Friday, August 24, 2012

Oh yeah! I think... Was this a contract dispute? (I know, read the opinion.)
DSW Shoe Warehouse wins dispute with Chartis unit over data theft coverage
August 23, 2012 by admin
Judy Greenwald reports:
A federal appellate court ruled Thursday that shoe retailer DSW Shoe Warehouse Inc. was entitled to insurance coverage of more than $6.8 million in stipulated losses and prejudgment interest from a Chartis Inc. unit in connection with a 2005 computer breach.
In an incident widely reported at the time, DSW, a subsidiary of Columbus, Ohio-based Retail Ventures Inc., reported that data on transaction information involving 1.4 million credit cards had been stolen.
Read more on BusinessInsurance. The case is Cincinnati in Retail Ventures Inc. et. al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh Pa. According to the background provided in the Sixth Circuit’s opinion:
In the wake of the data breach, plaintiffs incurred expenses for customer communications, public relations, customer claims and lawsuits, and attorney fees in connection with investigations by seven state Attorney Generals and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC’s inquiry was resolved administratively with a consent decree requiring, inter alia, that plaintiffs establish and maintain a comprehensive information security program designed to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personal information collected from or about consumers. In the Matter of DSW, Inc., No. C-4157, 2006 WL 752215 (FTC Mar. 7, 2006). The largest share of the losses—more than $4 million—arose from the compromised credit card information: namely, costs associated with charge backs, card reissuance, account monitoring, and fines imposed by VISA/MasterCard. That amount was determined by the settlement of plaintiffs’ contractual obligations with credit card processor, National Processing Company, LLC (a/k/a BA Merchant Services, LLC).
Although DSW was hacked in 2005 and settled the FTC action in 2006, it did not notify affected consumers until August 2008. The delayed notification also occurred for customers of some other big firms hacked by Albert Gonzalez. In November 2008, California’s Assembly Judiciary Committee invited DSW and seven other companies to a hearing on the failure to notify. DSW and the others did not attend. It is not clear to me whether the government had asked the companies not to notify consumers or if the companies just elected not to.
As part of the 2009 sentencing of Albert Gonzalez, some of the court documents were made public. The pre-sentencing report indicated that DSW had reported $6.5 million – $9.5 million in losses as a result of the breach.

“Your entire life, over time.” (Not the most convincing video I've ever watched.)
The Program
August 23, 2012 by Dissent
Filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data. You can read her op-doc on the New York Times. Here’s the video:

Very cool. How do you say “anonymous” in Korean?
S. Korea court rejects law banning false IDs on Internet
August 23, 2012 by Dissent
AFP reports:
South Korea’s Constitutional Court on Thursday effectively killed off a law which bans Internet users from using false IDs, ruling it a breach of freedom of expression.
Authorities in 2007 started enforcing the law aimed at curbing the country’s notorious cyber-bullying by preventing Internet users from hiding behind false IDs when they write postings on websites.
Eight judges in a unanimous decision ruled the law is unconstitutional.
“The legal phrases related to enforcing the use of real names restrict the freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution and obstruct the formation of free opinions which form the basis of democracy,” it said.
Read more on MSN.
Not only is this a good ruling for freedom of expression, but the government discovered how bad a real-name strategy was in the wake of some very high profile hacks where millions of consumers had their real names and registration numbers (equivalent to our Social Security numbers) stolen.

It's not mind reading, yet. But if this takes 5 minutes to cross the boarder, will the next act of Security Theater take 10?
Border Patrol kiosk detects liars trying to enter U.S
August 23, 2012 by Dissent
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using border crossing stations in Arizona to test new technology to detect liars as they attempt to enter the country; travelers are subjected to a 5-minute interview with the kiosk, while microphones monitor vocal pitch frequency and quality, an infrared camera monitors eye movement and pupil dilation, and a high definition camera monitors facial expression.
The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real-Time (AVATAR) kiosk interviews travelers while searching for signs of deception.
Read more on Homeland Security Newswire. Background on the research and additional details can be found on

(Related) If this is how they implemented the Israeli program, they screwed it up. How much more complex can they make boarding a plane?
Steve Gunn: Just say no when the TSA asks you to ‘chat’
August 24, 2012 by Dissent
Steve Gunn describes what happened to him at Detroit Metropolitan Airport when a TSA agent started asking him questions as part of a “chat-down.”
At first she simply seemed chatty and friendly. She looked at my airline boarding pass and noted that I was coming from Denver. Then she mentioned that I was headed from Detroit to Grand Rapids.
“Talk to my travel agent,” I grumbled.
At that point she asked me what my business would be in Grand Rapids.
“I’m headed home,” I replied.
Then she wanted to know where home was. That’s when the mental alarms went off and I realized I was being interrogated by Big Brother in drag.
I asked her why the federal government needed to know where I was going and what I would be doing. She explained that the questions were part of a new security “pilot program.”
I then told her I am an American citizen, traveling within my own country, and I wasn’t breaking any laws. That’s all the federal government needed to know, and I wasn’t going to share any more.
Read about it on MLive. These chat-downs or attempts at behavioral detection have become just more of the intrusive and ineffective “security theater” law-abiding citizens are expected to endure.
Some of us will not and do not endure them willingly. With one exception, I have not flown at all since November 2010. And yes, as I wrote at that time, I’ve foregone some trips I would have otherwise taken. The airlines lost my business as did the conferences or vacation spots I might have flown to. I had hoped that this country would come to its senses about air travel, but it seems to have gotten worse instead of better. Shame on Congress for not reining in these needless and insulting intrusions on Americans’ privacy. [Second! Bob]

Yes, along with everyone else.
"A Cambridge academic is arguing for regulations that allow software users to sue developers when sloppy coding leaves holes for malware infection. European officials have considered introducing such a law but no binding regulations have been passed. Not everyone agrees that it's a good idea — Microsoft has previously argued against such a move by analogy, claiming a burglary victim wouldn't expect to be able to sue the manufacturer of the door or a window in their home."

The new English? So would “Call me Ishmael.” become “Call me the guy who narrates Moby Dick.?”
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This might be useful...
August 23, 2012
Save your Google search settings to Google Account
Via Google+: "You asked, we listened—having the ability to save search settings in a way that provides a more consistent search experience was one of the top requests we heard from our users. Now you can save your search settings, such as your language preference or having Google Instant on or off, to your Google Account, enabling you to search with your preferences wherever you're logged in, even if you're searching across different browsers or computers. You can save your search preferences for your Google Account. Read more about search settings in our help center."

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