Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Silence of the lambs

Today's post is about the Brattleboro Petition to charge Bush and Cheney with war crimes. Setting aside the legality of the petition, lets look at the behavior.

Some of you might remember how the Republicans were seeking to impeach Clinton. Do any of you remember any death threats against the people who filed the charge of impeachment? Or even against people who were in favor of it? Or even threats like, "I'll never visit your state again!"?

I don't remember anything like that. From the left there was civilized discussion about their defense of then President Clinton.

Fast forward to Brattleboro and we see the sheer vitriol and rage from Republicans who must be at least somewhat embarrassed to be caught in war they cannot win by their own hand. I use the word embarrassment to point out the fact that there are many Republicans who voted for Bush for his second term. Many now regret that vote.

After $370 billion (and still counting) spent, what have we to show for it? A country full of Iraqis who wish us to leave so that they can settle their own disputes. We've left more than a million dead (by some estimates).

The main thing I want to point out is this: when people speak out against Bush, conservative voters are quick to defend him with rage and harsh words. But when a liberal is attacked, there seems to be much more civilized defense from liberals.

I realize that those who attack the town of Brattleboro have the right to speak their mind. But they seem to forget that their attempts to quiet that town, get them to shut up, could very well impair their own ability to speak their minds, too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why you need ID Theft Protection

Today, I read the news and here’s what I found:

Analysis: Metcalfe's Law + Real ID = more crime, less safety

This article describes the problems inherent with multiple databases, across multiple agencies, all linked together. The common thread and threat is that the more useful government databases become to white hats (the good guys), the more useful it becomes to black hats (the bad guys).

US government is collecting data from every source imaginable to track criminals, true enough. But they are also collecting data on innocent people who have committed no crimes at all. As stated in the article:

This is, of course, a fundamental problem inherent in the very nature of any massive, centralized government data-sharing plan that spans multiple agencies and connects untold numbers of state and federal law enforcement officers: the usefulness of such a system to any one individual (a white hat or a black hat) grows roughly with the square of the number of participants who are using it to share data (Metcalfe's law). So the more white hats that any of these programs manage to connect to each other, the more useful the network as a whole will be to the small handful of black hats who gain access to it at any point.

The governments around the world are working on creating an indestructible, impossible to duplicate identification card that will be tied into multiple databases across many if not all agencies and shared between governments and agencies.

Now there are some who might say, “No problem, I’ve got nothing to hide. And if you have nothing to hide, there’s nothing to worry about.”

But consider what happens if one person makes an unauthorized use of this collection of databases. For him, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. It would be easy to create a profile or dossier to use for Identity Theft. Such a database can be used to find a suitable victim for a crime, white collar or violent. Or, as the story linked above shows, it can be used by criminals to determine how law enforcement is planning to act in order to evade law enforcement.

Alternatively, it can be used by political incumbents to circumvent or dilute the will of the people. Imagine that such action is what is happening now. Consider the possibility that your votes could be thwarted by people with access to the right databases.

It is in this age that ID Theft protection is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. I've found some very interesting tools for protection. If you're interested, please contact me.

Good day, and good luck.