Missouri Governor Mike Parson faces a massive backlash after threatening to prosecute a journalist for responsibly reporting a serious security breach on the state’s website.

Earlier this week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch journalist Josh Renaud reported that the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website reveals over 100,000 teachers’ social security numbers. These SSNs were discovered by viewing the HTML source code of the website’s web pages so anyone with an Internet connection can find the sensitive information by right-clicking the page and clicking “View Page Source”. For many, viewing the source code of a webpage is as easy as pressing F12 on your keyboard.

The Post-Dispatch reported the vulnerability to state authorities to patch the website and delayed publishing a story about the problem to give the state enough time to fix the problem. The DESE has since confirmed that the “educator …



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