Remember the report that, thanks to Equifax, we may all become victims of identity theft? The possibilities: credit card fraud, tax refund theft, ruined reputations and credit ratings replete with denied apartments, insurances, or jobs, and even worse: credit cards or bank accounts being set up in our names and the bill collectors coming for us over those false accounts, arrest warrants getting issued against us because of the crimes of others, arresting police shooting us in our beds… at least that’s what I can imagine coming at us. Here is an update interview:
(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Massachusetts First to Sue Equifax Over Massive Hack “)
It’s really sad to hear that the vulnerability is said to have been in an open-source software, since open-source is usually considered one of the best protections against hacking. But, of course, it won’t help when the quickly produced patches are not applied down the line, in this case by the staff of one of our three ruling credit bureaus.
The one thing in this video which I want to stress again is that we Americans are not customers of the credit bureaus and collection agencies. Our confidential information with which criminals can ruin our lives is given to these outfits without our consent by a system that is rigged against us in so many ways that this is only one of them, but one which demonstrates the utter impunity with which the establishment abuses and enslaves us. They just want us to be their slaves, by any means, (in this case by collecting right or wrong debts from us), and they don’t care about our human or constitutional rights or about the tragedies happening to us as a result of their greedy, self-serving actions.
The government hasn’t done its duty, the due diligence it owes us, in this matter — neither to prevent this hoarding of our confidential information in the first place, nor – as far as I have heard, anyway – a quick response, such as marching into Equifax and getting a copy of the stolen data to be safely stored at the Department of Justice or such and creating a government agency or program that will defend us, free of cost and troubles, when criminals use this stolen information to our detriment.
Not only Equifax, but the government as well, if you ask me, owe us on this one. This whole system of credit bureaus is an outright violation of our 4th amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure, predating even the federal government’s own violations in the form of the Patriot Act and various Military Commissions Acts and NDAAs (and a growing slew of state level violations). After all, even if the credit bureaus are not technically the government, it is the government which allows these companies to collect our confidential information without our consent and which backs both rightful and wrongful bill collectors with its law-enforcement institutions. This is how the private sector and government have merged. Sadly, our founders only targeted the government in our Bill of Rights. They didn’t foresee this unholy marriage with thieving and slave-seeking gangsters from the private sector. It’s so easy to circumvent the Constitution, in seeming legality, when the government is in cahoots with elements from the private sector to whom it leaves the dirty deeds it itself is constitutionally prohibited from committing.
At least I am glad to hear that Equifax’s attempt to trick us into freeing it from all liability has been taken down. By this I mean its demanding legal immunity from us in return for oh-so-graciously responding to our asking if our information was stolen (to which the answer will be either ‘no’ or ‘maybe’). On the other hand, as far as I know, Equifax’s plan to force us into a paid identity theft protection service (that probably doesn’t even go nearly far enough) is still alive and well. It offers it for free to all its victims, but only for the first year. After that, we’ll have to pay. If it will automatically transition to a paid enrollment is unclear.
This disgusting treatment of Equifax’ victims – which probably are all of us, considering that the confidential information of 143 million people with a credit rating were stolen – reminds me that I have always regarded it as an outrage that these credit bureaus are required to give us a free credit report only once a year, and that they can (and do!) place false, slanderous claims on our credit file — reports made by criminal collection agencies which refuse to honor proof that some debt claims made against us by shady business folks and landlords are pure fiction. Additionally, we are not only dealing with one such nefarious entity, but three of them. What a disgusting slaveholder society we live in, where the rich are the masters, and working people are the slaves, or gradually becoming slaves if you are still waiting for the label to properly fit, say, by dint of such a technicality as an actual ownership title proving your owned status in black and white!
One more thing: I am getting reports that the remedial pages Equifax has created (for you to check if your data was stolen or for you to enroll in that alleged protection thinge called TrustedID), as well as its credit-freeze website, are (A) not working reliably and (B) also vulnerable to hacking, as in Equifax giving you a second chance for your confidential information to be stolen. How nice!
Freezing our credit file with each of the three credit bureaus may be the most protective thing we can do (to prevent thieves from acquiring new credit cards in our names), except it will keep us from getting loans or credit cards ourselves (or credit-check requiring apartments and jobs, I guess). This defensive action also risks we cannot undo it later if we lose the ‘thaw’ code, and – impertinence upon impertinence – these credit bureaus charge fees for this! It’s like the local Mafia collecting “protection” fees. These horrible credit bureaus, in essence, make us spend valuable time and pay them good money to give us the equivalence of an extremely bad credit rating, unless we prefer to be indebted and criminalized by thieves who use our confidential information which at least one of these three companies leaked to them. And our government lets it all happen and sends its law enforcement after us when lying landlords or identity thieves stick us with debts we didn’t incur.
Oh, the liberty and justice of America…
Here is a link to a page describing the time consuming, costly, self-constricting, and/or feeble steps we can take to protect ourselves against the wave of identity theft that may soon be coming: Equifax data breach: Find out if you were one of 143 million hacked
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