When I saw this I got a cold chill up and down my spine. Watch what you say online, kids, or you might find yourself targeted by some high-powered cybersecurity firm. Just ask anyone who ever volunteered for the #StopRush effort or in this case, Black Lives Matter.
A new Mother Jones report has details:
Documents from a "crisis management" report produced by the cybersecurity firmZeroFox indicate that the firm monitored Black Lives Matter protesters during theFreddie Gray protests in Baltimore earlier this year. The documents, which surfaced online last Wednesday, also state that the firm "protected" the online accounts of Maryland and Baltimore officials and members of the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland National Guard.
The report identifies DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, two prominent Black Lives Matter organizers who took part in the Baltimore protests, as "threat actors" for whom "immediate response is recommended." It describes McKesson and Elzie as "high" severity, "physical," and "#mostwanted" threats and notes both have a "massive following" on social media. It says that ZeroFox was engaged in "continuous monitoring" of their social media accounts and specifies their geographical locations at the time of the report. The report does not suggest that the pair were suspected of criminal activity but were "main coordinators of the protests."
According to the leaked report, ZeroFox monitored 62 "threat actors" and 187 "threat influencers," including a Twitter user who was "a main local protest organizer" and another who was "sending supplies from New Jersey." The report also identifies people, organizations, and systems for "asset protection," including Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlins-Blake, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Baltimore Police Department Captain Eric Kowalczyk, and other members of the Baltimore police and Maryland National Guard.
These "crisis management" firms are full of really awful people who do really awful things. Dare to develop your own voice online? Get doxxed. Try to stop the online harassment? Get sued, and wind up paying Rush's fixer $10,000.
My advice to @deray and @Nettaaaaaaaa? Have a lawyer on retainer and set up a fundraiser now, because these nasty jerks stop at nothing, and no one is too small to be considered a threat. Whether you're a housewife in California who is offended by Rush Limbaugh or a Black Lives Matter activist, you're fair game for these guys.