Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Saga Continues...

And the local story-that's-so-not-a-story called "GOPGate" continues...

Memo: GOP chief gave out e-mail info (Knoxville News Sentinel)
"Republican political operative Tyler Harber told a Knox County official that he was able to obtain former GOP Chairman Chad Tindell's private e-mails because he knew Tindell's username and password, according to a memorandum released Monday.

Mike Arms, chief of staff to Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale, wrote in the March 23 memo that Harber admitted obtaining the e-mails but denied he broke any laws in doing so."
This is truly pathetic.

Ok, so, you believe it's ok to get into someone else's email account - whether you have the username/password or not - and retrieve, print and deliver certain emails to other people? Does it matter how you get the access, doesn't the fact remain that it's someone else's account you don't have permission to enter?
"According to Arms, Harber said Tindell gave him the username and password while Harber was working to develop a Web site for the local Republican Party. Tindell said Monday he never gave Harber his e-mail account information."
So who do we believe, Harber or Tindell? At this point it's He said/He said....or, more accurately, He said/Squirt Political Hack said.
'"He told me he retrieved and copied them," Arms wrote. "He also told me that he was upset about personal comments made in the e-mails about him and his friends by Chad Tindell."'
So it really was all about your hurt feelings, hm? And that makes it ok? I thought working in politics was supposed to give you a thick skin, not make you run home crying over a scraped knee...
'Arms wrote that Harber "informed me that Mr. Tindell had given him his (Tindell's) log-in credentials two years ago when he (Harber) was working on development of a local Republican Party Web site."'
Maybe that's so, maybe Tindell forgot about this. But I would hope that in two years, Tindell had maybe changed his password once, or maybe a couple of times? Especially if it's communicating such apparently sensitive political and governmental information...

But even assuming Tindell did give him the login info two years ago, and assuming it was still valid after all this time....does that give you a right to go in and root around like it was your own account? No, it most certainly does not.
'"In a telephone interview on Monday, Tindell denied giving Harber his personal e-mail username and password. "I certainly didn't give Tyler Harber free rein to go through my e-mail and access my e-mail," Tindell added. "'
Well, you know, there you go.
"Tindell confirmed that the username and password listed in the memo belonged to his personal account. He said he has since changed his password.

Tindell said he used a different username and password for e-mail he received and sent through the party Web site. Tindell said to his knowledge Harber had nothing to do with the GOP Web site. "
Ok, well that clears things up a bit - maybe the UN/PW were the same, but it was a different account. Still differing answers on Harber's involvement with the GOP site.
"Tindell said last week a computer consultant found a "Trojan horse" program on his home computer, prompting him to call the authorities. A Trojan horse program allows a hacker to see and use information on a computer without the knowledge of the computer's owner."
And we all know how dangerous those things can be...
'On Monday, Van de Vate said he wasn't privy to Arms' conversations with Harber, adding that Harber denied involvement in the incident as late as March 18.

"At that time he still did not acknowledge he was the source of the e-mails," Van de Vate said. "Never in my presence has Tyler admitted doing it. Typically, when you ask him a direct question he responds with a meaningless metaphor."'
Heh. That's certainly consistent.
"Harber said he hid the computer after Sheriff's Office employees stopped him and searched his car on March 16. On March 21, he led officials to the computer's hiding place atop an air duct in the basement of the Andrew Johnson Building."
There were allegations made last week in the Halls Shopper by Betty Bean (I don't think the issue is online any longer - if it is, anyone who has the archive URL can email or comment it) implied that Harber was stopped because he was speeding in, I believe, excess of 30 mph over the speed limit. This, if true, removes credence to his claim he was pulled over for no reason. I'd like to know more about these facts, myself.

So the sage continues, and the local GOP party continues to chase its tail while the Dems, undoubtedly, stand by and snicker. And with good reason.

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