Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Um, Isn't That Illegal?

Why, yes it is:

...phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
So why is Harry Reid involved in illegal activity?  Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:

A few days ago, Sharron Angle launched a new format to her website, giving the campaign a more professional looking web portal.

Harry Reid's campaign, however, took the code from the prior Angle website and launched a website called "TheRealSharronAngle.com." The fake website was what, in internet terminology, is called spoofing, where a seemingly real website is created, usually to obtain information under false pretenses (frequently referred to as "phishing").

The purported purpose of the spoofed website -- according to a press release by the Reid campaign -- was to preserve Angle's position statements on various issues -- but that purpose surely was contrived, since Angle's prior website was cited and quoted extensively. All of Angle's positions, as reflected on the original website, were fully preserved.

There even was a controversy back in June when the "issues" section of Angle's original website momentarily disappeared as the website was being revamped, and there were plenty of screen shots and other information preserved from the original website. For example, in early June a reporter easily recovered old Angle web pages from Google Cache.

There simply would be no legitimate reason for the Reid campaign to create a spoofed Angle website if what it merely wanted to do was preserve Angle's policy positions.

While creating a spoofed website may have reflected the childish ways of the Reid campaign, the way the Reid campaign set up the spoofed website was more nefarious.
While the Reid campaign did not go so far as to illegally solicit contributions or gather financial information from Angle supporters, they did gather contact information.  Jacobson says, "Regardless of whether the Reid campaign's spoofing and phishing attempt was criminal, it was sleazy."  To say the least.
Seems that Reid is taking a page from the Alan Grayson campaign.  Smells like desperation.  Come on, November!

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