Sam Lavigne, who is reportedly an adjunct professor at New York University as well as a digital designer and developer, released a list of more than 1,500 Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees' personal information on Wednesday.
What are the details?
In a since-removed blog post on Medium, "Lavigne wrote, 'I’ve downloaded and made available the profiles of (almost) everyone on LinkedIn who works for ICE, 1,595 people in total. While I don’t have a precise idea of what should be done with this data set, I leave it here with the hope that researchers, journalists, and activists will find it useful.' "
Lavigne reportedly published the database on GitHub, but it was promptly removed from the platform, but not before it spread to other outlets, such as Twitter.
The database reportedly included information such as profile pictures, job titles, and approximate locations.
In a statement to Fox News, GitHub said, "We removed the project because it violates our community guidelines. In general, we have policies against use of GitHub for doxxing and harassment, and violating a third party’s privacy."
"Doxxing" is the search and publishing of personal information on the internet, typically with intent to ostracize, ridicule, or otherwise harass.
Why did he do this?
Fox News reported that Lavigne researched and published the information in response to the migrant children crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"As ICE continues to ramp up its inhumane surveillance and detention efforts, I believe it’s important to document what’s happening, and by whom, in any way we can," Lavigne wrote, according to Fox News.
According to reports, Lavigne created the database by mining information from the internet and using the professional networking site, LinkedIn, to dig up the employees' information.
The Verge's Colin Lecher reported that GitHub, Medium, and Twitter removed instances of the ICE employees' info from their platforms.
Lavigne told Lecher that he was "just trying to pose the question" of who, Lecher writes, "is responsible for carrying out ICE policies, like the forced separation of children from their families."
Lavigne added that he wasn't putting out any information out there that didn't already exist, and could be found by practically anyone.
"I think that the information is already out there, and if people want to embark on individual campaigns of harassment, then they’re going to be doing that no matter what," Lavigne said when Lecher asked if he believed the publishing of the database could be used for targeted harassment.
What about Google?
According to Buzzfeed, the information has been disseminated onto a Google spreadsheet, which is reportedly still available to view publicly on the internet.
Buzzfeed reported that Google has yet to respond to reports of the Google spreadsheet.