Charles L. Cotton wrote:If people don't want me to have basic contact information, then we'll just agree that the Texas Firearms Coalition isn't their type of organization.
Perhaps my original post was not particularly clear (if so then I am at fault here)... however I originally brought this up because the original form went beyond this information:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:I'm glad you pointed this out because it let me see an oversight. The question about NRA membership has three possible responses -- yes, no, or leave blank. The same was to hold true for CHL status, but the blank apparently wasn't included. I've added the blank to the CHL question and changed the format so both the NRA and CHL questions default to blank.
So this resolves the major concerns from above... I didn't see a "blank" option for NRA either, but that could be an issue with how my browser handles the page... who knows.
So to further clarify my original post, name/address/phone number are public information (and can be gleaned from public record)... but association to other organizations/CHL status are generally not, and because the form required a distinct yes/no answer, you had to be intentionally deceptive if you didn't want provide this information.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:As noted, that information isn't required, it's optional. Texas law prohibits DPS from releasing CHL information to anyone outside a criminal justice agency. There's no prohibition on asking people to voluntarily disclose this information. When you reference the DPS with the phrase "which is supposedly not shared outside of DPS" I think this does display a certain level of paranoia. DPS is expressly prevented from disclosing this information by Texas law; it's not a DPS rule or a simply departmental policy.
Resolved as above... as for DPS policy, that is really the least of my concerns for the reasons you stated, but after seeing what happened in NY/Arkansas with their permitting records being published, it is always good to have some healthy skepticism regarding who controls your information.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:You're right, I didn't put a privacy statement on the site. They are meaningless; you either trust the organization or you don't. I have posted that I will never sell or share email addresses and people are free to accept that or not.
You are right, the majority of them aren't worth the "paper" they are printed on... that said, should someone stumble across this site (not coming from TexasCHLForum), there is no clear indication to them regarding how this information will be handled, and they will without further effort not be aware of your postings regarding that.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:You bring up what you believe to be security issues, then expect me to disclose the location of the server?
As much as it pains me to say this, the country as a whole is not "free" anymore... there are portions that are "more free" and some that are "less free", but basic freedoms do not apply across state lines anymore.
Since I work in a field that is very focused on privacy/data retention, understanding where data is housed is becoming more and more critical. If you look at a number of these "cloud" providers for example... your data can end up residing in various states and even different countries... and the protections provided in law therefore are widely different (in many cases once your data leaves the borders of the U.S., unless it is encrypted, you should consider it to be no longer private... and vice versa).
For public records this is not on a concern, but for those who have [truthfully] responded to their CHL status, the situation starts to change. The Bloomberg's of the world would love nothing better then to have this type of information, and if the data ends up within their borders, you can bet they could find some trumped up reason to "retrieve" it.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:I presume you read the numbers I posted about licenses, gun owners, etc. With those numbers less than 40,000 are TSRA members and somewhere around 350,000 are NRA members. This is apathy pure and simple. People are either unconcerned, unaware, or unwilling to get involved. They aren't failing to join the NRA because of information requested on the membership application. Don't misunderstand this statement, the NRA is growing at a record-breaking rate, but the majority of gun owners nationwide and here in Texas still aren't joining and aren't getting involved. The sad fact is the vast majority of people are willing to let "someone else" do the work.
You obviously have concerns about disclosing basic contact information, so you shouldn't join. In fact, I don't want you to join so please don't! If someone gets your contact information from an Internet search engine, or other personal information from one of the dozens of Internet providers like Public Data, I don't want you having the slightest suspicion that I disclosed your information to anyone. I'm not being spiteful or resentful, I seriously don't want anyone joining TFC if they have security concerns about me or the organization.
I totally agree with you... and I am as guilty as anyone (up until recently) thinking "someone else will deal with it". On the other hand while the current assault on the 2nd amendment is starting to wake the "sleeping giant", those that are assaulting it are using bullying/underhanded tactics (SWATing, calling CPS on parents, setting up "tip lines" etc.) against 2nd amendment supporters. What boils down to essentially voter intimidation is going on all over the country...
It saddens me that you might think I have concerns about you or your organization, since it is quite the opposite... I have great respect for the work you do/will do. On the other hand, if your are looking for greater uptake in an organization like TFC, the average person that is just waking up to what is going on around them may not know you/your organization (compared to say the NRA which is a household name), so not providing them assurances about what their data privacy can only be detrimental to the cause.