These documents reveal more than 20 years of disturbing, although legal, practices.
Is Anonymous really back? At least that’s what we learned from Numerama. The group of “hacktivists”, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street movement, delivered 269 GB of data that belonged to US law enforcement, to Distributed Denial of Secrets, an organization. The data, called “BlueLeaks”, contains information about police actions.
THE GREAT RETURN OF ANONYMOUS?
As Numerama reveals, the Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), an organization modeled on WikiLeaks, has revealed more than 20 years of information about US law enforcement. These documents span 24 years, from August 1996 to June 19, 2020 – June 19th is an important date in the United States, the “Juneteenth” celebrating the end of slavery, making it all the more symbolic with the anti-racist demonstrations that are swarming across the country.
Emma Best, the founder of DDoSecrets, told Wired magazine that the files were given to her by someone claiming to be from Anonymous. The group confirmed this in a tweet:
“When you have new subscribers, the media is everywhere, but when you publish 270 GB of internal law enforcement data, the media is silent. “As we told you several weeks ago, Anonymous has already gotten a lot of attention for potential leaks about the Minneapolis police. As the truth of this has yet to be proven, Troy Hunt, a data leak specialist, claims that this hack was a fake, as the data was just a compilation of already compromised data.
The National Fusion Center Association (NFCA), the association of all fusion centers in the United States (fusion centers are responsible for sharing information between law enforcement agencies), has confirmed the authenticity of the leaked documents. The data is believed to have come from Netsential, a web development company, which provides services to the fusion centers, among others.
DISTURBING BUT PERFECTLY LEGAL POLICE PRACTICES
BlueLeaks thus reveals police practices spanning 24 years. Some of the practices revealed there are questionable: we learn in particular that the FBI monitors the social networks of demonstrators participating in the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd and that all messages targeting the police were transmitted to local authorities.
The report also states that police services exchange information about demonstrators, including their clothing and the vehicles they are in, and that they consider them to be threats. Law enforcement authorities are also reported to have traced donations of Bitcoin to protest groups.
Emma Best admits that these documents, which are not classified as defensive, are unlikely to reveal any wrongdoing on the part of the police. She points out, however, that such practices, while perfectly legal, can be disturbing.
DOCUMENTS REVEALING “HIGHLY SENSITIVE INFORMATION”
These documents would also reveal “very sensitive information” about law enforcement agencies, such as information about their bank accounts, phone numbers, email addresses… Emma Best acknowledged that DDoSecrets spent a week going through the documents and retrieved more than 50 GB of sensitive data about crime victims, children, private companies, health institutions, and veterans associations. This data can, therefore, be dangerous if it falls into the hands of criminal organizations, for example.
Source : Numerama