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Rep. Cleaver Says Recent Hack Shows How Internet Enables 'Ugly' Behavior

Luke X. Martin
KCUR 89.3 file photo

Earlier this month, a hacker published U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s personal cell phone number and home address, spurring an onslaught of racist phone calls and e-mails directed at the Missouri politician.

“With the good sometimes comes ugly and to be sure, the internet offers people an opportunity to do anonymous ugly things,” Cleaver told host Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up To Date

He says it’s not the first time his personal information has been shared. 

“It doesn’t make you feel good and it frightens my children.”

Cleaver said Capitol police flew in and checked his house for safety. He says the FBI is involved in the search for the hacker, who also published personal information of other U.S. House Democrats and staffers.

Fellow congressman Kevin Yoder, a Republican, told Kraske that everyone should be speaking about recent cyber attacks, which have been mostly directed at Democrats. 

“We put ourselves out there when we run for office, but Emanuel or any colleague shouldn't have to be in a situation where they fear for who's going to ring their doorbell or call their personal phone," Yoder said. 

He says this could just as easily happen to Republicans.

"They may have [already hacked Republicans], they may be waiting for an opportune time to release that," Yoder said.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter for KCUR. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig

In addition to being KCUR's afternoon newscaster, Lisa Rodriguez covers city hall and other news around Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.