“Greetings from your Secretary of State! We've been watching your privacy closely, and we can now tell you definitely that your privacy walked out of our office last Wednesday night. We are proud to report that they didn't get your social security number, your wallet, your shoes, or any other assets you didn't entrust to us. We just gave them everything we had. In all other respects, we are ignorant, clueless, unable to determine, etc.”
Official: No Social Security numbers stolen
By PAUL DAILING - firstname.lastname@example.org
ELGIN – People who visited the secretary of state’s Elgin office Wednesday might have [No “might have” -- they did! Bob] had their names, addresses and driver’s license numbers stolen.
Social Security numbers, however, were not among the information taken during the Wednesday night burglary, said Dave Druker, Secretary of State Jesse White’s press secretary. The Elgin police and secretary of state police are running a joint investigation.
“Some camera parts were taken,” Druker said. “We estimated a value of under $200, but there was some information taken from people who were in that day.”
The stolen information was on a ribbon of film from a camera. It contained about 300 images of drivers licenses, including names, addresses, photos and license numbers, Druker said.
The film likely [“We don't know how that camera is used?” Bob] would not contain information from people who did not get photographed during their visit.
... Depending on how long it takes to figure which names and addresses were stolen, [“We have no other records?” Bob] Druker hopes the secretary of state’s office will be able to send out letters notifying the victims by early next week.
Another embarrassment... Rule # 46: Everyone needs to know what the shredder is used for...
Internet hackers steal confidential data on 60,000 Norwegians
Internet hackers have stolen confidential data on 60,000 Norwegians, including the head of the agency for safeguarding them, the agency itself revealed Friday.
It said they had used a weakness on the website of the telephone operators Tele2 to procure the national personal identity numbers and addresses of subscribers, amounting to 1.3 percent of the country's population.
The information would enable the hackers to change the addresses of the people concerned so as to intercept their mail, or order goods on their account.
Source - Brisbane Times
[From the article: After retrieving all of the records, Nix contacted the newspaper again to say his preliminary investigation indicates the custodial crew threw away records that were stacked on the floor by the school’s shredder.
If I carry my wife's bag as far as the security checkpoint, am I free to leave? (You don't really know when they will start the cavity searches until you get to the security checkpoint...)
Court Says Travelers Can't Avoid Airport Searches
U.S. airline passengers near the security checkpoint can be searched any time and no longer can refuse consent by leaving the airport, the nation's largest federal appeals court ruled Friday.
The decision(.pdf) by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the circuit's 34-year-old precedent that over time was evolving toward limiting when passengers could refuse a search and leave the airport after they had checked their bags or placed items on the security screening X-ray machine. Citing threats of terrorism, the court ruled passengers give up all rights to be free of warrantless searches once a "passenger places hand luggage on a conveyor belt for inspection" or "passes though a magnetometer."
Source - Threat Level (blog)
Posted by Zonk on Friday August 10, @05:47PM from the finish-him dept. Caldera Novell The Courts Unix Linux
An anonymous reader writes "The one summary judgement that puts a stick into SCO's spokes has just come down. The judge in the epic SCO case has ruled that SCO doesn't own the Unix copyrights. With that one decision, a whole bunch of other decisions will fall like dominoes. As PJ says, 'That's Aaaaall, Folks! ... All right, all you Doubting Thomases. I double dog dare you to complain about the US court system now. I told you if you would just be patient, I had confidence in the system's ability to sort this out in the end. But we must say thank you to Novell and especially to its legal team for the incredible work they have done. I know it's not technically over and there will be more to slog through, but they won what matters most, and it's been a plum pleasin' pleasure watching you work. The entire FOSS community thanks you for your skill and all the hard work and thanks go to Novell for being willing to see this through."
Other fun stuff...
... The judge also ruled that SCO owes Novell for SCO's licensing revenue from Sun Microsystems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. SCO is obligated to pass through to Novell a portion of those licenses, the judge said.
... In another major blow to SCO, the judge said that because Novell is the owner of the Unix copyrights, it can direct SCO to waive its suits against IBM Corp. and Sequant. "SCO can't sue IBM for copyright infringement on copyrights it doesn't own," Jones said.
This increase in volume is due to spammers. Imagine what a hostile government could do...
Biggest Pump-and-Dump Scam Ever Spikes Spam 445%
By Lisa Vaas August 10, 2007
The largest spam scam ever tracked increased the spam count by 445 percent in one day.
The largest spam attack ever tracked wound down Aug. 9 after delivering enough big, fat PDF files to increase total spam size 445 percent in one day, according to Postini, a hosted e-mail filtering company that's been tracking the attack since it started Aug. 7.
Postini tracked a 53 percent jump in spam volume from the day before the attack started to the day it launched, according to Senior Marketing Manger Adam Swidler, in San Carlos, Calif.
... How much would renting that botnet have cost? PandaLabs recently released research into the malware market. It suggested one scenario in which a criminal could buy a Trojan for $500, a 1 million-address mailing list for about $100, a $20 encryption program, and a $500 spamming server. The total outlay in this theoretical example would be $1,120. (For PandaLabs' screen grabs showing what the market looks like, check out the slideshow.
... Prime Time, the subject of the stock pump, did see its stock rise 60 percent as of Aug. 8. It was up 20 percent as of Aug. 9, compared with its pre-spam scam price.
Clearly we have the technology to do this, so we should do it at all levels. Next, let's track politicians! (Would you want to live near one?)
New case cited in call for Hawaii murder registry
By Peter Boylan Posted on: Friday, August 10, 2007
The scheduled release of another killer into the community has renewed calls for an electronic registry of Hawai'i's violent criminals.
... Proponents of the registry say community members have a right to know whether a neighbor has been convicted of murder.
... Opponents of a violent-crime registry say the state's sex-offender registry — on which the murder database would be modeled — still is missing hundreds of sex offenders who have failed to register. They also question whether registries of this nature violate privacy rights and say the databases do little to actually reduce crime.
... Hawai'i would join several other states with a registry for tracking violent offenders. Kansas, Montana and Oklahoma are among states that have violent-offender registries, which include names of convicted murderers.
Illinois has a Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry and lawmakers in Wisconsin and Minnesota are pushing for similar legislation.
It's not the technology, it's what you do with it... It's not the lessons to be learned, it's who bothers to learn those lessons.
Police Data-Mining Done Right
Posted by Zonk on Friday August 10, @03:33PM from the way-its-supposed-to-be-used dept. Privacy Databases Technology
enharmonix writes "Courtesy of Bruce Schneier, it's nice to hear something good about data mining for a change: predicting and stopping crime. For example, police in Redmond, VA, 'started overlaying crime reports with other data, such as weather, traffic, sports events and paydays for large employers. The data was analyzed three times a day and something interesting emerged: Robberies spiked on paydays near cheque cashing storefronts in specific neighbourhoods. Other clusters also became apparent, and pretty soon police were deploying resources in advance and predicting where crime was most likely to occur.'" [Sounds better that the FBIs' prediction of where crimes occurred last year... Bob]
You mean you can't just take their word of it?
D.C. Court's "State Secrets" Ruling May Have Broader Consequences
August 09, 2007
A little noticed federal appeals court ruling may have broader consequences for the Administration's attempt to shield its illegal spying program from judicial scrutiny.
In Sealed Case, __ F. 3d __ 2007 WL 2067029 (D.C. Cir. July 20, 2007), the plaintiff brought suit against the government on the basis of a wiretap in violation of Fourth Amendment rights, and, on July 20, the D.C. Circuit allowed the case to go forward despite the government's invocation of the so-called "state secrets privilege." As we explained in a letter to the Ninth Circuit, the Court held that circumstantial evidence and inferences therefrom are sufficient to let the plaintiff's case proceed. Dismissal at the case's outset based on potential privileged defenses and conjecture or suspicion would be premature, and courts are entitled to review the purportedly state secret information while adjudicating the merits of claims and defenses.
This isn't the only case in which the state secrets privilege is at issue -- it's also at the center of the U.S. government's and AT&T's appeal in our case against the telco giant, which will be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals next Wednesday. Before the district court, the government contended that any judicial inquiry into the whether AT&T broke the law could reveal state secrets and harm national security. But in July 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Judge Walker ruled that the case could continue, noting that "The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one. But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security."
As we argue in our brief to the Ninth Circuit, the government must not be allowed to prevent the judiciary from enforcing the rule of law and holding AT&T accountable for its illegal behavior. You can read our whole brief here. We also sent a supplemental letter to the court regarding Sealed Case here.
I'll see your Global, and raise you an Intergalactic...
National ID? How about a global ID?
The Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing Systems (FiXs) -- a little-known group of non-profits, government contractors, commercial entities, and government agencies -- has just unveiled a first-of-its-kind global infrastructure to support distributed, integrated identity management and cross-credentialing across organizations. The implementation combines several existing security technologies along with a set of trusted models, policies, and operating rules to insure the accurate identity of personnel accessing physical sites or logical systems.
Already in a pilot mode at a handful of government agencies and defense contractors, the FiXs identity management initiative does not have a hard date for broad deployment, although the impediments do not appear to be technical. "The cultural gap with the public in general is still too wide," said Dr. Mike Mestrovich, president of FiXs. "I think there would have to be a public consensus to move us in that direction and I don't see that happening until at least 2009 or beyond."
Source - Computerworld
Interesting that there is so much variation. Eventually, we'll have to determine what should happen... I wonder how long these records are available? ...and which other government agencies have access to them?
Toll Records Trip Up Philanderers
By CHRIS NEWMARKER Associated Press Writer Aug 10, 4:24 PM EDT
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Adulterers, beware: Your cheatin' heart might be exposed by E-ZPass. E-ZPass and other electronic toll collection systems are emerging as a powerful means of proving infidelity. That's because when your spouse doesn't know where you've been, E-ZPass does.
"E-ZPass is an E-ZPass to go directly to divorce court, because it's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery," said Jacalyn Barnett, a New York divorce lawyer who has used E-ZPass records a few times.
... Of the 12 states in the Northeast and Midwest that are part of the E-ZPass system, agencies in seven states provide electronic toll information in response to court orders in criminal and civil cases, including divorces, according to an Associated Press survey.
In four of the 12 states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, highway authorities release E-ZPass records only in criminal cases. West Virginia parkways authority has no policy. (Divorce attorneys in some cases can still obtain toll records from the other spouse rather than a highway agency.)
... The E-ZPass network covers about half the East Coast and part of the Midwest, with about 2 billion charges per year. That can mean a lot of records. One of the busiest toll plazas in New Jersey, the Garden State Parkway's southbound Raritan plaza, gets about 90,000 E-ZPass hits per day.
Dear, Mr. Gore, We are sorry to report...
Blogger Finds Bug in NASA Global Warming Study?
Posted by Zonk on Friday August 10, @12:11PM from the not-such-a-good-thing dept. NASA Bug Science
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article at DailyTech, a blogger has discovered a Y2K bug in a NASA climate study by the same writer who accused the Bush administration of trying to censor him on the issue of global warming. The authors have acknowledged the problem and released corrected data. Now the study shows the warmest year on record for the contiguous 48 states as being 1934, not 1998 as previously reported in the media. In fact, the corrected study shows that half of the 10 warmest years on record occurred before World War II." The article's assertion that there's a propaganda machine working on behalf of global warming theorists is outside the bounds of the data, which I think is interesting to note.
Ah! From now on, don't call me an ignorant bastard with ridiculous ideas, call me a heretic!
The Heretical Freeman Dyson
Posted by Zonk on Saturday August 11, @01:31AM from the is-he-a-duck-or-a-witch dept. Education Science
dublin writes "Big-thinker Freeman Dyson has written a new essay in which he points out the need for heretics in science, and goes on to gore some sacred cows, including global climate change: 'My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated ... There is no doubt that parts of the world are getting warmer, but the warming is not global ... When I listen to the public debates about climate change, I am impressed by the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories ... All our fashionable worries and all our prevailing dogmas will probably be obsolete in fifty years. My heresies will probably also be obsolete. It is up to [the people of 2070] to find new heresies to guide our way to a more hopeful future.'"
Even if you don't find anything particularly useful, it may help you define what you need.
ONLINE BUSINESS TOOLBOX: 230+ Tools for Running a Business Online
Forget useless desktop apps and piles of paperwork: there are now thousands of small and medium-sized businesses managing all their affairs with online applications. After an exhaustive hunt this week, we ’ve rounded up more than 230 of the leading online applications for super-productive companies.
No More Hard Drive! 100 Free Software Apps to Go Online-Only
Written by David Weiss