Saturday, August 21, 2010

Personal Safety and the Internet

I woke up one day and realized that my own government had released information on all of it's citizens to nefarious characters around the world. Investigations into the most private of information, our income tax returns, indicates that some 200 people at least and many agencies have access to that data.

In two major hospitals in two major cities in two provinces I have ensured that doctors had to show identification to get patient files. Prior to that a white lab coat and a stethoscope got any information. Most of the 'support' staff in most institutions are minimally paid.

When I caught my staff distributing confidential information and let her go notifying the police, the police told me that "It probably happens all the time but you're the only doctor I know of who has come forward."

My accountant in a moment of psychosis or a drunken rage or just plain stupidity dumped all the files of all his clients in the dumpster only to be found by astute Province reporters who made that a front page story.

Private investigators have told me what the television says that anyone's garbage is the best source of information about the individual. Garbage men aren't bonded.

If I ever want to hunt someone down I knew I could without the internet. I was stalked before the internet. I was also held hostage before the internet. I was physically attacked in a public place one early evening walking home. I almost died in a crowd when I rescued a woman being raped from a gang of 8 or so guys who subsequently attacked me and pushed in front of an oncoming subway train pulling me back at the last moment and demonstrating how 'no one does anything'. Not one of the hundreds of people and dozens or more at least had helped the girl and none helped me. I've phoned 911 three times and on each occasion there were no cars. One time some sports fans were wrecking the city. Other times the police have been at an emergency faster than I could have imagined.

Our governments in the west and east dueled and played girlish macho with enough nuclear missiles to kill everyone a dozen times over and now they've lost some. Our governments sell the weapons to the terrorists which the terrorists use on others. The western nations are the principal arms dealers.

The legal system protects and supports criminals, their principal clients. It's a first come first serve justice system and when a person pulled the trigger of a gun he thought was loaded in my face he got off because he claimed that I'd threatened him. The system now is indeed to claim that you are a victim even though you're the actual victimizer today. Just as common criminals get off with murder in the courts claiming their parents abused them, Israel recently claimed that they were victims so it was okay for them to attack innocent sailors on the high seas shooting them from helicopters and then stealing their cameras and films. This stuff goes on all days and the legal system and government don't seem to think it's their job to ensure 'protection'.

Mr. Dugald Christie, an amazing lawyer who'd demonstrated that the Canadian legal system did not serve the poor was killed by a hit and run driver while riding to Ottawa to say the legal system had disenfranchised the middle classes as well. Like the health care system which was once 'universal' but is now mostly for the priviledged the legal system serves only the rich. We are at greatest risk for saying things like this. Mostly I personally am most likely to cause my own death or bring harm on myself and not just politically.

When I did home visits I found half the elderly were stoned or drunk and falling down breaking things. Others who weren't were climbing on roofs adjusting antennas in their seventies and falling down breaking things. There's a very brief window when your hormones no longer rule and you have some maturity and physical capability. Unfortunately you're usually working for an old fart who has you doing dangerous things. Workplace injuries and work stress account for so much damage in society still.

When individual yacht owners were being told they had to purify their waste the city was dumping pollution in tons without purification. "Alternative" "medicine's" have caused countless deaths and no one hears of them because news is only news when it's against the major professions. The government fast ferry multi million dollar loss was due to technicians and bureaucrats not listening to engineers. We don't hear about this. We don't hear the names of those individuals who denounced the doctors who said the Red Cross blood was tainted and for political reasons the government and agencies did nothing till countless people were infected and dying.

Once I've had a certified electrician leave my house at the most unsafe it's been and we're alive today because an electrician friend came by and investigated the high voltage arcing which I'd asked him about because the intermittent flashes of light seemed dangerous. I was given a gun back by a gunsmith that fired when I put the safety on.

But when I smoked and dranked I commonly poured gas into the outboard like so many 'macho men' do. I also stood up in canoes and all those other things that aren't safe.

The government has cut back on so many of the people who were responsible for testing foods and water. Even when the water inspectors were present for the sake of profit the water supply of cities the size of Toronto depended for it's safety on individuals like Carey Shinn who served as a watchdog on city councilmen. VAncouver almost had a casino, hotel, cabin complex on it's principal lake's watersupply if it weren't for someone thinking that might not be 'safe' despite the promises. The promises are the kind of thing that resulted in Chernobyl.

9-11 wasn't supposed to happen if dozens of 'fail safe's were acted on. Indeed 9-11 is probably one of the best examples of gross incompetence and stupidity since Pearl Harbour. But then the British had the Titannic.

When I was a very minor 'hacker' I found that there were no firewalls for most of the governments data bases. Indeed all you had to do is dial up the access number and people had put all personnel files of those who are now in power on their data bases. There weren't even laws about online 'confidentiality' then. Most recently a real hacker notified the Seatle hospitals that their systems were wholly penetrable and advised them of the measures that they should take to cough up security (note that hospital records in the US are also financial records). The hospitals ignored this but rather got the FBI to label this Robin Hood an evil criminal. Hackers for years have been telling the authorities where their weaknesses are but the authorities consistently ignore them and 'save face' by paying off a consultant to do a 'report' and appearing to address the problem. Each new generation of computer is more powerful and generally can breach easily the security systems of the previous computers.

Fear is ubiquitous. Identity theft is a reality. The greatest 'identity' 'scam' here was the tens of thousands of people whose credit card information was taken by the credit card machine scandal.

My patient who was a professional military assassin by any other name said it was easiest to get a guy in the washroom especially if they had a routine. Changing routines is apparently what one has to do to be safe. Changing passwords and codes and credit cards and addresses is clearly a great idea but I lose my codes and credit card companies won't give you credit cards if you move too often. I've moved alot.

I've had my life threatened several times. My family's life has been threatened. I've been knifed and shot at. I've been at times a touch 'paranoid' when people were phoning me up threatening me and the police literally told me all they could do was act on the physical presence, record a conversation etc, but not actually 'protect' me.

One of my patients who was being hunted by gangs after he fingered a mobster was offered 'protection' by the police but the police told me this wasn't 'television'. There's no money for that kind of protection. They could cover his case for a few weeks or months but not a life time. Fortunately criminals more often than not have more recent enemies and as time goes on if you avoid them they can't risk settling an 'old score' as it could interfere with them settling 'new scores'.

So the big question is "are you worth it?" My friend doesn't put her children on the internet and gets outraged at the lack of security that the schools have regarding children's information. One of my patients who was a convicted pedophile lived across from a school yard. So many of the ex cons break the conditions of parole and yet there are rarely consequences. The patient wasn't an actual threat but his taking a place at risk was an indication that he himself was no longer facing the life long nature of his risk. He wasn't intentionally irresponsible just didn't really accept that he was the threat he really was.

A few judges locally refused to imprison gay prostitute drug addicts who knowingly had unprotected sex and spread HIV in the early years. I naturally thought this was the judges way of expressing their homophobia but there was no consequence for their irresponsible behaviour. The medical community was trying desperately to treat an infectious disease and these priviledged highly protected rich old boys were condemning countless men to death and cost the health care system millions before they got off their high horse and listened to their colleagues who had more sense than they did.

My friend's children are worth probably a hundred thousand each. Kids sell and yet it's really quite rare. Young women drug addicts end up in pig farms. If I was rich, young, attractive or had children I would worry more about 'broadcasting' personal data but information about every professional is available to everyone. We're easily followed home from offices. I've been. I've had an unlisted number and have taken the time to make my whereabouts unknown but neighbors will tell strangers where the 'doctor' lives.

I had Jimmy Patterson's house pointed out to me. If anyone was going to break into my home I think they'd find more in his and yet it's fairly common knowledge where he lives. When I lived in Shaughnassey it really did seem that that was the shopping district for the East Vancouver criminal crowds. Yet when my jeweler friend was broken into it was a gang operating all across Canada.

Mostly the media inflates the fears. It's a fear mongering society we live in.

At the end of the day I'd like to remember all the people who over the years have returned my wallet or camera or computer when I've left them somewhere. Countless times as a kid strangers took care of me and didn't do mean or nasty things. Church leaders, boy scouts and teachers collectively were just great. The opportunities that were available for others to take advantage of most of us were myriad but in the end people are collectively basically good. That's the way it was growing up in Winnipeg. I know that things aren't as good everywhere as they once were but that's what old people always say. So far we haven't had a world war in my lifetime and while more people are being jailed by our governments and more people are at risk in these environs than ever before overall we're living longer and healthier than ever before.

For all the billions on the internet and all of us with blogs and most of who are relatively nobodies the risk is very small of someone using this means to suddenly enter your life and become a Chainsaw Murderer. Internet dating with all the risk that would appear to be there is probably no more risky than talking to a stranger at a bar.

I had an employee who had falsified her resume and lied about her past and presented herself as a highly believable and caring person. Psychopaths are notorious chameleons. I loved Robert Hare's book, Snakes in Suits because it's main warning is that they're not different per se than the next guy but are identifiable by patterns. I've been fooled and supposedly I should know better but then I've almost been killed by an ex wife and ex wives have almost killed us both and maybe they'd say that of me.

For the longest time I didn't trust the internet with any credit card number. It's still a source of major concern for me and I have a credit card with a limit for that use. I wouldn't give out my home address and yet my emails and phone numbers are commonly getting accessed because my government and the law won't protect me from their 'friends' because clearly these agencies consider 'telemarketers' and such more their 'friend' than me or they'd not allow them to infringe on my privacy. I hate the curbside suedgie windshield washers because I don't believe strangers should have the right to touch me or my vehicle and yet it's obvious that my government would rather protect the rights of vagrants than protect my safety.

I am concerned that when I'm away and blog then someone could use this information to access my home. The fact is that my secretary tells people when I'm away and I have to arrange call at times so that even though countless people are in fact giving their comings and goings away this doesn't lead to more break and entry. At times I've lived in the country only to realize that police aren't available and I'm at greatest risk for defending myself and going to jail for hurting a criminal breaking into my house. It's probably not safe to possess anything of value. When my car was broken into the government insurance refused to cover the cost of what was stolen. My friends house was broken into three times and he can no longer get insurance.

I have all these concerns. Most criminals aren't reading blogs. Fortunately most criminals are just drug addicts and opportunistic. I feel sorry for the police because they have very few resources for most of the crimes and are expected to hunt down ghosts and goblins ad infinitum at times.

Over the years I've had state of the art security systems and had problems with them going off because of cleaning ladies. I recently had a firewall system probably better than the police but the cleaning lady kept unplugging it with her vacuum cleaner and I couldn't afford the thousands of dollars 'security'. I once established a series of 'traps' that would hurt burglars only to learn that I'd be culpable if the burglars got hurt. Indeed I was told that I had to put up a higher more expensive fence to keep a child from breaking into my already locked and secured yard because I'd be responsible if they drowned in the pool yet I wasn't allowed to use glass and razor wire along the top of the fence and the neighbour objected to the higher fence that would make my yard safe from the lack of parenting of kids in the neighbourhood. I moved. I won't have a swimming pool. I'm worried because one day I would like a hot tub.

More and more I pray. The only security seems really to be with the Lord. I'm glad that I'm a very dangerous person who has martial arts, silent kill and knows every object as a weapon but I'm an old man and more often than not I hurt. I have a dog that I have to protect more than he protects me. Yet if a person pokes a dog and he bites that person I can be sued but I can't sue a person for inciting my dog. Canada is a very insane country to live in with the most insane laws and legal system with all it's technicalities and goobly gook. Every computer has a book of legal agreements that I'm required to sign to use any program and I gave up reading the fine print years ago so I could learn how to save lives. I have to trust. I trust the legal system generally. I mostly trust the police. I trust my government sometimes and the media sometimes. I never really trust criminals and am increasingly not trusting businessmen. I tend to avoid listening to the fear mongering. I worry far more than enough already.

Indeed I worry too much already.

God is good all of the time. If I live in fear then really I don't trust God and yet I don't like to waste God's time.

The closest I came to death was in hospital at the hands of my caregivers on one occasion. Another time it was from a bacterial infection that no one could protect any of us from. As I child I almost died so many times but didn't. Half of those times I was doing things boys do which boys shouldn't.

Today I still think I'm my own greatest threat and being of Scottish descent I know the next fear is the government because those dastardly English are always trying to steal your very blood and now one wonders if it's not just the bleeding southerners and us northern folk all over again.

There's no way out but by death and life isn't safe. If you feel far from God, it's not hard to figure out who moved.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Park Dr,Capital F,Canada

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