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hyzmarca
An article called Crime and Puzzlement has invoked some interesting thoughts about the Matrix savyness of law enforcement.

The following quote, in particular, has placed some ideas in my head.

QUOTE
John Draper, the affore-mentioned Cap'n Crunch, in addition to
being a known member of the Hacker's Conference, is also CEO
and president of Autodesk, Inc.  This is of particular concern to
the  FBI because Autodesk has many top-secret contracts with the
government to supply Star Wars graphics imaging and
"hyperspace" technology.  Worse, Draper is thought to have
Soviet contacts.


Now, this would be the equivilant of accusing Captain Chaos of being the CEO of Ares Macrotechnology and I'm not even going to start on the Star Wars Hyerspace stuff or the Soviet Contacts.



The Matrix is very much a network of the 80s, constructed around a system of dial-up servers similar to the old BBSs. Jackpoints are the poorly secured payphones of the SR1-3 era. Even Shadowland is just a system of local BBS servers that provide each other with updates similar to the Usenet system.

Considering that the Matrix is a network of the 80s mutated by insane pop culture visions of computers I wonder if computer crimes cops are the computer crimes cops of the 80s, completely incompotent with no real understanding of how computers actually work. Relying on seizures is quite difficult in the balkanized multi-jurisdictional world of SR yet that was the primary police response to computer crime in the 80s. May this be why you never hear about l33t deckers being arrested?


How do you treat Matrix Cops? Do police officers rely on mercenary deckers to do matrix work for them? Do departments have highly skiled matrix crime units? Is it something they just ignore and hope it goes away?

Does the average mundane street cop have a better chance of understanding an estoric hermetic discipline the he has a chance of understanding the matrix?
Edward
Using the matrix rules it is almost imposable to trace a competent and diligent Decker. Take 5 min to jump around various grids redirecting your data trail 20-30 times and the tracers will never get you, thatís why l33t deckers never get caught.

There is variation in skill of matrix security and investigators but sum are very good. Grid overwatch division for example is somebody to be scared of, they may not be able to find you but if they think there justified they will kill you with lethal attack programs.

Edward
Kagetenshi
GOD is here.

~J
fistandantilus4.0
Remember that when BlackHammer programs were still a myth, the Star had them. Toss in fun stuff like pschyotropic IC (or god forbid Psych-agents!) and deck frying programs, and GOD has lightning bolts to toss in spades. Make enough noise often enough, and they'll make a task force. They don't have to trace you. They can camp. smile.gif
Calvin Hobbes
Also, Lone Star only patrols grids that are paying for their grid enforcement, which most companies probably just have people do in house. Most Lone Star Deckers are either highly paid specialists, rock bottom discount cyberais, or personal security. The top end guys, reserved for the Lone Star central mainframe and high-paying clients, probably know their hoops from a server, but the others it may be hit or miss.
ShadowDragon8685
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
<snip>

Now, this would be the equivilant of accusing Captain Chaos of being the CEO of Ares Macrotechnology and I'm not even going to start on the Star Wars Hyerspace stuff or the Soviet Contacts.

<snip>

Silly.


Everybody knows that FastJack is the CEO of Ares Macrotechnology.
Edward
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
Remember that when BlackHammer programs were still a myth, the Star had them. Toss in fun stuff like pschyotropic IC (or god forbid Psych-agents!) and deck frying programs, and GOD has lightning bolts to toss in spades. Make enough noise often enough, and they'll make a task force. They don't have to trace you. They can camp. smile.gif

Loan star had black hammer before it was known to be possible, most peculiar, given the corruption supposedly endemic to law enforcement I would have expected loan star utilities to hit the street within a week.

The other point is that GOD doesnít have the manpower to camp every system you may decide to hack. Once you are on GODs hit list they inform every system administrator in there jurisdiction (thatís all of them) that they want you, and the system administrators think for a moment and set up every host they donít have a reason to keep GOD out of to watch for your icon, when you get noticed buy the security system (1st or second reaction on the security sheaf) your icon is compared to those on the watch list and send GOD a high priority message informing them that somebody they want to kill is in the system, including pass codes for a limited account, no access to any data but permission to enter the system and attack icons without valid accounts. Then an appropriately overpowering number of GOD agents show up with black hammer utilities or even psychotropic attack programs (turn yourself over to your nearest law enforcement agency and inform them that you are wanted buy GOD) and ream your hoop good.

The GOD agents are of cause watched closely buy in-house security so if they want to maintain the ability to catch people in this manner they will not poke around the host themselves. Thus only the most secret facilities (whoís existence is secret rather than just contains secret data) will not inform GOD of such an incursion.

The limit on this is that the only way to recognise an individual Decker is to trace him (all but imposable unless the Decker was lazy) or buy the icon they use and some picture recognition soft wear. Most deckers always use the same icon so there work will be recognised. Its usually a high definition custom icon that displays the prowess of there coding and the l33tnes of there deck.

Once you have somebody like GOD wanting to kill you, you have two options. Give up decking, and do your runs using cheep disposable icon chips you buy at the corner store (or better have somebody buy for you) and throw out every job. Save the l33tn3s icon for shadow land and the like. This I think should be standard SOP anyway

Edward
ShadowDragon8685
I dunno. The internet is a notoriously lawless place - I imagine that the 'Trix would be even moreso.

Think about it. When you show up with a wanted Icon, you're basically showing up and offering to do battle.

So the way I see it is that GOD will fold real quick after three or so of the following incidents:

Step 1: Wanted person goes onto a security-status server, makes himself known.
Step 2: GOD shows up with their huge posse. This of course is an impossible-to-miss event.
Step 3: As GOD prepares to jack the crap out of the target, he dumps, and his 30 or so hombres, probably including multiple Otaku, log in, and teach GOD a very painful lesson: When the Star gets into a fight they can't handle, they call for an HTR. When K-E gets into trouble, they drop a load of Firewatch on the problem. But when you already brought the baddest you have as SOP, and they laid an ambush for you, the best you had are going to be jerking and bleeding from the mouth and flatlining.

And if you ask why anyone would do that, two words.
"Shadowrunners. Nuyen."

Really. It's not too hard to imagine that some nova-hot-shit decker's little brother got waxed by these guys, and he decides to hire the best combat deckers he can find to help him get payback. After one or two of these, GOD folds, because they can't maintain a bottom line providing security, because their security all got geeked!
fistandantilus4.0
remember that the GOD deckers have top of the line gear. If you're running 3rd edition, that could quite potentially mean Excalibur decks for the loto f 'em and program ratings in the teens. That's nothing to sneer at, even if you can arrange to have a group of otaku show up just to throw down for no other reason than cash or flat lining the matrix cops. As otaku are, by definition, kids, I personally have a hard time seeing this happen, but that's just my game.

Also, remember that in 3rd edition, the GOD deckers are going to be legitimate icons. THat makes a BIG difference in matrix combat.And they're going to have back up on the way. Either they'll be running traces on you at the same time, or you're decking through a satelite, which will slow you down. They don't have to ,because they don't have to worry about being traced. And in the end, if it really comes down to it, they can bring in an S-K (the ultimate IC/Agent, not the corp). You can't. If that isn't enough to convince you that you shouldn't mess with these guys, at the very least on purpose, than one of three things is likely true. Either you're going to lose a character, your game is vastly different than mine, or your character and pack of otaku are such bad asses that you might as well go fry Deus and his merry band of whites while you're still online. YMMV
mfb
i think GOD is the equivalent of 90s and 00s cops getting wise to the whole Intarwebb phenomenon. previously, corps depended on their own internal security for protection, since most of them were still used to the hacking world of the 90s and early 00s, where the chances of a criminal haxx0ring your datas was pretty small if you invested wisely in system security. with the advent of the Matrix, hackers transformed overnight from cro-magnon tribesmen into the Great White Hunter. corps, used to dealing with dumb guys with pointy sticks, weren't prepared for being shot through the skull with an elephant gun by a portly gent who says things like "tut tut!" and "cheerio!"

with GOD, the corps are basically trying to extend their security across the whole Matrix. i'm not sure that's the best way to go about it (given the SR3 Matrix rules, the best way would be to simply jack up the sec tally to 10 or so on every Matrix host), but at least they're not just hiding behind their walls of IC.
fistandantilus4.0
I saw them as a little more myself. I pictured them being more like the feds, the go-to guys when you've got something that you can't handle. Not necessarily on the phone to respond to security concerns whenever someone is getting hacked, but rather for the big league deckers out there, the ones that most systems only slow down. So for these guys they out fit them with SOTA gear and software, some good cyber like the Math SPU, and pput them to work against the best the deckers have to offer. That's just my interpretation though.
SL James
That'd fit with the jurisdictional jurisdiction-waving nonsense that goes into the information about them (like the face-off between the G-Men and UCAS Matrix Marshals).
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
So the way I see it is that GOD will fold real quick after three or so of the following incidents:

Step 1: Wanted person goes onto a security-status server, makes himself known.
Step 2: GOD shows up with their huge posse. This of course is an impossible-to-miss event.
Step 3: As GOD prepares to jack the crap out of the target, he dumps, and his 30 or so hombres, probably including multiple Otaku, log in, and teach GOD a very painful lesson: When the Star gets into a fight they can't handle, they call for an HTR. When K-E gets into trouble, they drop a load of Firewatch on the problem. But when you already brought the baddest you have as SOP, and they laid an ambush for you, the best you had are going to be jerking and bleeding from the mouth and flatlining.

Interesting idea, but 3 is incorrect. In the unlikely event that GOD does get overwhelmed, IMO it would go more like this:

Step 3: GOD deckers take a few quick actions, cut through any IC remaining on the server, and crash it. Everyone gets dumped. Later, they hunt down identified icons one by one.

~J
Sharaloth
Ah, but this is an ambush, remember. The clever deckers have thought this one out beforehand, and they all have administrator priveledges with wide open access. The GOD decker who goes for the server crash gets blocked every time by one of the three guys whose job with the ambush team is to record the whole asskicking for posterity (and hilarity) and prevent anyone from ending the party too soon.
mfb
now you just have to hire 30 deckers with attack programs that can defeat the GOD deckers' rating 10-14 armor programs. the whole scenario is improbable--how often do you see runners setting up revenge ambushes for Red Samurai, or Ghosts, or any other faceless specops group? why is GOD more prone to revenge action than these other groups?
SL James
They're special.
Edward
QUOTE (fistandantilus3.0)
I saw them as a little more myself. I pictured them being more like the feds, the go-to guys when you've got something that you can't handle. Not necessarily on the phone to respond to security concerns whenever someone is getting hacked, but rather for the big league deckers out there, the ones that most systems only slow down. So for these guys they out fit them with SOTA gear and software, some good cyber like the Math SPU, and pput them to work against the best the deckers have to offer. That's just my interpretation though.

Thatís there normal operating job. I was just stating my opinion of what happens when they decide a decker needs to be eliminated.

Most system administrators would never actually get direct help from GOD agents, in this scenario GOD is not coming to help defend the system, there coming for the perpetrator, and there is no real collateral damage in a matrix battle unless you use some unusual program options (that donít provide a real advantage to GOD in this situation).

The first real hurdle setting up ShadowDragon8685ís revenge run is getting on GODs most wanted list. And then there is the need to have a force that can defeat 2-4 deckers with skill of 5-8 rating 10-12 decks with all programs at rating 10-12 bringing in a dozen or so instances of a combat SK with a frame rating of 10-12 and rating 10-12 programs.

With anything less than the finest deckers in the world you can not hope to succeed against that kind of massed hell.

Edward
mfb
not to mention the problem of finding the GOD deckers in the first place. if they're smart--and they are--they'll come into the system stealthed, take out their target with a one-shot kill (or trace them silently; have to check and see if that's an option, don't recall), and then log. the ambushers will never get a chance to spring their ambush. heck, the GOD deckers probably won't ever know it was there. keep in mind, to locate a GOD decker, the TN is going to be in the neighborhood of 20-24. and no program reduces that TN.
SL James
Corps also have commandos. Silent trace would be cool if you combine it with a silent stalking and a silenced shot to the decker's frontal lobe.
Wounded Ronin
Granted I don't know what GOD is but just reading this thread...

Rating 14 programs? Do those exist? I mean, yeah, statistically we can design a rating 14 program. But my idea of the game world was that rating 6 anything was very good, rating 8 was the absolute best custom bestest thing ever, and rating 10 might be a one-of-a-kind item. Rating 14 anything flowing around like free beer sounds like power level inflation.

That's the problem I have as a GM when characters start to get really powerful. My impression of the SR world just from overall reading of the sourcebooks is that things like magical initiates and cyberzombies and things with ratings over 6 should be really really rare. Even though theoretically I could smack down any player by throwing out melee physads with rating 14 weapon foci or, like, cyberzombie battalions, my impression was that that kind of stuff just shouldn't happen. Most NPCs going up against the PCs, even if they're trained for combat, are going to have skills and attributes at 5 because that's described as "professional" by SR3.

As evidenced by my inability to deal effectively with powerful characters perhaps I'm the one who is incorrect. But I also feel like if I am incorrect then the SR rulebooks were a bit misleading by calling rating 8 "world class" and rating 5 "professional".
Fix-it
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Mar 2 2006, 12:14 AM)
Granted I don't know what GOD is but just reading this thread...

Rating 14 programs?  Do those exist?  I mean, yeah, statistically we can design a rating 14 program.  But my idea of the game world was that rating 6 anything was very good, rating 8 was the absolute best custom bestest thing ever, and rating 10 might be a one-of-a-kind item.  Rating 14 anything flowing around like free beer sounds like power level inflation.

As evidenced by my inability to deal effectively with powerful characters perhaps I'm the one who is incorrect.  But I also feel like if I am incorrect then the SR rulebooks were a bit misleading by calling rating 8 "world class" and rating 5 "professional".


Rating 14 would be Military level equipment. bleeding edge, ludicrous speed, you wouldn't ever find it on the black market unless something went REALLY haywire.

it would be the equivelent of the ice cutters Gibson wrote about in Burning Chrome and Neuromancer. One of a Kind. The kind of 'softs that give Fastjack wet dreams.


The whole thing about technology is that by choosing to stay in the shadow markets, you'll forever be behind the crest of the wave. You might be able to get damn close to the crest, but unless you are involved in it's development, you'll never quite make the pipe.
ShadowDragon8685
I was under the impression that you could not run any program with a rating above your MPCP, and thus everybody's ratings cut off at the MPCP rating of an Excalibur; something that, while expensive as damn-be-damned, is nowhere near outside the range of a good Decker.

Hence, the only thing that GOD can bring to the fight that the deckers might not - OR MIGHT, depending on just how well-organized our anti-GOD team is - have is the SKs.
Brahm
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
As evidenced by my inability to deal effectively with powerful characters perhaps I'm the one who is incorrect. But I also feel like if I am incorrect then the SR rulebooks were a bit misleading by calling rating 8 "world class" and rating 5 "professional".

The descriptions in that table did not align with the reality of the rules. FanPro continued the tradition by putting in SR4 similar tables for Skills and Attributes that has only a passing resemblance to the reality of the rules.

GOD is Grid Overwatch *cough*. Uh, I forget what the D stands for. It is like Men In Black for the Matrix, the gummit boogiemen.
SL James
I'm still wondering what a decker would have to do to piss off the Corporate Court (not just a member, but the Court itself) enough to send the G-Men after you in the first place.

Aside from that, with regards to deckers I always figured that part of why there aren't legions of deckers in prison is the same reason there aren't thousands of runners in general in prison - they're freelance deniable assets. What's the point of taking out someone when you can use it against them later to run against your competitor? Besides, it keeps the ranks low and it puts runners into a position where even a Resource Adjustment Division would find amusement not just hunting runners, but just having a little fun with them.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Fix-it)


Rating 14 would be Military level equipment. bleeding edge, ludicrous speed, you wouldn't ever find it on the black market unless something went REALLY haywire.

it would be the equivelent of the ice cutters Gibson wrote about in Burning Chrome and Neuromancer. One of a Kind. The kind of 'softs that give Fastjack wet dreams.


Maybe my confusion arises from the fact that I never read Gibson.

So there's kind of a genre shtick of there being super scary cybersomethings that are never available to the protagonist because they're only available to scary institutions? Ergo, rating 14 is just another way of saying, "We're better than you because we're institutional"?

I'm not trying to be snarky about this. I mean, seriously, if it's a genre institution I can accept that as part of the cyberpunk genre.

(Sort of like how Conan in Howard's original writing is always better than the civilized man just because that's how he's supposed to be; so Joe Civilized Rugged General would have stats and attributes at 5, but Conan would be running around with 14s because he's just better.)
ShadowDragon8685
I imagine to get the Court pissed off enough to send the G-Men after you, you'd have to deck into Zurich Orbital and do something destructive/malicious/embaressing.

They'd probably just soak up a couple of hundred million nuyen.gif loss if you kept it quiet, just to maintain their rep as unhackable. If you widebanded the simsense recording of the intrusion, however, your ass is worth precisely as much as the ultimately remote hideaway that you will inevitably die in.

Or, you know, do what I'd do. Slot space vehicles operations skillchip, hack into their guidance and stabalization and maintence routines, and use a combination of retros and gyro activity (or inactivity) and explosive decompressions to send the whole Z-O down.

Preferably on top of Lofwyr, if you can. Hey, if you're going to commit suicide, may as well do it in as grand a fasion as possible.
Wounded Ronin
I can see some PTSDing shadowrunner after a long career wanting to commit suicide and doing a grandiose verision of "death by cop".
Fix-it
You're forgetting the driving force behind cyberpunk: Money.
The corps have the cash, so they can pay to develop really advance software. All the shadow deckers can do is either A: leach off that technology, or B: program thier own stuff (but who has time to do that? you gotta make money somehow)

I'd imagine you'd get the GMEN on your tail for things that threaten large portions of the matrix as a whole: nasty Virii, worms, exploits that affect large portions of the matrix.

SL James
... And AIs. You know, doing what they were created to deal with in the first place.
Fix-it
QUOTE (SL James)
... And AIs. You know, doing what they were created to deal with in the first place.

riiiight. but AIs are rare in the first place. and in the hands of runners? As if.
mfb
QUOTE (ShadowDragon8685)
I was under the impression that you could not run any program with a rating above your MPCP, and thus everybody's ratings cut off at the MPCP rating of an Excalibur; something that, while expensive as damn-be-damned, is nowhere near outside the range of a good Decker.

a) an Excalibur costs •1.5 million before street index. most runners aren't going to have enough cash to hire five deckers good enough to afford Excaliburs, much less thirty.

b) you're forgetting the custom cyberdeck construction rules. an Excalibur is only the best stock deck; i've seen custom decks that make an Excalibur look like a Sigma.

c) there is still the question of why GOD would be singled out for revenge to begin with, when other elite forces aren't.
SL James
QUOTE (Fix-it @ Mar 1 2006, 08:00 PM)
QUOTE (SL James @ Mar 2 2006, 01:13 AM)
... And AIs. You know, doing what they were created to deal with in the first place.

riiiight. but AIs are rare in the first place. and in the hands of runners? As if.

The point is that GOD has more important things to deal with than some street decker.
Fix-it
I understand James, but there's a lot of disruptive things a street decker (or a group, in a matrix gang) can do to raise hell online. while a lot of it is in the jurisdiction of the corp's specific hosts, I'm pretty sure GOD gets involved tracking and burning some of the more high profile vandals.

so a street decker just hacking for datatheft? no. the corp deckers or lone star's matrix division covers that one.

re-sculpting a prominent icon on the seattle LTG to look like a giant wang?
you betcha.

EDIT: they would probably also be involved in high-profile cases of matrix fraud, money laundering, murder (why not whack someone online?), and *shudder* DRM.
fistandantilus4.0
Grid Overwatch Division

And like mfb said, with the customer rules ,a cyberdeck can be nastier than that stock Excalibur. Michael Sutherland for example.

I'd imagine GOD going after the folks that do more than the status quo. Like Ex Pacis, Or Slamm-o and his scavenger hunts. The corps are going to expect shadowruns. It' s the price of doing business. As long as you're not the type to crash a host just to get some paydata you're fine. But if that's your MO, you become a "menace", and you need to go down, to make sure that everyone else stays 'within the rules.'
mfb
they'll be especially tough on anybody that creates self-replicating, destructive code. even after 31 years, i bet the corps are still jumpy about data loss.
fistandantilus4.0
or after 6 years wink.gif
mfb
i don't know what you're talking about! LA LA LA!
Kagetenshi
There was only one Crash. There will only ever be one Crash. This is the Tru7h.

~J
Edward
QUOTE (Fix-it)
I understand James, but there's a lot of disruptive things a street decker (or a group, in a matrix gang) can do to raise hell online. while a lot of it is in the jurisdiction of the corp's specific hosts, I'm pretty sure GOD gets involved tracking and burning some of the more high profile vandals.

so a street decker just hacking for datatheft? no. the corp deckers or lone star's matrix division covers that one.

re-sculpting a prominent icon on the seattle LTG to look like a giant wang?
you betcha.

EDIT: they would probably also be involved in high-profile cases of matrix fraud, money laundering, murder (why not whack someone online?), and *shudder* DRM.

No, resulting an icon on the Seattle RTG to look like a giant Wang will be dealt with buy the Seattle RTG security deckers.

GOD is interested only in the integrity and usability of the matrix as a hole, any attack that affects only a small number of hosts, or dose not have the potential to disrupt the function of a grid is to small for them. (thatís why its so hard to get on there hit list)

Things that make GOD want to kill you.

Crashing a small number of LTGs
Attempting to crash a large number of LTGs
Successfully crashing any RTG
Attempting to crash multiple RTGS (or making a concerted attempt against one)
Playing any organisational role in a matrix scavenger hunt (even a minor role

Conspiring to do any of the above will get you taken in for questioning (of thay can), possibly killed if itís serious enough.

Repeated acts of matrix vandalism (like the wang) across multiple grids will get god agents coordinating a response but not mounting hit squads.

Edward
nick012000
Or hacking into Zurich Orbital and crashing it onto the Saederr-Krupp arcology Lofwyr lives in. wink.gif
ShadowDragon8685
Grid Overwatch is the least of your worries once you've done that, mate.

You see, once Lofwyr has burned the absoloutely regoddamneddiculously excessive number of karma pool dice required to survive a space station and an arcology coming down on his head, he is going to be PISSED.

And once he has done that, his next response will be to make investigating the crime priority numero uno, so he can add that person to the very top of his shit-list - the list which, incidently, serves as both his list of people who need to die, and his menu.

Actually, if you do that and want to survive, your best bet is to try and deliberately become a Ghost in the Machine.

Because I'd rather cybercombat with Deus or an entire squadron of Grid Overwatch than with a Greater Dragon Heavyweight Champion.
fistandantilus4.0
damn dragons using Hand Of God.
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