Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Change.org ordered to turn over IP addresses in GATE petition forgery

By
From page A1 | March 15, 2013 |

Yolo Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire issued a subpoena on Thursday ordering the Internet petition website Change.org to produce the IP address used to create false signatures and comments on a petition in favor of the school district’s Gifted and Talented Education program last month.

Change.org will have about three weeks to produce the information, said attorney Will Portello.

Portello is representing Shelley Dunning, a parent at North Davis Elementary School, who discovered two weeks ago that someone had forged her signature on the pro-GATE petition and added a testimonial that was falsely attributed to her.

In addition to turning over the IP address for the person who created a Change.org account using Dunning’s email address, the subpoena requests the same information for four other individuals who also had signatures forged or comments falsely attributed to them on the petition.

They are among at least nine people who Portello has determined were impersonated on the website. All are parents at North Davis Elementary School, he said.

“It appears (their names and email addresses) were taken out of the North Davis Elementary School directory,” Portello said Thursday.

The GATE petition, created by the recently formed group Davis Excel, is addressed to the Davis school board and says, “We the undersigned are parents, teachers and citizens of Davis who strongly support the current DJUSD self-contained GATE program” and calls for “no significant changes to the (GATE) program without a demonstration that the current program is failing its students.”

The fraudulent signatures and comments were left on the petition on Feb. 2 and Feb. 10, Portello said.

Dunning, however, didn’t learn about the deception until nearly a month later when she received an email inviting her to a GATE-related meeting. A message at the bottom of the email indicated she was receiving the invitation because she had signed the GATE petition.

But Dunning said she had never visited the Change.org site, never signed the petition and never left the comment attributed to her.

She contacted Anupam Chander, a UC Davis law professor who had created the petition, and he removed her comment. By then, Chander had been contacted by several parents who had learned they were the victims of the forgery.

Last month, Chander and others requested the IP address of the person or persons who had forged the signatures and left the fraudulent comments, but Change.org refused to provide them absent a search warrant or subpoena.

And though the subpoena has now been issued, it remains unknown how much useful information ultimately will be produced. If the person who forged the signatures and left the comments used an anonymizing program to conceal his or her identity, that would leave Dunning and the others without much recourse.

If, however, the IP address is undisguised, Portello will seek another subpoena, this one to the Internet service provider who controls the address and can identify the account holder.

At that point, Dunning and the others would have in hand the name of the person responsible.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

.

News

UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

 
Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Yoga and chanting workshop planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

 
Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Day of the Dead folk art class set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Flea Market planned Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Weir honored, a year early

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

For a good cause

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

 
Americans, internationals make connections

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Project Linus seeks donations

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

The magic is long gone

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Rights beget responsibilities

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Water returns to its source

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A solution to the drought

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Experience nature’s treasures

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Subs have other concerns

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

What’s next with Ebola?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
More theories on the abstention

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks suffer from road woes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Features

.

Arts

‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Calling all artists for upcoming show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

 
Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Ann Foley Scheuring

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Lewis Melvin Dudman

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B3