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America fully brainwashed by cybercrime FUD

Yank Eric Woodworth has got his six-shooter out and is gunning for we undersexed pale limey bastards. It's always refreshing to get some well-reasoned analysis of the Reg:

I have recently finished reading your above article and I have a few comments and observations that I thought worth sharing. I would first take issue with your title of the piece. The statement that America has been brainwashed is truly absurd, but is a typical expression of European provincialism.

It seems a common theme for Europeans to believe that Americans are brainwashed by government and evil media types. To illustrate how woefully wrongheaded and ignorant this statement is I will merely mention that the United States has more and freer newspapers than any other country on the planet and that the majority of these papers (some would say the vast majority) are bastions of liberal thought of the type that would be exactly opposed to the snooping you accuse American's of being brainwashed into fearing.

I know there are some in Europe that believe our papers are not free because they are not allowed to have a page 6 "tit shot", but that merely exposes their lack of a sound definition of what a newspaper's job is and is not a statement about free press in America. Did you even consider that many American's think child pornography is a bad thing in general regardless of the fact that it was on the internet?

Did you even consider that if the question read "Are you concerned with child pornography on the back of cereal boxes" that 92% of the population would have considered it inappropriate? The fact that the question even involved the internet is a red herring, but obviously not so red as for you to notice.

I also must ask if you have even read the "study" that you link to in your article or if you were merely trolling with this piece. For starters you either did not read or chose to ignore the part with an overwhelming majority of those polled said that new laws were required to safeguard emails and other online activities.

Also, you imply in your piece that the survey suggests that Americans favor letting the government monitor ALL emails and ALL IP addresses. You state: "Interestingly, a majority of Yanks (fifty-six per cent) think it's a great idea for the FBI to monitor e-mail and other IP traffic in order to fight all these crimes." You either did not read or chose to ignore what the survey really says: "For example, 59% of Americans approve of the FBI intercepting letters and packages sent to and from suspected criminals." As you can plainly see, what the study says and what you claim it says are not at all the same thing.
Essentially, 59% of Americans approve of letting law enforcement monitor e-mails in a manner akin to a phone tap and only as regulated by law. You obviously either lied or misunderstood. As I don't know you and cannot speak to the issue of your character I'll assume you misunderstood and will be happy that I was able to explain it to you.

As a quick side note, let me also give you some advice going forward. Generally you want to avoid and/or ignore any "studies" where they don't actually let you read what questions they asked to get their numbers. Quite often the person conducting studies is looking for what they already believe to be true and word the questions to elicit the response they desire.

Again, I'm happy I was able to explain another complicated world issue to you. Please save my e-mail address for future use should you find yourself confused by other complicated issues. (For example, I would be quite pleased to explain boiling water, the using of a microwave to warm soup, and the ins and outs of programming a VCR.)

I'll avoid other examples of your taking liberties with the truth and will simply link you to other articles that appeared on you News site the same day this article appeared. In this posting: One in three UK firms hit by cyber-crime, you have quotes that I find somewhat interesting. One is 'One in two senior IT managers believe the future survival of their organisations "could be put at risk by a major network security breach" and another is "It follows a warning last week by Foreign Secretary Robin Cook that hackers pose a greater threat to Britain than a military attack."

What I find interesting is that nowhere in that entire article are "one in two senior IT managers" or "Foreign Secretary Robin Cook" likened to frightened schoolgirls. The contradiction in your "reporting" standards is obvious, telling, and laughable. I realize you're writing for a European publication, but in the States, this level of inconsistency would get your paper labeled as a "rag" in no time.

As a second, and final, example I offer this article: Chinese Feds demand computer virus samples. The entire article reads as a warning of cyber warfare that all reasonable people (which includes most Americans it would seem) would find worrisome. Why this makes Americans frightened schoolgirls is a point that I missed. Oh wait, I'm sorry, I didn't miss that point, you didn't make it! Silly me, I forgot that you were merely tossing around slurs instead of actually doing any reporting. My error. I wont make that mistake again on your site.

Good day.

ps Why do you constantly refer to Americans as "yanks?" You'll notice that not once will you ever see the NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, etc. ever refer to the British as "Undersexed pale Limey Bastards with poor oral hygiene and an inability to wash properly." Sure I'll admit that "yanks" rolls off the tongue a little more easily but my statement is so much more true.

This mini-thesis led Drew to make a couple of points: Firstly, Tom Greene, author of the brainwashing claim, is an American who lives in America. Secondly, The Register thinks Robin Cook's claims on hacking are ludicrous, as we wrote in our piece reporting his speech. You're right about the teeth though.

PS. Our office manager has been stuck in the toilet for three days. Can you come round and show us how a doorknob works?

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