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Monday, August 27, 2007


In another Postal Service matter, the Humane Society of the US filed a lawsuit against the USPS for allowing the mailings of animal fighting paraphernalia, including trade magazines advertising fighting animals for illegal dog and cockfights. Bush even signed the federal Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act in May of 2007 that strengthened the federal law against this horrendous sport. Either the Postal Service’s attorneys are asleep at the switch, or I am right about their new image as another bureaucratic Big Brother. And don’t tell me about the 1st Amendment rights of these people, because this kind of sick individual doesn’t deserve to be protected under any law for the brutality they cause animals just to make a buck. Junk mail industry publication, DM News, quotes Gerry McKiernan, media relations manager at the USPS as saying: "We have given thorough consideration to the material provided by the Humane Society and determined that the magazines in question are still mailable." Pathetic. This case is a companion suit to one filed against for shipping the same kind of literature. Now here’s a guy who says we might have too much privacy. It’s that dumb statement again that, if you don’t read the whole article, you think it’s time to let down your guard in the identity crisis. His name is Phillip Alexander writing on, a security officer for a major financial institution, who is also trying to sell a book. He has some good points, like private information is needed to catch child molesters, but loses me with his flat statement, “there is such a thing as too much data privacy. He makes a ridiculous analogy between the Virginia Tech tragedy, and private information being withheld. The reason Seung-Hui Cho’s (the shooter) data didn’t get to the right people is not a protection against anyone’s privacy, but rather a result of the lobbying efforts of organizations like the National Rifle Assn. (NRA). Sharing and making data available to catch crooks is a good idea, but strict oversight is necessary to avoid abuse over a system that could jeopardize the sensitive data of innocent Americans. Consumers lose confidence in the system. reports that according to the “2007 Consumer Survey on Data Security,” a lot of you folks are modifying your buying habits, even online, because of all the recent data breaches. And rightfully so. The survey conducted by Vontu and Ponemon Institute, two privacy research firms, found that 62 percent of respondents had learned that their private information had been lost. This should even make the other 38 percent very cautious, but it probably won’t. Apathy continues to surround this issue, and it’s not clear today what it will take to change that. Case in point: 84 percent of the 62 percent exhibited increased concern over the loss; should have been 100 percent. And 62 percent would be more upset with incompetence in the loss, than if the data were stolen. Regardless of how your private information gets away from the data handlers, you should be mad enough to not take it anymore.

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