THE INSIDER: Watchdog asleep on its watch
Internet security watchdog Computer Security Incident Response Team warns consumers they are on their own
Internet security is a major concern these days, especially in December and January when special-offer entrepreneurs target greedy and desperate consumers with anything from low-interest loans to "free" antivirus software. But hard-squeezed government employees can count on some professional help, whether doing private or state business from their work computers, through the Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), the government’s cyber security watchdog, which falls under the State Security Agency. CSIRT is in turn a member of another acronym, the organisation First, or the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams.
CSIRT’s latest information security report, for January 9, contains a warning that "online safety and data security is your personal responsibility", which sounds as if CSIRT is skirting its own responsibilities. It quotes a private-document solutions guru, one Greg Gatherer, as saying users must take charge of their own online safety.
Without casting any doubt on Gatherer’s professional integrity, his name inspires as much confidence as buying an insurance policy from a Richie Crook.
Authorities taken by the horns
A pagan priest in the US state of Maine has won the right to wear goat horns on his state identification card. Phelan Moonsong of Millinocket persuaded the state’s bureau of motor vehicles that his goat horns should be treated in the same way as a Sikh’s turban or nun’s habit.
The Telegraph reports that the horns have been part of Moonsong’s life since 2009, when they were offered to members attending a pagan gathering. He attached them to his head using fishing line and has refused to take them off, apart from when he soaks them in patchouli oil to keep them in peak condition.