Capitol Police arrested Jackson Cosko, 27, on Wednesday, for allegedly doxxing some or all of the Republican Senators Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham, and Orin Hatch by posting their personal information on Wikipedia. Rand Paul, who called for an investigation into the incident, was also doxxed on Wikipedia on Monday as was Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, although it’s unclear which of these incidents Cosko is being held responsible for.
Cosko is/was an intern for Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat from Texas. According to BNO News, he’s also worked for Senators Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and Barbara Boxer of California, but had been recently hired as an unpaid intern for Congresswoman Lee.
The official Capitol Police arrest report notes that Cosko is being charged for a pretty long list of offenses: Making Public Restricted Personal Information; Witness Tampering; Threats in Interstate Communications; Unauthorized Access of a Government Computer; Identity Theft; Second Degree Burglary, and Unlawful Entry.
According to the report, “the investigation will continue and additional charges may be forthcoming.”
Cosko’s alleged doxxing played on a unique method of disseminating the Senator’s information, either intentionally or unintentionally. He allegedly posted the Senators’ addresses, phone numbers, and emails as edits to their personal Wikipedia pages, from a computer using an IP address linked to the Capitol building. Those edits were then immediately scraped, screenshotted, and reposted by the @congressedits Twitter account, an automated account that tracks any changes made to Wikipedia from computers with Congressional IP addresses. The @congressedits account has been suspended from Twitter.
The account’s creator Ed Summers, a professor at the Maryland Institute of Technology in the Humanities, explained the situation after the first round of doxxing on September 28.
The initial doxxing happened during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault or attempted rape by multiple women. Hatch, Graham, and Lee all sit on the Judiciary Committee.