The Boxing Day Reception

The day after Christmas is generally a normal working day in the US, but in England it is called Boxing Day. My brother and his family attend an Episcopalian church, which is rooted in England, so their rector has a Boxing Day reception. I tagged along as sister-of.

The parsonage was packed with people when we arrived. The rooms were filled with Christmas decorations and knickknacks galore. The dining room table groaned under plates and plates of food, and there were stashes of bubbly and beer in each of the rooms. I collected some pink bubbly and a plate of food and first stood around being the sister-from-Germany.

While foraging for a drink refill the rector introduced me to a guy standing next to him, and we started to chat. He's one of those hedge-fond guys who are selling European debts short and are, in my opinion, responsible for much of the current mess. Instead of asking me about the European situation, as a guy at dinner last night did, he told me about all that Europe is doing wrong.

Another guy joined us and they carried on a bit about the European Problem. Then they started talking about the Stratfor hack by the Anonymous group (NYT report). I found it mildly amusing, because they tried to explain to me what the group was and what they were doing. They had not yet asked me what I do, so they didn't know that I know a tiny bit about the Internet. I wondered what I would do if I were a member of Anonymous, how I would keep a straight face when people discuss this and have so much information wrong. One Anonymous annoncement denies that they are responsible for this hack on the open source intelligence agency, although there is a link to the announcement from an Anonymous Twitter account, and there they deny that they are not responsible. Whatever, there are lots of links posted.  

Anyway, the guy was saying that credit card numbers were posted on the Internet. Well, kind of. They are posted, but are encrypted, as they should have been at Stratfor. Apparently, a few pictures were posted with credit card transactions, and there were social security numbers posted. As I was defending the action, he went ballistic. These guys are criminals who need to be arrested and punished. He was frothing at the mouth, so I kept feeding the fire, saying that a company that keeps credit card numbers online is inviting trouble. "Well, what if I say that you are really bad at self-defense and so I smack you in the mouth to prove it? Huh? Huh? Is that okay?" He was really agitated, I guess he was afraid his credit card number might show up.

His wife came to collect him, but on the way home he apparently ran into my brother and chewed his ear off. I got asked what on earth I had said to him ;)

So what do I think of the action? It's a bad idea for the organizations getting the money if the credit card companies fight back and charge the recipients 35$ a pop for "fraudulent transactions". But judging from this guy's agitation, that hit him where he will pay attention. Don't know if it will change his attitude, though.

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