Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

I would like to share with you a message from Kym Pine.  I asked her to address the concerns mentioned here on Tech Hui and she did. What she says here about legislators being open is true, her quick response to my request is a great example.  Here you go:

"Aloha TechHui members, I am writing to deeply apologize for any
offense we have caused you or your industry this legislative session.
I have whole heartily supported the tech industry for many years
including support Act 221 which allowed many of you to thrive in your
businesses.  I also support the many bills currently at the
legislature which will help you to continue to succeed.

The cybercrime bills that have been introduced this year came from
recommendations from law enforcement during a hearing on cyber crimes which occurred this last summer.  I can post the video from the hearing if this is needed.  I know that many would like to say that I
am getting back at a web designer as the reason behind all of these
bills, but this is simply not true.  It is true that my experience in
cyber crimes awakened me to the cybercrime issue and as a result I
have helped many victims get the help they need.  I have chosen to
allow law enforcement to handle my situation, and I know that in time,
my harasser will be in jail using our regular laws on the books now.

Please know that legislators welcome your input at the state capitol.
All bills are crafted by lawyers at the legislative reference bureau
and they are often written to be vague on the first draft so as to
give committee chairs flexibility to narrow the focus of the bill
based on testimony. One or two consultants from your industry advising us on various bills may not have the same opinion as another and that is why your opinion is so important.

HB2288 was a bill referred to the legislature by law enforcement who
are already working with companies that do save information to catch
serious cyber criminals.  During the committee hearing, the testimony
made it clear that this was not the solution, and I went up to the
chair and told him so and the bill did not make it out of committee.
As a result, of the hearing I have made important contacts with HiTech companies who now want to help victims of cyber crime and we will get together to see if we can do this without legislation.  This is a huge gain for cyber victims who for many years have asked for help and until now have not been listened to.

I encourage members to come to the capitol or call legislators that
may have introduced legislation that relates to your industry.  My
office is room 333 and my number is (808) 586-9730.  I will make it my personal priority to hear your concerns.  You will be surprised how
open legislators are to your ideas and how willing they are to amend
legislation to include your ideas.

I caution members however from attacking legislators personally for
introducing a bill.  90 percent of the time if you just talk to them
they will change or table a bill until the right solution is created
for a particular problem.  HB2288 is a great example.

Attacking legislators, especially well loved and highly popular
legislators like John Mizuno who wins by landslides and knows everyone in his district only makes other legislators want to support him more.  I especially worry that someone created a website in his name because now that will motivate our federal congressional delegation to make that a federal crime.

We need to lower the tone a bit and start talking about how your
industry and law enforcement can work together to help cyber crime
victims.  What has happened is that for some reason your industry has a reputation of only wanting things from the legislature and not
working with us on the things we need your help on.  Legislators have
given your industry $1 billion in tax credits which could have gone to
helping our homeless issue, paid for affordable housing, upgrades to
our schools etc.  We were highly criticized for doing this.

You could really be the heroes in all of this and I look forward to
seeing it work out that way.  You have so much to offer and I am
excited to have this dialogue with you.

Rep. Kymberly Pine

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Comment by Karen Chun on February 21, 2012 at 8:19am

BTW Bravo Jon!   (and I liked the typo!)

We have a situation where a buyer was AWARE (or should have been aware) that she was dealing with a loose cannon.  Pine is alleged not to have paid this loose cannon.  The guy then substituted an image that was on a server he controlled that was used as a header in emails so when she sent out email it was headed "Kym Pine is a Crook".  

I find this hilarious. 

I wouldn't do something like that because I work on a small island and I value my reputation.

But come on!  Categorizing this as a crime?  a felony?  Talk about over-reacting.  As I mentioned before Rep Pine would be much smarter to ignore it and move on with her life.

Comment by Karen Chun on February 21, 2012 at 7:59am

oh good lord, Daniela.  First, cut the histrionics.  Then name ONE incident in Hawaii where a web designer did some awful irreparable harm to someone.  Even Rep Pine's "Kym Pine is a Crook" website isn't doing much harm to her...however her flailing around trying to get even with him is making her a national laughing stock.

Apparently you do not read my posts.  The "harm" that is done is by organized criminal groups based mostly in Russia who hack servers to install keylogging trojans to steal financial info.  This is not something web designers in Hawaii have EVER been suspected of.

Pine's oppressive laws would do NOTHING to fix this.

As Daniel or Peter said:  First define a problem that needs to be solved.  The only problem you have been able to define that is connected to web designers in Hawaii is Pine's big fight with her web designer, which, you said yourself, is progressing through normal channels in the courts.  Just because Rep Pine is unwilling to wait for the courts to resolve this is no reason to turn a civil case into a FELONY by passing a new law.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 21, 2012 at 6:47am

@ Peter I don't know what to tell you.  I am not making it up.  You know as well as anyone, contact forms are notoriously unreliable, you yourself said it wasn't sending as quickly as you hoped.  And you can ask Malia, I did send her an email and called her about trying to reach you.

I really wouldn't assume there was zero research done based on that answer because its not true. Anyway,  there is more than enough statistics out there,  that we can deduce that for ourselves, not to mention what we are already seeing in our own experiences.

She spoke to quite a few people.   I don't know why they haven't come forward, or why they need to?  It really didn't occur to me until I had something to say. What do we have to come forward about?  I mean, we are just speaking for ourselves, giving our opinions and we assume you all are doing the same.  We aren't some covert, secret group that was looked at as the voice of the tech community or the token tech people lol.   Just normal people,  that went to our legislators to share our experiences.

Comment by Peter Kay on February 21, 2012 at 12:35am

@daniela just to clarify I followed up with you later and indicated my systems were confirmed to be working properly so I'm not sure what forms of previous contact you attempted.

By Rep. Pine's response to my question, it seems that there was essentially zero numbers researched for Hawaii and that is quite troubling, nor was there any thought given to the real costs to society. 

Do you know what Web development companies Rep. Pine spoke to or consulted with (other than perhaps yourself or the one she had problems with) before she proposed the legislation? There isn't a single Web developer that has stepped forward yet to indicate any kind of contact.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 21, 2012 at 12:12am

@jon  I truly appreciate the feedback. 

But you don't think that web professionals have any kind of impact on public safety? You don't think computers can cause harm, and serious harm?  You really underestimate the power of computers.

I am glad you referred to yourself as a professional.  Do you know of any profession who don't have some kind of standard or regulations? Is tech not serious enough and impactful enough to warrant protection of it and the consumers from those who mean to abuse it?

The tech industry right now has just about 0 regulation and this is the one industry that  is the most dangerous in our country. We aren't just talking about web designers, but anything involving computers.  Anyone working on your behalf or working with computers, have control of how your business or reputation is being portrayed, have access to your personal information, your pass codes, even your computers!  I have been in clients businesses, left alone on their computers with their POS systems and full access to their customers, credit cards, proprietary information, financial information, personal correspondence and just about anything I wanted.  The damage that someone in the tech industry can do to you or your business is irreparable.

Just like the professions you mentioned that can result in major bodily harm, we hire people and assume they are qualified and that wont happen.  Why? Because we are comforted in knowing they are required by law to comply with their industry standards and laws.  Do they have the same assurance with tech? 

As I have asked several times and no one has answered, do you not believe that there are people using the tech business to hurt people or break the law? And what should we do about it?   Peter says leave it alone.  He says a person with $1000 and the desire can start a business and that is a beautiful thing.  He is right, That is how I got started.  But those days are over.  They can't leave tech alone anymore.  Its been ruined by the people abusing it. Now a person with $0 and the desire to commit crimes also has wide open access to do that and nothing to really stop them from doing it.

I could sit here and quote statistics all day long but its pointless.  You all know this,  Cyber crime now impacts more than 50,000 people an hour!  Cybercrime cost an average of $3.8 million per organization per year and that was like 3 years ago. Its truly overwhelming what is going on right now.  But all Everyone is talking about here how they will be inconvenienced and affected personally, but are not looking at the big picture.  In true GEEK form I am going to quote Spock in saying, "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one" 

Facts are facts.  The scariest and most damaging crimes being committed in our country directly involve computers. Andit continues to grow.  It will eventually become inevitable that changes will have to be made whether you agree or not.  Tech should not be fighting the efforts to do what everyone else in the country is already doing, but be leading the effort to make sure its done right, you have a voice in what happens to the industry and make sure you are making a responsible effort to protect people from harm.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 10:59pm

Forgot to share this:

I asked her about some concerns about no responses to concerns.  She said she got 2000 emails one day last week so if anyone's emails went unanswered it's because of that.   She said that the best way to communicate is to call and make an appointment with a legislator or just call them on the phone.

She said to tell you all to call her that she return calls.

note: She has called me back every single time I have called her and is really nice to talk to for those who have never talked to her before. 

Comment by Jon Brown on February 20, 2012 at 10:56pm


Daniela said:

@Jon In regards to your comment about defining a web developer. We need to look at ourselves like any other contractor. If you hire your neighbors kid to install you electricity and they are unlicensed and your house burns down, they should get in trouble.

It's hard to even take this seriously… If you hire a kid to wire your house, YOU should go to jail not the kid.

As I said in another thread, I am a licensed professional. A hold a license that required 4 years (5 really) of college in an accredited program, passing a 1 day Engineering-in-Training exam, followed by 2 years of practice before taking and passing a 2 day Registered Professional Engineer Exam.

This grants me the right to offer civil engineering services and approve construction plans I've produced or supervised the production of. The reason for all the bureaucracy is that if something I designed fails, thousands of people could die and millions of dollars in damage could occur.

After 12 years of that however I grew bored and returned to a love I've had since I was a pre-teen, code! (actually 1st computer was at 8 y.o. in 1980 and have been a geek ever since). Over the course of 2-3 years I self-taught myself HTML/CSS/PHP and am working on proficiency in JS/JQ as well as bunch of other stuff. I can and do do some design too, but generally I'd far rather code. I end up doing server administration, consulting on branding, online marketing, UI/UX consulting and a slew of other things. As a sole proprietor I do it all. That is also why I love what I do, it's always changing whereas engineering as painfully repetitive after a decade.

Here's the thing, all of that required 1/4 the formal education my engineering degree required… and I mean REQUIRED… as in required to do actually do the task right so no one died.

Suggesting that web professionals should be treated like engineers, or electrocutions (typo left in because it was too funny to fix), or plumbers is just ridiculous. With several exceptions that harm from websites being hacked, stolen, defaced, etc… is trivial compared to a house burning down let alone a land slide wiping out a nieghbhorhood. (Exceptions obviously exist, including sites strong private data)

Most web professionals rarely if EVER deal with public safety or public codes like engineers and contractors.

If I told you that to continue to do the work you do today you'd have to pass a licensing exam, that covered everything from server administration to graphic design you do really think you could pass it? Do you really think you'd need to pass it in order to qualified to design and build a site for a state legislator? Do you really think there would be ANY work left for web professionals in the state when it's about the easiest job their is to off-shore?

Back to what I quoted. Generally I don't see myself as a contractor, I see myself as a professional, but it's largely semantics I suppose. If someone, Rep. Pine for example, were to have suggested a law requiring ALL contractors or professionals in the state adhere to ethics standards and maybe even pass an ethics exam to receive their businesses license I'd be happy to entertain how that'd work. I'd then even believe the argument that this isn't just a personal vendetta aimed at her nemesis web designer.

Until then stop trying to "protect" the sheep from themselves. If people want to go out and hire frauds and charlatans it is not the state's job to protect them from themselves.

Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 10:52pm

@Peter  Regarding your questions you asked Kym Pine.  She briefly responded, and promised to offer more when she has time to address it properly:

  • 1.4 million people are being cyber harassed every year.  
  • Cyberstalking/harassment is costing the US $1.6 billion -  $3.2 billion a year.  
  • The other stuff is unknown at this time.
Comment by Daniela Stolfi on February 20, 2012 at 10:46pm

yes, I did contact Peter but as he just told me, his contact form was not working properly. (I did ask a mutual friend to forward an email which he also didn't get)  But we are in communication now. Unfortunately it was too late now to get him together with the adviser.

Sorry, I did not mean to imply that I think no one in this group hasn't been trying or involved in the process!   I know that is not the case at all. I didn't want this to turn into some major debate.  In fact I hesitated even sharing anything at all because people tend to horribly misinterpret intentions on forums and I didn't want to offend anyone or come under attack.  I am really  trying to be careful and just respectfully share what I know and my observations for what its worth and hope it helps. 

You and Peter are much more involved in the politics here then I am.  I mean I had to google the other day who are Governor is, if that gives you any kind of indication of how far removed I am.  (ok kidding on that so no one get excited)  I get involved in the things that I have to and that is it, not because I don't care or am oblivious, its just that I have several crusades I am already part of including being an activist for my people, which does not happen to be in this country.  I simply don't have the time for it all.  But I do have a lot of experience being part of a cause and when there is an issue on the table, people start over complicating things, and forget to communicate. 

In this case, It just seemed that some didn't know the process or that they could be involved and simply approach their legislators.  No one tried approaching Pine. (or maybe they did and it wasn't received?)  It seemed that simple action was overlooked so I just wanted to show how easy it was and concerns will be received if they shared them. 

You know, when I forwarded the messages to Kym, and the video to the meeting,  she seemed genuinely surprised and hurt by it.  She seems to really want to help the tech community and didn't understand why no one came to talk to her first.  She knows I am not in your group so she has no reason to put on an act for me. I think that shoes there is a disconnect here. 

I work with politicians many who represent things I am diametrically opposed to.  I sit in a room full of conservatives, and I have tattoos, no filter system, I talk fast and I swear like a sailor.  I wonder why they even listen to me.   But they do.  Its not because I am something special.  Its not because I am some genius public speaker.   As someone pointed out its because I have a casual approach and political retardation if you will, that makes me less threatening.  Many people just don't know how to communicate with our officials.  But they just want to be treated like anyone else.  I find the more real I am with them, the better the result.

Comment by Jon Brown on February 20, 2012 at 10:22pm

HB2288 and HB2762 are entirely separate issues, although there are some cross over arguments I'm going to try to be clear which one I'm addressing below:

First however,

What has happened is that for some reason your industry has a reputation of only wanting things from the legislature and not
working with us on the things we need your help on. Legislators have given your industry $1 billion in tax credits which could have gone to helping our homeless issue, paid for affordable housing, upgrades to our schools etc. We were highly criticized for doing this.

Insulting and diminishing the efforts of the community you seek to engage really isn't a very good starting point. Just saying… you had me interested until the end of your letter.

OK… HB2288 (The lets spy collect more private information on everyone in Hawaii Bill)

@Daniela says:

The intent of these bills was NOT about revenge and definitely not about control, it is about providing RELIEF to victims. The British “Magna Carta” declares that " justice delayed is justice denied"
The reason for this is simply to eliminate the risk of evidence perishing as the sloth like legal process tries to keep up with the speed of the internet..

Awesome, you've identified the problem with the system that I've been trying to highlight. The issue isn't ISPs retaining data, it's law enforcement being too slow to act to collect that data. HB2288 is not the solution to that problem. The solution would be to require ISPs to respond to requests from law enforcement to BEGIN retaining data immediately and prior to receiving a warrant for that data. Then upon receiving a warrant for that data being presented with it. If law enforcement can't be bothered to immediately go to an ISP and say "we need you to start recording traffic going to client X, we'll be back with a warrant" law enforcement needs even more fixing then this.

I have serious issue with ISPs collecting ANY data on my browsing habits without my explicit permission and as I've said elsewhere I would have hoped for a law forbidding them from collecting such data, not requiring them to and at the very least restricting what they can do with it, but I'll put that aside for a moment as I have bigger issue with Legislators / Law Enforcement / etc.. thinking that IP addresses mean ANYTHING.

I share my connection and single ISP provided public IP address with 3 families across 3 buildings.  Some of those wifi networks are public.  Based on ISP logged IP alone you could prove nothing, or you could prove an awful lot of things that aren't remotely true.  That's just considering "business as normal".  For me it's easier to spoof an IP or tunnel through a VPN then it is to photoshop a photo of someone committing a crime.  If law enforcement honestly believes that the answer is recording this information for longer they need to be fired or sent back to training.  They need to act faster.

The focus of your efforts should be on making law enforcement more responsive and more adept at collecting good evidence in a timely manner, not punishing the innocent for their sloth and ignorance.

I'll address HB2762 next...


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