Remember remember, the 5th of November.
The hacker collective Anonymous published the names of roughly 500 members of the Ku-Klux-Klan online. A lot of the members are linked with their social media accounts.
In time for Guy Fawkes Day, Anonymous tries to restart the debate over racism in the United States of America. The KKK has been on Anonymous’s list for quite some time now.
The hacker collective anonymous acted on their threat and released the list with 500 people that are part of the Ku Klux Klan. They announced “Operation KKK”, by using a twitter handle – which is controlled by one of the hackers. As usual, nobody knows who’s actually behind this action and this twitter handle.
“OFFICIAL #OpKKK #HoodsOff 2015 Data Release. http://pastebin.com/wbvP95wg With Love, Anonymous”
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK ) November 5th 2015.
The tweet can be found: https://twitter.com/operation_kkk/status/662380844711972865
The link leads to a pastebin link, where they list alleged KKK members. The list contains mostly names and aliases, aswell as the KKK-organization – which these persons, are part of. Along with Links to their social media profiles. In some cases they also published locations, links to photo, private websites and email addresses. The name contain comments such as:
- Nazi related
- In Prison
- Elvis Impersonator (lulz)
KKK today: scattered splinter groups
The KKK is one of the US’s oldest hate groups, who attacked blacks, jews, immigrants and homosexuals in the past. The KKK had its prime time in the 1920s. Today there is no big, national organization anymore – only a few small, independent groups, which are mostly located in the south and the mid-west of the USA. Because of this scattered structure, it is hard to estimate how many members are actually part of the KKK.
The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates, that there are roughly 5000-8000 KKK-members in the United States of America today.
A controversial Initiative
To get the data, anonymous members, scraped through scientific documents and public data, they interviewed informants and they spied undercover online, by joining right-wing forums and social networks. The pastebin document, which got released contains an introduction, where they explain how they got to the data. It also gives an explanation why this data has been collected over the period of the last 11 month and why it has been published now:
“We understand this initiative is extremely controversial and we know we will face much criticism for this operation and our work will be heavily scrutinized. We hope this body of work speaks for itself. “
Some of the names have been removed from the list, to ensure no nonmembers of the KKK are being accused by accident:
“We consider this data dump as a form of resistance against the violence and intimidation tactics leveraged against the public by various members of Ku Klux Klan groups throughout history. “
The publication of the data should start a discussion, they added. Because racism isn’t wearing any hoodies it pierces Americans culture on every layer.
Pastebin document appears to be legit
Not every name on the list has been confirmed yet. Journalist Nate Thayer, who has done a lot of research about the KKK in the past, received published online and says that it appears that much of the list is accurate, though there are still errors, including names of people who are not affiliated with any Klan group.