ICEPatrol: WikiLeaks Publishes Database of ICE Employees Despite Attempts to 'Censor' List

WikiLeaks has published a searchable database of personal LinkedIn data of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees, under the banner "ICEPatrol." The Julian Assange-led whistleblowing platform said that it would be an "important public resource."

The archive is split into categories including location, job position, school attended and company, with some employees also being listed as working for other government branches including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But the majority of individuals, over 2,000, are tied to ICE. The federal agency was criticized this week for detaining and separating children from their families.

The LinkedIn data was removed from websites GitHub, Medium and Twitter this week after being scraped by programmer Sam Lavigne, leading to accusations of doxxing, which is the unwanted release of private information. In a blog post on June 19, Lavigne confirmed he uploaded the repository online, slamming "inhumane surveillance and detention efforts" by ICE. USA Today reported WikiLeaks as saying the data had been "censored" online, however that tweet appears to have been deleted.

The publicly-available LinkedIn data covers other federal agencies including Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, Air Force and the Navy. The ICEPatrol site holds headshots, job descriptions, education histories and personal biographies. WikiLeaks did not respond to a request for comment.

Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The verified WikiLeaks Twitter account wrote late on Thursday: "ICEPatrol is an important public resource for understanding ICE programs and increasing accountability, especially in light of the actions taken by ICE lately, such as the separation of children and parents at the U.S. border."

"ICEPatrol is a searchable archive of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) positions voluntarily released to the public by each staff member," the profile added, posting a link to the new website. "It is useful for journalists to develop sources inside ICE and to understand its structure."

In its data collection and privacy policies online, LinkedIn warns against posting information online "that you would not want to be publicly available."

In response to Medium taking down the scraped account information earlier this week, a LinkedIn spokesperson told Buzzfeed on Tuesday: "We do not support or condone what immigration authorities are doing at the border, but we can't allow the illegal use of our member data.

"We will take appropriate action to ensure our members' data is protected and used properly."

WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange in 2006, is well-known for releasing government secrets from anonymous sources. It hit the headlines in 2016 for releasing the emails of John Podesta, a close aide to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It has published war logs, footage of controversial military killings and manuals detailing hacking tools used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Since 2012, Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London under political asylum.