Dec 292011
 
 December 29, 2011  Breaches

Because I’m still troubled by what appears to be minimization of a breach experienced by the New York City Public Advocate‘s office, I’ve decided to disclose some of what was dumped on the web by @LulzOps as part of the #AntiSec movement.  I am redacting identifying information, but as you read this, keep in mind that it was not redacted in the data dump and that in disclosing the breach, the agency said that “Most of these submissions only include basic information such as a name and email address and no other personal information.” The statement doesn’t mention how many submissions had much more than just name and e-mail address. Many submissions also included addresses and phone numbers and other details. So PogoWasRight.org is calling “bullshit” on the lack of full disclosure. Here are a few submissions:

Name: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
E-mail address: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
Subject: NYPD misconduct in Operation Take Back in Brooklyn

[Day] afternoon, December [date], 2011, my [age] year old son [name] who is [major and program] student at [college] had just completed studying for his final exams at [library name] when he was approached by a tall African American man.

The man proceeded to tell my son a desperate story of how his family was hungry, that he had just recently lost his job, and that he needed to help his children. The man continued on, he told my son that he was selling his personal property (an iPhone) to support his children, and that [name] seemed like a caring sole that could help him.

[Name] who was raised to be compassionate to other people in need listen quietly, and told the man that he only had a few dollars on him and couldn’t help. However, the man persisted, and follow [name] further down the street, and at one point blocked his path from crossing over [street], ‘Please sir, Please help me and my children‚’ with those last few words, he placed the phone in my son’s hands, smiled at him, at within moments later my young son was swarmed by dozens of undercover New York City Police officers. The undercover officers violently threw my son up against the building wall on [street] and [street], they cursed at him, verbal abused him, screamed at him, we know you have been arrested before you dumb fuck‚ the undercover cops never read him his Miranda rites. Police continue to bark and curse insults at my son for several minutes. According to my son, the police celebrated at making other illegal arrests. Chants of we got another one, and let’s get few more could be heard. The police acted like a group of school yard bullies, arresting more and more innocent students and working people on their way home, the store or to work.

Once [name] was sent to the [number] pct., the filthy, smelly dark jail cells were filled with illegal jailed people all scoped up by out of control undercover police officers engaged in an orgy of holiday deception, abuse and police treachery. From his jail cell, [name] called to tell me how sorry he was that he was arrested. Overnight, my wife and I quickly made phone calls and found a criminal defense attorney to handle the case. Our attorney showed me the complaint against my son; it appears that the undercover police officers are using an informant to entrap innocent people into an unjust criminal act. The complaint was a pack of lies, they accused my son of knowing that the property was stolen, moreover they accused my son of giving the informant $50 in case for the phone, which he didn’t have on him.

Jailed over 20 plus hours, [name] was never informed of what he was being charged with, after 24 hours of being jailed [name] was given his moment before the court, the Judge dismissed the case, and told [name] to keep out of trouble for the next six months. I was outraged as I sat in the back of the court room; my child has never done anything wrong, never! Clearly the criminals here are the police and their informant, according to shop keepers and merchants I polled last night along [street] all said that they have seen the African American man, along with his undercover police helpers illegal arrest dozens of unsuspecting and trusting residence, students and working adults in the area over the past several weeks.

[rest snipped by pogowasright.org]

[name redacted]
[work address redacted]
[telephone number redacted]

***

Name: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
E-mail address: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
Subject: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELESS SERVICES (PATH)

I AM CURRENTLY RESIDING IN A SHELTER LOCATED ON [address]. I WOULD PREFER TO STAY ANONYMOUS. MY APARTMENTS CONDITIONS ARE UNSANITARY.I AM LIVINH WITH MY (2) CHILDREN AND MY FIANCE.MY ADDRESS IS [address].MY APARTMENT IS INFESTED WITH BABY RATS.I WENT TO THE SOCIAL WORKERS OFFICER AND EXPLAINED THAT I HAVE BEEN THROWING THEM OUT AT LEAST (8-10) OR MORE PER DAY.I CONTACTED MY SOCIAL WORKER AND HER BEST ADVICE WAS TO TAKE MOUSE TRAPS I ASKED TO SEAL THE HOLES IN MY APARTMENT NO RESPONSE I HAVE BEEN THERE FOR (2) WEEKS I AM AFRAID THAT MY CHILDREN MIGHT BE BITTEN I AM ASKING FOR HELP BECAUSE I AM HOMELESS DOES NOT MEAN I AM NOT HUMAN.I CAN BE REACHED AT [telephone number].I PREFER TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS DUE TO WHAT ACTIONS MAY OCCUR,THANK YOU

***

Name: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
E-mail address: [redacted by pogowasright.org]
Subject: [redacted] Foster Agency

To whom it may concern:

I am a teacher in the [area of NYC] at PS [school number]. For four years I have been working with a student who has been placed in 13 different foster families. He has been in foster care since he was a baby and his mother has made limited efforts to regain custody. The foster agency has let the adoption process stretch out over 7 years. During this time I have seen fluctuations in his behavior, he has become angry and violent at times. He has displayed inapporiate sexual behaviors and used inapporpriate language. I believe that he has learned all of this from the other children in his foster families. His academics have suffered due to these fluctuations in his behavior. His foster parents have time and again been unwilling to provide him the supports he requires and have abused him verbally, threatening to abandon him or putting him under cold water to calm him down. My patience has run out with this foster agency. They continually refuse to take responsibility for [child’s first name]’s situation. I am hoping that your organization can help me accomplish something to find [name] a safe place for [name] to live. The school has already contacted ACS and called 311. Please let me know if you can help.

Many Thanks,

[name redacted]
[telephone number redacted]

I wonder how much help the submitters got from the Public Advocate’s office. I hope it was worth the breach of privacy, but somehow, I suspect that it wasn’t. Note that I am not publishing these redacted statements with any implication as to the veracity of their contents – my point is simply that many submissions on the agency’s web site contained highly personal information.

Now you may think, “Well, not many people probably saw the data.”  The last time I had checked, the archive had been downloaded over 80 times. Some of those downloads may have been from bloggers or journalists who, like myself, need to see what’s in a file so we can report on it or include it in research databases.  But I don’t think there’s that many of us out there who download for that reason.  What might others do with such data?

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