Hacking group Anonymous has threatened to reveal the identities of 1,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan to mark the first anniversary of the Ferguson protests.
The group said in a press release:
“We will release, to the global public, the identities of up to 1000 Klan members, Ghoul Squad affiliates and other close associates of various factions of the Ku Klux Klan across the Unites States.”
Dubbed Operation KKK, the cyber activists say they will also shut down websites and other social media accounts affiliated to the white supremacist group next month.
According to The Guardian, Operation KKK’s Twitter account said that the name dump will coincide with the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the group’s cyber-war with the Klan following a grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
In November 2014, a local Missouri chapter of the KKK distributed fliers threatening violence against activists. The fliers warned protesters in Ferguson that they had “awakened a sleeping giant”.
We’ve gained access to yet another KKK Twitter account. Using the info obtained, we will be revealing about 1000 klan member identities.
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) October 22, 2015
In a response, Anonymous declared war on the white supremacy group. They took over the KKK’s twitter account and replaced its logo with their own.
“After closely observing so many of you for so very long, we feel confident that applying transparency to your organizational cells is the right, just, appropriate and only course of action.”
The press release which was posted online stressed that the attack against the KKK is a “cyberwar” and “not violent,” justifying the hack by labeling the Ku Klux Klan “terrorists.”
“You are more than a hate group,” Anonymous said in the press release. “You operate much more like terrorists and you should be recognized as such.”
The group tweeted that it will provide updates on the hack through two Twitter accounts set up for the initiative.
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) October 27, 2015
Anonymous is a disparate and amorphous group of hackers and online activists which originated on the anarchic message-board 4chan around 2003, reports Guardian. Its name comes from the “anonymous” tag that posters on 4chan get; users of the site, as well as members of the group, both refer to themselves as “anons”.
The group which operates as a grassroots-style organisation with no visible leadership or membership structure, has chosen a disparate group of targets since its inception roughly 12 years ago. Its first high-profile operation, known as Project Chanology, targeted the Church of Scientology.
In the past the group has targeted poronography rings and the Westboro Baptist Church, and attacked PayPal when it withdrew support from WikiLeaks.