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Washington State and Microsoft Sue Companies for Using Fake Security Alerts

(Image is used under the Pixabay license)

Washington state (and Microsoft) are suing companies that use those fake security alerts to trick people into downloading and using their products. You know the ones. They usually say something like "Warning! Your computer is infected with viruses and you must download a quick security update to stop it".

Your first warning should be when they ask for your credit card number, but I don't hold that mistake against anyone. The real problem is the scumbag companies who utilize this kind of manipulation. It makes you wonder how they've gotten away with it for so long in the first place.

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One-sided Agreements Don’t Always Survive in Court

(Image is in the Public Domain)

I really hate the kinds of things companies pull in their contracts and terms of service. Even more I hate when people say, "you signed it so quit complaining!" What they don't seem to understand is that even if the information is there, that doesn't mean that people can understand it or its implications. Thus was the case in a Washington supreme court ruling that mightily smacked and slapped around the one-sided AT&T service agreement.

The court had the option of determining that some portions of the contract were legally valid and could be enforced. Instead, the ruling determined that unconscionable conditions pervaded the agreement, rendering it invalid in its entirety
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Washington State Passes RFID Privacy Law

(Image used under: Creative Commons 2.0 [SRC])

Washington state passed an anti-RFID law that's unfortunately far weaker than it should be.

The Washington legislation outlaws the use of RFID "spy technologies" to collect consumer information without the owner's consent. The only problem is, heavy corporate lobbying narrowed the scope of the law (before Governor Gregoire signed it) to cover only criminal acts such as fraud, identity theft, or "some other illegal purpose" (making it a Class C felony to do so). Collecting information from consumer RFID chips for marketing purposes in Washington—with or without the owner's consent or even knowledge—is still fair game.
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Washington State Dumb as Dirt – Uses RFID in Licenses

ID that broadcasts data about you. What could go wrong?

In an act of supreme stupidity and ignorance, Washington state has passed a law allowing residents to purchase an "alternative" drivers license that could be used in lieu of a passport at the Canadian border.

Citing the 9/11 Commission's support for more secure documentation for U.S. entry, Chertoff pointed out that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents currently must look at more than 8,000 different forms of identification, whether birth certificates, driver's licenses or other documents.

So their answer to the problem?

The alternative license will contain a Radio Frequency Identification chip, commonly known as RFID, which the guard booths will use to scan the license as a traveler or trucker pulls up to the booth. U.S. passports issued since late 2006 already contain RFID chips.

They're going to offer a license that has no shielded covers like passports do that border guards will now just non-chalantly swipe across a reader rather than take the time to inspect. Brilliant. Maybe next, they can just put the readers out for the people in the vehicle to use making it even more convenient. That way, the criminals wouldn't have to bother changing the photo on the ID since no one would be looking anyway.

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