Eightmaps.com which matshes up Google Maps and Proposition 8 Donors
FOR the backers of Proposition 8, the state ballot measure to stop single-sex couples from marrying in California, victory has been soured by the ugly specter of intimidation.
Some donors to groups supporting the measure have received death threats and envelopes containing a powdery white substance, and their businesses have been boycotted.
The targets of this harassment blame a controversial and provocative Web site, eightmaps.com.
The site takes the names and ZIP codes of people who donated to the ballot measure â€” information that California collects and makes public under state campaign finance disclosure laws â€” and overlays the data on a Google map.
Visitors can see markers indicating a contributorâ€™s name, approximate location, amount donated and, if the donor listed it, employer. That is often enough information for interested parties to find the rest â€” like an e-mail or home address. The identity of the siteâ€™s creators, meanwhile, is unknown; they have maintained their anonymity.
Eightmaps.com is the latest, most striking example of how information collected through disclosure laws intended to increase the transparency of the political process, magnified by the powerful lens of the Web, may be undermining the same democratic values that the regulations were to promote.
Will such internet activity chill free speech and discourge voters from either donating to political causes/campaigns or donating their time/resources (which is reportable if worth more than $100)?
The California and federal courts will eventually decide the proper balance between campaign disclosure laws and the chilling of political activity/speech.
In the meantime, donors to Proposition 8 will endure public ridicule/scorn and ugly repercussions from the radical homosexual pro-gay marriage cabal as they gear up for another election in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8.