Yesterday’s e-mail brought welcome news from the good people at Maryland Shall Issue. The organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of gun owners’ rights in Maryland had filed a lawsuit against the Maryland State Police to force them to follow the law and protect the confidential personal information that law abiding gun owners are forced to submit to the state. Just before the case went to court, the state police admitted their wrongdoing and changed their procedures. MSI writes:
Today we can say with certainty that the State Police exposed the information of tens of thousands of its citizens over an open and unsecured internet link. This data traversed multiple systems and routers on its path through the internet, none of which were controlled by the state. All it took was one single transaction in any one system to be intercepted, for the entirety of the 77R database to be compromised. The state had no controls in place to prevent it, and no audit in place to even know if it happened. Computer security experts agree: the State Police violated nearly every common sense safeguard that should be used to protect private information. Your name and social security number could be sitting on a hacker’s website right now, and the State Police cannot even detect that it was stolen.
The simple truth is that the State Police violated the trust of the people, the lawmakers and the media. Given the chance, they obfuscated and denied. Yet again, the only thing that forced them to change their ways was a lawsuit and the threat of legal sanction.
This story demonstrates, yet again, that government can’t be trusted to obey the law.