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Food for Thought..

I have two great enemies, the southern army in front of me and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in the rear is the greatest enemy.

Abraham Lincoln, 16th President
Assasinated 1865

ACCESS Guard My Credit File News
Is China Implanting Spy Chips on Widely Used Computer Motherboards? Bloomberg Thinks So
In The News

February 21, 2021 - Back in 2018, Bloomberg's Newsweek did a report on a company by the name of Supermicro. The company, which manufactures in China, makes motherboards for computers and their products are widely used in network servers around the world. More importantly, the company's motherboards are used by a number of US Government agencies including the Department of Defense. According to the initial report, Supermicro's motherboards contained chips that were diverting information to the Chinese government, and the US federal government had known about it for about a decade at the time of publication. This week, Bloomberg issued a follow-up report that is much more damning than the first one. According to the latest publication, the federal government continues to purchase Supermicro products. But that probably shouldn't be a real surprise given the federal government's abysmal history of data protection.

Biden Considering Nationalizing Credit Reporting - What A Horrible Idea!
Federal Issues

February 12, 2021 - There is no doubt that credit reporting in the United States has been something of a mess for years. The three big credit bureaus make a living by selling credit reports which often contain inaccurate information. And rather than making it simple to correct credit reporting issues, they also make billions of dollars annually by selling credit monitoring services that would be completely unnecessary if people could easily correct issues with their credit reports. If that isn't a conflict of interest, then I don't know what is. But even with those issues, the idea that the government could take over credit reporting and make it better is simply ludicrous. 

Bank Of America Sharing Information With Feds Without A Warrant Or Even A Subpoena
In The News

February 5, 2021 - On January 6th, a group of protesters broke into the US Capitol building, supposedly to protest the certification of the presidential election by Congress. While the break-in never should have happened, the Capitol is one of the most surveilled buildings in the country and various news outlets (with cameras) were present at the time. On top of that, many of the supposed protesters who illegally entered apparently wanted to have some "souvenir photos" for posterity sake. Not exactly the wisest course of action when you are breaking the law, but the fact that many of those photos were subsequently posted to social media sites should mean that tracking down the culprits should be fairly easy. So it seems like overkill that under the guise of helping law enforcement with their incident investigation that the nation's second largest bank is sharing information with the feds on pretty much any of their customers that had any transactions in Washington around the date of the incident. Moreover, it may be illegal. 

SCOTUS May Redefine Parameters for Warrantless Searches of Homes
In The News

February 3, 2021 - The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees that people will be free from unwarranted government searches. But in 1973, the US Supreme Court found there was a "community caretaking" exception. To date, that exception has been largely been limited to vehicle searches. When a cop pulls you over, if he sees something illegal in your vehicle the car can be entirely searched in most states under the premise that you might be a danger to yourself of others. But a court in Massachusetts has now expanded the community caretaking exception to allow for the search of one's home without a warrant. And that court's decision will be reviewed at the US Supreme Court in March.

Biden Admins Push For 15 Dollar Minimum Wage More Likely to Hurt Employees Than Help Them
Federal Issues

January 30, 2021 - If you have been paying attention to what the Biden Administration is doing, then you probably already know that one of the things they are focused on is increasing the minimum wage nationally to $15 and hour. And if you stand to get a raise from that increase, you may think that sounds great. But the truth is that capital - meaning the money that employers spend - is fluid. Much like water, it seeks the lowest point and drains to that level, or in this case, the least expensive place. And that is why the most expensive and heavily regulated states are constantly trying to retain the jobs they currently have.

Millions of Dating Site Users Had Their Information Exposed This Week
In The News

January 26, 2021 - The personal information of roughly 2.28 million users of the dating site MeetMindful had their data intentionally released on the internet this week. The data had been stolen by a hacker and was released for download on an internet forum for hackers. The same hacker behind this particular release also released a similar download a short time ago that contained user data on millions of users of the website Teespring. 

IRS and DIA Have Been Using Cell Phone Data to Track Americans Without Search Warrants
In The News

January 25, 2021 - A report in the Wall Street Journal states that the Defense Intelligence Agency has used commercially available cell phone data to track people without first securing a search warrant. The position that the agency has taken is that the data can be used because it was purchased from commercial sources and freely available to anyone who was willing to make the purchase. But that determination may be in violation of a recent Supreme Court ruling and it clearly violates the spirit of the Fourth Amendment which requires the government to obtain a search warrant before going through the records of average citizens. Perhaps more troubling than the DIA's position is the fact that the IRS has also used this method to track people down.

A New Round of Stimulus Payments Means a New Round of COVID Scams
Fraud Alerts

January 16, 2021 - Over the past few weeks, Americans have been receiving a new round of stimulus payments from the federal government. Most Americans have received $600 payments which were deposited directly into their bank accounts. And that has brought scam artists out in droves. 

SCOTUS Decision Allows Creditors To Retain Control of Seized Property After Bankruptcy Filing
In The News

January 14, 2021 - Do creditors need to return property they have taken control of, but don't yet own, to debtors after the debtor declares bankruptcy? That was the question before the US Supreme Court in the case of Fulton v. Chicago, and it is one that lower courts had not been able to agree upon.

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02/24/2021 12:18:09