[funsec] Using LexisNexis as a political weapon
John C. A. Bambenek, GCIH, CISSP
bambenek.infosec at gmail.com
Tue Jul 22 00:22:01 CDT 2008
I live in Illinois, so take the following with a grain of salt (especially
if you know what Chicago politics means)...
Why is this surprising?
On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 6:55 AM, Richard M. Smith <rms at computerbytesman.com>
> Democrats used state funds to research foes
> Sunday, July 20, 2008
> By Dennis B. Roddy and Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
> HARRISBURG -- As the pivotal 2006 legislative election season began, top
> Democratic House aides, using state resources, undertook a wide-ranging
> opposition research campaign into both Democratic and Republican office
> seekers, e-mails show.
> The project was spearheaded by Eric Webb, director of the Democratic Office
> of Member Services, who, on Jan. 31, sent e-mails to state employees
> advising them to begin digging up information on 35 declared and potential
> candidates for the state House.
> "We are mainly looking for bad things: liens, bankruptcies, homicides ...
> you get the picture," Mr. Webb advised a dozen House colleagues via their
> state e-mail accounts. Employees were asked to use LexisNexis, an online
> search service that makes use of thousands of databases. The state had
> several LexisNexis accounts that a grand jury later said were used for
> opposition research.
> Mr. Webb told staffers to send results from the searches to Dan Wiedemer,
> executive director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee,
> at Mr. Wiedemer's political campaign address.
> Many of those targeted in the project were sponsored by PACleanSweep, a
> group formed to oust lawmakers who had voted for an unpopular legislative
> pay raise.
> Fun and Misc security discussion for OT posts.
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