[2017-07-31] NH Today – Tech Talk
Spoke with Jeff Chidester today to discuss more on the Robocall problem.
We have also talked more about how spy devices on kids’ toys the post risk at privacy and safety of children.
- Wasserman Schultz’s IT Aide Arrested At Airport After Transferring $300k To Pakistan From House Office
- Blocking Robocalls on iOS and Android
- FBI issues urgent warning over spy toys which put ‘privacy and safety of children at risk
- More stories and tech updates
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 07/31/2017
The Robocall Problem – Kids Toys are Spying on them Again – Whats with Wasserman Schultz and Mainstream Media not Reporting on her Tech Problems
Craig Peterson: Hi, Craig Peterson here. This morning Jack was out so I spoke with Jeff Chidester about a couple of different things in the news. Now Jeff is pretty political and, you know, from time to time so am I. But we talked about robocalls, kids’ toys monitoring kids again. Looks like Mattel hasn’t learned its lesson. And Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, what is going on? And why does this major tech story not hit the main parts of the news? And you can find out more right in the show notes. I’ve got links to articles talking about some of these subjects as well. So stick around, here we go.
Jeff Chidester: Craig Peterson, of course you hear him on our shows throughout the week. Also his own show. And of course, it’s always good. I haven’t got the chance to talk to you that often Craig. How have you been?
Craig: Yeah, it’s been a while.
Jeff: I know. Geez.
Craig: Doing well. I think the last time we talked I didn’t have much of about 120,000 bees now too, in addition to chickens and horses.
Craig; The horses moved up to Kentucky with one of my daughters.
Jeff: Oh nice. So we’re going to get some honey here pretty soon.
Craig: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.
Jeff: Excellent. Hey, so let’s talk about, you know, all these stuff that is going on technology-wise. The first thing I want to talk about, and you gave me this wonderful list, thank you very much. Blocking robocalls. You know, isn’t it funny how communication works, Craig, it’s not really funny. You move from one piece of communication that’s been completely stifled because of the fact that once people find out that you have email, or once people find out that you have a phone, they figure out to over-inundate you with whatever they want to sell. It didn’t take long for them to really come after the cellphones did it?
Craig: No, it didn’t at all. And, you know, you kind of plunge it out here a little bit. We had a federal law, the one in place to save us from all of these calls that we’re making…
Jeff: Well that worked.
Craig: When was it? In the 90s I guess it was. The Do Not Call List.
Jeff: It worked so well.
Craig: Yeah. Which gave marketers a list of phone numbers of people that we knew were good numbers. So all you had to do was take that list that you got from a federal government, because they had to give the marketers the list of phone numbers, otherwise how do they know which numbers “not to call”. And then they took those numbers and they shoved them over to their call centers outside of the US, and now all of a sudden, we get inundated with calls.
Craig: They’re not supposed to call cell numbers, you know that. Right? Who doesn’t?
Craig: But they do. And it’s gotten so cheap, it’s absolutely crazy. The FCC just fined a Florida man $120 million for making robocalls. June alone, it’s estimated that there were $2.5 million robocalls. And then you mentioned email, which is absolutely crazy. You know, I’ve had the same email address since 1991, alright? So I’ve had the same email address for a long time. And I get about 5,000 pieces of spam email a day, Jeff, because my email address has been out there for so long.
Jeff: And it kills you, right? I mean it’s just, it’s so hard to function when you’re trying to communicate properly.
Craig: You can’t deal with it, right?
Craig: And as you know, you know I’m in the network and security business and everything else.
Craig: And so we’re the largest of installing resellers of CISCO gear here in the Northeast. And so CISCO came out with some new software that we’re using, we used it with some of our clients. And you know, Jeff, it’s taking that 5,000 pieces of spam a day down to, most days, zero spam.
Craig: Zero. So there is tech out there to do this but the federal government stepping in is not going to help. It has not helped in the past. It’s not going to help in the future.
Jeff: Yeah. And for those of you who want Craig Peterson’s email address, it’s HappyCanadian@… No, I’m just kidding.
Jeff: Anyways, so. Hey, little brother is watching. You know what this interesting thing about technology, and there’s a lot of interesting things, but it just seems that all these technology that are out there, especially the ones that may potentially end up in the hands of kids are just these big snooping devices. They potentially can be. And so you gave me a wonderful story. A little brother is watching FBI issues urgent warning about spy toys. Tell us a little bit about that.
Craig: Yeah. Well we talked about a couple of years ago, in fact on NH1 I worked a little bit with Celine McArthur, on a story about the Barbie doll that listened in to your conversations.
Craig: Imminently hackable back in the day. And, you know, it kind of died off a little bit. Now we have, again, these smart toys showing up more and more. Mattel has something called Aristotle, and it’s supposed to be the Amazon Echo for kids. And Amazon Echo, of course, is the device you talk to.
Craig: And it will do things for you. So it’s sitting there listening, which is obviously a problem. There’s another one called My Friend Kayla, that’s allegedly recording kids’ conversations. It’s going on and on. These toys.
Jeff: Oh man.
Craig: Yeah. They’re outfitted with microphones that are designed to record kids’ conversations. They send them up to the cloud. They send them to developers’ websites. They’re sent to Google, by the way, in most of these cases, where Google takes that audio and tries to turn it into text, that’s then used to try and interact with the kid. Some of these little kids’ gadgets require the kids to file a picture when they create a user tag. Yeah, exactly. Or even hand over the date of birth or their address. It can be used in identity fraud. And people don’t think about this a whole lot.
Craig: But you know, when it comes to identity fraud, you and I, our information, our credit card number, social security number, address. All of our personal information that could be used for fraud is worth about $20 on a high end on the black market. A little kid’s information with their social security number, name, and address can be worth 3 or 4 times as much as ours because…
Jeff: It’s pure.
Craig: No one’s going to figure out that the kid’s social security number has been abused for another 10 to 15 years.
Jeff: Right. And by that time the kid’s lost their whole life.
Craig: They’ve lost it. So our little kids, all these information is getting put up there. Their dates of birth, where they’re at, because some of these devices have GPS built into them. So now the bad guys could potentially track where the kid is, what school they go to. They know the kid’s name. They have a picture. And you could let your imagination go wild about what could happen here.
Jeff: Oh, geez. It’s tough to, when you hear stories like that. But parents have got to really be careful.
Craig: We do. Absolutely do.
Jeff: Hey, real quick, before I let you go. Wasserman Schultz IT aide arrested at the airport. You know I was surprised this story didn’t make bigger news. I mean, tell us a little bit about this. But this is, I saw that right off the bat, I go, why is it on page 5?
Craig: Yeah. Wasserman Schultz, who of course, was the head of the DNC, the Democrat National Committee, and also a Congresswoman from Florida. She, of course, in her position, had access to all kinds of confidential information.
Craig: And she hired some IT people who had no IT experience. I’m sitting here shaking my fist in the air. The main guy, the main IT guy who, by the way, they paid 4 million dollars to these people. 4 million dollars.
Jeff: Man, I’m in the wrong business.
Craig: Yeah, no kidding. His last job was flipping burgers in McDonalds and he was fired from McDonalds. He has ties apparently to Iran and to Pakistan. And he had been, the FBI raided his home. And Wasserman Schultz wouldn’t even fire the guys after they find out about the investigations. So the FBI raids their home. They find all kinds of computers that allegedly belong to the federal government. They’ve had a hammer taken to them a la Hillary Clinton campaign, trying to destroy evidence. And the laptops destroyed. There were federal government apparently other things who belong to the federal government including a plethora of toner cartridges which can be worth quite a bit of money. His wife fled the country, a few months ago, with their kids. He was trying to flee the country when the FBI arrested him. And now she’s jumping up and down. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz, the former head with the DNC, jumping up and down, demanding that the FBI, who had seized these computers as part of a criminal investigation. She’s demanding the FBI give her back her laptops and hard disc that have been mostly destroyed. You know, last time the FBI investigated me, I demanded they gave my stuff back, and they just, you know, like that, they gave it right back to me.
Jeff: Yes. They do.
Craig: I don’t know about you.
Jeff: Yeah. It’s the Friendly Bureau of Investigation. Isn’t that what the FBI stands for? Friendly Bureau of Investigation. Here you go.
Craig: Something like that. So it’s… this whole thing is just crazy. The Democrats have a huge problem with information security.
Jeff: Oh, they do.
Craig: They have switched over, the DNC has switched over to using an encrypted app now for communications that automatically destroys all of the messages after a certain period of time. So now, not only can people not intercept them but FBI and others can’t do investigations after the fact. I don’t know. This thing smells pretty bad to me.
Jeff: Yeah, when you’re cleansing your data like that. Yeah, I mean, hopefully this story gets a little bit more because you want to talk collision especially he’s fleeing to Pakistan. He’s shipped $300,000. He got all these federal hardware.
Certainly there’s something more here that is worth investigation, but you know, the media needs to decide. Craig, we have to take a break, but thanks for calling in.
Craig: Hey thanks. Take care Jeff.
Jeff: You too. Thanks. Craig Peterson of course. Catch him on these stations during the weekend too as well. We’ll take a break and we will be right back.
Craig: Hey if you like more information about these topics, I’ve put some links to articles in the show notes. So just click on the show notes here in the podcast. You can find out a whole lot more. Have a great day. We’ll talk to you again soon.