Ransomware and Government Entities

The Wall Street Journal, in an article about ransomware being used to hack city (and other) computer systems, asked the question Should Cities Pay?

Not only no, cities (and others) should not pay, but no2.

Aside from paying the ransom being an act of cowardice, it aids and abets the criminals—which is amoral, if not yet a felony.

Sure, it costs more in the moment to refuse and rebuild, but what costs are saved by not telling the hacker world that the city will gladly pay the ransom and so be hacked repeatedly?  What’s the cost to other, similarly situated, cities and towns (and public libraries) when one gladly aids and abets?

The Pope

…gets another one wrong.  If he was accurately quoted by ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata, an Italian news agency) and by the SIR agency of the Italian bishops’ conference—or by CRUX, which claims the quotes—that is.  They quoted him as

denouncing the pre-natal tests that can result in parents choosing to terminate a pregnancy if the fetus is malformed or suffering other problems.

The Pope is aiming his fire at the wrong target.  Families intending to have the baby rather than abort it could benefit from pre-natal tests that find that the “fetus is malformed or suffering other problems.”  Such foreknowledge would give the family months in which to prepare financially, emotionally, physically, to join/generate support groups, all to increase the family’s ability to receive and nurture the baby.

Child Abuse, Continuing

In the ongoing dispute over separating children from their illegal immigrant parents (OBE with President Donald Trump’s EO ending the practice) Progressive-Democrat Senator Bob Casey (D, PA) said this:

Infest? We’re not talking about insects, these are children!  You are talking about kids who are scared, alone and being held in cages. You have the power to stop it, do it.

Casey isn’t talking about children, though, he’s talking about weapons he and his Progressive-Democrat fellows want to use for their personal political gain. These are not children in Progressive-Democrat eyes, they’re just mechanical tools for them to use.

Privacy!?

You ain’t got no privacy.  You don’t need any stinking privacy!

Using facial recognition software in combination with image storage houses like drivers license databases can be highly useful in tracking down criminal suspects.

But the combination can be highly dangerous, too, as this attitude by Joseph Michael, Washington County Deputy State’s Attorney in Maryland, demonstrates:

the expectation of privacy ends when you sit down and smile at the government desk.

Pinellas County (FL) Sheriff Bob Gualtieri argued

Reform at the FBI?

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he takes the DoJ IG report castigating the FBI’s performance on the Clinton email scandal seriously.

He [Wray] ordered training for senior executives on the report’s lessons….

Really? These guys are senior executives–they already knew what they were doing, and they knew at the time that what they were doing was wrong. They should be fired for cause.

So far, it looks like Wray is just engaged in the emptiness of sound and fury.

Cynical Union

Recall President Donald Trump’s Executive Order limiting the amount of time public union employees can spend doing union business during their work day.

The American Federation of Government Employees has demurred and gone into court to seek an injunction blocking enforcement of the EO.  AFGE General Counsel David Borer insisted

We will not allow this or any other administration to trample on the Constitutional rights of federal workers[.]

This cynical claim is based on Borer’s insistence that his members’ freedom of association right is violated by the EO.

This, of course, is nonsense.

YGTBSM

Two examples of felony stupidity.

The Putnam County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office was asked by a man to test the meth sample he brought in.  It seems he’d had a bad reaction to a batch he’d bought, and he wanted to press charges against the person who’d sold him the “wrong narcotic.”

They did, it was, and they busted him.  And no, he didn’t get to press charges; although presumably he IDed the seller to the deputies so they could “press charges” in the county’s name.

And this, also from Florida.

Virtual Attacks on Disapproved-of Businesses

That’s what Facebook is planning to allow regarding merchants that advertise on Facebook.

The social-media giant is rolling out a new feature that lets people leave feedback about their shopping experience after viewing a Facebook ad. The company said it is warning businesses that receive a high volume of negative feedback to give them a chance to address the grievances. If feedback doesn’t improve over time, Facebook will reduce the number of ads that businesses can deliver and could eventually ban them from the platform.

With this, Facebook is allowing “customers” to harm a business of whose ideology they disapprove simply by flooding that business with “negative feedback” on Facebook’s pages.

NLMSM and a Summit

I watched CNN‘s coverage of the President Donald Trump-Baby Kim summit, following which they signed a document wherein they agreed on four steps to carry out on the path forward, including Baby Kim’s commitment to denuclearize “the Korean Peninsula.”  That last, especially, is a Big Deal, albeit hard details like on what schedule and what Baby Kim wants in return are yet to be discussed and agreed.

It’s Time

…for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to go.  He

threatened to “subpoena” emails, phone records and other documents from lawmakers and staff on a Republican-led House committee during a tense meeting earlier this year [January], according to emails reviewed by Fox News documenting the encounter and reflecting what aides described as a “personal attack.”

In a notification to the House Office of General Counsel about the incident, the House Intelligence Committee’s then-Senior Counsel for Counterterrorism Kash Patel (now the Committee’s National Security Advisor) wrote