The White House’s bogus voter fraud commission is, to put it mildly, wildly unpopular with Americans everywhere. Aside from the massive waste of time and resources it is to pursue a vapid conspiracy theory, the commission has made it clear that they plan on making our private information public. Naturally, everyone with more than two brain cells rubbing together is appalled by this notion.
So what does the White House do? They publish hundreds of angry emails from their critics, and neglect to redact personal information. As Vox put it, they responded to concerns about releasing private information by publishing private information. Full names, phone numbers, and even physical addresses, were in those emails and publicly available on the commission’s website.
Or, put another way, they essentially doxed hundreds of American voters who were critical of something this administration is up to. The White House has apparently put up a warning to concerned Americans that they may publish sensitive information along with comments. They consider these comments to be public comments, and therefore any and all information included is fair game, as Mike Pence’s press secretary said:
These are public comments, similar to individuals appearing before commission to make comments and providing name before making comments… The Commission’s Federal Register notice asking for public comments and its website make clear that information ‘including names and contact information’ sent to this email address may be released.”
Two problems: First, if they appear before the commission to comment in person, their addresses and phone numbers aren’t flashed across the television screen or read off out loud. Second, it’s not clear whether these commenters knew any of this before they sent in their emails. If they didn’t know, then they didn’t make informed decisions, and the White House is wrong. Very, very wrong. They make the point that, when making public comments on other government websites, their personal information may be revealed, but those sites have warnings about this in place so people know what they might be exposing themselves to if they choose to say something.
Honestly, it’s wrong anyway. In this climate, with Trump supporters harassing and threatening Trump’s critics, the White House just put hundreds of voters in some serious danger. This is not the way to reassure us that they have our best interests at heart. They’re doing squat to elevate their level of trustworthiness here. In fact, they’re destroying it. But what can we expect from an administration that’s more obsessed with legitimizing Trump’s election than they are with actually doing real work? Here’s hoping that these doxed voters remain safe from harassment and harm.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images