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Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’

What did you say?

What did you say?

I’m fascinated by the fact that everything blows up quickly today and there’s a rush to judgment.

Take the man of “sterling” character.

You know him as the 80-year old billionaire and L.A. Clippers owner.  Born, Donald Tokowitz there are no excuses for his ugly, crass and trashy comments, but after what seemed like  days of 24/7 news commentary (at least CNN moved off the Malaysian airplane search) incessantly playing snippets of the secretly-tape recorded phone conversation while calling for his head on a platter… I learned he was married and has three children.

.

Rip City, Baby!

Huh?  He has a wife?

In the NBA, only a team owner can sit with his “friend” (aka mistress) at games on national TV, give her millions of dollars in gifts, precipitate a lawsuit from the old coot’s wife demanding return of their community property and none of this merits discussion of the scandal stories about him?

Here’s the thing in America.  Gossip.  You may not be rich, but you can sure talk about the rich and everyone is.

In addition, hypocrisy reigns throughout the American landscape.  Racism and sexism are the new tools to destroy careers and people.  Some recent beat down examples are: Paula Dean when it was discovered she made a racial remark several years before it came to light.  Then there is Brenden Eich, CEO of Mozilla who was forced to step down from the company he founded when it was learned he made a $1K contribution in support of California Prop 8, which was against same sex marriage.

So what’s the point here Mac?  How does this relate to the motorcycle community?

Well the last time I checked, in this country, people are allowed to be morons.  In addition, they’re allowed to be stupid and think idiotic thoughts.  It’s a very slippery slope when you say something stupid in the privacy of your own home that is recorded and made public without your knowledge or consent and then you’re force to sell something you own or you’re interest is involuntarily seized.

Let me say it again for the haters.  I don’t share Sterling’s views so save the emails.

It’s clear the verdict for Sterling comes largely at the expense of the right of privacy and the motorcycle community is well aware of privacy/freedom to ride issues like motorcycle-only checkpoints and police targeting of “pack riders” and/or motorcycle clubs.  It’s not about any crime, but how the government judges who you are, who you associate with or by simply what type of vehicle you use.  Yeah, Sterling is in the NBA and it operates with different rules…

Then again, some lawmakers are currently sponsoring a bill to have federal researchers comb through broadcast radio and television, cable and public-access TV, commercial mobile services and other electronic media and the Internet for any communications that may have prompted violent acts and/or “hate crimes.”   Think about how much power this vague bill would give a handful of people over hundreds of millions of people.

The rush to judge and failure of due process or to consider many of Sterling’s rights in the process of this specific incident and how they were suppressed — has a scent all its own.

The “Uncle Sam” photo courtesy of Paul Lachine.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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It’s disturbingly commonplace and pretty workaday stuff for law enforcement.

If you are an owner of one of the country’s 277 million cell phones, it’s possible that your cell-phone company retained records of where your device has been at all times.

Cell phones have tiny GPS devices embedded inside or because each phone call is routed through towers that can be used to pinpoint the phones’ location to within areas as small as a few hundred feet.

And as the government continues it’s relentless intrusion into the private lives of citizens, cell-phone tracking has become commonplace and among the more unsettling forms of government surveillance. The ease at which your location information can be accessed is a question posed by a Newsweek article, which outlines the various methods local law-enforcement agencies and the Justice Department can use to trace Americans’ cell phones–tracking that in some cases can be done in real time. According to the article, courts across the country routinely agree to police requests for cell phone location information.  The legality of such requests is somewhat murky and there is anecdotal evidence of abuse of the system, with requests that are clearly personal.

What if the Justice Department wants to track political protesters or motorcyclists at the Washington CoC Run?  Or how about track all the motorcycle enthusiasts who arrive at the state capital for “Black Thursday” in Olympia to protest unfavorable biker legislation?  Apparently, it may all be allowed.

It would seem the Orwellian day of Big Brother secretly following motorcyclists movements through the cell phone device in our pocket is here.  Currently, the records are obtained under what is known as “2703(d)” orders—a reference to an obscure provision of a federal law known as the Stored Communications Act—in which prosecutors only need to assert that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the records are “relevant” to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, a much lower standard than that needed for a search warrant.

When the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Enhancement Act of 1999 was passed, I don’t think they thought about law enforcement over reach or customer’ privacy information related to location-based services.  I encourage preservation of the Fourth Amendment and think it’s time that Congress clarify the terms under which location information may be released to law enforcement.

Until then, if you’re someone who does not wish to disclose their movements to the government then you’ll need not use a cellular telephone.

Photo courtesy of Apple.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Carmen

Carmen

At work early.  Coffee, check.  Raisin bran muffin, check.  Opening Outlook email…waiting…, check.  Whoa, what’s this?  A half-dozen “business proposals” from London and several people in South Africa who I don’t know are waiting for my “urgent reply” with a bank account number…  Important, I am.

According to a recent survey about one in six consumers have at some time acted on a SPAM message.  Huh?   Don’t they realize this only reaffirms the economic incentive for spammers to keep churning out millions of obnoxious pitches per day.  And now comes Twitter SPAM… designed for all us motorcycle enthusiasts who click the “follow” button to stay in touch.  There are many Twitter pages which are simply redirect links for suspicious activity and/or violate usage rules with ad’s about personal body part enhancements.  You know the ones… “I’m now following you”… then you click the link to validate the person and find 3 updates in as many months, but wait… they are following 2,714 people… if you dare click on the web link up comes a clear ruse with no social redeeming value!

Rather agitated on the last “following you” notice, I was going to report the violation – but, then I thought I’d SPAM the SPAMMERS!  I know… I’ll pose as a 35 year-old single mom (Carmen – likes Cars/Motorcycles and Men – get it?).  I have this wounded bird theory and selected a profile with 4 kids. My oldest son, Ricky, is 16 so he’s taking care of Tabitha, 6, and Billy, 4. My youngest, Jeremy, 3 months, is somewhere around here. He’ll turn up. He usually does.  Since I’m still evolving my faux on-line landscape I’ll evangelize my Fav’s as: “Likes to go on long motorcycle rides in the moonlight…” You see, I’ve got this hot body with money to burn and looking for a guy who doesn’t believe everything he reads!

Twitter Suspension Notice

Twitter Suspension Notice

I’m hip and learned from a piercing article in Tattoo that unemployed spammers spend half their time trolling Twitter and other social networks to try and help or pick up 30-something’s.  So, as Carmen I took joy in making my profile very public. It’s good knowing that a lot of spammers scour these sites looking for hot single moms. I posted my pics from before I had my 4 kids and before the crank took my teeth so, I look pretty good in my profile. Just got an email from an unemployed car salesman in Miami, Florida. He could be the one! But, the businessman from South Africa made a lasting impression with that Queen offer in Benadir.  I had no idea it was so easy to travel to Mogadishu!  Wait, as long as they’re still collecting unemployment benefits in the U.S. bring them on! After I finish this post I’ll head over to CafeMom and surf the boards to see how many people responded to my moonlight ride post. Still looking for a real man to take care of my kids. My welfare check arrives on Friday’s and I can’t wait to buy a new iPhone 3Gs.

honestyWhat’s my point?  Clearly people on-line are not always honest.  More important though is being careful out there with your information.   In my previous post about how to leverage Twitter I did not reinforce the need to block people who randomly want to follow you… especially if they have suspicious motives.  And finally, in surfing the information on the web its disturbing to say the least. The type of information being shared is pretty scary and I often see detailed information about the person and their family.  Or you’ll see links to Facebook proudly displaying H.O.G holiday photos of the kids including geo-tags of their house location along with other content that could be used to identify them. Some of the things people post makes them look completely clueless or like they are sitting at the computer “tweeting” while their kid festers in a dirty diaper. Are single parents really this dumb? As far as I’m concerned, parents posting too much information aren’t really fit to be parents because they put their families at risk or at the very best look like they are wasting time on the computer when they could be doing something productive…. with their kids!

Have to go now. Billy can’t find Jeremy. He’s probably stuck behind the furnace again. *Sigh* Do I have to do everything around here?

Photo taken at CES.  Full Disclosure: Carmen is a fictional character.  Email or comments about a “ride in the moonlight” is barking up the wrong tree.

All Rights Reserved (c) Northwest Harley Blog

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