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Archive for the ‘Tools’ Category

Postscript:  Another example of government spoofing was a prank cell phone call from India to the Pakistani Defense Minstry the day after the Mumbai terrorist attack.  The called claimed to be an Indian Defense Ministry Official and was claiming that India was going to retaliate. Planes went up in the air on both sides and the US had to intervene to prevent further escalation.  The call was taken seriously because normal authentication procedures were not followed or did not exist.

Hot off the press: Another spoofing incident which alleges civil damages involving Twitter the St. Louis Cardinals’ manager Tony La Russa.

While in general I dont think western Democracies have a lot to learn from the North Korean Government, I think in the case of Gov 2.0 spoofing there might be an exception.  The North Korean Central News Agency was recently impersonated on Twitter in a way which might have fooled a lot of people.  The twitter feed was made to look realistic because it used actual articles released by the Central News Agency. The prank was pulled off by a parody website called Stupidedia and they didn’t seem to intend to create any harm with it.

But this points out how easy it is to pretend you are an official government agency on twitter.  Recently I advocated for a simple reciprocal link authentication policy which would place a link on any official government web 2.0 account (twitter, facebook fan page etc) to a .gov or .mil page which would then give a link or list of links to the official social media account for that agency.  Then anyone could with 2 clicks verify that a social media account is authentically coming from an official government source.   As government presence becomes more common on social media, we will likely see more attempts to grab attention through this type of impersonation.  While it doesn’t seem like much could come of this, all it takes is one person believing one source is the voice of a government and acting on it to cause at the least embarassement and at the worse some harm.


Google announced some expanded free services for non profits recently. They are not neccessarily the most user friendly services out there though. I have noticed with the google interfaces in general. I guess they want to encourage API development to improve on these issues.

So if you are non profit (or for profit and want to take advantage of low cost google services ..AND SOME ARE FREE for FOR PROFITS as well) here is a list of services which we created more detailed instructions for. (also found at http://www.market4good.com/resources.aspx):

Host your domain with Google
You need this to setup email and a webpage under your domain.

Gmail for an organization
You can use your own domain and still use the gmail system as your mail server.

Setup Individual Email Accounts
Manage many email accounts under your domain name.

Google start page
You can make it easy to find your shared calendar and put custom content or news.

Google Calendar
Share the events you want everyone in your organization to know about.

Web Pages.
You can setup a web page for your organization with google.

Admin Dashboard
Lets you administer the other google services you have set up.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets
Collaborate with shared spreadsheets and documents which multiple people can maintain shared documents.