DEPOSITION OF STEVE CORDER
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
THE PUTNAM PIT, INC., and
Case No. 2:97-108
CITY OF COOKEVILLE, and
JIM SHIPLEY, in his official
capacity as City Manager of
the City of Cookeville,
THE DEPOSITION OF STEVE CORDER, a witness, was taken before Phyllis J. Stinson, a Notary Public and Court Reporter within and for the State of Tennessee, at the Law
Offices of O'Mara & Johnson, 317 West Spring Street, Cookeville,
Tennessee, on Friday, June 26th, 1998, pursuant to Agreement and the Tennessee
Rules of Civil Procedure, on behalf of the Plaintiffs in this cause.
STINSON REPORTING SERVICE
P.O. Box 1417, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501
For the Plaintiffs: SAMUEL J. HARRIS, ESQ.
P. O. Box 873
Cookeville, Tennessee 38503
For the Defendants: JOHN C. DUFFY, ESQ.
Watson, Hollow & Reeves, P.L.C.
1700 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901
T. MICHAEL O'MARA, ESQ.
O'Mara & Johnson
317 West Spring Street
Cookeville, Tennessee 38501
It is stipulated and agreed that the deposition of
STEVE CORDER, may be taken by agreement at the Law Offices of
O'Mara & Johnson, 317 West Spring Street, Cookeville,
Tennessee, June 26th, 1998, on behalf of the Plaintiffs,
pursuant to the provisions of the Tennessee Rules of Civil
It is further stipulated and agreed that all object-
tions, except as to the form of the question, are reserved to
the time of trial; that formalities as to signature of the
witness, notice and filing are expressly waived by counsel;
that the reporter, being a Notary Public, may swear the
1 I _N _D _E _X
2 W I T N E S S : P A G E
3 STEVE CORDER:
4 Direct Examination by Mr. Harris: 3
5 Cross-Examination by Mr. O'Mara: 32
6 Redirect Examination by Mr. Harris: 35
7 E X H I B I T S :
8 (No Exhibits were marked.)
10 S T E V E _C O R D E R ,
11 the witness herein, having been first duly sworn to state the
12 whole truth, testified as follows, to wit:
13 D I R E C T _E X A M I N A T I O N
14 B Y _M R . _H A R R I S :
15 Q. Will you state your name for the record?
16 A. Steve Corder.
17 Q. And what is your position with the City of
19 A. I'm the Computer Operations Manager.
20 Q. Okay. What are the duties and responsibilities of
21 the Computer Operations Manager?
22 A. Well, I'm responsible for maintaining the World
23 Wide Web site for the City of Cookeville. I'm responsible
24 for maintaining the computer network for the City of
25 Cookeville and I have several other duties and responsibili-
1 ties. I buy most of the computers and most of the software,
2 and I install or oversee the supervision of most of the
3 computers and most of the software, just basically manage
4 most of the aspects of computing for city government.
5 Q. Who do you report to?
6 A. Jeff Littrell.
7 Q. Who is Jeff Littrell?
8 A. He is the Director of Planning and Codes.
9 Q. Is he knowledgeable in computers, as well?
10 A. Somewhat.
11 Q. Do you have any employees underneath you?
12 A. I have one part-time employee.
13 Q. Who is that?
14 A. Malachi Brown.
15 MR. O'MARA: How do you spell Malachi?
16 THE WITNESS: M-a-l-a-c-h-i.
17 MR. HARRIS: I didn't know we were here for a
18 spelling lesson. This can be on or off the record.
19 (Discussion off the record.)
20 Q. When you say part-time, what are his responsi-
22 A. He does whatever I tell him to do.
23 Q. Do you recall Mr. Shipley ever coming to you and
24 asking you to estimate the number of hours it would take to
25 find, to research, cookie files?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Do you remember what he said to you about this
4 A. I don't remember the entire conversation.
5 Q. What part do you remember?
6 A. I remember that I was informed that Mr. Davidian
7 wanted to see the City of Cookeville files, and Mr. Shipley
8 wanted to know what would be involved in that and how long it
9 would take.
10 Q. And what did you tell him?
11 A. At the time I told him it would take approximately
12 30 to 40 hours.
13 Q. Thirty to 40 hours?
14 A. Uh-huh.
15 Q. On what did you base that decision?
16 A. I based that decision on the time it would take me,
17 personally, to go around to each computer that had Internet
18 access and look for the specified information.
19 Q. For the cookies. How do you look for a cookie on a
20 personal computer?
21 A. That depends.
22 Q. Well, it depends on what?
23 A. It depends on what operating system that computer
24 is running, and it depends on what web browser that computer
25 is running, and what version that computer is running.
1 Q. Do all of the City's computers accessing the
2 Internet run Windows 95?
3 A. No.
4 Q. How many run Windows 95?
5 A. I would guesstimate 95 percent.
6 Q. If it is Windows 95, is it not possible just to
7 click on the Windows' Start button in the lower left-hand
8 corner, or wherever it is placed, or just click on My
9 Computer, go to the C Drive, open up Windows and open up a
10 folder or file called Cookies? Can somebody not access and
11 see what cookies have been recorded on the computer?
12 A. That would depend on which -like, once again, that
13 would depend on which version of Windows 95 they were running
14 and it would depend on which web browser they were running,
15 and which version of that web browser they were running.
16 Q. Would you be able to access the cookie files on any
17 of the City's computers the way I previously described?
18 A. There are some that you could access them that way,
20 Q. How many?
21 A. I really don't know.
22 MR. O'MARA: I'm not trying to help, but would
23 it be helpful if you identified the point in time in which he
24 and Mr. Shipley had this discussion and the set of computers
25 then, not now? Your questions don't seem to indicate time.
1 Q. (By Mr. Harris) First of all, when did Mr.
2 Shipley -and I was going to go back to that part. When did
3 Mr. Shipley ask you that? Do you recall the date, approxi-
5 A. I don't remember when Mr. Davidian made his request
6 and I don't remember when Mr. Shipley came to me and asked me
8 Q. Would it be fair to say that it was sometime last
9 August? If you don't know, of course, answer that way, but
10 I'm just trying to get an approximate time.
11 A. I, personally, don't remember when it happened.
12 Q. Had you met Geoff Davidian? Had you, personally,
13 met Geoff Davidian?
14 A. Face-to-face?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. I may be mistaken, but I don't think I had met
17 Geoff Davidian at that time.
18 Q. You met with Geoff on the morning of December 10th;
19 isn't that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And you wrote a memo to Gail Fowler detailing those
22 events; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And I don't have that with me. It's actually out
25 in my car. I didn't bring it in because I was running late,
1 but I just want to know one thing, or several things, but I
2 don't think you need to have the memo in front of you. Did
3 you not say in that memo something like that was your first
4 impression or first meeting with him? In other words, was
5 that the first day you met him face-to-face?
6 A. I don't know for sure. It may have been. I would
7 need -I don't recall having a person-to-person, face-to-face
8 conversation with Davidian before that time.
9 Q. Going back to when Mr. Shipley came to you, did Mr.
10 Shipley say anything about who Geoff Davidian was?
11 A. No, he did not.
12 Q. But you knew who he was.
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And you knew he wrote for the Putnam Pit.
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. What is your opinion of the Putnam Pit?
17 A. It is a very interesting web site.
18 Q. Do you dislike the Putnam Pit in any way?
19 A. I don't agree with everything, or all of the
20 opinions that the Putnam Pit puts forth.
21 Q. All right. When I talk about the computer's
22 makeup, and I will start over with those questions, if need
23 be, I'm not interested in how the computers are now. All of
24 my questions will deal with how were they at the time Jim
25 Shipley came to you for the first time and said, "Geoff
1 Davidian wants to see the cookie files." You understand
3 A. I understand.
4 Q. You said you told him it would take 30 to 40 hours.
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Okay. How many computers were accessing the
7 Internet at that time?
8 A. I don't remember the exact number.
9 Q. An approximate number. Do you know?
10 A. I would say approximately 35.
11 Q. Thirty-five. So you were estimating, what,
12 approximately one hour per computer?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Why would it take that long just to see the cookie
16 A. Well, because I would suppose that that would -I
17 estimated that counting my time going around from each
18 computer to each computer, finding the information, copying
19 the information to a floppy disk, and sorting it, and putting
20 it in a manner in which we could efficiently give it to Mr.
21 Davidian, and I estimated that it would take that amount of
23 Q. Now, Mr. Shipley, did he tell you that it would be
24 necessary to do all that?
25 A. No, Mr. Shipley did not tell me it would be
1 necessary to do all that.
2 Q. And it would still take one hour per computer to do
3 all that.
4 A. That is what I estimated at the time, yes.
5 Q. Had you ever pulled up a cookie file or cookie
6 folder on your own personal computer at home or at work to
7 look at what is on a cookie file before Mr. Shipley came to
8 you that day?
9 A. Probably. I really don't know for sure.
10 Q. Would you agree to this, as somebody familiar with
11 computers and more knowledgeable, I guarantee you, than
12 anybody in this room about computers? Would you not state
13 that the cookie files on Windows can be accessed in a matter
14 of a couple of minutes?
15 A. Well, that would depend.
16 Q. On a window, on Windows 95. It depends on what?
17 A. It would depend on what base the Internet -what web
18 browser they are using.
19 Q. Okay. What web browser does the City of Cookeville
21 A. The majority of the computers use Microsoft
22 Internet Explorer.
23 Q. On Microsoft Internet Explorer, could not the
24 cookie files be accessed in just a matter of a minute or two
1 A. Well, which version of Microsoft Internet Explorer?
2 Q. How many versions are there.
3 A. There are several.
4 Q. Okay. Are there more than four? How many
5 different versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer are used by
6 the City of Cookeville?
7 A. We use the 3 Version and a few computers have the 4
9 Q. So we are dealing with four versions and most of
10 them use one of the other three.
11 A. No. I said we use mostly the Version 3 and Version
13 Q. Okay. On Version 3, how long would it take to find
14 what is on the cookie files?
15 A. Are User Pro files enabled or not?
16 Q. Well, if they are enabled. You tell me. If they
17 are enabled, how long would it take? Could it be done,
18 especially by somebody knowledgeable about computers? You
19 are knowledgeable about computers, are you not?
20 A. Yes, I am. I consider myself to be.
21 Q. You have got an Internet site, a web page that has
22 your resume posted on it, correct?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. And that indicates you have had quite a bit of
1 A. Yes, it does.
2 Q. You were educated at Tennessee Tech in Computer
4 A. Yes, I was.
5 Q. So you are knowledgeable about computers.
6 A. I like to think so, yes.
7 Q. You are perhaps the most knowledgeable person who
8 works for the City of Cookeville.
9 A. Probably.
10 Q. So when you access cookie records on a computer,
11 wouldn't you do that fairly -you would be able to do that
12 fairly quickly.
13 A. I could.
14 Q. And if a lone P.I., such as Geoff Davidian or
15 myself can call up cookies in a matter of a couple of
16 minutes, wouldn't it be logical that you probably could do it
17 just as fast as we could?
18 A. Well, I could, but you need to remember that you
19 are talking about one computer, your computer at home or his
20 computer at home. I am talking about between 30 and 40, and,
21 you know, I made the assumption at the time that Mr. Davidian
22 wanted these things sorted by the user's computer it came
23 from. That is why I made the estimate that I did.
24 Q. Did he tell you he wanted it sorted?
25 A. No, he did not.
1 Q. But you don't recall what Mr. Shipley might have
2 said specifically. You don't recall his specific words.
3 A. I don't recall the specifics of the conversation.
4 Q. Why would it take -I'm still trying to find out why
5 would it take so long, 35 hours, if on an individual computer
6 somebody can call up the cookie file, say, in a minute or two
7 minutes. Why would it take so long as 35 hours?
8 A. Mr. Harris, please. I made that estimate off the
9 top of my head when Mr. Shipley made the request, and that is
10 the first number that I came up with. That is the number
11 that I gave to him.
12 Q. Let me just, so you won't think I'm trying to be
13 rude or irritating -I know it comes out that way in depo-
14 sitions sometimes. I just want to know. I can't assume
15 anything. I want to hear you say. That's why you have to
16 testify to it. It's not necessarily trying to difficult with
17 you. Now, so you made this estimate off the top of your
18 head. How much time did you spend to make that determina-
19 tion? Did you take a minute and reply back, or did you sit
20 down and think about it?
21 A. I just told him. I just made a guess off the top
22 of my head and told him right then.
23 Q. Have you ever tried to find out where other
24 employees have gone on the Internet?
25 A. What do you mean?
1 Q. Well, have you ever looked at their -have you ever
2 monitored Internet usage in any way, either by surveying
3 them, by inspecting the computer records or the files? Have
4 you ever in any way monitored Internet usage by the City of
5 Cookeville employees?
6 A. Yes, I have.
7 Q. What was your purpose for doing that?
8 A. Because my boss told me to.
9 Q. When did he tell you to do this?
10 A. I don't recall the exact date.
11 Q. Do you recall a month?
12 A. I think it was January of this year.
13 Q. Did you prepare a report about your findings?
14 A. No, I did not.
15 Q. Did you give him an oral report telling him about
16 what you found?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Well, what did you find?
19 A. A lot of different things.
20 Q. How did you find out where people went on the
22 A. Are you asking me what program I used?
23 Q. Yes. How did you do it? Did you use a special
24 computer program?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. What program did you use?
2 A. L-Ron (ph) Internet Manager.
3 Q. And what does that discover? What, basically, is
4 the end product, if you use L-Ron Internet Manager software?
5 Will that tell you about Internet usage?
6 A. It maintains a data base of sites and things that
7 computers on that particular network have visited on the
8 Internet and it is sorted by computer, and it will tell you
9 the exact URL of a web site that was visited. It will give
10 you the names of an ATB site they went to and then it gives
11 you what user groups they have read.
12 Q. Well, how were you able to find out this informa-
13 tion? I thought that -doesn't the City of Cookeville erase
14 that information on a daily basis?
15 A. Yes, they do.
16 Q. Okay. So does that software have some way to allow
17 you to discover, even though it has been erased?
18 A. L-Ron Internet Manager does not work from cookies,
19 or history files, or Internet cache files. It works in a
20 totally different way.
21 Q. In what way does that work?
22 A. It is in service on a Windows NT computer. It
23 turns the network card on that computer into promiscuous mode
24 and in promiscuous mode, it sits and listens to every packet
25 broadcast over the network. It looks for certain information
1 in those packets and it can extract that information, the
2 information that it is looking for, and put it into the data
3 base as it's happening. It does not rely on files.
4 Q. Did you electronically store the results of what is
6 A. The data base was stored for about 30 days.
7 Q. And then what did you do with it?
8 A. Well, my computer crashed. I was running Windows
9 NT Work Station. My computer crashed. I had to reformat and
10 reinstall the whole operating system and all of the applica-
11 tions and everything, and anything that was stored on my hard
12 drive was lost.
13 Q. Now, do you recall any employees where they might
14 have web sites they were using it for?
15 A. I can recall some of them.
16 Q. Basically, the gist of my question is where does
17 the City of Cookeville employees go on the Internet?
18 MR. DUFFY: Object to the form of the
20 Q. (By Mr. Harris) Do you understand? If you don't
21 understand it, I will rephrase it.
22 A. Rephrase the question.
23 Q. Where do the City of Cookeville employees go? What
24 did you find as a result of that research about where the
25 City of Cookeville employees go?
1 A. Well, I don't remember everything it found.
2 Q. Did you find that any city employees were visiting
3 pornography sites?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Who was visiting pornography sites? Do you
6 remember that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. What is their names?
9 A. Kirby Hamilton.
10 Q. Is Kirby Hamilton employed by the City of
12 A. No, he is not.
13 Q. If you know, was his discharge related to -
14 A. He was not discharged that I'm aware of.
15 Q. Was his leaving the City of Cookeville either by
16 resignation or being terminated in any way related to any of
17 your findings?
18 A. I'm really not the person you would need to ask
19 about that.
20 Q. You don't know, is what you're saying.
21 A. I really don't know the specifics of why Kirby
22 Hamilton left.
23 Q. Do you remember any other sites? Was anybody
24 visiting any sites that might be considered racist?
25 A. I don't remember anyone visiting any sites like
2 Q. Were any of them visiting sites that, in your
3 opinion, were unrelated to any business of the City of
5 A. Well, yes.
6 Q. What type of sites were those?
7 A. Well, there were religious-related sites. There
8 were sports-related sites. Those are the only two that stand
9 out in my mind. I'm sure there were probably others, but I
10 don't remember them right now.
11 Q. Now, when you use the Internet in your personal
12 time--you do use the Internet in your personal time.
13 A. I use the Internet at home, yes.
14 Q. And basically, do you like to visit those sites
15 that you list as your favorite sites? Is that where you like
16 to go, generally?
17 A. What are you referring to?
18 Q. Well, like Gilbert, or Pulp Fiction sites, Cache
20 A. Those are sites that contain things that I have
21 personal interests in. I don't necessarily visit them
23 Q. Okay. Do you ever, quote, "surf the net" and look
24 for new sites?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. So you are familiar with the workings of the
2 Internet, not only in your employment, but you use it from
3 time to time -not too much, I guess -in your personal time.
4 You use the Internet quite a bit.
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Prior to October 31st, 1997, you were in charge of
7 the City of Cookeville's web page, right?
8 A. Are you saying was I in charge of the web page
9 before October 31st, 1997? Yes, I was.
10 Q. Right. You are still in charge of that web page.
11 A. Yes, I am.
12 Q. Prior to October 31st, 1997, there were a variety
13 of web pages and sites that were listed, or that were linked
14 to the City of Cookeville on the City of Cookeville's web
15 page, correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Do you recall why they were taken off?
18 A. They were taken off per Mr. Shipley's instructions.
19 Q. Why did he say to take them off? Did he tell you?
20 A. I don't recall that he told me why. He just told
21 me to take them off.
22 Q. What was your criteria for allowing somebody to be
23 linked to the City of Cookeville's web page prior to October
24 31st, 1997?
25 A. Well, when I was -when I made the decision who got
1 linked, basically if they were a business or organization in
2 the City of Cookeville and they had their own web site, and
3 they requested that they be linked, generally I linked them.
4 Q. Did Geoff Davidian ever ask on behalf of himself or
5 the Putnam Pit that he have a link to the City of
6 Cookeville's web page?
7 A. Yes, he did.
8 Q. When did he do that?
9 A. I don't recall the exact date that he requested
11 Q. Was it before October 31st, 1997?
12 A. It may have been. I don't remember. You are
13 talking about things that happened last year and I do well to
14 remember what I did last week.
15 Q. Now, I understand. The attorneys are saying bad
16 things about me.
17 MR. O'MARA: Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
18 MR. HARRIS: I was referring to when we were
19 joking yesterday and I said, "I don't think I will need more
20 than 45 minutes."
21 MR. O'MARA: You can put this on the record.
22 MR. HARRIS: I also said, "I don't think I'll
23 need that long to pick Mr. Corder's brains." I said 45
24 minutes and he said, "I think 45 seconds," and Mr. O'Mara was
1 MR. O'MARA: I said you could pick his brain
2 in 45 seconds, as far as I was concerned.
3 THE WITNESS: Thanks, Mike.
4 MR. O'MARA: That's all I wanted you to say,
5 45 seconds worth, but you may want more.
6 MR. HARRIS: That's right. That's true. I'm
7 taking a little bit longer than I anticipated, but I'll be
9 Q. (By Mr. Harris) I'm trying to pin down a date. Do
10 you recall how many times Geoff Davidian may have asked for a
11 link for the Putnam Pit?
12 A. That I'm aware of, he only asked one time.
13 Q. How did he ask, by e-mail?
14 A. He sent me an e-mail message.
15 Q. Did you respond to him?
16 A. No, I did not.
17 Q. Why not?
18 A. I felt that the matter would best be handled by my
19 superiors, so I forwarded his request to my boss.
20 Q. When Acuff and Acuff asked for a link to your site,
21 did you forward that request to your boss?
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. When any of the others that were listed on there as
24 of October 31st, 1997, asked for it, did you ever notify Mr.
25 Shipley about that?
1 A. I don't remember ever notifying or forwarding the
2 request to anyone else.
3 Q. What raised an alarm, a red flag, when the Putnam
4 Pit asked to be linked to the City of Cookeville's web page?
5 A. Well, Mr. Davidian and the Putnam Pit are a very
6 controversial topic and I did not feel it would be in my own
7 personal best interest to make the decision to or not to link
8 the Putnam Pit to our web site, so I decided my boss would be
9 better equipped to make that decision.
10 Q. Who told you the Putnam Pit was a controversial
11 topic, because you have already stated at that point you
12 didn't think you had met Geoff Davidian?
13 MR. DUFFY: I object to the characterization.
14 MR. HARRIS: Okay. Let me break that down for
16 Q. (By Mr. Harris) Did anyone tell you the Putnam Pit
17 was controversial?
18 A. Well, you can't work for the City of Cookeville and
19 not know that the Putnam Pit is controversial.
20 Q. Why is that?
21 A. Because everybody knows about it.
22 Q. What do they know about it?
23 A. They know that it -I don't know what they know
24 about it.
25 Q. So you don't know what they knew about it. You
1 don't know why it was controversial, but you knew that the
2 first time you made a referral.
3 MR. O'MARA: I object to the form of the
4 question. It does not fairly characterize the witness' prior
6 Q. (By Mr. Harris) Can you tell me why it is contro-
8 A. I can tell you why I think he is controversial. I
9 can't tell you why the other people think he is contro-
11 Q. Well, that's true. Why do you think he is contro-
13 A. I think he is controversial because of the content
14 of his web site and the manner in which he behaves when he
15 comes to City Hall.
16 Q. But you had never met him prior to that. What
17 manner does he act in?
18 A. I don't know- I didn't -I know what manner he acts
19 in now. I didn't know how he acted then. I had heard
20 stories and, you know, I had passed the man in the hall
21 before, but other than that -I mean -
22 Q. Well, you had passed him in the hall. Had he ever
23 been rude to you?
24 A. To my knowledge, Mr. Davidian has never been rude
25 directly to me.
1 Q. Well, did Mr. Shipley ever say he was a rude
3 A. I don't recall Mr. Shipley ever saying that Mr.
4 Davidian was rude.
5 Q. Did Gail Fowler ever say that?
6 A. Yes, I have heard Gail Fowler say Mr. Davidian was
8 Q. Has she ever said what specifically he does was
10 A. I don't recall any specifics.
11 Q. You said something about the content is contro-
12 versial. What is controversial about the content of the
13 Putnam Pit?
14 A. In my opinion, a lot of the Putnam Pit's content is
15 opinion and conjecture based on the part of its editor and
16 contributing authors, and I don't think that--if you read
17 some of the stories that have a lot of this opinion and
18 conjecture in them, you know the people involved and know how
19 they feel about those stories that are in there about them.
20 You know it's controversial, as far as I define contro-
22 Q. Have you ever -I'm going back to the point of
23 sometime in October of 1997. Geoff Davidian has contacted
24 you to be linked to the City of Cookeville's web page. Had
25 you talked to anybody prior to that general time about
1 stories he had written and why people were offended, or
2 thought they were conjecture?
3 A. I'm sure that I did.
4 Q. But do you remember anybody specifically that might
5 have said that?
6 A. Said what?
7 Q. That the Putnam Pit is, let's say, unfair, has a
8 negative slant to it. Did anybody say anything like that?
9 A. Well, I'm sure people have said that several times.
10 Q. But do you remember any specific person?
11 A. I don't remember any specific person.
12 Q. Would you say that several people -would it be a
13 fair characterization of the atmosphere at City Hall, as you
14 perceived it, that a lot of employees that you talked to had
15 that same attitude about the Putnam Pit; that it was somehow
16 a demon?
17 A. A demon?
18 Q. A negative -well, if nothing else, it was negative
20 A. I think that it would be fair to say that some of
21 the people in City Hall think that the Putnam Pit is negative
22 towards the City of Cookeville.
23 Q. And when you say the City of Cookeville, do you
24 mean the City, the geographical location, or the government?
25 A. In my opinion, both.
1 Q. Have you ever accessed the Putnam Pit web page?
2 A. Yes, I have.
3 Q. While you were working at the City of Cookeville?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. For what purpose did you access the Putnam Pit web
7 A. Because it's very interesting and I wanted to read
8 what was on there.
9 Q. You were never told by anybody to monitor what the
10 Putnam Pit writes?
11 A. No, to my knowledge, I have never been told that.
12 Q. This was something you did on your own.
13 A. Yes. I mean I read it just like everybody else
15 Q. Prior to October 31st, had you ever refused anybody
16 else to be linked to the City's web page?
17 A. Well, I have never refused to link anybody tot he
18 City of Cookeville's web page.
19 Q. Did you ever delay linking anybody else, delay it
20 more than two weeks, or delay it more than a week that you
22 A. When you say "delay", what do you mean by delay?
23 Q. Where you had to consult with any of your
25 A. I did not intentionally delay anything. I just did
1 not want to make that decision, so I forwarded it on to my
2 supervisor and let him and Mr. Shipley deal with it. I
3 didn't want to deal with it. Had I wanted to deal with it, I
4 would have.
5 Q. Had you ever forwarded any other request on to your
7 A. No, I had not.
8 Q. Had you ever taken more than a day to respond to
9 somebody who wanted to be linked tot he web page?
10 A. I don't remember. It's very possible that it had
11 been delayed, that I have taken more than a day to respond to
12 a request.
13 Q. How about more than three days?
14 A. It's possible that I had taken more than three
16 Q. Do you remember anybody specifically?
17 A. I don't remember anybody specifically.
18 Q. The only entity or person's web page you
19 specifically remember taking more than a few days to respond
20 to is the Putnam Pit and Geoff Davidian.
21 A. I don't remember responding to that request ever,
22 so I guess the answer to your question is yes.
23 Q. How long did it take you when you were monitoring
24 Internet usage? How long did that take you to do that?
25 A. To do what?
1 Q. To monitor the Internet usage by the employees.
2 How much time did you allot to that?
3 A. It wasn't something that I had to allot time to
4 once the software did all of the work.
5 Q. While you did something else?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So still, to this date, you have never actually
8 gone into different computers and looked at their Internet
9 files. What I'm calling Internet files is cookies, Internet
10 history, any kind of history file that would show some sort
11 of trace where they have been on the Internet.
12 A. Well, I have never -that I can recall, I have never
13 gone into anybody's computer. Well, no, I take that back.
14 There was one time I did that.
15 Q. Whose was that?
16 A. Kirby Hamilton.
17 Q. How long did it take you to do that one particular
19 A. Well, I knew what I was looking for when I went in
20 and it didn't take 15 minutes.
21 Q. How many computers were in existence at the time
22 Mr. Shipley approached you about an estimate on the number of
23 hours it would take? Did you say 60?
24 MR. O'MARA: Worldwide?
25 MR. HARRIS: No, the City of Cookeville. I
1 grant you, he is knowledgeable, but I dare say, he doesn't
2 have worldwide knowledge. Off the record.
3 (Discussion off the record.)
4 Q. (By Mr. Harris) How many computers did the City of
5 Cookeville have in August of '97 when Mr. Shipley came to you
6 and asked you to estimate the number of hours it would take
7 to respond to Geoff Davidian's initial cookies request?
8 A. How many computers did the City of Cookeville have
9 at the time?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Probably 125.
12 Q. How many could access the Internet at that time?
13 A. That I'm aware of, probably 35.
14 Q. Okay. Thirty-five.
15 A. Between 30 and 40. I don't know the exact number.
16 Q. So even if it took you twice as long as it took you
17 with Kirby Hamilton's computer, 15 minutes, and we said a
18 half hour, it would be a minimum of 17 and a half hours.
19 Would that be fair? If you had to do it today, could you not
20 look for the cookie files on 35 computers in about ten hours?
21 A. Well, that's making the rather large assumption
22 that the cookie files are there to look at. However, based
23 on your arithmetic and if we still had that many computers
24 hooked up to the Internet, which we have more than that now,
25 but based on the mathematical formula that you just put forth
1 there, I would say that it adds up.
2 Q. When did you, the City of Cookeville, adopt a
3 policy of deleting cookie files?
4 A. I don't remember the exact date.
5 Q. Was it before Mr. Shipley came to you about this
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. Who set the computers to delete the cookies?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. So you knew what cookies were before he made the
11 request, correct?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. You knew they were being deleted; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. So if you knew they were deleted, why didn't you
16 just tell him there was no sense in looking for them, if it's
17 already been deleted?
18 A. Because I made some rather large assumptions at the
19 time. I assumed that what Mr. Davidian really wanted was
20 history files and browser cache files, and that sort of
21 thing, and because everybody that knows anything about it
22 knows that cookie files don't give you an accurate repre-
23 sentation of where a computer has been on the Internet. So I
24 assumed that Mr. Davidian -I assumed that what Mr. Davidian
25 really wanted was something else other than what he asked
2 Q. Did you ask Mr. Shipley to tell him, rather than
3 assuming? Did you ever ask him, "I need more information as
4 to what is being requested?"
5 Q. Have you ever looked at an Internet history file?
6 A. Recently I have, very briefly.
7 Q. What does an Internet history file tell you, or
8 tell a person who is looking at it?
9 A. Well, an Internet history file maintains a list of
10 URL's that a web browser has been directed to go to.
11 Q. So somebody could get a pretty good idea where
12 somebody visited on the Internet, correct?
13 A. Yes and no.
14 Q. They would at least know some of the places,
15 wouldn't they?
16 A. They would know some of the places.
17 Q. On some computers it actually keeps the time
19 A. I don't know whether it does or not.
20 Q. So you're not that familiar. You haven't looked
21 extensively at what is recorded on an Internet history file.
22 A. Not extensively, no.
23 MR. HARRIS: That's it.
24 MR. O'MARA: Thank you, Steve.
25 (Whereupon, a brief recess was had, after
1 which the proceedings continued as follows:)
2 MR. O'MARA: You're not through, Steve. I
3 have a couple of questions for Mr. Corder.
4 C R O S S - E X A M I N A T I O N
5 B Y _M R . _O ' M A R A
6 Q. Mr. Corder, in response to some of the questions
7 which were asked you, you explained that you had assumed that
8 the request to look at cookie files actually embodied more
9 than just looking at cookies, themselves.
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Explain why you made that assumption.
12 A. Well, I made that assumption because cookie files,
13 as I have said earlier, don't present an accurate representa-
14 tion of where a computer has been on the Internet.
15 Q. What is a cookie file? What does a cookie file
16 tell you about where someone has been?
17 A. A cookie file -could you rephrase the question
18 because -
19 Q. Well, what is a cookie file?
20 A. Okay. Thank you. A cookie file is a piece of
21 information that a web server has sent to a web browser, and
22 it contains whatever information that the web server has been
23 programmed to have it contain, and it sits on the local disk
24 that that web browser is connected to, and it can be re-
25 trieved by the sending web server at a later date to
1 maintain, to basically just to keep some sort of information
2 about the person that visited the site before, whether it's
3 their credit card number or which areas of their site they
4 wanted to visit, or their name and address, or their personal
5 preferences for the web site, or whatever. It can contain
6 basically anything that they want it to contain, as long as
7 the information has been supplied by the end user, and they
8 are not used by all web servers. I would guess that probably
9 at least 95 percent of all of the web servers in existence,
10 or all of the web sites -let me say that or all of the web
11 sites in existence don't use cookie files.
12 If a web site doesn't use cookie files, then, you
13 know, you can go to a site a thousand times and you will
14 never have a cookie file on your computer showing that you
15 had been there.
16 Q. These other files you have talked about assuming
17 that the request of the Putnam Pit was for, what did they
18 show differently than looking at a cookies file?
19 A. Well, the history file maintains a list of all of
20 the URL's that a web browser has been directed to go to, and
21 it retains that list for as many days as the web browser has
22 been set to retain it. So if you set it to retain it for
23 seven days, it will keep the last seven days' worth of URL's
24 that you have indicated. Say, if you set it to remain for
25 zero days, then you go there once, close your browser, and
1 when you open your browser back up, you don't have a cookie
3 And the cache files are little temporary files
4 that the web browser stores on your disk that are basically
5 just bits and pieces of the web pages that that browser has
6 visited. Its sole purpose in existence is so, if you ever
7 revisit that page, it can load that information back off of a
8 disk instead of having to transfer it again off of the
9 Internet, which is a lot slower than what the diskette is.
10 Q. How much additional time would it take, based on
11 your estimate made back when Mr. Shipley asked you how long
12 would it take to look at these files? How much of the time
13 that you estimated it would take was related to looking at
14 other files in addition to cookie files?
15 A. It would take a lot of extra time, because cache
16 files particularly are a big mess. There are tons of them.
17 They vary wildly in size. You know, it would take several
18 diskettes for each computer to copy all that information off
19 of a floppy disk. You know, it would take a lot longer.
20 Q. How does that fact relate to the time estimate you
21 gave Mr. Shipley?
22 A. Well, it factored in. I mean when I told Mr.
23 Shipley that I thought of all of the above and I just
24 thought, "Well, you know, gee, that will take a lot of time
25 to do," and I estimated, you know, between 45 minutes and an
1 hour for each computer.
2 MR. HARRIS: I have a few more questions when
3 you're done.
4 MR. O'MARA: All right. Now, back to Mr.
5 Harris because he may want to ask some follow-up questions
6 about the information I just elicited from you.
7 R E D I R E C T _E X A M I N A T I O N
8 B Y _M R . _H A R R I S :
9 Q. As to cookie files, have you ever visited a New
10 York Times site?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. Do you know whether the New York Times gives a
14 A. I don't know if they do or not.
15 Q. Let's assume that a site like that does give a
17 A. Okay.
18 Q. If you visited with your computer, visited the New
19 York Times, it sends back a cookie, correct?
20 A. If the New York Times web site sends a cookie, it
21 would send back a cookie.
22 Q. Right. I'm just saying I want to make sure we're
23 working on the same assumption.
24 A. Okay. I can't testify that it does, or that is one
25 that does.
1 Q. But under this assumption, we are assuming that it
2 sends back a cookie.
3 A. Okay.
4 Q. Where is that stored on your computer? Where is
5 that information? Is there a record that they sent back a
6 cookie on your computer?
7 A. Could you rephrase your question?
8 Q. Well, is it that you don't understand what a record
10 A. Well, it's not that I don't understand what a
11 record is. It's just that you put a lot of things in there
12 and I'm just trying to--
13 Q. I understand. I want to make sure. I want you to
14 understand my question. Any time you don't understand my
15 question -I know I didn't tell you this, but I'm sure your
16 attorney will -ask me to rephrase. If a web site that sends
17 out cookies sends a cookie back to what we will call the
18 user's computer -
19 A. I would prefer you say the web browser.
20 Q. It sends it back to the web browser?
21 A. Yes, because web browsers are independent of end
23 Q. Is there any information stored on the computer
24 that would show they sent back a cookie on a user's computer?
25 A. Yes, the cookie file, itself, would actually be
2 Q. There is a file kept on cookies, right?
3 A. Well, once again, it is browser-dependent, but both
4 popular browsers, Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator,
5 keep up with the cookies that have been sent in some form or
7 Q. So if the browser keeps the cookies and the
8 computers, i.e., the City of Cookeville uses Internet
9 Explorer and Netscape -
10 A. Mostly Internet Explorer and some Netscape.
11 Q. Okay. And both of those browsers store information
12 regarding cookies.
13 A. If it is left to their default settings when the
14 program is first installed, yes, they do.
15 Q. So that information is stored on the user's
16 computer, correct?
17 A. It can be stored on the user's computer. It's not
19 Q. At the time -by "the time" I mean in August when
20 Mr. Shipley asked you this -you told me previously, I
21 believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that the City of
22 Cookeville's computers were already set to delete the cookies
23 at the end of the day.
24 MR. O'MARA: No.
25 MR. HARRIS: Correct me.
1 MR. O'MARA: Object to the form of the
2 question. Mr. Shipley--
3 Q. (By Mr. Harris) All right. Tell me, what was the
4 status again, if you could remind me. How is it cookies were
5 treated in August of 1997?
6 A. Well, I treated all that stuff as temporary files.
7 It took up a lot of disk space and there was a script, batch
8 file, or whatever you prefer to call it, that ran whenever a
9 user logged onto his or her computer and that script
10 contained some commands that would go in and delete the
11 cookies, the cache file, and the cookies in the cache files.
12 Q. It deleted it instantaneously? I mean as soon as,
13 say, the New York Times sends a cookie out, would it delete
14 the cookie immediately? When did the computer delete the
16 A. The next time the user logged into his or her
18 Q. How often do people log into their computers?
19 A. Well, people are supposed to log out at the end of
20 each day and they are supposed to log in when they come in in
21 the morning. Not everybody does that, but that is the way
22 it's supposed to be done.
23 Q. As far as for most of the City of Cookeville's
24 computers, would there have been a file on the computer that
25 would have shown information on the cookies before they were
2 A. That's kind of tricky. Could you rephrase that?
3 MR. DUFFY: I'm confused by the time frame.
4 I'm not trying to interfere, but could I ask when you are
5 talking about?
6 MR. HARRIS: Okay. We'll leave it in August
7 of '97.
8 THE WITNESS: Okay.
9 MR. HARRIS: Right before Geoff Davidian went
10 to the City and you received knowledge of the data request to
11 see the cookie files.
12 THE WITNESS: Okay.
13 Q. (By Mr. Harris) You were told, by the way, he only
14 wanted to see the cookies, right?
15 A. That's what he asked for.
16 Q. He didn't ask for any of that other stuff, like the
17 cache files.
18 A. That is correct. He did not say that he wanted the
19 other stuff at that time.
20 Q. You took it upon yourself to expand the scope of
21 what he was requesting, didn't you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In making your estimate.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And at that time -and are we crystal clear on the
1 time I'm talking about, August of '97?
2 A. Crystal clear.
3 Q. At that time if a user of a City of Cookeville
4 computer visited a site that sent back cookies, would a
5 record have been made of that cookie? Would that cookie have
6 been recorded in some way on some file on that computer?
7 A. Temporarily, yes.
8 Q. If somebody looked in that temporarily recorded
9 file of cookies, what would the cookie information show?
10 Would it show the name of the web site?
11 A. It should, yes. It should show the URL in the web
12 site, but yes, basically.
13 Q. Would somebody then know, for example, using the
14 example I originally started with, would somebody know that
15 person visited the New York Times?
16 A. Making the assumption that the New York Times web
17 site sends a cookie, yes, they would.
18 Q. But at the time Geoff Davidian in August, 1997 -
19 A. Gotcha.
20 Q. - or when Jim Shipley came to you and told you
21 about the Davidian request for cookies files, did you ever
22 say to Jim Shipley, "They are deleted daily?"
23 A. No, I didn't.
24 MR. HARRIS: That's it. Thanks.
25 (Whereupon, the deposition of STEVE CORDER was
1 concluded on Friday, June 26th, 1998.)
1 C _E _R _T _I _F _I _C _A _T _E
2 STATE OF TENNESSEE
3 COUNTY OF PUTNAM
4 I, PHYLLIS J. STINSON, a Court Reporter and
5 Notary Public in and for the State of Tennessee at Large, DO
6 HEREBY CERTIFY the foregoing deposition was taken at the time
7 and place set forth in the caption hereof; that the witness
8 herein was duly sworn on oath to testify the truth; that the
9 proceedings were stenographically reported by me, and the
10 foregoing pages constitute a true and correct transcript of
11 said deposition to the best of my ability.
12 I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative or
13 employee or attorney or counsel of any of the parties hereto,
14 nor a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, nor
15 do I have any interest in the outcome or the events of this
17 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my
18 official seal and signature this 29th day of June, 1998, at
19 Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee.
20 My Commission expires November 20, 2000.
Phyllis J. Stinson
Notary Public at Large
State of Tennessee