Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Small Bits: Ameritrade, Tax & web privacy, revolution, medicine

  • It turned out someone I had dinner with last night had gotten an Ameritrade letter. According to her, Amertrade is not offering credit monitoring service.* “Lotus, Surviving A Dark Time,” has some good analysis:

    Well, duh with a PR stamp. How could they have heard of any such “misuse?” If customers had any bad experiences, how would they know it had anything to do with their Ameritrade account, since they weren’t told of the problem? And why did it take the company over two months to notify those potentially affected?

    [Update: This story at Computerworld says that Ameritrade is offering monitoring.]

  • At BoingBoing, Xeni reports a SF Chron story, Intuit & HRBlock’s “Web bugs may break law:”

    “The law states that it’s a misdemeanor for any company ‘to disclose any information obtained in the business of preparing federal or state income tax returns or assisting taxpayers in preparing those returns, including any instance in which this information is obtained through an electronic medium.'”

  • GetLuky comments on “Social” Services as an Inversion of Traditional Privacy. Interesting read, I’d love to hear more of his thoughts on privacy as autonomy, and the value of actual or apparent control. That is, offers access, correction, and other bits that Choicepoint does not.

    As an aside, what a nice trackback link. Why does MT insist on a new, complex link, instead of just appending /trackback/?

  • Mutualist Blog, specializing in “Free Market Anti-Capitalism” has an interesting article on “The Revolution is Not Being Televised.

    The alternative model that Holloway presents (according to Ross), centered on such decentralized grass-roots movements as the Zapatistas and the post-Seattle movement, has been analyzed under various names since the ’90s. The Zapatistas were taken as the leading example of this kind of “netwar” back in the ’90s, in a Rand study by David Ronfeldt and others. The idea was, by using the internet as an organizing tool, to put together ad hoc coalitions with little advance notice, and either to put together mass demonstrations in support of the Zapatistas or overwhelm (or “swarm”) government with phone calls, emails, letters, and generalized public pressure, than it could possibly cope with. Ronfeldt et al expressed their dismay in language quite similar to that used by Samuel Huntington in his 1970s lamentation over the “excess of democracy” and “crisis of governability.”

  • Thoughtcriminal Scrivner objects to medical experts reversing their advice as IngSoc is refined to greater heights of knowledge. TC Scrivner suggests that experts should explain themselves, leading to confusion on the part of the people. Room 101, Michael Moore.

One comment on "Small Bits: Ameritrade, Tax & web privacy, revolution, medicine"

  • Gordon says:

    Hi Adam,
    I found your reference via technorati – apparently, wordpress may have not let your trackback pass through its spam filters, because i’ve only gotten one trackback to that post so far. So unfortunately, although it looks cleaner, wordpress may have some bugs with the trackbacks. 🙂
    I’ve been doing some more thinking about this topic of social services and their relation to privacy, and will definitely link back to your post when I do so.
    Thanks for reading!
    -Gordon Luk
    P.s. It’s, without the c. Just like my last name. 🙂

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