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First They Came

By Patrick | June 11, 2009


ИконописиконографияПравославни иконикухниHere’s an interesting video from It may be more relevant to the US than we think.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Topics: Government | 492 Comments »

Facebook Changes Terms Of Service

By Patrick | February 16, 2009

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has changed their Terms of Service ever so quietly. On February 4th, Facebook announced a change of their TOS on their corporate blog, but no where else. Until today, no one had really paid any attention, or even known for that matter about the new TOS. That is, until Chris Walters over at The Consumerist broke the story Facebook’s New Terms Of Service: “We Can Do Anything We Want With Your Content. Forever.”мебели пловдивbackgammon free casino money free craps game play free black jack craps video poker strategy play black jack online how to win video poker casino game online uk best casino online casino secure online gambling jackpot casino online casino black jack learn to play craps how to win at video poker craps online blackjack casino game online casino betting free on line video poker casino games no download casino online gambling casino play free casino slots video poker machine bonus video poker free on line slots double bonus video poker free video poker games free casinos roulette online craps rules free on line casino rules of craps online casino free money blackjack 21 internet casino how to play craps free casino game download fortunelounge online casino free casino download free casino card game free roulette gamemach zehnder modulator free casino play no deposit free money casino internet casino online

While Facebook has released a couple statements detailing the what’s and why’s of this change, and frantically insisting that your privacy still supercedes all, I just don’t buy it. Looking back to a previous post I had written, Facebook and the Government, we are reminded of the possible government tie-ins that Facebook has. Plus, since this change was made without any notification whatsoever, what’s to keep them from changing it again with even more restrictive or invasive language? Granted, after this last change I’m sure people will be on the Facebook TOS like hawks. At least until they get complacent.

This also serves as a good reminder to all of us to be careful about what we put online. Do we really need a Facebook account? Isn’t an email or a phone call still sufficient? I’ll admit for a while I’ve let my privacy-paranoia mindset take a back seat. I’ve gotten lazy. I’ve said “It’s just so convenient having a Facebook page, or a Linkedin page, etc.” Now I’m reevaluating all of my online presence offerings.

Whether or not you were pleased with the 2008 elections, you have to agree that regardless of the party in office, government wants information, and more specifically your information. They can deny it all they want, but information and knowledge is power and Facebook is a gold mine of both. 1984 here we come.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Topics: Facebook, Government | 100 Comments »

Data Loss Database

By Patrick | December 15, 2008


I recently found out about the Open Security Foundation and their Data Loss Database.

The OSF Data Loss Database offers a number of reports detailing things like the latest data loss incidents and the most discussed data loss incidents. My favorite offering of this website is the RSS feed of latest data loss incidents: OSF Data Loss Database – Latest Incidents

The OSF DLD also has an interface on their website that allows you to drill down and see occurrences of data loss by data type (SSN, medical, financial), Sectors (Business, Education, etc) or Source of the loss (Outside, Inside Accidental, Inside Intentional).

This website not only keeps you up to date of the latest incidents, but it also serves as a reminder of why we should always be mindful when and where we give out personally identifiable information.

Popularity: 15% [?]

Topics: Misc | 2,657 Comments »

University of Florida Leaks 11,000 Social Security Numbers Online

By Patrick | July 4, 2008

“The University of Florida is sending letters to more than 11,000 current and former students to notify them that their Social Security numbers, names and addresses were accidentally posted online.”

June 10th, 2008 via WWSB ABC Newsrent a car bulgaria

Popularity: 16% [?]

Topics: Identity Theft | 2,604 Comments »

Anonymous Prepaid Credit Card Options

By Patrick | December 30, 2007

PLEASE READ – UPDATE – July 6th, 2008: This post has been merged into a page. Please go here for the full information:

So here’s the list of Prepaid Credit Cards I will be investigating and detailing the conditions and requirements:

If anyone can think of anymore I should review, please let me know. Reviews on the above cards coming in January. I’m afraid however the news won’t be good. Most cards all appear to be checking for SSN’s and verifying them due to the Patriot Act.

I’ll keep you posted.

Popularity: 20% [?]

Topics: Anonymity, Patriot Act, Surveillance | 48 Comments »

How To Stay Out Of Government Databases

By Patrick | October 10, 2007

Many of you already know that I am an avid reader and supporter of Michael Hampton’s Homeland Stupidity. I’ve used his blog entries in my own posts in the past and I’ve come across another article I want to share. “How to stay out of government databases” is a neat article that Michael wrote back in July of 2007. It’s kind of a brief, high level HOWTO with some suggestions and ideas on how to stay low and off the governmental radar per se.

You may find many of Michael’s suggestions can’t be implemented in your own personal life without significant lifestyle changes, but don’t be discouraged just yet. This article can serve more as a general guide and as a good reminder of how we need to change our thinking and question every time someone – commercial or government – asks for information from us. No matter how small or unimportant a certain tidbit of information may seem to be at the time, you can be assured that it is being requested for a reason. A reason that may or may not be supported by legitimate necessity.

Popularity: 20% [?]

Topics: Government | 2,612 Comments »

Facebook Profiles Now Public

By Patrick | September 27, 2007

For those of you who might have missed the announcement (like my wife), Facebook has opened up their site to external search engines like Google and Yahoo earlier this month. What does this mean to you? Not a whole lot except now when someone types in your name to a search engine, they might be able to find your Facebook profile. However, they will only see a limited public profile like the one below.

There is no immediate cause for concern as there won’t be a huge amount of information available. However, for me personally, I don’t want any part of my Facebook profile indexed. So to ensure that your profile does not become available to the major search engines you can disable that feature by going to the Search Privacy page in your Facebook profile.

For more detailed instructions check out this blog posting from Of Zen and Computing.

Popularity: 17% [?]

Topics: Facebook | 1,490 Comments »

TD Ameritrade Hacked

By Patrick | September 14, 2007

Word coming out a couple hours ago on the AP Newswire (via MSNBC) that TD Ameritrade has been hacked and information has been compromised.

Bad news:

Information such as email addresses, names, addresses and phone numbers was retrieved from this database and affects TD AMERITRADE retail and institutional clients.

Good news:

Client assets held in accounts with the Company remain secure as UserIDs, personal identification numbers and passwords were not stored in this particular database.

MSNBC Article: Some TD Ameritrade info stolen
TD Ameritrade Press Release

Popularity: 17% [?]

Topics: Corporate, Identity Theft | 3,142 Comments »

PassPub – Random Password Generator

By Patrick | July 10, 2007

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Almost a month ago I received an email from Martin Wright, creator of PassPub. He was telling me a little bit about his new web based SSL password generator. I promised him I would take a look. Well Martin, sorry for the delay, but I’m finally getting around to checking out PassPub.

PassPub is a cool little website that allows you to generate all kinds of unique passwords. I do some private consulting and sometimes I need to come up with a new, unique password. Whether it’s a new WPA key or a router password I need, PassPub is extremely helpful for these types of situations.

PassPub offers predefined templates for creating passwords. It can create a random 6, 8, 10 or 12 character password. It can also create 64 and 128 bit WEP keys, as well as 256-bit WPA keys all with a single click.

For those times when you need a memorable, but still hard to guess password, there is a section entitled “Memorable Passwords” with a few cool choices. My favorite option from this section is the “Mnemonic” generator. This option creates an easy to read password, with alternate vowels and consonants and an appended 3 digit suffix. I like this one because usually it’s a lot easier for me to read and therefore easier to remember, but still hard to guess. I generally use Mnemonic when changing my login password for my PC, especially since I do that every 45 days. The Memorable Passwords section also offers password generators using keyboard combinations as well as chemical elements symbols that can be extremely useful as well.

As a personal example, when I’m configuring a new router or firewall password, this is when I use the standard 10 or 12 character password generator. I use this option because I want a very hard to guess, random password. Plus, I won’t be typing it in often, so I can afford to have one that’s not easy to remember.

Now many of you are probably asking why would I waste my time going to this website when I can just come up with some random letters and numerics on my own? This was the same reaction I first had when I looked at Martin’s product. However, I always try to commit to using a new program or application for a couple weeks before I totally disregard it, and I have to say that PassPub has come in very handy. You may find it’s not a great tool for your arsenal, but others might. I do know you need to check it out and decide for yourself. Thanks for a cool new tool Martin!

PassPub – Strong Passwords, Uniquely Generated

Popularity: 16% [?]

Topics: Password | 639 Comments »

Caller ID Spoofing to be Made Illegal

By Patrick | June 29, 2007

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Just saw a very interesting article come across my RSS feed from Slashdot. Senate Bill S. 704 is currently being entertained in a Congressional subcommittee right now. This bill serves as an amendment to The Communications Act of 1934 that would make “manipulation of caller identification information” illegal. This means services like SpoofCard and FoneFaker would quickly become illegal. Illegal at a cost of up to $10,000 per violation.

This amendment was introduced in February of this year by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and is known as the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007. The summary is as follows:

Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007 – Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to make it unlawful for any person in the United States, in connection with any telecommunications service or Internet protocol (IP)-enabled voice service, to cause any caller identification (ID) service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, unless such transmission is exempted in connection with: (1) authorized activities of law enforcement agencies; or (2) a court order specifically authorizing the use of caller ID manipulation.

Provides civil and criminal penalties for violations. Allows for enforcement by states (with authorized intervention by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)).

While this piece of legislation isn’t a really big blow to privacy or a violation of our civil liberties or freedoms, it does raise a couple questions. If I block my Caller ID is that illegal? This could be good or bad considering who you talk to.

Also, why is the responsibility on the citizen as opposed to the telecommunications company that ALLOWS caller ID manipulation? What about the telecom carriers? Shouldn’t this bill be directed at them as well? While the end result would really be the same –no more spoofed caller ID– it would at least hold the telecom companies accountable. So now, just as we were teaching people to not always trust a person because of what shows up on their caller ID, that may be changing. People will go back to assuming caller ID is always accurate since the government has laws against manipulating it.

And finally, is this the best use of our federal government? Since I am huge proponent of smaller, limited government and favor state’s rights, this is yet another really pointless piece of legislation. As usual, it will keep the honest people honest, and the criminals will continue to spoof caller ID as they wish. It’s the way it always is and always will be.

What do you guys think? Is this a good piece of legislation or not? Does it even really matter?

Popularity: 13% [?]

Topics: Government | 1,838 Comments »

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