Missouri Governor Doubles Down On 'View Source' Hacking Claim; PAC Now Fundraising Over This Bizarrely Stupid Claim
from the wtf-missouri dept
Hey Missouri: stop electing technically illiterate dipshits. First you had Claire McCaskill, one of the key sponsors of FOSTA (who is still defending it years later). You got rid of her, but replaced her with Josh Hawley, who seems to think his main job in the Senate (besides whipping up support for insurrectionists and planning his run for the Presidency) is to destroy the internet and reshape it according to his own personal vision.
And then there’s your governor. We wrote about him a few years ago when he claimed (ridiculously) that the 1st Amendment meant he could withhold public records (which is not how any of this works). But, of course, last week, his tech ignorance broke into prime time after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ethically disclosed that the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website was including teacher & administrator social security numbers in the HTML. DESE pulled down the pages, but not before calling the journalists “hackers.” Parson then doubled down and called for the journalists to be prosecuted. And then kept insisting that viewing HTML source code was hacking.
For the past week people on Twitter have been repeatedly mocking Parson for this, but he just won’t give up, and neither will the United Missouri PAC that is a huge Parson supporter and was even fined last year by the Missouri Ethics Commission over improper contributions and failure to report the contributions to Parson.
Earlier this week, United Missouri seemed to think that Parson’s blatant technical illiteracy was worth doubling down on and turning into a culture war against “the fake news.” It produced a video that is so embarrassing and cringeworthy it feels like a parody.
I mean, the transcript is so stupid that it makes me wonder about the quality of education in Missouri that someone could be this clueless.
The latest from the Missouri “fake news factory” is from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where a reporter has been digging around HTML code on a state website. The state technology division said the hacker took the records of at least 3 educators, decoded the HTML source code and viewed the social security numbers from the state website.
I mean, holy shit. HTML code is public. That’s what “view source” is there for. There’s no “digging around.” And, incredibly, here United Missouri/Parson are admitting that the social security numbers were in HTML! THAT IS THE PROBLEM! No one should ever be putting SSNs in HTML. The fact that DESE put SSNs in HTML is the very problem that the reporters were highlighting. And if it wasn’t actually a problem, why did DESE pull down the website in the first place? It’s not hacking. It’s showing that Parson’s administration is incompetent.
And then, the video takes Parson’s own failure to protect teachers and administrators in the state… and blames it on the reporters who (ethically) disclosed this negligent coding?
Governor Parson believes everyone is entitled to their privacy. Especially our teachers.
THEN WHY DID YOUR ADMINISTRATION REVEAL THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS IN HTML, YOU TECHNICALLY IGNORANT FOOLS? No one should ever be putting SSNs in HTML. The fact that they were there is the problem. Not the fact that these reporters alerted the state to their own coding (and data handling) error. The privacy breach is the state’s fault, not the reporters. The reporters disclosed all of this in the most ethical manner possible: alerting the state and not publishing anything until after the leaked data was removed from the web.
Governor Parson is standing up to the fake news media and is committed to bringing to justice anyone who obtained private information. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is purely playing politics. Exploiting private information is a squalid excuse for journalism. And hiding behind the noble principle of free speech to do it is shameful.
Note that they keep calling the St. Louis Post-Dispatch “fake news” but don’t dispute a single thing they reported. So it’s fake news, but also a crime? Furthermore, the only one who should be “brought to justice” is the state for putting social security numbers in HTML in the first place. And the only one “purely playing politics” appears to be Governor Mike Parson and his corrupt PAC.
And, of course, everyone with even the most basic understanding of HTML know that it’s Parson who’s full of shit here, as is clear from all the comments on the video:
I get that, these days, the Trumpian populists politicians think they can just make shit up and lie constantly and their ignorant base will lap it up, but this takes all that to new levels of stupid. You don’t have to be a genius computer science grad to understand that you never ever put SSNs in HTML and that whoever did that is at fault here.