Politician Stalks Blogger - Rep. Mike Doogan Outs AKMuckraker

by: Chris Blask

Sat Mar 28, 2009 at 11:29:08 AM EDT



Alaska Democratic Representative Mike Doogan didn't like the attention of blogger AKMuckraker - proprietor of The Mudflats Blog and a person who had become internationally famous as a source of local commentary and information regarding Governor Sarah Palin - so he chose to stalk this blogger and publicly expose her real name.

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This, in my opinion, is a of breach of trust - not to mention an example of immature and vindictive behavior - which is so fundamental that it raises serious question as to whether Rep. Doogan should hold public office.

Chris Blask :: Politician Stalks Blogger - Rep. Mike Doogan Outs AKMuckraker
Here is the letter sent this morning to MudFlats uers such as myself:

Hi everyone,

You may recall that some time ago Rep Mike Doogan was sending some crazy emails to people who emailed him and AKMuckraker was one of the bloggers involved in exposing his craziness.

Apparently this did not sit well with Rep Doogan. He has been trying to find out who AKMuckraker was for several months now and he has finally managed to do it. He then sent out a message to people on his mailing list via his official legislative newsletter, advising them of the real name of AKMuckraker.

Whether or not people support AKMuckrakers opinions, it seems most people support her right to remain anonymous. We feel it is a right that everyone on the internet is entitled to - people make the decision for their own reasons, some because they have been cyber stalked in the past, some to prevent being cyber-stalked in the future.

This may be the first known case of an anonymous blogger being cyber-stalked by a politician determined to find out their real identity and out them, though!

http://www.themudflats.net/200...

We are not certain at this stage but it is possible that Rep Doogan has broken the law, and there may be legal action that AKMuckraker can take. Whether or not AKMuckraker chooses to do that is another question and one I am sure she will consider this carefully over the coming days.

You can read posts from bloggers on this subject via the following links -

Progressive Alaska
Shannyn Moore
The Immoral Minority
Mama Dance
Palingates
Think Alaska
We Are Not That Stupid

We also have a thread on this on the forums, where you can feel free to add your comments.

http://www.themudflats.net/for...

Updates and possible calls for action will be posted in that thread, so make sure to check it regularly. We will also try and keep up with links to posts on the subject - and possibly media stories.

You may find it difficult to access the mudflats blog and forums over the next few days - especially if the mainstream media pick up this story - until we move them to a server with a larger capacity. This will cost us around $200 a month but we feel that the demand for accessing the sites over the next few weeks will make it difficult for the usual mudflats readers to keep up to date, so we are biting the bullet and hoping that people will assist with donations.

You can donate to AKMuckraker via the paypal buttons found on both the blog and the forums.

You can also email messages of support to AKMuckraker at akmuckraker@yahoo.com - be aware that a lot of people are doing so at the moment so you may not get a reply but we feel it is important to let AKMuckraker know that she is supported.

Regards,
Snoskred
On behalf of The Mudflats Team.

http://www.themudflats.net/for...

Many of you may be aware that I am an advocate of Verified Identity in the political blogosphere.  Verified Identity would be a set of mechanisms (which as yet do not exist) that would provide bloggers with the ability to prove that they are real individuals (such as using a driver's license) and not sockpuppets.  This would not necessarily be the same as using real names (though I encourage that as well), and even using this approach the real names of bloggers who choose to be publicly anonymous would be protected.  Further, I would suggest that even on a theoretical blog where Verified Identity was implemented that truly anonymous users could still be allowed and readers could choose to view or not view these comments.

Regardless, AKMuckRaker is the proprietor of MudFlats and had chosen to maintain her own anonymity, a choice that has been negated by an elected official run, ahem, "amuck".  Rep. Doogan should face the strongest public scrutiny by his constituents, at the very least, legal consequences if at all possible and perhaps seek psychological counseling.  

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what a goddamn shit-heel Nazi prick Doogan is! (2.00 / 3)
this kind of neocon, nazi abuse of the system is exactly what is wrong with our country.  michelle bachmann and her uberstrumpetfuhrer mindset calling for revolution are part and parcel with this crap.

here comes the 'night of long knives' v20., if these assmuffins ever get their way.

bye-bye Doogan and take your membership to the NRA with you!

-gadfly

"Life is like a comet.  Even if you're paying attention...you still miss a lot."  - Lucky, c.1987


I strongly believe in removing the weapon by stating my identity from the beginning, (2.00 / 2)
but that is my choice.  It goes beyond the pale for people in elected office to run around prying under private citizens' doorjams like this.

Night of the Long Knives, indeed.

I don't know much about Doogan, but from the looks of it he's passed through the Fourth Wall and joined Bachmann in Fantasy Land.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Heh. (2.00 / 5)
assmuffins


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Yeah, seconded. (2.00 / 2)
That was an epic rant, Gadfly.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
This is a difficult one for me. (2.00 / 2)
On the one hand, we have a long history of anonymous pamphleteers in this country. On the other hand, why should someone be able to attack someone else while remaining anonymous? What if there was someone who hid their identity that was attacking you? Would you be so gung ho about protecting their anonymity?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

I agree. (2.00 / 1)
Commentary and discussion are one thing.  Making accusations and attacks are another.  I'm not saying that this blogger did that.  That guy at Kos who accused Sarah Palin of claiming her grandson as her own baby to cover up her daughters pregnancy is an example of someone who could justifiably be outed.

[ Parent ]
Seems to me (2.00 / 4)
that enduring anonymous attacks is par for the course for elected officials.  Not so much for me and you.

Anonymity is sometimes a necessary counterbalance to a significant disparity in power.  Government officials have a lot of ways to make life difficult for private individuals, if they so choose.  It's entirely reasonable for someone to seek anonymity in order to avoid the possibility of retribution.

"Economics is not a morality play." -Paul Krugman


[ Parent ]
Yes, and no. (2.00 / 1)
There is a disparity in power. That is common throughout our society. Think of Bill Falafel's use of his camera crews to harass people. Anyone with some money can hire an investigator to look into their opponents. People with influence, and that doesn't mean a lot of influence, can make life difficult for others, if they so choose. Someone who owns a local car dealership has far more influence than the average person. Even financial parity doesn't mean much. It's all in who you know. Your neighbor may be related to someone who is, or has a friend, who sits on the city council.

I would argue that what protects a person is not anonymity, but transparency. If all actions are out in the open then the person with more power is at the mercy of public opinion and the legal system. Anonymity is the opposite of transparency.

There is another problem with anonymity. In fact, I think it is the biggest problem. And that is disclosure. Right now we have Greta van Sustren (sp?) doing powder-puff interviews with Sarah Palin without revealing that her husband is involved in Sarah P's image management. Then there is Andrea Mitchell who reports on financial news while being married to Alan Greenspan and never mentions that fact.

While the two instances I mentioned involve known media figures, it is even worse when you get anonymous bloggers in the mix. What about a blogger who happens to be employed by a drug maker doing anonymous blogging about FDA officials? Does that blogger deserve to have their anonymity protected. What if AKM was actually a staffer working for a state rep that wanted to run against Doogan? Would she deserve anonymity then? What if she worked for a tobacco company and had a blog rebutting scientific studies about second hand smoke? Should that fact be allowed to be hidden to protect her anonymity?

This isn't a simple case of little guy against big guy.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
One of my favorite paragraphs of 2009 (2.00 / 2)
I would argue that what protects a person is not anonymity, but transparency. If all actions are out in the open then the person with more power is at the mercy of public opinion and the legal system. Anonymity is the opposite of transparency.

Transparency is just such a wonderful thing.  It invokes trust, provides security (how many mystery novels have you read where you shout at the character "call the damn cops/media!!"?), increases effectiveness and efficiency and eradicates blackmail and extortion.  It's thrilling and encouraging to see transparency begin to storm through the government and I hope it only continues to accelerate.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
That's fine (2.00 / 1)
except we live in a world that doesn't have perfect transparency, or anything close to it.  It's simply not the case that if a public official engages in retribution against a private individual, the whole world will know and the official will be crushed beneath the weight of public outrage.

In a world where retribution by the more powerful actor is a realistic possibility, it's entirely reasonable to want anonymity.  If there were no anonymity for whistleblowers, for example, a lot more wrongdoing would go unexposed.  People shouldn't be expected to risk their livelihood or their safety simply to register a complaint about a public official.

"Economics is not a morality play." -Paul Krugman


[ Parent ]
Elected official outs a blogger... (2.00 / 4)
Many of us that post or have blogs do so under a pseudonym or pen name if you will.  We do so for many reasons, mainly of course to keep our privacy.  Our safety.  This is the world of the internet, once done it is there forever.  Never to be taken back, never to be hidden again.

What AK Rep. Mike Doogan (D) did to AKMuckraker is reprehensible, irresponsible, childish, foolish, vindictive and downright stupid.  How dare he decide to take it upon himself to choose who can and who cannot remain anonymous.  It was not for him to decide whether or not AKM could maintain her private information as private or take that information and make it public knowledge.

The damage has been done.  Her name is known.  This leaves her, her children and family vulnerable to the whims of the unknown private citizens who may disagree with her opinions so passionately as to cause physical or emotional harm to her or her family.

Shame, shame, shame on Mr. Doogan.


Yet our legal system is based (2.00 / 3)
on the right to confront your accuser(s). Why should someone who is denigrating someone else, rightly or wrongly, be allowed anonymity?  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
You Make A Valid Point ... (2.00 / 4)
unfortunately, American law doesn't recognize freedom of speech in the workplace in the private sector. And too many have lost their jobs for speaking their minds about politics. I interviewed ACLU lawyer Bruce Barry about this a couple years ago:

http://intrepidliberaljournal....

It's understandable that people prefer to blog under a pseudonym.  

Intrepid Liberal Journal


[ Parent ]
the legal system guarantees that in a court of law (2.00 / 2)
as stated in the other comment, it is precisely because a blogger writes outside the court of law and that blogger's HR department can fire an 'at will' employee for just about anything, or some jackass can fire bomb the blogger's house - that anonymity is vital for bloggers seeking to protect themselves from the advantages for abuse that are built into the system.  

Like it or not, our legal system favors those with lots of cash.  When these people are questioned, they can use their influence to harrass, badger or damage a public critical voice.  Anonymity is often the only defense against systemic intimidation and abuse.

-gadfly

"Life is like a comet.  Even if you're paying attention...you still miss a lot."  - Lucky, c.1987


[ Parent ]
So what if some blogger (2.00 / 1)
starts writing things about you that are damaging to your career? You mean to tell me that all a person has to do to beat the libel laws is to claim anonymity as a blogger? I don't see any legal right to have anonymity to attack another person. The right to privacy is not the same as the right to anonymity.

I do understand your concerns about stifling speech. However, if you wouldn't say it to a person's face why should you be able to do it while hiding online?

Some things are covered under whistle blower status. But not everything. Careers and reputations can be destroyed by anonymous gossip. And, when it comes down to it, that's all blogging is in many cases, gossip.

The right to privacy is gone once you move into the public arena. Just ask any celebrity that has to deal with the paparazzi or any politician who has to put up with smears by his/her opponents. By posting online a blogger has entered that public arena. By doing so, they give up some of their right to privacy.

This is strictly my view. I'm not a lawyer and have not studied privacy or libel laws.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
This isn't a case of slander (2.00 / 3)
This is an elected official who is in the public eye, using his power to intimidate a private citizen.  That is what freedom of speech is about.  If I were to make baseless claims about you, and you were not a public figure, I could sue for slander, but a person has the right, per the first amendment, to speak out against a politician and their government without fear of exactly what this idiot did.  They have the right to do it anonomously so that they do not have to worry about people with differing opinions attacking them.

Just so you know, AKM has gone to rallies in Alaska.  When you go to a rally, do you have to leave your name?  Not at all, but you ARE there to either support or protest a person or policy, right??  

This could be dangerous for her.  This could be dangerous to her family.  This could cause her to lose her job, or cause her financial harm.  The reprecusions won't be known for a while.  Will this elected official be held accountable??

This is about the rights of any citizen of this great country!  We need to uphold the rights or we are nothing!  If we do not, then the laws are meaningless.  Rep Doogans rights were not infringed upon, in fact the blog about him was realatively mild, and it was only one blog.  His reaction is down right scary.....


[ Parent ]
I'll channel Michelle Bachmann here (2.00 / 1)
where in the Constitution is the right to anonymity mentioned? A person has the right to speak out, but that doesn't include the right to speak out anonymously.

"Just so you know, AKM has gone to rallies in Alaska.  When you go to a rally, do you have to leave your name?  Not at all, but you ARE there to either support or protest a person or policy, right??"

And if someone takes pictures at that rally and puts names to the faces is that wrong? What if I went to a KKK rally and put names to the speakers at the rally?

What about the other arguments I've made, like revealing conflicts of interest, etc...?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
You're a braver man than I, Gunga Din.. (2.00 / 1)
I'll channel Michelle Bachmann here


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I think he stupidly trekked into uncharted territory, (2.00 / 1)
and I hope his ass gets burnt off for it.

AKM puts the case for her anonymity well:

It said in my "About" page that I choose to remain anonymous.  I didn't tell anyone why.  I might be a state employee.  I might not want my children to get grief at school.  I might be fleeing from an ex-partner who was abusive and would rather he not know where I am.  My family might not want to talk to me anymore.  I might alienate my best friend.  Maybe I don't feel like having a brick thrown through my window.  My spouse might work for the Palin administration.  Maybe I'd just rather people not know where I live or where I work.  Or none of those things may be true.  None of my readers, nor Mike Doogan had any idea what my personal circumstances might be.  But that didn't seem to matter.

What appears to matter to Rep. Doogan is that either 1) he feels that if he "outs" me, he'll change what I have to say, or keep me from saying anything. 2) he gets to play mystery detective (like in his books) and believes people will think he's really cool for figuring it out, or 3) he feels like getting revenge.  He knows I want to remain anonymous, so he's going to take it away.  In any of those three scenarios, he didn't think it was important to get the bigger picture.

As much as I lean in John's direction on this issue it remains an open question for me as to how we work through it in the emergent public discourse.  One thing I'm fairly sure of is that virtually-unheard-of-politicians should avoid being caught choad-in-hand trying to decide the issue like emotionally challenged Rescue Rangers.

(BTW, welcome to the Moose.  For the record, we tend not to shout at each other here, we're pretty sure everyone has the best possible intentions. ;~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Thank you (2.00 / 6)
for the welcome.

Actually, the 1st amendment has been cited as providing for anonymity. See this at EFF.org

Anonymous communications have an important place in our political and social discourse. The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that the right to anonymous free speech is protected by the First Amendment. A much-cited 1995 Supreme Court ruling in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission reads:

Protections for anonymous speech are vital to democratic discourse. Allowing dissenters to shield their identities frees them to express critical, minority views . . . Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Agree or disagree, the right is protected.  It should be interesting to see what will happen with this.  I honestly do not see what Rep Doogan thought he was going to gain by outing this poor blogger.  Maybe, just maybe, if she had been harressing him, but she hadn't!!!  This was a blantant abuse of power, and I hope he is taken to task for this.


[ Parent ]
Ok, now we have a citation. (2.00 / 1)
My arguments no longer apply, although I still think they are valid.

Here is a link to a couple of SC decisions on this topic - http://lcs.www.media.mit.edu/p...

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
God bless EFF! (2.00 / 2)
I expect he is going to get a lot of publicity for it, one way or another.  That may even work well for him, as the twisty logic of such things goes.

I could have agreed in spirit with his statement about standing up and speaking your opinion in public view - I have made very similar statements - but by going Maddog Detective and choosing to rip someone's mask off he negated the value of the reasoned discourse he is claiming to promote (Columbo never woulda made such a hamfisted move).  

The fact is that there are fascinating shades of gray surrounding this topic and it needs to be worked on slowly and gently (and genteelly).  This guy handled his role in it with all the finesse of a GW Bush.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
I was thinking along these lines. (2.00 / 2)
"I could have agreed in spirit with his statement about standing up and speaking your opinion in public view - I have made very similar statements - but by going Maddog Detective and choosing to rip someone's mask off he negated the value of the reasoned discourse he is claiming to promote (Columbo never woulda made such a hamfisted move)."

What he should have done is denigrate AKM's opinions, because they were anonymous. He could have argued that anyone who was trying to hide their identity wasn't really a valid critic. He might even have won many people over to that viewpoint. Instead, he took action to out the person on his own.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
Yep. (0.00 / 0)
Rambo, and in the real world Rambo would not survive the first encounter with a battlefield...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
rambo...stallone...what a joke and a lie (2.00 / 3)
I was in the Green Berets.  Let me assure you that Hollywood heroes are completely fictitious.  Depictions of war and tough guys have nothing to do with reality.  Stallone wouldn't make it a week in the real Green Berets.  He had a chance to fight during VietNam...and did not.  That should say it all.

-gadfly

"Life is like a comet.  Even if you're paying attention...you still miss a lot."  - Lucky, c.1987


[ Parent ]
BTW, (0.00 / 0)
these decisions only seem to apply to legislation that prohibits anonymous material. It says nothing about anyone outing an anonymous writer.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
welcome seconded! (2.00 / 2)
are you the same PA mom from mydd...  if i recall correctly i was a fan of yours. great to see you here!

in any case - i have a question...

if mudflats have explicitly said i want my anonymity on her blog then i see how the citation applies.  but from what i know she didn't.  while doogan apparently was 'rabid' about finding her (or so she heard)  did she contact him and say please respect my right to privacy?  or when he emailed her and asked if she cared to comment - did she say "you're an ass and are violating my privacy'

because it seems to me that this would be the only way in which the first amendment applies here.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


[ Parent ]
Thank you again! (2.00 / 4)
Yup, I was over at mydd, though did you read Jerome's take on this?  Boy he can really make me po'd at times!

If you look above, you will see that she did indeed specifically say on her blog that she chose to remain anonymous.  

There are a number of e-mails to various bloggers and even posts from Doogan trying to find out who AKM was, these have been shared at Mudflats.  Also, it would appear that someone at ADN shared the information since the name is actually wrong, and the only place she used the name he got was in an op-ed to ADN in 2007.

I will be very interested to see how this all plays out.  I believe this may well be a landmark case.  While I can see arguements for transparency, not everyone is in a position to be able to be "public".  Especially if you are a liberal blogger in a red state and are "outing" the unethical behavior of politicians in your state...


[ Parent ]
you may be interested (0.00 / 0)
there is a lively discussion going on in the myDD post dedicated to this issue: http://www.mydd.com/story/2009...  jerome is getting called out

"When poor and ordinary Americans who commit crimes are prosecuted and imprisoned, that is Justice. When the same thing is done to Washington elites, that is Ugly Retribution." -- Glenn Greenwald

[ Parent ]
I hope he gets burned by it also. (2.00 / 1)
However, I'm not as impressed by AKM's argument for anonymity. She may have perfectly good reasons for not wanting her identity connected with her words, but then why utter (publish) the words? This is not a free speech issue. Everyone is agreed that a blogger has the right to speak up. The question is whether they have a right not to take credit or blame for those utterances.

It wasn't really a problem until the web came along. Newspapers would not publish a letter to the editor unless you included your name and address. They still won't. A magazine won't accept an article from 'anonymous'. What makes the web different?

If you are standing in a crowd listening to a politician and shout out something negative about that politician does the pol have a right to ask, "Who said that?" And if he does have that right, does someone standing next to the person who spoke have a right to point a finger at that person? Has the politician done something wrong by asking an anonymous speaker to identify themselves? Does that person have the right to remain anonymous?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
I'll let the lawyers argue the "right" of it, (0.00 / 0)
but the word "expectation" has more weight in this instance I think.  You can be legally and even ethically right and still lose an argument, and my judgment is that he lost this one.

This is one of the key topics I want to have developed in my head for NetRoots Nation and as much as I feel for AKM I'm interested in the discussion that the occasion stirs up.  I don't think there is any way to move directly to a purely Named Blogger blogosphere, so the subtleties of how we pragmatically move forward into a public forum with more accountability (less trollicious) and still maximum involvement (the comfort people get from speaking anonymously plays here) are key.

Fascinating stuff.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Yes, it is fascinating (2.00 / 1)
and timely.

Everything said in this thread is interesting and relevant, including my dissent. My main point, other than exhibiting my typical contrariness, is that it isn't as simple as some people think.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
HA! (2.00 / 2)
My main point, other than exhibiting my typical contrariness, is that it isn't as simple as some people think.

contrary old coot...

heeheehee.  

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
"contrary old coot..." (2.00 / 2)
Fits like a glove.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
Truer words... (2.00 / 2)
...it isn't as simple as some people think.

When is it ever.  As Lebowski would say:

I dropped off the money exactly as per... look, man, I've got certain information, all right? Certain things have come to light. And, you know, has it ever occurred to you, that, instead of, uh, you know, running around, uh, uh, blaming me, you know, given the nature of all this new shit, you know, I-I-I-I... this could be a-a-a-a lot more, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, complex, I mean, it's not just, it might not be just such a simple... uh, you know?


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
I'm all for people using their own names and standing up for what they believe in, (2.00 / 1)
but a politician stalking a blogger is just psychotic at the best of times.  

1/ Whatever I may think of anonymity it is an accepted state of much of blogging today.  As such, it needs to be respected in most cases as a defacto societal standard.

2/ Further, AKM has never been a hyperbolic slanderer (aka "Troll") so what justification I could imagine for anyone questioning his anonymity is weak to non existent.  

3/ Lastly, when I have taken offense at what I have perceived to be Trolls hiding behind anonymity I have had it out with them in the public forum, I didn't try to hunt them down and post their identities.  That approach - even if "justified" - crosses a line that is more serious than Trolling and is therefore a massively disproportionate response.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Politicians that out bloggers (2.00 / 2)
may find it backfiring on them come election time.

While I think you are right that it is an accepted state in blogging, I'm not so sure it is a defacto standard.

Where do we draw the line? Can someone write hate speech or near hate speech and expect to keep their anonymity? Does a teenager who has a vendetta against another student get to keep their anonymity while they are tearing down another student?  

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
I really really like it when people don't hide, I think it is a reasonable risk (2.00 / 1)
and adds a great deal of value to the discussion.  But I also understand the feelings of so many - many of my friends right here - who choose not to share their identity as well.

I don't know about the legalities - and certainly if someone wanted to make serious legal accusations then the law would dictate (I hope) that they must face the accused - but I have been having some thoughts about blogging as it develops into the next level of seriousness.  While I think that there is a lot of value in having a Verified Identity as a ticket into the more formal forums that are to come, it seems that there might be some space for anonymous individuals as well, specifically those who have proved their mettle in the public discussion already.  It isn't so much a matter of knowing who the writer is but rather a proof of sincerity, and AKM has that with or without an SSN.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
BTW, I hope you're right and Dooger does find it backfiring at election time. (2.00 / 1)
Attacking a writer who is favored by your constituents can't be the best idea a pol ever had.

Much as I can agree with the thrust of your points about transparency, I think Doogie screwed the pooch on this one ethically and pragmatically, and I hope he suffers for it.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
it certainly... (2.00 / 2)
does raise an interesting conundrum.  on one hand mudflats deserves the anonymity they wish - but on the other i guess if one is being attacked and chooses to find the source and expose it that is also just...  so im not sure what i think here.

what kind of blows my mind is - isnt' this dude a democrat???  alaska is a bit nutty huh?

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson


Here's a question for anyone who thinks (2.00 / 1)
bloggers deserve anonymity. Should we do away with caller ID so people are free to make anonymous phone calls? If not, why not? And, what is the difference?

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

You can. (2.00 / 1)
You can request privacy.  "Private Caller" shows up on my Call-ID on the regular.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Good point. (2.00 / 2)
I hadn't thought about that. However, phone records can, and have been, used to identify anonymous callers. There is even a process in place to reveal those identities.

I think one of the problems here is that people mistakenly think there is some kind of anonymity on the net. There isn't. It is only an illusion of anonymity. Ask our resident security expert about that one.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.


[ Parent ]
"Here." (2.00 / 1)
Ask our resident security expert about that one.

Yep, verified and certified.

You can hide from the average person most of the time, but if someone with the resources really wants to find you they will.  There is a tool called Maltego (free, opensource) that would make most paranoid people loose their freaking minds.  During seminars we often use it to datamine public records in seconds to find names, cell phone numbers, locations, connections (ad nauseum) of relevant organizations just as a demonstration.

That being said, much of "security" and "safety" are practical levels of comfort that exist despite their ability to be breached without great effort.  Just because someone could smash into your house with nothing more than a twenty-dollar sledge doesn't mean that you should spend any time worrying about it.  You should feel safe inside your home because you are safe inside your home, and are much more likely to be hit by a red car on a given Wednesday than you are to have home invaders smash through your door.

This incident has more to do with reasonable and effective trust than it does with technical security.  An elected official forcing this issue upon a respected yet anonymous voice in this particular fashion is, in my personal and professional opinion, a bad idea all around.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Wow (2.00 / 2)
Maltego.  {shiver}

Nice thread you got goin' here BTW.  Cool post.  Thanks Chris.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
True enough. (2.00 / 1)
That said, wouldn't I have to make a strong case to the authorities and/or phone company that a caller was engaging in harrassing, threatening, or otherwise nefarious telephony before they'd divuldge the caller's identity to me?  Honestly, I don't know.

Seems to me that the right to anonymity should be respected unless and until it's abused (i.e. as cover for threats, harrassment, slander, what-have-you) --- even if that anonimity is largely illusory.  

For me, the question ought to be whether or not AKM deserved to be outed.  My inclination in this particular case is probably not.  The "outing" seems punative to me.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
ugh (2.00 / 1)
I spelled anonymity wrong.

{face/palm}

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Most systems have a shortcut key combo, (2.00 / 1)
*72 before a call or whatever...

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
Some of you may recall that Jerome outed me (2.00 / 4)
At least partially.  I haven't forgotten that.  I never willingly disclosed my name, even my first name.  A blogger should be able to remain anonymous if (s)he chooses.

yeah... (1.75 / 4)
i vaguely recall he called you by your first name right?  the question is how did he know it to begin with?

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
I believe the e-mail address I used to register (2.00 / 4)
Included some form of my name.  It was foolish, but I registered at MyDD late one night, as I recall.

I considered it crass move.


[ Parent ]
Oh yeah, I remember it well. (2.00 / 5)
I called BS on Mr. Armstrong for that one.

He knew it because he owns the blog, and therefore can see registration info including email addresses, IPs etc.  That was a worse breach in some ways than what Doogie did, it was a specific breach of trust by someone who had been entrusted with information against someone who could not in any way reciprocate.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Jerome outed Brit also. (2.00 / 3)
Seems to be a habit for Mr. Armstrong.

This is not a recession. It's a robbery.

[ Parent ]
you may be interested (0.00 / 0)
there is a lively discussion going on in the myDD post dedicated to this issue: http://www.mydd.com/story/2009...  jerome is getting called out - big time

"When poor and ordinary Americans who commit crimes are prosecuted and imprisoned, that is Justice. When the same thing is done to Washington elites, that is Ugly Retribution." -- Glenn Greenwald

[ Parent ]
damn i totally just lost a comment to the backspace button. gah. (2.00 / 5)

Im not sure what laws, if any apply to this type of thing. But the whole thread brought up some good points for both sides of the argument.

My whole deal is that Rep. Doogan was pursuing a personal/political vendetta when he was supposed to be serving his constituents. That's the bottom line. Im sure Alaskans dont pay this guy to obsess about a blogger.

If I were running against this guy I'd frame it that way.

Wouldn't it be hella crazy if we find out he used state resources to find her real name, or even if he used his office computer/phone, those technically belong to the taxpayer; It would be hilarious, in the political disaster sense. I should win some kind of prize [a unicorn] if it does turn out to be the case.


"The past is indestructible; sooner or later all things will return, including the plan to abolish the past" -Jorge Luis Borges


Doogan is an Elected Official (2.00 / 3)
Sorry folks, I am going to jump in on this one.

First, and to me foremost, Doogan is an elected official.  His outing was done on his legislative e-newsletter and is on the state legislative website.  He didn't like receiving e-mails from those outside his legislative district (even from other Alaskans) encouraging pursuit of the legislative ethics investigation of Governor Palin and decided to seek revenge because his unprofessional responses were commented upon on Mudflats.

Second, if he has such an objection to Anonymous bloggers, why has he NOT published the names of all Anonymous bloggers in Alaska -- or better yet, introduced legislation banning it?  

Third, being an Alaskan -- I full well realize the importance of anonymity!  The current climate in Alaska does not allow for voices of dissent in many places.  Currently, if you disagree with some elected officials you have been "blacklisted" from getting contracts, have had jobs threatened for doing them -- i.e., the requirment of open records statutes and contracting law -- and been harrassed by supporters of these officials.

This particular blog has done a fair job in moderating, discouraging, and stopping speculative statements and accusations. Many of us who read it "walk away" when the conjecture starts regarding parentage of children, etc.

I do not know much about anonymous blogging.  I do know that I can send a message to an Alaska politician without having to use my name.  If I make threats, slander someone, etc., then appropriate civil and criminal actions can and will be taken against me (as well they should).

Regarding "free speech" between individuals -- that is a different matter.  Hateful speech, such as "kill him" should not be acceptable in any form.  Speech meant to harm -- i.e. resulting in loss of job, income, housing, etc. -- is not appropriate.  

But most importantly in this case, that was not the context.  This was done by an elected official through his official e-newsletter.      


welcome to the moose! (2.00 / 1)
well in the way you describe it, doogan certainly seems like a douche and highly unprofessional.  i guess im kind of torn here because let's say the tables were turned and this was some freeper doing it - i think i wouldn't bay an eyelash if this fictitious person were exposed.

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
preview is your friend... (0.00 / 0)
that's 'bat' an eyelash of course ;)

"I spend my days and nights pondering the meaning of life, the state of the universe, and the Home Shopping Network." -- Donald Roller Wilson

[ Parent ]
Don't apologize, jumping in is what all this political discourse is about. (2.00 / 1)
Well said.

I'm intrinsically an advocate of putting your face where you voice is, but that is a personal inclination and not a legislative position.   There are reasons to consider being anonymous, and differences between different uses of anonymity.  The reasons could be justified or not, and the uses can be defensible or not.

Not being Alaskan but having spent a lot of time living in thinly-populated areas I can understand and relate to the possible repercussions of saying unpopular things where easily offendable people wield unusual amounts of power.  Having followed AKM since the day Palin was foisted on the rest of the world I agree that AKM has been a reasonably even-handed voice.

The event that the Doogster has set off is a tipping-point moment, at any rate.  While I hope he doesn't profit from it, I think the rest of us will (and I'd like to see AKM in a broader media role anyway... ;~).

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Rep. Gardner Replies to Me (2.00 / 3)
Check out the new post I just wrote at http://www.librarygrape.com/20... .

I just received a response from one of the four members of the Alaska legislature's Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, Rep. Berta Gardner:

Thank you for your letter. I'm not happy with Doogan right now and think his action was unnecessary and destructive. I don't believe, however, that it is a violation of legislative ethics as described here:

http://www.touchngo.com/lglcnt...

Surely someone has or will file an ethics complaint and the committee will investigate and make a determination.

Berta

"When poor and ordinary Americans who commit crimes are prosecuted and imprisoned, that is Justice. When the same thing is done to Washington elites, that is Ugly Retribution." -- Glenn Greenwald


Thanks for following up on Chris Blask's comment at your article at MyDD. (2.00 / 4)
Welcome to our little Moose World at one of the blogging vertex. I was very impressed by your article and the research that went behind it. I hope you stay and post here. Please continue to educate us on all of the topics that you're interested in.  

[ Parent ]
thanks louis and chris! (2.00 / 2)
glad to be here!  i have been very impressed with the alaska blogger network i've been exposed to through this controversy.  if anyone's interested, i also set up a facebook group dedicated to the controversy at http://www.facebook.com/group....

let's keep up the fight! :)


"When poor and ordinary Americans who commit crimes are prosecuted and imprisoned, that is Justice. When the same thing is done to Washington elites, that is Ugly Retribution." -- Glenn Greenwald


[ Parent ]
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