TECHNOLOGY: Privacy in social networking; None!

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 09:18:36 -0400

From: reinke ferdinand
Subject: Plain Dealer sparks ethical debate by unmasking anonymous poster

Plain Dealer sparks ethical debate by unmasking anonymous poster
By Henry J. Gomez, *The Plain Dealer*, 26 Mar 2010

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By unmasking an anonymous poster at its companion website, The Cleveland Plain Dealer finds itself in an ethical quandary, stirring a debate that balances the public’s need to know against the privacy concerns of online participants.

The newspaper traced the identity of `lawmiss’ after someone using that moniker left a comment about the mental state of a relative of reporter Jim Ewinger. The comment was removed for violating’s community rules, which do not allow personal attacks.

Users are required to register with a valid e-mail address before posting at Upon learning of the Ewinger issue Monday, an online editor looked up lawmiss’s e-mail address, which like all others, is accessible through software used to post stories to the website.

“It does raise the question of the wisdom and fairness of the newspaper using the registration system of the website for reporting purposes,” Steele said in a telephone interview.

The newspaper’s decisions could have a chilling effect on conversation at, said Rebecca Jeschke of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online privacy rights group.

“I would think twice before participating in a message board where I had to give my e-mail address knowing that management could access it at any time,” Jeschke said. “It seems appropriate in this case, but … it’s hard not to imagine scenarios where it’s abused.”

Other news organizations already hide such information from their editorial staff, said Steve Yelvington, a strategist for Morris Digital Works, the online division of Morris Communications. The company runs 13 daily newspapers in Florida, Georgia, Texas and other states. “We are careful to firewall our business records from our journalists,” Yelvington said.

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Regardless of where one comes down on the issue of Internet privacy (IMHO there ain’t none), or how much should you trust anything on the inet (IMHO zero trust), and technology in general (IMHO we give boobs the equivalent of loaded guns and they are astonished when some one gets hurt), this was completely preventable.

Use a “disposable” e-mail account!

Haven’t these people ever heard of GMAIL? No invitation required now! You can even use multiple ones! Ask any “child” who wants to break free from Mom and Dad’s supervision. That’s without even getting “tricky” of using one of the “disposable websites that create e-mail addresses that only work for a very limited time; perfect for “e-mail validation” requirements. If Chinese bloggers can hide form their oppressive regime, then we can conclude that most of us who want “privacy” can figure out a way to do it. In this case, the technology-naive are getting a very expensive education in “technology”.

And, this wasn’t even the government seeking to find out who made a nasty comment. Wait till the Internet-using public says something the government doesn’t like. Such as “taxes are too high”, “the <insert favorite government agency> is inept, corrupt, or stupid”, or quote Jefferson, Lysander Spooner, or Sam Adams. Then, the proctology exam will begin.

Replies will b

POLITICAL: Social Security; a Ponzi scheme benefiting politicians and bureaucrats

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Q4: Is it true that Social Security was originally just a retirement program?

A: Yes. Under the 1935 law, what we now think of as Social Security only paid retirement benefits to the primary worker. A 1939 change in the law added survivors benefits and benefits for the retiree’s spouse and children. In 1956 disability benefits were added.

Keep in mind, however, that the Social Security Act itself was much broader than just the program which today we commonly describe as “Social Security.” The original 1935 law contained the first national unemployment compensation program, aid to the states for various health and welfare programs, and the Aid to Dependent Children program.

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What were the voters of that age thinking? I understand the Great Depression was a terrible terrible time. And, I realize that they didn’t know about the FED. And, I realize that they didn’t understand that the Smoot Hawley tariffs caused it.

But, boy, what a classic blunder!

Now the gooferment seeks to try to convince us “it wasn’t intended to be our only retirement resource”! With IRAs, 401Ks, and a lot of prayer.

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President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act, at approximately 3:30 pm EST on August 14, 1935.[9] Standing with Roosevelt are Rep. Robert Doughton (D-NC); unknown person in shadow; Sen. Robert Wagner (D-NY); Rep. John Dingell (D-MI); unknown man in bowtie; the Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins; Sen. Pat Harrison (D-MS); and Rep. David Lewis (D-MD).

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Can we dig up those folks and put them on trial? Like the old Soviet show trials. Argh!

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