Hackers leak thousands of secret FBI and police documents

Hackers have leaked almost 270 GB of FBI and police documents online, covering more than 20 years’ worth of potentially sensitive law enforcement information and intelligence.

The documents have been collected under the title “BlueLeaks” and were uploaded to the Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) project, an alternative to WikiLeaks that is popular with so-called hacktivists.

Almost three thousand items contain the phrase “TOP SECRET” on DDoSecrets’ searchable online database, but almost all of these indicate the clearance level of an email contact and not the contents of the document itself.

On Twitter, the project said the database “provides unique insights into law enforcement and a wide array of government activities, including thousands of documents mentioning COVID-19”.

The data appears to have been collected following a breach of a web services company in Houston, Texas, which counts a number of law enforcement agencies as customers.

It was released on 19 June, also known as Juneteenth, which is not a federally recognised holiday in the US, but is celebrated to commemorate the Union army proclaiming all slaves in Texas to be free in 1865, during the American Civil War.

The day before the release the project’s Twitter account tweeted #BlackLivesMatter.

It follows weeks of renewed focus on racism in America, especially on law enforcement’s conduct towards black people following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on 25 May.

There are more than 6,500 documents mentioning George Floyd in the database, including a threat assessment regarding a memorial event.

Few, if any, of these appear to relate to the death of Mr Floyd, and most cover the protests which took place across the US in response to it. The majority of the documents do not relate to these protests at all.

A police officer involved in apparent chokehold incident has been suspended. Pic: NYPD
Police officer uses ‘chokehold’ on black man

There is a large volume of material, much of which is incidental and informative rather than based on intelligence.

One unclassified FBI report warns that civil unrest in response to Mr Floyd’s death could threaten law enforcement supporters’ safety.

It cites “an identified Twitter account dedicated to anarchist ideology” which posted: “See a blue lives matter flag, destroy a blue lives matter flag challenge.”

Another tweet it mentioned said: “Truck with ‘blue lives matter’ crap on it just got all the windows smashed out. Give em hell tonight. #AvengeGeorgeFloyd.”

Fewer than 500 of the hundreds of thousands of documents mention Antifa, a collective of militant anti-fascist protesters which President Donald Trump has moved to designate as a terrorist organisation.

If you would like to contact Alexander Martin regarding a story, you can email him at aj.martin@sky.uk or message him securely using the private messaging app Signal on +44 (0)7970 376 704

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