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Man Loses Millions In Bizarre Virus-Protection Scam 366

Orome1 writes "A US court has heard that a couple conned at least $6 million from the great-grandson of an oil industry tycoon after he brought his virus-infected computer in for repair. The couple are said to have tricked the composer into believing that, while investigating the virus, they had found evidence that his life was in danger – concocting a story that the virus had been tracked to a hard drive in Honduras, and that evidence had been found that the composer's life was in danger." The victim here, Roger Davidson, may have lost as much as $20 million, after being convinced that he was in danger from a grand conspiracy. Vickram Bedi and girlfriend Helga Invarsdottir convinced Davidson to pay $160,000 monthly, and possibly much more, for their help.

Comment Re:Plagiarism? or Ghost writing? Outsourcing? (Score 1) 236

It's not a work for hire. The company is being hired on an independent contractor basis, and essays don't fall under any of the classes of work that can be covered under work for hire.

Even if they did, a work for hire in a non-employee relationship requires a signed agreement by both parties, and I doubt a company like this would go to any effort to relinquish their copyright.

Comment Re:What's the big deal? (Score 1) 483

A large number of Mac users are technically savvy. I switched from Windows to OS X when Windows XP introduced activation, while OS X let you make illegal installs with impunity. (It still does.) I stayed because of the UNIX core. The second Apple changes the value proposition, I'll jump ship, and I think many others will as well.

Comment Re:Hulu? (Score 1) 829

iTunes (or the producers?) generally offer premieres and catch-up videos free of charge so people get into the series. It's not a bug, but it most likely is for a limited time.

Comment Re:Why deactivated? (Score 1) 594

Please explain why you think the gmail user should get to keep the private bank account data.

The user did nothing wrong. They didn't solicit the data. Unless there's evidence to the contrary, they didn't use it for malicious activity. They may not even know they have it. They should not have to hire an attorney to protect their rights when they did nothing, let alone did nothing wrong.

The fact that the data was sent by electronic means shouldn't give the bank additional rights that they wouldn't otherwise have. If the bank had sent the data by fax machine or snail mail, should a court grant them a search warrant?

Please explain why it's more responsible for the bank to simply allow an anonymous person to have 1325 bank records than to file a court action to get the data erased.

The bank is already in the wrong for sending the data, unencrypted, to an unsecured e-mail address. They can't undo their wrong by bringing court actions against innocent third parties (Google and the Gmail user) for the bank's mistake.

And what's wrong with sealing records in a privacy-related court case?

Nothing, if you're suing to protect people. (In fact, the judge has ordered the e-mail address in question to be redacted from all court records.) Everything, if you're suing to protect your reputation. It's fine to redact the information of the people involved. It becomes a problem when you're trying to keep the entire action under seal.

If I were on that list of 1325 names, I'd want the data erased.

If you were on that list, I'd wager your actual reaction would be to remove your money and switch to a more trustworthy bank, and I'm certain that the other 1,324 accounts would feel the same way. Perhaps that's why Rocky Mountain Bank has gone to such great lengths to attempt, clumsily, to keep this a secret?

If the bank needed to go to court to accomplish this, I'd expect them to file suit.

You're not the only person whose rights are being violated in this case. Somebody should be looking out for the Gmail user's too. (Google isn't - they won't fight a court order regardless of how ludicrous it is.)

I'd want the court records sealed so I'm not publicly dragged into this.

Your information can be redacted without sealing the entire filing, and I have no objection to that happening.

And I'd also switch banks.

I'm glad.

Comment Re:Why deactivated? (Score 4, Insightful) 594

Here's what Rocky Mountain Bank should have done. (I refuse to allow them to be anonymous because that's clearly what they want, and they should be held responsible for their mistake.)

  1. They should have e-mailed the 1,325 customers that had their data exposed.
  2. They should not have sued Google in an effort to get the e-mail deleted.
  3. They should not have tried to seal records in a lawsuit they filed to fix their mistake.
  4. They should have trained their employees to understand that recalling e-mails doesn't work more often than it does.

Had they done this, this would not have been international news, and probably not even local news.

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