Hackers do not live dangerously

The hacker tron, an injunction against wikipedia and the conspiracy theories around his death

The hacker boris f. Alias "tron" is still found seven years after his death on 17. October 1998 no peace. A district court in berlin has now enforced an injunction against wikipedia on behalf of his parents: his real name is no longer to be mentioned. The emotive word "tron" is still good for numerous flame wars on the internet. The topic and the person have developed a virtual life of their own, which has only marginal to do with reality.

The berlin district court, which dealt with the case in early december, initially failed to decide who could be served with a german injunction against wikipedia. Under the case number 209c 1015/05 it was ied on the 14th of december.12.In 2005, a temporary injunction "against the wikimedia foundation inc, 200 2nd ave. South 258, 33701-4312 st. Petersburg, russian foderation" – because of special urgency without oral hearing.

The defendant is prohibited from, "the civil name of the son of the applicants" boris f. Under the domain wikipedia.Org respectively. To be held." five days later, the decision was corrected: now, according to the order, wikimedia was "mr. Jimmy wales" who was represented in "st. Pertersburg" (sic), florida, united states of america" is resident. The applicants, the parents of the deceased, were also able to access the website in question in berlin-charlottenburg; therefore, and also for name matters, the district court was competent to. One refers to § 1004 of the bgb as well as to a judgement of the federal high court of justice.

It is interesting to note that the verfugung is not decidedly directed against the german version of the wikipedia article. It can be amed that the order will never be served anyway and will therefore never become legally binding. Jan schluschen, a lawyer in berlin specializing in internet and copyright law, comments succinctly: "i ame that in the usa no german ordnungsgeld or ordnungshaft can be enforced." the value of the proceedings was reduced to only 1.000 euro set. It is apparently not seriously intended to sue wikipedia, especially since the berlin district court has its own press chamber – but it has not been called upon to do so. Friedrich kurz, the lawyer hired by trons parents, does not want to say anything about the case, but talks vaguely about a "strategy", which one pursues.

The reason for the legal action by a german district court against the "wikipedia foundation" was presumably the publication of the book revelation 23 by the lubbe publishing house. The work is pure fiction and has almost nothing to do with the hacker tron. Only the number and the intellectual level of the conspiracy theories spread there are comparable. Nevertheless, the novel hero is called by ton’s real name. The author "jan gaspard" is a pseudonym, and that is, as lubbe admits frankly, "part of the marketing strategy." barbara dietz from the legal department of the publishing group lubbe, also a member of the working group piracy of the borsenverein des deutschen buchhandels (german book trade association), only knows about an understatement because of the naming, which the parents of tron had demanded. But they did not sign it, the book had been delivered anyway.

Already in the year 2000 the lawyer gunter frhr posted. V. Gravenreuth in the newsgroup de.Org.Ccc the message: "from one ivo floricic (berlin) was "tron" as a trademark u.A. Registered for ‘creation of programs for data processing’ and registered by the dpma a few weeks ago." the father of the deceased already tried to prevent that someone could capitalize on the pseudonym of his son. That, however, failed: "tron" is too general and is anyway more associated abroad with the 1982 movie of the same name than with a german hacker. Also the linux software tron and tron killer app still exist.

Furthermore there is no evidence for a murder

Whether "tron" today is an absolute person of contemporary history – and under his pseudonym or under his real name, ultimately only the courts can decide. Who today according to "tron" on the internet, you can find his real name worldwide and immediately, even in all the wrong spellings: for example, in netkwesties, a dutch online magazine, on zdnet.Com, in the british guardian, on canadian websites or in computerwoche.

The attempt on the part of tron’s parents to take legal action against wikipedia will certainly only achieve the opposite of what was intended – the public will once again become aware of the ie. The alleged reasons, the parents feared "financial deprivation", cannot convince. A judgment that "wikipedia foundation" forces, as demanded in the preliminary injunction, "within two weeks (…) a proxy for delivery" to name, "who resides or has a place of business in the country", but had a signal effect and aroused further desires. The edit war on wikipedia does not serve the legitimate interests of its members, but only lobbying for conspiracy theories.

The "chaos computer club" has not officially distanced itself from the theses of its press spokesman andreas muller-maguhn, which ame murder despite the facts (tron continues to haunt this year’s chaos communication congress). Muller-maguhn suggests in the discussion contributions, he acted on behalf of the parents trons. This may be safely doubted. Until recently, anyway, the name was on the cover of his thesis, which was hosted by the chaos computer club. Why one now suddenly does not want to have the name mentioned any more, eludes a rational judgment.

Even after six years of alleged research, there are no potential perpetrators, let alone any motives, that would support anything other than a suicide of tron. The forensic medical findings only allow for the theoretical possibility that boris f. Was murdered in a highly professional manner, without leaving any traces that could have been noticed during an autopsy, was then kept in a refrigerator for several days, and was then hung from a tree, again without being seen, as a pretext for suicide.

But no theory is abstruse enough not to have been put forward in this case. The reasons for an alleged murder, which are repeatedly put forward by the operator of the website tronland.The theories that have been cited by the org have so far without exception turned out to be hot air. Only suicide is possible if you take the facts seriously. But some of the lobbyists of the mysterious scaffolding have obviously ventured too far for them to pull out without losing face.

To report on the true background of conspiracy theories and to destroy them, if they are based on false amptions, is not only the task of science, but also of the media. In the case of tron, most of the german media have failed because they limited themselves to announcing journalism. Therefore, the public still has the claim and the right to inform itself. This is exactly what the court in berlin confirms: the tenor of the order has been restricted. The petitioners had "in no way, as they ame, a claim to be subordinated to the general coverage of their son". Alone the extent of the entry in wikipedia proves that. Hackers do not live dangerously – only in the movies and in myth, but not in reality.

Burkhard schroder is editor-in-chief of the media magazine berliner journalisten.

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