...In a recent TCS article, Glenn Reynolds argued that if citizens value their privacy, they'll enact laws to enforce limits on information use. The traditional assumption is that governments or corporations are the principal threats. But what if that basic assumption is wrong?

Perhaps we'd be better off asking how information could be used by organizations who recognize no laws, and who exist to prey on our citizens.


In Canada, webmasters have become a prime target in the wars among biker gangs. As part of those wars, the Hell's Angels also compiled databases of personal information on 614 people connected to rival gangs in Quebec and Ontario: names, addresses, license plate numbers, social insurance numbers, driver's license identifications, and more. Granted, much of this information can be gained by standard surveillance and investigation techniques. Even so, a society that makes such information routinely available to advertisers and casual investigators can hardly be shocked if the Hell's Angels also help themselves.


"This is all interesting," you may think, "but what does it have to do with me?" Several American universities already have an answer. They were forced to modify or cease certain online operations when agents of the Russian mafia planted keystroke recorder software designed to collect social insurance and credit card numbers.


interesting read with some good links.