Wires Crossed #47 – August 22

British Bobbys’ Warned About Social Networking
Britain’s Greater Manchester chief constable, Peter Fahy, has warned his officers to be careful when on social networking sites. Not because they’ll make fools of themselves or put up something they will regret later (although this is a possibility), but more to make sure criminals cannot access personal information about members of the force. Fahy fears that if crims get hold of personal details they will use them to harm or compromise a police officer.  Not a bad piece of advice considering the role of social networking in the riots in the UK this past week.

40 Years In Prison For Spammer?
They don’t’ muck around in the US. Serial spammer Sanford Wallace has been accused of mail fraud and intentional damage to a protected computer amongst other things after allegedly hacking into 500,000 Facebook accounts and sending in excess of 27 million spam messages. The total sum of his crimes with regard to jail time could be up to 40 years. While it is doubtful he’ll get that much time (after all some people get less for violent crime), we’re thinking if he's found guilty he’ll be spending more than a couple of years in the pokie.

Hackers Take on Cops
There seems to be a theme with this week’s Wires Crossed – when policing and technology collide! A group of hackers going under the banner called AntiSec says it is going to attack police websites and release sensitive information to the public. It seems the group takes issue with fellow troublemakers who have been arrested for hacking into websites. Um, guys, it’s illegal to hack into websites. Maybe if you stop doing so, you might not get arrested in the first place?

Vodafone Copping It Again
Ah, finally a story that doesn’t mention the law. Vodafone have been doing it hard in Australia over the past few months due to its less-than-stellar network, and now it’s copping it in Britain from a struggling sports club. The club, in Stansted, has a mobile mast that belongs to the telecommunications giant on its land for which the company pays rent. In 2004 the club decided to up the rent by a couple of grand, but Vodafone failed to sign the agreement. Now the club is struggling financially and wants the money, but Vodafone is refusing to pay. They can afford to sponsor Manchester United and a Formula One team, but not a local sports club. Talk about bad PR…