Email Hacking: Some People Go to Prison. Some People Go Back to Work.



Tom Humphrey has the strange story of lobbyist Dan Haskell, who somehow got seated at state Rep. Bob Ramsey's computer and was able to send an email from Rep. Ramsey's legislative account on behalf of legislation Haskell is in favor of.

It also led House Speaker Beth Harwell to speak with Ramsey, his assistant, Angela Brown, and lobbyist Dan Haskell.

"I heard his (Haskell's) side of the story," Harwell said. "I talked to Rep. Ramsey and his assistant, and made it clear that legislative equipment and email are for legislative staff and our members only."

So, let me get this straight. If a kid illicitly gains access to a vice-presidential candidate's email account and shares her emails with 4-chan, he goes to federal prison. But if a lobbyist illicitly gains access to a working politician's email account and sends an email from that account—in other words, he posed AS THAT POLITICIAN—he gets a stern talking-to?

What about state code 39-16-303? Haskell used Ramsey's identity to obtain the privilege of getting people to take more seriously legislation he supports, because they think Ramsey supports it. That looks like a Class C misdemeanor.

And look at 39-16-504. "a) It is unlawful for any person to: (1) Knowingly make a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record; (2) Make, present, or use any record, document or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it will be taken as a genuine governmental record."

Legislative email is a part of the public record. Haskell certainly knew that he was not Ramsey, and yet he sent an email as Ramsey, and it's pretty obvious it was so people would take it as an email either from Ramsey or sent with the approval of Ramsey. That's a Class A misdemeanor.

And the only consequence is a talking-to? Nice. I'm glad the legislature is so busy making all these laws they then shield their friends from. We should all be so lucky to have a state legislator as our friend.

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