Episode 230 – Lax Data Security at NAGR

News

John: The lead story of the week has to be Mayor Bloomberg’s renamed gun control organization, Everytown for Gun Safety. While they got gushing stories from the NY Times, NBC, and the rest of the mainstream media, they blew their social media rollout.

Little more than a month ago at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Shannon Watts and Mark Glaze were putting on a presentation entitled “Disrupting the Gun Lobby with Digital Organizing.” So what happened when they rolled out their renamed astroturf organization? Some enterprising gun rights activist snagged the Facebook page for Everytown for Gun Safety. There are now over 100 Facebook pages using some variant of that name and they all are pro-gun. This is what a real grassroots effort looks like. $50 million and 85 paid staffers can do a lot for you but they don’t make you a grassroots organization.

(Checking a few minutes ago, it looks like the pro-gun EGS page was taken down by FB. There are still a hundred more!)

Paul- The US Supreme Court considered Drake v. Jerejian at their weekly conference on Friday. This is the New Jersey case that seeks to overturn that state’s requirement for “justifiable need” in order to obtain a carry permit. Frank Fiamingo who was our guest this past Wednesday said he was hopeful that they would accept the case after rejecting cases from New York and Maryland. With the split in the Federal Circuits, the time is ripe for the Supreme Court to decide on this issue. We will know on Monday whether or not the Supreme Court decided to grant certiorari to the plaintiffs. Its takes four of the nine justices voting for it for a case to be heard by the Supreme Court.

Rachel – An explosion at the Rio ammunition plant in McEwen, Tennessee killed one worker and put two others into the hospital. The plant which makes shotgun shells is located 55 miles west of Nashville. It had 20 workers in it at the time of the explosion. Investigators from BATFE have concluded that the explosion was accidental. Killed in the explosion was Rodney Edwards. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his funeral expenses.

Finally this is a story that John and I have been working on since last night..

On Friday evening we were contacted by Jeff Hulsey, a retired gunsmith from the Gulf Coast region of Texas. Jeff had a problem. Starting back in August of 2013 He began receiving emails at his personal email inbox, which is through the popular Gmail domain, that it did not appear were intended for him.

The emails were from the National Association for Gun Rights, a Colorado based 501c4 organization with the stated purpose of “Educating gun owners and gun rights’ supporters in gun rights issues both at the local and federal level”.

Jeff provided an email that he had redacted the identifying information from. The information, such as email address of the sender and the sender’s telephone number as well as any other information of a personal nature provided in the body of the email seemed to be forwarded from inside the organization. At the top of the email sent to us was a one word sentence. “Rebuttal?”

To Jeff, this looked like a simple mistake. It looked like someone had the wrong email address and was forwarding him email incorrectly. He tried to contact NAGR and got no response. He has since received about one email a month from them following the same pattern.

What concerns Jeff is the fact that even though he is trying to point out the fairly obvious error that they are making that they are leaking personal information to an unknown source. We asked Jeff if these emails were truly unsolicited. He replied, “Absolutely unsolicited. The only dealings I’ve ever had with the NAGR were to score a couple of stickers for the side of my toolbox. I’m not even a member.”

When asked if the rest of the emails looked like the email he provided to us he stated, “Yes. It’s random questions from people who visited their “Contact Us” page, then forwarded by someone within their organization for follow-up or review. Some of them contain some very specific personal information, like the USPS worker who details which facility he works at in pursuit of an answer to a legal question.”

The privacy policy listed on website for NAGR states in part that “We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online.”

Jeff has tried to get NAGR to correct this situation with no results. He’s gone to his local Better Business Bureau hoping that they could get NAGR to fix this situation with similar results. Out of his frustration over the situation, he is going public with it in the hopes that Dudley Brown and NAGR can get their act together. More importantly, he says that “NAGR needs to come clean on this and admit to fumbling private data, and openly implement measures to prevent it from happening again. Scrubbing my email from their lists isn’t good enough. They need to go through every email they’ve been forwarding mail to, every list they maintain, and make sure each email on that list belongs there.”

We agree.

The National Association for Gun Rights wants to be considered a major player on the gun rights front. At least that is what you are led to believe from the daily emails that they are sending out to what must be millions on their email lists. Of course, for those of us who know better, it is just spam.

An outgrowth of Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, they have started to try and insert themselves into the gun politics of states other than Colorado. This is often in opposition to groups like the NRA and state-level gun rights organizations.

Privacy and data security is a serious issue and needs to be taken seriously. If NAGR wants to be taken seriously, they need to do something about this issue and sooner than later.

We attempted to get in touch with NAGR both through their website and through a Facebook message. As of the time we went public with this story we had only gotten return messages from the Facebook message. About 4 hours after we sent the message we received a link from them pointing to their privacy policy. No other commentary was provided. A return message was sent stating that it was they themselves that were violating their policy. We received a one word reply. “Huh?”

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The story of April 19 from the Colorado 2nd Amendment Association (excerpt):

“Of the eighty men assembled that day, ten were wounded and eight were killed, including Jonathon Harrington, dying on his own doorstep in front of his wife and children. Five of the nine sets of fathers and sons who had assembled that morning suffered a death. Most had been shot in the back. We often think of dry history or sanitized and romantic notions of chess-set battles. But this is not what gave us the nation or the rights we enjoy. It was the terror-filled suffering, the spilled blood, the death by the thousands of people exactly like us.

“These were people who set out, not to form a new nation, but simply to have their wishes and rights respected by their government and they were often shocked to find themselves behind a musket – or at the point of a bayonet. Farmers and merchants, tavern owners and printers who believed they had the right to make their own choices in life and who were willing to face imprisonment and death to secure that right.

“Two hundred and thirty-nine years has not diminished the debt we owe them. And no passage of time will absolve us from our responsibility to preserve the spark of liberty they struck that day.”

Rachel – Another DGU from Detroit leads our stories tonight. This story is from the Click on Detroit website. Detroit police say one man is dead after a shootout between a Rosedale Park homeowner and suspected home invaders.
“Family members and the homeowner were in the basement playing video games when they heard noise upstairs and footsteps inside of the home,” said Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody, Detroit Police.
Police said two men broke into a home, with a third waiting in a getaway car. The duo tried to escape when they were confronted by the family in the home, on the 15000 block of Glastonbury Ave.
“There were shots fired in the home before the two suspects busted through the front door,” said Sgt. Woody. “That’s when the two suspects fired shots at the homeowner from outside, the homeowner returned fire striking the driver in the car.”
The two got away but the getaway driver was fatally hit, causing the car to crash into a neighboring home and injure a 29-year-old woman.
“I heard the crash and ran downstairs immediately,”
said Raymond Bradley, father of the crash victim. “I saw the damage and saw my daughter pinned in the bathroom she just kept saying ‘don’t leave me, don’t leave me’ and I told her ‘I’m right here with you.’”
The woman was taken to Saini Grace Hospital and treated for minor injuries. She has returned home.

John – Our next story comes from KTVU Television’s website
Richmond California i Friday morning are investigating an attempted burglary that ended with a fatal exchange of gunfire leaving the intruder fatally shot, according to authorities.
Officers responded to a Shot Spotter activation in the 1300 block of Coalinga Avenue at about 1 a.m., Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said.
When officers arrived, they found the owner of the property, a multi-use structure with a plumbing business in the front and a residence in the back, suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg, Abetkov said.
The victim, a 68-year-old man, had been woken up by his wife after she heard noises outside. The man grabbed his .45 pistol and investigated the noise. He apparently surprised the burglary suspect and shot him in the chest, according to police.
While it initially appeared that the victim exchanged gunfire with the burglar, it was later determined that the suspect fled over a fence while bleeding profusely and one or two accomplices entered to property’s courtyard and shot multiple rounds at the victim.
The victim was injured after being shot several times in the leg. The victim was alert when police arrived, but his injuries were serious enough that he was air lifted to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
Authorities said it appeared the burglar didn’t think anyone was home. The suspect was driven to the nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The three people who transported the suspect in a black SUV to the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center about a mile from the site of the shooting are currently being questioned at the Richmond police station. They say they were merely passing by and being good Samaritans, but police sources said they not only knew the suspect, but were involved in the crime and at least one of them shot the property owner.
Authorities said the victim was in serious but stable condition and is expected to survive

We have the links to each of our news and defensive gun use articles at Polite Society Podcast.com if you want to share them with a friend.

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Listener e-mail discussion

Facebook message from Dave

Hey paul, I know I’m a little late with this feedback, but I just heard your rant about sheepdogs. I tend to agree with you, that my job as an armed citizen is not to save the world from bad people. But the point of the essay is not that the armed people should protect everyone else. He was addressing primarily policemen and soldiers, whose job it is to protect the population, but he also defined the sheepdog as someone who has the capacity for violence, coupled with a love of the “lambs”.

The point of the essay is to warn the sheepdogs that the sheep will fear you, because at a glance you look like a wolf. But also to reassure the sheepdogs that what they are doing is good, and right, and you should not give it up simply because some people don’t understand your motivations.

A big chunk of Grossman’s work and life mission is to help soldiers and police deal with PTSD by helping them understand that they are good people, what they were doing is good, what they’ve chosen to do with their lives is good, even if they end up having to kill someone.

In addition, even though you aren’t a sheepdog to the populace in general, you definitely are a sheepdog for your family. In Paul’s case, he has taken steps to protect his family by empowering them to get training and carry weapons themselves, but I also don’t believe that he wouldn’t employ some violence if he saw that it was needed to protect his wife.

Just my two cents, keep up the good work.

-Dave in Utah

Paul: The Polite Society download app is out on Amazon for Android and the I-phone app is in I-tunes. They are located by our old name, Politics and guns. Hot links are in our show notes.

Rachel: We’re experimenting with the show all the time. Please send us an e-mail to tell us what you like or dislike. You can contact the show by e-mail. Email Onair@politesocietypodcast.com to hear your email read on the air. If you would like to email any of the hosts directly just email their first name and then add at politics and guns dot com.. Call 605-215-1438 to hear your voice on the air!
John: That’s 605- 215- 1438

John: Roadgunner’s Mag 40 class in Conway, Arkansas at Shoot House USA is scheduled for May 15th thru 18th 2014 you can register here.

John: Also please check out Kathy Jackson’s Cornered Cat training classes. Her next class is the weekend of May 17 in Philadelphia. Go to Cornered Cat dot com for more classes and details.

Paul: John do you want to mention anything off of your blog you would like to talk about?

John: Actually I’ve had a number of posts on Everytown for Gun Safety. Perhaps the most interesting is entitled “Houses of Everytown”. It goes on to point out the many mansions of Bloomberg plus the million dollar plus home of Shannon Watts and says that it is easy to be for gun control when you live in a secure neighborhood and are protected by armed security guards 24/7.

Rachel: Also please check out the shooters club by Bob Mayne and Ben Branam. For $75.00 a year, $6.25 a month, you get 24/7 access to some fantastic training and audio podcasts that you can’t get anywhere else. Bob is giving away his M&P Shield to one lucky member.

Paul: Listen to other podcasts on the the Crusader Podcast Network.

John: Join the National Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Joining two makes you a hero. Supporting all four makes you a super hero.

Paul: Join your local civil rights group like the New Jersey Second Amendment Society, Arizona Citizens Defense League, Gun Owners of California, Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Florida Carry, Georgia Carry, Georgia Gun Owners, Grass Roots North Carolina, Illinois Carry, Michigan Gun Owners , Michigan Open Carry,

Rachel: and Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, Nebraska Firearms Owners Association, Citizens for a Safer New Jersey, Open Carry Texas, Texas Firearms Freedom, Texas State Rifle Association. Tennessee Firearms Association, West Virginia Citizens Defense League and Wyoming Gun Owners.

John: For our Canadian listeners, and their supporters, join the Canadian Shooting Sports Association and the Canadian National Firearms Association

Paul: That wraps up another episode of the Polite Society Podcast. Until the (mid-week / weekend )show…
John: stay safe,
Rachel: be aware,
Paul: and we’ll see you down the road.
Outro and disclaimer

Lax Data Security at NAGR

By John Richardson and Paul Lathrop

 

On Friday evening we were contacted by Jeff Hulsey, a retired gunsmith from the Gulf Coast region of Texas. Jeff had a problem. Starting back in August of 2013 He began receiving emails at his personal email inbox, which is through the popular Gmail domain, that it did not appear were intended for him.

The emails were from the National Association for Gun Rights, a Colorado based 501c4 organization with the stated purpose of “Educating gun owners and gun rights’ supporters in gun rights issues both at the local and federal level”.

Jeff provided an email that he had redacted the identifying information from. The information, such as email address of the sender and the sender’s telephone number as well as any other information of a personal nature provided in the body of the email seemed to be forwarded from inside the organization. At the top of the email sent to us was a one word sentence. “Rebuttal?”

sample3-NAGR

To Jeff, this looked like a simple mistake. It looked like someone had the wrong email address and was forwarding him email incorrectly. He tried to contact NAGR and got no response. He has since received about one email a month from them following the same pattern.

What concerns Jeff is the fact that even though he is trying to point out the fairly obvious error that they are making that they are leaking personal information to an unknown source. We asked Jeff if these emails were truly unsolicited. He replied, “Absolutely unsolicited. The only dealings I’ve ever had with the NAGR were to score a couple of stickers for the side of my toolbox. I’m not even a member.”

When asked if the rest of the emails looked like the email he provided to us he stated, “Yes. It’s random questions from people who visited their “Contact Us” page, then forwarded by someone within their organization for follow-up or review. Some of them contain some very specific personal information, like the USPS worker who details which facility he works at in pursuit of an answer to a legal question.”

The privacy policy listed on website for NAGR states in part that “We have put in place appropriate physical, electronic, and managerial procedures to safeguard and help prevent unauthorized access, maintain data security, and correctly use the information we collect online.”

Jeff has tried to get NAGR to correct this situation with no results. He’s gone to his local Better Business Bureau hoping that they could get NAGR to fix this situation with similar results. Out of his frustration over the situation, he is going public with it in the hopes that Dudley Brown and NAGR can get their act together. More importantly, he says that “NAGR needs to come clean on this and admit to fumbling private data, and openly implement measures to prevent it from happening again. Scrubbing my email from their lists isn’t good enough. They need to go through every email they’ve been forwarding mail to, every list they maintain, and make sure each email on that list belongs there.”

We agree.

The National Association for Gun Rights wants to be considered a major player on the gun rights front. At least that is what you are led to believe from the daily emails that they are sending out to what must be millions on their email lists. Of course, for those of us who know better, it is just spam.

An outgrowth of Dudley Brown’s Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, they have started to try and insert themselves into the gun politics of states other than Colorado. This is often in opposition to groups like the NRA and state-level gun rights organizations.

Privacy and data security is a serious issue and needs to be taken seriously. If NAGR wants to be taken seriously, they need to do something about this issue and sooner than later.

We attempted to get in touch with NAGR both through their website and through a Facebook message. As of the time we went public with this story we had only gotten return messages from the Facebook message. About 4 hours after we sent the message we received a link from them pointing to their privacy policy. No other commentary was provided. A return message was sent stating that it was they themselves that were violating their policy. We received a one word reply. “Huh?”

 

Screenshot_2014-04-19-18-38-49