Mattermost open source Slack-alternative helps Ex-CIA, NSA, FBI hunt U.S. fugitives on TV

Former United States White House CIO, Theresa Payton, along with former members of the NSA, CIA, FBI and U.S. Special Forces, uses open source Mattermost software to hunt U.S. fugitives in Atlanta, Georgia on the new TV series “Hunted”. The series premiered on January 22, 2017 on CBS, a major U.S. broadcast network.

Former United States White House CIO, Theresa Payton, opens Mattermost on her laptop during an investigation.

Mattermost is open source software offering secure, real-time messaging and file sharing across web, PCs and desktop featuring continuous archiving, instant search and hundreds of third-party integrations.


Mattermost is used to share a photo of a fugitive’s tattoos in “Intelligence Team” channel, used by investigators around the seven-minute mark of Episode 1.

The solution is featured repeatedly in the first episode of HUNTED. You can see Mattermost’s distinctive round profile pictures, channel header and threaded messaging layout.

You may be wondering:

  • How are the investigators using Mattermost?
  • How many people are using the software?
  • What information are they sharing?

We have no idea.

Unlike Software-as-a-Service communicators like Skype, Slack and Microsoft Teams–which store your data on computers controlled by third parties–Mattermost software runs on your computers. This means only you have access to the messages and files you send in Mattermost, so no-one else knows how you’re using the system.


Screenshot of standard Mattermost desktop and mobile apps. Note the distinctive round profile pictures, channel header font and blue sidebar.

Even better, Mattermost is completely free to use under an open source MIT license. Your security teams can inspect 100% of its source code–which is trusted by thousands of companies that already use Mattermost.

Here’s a summary of how Mattermost was used during the first episode:

Around the seven-minute mark, former White House CIO, Theresa Payton, asks the operations team to send a photo of a fugitive’s tattoos via Mattermost (screenshot above).

It’s received by Lenny DePaul, a former commander for the United States Marshals Service. You can see a fullscreen view of Mattermost on his monitor.

Lenny DePaul, former commander for the United States Marshals Service, communicates using Mattermost at his desk in full screen mode.

We see Mattermost again at the 15-minute mark, used by former CIA analyst Connie Min, who tracks down high school friends of Angela Brinson, a fugitive on the run. While the details are blurred out, Connie is clearly using the threaded messaging feature in Mattermost.


A minute later, former naval intelligence officer, Steve Masterson, tracks down the registration of a car belonging to the fugitive. He then uses Mattermost to share the information with investigators.


As an open source project, we’re always excited to see our software in use. Having Mattermost featured on national television and used by the world’s most elite investigators is a massive honor.

Our deepest thanks to Vince Crisler, Theresa Payton, CBS and the crew of Hunted for supporting open source software.

Watch HUNTED Sundays on CBS or stream full episodes from!


More about Mattermost:

About Mattermost

Mattermost is an open source Slack-alternative built for enterprise. Thousands of companies use Mattermost for workplace messaging across web, PC and phones with archiving, search, corporate directory integration and connectivity to over 700 third-party applications. Available under MIT license in 11 languages Mattermost offers peace-of-mind, value, control, and freedom from lock-in for organizations around the world.

Install or Upgrade Mattermost

Install a new instance of Mattermost with instructions from our download page. Check out our upgrade guide for guidance on updating to the latest version.

Enterprise Edition

Mattermost Enterprise Edition E10 and E20 are commercial versions of Mattermost designed for large organizations backed by commercial support from Mattermost, Inc. and available by subscription. See the feature list for more detail.

Looking for help on install and upgrade? A subscription also entitles you to upgrade and installation help from Mattermost, Inc.

By | 2018-03-08T08:43:24+00:00 January 22nd, 2017|Categories: Customer Stories|0 Comments