Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Targeting Prop 8 Supporters

Since the November election last year, and the passage of Proposition 8 in California, there have been many news stories of individuals who financially supported Proposition 8 being targeted, and in some cases threatened with boycotts because of their support. While the list of who donated on either side of this issue is a matter of public record, the use of this information to target supporters of Proposition 8 seems antithetical to allowing the political process to function unencumbered from harassment.

A web site now exists which provides a Google map "mashup" with the data of who donated in support of Proposition 8. With the functionality of Google maps, one can pick any town and zoom in and find markers indicating the homes of those donated to pass Proposition 8.

TwoMinuteBriefing believes that this is a highly inappropriate use of this data. The creation of donor lists was for the intent of disclosing whether certain corporations or individuals were seeking to unduly influence the political process through their donations. The creation of donor lists was NOT done for the intent of allowing either side of an issue to then harass those on the other side of an issue.

TwoMinuteBriefing also found that while the owners of most websites use their names or company name when registering a website, the creators of one specific "mashup" map have hidden their names by registering their website through an anonymizer.

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