|Multi Request||Anonymous + general hacktivists 2009-2018|
|Submitted||May 29, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
Documents mentioning or relating to Anonymous (the hacker movement/collective, see below) or hacktivism (defined as hacking as a form of protest and/or activism) generated between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2019, including but not limited to:
* Internal reports, bulletins, warnings and alerts relating to Anonymous or hacktivism
* Reports from the appropriate IT (Information Technology) or computer offices regarding possible cyber attacks by Anonymous or other hacktivists
* Reports, bulletins, warnings and alerts sent to or received from either the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, any fusion center or federal agency relating to or mentioning Anonymous or hacktivism
* Incident reports investigating possible hacking activity falling within the office's jurisdiction and allegedly carried out by members of Anonymous or other hacktivist groups
* Materials generated as a result of any suspected or actual compromise, breach or "dox" (revealing of personal or private information) by Anonymous or other hacktivists
Anonymous has been described by government agencies as a non-hierarchical hacktivist collective, Anonymous uses hacking (and arguably cracking) techniques to register political protest in campaigns known as “#ops.” Best known for their distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks, past activities have included attacks against the Church of Scientology; Visa, Paypal, and others who withdrew their services from WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange after that group began releasing war documents; #OpTunisia and others purporting to support the Arab Spring; and a campaign that brought down the website of the Westboro Baptist Church. #Ops are usually marked with the release of a video of a reader in a Guy Fawkes mask using a computer generated voice. See attached for additional background information.
I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through non-profits such as the Internet Archive and MuckRock, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance.
As my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available, I request that fees be waived.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.
Dear Ms. Best:
Your May 30, 2019 electronic mail message to the Baltimore County Police Department ("BCOPD"), Public Affairs Section, was referred to the Baltimore County Office of Law on June 3, 2019 for review and response pursuant to the Maryland Public Information Act, Md. Code Ann., Gen. Provis. § 4 - 101 et seq.
Specifically, you request any records "mentioning or relating to Anonymous (the hackermovement/collective...)or hacktivism (defined as hacking as a form of protest and/or activism) generated between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2019..."
Please be advised that I have not yet received any records for review from the BCOPD. I will check with them regarding an ETA (if any records exist) and update you on the status as soon as I have more information.
Thank you for your patience.
Vickie L. Wash, Esq.
Assistant County Attorney
Office of Law
400 Washington Avenue
Towson, MD 21204
I have been advised by BCOPD that they are currently conducting a search for the responsive records. As soon as I receive an update I will let you know.
BCOPD does not have any responsive records to this request.