Howard Slickbottom, Transportation Security Administration employee, was lounging around at Starbucks when he got up to use the restroom. Upon returning, his laptop was gone. On it was every conceivable bit of information of 100,000 TSA employees.
Perhaps it didn't happen just that way or even close, but it did happen. Didn't his brother Elmodo the same dumb thing last year?
And it happens a lot. T J Maxx, the big retailer without a single Slickbottom employee that I know of, lost up to 200 million credit card numbers to high tech thieves a couple years ago. That's the record so far. But what about their own advanced security? Shouldn't that have stopped the bad guys? Nah, you probably have better security on your home network, said the Wall Street Journal (5/4/07).
Of course, it's not that way anymore! The company has beefed up their system. And the TSA director Kip Hawley not only apologized; he profoundly apologized!
"We profoundly apologize for any inconvenience and concern that this incident has caused you."
Even with such apologies, Congress vows to investigate. But it seems clear with all these breaches that serious measures must be taken and so authorities turned to the Carriertom Into-Wishin Research Institute for recommendations on how affected persons could safeguard themselves against identity theft. As usual, the Institute completed its report in no time flat.
Spokesman for the Whitepebble Religious Institute, Tom Whitepebble, held a news conference to outline his top two recommendations.
1. Have lousy credit.
2. Have a police record for child sexual abuse. Then, if you fear your identity has been stolen, phone the cops and report “yourself.” A week later, go visit “yourself” at the lockup.
Of course, with regard to the second recommendation, you don’t want to have earned your record the traditional way. That’s why the business wing of the ever-agile Institute, for a reasonable fee, will forge such documents into the public record.
When reporters pointed out that such a record would be of benefit only if one’s identity was stolen, whereas otherwise it would be an absolute liability, Whitepebble bristled. You know how he is.
Rome, he correctly pointed out, wasn’t built in a day. All great ideas have a few bugs initially. And if the doom-and-gloom media couldn’t find anything nice to say, then he‘d thank them not to say anything at all.
It may be that Pophad it right all along. He still pays cash for most things, the old sage. Cash on the barrelhead! he says.