Twitter Suspends Account for Organization That Leaked Police Documents

Twitter cited its policy against the distribution of hacked materials, which came from police departments all over the country

The account for journalistic organization Distributed Denial of Secrets has been suspended by Twitter following its release of law enforcement documents from police departments across the U.S.

The @DDoSecrets account is suspended and inaccessible and a Twitter spokesperson told tech site Gizmodo that the move was done in compliance with the company’s policy against the distribution of hacked materials. The policy outlaws distributing “content obtained through hacking that contains private information, may put people in harm or danger, or contains trade secrets.”

In a statement to TheWrap, DDS founder Emma Best calls the Twitter suspension “heavy handed.”

“Twitter’s suspension of DDoSecrets is an excessive, heavy handed response, but it doesn’t end with us,” Best wrote. “Users’ accounts are being locked for having tweeted about BlueLeaks, or linking to an archive of some of our tweets in the Wayback Machine. My own account was locked for twelve hours for two of my tweets about Twitter’s censorship. Even more disturbingly, they’re blocking users from tweeting articles from The Verge and Pando about Twitter’s censorship of BlueLeaks. And in a recent stunning move, they suspended an account for three tweets: one about BlueLeaks, one linking to FOIA documents about a fusion center on MuckRock and one with a screenshot of the public NJ DHS website. Twitter’s censorship on behalf of the police – and censorship of discussions about their censorship – goes beyond all reason and should alarm everyone.”

Last week, the group published a trove of internal law enforcement data it said came from the Anonymous hacker collective. The documents were tagged #BlueLeaks on Twitter, where some users also reported their accounts were temporarily shut down until they removed related content.

Our account was locked by @TwitterSupport for posting about #BlueLeaks. We had to delete three tweets to unlock. One was a screen shot from the leaks, the second was from documents released on @MuckRock in 2018, the third was a screenshot from the NJ DHS website, which is public,” said the account for It’s Going Down News.

A representative for Twitter did not reply to a request for comment on the accusation that the account had to remove tweets obtained from a public government website.

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