Please say it isn't so - Canadian killed by poison pills bought on the net
"The public is being warned about the dangers of purchasing medicine on the Internet following the death of Quadra Island resident Marcia Bergeron. The 57-year-old apparently died of poisoning after purchasing pills through an online source, said Vancouver Island regional coroner Rose Stanton. A toxicology report showed that Bergeron's anti-anxiety medication and sedative were laced with dangerous mineral traces, Stanton said. "The pills had traces of uranium, strontium, selenium, aluminum, arsenic, barium and boron," said Stanton."
My God, this really does put the Winfix problem into perspective, doesn't it. Sure, Winfixer rips you off with its false positives, tricking you into handing over $$ to fix a computer infestation that doesn't exist, but at least it won't kill you.
Note the further comments in the article:
"Bergeron's medications, confiscated by the coroner, were generic pills in plastic bags with nothing to identify them. There was no information about proper dosage, and no printed materials. "There's no drug name, there's no dosage information -- that's dangerous," said Stanton. "I think the risk is very high that someone else could suffer the same fate." Stanton said that the website Bergeron used had fake endorsements from medical agencies. "These fake sites look very realistic," Stanton said. "They would fool a lot of people. And they mention the names of organization and companies that don't exist." Stanton said the fake sites set up for very short periods of time -- often just a few days -- then shut down to avoid the authorities, and often set up again under a different name."
What are we going to do about what "the Internet" is turning into? What happened to the brave vision of the past where "the Internet" would empower us, help us learn, expose us to alternative viewpoints and cultures, and allow us to communicate with loved ones far away and share knowledge... is that all going to be lost to the criminal element? We can't protect everybody, and reality is that "the Internet" is accessible to so many people now that would never have dreamed of accessing it not so many years ago. Computers have gone down in price, Internet availability has gone up, broadband is more and more widespread, internet cafes abound for those who do not have computers, and even when we are on the move we can get online via hotspots. More and more and more people are surfing, but they are not being educated about the dangers out there, and I am struggling with the question "whose responsibility is it" and "what can we do going forward"?
The catchcry "AOL killed the internet" came to be because of the lack of education and detrimental behaviour of that company's inexperienced, netiquette illiterate subscribers (http://catb.org/~esr/jargon/html/S/September-that-never-ended.html). Now we are seeing a danger far worse than a deterioration in the quality of conversation in newsgroups. We are having to face the danger of a criminal element taking advantage of the innocence and naivity of who-knows-how-many millions of users who simply do not know better, and have nobody sitting next to them to guide, protect and train them as they step out into an online world with very few safeguards or protections from shysters, fraudsters and crooks. And now, somebody has died.
I don't know if Marcia Bergeron is the first person to die under such circumstances, and I feel a great fear that she will not be the last.