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John Morris is the founder and owner of morriscode, a leading Prince Edward Island web design & development firm that works with organizations to take advantage of multiple forms of technology and enhance their efficiency through online initiatives.
Occasionally John likes to share thoughts and opinions on his blog. When not working on web design, web development, social media strategies or building new websites, this entrepreneur can be found adventuring through PEI's backwoods capturing the beauty of our province.
Intro: Open/closed corporations.org is a website where people can go lookup who the major share holders in a company and it shows information on a companies shareholders as well as what other companies those share holders are involved with.
So First of, Kudos to Peter for making the site, it was well done and a good too to search for businesses. The site gave people access to information easier then using the corporate registry.
The governments corporate registry does not allow you to easily search for a company name when its listed under a trade name.
For instance, a friend of mine owns a company that we will call "Joes Fish". When you search the corporate registry for "Joes Fish", the website comes back saying, "No results returned for your search criteria.". But when you search the website for his numbered compay name (i.e. 1000001 PEI Inc.) it comes back showing the company information plus "Joes Fish" as a Registered Trade Name.
When you search Peters open/closed corporations for "Joes Fish", it shows the number company info automatically.
But thats where the positives end and things go south. The idea of the corporate registry is:
FROM THIS PAGE YOU CAN SEARCH for information on incorporated companies, non- profit associations, business names, limited partnerships, licensed extra-provincial companies, co-operatives and licensed insurance companies registered on Prince Edward Island.
The problem is, that it goes too far beyond that. While looking up a companies information is fine, what isn't fine is allowing people to search for a list of companies that someone, such as Tim Banks, owns or is a shareholder of. Who really needs to know all the companies that Tim owns other then for curiosity/nosy sake?
Opps, big mistake there but really the reporter obviously isn't that tech savy as he confused it with a captcha. He failed to mention this and it makes the government look like they password protected the site when really, its the reporters fault for not knowing the difference between a captcha and password protection. A captcha different then a password protected website.
However had the CBC reporter used the argument that is was affecting the public's use (i.e. those who can't see too well) he'd for surely have a good point.
Then the question came up in regarding to Peter hacking the government system as he had prior knowledge of it as he built that system. While there is a possibility (slim or not) Peter may have left a vulnerability open by mistake, there is no way someone can tell without having knowledge of the system, which Peter built. Therefore, someone drawing conclusions that Peter hacked it with his previous knowledge of working on the system can only be someone shooting their mouth off trying to stir the pot or a government employee. After spending a moment looking at who is saying Peter hacked the system, it clear it came from an unreliable source and is more then likely the boy who cried wolf.
As I pointed out earlier, this would hardly have been fair to Peter. The government asking Peter to close down the site and yet they continued to allow Google to Index it? How would that have been fair to Peter?
That would have the government saying, sorry Peter, you can't index the site but Google can.
Our government obviously didn't want the information indexed, thus the need for the captcha.
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