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Reporters Threatened, Labeled Hackers For Finding Security Hole 120

colinneagle writes "Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 records online of customers of Lifeline, a government program offering affordable phone service for low-income citizens, that contained everything needed for identity theft . Last year, the FCC 'tightened' the rules for the program by requiring Lifeline phone carriers to document applicants' eligibility, which led to collecting more sensitive information from citizens. A Scripps News investigative team claims it 'Googled' the phone companies TerraCom Inc. and YourTel America Inc. to discover all of the files. A Scripps reporter asked for an on-camera interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel after explaining the files were freely available online. That did not happen, but shortly thereafter the customer records disappeared from the internet. Then, the blame-the-messenger hacker accusations and mudslinging began. Although the Scripps reporters videotaped the process showing how they found the documents, attorney Jonathon Lee for both telecoms threatened the 'Scripps Hackers' with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."
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Reporters Threatened, Labeled Hackers For Finding Security Hole

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  • by webmistressrachel ( 903577 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @06:17PM (#43777023) Journal

    Wow, I'm scared to fire up my console now. GUIs only from now on for me - I had no idea that I was invoking the devil with my black backround and myriad switches and parameters passed!

    Having been a "builder" from a very young age, I can identify with being considered "heathen" for being able connect things that other people had no idea could work together (yet obviously could work together - for example I've used a decent amp and speakers with whatever source was playing since I left home, but using the AUX input with my NICAM video recorder was blasphemy to my parents - and connecting the computer (Amstrad CPC464) to the speakers must have been like summoning demons - because they put a stop to that quickly - and no, it wasn't loud either.)

    This perception of me as "hacker" carried on through school and college. Despite me having more integrity than anyone else around me at the time, and an innate sense of "right" and "wrong" and natural justice, I found myself distrusted because people couldn't understand how I did the things I did with so little (and such a crap background. Computer books were NOT on any shopping lists. I had the CPC464 manual, and POKE.)

  • This is good news (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @06:20PM (#43777037)
    Usually reporters tell stories of "hackers" finding such things and we wonder weather the reporters understand how "non-hacking" the activity really was. Well in this case it's abundantly clear to them since it was they who discovered the data in plain sight. No question the reporters see the absurdity of the "hacker" label in this case.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury