Presidential candidates should be protecting the personal information of reporters.
The Reasonable Reporter is good and steamed. She has lost track of the times since Nevada became a swing state in 2004 that she’s been asked to send personal identifying information via unsecured means to the Secret Service for a background check. To protect elected officials, the federal government asks reporters to compromise their own security.
Hey presidential candidates… want to seem savvy? Develop a data security policy for dealing with personal background check information, and insist that the feds use it. Start protecting the personal information of reporters.
Then send out press releases patting yourselves on the back for it.
It is way past time for the government to get hip about cybercrime, and stop exposing citizens to identity theft. Not just the feds. All the way up and down the ladder from municipal utility districts to the White House, the attitude about the personal data of citizens is outrageously cavalier. In many cases, personal identifiers are collected unnecessarily for the task at hand.
When big batches of identifiers are lost, stolen or misplaced, the announcement is always the same. “We have no evidence that any ID theft has occurred.” Of course! You will never have such evidence until it’s too late.
In congress they’ve produced useless cybercrime bills for more than a decade, while failing to do basic things that would offer some measure of real citizen protection. Name the category. Identity theft, hacking, spam, porn. The laws are big, ugly, smelly, expensive dogs with just enough teeth to bite the mail man.
The federal anti-hacking law, for example, is currently being misused to prosecute a woman who’s accused of inducing a teen-aged girl to commit suicide by posting gossip about her on MySpace. This law was intended to prevent unauthorized persons from taking control of computer systems that don’t belong to them, not to grandstand in a grief-stricken community when a murder charge is unavailable to prosecutors.
The Child Online Protection Act was struck down last week by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, having been challenged on first amendment grounds the morning after it passed in 1998. (The original name of the case was ACLU v. Reno. That’s Janet Reno.)
COPA never went in to effect because even a first-year law student with a D average could see that it was unconstitutional on is face. It didn’t require dozens of lawyers and a decade of legal review to recognize its obvious legal and practical flaws.
Can-Spam Act? Let’s see. The Reasonable Reporter recently went on a wild goose chase from one alphabet soup agency to another, trying to get comments about an ID theft scheme targeted at one specific regulated industry. She finally got a bit feisty when she was passed off yet again to someone else, and nobody would talk on the record, and she was finally told that – well – we don’t talk about it because we really can’t do anything about it.
Yes you can, you twits! Start enforcing the part of the Social Security Act that says our social security identification numbers are to be used only to manage our government retirement accounts.
Presidential candidates: One of you will win, and the other will go back to the senate. Please, make it so.
By the way, it’s been said that Nevada is at the top of every bad list. Not so. On October 1, NRS 597.97 will prohibit businesses from sending personal identifiers such as social security numbers and dates of birth by email without encryption. Thank you, Nevada legislature.
UPDATE: The Reasonable Reporter was offered a fax number by the United States Secret Service. Thank you, Secret Service.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized