Tag Archives: people suck sometimes

Jeremy Duns, ‘Maria James’, and Julian Assange

It will surprise no one to know that I am a firm and fervent supporter of the right to pseudonymity on the Internet.

Maria James “jerermyduns-watch” 12th September:

It is probably not a surprise that Jeremy Duns and his little club of right-wing thriller writers have accused me of being a man.

Duns has stated clearly that I am Steve Roach.

I guess in his public school/spy circles, a women’s place is in the kitchen, or the bedroom. It obviously has not occured to him that a mere women might be capable of having a debate, and even questioning a man on points of principle.

I note with interest that “Maria James” has a profile on her blogspot, and that links to GooglePlus and doesn’t share anything with anyone. I find this of interest because if I wanted to set up a fake profile for myself that’s exactly what I’d use:

Because they’re worried about trolls faking up Google Plus identities, the folks behind Google Plus have set up a mechanism to report suspect accounts, have them frozen, and demand verification of identity in order to unlock them. Gary Walker went to work and tested this, with predictably hilarious results (well, hilarious if you haven’t just had your GMail account deleted for the temerity of having a name beginning with Mac- or O’-):
….
I’m not going to give you a TL;DR summary of Gary’s findings; let’s just say they’re extremely alarming. Send a poison pen email and you can get an account suspended until the owner verifies their identity by sending a scan of some ID. Use Photoshop to bolt together a fake driving license with a fucking spree killer’s face on it and you can get an account re-enabled. I’m willing to bet that the process for hijacking someone else’s account is not much more complicated.

Now let’s move on to the Twitter conversation today.
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Filed under In The Media

Prisoners and workfare

One3one solutions: Justice working for you – at £2 an hour or less.

Prison costs a lot of money: it’s expensive to lock someone up and keep them under guard. If we’re going to spend that kind of money on keeping people who are a danger to society out of circulation for months or years, we should be investing it sensibly and giving people opportunities to reform.

I think it’s a good thing if a prisoner who’s soon to be released from jail can do day-release work outside, get used to interacting with people outside the prison environment before they actually go out for real. I think prisoners should have options to study and get qualifications in prison. I think we should be investing money in imaginative schemes like a prison restaurant, that give prisoners a chance to learn and get work outside, in trying to make sure that once someone leaves prison, they have more options than when they went in.

But:

Andrew Neilson, from the Howard League for Penal Reform says:

“We do welcome these opportunities [for prisoners to work] but it should be on the same basis as anyone else in the community. We don’t want the issue of prisoners on day release being employed becoming one that divides people and effectively people are turned against those prisoners because they’re seen to be taking people’s jobs. That’s not what should be happening.”

He’s talking about a situation that’s come up with a company called BecomingGreen Continue reading

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Filed under About Food, Corruption, Justice, Poverty, Sustainable Politics

Hacked Knightmare

A few years ago, Sarah Rees Brennan, fantasy author and charming blogger, had her blog and email hacked the day before her first novel was due to be published:

I was very lucky. My friends all leaped into action like an army of trained tech ninjas. As such, I have decided to give them titles. Eimear the Bold, Charlotte the Gentle, Chiara the Resourceful and Bob the Extremely Tall told me exactly what to do, and soon recaptured my email and my livejournal for me.

At that point I discovered that all my emails and contacts had been deleted, along with the seven years’ worth of posts and comments on my livejournal. Not only that, but given timing and other details that I (tech savvy of a lizard!) do not understand, it looks likely that this was malicious.

I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to hurt me like this. (Why people might want to thump me in the back of the head for laughing like a hyena during a movie, well, that’s less of a mystery.) I feel crushed, dismayed and a little tottery on my feet still, but can only resolve to be brave like my ninja friends.

Some people may have wondered whether this was a joke or some strange flight of fancy of mine: let me be very clear. I love this livejournal, and respect and value those who read it, far too much to dream of ever doing such a thing. I don’t make jokes like this.

2,267,233,742 people use the Internet: 32.7% of the world population. Given the numbers, it should surprise no one that though most people are not malicious assholes, some people on the Internet suck.

On 29th July, Santiago Zabala, the ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, mused on the New Statesman blog:

Today if you are not often wired, you do not exist. Like radio and television in other times, the internet has become not only an indispensable tool but also a vital component of our life. It has become so useful, significant, and meaningful for variety of administrative, cultural, and political reasons that a life without it seems unimaginable in the twenty-first century. But the ownership of this interactive life is troubled: when you start seeing interesting advertising on your Gmail banner, personalised ads aimed just at you, your existence has begun to belong to others.

It’s not even been 22 years since Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Wide Web to all of us as the best Christmas present ever.
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Filed under Unanswerable Questions