Network investigators have archived data from the storming of the Capitol Building

Already on the same day as the storming of the Capitol, user AdamLynch posted a thread on the Internet forum Reddit with the ambitious goal of archiving all of the photos and videos that captured the event before they risked disappearing from the internet.

The thread was created, perhaps not surprisingly, in the “datahoarders” sub-forum, which is aimed at people who have an interest in collecting as much data as possible.

In the post, the user posted A link to a big data storage service where other users can contribute. The link quickly became so widespread that Mega shut it down temporarily, According to MIT Technology Review.

At the time of writing, the collection has over terabytes of data, broken down into different categories such as “Liveleak”, “Snapchat” and “News station”. When social media like Twitter and Facebook systematically removed content from their platforms, users were able to ensure through the group that it was reserved for future generations. In parallel, news site Bellingcat and search engine Intelligence X have also created similar projects.

“I’m convinced that a large part of this wouldn’t have been preserved had it not been for the topic,” AdamLynch told MIT Technology Review.

Several different parallel projects were created in the days following the storming of the Capitol with the aim of identifying who participated in the event, based on the large amount of data collected via, among other things, the “data hoard”.

Like this project It is an Instagram account Homegrownterrorists, Which posts photos of people who took part in the storm to ask the account’s followers, today, who number more than 375,000, to help identify them. In another case, a spreadsheet was created on Google Drive where users can fill in the personal information of the people suspected of involvement. People I tried to identify were often given nicknames based on their external attributes, such as “Swedishscarf” or “GreenNewsboy,” so that other online investigators could more easily find leads with attempts to identify through hashtags.

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GQ interviewed one of the people who led the identification of people who participated in the storm, John Scott Railton, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto’s Interdisciplinary Citizen Laboratory. To the GQ He says the process often begins with high-resolution images of a person that make it possible to identify the mark on a person’s clothing, badges, and other things that could relate to a state or geographic region. People in the area can then help create lists of interesting people, allowing these people to be identified.

to me The edge iSeveral participants have been identified through this type of crowdsourcing, people who have been arrested or in many cases lost their jobs. However, it is not clear how important the work of the network’s investigators will be to the FBI investigation, among other things Techsajten protocol He highlighted the ethical problem of posting people’s personal data on the Internet, not least when some people did not participate in some cases Hanged as criminals.

Read more: Cyber ​​investigators help the FBI after the Capitol attack

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