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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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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)

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
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4  Amazon to Charge Publishers for Recommendations
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4  Appeal puts Jackson on the spot
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4  Men, Young Adults Lead Sex Site Usage - Study
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4  Microsoft Admits to Messenger Delays
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Copyright © 2001, Bruce Simpson, free republication rights available on request

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