Rather by accident I stumbled on this story. The hactivist group Anonymous released a list of people who it said were members of the Ku Klux Klan. They announced it on Twitter under the hashtags #OpKKK and #HoodsOff.
The list had some mistakes in it, and some people were falsely accused. The list was updated. Anonymous isn’t exactly a well-organized group, and more than one competing list has been posted. I looked through the first half of my Birthers from A to Z list and didn’t find anyone, not that I really expected to. Despite hype that the list would contain a thousand Klansmen, only a few hundred appeared, and many of those were aliases and others already known.
News reports say that Anonymous learned some code identification acronyms that KKK members use make contact online, and through them gained access to some Klan members’ Facebook pages. It spotted potential Klansmen under the topic “blue lives matter,” by scanning for racist comments; however, another page tells a different story; it says that Klan web sites were hacked, IP addresses harvested and:
Through geolocation, each IP address has been tied to an individual computer, which has a home address and a name affiliated with that address. Anonymous has also tied social media accounts to each of these IP addresses, some of which have left significant social media footprints.
I don’t know the abilities of these Anonymous hackers, but I have some doubts about the truthfulness of that statement.
Much of the list consists of Facebook pages of these individuals and news reports say that now most of those pages have been shut down. Critics say that not much new information was revealed. Other critics took a more aggressive stance. @zappin_liberals wrote:
@Operation_KKK trigger warnings? LMAO. U guys r tools. Obviously Obama operatives. No one’s fooled. A list of black hate groups is coming.
The reason that the story interested me is that we Obots have lists too, lists beyond birthers who identify themselves in public (whose names appear on my Birthers from A to Z list). Obots haven’t hacked anyone that I know of, but at least one prominent birther web site left a file dump of all its comments laying around where Google could find it (containing screen names, email addresses and IP addresses), and through technical means (that I won’t discuss until January 20, 2017) the identities of many birther commenters at various birther web sites have been identified. The damage done by the errors in the Anonymous KKK list is a cautionary tale for anyone who has a list that they might consider making public. The Obots aren’t considering releasing our lists, by the way.
Birthers got into the outing game a few years back, identifying, or trying to identify anonymous Obots. That wasn’t very effective either because they got it wrong (like Jerome Corsi’s epic fail attempting to out JimBot) or because Obots have nothing to be ashamed of in the first place.
I personally believe in a right to privacy, and that right extends to people I would consider scum. But I also believe that people should be accountable for their actions. It’s not an easy ethical problem. I don’t condemn Anonymous for what they did, but if it were me, I wouldn’t have done it.
- How Anonymous’s big KKK dump got muddled before it even began – Washington Post
- The Anonymous #OpKKK dox is not what you’re expecting – The Daily Dot
- Who Did Anonymous Unhood with #OpKKK? – Color Lines: News for Action
- Anonymous Releases Personal Data of Alleged KKK Members and FBI Informants – ThinkProgress
- Anonymous says US senators were ‘incorrectly outed’ as KKK – CBC