Anonymous + general hacktivists 2009-2018 (Cook County Sheriff)

Emma North-Best filed this request with the Cook County Sheriff of Cook County, IL.
Tracking #


Multi Request Anonymous + general hacktivists 2009-2018
Due June 5, 2019
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


From: Emma North-Best

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of 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 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Emma Best

From: Cook County Sheriff

Dear Emma Best:

Thank you for your interest in public records of the Cook County Sheriff's Office. Your request was received in this office on 5/30/2019 and given the reference number R001410-060419 for tracking purposes.

Your request will be forwarded to the relevant department(s) to locate the information you seek and to determine the volume and any costs associated with satisfying your request. You will be contacted about the availability and/or provided with copies of the records in question.

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From: Cook County Sheriff

Emma Best,
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From: Cook County Sheriff

--- Please respond above this line ---

RE: FOIA Request of May 30, 2019, Reference # R001410-060419

Dear Emma Best,
Thank you for contacting the Cook County Sheriff's Office ("CCSO") pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 ILCS 140/1 et seq. (2012). Please be advised that at this time the CCSO is in need of additional information to process your request.  Please provide details regarding a specific incident, a type of record being requested, and/or a narrowed time period so that we can find the information you are looking for.
Please contact us by replying to this email if you have any further concerns/questions related to this request.


Elizabeth Scannell
Cook County Sheriff's Office
FOIA Officer/Legal Department

To monitor the progress or update this request please log into the FOIA Request Center (