Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Choicepoint, Two Minutes Hate

This was going to be a roundup, but heck, There’s a backlog of hate, and I must post.

  • Under the headline, “Who let Jeb Bush and ChoicePoint into the UK?” ‘Brother Rail Gun of Desirable Mindfulness’ points to a BBC story, “Hundreds wiped off vote register.”
  • An oldy-but-I-Hadn’t-linked, Adrift at Sea comments in “Bleeding Edge Technology:”

    I don’t know if ChoicePoint or any of its subsidiaries are actually involved in the development or deployment of the new passports for the United States, but given the track record of DHS and of these companies, I would rather stick with more basic, less technologically advanced security methods for now.

  • Juxtapostition asks “A message to ChoicePoint customers: just how helpful is the data you are buying?:”

    A great point that has been lost in a lot of the reporting. Just how useful is the service they provide when they were spoofed over 50 times by fraudulent users?

    These companies always beg the question of which entities are authorized to be their customers to “legitimately” obtain this kind of sensitive data about people? What would stop me from paying to get the data on anyone they had? What criteria would they establish to prevent just anyone from getting at this data? Or, do they not care as long as you have the cash?

  • Unmarketing has a long post, which I’ll excerpt unfairly:

    In fact, it was a passing remark made by a ChoicePoint representative, who said, in effect (because I didn’t write it down):

    Americans have the right to privacy, but no longer have the right to anonymity.

    As a private citizen, this made me blanch. This made me sick. This, in short, pissed me off.

    He also points to Infinisource, who, back in 2001, examined her Choicepoint file in “A Sample ChoicePoint FBI Dossier:”

    Just for fun, if a rough accounting of the report I received is done by giving each correct entry a point, deducting a point for each error and ignoring omissions then my ChoicePoint report was only 56% accurate.

  • No link, but in the Wall Street Journal Monday June 13, there’s a story on Wal Mart “rescinding” its retirement package for ex-executive Thomas Coughlin. Coughlin’s package was worth about $12m. Coughlin has not resigned from the board of…Choicepoint.
  • If you think hatred of Choicepoint is only here, take a gander at the LiveJournal “Awake and Dreaming – Still far from shores I’ve yet to reach

    I’ve been getting a lot of attention from ladies online recently. I’ve been talking to one for about a week who lives in Gwinnett. The only problem is she works for Choicepoint (for those of you who don’t know, that’s the company that got in trouble for selling lots of people’s personal information to people posing as government entities or something), and although she’s not ugly, she doesn’t attract me too much.

  • To close, in stark contrast to the outporing of hate for Choicepoint, we offer up Two Minutes Hate from Choicepoint employee Jason Fayling, blogging at “Dude, Where’s My Car?” Jason offers up “Linux Sucks:”

    I have been playing around with Linux lately. Specifically Red Hat FedoraCore 3. Let me tell you, for those who fear Linux will over come Windows. Fear Not! Linux Sucks! I spent my entire weekend last week trying to install that piece of junk. I finally got it to install after my 7th attempt, but even still, my sound card doesnt work. Granted, I am trying to run Linux inside Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, a virtual machine software, but that is because I am not willing to do a dual boot from my laptop. I had to get a hacked Linux kernel to get it to run within the virtual machine. What amazes me is how anybody gets anything done in Linux at all. There are so many CRYPTIC commands. For example, if you want to rename a file in Linux you use the mv command. What the heck is that all about?

2 comments on "Choicepoint, Two Minutes Hate"

  • Ed says:

    Come on, Adam; this firestorm of ChoicePoint negativity is disrupting my settling down to some cocoa and peacefully reading Richard Baich’s “Winning as a CISO”… I’m just up to the part where he talks about the right way to handle a security incident.

  • What’s funny about the CP PR on privacy versus anonymity is that it comes right after the Supreme Court revisted the right to anonymity and concluded that it still existed…even after 9/11.

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