Anonymous #OpKKK Hack Results in Confusion, Denials
The hacker group, Anonymous, started releasing the personal information about purported members of the Ku Klux Klan under the #OpKKK and #HoodsOff hashtags.
Over the weekend and Monday, Anonymous hackers published phone numbers and email addresses of alleged KKK members to Pastebin, but there’s confusion, as the “official” OperationKKK account disputed what was published on the website.
This account has NOT YET released any information. We believe in due diligence and will NOT recklessly involve innocent individuals #OpKKK
The anons at the helm of this initiative vouch ONLY for the dox list that will be released from this Twitter account on November 5 2015.
— Operation KKK (@Operation_KKK) November 2, 2015
A subsequent tweet said: “We respect the work of our fellow freedom fighters. However, we are unable to confirm, deny or take credit for any work that we did not do.”
The release of the purported KKK members comes ahead of the Million Mask March on Thursday, where Anonymous supporters come out wearing the group’s signature Guy Fawkes mask and gather in public spaces around the world.
Twitter accounts affiliated with Anonymous, including @YourAnonNews, released around 80 names, phone numbers, and email addresses. The data alleges that several mayors and U.S. senators are members of the KKK. The name Knoxville, Tennessee Mayor Madeline Rogero appeared on the list, and she denied it.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” she said. “I began my political career working for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez. I have spent decades working for causes of social justice and equality.”
The Daily Beast reporter Goldie Taylor also disputed another claim, describing the hack as “bogus.”
“Johnny Isakson is not a Klansman—at least, not the Johnny Isakson I know,” she wrote.
Other politicians denied being involved in the KKK.
I am opposed to everything the KKK stands for. I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong.
— Mayor Jim Gray (@JimGrayLexKY) November 2, 2015
Claims that I have ties to the KKK are totally false and irresponsible. I’m proud to be the Mayor of the @CityofFortWayne (1/2)
— Mayor Tom Henry (@MayorTomHenry) November 2, 2015
Anonymous is promising the real dump on Nov. 5.
“Today we have shut down servers, gotten personal information on members of the KKK, and infiltrated your twitters and websites. And this is just the beginning,” reads a message on the group’s website. “On November the 4th we will be having a twitter storm, spreading awareness about the operation. And on the 5th we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members names and websites, new and old.”
The Klan is believed to have between 4,000 and 6,000 members across the U.S., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“It’s common for extremist groups in general, and Klan groups in particular, to make extravagant claims about their membership, but the reality is that they can never back up those claims with real-world evidence,” said Mark Pitcavage, the head of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League.
Anonymous has fought with the KKK for around a year after a local Klan chapter threatened to use “lethal force” against activists during protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following Michael Brown’s death in 2014.