Anonymous Drops KKK Member List

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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And with one fell swoop, the hoods come off…

The hacktivist group Anonymous released on Nov. 5 the names of 1,000 individuals suspected of being members of the Ku Klux Klan. (RELATED: Did Anonymous Warn About The NYSE Outage?)

In the post, Anonymous stated they “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.”

“The reality is that racism usually does NOT wear a hood but it does permeate our culture on every level,” they continued. “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 collected the data over an 11 month period.

The tension between Anonymous and the KKK began after police killed Michael Brown, a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014. Members of the Klan threatened to use deadly force against those they considered “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters.’”

In a post from Oct. 27, Anonymous stated:

Ku Klux Klan, We never stopped watching you. We know who you are. We know the dangerous extent to which you will go to cover your asses. Originally, we did not attack you for your beliefs as we fight for freedom of speech. We attacked you due to your threats to use lethal force in the Ferguson protests. We took this grudge between us rather seriously. You continue to threaten anons and others. We never said we would only strike once.

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. Again. This is our protected speech.

The highly anticipated release comes after another network—unaffiliated with Anonymous—leaked a copy of the suspected members on Nov. 1. However, the leak was widely debunked and Anonymous distanced itself from the release. (RELATED: Mayor’s Husband Ends Up In KKK Costume On Facebook, Blames Beers)

The Hill reported on Nov. 3 that the unauthorized release of information “included dozens of emails and phone numbers, but most notably the names of roughly a dozen prominent politicians.”

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