WikiLeaks, the group led by Julian Assange, says it is considering creating a database of personal information about all of Twitter’s “verified” users.
WikiLeaks Task Force, a Twitter account that operates in support of WikiLeaks, announced on Twitter on Friday that it was considering setting up an online database detailing verified users’ “family/job/financial/housing relationships.”
Twitter grants “verified” status — denoted by a blue check mark — to users who are deemed to be of public interest. Journalists, politicians, celebrities, and athletes are typical verified users.
It is unclear why WikiLeaks, which bills itself as an anti-secrecy group, is now considering the project. But the group has come under intense criticism by the U.S. government, many journalists and politicians for its role in publishing emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
U.S. government officials have asserted that the emails were stolen by the Russian government and passed to WikiLeaks. Assange, who resides in a state of asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has maintained that WikiLeaks’ direct source for the emails is not affiliated with the Kremlin.
WikiLeaks provided more information about the database in another tweet.
WikiLeaks denied that its tweets amount to a threat to dox high-profile Twitter users.
“No it is to develop a metric to understand influence networks based on proximity graphs,” the account responded to a question on Twitter.
Another user pointed out that WikiLeaks has a verified account and would also be included in the database.
“Of course,” WikiLeaks replied.
It is unclear how WikiLeaks would release the database or if it would violate Twitter’s policies.
A Twitter spokesperson said that it cannot comment specifically on the WikiLeaks plan.
“Posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation of the Twitter Rules,” the spokesperson told The Daily Caller.
Twitter considers credit card information, social security numbers, private addresses, non-public phone numbers and email addresses to be confidential information.