Anonymous Vs KKK: Hacking Group Declares War On The Klu Klux Klan

Hacktivist group Anonymous has announced its intention to unmask active members of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). Anonymous claim to have gained access to a number of Twitter accounts belonging to the Klan, which has allowed them to identify up to 1000 members of the KKK. Anonymous issued their threat to the secretive hate group via Twitter.

The unmasking will be a part of “Operation KKK,” an initiative launched in November last year after a KKK chapter threatened to intervene with deadly force at protests in Ferguson. The protests and riots in Ferguson were a result of the police shooting of African American teenager Michael Brown. The unrest sparked a number of violent incidents, and there were suspicions that a memorial to Brown, as well as the church that he attended, were burned by the KKK. Anonymous responded to the Klan’s activities with threats and warnings, and have kept up a campaign of harassing cyber-attacks, outing Klan members and, according to claims made to the Huffington Post, taking over the KKK’s Twitter account.

Anonymous KKK Story
Anonymous launched ‘Operation KKK’ in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown
[Photo by Getty Images/Scott Olsen]
The “unhooding” will be timed to coincide with the approximate anniversary of the Ferguson unrest, which is possibly meant to serve as a reminder of the initial catalyst for action against the KKK. Anonymous users have made various statements to media outlets which show that the hacking group is unified on the issue of the KKK. Anonymous has no known central structure, and their message and actions can sometimes come across as muddled or conflicting as a result. Its lack of central leadership and apparently ad hoc approach to campaigning has often made it difficult to identify them as a coherent voice of protest on some issues, but when it comes to large, broad-based issues like racism and the KKK, Anonymous’ message seems to solidify into unity.

Anonymous KKK Story
The protests in Ferguson drew attention from a variety of groups, including the Oathkeepers (pictured)
[Photo by Getty Images/Scott Olson]
This is not to say that the group is infallible. In the immediate wake of the Michael Brown shooting, for example, hacktivists claiming to represent Anonymous incorrectly outed a police officer who had never been to Ferguson as the shooter. This caused predictable suffering for the officer involved, who received hundreds of death threats before a correction was issued.

There is also the fact that, despite the grand and sweeping statements made in the press release for “Operation KKK,” Anonymous’ activity on another level indicates that one of the drivers for this renewed burst of activity is something as petty as a personal “flamewar.” It appears that a “friend” of Anonymous recently suffered online harassment at the hands of an individual purporting to be a Klan member, and a tit for tat series of Denial of Service and other attacks were perpetrated as a result. There is also an odd inconsistency in their press releases, with the main release claiming that Anonymous’ belief in free speech means that they will defend the Klan’s right to exist, but resist its violent actions. Individual users, however, have told media outlets that the goal of Anonymous is to see the “KKK gone forever.”

Anonymous KKK Story
Some KKK cells are claiming a dramatic uptick in membership
[Photo by Getty Images/Spencer Platt]
But despite its amorphous and inconsistent nature, there would still appear to be a more serious core group of hackers identifying as Anonymous. KKK members have reportedly left the hate group as a result of systematic “unhooding,” and numerous websites promoting or affiliated with the KKK have been taken down. Despite the fact that Klan spokespeople are claiming the first increases in membership in decades, Anonymous’ KKK operation is likely to have significant consequences for the hate group.

[Photo by Getty Images/Adam Berry]

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