In another display of online activism, self-proclaimed “hacktivist” group Anonymous recently leaked the email addresses and phone number of 40 allegedly active members of the Ku Klux Klan on Sunday.
On October 28th, the group announced in a press release that it would soon release the identities of up to 1,000 active KKK members – and it seems they have begun to fulfill that promise.
View the full lists here.
The infamous group, which hacked highly-protected CIA and Islamic State group data in the past, claims that it’s outing “up to” 1,000 people who are either Ku Klux Klan members or “close associates” of KKK factions. All data is intended to be released on November 5th.
According to the press release, the cyber attack is a response to the KKK’s 2014 threat to use “lethal force” against those involved in the Ferguson, Missouri, protests after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
Following is the group’s message to the Ku Klux Klan:
“Today we have shut down servers, gotten personal information on members of the KKK, and infiltrated your twitters and websites. And this is just the beginning. On November the 4th we will be having a twitter storm, spreading awareness about the operation. And on the 5th we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members Names and websites, new and old.
We are not oppressing you, Ku Klux Klan. We are not here to strip you of your Freedom of Speech. Anonymous will never strip you of any of your Constitutional rights. There is no “hate speech” exception to the Constitution. In a free society, we do have a duty to protect free thought, even when especially offensive. Your hateful ideas and words remain yours to keep. You are allowed to speak and in kind, we are allowed to respond. You are legally free to live and be any which way you choose to live and be. Keep in mind, it is not illegal nor oppressive to hurt your feelings. With that said, we are stripping you of your anonymity. This is not a threat, but rather a promise.
We never forgot your threats to the protesters in Ferguson, and we certainly never forgave you. And the same will be done to the threats you give now. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of the Ku Klux Klan remain unknown to you, then I would suggest to allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand with me on the fifth, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”
As is to be expected, the information is undergoing intense scrutiny, with many pointing to several suspicious entries as proof positive that the unverified list is, at the very least, highly suspect.
For example, it names Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero as a KKK member. As she explains, that’s ridiculous on its face. She’s part of an interracial family, launched an initiative to reduce violence among “men of color” and has pushed hard for LGBT rights.
In addition, included amongst the alleged Klansmen, is Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, who came out publicly as gay in 2005. Senator Tillis, meanwhile, is a Catholic, one of the groups traditionally targeted by the Klan.
“This allegation is false, insulting, and ridiculous. I have never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK. I am opposed to everything it stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong.”
In other words, some of the information so far seems unreliable.
As Engadget explains, it’s probably best to take the leaked information with a grain of salt. “While it’d be easy for targets to deny any KKK affiliations, there’s also a risk that the leak could damage the reputations of innocent people.”
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