Blogger recovers personal information from LR Parks and Rec Department

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- “For them not to take that precaution just to quickly hand this over it makes you wonder have they done this with other people, are there other documents that are out there . Is this a practice they use and the apparent lack of concern that they had when I made them aware of this. I was really surprised about that,” Russ Racop said.

Thousands of documents and personal information recovered on a internal hard drive from the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department.

It happened Friday after a blogger obtained video through the Freedom of Information Act.

Russ Racop reached out to the City of Little Rock, but says they haven’t said anything.

Racop is known around the for his Bad Government in Arkansas and Bad City of Little Rock Blog.

He requested public information and got it on the hard drive.

He says he didn’t expect to get people’s private information including social security numbers, bank routing numbers, emails, phone numbers and addresses.

For years, Russ Racop has dished out information, reports and video about the City of Little Rock and Little Rock Police Department.

What I found was being an activist, getting out with information and causes that there wasn’t a lot of information,” Racop said.

On Friday, Racop obtained information from the Parks and Recreation Department through the Freedom of Information Act.

He was looking for surveillance video. The city gave him a hard drive with the information on it. Racop said they told him to keep it.

“I though that they wanted me to transfer this off the drive to my laptop,” Racop said.

When he got home he discovered more than the video he requested. He says he ran a free recovery software program on the drive.

“Much to my surprise I found over 4,000 files,” Racop said.

He says it included everything from PDF’s, Zip and Excel files, to images and word documents.

“All these documents were in there and it had the person’s name, address and social security number and that was a concern,” Racop said.

Racop said he called city officials over the weekend.

“I expected to maybe get a call from the City Attorney saying Russ would you mind bringing that back or something like that or delete those files nothing,” Racop said.

Racop says he doesn’t know why the drive was not wiped correctly but he could have ended up in the wrong person’s hand.

“A treasure trove is somebody was a scammer or someone that had ill intent to use this information,” Racop said.

Racop says he’s going to contact the people who’s information was on the drive and send them a copy.

He says he suspect’s the City of Little Rock didn’t want the hard drive back because they’re afraid it might have malware that may compromise the system.

The City of Little Rock released this statement,

The City of Little Rock IT Department is working with the Parks Department to determine the scope of the potential data breach. It has been reported that software was used to recover deleted files from the device in question. Once staff has determined the extent of the compromise, those impacted will be notified and a course of action will be determined.

L. Lamor Williams
Communications & Marketing Manager
City of Little Rock

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