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Whoops! ACLU exposes email addresses -- just like Eli Lilly?
- Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:53:28 -0500
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: FC: Whoops! ACLU exposes email addresses -- just like Eli Lilly?
- From: Declan McCullagh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Cc: email@example.com
From: "Jim Harper - Privacilla.org" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <email@example.com>
Subject: ACLU reveals 850 plus e-mail addresses in "Protect Your Civil
Liberties/Civil Rights: ACLU's Safe and Free Campaign"
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:45:57 -0500
The e-mail below was sent to over 850 individuals and organizations (mailed
at 12:37 pm; received here 12:53 pm) with addresses in the To: line rather
than the bc: line. A recall request to the same list followed at 1:03
(received here 1:27 pm) Along with learning names and e-mail addresses,
recipients can infer that others on the list are activists, sympathizers,
or lurkers with the ACLU or allied organizations. (I am proud to say
publicly that I fit into more than one of those categories.)
In 2001, the Eli Lilly company did the same thing to a smaller number of
subscribers (699) to its Prozac Reminder Service. The ACLU filed a
complaint against the company with the Federal Trade
Commission. http://archive.aclu.org/news/2001/n070501b.html Early last
year, the FTC found that the gaffe had rendered Lilly's claim of privacy
and confidentiality deceptive because Lilly failed to maintain or implement
internal measures appropriate under the circumstances to protect sensitive
consumer information. See http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/01/elililly.htm
http://www.aclu.org/Privacy.cfm and relevant excerpts:
Individual information about website visitors, including e-mail addresses,
is never shared with third parties (except as provided for in the section
on email list subscriptions below).
The ACLU uses your email address to update you on news that you have
requested. To deliver this information to you, we use ClickAction Email
Relationship Management (ERM), an email marketing service that helps us to
conduct targeted permission-based email campaigns. When registering for our
email newsletter(s), ClickAction may collect and store the personal
information that you provide on our behalf, but the contract between the
ACLU and ClickAction prohibits it from sharing, renting, selling or trading
any of this information to parties other than ACLU. In addition to its own
associations including: the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
and TRUSTe. ClickAction also adheres to all Federal and State privacy laws
such as the FTC's privacy guidelines and other industry standards. To learn
as Eli Lilly s was. The risk of having one s affiliation with the ACLU
revealed can chill the free speech that the ACLU argues for so often and so
well. But I suspect strongly that just as in the Lilly case the
embarrassment of revealing subscriber information is more than enough
incentive to get the ACLU to adopt better privacy/security measures in the
future. Any kind of investigation or enforcement by regulators would be
overkill (even if they did have jurisdiction). List members who have been
harmed by the ACLU s error have common law rights that they can pursue to
make themselves whole.
Everyone who e-mails large groups is at risk for this kind of error. It s
unfortunate when it happens. But the folks who make a federal privacy case
out of it may end up with egg on their faces, which seems to have happened
From: safeandfreenews [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, February 24, 2003 12:37 PM
To: [deleted to avoid further exposure of ACLU list members]
Subject: Protect Your Civil Liberties/Civil Rights: ACLU's Safe and Free
RESOLVED: DEFENDING OUR LIBERTIES AT HOME
In a true grassroots movement that harkens back to the founders and their
refusal to accept repressive policies, dozens of communities around the
country have passed municipal resolutions opposing actions taken by the
Bush Administration since the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
More than 5 million Americans live in communities that have taken action to
protect civil liberties. Among the 43 communities, in 19 states, that have
taken action against the Bush Administration policies are cities as diverse
as Detroit, Michigan, Fairbanks, Alaska, San Francisco, California and
Carrboro, North Carolina.
The ACLU continues to work -- as part of its ongoing "Safe and Free"
campaign -- with dozens of other communities around the country to help
them go on the record against repressive legislation. The resolutions
specifically single out provisions in the USA Patriot Act, the
controversial anti-terrorism law passed in October 2001.
If you want to organize a similar effort in your community, the ACLU can
help. Sign up here to receive organizing advice and materials on How to
Pass a Resolution in Your Community and a Draft Resolution.
JOIN THE SAFE AND FREE CAMPAIGN
"Keep America Safe and Free: The ACLU's Campaign to Defend the
Constitution," was launched last fall, nearly one year to the day after
Congress hastily passed the USA Patriot Act.
"Those who ask the American people to choose whether they want to be safe
or free are presenting a false choice," ACLU Executive Director Anthony
Romero said at that time. "The difficult task ahead is to create a new and
more powerful balance between two fundamental values -- liberty and
security. In this way America can be both safe and free."
To kick off the campaign, the ACLU unveiled a 30-second television spot
that graphically illustrates how essential freedoms have been curtailed in
the name of security since Sept. 11. Now, starting this month, a
hard-hitting print ad campaign, featuring John Ashcroft as the "editor" of
the Bill of Rights will run in national magazines. (See story, right panel.)
Another crucial feature of the Safe and Free Campaign is the grassroots
organizing and legislative lobbying. That includes working to pass local
and state ordinances prohibiting local law enforcement participation in
repressive Administration initiatives, such as those involving immigration
laws. (See story, left panel.)
Help us safeguard democracy, especially in a time of crisis. Use the links
on this page to take action now, and to help spread the word about what we
all can do to fight this unprecedented assault on the Constitution and the
Bill of Rights.
SAVE THE DATE
ACLU's Inaugural Membership Conference
June 11, 2003, to June 15, 2003
American Civil Liberties Union
To unsubscribe, send a request to email@example.com
NEW PRINT AD FOCUSES ON OUR RIGHTS -- AND THOSE WHO WOULD REMOVE THEM
For more than 200 years, the Bill of Rights has stood as a wall between
government abuse and the rights of a free people--and that wall is being
Both English and Spanish (Espaņol) versions of the ad are available for
That is the message of a blunt new ACLU print ad, "The Authors/The Editor,"
which began appearing in national publications this month.
Superimposed over shredded fragments from the Bill of Rights, the ad
juxtaposes a historic portrait of "The Authors" (the Founding Fathers) with
a scowling photo of "The Editor" (U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft),
making a scissors-like gesture with his fingers. It lists some of the
liberties Ashcroft has slashed in his response to 9/11, and urges Americans
to act before their remaining freedoms are no more.
Over the next few months, the ad is scheduled to appear in such
publications as Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Harper's, Foreign Affairs,
New York Review of Books, Ms. Magazine, Mother Jones, The Nation and The
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