Rabid reseller: Yes Minister

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This article appeared in the June, 2009 issue of CRN magazine.

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Rabid reseller: Yes Minister

At least we think that's who it came from, but since it arrived on the fax machine we're not really sure. A

nyway, the email offered to provide financial assistance for resellers who are finding it hard to meet their credit payments during this time of Global Financial CrisisTM. That's how we knew it was a fake.

If this was Rabid Used Cars then sure, we'd be looking for... no we'd be expecting some government handouts.

After all, it's obvious that technology such as the automobile, invented at the start of the last century, has significant historical value and should be protected from extinction. Goes without saying. Same as saving whales and wombats. Part of the ecosystem.

But we're in the information technology game so we know darn well that no government is going to do anything to support our business. Heck they don't even use the stuff we sell them properly.

Who would even think to send an email by fax? Haven't they heard of Farcebook or Twatter?

Nobody uses fax machines these days. Well, nobody we know. Certainly that's what our lawyer told us to say when the ATO asks why we haven't replied to their fax requests.

But you can understand why people in government aren't all that keen on modern technology.

It's just too darn accurate to be allowed to become part of the political process. What's the point of sitting in the witness box in a Royal Commission bleating "I can't recall" when the Prosecution Pit Bull is waving a copy of your own incriminating email in your face? No thanks.

Much better to stick to the humble fax machine, with optional built-in shredder.

Fax is a far more deniable technology, particularly if you insist on a model that uses thermal paper.

That saves money because there's no need for the shredder, just leave the damaging faxes in a warm sunny spot, or in winter, on top of the radiator.

There's no amount of forensics that can recover anything incriminating from a toasted thermal fax printout. But for the truly paranoid, you can always shred the sucker anyway, post-toasting.

Using anything plugged into the Internet to make a political statement is surely the 21st century equivalent of farting at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

You might think nobody heard you amid the din from 21-field gun salute for the assembled royals, but you can bet your rapidly tarnished reputation that somebody in the crowd got a whiff of it and immediately informed all and sundry exactly who was the culprit. Same goes for emails.

The fail-safe principles behind the design of the Internet means you are never alone online and your utterances never really die.

Rabid always maintains that you should never put anything in an email that you'd be unhappy to see printed in the newspaper next morning. And if you're a politician that's probably the best reason to just say "no" to traceable technology.

Gotta go! Emails to fax!

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