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#383472 - 07/12/10 07:29 PM Belizean Privacy under threat?
Marty Online   happy
Belize City, Belize – July 12, 2010.

What should be private and confidential information for the average Belizean is actually fully exposed and under direct threat, asserts Niall Gillett, director of the locally based Information Security firm, TRIAD iQ.

“There is no top level directive in the Government of Belize,” disclosed Gillett, “to provide for the privacy or confidentiality of sensitive information for its citizens.” He continued, “this opens wide the door for the trivial handling and subsequent abuse and loss of individual data that we have seen demonstrated over the past years.”

Gillett, a former IBM security consultant and longstanding supporter of privacy rights for Belizeans, drove his point home by recalling the recent scandal involving the stolen driver’s license database from the Belize City Traffic Department, where thousands of Belizean identities were used to facilitate alleged money laundering. He also mentioned the stolen laptop belonging to the Vital Statistics Unit, which contained birth certificate information for the entire country, as well as another disturbing loss of a laptop belonging to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Gillett continued to say that “Belizeans must understand that their private information should remain exactly that – private - and know that the Government of Belize has an obligation to establish laws and procedures to ensure the sanctity of citizen data.”

In an effort to promote the public awareness of this critical issue, his company, TRIAD iQ, which specializes in Information Security Management, will be a holding a press conference on Wednesday, July 14, at 9:30 a.m. at the Coastal Zone Management Authority conference room in Belize City. It will also hold free, public, half day classes promoting privacy awareness. (The dates and times for the classes are tbd.)

Contact:

Niall Gillett, CISSP
C.I.A Consultant
World-class Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability expertise.
http://www.triadiq.com

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#383766 - 07/15/10 03:12 PM Re: Belizean Privacy under threat? [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Information Security: Is the Threat Real?

We all know about security - in fact it's probably the first thing we think about when we leave home in the morning. But what about Information security - meaning the security of your particulars: your driver's license number, your social security number, your voter's id?

All that data is sitting in a computer hard drive somewhere and chances are that information is unsecured. That was amply demonstrated when the entire database of the city's drivers licenses was raided and exploited in the moneygram sports betting scam. In that case, driver's license data was fraudulently obtained and mined by moneygram to facilitate sports betting money transfers - they went so far as to even use the name of the Prime Minister in a bogus money transfer! But one information security expert says that after that scandal subsided little has been done to bolster the nation's overall information security.

Niall Gillett says he wants the government to create and enact a national information security policy - and today at a press presentation, he told us why.

Niall Gillett, Security Consultant
"Let's look at Belize; we had the Belize City Traffic database fiasco, what has come out of that? How many people were affected by that? That was all internal, thousands upon thousands of names were bought and sold and used for illegal transfer of money, my own sister included, right? If you had a Belize City driver's license and you were on that database, there is a good chance that they used your name to facilitate the transfer of money. The D.P.P (Department of Public Prosecution) has reported a stolen laptop, that had no important information they say, somebody broke into the office and stole one laptop, this was lost year. Again the Vital Statistics Unit, their car was broken into and they stole a laptop that had nothing but the birth information of probably every citizen in Belize that was born in the last 2 to 3 years, no big deal. In the states and around the world however that would have been a big deal and somebody's head would have roll for that, but we in Belize we take it for granted. So, what they have my birth certificate information, so what? We have hacked e-mails, we actually have a member of the house reading e-mail that he proudly boasts that were from a member of the opposition, and it's no big deal in Belize. That would not work in half of the civilized world today, but we in Belize have not yet recognized that our personal information or social security cards or date of birth or things like that is worth something to somebody, right? True we have a small population but around election time and especially with the database at traffic, that information was worth a lot of money to somebody because they used it and transferred thousands if not millions of dollars through Belize."

And while his presentation was on point, Gillett didn't draw much of an audience. He invited the entire media, as well as private and public sector representatives and only a single handful turned up. He says that's indicative of how the society in general does not take security seriously.

Channel 7


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