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smac97

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About smac97

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    "Invasion of privacy" damages are, I understand, a bit tricky. But the Church is not litigious, I think. I don't think it wants to litigate matters unless they are pretty important. So far, the thievery which Mr. McKnight is facilitating by his website appears to be insufficient to warrant legal action by the Church. But if it did, I'm not sure it would seek damages. I think it would prefer to have Mr. McKnight stop encouraging employees of the Church to steal stuff and send it to him. 'Cuz at the end of the day, that's what he is doing, directly or impliedly. And I think we all know that. -Smac
  2. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    I think personal attacks are inappropriate, and I hope those on my "side" of this discussion will stop doing that. However, Mr. McKnight's specific behaviors relating to his website are very much open for critique. Would you agree with that? Thanks, -Smac
  3. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Let's say that you just have someone who dislikes you and wants to make you look bad. Or he wants to embarrass you. Or he wants to make your life difficult. Or he personally thinks that you are not sufficiently "transparent" with your personal life. So this guy sets up a website that he describes as "providing sources and whistleblowers the technical ability to anonymously submit sensitive documents and information about the private life jkwilliams. This website notably lacks any caution or prohibition against "sources and whistleblowers" using unlawful or unethical means to obtain your "sensitive" documents and information. And this fellow reserves to himself the sole arbitration of what parts of your information he publishes to the world. Any parts. All parts. Some parts. Whatever. You have no say in the matter. You may even have asked this person to take down his website, to stop advertising it as ""providing sources and whistleblowers the technical ability" to transmit your documents and information taken from you without your consent by any and all means. C'mon, man. This is not rocket science. The Golden Rule. Would you want your personal information to be taken without your consent and published to the world without your consent? I am very sorry to hear that. Truly. There is no excuse for such behavior. Now you are the one doing the caricaturing. I find it reprehensible that Mr. McKnight has set up a website to facilitate the anonymous submission of documents taken from the LDS Church (along with any other "sensitive" documents from other sources). I find it reprehensible that Mr. McKnight neither prohibits nor discourages "sources" from breaking the law by using his website for its intended purpose. I find it reprehensible that Mr. McKnight recognizes that the behavior his webiste is designed to facilitate may be illegal, but he doesn't care about that. I find it reprehensible that Mr. McKnight's website does not warn "sources" that their use of his website for its intended purpose may be a violation of the law on their part. I find it reprehensible that Mr. McKnight is essentially inducing or inviting others to (potentially) break the law, while purportedly insulating himself from any legal consequences stemming from the conduct he is encouraging others to perform for his benefit. I have said these things in a few different ways. I have generally focused on Mr. McKnight's behavior. I do not know him as as whole person, nor have I called him "evil," nor have I characterized him as anything approaching a "Bond villain." Thanks, -Smac
  4. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Well, there was this: "I am ok with all the folks here that don't like what we are doing or want to call us names. I get it. I don't take offense. At this point, it is more entertaining than anything. This year at Sunstone we are going to do a live video where we read the craziest criticism we get from people and this board has definitely provided material for that...keep up the good work." That sure comes across as taunting. Baiting. Gloating. He is encouraging other people to steal documents from the LDS Church and send them to him anonymously. He admits that the conduct his website is specifically designed to facilitate may very well be a violation of the law. I have no interest in critiquing the man as a whole. I simply don't care about him as a 9-year-old. I am critiquing his conduct which I find to be reprehensible. You have repeatedly said that "reasonable and moral people can disagree" about what he is doing, and yet you keep complaining when we actually do disagree with what he is doing. That's a bit odd. -Smac
  5. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Yeah. Mr. McKnight is a drive-by poster. He's hardly ever here, and pretty much never posts anything of substance, nor does he engage the substantive critiques of his behavior. He came here to brag about how he's insulated himself from legal liability while leaving his sources to flap in the wind if they are caught doing what his website is specifically designed to facilitate. Now he's gone. I fault him for a few things, but "taking up too much of the board" is not one of them. -Smac
  6. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Right. And Fagin didn't induce the Artful Dodger to steal. Mr. McKnight's website is specifically designed to facilitate the anonymous transfer of "sensitive documents" to Mr. McKnight. Nowhere on his website does he discourage or prohibit his "sources" from sending him documents procured through theft or other unlawful or unethical means. It's reasonable to surmise that Mr. McKnight does not differentiate between his website's use for legal purposes and illegal/unethical purposes. He just doesn't care. He's protected himself from liability, while admitting that his "might be [breaking the law by using his website in exactly the way he intends it to be used]." Well, I don't know how else to construe your position. You are okay with Mr. McKnight trading in items stolen from the LDS Church. But would you be okay with Mr. McKnight setting up a website with the specific purpose of facilitating the transmission of "sensitive documents" belonging to you? And taken from you without your knowledge or consent? Thanks, -Smac
  7. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Mr. McKnight has come to this board to taunt members of the Church, to brag about how he has "sources" who are employees of the Church, to brag about how he has (purportedly) insulated himself from legal liability for the theft of documents from the Church, to clarify that he is perfectly willing to throw his sources "might be [breaking the law by using his website in exactly the way he intends it to be used]," to brag that he doesn't differentiate between legally- and illegally-procured documents from the Church, and so on. He's not really "dominat[ing]" anything. He is revealing his posture toward the LDS Church and its members with ever-increasing clarity. We now have a much better idea as to the "ethics and morality" of Mr. McKnight's behavior. We have his own words. We have his own omissions. Thanks, -Smac
  8. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Mr. McKnight has publicly bragged about having "sources" who are employees of the Church. I think we can reasonably surmise that they are using his website to submit stolen documents to him. We also know, for a fact, that nowhere on his website does he prohibit or even discourage the submission of documents obtained or used illegally. Thanks, -Smac
  9. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    "Induce" is defined as "[to] succeed in persuading or influencing (someone) to do something." Mr. McKnight advertises his organization as "provid[ing] sources and whistleblowers the technical ability to anonymously submit sensitive documents." Nowhere on his website does he discourage the submission of documents obtained illegally. He says he has mentioned "in multiple interviews" that that leaking confidential information may be in violation of civil or criminal laws, and that he mentions this to sources "if it comes up." So Mr. McKnight does not discriminate between documents procured legally and documents procured through theft or other unlawful means. He publicly admits (brags about, actually) having "sources" who are employees of the LDS Church. He acknowledges that this sources "might be [breaking the law by using his website in exactly the way he intends it to be used]." Again, I'm not into the either/or allocation of fault here. The Artful Dodger was wrong in his thievery, but then so was the person who trained and encouraged him to do so (Fagin). Right. If Mr. McKnight were to publish your stolen personal information without your consent, I don't think you'd be waxing philosophical about how "reasonable and moral people can disagree" about such a scheme. But since Mr. McKnight is encouraging theft from the LDS Church . . . meh. It's all good. The ends justify the means. One set of "ethics and morality" for thievery from you and people you agree with and like, and another set of "ethics and morality" for thievery from the Mormons. Is that how this works? Good. That's just what we are doing. I disagree with him inducing others to steal stuff and send it to him. I find that reprehensible. You're not? "One person's whistleblowing and transparency is another person's pilfering and stealing." "But as I said, if someone is going to leak confidential information [], I'd rather it go to someone like Ryan, who does have a sense of ethics and morality, than to someone like the guy who's been filming the endowment." "I don't have a problem with what he's doing, obviously. I don't find it morally wrong or reprehensible." You are saying these things about Mr. McKnight, but you are not "justifyin or defending" him? I guess reasonable minds can disagree about that. I never said nor implied any such thing. -Smac
  10. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    I disagree. We are speaking of means as much as ends. Honestly, it looks like he is out to impose his will on the LDS Church, regardless of the legality or morality or ethics of the means he uses to do that. And Mr. McKnight is encouraging them to do this. He is bragging about them doing this. And you are justfying and defending Mr. McKnight. Well, let's narrow things down a bit. Would you find it "morally wrong or reprehensible" if Mr. McKnight were to induce your family members to steal your private information - without your knowledge or consent - and send it to him, for the purpose of him publishing it to the world? Thanks, -Smac
  11. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Yes, I get that. Would you find it "morally wrong or reprehensible" if Mr. McKnight were to induce your family members to steal your private information and send it to him, for the purpose of him publishing it to the world? Well, then explain it. I don't understand what you are saying here. Your moral indignation is odd. You have no qualms with Mr. McKnight setting up a website designed to facilitate theft from the LDS Church, but my criticism of that scheme is "nasty?" This only makes your position all the more obtuse. Again, a whistleblower is, by definition, "a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity." The LDS Church is not engaged in illicit activity. What if those reporters set up a website with the specific and intended purpose of allowing Bradley Manning types to steal information and send it to them? Fault is not an "either/or" allocation here. I quite agree that the Bradley Manning types who work for the LDS Church and use Mr. McKnight's website to send him documents they have stolen are at fault. But that doesn't exculpate the fellow who set up the website and is soliciting such submissions (and even bragging about it afterwords ). Mr. McKnight is Fagin. He's trading in stolen goods. He is coaxing others to go out and steal "sensitive documents" from the LDS Church, then send them to him anonymously via his website. He even admits that his "sources" may be breaking the law by doing what his website is designed to help them do. He is now on this board bragging about how this setup insulates himself from legal consequences, while also admitting that his "sources" may not be so lucky. You find none of this "morally wrong or reprehensible." And yet taking exception to these things is, by your reckoning, "nastiness." What a weird world. Really? The morality of a person persuading your family members or trusted associates to steal your information (as in without your awareness or consent) and send it to him, for the purpose of publishing such information to the world, is contingent on "what was revealed and for what purpose?" What if we don't know? What if the whole purpose of the exercise is to find out if you have done "something wrong?" Would you be okay with the theft and publication of your personal information in that context? Thanks, -Smac
  12. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Not really. A whistleblower is, by definition, "a person who informs on a person or organization engaged in an illicit activity." The LDS Church is not engaged in "illicit activity." In fact, the only parties who are engaged in "illicit activity" (or at least potentially so) are - even by Mr. McKnight's own admission - the people who steal private information from the LDS Church and send it to Mr. McKnight. You know, the guy who has set up a website for that exact purpose. The guy who publicly brags about having "sources" who are employees of the LDS Church. The guy who has come to this board to gloat about how he may be able to get away with such things while leaving his "sources" to suffer the consequences of doing what he is inviting them to do. So you refused to engage in the conduct that Mr. McKnight is inviting other people to perform. I'm glad of that. But I'm a bit befuddled why you then turn around and defend Mr. McKnight's solicitations for behavior you recognize as violative of the law. Blood is thicker than water? The ends justify the means? Those "actions and motivations" being . . . cooperating with Mr. McKnight. Doing what he has invited them to do. Using his website for its intended purpose. Meanwhile, do you think Mr. McKnight should answer for his "actions and motivations?" He is inviting other people to steal from the Church and send it to him, in such a way as will (potentially) shield him from having to "answer" for such things, while leaving his "sources" to "answer for their actions and motivations." I'm reminded here of a character from Oliver Twist: A "receiver of stolen goods." A "leader" who "teaches" others to steal on his behalf. A "miser" who feigns sincerity about those who steal on his behalf ("my dear"), but in reality doesn't care about their welfare ("Our sources might be [breaking the law by using our website in exactly the way we intend it to be used]..."). A person whose focuses on ways to insulate himself from any repercussions of the thievery he induces others to commit on his behalf. Moral relativism at its finest. Are we really going to rationalize/excuse Mr. McKnight's conduct by A) saying "hey, he's not the only one who's done this" and B) comparing his conduct to something worse? "Hey, as an employee I have a strong sense of ethics and morality. I only stole $5,000 from my employer, whereas my predecessor stole twice that much." "Hey, as a politician I have a strong sense of ethics and morality. I admit I took kickbacks from the mob, but at least I didn't ask them to whack my opponent in last year's elections." "Hey, as a husband I have a strong sense of ethics and morality. While I do step out on my wife, at least I don't beat her." This is your measure of Mr. McKnight's "ethics and morality?" You are also defending and justifying it. Put aside, for the moment, what it "is seen as." Look at it for what it actually is. How would you feel if someone did to you what Mr. McKnight is doing here? How would you feel if someone induced your family members to steal your private information and send it to that someone, whose stated intention is to publish that information to the world? So the Golden Rule is fine and dandy. Unless it's the Mormons. In which case . . . anything goes. Such are the "ethics and morality" of Ryan McKnight. Here are my questions again: If someone you trust were to take (steal) your private information (as in without your consent or permission), and send it to a third party whose stated intention is to publish such private information to the world, how would you respond? And if you found out that the person you trust did these things at the request/inducement of that third party, what sort of "moral value judgment" would you render as to that third party's behavior?
  13. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    I suppose so. The Golden Rule seems like a good way to go. As applied here . . . If someone you trust were to take (steal) your private information (as in without your consent or permission), and send it to a third party whose stated intention is to publish such private information to the world, how would you respond? And if you found out that the person you trust did these things at the request/inducement of that third party, what sort of "moral value judgment" would you render as to that third party's behavior? Encouraging other people to steal documents and send them to him demonstrates . . . what? Love and affection? Are you saying his animosity is only apparent? If X were to encourage Y (Y being someone you know and trust, and who has access to your private information) to steal your private information and send it to X, for the stated purpose of X publishing such information to the world, would you seriously suggest that X does not have "genuine animosity" toward Y? And if Y ends up breaking the law and suffering adverse consequences because he complied with X's inducements to engage in culpable conduct, what sort of "moral value judgment" would you render as to X's behavior? Thanks, -Smac
  14. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    What if a church employee sends you internal church documents in violation of the person's employment contract with the Church? Do you accept such documents? Do you warn them of the potential ramifications of their conduct? Do you warn them before or after the fact? Thanks, -Smac
  15. smac97

    MormonLeaks does not break the law

    Fair enough.
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