Access to Parler was interrupted after the service was banned by Google, Apple and Amazon, but data on user activity is still circulating on the internet. That’s because millions of posts, videos and photos were preserved before the social network went down. The material reaches 56.7 TB and could be used in investigations that investigate the influence of the platform in the invasion of the United States Capitol.
Parler’s data would have been collected by a hacker who identifies himself on Twitter as @donk_enby. She stated to the Gizmodo which scraped data from the social network between Wednesday (6), the day of Donald Trump’s supporters attacking the Capitol, and this Monday (11) when Amazon Web Services (AWS) took the site down.
According to her, the work resulted in the collection of about 99% of all content that had been published on Parler, including deleted and private posts. On Twitter, @donk_enby also said he found 1.1 million video URLs, which were stored in the original format and had metadata as the location where the files were created.
In a tweet, she demonstrated what the metadata stored by Parler would be. The image shows, among other information, the geographical coordinates in which the video was created. Information about the material is available on ArchiveTeam and, according to Gizmodo, should also be hosted on the Internet Archive.
Metadata such as https://t.co/f5y6AzZ3kmpicpic.twitter.com/95cXeCbZo6
– crash override (@donk_enby) January 10, 2021
Parler has gained ground among Trump supporters who claim there is censorship of conservative speeches on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The social network, which presents itself as a space that offers “freedom of expression”, also allowed publications with hate speech.
After the invasion of the American Capitol, Parler became one of the most downloaded on the App Store. However, what was attractive to users was the reason for its ban. The service has been removed from the Apple and Google app store because it does not have a content moderation policy to prevent violent content.
Parler data can help investigations
US security agencies are conducting investigations to identify who participated in criminal acts in the attack on the Capitol, which resulted in the deaths of five people. It is not yet clear whether data collected from Parler will be used to identify suspects. However, posts on the platform that address the invasion can help authorities.
Democratic Senator Mark Warner, the future chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, asked technology companies to preserve “associated content and metadata” that may be related to the attack. The congressman sent letters, which do not have the weight of subpoenas, to the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Telegram, Signal, Parler, Gab, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
In the statement, Warner recalled that many participants in the invasion shared images of the act via social media or text messages. “Message data from and to your subscribers that may have participated or helped those involved in this insurrection – and information from associated subscribers – is critical evidence to help bring these troublemakers to justice,” said the senator.
The FBI also has an open channel to receive information from those who know the Capitol invaders. According to NBC News, the American police have already received 40,000 contributions and arrested 87 people for participating in the attacks.
With information: TechCrunch, The Verge.