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The infamous 'Banned CD'

©02 The Media Desk

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Dr. L, I forwarded this to you, not because I am in the habit of propagating SPAM, just wanted you to check this out. Have you received this one yourself? You've been doing a good job of tracking down the spammers and the scammers, thought maybe you'd want to add this guy to your list.

         Thank you sir. And remember: You asked for it... Leftover

[from Email]
** Original Sender: "peter"
** I have been receiving emails saying that I'm contributing to the "moral decay of society" by selling the Banned CD. That may be, but I feel strongly that you have a right to benefit from this hard-to-find information.
So I am giving you ONE LAST CHANCE to order the Banned CD!
With this powerful CD, you will be able to investigate your friends, enemies and lovers in just minutes using the Internet. You can track down old flames from college, or you can dig up some dirt on your boss to make sure you get that next promotion!
Or maybe you want a fake diploma to hang on your bedroom wall.
[end Email]

[From various web postings]
... *** List of companies who will issue you a college degree (including a Phd.) for a fee. No study required!
*** Learn how to get FREE cable and DSS channels, including the adult stations and Pay-Per-View!
*** How to Obtain Microsoft Products absolutely FREE, the safe and LEGAL way!
*** List of suppliers of "questionable" items, such as rare chemicals,...
*** Over 25 million email addresses, fresh and targeted! You can use these to contact the people and send them your advertisements.
*** Find out how to get a completely new identity. Disappear without a trace!
[From Banned CD newsgroup postings]
Banned in 33 countries -- Can I legally sell this?
I could go to jail for selling this CD.
"Banned CD" Price: $19.99 + $4.01 Shipping (one site had it listed for $38.98) HOW TO ORDER BY MAIL:......
[end postings]

         First question. If you send this guy your check, will you get a CD? Most likely yes.
         Second question. If you get this CD, will the information on it change your life forever making women swoon at your feet, men tremble at the mention of your name, and the Attorney General of your State add your name to their 'enemies list'. No.
         Has this information been banned anywhere? Maybe. But then again, a lot of stuff has been banned here and there. Remember, 'Banned in Boston' sold a lot of tickets to a lot of really bad movies for many years.
         Some similar information was sold under the titles: the Last CD you'll ever need, and Blockbuster CD, SPY CD, various versions of be your own private detective or freedom- or personal security- CD and in the classic Anarchists Cookbook.
         Is the mysterious Banned CD actually the Cookbook made available for download, or auctioned off on innumerable sites and virtual flea markets?
         The answer is... Sort of. Maybe. Kinda looks like it. And, 'that is my final answer.'

         There are at least two sites claiming to have an electronic version of the Cookbook available for download for about thirty bucks. So it is very possible the 'most dangerous book in the world' has moved onto the Information Superhighway and has been bootlegged in a way that would make the late Abbie Hoffman proud.

         Will 'he'(whoever is selling this thing) go to jail for this? Unlikely. Especially since 'he' lives in half a dozen places, at least... Spartanburg, SC; New York, NY; Palmyra, NY; OK, USA; Midland, Texas; and so on... And the very same boilerplate ad has been posted on Japanese and German boards. So much for the 'Banned in 33 countries'. Especially since it comes back on Rambler(the Russian search engine) and in India.

         While there are no SPECIFIC complaints listed against the sellers of the Banned CD on either the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or any of the other usual suspects. The Australian Government's site Scamwatch has this good advice:

Any e-mail you receive which
  • does not have an originator whom you know or who is clearly identifiable
  • is not specifically addressed to you
  • promises you some unrequested benefit
                                    is likely to be spam.
         The Banned CD email would have to answer 'Yes' to each of those points.

         So as far as the Desk can tell. The only thing you will be getting for your money is a CD of outdated, and rather questionable information that is most likely public domain stuff anyway, and the chance to give some looser SPAMMER twenty bucks of your money. It may not be a SCAM per se, because you do get the CD, but it is the next best thing.

         Thanks for the tip Questy.
                  Visit him at


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