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Protester in India wearing Guy Fawkes mask. Photo: Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Individuals affiliated with Anonymous, the loosely organized hacker collective, pilfered a massive amount of data from police organizations nationwide that was later made public, Wired's Andy Greenberg reports.

Driving the news: Anonymous provided the tranche to Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets), a transparency collective that serves as a repository for prior hacks. On Friday, DDoSecrets posted the tranche, known as “BlueLeaks,” to its website.

Details: The hack involved 269 gigabytes worth of police data, including “emails, audio, video, and intelligence documents, with more than a million files in total,” according to Wired.

  • “Over the weekend, supporters of DDOSecrets, Anonymous, and protesters worldwide began digging through the files to pull out frank internal memos about police efforts to track the activities of protesters," Wired reports. “The documents also reveal how law enforcement has described groups like the antifascist movement Antifa.”
  • While the leaked data includes information from "more than 200 state, local, and federal agencies," much of the stolen tranche appears to draw from documents from law enforcement fusion centers nationwide, which serve as hubs for intelligence-sharing between police departments and state and federal organizations.
  • DDoSecrets members did edit out “more than 50 gigabytes” of material before publishing the documents, but group members left in banking information as well as personally identifiable information of police officers.

Our thought bubble: Though nothing in the leak appears to be classified, the potential sensitivity of the data reflects a growing understanding that even government documents that aren't designated "secret" can have significant intelligence value — especially when disclosed in bulk. 

Go deeper

Aug 17, 2020 - World

Former CIA officer arrested and charged with espionage for China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former CIA officer Alexander Yuk Ching Ma has been arrested and charged with allegedly sharing classified information with China, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Our thought bubble, via Axios China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: No one should underestimate China’s intelligence services. In the past decade, the efforts of Chinese intelligence to identify as many individual CIA personnel as possible have paid off, resulting in the decommissioning of dozens of CIA assets in China.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.