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Trump jury has a doxing problem

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Trump jury has a doxing problem

He has been asked to serve on the jury in the first criminal trial against a president of the United States. What could go wrong? The answer, of course, is everything.

A juror in former US President Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York was excused Thursday after expressing fears she could be identified based on biographical details she had provided in court. The dismissal of the second jury highlights the potential dangers of participating in one of the most politicized trials in American history, especially in a time of social media frenzy, a highly partisan electorate and a glut of personal information available online.

Unlike jurors in federal cases, whose identities can be kept completely anonymous, New York law allows personal information of jurors and potential jurors that will be disclosed in court. Juan Merchán, the judge who oversaw Trump’s prosecution in Manhattan last month. tidy that the names and addresses of the jurors would be withheld. But he couldn’t stop potential jurors from providing biographical details about themselves during the jury selection process, and many did. Those details were then widely reported in the press, potentially subjecting jurors and potential jurors to harassment, intimidation and threats.possibly by Trump himself. Merchan has since blocked that journalists publish details about the employment of potential jurors.

The dangers of doxing facing potential jurors became evident on Monday, the first day of the proceedings. An update on a Washington Post The Trump trial live blog revealed the Manhattan neighborhood where a potential juror lived, how long he had lived there, how many children he has and the name of his employer. Screenshots of the live blog update quickly circulated on social media, as people warned that the man could be tricked or that his identity would be publicly revealed against his will, based solely on that information. .

“It’s quite alarming how much information someone skilled in OSINT could gather based on just a few publicly available details about jurors or potential jurors,” says Bob Diachenko, director of cyber intelligence at the research organization Data breaches Security Discovery and open source expert. intelligence research.

Armed with basic personal details about jurors and certain tools and databases, “an OSINT investigator could potentially uncover a significant amount of personal information by comparing all of this together,” Diachenko says. “That’s why it’s crucial to consider the implications of publicly disclosing jurors’ personal information and taking steps to protect their privacy during criminal trials.”

Even without special training in OSINT, it can be trivial to discover details about a juror’s life. To test the sensitivity of the information, Mail published, WIRED used a common reporting tool to find the man’s employer. From there, we were able to identify his name, address, phone number, email address, the identities of his children and spouse, voter registration information, and more. The entire process took approximately two minutes. He Mail added a clarification to his live blog explaining that he now excludes the man’s personal details.

The ready availability of such details illustrates the challenges of informing the public about a newsworthy criminal case without interfering in the judicial process, says Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director, professor and James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics at the University. of Wisconsin. Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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