Missouri Governor Still Lying About Reporters Who Uncovered Ridiculous Bad State Computer Security; Still Insists They Were Hackers
from the lie-through-it,-mike dept
Missouri Governor Mike Parson is nothing if not committed to shamelessly lying. As you’ll recall, after journalists from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ethically informed the state that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website included a flaw that revealed the social security numbers of over 600,000 state teachers and school administrators, Parson responded by calling the reporters hackers and vowing to prosecute them. Again, the DESE system displayed this information directly in the HTML, available for anyone to see if they knew where to look. That’s not hacking. That’s incompetent computer security.
So far, this has mostly played out as expected. A month after the revelations, DESE finally admitted it fucked up and apologized to the teachers and administrators and offered them identity fraud protection services. Then, last week, a public record request revealed something incredible, though perhaps not surprising: the FBI had already told Missouri officials that no hacking took place and DESE had prepared a statement (correctly) thanking the journalists for alerting them to their own fuck up… but that statement was ditched in favor of the nonsense one claiming that the journalists “hacked” the system. As we said in that last story, right at the end it notes that the Highway Patrol investigation, instigated by Parson, was “still active.”
And now Parson is still standing by the ridiculous claim that the reporters are hackers. As for how he could possibly claim that after the revelation of internal documents on the situation? Well, Parson is trotting out the old “fake news” bullshit:
Asked at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday whether, in light of the records provided by the state, he still believed the newspaper committed a crime, Parson said, ?Most certainly I believe that. And most certainly I don?t know where that information?s coming from that you guys printed on that, whether it?s very accurate or not either. It has a tendency not to be very accurate a lot of times.?
Dude. What? Do newspapers make errors sometimes? Sure. But (1) from the very beginning it was abundantly clear that the problem here was with the state, not with the reporters, because under no circumstances should people be able to see the Social Security Numbers of other people in HTML and (2) if you’re crying “fake news” about documents revealed under a public records law then you have to actually say what’s fake. Is Parson claiming that his own government supplied fake information in response to a public records request? Because that would be fucked up. No, the truth is that Parson can’t handle the fact that everyone knows he’s just wrong, so he’s going to lie right through it.
Missourians, you deserve better than a governor who will actively lie to you and put state employees at risk. Elect someone who is not a liar.