Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MI5 and emailing the culture of Fear

Apparently MI5 are going to begin emailing terror alerts to people to let them know if the terrorist threat changes. This is information already available on their website, but soon you will be able to subscribe and get terror in your email.

Sound like a good idea until you consider the real world.

In the real world all sorts of alerts purporting to be from the likes of Microsoft and AOL do the rounds causing endless worry for the ignorant who can't spot a hoax even if it has got email hoax written on it in ten foot high letters of flame.

It is nice to know that this government is showing of its technical knowledge by playing to the hoaxers. Something which Microsoft and AOL do not do incidentally.

So expect to see lots of hoax emails saying "terror alert raised" and possibly directing people to websites which look like MI5's with all sorts of malicious rubbish on them.

Well done to the once again incompetent government.

You can read the BBC's article here.

Update Wenesday 10th of January, 12:22

Just had a comment. I could not think of it getting worse but apparently it does. The email alerts are to be sent by a US based marketing company. So if you have subsribed MI5 send you data around the world in plain text. What is more, who knows who these people will sell your email address too.

What an incompetent bunch of losers.

You can read this on the PJC journal, and this on spyblog.


IanP said...

MI5, the Security Service, part of whose remit is supposed to be giving protection advice against electronic attacks over the internet, is sending all our personal details from the email registration (forename, surname and email address) unencrypted to commercial third party e-mail marketing and tracking companies which physically and legally in the jurisdiction of the United States of America, and is even not bothering to make use of the SSL/TLS encrypted web forms and processing scripts which are already available to them.


Benedict White said...

Thanks for the link, Ian. i will update the main story.