Sunday, December 03, 2006


Right-wing website posts abuse of secret database to harass a political opponent

According to Glenn Greenwald: I had an ultimately inconsequential but nonetheless quite illustrative personal experience with this several months ago. Back in July, when right-wing blogs were obsessed with investigating my personal life, including where I spend my time, this comment was left at Wizbang, in response to a July 21 post by Wizbang's Kevin Aylward:
Kevin, Glenn Greenwald departed the United States on June 22, 2006 and hasn't come back since. If you want to know how I know that and more, send me an Email. Posted by: Baggi at July 21, 2006 06:30 AM The information provided there by "Baggi" was accurate. I left the U.S. on exactly June 22, and as of July 21, had not re-entered the country.
Knowing the date I exited the U.S. would not necessarily require access to a DHS data base. It would be possible, for instance, for someone to have known that I left the country on that date by having access to the records of the specific airline I used to travel. But to know -- as this commenter did -- that, as of the date of the comment, I had not re-entered the U.S. (even for a day, or a few hours), would absolutely require access to non-public DHS customs and immigration data bases compiling data regarding international travel. There is simply no other way to have known that (let alone the "and more" to which the commenter obliquely referred).
People who have access to databases of that kind swear oaths not to do this sort of thing. I will be writing to my congressional representatives to suggest they look into this. Glenn Greenwald, like every other citizen, deserves to be treated lawfully and with respect for his Constitutional rights.
I think you're jumping to unwarranted conclusions here - there could be a perfectly innocent explanation.

They could have just been listening in on his phone conversations, for example.
You're right. They could even have placed a bug in his wristwatch.

Eli, I love your posts.
Thanks, Charles!
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