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Author Archives: Adam Levin


  • 94 Million Exposed: The Government’s Epic Fail on PrivacyGovernment, Blog, Privacy, Identity Theft

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    When you hear a number like “94 million” in the news, it’s usually because somebody won the lottery. This time around, no such luck. This 94 million is the number of Americans’ files in which personal information has been exposed, since 2009, to potential identity theft through data breaches at government agencies. Go ahead, count the zeroes: 94,000,000. That’s like releasing the personal data of every man, woman and child in California, Texas, New York, […]

  • The Great iPhone ID Caper: What Really Happened?Blog, Privacy, Technology

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    If you’re someone who cares about your privacy, these are indeed strange times. When everything from your iPhone to your iPad (and every derivation in between) is secretly tracking your every move from behind its colorful screen, when advertisers gather enough information about you to know you’re pregnant even before your parents do, it’s clear that we are living in a twilight zone. What we think we know about staying safe, and what we actually […]

  • The Most Outrageous Tax of the YearGovernment, Blog

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    It just may become the latest outrage during a year of outrages. At the precise moment when the federal government finally delivers a modicum of justice and some economic relief to millions of homeowners victimized by the nation’s largest banks, the government threatens to beat those victims over the head with a punitive old favorite revenue raiser — a tax on forgiven debt. Here’s the backstory: After years of standing on the sidelines and ignoring […]

  • Hail to the Thief: Clinton Speech B-Roll Opens Door to ID TheftPolitics, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Was it excessive exuberance? Was it judgmental deficiency? Was it the thrill of hearing a barnburner by the President of the World? Well, whatever it was, it was a dangerous mistake. Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, during a particularly rousing segment of President Clinton’s forceful and unabashed dissection of the Republican depiction of Obamacare as a destroyer of Medicare, an enthusiastic Democratic Delegate waved her Medicare card in front of a national news […]

  • What’s in Your Wallet? Hopefully Your Share of the National Mortgage SettlementGovernment, Mortgages, Blog, Personal Finance

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    Hell has frozen over! After years of lawsuits and investigations by federal and state law enforcement agencies — not to mention some hard-ass negotiations by the U.S. Department of Justice and 49 state Attorneys General (shout-outs to AGs Eric Schneiderman of New York, Beau Biden of Delaware, and Kamala Harris of California) — mortgage servicers are finally being forced to repay some of the billions of dollars they stole from American consumers. Unfortunately, the timing […]

  • MegaBanks Finally Ready to Modify Mortgages… Don’t Miss Out!Financial Literacy, Money

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    Hell has frozen over! After years of lawsuits and investigations by federal and state law enforcement agencies — not to mention some hard-ass negotiations by the U.S. Department of Justice and 49 state Attorneys General (shout-outs to AGs Eric Schneiderman of New York, Beau Biden of Delaware, and Kamala Harris of California) — mortgage servicers are finally being forced to repay some of the billions of dollars they stole from American consumers. Unfortunately, the timing […]

  • Romney’s Rage Against RegulationPersonal Finance

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    The people who brought you the Great Economic Meltdown of 2008 have a new idea for you — although if they get their way, you’ll never hear about it. In fact, one of the most striking things about the new push to undo the consumer-friendly financial reforms that followed the crash is the open contempt its backers show for American democracy. Since this week’s Republican National Convention will present their carefully orchestrated vision of a […]

  • For Ransom: Your Medical RecordsData Security, Blog, Privacy

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    It started out as a data breach like many others. The hackers penetrated the computer network of a small medical practice in a wealthy suburb of northern Illinois, The Surgeons of Lake County, and broke into a server containing email and electronic medical records. But instead of sneaking out undetected and selling the stolen data on the black market, they took a novel tack — encrypting the data and posting a message demanding a ransom […]

  • 7 Big Ticket Items (Including NASA’s Annual Budget) ID Thieves Could Fund With Your Stolen Tax RefundsData Security, Government, Blog, Identity Theft

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    Now that Governor Mitt Romney has picked U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, there is little doubt that the budget will be a major issue in the 2012 campaign. While both parties will vigorously debate which path should be taken regarding taxes and spending, one area of little dispute will be the efficient collection and proper refunding of taxes. After all, refunds have their own kind of stimulus effect. Obviously, […]

  • The Profound Failure of Congress on Cybersecurity (and Why You Should Care)Data Security, Government, Blog, Privacy, Technology

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    On August 2, Congress did it again. They acknowledged the looming threat of cyberwarfare while discussing the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, and then they “kicked the can down the road.” It’s what they do best. The “Party of No” hurt us all on a critically necessary piece of cyber-security legislation, and continued the U.S. Senate’s proud tradition of failing to do anything to deal with our absolute vulnerability to an attack by state-sponsored hackers and […]

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