Just days after Congressman Weiner made national news insisting he was the victim of an Internet hacker, Hawaii’s own Kymberly Pine also made local headlines as she became the victim of a website and email hacking.
On June 3, 2011, Civil Beat reported that Pine’s email account had been hacked. An email Pine planned to send to subscribers on her email list – that was intended to create awareness of hurricane season – was altered to display the bold and accusatory heading, “Kym Pine is a CROOK”. The explanation given below the headline alleged that Pine has refused to pay those who designed her website, emails and mailings for her 2010 campaign.
While Congressman Weiner’s case has taken a new turn with his admission of falsely accusing hackers of posting explicit photos of him on Twitter, Pine stands by her claim that the “crazy things” posted on her website and distributed to her email list were not of her doing. She insists that the information was “false” and “misleading”, but she has yet to address the actual accusation that she owes an Ewa resident for design work completed for her campaign. Whether or not Pine has an outstanding debt, there are a few lessons all politicians might take from these recent Internet incidents.
Know thy webmaster
The man discovered to have hacked Pine’s website and email account is Eric Ryan, the same Eric Ryan who claims to have designed Internet templates and graphics for Pine’s 2010 re-election campaign. If Pine had done her research before hiring Ryan for the job, she may have avoided the recent Internet issue altogether. Just last year, Republican candidate John Carroll’s website was transformed into an anti-Carroll portal. The perpetrator? A vengeful website administrator, Eric Ryan, who claimed he was owed for unpaid invoices. Ryan took his claims – 19 in total, according to a Civil Beat article – as far as the Campaign Spending Commission, who dismissed all but two.
If you owe someone, pay up
In both cases, Ryan claimed to be owed payment by his clients. It is unclear at this point whether Pine does in fact owe Ryan for services rendered. But what is clear is that late or no payment can lead to an angry webmaster. And an angry webmaster has the power to spread his claims – false or otherwise – far and wide. As Ryan is currently on the payroll on the staff of Councilman Tom Berg, website Atomic Monkey advises that Berg be “very, very careful to pay his ‘consultant’ bills on time”. And while this anti-social media website tends to make light of political issues and personalities, Berg may want to consider their advice. Or better yet, find a replacement for Ryan.
And for goodness sake, grow up
In Ryan’s case, rather than taking his rants to the Internet, perhaps he could act like an adult and make use of the established legal avenues intended to deal with complaints such as the ones he has claimed. If Pine does in fact owe him money, she should pay up. And if she doesn’t, Ryan should give it up. As for Weiner, maybe he could consider spending less time sexting, Tweeting, and chatting up woman across the country, and spend more time doing the job he is paid to do.