Justice

Anonymous Just Leaked the Names of 1,000 KKK Members

November 6th 2015

By:
Kyle Jaeger

The hacktivist group Anonymous made good on their promise to unmask up to 1,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan on Friday, releasing a list of names, aliases, and social media accounts allegedly affiliated with the white supremacist organization.

After infiltrating the Klan's social media networks over the course of several months—posing as white nationalist sympathizers in order to compile information about members—Anonymous announced that it would be revealing their identities last month. The group is calling the move response to racial violence.

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"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," the group wrote. "Public discourse about these topics can be honest, messy, snarky, offensive, humbling, infuriating, productive, and serious all at once."

"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."

Last month, details of the list were reportedly leaked, naming dozens of U.S. governors and mayors accused of having ties to the Klan. Anonymous' official "Operation KKK" campaign (as well as many of those who were named) denied that the list was authentic.

Today's release coincides with Guy Fawkes Day, a holiday celebrated in the UK that has been adopted by the group of activist hackers, which supports an anti-capitalist agenda.

Vice was given early access to the list and verified that it was mostly accurate—"though there are still errors, including names of people who are not affiliated with any Klan group."

anonymous

In an interview with Vice, the Klan's national leader, "Imperial Wizard" Frank Ancona, said that he wasn't concerned about the list and that he felt it would bolster the Klan's membership base.

"It is definitely not going to cause people to have a mass exodus," Ancona said. "I have not had one single member contact me concerned about it. It will bring some positive publicity in terms of membership."

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