Where is Raed?

You know I am writing a book, at least trying to get to the end of it, and each day I write I find new information, that inspires and is so cool. Today I was just looking for famous bloggers, because I think it’s fun! One such blogger is Salam Pax. Salam Pax (aka Salam al-Janabi, Arabic: سلام الجنابي) is a pseudonymous blogger from Iraq, whose site “Where is Raed?” received notable media attention during (and after) the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The pseudonym consists of the word “peace” in Arabic (Salām) and Latin (Pāx).In his blog, Salam discusses the war, his friends, disappearances of people under the government of Saddam Hussein, and his work as a translator for journalist Peter Maass. Pax’s site is titled after Pax’s friend Raed Jarrar, who was working on his master’s degree in: he didn’t respond promptly to email, and so Pax set up the weblog for him to read. In May 2003, The Guardian newspaper tracked the man down and printed a story indicating that he did indeed live in , with the given name Salam, and was a 29-year-old architect. Salam is an excellent writer; amusing, honest and enjoyable reading in on a subject that is extremely sensitive.

In fact I came across him some time ago, but today I found a great article that he wrote on his first visit to the US that I want to share with you.

Online data mining

Mark Curphew in his blog made an interesting post on the dangers posed by online data-mining. The message is that there are people that with just a small amount of information can piece together quite a lot about you by mining. They Google your name combined with anything else they know about you to amass a whole load more information on you.

I wrote something in this area in my first article (Identity Linkage and Privacy) published for the first time in April 2007. Unstructured information that is posted online, may not have a direct link to you (your identity) however a ‘dormant identity link’ can link this data to your identity. i.e. the aggregate of information can link to your identity, but each of these pieces of information by themselves are meaningless.

I suppose the question is ‘why would anyone want to do this’?. Particularly in the case of Mark, seems like the guy had too much time on his hands. In fact one of the most publicized areas is for the purpose of ‘online grooming’ of children by paedophiles. All of this subject area and more is covered in the book I expect to publish -once I decide who to publish with- in the next month or so. So watch this space 🙂

ID cards for foreign nationals within a year, says UK

Are you a foreign national resident in the UK. Well looks like you’ll have no choice but to be issued with a biometric ID card within the next year. The biometric data is your fingerprint. You know it seems that the UK government have biometric fingerprints already on over 1 million people.

I think it’s interesting this approach the government is taking. The huge resistance against having a national ID card (incl. biometric data) seems to have been sized down to include only immigrants. (Please comment if you know any better) Now, who in England is going to resist that. Particularly as I hear the grumbles about the number of immigrants being allowed to reside in the UK, and how they are taking all the council housing, jobs, etc. Of course the immigrants are not in a position to resist a biometric ID card. Having been an immigrant myself in 3 other countries (including where I live now) I think it’s a pity that the British complain so much about immigrants, instead of embracing the cultural diversity it brings into our lives. Incidentally I am British myself.

Of course the compulsory issue of biometric ID for immigrants is just the start. As they start to become a part of society and its values, it’s a natural progression that a national ID programme will follow will minimal resistance.

American spam-fighter fined $60,000

Oh boy this is sad. I don’t condone hacking but what about the spammers, shouldn’t they be fined?

David Ritz, the veteran American spam-fighter, has been hit by $60,000 in fines plus lawyers fees after losing a civil suit that accused him of illegal hacking. The case has sparked concern and support from the anti-spam community. “He [Ritz] got prosecuted for using the same Unix tools that the rest of us use all the time to troubleshoot problems, admin our systems, and track spammers,” notes Reg reader Mark. Read more….