Shostack + Friends Blog Archive



Knight Errant has a long post, “Tipping My Tinfoil Hat,” in which he makes mention of Choicepoint. And Consumer Affairs has a long article “USA PATRIOT Act Rewards ChoicePoint.”

The IntegraSys corporation’s ID Verification software, for example, cross-checks and references 23 billion data records, including everything from credit report headers to “warm address lists” that target “known sites of fraudulent activity”, such as hotel mailboxes, prisons, P.O. boxes, etc.

I want to write something about the relation of the policeman within, the negative effects of these databases which declare you may only partake of society with a known address. What do the hundreds of thousands of Americans who live in actually mobile homes do? Hire a mail forwarding service. But that’s now “a known site of fraudulent activity.” Could those companies sue for libel, if there’s never been a fraud perpetrated at the site?