German police have seized servers belonging to an activist group in a presumed bid to shut down the recent BlueLeaks exposure of US police records dating back decades.
Emma Best of WikiLeaks-like organization Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDoSecrets) confirmed the news this week on Twitter.
“We have received official confirmation that #DDoSecrets’ primary public download server was seized by German authorities (Department of Public Prosecution Zwickau file number AZ 210 AR 396/20). We are working to obtain additional information, but presume it is re #BlueLeaks,”
“The server was used ONLY to distribute data to the public. It had no contact with sources and was involved in nothing more than enlightening the public through journalistic publishing.”
The raid will raise questions over why an international police operation was launched to seize the leaked data, although there are reports that it may have exposed sensitive personal data.
There are also concerns that the data could endanger lives, if it is used by organized crime groups to unmask undercover police officers and witnesses. It could also damage the reputations of suspects who were arrested but subsequently released without charge.
The 269GB trove contains police and FBI reports, bulletins, guides and other materials on over 200 police departments, fusion centers and other training and support resources.
According to reports, the data, dating back to 1996, was stolen after a hacker targeted Netsential, a supply chain company used by fusion centers, law enforcement and other government agencies across the United States.
They apparently used a compromised user account and the firm’s web platform upload feature to introduce malicious content, enabling the exfiltration.
Last month, Twitter banned DDoSecrets from its platform and labelled tweets linking to the leaks as potentially harmful. WikiLeaks, which published material said to have unduly influenced the last US Presidential election, remains on the social network.