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Black Lives Matter Organizers Labeled as “Threat Actors” by Cybersecurity Firm

DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie meet with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Ferguson. (U.S. Department of Education/CC BY 2.0)
DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie meet with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Ferguson. (U.S. Department of Education/CC BY 2.0)

Brandon Ellington Patterson, MOTHER JONES

 

BALTIMORE (Mother Jones) — Documents from a “crisis management” report produced by the cybersecurity firm ZeroFox indicate that the firm monitored Black Lives Matter protesters during the Freddie Gray protests in Baltimore earlier this year. The documents, which surfaced online last Wednesday, also state that the firm “protected” the online accounts of Maryland and Baltimore officials and members of the Baltimore Police Department and Maryland National Guard.

The report identifies DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, two prominent Black Lives Matter organizers who took part in the Baltimore protests, as “threat actors” for whom “immediate response is recommended.” It describes McKesson and Elzie as “high” severity, “physical,” and “#mostwanted” threats and notes both have a “massive following” on social media. It says that ZeroFox was engaged in “continuous monitoring” of their social media accounts and specifies their geographical locations at the time of the report. The report does not suggest that the pair were suspected of criminal activity but were “main coordinators of the protests.”

 

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