Posts Tagged Lawsuit

Press Release – City of Fullerton – Notice of Data Breach

FULLERTON, California (May 13, 2020) – The City of Fullerton (the “City”) announced today that we’re too dumb to use Dropbox and that led to the internet having access to things we’d rather you not know about – such a pervert cop filming up skirts and having child porn on his phone while stationed at Fullerton High School, a Lieutenant in Fullerton PD having not one, but two, Internal Affairs investigations against her that we dropped in order to bypass Public Records laws (SB1421 specifically), employees stealing things and us cocking up the investigation so badly that they got away with it, a City Employee overturning a Parks Vehicle while likely under the influence and on and on and on.

This isn’t new, in fact most of it came to light against our will almost a year ago so none of this is recent but we’re calling it a “recent event” that “may have impacted the security of personal information of some City residents and employees” because that sounds better than “our lawyers, who we refuse to fire and stand behind 100% are too stupid to use Dropbox and they totally screwed the pooch”.

The City became aware of posts on a public website, we all know which one but we won’t say because reasons, which contained confidential City information – see the list above. The city immediately began throwing money around trying to figure out who to blame and how we can get away with avoiding any responsibility. During the City’s investigation, it discovered that we are in fact too stupid to use Dropbox. We’re calling Dropbox “an internal data storage account” because it sounds better but yeah it was Dropbox. We gave out the website (CityofFullerton.com/outbox) on multiple occasions, to countless people, made it a legal public record and then sued some guys and a blog because they allegedly clicked links we put their names on in that Dropbox account – again that we told them about.

We gave them access and ignored that we had total control over who could see what and then our crack team of bureaucrats, lawyers and IT professionals somehow missed that we were too dumb to figure out Dropbox from about 2016 through June 21, 2019. The investigation further revealed the data included copies of emails and attachments that contained certain protected information. Information we never should have put online in an unsecured fashion but you don’t pay us the big bucks and for our lifetime pensions so we’ll be smart – you do it because we extort it out of you by taking away your toys (the library, roads, parks, etc) if you don’t give in to our mercenary demands. As a precaution, the entire contents of the Dropbox account were reviewed to identify the information that may have been accessible online for all the world to access. The City provided written notice to those individuals whose information was found on Dropbox. However, a small number of files we uploaded to Dropbox between 2016-2019 we totally deleted and therefore were not recovered and were unable to be reviewed and now we have no idea who’s information we negligently put online for the whole world to find. Whoopsie.

What Information Was Involved? On October 25, 2019, a day after suing the FFFF blog over our cockup, the City provided written notice to a small number of individuals whose sensitive information was found on Dropbox despite knowing about it for months. However, because we’re dumb and deleted things, a small number of files we uploaded to the non-password protected, public facing Dropbox account (at CityOfFullerton.com/outbox) were not able to be recovered and now the City is providing this additional notification. The personal information that we may have totally put on Dropbox in the files we absolutely deleted may include your name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, payment card information, medical or health information, and/or passport number. However, the City is unable to confirm the contents of these files or whether sensitive information was present in these files because, again, we’re dumb and don’t pay attention to what all we put on Dropbox despite us giving that account out willy-nilly. Hey, we waste your money and you don’t say anything so we figured you wouldn’t mind if we did the same with your data.

What Are We Doing? Suing people to cover up our incompetency mostly. The City takes the security of our employee and citizen information very seriously. So seriously that The City put that information on a non-password protected, public facing Dropbox account (CityofFullerton.com/outbox) in violation of HIPPA, Dropbox Terms of Service, Legal Best Practices, Common Sense, etc. In The City’s diligence The City immediately secured the Dropbox account at issue by deleting everything because passwords and access controls are too hard for our IT department and lawyers to figure out despite The City maybe needing those things for our pending lawsuit and to find out what we put online. The City reviewed existing security measures as a byproduct of our Dropbox screwup and finding essentially none paid $541,000+ to a digital security expert to do what our IT department should have been doing all along –  ensuring the security of The City’s network and keeping our idiot lawyers off of Dropbox.

The City is also providing information about our stupidity and about the steps individuals can take to help safeguard personal information – basically just don’t trust The City to be competent.

In addition, the City is offering to spend more of your tax dollars to offer identity monitoring services through Kroll because nobody in The City pays a price even when it costs you over half a million dollars and counting.

What You Can Do. The City encourages individuals to remain vigilant against incompetent city staff and council members who would compromise your information while putting you at risk of identity
theft and fraud through gross negligence.

Under CA law, individuals are entitled to vote incompetent asshats out of office every election cycle and we strongly recommend throwing circus ringleader Jennifer Fitzgerald out on her ass along with Go-Along-To-Get-Along rejects Ahmad Zahra, Jesus Silva and Jan Flory should Flory’s corrupt self decide to grace us with another council run.

For More Information The City also encourages individuals to read our other press releases where we pretend that we didn’t get slapped down by the Appellate Court and that we’re winning this ridiculous case that we filed against our own watchdog citizens to cover our asses.

Again, at this time, there is no evidence that any information has been misused but we want to drag a few guys through the mud and hope that our infinite resources (your tax dollars which we’ll be taking more of soon) are enough to scare them into submission so we don’t ever have to take responsibility for our own government incompetence. After all, would YOU keep voting for City Council members (Fitzgerald, Zahra, Silva, Flory) who stood by lawyers as dumb as mentioned above OR who let a City Manager attack citizens in the courts and press while taking home $242,931.63 in 2019? We think not.

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Jan Flory Knowingly Voted Against the 1st Amendment

JanFlory-Official

It’s not often that a sitting politician admits to violating the rights of the people but we’re seeing a lot of firsts here in Fullerton lately and the issue of ethics is no different.

Let us start by reminding the class that councilwoman Jan Flory is only currently on council because Ahmad Zahra sold out in record time and put her there. Despite Zahra’s peacocking and preening as a man of ethics and great concern for the Constitution and voting rights – he showed us early on that he’s an empty suit.

Now in an amusing twist of events it turns out that not only did Zahra and the council vote to kick our 1st Amendment rights in the teeth – his appointee Flory knew that what they were doing wasn’t going to hold up in the courts.

In a recent article [HERE] in the Voice of OC, Councilwoman Jan Flory said the following (emphasis added):

Councilwoman Jan Flory said while she respects the First Amendment, the privacy of city employees is also at stake. Like Whitaker, she said she couldn’t speak about the legal advice given to the Council during closed session.

I think that First Amendment rights trump everything else, but I believe that Kim Barlow has done a good job in that the city also wants to protect Mr. Ferguson’s First Amendment rights,” said Flory in a Nov. 8 phone interview.

She said the First Amendment isn’t the core issue.

“That’s not what’s at issue here. What’s at issue is he (Ferguson) obtained records that are private,” Flory said. “Or have some implications concerning the confidentiality of our city employees as well as members of the public.”

Flory also expected the publication gag order to get blocked, at least temporarily, she said.

“Was I shocked by it? No, not at all,” Flory said.

So Jan Flory, as a lawyer, expected the gag order to get blocked?

On what grounds could it possibly be blocked? On 1st Amendment grounds, perhaps?

Why? Because the gag order against publishing was and is an illegal prior restraint against the 1st Amendment and as a lawyer Jan Flory might be familiar with this particular point.

Now according to The Other Dick Jones™ at the last council meeting the entire council, Flory included, voted for this 1st Amendment violating gag order back in September despite Flory expecting it to be shot down.

There you have it folks.

Jan Flory “thinks that First Amendment rights trump everything else” but that didn’t stop her from voting to put the boot of government on the throat of OUR 1st Amendment rights when it suited the CYA needs of the city.

While fully expecting the courts to slap the city’s illegal SLAPP lawsuit/TRO – she voted against the 1st Amendment on 17 September 2019 and then did it again on 05 November 2019. I’m sorry Jan, but your postulating about the importance of the 1st Amendment is meaningless when you yourself voted against Freedom of the Press not once but twice.

You care about the 1st Amendment?

SureJan

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Fullerton v FFFF in the News

OCR- Top of the Fold

Today we were Front Page, Above the Fold in the Sunday edition of the Orange County Register [HERE]. The article was good overall and addressed many of the issues surrounding the ludicrous case the City has lodged against us.

This comes on the heals of several articles which have been written by The Voice of OC [HERE], [HERE], [HERE], [HERE] & [HERE] as they have been on the ball and running hard with this story. The Voice is local, fact-based journalism at it’s finest.

We got some good coverage of the story over at ShadowProof [HERE] which itself was picked up by the paper the Florida Oracle [HERE].

The Orange Juice Blog brilliantly took the city to task for being not just incompetent but downright evil [HERE].

The FullertonRag showed their support for dropping this case [HERE] in a perfect example of understanding that we don’t all need to get along in this fine town on all things to align on principles of utmost importance.

Then of course we have the great write-up by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press [HERE]. It should be noted that this influential group also filed an amicus brief on our behalf in the appellate court supporting the striking down of the unconstitutional prior restraint issued against us by the trial court.

A lot has happened since the city took us to court a little over two weeks ago and it’s not over yet. Other reporting groups, First Amendment organizations and journalists have reached out for comment and we are fully expecting more news in the days to follow leading up the trial on 21 November.

Nearly all of those articles have been objective fact based or on our side for obvious reasons. However – If you’re concerned about having a Fair and Balanced view on this lawsuit you can check out the city’s side of things by heading over to the Fullerton Observer Pravda where they’re doing a bang up job reporting all the news that City Hall sees free to print.

We’ll keep you updated and post more stories both here and to Facebook as they appear so if we miss one please leave it in the comments or tag us on FB.

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Reporters Committee on Press Freedom Files Amicus Supporting FFFF

On Sunday, 03 November 2019, the Reporters Committee on Press Freedom released an article [HERE] outlining their read on the case against us. They see the overreach and concern to journalists being posed by Fullerton’s read on the law.

“The prior restraint sought here is, of course, concerning. But this is the first case we’re aware of where the computer crime laws have been misused so brazenly against members of the news media. First, the conduct alleged — accessing publicly available documents over the public internet — is clearly not hacking. A court finding that accessing publicly available documents over the public internet constitutes hacking would pose serious concerns for data journalists.”

Two days later, 05 Nov, the same day the City Council voted 4-1 to continue the lawsuit against this blog and two of your humble friends, the RCPF filed an amicus brief supporting us in our appeals court effort to overturn the Temporary Restraining Order issued against us.

You can read the entire RCFP Amicus Brief [HERE]. Some highlights are as follows.

The allegations:

“The essence of the City’s allegations in this case is that bloggers reporting on newsworthy matters of clear public interest (namely, potential government misconduct) violated federal and state hacking laws by accessing information that was made available online by the City to all the world. The City claims it is entitled not only to an extraordinary prior restraint on publication but also damages, in part for claims against the City for breach of confidentiality caused by the City’s own cybersecurity lapses.”

This was not hacking:

“If Amicus’s reading of the declaration of the City’s information technology expert is correct, one did not even need a username or password to access files in the Dropbox account maintained by the City, in which it commingled allegedly sensitive and privileged information with material that it affirmatively invited public records requesters to download.”

The theft from a “house” analogy doesn’t work:

“A public website, including the Dropbox account here, is not like a “house.” When an entity chooses to make information available to the public on the internet, without a technical access restriction like a password, that information can legally be accessed by anyone.”

VPNs/TOR are industry practice:

“It is true that the use of a VPN and Tor serves to protect user anonymity, and that “even some journalists routinely use” them. Id. Indeed, the use of such services is not only commonplace among journalists—it is a recommended industry practice.”

“Everyone should be using encrypted services and applications to protect their communications. In fact, in 2017, the American Bar Association’s Committee on Ethics and Legal Responsibility recommended that lawyers use “high level encryption” or other “strong protective measures” to protect sensitive client information.”

Read the whole thing, it’s worth it. We’ll bring more updates as they happen.

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City of Fullerton Is Suing Me And This Blog

You may have already seen the story and/or press release from the City of Fullerton articulating their lawsuit against myself, Friends for Fullerton’s Future and others.

You can read the Voice of OC’s write up on this lawsuit from the city [HERE]:

“Fullerton city attorneys are heading into Orange County Superior Court Friday to ask a judge for a temporary restraining order against resident Joshua Ferguson and a local blog to keep them from deleting city records they obtained and also asking a judge to appoint someone to comb through electronic devices for the records.”

That lawsuit from the city is retaliation for a Public Records Lawsuit I filed against the city last week which was written up by the Voice of OC [HERE]:

“Fullerton residents may soon find out exactly how former City Manager Joe Felz was given a ride home by Fullerton police officers after hitting a tree and trying to flee the scene following drinking on election night in 2016, after resident Joshua Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the city to produce police body camera footage from that night.”

I will have more details in the near future but our current response is HERE]:

“The basic purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent the government from imposing prior restraints against the press. “Regardless of how beneficent-sounding the purposes of controlling the press might be,” the Court has “remain[ed] intensely skeptical about those measures that would allow government to insinuate itself into the editorial rooms of this Nation’s press.” (Nebraska Press, 427 U.S. at 560-561.)

“Consistent with that principle, over the last 75 years, the United States Supreme Court repeatedly has struck down prior restraints that limited the press’ right to report about court proceedings. The Court has made clear that a prior restraint may be contemplated only in the rarest circumstances, such as where necessary to prevent the dissemination of information about troop movements during wartime, Near, 283 U.S. at 716, or to “suppress[] information that would set in motion a nuclear
holocaust.” (New York Times, 403 U.S. at 726 (Brennan, J., concurring).)

“This case does not come close to presenting such extraordinary circumstances. Thus, the City cannot prevail as a matter of law, regardless of how the records were originally obtained. The City’s requests are flatly unconstitutional in and Defendants, therefore, respectfully request this Court denying the City’s request in its entirely.”

More to come as these two cases play out in court.

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Wolfe and Cicinelli Haunt Thursday Council Agenda

Kelly Thomas Memorial

We told you this was coming.

Former Fullerton Police Officers Jay Cicinelli and Joseph Wolfe want their jobs back. More importantly, these two want back pay stemming from their original termination date. On Thursday, the Fullerton City Council will decide if you deserve to have these two upstanding examples of law and order patrolling your streets, and of course if you do deserve the pleasure of Jay and Joe’s company, you’ll be required to pay for wrongfully terminating their ability to roam the city with a badge, a gun, and of course a taser. . . which in a pinch can be used to “smash the face to hell” of any of Fullerton’s malcontent-ed dirty rabble.

Person Suing You #1

Person Suing You #2

So, do you?  Let’s review what it is exactly you deserve in Fullerton.

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