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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fracktivism 101: Protect Identities

Before I get too far into this post, please check out this brief offering from a few years back.

Hold that thought.

I've had many conversations over the past few years with multiple individuals about the need to protect and/or, at minimum, respect the confidentiality of email recipients. Some immediately recognized the wisdom of this, others still have not.

Even though I have significantly pulled back, for a variety of reasons, on my proactive involvement in the whole anti-fracking movement, I still receive emails/requests on an almost daily basis which keeps me in touch with what's going on behind the scenes. Unfortunately, too many of these folks still send out mass emails containing visible distribution/recipient lists with dozens of personal email addresses. On one project currently underway where this is happening, several fairly prominent fracktivists have asked to be removed from the emails altogether going forward.

I fully agree with their reasoning.
Repeat after me:  Emails can be forwarded to the uninvited/unwelcome. 
Once more: Emails can be forwarded to the uninvited/unwelcome. 
I had it happen to me in 2004 when planning a simple paddling event on 04/04/04, and the lesson was immediately learned and never forgotten. Someone forwarded my emails to a "bald eagle specialist" that worked for the commonwealth of PA. Our event included overnight camping @ French Azilum, and for those familiar with that historical site, there is an island in the middle of the Susquehanna directly across from the picnic pavilion which has been and still may be the site of a bald eagle's nest that is active very year. The state's "expert" threatened us with all kind of potential legal action because he felt our activities would possibly disturb the eagles during an important phase of their breeding season. So, with help from a friend and at the last minute, we secured a new location and held our overnight event at Camp Lackawanna a little further downstream.

What I and the state's "eagle expert" did not know was on the exact same day that we would have been arriving and camping at French Azilum, some ~300 yards or more from the island and the eagle's nest...a group of Boy Scouts with CHAIN SAWS were cutting down trees right at the river's edge for a new access path/ramp to the campgrounds. That location was directly across from the nesting site and probably less than 200' away.
True story, folks. I still wonder who would have been cited if we decided to ignore his threats and campout at French Azilum; the Boy Scouts with chain saws, or a bunch of  paddlers with Coleman stoves and acoustic guitars?
Anyway, there is a lot going on behind the scenes as we approach the next quarterly SRBC meeting scheduled for March 21st in Harrisburg and other important dates over the next few months. I hope/plan to attend many of these events.

Finally, I surpassed another "milestone" in my recovery/rehab yesterday. A one mile walk down...many more to follow.



  1. Don;

    First off, congratulations on your rapid recovery (or at least it seems rapid to me)..I know this cannot be easy for you.

    Second---coming from IT land. SMTP (the transport protocol used to carry e-mail) has no concept of 'blind carbon copy'. That functionality lies strictly in the hands of the software used to retrieve email. It is very possible to retrieve the entire list of email addresses, even those in the 'bcc:' field, with some effort. It typically requires access to the mail server where the messages are received and the ability to look at the logs. So, if you're on a public ISP mail server like gmail; you're fairly safe, as it would require a court order. However....I wouldn't put it past other nameless entities to actually examine the logs for the emails received.

    Just a minor heads up. Keep up the good work!


  2. Thanks for the hi-tech heads up, Dwayne.