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journalism honesty

February 24, 2007 by Saar Drimer

The Times is a pretty popular newspaper here (I always have to ask the locals, since there are so many). A couple of weeks ago, subsequennt to our Chip & PIN relay attack, I got a call from a journalist regarding the use of Chip & PIN cards in petrol (gas!) stations (there has been a surge of fraud lately, particularly in these shops). This is the resulting article with my quote below:

Saar Drimer, a security expert and researcher at Cambridge University, also said he had stopped using his cards at petrol stations. “The more we look into the ways that you could be defrauded, the more worrying it becomes. Cash is always better to use because there is no record and you’re not giving away any of your secrets,” he said.

After talking to the guy I learned that he first called Steven, who refused to spoon feed him the quote that he was after. Namely, “I recommend people not use Chip & PIN cards at petrol stations.” Then, he called me, the media novice. I told him many things, among them that I don’t own a car and therefore, I don’t use petrol stations. He then massaged the questions such that I gave him the above (general) quote, which he wrapped in an untrue preamble. Ah, well, I should have known.

One of the things I told him was that I wouldn’t use those stand-alone ATMs because they are easier to manipulate (attachements or complete fakes, etc.); a point he wanted me to elaborate on. However, that may have put him in a bind because his point was that people should use cash in stations, but where would they get it? From the station’s ATM…

Anyway, next time a journalist type calls I’ll cut the bullshit and ask him what exact quote he is after and see if I am comfortable saying it. Someone suggested that next time I should write it down for him so there are no mistakes, and that’s what press releases are for. Lesson learnt ;)


2 Comments »

  1. Tyler Moore says:

    Actually Saar it was me who gave the reporter your name. He called me after Steven, and when I too said I wouldn’t give him the quote, he rang you. I told him he should speak to you or Steven, he replied that he had already tried Steven but would give you a shot. I guess third time’s a charm.

  2. Helen says:

    My, but you are living an interesting life over there! You are so far from your LG days that you are contemplating learning to deal with the media.

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