Missouri’s governor wrongfully accused a reporter of hacking a state website

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson in October accused a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter of hacking a state website, though state records show he did nothing wrong. The reporter only identified a flaw on the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website that was exposing the sensitive information of public-school employees in the state. He then notified the state of the flaw and allowed it 48 hours to correct the issue before publishing his story, all accepted industry practices.

Parson, who also commissioned and then did not release a study showing that mask mandates are effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19, later doubled down on his “hacking” claim, suggesting that the reporter should have simply notified the state of the flaw, which is in fact what happened.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He's reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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