Posts Tagged 'agency'

People badmouthing you on Wiki? Sue them

One thing the Internet has taught us: if you want to see a defamatory/embarrassing/ridiculous claim about yourself or your business cleaned from the tubes, the one thing you don’t want to do is file an ill-advised lawsuit against a site like Wikipedia. What once was known only by a few is suddenly known by the world. Barbara Bauer, who runs the Barbara Bauer Literary Agency, looks like she’s set to learn that lesson the hard way after suing Wikipedia for an article that called her the “Dumbest of the Twenty Worst” literary agents and said that she had made no book sales at all.

The controversy stems from a few brief statements regarding Bauer’s track record (none of which remain on the site at this time). These statements weren’t simply dragged from the ether; Bauer was included on a list of the twenty worst agents back in 2006 and that list was widely circulated in the blogosphere. The controversy was discussed at the time by writer Teresa Nielsen Hayden, who called Bauer a “well-known scam agent” and the “dumbest of the twenty worst.” Even before that, writers were complaining about her agency in various discussion forums. (link)

Millions doing own taxes using software

Millions of Canadians are using software programs and becoming their own accountants when it comes to their taxes.

Software programs have been updated to take into account recent changes announced in the last federal budget, such as pension income splitting for seniors, children’s fitness credits and reduced income tax rates.

More than 4.1 million Canadians filed their taxes through the Canada Revenue Agency’s Netfile for the 2006 tax year.

Another roughly 8.8 million Canadians filed online through tax professionals for 2006.

That means for the 2006 tax year, the Canada Revenue Agency received just more than 50 per cent of its returns electronically, said spokesman Serge Paradis. (link)

CIA: Hackers able to take down power grids

Criminals have been able to hack into computer systems via the Internet and cut power to several cities, a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency analyst said this week.

Speaking at a conference of security professionals on Wednesday, CIA analyst Tom Donahue disclosed the recently declassified attacks while offering few specifics on what actually went wrong.

Criminals have launched online attacks that disrupted power equipment in several regions outside of the U.S., he said, without identifying the countries affected. The goal of the attacks was extortion, he said.

“We have information, from multiple regions outside the United States, of cyber intrusions into utilities, followed by extortion demands,” he said in a statement posted to the Web on Friday by the conference’s organizers, the SANS Institute. “In at least one case, the disruption caused a power outage affecting multiple cities. We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet.” (link)

Feds get criminal’s email despite being “secure”

Criminals have plenty of reasons for wanting to encrypt their e-mail, and services like Hushmail offers such encryption in a strong form; not even the company can view the messages sent through its systems. Under most circumstances.

But there are cases when it can read the messages, and when that happens, those messages can then be subpoenaed by law enforcement. An alleged California supplier of anabolic steroids found that out the hard way earlier this year when Drug Enforcement Agency officers collected his supposedly “secure” e-mail from Hushmail. (story)

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