Archive for the ‘internet’ Category

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The social network spy

July 3, 2010

Anna Chapman - Spymistress?

Anna Chapman, one of ten people accused of being part of a Russian spy ring, is being portrayed in the media as a kind of “Mata Hari” figure; a glamorous femme fatale who used her “womanly charms” to insinuate her way into the lives and the homes (and, it is insinuated in the media, the beds) of rich and influential members of American and British high society.

I was particularly interested in her because, like me, she ran – and, as far as I can see, continues to run – a successful real estate portal. Her website – which markets Russian property – is at: www.domdot.ru

I wondered if she had a facebook page (doesn’t everyone, these days?), and, sure enough, it only took me a minute to find her profile here.

Chapman gives her favourite quotation as “Trust no one”, while her “Likes and Interests” are listed as: “Corrections officer, Federal Bureau of Investigation”.
Under “Books” she has “Agatha Christie Novels”, and under “Movies” she’s written “Spy Games”.
For “University” she’s written “Jail”.

Quite the wit for a person in her predicament, facing, we are told, the possibility of life in prison. You’d think she’d be too busy getting water-boarded by the CIA and rehearsing her story with her defense lawyers to take the time to add jokey comments to her facebook page.

Could it be because she knows perfectly well that she isn’t going to spend more than a wet day in jail and is looking forward to a stellar career as a highly-paid TV talk-show guest (or even host)? I’ll give you odds of 100-1 that this savvy spy will be back in Moscow in time for Christmas, where she will be feted as a heroine and a sex symbol.

But hold the fone, Joe! Isn’t Chapman charged with being a dangerous spy? An enemy of the state? In which case how come she’s still at liberty to access the Internet to update her social network profile? Not to mention run a business in Russia? Surely she could be sending all kinds of information and secret messages to all kinds of people in the Kremlin?

Given the high level of security that has prevailed in the US in recent years – in which people have been locked up in solitary confinement just for “looking foreign” or taking part in peaceful public protests – isn’t it a bit odd that Ms. Chapman – or, to use her real name, Anya Kuschenko – is being allowed so much freedom of movement?

And why doesn’t the US president have anything to say about this whole business? So far he has made no comment other than to express the hope that the uproar would not damage the friendship and trust that has developed between the US and Russia.

Friendship and trust, eh?

If Obama bends any further backwards to appease Vladimir Putin, he’ll qualify for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in the Limbo Dancing category.

It seems to me that there’s something decidedly fishy going on when the FBI catches a network of Russian spies operating in the United States, and it is the Russian president who expresses his outrage!

The (commie?) plot thickens…

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The Internet sure does bring out the best in people!

July 3, 2010

Who knew, before the Internet arrived, that there were so many generous and helpful people in the world?
Just today I received an email from a girl called Natalia, who lives in Russia, asking if she could be my special friend and “tend to all my needs”. Wow! (I hope that means she’s going to clean my kitchen!) And she doesn’t even know how great I am. Apparently she’s arriving next week, and she wants to meet me. I can’t wait!
Not ten minutes later I received an email notifying me that I have won a UN cash grant for €20m. Holy Moley! What a stroke of luck! Though now that I think of it, my horoscope did say that I was in for an unexpected windfall – but I never expected anything like this.
I thought that would be the end of my run of luck, but the good news and offers of help kept coming.
A guy in Canada heard about my erectile dysfunction problem (hah!) and wants to send me some free Viagra samples. I’m going to have to decline, obviously; but, still, wasn’t that thoughtful of him?
And as if that wasn’t enough, a couple of hours later I received an email from the lawyer of a woman in Kentucky who has died and left me her 5 billion dollar estate. All I have to do is give this guy my bank details and I’ll be able to pick up the cash next week! (Reminder to myself: ring a truck hire company tomorrow and arrange for them to make a pickup from my bank.)
Oh, and the ex wife of the Sultan of Oman needs my help to transfer 10 million dollars out of the country. In return for my help, she’s prepared to give me 10% of the money. (Hmm… That’s only a measly million. I think I might pass on that one…)
On top of all this incredible good fortune, it would appear that I have now just won the Internet lotto. Yes! Can you believe it!? I don’t remember buying a ticket, but I guess I must have if I’ve won!
Oh, happy days.
The only thing that’s worrying me is – will there be enough room in my house to store all that cash?
Heck, maybe I can talk Natalia into holding onto some of it for me, for safekeeping…