Danger Will Robinson Dep’t: I was reading along on The Sheila Variations, as I do, and I ran across one of those interesting-things-about-yourself memes, which Sheila variegated with gusto. One of the questions asked your Porn Star name, which started me thinking.
The Porn Star name game has been all over the place for years, online and off, not least in Steven Soderbergh’s Full Frontal (which I liked, but don’t let that stop you from hating it, most everyone did). You take the name of your first pet, and add it to your mother’s maiden name, or the street you grew up on, or your first home town. Thus, if you’re not me, your Porn Star name might be, say, Rex Broadway, or Domani 154th Street, or Bootsie Manhattan. It’s silly, it’s cute, it’s often funny, and it’s harmless. Right?
Make that maybe. It strikes me that those questions are familiar. I’ve seen them before, often in close proximity to my social security number and my credit card information. Stripped of context like this they seem innocuous, but given how much of the web is spidered and crawled and spammed and throttled by outright criminals, I don’t know that they are. I’m picturing big-big database netbots somewhere, scanning comments and bulletin boards, cross-indexing email returns and IP addresses, adding motes of information bit by bit until there are beams to build with. And then hitting us on the head with the beams.
Public service announcement for y’all, from us Peppers.