BETTER BE CAREFUL, Government Critics: Republican fesses up to blog ID raid
****Now, this is not to say no Democrat would ever do this, but since the Democrats are "irrelevant" and out of power, AND that most Bushites are so Self Righteous in their phony moral superiority complex, this story remains relevant.
I can't help but shake my head*****
Republican fesses up to blog ID raid
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By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Rocky Mountain News December 3, 2005
A Republican operative has admitted collecting identity data from a political Web log - a practice the state Republican Party earlier had blamed on Democrats.
This week, the GOP warned state party members that someone was compiling the online identities of visitors to the Web site coloradopols.com. The site is a popular political blog that invites comments from its readers, who can post their thoughts using nicknames.
The warning pointed the finger at Democrats, but e-mail records show that Laura Teal, a Republican, and two acquaintances actually were the ones involved.
Teal is a campaign staffer for gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman. She said her efforts occurred prior to taking that post and had nothing to do with Holtzman's campaign.
Teal said she merely was trying to help identify the people who started Coloradopols.com.
"There was never any sort of nefarious plot to bring down any one person," she said. "The hope was to figure out who was behind a great blog."
Ultimately, Teal said, she and the others were not able to identify the blog's anonymous authors and gave up.
Teal had special access to the site because she had been invited to be a regular Republican contributor under the nickname "RedHawk."
She said she used her password access to glean computer IP (Internet protocol) addresses and attempted to link posted messages to the computers where the postings originated.
Andy George, one of Teal's friends, said he took the information she provided and compiled it into a spreadsheet.
George said he had worked with Teal on former congressman Bob Schaffer's unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2004. He said he asked her to help him identify people posting to the blog after some wrote comments criticizing him and friends.
The spreadsheet lists message topics and computer IP addresses linked to nicknames, and also tracks postings of "Alva Adams," one of the so-called "dead governor" aliases used by those who founded the site.
Earlier this year, the Rocky Mountain News traced e-mails from Alva Adams to Jason Bane, a freelance journalist who had worked on the campaign of Democrat Mitch Morrissey for Denver district attorney. Bane could not be reached for comment Friday.
George said he was surprised that his database was being circulated. That prompted Republican Party Executive Director Hans Gullickson to alert GOP members that their anonymity may have been compromised by using the site.
"That collected information was for sport," George said. "It was between friends. It wasn't any conspiracy."