You’re doing a heckuva job there, Bushie!
Jeb “The Smart One” Bush, presidential light horse, GOP heir apparent, and Governor of the state of Florida, is truly a man of the people.
If by “people” you mean “Florida Man.”
Approximately ten hours ago Bush announced on Facebook that he was releasing a book based on his email exchanges with Floridians. All presidential candidates must release books in order to be considered serious; you can thank Jack Kennedy and his Pulitzer for that. But most of them have at least pretended to more gravitas than, say, “The Collected Phone Messages: 2000-2010.” It’s unclear how many Floridians knew they were giving up copyright to their own letters to Bush and his literary agent when they wrote to him as their Governor, but it’s pretty certain none of them anticipated that their Governor was about to dox them in print.
The 250,000 or so emails are available in a searchable database and include the unredacted email addresses and digital signatures of the senders; many also include their addresses, work places, or even social security numbers.
Comments on Facebook were predictably acerbic. “Someone give Jeb a honorable anon title! Not many Anons have doxed that many people,” said commenter Kristian Christensen in the group for hacker magazine 2600: The Hacker Quarterly. In that same thread, however, commenter Mark Davis pointed out, “The sunshine laws in the state of Florida allows anyone to access the (state controlled) emails (sent and received) to any state official upon request.”
Still, in an age when even cafes warn you about privacy when you log on to their wifi, you’d expect a self-proclaimed transparency supporter like Bush to let people know with a pop-up, a sentence on his contact form, or even a modified vacation responder when they email him that their metadata and personal details may end up splashed all over the internet and even possibly the best-seller list.
Does anyone else hear that loud chuckling coming from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London?
Categories: Anonymity, Dox, Email, Politics, Privacy, Security, Surveillance, Technology
Florida’s Sunshine Law makes all email contents sent to public employee addresses public information. While I’m not trying to argue that Bush was *right* not to redact personal information and to publish the contents of email, there is an argument that such a release is legal. Anyone can request such email exchanges as part of the public record in Florida, and I know that email addresses in particular will remain unredacted. Certain requests for information or public commentary will come with disclaimers that by responding, one is releasing one’s email address to the public. Obviously, the Sunshine Law has some rough edges, but it is one of the strongest government transparency laws applying to a state.
Such a release is legal, but is certainly unethical. As numerous sites pointed out today, people who email the governor are not actually given that information until after they have submitted their email. The issue of informed consent is a critical one.
Lorraine, its equally spooky when you get the disclaimer saying your communication is monitored and your personal info may be released to other govt agency.
This gave me goose bumps.
This email (with any attachments) is intended for the attention of the addressee(s) only. If you are not the intended recipient, please inform the sender straight away before deleting the message without copying, distributing or disclosing its contents to any other person or organisation. Unauthorised use, disclosure, storage or copying is not permitted.
Any views or opinions expressed in this e-mail do not necessarily reflect the FCO’s policy.
The FCO keeps and uses information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. Personal information may be released to other UK government departments and public authorities.
All messages sent and received by members of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and its missions overseas may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded in accordance with the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000.