Twitter and other online platforms are shutting down efforts to reveal the names of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees following the backlash against the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Developer Sam Lavigne, who claims to be an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, created a database on GitHub that revealed the names of more than 1,500 ICE agents — with the data scraped from the LinkedIn business networking site.
In a now-deleted Medium post, Lavigne justified the database, saying, “As ICE continues to ramp up its inhumane surveillance and detention efforts, I believe it’s important to document what’s happening, and by whom, in any way we can.”
“As ICE continues to ramp up its inhumane surveillance and detention efforts, I believe it’s important to document what’s happening, and by whom, in any way we can.”
But the blogging platform suspended the post detailing the information on the grounds of “doxxing” – the intentional publication of personal information — Lavigne told the Verge.
GitHub explained in a statement why it removed the information about ICE agents.
“We removed the project because it violates our community guidelines,” a GitHub spokesperson said. “In general, we have policies against use of GitHub for doxxing and harassment, and violating a third party’s privacy.”
“We removed the project because it violates our community guidelines … we have policies against use of GitHub for doxxing and harassment, and violating a third party’s privacy.”
Twitter also began cracking down on accounts that tweeted information about ICE employees. Russel Neiss, a coder, created an account that automatically revealed information from the database, BuzzFeed reported. The database is reportedly now being circulated in a form of publicly accessible Google document.
Lavigne told the Verge that though he thinks the “doxxing” concerns raised by the database he created are valid, he believes “the information is already out there, and if people want to embark on individual campaigns of harassment, then they’re going to be doing that no matter what.”
Fox News reached out to New York University asking for a comment.
The effort to identify ICE employees coincided with Tuesday’s harassment of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was forced to leave a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., after socialist activists surrounded her and yelled “Shame!” and other comments.
President Donald Trump was also subject to protests on Tuesday. On his way to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, a congressional intern yelled, “Mr. President, F–k you!” across the Capitol Rotunda.
He then faced several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), who gathered outside Trump’s meeting with Republican lawmakers who tried to come up with a legislative solution to the controversial family separation policy at the border. After Trump left the meeting, the Democratic officials heckled him and held signs.