Public information of the platform archived by activist hackers


Morgan Hines
Kelly Tyko


As thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump swarmed Washington last week, a hacker archived their messages on Speak to help reconstruct the role the social media platform played in the deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol. The hacker, who passes @donk_enby on Twitter, said his aim was to preserve every post from Wednesday’s Capitol breach before the Talking platform was destroyed, like “a group of people bumping into a burning building trying to grab so much as possible “.

Speak and @donk_enby did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.

Speaking is one of the social media platforms popular with conservatives and extremists that was used to plan the riots last week, according to the Atlantic Council. Other cities include Gab and MeWe.

And Gab? What is Gab, the social network that is gaining popularity with conservatives?

Talking turns dark: Amazon suspends social platform from web hosting services

Parler’s website went dark early Monday after Amazon’s web hosting service was suspended. It was the latest move by tech companies in response to the Capitol siege. Google and Apple have also removed the Talking app from their app stores. “We are still learning to what extent the platform was used by the insurgents to plan and execute the Jan. 6 breach at the Capitol,” said Britt Paris, a critical computer specialist and associate professor at Rutgers University who follows the disinformation campaigns, in a press release.

“As Capitol metadata scientists and independent security researchers gain access to these scuffed message treasures – which include messages deleted after January 6 – we will see a clearer picture of the role Speaking played in the attack, ”said Paris.

A group of activist hackers have also recovered much of what happened on Speak before it went offline and plan to put it in a public archive, the Associated Press reported.

Downloading and archiving Parler’s content, including image files that can be linked to geographic locations, left Parler users unsettled, although law enforcement could probably have accessed the data anyway. and experts said the archive did not include information that was not publicly available. “If that weren’t done, we would only have bits and pieces of the information that was on Speak before the dismantling,” said Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist at McGill University who has studied hacker movements. . “It’s important because these forums are increasingly the place where people come together to organize themselves. You discover the motives, the ideological tactics. ”

Talking Archives: What’s in Data

Pirate @donk_enbyArchived material lives on According to @donk_enby, “Only items accessible to the public via the Web were archived. ” Gizmodo reported that the material will eventually be hosted by the Internet Archive.

The archived material includes “original, unprocessed raw files uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata,” the hacker said on Sunday. The hacker later shared a tweet containing a screenshot of the metadata included in the download along with location data such as GPS longitude and latitude.

On Monday evening, she also tweeted where to find the “metadata for all 30TB of these videos”. The data cache is not yet easily readable by non-experts.

Talking lawsuit

Speaking became popular among conservatives as a much more moderate forum during the 2020 presidential cycle, when Facebook and Twitter began to control and label content more aggressively.

Last week, after Facebook, Twitter and other mainstream social media platforms silenced President Donald Trump’s accounts over comments that prompted the assault on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the platform of 2 Years welcomed a wave of new users and became the # 1 free iPhone app. But his growing popularity was short-lived, as tech companies like Amazon moved Speak for the role he played.

Parler CEO John Matze called the series of actions “a coordinated attack by tech giants to kill market competition.”

Matze reported that there was little chance of getting Talking back online anytime soon after “every provider, from text messaging, to email providers, to our lawyers, gave up on us all on the same day.” , he told Fox New Channel. Morning Futures. ” In an interview with Fox Business on Monday, he said the company “may even have to go so far as to buy and build our own data centers and buy our own servers.”

Parler filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, claiming that Amazon violated antitrust laws to harm Parler and help Twitter. He also alleged that Amazon violated its contract by failing to give 30 days notice before terminating Parler’s account. Amazon did not return the Associated Press’s request for comment on Monday, but told the court it planned to oppose the lawsuit.

Contributions: Jessica Guynn and Jessica Menton, USA TODAY; Associated press


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