The city of Fullerton, California, has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit it brought against two bloggers it accused of hacking the city’s Dropbox account.
Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee frequently made public record requests in the course of covering city government for a local blog, Friends for Fullerton’s Future. The city used Dropbox to fulfill large file requests, and in response to a June 6, 2019, request for records related to police misconduct, Ferguson and Curlee were sent a link to a Dropbox folder containing a password-protected zip file.
But a city employee also sent them a link to a more general “Outbox” shared folder that contained potential records request documents that had not yet been reviewed by the city attorney. The folder wasn’t password protected or access restricted. At the time, there were 19 zip files in the outbox, five of which were not password protected.