Two Black Lives Matter organizers targeted as threat actors by cyber security report
The documents released Wednesday also indicate that the firm protected the online accounts of the Baltimore Police force, the Maryland National Guard, and other Baltimore officials.
The report identifies DeRay McKesson and Johnetta Elzie, two prominent organizers of the Black Lives matter movement, as "threat actors" for whom "immediate response is recommended."
ZeroFox also admits that their locations have been tracked during the entirety of the investigation and gives their current locations at the time of the report. They are both deemed to have "high" severity.
McKesson and Elzie are not surprised by the report, as both knew they were being watched.
McKesson says the cops in St. Louis knew him by name upon first meeting him. "The police officers in St. Louis knew us. They knew many of us by Twitter handle. It was clear they read our Twitter feed. It was clear they watched the live streams [of protests],"
The two organizers live in St. Louis, where they were active in organizing protests in the wake of Michael Brown's death. They then headed to Baltimore together to protest against the murder of Freddie Gray.
ZeroFox did not respond to requests to confirm the authenticity of the documents, and the Maryland governor's office denies having a contract with the company. Emails released between the company and Maryland's FBI chapter indicate that ZeroFox intended to collect "intelligence regarding potentially violent agitators."
Facts about BLACK LIVES MATTER:
#BlackLivesMatter began in the wake of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin's death in 2012, and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmermann.
The movement has its roots in organizations such as the NAACP and the National Urban League, however, the rhetoric is different. "White supremacy" is a common key phrase used to shift the focus from "black on black crime" and other victimizing terminology towards black Americans.
Cover image: Flickr