Leaked files from alt-right host raise some hard questions

Leaked files from alt-right host raise some hard questions

Recently, a group of unnamed hackers claiming association with the hacker collective known as Anonymous released more than 180 gigabytes of data from Epik, a web-hosting company whose clients included a number of alt-right groups and services, including right-wing Twitter alternatives Gab and Parler, as well as pro-gun and pro-Trump sites. “This dataset is all that’s needed to trace actual ownership and management of the fascist side of the internet,” the group said in its news release , adding that the information it acquired would help people identify the actors behind disinformation and QAnon sites, among others. The data dump is said to contain account information for all of Epik’s clients , including the registered owner’s email address, mailing address, and other information (although some right-wing sites use anonymization services to conceal this data). The leak was first reported last week by Steven Monacelli , an independent journalist, on Twitter; in the days that followed, it prompted coverage by a range of national outlets, from the Washington Post and CNN to Gizmodo and Mother Jones . The importance of the information in the Epik hack —if it proves to be accurate—seems obvious, especially for researchers tracking QAnon groups or other disinformation sources, hate-speech advocates, and domestic extremists. “The company played such a major role in keeping far-right terrorist cesspools alive,” Rita Katz, executive director of SITE Intelligence Group, which studies online extremism, told the Washington Post . “Without Epik, many extremist communities—from QAnon and white nationalists to accelerationist neo-Nazis—would […]

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