Saturday, April 14, 2007

Don't Rip Off Hackers

Don't screw with hackers - even the white hats (good guys). They don't like that.

Case in point: When an insurance company run by a guy named Stephen Sills, who donated money to Joe Lieberman last election ('nuff said about that) decides to use the dataloss rss feed of a site like whose members spend hundreds, if not thousands, of hours scouring for news about personal data lost by the government, corporations and individuals without the site's permission there are going to be consequences.

Voila: All had to do was add a story about that very violation to its rss feed to make it show up on the offender's site:

Darwin Professional Underwriters / data loss circa 2007/04/14
Darwin Professional Underwriters is ripping off's Data Loss RSS feed without permission

You can see a screen capture here.

Darwin has apparently been promoting this new service of theirs via press releases and has been asked repeatedly by to cease using the feed. I wonder if they underwrite insurance for pompous asses, because that's exactly how Sills' company is behaving.

It is survival of the fittest out there, as Darwin's name implies, and you'd think that a company with such a damn huge balance sheet could actually hire someone of their own to research dataloss instead of ripping off the volunteers at if they thought that service was so valuable (which it is).

Then again, who ever said the insurance industry was ethical?

Bad form. Very bad form.

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