Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The FBI and CIA really aren't that into me

I was surprised and pleased to see recent e-mails to me from "Admin" at both the CIA and FBI declaring that I had been recorded as visting "illegal" websites. The e-mails had some sort of attachment that I was urged to open so that I could answer their questions.

Having done my research through the Center for Constitutional Rights, I know that no citizen can be forced to answer questions of the FBI or the CIA if they choose not to answer. With the long history of governmental interference in political activity, I know that the best thing to do is to refuse to answer while getting as much information from the government reps as possible (name, badge numbers, department, interest, etc.). So I stood up for democratic rights and refused to open the attachment as another giant leap for citizen activism. (Of course, I never open attachments, and neither should you, but the story sounds so much more "heroic" this way.)

Well, sure enough I find this little tidbit today:


Fake FBI, CIA e-mails contain viruses

Nov 22 2:11 PM US/Eastern

The FBI warned Internet users about a scam involving e-mails appearing to come from the FBI, with a computer virus attached.

"These scam e-mails tell the recipients that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI and that they have accessed illegal websites," the law enforcement agency said in a statement.

"The e-mails then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions."

The FBI statement said recipients of this or similar messages "should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner."

The messages appear to be sent from an e-mail address such as mailAfbi.gov, postAfbi.gov, adminAfbi.gov or a similar address.

The Internet security firm Sophos said similar e-mails may appear to come from the Central Intelligence Agency, but it noted that both contain a strain of the Sober virus that has been spreading worldwide.

In a four-hour period Tuesday, the worm "has accounted for over 61 percent of all viruses reported to Sophos, making it currently the most prevalent virus spreading across the world."


Well, I'm still claiming major kudos for my "activism through nonactivism". Maybe this will be the start of a new movement!