In the news, we have two stories today. First, TJX (parent company of such chains as TJ Maxx) was fined $9.75 million for a huge breech of customer data. The Ukrainian hacker who masterminded the theft of 94 million credit card accounts from TJX has been sentenced to 30 years in jail. (Believe me, he is going to a Turkish prison for this crime and I can't imagine this will be a pleasant sentence. I think it makes our high-security prisons look like country clubs.) There were 11 people who were involved have convicted to date. Here is more, from SC Magazine:
TJX, which operates more than 2,500 outlets nationwide, agreed to pay $9.75 million to settle investigations by 41 state attorneys general, who were looking into the monster breach, announced in January 2007, that exposed as many as 94 million credit and debit card numbers.
Under the agreement, TJX will pay $5.5 million in settlement fees, plus $1.75 million to cover the cost of the states' investigations. In addition, the company will provide $2.5 million to establish a new Data Security Fund that states will use for a number of data security initiatives, including researching the benefits of technology, developing best practices or model laws, and establishing consumer outreach programs.
On the other hand, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, an unemployed, single mother from Minnesota, was fined $1.92M by a federal jury for reportedly downloading 24 songs. Is this proportionality? Is it at all befitting of the crime? These 24 songs could have been downloaded for $24.76 from iTunes - yet, she is attacked by the RIAA, and fined nearly two-million dollars. No, I don't think we have our priorities straight in this country. We are wasting the time of the courts and attacking our citizens, when there are real crimes to be dealt with.
(I understand her first lawyer had to back out, citing $130,000 in unpaid legal bills for defending her against the RIAA in the first case, which was declared a mistrial due to incorrect instructions given to the jury by the judge.)
Here is what Ms. Thomas-Rasset got for $1.92M:
- Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"; "November Rain"
- Vanessa Williams "Save the Best for Last"
- Janet Jackson "Let’s What Awhile"
- Gloria Estefan "Here We Are"; "Coming Out of the Heart"; "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
- Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
- Journey "Faithfully"; "Don’t Stop Believing"
- Sara McLachlan "Possession"; "Building a Mystery"
- Aerosmith "Cryin’"
- Linkin Park "One Step Closer"
- Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
- Reba McEntire "One Honest Heart"
- Bryan Adams "Somebody"
- No Doubt "Bathwater"; "Hella Good"; "Different People"
- Sheryl Crow "Run Baby Run"
- Richard Marx "Now and Forever"
- Destiny’s Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"
- Green Day "Basket Case"
Well, I do love Journey, so I'll buy that is worth $160,000 for those two songs, but Reba McEntire?? Come on now!