More information has come to light about the arrest of Josh Kinberg, the hacker who made a "dot-matrix bike-printer" to ride through the streets of New York during the RNC in 2004. The oversize bike had a laptop-powered array of chalk-sprayers that could print text messages as it was piloted through the streets around the RNC, as a means of breaking the free-speech embargo that New York cops and the Republican party created through the use of "free speech zones." One of the bike's messages was, "America is a Free Speech Zone."
It turns out that Kinberg's arrest wasn't random. Secret NYPD dossiers on RNC protestors have fallen into the hands of reporters, revealing that the NYPD were spending tax-dollars spying on people who opposed the ruling party. Kinberg's bike, laptop and printer were seized by police. The laptop and printer were held for a year. The police "lost" his bicycle.
The New York Civil Liberties Union is in court, trying to get all the secret dossiers compiled in connection with the RNC.
It wasn't until December of last year that Kinberg learned his arrest was less spontaneous than it appeared.
He received a phone call from Gideon Oliver, an attorney enmeshed in a series of suits against the NYPD challenging the department's mass arrests, fingerprinting policies and detention conditions. Oliver revealed that Kinberg had been one of many targets of the NYPD's "RNC Intelligence Squad," which had been traveling around the country infiltrating progressive groups and building secret files on potential rabble-rousers ahead of the convention.
In late March, a New York Times reporter read Kinberg portions of his file.