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For Steve Jobs, Breaking the Law 'Wasn't a Challenge'

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Newly released Department of Defense documents obtained by Wired contains fresh revelations about Steve Jobs’ past drug use, a previously unreported arrest as a minor, and concerns the Apple (AAPL) CEO had about his daughter being a potential kidnapping victim for purposes of blackmail.

The DoD document, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, is based in large part on a questionnaire Jobs filled out while attempting to gain security clearance in 1988. It expands on information acquired by Wired and other media outlets published earlier this year.

Jobs, in response to a question concerning potential blackmailing vulnerabilities, said his illegitimate daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, could potentially be used against him. But in the event of a kidnapping, Jobs explained, it would “primarily be for the purpose of money, not because I may have access to classified Top Secret material or documents,” Wired reports.

Jobs was also asked about being arrested over a minor infraction in 1975, an incident he’d previously failed to disclose on the security clearance questionnaire and which has never been reported publicly before. The arrest, which took place in Oregon after over a failure to pay for a speeding ticket, wasn’t an “actual arrest” according to Jobs, and that was why he failed to mention it in the Personnel Security Questionnaire, or PSQ.

It’s no secret Jobs experimented with psychedelic substances and other drugs, but the latest docs go into a bit more depth about his usage.

He told the Pentagon:

“I used LSD from approximately 1972 to 1974. Throughout that period of time I used the LSD approximately ten to fifteen times. I would ingest the LSD on a sugar cube or in a hard form of gelatin. I would usually take the LSD when I was by myself. 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.”

As a youth, Jobs was involved in some illegal phone phreaking using a blue box device, described in detail in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs released late last year. In a statement to investigators, he blew off any implications he did it for profit, instead saying he considered it to be just a “project,” and that “at the age of approximately fourteen, it was a technical challenge, not a challenge to be able to break the law.”

And while his violent mood swings are now legendary, at the time he apparently believed his emotions were under control, blaming any past angry outbursts on his endless quest to perfectionism.
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