Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has edited 275,000 emails he released after it emerged they contained correspondents’ personal information.
Social security numbers, email addresses and phone numbers were all included in plain text in the files.
Jeb Bush released 275,000 emails from his eight years as Florida’s governor, in the interests of transparency.
Earlier this week, his technology chief, Ethan Czahor, resigned over “inappropriate comments” he had made.
In one email, sent in 2004, the name, social security number and other details belonging to the mother of a sick child appeared. The information had been in a note written by a healthcare representative, the Verge reported.
Other emails also contained social security numbers and other personal information.
The cache, which had been posted on February 10, included hundreds of thousands of emails from 1999 to 2007.
Jeb Bush’s campaign team moved to redact as much of the information as possible after the leaks came to light.
As of February 11, a message posted on the website hosting the emails said: “This page previously included raw PST data files provided by the Florida Department of State. We were informed that some personal information was available in the raw data so we removed these files.
“Please contact the Florida Department of State with any questions or public records request. You may still read these emails on the email calendar link, where we have redacted personal information we have been able to locate.”
The news came after Ethan Czahor resigned over comments made by him on Twitter and attributed to him on another website.
Ethan Czahor, who was hired to Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise political action committee in January 2015, had posted messages on his personal Twitter account in which he referred to women as “sluts” and made remarks about gay men.
He also made racially offensive comments on the other website.
Jeb Bush’s spokeswoman Kristy Campbell noted that Ethan Czahor had apologized for “regrettable and insensitive comments” that did not reflect the views of Jeb Bush or his organization. But she added that it was “appropriate for him to step aside”.
Ethan Czahor apologized after the Twitter comments emerged, but did not resign until the publication of those found on his website by the Huffington Post.
He tweeted that he hoped his “recent news won’t dissuade future techies from entering politics, regardless of political affiliations/backgrounds”.
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According to Google’s Transparency Report, governments around the world made nearly 21,000 requests for access to its data in the first six months of 2012.
Google’s Transparency Report indicates government surveillance of online lives is rising sharply.
The US government made the most demands, asking for details 7,969 times in the first six months of 2012.
Turkey topped the list for requests to remove content.
Google, in common with other technology and communication companies, regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to have access to content.
It has been publishing its Transparency Report twice a year since 2009 and has seen a steady rise in government demands for data. In its first report in 2009, it received 12,539 requests. The latest figure stands at 20,939.
“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: government surveillance is on the rise,” Google said in a blog post.
The report acts as a bellwether for government behavior around the world, said a Google spokeswoman.
“It reflects laws on the ground. For example in Turkey there are specific laws about defaming public figures whereas in Germany we get requests to remove neo-Nazi content,” she said.
“And in Brazil we get a lot of requests to remove content during elections because there is a law banning parodies of candidates.
“We hope that the report will shed light on how governments interact with online services and how laws are reflected in online behavior,” she added.
According to Google’s Transparency Report, governments around the world made nearly 21,000 requests for access to its data in the first six months of 2012
The US has consistently topped the charts for data requests. France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are also in the top 10.
In France and Germany it complied with fewer than half of all requests. In the UK it complied with 64% of requests and 90% of requests from the US.
Google said the top three reasons cited by government for content removal were defamation, privacy and security.
Worldwide authorities made 1,789 requests for Google to remove content, up from 1,048 requests for the last six months of 2011.
In the period from January to June, Turkey made 501 requests for content removal.
These included 148 requests related to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the first president of Turkey, the current government, national identity and values.
Others included claims of pornography, hate speech and copyright.
Google has its own criteria for whether it will remove content – the request must be specific, relate to a specific web address and have come from a relevant authority.
Requests for user’s data
(January to June 2012)
- United States – 7,969
- India – 2,319
- Brazil – 1,566
- France – 1,546
- Germany – 1,533
- UK – 1,425
Requests for take-downs
(January to June 2012)
- Turkey – 501
- United States – 273
- Germany – 247
- Brazil – 191
- UK – 97