Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Secret Service Isn't Laughing At This "Prank"

You've got to really know some important people in order to get this type of law-enforcement action to investigate a so-called school prank at an elite D.C. school:
Wow, you know your high school principal's strict when he sics the U.S. Secret Service on your teenage, prank-playing ass.

That's what just happened at Georgetown Day School, a prestigious Washington, D.C. private school whose student body has included the offspring of politicians, White House officials, media heavyweights, and a Supreme Court justice.

According to a January 6 search warrant application filed in U.S. District Court, a copy of which you can find below, principal Kevin Barr called in the feds after a teacher's e-mail account was "compromised and used to send e-mails to three students." The messages, all sent on November 26, came from the GDS account of teacher Alison Taylor Fastov without her "knowledge and authorization."

One of the messages, sent to a male student, was obscene, while the other two criticized the recipients (rather convincingly) for poor classroom performances. After examining the school's computer logs, federal agents determined that Fastov's account was accessed via a account. From there, two Secret Service agents and Department of Justice investigators tracked the intrusion to an account registered to Patrice Miller, a well-known D.C. socialite who is married to wealthy real estate developer Herbert Miller.

Agents raided the Miller home--a sprawling, historic mansion known as the Bowie-Sevier House--and carted off a pair of Apple G4 laptops, an iPod, and an external hard drive, according to a search warrant return. Though Miller is named as the e-mail account holder, it seems likely that someone else in her household (perhaps a computer-savvy teenage boy who attends GDS) is the hacker in question.

No charges have yet been filed, according to court records. Miller declined comment when contacted by TSG, but suggested we speak with Robert Litt, her attorney. Litt, a partner with Arnold & Porter, did not return several phone messages. But what we're left wondering about is why two Secret Service agents and "U.S. Department of Justice Investigators" were detailed to probe this obvious teen caper. (7
See more documents here. (Scroll down)

Heh. I wonder what consequence the parents are going to impose on the kid for his idiotic sophomoric prank. Maybe they'll take away the keys of the family Mercedes for a weekend or two. And I'm more than a little curious to know what it is on that I-Pod that has captivated the interest of some of America's most elite law-enforcement officers...
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