WikiLeaks proposes tracking verified Twitter users’ homes, families and finances

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WikiLeaks wants to start building a list of verified Twitter users that would include highly sensitive and personal information about their families, their finances and their housing situations. “We are thinking of making an online database with all 'verified' twitter accounts & their family/job/financial/housing relationships,” WikiLeaks tweeted Jan 6.

The disclosure organization, run by Julian Assange, says the information would be used for an artificial-intelligence program. But Twitter users immediately fired back, saying WikiLeaks would use the list to take political vengeance against those who criticize it. Twitter “verifies” certain users, such as world leaders, nonprofit organizations and news outlets, with a blue check mark beside their names so that other users of the service can be confident about the posters' identities. Asked by journalist Kevin Collier why it needed to build a database of dossiers, WikiLeaks replied that the database would be used as a “metric to understand influence networks based on proximity graphs.” But the proposal faced a sharp and swift backlash as technologists, journalists and security researchers slammed the idea as a “sinister” and dangerous abuse of power and privacy.


WikiLeaks proposes tracking verified Twitter users’ homes, families and finances WikiLeaks floats creating database of Twitter users' personal data (The Hill)