22 votes

Massive white supremacist message board leak: How to access and interpret the data

15 comments

  1. hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    For those interested, this is just one of many great guides published by the Bellingcat investigation team for open source intelligence. I posted this guide, rather than a news article, because I...

    For those interested, this is just one of many great guides published by the Bellingcat investigation team for open source intelligence.

    I posted this guide, rather than a news article, because I feel like sharing guides like this is more important and interesting than just reading an article about an event.

    That being said, if you haven't heard about this leak yet, then this article is relevant:

    12 votes
  2. Akir
    Link
    I'm glad to see this since the Internet Archive took down the original archive; I was hoping to comb through some of this myself.

    I'm glad to see this since the Internet Archive took down the original archive; I was hoping to comb through some of this myself.

    8 votes
  3. [13]
    weystrom
    Link
    So it's okay to invade privacy as long as people are nazis? Where do you draw the line? Suddenly vigilante e-justice is okay?

    So it's okay to invade privacy as long as people are nazis? Where do you draw the line? Suddenly vigilante e-justice is okay?

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      What you call "invading privacy" I call open source intelligence or investigative journalism. Maybe if Bellingcat was correlating the data for us and organizing harassment campaigns you would have...

      What you call "invading privacy" I call open source intelligence or investigative journalism. Maybe if Bellingcat was correlating the data for us and organizing harassment campaigns you would have a point, but all they're doing is instructing people on how to investigate data that is already out in the open.

      Also, if combing through this data helps identify members of a terrorist organization, then I hope everyone and their mother does so.


      Now, to answer your questions in order:

      So it's okay to invade privacy as long as people are nazis?

      Yes. I don't consider this article, or looking into this leak, to be "invading privacy", since the information has already been released, but even if we were compiling and correlating this information to derive the addresses of members of this forum, I'd be 100% okay with that. I really don't give a fuck when it comes to fascists.

      Where do you draw the line?

      I draw the line arbitrarily, typically when we stop being in "these people are neo-nazis, KKK members, and fascists" territory and get into "these people are just conservatives" territory.

      Suddenly vigilante e-justice is okay?

      I mean, direct action is by far the most effective method for combating the alt-right and fascist activity. If taking the time to compile information about members of Iron March and disseminate their online activities to those around them (family members, coworkers, etc.) is going to effectively curb their activities, then we couldn't be doing it fast enough.


      You might have already noticed, but I really don't give a damn about these people. Those who advocate for a dangerous ideology that would remove the right for various populations to exist, lose all favor from me.

      Finally, I'd like to reiterate again that I shared this on Tildes with the specific goal of getting people to look at the data. I could have just shared a news article about the leak. I didn't. I want users here to see the actual content of this leak, because it's fucking disgusting.

      14 votes
      1. [6]
        weystrom
        Link Parent
        Imagine tomorrow tildes get overrun by white supremacists, and then somebody hacks and leaks the database, "in good conscience", with our accounts. And then some open intelligence activist dude...

        Imagine tomorrow tildes get overrun by white supremacists, and then somebody hacks and leaks the database, "in good conscience", with our accounts. And then some open intelligence activist dude starts to deanon all of us, saying we're nazis.

        Would that be acceptable?

        As for "open intelligence" and "investigative journalism" - would you go through a leaked email password dump, to find disgusting nazi emails in peoples inboxes? That's "open source" right? And since your moral lines seem to be drawn so arbitrarily it almost seems like a logical next step.

        And what's your definition of nazi? Do I have to burn crosses, or a simple pepe meme is enough?

        Don't you get the point? Who are you to decide where the lines are and who gave you permission for this "direct action"? I get that you're worried and disgusted, but due process is there for a reason. Otherwise it's just vigilante justice and lynching and I thought America was already past that.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          Akir
          Link Parent
          That's a very extreme mischaracterization of what is happening. You are claiming that we are advocating for murdering these people. That is as far from the case as can be, and the implication is...

          Otherwise it's just vigilante justice and lynching and I thought America was already past that.

          That's a very extreme mischaracterization of what is happening. You are claiming that we are advocating for murdering these people. That is as far from the case as can be, and the implication is frankly insulting. There is a lot more nuance to this situation that you are not seeing. There is a big difference between letting people know that a person is a facist or a Nazi and using that information to start a riot against them.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            weystrom
            Link Parent
            People are swatting twitch streamers for giggles, and yet you are so sure that if you post somebody's personal information online, the internet would not produce at a least one axe-murdering...

            People are swatting twitch streamers for giggles, and yet you are so sure that if you post somebody's personal information online, the internet would not produce at a least one axe-murdering psycho? I would bet against that. Is "we did it reddit!" already out our collective minds?

            1. Akir
              Link Parent
              There was a shooter who attacked the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group, because of the news coverage on them. Another gunman held up Cosmic Pizza because he believed the pizzagate...

              There was a shooter who attacked the Family Research Council, an anti-gay hate group, because of the news coverage on them. Another gunman held up Cosmic Pizza because he believed the pizzagate conspiracy.

              You can't use the actions of psychotic people as a reason to stop reporting the news.

              3 votes
        2. Amarok
          Link Parent
          They'd be banned by lunchtime - every last one of them, and likely taking Deimos less than ten minutes to do it. That's why the site tracks who invites whom, so that large chunks of the invite...

          Imagine tomorrow tildes get overrun by white supremacists

          They'd be banned by lunchtime - every last one of them, and likely taking Deimos less than ten minutes to do it. That's why the site tracks who invites whom, so that large chunks of the invite three can be excised if it's necessary due to this sort of activity.

          4 votes
        3. ubergeek
          Link Parent
          If this site suddenly becomes a festering pit of Neonazis, I would hope the DB gets leaked, somehow, with all that information.

          If this site suddenly becomes a festering pit of Neonazis, I would hope the DB gets leaked, somehow, with all that information.

          1 vote
    2. [4]
      ubergeek
      Link Parent
      When they commit violence, they kinda lose the shield of "but mah privacy!"

      When they commit violence, they kinda lose the shield of "but mah privacy!"

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        weystrom
        Link Parent
        You are objectively wrong, even suspected criminals are protected by US constitution, not to mention some random forum users. Are you the government? Do you have permission or a warrant? Have any...

        You are objectively wrong, even suspected criminals are protected by US constitution, not to mention some random forum users.

        Are you the government? Do you have permission or a warrant? Have any witch-hunts in history gone wrong? How do you rationalize this? Guerilla e-warfare?

        To me this sounds no better than rightwing twitter-hysteria.

        4 votes
        1. eladnarra
          Link Parent
          The fourth amendment applies to searches by law enforcement/the government, right? Not actions of individuals. So this might be illegal in other ways, but I don't see what the Constitution had to...

          The fourth amendment applies to searches by law enforcement/the government, right? Not actions of individuals. So this might be illegal in other ways, but I don't see what the Constitution had to do with it. Or am I misunderstanding something?

          6 votes
        2. ubergeek
          Link Parent
          Yep, they are protected by the US Constitution from US Government persecution for saying your beliefs in private or public. That doesn't mean private citizens cannot share what the indidivuals...

          Yep, they are protected by the US Constitution from US Government persecution for saying your beliefs in private or public.

          That doesn't mean private citizens cannot share what the indidivuals said, when it comes out. You do not have constitutional protections from people sharing the truth about you. Should the individual who broke into this system be prosecuted? Probably. What if it was the forum owner, or they passed along creds to that info, without proper vetting? Was a crime committed? Probably not.

          That being said, freedom of speech has limits, and calling for, and planning violence is past that limit, as ruled on by the courts.

          4 votes
    3. hungariantoast
      Link Parent
      Using information from this leak, Bellingcat and Newsy have been able to identify several active duty servicemen who hold fascist or white supremacist views and participated on Iron March:...

      Using information from this leak, Bellingcat and Newsy have been able to identify several active duty servicemen who hold fascist or white supremacist views and participated on Iron March:

      And that, even if I disregard everything else, is more than enough to make me perfectly okay with the privacy implications of leaking and investigating this data.