Tag: US

Google and Government Flip and Flop

Google just avoided providing the government with person-specific search data, but has to lift the hood on their engine for them nonetheless (whatever the hell that means).

Meanwhile, the center of the internet universe (according to some) has been ordered by a Federal Magistrate to turn over some crook’s Gmail account data, including any deleted emails.

With the search stuff, who cares? Everyone looking for bad stuff on the net most likely already knows where to find it. But in the second regard, I’d say this is a nail in the coffin for free, web-based email services. Even those folks (like me) who use services like Gmail on a “POP only, Delete After Download” basis now get to wonder when and where all those emails they thought they deleted might…well…er…pop up again.

I suspect that for many, Gmail is the defacto address for every Craigslist communication and email newsletter they don’t really want, so its not a problem. But, if you use such services to correspond with the attorneys forming your irrevocable trust, or set up meeting times with the boyfriend or girlfriend your husband or wife doesn’t know about, I’d say you could get finely screwed (not that you aren’t already, in either case). If these services become useless for anything but cat and mouse games with internet marketers, I don’t see longevity in them.

Of course, if your surreptitious liaison schedule is already wrapped in one of those extremely long encryption keys you generated for the sender, you aren’t going to care who gets their hands on that email – you’ll be the one in the coffin before anyone gets around to reading it.

In the good ol’ US of A..

we have the largest rate of originating spam in the modern world. Now we can add spyware to the list as well.

And if that doesn’t pain you enough, the US also hosts more phishing sites than any other country with electricity.

So…it comes as no surprise to hear that there is a big spamware vendor down the street from AOL.

Phishing test results…F+

A few weeks back Spamroll led your way to a test of your ability to identify phishing attempts. This test was sculpted around some UK products and services (so obviously it was designed for the British), but that didn’t matter all too much.

Almost everyone failed.

US Fed gets involved in ID theft plague

The US Government is starting to put their foot down on the incidents of ID theft. Everyone is becoming aware of the fact that ID theft is not an isolated purvey of email phishers, so US regulators are asking financial institutions to develop appropriate notification measures (for their customers, that is).

Outside the US, email is no chatterbox

A recent article from Slate outlines the differences between European and American’s use of email. There are some interesting insights within.

UK Home Prices Struggle, So Gov’t Intervenes

We hear a bit about home prices falling in the UK, and then the government pulls a tax rabbit out of the hat to spur more demand. Read SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Society | The change that will make some grin up north.

I wonder what politicians in the US could do to make home ownership more advantageous. Make mortgate interest a tax credit instead of a deduction? With interest rates on the rise, there isn’t much else left to subsidize the market.

It begs the question (again). Can residential price increases hold their own, without the persistently low cost of money advantages they enjoyed in the past?

Media Moguls and Phishing

What do copyright, patent and other intellectual property issues have to do with phishing? I don’t have a clue, but the US Senate seems to think they do. Sounds like stinky spin in order to convince the public that having a Utah Senator head some committee of whatevers is going to do some good (other than provide payback for all the grease they have received from Hollywood).