Yesterday, we reported that a tipster claimed to have hacked in to Mitt Romney‘s Hotmail account. Upon Gawker’s publication of the tip, authorities promptly began investigating the matter. Today, again via Gawker, the tipster has another message: he or she is very, very sorry.
The tipster said that after going through the email account, “I started to feel very guilty about what I had done. I then sent an email to one person in the contact list explaining and apologizing for what had happened and adding that I was going to try to close both accounts so that no one else could get in.” Later, he or she added, “Lastly I would like it to be known that I regret ever doing this and would like to apologize to Mr Romney.”
Evidently filled with regret, the tipster asked that Gawker forward the apologies to any law enforcement the site might be in contact with, as well as to the Romney campaign, if possible. This is the tipster’s message to Romney:
To Mitt Romney,
The time between when I first saw the email address in the WSJ and my first sending in the tip about my hacking was only a half hour at most. During this time I never stopped to consider what it was I was doing, it was only after I had got in to your account, after I sent my tip that I really started to consider what I had just done. While I was in I had thought about the tip I had sent in, about my use of the word ‘hack,’ my mind drifted to the British phone hacking scandal which I have been following closely. It was then I was hit with a terrible revelation, what I had done was no different then the actions of the tabloid journalists that had horrified me so.
So I tried to fix what I had done as best I could. There was no way for me to undo the fact I had illegally broken into your private accounts but I could stop the spread of the breech. I shutdown the Dropbox account and deleted all the files that I had downloaded and then, when I found myself unable to shutdown the email I changed the password and and security question so that no one else could get in the way I had. Finally I have not and will not tell anyone what I have seen.
But none of this changes what I’ve done. I engaged in an egregious violation of another persons privacy, a violation made all the worse by way of your being a public figure who has so little privacy to begin with, a figure for whom what privacy can be found is doubtless a valuable gift. A gift I took away. For this I am sorry. When I hacked in it struck me as funny at first, but now… I have never felt as bad about something I have done as I feel right now.
I don’t know if you’ll take anything from this message. I wouldn’t blame you for one second if you don’t. I just want you to know how I’ve been feeling about this.
A hearty helping of remorse and a rather anticlimactic ending to this saga.
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