Morton County: Officers, Officials Working #NoDAPL Protests Have Been Targeted for Harassment and Hacking

Cass County (N.D.) Sheriff Paul Laney (left) tries to convince Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp coordinator Mekasi Camp-Horinek to remove a roadblock on Highway 1806 and move protesters out of the oil pipeline's path and back to the main camp on federal land in southern Morton County on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, as Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann of the North Dakota National Guard and Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier listen. Photo by Mike Nowatzki / Forum News Service

“During today’s illegal protest activities, protestors released personal information, including date of birth and home address, of a Bismarck Police Department officer,” a Morton County press release, set out yesterday evening, states. “Protestors have also publicly identified several other Bismarck Police Department officers and a Morton County Sheriff’s Deputy.”

“The tactic, known as ‘doxing’ has been used extensively by professional protest groups like ‘Anonymous’ and aims to publically [sic] release personal details of targeted individuals, like police officers and elected officials,” the release continues.

Earlier this summer the North Dakota Highway Patrol told its officers to stop wearing their name badges after some incidents in which protesters began harassing officers and their family on law enforcement and traveling to their homes.

You can read the release in full below. It goes on to state that Morton County elected officials and law enforcement officials have had their credit card accounts hacked and personal information released since the #NoDAPL protests began.

There have been reports that Anonymous, the well-known “hactivist” group, had taken an interest in the protests. Their threats were mostly focused on Governor Jack Dalrymple, but that’s not to say they couldn’t be targeting others as well. If Anonymous is even involved, which we have no real way of knowing.

North Dakota is a small, close-knit community. It probably doesn’t require “hacking” skills to figure out the identities of cops working the protests.

Still, just another awful burden our state and law enforcement leaders must carry, on top of the problems often violent, often unlawful #NoDAPL protesters create nearly every day.

“The law enforcement officials who have helped uphold the rule of law, protect the citizens of Morton and Burleigh Counties, and ensure the safety of legal protestors, have consistently operated with the utmost professionalism, often in the face of staggering aggression,” Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier is quoted as saying in the release. “It is just unconscionable that some protestors would seek to target them and their families.”

“Unconscionable.”

That’s the right word.

Here’s the full press release:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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