back to article Wikileaked donor list shames US lawmaker

Financial data belonging to more than 4,700 donors of Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman have been leaked to the internet following a breach of his campaign website that also made public the contact details of another 51,000 supporters. Two Microsoft Excel files containing the supporter information were recently posted …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    So -

    This is a crime how? I think that they (Coleman et al.) posted the data in the open for all to see. Some people looked.

    Of course they will try to charge whomever anyway - it should be laughed out of court. BTW How did Coleman become a Senator if this is how he works?

    Helicopter - cause the feds will be after me now.

  2. Henry Wertz Gold badge

    Well it's obvious who the responsible party was...

    "On Wednesday, shortly after Wikileaks published the information, Coleman's office condemned the attack and vowed to work with the US Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies to bring the responsible parties to justice."

    It's obvious who the responsible party was -- whoever set up a web site with no security, so that using an IP address instead of hostname is enough to have it merrily dump a database out to you. If no passwords were put in, and no access controls were bypassed on the part of whoever downloaded this (which is apparently the case), then no crime was committed on their part, period. The only crimes appear to be 1) Negligence on the part of whoever set up the site. 2) Failure to report exposure of this data on the part of the sentaor's campaign.

  3. Seán

    Coleman is scum

    Unfortunately because Al Franken's seat is the magic 60th one Colemans money supply won't be drying up any time soon.

  4. Man Outraged

    Hacker's Protocol? Other Companies Beware?!

    Maybe a few more companies would be more honest about their security if they knew that, should they deny a breach then they risk confidential data being posted just to prove the breach.

  5. Frank

    @Henry Wertz re. Well it's obvious.......

    You forgot: 0) Storing confidential data on a website.

    Nobody needs remote access to that donor data via the WEBSITE. It should have been held on a private office network or some other secure, remote access facility should have been arranged.

  6. Duncan Hothersall

    @ George

    "How did Coleman become a Senator if this is how he works?"

    I think you've answered your own question there.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Message seemingly here is that

    it's OK to screw up an election because he's a republican and everyone should hate them right ..dude! Is that it?

    True Coleman's IT 'security' is a joke but the leaker has just IMO made the election null and void. Should be re-run, the electorate deserve to have a proper say in who is to represent them.

  8. Gordon

    Republicans fail at technology

    as far as they were concerned innovation ends in the reagan era, once unrelenting neoliberalism had freed the greed. Who needs to understand computers when you've got hate radio and mega churches on your side?

    as for norm coleman, Like many republican senators he was not chosen for competence or intelligence but for being a pliable right wing ideologue with "electability", from what I understand he is also a thoroughly unpleasant human being and is so enamoured of corporate donations that had he not lost to al franken he would be being investigated for massive corruption/ducking out of office following a sex scandal within the next six years.

    he's also been getting a lot of help from Karl Rove in this legal battle, and we all know how much karl likes to follow IT best practice(backups? what backups? no those email's never existed).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wasn't this the uptight bloodless little plonker who took such a glorious kicking from George Galloway a couple of years ago?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder... the Labour party would react to the same thing happening to them?

    Let hope nobody decides to, that WOULD be embarrassing for the database state...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    I find this a bit troubling.

    "One file contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, employers, email addresses, and partial credit card numbers of 4,721 people who had donated to Coleman."

    Couldn't Wikileaks have sanitised the database first and just listed, say, the surnames and first initial of all the donors to prove that it had been compromised, rather than dumping the whole shebang for any Tom, Dick or Harry to use and abuse ?

  12. kissingthecarpet
    Black Helicopters

    Gary McKinnon

    didn't need passwords either.

    Didn't stop him getting nicked though.

  13. Tim


    Nice work by Wikileaks, they're doing a good service.

    Americans should be asking themselves why an elected representative in a free democratic country needs 4700 donors anyway.


  14. John Smith Gold badge

    The Lads from Lagos say

    Thank you my friends. We is will be sending email shortly about the generals frozen bank account.

  15. Apocalypse Later

    challenging Franken's 225-vote victory?

    No such thing. The original "victory" was Coleman's, but the count was close enough to trigger an automatic recount, during which endless envelopes stuffed with "lost" votes were found here, there, and everywhere. Franken has not been awarded the election, and won't be while the court considers the challenges.

    Coleman challenges the recount on methodology which he asserts inconsistently used different criteria to award disputed votes to Franken and withhold them from him. It is an interesting story and well worth following. Similar stories about recounting until the Democrat wins are rife in the US, going back to Kennedy's narrow win over Nixon and before. And of course it was tried in Florida in the 2000 election, though none of the several recounts ever put Gore ahead there, including a study conducted after the election was finalised, just for interest's sake. Yet somehow many Democrats have convinced themselves that Bush stole the election.

  16. Tom

    @Apocalypse Later

    There was no inconsistency about how the votes were awarded: If the vote was for Franken it was awarded to him, if it was for Coleman it wasn't, even if that instance of the ruling contradicted a previous ruling.

    But there's no point in telling that to the leftist flamers on this site.

  17. Peyton


    " elected representative in a free democratic country needs 4700 donors anyway."

    I heard he tried to cut costs and use a soap box + megaphone, but found he was getting the wrong kind of "coverage."

  18. Steven Hunter
    Thumb Down

    @Apocalypse Later

    "And of course it was tried in Florida in the 2000 election, though none of the several recounts ever put Gore ahead there, including a study conducted after the election was finalised, just for interest's sake. Yet somehow many Democrats have convinced themselves that Bush stole the election."

    [Citation Needed]

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not like Photographing an open door

    It is going inside and photrgaphing the house and saying but the door was open so I went inside.

  20. Apocalypse Later

    @Steven Hunter

    Do your own research if you are genuinely interested. The Wall Street Journal published a lot of information about the Gore recounts, with links, at the time, so you could start there. The partisan polarisation on this issue generally blinds people to any data that upsets their predetermined view, as in "Oh, the WSJ, that's a conservative newspaper and won't tell the truth", and I am not highly motivated to buck the trend. Evolution will do the job eventually.

  21. theotherone

    bloody hell

    The people who run his website are idiots dressed as clowns, hanging around arses and fools all day, generally being f*&%ing stupid all the time .....

  22. J-Wick

    @Apocalypse Later

    Actually, AL, I would say that you would need to provide a link or reference. I heard that recounts after the fact put Gore ahead. So that makes stalemate as far as this thread is concerned.

    [Personally, I think that attempting to recount any close election is practically impossible, given the subjectivity involved.]

    Anyway, far as 'stealing' the election, or at least using underhand tactics, ever hear of the 'Brooks Brothers riot'?,8599,89450,00.html

    I'm sure that similiar tactics were used by the Democrats, but it's gonna take more than 'because I said so' for anyone to take any claims seriously...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    re: Apocalypse Now, Hunter, & Wick

    Let's see how this works.

    Group 1 makes assertion.

    Group 2 wants Group 1 to provide citations to back up their refutation of Group 2's assertions..

    Group 2 Not happy with "look it up", says you gotta provide proof.

    Without proof on either side, it's all just pissing in the wind. However:

    I get sick of the whole argument re: the 2000 elections. It is a classic ideological attack to make unsupported assertions, and demand the other side defend its assertions while not holding themselves to that same standard. Logic and reason have nothing to do with this pretended attempt to be reasonable -- if people were so interested in being reasonable, the minimal bother in looking up sources would have already been made. In addition, you're dead on that any of these sources would be ignored based upon ideological constraints.

    I have met religious zealots that use the same attack mode. The more you try to defend yourself, the more assertions are made, eventually making the assertion that you must be guilty because you spend so much time defending yourself.

    Personally, every time I meet a person that pushes those assertions, I figure they are another person so absorbed in their ideology that they really don't have a personal opinion that matters anyway, and in a just world would be dipping potatoes in hot oil for the rest of their natural life while railing at an "unfair" system that doesn't kiss their a3 while stuffing money in their pockets.

    The whole 2000 election was an exercise in partisan BS, and unfortunately the side that lost is still in love with their own view of events, and used it for the past 8 years to do their best to unstabilize the country. There is no way that they can take on any other view -- any source of information that refutes that is going to get ridiculed and ignored rather than examined and verified. When they live in their own ideological scat, I guess everything looks brown.

    AC -- I am still at work.

  24. wulff heiss


    i assume, if there are cvc2 numbers, the data _was_ sanitized before.

    Anyway: there were no technical means to circumvent anyanere, so even DMCA-save this looks...

    re. ethics: they were notified of a problem, but ignored it.

    i have no idea who this coleman guy is, but i hope the average American has more clue than the guys/gals who set up this Site...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Apocalypse Later

    Regarding Franken and Coleman, I think one of the really important things is that after the initial count placed Coleman some 400 votes ahead (and the automatic re-count cut in) Coleman effectively demanded that Franken accept defeat rather than waste time arguing with the numbers (something about more votes being more votes no matter how manyor few).

    However on the re-count Coleman was found to be behind but instead of admitting defeat (like he had expected Franken to do) he took legal action.

    Now, I am not saying that anyone should give up their dream of office on what is accepted a margin of error, but if the sauce is good for the goose and all that..... Which just goes to show that there are aspects of Coleman's integrity that are at least questionable.

  26. gratou
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Not like Photographing an open door

    A web site is a public place, where you expose your stuff, and you expect / hope / pray / beg people will come, isn't it?

    So this is more like photographing and looking at garage sale items, if you can see the web site contents with your browser without any hack or other dubious method, and if metaphors must be used.

    Why all that stuff was there is beyond me.

    Why, on top of that, it was not protected and exposed for all to see is ..err.. beyond beyond me.

    Why they denied anything ever happened is ...not sure anymore... but not a good sign of probity or responsibility.

    Paris because she should be in all comment pages, and is missing here. Plus she knows about keeping private details private.

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