Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Brunswick's Chief Richard Rizzo to be Fired for Security Data Breaches?

Seems no one recalls seeing any media news article regarding Brunswick Police Department (BPD) releasing personal information, including Social Security Numbers, to at least four media outlets.

Wonder if any of the town councilors were even aware of the security data breaches? If so, did any one of them tell others, or instead participate in the hush-up?

This isn't a case of computer hacking by some anonymous source, but rather the Brunswick Police Department giving out individuals' personal information.

Furthermore, this isn't the first time the BPD released personal information which included Social Security Numbers. As evidenced by the pdf link of documents from the State of New Hampshire below, the police department's security breaches hasn't stopped, but remains an on-going problem BPD hasn't fully acknowledged, rectified, and been held accountable for.

Therefore, since the pdf document letters are both dated May 15, 2015, Chief Rizzo and his subordinates' incompetence and lack of accountability remains with the current Town Manager John Eldridge to address.

Could it be possible your personal information is floating out there because of the Brunswick Police Department?  

In searching the web, it appears some police departments across the nation have fallen victim to instances of their computers being hacked into, but it seems there are no other web documents nor news articles where police departments, themselves, are the culprits for having actually released personal information, including SSNs. Perhaps the Brunswick Police Department under the leadership of Chief Richard Rizzo has the dubious distinction of being the first in the nation.

(See New Hampshire's Department of Justice pdf documents as evidence of Brunswick Police Department's security breaches linked here.)

The above pdf was recently found during a web search for something else. Oftentimes it's the reality, but happenstance isn't how people should find out what's really going on, and especially in matters of law enforcement for which "services" are paid by the people for law enforcement powers and consequences reaching outside their own jurisdictions.

In other words, Brunswick taxpayers pay for law enforcement whose actions impact not only those living in town, but also affect many others outside the town, throughout the State of Maine, including visitors and tourists.

Naively, some don't realize that any contact with BPD (and likely most police departments), results in the collection of personal data and has a high probability of using/including Social Security numbers. Several States require SSNs in connection with driver's licenses.

So, even if someone's calling for services and/or assistance - be it a traffic accident, vandalism, or reporting theft, sexual assault, received a parking ticket, etc., a wealth of personal data is connected in the database. It's no wonder several police department computer records are being hacked.

It becomes even easier if the police department, which people generally and reasonably have an expectation of investigation and protection of individuals from identity theft, becomes a source for handing out personal information. 

Brunswick's Police Department, in fact, has been aware there were problems with employees giving out personal information, including Social Security numbers which they, negligently and/or maliciously, caused to be released to the public as evidenced by letter to BPD dated April 26, 2004 and, in part, reads:
Not a great idea, Mr. Police Officer!

"We had previously inquired about the Brunswick Police Department's practice of including Social Security Numbers (SSNs) on documents and requested they be excluded prior to being released to the public.

Again, we have received reports with SSNs; would you please look into this? It seems prudent that no one should be receiving documents from the Brunswick Police Department which contain SSNs." (emphasis added)

These same concerns were repeatedly verbalized and documented in writing to the BPD even after the date of the above letter. No response was ever received by any Brunswick Police Chief regarding ongoing security data breaches.

Additionally disturbing and also brought to BPD's attention, the Brunswick Police Department has, in at least one known instance, participated in identity theft when former town manager, Don Gerrish, placed a "call" as request for service using someone else's personal identification -  a citizen and taxpayer's personal information, including Social Security number. This specific computer generated log documented on October 2, 2007 listed the "call taker" as Dowling, Kara. The "call modified and closed by" police officer is listed as Lane, Robert 10/02/2007 @0811; said call which was never made by the person whose identity was used.

Identity theft is said to be the fastest growing crime, including medical identity theft:

I'd met a young Navy man while getting documents from the BPD. The man was almost in tears because, in the process of buying a vehicle from a local dealership in Brunswick, he'd found out someone had stolen his identity.

I told the man it'd been my experience the BPD was aware, and still habitually gave out computer reports and/or logs which contained unredacted personal information, including SSNs. And for the price of only $5 it seemed anyone could request a report and possibly get this kind of information directly from the police department itself.

Unfortunately, the man stated this experience represented yet another reason why he couldn't wait to be transferred out of Maine and into a different permanent duty station.

Other local cases of security data breaches which media has covered include People Plus:

"What did People Plus Leak? Nearly every entry in the leaked People Plus database contained a member's full name, telephone number, home address, birth date, partner or spouse name, email address, IP address and emergency contact information, which also included a phone number and home address."

According to the Bangor Daily News article, the leak occurred because of changes to their data system, but didn't raise legal concerns: "...a glitch must have occurred when he was switching the nonprofit to a new database management system with a higher security system protocol."

Nevertheless, the leak of information, which most would consider private, is cause for concern; as one person noted, some individuals live alone. (BDN source).

Malware is reported as the possible reason for a security data breach at Brunswick Hotel and Tavern as reported in The Forecaster, September 2, 2015 (Data breach at Brunswick hotel possibly exposes cards of 2,600).

Medical Identity Theft is reported on the rise, and has even further implications; death has occurred in some cases because the perpetrator's use changed an individual's records, including conditions, prescriptions, and allergy information. (See St. Louis Business Journal article "Medical identity theft is fastest-growing identity crime in the U.S., and also listen to an interview with Heather Weagenhals "Identity Theft Can and Probably Will Happen to You" linked here).

The harm caused by identity theft is enormous, along with increasing numbers of lawsuits including a class action lawsuit against Anthem:

"Less than 12 hours after Anthem Inc. reported hackers had stolen data on as many as 80 million current and former customers, local attorney Irwin Levin already was preparing a class-action lawsuit against the company.

He expects there will be more as Indianapolis-based Anthem tries to control fallout from the largest data breach ever at a U.S. health care company." (article).

Apparently, it's neither easy nor quick to repair the harm done by identity theft which can occur even years after the information was obtained. Even when going through recommended methods of self-monitoring ones' identity and credit in tandem with identity theft insurance, recovering is difficult and in some cases irreparable.

The following are source links to further understand identity theft. Freezing your credit with the three credit reporting agencies is an option, but reading through more information may help individuals decide which route is best to take.

Heather Weagenhals, among other sources, mention the number one priority is absolutely protecting your Social Security Number by not unnecessarily giving it out. It's my understanding that any business or organization requesting an SSN must explain why they need it and what it's used for.

An excellent visual: "World's Biggest Data Breaches" (information is beautiful)

State Redaction Laws

State of Maine - Bureau of Insurance - Notice of Risk to Personal Data Act

Social Security Numbers - FAQ - privacy rights

FBI - Identity Theft

Experian - Security Freeze

Are Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Worth the Cost?

Getting back to Brunswick's Police Chief Richard Rizzo and taking a closer look:

Not surprising is the fact mainstream media, even at local levels, withholds information from the public. And within the four media outlets regularly given police log information for their ubiquitous "Police Beats" it's reasonable to expect someone was aware of these security data breaches by the BPD and said nothing. Instead of reporting, they simply looked away. 

The State of New Hampshire at least makes an effort to be forthcoming and shares security data breaches information in an attempt to possibly mitigate potential and substantial harm by informing people.

(Update 10/02/2015 to include another pdf link for "Identity Theft Resource Center, Data Breach Reports, July 7, 2015". Note: The Town of Brunswick is listed as the entity under "Government/Military" as type of breach in lieu of specifically listing The Brunswick Police Department. Report IRTC20150616-02, page 8 of 14. Access pdf here.)

It's been my experience along with several others, and also my opinion, Brunswick is the antithesis of transparency. If Chief Rizzo is forthright and credible, the public would've been informed of his incompetence and he would've taken responsibility by stepping up to the plate and telling people it had been a documented problem with BPD.

It wasn't long ago the public heard Chief Rizzo hadn't been informing nor requesting approval from the Town Council for surplus military weapons the BPD had taken in for approximately seven years from the Federal 1033 Program. (BDN's article "Brunswick police now must get Town Council's ok before accepting military surplus weapons." dated January 8, 2015).

The following was also found by happenstance in Ripoff Reports this year. Ripoff Reports is a site which maintains permanent records, and the report on Chief Richard Rizzo was written by the same anonymous woman commenting in The Forecaster compelling me to begin with blog post "Smells Like Agenda 21 in Brunswick":

Ripoff Report #1196847 Brunswick Maine Police Chief Rizzo Former Police Chief in Ayer, Massachusetts Contract Not Renewed After Conviction of Mcguane Brothers...Murder (of) Kelly Proctor:

"Kelly Proctor was a promising young black male who lived with his mother and sister in the small town of Ayer, Massachusetts. Ayer is a blue collar,predominantly white working class kind of town.  Kelly Proctor was valedictorian of Ayer High School and a star player on the local football team. While Kelly was walking home from a fireworks celebration in his small town with his friends, he was viciously attacked and beaten to death in less than one minute by the Mcguane brothers, both who were much larger and physically stronger than Kelly.  He never had a chance.  Kelly tried to crawl under an SUV to escpae (sic) the Mcguanes but died at the scene. He was unarmed.  

The vicious beating was witnessed and the entire Ayer community was in shock after Kelly Proctor's murder. He had been well liked and was attending nearby Nichols College.  Outraged parents said AFTER Kelly Proctor's murder that they had repeatedly contacted Ayer Police Chief Richard Rizzo to complain the Mcguane brothers were bullying and physically assaulting their children - and Rizzo did NOTHING.  The Mcguane family was influential in small town Ayer: one member was on the Board of Selectman (that supervised Police Chief Rizzo and approved his contract), another was married to someone on Rizzo's police department and the local high school gym was named after another relative.  2 standards of justice for Ayer Police Chief Rizzo: one for those from the local powerful families and another for everyone else.  Poor Kelly came from 'everyone else" (sic).  
Police Chief Rizzo did NOT investigate Kelly Proctor's death as a hate crime and he worked with Martha Coakley when she was the Middlesex District Attorney. Why weren't federal hate crime charges sought, Rizzo and Coakley?  After all, the Mcguane brothers had bullied Kelly Proctor previously and evidence of this was brought at trial.  Plus, Rizzo and Coakley did NOT bring in a top quality forensic pathologist and one month before trial, the public paid pathologist - who had botched the cause of death - was exposed so the charges were downgraded from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter.  The Mcguane brothers were both convicted BUT served only 3 years for murdering an innocent young UNARMED black teenager. The poor kid never had a chance against 2 much larger and stronger assailants. 

After the convicton of the Mcguane brothers, Police Chief Rizzo didn't have his contract renewed for 6 months and he resigned, moved 2 states away and became the new Brunswick (Maine) Police Chief. 

While he has been Police Chief in Brunswick, he has allowed an attorney named Mark Waltz to continue to practice his solo law practice while Waltz is paid by the public to work full time days. Waltz also runs a private business called Casco Bay Title LLC which provides real estate title searches.  Rizzo and Waltz have refused (sic) local "influential" people who have been aggressively harassing, targeting, threatening and trying to financially exploit a female who owns private property in Brunswick. These people are all direclty associated with a bogus "non profit" called the Brunswick Tospham Land Trust and their Executive Director Angela Twitchell wh (sic) is an extreme environmentalist.  The Town Manager John Eldridge refused to have an indepependent investigation of Rizzo and Waltz.  And the entire Brunswick Town Council has refused to investigate the Brunswick Police Chief Rizzo and Captain Mark Waltz.  Waltz has refused to disclose if Angela Twitchell and the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust is a personal client of his as ATTORNEY Mark Waltz.  Has Brunswick Police Chief Rizzo been allowing Captain Mark Waltz to run a private attorney practice out of the Brunswick Police Department?  Rizzo and Waltz have withheld ALL information from the Brunswick Police Patrol, Supervisory and Dispatch staff and have NOT permitted them to investigate Angela Twitchell and 2 local realtors and a female attorney who may be in on trying to coerce the female property owner or to financially exploit her. Rizzo has been accused of falsifying police reports and the Brunswick Town Council has reportedly received written letters of complaint which they have NOT publicly disclosed.  This is a major public corruption case right now involving a Police Chief and Police Captain and a Town Manager and the entire Town Council.  
Ayer to pay $3.4 million for unjust conviction - Boston Globe
Before Police Chief Rizzo arrived in Ayer, Massachusetts, it was already famous for its corruption and fraud.  
Ayer Massachusetts was the setting for the false investigation and conviction of an innocent man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. And the District Attorney who could have vacated his sentence years before his innocence was  proven: none other than Massachusetts Attorney General Marth Coakley.  

Justice for Kelly Proctor and Justice for All Women in Brunswick.  
Investigate Brunswick Police Chief Richard Rizzo and Police Captain Mark Waltz and Town Manager John Eldridge and Brunswick Town Council."  
And General Comment #2 in response:"I first saw your comments in The Forecaster in December 2014, and noticed they began deleting them. However, I copied the remaining comments as I searched other articles, and subsequently began a blog; please check it out:
Therefore, this response is not actually a rebuttal, but a way to offer support as I'm familiar with some of the issues you've mentioned; however, other information you've given is new.
I understand your frustration with a corrupt system which includes a police department headed by Chief Rizzo. Your comments about them selectively choosing when or if they will enforce town ordinances and state laws is true; along with whom they align with as also evidenced by a history and pattern of behaviors. Former town managers used the police force as their own henchmen. They are bullies and mess with people's lives without any sense of empathy or remorse.
I've heard from several people. Some examples are: One case concerned a group of teens. One of the prominent families of Brunswick's son purposefully hit another teen with his car; several witnesses reported this to the police. However, the report came out differently, and it ended up being the other teen's fault - the one hit by the car! Even a high school resource officer was seen by several stopping a teen with a coffee mug, pulling out a baggie of what appeared to be marijuana from the kid's cup, and kept it - never took the boy to the office, nothing.
Portland Press Herald 
This police department has operated with impunity; Stephanie Anderson, Cumberland County DA is well-aware of police falsifications of reports, and the Attorney General's Office is, too. There has been a paper trail left behind for documentation; the letters, evidence, and complaints by several people are there, but the public will not be given access. This is how they roll. According to what you've written they're now following CIA rules (if you want to cover-up, write nothing down). Sounds like they won't even talk with you. Big flags; it means they have something to hide.
Michael Madigan, ADA, also hides police corruption; and destroys evidence. He is aware of unethical and unlawful police actions, but does nothing. Wonder how many others have been affected by this group, how many fines are paid, and people going to jail. The public at large is too easily victimized by their own - people whose jobs are paid for by the taxpayers. When police want a "meat" ticket, they can get their money and quotas very easily.
It's also easy for them to hide hate crimes; they simply don't report them, and report everyone as "non-Hispanic" on their forms. One citizen was taking pictures of town employees on her property; and one of the town employee sneered as he said, "Snap away, chink, etc." It was reported, Rizzo did nothing. Chief Rizzo did nothing when repeated criminal trespass occurred to another, and the perpetrator doing it told the property owner to "Go back to your own fucking country." It was witnessed, and reported; Chief Rizzo did nothing. But the reports are in the files.
A woman, Andrea Murillo, was sitting in her parked car with her disabled son; they were simply having a snack. Officer Potter came up to them yelling for them to get out of their car as he pointed his weapon at them. Ms. Murillo was a former police officer, she screamed loudly don't shoot me as she had her hands up. Sound familiar? Potter was described as being very nervous and concerned about her screaming don't shoot me. Potter falsified reports, too. 
Brunswick Police Department is corrupt and operates under the color of law, and they get away with it. As mentioned, I'm familiar with some of the issues and it's fact several of the law enforcement officers there, including Chief Rizzo have filed false reports, and they refused to enforce a Superior Court Order as well as District Court protection orders on numerous occasions. On or about August 30, 2007 after trespassing (they removed no trespassing signs in the driveway) LEOs Mark Waltz, and Kevin Schofield entered a private residence beyond doors with locks and deadbolts to threaten the resident/citizens therein.

Fact is, we can find several stories from many people. They talk, but these don't make the papers which only seem interested in siding with corrupt LEO.
I understand where you're coming from. A lawyer has said as long as the LEO don't brutally beat you or rape you, they'll pretty much get away with anything. Seems very true, and they know it."
When the major changes begin occurring in the U.S. don't count on any police officers who don't follow the laws, hide from their responsibilities, are known to have a history of corruption, falsify reports, and exhibit other unethical behaviors. 
Because they remain in law enforcement positions doesn't mean they'll change their behaviors to suddenly become "good cops" when most relied upon to maintain an orderly community - while wearing their military gear. It won't happen. It's fact, not all police officers are this way. But trust your gut and keep in mind most Town of Brunswick police officers follow the thin blue line, and Chief Richard Rizzo is no leader.    "Bully cops cost everybody"(You Tube - Razor Briarz Channel)

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Comments are appreciated. We can agree to disagree; ideas are welcomed, but name-calling isn't. "I don't care what car you drive, where you live. If you know someone who knows someone who knows someone. If your clothes are this years' cutting edge. If your trust fund is unlimited. If you are A-list, B-list or never heard of you list. I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own..." Chris Duane.