Following up on previous declarations and actions, hacktivist collective Anonymous is threatening to reveal the identities of Ku Klux Klan members.
The group made the declaration in a statement yesterday (which you can read in full here), kicking off the next stage of what they call “Operation KKK.” Anonymous launched the initiative (referred to on social media as #OpKKK) last November in the aftermath of KKK groups reportedly threatening protesters in Ferguson with violence. Since then, they have waged cyber war on the KKK, claiming to have taken over their social media pages and affiliated websites while also apparently revealing individual members’ identities and compelling them to leave the hate organization.
As #OpKKK nears its first anniversary, Anonymous said in the statement that it will reveal ”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 United States.”
The group also says it turned on the KKK because of its threats against Ferguson protesters and other affiliates, calling them terrorists and claiming that they don’t deserve the protection of free speech that Anonymous fights for:
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. Again. This is our protected speech.
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. You are abhorrent. Criminal. You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists and you should be recognized as such. You are terrorists that hide your identities beneath sheets and infiltrate society on every level. The privacy of the Ku Klux Klan no longer exists in cyberspace. You’ve had blood on your hands for nearly 200 years. You continue to inflict civil rights violations, commit violent crimes and solicit others to commit violent criminal acts. You seek to intimidate and/or eliminate those that are different from you and those that you dislike by any means possible. You seek to terrorize anyone and anything that you feel is a threat to your narrow view of the “American way of life.”
Despite Anonymous’s efforts in the past year, they have not been completely consistent in their work. Notably, an officer unconnected to Mike Brown’s death was mistakenly “outed” by the group, which lead to death threats for the officer.
(H/t The Huffington Post)