Hacktivist collective Anonymous has launched a cyber war against the KKK’s websites and social media sites, releasing personal information of the members.
Here’s what you should know about what Anonymous is doing and why:
1. The KKK Threatened Lethal Force Against Ferguson Protesters
Members of a Missouri-based KKK chapter have distributed fliers in the St. Louis metro area and have used social media to claim they will use lethal force against Ferguson protesters, whom they claim have threatened police officers and their families.
In August, the KKK held a fundraiser for Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown, sparking the Ferguson protests. In the video above, you can listen to Frank Ancona, a KKK member, speak with MSNBC about these threats and their claims.
2. Anonymous Responded by Hacking Accounts & Leaking KKK Members’ Information
The Hacktivist group Anonymous responded to these threats and the hate group’s leaflet distribution with an online campaign, attacking the Klan’s websites, hacking into its social media accounts, and exposing KKK members and releasing their personal information.
Anonymous has stated, in the video above, that it respects the KKK’s right to free speech, however the Klan’s threats of violence toward protesters, and specifically toward members of Anonymous at the protests, have prompted the cyber attacks. The collective has taken over two Twitter accounts, @KluKluxKlanUSA and @YourKKKCentral, while going after multiple KKK sites including kkk.com, unskkkk.com and traditionalistamericanknights.com, using DDoS attacks.
3. #OPKKK Is the Twitter Hashtag Used to Expose KKK Information
Anonymous launched #OPKKK on Twitter, in response to the KKK threats against protesters, and began to leak information and names of Klan members. You can view the entire leak of “unmasked” Klan members here with photos and also a shorter list here without photos.
4. The KKK Originally Taunted Anonymous for #OPKKK
Prior to Anonymous’ taking control of Klan sites and social media, when the hacktivists first started using #OPKKK and #HoodsOff, the notorious hate group took to Twitter to taunt and provoke the hackers, countering with the hashtags #HoodsOn and #WhitePrideWorldWide.
5. Ferguson Is Preparing for the Grand Jury’s Decision in the Mike Brown Case
With the grand jury’s decision impending for the case of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, groups on both sides are preparing for the worst. Organizers of protests have outlined “rules of engagement” for dealing with the police, handing out lists for equipment they believe they will need such as bandages and shatterproof goggles, and safe spaces for protesters to assemble or escape tear gas. The “preparation” for the jury’s verdict is one of the reasons that the KKK has threatened protesters with violent acts. Today Missouri declared a state of emergency.