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Purveyor

(29,876 posts)
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:27 PM Dec 2012

Pro-Gun Blogger Retaliates Against Database By Publishing Newspaper Staff’s Personal Info

The publisher and staff of The Journal News in New York state found themselves the subject of what hackers call a “dox” on Thursday, after a blogger retaliated against their database of gun permit holders by publishing an extensive list of personal information for dozens of people connected to the paper.

The list includes items like hobbies of staffers who weren’t involved in producing the story, phone numbers, email addresses and even home addresses. Links to social media accounts even featured photos of the editor’s children, which the blog actively promoted.

Appearing on CNN Thursday morning, blogger Christopher Fountain of the “For What It’s Worth” blog said he was “offended” that the paper would release public information about gun owners and said he wanted the publisher of The Journal News to understand why he’s so upset. “I just thought they were being hypocrites,” he said.

The paper’s publisher, Janet Hansson, offered a defense on Wednesday of her decision to run the article, telling Politico: “We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.”

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Raw Story (http://s.tt/1xI38)

41 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Pro-Gun Blogger Retaliates Against Database By Publishing Newspaper Staff’s Personal Info (Original Post) Purveyor Dec 2012 OP
yet another moron who should be kept away from guns nt msongs Dec 2012 #1
Sue the fucker. Sue all gun fuckers. Sue them back into the stone age where they belong. nt onehandle Dec 2012 #2
On what grounds? Lizzie Poppet Dec 2012 #4
For publishing public information? ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #9
Maybe not such a great idea. LARED Dec 2012 #3
Unfortunately, the Bush/Cheney years misled some into believing that privacy is "quaint" derby378 Dec 2012 #7
i'm having a hard time taking that at face value.. frylock Dec 2012 #14
His gay and black friends all agree with him too, I suspect. Robb Dec 2012 #20
Great Idea Is To Publish National Maps Of All Gun Owners So I Can Steer Clear Before One Goes Postal cantbeserious Dec 2012 #5
With 1/3 of all households in the US owning guns NickB79 Dec 2012 #17
That May Be True - But Knowing Who These People Are Means I Can Personally Shun Them cantbeserious Dec 2012 #38
The data needed to create such a map simply does not exist slackmaster Dec 2012 #21
Then All The Better Reason To Institute Mandatory Gun Registration Just Like Automobiles cantbeserious Dec 2012 #39
Two wrongs don't make a right Turbineguy Dec 2012 #6
Yeah really. Initech Dec 2012 #36
Publicly Available Information Of Gun Owners - Someone Is Leveraging That Data cantbeserious Dec 2012 #40
As predictable as sunrise, one of those reporters Robb Dec 2012 #8
I have read where some of the people on the list have gotten phone calls and other communications ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #10
Delighting in the intimidation of the press? Robb Dec 2012 #11
No, I am finding amusement in journalists going through what they dish out ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #13
You're creeping me out. Robb Dec 2012 #22
I have no respect for the media or so called journalists ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #23
"Its not like journalism is a real profession. There are no enforced standards or even rules." Chorophyll Dec 2012 #25
RWS said it well, information wants to be free and I agree that public information is indeed public ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #30
This tit-for-tat bullplop is getting old. Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #12
I would have expect the so called journalists to not do what they did or accept similar treatment ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #15
Don't know which is more disturbing Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #16
That level of privacy violation is not schoolyard childishness. However, since there is no viable ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #18
Once again the idea that you dub yourself "professor" and Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #24
If there is no law, then all public data is fair game ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #28
What the paper did isn't "noble". Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #31
and publishing photos, links to pics of their children and description of her car as well as the bettyellen Dec 2012 #27
As WBC and others have learned...don't mess with the geeks ProgressiveProfessor Dec 2012 #29
Post removed Post removed Dec 2012 #19
Sorry, can't believe they didn't anticipate this - lynne Dec 2012 #26
My kindergarten teacher taught me that two wrongs don't make a right Piazza Riforma Dec 2012 #33
Owners of handguns and assault weapons bowens43 Dec 2012 #32
Tattoos on their foreheads perhaps or at the very least...armbands? ;) eom Purveyor Dec 2012 #34
Great idea. IF you own a snub nosed revolver you can be identified like this... LARED Dec 2012 #35
History shows how some people were forced to wear clothing for identification. ... spin Dec 2012 #37
I'm having a hard time feeling any sympathy for these "journalists." NaturalHigh Dec 2012 #41
 

Lizzie Poppet

(10,164 posts)
4. On what grounds?
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:38 PM
Dec 2012

The information on the Publisher and staff is, like the permit holders' info, all a matter of public record.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
9. For publishing public information?
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:13 PM
Dec 2012

The other aspect to this is the ongoing contributions to the data. Its almost like crowd sourcing.

 

LARED

(11,735 posts)
3. Maybe not such a great idea.
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 07:36 PM
Dec 2012
Fountain wasn’t having it. “Well, she could have just published the number of gun permits, which is actually quite small,” he said. “If she wanted to show an issue that there are 2,000 legally registered guns in her county, fine. But the fact that they put the addresses… I’ve received emails from abused women who were under protective order and in hiding, and they’re terribly afraid that now their names and addresses are all over the Internet and accessible through that map.”

derby378

(30,252 posts)
7. Unfortunately, the Bush/Cheney years misled some into believing that privacy is "quaint"
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:08 PM
Dec 2012

And now this shit happens.

I do not condone what this blogger did, but I don't condone publishing that first map, either.

frylock

(34,825 posts)
14. i'm having a hard time taking that at face value..
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:38 PM
Dec 2012

women who were under protective order and in hiding are emailing THIS guy? really?! never heard of him up until today. is he cause celebre in Connecticut?

NickB79

(19,390 posts)
17. With 1/3 of all households in the US owning guns
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:52 PM
Dec 2012

You'd have to become a shut-in to "steer clear" of all gun owners. You'd be lucky to make it off your block.

cantbeserious

(13,039 posts)
38. That May Be True - But Knowing Who These People Are Means I Can Personally Shun Them
Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:04 AM
Dec 2012

The more I am able to steer clear the better able I am to reduce the odds that one of them may kill me.

Initech

(100,602 posts)
36. Yeah really.
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:42 PM
Dec 2012

I've been actively fighting back against the gungeon but the newspaper pulled a dick move and so did this guy. They're both disgusting as far as I'm concerned.

cantbeserious

(13,039 posts)
40. Publicly Available Information Of Gun Owners - Someone Is Leveraging That Data
Fri Dec 28, 2012, 06:07 AM
Dec 2012

Why not let the data be used by citizens to steer clear of their armed neighbors.

Robb

(39,665 posts)
8. As predictable as sunrise, one of those reporters
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:09 PM
Dec 2012

or their families will be threatened or even really hurt by some insane gun owner.

The bill that outlaws the firearm used will be named after them.

Pardon the pun, but the gun advocates can't help but shoot themselves in the feet. For no matter how many might seem reasonable, their ranks are awash in paranoid idiots.

Bookmark this post.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
10. I have read where some of the people on the list have gotten phone calls and other communications
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:15 PM
Dec 2012

about their employer. Be interesting to see how loud the squeal.

The data being accumulated and published is quite thorough and has many parties looking. The staff is going to be unhappy for a long time to come.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
13. No, I am finding amusement in journalists going through what they dish out
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:35 PM
Dec 2012

Last edited Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:30 PM - Edit history (1)

They post public information that causes people problems, they should be willing to endure similar treatment. If that is intimidation, so be it. They may more closely consider their actions in the future.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
23. I have no respect for the media or so called journalists
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:28 PM
Dec 2012

Why anyone should express surprise over this is curious. Other media outlets have done similar things and had similar results. Even other journalists are criticizing this as bad journalistic ethics.

Its not like journalism is a real profession. There are no enforced standards or even rules. Pegler was given a Pulitzer Prize is a case in point.

This is a classic case of the media behaving badly and getting a small measure of comeuppance for it.

Chorophyll

(5,179 posts)
25. "Its not like journalism is a real profession. There are no enforced standards or even rules."
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:38 PM
Dec 2012

And you suddenly like standards and rules, do you, Professor?

Once again, public information is public.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
30. RWS said it well, information wants to be free and I agree that public information is indeed public
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:58 PM
Dec 2012

And those that sow the wind, reap the whirlwind...

In several places, there are those arguing directly or obliquely that the media gets a free pass when they do this kind of thing. They argue journalism has its standards or that intimidating the press is a bad thing.

 

Piazza Riforma

(94 posts)
12. This tit-for-tat bullplop is getting old.
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:34 PM
Dec 2012

Thought the "but he did it too!" excuse ended in elementary school but sadly, it appears I'm wrong. It seems that Christopher Fountain got in touch with his inner 8 year old and listened to his advice.

Then again who actually expects a pro-gun blogger to be the bigger man?

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
15. I would have expect the so called journalists to not do what they did or accept similar treatment
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:38 PM
Dec 2012

willing. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

There are some indications that the employees are starting to feel the backlash.

 

Piazza Riforma

(94 posts)
16. Don't know which is more disturbing
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 08:41 PM
Dec 2012

a person who calls themselves a "professor" arguing in favor of schoolyard childishness or that they revel in it.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
18. That level of privacy violation is not schoolyard childishness. However, since there is no viable
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:12 PM
Dec 2012

remedy under law, this kind of backlash is the only alternative.

This is not the first time the media has done this kind of thing nor the first time there was a backlash. They had to know it was coming, but they claim their purpose was a noble one. In that case they knowing accepted what is coming now, may they enjoy the fallout.

I have no respect for the media or journalism. Haven't for quite some time. It is not a profession in any real sense of the word. They are not special, they are not noble, they are at best hacks.

 

Piazza Riforma

(94 posts)
24. Once again the idea that you dub yourself "professor" and
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:36 PM
Dec 2012

not only revel in but actively support whiny baby temper tantrums is disturbing.

So because there is no law against what they did you think it's groovy to make your own?

How sad.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
28. If there is no law, then all public data is fair game
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:48 PM
Dec 2012

If a group chooses to publish public data that offends some people, they should expect similar treatment. Even the Brady Bunch never went as far as the Westchester Journal News.

Do you think what the Journal News did was OK? Was the blogger also OK? Please show how one is noble and the other evil.

If you think both are evil, what should have been done to the Journal News? What laws would you propose to stop it from happening again. What kind of punishment should the Journal News experience today? punishment would you meet out to the blogger?

In the end there has to be equality in both the law and public treatment. The media does not get some sort of free ride, and they aren't in this case. I expect the backlash will have economic consequences for the paper and the parent company. People will lose their jobs, some due to their personal bad judgement, others because the Journal News leadership used bad judgement. I feel for the latter.


State of California calls me a Professor too.

 

Piazza Riforma

(94 posts)
31. What the paper did isn't "noble".
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:02 PM
Dec 2012

Neither is what this guy did. This is not "righting a wrong".

Personally, I'm against any release of personal information without a warrant or court order.

 

bettyellen

(47,209 posts)
27. and publishing photos, links to pics of their children and description of her car as well as the
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:46 PM
Dec 2012

personal info of every other reporter who didn't work on the story is a good thing?
Really- links to pics of her children? This is abhorrent.

ProgressiveProfessor

(22,144 posts)
29. As WBC and others have learned...don't mess with the geeks
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:53 PM
Dec 2012

When you publish public information that many think should be kept private, there is a backlash. This is not the first time this has happened to a paper. Other journalists are saying it was a bad thing to do without the backlash. The Journal News leadership had to know this would be coming.

There is no law in place to stop either the newspaper or the blogger. In the end the newspaper will back off. The price being paid economically (loss of subscriptions, advertiser boycotts, etc) plus the price being paid by their employees will force the issue.

Like I said, don't mess with the geeks, the net has no mercy.

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

lynne

(3,118 posts)
26. Sorry, can't believe they didn't anticipate this -
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:46 PM
Dec 2012

- public information is just that and if one group can publish it, so can another.

To publish sensitive information - even if public - about one group of people is inviting a similar reaction. What's good for the goose is good for the gander and all that stuff.

If someone wants to pull the pants down on somebody else, they'd better make sure their own underwear are clean first.

 

Piazza Riforma

(94 posts)
33. My kindergarten teacher taught me that two wrongs don't make a right
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:18 PM
Dec 2012

Apparently that lesson hasn't quite filtered down to the masses yet.

 

bowens43

(16,064 posts)
32. Owners of handguns and assault weapons
Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:06 PM
Dec 2012

are clearly a danger to our lives and the lives of our family. We should have the right to know where they live and exactly what weapons they have

spin

(17,493 posts)
37. History shows how some people were forced to wear clothing for identification. ...
Fri Dec 28, 2012, 01:34 AM
Dec 2012
The Yellow Star
By Jennifer Rosenberg, About.com Guide

The yellow star, inscribed with the word "Jude," has become a symbol of Nazi persecution. Its likeness abounds upon Holocaust literature and materials. But the Jewish badge was not instituted in 1933 when Hitler came to power. It was not instituted in 1935 when the Nuremberg Laws stripped Jews of their citizenship. It was still not implemented by Kristallnacht in 1938. The oppression and labeling of the Jews by use of the Jewish badge did not begin until after the start of the Second World War. And even then, it began as local laws rather than as a unified Nazi policy.

***snip***

The Nazis rarely had an original idea. Almost always what made the Nazi policies different was that they intensified, magnified, and institutionalized the age-old methods of persecution.

The oldest reference to using mandatory articles of clothing to identify and distinguish Jews from the rest of society was in 807 CE. In this year, Abbassid caliph Haroun al-Raschid ordered all Jews to wear a yellow belt and a tall, cone-like hat.1

But it was in 1215 that the Fourth Lateran Council, presided over by Pope Innocent III, made its infamous decree. Canon 68 declare

Jews and Saracens [Muslims] of both sexes in every Christian province and at all times shall be marked off in the eyes of the public from other peoples through the character of their dress.2
http://history1900s.about.com/od/holocaust/a/yellowstar.htm


Now I am seriously doubting that you want 80,000,000 gun owners in our nation to be required to have tattoos on their foreheads or to wear armbands.

But I will advise you that many lurkers come to DU to understand how Democrats feel about current issues just as some DU members go to conservative websites such as FreeRepublic to read the foolish comments often posted there.

A comment such as yours might cause some to believe that the liberal and progressive folks who post here are willing to discriminate against those who disagree with their views.

I realize that you are emotionally upset at the recent massacres in schools and theaters and that is entirely understandable. I own firearms but I had a nightmare about the shooting at the school in Connecticut last night and I rarely have bad dreams. We do need to have an honest discussion on gun violence in our nation and if we all show at least some respect for those who disagree with us we might actually make some progress in addressing this issue.


NaturalHigh

(12,778 posts)
41. I'm having a hard time feeling any sympathy for these "journalists."
Fri Dec 28, 2012, 09:33 AM
Dec 2012

If they don't respect others' privacy, why should theirs be respected? If this little tit-for-tat makes them uncomfortable for a while, they can't say they didn't ask for it.

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