Date: 8 Oct 2017 17:50:20 -0000
From: "John Levine" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Google sending balloons to help PR phone service
In article <Pine.NEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> you write:
>[Al Jazeera. Live with it]
>Google to use balloons for Puerto Rico phone service
>Alphabet Inc is sending high-altitude balloons to provide phone service to
>island devastated by Hurricane Maria.
It's also in the Wall Street Journal, so it must be true:
Some cynics have pointed out that all the whizbang balloons don't do
much good while most of the residents have no power and no way to
recharge their phones.
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2017 19:39:09 -0400
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
Subject: Verizon Wireless experiencing network issues
Verizon Wireless experiencing network issues causing outages in N. Nevada &
by Kenzie Bales
Verizon Wireless is currently experiencing network issues that are
causing widespread outages throughout the Northern Nevada and
California areas, according to a spokeswoman for the company.
More than 100 reports have been filed in the Reno area since 8 a.m. on
Saturday, Oct. 7, according to the company's outage site.
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
Date: Sat, 07 Oct 2017 23:18:05 -0500
From: email@example.com (Gordon Burditt)
Subject: Re: White House wants to end Social Security numbers as a
> White House wants to end Social Security numbers as a national ID
> US government is examining the use of a "modern cryptographic
> Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity czar, said on Tuesday that
> the government should end using the Social Security number as a
> national identification method.
I'd like to suggest a few objectives for a replacement for a
Social Security Number.
The number should be long enough and confusing enough that dictating
a NewSSN over the phone without error should take more time, on
average, than the average lifetime of a person who holds one. (This
will hopefully stop scammers from asking for it over the phone, or
banks from trying to use it as a default password.) This might mean,
for example, a 100,000-character NewSSN consisting of the following
The digit 1
Capital I with acute accent
Capital I with grave accent
Lower-case i with acute accent
Lower-case i with grave accent
Lower-case l with acute accent
Lower-case l with grave accent
The digit 0
Capital O with acute accent
Capital O with grave accent
Capital Q with acute accent
Capital Q with grave accent
Lower-case o with acute accent
Lower-case o with grave accent
(Someone once wrote a program that generated random Microsoft Product
Keys with a similar alphabet, but limited to ASCII, as a joke and
complaint about how it was difficult to accurately type them. To
Microsoft's credit, they avoided characters that looked alike, and
they only required 25 characters, not counting the -'s which you
didn't have to type, the form would do that for you.)
Note: as far as I know, no existing Unicode character is a
capital Q with any kind of accent.
Or, you could just dispense with a human-readable representataion
of it at all, so asking someone for their NewSSN will get a blank
stare after they get the card out and look at it and find no number
or bunch of characters.
There should be *NO* personal information encoded within the SSN
itself, unlike the current SSN which seems to have state of
registration (which often implies state of birth) and year of birth
within a few years for a fairly good percentage of the numbers.
The Social Security numbers of families registering for numbers at
the same time should be unrelated (e.g. *NOT* consecutive). Now,
this probably applies to immigrants and multiple births only, but
back in the 1950's or so when kids started needing one because of
laws going into effect, it was not uncommon for all the kids in the
family to get SSNs at once, and possibly end up with consecutive
Also, there should be *NO* changeable personal information encoded,
(marital status, weight, current GPS coordinates, firearm license,
awake/asleep status, citizenship, etc.) unlike current Medicare
claim numbers which consist of the SSN followed by a single letter.
T indicates you have Medicare but you are not receiving Social
Security (yet). Since people usually enter Medicare at age 65 and
the standard retirement age (for getting Social Security) is 66 for
people going to retire around 2017, a lot of people will have T for
a year and then change to something else a year later when they
will start getting Social Security also.
The NewSSN card needs to be *READ ONLY* and machine-readable (and
preferably NOT human-readable) but it may *NOT* be readable from a
distance of more than 0.5 mm (no RFID) from the card.
NewSSNs must not be re-used until all previous holders of that
number have been dead for at least 100 million years.
The chance of guessing a NewSSN (issued in the past, active now,
or issuable in the future) by generating random characters in the
appropriate alphabet must be less than one in the number of particles
in the universe (estimated as 1.e+78 to 1.e+82). If you're using
digits as an alphabet, that means at least 82 check digits. The
design should avoid dividing the NewSSN into "check digits" and
"the real number", where the check digits can be calculated from
"the real number". There probably should be several levels of
check digits - some public, some classified. The ultimate check
is against the database which will indicate whether the number
has been issued.
NewSSNs should be treated as "private medical information" under
HIPAA laws. The minimum damages for a data breach is $100,000
payable by the holder of the data to each owner of the NewSSNs
involved, or double actual damages, whichever is higher, plus 1
year of jail time per NewSSN. This amount doubles every 30 days
after the first breach until it is paid. So, if you don't admit
to the breach for 6 months, that raises the penalty to $6,400,000.00
NewSSNs must not be revealed to Equifax, current Equifax employees,
or former Equifax employees who worked for Equifax after Jan 1,
2016. This means that Equifax and its employees or former employees
must not have access to THEIR OWN NewSSNs (or NewTINs).
Including a NewSSN in a credit report when that credit report was
requested using search criteria that didn't include the entire
NewSSN is a data breach, even if the recipient of the report is the
subject of the NewSSN. Including two NewSSNs in a credit report
on a couple when that credit report was requested using search
criteria that didn't include both NewSSNs is a data breach by the
credit reporting agency, and it may be a data breach by one of the
couple against the other if the one whose NewSSN wasn't included
in the search criteria wants to press the issue.
Being the parent, guardian, or spouse of someone is *NOT* a defense
against giving out their NewSSN without their permission.
Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2017 14:11:32 -0400
From: Barry Margolin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Verizon to discontinue legacy services across seven-
In article <email@example.com>,
HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 8:53:58 PM UTC-4, Bill Horne wrote:
> > U.S. telecom behemoth, Verizon Communications Inc VZ is reportedly
> > seeking permission from the U.S. telecom regulator Federal
> > Communications Commission (FCC) to discontinue four legacy interstate
> > DS0 services across parts of seven states. These legacy voice and
> > low-speed data services are Voice Grade Service, WATS Access Line
> > Service, Digital Data Service and DIGIPATH Digital Service II.
> > The affected states include Delaware, Maryland, New England, New
> > Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Verizon has about 10
> > wholesale customers and approximately 67 retail customers for these
> > services in the affected areas.
> What will happen to people who don't fibre service to their home?
> Lots of places do not have it. Will they be forced to go over
> to Comcast? In my area at least, Comcast is notoriously unreliable.
This isn't talking about regular consumer phone services. Did you miss
where it says there are only 67 retail customers for these services?
Barry Margolin, email@example.com
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
End of telecom Digest Mon, 09 Oct 2017