Weekly Axis Of Easy #99
Last Week’s Quote was “He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” ….by Thomas Jefferson, winner David. I was worried because so many of you said Plato, or Plato quoting Socrates that I thought I had it wrong. This quote was once again cribbed from Marc Faber’s GloomBoomDoom report, “No Billionaire Left Behind” edition.
This Week’s Quote: “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool.” …by ????
THE RULES: No searching up the answer, must be posted in the comments below:
The Prize: First person to post, gets their next domain or hosting renewal on us.
In This Issue:
- The End of an Era for easyDNS
- Wikipedia is broken, biased and controlled by special interests
- Breach of the week: Hundreds of millions of title insurance records
- Amazon reportedly poised to purge small suppliers, keep mega-corps
- Crossfit suspends F-book campaigns, ads and pages
- Stung by GetCrypt Ransomware? Here’s a free decryptor
- Google’s Gsuite stored enterprise passwords in cleartext
- Future of .IO domains could be in question
Don’t worry, this is not an “our fabulous journey” type post (there used to be a website that collected those types of posts I was going to link to but I can’t find it now. Their fabulous journey is over I guess.)
Anyway, we aren’t shutting down, and we haven’t been acquired by Godaddy (*shudder*). What we are doing is shutting down our physical office at the end of June and going 100% virtual. It costs us a boatload of money, hardly ever gets used. Makes no sense.
Please adjust your contact details and if you mail cheques to us, please henceforth use:
easyDNS Technologies Inc.
4243C Dundas Street West, Suite 405
The blog post we wrote up about this went a little viral, and you can read or participate in the Hackernews thread on it here.
Been noticing this for awhile, and perhaps will write an expanded post about it. Sharyl Attkisson, award winning journalist, NY Times bestselling author most recently of “The Smear” penned a piece where even Wikipedia’s co-founder admits that the crowdsourced pseudo-pedia has been captured by special interests grinding axes or promoting specific agendas.
What caught my eye was her chronicling how “agenda editors related to pharmaceutical interests and the partisan blog Media Matters control my Wikipedia biographical page, making sure that slanted or false information stays on it”
The easyDNS Wikipedia page is conspicuous in that it is dominated by a “Controversies” section writ large. In fact the original easyDNS page had only two items: our involvement in opposition to the Wikileaks deplatforming attempt in 2010 and the saga around Air Mail Chemist pharmacy (which played out entirely between the FDA and ICANN the latter of which never even informed us what was happening.) Subsequent iterations expand on these items, even adding last years’ minuscule whois leak – which we immediately disclosed, and refunded everybody, including those who weren’t paying for it, as a “controversy”. We have had numerous edits that have tried to correct or contextualize wrong or misleading information reversed and deleted.
Meanwhile, platforms that habitually, routinely and repeatedly violate user trust are at the centre of real, bona fide controversies, like F-book and Twitter have their pages protected from edits and controversies that do arise are worded benevolently and gently. It almost seems…. biased, or something.
(On the topic of Wikileaks, now that Assange faces charges of egregious truth-telling (a.k.a “espionage”), I found this read outlining all the legal inconsistencies and non-sequiturs around the Assange case: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-05-27/abuses-show-assange-case-was-never-about-law/ )
This week’s Data Breach of the Week award goes to Fortune 500, publicly traded, 5 billion dollar market cap, First American Financial Corporation, who have been leaking records related to hundreds of millions of mortgage deals from their web server for God knows how long… “The digitized records — including bank account numbers and statements, mortgage and tax records, Social Security numbers, wire transaction receipts, and drivers license images — were available without authentication to anyone with a Web browser.”
Bang up job, team. On a related note, Equifax (remember Equifax?) becomes the first company in history to garner a Moody’s downgrade attributable to their data leak.
Bloomberg has been following the development for awhile, reporting in March how Amazon set off a panic among countless mom-and-pop suppliers and small businesses when they abruptly stopped ordering their products.
This is part of a larger pattern, as reported in #AxisOfEasy 85 how Amazon has a tendency to analyze what products are selling best on their platform and then competing with their vendors by introducing their own knockoffs and undercutting them.
Now the latest salvo is that Amazon is reportedly about to permanently purge thousands of small suppliers and cease bulk orders while larger 800lb gorillas like Proctor and Gamble will be unaffected: “If you’re heavily reliant on Amazon, which a lot of these vendors are, you’re in a lot of trouble”
Just another datapoint in the never-ending screwing small and indie businesses are getting at the hands of this credit fueled tech bubble. Amazon is also automating away jobs at a frenetic pace, and buying up everything in sight. Barring any impediments, the company is on track to own the entire retail economy and be running it with zero employees by 2022.
Crossfit.com, the contrarian exercise and nutrition dynamo (and easyDNS client), has suspended all of its F-book activities pending further review after F-book summarily without warning shut down Crossfit’s “Banting7DayMealPlan user group” which had 1.65 million members.
The company posted the announcement on their website, befitting of a manifesto we could all do well to heed, citing an 8 point list of grievances against F-book including that F-book:
- “censors and removes user accounts based on unknown criteria and at the request of third parties including government and foreign government agencies.”
- “has poor security protocols and has been subject to the largest security breaches of user data in history.”, and
- “Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice.”
Possibly good news if you’ve been unfortunate enough to get hit by the GetCrypt ransomware variant. Antivrus software provider Emsisoft has released their GetCrypt decryptor for free. The thing is, in order for it to work, you have to be able to supply the utility with both an unencrypted and encrypted version of the same file. Hopefully you have a clear copy right?
Maybe it’s time to stop just thinking about backing up your files and actually backup your files:
Last week Google admitted that a small number of enterprise G-Suite users had their passwords stored in cleartext since 2005. Google has more than 5 million users in its G-Suite enterprise, so what constitutes “a small number” is unknown. My guess is that it’s more than 1500, a number which earned us another demerit in the “controversies” section of our Wikipedia page, and yet, there is no mention of this on G-Suite’s wikipedia page. In fact G-Suite’s page doesn’t even have a “controversies” section at all. Weird.
A situation we’re keeping an eye on for all of our .IO registrants: Last week the UN approved a motion that sets a 6-month deadline for the UK to relinquish control of the Chagos Islands (soon to be formerly known as “British Indian Ocean Territory”). When that happens, it is uncertain what will happen to that country’s ISO-3166 country code (.IO). My guess is that if the change in sovereignty ever occurs, and if that results in a change to the island’s ccTLD abbreviation, then some accommodation will be made to grandfather existing registrations.
But that is only my best guess and I’ve been known to guess wrong. I thought I had a section on this in my book (remember my book?) but searching through it now, I can’t seem to find it. The upshot is this:
When you use one of these exotic ccTLDs like .ly, .co, .io, .fm, .tv, etc, you have to remember to keep one eye on the political landscape of the host country of that TLD. If anything fundamentally changes there, it could impact your domain, and if you’ve built your brand on that ccTLD, you may have a problem.