News Roundup: Security Expert Finds Texas Voter Database Breach

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 27, 2018 8:57 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Almost 15 million Texas voter registration records were discovered on an unsecured web server by someone who researches data breaches.

That’s according to the technology news site TechCrunch.

Security Editor Zack Whittaker obtained a copy of the file and says it includes a lot of information that is already public, like a voter’s name, address and gender. But it also included other kinds of information that could be used for targeted political messaging – and it’s not clear if it’s still exposed.

“We’re still not sure exactly at what point this was leaked, we’re also not sure if the data is still available,” Whittaker says.

Whittaker adds the data would have originated with a private political-data-analysis firm.

A group of attorneys and advocates claim Immigration and Customs Enforcement coerced migrants, who were detained and separated from their children, into agreements, including voluntary deportation. Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports the American Immigration Lawyers Association and other groups filed a formal complaint.

The complaint claims immigration officials used intimidation to get parents to sign the documents. It cites some families were reunited for a moment demanding signatures on the documents, and then separating the families again if they refused to sign. A response from ICE said “Due to ongoing litigation, ICE is unable to provide any details on this matter.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he’s ready for a debate – with Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, that is. Patrick has so far declined to debate his democratic opponent in the race for lieutenant governor.

Speaking on Fox News Thursday, Patrick accused CNN, MSNBC, most of the print media and Democrats of being accomplices in the murder of Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts, whom authorities have said was killed by an undocumented immigrant.

“And even Geraldo Rivera – and I’ve never met the guy – I seem to like him, seems like he’s got a good heart. You know, I saw him here on Fox, ‘Well, I feel badly about this but…’ There is no but! And I’ll be happy to debate Geraldo Rivera anytime, anyplace, anywhere on this issue,” Patrick said on the news channel.

Patrick later said on Twitter that he would fly to New York City on September 4 or 5 for a half-hour debate with Rivera on Fox News, and that he wants Fox News host Sean Hannity to moderate.

Rivera responded that he accepts the terms of the debate. Meanwhile, Mike Collier – the Democratic candidate challenging Patrick – says he wishes the lieutenant governor would debate him instead.

“Well, I think that’s almost comical isn’t it? I mean Geraldo is not running against him. If I’m not mistaken, Geraldo Rivera is a New Yorker, and if I’m not mistaken, Geraldo Rivera is a TV personality. So that debate is a farce,” Collier said in a statement Thursday.

Collier says he’s already accepted an invitation to a lieutenant governor’s debate offered by the Fox affiliate in Houston.