The story worried me.
Richard Bliss, an engineer working for a US technology company was arrested in Russia on charges of espionage.
The year was 1997. I knew Richard Bliss. And while I wouldn’t have called him an engineer, he certainly worked for a technology company and travelled internationally.
I called my sister-in-law.
Hey, this is Rodney. Ah. . .my brother hasn’t been in Russia lately has he?
No. But, you’re not the first to call. I just hung up with your mom.
Yesterday I talked about meeting someone with my same name, (Talking To Myself. . .Hello, I Don’t Think We’ve Met.) This is a picture of Richard Bliss, who was arrested for espionage in Russia in 1997.
This is a picture of Richard Bliss who was not in Russia in 1997 and is definitely not a spy.
If you google Richard Bliss, most of the links will be for my brother. He’s a published author. He’s a successful LinkedIn coach. He ran multiple successful podcasts. He’s popular online and not hard to find.
But, because 25 years ago a man who shared his name used an unauthorized GPS device in Russia, and because the Internet never forgets, my brother’s name is forever linked to spying in Russia.
More recently, in 2018, a man in Florida got into an argument with some people at his business. He ended up shooting a man and was shot himself and was killed. His name was Richard Bliss.
Google makes it easy to find yourself, or at least those people who share your name. It also makes it easy to find other people who share names.
Most of the time it’s a strange version of looking in the mirror, but seeing someone else’s face. In my brother’s case, it does screw up a background check.
Ironically, my brother and I both know one more Richard Bliss. Our older brother named one of his kids Richard. And he’s not a spy either.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved