GitHub and Medium have scrubbed a database of ICE employees off their platforms, soon after a New York-based artist posted the scraped LinkedIn information.
Sam Lavigne, who has previously worked on projects like a white collar predictive policing program, wrote in a Medium post today that, “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.”
In an attempt to do that, Lavigne wrote a program that scraped LinkedIn for profiles that listed ICE as an employer. The program returned information on nearly 1,600 people, and Lavigne posted the resulting data publicly on GitHub. The database included information like job title, profile picture, and general location of work.
Lavigne said in a phone conversation earlier today that people could use the database as they saw fit, and that he was “just trying to pose the question” of who, precisely, is responsible for carrying out ICE policies, like the forced separation of children from their families.
Both the GitHub database and the Medium post outlining the project are no longer available. Lavigne said in an email that “Medium suspended the post because they felt it was doxing.” The Medium page now simply reads “unavailable,” while the GitHub page says “this repository has been disabled.”
“We removed the project because it violates our community guidelines,” a GitHub spokesperson told The Verge. “In general, we have policies against use of GitHub for doxxing and harassment, and violating a third party’s privacy.”
“I think that’s a totally valid question to bring up,” Lavigne said earlier today about whether the database could be used for targeted harassment, “but 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.”