Archive | August 2012

In Security We Trust

The American Presidency is designed to disappoint.

After watching much of the Republican National Convention (mostly online, God bless the Interwebz), I am truly prepared for an underwhelming four years.

This is in small part due to the fact that my candidate is behind in the polls and unlikely to win the election. But also consider this;

For the past year we’ve been inundated by candidates from all parties with promises of change and other transformative programs that will take America in the direction necessary for prosperity, safety, international diplomacy and the future development of our nation.

Each candidate has made promises to improve the economy, education, healthcare and human welfare, our international citizenship, critical infrastructure and more.

Candidates have regaled their programs’ unique features, and proclaimed how they are exclusively qualified to carry out these duties.

And irrespective of which box you check on your Voter Registration Card, you’ve invariably heard about how one political party is superior to the other.

But the truth is, no matter who makes it into the White House – Obama or Romney, Democrat or Republican – they will fail to deliver on their promises.

And this is as it should be.

You see the Founding Fathers were pretty smart dudes, and they knew a little something about security. They could see Obama and Romney coming a mile away, and they knew that the rhetoric of change was just that.

So they instituted a system of checks and balances. They created institutions that limited the President’s power to specific charges and duties.

They built a system of trust that ensured the President’s ability to control was dependent upon what Congress, the Supreme Court, the Federal Reserve Board, other nations and reality will allow him.

In fact, one of the most important security controls we use today – segregation of duties – is built into the Constitution and nearly every other important document that this country was founded on.

So on election day, let’s all take a deep, collective breath.

You may take the Presidency seriously, but rest assured that regardless of who wins, our forefathers were smart enough to neuter the CEO of America.

More Tales From the (Unen)Crypt

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Last week I received the following text message from an unknown number: “I received check. Thank you. Alice“.

A quick bit of research revealed that the number came from a woman (OK, I made some assumptions on the “Alice” part) who owns a flower shop in a small town in Florida.

They offer a full line of floral favorites, houseplants and perennials, and they also accept Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. The web site doesn’t say anything about accepting personal checks but apparently they’re cool with that, too.

I sat on the text for over an hour, as various scenarios piled up in my mind. I couldn’t help but wonder how security-conscious Alice was. Now that she had opened the door, I wanted to walk through and see what was on the other side.

My curiosity was piquing. Was Alice from Wonderland, carrying a big, nasty broom, and sweeping out all that would dare trespass on PII? Or was she just another careless merchant exposing helpless customers’ personal data?

I couldn’t help myself.

Hi Alice. I don’t remember which acct I used can you resend the routing and acct number.

We would soon find out.

Like all disasters, you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We all want to believe in human beings’ natural sense of good, to protect our own and to want the best for others. We are the only species on the planet that has been gifted with morality, a true sense of right and wrong. We are truly blessed.

Over two hours had passed and I felt strong. In a world where security breaches, fraud and cybercrime were the norm, Alice was a beacon of hope. A shining example of what was right in this sordid world where so much has gone wrong. Alice, a frail, aging shopkeeper would show us what fortitude, diligence and a sense of righteousness truly means. If Alice could do it, anyo (bzzzzzt)…


Don’t buy flowers in Florida.

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