WASHINGTON (AP) – According to an unclassified intelligence document from the United States Department of Homeland Security, personal information of police officers in rural departments is leaked online amid tense interactions in demonstrations in the United States about the death of George Floyd and others by police . obtained by The Associated Press.
The document warns that the effort, known as “doxxing”, could lead to attacks by “violent opportunists or domestic violent extremists” or that law enforcement officers could be prevented from performing their duties.
Multiple senior police officers in a number of cities, including Washington, Atlanta, Boston, and New York, have shared their personal information on social media, including their home address, email address, and phone number, the report warns.
“At least one of the police commissioners was the target of his alleged support for using tear gas to spread protests,” he says.
National police officials have recently spoken out that they feel trapped in the midst of their efforts to stop violent protests, and that they have been let down by lawmakers when it comes to police reform. Some have said they fear for their lives.
“Stop treating us like animals and criminals and start treating us with some respect! We are vilified. It’s disgusting, “said Mike O’Meara, a New York State Police Union official, as New York state lawmakers repealed a law known as Section 50-a, which keeps police records secret.
But the demonstrations across the country focused on the use of excessive force by the police in the murder of minorities. George Floyd, whose funeral was Tuesday, shouted that he was unable to breathe because a white officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee to the man’s neck.
Floyd’s death, captured on video, sparked widespread demonstrations and the debate over violence.
The same words were used by Eric Garner in 2014 after being choked by police and later dying.
Federal officials also identified messages that contained specific personal information from various law enforcement officers in Kentucky and their family members, and a link to a website with their full names, their family members’ names, home addresses, and specific information about the vehicles. they generate and login information for online accounts, the report says.
A 26-year-old EMT, Breonna Taylor, was killed by police who issued a search warrant at her Kentucky home on March 13 as part of a drug investigation. She was not the suspect they were looking for.
The personal information of another officer from San Jose, California, and his family was also posted online in a message calling on others to “do what you want with this information,” the report said.
It is not illegal to post law enforcement officers’ personal information online, although many social media companies expressly prohibit sharing it as part of their terms of service.
The report warns that some of the information may come from compromised email and other officer accounts, but some of the information may come from publicly available databases based on public records and social media sites.
Officers are encouraged to improve their security settings for their accounts, such as using multiple email authentication and strong passwords. The report also suggests not taking online quizzes or games that elicit personal information, being wary of suspicious emails, and not posting phone numbers online.
The report says the Department of Homeland Security “has moderate confidence that cyber actors may continue to attack law enforcement officers” with doxxing tactics “to undermine law enforcement officers’ response to ongoing legal protests.”
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