Friday, September 09, 2005

The Computer, The Polizia, Fighting Terrorism and our Continuing Technological Challenges

We just wanted to let you know that we are expecting a few more challenges as we continue to write and post our images and stories on our blog. We learned from Giovanna at our Internet Point that we would no longer be allowed to use our laptop at her Internet Point. A week or so ago she had everyone give her their identity numbers from either their passports or other pertinent documenti (we have our identity cards as residents now which we provided to her). It seems that the Polizia, in an effort to crack down on terrorists using these internet sites to plot their schemes, have required that all of our information would be encoded in the little credit card-like cards we use to access her computer system. She was very anxious to tell us that we were not to share these cards with anyone since all of our private numbers would be stored on these cards. We helped her write a notice in English so that everyone would understand why she was asking for this information and was clear about saying that she would not be keeping a record of these numbers but that they would only be encoded on these cards. To be completely honest we're not sure how this really prevents terrorism since there is no place to key in or double check that we are actually the owner of the card and the numbers it holds. We do not have any kind of password that identifies us as the cardholder and we're not sure how they know who is using it. I suppose the computers must hold onto some bits of what we've been doing, sites we've visited or what have you, but we don't really know.

Then next she was informed that we could no longer use our own laptops there, which is what we have been doing. We write the blog stories and gather the photos at home and then we just download when we connect to the Internet. So now there will have to be an interim step of copying our stuff to a storage device of some sort and bringing it there. We're sure it will all work out but it makes our lives a bit more complicated. The one thing we do wish we had was an Internet connection here at our apartment but since that was not possible we will just have to do our best. At any rate, the point I suppose I am making is that we may not be able to post as often so we hope that whoever out there is still reading this will bear with us as we work through this.

Grazie,
Rosemary & Bob

1 comment:

MeatEater said...

There are so many ways for terrorists to continue using internet cafe's for their activities that it makes absolutely no sense to force everybody to use special access cards. With stenography and other ways of encrypting text, they can simply bring in a USB key or CD with their message already prepared for transmission. Unfortunately, those who are in control usually have little technical knowledge and a lot of fear.