Sunday, February 19, 2006
How an Oyster card could ruin your marriage
Lipstick on the collar may point to infidelity, but a check of your travel card can reveal where and when it happened
By Steve Bloomfield
Published: 19 February 2006
Oyster cards, the "smart" little blue thing in London commuters' wallets that enable them to travel at will around the capital, have another, unexpected function. They could also be a one-way ticket to the divorce courts.
For the cards, introduced by the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, in 2003, don't only let you on to public transport - they also record your every journey. And, private detectives and lawyers report, that is information the suspicious are accessing to track their partner's movements.
And they are increasingly finding that the night she said she was working late in the City, she was actually hopping off the Northern line at Morden, staying there for some hours, before returning to town at 11.17pm. Or when he said he was playing football on Hackney Marshes his informative little Oyster card reveals that he was really catching a bus in Parsons Green.
The electronic lipstick-on-the-collar is revealed to anyone - the holder or their partner - who takes the card to a machine on the Underground or keys in its serial number on a website to get a read-out of every journey taken in the past 10 weeks.
One private investigator said: "Oyster cards won't tell you that the bloke's been cheating on his wife, but it will show if he's been in one part of town when he's supposed to be somewhere else. It is an easy thing to confront your partner with. It doesn't look like you've been snooping around too much."
The use of the cards is the latest weapon in the growing high-tech arsenal of tools used by suspicious partners. A telltale sign such as lipstick on the collar has been replaced by technological snooping such as placing a tracking device on a mobile phone.
Several internet sites now offer mobile phone tracking as a service to worried parents keen to know the whereabouts of their child. But private investigators said spouses who suspect that their partner is cheating are increasingly using mobile phone tracking sites.
Although an SMS message is sent to the mobile that is being tracked confirming the process, if this is deleted before the "target" sees it he or she has no way of knowing they are being followed.
Peter Heims, spokesman for the Association of British Investigators, said technology was transforming the private detective industry.
"Trackers are used on husbands all the time," he said. "You can get one with a magnetic bottom which you stick to the underside of the car. It will track the vehicle via satellite and is accurate to within 10 feet. A lot of companies now use this to check where their travelling salesmen have been."
From software that records every single tap on your lover's keyboard to DIY lie-detector kits, the market for catching a cheating spouse is now bigger than ever.
A company called OverSpy will let you monitor everything your partner does on computer by sending you email reports of the websites visited and emails sent.
Another firm has software that allows someone to retrieve secretly text messages deleted from a partner's phone. All that's needed is the SIM card.
A quick search reveals more than 14,000 websites that will help uncover a partner's infidelities, whether it is opening letters secretly or tapping a partner's mobile answerphone.
Proving adultery is no longer necessary for a court to grant a divorce. But the growth in technology in this area has enabled partners to check their suspicions in a way that was never possible before.
Divorce lawyers said they were sceptical that Oyster cards would be used in divorce proceedings, but accepted that it could lead more people to realise their relationship was over.
Lisa Fabian Lustigman, a family lawyer at city firm Withers LLP, said: "I would never instruct a private investigator to try to track down someone's Oyster card records to prove adultery. I don't think it would be overwhelmingly helpful."
But it has already happened in Hong Kong, where a similar scheme was introduced eight years ago. Suspicious husbands and wives obtained print-outs of their spouse's travel card to use as evidence in divorce proceedings. In the former British colony, the "smart" cards are used for shopping as well.
If London follows Hong Kong's example, Oyster cards will soon become even more useful for the distrusting partner.
Transport bosses in London hope to expand the concept here, allowing card holders to pay for their shopping in nearly 4,000 shops with their travel card. The records of where a person has shopped, as well as where they have travelled, will then be stored on the card.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Well well well. Here we have some americans who are saying that the middle east oil companies should be boycotted, until 'they act like us'. Of course, everyone everywhere is saying that YOU Matt Holland and your countrymen should act like the rest of the world, and until you do so YOU and YOUR COUNTRY and its CURRENCY should be boycotted. I think this is entirely correct. A world that is bipolar, like a magnet, is a good thing. Magnetic Monopoles, unnatural in the marcro world, should be shunned. That means, no New World Order, no world government, and no trading with people that cannot bring themselvs to behave (ie not murder indiscriminately for money). That means no Islamic republic or Islamic Monarchy dealing in any way with non Islamic countries. It means the entire world boycotting the usa. It means the usa, totally minding its own business in every way, including not dumping its billions of charity dollars on other countries. I wonder what people like True Majority, who call for a boycott of other peoples countries just because they choose to govern in a different way to the usa, would think about a world wide shunning of the usa over its imperialist aggression. Would they be in favour of it? Would they even call for it? Now that would be something.
Support Democracy, not the Middle East
Want an easy way to help America's poor stay warm this winter? Buy Citgo gasoline.
Of the top oil producing countries in the world, only one is a democracy with a president who was elected on a platform of using his nation's oil revenue to benefit the poor.1 The money you pay to Citgo goes primarily to Venezuela - not Saudi Arabia or the Middle East.
"Citgo is not just another oil company," says Citgo CEO Felix Rodriguez. "With Venezuela's state oil company, of which we are a subsidiary, we share a broad social mission." So buy Citgo gasoline and support democracy in South America:
And this winter Citgo is helping out less fortunate Americans, too.
You already may have seen the headlines about how Citgo, unlike every other oil company in the U.S., is making cut-rate heating oil available to struggling families in the Northeast. The Energy Department predicts a nearly 26 percent jump in heating costs this winter compared with last year,2 and despite a year of record oil company profits, the country's heating oil assistance fund is falling behind.3
Citgo has stepped in to help out. They're selling heating oil at discounted rates to poorer communities in Massachusetts and the Bronx, NY, and working on deals to keep low-income homes in Rhode Island and Vermont warm, too.
So while you're out on the road this month, you can help some fellow Americans by filling your tank with Venezuelan gas. Here's a link to find the nearest one of the 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the U.S.:
Find the Citgo station closest to your home address.
Naturally, if you can get where you're going without a car, do so. And we'll continue to work for a country with more renewable energy options. But in the meantime, help your Northeast neighbors by supporting Citgo when you drive.
Find the Citgo station closest to your home address:http://www.truemajority.org/find_station.php
Thanks for all that you do,
Matt Holland TrueMajority
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
By Ollie Stone-Lee BBC News political reporter
UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files.
Windows Vista is due to be rolled out later this year. Cambridge academic Ross Anderson told MPs it would mean more computer files being encrypted.
He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions.
The Home Office later told the BBC News website it is in talks with Microsoft.
Professor Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge University, was giving evidence to the Commons home affairs select committee about time limits on holding terrorism suspects without charge.
He said: "From later this year, the encryption landscape is going to change with the release of Microsoft Vista."
The system uses BitLocker Drive Encryption which can be linked to a chip called TPM (Trusted Platform Module) in the computer's motherboard.
The system is aimed at preventing tampering with computers but it would also help prevent people from downloading unlicensed films or media.
"This means that by default your hard disk is encrypted by using a key that you cannot physically get at...
"An unfortunate side effect from law enforcement is it would be technically fairly seriously difficult to dig encrypted material out of the system if it has been set up competently."
Professor Anderson said people were discussing the idea of making computer vendors ensure "back door keys" to encrypted material were made available.
The Home Office should enter talks with Microsoft now rather than when the system is introduced, he said.
He said encryption tools generally were either good or useless.
"If they are good, you either guess the password or give up," he said.
The committee heard that suspects could claim to have lost their encryption key - although juries could decide to let this count this against them in the same way as refusing to answer questions in a police interview.
A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office has already been in touch with Microsoft concerning this matter and is working closely with them."
Increased awareness about high-tech crime and computer crime has prompted the Home Office to talk to IT companies regularly about new software.
Government officials look at the security of new systems, whether they are easy for the general public to hack into and how the police can access material in them. [...]
Convinced yet?If you run Vista, you are a total fool. Not only will you need new, crippled harware to run it, but it will be compromised out of the box. Does HMG REALLY think that M$ is going to make a double-crippled version just for the UK, and that if this happened, that the machines would be unpatchable, or that no one would order a demi-crippled copy of Vista from abroad? Does anyone think that the NSA has not already had a meeting just like this with M$? And finally, in true BBQ style, they misrepresent Ross Anderson by saying that, "He urged the government to look at establishing "back door" ways of getting around encryptions." This is his position in his own words:
4. Jack | February 15th, 2006 at 17:11
Yes, I?m curious about this as well. It?s not every day that a security expert calls for a backdoor!
However, I see from your webpage that you are no fan of ?trusted? computing. Is that, perhaps, why you are calling for a back door in Vista? So that Vista users will be able to circumvent the restrictions enforced on them by TCPA, by obtaining their own private key?
5. Ross Anderson | February 15th, 2006 at 17:12
I?m in favour of court-mandated shortcuts past rights-management systems, on competition-policy grounds. In our APIG submission I wrote ?In cases of abuse, judges must be able to order rights-management mechanisms unlocked?.
I don?t see the Vista security mechanisms as being security for me, but as security for them. It?s just not the same as the key escrow debates of the 1990s - in which I opposed key escrow on principle. The technology?s being used for different things here.
If you want privacy, use PGP - or better still, some low-observable communication technology, such as throwaway prepaid mobile phones or webmail accounts
[...] is there any chance of giving us a bit more detail into your proposals for backdoors?
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Why You Should Resist the National ID Card
This piece focuses on the introduction of the British national ID card but the same principles can be applied in any country.
1) A government engaging in escalating criminal actions and becoming more and more secretive should not be watching and tracking us as if we're all criminals. The same goes for CCTV surveillance. That's not freedom. Would you let a convicted murderer and pedophile watch your child 24/7?
The often peddled mantra of 'why should you care if you have nothing to hide?' is manifestly ridiculous in light of the fact that we have a government that has everything to hide and yet we're the ones under suspicion.
Should it concern us that our government shredded hundreds of thousands of documents before a 1st January Freedom of Information deadline? Why should the government care about freedom of information if they have nothing to hide?
But they did care enough to order this mass shredding.
We are told by the government to make our lives completely transparent or go to jail while the government itself becomes more secretive than ever before.
Why should they know everything about me when they won't tell me anything about them?
Would you walk up to a gang of criminals and give them your credit card and PIN number?
2) The government told us that the ID card would make our information more secure. Blair said this would protect, not infringe our liberties. And how did they propose paying for it? By selling the information of 44 million British citizens to private companies. How secure is that?
3) As a perspective on how governing powers use ID cards, consider the fact that residents of Fallujah in Iraq were finger scanned, given retina scans and ID cards just to be able to leave and enter the village. Every citizen is treated as a potential insurgent and is given an ID card. Is that how our government views us all, as potential insurgents?
So, what do you have to hide? is the wrong question. The question should be, why does the government need to know everything about me?
4) ID cards will not stop terrorism. Even the Home Secretary Charles Clarke admitted it after the London bombings. In addition, the Blair government has been caught faking terror alerts to push through increased power. Firstly in the case of the Ricin plot that never was and also an attack on Canary Wharf which was admitted to be totally scripted. Furthermore, the so-called London bombing mastermind was an MI6 asset. Reams of evidence point to the bombings being an inside job, one of the purposes of which was making British people accept ID cards. Large scale terrorist atrocities worldwide always lead back to government perpetrators. In this instance it is important to recall Herman Goering's quote,
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
5) Top criminologists have gone public to say that ID cards will actually result in an increase in identity theft, not a decrease as the government claims.
6) The introduction of the national ID card is one step further towards the mandatory implantation of ID chips in all British citizens. Does this sound outlandish? Implantable chip technology has been in existence for a decade and discussions on ID chipping humans is in the news regularly. Tommy Thompson, the former Health and Human Services Secretary in the Bush administration, had a chip implanted and is now touring the country lauding the virtues of ID chips. During the the confirmation hearings for John Roberts Jr., George W. Bush's nominee for Supreme Court chief justice, Roberts was questioned by Senator Joseph R. Biden on whether he would rule against a mandatory implantable microchip to track American citizens.
7) The purpose of government is to serve the people, not control them. Any scheme of national registration is alien to the basic fundamental principles of a supposed free country.
BBC Poll: 75% Oppose UK ID Cards On Security Grounds
Far from being in the minority, a BBC website poll shows that 75% don't believe that ID cards will make the UK safer.
The government has been caught in the past manipulating phone polls to make it appear as if the majority of the country supports the introduction of ID cards when this is clearly not the case. [...]BBQ.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Here we go....
He said the plans would prevent "one of the central features of terrorist activity", which is criminals' use of multiple identities.
The central feature of terrorist activity is the unrestrained violence of USUK against people in other countries. Period.
One 11 September hijacker used 30 false identities to obtain credit cards and $250,000, he said.
This is a private matter between lenders and fraudsters. It is not the state's responsibilyt to underwrite identity, and of course, this has NOTHING to do with 'terrorism'. The instant response will be, "they use these fradulently obtained monies to fund terrorist actifities". I call bullshit; these guys have no problem getting money from donations. This is not an issue.
"Since then the problem has, if anything, worsened," he said. "Over the last few years the major terrorist suspects arrested, typically, have had up to 50 false identities each." [...]None of this has anything to do with eliminating the motivation behind 'terrorism'. A determined man with legitimate paperwork (as was the case in Spain - see how they leave out examples that do not support their bogus argumens) can do literally anything that a person with 100 false identities can. You are going to have to do MUCH better than this you total idiot!
Single security budget
The issue of glorification of terrorism will go before MPs on Wednesday - and Mr Brown warned that opposition to the plans would "send the wrong signal".
He said no-one should be able to "publicly celebrate and glorify what happened in London" following the 7 July, 2005 bombings.
"If we withdraw glorification from the definition of indirect incitement, or from the grounds for proscribing organisations, as is being proposed by opponents this week, this would send the wrong signal that we could not reach a consensus on how serious this issue of glorification is."
what??!?! the serious matter in this is VIOLENCE not 'the issue of glorification' The serious issue is senseless unjustified, unilateral, illegal, immoral VIOLENCE, as perpetrated by USUK. No one cares what consensus you do or do not reach. As long as you continue to prod that hornets nest, you are going to upset the hornets. Simple.
Mr Brown also said he was considering the possibility of a single security budget. [...]
WOW. My emphasis, in bold and observaions in italics. Note the heading of this section, and how it only refers to the last sentence of the section!
How does that song by The Who go? "Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss". This wont go on forever...that is for certain.
The disclosure to the Guardian came as Mr Blair was flying home from South Africa overnight to vote this evening to introduce compulsory ID cards and give ministers powers to order all motorists to replace their driving licence with a new one requiring a biometric ID card.
Brian Gladwin, from Worcester, now a security consultant to US government agencies, said Mr Blair and the home secretary had got it wrong when they accused critics of producing "a technically incompetent report" on ID cards. They had accused the report's main author, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics, Simon Davies, of bias because he is also a director of Privacy International, a human rights group that opposes ID cards.
Now Dr Gladwin, who led research into protecting foreign spies from compromising the country's most secure communciations system, has written to Mr Blair saying he was the author of the sections of the report dealing with safety and security. He pointed out that the "technically incompetent" data was subject to review by the LSE before publication by two "independent information security experts, both of whom are internationally recognised for their expertise".
He warns the new database will "create safety and security risks for all those whose details are entered on the system".
In a damning blow to ministers' claims of bias, he tells Mr Blair "in case you think that I am an opponent of ID cards, I should point out that I support an irrevocably voluntary, self-funded ID card scheme".
He reveals he would rather pay fines than join a compulsory scheme, saying "it is shameful that those who are less well-off will be forced to put themselves at serious risk for a system that serves no purpose that cannot be achieved in other, more effective and less costly ways". [...]
Interesting, how the authors of a 'sexed up dossier' have the gall to accuse someone else of producing an 'incompetent report'. But then again, compare that to having the guts to committ mass murder in front of the whole world, well, its nothing isnt it?