The Year-Long Saga Of How It Is My Fault That Devin Strecker Was Forced By Kerry Morrison’s Scorched-Earth Anti-CPRA Policies To Tell Lisa Schechter That The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Did Not Use Dropbox Even Though Everyone Else In The Entire Freaking Universe Uses It

It is all my fault that Devin Strecker is no longer allowed to use Dropbox at work!
Oh dear friends, what a long story I have to tell you this afternoon! And I hope it will repay (or more than) your attention.1 It’s all about how Kerry Morrison is willing to make her job and the jobs of her minions progressively more impossible for absolutely no better reason than to thwart my research. I’ve written about various stages in this process before, and here’s a brief timeline:

  • March 2016 — Kerry Morrison amends HPOA document retention policy to require destruction of emails after 90 days unless intentionally kept, unilaterally, retroactively, and illegally redefines emails as not subject to CPRA.
  • June 2016 — Kerry Morrison rewrites contract with Andrews International so that A/I work product is no longer the property of the HPOA and therefore, she wrongly thinks, is no longer subject to CPRA.

And I just recently acquired an October 2016 email from Devin Strecker to Lisa Schechter of the Media District BID2 which shows yet another dimension of this phenomenon: Devin Strecker has to tell Lisa Schechter that he is not allowed to click on a link because the HPOA does not use freaking Dropbox.

A demonstration of the HPOA’s forthcoming records retention policy: everything that can’t be stored in human memory will be recorded in the form of knotted strings, presently unreadable by anyone on earth. Take *that*, CPRA users!
Of course, he is not allowed to use Dropbox because of yet another policy instituted by Kerry Morrison to thwart my inquiries, although it’s really not clear what effect this is supposed to have.3 If this trend continues, she will eventually have all HPOA communication carried out by trained mnemonists who will memorize her messages and recite them in person to the recipients to avoid creating disclosable records. If data must be recorded in tangible form she will only record it by quipu, using the original Inca encoding methods which, conveniently, no one alive today is able to understand. The history of this no-Dropbox policy commences in November 2015, and you can read all about it after the break in excruciating detail, amply documented.

When I first started requesting the BID Patrol’s arrest reports, daily logs, and photographs4 the yields began to be measured in gigabytes. Kerry Morrison wanted to “download”5 the data to CDs to hand it over to me. I don’t own a computer with an optical drive, so I offered to buy USB drives for her. She agreed, but at some point the procedure began to feel expensive and stupid to me. Now on to the timeline:

  • November 23, 2015 — I first suggest to Kerry Morrison that she transfer large collections of files to me via Dropbox.
  • December 12, 2015 — Kerry Morrison ignores, and not for the first time, my suggestion that she use Dropbox.
  • December 23, 2015 — Kerry Morrison continues to ignore Dropbox and I ask her outright why this is.
  • January 5, 2016 — Kerry Morrison finally acknowledges my Dropbox questions, stating “I am not familiar with the Drop Box technology.”
  • January 5, 2016 — Silly me, I thought she was being serious, so I tried to explain what Dropbox is used for.
  • February 9, 2016 — In which I think Kerry Morrison might be comforted or encouraged with respect to Dropbox if she knew that her friend and co-conspirator Blair Besten of the Historic Core BID uses it. This turns out to be wrong.
  • February 12, 2016 — In response to a CPRA request to the City of LA I receive this email from May 2015 in which Matthew Severson, Operations Coordinator of Kerry Morrison’s two HPOA BIDs, sends a Dropbox link to various people in the LA City government, proving that Kerry Morrison’s claim to not be “familiar with the Drop Box technology” was disingenuous at best, a point to which I called her attention in this email, sent that same day.
  • March 1, 2016 — In which Kerry Morrison continues not to acknowledge even the existence of Dropbox and I keep asking her about it.
  • March 7, 2016 — In response to a CPRA request to the City of LA I receive this email from October 2015 in which Devin Strecker, HPOA Communications Maven, sends a Dropbox link to about a zillion people, proving yet again that that Kerry Morrison’s claim to not be “familiar with the Drop Box technology” was disingenuous at best, a point to which I called her attention in this email, sent that same day.
  • March 11, 2016 — Without any formal acknowledgement, Matthew Severson starts using Dropbox to send me huge quantities of files. This occurred on:
    1. March 11, 2016
    2. March 28, 2016
    3. April 14, 2016
    4. April 22, 2016
    5. May 3, 2016
  • May 13, 2016 — Now Kerry Morrison is asking me to provide USB flash media again, as if the whole Dropbox interlude had never happened. I remind her that that was a pre-Dropbox phenomenon and that, I’d thought, we’d moved beyond that.
  • May 13, 2016 — Kerry Morrison: “We are no longer using DropBox in this office.” — That settles that, does it not?
  • May 13, 2016 — In which I make an argument based on CPRA that if Kerry Morrison isn’t going to use Dropbox she ought to pay for storage media herself. She ignored me.
  • May 16, 2016 — In which I suggest some Dropbox alternatives to Matthew Severson. He also ignored me.

And that’s the story, friends! To this day, the HPOA does not use Dropbox. Even as late as October 2016 they were making their work more difficult, not only for themselves, but for their BID partners like Lisa Schechter. And why? So that I have to pay for freaking flash drives? It’s a war of attrition out there.

P.S. I’m completely ignoring the fact that Kerry Morrison evidently convinced Suzanne Holley of the Downtown Center BID not to use Dropbox also. She told me with a straight face that using Dropbox to transfer 700 MB to me would tie up the DCBID’s computing resources to an unacceptable degree. Seven hundred freaking megabytes. About 10 minutes of HD Netflix. It’s like they’ll say anything, whether it makes sense or not, since my only recourse under CPRA is to sue them and the City will not enforce the clause in their contracts that requires them to comply with CPRA. I suppose we’ll see how that all works out for them!

Image of Devin Strecker is a public record and I got it by scraping Quipu image is via Wikimedia and they claim it is in the public domain.

  1. Or maybe it’s too freaking technical and no one cares but me. But that’s the TL;DR of this blog’s editorial policy!
  2. Which I wrote about briefly this morning.
  3. Does this strike you as unlikely? Paranoia on my part, perhaps? There’s extensive documentary evidence coming up!
  4. See here for links to arrest reports and logs and here for links to images.
  5. Her term for writing data to storage media. She also says “upload,” which is less wrong in some highly technical sense than “download,” but still wrong. I know it’s inconsequential and that I should be more mature, but nevertheless I can’t help mocking her for this weird solecism.

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