Tinpot Tyrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio Invades YOUR Internet Privacy

by Hesperado on October 19, 2007

in 1389 (blog admin), Arizona, censorship, corruption, crime, culture wars, immigration, KLA/UCK, media, privacy, tyranny

(Updated 10/22/2007) Your opinion in the blogosphere makes a difference!


Your time and effort is well spent when you write or blog to raise public awareness about threats to our First Amendment rights, or when you write, call, or email to protest against infringements on these rights.

“But I’m not a prisoner and I’ve never been to Maricopa County!”

Doesn’t matter! If you’ve visited Phoenix New Times Online, your browsing history has been swept up into a nasty local investigation that has nothing whatsoever to do with you. Everything in the server logs pertaining to your visit is up for grabs.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio in one of his jails (Jeffrey Coffman/ABC News)

Reason Online: Sheriff Joe Arpaio Wants to Know What Websites You’ve Visited

If, that is, you’ve ever read the Phoenix New Times online. The alternative weekly has run several articles over the years critical of the so-called “toughest sheriff in America.” But when an investigative piece on a series of questionable Arpaio real estate transactions included the sheriff’s home address (possibly violating state law), Arpaio launched an incredibly broad, wide-reaching investigation that looks an awfully lot like retaliation.

East Valley Tribune: New Times owners arrested by deputies

Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, the executive editor and CEO, respectively, of Village Voice Media, were arrested at their homes on suspicion of violating grand jury secrecy, said sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla.

Both were released from custody early this morning. Lacey posted a $500 bond, according to New Times.

The two, who together started New Times in 1970, were the authors of Thursday’s cover story revealing that a special prosecutor, retained by the county attorney’s office, had issued subpoenas to them and other staffers in a criminal case against the paper. The case stems from the paper publishing Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s home address more than three years ago.

. . .

Especially disturbing, Lacey and Larkin wrote, is that one subpoena asks for online profiles of anyone who read four specific articles about Arpaio and profiles of anyone who visited the paper’s Web site since Jan. 1, 2004. The county officials also want to track what Web users did while on the site, the story says.

NYT: Media Executives Arrested in Phoenix

Michael Lacey, the executive editor, and Jim Larkin, chief executive, were arrested at their homes after they wrote a story that revealed that the Village Voice Media company, its executives, its reporters and even the names of the readers of its website had been subpoenaed by a special prosecutor. The special prosecutor had been appointed to look into allegations that the newspaper had violated the law in publishing the home address of Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s home address on its website more than three years ago.

The weekly and its leadership has been in a long running battle with Mr. Arpaio, after the weekly published a series of stories about his real estate dealings.

How did Arpaio become entrenched in power?

He’s no hero!

Too many conservatives admire Arpaio from afar, thinking he has the answer to problems of crime and social disorder.

It’s true that there are some very real problems in Maricopa County, especially in regard to illegal immigrants, and some people are content with the fact that Arpaio seems to be addressing those problems and are unwilling to look any further.

Nonetheless, riding roughshod over due process of law, common decency, and everyone’s privacy is never the way to go. Think about it: If you enter Arpaio’s jurisdiction and you get picked up for something you didn’t do, especially if you are physically fragile, you’re out of luck. Don’t think it can’t happen to you!

To top it off, Arpaio has such an effective PR campaign going that you’ll be unlikely to get anybody’s sympathy or help. He has played on public anger at rampant crime to make a seeming virtue of his smug, self-righteous, and cruel behavior. Even so, these tyrannies don’t last forever. When the bovine effluent from Arpaio’s reign of terror finally reaches the rotary ventilation enhancement device, Maricopa County will become known as an object of derision and a place to avoid.

Commenter blames federalism:

Mr. Nice Guy | October 19, 2007, 10:46am | #812184

I hope the folks who always moan about the federal government is always evil and federalism is always da bomb read this. Local government can be very tyrannical, and often it’ only the feds who can set these kind of tin-badge tyrants straight.

1389’s response:

1389 | October 19, 2007, 4:12pm | #812774

Mr. Nice Guy:

You are correct in pointing out that state and local authorities can become tinpot tyrants too. However, I take issue with your assertion that the feds can set them straight. That doesn’t seem to be happening! It’s the job of the local citizenry to do that! In other words, it all comes down to YOU!


What to do?

Smiley running Vote with your feet and boycott the place! If you live or have a business in Maricopa County, Arizona. move out! For everyone else, don’t visit!

Arpaio the Voyeur – So concerned about his OWN privacy! (Updated 10/20/07)

Arpaio loses long battle over jailcam

Dennis Wagner
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 12, 2006 12:00 AM

Maricopa County inmates have won a settlement with Sheriff Joe Arpaio over his live Internet broadcasts that showed prisoners being booked, photographed and, in some cases, using a toilet at the county jail.

The Sheriff’s Office agreed Monday to pay the legal fees for the inmates, plus $500 in damages to each of the 11 who remain in the case that was filed five years ago in U.S. District Court. Arpaio also agreed to accept the court order blocking the so-called jailcam.

. . .

Donna Hamm, executive director at Middle Ground, said the inmates all were pre-trial detainees, presumed not guilty under the law, subjected to public humiliation, with women prisoners shown partly undressed as they used a toilet.

Technorati : , , , , , , ,
Del.icio.us : , , , , , , ,
Ice Rocket : , , , , , , ,

Powered by Zoundry

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bob riffic October 20, 2007 at 9:08 am

I’m sure Sheriff Joe Arpaio would love a postcard with your comments, be sure to send these to:
12808 N Via Del Sol, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
By the way, isn’t it a lovely neighborhood the good sheriff lives in?

2 theone October 22, 2007 at 5:56 pm

It’s sad, but I think it’s going to be a while before Joe isn’t sheriff. I know he keeps winning elections, but I also know that he wins because there is a large population in Arizona that is over 50. I think that the new generation in Arizona does not generally like him. It’s just all the old farts. But there is something positive in this. In a few years, Joe and all his old fart friends are going to die of old age. That is when things will finally be able to change for the better, for the new, for the younger people. Joe sucks, but it might be that only nature can remove him from office–through his death from old age. Thank God he doesn’t have much time left nor the old farts who back him up. May nature do what the young minority in Arizona can’t. May nature clean itself from the old and make way for the new.

3 Misha2 October 25, 2007 at 9:41 pm

The more I have read about this man the more fearful I am about even coming near the county. How many more people are going to die or become permenantly maimed by incarceration in his jails? Why won’t he report where all the money is and where it has gone in his food program. (The one where he buys crap for his charges that is not eadible and then sells them decent food.) Where is that money and why won’t he allow his books to be audited? How did a civil servant get millions in cash to buy property?

4 Gina May 5, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Wish he’d run for president…I’d vote for him!!

5 Gina May 5, 2008 at 4:12 pm


6 wms March 21, 2009 at 9:01 am

HEY ¡¡ the family of this man comes from INMIGRANTS ¡

7 JOE MACKAY February 24, 2010 at 3:11 am


Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: