John McCain Campaign Info Left in BlackBerry Phone Sold to Reporter

BlackBerry phones caused John McCain a bit of embarrassment several months ago after one of John McCain's campaign staffers said incorrectly that the Arizona Senator "helped create" them.

Now it seems his former campaign workers can't even figure out how to erase private data on the devices before putting them up for sale.

BlackBerry purchased at an auction of used office equipment from the McCain-Palin campaign turned out to contain cell phone numbers and other information for about 50 people. The data might have gone unnoticed -- except it was Tisha Thompson, a Fox news reporter, who made the purchase.

One of the private numbers was for former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, who told Scientific American magazine the sale of a phone with his data made him "uncomfortable."


Like the hacking of Sarah Palin's e-mail account, this BlackBerry screw-up highlights just one of the important reasons McCain lost his bid for presidency: His campaign's failure utilize technology as well as Barack Obama.

One tech blog even called the race for Obama back in August based on the younger candidate's "digital superiority."

Mobile-phone technology hasn't been very kind to McCain's wife, either. -- Ray Stern


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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern