The publisher and staff of The Journal News in New York state found themselves the subject of what hackers call a “dox” on Thursday, after a blogger retaliated against their database of gun permit holders by publishing an extensive list of personal information for dozens of people connected to the paper.
The list includes items like hobbies of staffers who weren’t involved in producing the story, phone numbers, email addresses and even home addresses. Links to social media accounts even featured photos of the editor’s children, which the blog actively promoted.
Appearing on CNN Thursday morning, blogger Christopher Fountain of the “For What It’s Worth” blog said he was “offended” that the paper would release public information about gun owners and said he wanted the publisher of The Journal News to understand why he’s so upset. “I just thought they were being hypocrites,” he said.
The paper’s publisher, Janet Hansson, offered a defense on Wednesday of her decision to run the article, telling Politico: “We knew publication of the database (as well as the accompanying article providing context) would be controversial, but we felt sharing information about gun permits in our area was important in the aftermath of the Newtown shootings.”
Fountain wasn’t having it. “Well, she could have just published the number of gun permits, which is actually quite small,” he said. “If she wanted to show an issue that there are 2,000 legally registered guns in her county, fine. But the fact that they put the addresses… I’ve received emails from abused women who were under protective order and in hiding, and they’re terribly afraid that now their names and addresses are all over the Internet and accessible through that map.”
Hansson did not appear on the program and issued no statement to CNN.
This video is from CNN’s “Early Start,” aired Thursday, December 27, 2012.