My vote for “Prank of the Month” (well, last month) goes to the New York-based Improv Everywhere crew for flooding a Best Buy department store with around 80 people dressed almost like their staff.
The full report on this prank shows how the store management couldn’t cope — they didn’t like it, and people get nervous when confronted with something “different”.
It’s also interesting reading the comments on Bruce Schneier’s write-up of this event, where so many commenters fail to see the difference between a “threat to the store” and a “threat to the perceived authority of the store managers”.
Information security expert Bruce Schneier looks at the Future of Privacy in this article from his Crypto-Gram Newsletter.
The pervasiveness of computers has resulted in the almost constant surveillance of everyone, with profound implications for our society and our freedoms. Corporations and the police are both using this new trove of surveillance data. We as a society need to understand the technological trends and discuss their implications. If we ignore the problem and leave it to the “market,” we’ll all find that we have almost no privacy left…
Most of us are happy to give out personal information in exchange for specific services. What we object to is the surreptitious collection of personal information, and the secondary use of information once it’s collected: the buying and selling of our information behind our back.
Bruce writes coherently — and presumably knows more than we know he knows. His books are well worth a read too.