News, Developments, and Insights

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The Pentagon, the CIA, and National Security Letters

Government Surveillance

From the New York Times: The Pentagon and to a lesser extent the CIA have been using a little-known power to look at the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage within the United States, officials said Saturday. The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as […]

Verifying Identity: From One Foolish Way to Another

Social Security Numbers

For quite some time, banks and financial institutions have been using people’s Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to verify their identities. Suppose you want to access your bank account to check your balance, change addresses, or close out the account. You call the bank, but how does the bank know it’s really you? For a while, […]

Massive Government Data Mining of Financial Records

Data Mining

Apparently, warrantless wiretapping and gathering of phone call records just aren’t enough to quench the Bush Administration’s thirst for data. Now we learn that the government has gathered massive quantities of financial records. The New York Times reports:

Even Tearing Up Your Credit Card Applications Isn’t Enough

Tear Up Credit Card Application

One of the reasons why identity thieves are the luckiest criminals alive is because credit card companies make their crime really easy. This person at tried an experiment. He tore up his credit card application into little pieces, meticulously taped it back up, and then filled it out as follows: