Saturday, April 10, 2004

Somone clever said:

"Terrorism has claimed 3,000 lives on American soil in the last two and a half years. This is approximately 1 person per 100,000 population, or 0.4 people per 100,000 population per year.

This places the threat of terrorism at about the same level as running with scissors."
posted by Irdial , 3:10 PM Þ 

System Can Detect Fraudulent Passports

Fri Apr 9, 8:14 AM ET

Add Technology - AP to My Yahoo!

By DAVID TIRRELL-WYSOCKI, Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. - Australia, one of the United States' strongest allies, has added a new weapon to its arsenal ? a toaster-sized document reader that tells in seconds whether a passport is a fraud and identifies travelers who might be included on terrorist watch lists. [...]

In a multimillion-dollar contract, Australia has installed 400 iA-thenticate units from Imaging Automation Inc. of Bedford, N.H., at its international airports in hopes of authenticating the documents of every person entering. [...]

The system ranges from $5,000 to $15,000 per unit.

Yahoo News

They fester here:
posted by Irdial , 12:09 PM Þ 

What is Freenet?
Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.
Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are "routed-through" other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.

Users contribute to the network by giving bandwidth and a portion of their hard drive (called the "data store") for storing files. Unlike other peer-to-peer file sharing networks, Freenet does not let the user control what is stored in the data store. Instead, files are kept or deleted depending on how popular they are, with the least popular being discarded to make way for newer or more popular content. Files in the data store are encrypted to reduce the likelihood of prosecution by persons wishing to censor Freenet content.

The network can be used in a number of different ways and isn't restricted to just sharing files like other peer-to-peer networks. It acts more like an Internet within an Internet. For example Freenet can be used for:

Publishing websites or 'freesites'
Communicating via message boards
Content distribution
Unlike many cutting edge projects, Freenet long ago escaped the science lab, it has been downloaded by over 2 million users since the project started, and it is used for the distribution of censored information all over the world including countries such as China and the Middle East. Ideas and concepts pioneered in Freenet have had a significant impact in the academic world. Our 2000 paper "Freenet: A Distributed Anonymous Information Storage and Retrieval System" was the most cited computer science paper of 2000 according to Citeseer, and Freenet has also inspired papers in the worlds of law and philosophy. Ian Clarke, Freenet's creator and project coordinator, was selected as one of the top 100 innovators of 2003 by MIT's Technology Review magazine.
posted by Alison , 9:41 AM Þ 
posted by alex_tea , 3:42 AM Þ 
Friday, April 09, 2004
posted by Ken , 6:37 PM Þ 
posted by chriszanf , 12:16 PM Þ 
Thursday, April 08, 2004

SMS Eavesdropping 'practically impossible'

Technically perhaps so, but as Akin said earlier, all it needs is someone at a terminal and a wad of cash...

The only other route available to those keen to read someone else's text messages is to consult the computers used by operators to keep records of who sent which message to whom and when they sent it.

Mr Bud said mobile phone firms kept records of text messages to ensure that bills are calculated correctly.

They hung on to the messages to ensure they can resolve disputes. For instance customers may complain that they did not send messages they were being billed for or that they had sent texts that did not arrive.

These records are kept for a few weeks or months, depending on the operator and the data protection regime operating in that nation.

This kind of eavesdropping may be out of the hands of most of us, but no doubt a journalist could get (and possible has gotten) access to a corruptable terminal operator and get hold of your supposedly private messages. Quite why the records kept by the suppliers aren't encyrpted I don't know, that would make more sense.

Is there any legal standpoint involved there? Isn't it law to give your private key to the authorities if asked? I guess encrypted SMS might have a 'skeleton key' that is owned by either the police/government/state or the phone operator. In either case, it's unnacceptable.

A couple of SMS Encyrption projects for you to look at:

Article on Fortress SMS
Fortress SMS

Fotress SMS seems to be working, if only in beta development and protected by a 3 digit password. I would be interested in trying it out, but alas I don't have a phone at the moment. Lost mine in LA and I'm too cheap to pay my bill...
posted by alex_tea , 10:31 PM Þ 

Being prepared is not the same as being paranoid
Peter Riddell
The Times, April 08, 2004

DAVID BLUNKETT is right. It is not often you read that about the Home
Secretary, now garlanded with that direst of journalistic clichés
“beleaguered” — even though, on most issues, his strategy, if not his
presentation or implementation, is nearer the mark than his critics’. On
terrorism, he has been correct. There is a serious threat that justifies
precautions affecting us all...

The dilemmas are vividly brought out in the debate over identity cards.
These appear alien to a widely held image of sturdy British
independence. But that world has gone. We now not only have terrorism
but also huge flows of people in and out of Britain every day. Precisely
to enjoy our traditional freedoms, we may have to accept ID cards, just
as most employees have to show photo passes to enter their places of

We will never wholly defeat terrorism. The challenge is to make everyday
life tolerable and reasonably secure. This will not be achieved by the
passive fatalism of some of Mr Blunkett's critics. The current threat
requires not only active counter-terrorism, but also a willingness to
accept limited checks on personal freedoms. Better a five-minute wait or
an ID card than a bomb...,,482-1066971,00.html

But that world has gone.

That world is no more gone that David Blunkett is right about ID cards. The world has not "changed because of 911". This is a fantasy of people who watch too much TV or read too many news reports. America caused this illusory crisis, to which some idiots are reacting. We are in no more danger than we were under the IRA, and that problem was solved without the UK destroying itself the way that Bliar and Blunkett are tratoriously conspiring to do. This is false reasoning, no, it is simply false and this lie about a "post 911 world" needs to be countered every time it is spoken, again and again, until the message is driven home.

These appear alien to a widely held image of sturdy British independence.

They are alien to anyone with blood in their veins instead of milk. And by the way, freedoms are not "traditional" they are inherent to every man, and are not given by one man to another, as tradition is, but are pre-existing at the moment man is born.

We now not only have terrorism but also huge flows of people in and out of Britain every day.

We have had terrorism in the form of the IRA for decades. This is no reason to adopt ID cards. As we all know, ID cards cannot prevent or deter terrorists from doing their jobs.

As for the flows of people coming into and out of the UK, if universally deployed passports cannot in any way control the flow of illegal immigrants, how is an ID card going to change anything? In any case, we have just been shown how Blunketts department was rubber stampoing people into the UK to clear the backlog of cases, so this is a total bullshit reason to bring in ID cards. Try again!

We will never wholly defeat terrorism.

That is a lie. The IRA problem is gone, the Baader Meinhof problem is gone, the RAF problem is gone, and the Al Quaida problem will also dissapear when they are either all killed or they get what they want. Stop lying!

a willingness to accept limited checks on personal freedoms.

Roll out the Benjamin Franklin quote here. And even if we were to temporarily sacrifice some of our "personal freedoms" (and this pig did not say temporarily if you notice) you have to demonstrate how this sacrifice will solve the problem. If you cannot demonstrate this, then the sacrifice is worthless.

Better a five-minute wait or an ID card than a bomb...

This is the sort of crap we expect from The Sun, not The Times.

Peter Riddell, you are an ass.
posted by Irdial , 7:27 PM Þ 

What's with this weird referrer string in my logs: - - [06/Apr/2004:23:06:14 +0100] "GET /blog/archives/cat_design_beef_jerky.php HTTP/1.1" 200 30965 "XXXX:++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98)"

Some kind of anonymous referrer perhaps, although it still reveals the IP Address / Remote Hostname so it's not that anonymous. At first I thought it was some strange type mask, but the XXXX: takes place of the protocol identifier (http:) I think. There's no double slash though.

Edit: A quick Google found it... "It's the refer for Symantec (Norton) Internet Security when the user has 'browser privacy' enabled."
posted by alex_tea , 7:10 PM Þ 

The evening standard has an op ed piece mildly questioning ID cards being pushed through.

Of course they dont even go near these points:

During the IRA bampaigns (yes BAMpaigns) the following was true:
  • The Irish could come to Britain without a passport, at any time they wanted.

  • The Irish looked caucasian, making them unidentifiable as terrorists (unless you spoke to them).

  • The Irish were bombing mainland Britain regularly.

  • All of these things were true, and yet, it was not felt that ID cards were an appropriate tool to stop IRA outrages.

    Now in 2004, we have:
  • Terrorists who come from a group where they all look brown, ie are instantly identifiable.

  • Where if they are British, they will more than likely have a british passport, in other words, they are already known by the Home Office via an official document.

  • The terror bombings that have caused this illogical panic have happened in OTHER COUNTRIES and NOT the UK.

  • Clearly, if you wanted to make a case for IDs the IRA scenario is more compelling, since the combatants look like everyone in the UK, in other words are practically invisible, an they can enter without a passport or border control of any kind. Now, we have a group that is very visible indeed; you dont need a national ID card scheme to stop anyone that looks like a True Believer®. They also all live in the same places, and even if they didnt, it would be a simple thing to closely monitor them all....not that I am advocating that obviously.

    There is also the fact that the Police have "just foiled" some attempts at causing an outrage in the UK, without anyone having to carry ID in this country. Clearly they must be doing some sort of close monitoring via profiles; in other words, the police already have all the tools they need to stop people setting off bombs in the UK. Of course, we already know this because they have been very sucessful in stopping terrorists for decades. It would be interesting to see a website listing all the UK police's many sucesses at stopping bombers. Hmmmmm.

    There is no reason to introduce ID cards in the UK, and clearly, the message is seeping in through meme-osomosis. What ID cards will do is cast a fine grained control net over every decent person in the UK, which will capture every single transaction you make, wether it be financial, medical, social, transport related, educational and political.

    posted by Irdial , 5:56 PM Þ 
    posted by meau meau , 1:27 PM Þ 
    Wednesday, April 07, 2004
    posted by Ken , 10:27 PM Þ 
    posted by Ken , 10:18 PM Þ 
    posted by Ken , 7:04 PM Þ 

    I really felt like taking the test...Reminded me of school in Pakistan...
    You are a MASTER of the English language!

    While your English is not exactly perfect,
    you are still more grammatically correct than
    just about every American. Still, there is
    always room for improvement...

    How grammatically sound are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    posted by Alison , 3:28 PM Þ 
    posted by Irdial , 12:58 PM Þ 

    David Blunkett insists.

    This is a disclaimer against:

    morality, common sense, legitimacy, judgemetnt, honesty, fairness, reason....insert positive character trait here.

    No one can claim (and retain a shred of credibility) that the security services could not detect these morons without the new provisions. They have been busting IRA cells for decades without any special laws or ID cards or biometrics.

    An HONEST man would admit that they simply want more control over the general population to squeeze the "black economy".

    posted by Irdial , 12:47 PM Þ 

    Until recently a cynic might have viewed the Internet as cartel of
    commercial players, masquerading as anarchy in order to avoid regulation.
    This is ceasing to be true, if it ever was. The latest IPV6 standards are
    being driven by China, Korea and Japan, through the ITU - not through the
    IETF by the dominant US players and their academic R&D partners. We have to
    come to terms with a world in which international co-operation really does
    mean just that. Co-operation must also address content which is offensive to
    cultures based on Islamic, Buddhist and Confucian values, not just those of
    Christianity or Western Liberalism. [...]

    This is fascinating. I have personal experience of what happens to a UK internet operation whose parent company is in Hong Kong; everyone is scared stiff of saying or posting something on the site that might be offensive to Chinese authority, and because of that, you had the UK operation failing to report stories that were being seen on every other website that were one click away.

    The fact of the matter is, co-operation has to mean routing traffic openly and nothing else. We cannot allow ourselvs to be governend by the morality of people outside of our jurisdiction; this is the main complaint against the EU. Somone in France can have you arrested just for writing an article, wheras in the UK this cannot (or could not) have happened. If you think that that is bad, wait until your editor tells you your story is killed because someone in Thailand wants it killed. This is what you give up when you relinquish your sovereignty; you loose your right to think and act freely and both of these things are needed if you are to restore your freedom.....hmmmmmmmm
    posted by Irdial , 12:07 PM Þ 

    We come in peace [Shoot to kill!]

    Also, file this piece of inflammatory rubbish (note no concrete plans, no direct link to al kyder, no physical evidence of any sort and definitely no chemicals found) under "Getting high on the oxygen of publicity"

    Finally, we're a month away from reading Blunketts Big IDea.
    posted by Alun , 12:00 PM Þ 

    Even in Saudi Arabia, where cinemas do not exist [...]
    posted by Irdial , 1:20 AM Þ 
    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    How unique are your fingerprints? It's general held (and as er, The Register confidently stated just yesterday) that your fingerprints being found at the scene of the crime tied you up with it pretty conclusively, but a report published earlier this year by New Scientist claims that there is little scientific basis for the infallibility of fingerprints, and that the only research indicating that there is, is fatally flawed.

    This could have major implications for the criminal justice system, and could undermine the basic premise of planned ID sytems in the UK, US and Europe. The report notes that the only known study, commissioned b y the US Department of Justice and only made public in summary form, was challenged in December. The study involved matching up 50,000 fingerprint images, and concluded from this that the probability of a false match was effectively zero. However, says New Scientist, "Although this produced an impressive-sounding 2.5 billion comparisons, critics point out that it is hardly surprising that a specific image should turn out to be more like itself than 49,999 other images."

    The study wasn't designed to test matches between two or more different prints from the same finger, and it was even discovered that it originally included three instances of fingerprints being listed as similar but different, when they were actually different prints from the same finger. One pair was even found to be as dissimilar as prints from different people. And the sample size is seen by many critics as being too small to be seen as valid. [...]
    posted by Irdial , 8:49 PM Þ 

    i am open-minded!

    How indie are you?
    test by ridethefader

    You're pretty knowledgeable about music in general. You like indie music, sure, but that's only part of it.
    You'll listen to any old shit as long as it sounds good to you. You're not snobby about music at all, you
    just like what you like. How boring. Curiously, this makes you popular with the opposite sex.

    posted by captain davros , 8:13 PM Þ 

    statistically indistinguishable from zero

    But what if the industry is wrong, and file sharing is not hurting record sales?

    It might seem counterintuitive, but that is the conclusion reached by two economists who released a draft last week of the first study that makes a rigorous economic comparison of directly observed activity on file-sharing networks and music buying.

    "Downloads have an effect on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero, despite rather precise estimates," write its authors, Felix Oberholzer-Gee of the Harvard Business School and Koleman S. Strumpf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. [...]

    NY Times
    posted by Irdial , 7:07 PM Þ 

    Grammar God!
    You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

    If your mission in life is not already to
    preserve the English tongue, it should be.
    Congratulations and thank you!

    How grammatically sound are you?
    brought to you by Quizilla

    Someone axed me to it.
    posted by Irdial , 7:03 PM Þ 

    Computerworld is reporting that the US Navy's HSV 2 Swift catamaran uses Mozilla technology. The Swift, described as the most technologically advanced vessel produced to date, uses Mozilla as the user interface layer of its COMBATSS command and control system. Thanks to Jesse and Lee Marzke for the news. [..]

    posted by Irdial , 6:56 PM Þ 

    < 51c-127fa6e7dc76.htm> and Statewatch has additional information at < assports.htm>

    Biometric passport delayed

    The European Parliament's civil liberties committee is to delay EU proposals for 'biometric' identity documents until the autumn.

    MEPs are concerned that Europe is being rushed into ill-considered proposals ? a situation compounded by US moves to 'biometric' border checks.

    "The European Parliament is not in a position to endorse the proposals? as long as the commission does not put its cards on the table and fully inform us of its strategy," the committee rapporteur Ole S?rensen said...

    Could it possibly be that the EU has grown some grapefruits?!?
    posted by Irdial , 6:23 PM Þ 


    Jennifer Lopez's Mother Wins $2.4 Million
    Apr 6, 6:56 AM EST

    Jennifer Lopez's mother won a $2.4 million jackpot while playing $1 slots at Atlantic City.

    Guadalupe Lopez, 58, of New York, was playing Wheel of Fortune at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa when she hit for $2,421,291.76 just before 8 p.m. Saturday, according to the casino.

    MSN Entertainment - News - Jennifer Lopez's Mother Wins $2.4 Million
    posted by Ken , 5:58 PM Þ 

    I found this linked from here and was going to post it here, until I noticed who had posted it!
    posted by alex_tea , 3:50 PM Þ 

    The Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm which examines how firms treat their punters online, has studied how the IT industry interacts with consumers.
    The good news is that most websites examined in the IT sector were easy to navigate and did a "fair job" of explaining their privacy policies "fully and clearly".

    The bad news is that three in ten companies in the sector shared private information with "unaffiliated third parties" without permission, said the report.

    The Register


    never eaten tripe, it looks very unappealing I'm not offaly fond of innards, although I'm now partial to paté, and I have konsumed kidneys.
    I have listened to some though.
    posted by meau meau , 2:41 PM Þ 

    anyone here eaten tripe?
    posted by captain davros , 2:09 PM Þ 

    Up here in space
    I'm looking down on you
    My lasers trace
    Everything you do
    You think you've private lives
    Think nothing of the kind
    There is no true escape
    I'm watching all the time

    I'm made of metal
    My circuits gleam
    I am perpetual
    I keep the country clean
    I'm elected electric spy
    I'm protected electric eye

    Always in focus
    You can't feel my stare
    I zoom into you
    You don't know I'm there
    I take a pride in probing all your secret moves
    My tearless retina takes pictures that can prove

    I'm made of metal
    My circuits gleam
    I am perpetual
    I keep the country clean
    I'm elected electric spy
    I'm protected electric eye

    Electric eye, in the sky
    Feel my stare, always there
    There's nothing you can do about it
    Develop and expose
    I feed upon your every thought
    And so my power grows

    I'm made of metal
    My circuits gleam
    I am perpetual
    I keep the country clean
    I'm elected electric spy
    I'm protected electric eye
    Protected. Detective. Electric eye
    posted by meau meau , 1:16 PM Þ 

    Anyone got any ZZ Top recommendations?
    posted by captain davros , 1:16 PM Þ 

    The Swift can chew up ocean at more than 45 knots per hour and operate in only 12 feet of water

    Spot the difference. Wouldn't it be wicked to take ordinary white goods and make them all miliatryised - imagine a stealth fridge!
    posted by captain davros , 1:13 PM Þ 

    The Swift can chew up ocean at more than 45 knots per hour and operate in only 12 feet of water.
    posted by Irdial , 11:12 AM Þ 

    "There's really no privacy issue," he said. "It's not fingerprinting. This is just for our internal use, matching the person to the pass."

    But not everyone is convinced.

    Rebecca Ouellette, who has been a season-pass holder at Busch Gardens since she was 12, is skeptical. "It's hard to believe that this isn't like fingerprinting," said the 27-year old Williamsburg resident. "I wouldn't want my fingerprints in a big Busch Gardens file."

    Seattle pi
    posted by Irdial , 11:04 AM Þ 

    can you?

    Yes you can. They cost three pounds, and they simply hand over a blank card to you. You can then use the charging machines or put cash on them at a counter.

    You can review all the journeys you have made by using one of the charging machines and pressing "view journey history", whereupon you will be shown a list of all the trips you have made with the card, or more correctly, all the times that card has been used. You are shown the bus number, time of travel and amount decremented, of if its the tube, the details of that.
    posted by Irdial , 10:49 AM Þ 

    Some workmen have arrived and are busy destroying the road outside my front door.

    There's a very nice hafler trio track on 'dislocation' that deals with this.
    posted by meau meau , 10:10 AM Þ 

    A Google-eyed relative of Big Brother?

    PGP - It's pretty good privacy, you know.
    posted by meau meau , 9:49 AM Þ 

    Currently you can't buy an anonymous Oyster Card, can you? I thought that was one of their aims....
    Of course, you can give a false name and address, and pay cash every time.
    At the moment.

    But wait. It's 2008. ID cards allow London Underground to 'request' your ID, swipe it, and issue your ID-linked ShysterCard.
    There will be no anonymity.

    I am working at home. It was so quiet. Until now. Some workmen have arrived and are busy destroying the road outside my front door.
    Oh joy.
    [Think Cage. It's all a symphony.]
    {Fuck Cage. Let fucking Cage try and prepare a 1 hour presentation on immunoregulation through this maelstrom.}
    posted by Alun , 9:43 AM Þ 
    Monday, April 05, 2004

    A scenario...

    You bought an anonymous Oyster Card, because youre like that. You use it for a year. It stores every bus ride and tube trip.

    One day you get pulled over by the police for one of their ever more common "routine checks". They ask you all the "normal" questions. But this is 2008. Something different happens.

    They search your pockets and find your Oyster Card.

    They take your card away, and scan it. Your entire years travel is revealed, and automatically correlated against all crimes committed in the time window of your card. Unluckily for you, you happened to exit an underground station at precisely the time when a masked criminal shot a commuter dead.

    They ask you where you were on the night. You say you cant remember....because you dont. You are hauled in and locked up.

    Your Oyster Card, which you thought was anonymous suddenly has become un-anonymized, and eternally tied to your name, number and Biometric Net data (if you signed up for biometric scanning. If you failed to do so, you are now "netted" because you have been arrested. Your fingerprints have been taken, along with your iris scan and photograph and you have also been "Blaired" [DNA swabbed]).

    Did the man in the story above find a witness to say it wasnt him? Was he sent down like the M25 Three, or the Guilford 7? Even if he did get released without charge, his record will forever show that he was arrested for this crime as part of the investigation into a murder. His record will be searched against millions of times as crimes are logged and potential suspects are trawled throug with the Biometric Net. This stain will never leave his life. He can never change his identity, because he cannot dispose of his body and take a new one; his identity is locked to him forever.


    Imagine your Oyster card is stolen, and used by a masked murderer. Your record will be forever tainted as above, and this is so if you have done absolutely nothing other than be the victim of a crime; your record will permanently reflect that you were the suspect of a murder investigation.

    This is bad bad magic.
    posted by Irdial , 11:42 PM Þ 

    tonight, monday, april 5

    interrupt media group + subsystence present a new chicago monthly:


    featuring selections from

    COMMON FACTOR [tactile, planet e]
    JOSH WERNER [antennae inc.]
    MATTY [untitled]
    KEN + KARL MEIER [interrupt media]

    9 pm - 2 am
    no cover
    $2 pbr
    posted by Ken , 9:15 PM Þ 

    When first we practise...

    A Google-eyed relative of Big Brother?
    The Wired article is a good place to start.
    posted by Alun , 8:30 PM Þ 

    Becks' joy of text - part I

    By Daily Mail
    5 April 2004

    On March 10, hours before he played in the Champions League clash with
    Bayern Munich, it is claimed that Beckham, said to be alone in his hotel
    - texted Miss Loss.

    Here are the messages they exchanged...

    Evening Standard


    Any non admin / supervisor operator can see all your shit, and then pass it on to anyone else. What is more annoying than the fact that your communicaitons can be exposed like this is the fact that you cannot sue the phone company for this breach of privacy. If a cellular carrier faced a fine of 1,000,000 euro for each message illegally conveyed to an unauthorized third party, you can be sure that rigorus internal safeguards would be put in place in seconds at every carrier.

    As it is now, Mr. Beckhams only recourse is to have a shit fit, and he had better not have it on the phone, otherwise we will get to hear that too!
    posted by Irdial , 6:18 PM Þ 

    Take DNA sample from anyone arrested, Blair urges police

    By George Jones, Political Editor The Daily Telegraph, 05/04/2004

    Tony Blair will today urge the police to use new powers to fingerprint and take DNA samples from anyone they arrest, including those over the drink-drive limit...

    Meanwhile, the Conservatives called last night for tougher penalties to be imposed on uninsured drivers.

    Damian Green, the Tory transport spokesman, said a Conservative government would link the motor insurance database, which holds details of all policyholders, with the DVLA database, which holds details of drivers. This would enable instant identification of most offenders... [...]

    So the Tories are going to be equal to or worse than Labour. What a surprise. If biometric passports are enough to identify you, why on earth would you need to have a DNA sample taken because you get a parking ticket? This proves that they just want it all, and for no good reason. They are doing all of this just because they can and then afterwards, they will figure out what they are going to do with it.

    posted by Irdial , 2:45 PM Þ 

    Members of the European Parliament are calling for better protection for consumer data sent overseas as a result of offshoring agreements.

    A group of British MEPs, backed by British union Amicus which campaigns against offshoring, is taking its concerns to the Employment and Social Affairs committee of the European Commission today.

    They want regulation to prevent unauthorised access of personal details being processed abroad. The Data Protection Act requires company's maintain servers within the EU but allows that data to be processed anywhere. [...]

    ??? The EU has been prostituting its citizens data to the USA, scheming about how its going to share biometric passport data between its member states and Uncle Sam, but it is concerned about datacentres in India?

    Give me a break.

    The truth is they didnt have a hand in these agreements, and so the must be, by default, illegal.
    posted by Irdial , 1:33 PM Þ 

    Locke signs biometric license bill

    OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Washington residents worried about identity theft may someday be able to link their drivers' licenses to a fingerprint or other biometric identifier.

    1. Identity theft can only occur when a person's identity is embodied by a document - a driving license that is only useful for proving the ability to drive can never be used to 'thieve an identity'. Credit card fraud is not identity theft, it is credit card fraud and only addressable by tightening the security of credit cards themselves, this applies to the other non-forms of 'identity theft' including using the passports of the dead, etc (for a secure passport system read below)

    IT is when you start relating a person's ID to unrelated, functionally-forgeable documents that 'identity theft' can START

    Gov. Gary Locke signed a law Thursday creating a voluntary program and increasing the civil penalty for identity theft from $500 to $1,000 or actual damages.

    2. Voluntary programs don't work, and lead to greater opportunities for our ID thieves (see below). Voluntary programs are enforced in a discriminatory manner - FACT - the police will tend to leave 'respectable' people alone and concentrate on 'undesirables', any lack of ID by these will be taken as a tacit sign of wrongdoing.

    But he downplayed the importance of the biometric element, saying he had concerns that people would put too much faith in it.

    3. "Bwahahahahahahaha!"

    "People can still get an original license in a fake name," Locke said. "They can forge a license."

    4. Functionally-forgeable - If an ID is related to a enchipped piece of plastic for it not to be abused it would have to be scanned every time it was used. It is impossible to imagine that every police car, bank ... requesting ID will have card scanners and use them in a voluntary scheme, especially if the costs were not borne by the state. Identity could be 'theived' at non-participating centres. Conversely what would it take for a forger to acquire a scanning device and try to crack the encryption codes on an ID-enabled license?
    In a voluntary system a forger could get an ID from a non-volunteering person through the use of previously forged documentation.

    The bill directs the Department of Licensing to install a biometric matching system by the beginning of 2006. The system could use fingerprints or some other identifier, such as a mathematical representation of a person's face.

    5. Facial mapping is a useless identifier.

    (quote - If face recognition technologies are pioneered in countries where civil liberties are relatively strong, it becomes more likely that they will also be deployed in countries where civil liberties hardly exist. In twenty years, at current rates of progress, it will be feasible for the Chinese government to use face recognition to track the public movements of everyone in the country. - ahem)

    The system would only be used to verify the identity of someone applying to renew or replace an existing license or identity card.

    6. This implies how uselessly OTT the scheme is - The person's 'identity' will only be checked to replace the person's 'identifier'. Bureaucratic heaven. Of course it wouldn't be limited to that though would it. It also implies that the card will be used to access a central database of information rather than any information being coded onto the card.

    People who wanted to participate in the system would pay a small fee.

    7. Dead in the water

    The final version of Senate Bill 5412 was substantially scaled back from the original proposal by Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham, the former sheriff of Whatcom County. Brandland's bill would have required every person seeking to acquire or renew a license to submit such an identifier, an idea that appealed to banks and retailers hurt by identity theft, but alarmed civil libertarians.

    8. banks and retailers. Yes we are definitely talking a bout credit card fraud - the banks should be taking responsibility for their little bits of plastic - not the state.

    The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington argued that such a system was unrelated to the purpose of a driver's license and could lead to thousands of people being wrongly accused of trying to fraudulently acquire licenses. "On principle it still gives us pause," said Jerry Sheehan, the ACLU's lobbyist. `We certainly intend to bird-dog it very closely."
    posted by meau meau , 1:14 PM Þ 
    posted by meau meau , 1:11 PM Þ 

    Locke signs biometric license bill

    Gov. Gary Locke signed a law Thursday creating a voluntary program and increasing the civil penalty for identity theft from $500 to $1,000 or actual damages. But he downplayed the importance of the biometric element, saying he had concerns that people would put too much faith in it.

    "People can still get an original license in a fake name," Locke said. "They can forge a license."

    The bill directs the Department of Licensing to install a biometric matching system by the beginning of 2006. The system could use fingerprints or some other identifier, such as a mathematical representation of a person's face. The system would only be used to verify the identity of someone applying to renew or replace an existing license or identity card. [...]

    There is so much wrong with this, meau2 care to RTA and chime in while i do some chorez?
    posted by Irdial , 12:48 PM Þ 

    BIO-key and HP Awarded Contract at Logan Airport

    Monday April 5, 7:02 am ET
    Equips State Troopers With Mobile Wireless Identification Capability [...]

    I TOLD YOU!!!!
    posted by Irdial , 12:42 PM Þ 

    Photo, fingerprint program might not help, but at least now its fair

    American allies in countries such as Britain, Japan and Australia are perturbed because the US-VISIT program - which requires foreign visitors to be photographed and fingerprinted each time they enter the country - has been extended to them.

    The Bush administration made the decision because the 27 affected countries won't meet an October deadline to have biometric passports. Such documents would include not only a photo of the traveler, but fingerprint and iris identification features that would make the passport virtually impossible to counterfeit.

    Proponents of US-VISIT say the program enhances security, and Asa Hutchinson, undersecretary for border and transportation security, claims it takes just 23 seconds per visitor to take the fingerprints and picture and cross-reference them to government files.

    We're dubious about the value of the program. About 2.6 million people have been processed so far and "more than 200" with prior or suspected criminal histories have been stopped. That's a fairly small number, although it can be argued that it only takes a few individuals to create havoc.

    What we do know is that now the program is more equitable. When we were only requiring visitors from a few nations to submit to the screening, the calls of discrimination they and their citizens raised carried some validity.

    We also know that the "suspect" nations, be they Middle Eastern in location or elsewhere, aren't the only countries from which terrorists originate. The failed "shoe bomber," Richard Reid, was British-born.

    Mostly, we're eager for the use of biometric passports to become widespread. That will provide security with far less inconvenience, encouraging travel to the United States while greatly reducing the threat presented by terrorists who travel among tourists. [...]

    "FAIR"? This is an astonishingly stupid article, and if this is the level at which the American journalist is thinking, then surely all is lost.

    I wonder how "fair" this journalist will think it is that Americans are having their intimate data and biometric details stored and shared all over the world?
    posted by Irdial , 12:39 PM Þ 

    New Cabinet split on ID cards

    Published 5th April 2004

    The government is once again split over the introduction of ID cards.

    Despite Tony Blair’s plan to fast-track the roll out of cards, trade secretary Patricia Hewitt (pictured) has warned that many senior ministers still need to be convinced of the benefits of a compulsory system.

    In the wake of last week’s arrests in relation to a potential terrorist bomb threat, the Prime Minister said ID cards would need to be introduced ‘probably more quickly even than we anticipated’.

    However, Ms Hewitt said the introduction of ID cards would have to wait until the value of biometric technology, such as fingerprints and retina scans, is proven in new-style passports and driving licenses.

    Home secretary David Blunkett has pushed for the speedy introduction of a universal ID card system, but has been reined in due to Treasury concerns over the cost, as well as opposition by some cabinet members on civil liberties grounds.

    Sir John Stevens, Metropolitan police commissioner, has also backed the early introduction of ID cards. He said in a TV interview: "I think the sooner they're bought in the better, and as a professional police officer, I have to tell you we need them."

    The Publican
    posted by Irdial , 12:30 PM Þ 
    posted by Irdial , 12:26 PM Þ 

    Screenshots of Gmail!
    posted by Irdial , 11:55 AM Þ 

    Try to relax and enjoy the crisis. -- Ashleigh Brilliant
    posted by Irdial , 11:53 AM Þ 

    Barrie, one thing we've got is monoliths. Gets you into the countryside and into prehistory. Arbor Low in Derbyshire is pretty wild. Long Meg near Penrith, Avebury in the south. See Julian Cope's Modern Antiquarian for details. Probably Cope's most important contribution to our society, and a wonderful, wonderful resource.

    A stately home/gardens place like Chatsworth always astounds too. I also like to visit Scarborough and that coastline, for soaking in a very slow, somewhat melancholic, seaside atmosphere.
    In London, Monument, National Portrait Gallery, Brick Lane, some of the non-touristy markets, Soho for life and pubs.

    Have fun!
    posted by Alun , 11:10 AM Þ 

    Awkward foreigner question:
    I will be going to England around the 21st, as I have earlier said... does anyone have any good ideas on where to go? I can research myself but it's always helpful to hear the opinions of others, especially since there is so much to do. So far the only thing I have in stone is going to the Lake District, going to some castles, and going to the Tate gallery. Especially cool would be suggestions about interesting spots that aren't monumentally huge (ex. V&A Museum), things more like cool shops and such. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    That newspaper site is very interesting. I do a similar sort of analysis on the papers in Edmonton every day. The Edmonton Journal is a decent paper, I recall they even ran the picture of the charred bodies, albeit conveniently cropped. The Journal is alright, it is a good spread of viewpoints from reactionary fundamentalist fuckheads to weak-willed liberals. The Edmonton Sun on the other hand is good to have around solely because it shows one exactly how NOT to make a newspaper. They ran the Fallujah picture of the burning vehicle, with a COLOSSAL headline saying something like "PATROL OF DEATH" or "IRAQI DEATH MOB" or "SUPER DEATH HORROR SMASH" or something equally insipid and alarmist. Their editorial section veers from useless "personal journalism" to reactionary fundamentalist fuckwad.
    It's good to have balance!
    posted by Barrie , 3:07 AM Þ 
    Sunday, April 04, 2004

    Reviews, opinion, comparison and analysis of Newspaper editorial and design. Very interesting, although I haven't delved past the front page yet, but it's an amazing source.

    Seems to be mostly American based although there are some European newspapers in there as well, scroll down to see the article about the Madrid bombings front pages. Amazing insight into the editorial tricks used to 'tone down' sensitive and shocking photojournalism, is it censorship or sensitivity? Is it propaganda or proper manners?

    European vs American
    posted by alex_tea , 6:06 PM Þ 

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