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HTMLfixIT Archive for the ‘Phishing and Criminal Behavior’ Category

Friday, October 27th, 2006 by Gary reports “a Perth-based company and its director has been fined $5.5 million for sending spam emails.”

The fine levied against Clarity1 Pty Ltd and its director is pretty significant, not only because of the price tag on the fine but because it is the first time an Australian company has been fined under the Spam Act since it became an Australian federal law in 2003. Looks like this law has some teeth after all!

If my maths is correct, a $5,500,000 fine for sending 280,000,000 unsolicited e-mails works out to nearly two cents per message. I’m not confident that sales income from spam sent would have covered this operating expense, but still my in-box expands……

1 Comment »

Thursday, May 11th, 2006 by Don

This case is interesting because it involves the use of technology first to join two people who did not belong together, and then to break them apart. First an Indiana man allegedly met a 13 year old girl on the internet. She claimed to be 18 and had sexually suggestive material on the site according to the website. They agreed to meet and fortuitously the man gave out his cell phone number to the girl’s friend. When police decided to track them down, they then used the ability to track that cell phone to find where they were driving and stop the car. It is impressive that within two hours of the girl joining up with the man, the police can access this information and track his whereabouts with sufficient specificity to stop the vehicle.


Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 by Don

Anywhere you turn in life you must be vigilant to guard against people seeking to take advantage of you. Sales of big ticket items, such as automobiles on the internet are very suceptable to scammers because the payoff from a successful scam is of sufficient size to make it worth your while.

The other night my son asked me why vehicle pictures on ebay had the license plates masked. I do not know the real answer, but I would guess it is because it is an unneccessary bit of personal information that could lead to identity theft.

The rules are still the same …
1. anything too good to be true is too good to be true ….
and when you decide not this time it is not,
2. go back to rule number one!


Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 by Don

In a repeat of prior news … Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has a security hole and a third party has released a patch to fix it prior to Microsoft doing so. What takes a company with the resources at their disposal longer than a third party? The current active scripting hole allows a site that you visit to install spyware. Now there is a pleasant thought.

Do yourself a favor, get Firefox and support Mozilla.

1 Comment »

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006 by Don

We have written in the past about the effect on employment that blogging may have. Now we see a school district taking action to place a bright student in an alternative education program as a result of a parody site that he did on

From the limited facts presented, it appears to be a serious case of overreaction by the school. People sometimes need to vent. On the other hand, at what point are you disrespecting authority? Interesting questions.

Also in recent news, a Judge who had ordered several teenages not to drink posted pictures of themselves and friends getting wasted and made fun of the Judge in the process. He happened onto the blog sites, and given the picture evidence, he put them in jail for disregarding his orders.

One of the effects of this type of conduct is that kids are going from the open forum blogs to the more restricted closed forums like

Let’s start today with a list of people who face consequences for blogging. Drop a comment below if you know of a case where someone lost a job, got sanctioned by an employer or school system, or got put in jail as a result of exercising speech on the internet. At a later time we can try to make sense of it. If you see the page, how about a screenshot of it? Say you have it and I’ll be in touch.

Update 1: Students are disciplined from extra-curricular activities as a result of pictures of a drinking party when those pictures are placed on myspace.

Update 2: Here is another one. Appears to be a growing fad. In this case two students are apparently jailed after posting threats of violence in their school.

1 Comment »

Friday, January 27th, 2006 by Don

A worm virus called Kama Sutra is alleged to be on the uptick. It will supposedly hit infected computers on the 3rd day of a month, with many expected to start next month. The payload will be an attempt to delete all PDF, Powerpoint, Word, Excel and Access files. To be straight, we should all have those files regularly backed up to a cd or other removable media regularly anyway — now shouldn’t we? Of course we get busy and forget, so take this as your reminder. Take an extra step and use this weekend for a backup. Burn a cd. You may not have the worm anyway if, like me, you “you practice safe computing,” but your hard drive will fail eventually, you will delete something accidentally. So make this your backup weekend.

1 Comment »

Thursday, January 26th, 2006 by Don

This week a Michigan Court of Appeals panel upheld two lower courts who ruled that the act of copying a file containing child pornography will make you responsible for a 20 year felony of making pornography, instead of the four year offense of possessing it. This means that any person viewing child pornography would be guilty of the 20 year offense because your computer will copy the files being viewed to your internet cache. While it is hard to feel sympathy towards someone committing child pornography violations, one wonders if the law was not intended for people making multiple copies for distribution, not someone making their own copy of something they downloaded from a Russian website as was the case for the copied material here. Of course the intent is insignificant if the law is not written consistent with that intent. You can read about the decision in the paper here, or view the case here in pdf format.

The paper article says:

In a written opinion signed by justices William B. Murphy, Brian K. Zahra and Janet T. Neff, the appeals court stated: “(W)hen one ‘makes’ a ‘copy’ or ‘reproduction’ of a picture or image showing children engaged in sexual acts, he or she has made child sexually abusive material, which, according to (Michigan law), is a felony punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.”

Comments Off on Merely copying a file containing pornography constitutes making pornography

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