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Old Cowboys Never Die 8 February 2001 Edition
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Today I risk the legal wrath of one of the local Internet's most sadly warped characters.

Yes, the original Kiwi Internet Cowboy has raised his sad little head out of the mud and begun spamming again.

Clearly things aren't going too well at the bottom end of the "web diziner" marketplace.

Readers Say
(updated hourly)

Evidence of Misinformation... - Peter

Government Tactics... - Brian

Have Your Say

The reason I risk all kind of legal penalties is because the bottom of our little spammer's message contains the words:

"CAUTION: This communication is confidential and may be legally privileged or subject to copyright. If it is not addressed to you, please immediately contact us at our cost and do not use, disclose, copy, distribute or retain any of it without our authority."

Oh yeah -- send unsolicited junk email and then suggest that it's so important and valuable that it ought to be protected by law.

Why haven't I mentioned this spammer by name? Well it's not because I'm afraid of being sued for defamation -- it's simply because I believe that people like this don't deserve the publicity and free advertising that a link from this site produces.

Oh yes, I wonder if all the web designers he's listed on his site appreciate having their email addresses published for every spambot in creation to pick up and add to their lists?

Did he ask permission to publish this information?

I don't think so. Looks like there are two sets of rules in the cowboy's world.

Government Tactics?
Yesterday the NZ Herald published a story in which it was suggested that work is being done to "soften public resistance to proposed internet surveillance."

Meanwhile, Wired has published a story in which they report suggestions that the CIA and FBI are using the recent alleged online activities of terrorist Osama Bin Laden as a similar excuse to justify the introduction of stronger government controls over encryption and surveillance.

So what's going on here?

Are we once again being treated like children and having "what's good for us" thrust upon us despite our protests -- all in the name of public interest?

This smacks of the kind of tactics that parents have used for years when trying to get their kids to eat some hideously slushy vegetable mush: "Eat your cabbage or you won't grow up to be big and strong."

The funny thing is that I've never heard of any kid who died, or even became ill solely because of "cabbage deficiency."

Could it be that governments around the world are still really worried about the threat the Net poses to their ability to avoid being held up to close scrutiny by the people and are seeking frantically to reign in the almost unbridled freedom it represents to free speech?

No doubt the fanatical extremists will be all in favour of believing the worst of our administration -- but then again, history shows that we should never take anything that those in power thrust upon us solely at face value.

Let us always remember that, in a democracy, a government is elected to carry out the wishes of the people -- not to compromise the rights of the people in favour of the rights of the politicians.

Perhaps it's time we kept a closer eye on things?

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Latest
Security Alerts
Group Warns Against E-Mail Wiretap (AP - 6/02/2001)

Multiple Vulnerabilities in BIND (CERT - 29/01/2001)

Windows Media Player 7 opens system for hackers (IDG - 18/01/2001t)

Net worm hobbles Linux servers ZDNet - 18/01/2001)

Interbase Server Contains Compiled-in Back Door Account (CERT - 10/01/2001)

AIM Flaw Could Open Users' Computers to Attack (InternetNews)

Latest
Virus Alerts
Melissa-X disguised as Mac doc (ZDNet - 22/01/2001)

Kriz virus makes return appearance (ZDNet)

Tool to beat killer Xmas virus promised (IDG)

Virus: Snow White not so innocent ZDNet

Wild Worm With Pro-Linux Message (Wired)

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The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Net access decoder bait
Television New Zealand and TelstraSaturn may offer discount internet access as a way of enticing viewers to fork out for set-top boxes to receive their planned digital service...
NZ Herald

4  Job losses at Brave New World
Online advertising company Brave New World says a "depressed" print design market and slower-than-expected pick-up of web marketing by corporates are to blame for nine job losses amongst its ranks...
NZ Herald

Other

4  Court to Get Control of Sex.net
When the former operator of sex.com lost ownership of the lucrative site, it was just the beginning. He now stands to lose custody of -- and the income from -- dozens of other porn domains under terms of a new court order...
Wired

4  Sony Shows Off LCD's Successor
Thin is in for TV and computer screens, and Sony has an organic electroluminescent (OEL) display a little thicker than a credit card that it hopes will beat rival technologies in retiring the bulky TV tube...
TechWeb

4  Disney chairman expresses interest in Yahoo
In the wake of his company's failure with Go.com, Michael Eisner says he would be willing to buy the "overvalued" online giant if the price were right...
CNet

4  Rock Star Springsteen Loses Cybersquatting Case
The rock star Bruce Springsteen has lost his bid to evict a fan club from an Internet Web site sporting his name, arbitrators ruled on Wednesday...
Yahoo

4  Bin Laden: Steganography Master?
Are the FBI and CIA using reports that Osama bin Laden and others are using messaging scrambling techniques to justify further restrictions of encryption and steganography programs?...
Wired

Australia

4  Kidman dumps Cruise, but grabs domain names
Actress Nicole Kidman has won the right to the domain names www.nicolekidmannude.com and www.nicholekidman.com from a notorious cybersquatter...
Fairfax

4  Law sanctions email spies
A LOOPHOLE in Australia's privacy laws has left email users vulnerable to a new "wiretapping" flaw that allows people to eavesdrop on email messages...
Australian IT

4  Free E-Mail Gone Without a Trace
ZDNet U.K. and Australia shuts down its free e-mail service without notice, and that's only the half of it. Users find themselves unable to retrieve messages or information they'd previously saved to their folders...
Wired

Other

4  Amazon to Charge Publishers for Recommendations
Amazon.com Inc will start charging publishers as much as $10,000 per book title to get the online retailer to recommend their books in email promotions, the Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition on Wednesday...
Yahoo

4  Appeal puts Jackson on the spot
Microsoft's complaints may have paid off. The U.S. Court of Appeals is taking a closer look at Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's courtroom procedures and his post-trial comments to reporters...
ZDNet

4  Men, Young Adults Lead Sex Site Usage - Study
Here's one from the No-Duh Department: Seventy percent of adult Web site visitors were men, according to a new study released today...
Newsbytes

4  Microsoft Admits to Messenger Delays
Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday admitted it experienced problems with the servers that handle the company's instant messaging system, marking the latest in a series of problems with the software giant's Internet-based services...
Yahoo/AP


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Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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