The 'New' Gawker Brags It Has Senator Krysten Sinema's Social Security Number

(AP Photo/Steve Nesius, Pool, File)

Last July, the “new” Gawker website went live promising more salacious reporting, more unconfirmed rumors, and more mean-spirited writing. In this, they have tried earnestly to deliver. After obtaining the divorce records of Arizona’s rebel Democrat Senator Krysten Sinema, a quirk in the law allowed Gawker access to Sinema’s Social Security number.


They bragged on Tuesday that they had the number but couldn’t legally do anything with it. However, they gave anyone who was interested in obtaining it detailed instructions on how they got it. The implication was that if you wanted to break the law by revealing Sinema’s most personal information, you were welcome to do so.

The “original” Gawker — part of Nick Denton’s digital media empire — bit the dust in 2016 after bankrupting itself by publishing a Hulk Hogan sex tape and being sued by Hogan. The Gawker people tried again two years later but never quite got the project off the ground.

Now comes the ‘new” Gawker — with an all-female staff (“and George”). And they’re just as low, just as rotten, and just as nauseating as the old Gawker.

Because the documents were filed in 1999, they were not subject to the county’s current secure system for logging and storing confidential personal information. And because of Arizona’s public records regulations — which make legal documents much more accessible than those in the supposedly liberal states of say, California or New York — the clerk’s office said they were under no obligation to redact that information without a court order. On the whole, this is pretty good for transparency and what remains of the free press. The fallout is that anyone modestly familiar with navigating legal databases can obtain a United States senator’s social security number for $11 in processing fees.


Gawker pointed out what one can do if one get their hands on a Social Security Number.

You can do a lot with a social security number. Unfortunately, if the number in question isn’t yours, most of what you can do with it is a felony. For example, we were hoping to run a credit report on Sinema. But that seems to be illegal if you are not, per Legal Beagle, “a business or individual qualifying a person for a job, insurance, government benefits or tenancy.” (One might argue that any of Sinema’s voting constituents are technically “qualifying [her] for a job,” but none of us is registered to vote in Arizona). We also considered wiring a deposit of $0.69 into her bank account. No theft there. It’s more like a campaign donation and every dollar counts. But the legalities seemed iffy, and none of the lawyers Gawker contacted for comment were interested in indulging our largely stupid game.

The only purpose of bragging about possessing Sinema’s Social Security number is to threaten her. “Nice, private Social Security number ya got there, Senator. Be a shame if it became public.” The liberal girls at Gawker (they aren’t mature enough to be referred to as “women”) know how the game is played and are playing it for keeps.


Meanwhile, it’s nice to have Gawker back to kick around some more.


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