On Tuesday, the infamous group of hacktivists stated that they planned on revealing the identities of 1,000 members of the KKK on the first anniversary of the protests that rocked Ferguson, Missouri, last year.
Anonymous vowed last year to wage a "cyber war" on the hate group after the KKK threatened to use "lethal force" on Ferguson protestors. In an online message posted Tuesday, reported the New York Daily News, Anonymous stated they had "never stopped watching" the Klan since taking over numerous social media accounts and message boards in 2014 after the alleged Klan threats:
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".
The message went on to note that Klan members had attempted to play the victim after Anonymous's 2014 attack of online accounts and exposure of the personal data — phone numbers, street addresses — of many who would have preferred their white-hooded faces remain secret.
"No. You are a damaged, dangerous, fragmented, splintered and amorphous collection of terroristic cells with a hate-based ideology and a well documented history of violence against the American public," responded Anonymous.
As reported by the Daily News, the hacker collective has revved up its threats against the KKK, posting more frequently to a Twitter account for the operation with the hashtags #OpKKK and #HoodsOff. Late Wednesday, a tweet indicated the hackers might be actively gearing up to put their threats into action.
Revealing someone's private information — or "doxing," in internet parlance — is considered a questionable tactic for those steeped in digital culture. There's always a danger that innocent people — say, the children or relatives of a secret Klan member — may end up lumped in with those who may actually have a pointed hood hidden in the closet, in this situation. Righteous zeal could outrun wisdom.
That said, Anonymous's targeting of the Klan, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as the US's "most infamous" and "oldest" American hate group, is pretty easy to understand. Time will tell if the hacker group actually makes good on its word, but chances are nobody will shed any tears for the KKK.