Shaw, Kamena asked: "Is anyone bothering this woman?"

Without mentioning medical pot, petitions asking for Kamena's recall cite her role in the prosecution of a Novato mother for violating court orders growing out of an ugly child-custody dispute the woman had with an ex-boyfriend.

The woman, Carol Mardeusz, was convicted by a jury of four felonies and faces a sentencing hearing next week that could bring as much as four years in prison.

Meanwhile, efforts to recall three judges failed to achieve the necessary signatures by yesterday's deadline.

Only 567 of the required total of 35,481 signatures needed were filed yesterday in support of recalling judges Lynn Duryee, Michael Dufficy and Terrence Boren.

"Judges Duryee, Dufficy and Boren are very pleased to learn the recall effort has failed," said Gary Ragghianti, a San Rafael attorney who chaired the Committee to Retain an Independent Judiciary that was formed to defend the judges against the recall.

Ragghianti said the judges were thankful to the Marin citizens "who have supported them and the essential principle of an independent judiciary."

A fourth judge targeted in the recall movement, Verna Adams, has a petition deadline in March. Ragghianti said he was confident the "ill-advised" effort to recall Adams would fail as well.

Peter Romanowsky of Sausalito, who led the judicial recall effort, said: "We didn't have the financial support we needed and two of our most active signature gatherers were arrested and kept from helping our cause."

Another recall leader, Ron Mazzaferro, said yesterday that the signature requirement set by the county registrar is being challenged in the case of the judges. That 11,287 figure amounts to 20 percent of the last vote in a Marin Superior Court Judge election - in June 1998 - which county officials say abides by state recall statutes. Mazzaferro said the figure is arbitrary, especially in the case of Dufficy, who was not challenged in 1998 and therefore didn't tally a single vote.

"Twenty percent of zero is still zero,'' Mazzaferro said.

The recall effort against Kamena was energized in May after the medical marijuana alliance entered the fray. Shaw said citizens who disagreed with Kamena's prosecution guidelines contributed at least $15,000 to the cause, which helped hire a handful of paid signature gatherers.

Michael Smith, the Marin registrar of voters, said workers in his office will spend the next several weeks combing over the petitions filed yesterday to ensure the signatures they contain were provided by registered Marin voters.

Smith has until Dec. 18 to verify the signatures.

If a recall election is called, the registrar's office will open a month-long nomination period in January asking for potential candidates for district attorney should Kamena be successfully recalled.

Shaw said the marijuana alliance would likely endorse an alternate candidate on the May ballot seeking Kamena's recall.

Kamena said she believes voters will support her and turn back the recall effort if a special election is called.

She cited her accomplishments in her nearly two years in office, including involvement in the creation of the Jeannette Prandi Center to help young victims of abuse and Marin's first-ever juvenile drug court.

She admitted she had purposely kept a low profile in recent months hoping the energy of the recall effort would wane. "If in fact they are successful, it will be time for me to respond in a more forceful way,'' she said.