Centralised Stupidity

By Alan Ralph on June 7, 2020 — 1 min read

My lifetime has seen everything progressively centralize. In the 1970s, someone living in Ithaca, New York, population about 30,000, could visit the phone company and negotiate billing with the same woman they dealt with several months previously. The guy who came to read the electric meter this month was the same guy you saw every month. And when you called the telephone operator to check on a phone number, they would confirm the address and speculate with you how to get there because they knew your town. Forty years later, if you *can* make a call to a utility company you’re probably dealing with someone to whom your town is a dot they can’t find on a map…

…which all brings me to this week, when a Twitter account that seemed to be from the National Health Service posted a note to the effect that we might get a message or call from “NHS” and if we did we should follow the instructions. The tweet also published the number we could expect to hear from. Because the immediate follow-up was a few people saying they would immediately block the number, I commented that the smart thing to do seemed to me to be to put the number in a phone’s contacts so the call would be recognized.

But, the security folks reminded: SIM spoofing. True. Hello, phishing attacks.

Does the NHS employ no security experts?

Wendy M Grossman

This is actually worse than stupidity, it’s ‘politically convenient stupidity’ as Wendy puts it later in that article. I honestly think that the Conservatives’ only goal now is to stay in power, even if that means mass deaths due to Covid-19 and the annihilation of the UK economy, as long as they can pin the blame on anyone other than themselves…

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