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Phreaker legend Kevin Mitnick has finally received permission from his probation officer to lecture and write on matters digital, clearing the way for him to begin his tour of duty writing a column for the new e-zine "Contentville".

According to his parole conditions, ordered by US District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in January, Mitnick is forbidden to use computers or telecomms devices other than a landline phone.

Last month, Mitnick's probation officer, Larry Hawley, requested guidance from the court on whether he might write the computer-related column so long as he agreed to use a typewriter and mail in his copy. Mitnick's lawyer, Donald Randolph, then approached the judge with a request to rule, but she punted back to the probation officer for a decision, leaving Mitnick in a bit of a Catch-22 predicament.

Fortunately for him, the probation officer took the judge's comment to mean that he should decide these matters case-by-case, without further court involvement. Officer Hawley has since approved a total of four assignments for Mitnick, including the Contentville column, speaking at an engagement in Los Angeles, and working as a computer-security consultant and as a consultant for a computer show later this Fall. ®

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Judge refuses to rule on Mitnick's probation status

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