Typical press release. Are they setting themselves up for a fall? See the next couple of articles...
Bank warns of possible ID theft
10:14 AM CDT on Friday, June 22, 2007 By Laura Elder / The Daily News
TEXAS CITY — Texas First Bank is notifying about 4,000 customers that their personal information could have been compromised when thieves last month stole a laptop computer during a car theft in Dallas.
But officials say there’s no cause for alarm and that the bank is taking measures to protect affected customers against identity theft.
They said the odds that thieves have been able to retrieve any information from the laptop are low.
The laptop had a heavily secure password [Try searching Google for the phrase “heavily secure password” and then tell me their PR department didn't invent it on the spot. Bob] and was equipped with technology designed to prevent unauthorized access, said Matt Doyle, vice chairman of the Texas City-based bank. [No encryption? Bob]
... Officials say the laptop owned by S1 Corp., the bank’s former online banking vendor, [Should they still have this data? Bob] was stolen on May 19.
... Texas First had changed online banking vendors in March but still was in the process of converting data, Doyle said.
... Texas First said it is offering a free 24-month [Twice normal? Perhaps they feel more guilty than others? Bob] membership to Equifax Credit Watch, an identity-theft protection service, to customers who might have been affected by the theft.
The service alerts customers to changes in their Equifax credit file. Among other measures, the bank also is offering to pay for $20,000 in identity-theft insurance with no deductible to customers whose information could have been compromised. The bank also is monitoring accounts.
AGs are finding easy picking here. All they need do is ask the simple questions journalists no longer ask...
Pfizer Gets More Time On Data Breach
By Lee Howard Published on 6/23/2007 in Home »Business »Business Main Photo
State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has granted Pfizer Inc. a two-week extension to prepare responses to a series of questions about a data breach last month at the company that led to the posting of nearly 17,000 Social Security numbers and other personal information on the Internet.
... Pfizer had been asked, in a June 6 letter from Blumenthal, to answer 14 questions about the security breach, including specifics that Pfizer has been reluctant to disclose in the past, such as how it first learned of the breach, how it determined what data was actually accessed and what potentially was accessed, and when it first discovered the problem. Blumenthal also asked Pfizer to outline a plan for preventing future security breaches [A plan! What a concept! Bob] and to identify any corporate policies relating to the security of computers, facilities and personal information.
This is so common, I bet someone has written a paper on how to deal with it... Now if organizations only had someone who could read... (Some amusing comments, too.)
Ohio Data Leak Follows The 'Worse Than First Thought' Plan
from the working-for-you dept
It's pretty much par for the course that when a data leak gets disclosed, it's followed up a few weeks later with another announcement revealing that even more people's information was lost than first thought. Whether that's because it takes some time to figure out the extent of losses or is just a PR ploy [If it is, it's a bad one. Bob] is open for debate. In any case, you might remember the recent case in Ohio, where the personal information of all the state's 64,000 or so employees was lost when a storage device containing it was stolen out of an intern's car. True to form, the state's governor has issued an update, revealing that it's not just the state employees whose info was stolen, but a total of about 500,000 people, including welfare recipients, state employees' dependents, and taxpayers with uncashed income tax refunds. We noted earlier that the intern had the device as part of the state's security protocol, in which employees rotated taking backups home with them in case data on the state's system was lost. While storing backups off-site has some merit, this incident highlights the idiocy of just passing out devices to employees and having them take them home, rather than storing them in some more secure manner. The state has now ordered an end to the practice, while the state police have set up a post office box "in hopes that the storage device would be returned anonymously." Somehow, given the great job state officials have done to advertise the potential value of the device, that seems pretty unlikely.
This is the first time I've seen this in an Identity Theft case. I like the idea, but need to know more about how it is secured. (They don't have the best reputation...) Not easy to find on the web site, either.
OH: Your name on stolen data disk?
Friday, June 22 2007 @ 10:46 AM CDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews News Section: Breaches
To see if your name is on the list of people whose personal information was on the stolen computer tape, go to www.ohio.gov/idprotect on the Internet.
You will be given a personal ID number at that site to sign up for Debix ID protection.
Letters have been mailed to all affected Ohioans, also containing a PIN number and details about free ID protection.
Or call this automated number, 888-644-6812, for updates.
To speak to someone live, call 800-267-4474 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Source - The Enquirer
Worth reading? (You can shoot for “low key” but remember, the entire internet is watching you...)
Friday, June 22, 2007
Low key launch for NSW LRC privacy paper
Without any fanfare (not even a media release), the NSW Law Reform Commission has released its Consultation Paper on "a statutory cause of action for privacy". The Paper provides a broad canvas of the issues, case law developments, the situation in other similar countries and puts forward a tentative view that we should join the ranks of those who should act to fill this current significant gap in our legal framework.
The Commission makes two proposals: that if a statute is to create a cause of action, the approach should be to identify in the legislation the objects and purposes it seeks to achieve, and incorporate a non-exhaustive list of the types of invasion that fall within it. It also suggests that the range of remedies include but not be limited to, damages (other than exemplary damages).
The Paper lists 20 questions and seeks responses during a consultation period to run until September.
Would this have any bearing on the evidence found on a multi-user computer?
The Supreme Court's Recent Decision Regarding Whether a Car Passenger is "Seized" in a Traffic Stop (Analysis)
Friday, June 22 2007 @ 12:57 PM CDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews News Section: In the Courts
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court ruled, in Brendlin v. California, that when a police officer effects a traffic stop of a passenger vehicle, the passengers - and not just the driver -- are "seized" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Accordingly, the passengers - and not just the driver -- may challenge the constitutionality of the stop.
The decision was interesting for a number of reasons - including its unanimity. (Justice Souter wrote for the entire Court.) In this column, I'll discuss why the decision was unanimous, and focus on the specific nuances of the Court's holding.
Source - FindLaw's Writ
What law prohibits videotaping the police? Would this apply to surveillance cameras?
Charges Dropped In PA Video Taping Arrest
Journal written by twitter (104583) and posted by kdawson on Friday June 22, @06:24PM
from the common-sense-prevails dept.
Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed has reversed himself completely over the charges against Brian Kelly, arrested for wiretapping after videotaping a police stop. Now let's see if they are good enough to compensate Kelly for the 26 hours he spent in jail and the anguish of the cloud over his future caused by a felony arrest. From the article: "... [DA] Freed said his decision will affect not only Brian Kelly, 18, but also will establish a policy for police departments countywide. 'When police are audio- and video-recording traffic stops with notice to the subjects, similar actions by citizens, even if done in secret, will not result in criminal charges,' Freed said yesterday. 'The law itself might need to be revised.'"
The reasoning seems weak...
Carlisle teen cleared after wiretapping incident
June 20, 2007
... The arresting officer was already taping the stop with a dashboard camera and therefore he had no expectation of privacy.
...and does the ACLU know about the anti-videotaping law?
Citizens Given Video Cameras To Monitor Police
Posted by kdawson on Friday June 22, @02:12PM from the project-vigilant dept. The Courts
atommota writes "After years of complaints of police misconduct, the ACLU is giving free video cameras to some residents of high-crime neighborhoods in St. Louis, MO to help them monitor officers. The ACLU of Eastern Missouri launched the project Wednesday after television crews last year broadcast video of officers punching and kicking a suspect who led police on a car chase. 'The idea here is to level the playing field, so it's not just your word against the police's word,' said Brenda Jones, executive director of the ACLU chapter. The ACLU has worked closely with the police to make sure they are aware of this program. This is in stark contrast to the recent Pennsylvania arrest for felony wiretapping of a guy who was videotaping a police stop."
How come this isn't a concern of the Digital Rights world?
Elcomsoft cracks Quicken "backdoor"
Russian security software firm Elcomsoft announced on Friday that the company's researchers had cracked the master password that secures encrypted Quicken files and which allows the software's developer, Intuit, to retrieve lost passwords.
Calling the existence of a 512-bit encryption key a "backdoor," Elcomsoft said the master key could be used by the federal government to access taxpayer records. Starting with Quicken 2003, Intuit beefed up the encryption of Quicken's password protection. While the better protection made it infeasible for a cracker to brute force the password to a particular Quicken file, Intuit offers a service to recover the files for people who had lost their passwords.
Does that mean freelancers need to control this with a contract?
Court Ruling Limits Copyright Claims
Posted by Zonk on Friday June 22, @11:18AM from the put-your-cap-back-on dept. Media The Courts
Spamicles writes "A federal appellate panel in Atlanta has reversed its circuit's 6-year-old opinion in a major copyright case, declaring the ruling's mandate on behalf of freelance photographers to be "moot." Until now, publishers could be forced to share with freelancers whenever they reproduce and sell those freelancers' previously published works in merchandise designed for computer access. The new ruling says that reproduction on a CD or other media is not a new use of formerly published issues. The full court decision (pdf) is available online, and Law.com has an analysis of the ruling's repercussions."
Attention Virtual Lawyers!
Congress set to issue virtual taxation report in August
Posted by Daniel Terdiman June 22, 2007 1:33 PM PDT
For months, the community of virtual world publishers, players and economists has been holding its breath, waiting for the U.S. Congress to issue its report on the potential taxation of virtual goods.
... Meanwhile, a lot is riding on the outcome. If Congress signals it intends to start taxing in-world commerce, that could create huge problems for publishers who may have to figure out efficient ways to track all such trades. If Congress goes the other way, many people will feel that it is just punting and that it will still only be a matter of time before some major government decides to step in.
Is this related to the story above? In any case, some interesting comparisons.
June 21, 2007
EU: eGovernment in the European countries
EU: eGovernment in the European countries, 19 June 2007: "As part of its mission to inform the European eGovernment community about key issues of common interest, the eGovernment Observatory maintains a series of Factsheets presenting the situation and progress of eGovernment in 32 European countries: EU-27, Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, providing for each one of them a wide and consistent range of information... As a general rule, factsheets are updated every 6 months with a new Edition."
Also a concern for Virtual Lawyers? (...and the “traditional” phone companies?)
June 21, 2007
Surveys Examine the Impact of the Growing Cell-Only Population
Follow up to May 14, 2007 posting, Nearly 16% of U.S. Homes Have No Landline Phone, see also these related studies:
The Landline-less Are Different and Their Numbers Are Growing Fast, by Scott Keeter, Director, Survey Research, Pew Research Center, June 20, 2007
What's Missing from National RDD Surveys? The Impact of the Growing Cell-Only Population, by Scott Keeter (Pew Research Center), Courtney Kennedy (University of Michigan and Pew Research Center), April Clark (Pew Research Center), Trevor Tompson (The Associated Press), and Mike Mokrzycki (The Associated Press).
Ditto? What happens if a “Please lock your door” message delays a “Your baby has stopped breathing” message?
Police Plan To Bluespam People About Locking Their Doors
from the this-is-a-good-idea-how? dept
We still can't figure out why anyone thinks "bluespamming" is a good idea. Bluespamming, if you don't know, is setting up a system to look for phones with bluetooth enabled, and sending them an automatic message if they're nearby. It's spam, via bluetooth. Yet, for some reason, many organizations that are doing it, such as the US Navy don't seem to realize it's intrusive and annoying. The latest to dip into bluespamming are police in West Yorkshire who somehow think that bluespamming people reminders to lock their doors and windows will be effective. Perhaps it'll teach people to better lock up their mobile phones so bluespamming doesn't bother them instead.
For those of us who laughed...
Business.com Could Hit Jackpot on Auction Block
Entrepreneurs Jake Winebaum and Sky Dayton were widely mocked for lavishing $7.5 million on a single Internet domain name -- business.com -- back in 1999. It was the single highest price paid for a domain name at the time.
Now look who is having the last laugh.
The company that grew out of business.com -- a search engine used by businesses to find products and services -- is now on the auction block, and could fetch anywhere between $300 million and $400 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
Surely your software is not obsolescent, but is this the sign you must upgrade?
Microsoft stops shipping Office 2003
Posted by Reverend on 22 Jun 2007 - 17:55 GMT
Microsoft has confirmed that it will stop shipping Office 2003 at the end of June 2006.
Stupid is as stupid does. F Gump
What's Wrong With This Picture?
just take a moment and figure it out - you'll laugh when you do
Some Folk Wisdom is worth quoting...
If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost instantly removed.
Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.
You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat just by using the sink.
Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are: in life, you only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move but should, use the WD-40. If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.
Thought for the day : SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKYS..... THEY ARE NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING... BUT THEY STILL BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN YOU PUSH THEM DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS