07/01 OT: It's International Joke Day as well as Devotion to Duty Day.
It's also Postal Workers Day, Postage Stamp Day and Zip Code, but I'm not going to be talking about any of that, entertaining though it might be. Instead I'm going to talk about DDoSecrets and their BlueLeaks data dump.
My oh my. Just the other day, in magiamma's June 25th edition of Hot Air, I opined, among other things to the effect that:
Dunno how to change the cops, they have whole layers of protection for their behavior, but sunlight could be an answer. Wider distribution (how?) of films of wrongdoing, taking more films of wrong and or questionable actions and putting them out there, but the real answer lies in total daylight which is tantamount to filming every action of every cop every hour of day and putting it out there, which seems like a preposterous undertaking and sort of inverse big brotherism, but what else is there that'll really get things going.
So today I learn of a massive data dump that just happens to be cop data.
An embattled group of leakers picks up the WikiLeaks mantle
DDoSecrets was banned from Twitter after releasing hacked law enforcement files.
The dump was referred to as BlueLeaks and appears to be a glorious step in the right direction. From the article:
Our role is to archive and publish leaked and hacked data of potential public interest," writes the group's cofounder, Emma Best, a longtime transparency activist, in a text message interview with WIRED. "We want to inspire people to come forward, and release accurate information regardless of its source."
Late last week, the group unleashed its most high-profile leak yet: BlueLeaks, a 269-gigabyte collection of more than a million police files provided to DDoSecrets by a source aligned with the hacktivist group Anonymous, spanning emails, audio files, and interagency memos largely pulled from law enforcement "fusion centers," which serve as intelligence-sharing hubs.
With BlueLeaks, however, DDoSecrets has, for the first time, published a major leak of files from US organizations, raising the stakes. Activists and journalists combing through the files immediately found evidence that the FBI had monitored the social accounts of protesters on behalf of local law enforcement and tracked bitcoin donations to protest groups. The leak also includes personally identifiable information about police officers and even banking details—though Best says BlueLeaks tried to redact all identifiable victim information—which has fueled controversy around the publication and no doubt contributed to the group's Twitter ban. (Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.) "The public has an interest in the identities of public servants," Best writes.
It doesn't seem like this got much ink, surprise, surprise, beyond a few articles based on analyses of some of the data, such as this intercept article that Joe Shikspack referenced and linked in his evening blues on Monday June 29 (https://caucus99percent.com/content/evening-blues-6-29-20) LAW ENFORCEMENT SCOURED PROTESTER COMMUNICATIONS AND EXAGGERATED THREATS TO MINNEAPOLIS COPS, LEAKED DOCUMENTS SHOW (https://theintercept.com/2020/06/26/blueleaks-minneapolis-police-protest... )
Of course, twitter blocked them and any references to them, and retroactively to boot. In other push back, articles such as this one BlueLeaks is Huge FAIL for Anonymous and DDoSecrets in Security Boulevard https://securityboulevard.com/2020/06/blueleaks-is-huge-fail-for-anonymo....
I find it hilarious for its blatant willful blindness to context. Here is some of the included handwringing:
I’m all for exposing the misconduct of our police, but unfortunately, most of the really sensitive data is likely to belong to suspects and victims. I’m talking full names, SSNs, DL#s, license plates, home/work addresses, and financial information; not to mention incident reports which may detail what could be the worst days in many of their lives.
This leak will likely have disastrous effects for many innocent people, including people charged with crimes who later were acquitted. … Furthermore, it will jeopardize legally protected people, like witnesses, who helped investigators convict dangerous criminals.
Hopefully the police, who risk their lives everyday, and their families, who’s anxiety and worry about the danger [they] are exposed to everyday … do not have to worry about doxxing and being targeted by … criminals and terrorist and thugs from … hate groups.
We're looking at fusion centers, huge repositories of mountains of information, often criminally obtained and/or retained, often false and/or unverified, wild fantasies such as FBI dossing the Juggalos and the totally fictitious malicious FBI invented "Black Identity Extremists", and suspected gangs (3 or more latinos sharing a car) as well, no doubt as suspected Pizza Pederast Networks; thousands of bits of information, collected with no legal or public purpose, endless hours of traffic cams, license plate readers, surveillance camera footage on innumerable anti-war, anti-racism, womens' rights, and other activists, real and/or suspected, scraping every bit of information out there on everybody who is arguably to the left of Mussolini, innumerable rousts and Terry stops, all the calls from all the Karens and all the rousts of most of the victims of those calls, and now, thanks to Amazon, all that ring camera footage too, and on and on and on and all kept unto perpetuity for the purpose of sharing. There's even a database for tracking Roma people FFS.
Sharing with whom, you may ask? Every cop, sheriff, deputy, spook, investigator, member of any "law enforcement" agency or arm, of which there is pretty much at least one per every bureau or agency, from HUD to Treasury to FEMA, any and all "intelligence officers"; almost certainly including, whether legally or not, all such persons affiliated with Interpol, each and every NATO ally and favored national dictators from Bolsanario to wannabees like Guaido. Who doesn't have access? Normal people. Why not? Some things, some acts, behaviors, ideas, prejudices, plots and schemes, idiocy and illogic cannot stand the light of day, that's why. The Feebs phony up a FISA warrant on some dissident and find some weed, so they tip of the locals who then invent some probable cause, likely a sekret informant to justify a no-knock so they can go find the weed in a midnight raid and maybe luck into a resisting charge too because midnight no-knock. Of course they don't make that shit public, it's criminal from top to bottom, as are all the cases of find one of the usual suspects that we can fit for this solutions.
And I would be remiss not to note that there is real bona-fide crime fighting there too, especially in "busted windows" cities. And police reports, tons of them, stolen cars, stolen property, muggings, assaults, A break in, robbery, theft, or whatever will generate queries to all the usual informants, checking, cameras, looking for prints, and if it is a big enough or sufficiently high profile case, all that meticulous evidence search you see on TV, maybe, but, more likely,sloppy bad guys who leave prints all over, informants and and more informants. Otherwise, the standard flyer and news release "police are looking for anybody who knows anything about ...". The cameras can be used legitimately, with people looking at tons of pictures of possible candidates or illegitimately with
phrenology facial misrecognition fraudware. There are well marked forensics team vans and such. See them very often? Even where you know crimes have occurred and been reported? Not so much. "Probably some addict, we'll dust for prints, but don't get your hopes up, there's been a lot of this lately, we'll be in touch if we learn anything, bye."
So. "Sensitive date belonging to victims and suspects" stored forever, in clear, to be shared with everybody and their brother except the general public. Why? Most crimes have a statute of limitations. Most of them involve property that is not that unique and well documented that it can/will someday be found at a garage sale and returned. DDoSecrets should be meticulous about redacting stuff, but really, probably 80% of the stuff there shouldn't be there and especially not in clear.
"People charged who were acquitted" and "witnesses", as above why, and why in clear, especially the witnesses. You know that the identity of active paid informants will be protected by code names and such, why aren't real bona-fide witnesses? Why especially those acquitted, especially in cases where somebody else was found guilty. Why are they even in there except in cases where the case against the person finally convicted was flimsy bullshit and known to be such?
The police and agencies and intel types don't give a shit about any of those innocents or any risk to them, if they did this shit would be encrypted. None of those people, beyond paid informants, matter to them at all, which is why they took no efforts to protect them. So, sure, DDoSecrets should've done some top notch redacting, where appropriate and as appropriate, but maybe revealing the fact that the great uber policing, intelligence, surveillance-security state big brother cabal is no more concerned with your safety and privacy than maybe facebook plus zoom plus tik-tok and all of the rest of the net and web is important. Maybe it is good to know just what facts, lies, misinformation and baseless suspicions and rumors about you or your neighbor the cabal is spreading and sharing among themselves, maybe thereby putting you at worse risk than the simple fact that half the internet already knows your address, ssn, high school and all that.
The only real concern is regarding doxxing of police. In reality, it probably isn't that hard to find out all about regular everyday police, though probably not not nearly so easy for the various agency and intel types. Actually, the identities of police are supposed to be public, that's why they have badges, which they generally actully wear and don't tape over or otherwise conceal or cover up when on routine duty. The thing is that more and more the badges are removed, taped over or concealed. More and more significant numbers feel that they must conceal their identity,, perhaps because they know the their planned behavior, or their behavior of the moment, is not acceptable, maybe even sufficiently so to lead to a reprimand or worse, or even an indictment. That's what this is really all about.
Both the obsessive collection and retention of all the information they can get their hands on about absolutely everybody, and the determination that their identities, behavior, plans, discussions, opinions and goals must be kept top, top sekret probably have the same cause. There have always been some who have seen the bulk of the populace, excluding certain ultra-right wing segments, as an enemies or potential enemies who needed to be controlled or at least controllable. It really seems as if that view has become epidemic. Hence the data collection on anybody and everybody absolutely without any cause, reason or justification. License plate readers are just a prelude, it they could radio tag every vehicle they would, and to the extent that they can use one's phone to do so, they not only will, but currently quite often are. Hence the militarization and the training that emphasizes their safety and well being but not ours and which emphasizes how to take us down and/or take us out and not how to help or assist us, the best head shots, choke holds, fist strikes and the best target zones to seriously harm and maybe kill somebody with "non-lethal" weapons. How best to disable a peaceful protester, bystander, or just Joe Anybody in line at the grocery store or waiting for the bus or crossing the street. And, of course they wish to keep all of that sekret. All of the desires, dreams, fantasies and plans for using those skills, tools and equipment against we the
people enemy really needs to be kept quiet for a bit longer as no doubt do the identities of all those harboring those ideas dreams and goals. This could be wrong, it could all be a coincidence, but all the same, there is always a far greater threat to society and civilization from secrecy than from information. Secrecy never serves good ends. Secrecy is itself a hallmark of a war or plans to start one, and never of peace; one must keep one's plans, strategy, tactical preferences, objectives and tables of organization and equipment from the enemy.
Daylight and openness are really necessary conditions to the existence of any remotely democratic or republican form of government. If the government refuses to give the populace any real information about what is really going on, which ours most certainly refuses to do, then it is up to folks like Wikileaks and DDoSecrets to step up and see to that we are kept informed and not kept in the dark. On balance, this is a very good thing that happened.
It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours