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Star Wars Fanboys Share Personal Data With Central African Government

April 23, 2018

These posts are very common in Facebook fan groups.  Type your name after an URL and you'll be paired with a random character from the fandom of your preference.  Why would anyone create a site, let alone hundreds of sites, that serve no purpose beyond random association? 
Following the links back I found that the site itself is very straightforward about its functions.  The Terms and Conditions is standard boilerplate of "We aren't responsible for the site's content", whereas the Privacy Policy states "We collect information from you when you or enter information on our site".

 

In large enough fan groups, I've seen comment threads run for hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments.  Each comment was someone telling a data harvesting site what name was attached to what IP address.    The links auto-generated by Facebook's algorithm then directs that data to the Gabonese Republic in Central Africa via a Dutch proxy.  Specifically to a country code top-level domain.  Their version of a ".gov" website.

 

According to Who Is, the site is managed by a Dutch company Gabon TLD B.V. which was the third hit in the following Google search (just below the site for assisting scammers and above the one for assisting the scammed).

 

Gabon TLD B.V. has been in operation at the same address for over 18 years (dates prior to January 1, 2000 are unavailable) and has operated online companies such as ABC ebooks Foundation, Humbled Females Foundation, Blackgurlz Foundation, and hundreds of others. Coupled with Amsterdam's gedoogbeleid view of data piracy enforcement, little or nothing will be done at this time.

 

In short, a Central African company is using Amsterdam's digital infrastructure to ask people via digital toys to give away their data.  No laws are, to the best of my knowledge, being broken, and we're left simply with people volunteering their locations and names to info brokers on the other side of the planet.

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 Archie Spires sees himself as a Howard Hughes-esque recluse who spends his days writing, editing, weeping in frustration, and cursing the Heavens.  Known for his dry wit, barbed tongue, and egomaniacal self-aggrandizing nature, he continues his fight for truth, justice, and equality.

 

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