Tag Archives: Privacy

The Constitution: a Harness of Power

I have been watching Sunday morning news programs all morning, as I so very rarely do these days, and I am watching now primarily only because I’m sick. But as I watch, I am reminded of a running thread in the argument not only on wiretapping, but indeed presidential power generally since Bush took office.

This thread ~ which is so subtle in the conversation that I’m not sure many people, least of all the journalistic community, are really hearing it ~ is perhaps the most aserbic to the institution of American democracy. I am sure I have talked about this on any number of occasions before, but it’s too important not to say it again. Many people seem to be discussing this issue of presidential power in terms of the rights “granted” the president in the Constitution, when indeed the Constitution does quite the opposite.

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Phish On! All’s Well That Ends Well

Thank goodness that at least eBay responds quicker and with a bit more grace than does PayPal. I sent off my email to the [email protected] address, and within an hour, received my reply. The reply was a very gracious message of appreciation for alerting them to the problem, along with some tips on avoiding such predators. Now, this new phishing site appears to be relatively new: one security site only seems to have acknowledged this particular bugger as recently as this week; however, there does seem to be an enormous amount of phishing aimed at PayPal customers.

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Cracking Down on Minnesotans

You just cannot trust people from Minnesota, especially seniors, not to start importing drugs from Canada. These hell-on-wheels octogenarians have no respect for the rule of law, no concern for the welfare of drug companies, and if you get to close to them, they’ll whack you with thier steely canes of doom. So much the better, then, that US Customs is finally starting to crack down on these blue-haired ne’er-do-wells:

Charlotte Bystrom of Crane Lake, Minn., was expecting a package of six medications in mid-January. Instead, the 69-year-old got a letter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection telling her the $600 shipment had been “intercepted.”

The letter gave her two options: She could voluntarily “abandon” the drugs and waive any rights to the property; or she could request that they be sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for testing and disposal. Either way, she wasn’t getting her medications back.

In fact, the situation keeps improving, with the Canadan drug cartel ~ known as a “pharmacy association” in the Great White Northern Satan ~ that deals with these miscreants reporting as much as 10 percent of thier illicit trade being stopped on the borders.

Your tax dollars at work: keeping kids off drugs.

Phish On!

For those of you who do not know, Phishing is a form of Internet attack which is often referred to as “Social Engineering.”? That means that this is not a virus, per se, but rather just a sneaky bastard trying to fool you into thinking they’re legit when in reality, they are duping you.

This one was an email with a return email address of [email protected], which stated that someone had accessed my account illegally, and that they wanted me to confirm my identity so they could reactivate my account.? “To reactivate your account, please click here.”? Now, I’m a bright techno-boy, so I know better than to just click on links in email, so I opted to read the status bar at the bottom of my WebMail client and find out where that link would send me.

Lo and behold, this link did not send me to PayPal, but rather to karims.com.mx:81.

Just a reminder to anyone who reads this: watch your ass, and never, ever, ever click on email links that don’t make sense.? If your not sure weather the email is legit or not, try just going to the actual site in question (for example, this was supposed to be PayPal, so I went directly to PayPal), and inquire with thier Tech Support or Customer Service.? Believe me, they will be happy to hear from you.

Things are Getting Ugly for Google

Once the media is alerted to the fact that computers can be dangerous, you gotta look out: these people don’t get to actually report on much, these days.

The pile-on du jour at the moment is the Google-and-Privacy issue. It is true: there are certainly a lot of issues swarming around Google these days. However, the pile-on is dangerously close to missing the point on a great many of these issues.

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