Psymposia MAPS Email Story Update – “MAPS Canada’s Executive Director, Scott Bernstein, threatens to doxx anonymous source over email privacy breach”

Good on them for calling it out

MAPS Canada’s Executive Director, Scott Bernstein, threatens to doxx anonymous source over email privacy breach

Read the original article: MAPS Canada’s Data Breach Foreshadows Corporadelic Future

UPDATED 10/29/21: Following Psymposia’s reporting on a recent MAPS Canada data privacy breach, Executive Director Scott Bernstein has threatened to doxx an anonymous source that reached out to Psymposia.

During Psymposia’s reporting on this data privacy breach — committed by the organization’s former Executive Director, Mark Haden — we received a tip from a concerned individual who wished to remain anonymous.

This individual shared a number of correspondences between themselves and Haden which contradicted many of Haden’s public statements.

The individual also shared emails between themselves and current MAPS Canada Executive Director, Scott Bernstein, which seemed to downplay Haden’s role in the privacy breach and hint at a revised information sharing policy at MAPS Canada.

When Psymposia reached out for comments about potential revisions to MAPS Canada’s sharing policy, Bernstein told Psymposia he had no comment, and proceeded to reach out to the anonymous source to express disappointment in their sharing of correspondence with journalists at Psymposia.

Bernstein implied that anonymously sharing emails from the Executive Director of a nonprofit with journalists was equivalent to MAPS Canada’s privacy breach, in which the former Executive Director took people’s personal information from one organization to another.

Following the publishing of Psymposia’s story, the anonymous source reached out again, noting that Bernstein has threatened to doxx them.

“I’m considering sharing the fact with the public that it was you who was the “third party” and that you shared these personal emails with a reporter. Some important information that was missing from the story,” Bernstein wrote.

Psymposia takes the privacy and anonymity of sources very seriously when confidentiality is requested, and we received the tip from a source who wished to remain anonymous. Bernstein’s assertion that important information is missing is untrue. Revealing the identity of the source does not alter the information he freely shared with them.

While reporting on the breach, Psymposia reached out to Bernstein for additional comment. He stated, “Great to hear from you. I’d be happy to comment. Here’s my comment: ‘MAPS Canada does not comment on any policies that are not finalized or any confidential communications between individuals.’” Psymposia also followed up with Bernstein after learning that he reached back out to the source and told them, “I find it ironic that people so concerned about ‘ethics’ are willing to breach ethics to achieve their desired end result. I [sic] any case, I don’t feel the need to share any further information with you in the future.”

Psymposia offered Bernstein a space to elaborate on his perceived breach of ethics but never received a response.

In discussing Bernstein’s attempted intimidation with Psymposia, the source said, “Thanks for calling it what it is (doxxing), that helped me understand my reaction and feel a little less crazy. A friend of mine got doxxed by a neo-Nazi group a long time ago and it was really scary. He left town and basically disappeared for a good long while after that.”

Doxxing is an aggressive tactic linked to real-world violence by reactionary groups. Psymposia takes threats towards its sources seriously and does everything in its power to protect and advocate for those sources. MAPS Canada’s work involves caring for highly traumatized populations who have been given drugs that make them even more vulnerable. This type of intimidation is unacceptable and causes real harm.

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