THE

SPRAWL

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  • The first issue of YIPL (Youth International Party Line) magazine was printed and distributed freely by by the YIPPIEs founder Abbie Hoffman and "Al Bell". The magazine was later renamed to TAP (Technological American Party or Technological Assisstance Program). Its mission was to disseminate information on fighting monopoly, specifically Ma Bell.

    Here is an excerpt from the very first issue:

               THE YOUTH INTERNATIONAL PARTY LINE'S FIRST ISSUE
    
                       We at YIPL would
                     like to offer
                       thanks to
                    all you phreeks
                  out there.  Most of you who are now
            receiving this met us in Washington on Mayday,
               where we distributed 10,000 promo flyers.  So far
               we have received over 50 responses, complete with
               contributions, encouragement, and spirit.  We may
               not have done well percentage-wise, but the fact
            that there are 50 people all over the country willing
            to fight back speaks for itself.  We are sure that from
            the spirit of response, YIPL membership will really
            skyrocket.  However, more important than our numbers,
            in our opinion, is the feeling and motivation for this
            movement.  The disappointment we feel toward Amerika has
            turned to hatred as we saw the futility of the movement
            to improve it, and to frustation as our outside efforts
            were repressed and forbidden.  But we did NOT turn our
            backs on the movement for change.  YIPL believes that
            education alone cannot affect the System, but deucation
            can be an ivaluable tool for those willing to use it.
            Specifically, YIPL will show you why something must be
            done immediately in regard, of course, to the improper
            control of the communication in this country by none
            other than the BELL TELEPHONE COMPANY.
    
            So if your friends want to get in on the fun, let them
           read your newsletter, and you might want to research your
          own questions in your local library, and help to start the
         education of your community of the phone company's part in the
        war against the poor, the non-white, the non-conformist, and in
           general, against the people.  Show your neighbors, friends and the
          representatives of your area how the Bell System and the Amerikan
         government are co-conspirators.  If your friendscan't subscribe to
        YIPL, that; is cool, is convenient for our small staff, and is right on
       if they can send a buck as a donation and read your newsletter.  We also
      need stamps, letters, and envelopes, which maybe they can get from their
      office at work.  Because we are already sending out issues to people short
     on bread, we really do need this kind of help.  We will report on all of our
     finances from time to time, and if you can dig it, we will probably need some
     kind of bail fund set up.  If any YIPL busts happen, we'd like to ask you all
      in advance to work extra hard for the cause.  People, thanks again.  Love
    

    In addition to a large number of color box schematics (e.g. Red Box, Black Box, and the all time favorite Blue Box), the magazine has published several controversial articles like How To Not Get Caught Making Fake Credit Card Calls, The Burglar's Tool Box, and others on the topics ranging from home-made explosives to computer hacking.

    In 1973 Al Bell renamed the publication to TAP (Technological American Party) - The Hobbyists Newsletter For The Communications Revolution to reflect its role as a technical resource covering a wider array of technical topics with less "political crap". The publication has changed editors twice with Tom Edison taking over in late 70s until his apartment was firebombed at which point Cheshire Catalyst kept the publication running until its death in 1984. Most of the TAP/YIPL readers have switched to the shiny new phreaker/hacker publication at the time called 2600: The Hacker Quarterly which started printing the very same year TAP/YIPL has died. As a result, 2600 Magazine was directly influenced (and still is) by the ideals first set forth in YIPL.

    Interestingly there were several brief attempts to resurrect TAP from the ashes first in 1989-1991 by Aristotle and Predator and later in 2009 by John Galt. Ultimately both attempts failed to live up to the heydays of the original publication.

    External Links and References

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