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AT&T Pays Huge Fine After Customer's Accounts Raided


By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

The Federal Communications Commission is about to raise the fees on Internet service. So, what else is new? I do not give the bad guys a chance when it comes to stealing my I.D. and raiding my accounts, but no matter how hard I work to protect us, I see companies like AT&T giving information away.

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company has agreed to pay a $25 million fine because 280,000 U.S. customers had their information stolen by people working in call centers in Mexico, Columbia and the Philippines.

The American Civil Liberties Union of California filed lawsuits in state court in March, 2015 against the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department and the Anaheim Police Department, alleging they violated state law by not providing documents on their use of StingRay technology.

Are you surprised by new scientific findings that were released in April, 2015 linking earthquakes to the oil industry’s practice of injecting wastewater from oil and gas operations deep underground? This adds to a growing consensus among researchers that energy development is probably causing seismic activity in Oklahoma, Texas and other parts of the United States. In 2014 Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of 3.0 or greater on the Richter scale, which is more than in the previous 30 years combined.

Children with ADHD are linked to secondhand smoke as reported in an article in Tobacco Control – March, 2015. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two of every five children in the U.S. are exposed to secondhand smoke regularly.

For those who want to make the United States Air Force a career, there is trouble on the horizon. Reviewing the Air Force Times of April 20 I see the military needs 300 drone pilots per year and at this time can only produce 180. Also needed are hackers. The Defense Department is aiming to have 133 cyber mission teams with 6,000 personnel by 2017.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District’s decision to accelerate the sale of Measure E bonds was voted on at their April 14 Board of Education meeting, and the five elected members decided not to go ahead and sell $217 million in the immediate future. However, in 2016 voters in the rich and powerful city will be asked to approve a replacement bond issue in excess of $350 million.

As soon as I started reading Page 1of the Beverly Hills Courier, April 17 issue, I put it down and called Medicare and our secondary medical plan, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois. I was told I could read the article but only if I wore asbestos gloves. It seems Brian Goldberg, the President of Beverly Hills Unified School District, was locked up by their police department for allegedly pushing a neighbor. Could it really have been retaliation for questioning Beverly Hills Police Chief Dave Snowden’s professional integrity? Mr. Goldberg was cleared of any wrongdoing and released. You can bet there is more coming.

Were you a fan of the Rolling Stones? Well, so was I. On May 25 at the Conejo Community Center located at Dover and Hendrix Avenues in Thousand Oaks there was a free concert held in the park by the Stonez, a Rolling Stones Tribute Band.

Since 2004, the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, the French government has been awarding limited numbers of the French Legion of Honor, their highest award, to living veterans with honorable service in France during WWII before May 8, 1945. Service must have been on the ground in French territory, air space or territorial waters. The award is not presented posthumously. Those living veterans who have records worthy of consideration must have their documentation submitted to their nearest French Consulate and addressed to the attention of Veterans Affairs. For specific information on the nearest French Consulate, their requirements and areas of coverage, visit

A Federal Appeals Court on June 19, 2014 struck down a 31-year-old Los Angeles law that bars people from living in parked cars, saying the vaguely written statute discriminates against the homeless and poor.

Pope Francis plans to address a joint session of Congress on September 24, making him the first leader of the Roman Catholic Church to do so.

Democrats have introduced bills in both chambers of Congress that would restore voting rights in federal elections to former felons.

California State Senator Ricardo Lara’s bill codifying bystanders’ rights to record police officers’ public actions has passed the State Senate. The bill, SB411, contains explicit language establishing that it is not a crime to photograph police officers, provided the officers are in a public place and the photographer is not interfering with police work.

Doctor Oz said, “Mango season just started – stock up.” Studies show some ingredients in the tropical fruit may ward off cancer and diabetes and support digestion. Slice a ripe one into a salad, smoothie or salsa and be healthy.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.


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