UUG Meeting Cancelled!

Michael Halcrow mike at halcrow.us
Tue Nov 15 17:58:36 MST 2005

On Tue, Nov 15, 2005 at 12:58:45AM -0700, TuxGirl wrote:
> Jeff Waugh, the was-to-be presenter for Tuesday night's UUG meeting
> was robbed while in Montreal. ( http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/blog/ )  

Technically, Jeff was burgled. A robbery must involve physical force
(or threat thereof), and it is a much more serious crime than a mere
burglary/theft. A family friend, who is a detective for the LAPD,
investigates robberies for a living; he's got some interesting
stories. A burglary is usually a misdemeanor; a robbery is
automatically treated as a felony.

Bruce Schneier was mugged once while traveling abroad; there's really
no way to absolutely prevent that sort of thing, and we need to
remember that we are all mere mortals. What you can do,
however, is reduce the likelihood of it happening and reduce the
amount lost when it does happen. In general, I do not travel with
anything that I could not easily part with; I go out expecting for it
to be lost/stolen/whatever. I highly recommend that you encrypt the
sensitive contents on your hard drive (eCryptfs, coincidentally, is an
excellent tool for such a thing! :-). I also make sure that at least
one other people at any given conference has a digital copy of my

It is also a good idea to be aware of your surroundings. Leaving bags
containing valuables unattended has consequences that we read about
all the time in ``Police Beat'' articles in newspapers.

After reading on his blog about how it all happened, it doesn't
surprise me that Jeff's stuff was stolen. I'm not saying it's Jeff's
fault that it happened; it's the fault of whoever took his stuff, but
let this be a reminder of some of the basic security precautions that
we should take when traveling to help mitigate the risks.

                         Michael A. Halcrow                          
       Security Software Engineer, IBM Linux Technology Center       
GnuPG Fingerprint: 419C 5B1E 948A FA73 A54C  20F5 DB40 8531 6DCA 8769

God is real, unless declared integer.
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