Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Entreprenurial Capitalists think Republican Bloggers are stupid.

At least stupid enough, statistically, to make a phishing trip profitable.

Here's the pitch:

Greetings,

You are receiving this e-mail because we came across your listing on Google and thought you might be interested in our website. Our website is called 'DeeperRight.com' and it has been developed as a community and marketplace for merchants, website owners and bloggers with related content and products to promote themselves for Free. We have no intentions of ever charging for this service.

In addition, posted content and products will be eligible for our community Newsletter (shown below) at no cost. If you are interested, please post your website, blog, or product at http://DeeperRight.com.

If you are not interested, thank you for taking the time to consider our service, you do not have to unsubscribe. This e-mail will not be repeated and is only a courtesy mail to let you know about this new service.

Once again, this service is Free and we have no plans to ever charge for this service. We simply want to make sure that our community knows about sites like yours.

Cheers,
A.J.
Community Moderator
DeeperRight.com Community Development


Clearly, the work of a robot programmed by someone who has not yet learned that Libertarian is not a sort of Republican and may or may not be a sort of Conservative.

So, what the heck, I figured I'd check it out. It's a spam farm, of course. And it seems to be run by the same people that run e-shirts.com, apparent competitor artapart.com as well as a host of other niche websites.

But even so, a free link in a niche I don't usually penetrate is worth checking out. I clicked on the add link, where I ran into a form that stopped just short of asking for my SSN and my banking information, with this privacy policy.



PRIVACY POLICY:
As member of this community we offer an in depth newsletter that contains all of the latest news, discussions, blogs and websites. We try to make the newsletter as valuable to you as possible by providing you with up to date information delivered on the schedule you specify.

Unlike many newsletters, we will never sell your e-mail address to mass-marketers. It will only be used for standard operations by our parent organization and to keep you up to date with this community.

Mandatory information on the form is:

* First Name
* Last Name
* Address1
Address2
* City
* State
* Country
* Email
* Password
Phone
Note : All fields marked * are required

And that "parent organization" would be? Well, take your pick:

Copyright©1998- 2008 Aajost Technologies, LLC
All rights reserved. ( 1 / 29 / 10117 )


Friends of the community:
ArtApart.com | E-Shirt.com | MomFacts.com | TSE | BikerFacts.com | FaithfulNet.com | SportsSanctuary.com | UnspoiledEarth.com | HoundForYou.com | MusicIsInstrumental.com

...and if you click on the ArtApart.com link, you will find THEM linked to DeeperLeft - so there is a broad effort to scam people across the political spectrum, and apparently sort them by family size, favorite sport, faith and eco-consciousness.

That has me even more concerned, given that they have several ways to gain your banking information - just sign up for any one of a number of "free" services. Remember, they only promised not to misuse your email address!

But Name, Address, City, State, Country, zip and email are all mandatory. Of that, all they have a legitimate need to know for their "newsletter community" is email.

Now, I wonder what mischief I could brew - and what money I might spin - with a reliable list of real names and SSNs attached to particular bloggers, and a regular feed from their sites? The least nefarious would be to map them by legislative districts and start feeding them stories.

And by the way, what are "standard operations by our parent organization?" The standard operations of, say, the Democratic Leadership Council, the Mafia and the IRS are all quite different - but I welcome attention from none of them.

NOTHING I was able to learn about Aajost Technologies, LLC gave me any reason to think that altruism was a significant part of their business plan. So what do they plan to do - besides sell t-shirts and try and get me to sell some t-shirts for them? Well, I dunno, but that goal alone would not require any such deviousness. I deal with three reputable t-shirt companies - cafepress.com, spreadshirt.com and zazzle.com (presented in alphabetical order) and none have tried anything like this on me before. Moreover, they each make a great deal of effort to stay above politics, as business entities.

So what does
Aajost want with my personal information? Data mining is a probable intent. And with enough data to mine, I could easily use it to dig up dirt on bloggers in key states, and I could go a long way toward identity theft. If they use one of my "free" services, I have their banking information and SSN. At that point, I can screw anyone up badly enough to take them out of play.

That is just one potential scenario, but it's surely a potentially lucrative one.

You can bet blogs will be major players in the coming elections - and even minor blogs might have a major say in certain hotly contested districts. I wonder what people might pay to have information of that sort?

Me, I'm an anti-authoritarian blogger and I may as well have TANSTAFFL tattooed on my butt. Nobody gives you nothin' for nothin', so I take the time to think what "free" implies to the person offering me the freebie.

All the free services - including Blogger - carry a price with them. In some cases it's a price worth paying, but in other cases... like this... you'd be better off paying real money, because any price would be cheaper than the potential downsides of being linked to people who may not have your best interests at heart.

ATTN: doj.info@state.or.us
ATTN: Nevada Atty General's office

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