Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Listen... Do you want to know a secret?

Well if you promise not to tell then it is a fair bet you are not working for a department of the New Zealand Government right now. In a time when an increasing amount of data is stored about us all by the state and many other organisations, we are finding examples of how this data is not being looked after appropriately.

It is hard to imagine that this can be rocket science. The whole thing is simple really; you collect personal data you store it securely and you release it only to those who have a right to access it. All it takes for that to happen is to hire someone who can (a) read and write and (b) at least finished primary school.

Regular readers will know that I love sticking the boot into the Jianqi Government and to be fair for a nano-second they have not been the only ones on whose watch such blatantly negligent acts of disclosure have occurred. However it is also fair to say that this particular shambolic arrangement of village idiots masquerading as our leadership has presided over more leaks than a long serving public toilet attendant.

Since the little money market twerp with the slightly effeminate speech patterns and the permanent look of a possum caught in the headlights took the reins of office just lets recap what we have seen.

1.      In March 2012 we discovered that ACC (Accident Compensation Catastrophe) had inadvertently divulged all sorts of stuff about 6700 vulnerable sick and injured people including 250 sexual abuse victims to Bronwyn Pullar. In January of this year we learned that since then they have been involved in over 500 further privacy breaches and they are still breaching the privacy of Kiwi citizens at the rate of 1 per day.

2.      On September 11, 2012 we learn that WINZ (What Idiots New Zealand) sent out some great reading matter to one of their clients – only it was about another client. And just to make things even more interesting, when the recipient rang up and told them of their error and offered to bring the material back to them some cretin told them to just destroy it themselves.

3.      On 15 October 2012 we learned that the MSD (Ministry of Social Dysfunction) leave their information kiosks so unprotected that some 12 year-old kid with basic computer knowledge would be able to hack into them and of course someone did, laying bare all the secrets of many thousands more vulnerable people.

4.      On October 28, 2012 we heard that another punter had received from the IRD (Inland Robbery Department) a bunch of unsealed letters containing private tax details. Further investigations revealed that IRD had in the previous 12 months breached the privacy of 6400 Kiwis in 32 separate incidents.

5.      Now the latest breach du jour comes from the EQC (the Earthquake Cock-ups). They like to do things on a big scale, rather like the Christchurch earthquake. No little breaches by this mob, despite them originally claiming a mere 9000 people had been compromised. No; we find these geniuses have actually liberated 83,000 records which is reckoned to be every single one of the ChCh claimants. Well done them!

But I doubt we are finished with these stupid and inexcusable cock-ups yet.

Over the last six months the Government has kept persevering with the doomed NoNo Pay scheme for not paying teachers. Given that many teachers on leave have been paid and many more who have been working have not and another was sent on maternity leave well after she had passed beyond her fertile years, you would have to wonder how many breaches we have not yet heard about in this system.

But lest we think that is the end of the saga, let’s not forget several million of us have just completed a census form. Some will even have (rather foolishly) put their correct earnings information and religious persuasion an various other theoretically uncheckable bits of information into those sheets along with of course their name and current address. Imagine the fun Statistics NZ will have leaking those all over the country?

But, dear readers, there is a sublime irony in all of this. Have any of you ever tried to get a public report out of a government department or even some sensitive information about yourself? If you have you will know you are made to jump through more hoops than an Olympic gymnast and made to wait until you can no longer remember why you requested the information in the first place.

Yet every so often they have a kind of mufti day for information when they scatter it to the four winds like so many prayer lanterns to drift wherever they may and enlighten the lives of persons in places unknown.

It certainly makes the case for living in a cave in the back of beyond seem increasingly attractive.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Elephant’s trunk calls

It’s okay to drink and drive. It must be because I just read it in the Herald today. And not only is it alright to drink and drive; it is also okay to do both at the same time.

It’s times like these when you think you’ve either had too much to drink yourself or you have simply crossed over into a parallel universe. I don’t drink alcohol anymore, so I know it’s not that. As for the parallel universe; well I’ll let you make the call on that one. But bear with me for a moment before you leap to the conclusion that this old codger has finally and irrevocably exceeded his sell-by date.

It is apparently okay to drink and drive because when a couple in Nelson recently reported seeing a dimwit driving his car while swigging from a bottle of beer they discovered from the plods that he was not committing an offence. Yes; that’s right. Apparently the geniuses that drafted our drink driving legislation only took account of people behind the wheel being a menace if they had over a certain level of alcohol in their blood which might seem fair enough to some. It seems that as long as you haven’t hit the magic figure you are perfectly entitled to drive and swig because it is not an offence on the statute books to do so unless you are under 20 years of age when your allowable level is zero.

The cops will stop you if they see you doing this, but due to a combination of the hopeless legislation and the brain dead plods, you will not be prosecuted unless you are over the aforementioned limit. I say brain dead plods, because (a) I like saying it; (b) it is an accurate assessment of most of the boys and girls in blue (sad, but true, but more of that later) and (c) because it just goes to show how little imagination they have. Honestly I doubt that a roomful of them would have enough sparks of intelligence to burn the toast.

If I had been that copper I would have charged the prick with driving without due care and attention. You can’t tell me that he could concentrate on the road ahead and behind him and to the side of him while his melon is tipped back so he can slug down a draft of Lion Piss. In fact I would go further and suggest that if these bozos who draft our laws ever wake up enough to do something about this, they might as well make it an offence to be swigging ANYTHING while driving, whether it is beer, coffee, alka seltzer, or drain cleaner. The mere fact that you are removing your attention from the road momentarily and tipping your head back and driving with one hand means you are not in full control of your vehicle. The fact that you might get away with it nine times out of ten doesn’t mean it is safe. If you shoot somebody with a gun, on many occasions they will live to kick your arse later, but that still doesn’t make it safe.

We have already banned the use of hand-held cellphones in cars because they are a distraction. Although with the number of plonkers still using them in cars you wouldn’t think we had. So why not extend that commonsense ban to include anything that takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road? Any answers? I’m buggered if I can think of any that would indicate the Government is actually serious about reducing the number of road crashes.

Of course this is another restriction upon our freedoms, but one that I think needs to be made, because most of the people on our roads are irresponsible idiots. Far too many of them are unable to safely drive their cars anyway.... or even walk and chew at the same time.

And while we are on the subject of drinking and driving I had a good laugh reading about the cousin-shagging moron from Masterton who came up with a cunning plan to avoid being done for drink driving. This seventeen year old retard had a couple of beers and then decided to drive his car. But because he realised he could get done for drink driving because the level for under 20s is zero (which already makes him smarter than the bozo at the Wairarapa Times who wrote the story and solemnly informed us it was 150mcgs), he decided that getting rid of the smell might throw the brain dead plods off the trail.

It might have worked if they had only wanted to get a whiff of his lovely fresh breath, but unfortunately our young Einstein decided the best thing to get rid of the smell would be his Lynx deodorant. After all it had kept him shagless for all of his natural life up to now so it probably should work fine in this case. Sadly for him it didn’t work, because the cops were proceeding down the road, as they do and following Police procedure when they stopped Mr Sweetbreath. As this neither involved wanting to shag him or reject his advances for that matter and instead meant breath testing him; the game was up. Furthermore as anyone with even a fraction of a brain knows, most deodorants contain alcohol, so our young Rhodes Scholar had just gulped down probably twice as much alcohol as his couple of cheap beers would ever have contained. Not that it mattered too much anyway as even the most minute reading would have meant that he was in the crap, given his age which was about the same as his IQ it would seem.

Oh, and further to the brain dead plods; some of you might have read the story in the Herald about the couple from earthquake city who had to go out and catch their own burglar because the cops were too stupid to do it for them.
They came home one day recently to discover their house had been burgled and it was apparent they had only just missed the burglars. It also appeared the burglars might be planning to return as their quad bike was sitting in the driveway. They rang the cops and told them what had happened and the fact that the crime scene was still red hot, but the plods responded by saying they wouldn’t be able to come out for 48 hours! 

So here was an extremely fresh crime scene and the strong possibility the offenders were still in the area, and yet the plods wanted the couple to carry on as normal and no doubt mess up the crime scene for two bloody days before even coming and checking it out.
Fortunately this young couple were made of sterner stuff and decided to lay in wait for the offenders to return. Sure enough, a short while later some young yob turned up and tried to get away with their quad bike. They pounced and the bloke knocked the little prick to the ground but then he got up and ran away. However the woman shot after him in her car and blocked the little shit in until her partner arrived and dropped him again. They rang the cops again and managed to hold onto him until they arrived. They have since had to do their own inquires with the offender and have basically done everything the plods should have done. Needless to say they are far from impressed. 

I suppose now they will be charged with assaulting the little twerp and driving without due care and attention, and some wimp in a wig will let the little scumbag go free.

It’s enough to drive a bloke to drink while it’s still legal to do so.