Leaked documents show how police used social media and private Slack channels to track George Floyd protesters

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Leaked documents show how law enforcement has kept tabs on demonstrators since anti-police-brutality protests first broke out after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody.
Police exchanged protesters’ Twitter handles, monitored protest plans in private Slack and Telegram channels, and kept lists of people who responded to protest events on Facebook, the documents show.
Records also show law enforcement focusing heavily on perceived threats against officers’ lives posted to social media, including planned attacks against police that never materialized.
The sensitive police documents were obtained by hackers and first leaked earlier this month in a data dump known as “BlueLeaks” by DDoSecrets, a Wikileaks-style publisher.
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As nationwide protests against police brutality and racism stretch into their second month across the US, newly leaked documents show how law enforcement is using social media to keep tabs on protesters.

Police departments and federal law enforcement agencies including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security exchanged information about protesters gleaned from social media, the documents show. Police monitored RSVP lists on Facebook events, shared messages posted in private Slack channels, and even exchanged tips about protesters using encrypted messaging apps like Telegram.

The police documents were obtained by hackers last month and leaked to the website DDoSecrets, which describes itself as a publisher that does not participate in hacking. DDoSecrets then published the hundreds of thousands of files in a data dump titled “BlueLeaks.” Several police tactics revealed in the leaked files were later compiled and analyzed by The Intercept.

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The files were leaked from fusion centers, or agencies that share intelligence reports, crime alerts, and information between state and local police departments. Most of the files were unclassified but had not been published previously.

After publishing the BlueLeaks files, DDoSecrets was permanently banned from Twitter. A Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider the site was banned for breaking Twitter’s policy against posting hacked material, but did not clarify why other news outlets that covered BlueLeaks were not similarly banned.

How police used social media to track protesters

As protests against the death of George Floyd expanded globally at the beginning of June, police in the US turned to social media to predict upcoming actions and identify the people organizing them.


One document from a California fusion center lists dozens of protests that police anticipated beginning on June 2. The document notes that information about …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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