A new report by the Department of Homeland Security is warning that the personal information of police officers and other law enforcement personnel across the country is being posted on social media — and warning that it could lead to the threat of violence from opportunists and extremists.
The information note, obtained by Fox News, warned that “some cyber actors will probably continue to target law enforcement officers with doxing tactics to undermine law enforcement’s response to ongoing lawful protests.”
“While doxing does not in and of itself constitute a threat to law enforcement and their families, doxing might result in the downstream threat of violence by violent opportunists or domestic violent extremists (DVEs), or otherwise prevent DHS personnel or law enforcement partners from executing their lawful mission,” the note says.
It comes after riots and protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody — with a number of those protests expressing anti-police sentiments, with cases of violence against law enforcement — and hundreds of cops injured.
The note highlights a recent case of a social media user posting a photo containing the personal information of multiple law enforcement officials in Kentucky. That post included a caption that referenced an officer-involved shooting as well as a URL that directed users to a website containing personal information, including names, emails, phone numbers and home addresses.
Others users have posted the personal information of officers from Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston and New York City. It says at least one was targeted for his support of the use of tear gas.
“Doxing of law enforcement personnel has been noted in previous incidents of heightened tensions following officer-involved deaths, and DHS assesses law enforcement personnel will continue to be targeted by this activity,” it says, citing previous doxing efforts in 2019 and in 2014 after protests in Ferguson.
The bulletin gives advice to law enforcement to avoid doxing, including using two-factor authentication, protecting social media accounts and other security measures.