Thursday, October 28, 2021

Never give in to blackmail


At this blog, we've always been interested in the subject of blackmail and extortion, both real and implied.
It has long been claimed by Sea Org watchers that Auditing and Sec Check records are kept to gather embarrassing data about their members and others. At least that's part of the reason these records are kept.
The threat of misusing this data helps to control Scientologists and keeps them in line.
You are also required to reveal all your embarrassing secrets before you're allowed to join the Sea Org.

As far as I can tell, Auditing secrets are rarely leaked to the media/public, but Sec Check records can be freely used in Fair Game attacks.
And also to collect Freeloader debt; and even more when someone Blows and starts condemning life in the Sea Org or the larger Church. Their personal auditing data can then be used to "Dead Agent" the former member.

Which brings us to a blackmail problem in the real world:
There have recently been many "ransomware" attacks.
Hackers use software to infiltrate large and small computer systems, and systematically encrypt all the data they can access.
The owners of the data are then "blackmailed" into paying millions for the codes needed to decrypt and recover their data. They should have backed it up instead, but that can be surprisingly difficult.
If the ransomware victims won't pay, they can't decrypt their data themselves because the codes use one-way "trapdoor" functions.

Some say you should never give in to blackmailers. I would go further than that:

You may recall a common theme of this blog is to complain about software design.
Most computer program interfaces are so bad they can reasonably be described as evil. That extends to every level, from program design down to file management.
Ransomware hacks shouldn't even be possible! (I certainly don't expect Biden to understand such a thing.)
Ransom should never be paid. In fact, the hackers should be paid for exposing the horrible design flaws of today's software.

That doesn't mean ex-Sea Orgers should give more money to the Church, though. They have already given plenty.

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