Monday, July 02, 2007

Freedom Shenanigan #7A

Make & Publish a List of Public Employees

This Freedom Shenanigan is a two-step process. Part A is gathering the information. Part B is publishing the information. Here is some background information to set the stage.

Back in July of 2003 two researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology celebrated the Fourth of July with a new Internet service that will let citizens create dossiers on government officials. It was called Government Information Awareness The service started offering standard background information on politicians, and then went a step further, by asking Internet users to submit their own intelligence reports on government officials.

The premise of GIA was that if the government has a right to know personal details about citizens, then citizens have a right to similar information about the government. GIA was inspired by the federal government's now supposedly defunct Terrorist Information Awareness, or TIA, program. "Our goal is develop a technology which empowers citizens to form their own intelligence agency; to gather, sort and act on information they gather about the government," said MIT graduate student Ryan McKinley, who developed GIA under the direction of Christopher Csikszentmihályi, an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab's Computing Culture group.

"Only by employing such technologies can we hope to have a government by the people and for the people," McKinley said. At one time they had over 3000 listings.,,

Today if you try to access that site you get this warning:

403 Forbidden:

We're sorry, you are not allowed to access this URL.

There are several possible reasons why:

§ The page is only accessible by members of the Media Laboratory.

§ The page has to be accessed from within the Lab. Outside of the Lab, either a valid Media Lab user id or password must be supplied to the SSL-enabled equivalent at, or you need VPN client software available at:

It seems that the project is over and unavailable.

Back in 2001 Bill Sheehan a network engineer and libertarian from a suburb of Seattle, published the names, title, and salaries of law enforcement personnel at a number of Seattle-area agencies under the state of Washington's Open Records Act, on a now defunct website Sheehan cross-matched the data he obtained to publicly available records to obtain the home addresses and social security numbers. To find addresses, he used common internet search engines such as Yahoo people search. Social Security numbers were obtained from one of the many services that freely sell such information for as little as a buck. Sheehan also linked an embarrassing number of officers to their bankruptcy and criminal records. It was all legally public available information.

Hooodaddy, did he ever set a brushfire! Hackers attacked the site. Lawsuits ensued; the Washington State Legislature even enacted a specific law targeting this issue. In May of 2003 U.S. District Judge John Coughenour, the chief federal judge in Seattle, ruled the law unconstitutional. The site is still up after changing servers and its name to

There are other sites that do similar work of making government transparent.,,,,

Furthermore, there is more good news. Recently “white supremacists” radio shock jock Hal Turner did a Freedom Shenanigan. This isn’t the first time he has done this kind of thing.

I want to be clear that I do NOT support Hal Turner’s racist views. I do support his right to try to affect policy by this method of “Public Employee” accountability.

According to Turner’s and other’s accounting, his website’s posting of the names, addresses of both work and home of Senators who were voting in favor of the “Immigration bill” caused such a reaction from the public to the senators that they voted against the bills passage.



Turner’s approach had an effect. The legality of what he did appears to be protected by U.S. Supreme Court Decisions protecting “violent” speech:

Brandenburg v. Ohio" 395 U.S. 444, 447 (1969) which ruled that advocating crime is legal as long as the remarks are uttered in a context which does not lend itself to imminent lawlessness.

Virginia v. Black" 538 U.S 343, 359 (2003) which held that doing things like Burning Crosses cannot be considered Prima Fascia evidence of an intent to intimidate and thus are not prosecutable "True Threats." AND;

Watts v. United States" 394 U.S.705 (1969) Id. at 708 which specifically allows and protects talk of killing ELECTED officials (specifically the President of the United States) when there is little likelihood the speech will be acted upon. Such talk is defined by the court as "crude political hyperbole."

So far these techniques have worked as long as the instigator does nothing like what Jim Bell did.

In the late 1990’s James Dalton Bell came up with an idea to combat the rise of political and bureaucratic power, called Assassination Politics. Simply put, people would pay into a betting pool and then would pick when a politician would die. The person closest to the time and date wins. The idea was to encourage people to take an active role into causing the death of the target. (Pros & Cons here for more detail). However, Jim Bell didn’t just talk and publish about it. He got caught for “Interstate Stalking” of government employees, specifically IRS. His example serves as a guide of what not to do.

I DO NOT advocate violence until all peaceful means of influence have been exhausted. The point here is to put our public employees back on the same level of risk that we, their employers, are. They have created databases of our private information. They have legislated levels of immunity for themselves from prosecution and responsibility for their actions against We the people. They have hid behind their walls of delegated power and limited immunity for so long that they believe it is within their power to act with impunity. They need to learn that, just as we are at risk from government employee abuse, they are at risk from the Carl Dregas who have stood all they can stand.

What YOU CAN do is to start making a list of every public employee in your town, township, county, state. Include: their elected office name, office & home address, vacation property if possible, ALL phone numbers, automobiles for both government & personal use, makes, models, colors, license plate numbers, known religious affiliations and local meeting address, memberships including professional and personal like YMCA, health club, country club, fraternal organizations. Who are their family members? Who are their neighbors? Who mows the lawn? Who does the shopping? Who are the money donors to their campaigns? Are they businesses that you can start a boycott against if needed?

Start with all elected officials, then appointed or hired officials like inspectors and POLICE. Then add support staff like secretaries and other office personnel. Much of this information is readily available from government newsletters, public documents, campaign literature, reverse address and telephone number lists, name plaques in government buildings, business cards, etc. The Supreme Court has ruled that garbage on the street is fair pickings. HOWEVER, some states have enacted stronger privacy laws in opposition so check your state first. Early in the morning or late at night when fewer eyes are about, you can dump the contents of the can into a container in your trunk for review later.

So what do you do with “the List?” Firstly, DO NOT make multiple copies on your laser printer. It may be spying on you. Use an inkjet printer. If you don’t have an inkjet printer then take your one and ONLY laser copy to a self-service (meaning YOU make the copies) copy place and make black & white copies of the laser original. Destroy the original. On your computer, transfer the file to a flash drive or disk. Hide that outside of your home. Use one of the many free wipe file programs available to clean the file off your computer.

Secondly, Wait and watch for Part B, How To Publish “the List.”