News and Commentary

Self-Described ‘Hacker’ Says She’s Archived 99% Of Parler Posts For Public Record, Including Raw Video With Metadata

"I want this to be a big middle finger to those who say hacking shouldn't be political."
Parler app logo displayed on a phone screen and Parler website displayed on a laptop screen are seen in this illustration photo taken in Poland on January 10, 2020.
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A Twitter user who describes herself as a hacker says she has archived around 99% of the content from the social media platform Parler, which went dark early Monday as Amazon banished the site from its cloud hosting service. The documentation reportedly includes deleted posts and raw video files that had been uploaded to the online forum, complete with metadata.

Parler has become the preferred social media platform for several supporters of President Donald Trump and far-right groups concerned about being censored by more mainstream alternatives, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Big Tech targeted Parler after rioters breached the U.S. Capitol last week, accusing the social network of violating its terms of service for failing to take adequate measures to prevent the dissemination of content that incites violence. The platform was reportedly used to promote violent threats leading up to Wednesday’s “Save America” rally, which ended with numerous attendees storming the Capitol building as members of Congress were in the process of certifying the presidential election results. The mayhem that ensued resulted in five deaths. Both Apple and Google dropped Parler from their app stores over the weekend.

According to Gizmodo, the unnamed researcher who operates the Twitter account @donk_enby “began with the goal of archiving every post from January 6, the day of the Capitol riot; what she called a bevy of ‘very incriminating’ evidence.” The outlet reported, however, “the scope of the project quickly broadened…as it became increasingly clear that Parler was on borrowed time.”

As Gizmodo reported:

Operating on little sleep, @donk_enby began the work of archiving all of Parler’s posts, ultimately capturing around 99 percent of its content. In a tweet early Sunday, @donk_enby said she was crawling some 1.1 million Parler video URLs. “These are the original, unprocessed, raw files as uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata,” she said. Included in this data tranche, now more than 56 terabytes in size, @donk_enby confirmed that the raw video files include GPS metadata pointing to exact locations of where the videos were taken. …

The privacy implications are obvious, but the copious data may also serve as a fertile hunting ground for law enforcement. Federal and local authorities have arrested dozens of suspects in recent days accused of taking part in the Capitol riot, where a Capitol police officer, Brian Sicknick, was fatally wounded after being struck in the head with a fire extinguisher.

@donk_enby told Gizmodo that she describes herself as a hacker, saying she’s “someone with a creative, but skeptical attitude toward technology,” which, the outlet noted, paraphrases a description presented by Europe’s largest hacker association, the Chaos Computer Club.

“I want this to be a big middle finger to those who say hacking shouldn’t be political,” @donk_enby explained.

On Monday, @donk_enby clarified that “only things that were available publicly via the web were archived,” adding, “I don’t have you [sic] e-mail address, phone or credit card number…unless you posted it yourself on parler.”

She told Gizmodo that the data would eventually be available for public viewing on Internet Archive.

Parler CEO John Matze called the actions of Amazon, Apple, and Google “a pretty prime example” of antitrust, accusing the tech giants of working together to “squash” his company and silence opposing political viewpoints.

“It’s obvious collusion,” Matze told FOX News, adding, “and they are doing it, you know, to stifle free speech and competition in the marketplace, and this could happen to literally anybody.”

Related: Social Media Platform Parler Goes Dark As Amazon Suspends Service

Related: Gab Picking Up 10,000 Users Per Hour, CEO Claims, After Trump’s Twitter Ban

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Self-Described ‘Hacker’ Says She’s Archived 99% Of Parler Posts For Public Record, Including Raw Video With Metadata