- The Washington Times - Friday, July 10, 2020

Reddit banned an online community dedicated to BlueLeaks, a trove of internal police documents recently leaked online, amid scrutiny over the data dump as well as its revelations.

The BlueLeaks “subreddit” was banned Thursday “due to a violation of Reddit’s content policy against posting personal information,” reads a message posted on the popular website.

“Reddit’s site-wide policies prohibit encouraging or sharing content that contains personal and confidential information,” a Reddit spokesperson told The Washington Times. “The subreddit in question has been banned in accordance with this policy.” 

Published by the Distributed Denial of Secrets website, the data was obtained by a person or persons associated with the Anonymous hacktivist movement, according to the site.

The data was leaked around the same time the BlueLeaks forum was created on Reddit, where users discussed, dissected and further disseminated the material prior to its disappearance.

Approximately 1,400 members of Reddit, one of the nation’s most popular sites, were active on the BlueLeaks forum before its removal, according to an archived version of the page.

The archived version shows the forum’s users discussed, among other topics, articles based on leaked documents included in the dump belonging to various state and federal agencies.

Authorities have taken an interest in the leak as well. German officials acting at the behest of the U.S. government recently seized a computer server that hosted some of the stolen data, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

Twitter acted similarly weeks early by banning the account used by the Distributed Denial of Secrets and beginning to warn users who share links to the site that it may be unsafe.

“I’ve never ever seen a response from social media sites like their response to BlueLeaks before,” said Mustafa Al-Bassam, a British security researcher previously involved with Anonymous and an offshoot, LulzSec, nearly a decade earlier when both groups first made waves for releasing data stolen from various corporations and governments.

“This must have really […] hit a unique nerve somewhere,” he said on Twitter.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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