By on April 7, 2011

Members of the media and the legal profession who receive regular updates from the U.S. Department of Transportation were in for a shock this morning as they opened the last announcement from NHTSA. ZoneAlarm by Check Point Software, which claims market leadership in the firewall and security business, warns that a DOT press release is a “possible fraud attempt.”

This could discourage many recipients from learning that the 30-second PSA , “Get the Message,” which “features clips from people from across the country who lost loved ones in distracted driving crashes” has received more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

Apparently, the warning is triggered by a little government snooping on who may or may not click on the YouTube link in the press release. Instead on linking directly to the YouTube tearjerker – like so –  the press release routes the clicks through  links.govdelivery.com, along with a whale of a  tracking ID.

Once links.govdelivery.com has done whatever it does with the information, it passes the viewer on to the heart-wrenching video of innocent children that were killed by text messages.

ZoneAlarm doesn’t like the sleight of hand and accuses  govdelivery.com of impersonating YouTube. Or distraction.gov.

Ah, the dangers of distracted (or overly nosy) press releases.

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7 Comments on “ZoneAlarm Accuses U.S. DOT Of Fraud...”


  • avatar
    CriticalMass

    I become less and less surprised by the increasing government intrusion and erosion of both our privacy and our rights.  That doesn’t mean I accept it, it does mean it pisses me off.  Good on ZoneAlarm for unmasking this one and I hope they continue to look.  Now…..back to the cars that Ray LaHood neither understands or approves of.

  • avatar
    rehposolihp

    Now sir…could you please tell the ladies and the gentlemen of the jury why after watching that there youtube video warning of the horrors of distracted driving (exhibit a: logged ip, along with timestamped photos from 3 government satellites , a streaming video from your webcam at the time, and the gps coordinates of your cellphone at the time, along with the youtube clip for good measure) you went and drove while texting and ran into my client here’s Thundercooperfalconbird?

  • avatar
    VerbalKint

    Another gov’t hound sticks its nose in the Citizenry’s crotch…

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    They could have an even more shocking video of what NATO (inclusding US) bombs have done to Libyan civilians. Oh, the horror. They pick and choose their carnage videos for their own purposes. And LaHood is an idiot who got his position through patronage, but he’s far from alone in DC in that capacity..

  • avatar
    John Horner

    A cynic might think that Zone Alarm is feeding the fear of intrusive government snooping in order to sell more of it’s software, or at least to gain a bit of attention.
     
    The real privacy risks are found within organizations like Facebook, Google and your credit card company more so than with the government.
     

    • 0 avatar
      jet_silver

      If someone is hiding what they are doing with your information does that not scream “privacy risk” to you?  It sure does to me.
      A decent way of becoming informed about this stuff without needing to buy anything, BTW, is to use RequestPolicy, https://www.requestpolicy.com, which makes links like these explicit and controllable in Firefox.

      Edit: removed attempted inline link

    • 0 avatar
      Mikemannn

      On the contrary… At least if Facebook, Google et al. have your info you know it’s just so they can try to sell you crap.  The gov’t needs this intel for … ?


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