Franken-Coleman Update, 03/12/09 (PM Edition): Eating Cat Food
Norm Coleman needs money, and needs it very badly, for his trials — both the current one and the looming Kazeminy trial in Texas. The prospect of a massive drop in online donations is absolutely toxic to his ability to sustain his election contest — so much so that he could be forced to drop his planned appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court. (Of course, since such an appeal would be doomed anyway, Norm could use the lack of funds as a somewhat face-saving way of bowing out and simultaneously lobbing one last smear job at Franken’s legitimacy: "I woulda won, but the dirty hackers from the Franken campaign made my money dry up!") However, it looks like the drying up of the online money flow may actually be the least of his worries.
Item: David Schultz, a professor of election law at Hamline University in St. Paul, told TPM’s Eric Kleefeld via e-mail that Coleman is very likely in trouble for not immediately notifying the donors back in January of the security vulnerability.
Item: Minnesota law requires prompt notification of the persons and of consumer reporting agencies when the persons’ personal information was put at risk due to a security breach or vulnerability:
If a person discovers circumstances requiring notification under this section and section 13.055, subdivision 6, of more than 500 persons at one time, the person shall also notify, within 48 hours, all consumer reporting agencies that compile and maintain files on consumers on a nationwide basis, as defined by United States Code, title 15, section 1681a, of the timing, distribution, and content of the notices.
There are over 4700 people on Norm’s donor list. He knew about the vulnerability back in January. He didn’t do diddly. He’s in trouble.
Item: Credit card companies do not take kindly to merchants and vendors who store the three-digit security codes of their customers’ cards on any website. That is a flat-out data practices violation. It’s even more heinous if the information is stored unencrypted, as it is here. If the State and Federal authorities don’t take a pound or two of flesh from Norm, Visa and MasterCard sure will. Norm can scream "I wuz hacked!" as loud as he wants — the bottom line is that this information should not have been stored online in the first place. Period.
Item: Per Noah Kunin of The UpTake, when Norm Coleman or his people say that they’re off the hook because no inappropriate data access took place, they’re lying — and the screen shots exist to prove it.
As a Kossack who is also a merchant whose business depends on credit card usage said: "Coleman will be eating cat food after Visa and MasterCard get through with him."