The cheque’s in the post -ish

I bought a shredder the other day, a good one that cross shreds and turns a handful of pages into confetti. I’m pretty comfortable that there is nothing of a secure nature thrown away in one piece in this household, but there’s no much crap coming through the door nowadays that it’s becoming harder to be sure when putting out the waste paper for recycling. Best to be sure. Shred.

But WTF’s the point, when the government (well, the Civil Service really but still…) shoves a couple of CD’s into the post with your name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and bloody bank account details on it?! Thankfully, hopefully, my bank is a little more secure than a simple password but like many I’ll be watching my statements even more carefully than normally. Sheesh!

I wonder how this will affect the gradual, ever more expensive, chaotic rollout of the National Identity Card? Impervious to fraud? Not while there are idiots involved matey. Trust us, we’re your government.

On a similar vein, I see the first use of the RIPA section 3 has happened. No matter your feelings about animal rights protestors (and not all of them are thugs, vandals and arsonists) it’s now clear that anyone can be arrested (perhaps jailed) for simple forgetfulness. That’s probably not the case here, but if you had a file placed on your computer called, say, jihad_bomb.txt.pgp, or kiddy_pics.jpg.pgp, and the anti-terror boys required you to decode it, and you couldn’t of course because it wasn’t really your file… how would you stay out court? How many of you, us, have played with encryption over the years…? Got all your key phrases? Nope, me neither. Better hope the tech guys at PC Planet don’t find anything on your HDD as they rifle through the almost deleted stuff in the

6 thoughts on “The cheque’s in the post -ish

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  1. I burn my paper in my log burner, no need to buy expensive consumer items and I get a cuppa out of it!
    As for encryption, I’m like the rest of us, can’t figure the damn job out! Ha ha…

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  2. I seem to remember that the US government wouldn’t allow the distribution of any crypto package unless they had the means of cracking any key it produced.

    Mind you, that was some time ago, when I first played with pgp.

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  3. …which is why, when the US administration refused to allow him to market it, Phil Zimmerman simply uploaded the source files for PGP to the Internet. It wasn’t that they could decrypt it – unless that’s what they wanted us to think… /paranoia

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  4. I was astounded (in a ‘post 911’ supposedly ultra security conscious US) that when we applied for passports in 1994 that the USGovt sent them back to us in the regular post with out (required) ORIGINAL birth certificates wrapped around them in a oversize manila envelope with large block letters screaming “PASSPORTS INSIDE!” (may as well have said…”please steal these good folks identity!”)then left them hanging out of our mailbox on the street!

    Sadly, The Universe will always be able to turn out more impressively thick idiots faster than we can idiot proof Government though, so I’m not sure there is much sense trying to fight it.

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  5. Amusingly, Bish, if you google “jihad_bomb.txt.pgp” or “kiddy_pics.jpg.pgp” your site comes as first on google… let’s hope MI5 don’t use google to track down criminal activity:D

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