The hacktivist group Anonymous targeted the law enforcement officers who were acquitted of charges stemming from the Kelly Thomas killing.
Elements within the collective have released an image that contains the purported personal information of the officers.
Kelly Thomas, 37, was a schizophrenic homeless man who was beaten by officers of the Fullerton Police Department. He later died from the wounds inflicted by the officers. The officers were acquitted of wrongdoing in the death. The graphic video below shows the incident; discretion is advised.
An image circulating on various social media networks purports to show the home addresses, phone numbers, website links, and in some case the names of family members of the officers. It also includes the information of officers accused of being involved with the beating of a deaf man in an unrelated case.
This image purporting to show the personal information of the officers was redacted by Digital Journalist to comply with local laws.
This type of activity is known as “DoXing” within the collective, and is typically used to make private information publically available.
Speaking about this type of operation last year, Dutch activist Jos de Mooij saidDoxing is a term, closely resembling investigative journalism. It goes mostly unpublished except in some severe cases which require direct actionable information. It can go a few steps further than journalism and it can become very personal, if a specific person is being doxed. And I believe it should become personal in some cases. But smear is not allowed. So, doxing is hard work. I have also seen doxing sessions that were started, but then called off because the doxing would no longer be honest to the Anonymous idea. Anonymous doxing is not like tabloid journalism. But of course, there will always be people who can connect an Eskimo to the man in the moon. In short: doxing is a perfectly legal approach of gathering and analyzing information to support actionable information sharing.
Jos is not known to have participated directly or indirectly in this operation.
The Fullerton Police Department has been under intense public pressure since the acquittal. Ongoing protests with hundreds of participants led the department to issue a dispersal order. The order was largely ignored and the department has arrested at least 13 protesters.