Victor Wynne

Missouri prosecutor won’t charge St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalist

Jeanne Kuang:

A Missouri prosecutor won’t charge a St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalist whom Gov. Mike Parson targeted for a criminal investigation after he revealed a data flaw in a state website that left 100,000 teachers’ Social Security numbers vulnerable.

Josh Renaud, the journalist who was targeted:

This decision is a relief. But it does not repair the harm done to me and my family.

My actions were entirely legal and consistent with established journalistic principles.

Yet Gov. Mike Parson falsely accused me of being a “hacker” in a televised press conference, in press releases sent to every teacher across the state, and in attack ads aired by his political action committee. He ordered the Highway Patrol to begin a criminal investigation, forcing me to keep silent for four anxious months.

This was a political persecution of a journalist, plain and simple.

Horrible treatment of the journalist aside, the entire case being hinged on viewing page source is so stupid it’s laughable. A perfect example of why the current minds in government aren’t equipped to regulate the tech industry. The only blame to place in this instance is with the web developers who left sensitive data exposed. This could only have been worse if the social security numbers were publicly displayed on the site.