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Saturday, December 24, 2005
  Federal agents' visit was a hoax: 12/ 24/ 2005
Federal agents' visit was a hoax: 12/ 24/ 2005: "The UMass Dartmouth student who claimed to have been visited by Homeland Security agents over his request for 'The Little Red Book' by Mao Zedong has admitted to making up the entire story.

The 22-year-old student tearfully admitted he made the story up to his history professor, Dr. Brian Glyn Williams, and his parents, after being confronted with the inconsistencies in his account."

Although there was suspicion from the start that this was a hoax, the original reporter stuck by his story, until this latest addendum by the student.

Thanks to Bruce Shneier for this blog post on this.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
  Schneier on Security: Vehicle Tracking in the UK
Schneier on Security: Vehicle Tracking in the UK: "The problems and insecurities that come from living in a surveillance society more than outweigh any crimefighting (and terrorist-fighting) advantages."

All I can say is that isn't it ironic that Orwell was a Brit?
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
  Innovation Happens Elsewhere
Innovation Happens Elsewhere: "Innovation Happens Elsewhere" is the name of a recent book on the business uses of open source. Available on the web thanks to a Creative Commons license.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
  Schneier on Security: How Much High Explosive Does Any One Person Need?
Schneier on Security: How Much High Explosive Does Any One Person Need?: "If anyone is looking for something to spend national security money on that will actually make us safer, securing high-explosive-filled trailers would be high on my list."

Mine Too!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
  The Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition
The Winnipeg Free Press Online Edition: "Privacy rules let con man drain funds"

In this piece the bank for an old woman, who appears to have been bilked for her life savings by a young 'opportunist', correctly claims that that they shouldn't presume to know better than the customer what they want to do with their money. One of the woman's sons claims that only an alert from a bank employee - which breached his mother's privacy - enabled them to detect the alleged fraud. This highlights the wrong issue at the bank. The customer's privacy does need to be protected, as does her fiscal well being. Protecting the customer's privacy is something that the bank has to do, and has the power to do. Making decisions about her money or who to disclose her transactions to violates both the customer's privacy and removes from her the possibility of acting on her own behalf - even to the extent of making bad decisions.

I have to say that I share the view that the bank has some culpability here. The pattern of withdrawals described is at least suspicious, and it seems to me should have alerted the bank to do something more concrete than the internal hand-wringing that was described. Had this been a case of identity theft, with money disappearing unbeknownst to the customer, clearly the bank would have some explaining to do. A notice to police of possible fraudulent activity would not, in my mind, constitute a privacy breach, and would enable the bank to protect all clients and not just those with diligent sons.

At this point, only civil or criminal proceedings present any hope, and if the 'handy man' of the story claims that the money given was given freely, then this just might unfortunately be the end of the story

Caveat emptor!
  The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Borrow the wrong book and get it personally delivered by the feds
The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Borrow the wrong book and get it personally delivered by the feds: "One of the problems with widespread monitoring is the huge incidence of 'false positives'. This example from the University of Massachusetts is instructive and a bit chilling to those who have commented upon it."

I just checked and I still have my copy of the little red book from my old days. Does admitting this in public make me more of a security risk than if I kept it secret?
  BBC NEWS | Technology | What is it with Wikipedia?
It was thinking about what is turning into an issue for Wikipedia that gave me the idea for the name for this blog....Webistemology

BBC NEWS | Technology | What is it with Wikipedia?: "The achievement of the Wikimedia Foundation should not be underestimated, but we should not be surprised if there are errors. No information source is guaranteed to be accurate, and we should not place complete faith in something which can so easily be undermined through malice or ignorance thanks to its open architecture."
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
  Global Fast Cities
Gotta love it!

Global Fast Cities: "Multicultural, tolerant, hip, and tech-oriented, it features both Old World European charm and modern high-rises. Among international cities, Montreal boasts the fifth-largest creative-class workforce. Overall job growth ranks in the top five among North American cities. Film production is flourishing: Montreal has more set and sound-stage space than any city in North America."

You think you know something?
How do you know what you think you know?

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