Emails, Trey Blocker, candidate for Texas agriculture commissioner, Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, 2018

On Jan 26, 2018, at 12:07 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) wrote:

Trey:

 

Good afternoon. I write seeking elaboration from you for a fact-check of your recent claim that the Texas Department of Agriculture in 2017 didn’t notify over 700 Texas students about a computer hack harvesting personal information including social security numbers until 32 days after the breach.

 

I also am asking TDA about information pertaining to the claim.

 

I’d be happy to hear from you by phone or email. We count on attributable on-the-record information for our stories.

 

Thanks,

 

g.

 

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W. Gardner Selby

Reporter / News

Austin American-Statesman

PolitiFact Texas

2:16 p.m.

Check out this article:

http://www.dentonrc.com/news/news/2017/12/07/five-denton-county-schools-impacted-state-agency-data-breach

On Jan 26, 2018, at 2:31 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) wrote:

Will do. If you relied on anything more than this story, fire at me?

G.

2:33 p.m.

All of the articles I read said the same thing.

From: Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)

Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 4:43 PM

Subject: Following up for fact-check

 

To recap, we’re reviewing the accuracy of your claim that TDA under Miller didn’t notify over 700 Texas students about a computer hack releasing critical personal information including social security numbers until 32 days after the breach.

 

We’ve now reviewed news accounts and heard back from the TDA and others. Agency spokesman Mark Loeffler points out that the notices went out less than 32 days after the malware incident. He also says no personal information appears to have been harvested from the laptop though a forensic review continues. The notice to districts, he said, wasn’t required but was made out of an abundance of caution.

 

Anything else figure into your conclusion? We hope to complete our review Wednesday.

 

Thanks,

 

g.

 

Want our fact checks first? Follow us on Twitter.

W. Gardner Selby

Reporter / News

Austin American-Statesman

PolitiFact Texas

5:01 p.m.

Feb. 1, 2018

If you use the dates in the Denton Record Chronicle article, it’s about 32 days.

 

Regardless, they should have been informed ASAP whether it was required by law or not.

That is the responsible thing to do given the potential harm that could come to these students and their families.

 

On a more general note, this is another good example of a program that could more efficiently and effectively run by a different department, namely the Health & Human Services Commission.

It’s time for the Department of Agriculture to focus on Agriculture.

 

Trey