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Pentagon file on Steve Jobs reveals 1975 arrest over speeding ticket

A previously unknown 1975 arrest of Steve Jobs over an unpaid speeding ticket has been revealed in a newly released file kept by the Pentagon.

The Department of Defense document filled out in the 1980s, when Jobs filed for a Top Secret security clearance, was obtained by Wired through a Freedom of Information Act request. It reveals that Jobs was briefly arrested in 1975 over a minor infraction.

Investigators doing a background check on Jobs discovered that he had failed to disclose the arrest in his security clearance questionnaire. Jobs said he didn't mention the arrest because he didn't consider it an "actual arrest."

Jobs reportedly failed to pay a speeding fine of about $50, resulting in an outstanding warrant. The arrest occurred in Eugene, Oregon, when Jobs was being questioned by police for suspicion of possessing alcohol as a minor.

When police discovered the warrant, Jobs was arrested, but after he paid the $50 fine, that was the end of the matter.

"I had no intension of falsifying my (Personnel Security Questionnaire) for not listing this incident and did not think of the above incident at the time of answering the PSQ," Jobs explained in a written statement to investigators.



While Jobs failed to mention that incident, he did speak freely about illegal phone "phreaking" he conducted to make free long-distance calls with a Blue Box. He said the Blue Box "project" did not earn him a profit, and he saw it as a "technical challenge, not a challenge to break the law."

Jobs also spoke about his past drug use, and said he used LSD between 10 and 15 times between the years of 1972 and 1974. He usually took the drugs when he was by himself.

"I have no words to explain the effect the LSD had on me, although, I can say it was a positive life changing experience for me and I am glad I went through that experience," Jobs wrote.

As part of the Top Secret security clearance review, Jobs was also asked in 1988 for ways he might be susceptible to blackmail. He told investigators that he had an illegitimate daughter, and someone looking to blackmail him might kidnap her.

Jobs said that if he were to be blackmailed, the person doing so would likely seek money, not access to Top Secret classified material or documents.