The online hacktivist group Anonymous has followed through on the pledge they made to expose the identifies of hundreds of official Ku Klux Klan members.
On Monday, the Anonymous hacker group vowed to release the information of about 1,000 Ku Klux Klan members on November 5th.
As promised, the group delivered, posting up a Pastebin link with the first and last names, aliases, Google Plus profiles, Facebook accounts and other personally identifying information on around some 1,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan.
An unknown hacker posted a link to the Pastebin leak on the Twitter account @Operation_KKK, the official account dedicated to exposing the Ku Klux Klan members identities.
OFFICIAL #OpKKK #HoodsOff 2015 Data Release. https://t.co/EQODjs7wpA With Love, Anonymous
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) November 5, 2015
For those who don’t know, the Ku Klux Klan is a white supremacist group dating back dating back as far as the 1800’s. The group opposes any other race and religion than white Christians, including immigrants, interracial dating and even homosexuality, and has commit numerous hate crimes and terrorist acts against their victims. According to Wikipedia, the Klan was believed to have somewhere between 5,000 and 8.000 active members as of 2012.
“We hope Operation KKK will, in part, spark a bit of constructive dialogue about race, racism, racial terror and freedom of expression, across group lines. Public discourse about these topics can be honest, messy, snarky, offensive, humbling, infuriating, productive, and serious all at once,” Anonymous hackers working on OperationKKK wrote in their leak.
“The reality is that racism usually does NOT wear a hood, but it does permeate our culture on every level. Part of the reason we have taken the hoods off of these individuals is not because of their identities, but because of what their hoods symbolize to us in our broader society.”
Anonymous hackers said the group worked exhaustively for 11 months to expose the KKK members, gaining information by digging through years of public documents, “digital espionage,” social engineering, interviews with experts and information left publicly available on social media accounts connected to KKK affiliations.
Anonymous made their intentions clear, marking that they support and heavily defend free speech and free thought. However, the group does not support acts of terrorism or hate inflicted upon the public, especially for individuals beliefs. “The KKK is part of an important cultural landscape and history in the United States,” Anonymous wrote. “We need to make room for important, blunt, honest, public, productive conversation. Violent bigotry IS a problem in the United States. This is not a colorblind society. It deeply divided on racial lines.”