Thursday, 23 July 2009

Gary Mckinnon? What the hell......

Why all the fuss over Gary McKinnon? Now there is a record being made in his support, I thought he had been found guilty? He admits hacking into the systems, but not to the extent that is claimed by the Americans, but he did do it. So why all the fuss over him, Marillion offered to do a concert, Dave Gilmour, Chrissy Hynde (Hi chris!), Bob Geldorf among others are all offering support, but why?
Read the following extract...

Representing McKinnon in the House of Lords on 16 June 2008, David Pannick QC told the Law Lords that the prosecutors had said McKinnon faced a possible 8-10 years in jail if he contested the charges (there were seven counts), but only 37-46 months if he co-operated and went voluntarily to the US. McKinnon also claimed that he had been told that he could serve part of his sentence in the UK if he co-operated. He had rejected the plea bargain offer as no guarantee had been given by the Americans.

So if the yanks had guaranteed he could do his time in the UK, he would have gone for it, this means that all those stars are supported a convicted felon. Does this mean that if I rob a bank in New York and leg it home, then get caught, the stars will support my request that I serve my time over here instead of the USA?

Or have I missed something here, Gary is trying everything to wriggle out of being sent to the states, Aspergers?? Autism?? I dont think he is doing those causes any good at all. But I dont blame him, he will get a much easier time here, but whatever happpened to 'If you cant do the time, dont do the crime' He knew what would happen if he got caught, and now he is upset. Well I hope I get the same treatment if I ever decide to break the law.

Unless of course, I really have missed a point here.....

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Secrets and confidentiality.

Recently I had a conversation with an old friend, we worked together as chauffeurs many moons ago, the topic of people selling their stories to the papers and computer security came up. Both of us know some details of famous peoples private lives that would be, if not earth shattering, of interest to the papers or certain magazines. There seems to have been a lot of people who have worked for famous people willing to sell their 'story' for money, I could never do that, it seems to me that there is no loyalty or discretion these days.
Now, as you may have gathered, I have a bit of a 'thing' about secrets and confidentiality, there should always be a degree of discretion in whatever you do, if you work for someone you have a duty to be discreet, I sometimes fix computers for people and have a reputation for being 'discreet' about personal photos etc. To be honest as long as it doesn't break the law I'm not interested in what people do in their private lives, but recently I have heard a lot of about 'private' photos being posted on various internet sites. I know of a site that had some pictures from a stolen camera posted on it, the soft porn pictures were removed when a work colleague of the girl in the pictures spotted them on the site.

The classic case is of course Gary Glitter, he took his pc into PC world and they found pictures that were wrong and illegal, they reported it and the rest is history, but that is an extreme case, quite a large majority of people have details and pictures that they would consider private and would not like to see posted on the internet, so why is their security so lax? Most people think having a complex password in windows is enough to deter anyone who wanted to look at the hard drive, it surprises them to see how fast I can get into their laptop or desktop when they have forgotten their password.
The number of people who pass on their old computers without removing the hard drives is ridiculous! The only way to be sure, unless you are an expert like me, that no one will recover your private or deleted data, is to remove and destroy the hard drive. I have recovered drives for people and they are quite surprised when I also recover old data, that they thought had been permanently deleted. Hard drives are so cheap now, it makes sense to replace it with a new one before passing on the computer.
I ws recently given an SD card for a camera, supposedly securely wiped, my friend was most surprised when I told him when he had been to Venice (the dates on the pictures told me when), I recovered his holiday snaps to demonstrate how easy it is to recover the 'destroyed' pictures.

People in the public eye should realise though that some people think that they are fair game, if you are in the media a lot you must be aware that the press would be interested in everything you do, keeping an affair or clandestine meeting away from them is nigh on impossible. Yes they are entitled to a private life, but they must understand that the public has an insatiable thirst for gossip, this makes it difficult for anyone in the public eye to have a normal life.

And the point I'm trying to make? It appears to me that a lot of people would sell out their employers or even their friends for money, so be careful what you do, you never know who is watching or has access to your data and how well do you know the guy in the computer repair shop......

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

More rambling for the main man!

Sorry its been awhile, I have been busy...... so lets get on with it.

Slowly, inexorably our rights as citizens are being erroded away, from Westminister council not listening to people about parking charges for motorbikes, to the fact that MP's thought they could get away with their expenses without us noticing and just about ever other aspect of our lives. We elect our MP's and council officials to represent us, not burden us with extortionate taxes, not suppress us with laws designed 'for our good' or to control us. They are not there to rule, but administer, they are not there to tell us what to do, but to listen to us. Even the way officials are elected is designed to keep out people they do not want in with them, at least not without a disportionate amount of work and money.

Whoever we vote in to government or council should be there to represent us, yet our government seems to bent on controlling every aspect of our lives, freedom? What price 'this' freedom? we can barely move around the country without our every move being watched, we are tracked constanly 24 hours aday, yet has this made any impact on crime figures? I dont think so. What about terrorism?
This is a tricky one, officials say it makes a big difference in the 'war on terrorism' but we, citizens, have no way of guaging that, as we are not privy to any intelligence information, so we could be told they have stopped an alien invasion and we would be no more the wiser.

I do understand the value of keeping intelligence information secret, I know it would be pretty stupid to broadcast details of operations, it just does not feel right to me the way they just keep sucking money out of the kity without anyone, outside of the circle, knowing where the money is going.

More and more money is poured into keeping track of ordinary people, serious criminals have ways of staying outside the system, if you have money and dont want to be tracked you can make it happen. This means that, in the majority, the only people caught by this massive surveilance system are minor criminals, people who make silly mistakes, speeders and illegal parkers.
I wonder how many 'serious' criminals have been caught by these cameras?

We are watched constantly, we are tracked everywhere, through our passports, through our number plates and through any credit/debit card. The government can access any of this information, never mind the DPA, that is a joke, if somebody wanted to find out anything about you, using the surveilance system could reveal some very interesting things about you.

It is only a few of us that find this worrying?